Friday, September 30, 2016

Binding Webinar Follow-up

So this happened last night.

From my sewing room, to the world, I presented my binding webinar. It was pretty exciting! I mean really... from my little sewing room in Florida to all over the US, and other countries?!  I shared "No Tails Binding: Mitered Corner by Machine." Goodness. It's a lot to get my head around that the MQG had 600 registrants for this! Granted, I don't know how many MQGers actually showed up for the live broadcast, but I was pretty pumped about it.

MQG members can go here to watch the 1 hour and five minute webinar. This means that if you're not MQG member, you should join (an individual membership is just $25 a year; or join our local Central Florida MQG chapter for $40 a year) and have access to all the webinars! What a great benefit of MQG membership! I've attended at least six webinars and all of them have been worthwhile.

I'll admit to a little nervousness before getting started, but knowing my subject matter as I do, once I got into it I didn't think about anything else. The many detail photos were well-received and during the Q&A I heard some interesting questions, particularly related to this chart. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with this binding method you should know that the quilt batting and backing are trimmed away after the binding has been sewn to the quilt. My chart shows how much batting and backing to trim away, and how much finished binding will show on the quilt front and back. 

Apparently this chart raised more questions than I was able to answer on the spot. Basically, those who asked wanted to know how I arrived at these numbers. My methodology is this:
  • Know the cut width of binding
  • Divide it by 2 to allow for folded binding
  • Subtract 1/4" for a seam allowance
  • Divide it by 2 to determine how far from the stitching line your quilt should be trimmed
  • If the binding is fully stuffed and sewn by hand, it will puff out. 

So, for binding that's cut 2-1/4" wide:
  • 2-1/4"
  • divided by 2 is 1-1/8"
  • subtracting 1/4" for the seam allowance equals 7/8"
  • divided by 2 equals 7/16" - cut 3/8" from the stitching line
  • Fully stuffed binding shows about 1/2" on the quilt front and quilt back.
And for binding that's cut 2-1/2" wide:
  • 2-1/2"
  • divided by 2 is 1-1/4"
  • subtracting 1/4" for the seam allowance equals 1"
  • divided by 2 equals 1/2" - cut 1/2" from the stitching line
  • Fully stuffed binding shows about 5/8" on the quilt front and quilt back.
    I hope this helps clarify how I came up with these numbers.

    A huge thank you to friends locally and far away (Australia) who took the time from a busy schedule to attend in real time. I know which of you were "out there," and I deeply appreciate your support. Squeezy hugs from me. You're my treasure. 

    Now back to regularly scheduled sewing! Linda

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    Florida Quilt

    Timing is everything...

    I'm happily writing this post to coincide with the 2016 Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side and my entry - Florida - into the Home Machine Quilted category. Though to be honest, it was tough choosing the right category for Florida, which also fits Small Quilts, Modern Quilts, and Original Design.

    So... presenting Florida. It measures 39" wide by 38" high and is made with lots of 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" solid fabric half-square triangles, and an ocean background of Grunge Ocean.

    I domestic machine quilted Florida on my Janome 1600P using 50-weight Aurifil on the top and in the bobbin. The top color was aqua #5005, and the bobbin was light blue #2805.
    Swirly quilting includes designs of snail trails, "C's", paisleys, bubbles, and swooping lines to get the effect of a tumultuous ocean.

    While the quilting went along quickly, what I didn't enjoy was that by starting the free motion quilting in the middle, along the Gulf side of the land, I worked in a tuck as I quilted to the west, and then to the north toward the peninsula. Darn. Right away I unstitched quite a bit.
    iPhone photo - Look how blue the water looks!
    Then I straight-pinned the sandwich and quilted from the peninsula toward the south, working out the extra fullness. By now I should know that double-batting makes shifting more likely, and that I must be extra careful about where I begin quilting, no matter how many safety pins I use to keep the layers from shifting.
    Canon Powershot S100 photo - This is the truer Grunge Ocean color.
    All that unquilting made for lots of starts and stops to fill back in what I'd just taken out. That meant lots of thread-burying. It's an easier task when I use a Sench needle. I've recently starting using this needle which has a little slot along the side of the eye, for slipping thread up, then down into position. I'm a big fan. Sench needles are available from this Etsy Shop - DragonflyQuiltworks, here.

    When the quilting was done I made single-fold binding, and applied it as usual by first marking a straight line around the perimeter of the quilt, machine sewing the binding aligned with the marked line, machine-sewing the four corners, trimming the excess batting and backing, and then turning under a quarter-inch fold and hand-sewing it into place.

    This is a good time for me to mention again that I'm teaching this binding technique in a Modern Quilt Guild Webinar on Thursday, September 29 at 9 pm Eastern time. If you're an MQG member, you can register for free. Go here to do that, if you haven't already. Gosh, I'm getting crazy-excited about this presentation! Like chill bumps-producing excited.

    But the rest of the story about that Florida quilt...

    It still wasn't quite on-the-square after adding binding, so I pinned it onto carpeting, measuring the length and width to make each side even, and measuring diagonally across the back to make sure those two numbers were the same. Then I sprayed water on the quilt back - the cotton batting layer is on the bottom (wool batting is on top) - and patted it into shape. After drying, it's more squared-up, but about 1/8" off. I'm not sure I can do much else short of soaking the quilt and reblocking it.

    How about that backing? Isn't it too perfect?

    A special hello and thanks to first-time visitors to my blog. I appreciate your visit too! Linda

    Monday, September 12, 2016

    Florida is a Top

    With much consternation about an August 30 order place with Missouri Star Quilt Company for Moda Grunge in the color Ocean, and several other fabric pieces - that order still hasn't arrived! (Edited September 14 to add that the order arrived today... 16 days later. No apology; no "we're sorry" gift. I won't order from Missouri Star again.) - I phoned StitchCraft quilt shop in Boca Raton (where I'd purchased a half yard of fabric) and within four days received more Grunge Ocean - happily from the same bolt I'd first purchased it from! I appreciate StitchCraft's promptness.

    The arrival of Grunge from StitchCraft allowed me to complete the piecing of my Florida quilt top. The Keys aren't exactly accurate, but given that they needed to be half-square triangles, just like the body of Florida, this is as close as I could get.
    40" X 40"
    Because all of the land is 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" (finished) half-square triangles, I thought it was important to the overall flatness of the quilt top to continue piecing into the water section. So, the water immediately adjacent to the land is 1-1/2" squares. Further out are 3" squares, and at the perimeter are 6" squares.

    From the back, all that piecing really shows up. I pressed open every seam, thinking that will make quilting a little easier to accomplish.

    The quilt sandwich is a layer of cotton Cream Rose with a layer of Quilter's Dream wool on top. I opted for double-batting because I want my quilting to show-up. By the way, the photo below is a truer representation of the color Ocean. The fabric reads more aqua than the blue in the above pictures.

    Quilting has begun. With my Bernina walking foot I'm first cross-hatching the land using YLI 40-weight variegated yellow thread. It's one of the many cones of thread I won as a third place prize in a 2012 quilt show.

    I'm using light blue 50-weight Aurifil in the bobbin for the totally appropriate backing fabric.

    Next is the quilting design for the water... I'm spending more time on that, drawing it out, and quilting a sample since it will likely be a featured part of the quilt.

    Two people on Instagram have asked for a pattern, but since I don't have software to create diagrams, I have to decline. I do think it would be fun if there was a pattern for every state though! Linda

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    New Month; More Activities

    August flew by in a blink! Guess that's what comes from traveling so much. What with driving to and from Austin, Texas, flying to Las Vegas and back, going to and from Boca Raton, and driving home Monday from a five-day trip to Ohio to visit relatives, the month was jam-packed. September doesn't look much slower.

    I'd love to post pictures of our family gathering in Western Ohio, but this picture of a rainbow, outside my cousin's rural home, will do.

    After a family discussion about social media, and how many people pictures are posted - often without permission - I'm opting not to post any of the 44 great photos I took of my dad, brother, sister-in-law, first cousins, first cousins in-laws, first-cousins once removed, first-cousins once removed in-laws, and first-cousins twice removed! Suffice it to say a whole bunch of family members gathered to celebrate the January wedding of a first cousin once removed - Justin, and his wife Natasha - who live in New York City. It was wonderful to reconnect with all this family after a six year separation, the last time I was in Ohio.

    It's no wonder that I haven't blogged much. Nothing happening in my sewing room! I remedied that by starting a new project almost as soon as I got home. It's an idea that's been brewing since I saw a quilt on display at Valli and Kim, a quilt shop in Dripping Springs, Texas. The quilt is "State Love: Texas" also known as "Texas Forever" by Corinne Sovey.

    To make my own interpretation of a state quilt, I dug through my solids bin and pulled out all the colors that looked tropical, focusing on oranges and yellows. All the fabric brands I own were included - Moda Bella, Kaufman Kona, and American Made Brand. I made a few more than 160 half-square triangles that are 2" square, unfinished.

    This is now on my design wall for a "rest" as I tweak the placement of a few HSTs.

    The Keys were the most difficult to do, and certainly aren't accurate to a real map. But I have to point out that used the appropriate-named Grunge "Ocean" fabric for the background. As you can see, a half yard of it wasn't enough. I can't go further until a "refill" order arrives in the mail.

    Now this is what September will be about!
    1) attending the Orlando MQG Sew-In to deliver and help with Pulse quilts on the 3rd;
    2) working on our QuiltCon Challenge Quilt at the Central Florida MQG Sew-In on the 10th;
    3) co-leading our Central Florida MQG meeting program on how to enter a quilt show on the 12th;
    4) teaching foundation paper-piecing at the Lifelong Learning College on the 26th, and October 3;
    5) completing my entries for the January 2017 Quilting Guild of The Villages show by the 27th;
    6) and prepping for and presenting the Modern Quilt Guild binding webinar on the 29th.

    Toss in a committee meeting, an executive committee meeting, two doctor's appointments, and the usual line dancing, needlework, and quilting meetings, and I'm scratching my head as to how I've managed to be busier now than when I worked full time! I know I'm not alone in this. Linda
    The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings. - Robert Louis Stevenson


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