Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Finishes

I know, I know, these aren't all completely, ready-to-hand-off finished.  But they'll be gone before another Friday rolls around, so I'm calling them "finished."

First, three things from my UFO-tober list:

1)  Cherish Nature Sparkling Cider #1

and 2) Cherish Nature Sparking Cider #2

Even though DH thinks they are identical, these two quilts are a little different.  Same fabric line, same pattern, but different arrangements.  I'm pretty sure I've purchased every piece of Deb Strain's "Cherish Nature" in Colorado.  Love this fabric, it's pretty but not "girly."  I have enough left to piece backs for both quilts.

3) "Up and Down":

Recognize the fabric?  Yep, it's Sarah Fielke's "From Little Things," that I found at the Cosmic Cow in Lincoln, Nebraska!  The pattern is "Up and Down" from the April/May 2011 issue of "Down Under Quilts." I pieced this top while visiting in Ohio last April.  I didn't realize I had attached the last two rows upside-down until I posted the photo on my blog!

4)  The Spring edition of "Crazy for Wool":

Bad photo, the colors are not nearly that yellow.  The pattern is "Prairie Town in Spring" by Cat's Creations.  I have lots of cute little buttons to add, and I'm going to hand-sew the binding on.  This is a BOM project at High Country Quilts -- one of my many  "BOM Rehab" projects. I have the kits for Summer, Fall and Winter, un-started!

And finally, a really-finished, ready-to-hand-off project.
5) "Take Four" placemats:

I blogged this project in July, not realizing it was a published pattern.  I found the pattern in Seattle in August, and purchased it immediately.  I hope if you want to make these clever, four-fat-quarters placemats, you'll purchase the pattern here.  It's a downloadable pattern, so you can get started right away.

Linking up to "Finish it up Friday" at Crazy Mom Quilts.

I'm almost packed for my road trip to Idaho.  Stand by for shop reports from Northern Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Should have Known

It's almost time!  Time to take another road trip.  This time to Idaho for my annual Quilt Retreat pilgrimage.

I'm going here:

Payette Lake, where I used to attend Girl Scout Camp at Camp Alice Pittenger.  Where everything is peaceful, quiet, the food is wonderful -- and my cell phone doesn't work!

I've done so well on my UFO-tober projects, I decided I had time to quilt the Mystery Quilt we made at Spring Quilting in the Pines in May:

I had the brilliant idea to quilt meanders in the off-white background, then go back and quilt a custom design in the blue blocks.

Last evening, I loaded the quilt on Meggie and quilted the meandering:

I've tried quilting all of one color thread, then re-rolling the quilt and quilting a second color thread before.  And it didn't work very well.

I forgot that trying to re-roll the quilt top while on the machine makes the batting and backing bunch up.

Not only that, it looks like the stars are going to be loose and I will get folds in the fabric when I quilt it.

I'm sure one of my long-arm pros (harrumph, ANN) would have told me that, if I'd remembered to ask!  I should have known!

Fortunately, I am using the summer-weight batting I bought at The Idaho Quilt Barn last Spring.  This batting scrunches up beautifully when washed.  So I'll go ahead and quilt the stars, then wash the quilt.  Scrunchies ccover a multitude of long-arming mistakes!

And go to bed tonight dreaming of this:

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

I have some Idaho-hostess gifts to show off -- come back Friday for Finally It's Finished!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Braid in a Day QAL -- Start your sewing machine!

I hope you've got your fabric strips all cut and your braid pieces ready!  The fun part starts today --we start sewing the braids together.

As you cut your strips, I hope you arranged them in right- and left-hand stacks.  This isn't as critical when you're using batiks, since batik fabric has no right or wrong side.  But if you're using a print, be sure your stacks are right side up, and look like this:

To begin sewing the braid, place a right-hand piece on top of a left-hand piece, matching the 90 degree corners:

Stitch a 1/4" seam along the right-hand side.  You can stop stitching when you reach the lower edge of the bottom (left-hand) piece, or continue and assembly-line sew all the braid pieces.  I did mine one at a time so I could choose contrasting colors:

Finger-press the seam away from the right-hand strip.  DO NOT press with your iron at this point -- it's too easy to stretch out the bias edges!

Add a left-hand piece to the left side of the first two pieces and sew all the way down the right-hand side.  Again, finger press away from the piece you just added.
Add another right-hand piece with the braid pieces on the bottom.  Finger press seam toward braid pieces.

Continue adding a left, then a right-hand piece to the braid until you've added as many pairs (right-hand and left-hand pieces) as required for the size quilt you are making. Be sure to add contrasting strips (light, then dark).

Carefully press the braid, wrong side up.  Don't "scrub" your iron back and forth or you'll make your braid crooked!

Instruction to square up the ends of your braid are on page 12 of the instructions.  Or you can just do like I did, and cut off each end square!

If you waited to buy your sashing until you saw how the braids looked, it's time to go shopping!

Next week:  Measuring and cutting sashing.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature