January 25, 2017

Bee Inspired Block for January

I joined an international quilt bee, Bee Inspired, with bloggers I met through the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop this past summer.

For January, Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs is the Queen Bee.  You can read about the colors and paper pieced block, Split Hatchet, she chose here.

I can't remember the last time I did paper piecing, but I think it turned out OK considering.

Split Hatchet paper pieced quilt block

Not wanting to come up short on any of the fabric piece sizes, I roughly measured the fabric piece required and decided I needed a square at least 5 1/2" to 6" inches.  I was a little too generous and cut them around 7", but better be safe than sorry.

Measuring to determine the fabric piece size needed

Sharon wanted bright colors with creme backgrounds.  Here is the grouping of colored fabrics and I chose some charm squares of Modern Background Paper for the background fabrics.

Fabrics chosen for Sharon's block

When paper piecing, I usually try to keep the grain relatively straight (especially on the outside edges) and cut the colored fabrics using the segment as a guide with a generous seam allowance added.

Colored fabrics cut on grain using the segment as a guide

Once I started paper piecing, it became easier as I went along. And once I trimmed the quadrants, removed the paper, sewed the sections together, the block actually measured 12 1/2".

Paper pieced Split Hatchet 12 1/2" block

If you'd like to make your own Split Hatchet, you can find the pattern here on 627Handworks.  We used the 6" Split Hatchet version to make Sharon's blocks.

Since I included a couple of tips for cutting your fabric segments the correct size and on the grain, I'm linking to Tips and Tutorials with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.

Also linking to Let's Bee Social with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.

December 31, 2016

Farewell 2016, Hello 2017!

Ok, so I'm fashionably late to Yvonne's 2017 Planning Linky Party, but I'm here!

First, let's look back at 2016 which included several firsts for me...

Blog Hops

1.  My first blog hop was participating in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 13 blog hop with my first published block pattern, It All Adds Up.

2. I participated in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and was in The Sewcial Network hive hosted, again, by Yvonne.

3. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I committed to participate in the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

4. I also participted in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 14 blog hop with my block, Hexie Flower Basket.


On the tutorials tab you will find:

1. Blue Christmas, a machine applique pillow cover

2. Beautyberry Chervon, a 12" block created for the 2016 Cloud9 Blog Hop

3. Fussy Cutting Fabric for English Paper Piecing as part of the 100 Blocks Vol 14. Blog Hop

4. Vintage Lights Tablerunner from the Blue Christmas tutorial.


1.  Positively Transparent appeared in Issue 5 of Simply Modern as part of an article on QuiltCon 2016.

2.  It All Adds Up in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 13

3.  Hexie Flower Basket in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 14

Online Swap

1.  Colorful Cats was made for the Rainbow Mini Swap (round 2) on Instagram.

Charity Projects

1.  A wholecloth baby quilt was made while practicing longarm quilting.

2.  Placemats were made for Meals on Wheels.


See the gallery for finished quilts, blocks and other projects.

Guild Lectures and Teaching

I also taught a couple of workshops on machine applique and presented lectures on modern quilting to a few guilds with more scheduled in 2017.

While I didn't complete everything on my 2016 list, it was a productive year.

2017 Goals

I'm going to keep the list simple for 2017 and will remain flexible and open for opportunities that arise. 

1.  Complete a Quilt of Valor which is in progress

2.  Publish a pattern

3.  Participate in an international bee, Bee Inspired, with fellow new bloggers

4.  Review UFOs and pass along any I don't have the desire to complete

5.  Simplify my stash by purging any fabric that no longer suits my taste

6. And lastly, keep my Quilter's Planner close by to keep me straight!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and productive 2017!

December 30, 2016

Better at Binding by Machine

I recently finished two charity projects and sewed the bindings down by machine two different ways.  I am definitely getting more confient at machine binding now.

Binding First Sewn onto the Back

The first project is a small wholecloth baby quilt I made while trying out longarm quilting and posted here.  I intended for the floral to be the front of the quilt and the gingham plaid to be on the back.

Bias Binding sewn by machine

This was the first time I sewed the binding onto back of the quilt and then brought it to front to finish the topstitching.  And it was the the first time I tried sewing down bias bindng by machine.

The binding strips were cut 2 1/4" wide. I didn't want too much to fold over nor did I want to be short either.

I pinned the binding every 1 to 2 inches or so.  At the corners, I folded them where I would be sewing straight over the fold at the corner rather than against the fold. (Does that make sense?)  See if you tell by the photo what I mean.  The bottom was folded over first and then the left side folded over.

Binding pinned in place for machine sewing

I used my Clover seam ripper to gently nudge the binding in place before topstitching.  It has a rounded point and worked perfectly with the bias since it had more give then crossgrain binding.

Clover seam ripper used to nudge the fabric in place before sewing

Please excuse my well-used maching quilting gloves, but I usually wear them while sewing on bindng as they really help to manuver the quilt.

Wearing machine quilting gloves help to guide the quilt while sewing on binding

In the corners, I did back stitch once in each direction just to reinforce the seam with all the bulk and it is really not noticable.

Machine sewn bias binding

With this method of sewing the binding to back of the quilt first and then topstitching on the front, the bobbin thread or stitching line will be visible on the back of the quilt.  I was pleased with the binding width of 2 1/4" because after I sewed on the binding using a 1/4" seam allowance, the stitching line was an 1/8" or less from the edge.

Four corners of quilt after sewing binding down by machine

I just love the quilt all rolled up.  It was taken to my December guild meeting where it will be taken to Marys House, an emergency shelter providing temporary housing for women and their children fleeing domestic violance.

Binding First Sewn onto the Front

In the second method of sewing on binding by machine I first sewed the binding onto the front of the quilt and folded the binding to backside pinning in place.  But, instead of sewing the binding down from the back, I stitched in the ditch from the front.
Placemat made for recipient of Meals on Wheels

Here you can better see the where I stiched in the ditch from the front on these placemats made from a Susan Winget botanical fat quarter bundle received as a door prize.  My guild made over 300 placemats which were delivered in December to recipients of Meals on Wheels in Pickens County.

Placemats made for recipients of Meals on Wheels

By stitching in the ditch from the front, you are blindly stitching the binding to the backside.  Precise pinning is the key to nice topstitching on the back.  Two quilts I bound using this method are Free Ride, an appliqued elephant baby quilt and Sundae Plus, another baby quilt.
Backside of placemats after sewing down the binding by machine

I am happy to report that sewing the binding on this baby quilt completes my One Montly Goal for December and am linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts for December's link up.

And completing these placemats counts toward a finish for 2016 Q4 Finish-A-Long and will be linking to Q4 Finish-A-Long link-up.

Excited to get these charity projects finished by year end, I'm also linking to Finish It Up Friday, Finished or Not Firday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, Whoop Whoop Friday and Show Off Saturday.