Sunday, August 28, 2011

For the love of grandmas....

For the last few weeks I've been working away on two projects for the same new grandma.

One of my mom's best friends just became a grandma this summer.  She initially asked me to create a quilt for the baby and then in secret my mom asked me to create a "grandma" quilt for her friend to keep at her home to be the special snuggle quilt at granma's house.

The first quilt for the baby came together easy.  I love the fabrics and I loved how the embroidery came together on the back.  I just loved it.

I really struggled with finishing up this little number.  I loved the top but couldn't find the right back for it.  I finished the other one first and called my mom to tell her that I loved the baby's quilt more than hers.  I just couldn't finish it up in a way that I loved.  Then I decided to try a different way to finish it by just folding the backing over.

And now I love it too.  LOVE IT!  It has a SUPER high snuggle factor.  Like a 10 out of 10 snuggle factor.

I google translated a bunch of different ways to say grandma and appliqued them on to the front of the quilt.

Mom had the shower this weekend and presented her friend with both.  Yay!  

Today I'm linking up with:  
  {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations   The Girl Creative

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cog and Wheel Quilt-A-Long {Part 3}

Please forgive the delay.

I really can't offer much of an excuse except that these days my day job 
(mama to these monkeys)
has been keeping at off site locations like the park and swim lessons and running up and down the street.  In other words away from the sewing machine and the computer. Which is a good thing!

But enough is enough so without further ado, lets finish this up!


Lay out blocks.

To sew them together, match up the seams in the middle of the block to make sure everything lines up.

Sew all the blocks together with a 1/4 inch seam

If you are doing the twin sized quilt, you are done.  If you are doing any of the others, take your boarder pieces and following the cutting/sizing directions in the pattern, sew on the boarder to the top and bottom of your quilt top.

At this point make sure to iron up the top once you have it all sewed together.  With all the curvy sides a good iron job will make sure everything gets nice and flat.

If you are planning to machine quilt this guy on your own machine or hand quilt its time to, create your quilt "sandwich."
Lay out your backing, then your batting on top of that and your quilt top on top of that. 

With each layer make sure you smooth out all lumps and bumps.  I like to use a spray baster to lock the fabrics in place.  Depending on how large your quilt is, go ahead and baste with thread as well.

If you plan on using the quilting pattern in Denyse's actual pattern, now is the time to take it out. 

In order to trace the pattern onto the quilt top a great demonstration of the method can be found here.

I've yet to decide how I want to quilt mine and also yet to find the right fabric for backing it so I don't have a finished product to show off.  Here's the top though!

Good luck finishing yours!  When you do I'd love to see!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A delay and a little show off.....

Today was supposed to be our next installment of our Cog and Wheel Quilt-A-Long

But I'm afraid the week has gotten the better of me and I am not really any closer to being ready to start the finishing work on this quilt than I was this time last week.  What can you do.  I suspect maybe any of you who are quilting along might be in the same boat since a week is kind of a short amount of time to get all those blocks together unless you are doing a baby quilt in which case I suppose you'll still understand.  I've got two custom orders to work on that need to be finished and then there was the matter of finishing up this little beauty above that was begging me politely to finish the quilting and get it bound so I could get it on my bed.

So there you go.

And there she is.  All finished!  I'm so happy to have it finished and laid out nicely on my bed.  I love it.  I REALLY really love this quilt!

Now I think it needs some colorful throw pillows.  Put that on the long list of projects I want to do....  It will also take some convincing since the husband isn't a fan of throw pillows.... we'll just have to see about that!

yay for me:)

We'll recommence together this time next week for some finishing work on our Cogs and Wheels......

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cog and Wheel Quilt-A-Long {Part 2}

Hello!  This week we'll go over piecing.  This really is the tricky and most intimidating part. 

Once you have down the technique for curved piecing, you'll think to yourself, 

"oh my this is fantastic! give me more curves!  Bring on the Single Girl!"

You'll laugh in the face of a double wedding ring.  Right in its face.  I promise you.

But back to the matters at hand.
our Cog and Wheel.

I find that laying out my block is a must for the cog and wheel.  Usually I'm not really interested in strictness in laying things out before I sew and as you might expect, I often end up with blocks pieced in all sorts of "new and creative" ways that I didn't intend.  Sometimes this is nice, not so much with curved piecing.  I also recommend putting on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress on your iPhone as you can see I did.  Each block is two and a half episodes for me:)

It doesn't really much matter which section you do first but I look at them as five sections illistrated below to keep my brain from tying in a knot and getting things sewn on wrong sides or upside down.  It also allows me to chain piece to a certain extent which moves the process along a tad too.

Section 1 would be the center strip (or pieces 2 and 4 in your pattern)  The top of piece 2 is curved and matches the bottom of piece 4.  When you try to put right sides together to sew it, they obviously don't match up because of the curve so start by placing the right sides together, lined up just matching up the ends as pictured.  Stitch a few stiches and then put your needle down and lift your presser foot. 

Adjust the next small section so that it matches up and sew a few more stiches.  Continue this process till you get to the end.  The end will be a little tricky and you will have to sew and really hold the ends together slowly but don't get too caught up on perfect matching up here.  This piece is pretty forgiving.

I'll say this a million times more for this part.  Because you are sewing with fabric cut on the bias (against the grain of the weave of the fabric) it is super stretchy and easy to really pull the fabric out of shape and end up with extra or short on a side.  Just bring the fabric up to meet the piece you are matching it up with gently.  A teeny tiny 
tug is okay but don't pull or stretch.

Step 3: Piecing the curved sides
Sections 2 and 2b are easy and match up like any square piece would except on the curved end you will find that the piece of the fabric that matches up is on the point of the fabric that will be the 1/4" seam.
(see below)
If you start sewing on the curved side, that's what will match up.  If you are sewing on the 90 degree angle side, it matches up like any square piece does.

Once you sew it, it is even on the curved sides
(see below)

Sections 3 and 3b are the same in that you just make sure the places the fabric matches up is where the seam will be at 1/4 inch. (the pictures above are from piecing sections 3 and 3b).  These two parts really lend themselves well to chain piecing.

Once you have all five sections pieced together, its time to turn them into three parts from the five.  You will sew sections 2&3 together and 2b&3b together.

Step 4: Piecing your first big curves
Lay them out again like so.

Fold them in half and pinch the crease to mark it.  
Match the crease and pin it.
Match the seams and pin those.
Continue to pin in half and match creases until pinned all the way.

To all those out there who are not usually big pinners, let me take this moment to encourage you to pin just this time.  Again because you are using fabric cut on the bias, it is WAY to easy to stretch and pull the fabric so that you end up with things way off and not matching up.


 Step 5: Sew ALL sections together
This is the easy one.

Step 6: Sewing the outer corners onto the inner circle

Take four corner pieces and sew them into a circle.  It will look like a square that just had a circle cut out of the center.

Fold center circle into half and then fourths  to crease fold to mark centers of pieces. You can even throw a pin onto each of these creases to mark them and be ready since you will be pinning together there shortly.

Match up the seams of your outer corner piece to the crease in the center of your inner circle piece 
(pictured below)

Create the same fold/crease in the center of your next patterned piece (piece #4 in the original pattern) and make a correponding crease in the middle of the outer corner piece.  This can be done easily by folding the corer in half as if it were a square)

Once you do that all the way around it will look like this.  May I just take this opportunity to really encourage you to pin this really thoroughly all the way around.  It will make it much less likely that you will end up with puckers or pockets where the fabric bunched up or stretched.  
Pinning is way less tedious that picking out your stitches.

something about this picture makes me want to bake an apple pie.....

Once you get that bad boy all pinned up you can just sew all the way around.  Take time and go slowly to keep things from bunching as again, bias cut fabric can be persnickety. 

There you have it!  You're done!

Tune in next Monday for finishing......

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