Trying A New Binding Technique

I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my binding (as well as my other quilting skills). Recently I ran across a video (YouTube, of course) showing how to use the Bernina #71 foot for binding. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpl-7L4SEzM

I have no idea who this woman is, but she’s using 2″ binding, which is my usual. I also use Quilter’s Dream Request Loft batting (the thinnest loft), which is part of why the narrower binding works.

After watching the video several times, I tried it out.

As you can see, the binding looks pretty good, and it’s still all done by machine. I achieved a more consistent width using this foot than with my usual method with the walking foot.

I did have some trouble with the corners, but I thought my binding was pretty good for a first try. (And no, I didn’t take a picture of a messy corner!)

Here’s the finished quilt, which is one of the samples for the beginning quilting class I’ll be teaching later this year. This is a pattern I modified from the book Jump Into Patchwork and Quilting. Specifically, I re-drafted it so the monkey wrenches are made with the flip-and-sew method rather than with half square triangles. This floats the wrenches so beginners will be less likely to cut off a point.

Photo courtesy of C&T

I’ll be using the book as a text for the class so students will have a written reference at home. The book is bright and modern and I think it will appeal.

It also has some easy projects students will be able to do on their own. This book costs only a bit more than a pattern, so it’s a good value. (The book is available from Studio Stitch or C&T.)

I’ll be making another sample before offering the class. Meanwhile, here’s the information on this one.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Making Waves Modified

Source: I re-drafted a pattern from the book Jump Into Patchwork and Quilting

Finished size: 48″ x 48″

Made and quilted by me.

Tossed 9 Patch

The other day I considered what to do with my large stash of 5″ squares.

Bin of 5″ squares from a variety of sources

It occurred to me that I might be the only quilter in the world who hadn’t yet made a tossed 9 patch quilt.

Just on the off chance you haven’t made one yet, here’s the drill.

The 9-patch block was 15.5″ with raw edges. Drawing done with Electric Quilt 8.

Start by making a 9 patch (duh). I cut a bunch of light colored 5″ patches and enough red 5″ patches for 22 nine-patch blocks, then used various 5″ squares from my bin for the four corners.  (Yes, that only got rid of 88 5″ squares. Still…)

I included some old favorites from the 5″ bin:

Blueberry fabric bought in Maine, one of the Moda wildflower fabrics, the fruit ladies from Elizabeth’s Studio, and some of my favorite metallic dot fabric.

After assembling the 9 patch blocks, I cut them in quarters, resulting in 88 blocks like this:

This is one quarter of the original 9-patch block. Drawing done with Electric Quilt 8.

When all my 88 blocks were made, I played with layouts until I had one I liked. There are a lot of different ways to cut the 9 patch block, and even more ways to lay out the resulting blocks, so it took a while.

After it was quilted, I decided on a blue and white striped border, which I cut on the bias.

And here’s the finish:

Quilt Stats:

Name: Tossed 9-patch

Designed and made by: me, though of course there is nothing new under the sun, This idea has been around forever.

Finished size: 51″ x 71″

Quilted by: Linda

Magic Kaleidoscope Finish

I finished this quilt back in January but didn’t get around to blogging about it, so here goes…

I was on a magic kaleidoscope quilt kick, and this one was the last one. It was quilted by Walker Quilt Company, where they did an excellent job with an edge-to-edge design.

And here’s the whole quilt:

Here are a few of the blocks. There are no two alike!

Luckily there was enough fabric to put some on the back as well as in the border.

And here’s the binding.  I did a double binding so there is some of the original fabric as well as the solid binding.

Quilt stats:

Name: Magic Kaleidoscope 3

Designed and made by me

Finished size: 56″ x 70″

Quilted by: Walker Quilt Co., Franklin, NC

Atomic Sunflower

This started as an experiment with some leftover fabric, then sort of wandered off into an art quilt for the International Quilt Museum’s “Modern Meets Modern” challenge.

The fabrics are scraps of Michael Miller Cotton Couture left from another project. I saved them as a group because I particularly like the color combination. I started cutting the wedges freehand while working on a Cindy Grisdela-inspired project. When I decided to make them into a circle, I found a large platter in my kitchen and traced it because the rim was irregular. I then used reverse applique to set the circle in its background.

My friend Chela helped with input regarding the center design.

When I saw the Modern Meets Modern Challenge, I thought this piece would be a good fit, so I finished it up after Christmas, just in time to submit it. You can see the contest and the entries here.

Mine was not judged a winner, but here’s the good news: I agree the winners are better.

In looking at the entries, it’s clear that the better designs go all the way to the edge of the quilt, while mine is isolated in the middle. I’ve noticed this element of design several times over many years. In good modern designs, the design extends to the edge, often with the implication that it goes past the edge. But this time I got so wrapped up in what I was doing that I didn’t think “outside the circle”. 😀

As Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.” So, on to the next quilt!

Magic Kaleidoscope

I decided to do another stack-n-whack type quilt and call it Magic Kaleidoscope. I made it up as I went along…er, used artistic improvisation in the design, I mean 😀

Here’s the fabric:

And here are the blocks set on point:

The little strips of color on the edges are being auditioned for an inner border.  The yellow won.

When I added a border of the original fabric, I did NOT like the result:

Before ripping off the borders, I took a picture and edited the outer border down smaller.

Still no-go. And BTW, I haven’t even told you all the different things I tried and then ripped out.

So finally I added a second black border and bound it in the same fabric used for the inset. Whew!

The original fabric served as a back.

Quilt Stats

Name: Magic Kaleidoscope

Made by: Me

Pattern: none

Size: 30″ x 30″

Quilted by: me

Can This Quilt Be Saved?

Ha! Many, many years ago there was a column in a women’s magazine called, “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” I have no memory of reading the content, but somehow the overly-dramatic title has stuck with me. (I just asked Ms. Google, and I’m not the only one who remembers this: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/can-this-marriage-be-saved_b_58404189e4b0b93e10f8dfdf)

Anyway, in moving I have come across some experimental pieces that I’ve kept. I learned something from each of them, but sometimes what I learned was that a particular piece was not especially attractive!

Well, this didn’t work

The above piece was an experiment after reading a book by Freddy Moran. It’s well made but not especially attractive. For me, the colors don’t “gel” and the prairie points are entirely too regular in their arrangement.

This unquilted piece, approximately 42″ square, is the THIRD attempt to make something with these dotted fabrics! The other versions were no better, but I’ve saved some of the fabric by cutting out circles and using them as applique.

Rescued Dots

I think the “rescue” was pretty successful, and I’ll probably do something similar with the rest of this fabric. So I guess that’s 4 iterations of a design with those dots before finding something successful! 

And then there’s the Stuffed Olive Block. Never mind why I designed it in the first place. I made it into a pillow, but really, we have more than enough pillows. I think it just has to go!

I’m a firm believer that no experience is wasted, so we’ll call it good even if some of these just go out with the trash.

Of course that’s nowhere near all the experimental pieces I came across, but that’s all for now 😀

P.S.: I enjoy seeing “barn quilt” blocks as we travel, but this one struck me as unlikely:

 

 

An Easy Spin

I’ve made several “one block wonder” or “stack and whack” quilts, but when my friend Elisabeth was teaching a stack and whack star at Studio Stitch, I had a hard time not signing up for it. These quilts are so interesting!

Instead, I resurrected the “4-patch posy” idea. I did that pattern years ago, too, and it was fun. I’ve since found another version of it, though I’m sorry to say I can’t find the link any more 😦

I made the 4-patch posy using some Laurel Burch fabric I’ve had forever, and it was a hit! My grandson went right over to it and started looking as soon as he came into the studio.

This was so much fun that I’m going to teach it in January.

Here are the quilt stats:

Name: Rumble in the Jungle

Finished size: 54″ x 54″

Design: Variation of 4-patch posy

Quilted by: Elisabeth Pugh

Sunrise

Here’s the last finish of August, made of HST (half square triangle) blocks left over from another project.

And here it is held out the window for me to photograph! I thought it would be fun to have my husband stand on the landing half way up the stairs and hold the quilt out the window. And it was fun!

Quilt Stats

Name: Sunrise

Design by: me

Finished size: 50″ x 75″

Quilted by: Julia Madison

And just in case you asked, the quilt isn’t upside down in either picture. It’s ambidirectional–is that even a word?

Stars Again

I’ve probably made more stars than any other type of quilt block. For some reason the design just appeals to me. Here’s the latest.

The original inspiration was this quilt called “Scrappy Stars II”, found on Pinterest. The post from which it was pinned is here.  I also found a similar pattern, called “Night Sky”, at the Missouri Star Quilt Company, here.

I didn’t care for the way it was arranged and I wanted to make it bigger anyway, so I redesigned it. First I drew the basic idea in EQ8, as I had found it on Pinterest, but with a border added.

HST Stars, drawn in EQ8 as a starting point for my design. Sources in preceding text.

I used this drawing to lay out my HSTs (half-square triangle blocks). Then I started adding rows and fiddling with the design. This was during the time we were in temporary housing, so there was a LOT of running up and down stairs to view the design from the loft. It was extremely easy to get pieces turned the wrong way!

The back is a sheet I got at my favorite thrift shop.

Quilt Stats

Design based on two sources noted above

Finished size: 78″ x 53″

Quilted by: Julia Madison

Wonky

I’m currently on a program of finishing 2 UFOs (unfinished objects) before starting each new project. I caught up quite a bit last year, but there are a few things still to be done.

Most recently I pulled out these swap blocks from a long time ago. They should finish 24″ square. Of course, since they are medallion style blocks, there’s plenty of opportunity for the size and shape to get “off” with each additional border.

There was one in the group that surely was not perfectly square. I put 4 of them together anyway, figuring this could be a picnic quilt and “fixing” the wonky block was way too fiddly.

This worried me a little, even in a picnic quilt. (OK, like most quilters, I’m more than a little O.C.)

Then my daughter came along and said, “It’s not wonky, it’s organic in design!” Ha! So there! Art-speak is frequently useful!