Catch a Falling Star: Mini Quilt #9

Late last week, I was finishing up the top for this starburst quilt, and I couldn’t help saving some of the trimmings from squaring up the sides of the quilt.  I combined these bits of fabric with the extra cut fabric from the quilt to create this mini quilt.

Catch a Falling Star Front Full View

The back of the quilt is also made of scraps from creating the larger quilt.

Catch a Falling Star Back

I have been wanting to do some matchstick quilting, and I thought that this type of quilting would look good with the design of both the front and back of the quilt.  I wanted to use the stitching to draw the various colors throughout the piece, so I selected three different thread colors to help achieve this.Catch a Falling Star Detail

For the binding, I cut Cotton and Steel fabric on the bias so that one row of dots would show along the edge of the quilt front and the back would have a polka dot effect.  While the binding was cut from left over fabric from the starburst quilt, it was the only part of the project not from extra cut pieces.

Catch a Falling Star Back Binding

Quilt Stats

Title:  Catch a Falling Star

Size: 11″x22.25″

Techniques:  Improvisational Piecing

Quilting:  Matchstick quilting done with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Scrap Prints and Batiks, white Kona Cotton

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in white.  Quilted using Connecting Threads Essential cotton quilting thread in Magenta, Sangria, and Persimmon.

Binding:  Cotton and Steel fabric, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

Using scraps exclusively from one larger project

Quilt 9 / 50

Quilt 9 / 50

Goal #8 is Finished!

Goal #8 is Finished!

I’ll be linking this post up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely projects being shared!

Ball Drop Starburst WIP

I have been busily paper piecing away on this quilt over the past couple weeks, and I am really excited to share the finished top.  This quilt was one of my big goals (#16) for the First Quarter Finish Along, so I am really happy to be this far along.  I was hoping to run outside to take a photo of the quilt top out in the snow, but the frigid wind kept trying to blow it away, so I had to settle for indoor photographs today.

Quilt Top Full

 

The close up photos do a slightly better job of showing off the fabrics and colors.

Quilt Top Detail

This quilt was inspired by the first mini quilt in my Mini Quilt Mania Series.  I loved the pattern so much that I scaled up the blocks so I could do this generously sized lap quilt.  At this point in the process the quilt top measures approximately 53″x64″  This is the original quilt which measured 12.5″ x 14.25″ when quilted and bound.  I was a little concerned that I may not like my design as well with the scale adjusted, but I think that the size translation is working pretty well.

Mini #1

Mini #1

The fabric I ordered for the backing finally arrived yesterday so this afternoon I’ll baste this up and start quilting.  I’m hoping to share the finish in a week or two!

I’ll be linking this post up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts.  Please check out all of the fantastic works in progress shared there!


Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

My goals for 2015 include developing patterns and teaching quilting classes.  It seems that there is a big call for simple (but not boring) quilts of a manageable size.  I have really been enjoying coming up with a couple sweet and simple quilts that use squares, half square triangles, and strip piecing.  What one symbol is more contemporary than the hashtag?  Hashtag Front

There are four different fabrics in this sweet little quilt.  The main fabric is Kona cotton and there are three different low volume prints that make up the hashtag symbols.Hashtag Front Detail

I chose to quilt this project with a quarter circle arc.  This shape resembles the wifi symbol, and therefore connects with the dominant symbol of the hashtag.

Hashtag Back

In retrospect, I wish I had used a print on the back of the quilt to mix things up a bit.  Of course this quilt goes together so easily and looks so cute, I may have to make a few more!

Back Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Sweet and Simple Hashtag

Size:  40″x40″

Techniques:  Machine pieced, Machine Quilted

Quilting:  Echoing Quarter Circle Arc pattern done with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Kona Cotton and Low Volume Prints

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Cotton Quilting thread in Sangria

Binding:  Kona Cotton matching the quilt background, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back.

I am linking this post up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely work being shared!


Free-Motion Whole Cloth: Mini Quilt #8

Did you know that a whole cloth quilt used to be a sign of wealth?  If you could afford to purchase an entire piece of fabric for your quilt rather than piecing together scraps you must be rich!  I think this quilt is too small to demonstrate wealth (hah!), but it is the perfect size to help me work on my free motion quilting.Whole Cloth

One of my big goals for 2015 is to improve my free-motion quilting.  As we close in on the halfway point of the first quarter (yikes!), I decided to move forward with this goal by doing a free motion quilted whole cloth mini.  Wholecloth Detail B

I drew a 2″ grid on the upper layer of fabric and sketched in the “stems” of the feathers.  I started with the feathers and then began filling the surrounding areas with different quilting designs.  My goal was to get some more practice with a variety of patterns, so I used different designs in various areas of the quilt.  For this project I decided I would work with whatever happened- no ripping out stitches!Wholecloth Detail A

Since my free motion quilting skills are still a work in progress, I stuck with white thread on a white background, but I do hope to try contrasting stitching at some point.  For the first time, I used a double layer of batting.  The bottom layer is Warm and White and the top layer is Hobbs Heirloom Cotton batting.  I really like the feel and dimension that the double layer of batting provides.  The Warm and White feels very stable and the Hobbs cotton batting is lighter and “poof-ier” which really seems to help the design pop.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Whole Cloth Sampler One

Size:  19″x20″ after washing

Techniques:  Whole cloth quilting

Quilting:  Feathers, Pebbles, Double Pebbles, Circles, Angular Swirls, Waves

Fabrics:  Front, Back, and Binding of White Kona Cotton

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting and Hobbs Heirloom Bleached Cotton Batting

Thread:  White Signature Cotton Machine Quilting Thread

Binding:  Continuous 2″ wide bias of white Kona Cotton, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was New:

Whole cloth quilting

Using a double layer of batting

Quilt 8 / 50

Quilt 8 / 50

Goal #7 is Finished!

Goal #7 is Finished!

I’m linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She.  Please stop by to see all of the wonderful work being created!

 


Tote Bag Tutorial Part 5: Finishing Techniques

Welcome to Part 5 in out tote bag series!  This week is all about finishing up a few details.  Aren’t you thrilled that you have made it this far?  Before you know it, you will be carrying this fabulous bag around that you didn’t just make- you designed!  As always, please contact me with any questions.  You may email me or leave a comment, and I will do my best to give you a clear answer!

If you are just joining us, this is a 5 part series.  Here are the other segments:

When last we left our glorious tote bag, we had just turned it right side out.  Have you ever had a bag where the lining pops up almost every time you pull something out?  This next step will keep this from happening.  We are going to stitch the lining and the outer layer shaping seams together.  Make sure the lining is laying smoothly in the bag and that the side seams and shaping seams are pretty close to matching up.  Doing your best to not get things too twisted around, reach inside the opening you used to turn the bag right side out, grab the seam allowances of the lining and outer shaping seam on one side of the bag and gently pull them through the opening.  Pin the seam allowances together or use clover clips to hold the seams in place. (I just got some clover clips, and I am in love!)  This is a good time to carefully push the shaping seams back through the opening just to check that nothing managed to get twisted around during the previous process.  Note:  Count the number of pins going in, and make sure the same number come back out- It’s no fun to discover a  pin after everything is all sewn up!    Another Note: The type of lining technique in this photo is slightly different (it is a two piece lining) than the one you are using, so your’s will look a bit different with everything pulled through the lining opening.  I forgot to take a new photo when I made a bag using the new technique, but I will update the image when I make another.  The idea is the same, though.Pinning the Outer and Lining shaping seams together

Everything laying well?  Great!  Gently pull the seam back out and zig zag the seam allowances together.  As long as you stay in the seam allowance and don’t cross the stitching line, you are doing this correctly.  If you have a machine that only does a straight stitch go ahead and use it- we just want to secure the bottom of the lining to the main bag.Stitching the Outer and Lining Shaping Seams together

Looks good?  Go ahead and repeat the process on the other side of the bag.

Now you can close up the opening in the bag lining.  You can do this by machine or by hand.  When I do this step by hand, I find that a nice small slip stitch looks great.  I often sew the opening up with the sewing machine since it is rarely seen up close, remains durable over the life of the bag, and is super quick.  If you are doing the machine method, press the seam allowances to the inside, line up the edges of the opening, pin carefully and stitch across the opening about 1/8″ ( or a little less) from the edge.Closing the Lining Opening

Now we are down to buttons- Almost there!  You will want to place your buttons so they are centered with your buttonholes.  Make sure your bag is laying nice and flat and then use a fabric safe pen or pencil to make a dot where the button should be placed.  You can mark this right through the buttonhole opening to help with accuracy.

There are two basic types of buttons:  flat buttons and buttons with shanks.  A flat button typically has either two or four holes that go all the way through the top of the button.  A button with a shank has a loop of either metal or plastic on the back used to attach the button.  This type of button is often appealing since the top of the button can have a decorative design that is uninterrupted by thread crossing between holes.  Unless you are sewing a button on that is only decorative, you need to plan to have a shank, so if you are using a flat button, you will create a shank with thread as you sew the button in place.  The shank of the button provides a slight gap between the fabric and the button that allows the layer of fabric with the buttonhole to fit without any strange pulling, puckering and gapping.  A really thin blouse would require only a very short shank, but a heavy, wool, winter coat would require buttons with a much longer shank.  This tote bag will need a shank about 1/8″ long.  Don’t worry if it gets a bit too long or even a little too short.Button Types

The button with a shank is pretty easy to sew.  Use a double thread and stitch though the fabric and the shank of the button several times (I usually take about six to eight stitches per button).  It is important to stitch through all of the fabric layers so there isn’t any weird pulling.  Try to keep the back of things neat since you will see this side from time to time.  Tie a couple knots at the base of the button, bury the thread tails between the layers of fabric, and call it a button!Button with Shank

When creating your own thread shank, you will need to leave a slight gap between the fabric and the button that will become the space for the shank.  To help with this spacing you can place something like a toothpick, a couple straight pins, or a thin skewer under the button.  You can also purchase a little plastic sewing device that helps you achieve a consistent spacing.  Using a double thread, sew through the holes of the button and the fabric about six to eight times total (you can split this number of stitches between two sets of holes).  Flat Button A

Next, remove any spacing tools and wrap the sewing thread around the thread gap between the button and fabric.  You will want to go around 3-5 times for most button shanks.Flat Button B

The last time around tie a knot at the base.  I always do a second knot for security before burying the thread tails.Flat Button C

There you have it- your custom designed tote bag!  Congratulations!  All that is left is for the complements to roll in!Tote Bag A
I’m linking this post up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Tips and Tutorials Tuesday at Late Night Quilter.  Please stop in to see all of the inspiring works in progress and useful tips and tutorials!