Thursday, October 30, 2014

Borders Unlimited

When finishing Leah Day's Building Blocks Quilt Along quilt, I realized I didn't have enough solid color fabric for the outer border. There was enough of a different shade of red but I thought I'd look through my stash to see if something else might work. 

This fabric had the right tones and values and the stripes just looked like it would make really interesting binding! Isn't it gorgeous?

I fussy cut the portions I liked for the binding out into 2" strips. 

Then it was spray starched and pressed in half. It was easy to line up, along the squiggle. 

I sewed it onto the back and wrapped it around so I had the squiggle in the front. 

Thanks to the fabric pattern, the front and the back have different patterns! It looks like it was so difficult to do, doesn't it? 

BBQA quilt is done and ready for action!

When you make your own binding, the choices are unlimited! Your stash has instantly become more useful! Would you try this technique? Blog post your photos and share your link with us!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BBQA Quilt Completed

The project was launched in January and as of 10:15pm today, my quilt is done!

If you want to make this quilt, go to for the pattern and video lessons. Expand your abilities in free motion quilting. Have fun!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Zig Zag Border #1

Continuing on with part 2 of Esther Aliu's Love Entwined quilt, the outer border gets attached. I wanted to do it with a piecing method. That made sense to me. How to do it was the challenge. On Esther's blog, there was an "LE" quilter, Happy Appliquer", who thought the same thing and posted her tutorial on what she did. I was so happy I found it and made up my zig zags today. Here's the basics of her instructions. 

The template was drawn onto freezer paper. Cut out. 

Strips were sewn together. Use the template to mark and cut out the zig zag strip. Make four. 

All of the strips get attached to the edges where they need to be attached. (This looks a little misshaped because of a tray I have uber the part where I'm sewing.)

Since the center seams are already sewn, the outer edges get stitched on. If I work on it each day, I plan to have this part done by the weekend. 

Thanks, Happy Appliquer, for your border construction idea! It worked great! And thank you, Esther Aliu, for the amazing pattern. I'm so inspired and love sitting in a comfy chair while sewing for a change! 
See Esther's blog for more info on this quilt and to find the Happy Appliquer's posts:

Another project I have going is the Bargello Lone Star. This top is a beauty and I'll be excited to have her together. I laid the sections out to see what it looks like. Ain't she pretty? I love it!

What are you sewing this winter?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Crown Making and Spray Starch

The Love Entwined quilt is quite fascinating to me. I think about it often throughout the day, which helps me tackle the next part when I work on it. I never thought of myself as an appliqué quilter. I know how to do it but usually don't choose this work....until I saw Esther Aliu's pattern. Love!

My center compass medallion is pinned onto the background fabric. I offset it slightly for interest. 

It needs to be surrounded by wedge shapes, which will resemble a crown. I'm pulling out all the tools for this job!

I'd like to take a detour about spray starch. I didn't have any in the house. I thought it saw a way to make it so I did a search and sure enough, there's a simple recipe for it. 1 TBSP cornstarch to 1 cup water. Add a sprig of lavendar or rosemary if desired. (I added a sprig of dried rosemary.) Put in spray bottle. Swirl to mix before spraying. 

It worked way better than I expected! Check out the crisp lines!

Using my wooden pointer to keep my fingertips burn free, the wedges took shape rather quickly. 

Here they all are, ready for placement and sewing down around the compass. 

Ta da!
I'll get to sewing them down tomorrow. 

Are you an appliqué quilter? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Right Tool For The Job

I am working on Esther Alua's quilt called Love Entwined. The center compass and the encompassing ring in part 1 are really looking great! 

Using a tool from my Stampin' Up days came in handy for it too. The pattern calls for 32 dots to go around the outer ring. Thanks to the Big Shot and a circle cutter, this part was a snap!

I cut a bunch of small squares out of the colors I wanted. 

The smallest circle in the cutter was just the right size for my dots. 

Run the cutter through the Big Shot. 

Take away the excess and be left with perfect circles. 

I had 32 of them cut in about 10 minutes!

Turning the edges under took a lot longer but they are all pinned in place and ready to be secured. 

Any time saved in this project will be worth it. The Big Shot will get more use as this project moves along. I can't wait to start part two!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Something Different with Appliqué

I stumbled across a yahoo group started by Esther Aliu, who is an amazing quilt designer. Her current, but almost completed, block of the month is called Love Entwined, which is a recreation from a quilt from the 1790's. It has pushed me into the desire to do appliqué. Not exactly a favorite technique of mine, bit it is something that can be done away from a sewing machine so I'm open minded to it. 

The first part of this project is to make a center compass. Here are my color selections. 

As I was looking at this drawing of the compass, I decided to tackle it in the paper piecing method. Progress was satisfying!

This technique worked very well for this part. The final compass came out very nicely!

The next part of this block is to piece in circles at the tips of each point in the compass. I'll work that put tomorrow. Tune in again!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Half Square Triangle Blocks

Who knew you could get so many looks from this simple square!

What ones will you make?

Nancy Zieman from Sewing with Nancy recently posted about making 1/2 square and 1/4 square triangles and some block ideas. Use this link to see it:

Her little tool is neat but you can do the same thing without it. Cut a strip of cardboard 1/2" wide and trim one end into a point shape. Set it on the square and mark. Those are your sewing lines. After they're stitched, cut down the center and press open. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Placemats in Red

The photo journey of the project!

I have six of them. :)