Saturday, January 29, 2011

I interrupt my quilting...

....for this ironing board emergency. Yes it is long overdue and I have long known I need to make a new one, but until this week it has never bit back. Well now it has and it stained my fabric. Good thing I noticed it right away.

So now I have to make a new cover.
First I cut 2 layers of needlepunched batting large enough to fold over and cover the sides of the ironing board. Next I cut muslin and then the cover fabric about 2 inches larger all around.

Using up scraps of folded bias binding, I sew it along the right side of the layered muslin and cover fabric, leaving a space so that I can thread through my cording.

Tighten and tie the cording and ta-da! a new ironing board cover! I like it a lot more than that ugly green thing!

 I tested it this afternoon on some 3" pineapple blocks.

4 down- 21 to go. Better get back to my sewing machine!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What a Productive Week!

I have no idea where it came from, but it happened! I got things done and what a great feeling it is!

I had been knitting at the beginning of last week. I finished the Diagonal Lace Socks I started at Christmas and the Hemlock Ring Throw I started just two weeks ago!

A close up...can you see the different shading? Sometimes hand dyed wool drives me crazy! But it was so soft and my feet will love them!

I went from my smallest needles (2mm) up to 6.5mm for the throw.

No wonder it took just over a week to knit! It took less knitting time than the socks did!

And yes it is my prerogative to change my mind about the miniature double wedding ring fabrics. Now those beautiful greys and taupes are going to find their way into a mini pineapple (3" blocks) and because I have gone pineapple crazy I am going to make a scrap one with 2" blocks.

And I FINISHED piecing my "History of Ann" 9 patch scrap quilt! Here is a sneak peek of it on the ironing board. Once it is quilted is is going straight onto my bed! I can hardly wait.

And still there is more to tell...
I spent yesterday on my hands and knees basting this quilt. I am 'big stitching' it so I hope it won't take me forever to get it done.

And finally in my mail box this week, a new book and I am in trouble because I need to make every quilt in the book. The question is, which do I do first?

So now I am off to clean up my sewing room before starting something new.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Quilting History and a Few Tips

Since I began quilting almost 20 years ago I put all my small scraps into a box until one day my box exploded and I had to do something about it. I started cutting up my scraps into 2" squares and then 3 years ago started sewing them into 9 patch blocks. I had no idea what I was going to do with them. This is how it all started...

Recently I figured it out!

I was happily sewing along and looked at my first finished block and oops! Those sashings weren't quite lining up. I am not concerned with being too perfect with this quilt but I did want it a little better than that.

I thought I would share a few tips to get sashings lined up a little better.

Here is my block laid out and ready to sew the long sashings on.

I match the center of the long sashing with the center of the block and pin in place. If I am sewing a long sashing that goes the width of a whole quilt I divide into quarters and pin at each quarter. That way you know your sashing is evenly distributed across. Pin the rest of the sashing and sew.

Now for the second side- I normally would press before starting this, but in this case my sashing was cut 1" wide and I was pressing towards the sashing, so that would create sewing problems.

Line up the sashing to the block, but instead of matching the centers I match the sashings between the blocks and pin. Then sew and press.

Much better!

This quilt has produced a lot of stray threads, probably because of all the handling over the last few years. I had a head smacking light bulb moment- to use my lint brush to pick up those threads off the finished quilt blocks! Why in the world did I never think if that before now?

And my last tip...another duh moment ( 2 in one day...did my brain just start working?)

I have a couple of rulers with a 1/2" added to them and I am always forgetting that and cutting wrong. I am so used to 6", not 6 1/2". In my notions drawer I had some of the ruler highlighter tape and I just put that down at my cutting line and ta-da! No more cutting wrong! You could also use any low tack tape such as painters tape.

I've been thinking about my miniature double wedding ring I want to make and have been looking through my fabrics. A couple of years ago I had bought a fat eighth pack of 'japanese' type taupes and greys. I needed something to add to those for the background. What do you think? It will be very non-traditional but I am liking it.

Back to my sewing room...Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home and almost ready to sew again!

I'm home from a wonderful Christmas spent with my family in North Carolina. I thought I would share some pictures of some 'quilty' Christmas gifts I got, including new snips! Santa was reading my blog!

My calendar and a book of quilts from Prince Edward Island (a part of my heritage)

Some knitting needles (I love Knitpicks needles)

A new spindle my Dad made for me

And finally a quilted wallhanging from my Aunt

And now to get back into my sewing room... next up is my scrappy nine patch that I bought sashing and borders for and more Farmers Wife blocks. I am also going to tackle a miniature Double Wedding ring!

Happy Stitching!