26 September 2014

Pretty in Plaid - St. Louis 16 Patch finish!

Fall winds and cooler temps are here again.  It seems that summer gets shorter and shorter every year.  This week I took advantage of the opportunity to have one more outdoor photo shoot on the old hay wagon.




While working on my weekly posts for the Top 10 Tips for New Quilters series, I was inspired to make this plaid 16 patch quilt.  Although I normally press my seams open, this time I pressed my seams to the side, to test how much more accurate the piecing would be.  Pressing of seams and the strip piecing method were the subjects of week four and five of the Top 10 Tips series.

Although the quilt top was not smooth and flat because I pressed the seams to the side, matching up the seams was super easy using this method.  Because of both the ease and the accuracy, I will definitely be choosing this method again in future patchwork projects!


Using 8" finished size blocks, the Pretty in Plaid quilt finished at approximately 54" x 54" after quilting, and is a nice sized lap quilt.  The quilt top was made entirely of Kona Cotton Solids: Caribbean, Jade, Emerald, Candy Green, Aloe, Pond and Sage along with Coal, Medium Grey and Snow.


While making this quilt I posted a tutorial for making the St. Louis 16 Patch here.  This tutorial is now listed on my Tutorials page and you can find the tab under the blog header.



Finished with my new fave quilting style.... Organic wavy lines from edge to edge.  The backing was a new sheet, a geometric print in grey and white, also used for the binding.

This quilt finish was the 14th use of my 100 labels ordered from MyOwnQuiltLabels.



If you are interested in making a Pretty in Plaid quilt, the pattern is now for sale in my pattern shop.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday with Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF! hosted this week with Audrey at Glory Be Quilter.



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Keep On Quilting On!



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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

24 September 2014

Let's Bee Social #39

Another week has gone by.... ALREADY?!!!

Seems like I am desperately trying to hang onto the summer.  But it is, well.... Gone.  It's officially fall.  The leaves are changing.  The air is crisp.  And the kids have been back in school for more than three weeks.

Yet, my daughter and I are still partaking in our summer past-time: watching TV series' on DVD.  We are currently working on Gossip Girl and are now on season four.  And even while relaxing while watching movies... I am still thinking of quilts.  And, of course, Ed Westwick, who plays the part of Chuck Bass.

These chair cushions, found in the Van Der Woodsen living room, have inspired me.  Wish I could have found a better photo to show you the details.  I would love to discover an easy way to turn this pattern into a quilt.  But it's not coming to me.




NOW.... What's new with you?


If you are not sure what Let's Bee Social is all about, you can read the details here



Keep On Quilting On!




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Craftsy Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

22 September 2014

Top 10 Tips for New Quilters - Get to know your Machine

Welcome to this week's installment of the Top 10 Tips for new quilters - Getting to Know Your Machine.  For the complete line up of weekly tips, please see this page.

 

Get to Know Your Machine:


Your sewing machine is your best friend.  You spend hours and hours sewing and quilting.  The hum of the engine.  The sound of the needle slipping down through the fabric and reaching into the bobbin case to catch that bottom thread.  A sharp needle is a vital piece of the puzzle that results in the perfect stitch.

You become accustomed to the rhythmic sound of your machine.  And you can actually hear when something just doesn't sound right.  A worn needle will now make a dull "thunking" sound as it is unable to slip between the fibers of your fabric and is now being forced to reach that bottom thread, and may be the cause of skipped stitches and shredding or broken thread.

The proper size needle is also an integral piece of that puzzle.  And the proper size of needle depends largely on the weight of the fabric and the size of thread you are using.  Needles are sized according to the size of the shaft and eye of the needle.  I use a #70/10 for applique, #80/12 for piecing, and a #90/14 needle for quilting.  I always use a Superior Threads Topstitch #90/14 when using my Magnifico and Fantastico threads for quilting.




Tension Issues:


A balanced stitch is another common problem in the perfect stitch puzzle.  This balanced stitch is related to your thread tension.  The tension on both the top and bobbin threads must be set to allow a balanced, even stitch to be performed.  If the top thread is too tight, the bobbin thread will peek up through the fabrics on the top.  And if the bobbin thread is too tight, the top thread will peek out through the fabrics on the bottom.



Refer to your owner's manual to troubleshoot thread tension issues, possible causes, and tips on how to resolve those issues.  This manual will also give guidance as to how to perform some simple maintenance steps.


Maintenance and Servicing Your Machine:


While you are sewing and quilting, small fibers from your thread and fabric, known as lint, are going to build up in your bobbin case area.  Allowing this lint to build up will only cause you problems.  So clean the bobbin case area frequently.

Remove the needle plate.

Remove the bobbin case.

Use your lint brush to remove all the lint, but especially from the bobbin case area and the feed dogs.  Wipe out the bobbin case area with a soft cloth.

Here she is, all cleaned up.

If you have access to the upper workings of your machine, you may also wish to oil the shaft.

 One drop of clear sewing machine oil at the top...

And one drop at the bottom.  Schedule a yearly check up for your machine with a licensed sewing machine repair shop.

Sewing Machine Feet:


What is a 1/4" presser foot?  I had been quilting for quite some time before I even realized that this foot came with my machine, that I had one, and what it was for.  Get to know all the little gadgets that have come with your machine.  Read your owner's manual.  Then read it again.  And again.  Search the internet for further information.  Better yet....



How well do you know your own sewing machine?

If you have any other tips or advice to share, please leave a comment!

And remember to.....



Keep On Quilting On!




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20 September 2014

GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter

New from AccuQuilt . . . .

Go Big or Go Home!

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I just have to say.... I am impressed!
This new electric fabric cutter is really sweet!

No more cranking.  No more hand or arm strain.
This GO! cutter safely and easily feeds the dies through the rollers.



Here's a Quick Overview

Introducing the GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter Starter Set!
  • Fastest cutter – cut two 6" wide dies side by side at the press of a button!
  • Accurately cuts up to 6 layers of fabric at a time
  • Safe & Easy – Electric function maximizes efficiency and alleviates hand and arm strain
  • Compatible with all GO! dies including New 14" x 16" GO! Big Dies
  • Available for U.S. and Canada only. Additional countries coming soon.


The GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter Starter Set includes the GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter, the GO! Flying Geese Die (55456), a 6" x 12" cutting mat, PLUS a FREE 20–page pattern booklet which includes five Flying Geese patterns.


Check out all the new dies including the.....

New Size GO! BIG Fabric Cutting Dies – 14" x 16"

GO! Big Circle-4", 6", 7"& 8"
GO! Big Churn Dash-12"
GO! Big Square-10"

GO! Flying Geese-3 1/2"
GO! Big Double Wedding Ring-12 1/2"
GO! Big Snail’s Trail-12"



Want to see more?

Click here to check out the GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter Starter Set today!!!



GO! Big or Go Home.....
And Keep On Quilting On!



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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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