Friday, September 30, 2011

Practice becomes Presents - Placemats

I thought I had plenty of room left on the practice backing on the HQ16 to squeeze out at least six placemats referenced before.  These were Placemat 5 - Cristofer's design from One Song Needle Arts.  I loved how they stitched out after the first one, so I decided to try and stitch out 3-5 more.  After the first one, I wanted to place two horizontally instead of centering one.  They fit perfectly.


When I rolled the backing after the two stitched out, I did not have enough room to stitch out any more.  So, I ended up with 3 placemats.  I can't have 3 placemats.  As I rolled back the backing, I found a small unstitched area that would allow me to stitch out one more placemat.  That would give me 4 and enough for to create a gift for someone.


As you can see, I really peace meal my practice pieces.  I slap on a cut piece of batting and a cut piece of practice fabric and stitch away.  I end up with a real mess in the end.


 However, I've made some interesting things out of these practice pieces.  Runners, pot holders, etc.  In the next post, I'll show you how I quickly finished the placemats without adding binding.

Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Breaking the Ruler

The last couple of days have been storming here in Central PA.  We have had some big rumbling storms.  So, I don't sew on those days.  Computerized sewing machines and lightning storms don't mix for me.  I've lost a computer before with power surges (even with a power strip) so I tend to avoid using expensive items during storms.  So, this morning is grey out but no thunder boomers so I fired up the HQ16 to complete some straight line free hand sewing and use up the practice backing still on the rollers.  I'm too lazy to take it off, work on a real quilt and then put it back.

Everything was going well, I decided to try out a placemat pattern I had purchased from One Song Needle Arts a long time ago and I had some fall looking fabric to practice on.  It was the Placemat 5 - Cristofer's design.  It turned out beautifully.  I think I might finish a few more.  Next time, I'll try and do two per row instead of centering it.


On the sides of the placemat, I had extra fabric to practice my ruler work doing straight lines.  I was moving along great using my Line Tamer ruler I talked about in my last posting.


Then in the blink of an eye, there it was.  I hopped over the ruler and made a boo boo.  I know it's hard to see on the sewing. 
But it's no so hard to see on the ruler.  UGH.  One the bright side, the last 3 passes of sewing on the top right side were completely free hand straight lines, so, not soo bad.   On an even brighter side, I don't seem to see any damage in the timing on the sewing machine... whew..  Thank you.


Have you even broken a ruler when quilting?  What a bummer.

Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Trish's Tools - Straight Line Quilting and a side trip to CT

The last couple of days, I've just been practicing stitching out the design I want to quilt on the pink quilt.  I've also been practicing my free hand quilting in a straight line with the HQ so that I can outline the stars on the quilt as well.  It's not so easy for me to stitch in a straight line.  I even tried to record a traced design and have the machine quilt it for me but I didn't get the results that I wanted.  It was just a simple star I free hand drew out and recorded the tracing on the ProStitcher.  It was too hard to get it to quilt directly on the line after I traced the outline.  So, I won't be using the recording feature.


 So, I switched to practicing just free hand straight line quilting using the stitch-regulator.  Again, not as easy as I thought.  I tried using an open ruler but I kept jerking and ended up with some outdents on the lines. 

 
Finally, while going through my stock of rulers I purchased but have not used, I came across this nifty ruler I completely forgot I purchased.  It's called the Line Tamer from Four Paws Quilting but I call it my training wheels ruler.  I think I'm getting the hang of it and I can at least quilt a straight line now.  So, a little more practicing and I think I'm almost ready to load the quilt.  However, it looks like just about the time I'm ready to load the quilt, we'll be spending some time traveling.  I don't think my house guests will do it for me :-) 




 I am busy planning a quick trip for DH and I for our 20th anniversary.  We were going to fly somewhere, but decided to take a drive up to Connecticut from Central PA.  It's probably about a 6.5 hour drive to the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos but it's somewhere we've been saying we want to see.  So, that is where we will be spending our anniversary for a couple of days in the beginning of October.  Plus a bunch of other short day trips.  Can a anyone recommend other things to do in the area?  We were thinking about visiting Mystic Seaport in Connecticut as well.

Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Friday, September 23, 2011

Auditioning Quilting Designs

I have been playing with Photoshop Elements to cut and paste a quilting design onto the Pink Star quilt.  The quilting would actually be done using white thread but I used black paintbrush to see if I like the placement.  I would like to just outline the star blocks and use the "Kitty and Daisies Block 13" design from One Song Needle Arts in the other areas.

For now, I've just been working on stitching out the design block and making sure the quilting works with the threads on scrap fabric and batting.  I'll have to switch over to white thread and see how it goes too.  I think the challenge will be placing the block design just right to make sure the center circle goes over the 4 points that come together in the non-star areas.


Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quilt Backing - Cutting it Close

It was great getting a chance to visit with Mom this past week.  Now it's back to the normal routine and finding time to finish the Pink Star quilt.  I was able to finish the quilt backing early this morning.  There are two things about this quilt backing that bother me.  One being the one tumbler die (with the big white arrow pointing to it) I did not center the white stripe.  It did not look as obvious when it was the other direction.  Maybe I'll just rotate the backing.

The second item is that I am cutting it close on length.  I think I only have a 1/2 inch on top and bottom extra.  I'm debating whether to piece an extra strip or take a chance.  More than likely I'll add a pieced strip just to be safe.  It would be so disappointing if I started quilting and then the backing ended up short.  So, one more step to finish the backing and we'll be ready to start pinning.  Looking at the photo, I should have ironed it before photos.

Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fabric Finds in Unexpected Places

Before I left to visit with family, I picked up a few fabric finds in unexpected places.  I was window shopping and stumbled upon these finds at Tuesday Mornings and Big Lots.  The 6 yard kit was from Tuesday Mornings and I love the Blue and Green fabric colors from the kit.  I probably won't follow the directions of the kit.  But 6 yards of fabric for $10 is a bargain.  The fat quarters I picked up at Big Lots.  They were just thrown in a box around the kitchen towels of all places.  I love the fall colors!  I've been collecting $1 Fat Quarters and it's time to start using some!  Where's your favorite unlikely place to find fabric?

 
Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Copy of your Blog

I'll be stepping away from the Pink Quilt for a little bit.  Off to visit with family.  So, I have a couple of non related items to share along the way.

Over the summer, I shared a way to publish your blog into a book using a service I found SharedBook Blog2Print .  I am not compensated by them, just a happy customer so far.  The previous blog that I had printed to a physical hard copy book was a smaller private blog that was not too expensive to print to hard copy.  However, my craft blog would have been over 300+ pages.  So, I opted to have a pdf file created from the blog.  This way, I don't have to click on the blog navigation to look back at the different entries.  They still lay it out with all entries being indexed in the front of the file and rearrange all photos to be able to display them more efficiently on the page.

The price to create the full pdf of my blog from June 2008 until yesterday was $7.95.  So, just an option I wanted to share with the bloggers out there.  It was super quick and easy. 
Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Finished Backing Blocks Insert

I finished my backing blocks insert yesterday.  I decided to do two rows of ribbons.  It gave me an insert about 15" high.  I think I will only need one strip of backing fabric split on the top and bottom of the insert to cover the 50" in height of the quilt.

I added one more column on the side of the insert to add one more vertical ribbon look.  It finished the layout for me.  However, adding a new column to a tumbler die layout was a little tricky.  I had to remove the previous plain column and insert a column with the vertical stripes and then add back the plain column.  I would not advise doing that again.  But in the end, I'm happy with how it turned out. 



Hopefully today, I'll finish up the complete backing.

Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Using Border Scraps on Backing


I've been experimenting with my excess border scraps on my Hunter's Star quilt.  I want to add some blocks to the back of the quilt.  I find that adding blocks to the back of the quilt helps to be able to reposition the backing fabric to not have to use as much.  I could have very easily used square blocks or the same 3 strip border on the backing.  But, I wanted to try out something different and I had my my new smaller tumbler die sitting by.



I positioned the border scraps over each of the tumblers and cut out the blocks with the white strip in the middle.  I did both vertical and horizontal stripe cutouts.  There was even less scraps when I took the time and positioned the next cut "just right"



Here's what I have so far.  I know that it will be horizontal on the backing.  I may need to stitch up a few more strips to match the border so that I can add more blocks.  However, so far, so good.  The mini tumbler blocks went together very fast.


Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering in Silence















Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Saturday, September 10, 2011

EXPIRED - B1G1 Free Large Jars - 2 Days left

I don't know about you, but, I love the smell of Yankee Candles.  This is not a paid testimony :-)  Just a happy customer.  I only buy them when they have their Buy One - Get One Free sale on the large jar candles.  They are having their sale right now. ** EXPIRED ** The coupon is only valid today and tomorrow.  **EXPIRED ** I've used the coupon in a store at our mall and I've also used the CS411 Coupon Code on the site for multiple purchases.  My favorite new scent is Pumpkin Buttercream, yummie.  Enjoy and I hope you save some money like I did!

Yesterday, when I was at the store, I had printed out 2 coupons although I only needed one for multiple purchases.  It was nice to turn around and give it to a couple behind me that was buying one candle.  Now, they got one free as well. They were pretty happy since the sale was not advertised in the store.
Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Friday, September 9, 2011

Part 2 - AccuQuilt Hunter's Star Quilt Instructions - Adding Borders

Now, I’m a little unconventional on how I measure and apply my borders and corner blocks. So, I completely understand if you want to use your own method of accurate measuring. The borders are basically 3 strips of fabric sewn together alternating dark, light, dark and then 4 corner blocks. If you are continuing to follow from part 1 instructions, you probably already have your half square triangles for the corner blocks cut out and sewn together to make the half square triangle squares such as the one pictured below image7.

You should have 16 of these created from sewing the 16 light half square triangles with the 16 dark half square triangles cut and set aside for the corner blocks.

Image7
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

Border & Corner blocks
  • 16 light 2 1/2"half square triangles **** Probably already cut and sewn in Part 1 instructions ****
  • 16 dark 2 1/2" half square triangles**** Probably already cut and sewn in Part 1 instructions ****

  • border strips (2) 2" dark strips and (1) 1.5"
CUTTING THE STRIPS

I like to cut my border strips too big for the quilt. I like to be safer than sorry and anything that is left over, I try and add to the back of the quilt or use somewhere else like a pillow or something.   I currently do not own the strip cutter dies for the AccuQuilt Go product. If you had the 2” and the 1.5” strip cutter dies, this would work great for you as well. So, if your finished center measured approximate 50+” long and approx. 41+” wide, this is how I generally measure it.

Dark Strips Cut 2” wide

Since I have two strips of dark on each side of the border, I would cut 3 strips of dark fabric the full length of my fabric width for each side of my quilt. This ends up being 12 strips of the dark fabric cut in total. This was not scraps. The fabric width is usually anywhere from 41-43” long.
I cut 4 strips in half and join each half piece to a full size piece. This gives me approx. 8 strips at about 61” each of strip. I know I’m about 10-20 inches too long. However, I like to use the extra on the backs for use on a pillow in the future.

Light Strips Cut 1.5” wide

Since I only have 1 strip of light fabric on each side of the border, I would cut 6 strips of light fabric the full length of my light fabric width for the whole quilt. Again, this was not scraps. The fabric width is usually anywhere from 41-43” long.

I cut 2 strips in half and adjoin each half piece to a full size piece. This gives me approx. 4 strips at about 61” each of strip. I know I’m about 10-20 inches too long. I like to use the extra on the backs for use on a pillow in the future.

ASSEMBLING THE BORDER SIDES

Each side has 3 strips (2 dark and 1 light) 1.5 times the length of your fabric width. Or approximately 60” long.

Sew one light strip onto one dark strip right sides facing each other. Open and iron the seam to the dark side the whole length of the strip. Now attach the second dark strip to the open side of the light strip with right sides facing each other. Sew the full length of the strip using a ¼ inch seam. When completed, open and iron the new seam to the dark side of the fabric. Your top and bottom of the strip will look like the sample below in image8 and image9 below. The borders should measure 4.5 inches wide when completed as in image10.

image8

image9

image10

Repeat this process 4 times to create a side border for each side of the quilt. Once ironed, set them aside.

ASSEMBLING THE BORDER CORNER BLOCKS

Each corner block is made up of 4 dark and 4 light 2.5” half square triangles which when sewn together above, gives you 4 half square triangle squares. I use two different types of corner blocks to represent the two different centers of the stars on the quilt. You could very easily use all 4 blocks the same if you would like. The two layout of square I use are positioned as such:

image 11

image12

In both cases, flip block B onto block A and sew right sides together on the right side. Flip block D onto block C and sew right sides together on the right side. You end up with two rows for each block. Reposition rows to match the photos above. Flip AB row onto CD row and sew right sides together. Make sure to match up your seams and sew the right side to produce the matching blocks. You should repeat this until you have 2 complete blocks to match image11 and two complete blocks to match image12. Your blocks should finish out at 4.5” square.

ADDING THE BORDERS TO THE QUILT CENTER

I add the left and right side borders first. These are straight basic seams adding the border to the quilt right sides together. Trim the top and bottom edges of the added border even with the quilt center.

image13

On the last two borders (top and bottom), I trim one edge on each border to have a straight edge to sew one of the corner stones to. I leave the rest of the border length and end alone. I only use one pin on the seam of the attached corner block to make sure it lines up with the seam of the left border.

PLEASE NOTE: The following photo examples are from another quilt I was working on. I did not take pictures when I added the borders to my hunter’s star quilt. However, the process is still the same.

I stop sewing the top border all the way across the top and stop about 3” away from the right side seam where the corner block should be.


I then measure with a ruler to mark ¼ inch past the right border seam to know where to trim my newly added top border.



Then I trim the newly added border on the line just marked. I usually just cut with scissors while sitting at the sewing machine.


Next, I pin the last corner block for the top border to the newly trimmed edge. Reposition this newly added block under the machine and sew the corner block on to the attached border. This is why I leave about 3” not sewn on the border. It allows me to rearrange the quilt to get the border block under the needle to sew. Then I realign my border to my quilt with the newly attached cornerstone, pin the seams and continue sewing the rest of the border on.



When the top border is attached, you’ll see the corner blocks match up perfectly.

REMEMBER: The border photo examples are from another quilt I was working on. I did not take pictures when I added the borders to my hunter’s star quilt. However, the process is still the same.


Repeat for the bottom border. However for the bottom border, I start on the right side of the quilt first. This allows me to have the border on the top of the quilt when I sew and the quilt bulk is to the left of my machine. Just a preference of mine. I try and use the excess border strips for the back of the quilt or a matching quilt pillow. I hope these instructions allow you to make a hunter’s star quilt as well. If you have any questions or corrections, please feel free to contact me.
Thanks for stopping by!  
~*~Trish~*~

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Part 1 - AccuQuilt Hunter's Star Quilt Instructions

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Let’s try this again.  I wrote most of these instructions up yesterday and accidentally deleted them.  I was so sick, they were so detailed.  O-well… Back to the drawing board.   I usually do not write a lot of quilting instructions so please let me know if you find any errors or have any questions.  

HOW I CUT WITH MY ACCUQUILT GO

I used the small AccuQuilt Go Value Die for this quilt.  It works with the AccuQuilt Go Baby but I don't have a Go Baby just yet.   I usually cut a maximum of 4 layers of fabric on my AccuQuilt Go.  It just works best for me to help in making sure the cuts stay as accurate as possible.  Also, I always line up my fabric edge (you know the one with the manufacturer’s name on it) parallel with the long edge of the die.  There are also some great tips on the AccuQuilt Go and Yahoo Group.  

I usually cut or rip my fabric into strips and then I accordion fold it over closely over the one die needed.  My strips are just a little bit wider than the item trying to be cut.  This allows me to minimize my scraps.

 
And before I know it, I have a whole pile of cut out blocks.


CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

Center Quilt Blocks
  •          240 Light 2 1/2" half square triangles
  •          240 Dark 2 1/2" half square triangles
  •         30 4 1/2" light squares
  •          30 4 1/2" dark squares
Border & Corner blocks
  •     16 light 2 1/2"half square triangles
  •         16 dark 2 1/2" half square triangles
  •          border strips (2) 2" dark strips and (1) 1.5" light strip
PREPARING THE BLOCKS

First step is to pair up all 240 dark half square triangles with your 240 light half square triangles and sew right sides together.  During this time, I feed them one by one into the sewing machine and then snip separate them later. Iron each one open pressing the seam to the dark fabric.

Repeat the steps above with the half square triangles for the border .  Match one light with one dark and sew right sides together.  Iron each one open pressing the seam to the dark fabric.







PUTTING THE BLOCKS TOGETHER

Now, it is all about direction on the blocks.  There is really one base block to this quilt that when repeated creates the star.  Make 24 full blocks and then we'll make 6 blocks without the final seam.

In image1 you can see the direction placements for the half square triangle blocks.  We'll start working in the top left section, place 4 of your half square blocks to match the image.  Make sure you keep track of which side needs to be sewn to keep the blocks in the direction originally laid out.  Sew TL1 to TR1 to make a row 1 in image2 (below) and then sew TL2 to TR2 to make row 2 in image2 (below).  Ignore the 4 1/2 inch blocks for now.  In the bottom right quadrants of Image1, position 4 more half square triangle blocks in the right directions to match and then sew BL1 to BR1 to form row 3 in image2 (below) and then BL2 to BR2 to form row 4 in image 2 (below). 

Image1
Image2


 
Position your rows to match the layout in image2 above.  Now sew Row 1 to Row 2 with matching up the center seams.  Once completed, the block will match block1 in image3 below.  Move on to sew Row 3 to Row 4 to create block2 in image3 below.

image3
image4
 
To finish the block, match the positioning in image3 and sew Block1 to a Dark 4.5” plain block.  Then sew a light 4.5” plain block to Block2.  Finally, sew the two block top half to the two block bottom half to complete the block as in image4.   Repeat this process to create 24 of these individual blocks.    There are 3 more blocks to complete.  However, on these 3 blocks, do not sew the top half to the bottom half.  This will leave 24 completed blocks and 6 halfs.

ASSEMBLING THE QUILT CENTER

Then assemble each of the 24 full blocks to match image5 below.  I usually complete the rows first and then assemble the rows.  All you need to do is make sure your blocks match the layout in image4 below.  You basically rotate the individual block to match up the “feathers” of each star.  Also, I took a lot of time to match up the seams and pinning.

image5
 The six half blocks will be going on the right and left sides of the center quilt.  Assemble the half blocks to match the layout below in image6. 3 half blocks for each side.  Then attach the two rows to the left and right of the center quilt.  Be careful to match up all the different seams.  I like to use pins to make sure my seams line up.

image6

Thanks for stopping by!
~*~Trish~*~