Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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Getting It Done for March and April

Yah for March!  All that bad weather let me sew and finish all my goals for March.  I thought I would even get a head start on April, but I petered out at the end of the month.  Oh, well.  Having the list really helped me stay on track.

March Goals

1.  Quilt navy, brown, and orange donation quilt.

Finish and quilt “Sultry” quilt.

3.  Finish and quilt pink and gray donation quilt.

4.  Finish queen quilt top for my bed.

 

April Goals

1. Make 4-5 spring wall hangings for Etsy shop

2. Quilt and bind queen bed quilt

3. Make floral baby quilt

4. Make primary baby quilt

How did you do on your goals?

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I’m linking up to Getting It Done on Patchwork Times.

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Sunday Stash Report and March-a-Long 3/31/13

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Happy Easter! And hopefully happy spring.

Yuri is sad because there wasn’t much production this week. I used one yard on the failed wall hangings. Then one back-ordered yard of fabric came in the mail. Pretty much a wash.

This week:  +1 yard,  -1 yard

YTD:  +36.75 yards,  -91.5 yards

Net stash used in 2013:  -54.75 yards

How goes your destashing?

March-a-Long

I started the week strong by finishing the top to my bed quilt. Then I started wall hangings that didn’t work out, so I started some more. Then beginning Wednesday evening I started getting nightly severe headaches/migraines. I don’t know what they are, but I don’t want them. When I haven’t been hurting I’ve been exhausted. So I have neglected the sewing machine, but have tried to keep up on blogs, etc. Sargent Darla knows I’ve been on sick call, spoiling a pretty good month. Still, it was a good use for a cold and weathery month. Congratulations to all who Marched Along.

I’m linking up with Sunday Stash on Patchwork Times, and March-a-Long at The Scientific Quilter.


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WIP Wednesday: Spring Hangings, take II

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Monday I cut, sewed (not really pieced), and sandwiched two 12″ x 24″ spring wall hangings for my Etsy shop.  Yesterday I quilted them, trying to make the designs I’d drawn on the spring prints pop by surrounding them with dense quilting.  This so did not work.  I practiced some new filler stitches, so it wasn’t a complete waste of thread and time, but one is a wadder for sure.  (Do quilters use the term “wadder”, as in wad it up and throw it away?  I think I picked that up from Carolyn at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic.  She sew garments, but you haven’t seen stash till you’ve seen her stash!)  I know, we so seldom throw anything away, reusing blocks and pieces, but this is a heavily quilted little thing.  I might save a little of the border fabric, but then it’s going out.

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The other one I worked on with a green permanent marker (Bic Markit in key lime-  anyone have any experience with these?).  I may finish it.   We’ll see.

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So, yesterday I fused and appliqued shapes to new backgrounds and am starting the process over again, in a different direction.  Wish me luck.  The Wonder Under already fought with me yesterday.  I am not in a very springy mood!

 

I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Maybe I’ll feel better after I see what everyone else is working on!


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Design Wall Monday: My Bed Quilt Top

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Last spring I gathered a jelly roll of “Nicey Jane”, a few stash fabrics, and lots of Kona “Bluebell” to make a queen sized quilt for our bedroom.

Nicey-Jane Quilt Design

I designed it on EQ7.  Since I hate to quilt huge quilts, I  planned it to be made in two pieces and put together when nearly finished.  I got the first half of it together, then ran out of Bluebell.  While waiting for more to arrive, I guess summer intervened and this went to the back burner.  Way back.  I put it on my March “Getting it Done” list, so I dug it out to finish.

Nicey border

So hard to figure out what you were doing on a stone cold quilt!  I had to remake a couple of blocks, but they’re all together now, so I just have to add the borders.  I am not completely happy about the borders.  They are all cut, and they will look nice with my green bed.  Probably they will be fine.

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Here’s the view from my studio this morning.  It’s very beautiful, but it’s time for spring.  Birds keep stopping by my dogwood tree.  I think they are looking for nesting sites.  It would be nice to sew with a family outside my window.

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday on Patchwork Times.


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Sunday Stash Report and March-a-Long 3/24/13

Stash fabric

Yes, there’s more fabric!  Fourteen yards, to be exact.  But it was all on sale, and mostly nice basics that I need.  Besides, remember that I had to buy some so that I didn’t make my goal of 100 yards too early.  The Pink and Gray quilt used 7.75 yards, all from stash, so it’s really like I only bought 6.25….

 

This week:  +14 yards,  -7.75 yards

YTD:  +35.75 yards,  -90.5 yards

Net stash used in 2013:  -54.75 yards

How are you doing on destashing?

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Yes, Darla, I’ve sort of been marching along this week.  There were a couple of days when I got no sewing done, but I wrote a blog post, sent Frances some fabric, photographed quilts, etc.  I must have logged some hours, because I did make the pink and gray quilt, so you can tell I’ve been trying.  Keep it up, everyone!

I’m linking up to Sunday Stash on Patchwork Times and March-a-Long at The Scientific Quilter.


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Finish It Up Friday: Pink and Gray Donation Quilt

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With the 4 x 4 pink, gray, and white blocks completed, this quilt went together quickly, and the solid gray offered a good place for some fun quilting.

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It’s all from stash, and a lot of 2 1/2″ scraps from many previous projects that were fun to revisit.  I made the blocks back in December or January when I was unfocused and needed some mindless piecing to keep me moving forward.

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I knew the fuscia hand dyed fabric was the right design choice for the binding, but I was pretty nervous about it bleeding, even though it had been prewashed.  I used three Color Catchers when I washed it, but didn’t have a bit of bleeding, so that was a relief.   (Reused those C C s later to prewash newly arrived fabric, and they picked up some dye there.)  It’s actually two different pieces of hand dye, but we won’t tell, will we?  This binding was a lot easier to photograph than the one on my last quilt, so I took photos as I did it for the machine binding tutorial.

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This quilt has no current destination.  I wanted, for once, to have a quilt ready made for the next quilt drive or disaster, so now I do.

I’m linking up to Finish It Up Friday on Crazy Mom Quilts.  (Check this out, I’ve met a lot of fun people over there!)


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Machine Binding Tutorial

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I am a big fan of machine quilt bindings, but I haven’t seen any I like as well as mine.  Talking on Twitter, it seems that many people are doing something similar with decorative stitches (which can be really fun in certain applications), but I really like my blind stitched bindings.  They look close to hand stitched, but are so much faster, and stronger, than hand work.  Not to mention that I am far too impatient for much hand work these days.  So little time, so many quilts to make!

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I usually use straight grain binding (better use of fabric, less stretchy), but this works with bias binding, too.  It will just be a little stretchier and need a little more coaxing into place.  I accidentally combined both in a scrappy binding recently, and it turned out fine.

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Any width binding would work, but I use 2″ strips of fabric, folded in half, sewn with a quarter inch seam, to form a narrow, tight binding.  I join, press and sew the binding in the standard way (here’s a very clear Heather Bailey tutorial), except that I sew it to the back of the quilt.  I’ve already basted the quilt edges during the quilting, so they are very stable.  Therefore, I use a 1/4″ foot (Bernina 37) to sew on the binding.  I’ve used a walking foot, and it works, but I have trouble getting a consistent 1/4″ with it.  Use what works for you.

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After attaching the binding to the quilt back, be sure to press the binding back over the seam (the way the finished binding will be).

At this point, I’m ready to change my machine to a blind stitch, so I switch to a wide, open toe foot (#20).  Again, a walking foot or binding foot works.  Also, make sure to change your throat plate if necessary to the one that allows zigzag, etc.  Don’t ask me how I know this…

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I set up my Bernina to look like this.  I choose the blind stitch, reverse it, reduce the width to less than 1 (very narrow, barely bites the binding), and reduce the length.  I use a thin (60 wt.) thread like Superior’s Bottom Line.  Invisible thread is good, too, but it drives me a little crazy because I can’t see it.  I use it when I have a really large contrast between quilt and binding color.

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Then, from the front, I fold the binding into place, the edge just covering the 1/4″ stitching line showing through from the first sewing.  I start in the middle of a side.  The trick is to keep the stitching on the quilt, alongside the binding, very close to the folded edge of the binding, so that every few stitches the needle jumps over and nips the binding.  You may have moments when this fails and the needle misses the binding, leaving a gap.  This is easily fixed later.  If you see it happening, mark it with a pin and try harder to do better with the rest.

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At this point, remove the cat from your quilt.

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As you approach the corner, insert a pin about 3/4″ from the end to keep the binding in place.

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Fold to form your miter, then pin that in place.  Sew to the miter, taking a stitch into the new side of binding.  Remove pins and turn the quilt for the new side.  I usually take a back stitch into the binding of the previous side to make sure the corner is really secure.  Then resume attaching binding to the new side.  Three more corners, and you are finished!

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When you examine your work you are going to find gaps where you didn’t catch the binding.  Just go back and go over these before you reset your machine.  I tried to find one of these gaps for a photo, but for the first time I didn’t have any!  I find it varies a lot, probably having to do with how tired I am, and also the texture of the binding fabric.  Don’t despair if you have several to fix.

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The back will look like this, with a slightly visible line of stitching alongside the binding.  After washing and crinkling, this becomes even less noticeable.

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Now get going and finish those quilts!

I’m linking up with Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful Life.