Posted in Quilts

Space Nerd Remix

Just a quick log cabin this week to use up all those science and space novelty prints from the commissioned Space Nerd Quilt. I added some solids and blenders so I would have enough to make a very large twin quilt. I cut 3 1/2 inch squares of the white constellations print (Lizzy House Whisper Palette) for the centers and then all the blocks are 3 1/2” wide (by 6 1/2, 9 1/2, 12 1/2). Because I decided to make them all square in the end, I cut the 15 1/2 inch strips after the blocks were otherwise complete, which actually made laying it out easier, as I didn’t have the same fabrics end up adjacent very often.

 
No fabric ended up in the same block twice (I think) and very few adjacent. This ended up as a very large twin (~75” x 90”), or double. And the blocks were all so large, it came together at top speed. Fun scrap buster. 

Posted in Quilts

Little Pink Houses

I finally had an excuse to get my grubby paws on a stack of the entire Les Petites collection from Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery fabrics. A family member custom ordered a quilt for her niece’s new baby. She had the dimensions and a photo of the crib and that’s it. But the crib had these little decorative pillows: a little house, a little moon, and a little star. And the colors were so spot on, pink, coral, gray gingham. I knew. I just knew…Plus, I had been waiting for some excuse, ANY excuse, to buy this collection.

So I used this pattern, Neighborhood Charm, from the Moda Bakeshop to make some more little houses, and threw on some extra prints, mostly all Art Gallery, a little Kate Spain and some Cotton + Steel, too. I would definitely use this pattern again. Came together so quickly and is charming indeed. Plus, it called for a charm pack when I had a full fat quarter bundle, so I’ve got loads of fabric left over.


So cute. I love. I backed it with a Cotton and Steel double gauze and used wool batting so this thing is basically an adorable, quaint, vaguely European CLOUD.

I have used wool batting once before, but realized I have never had to baste it before. I spray baste, which requires a little heat setting to make it really stick. The directions on the batting say to not use any high heat so I was a little worried.

mmmmm…like a steaming hot barnyard


It smelled a little bit like a sunburnt sheep in the studio, but it basically worked fine. I’ll have to wait til it’s bound and there’s daylight to show the finished product, but it is just adorable.

Posted in Quilts, Tutorials

Machine Binding Tutorial: Step One (optional)

Yesterday was a huge binding day for me. This year has been an incredibly productive one for me, as far as quilt making goes, and I think a key to this has been the systematic approach I’ve ironically just stumbled into. I spend a few days just cutting the fabrics for several quilts that I have planned. I spend a few more days just piecing those together. This week, I spent all of Saturday just cutting and adding borders to 3 different quilts. Then I get my machine all set up and foot swapped out for my free motion foot, and spend an entire day (or 2…or 7) just quilting all those quilts.

This has worked out so well because I’m just changing out my thread and bobbin color on quilting days and for each particular quilt. I get so much more piecing done when I can keep the white cotton thread and bobbins going, no changes.

So today was a binding day. And since I don’t know anyone who does their binding the same way I do, I figured this was a good opportunity to post a tutorial. First tutorial!

I exclusively machine bind (I don’t hand bind. I know a lot of quilters have attitude about that, but I simply feel no shame in my game), and I use a combination of the no-tails binding method (see this excellent tutorial by Flourishing Palms for a detailed look) and the more typical folded corners method. The traditional (with tails method) has always bothered me because it requires you to leave an additional 10-15 inches of binding loose before you start stitching, and then you lose most of that when you attach the tails together at the end of your binding. The no-tails method only uses an extra inch or two at each corner, which is better, and easier, IMO. But the way I do it, I only need an extra 2-3 inches of binding. So much less waste. And you get one stitched up mitered corner, and three folded over mitered corners. It’s hard to explain. Like I said, I’ve never met anyone who does their binding the same way that I do. This does NOT mean my way is superior. But I dig it. So I’ll show you.

Today, I’ll show you step one, which is a completely optional step, really. But I’ve started doing it, and I highly recommend it. I serge all the way around the perimeter of my quilt sandwich using my Brother Serger. Not everyone has a serger, and for quilters, they are completely unnecessary. But I happen to have one because it’s fun and easy to make and mend baby hats and tshirts and blankets. It’s also nice to be able to quickly mend all the clothing in my home with no loose edges to get frayed in the laundry. You know I’m not hand washing ANYTHING, right?

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Although completely unnecessary, if you have one, this is yet another fun use for it. Serging the quilt sandwich tightly connects all three layers so that when you stitch your binding on, your backing can’t fold over and get caught up, and your batting can’t wiggle its way out and make you miss your backing in the stitches. Also, if it takes you awhile to bind your quilts, they are protected from fraying while they sit around in the queue, and if there is some sort of emergency (an incident involving cat vomit comes to my mind, but i’m trying to forget) you can wash that quilt before it’s bound, and it will survive.

You will need to trim the edges of your quilt sandwich at some point anyway, so this just does that for me. The serger winds thread around the perimeter of the quilt, sealing in its quilty juices, and cuts off anything to the right of this thread web with its helpful blade. So I simply run each quilt through, one edge at a time, with the metal line of my serger foot (shown at the bottom of the lightning bolt in photo) directly aligned with the edge of my fabric. Where fabric meets batting. If you’re a little off, it doesn’t matter too much, as you’ll see in the next steps. I’m very imperfect at all of my steps.

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I cut off the thread tails at each corner and that’s it!

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Look at that delicious stack of serged quilts! They are ready and waiting for step 2.