21 August, 2014

There is always place for "better"

Do you remember this Aurifil wholecloth quilt?
It is one of my favorite quilt. I finished it in a hurry and I did not like how it turned out at all. It's not perfectly flat, it has wavy edges!

The quilt is just gorgeous and there was no other choice than to try finishing it in a better way. I removed the binding of the 75'' quilt and I washed, squared and bound it again.

And here is the new quilt!

Much better! See the next "before and after" pictures for comparison.
Do you want to know what I did differently?


On the back there is a fabric that is a little stiffer than the fabric for the front of the quilt (a cotton chiffon). A few weeks ago I stitched two small quilts with fusible raw edge  appliques. One of them has this fabric on the back and the other has a Kona cotton. After washing there was a big difference between the two quilts. The quilting looks different and the feel of the quilts is different.

So what I did (and I plan to do with all the fusible applique quilts, as the fusible web stiffen the fabric) was to wash the quilt and rinse it with a little fabric softener.
After that, it was much easier to smooth the quilt and make it flat. 

After washing I laid the quilt on the floor to smooth it. And I used a iron (no steam) and gently smoothed the quilt, especially on the center design. I pressed only on the back of the quilt.
If Quilt Police says this is wrong, I don't care! This helps immensely and the texture on the front is not affected.
I pressed on the white background too. See below the difference!

Remember: press GENTLY!

See some details.






So proud of my almost perfect binding.

I am so glad I took the time to make things better!
Geta

I am linking to Finish it up Friday.

16 August, 2014

How to quilt spaced pebbles


It's easy- but time consuming as all the pebbles!
Start stitching the pebble as usual. Then outline the first stitching with a new stitching, close to the previous one, but not on top of it. Repeat 3-4 times. Then start a new pebble, leaving enough space between them so they don't overlap.

It's fun and the effect is spectacular, it definitely worth the effort.

Below there are some regular pebbles -  it's not the same thing!


I made this shadow trapunto quilt four years ago; it is one of my favorite quilts. I love, love the texture created by trapunto and quilted pebbles.

How to quilt pebbles
The white design is made out of batting and on top of the batting there is organza- tutorial for the shadow trapunto technique here.

How to quilt pebbles
These pictures remind me why I love so much shadow trapunto!

How to quilt pebbles
How to quilt pebbles
It helps if you use thick thread! I used a white thread for trapunto and for the background quilting I used a thick Valdani variegated thread.

How to quilt pebbles

 And this is the back.

How to quilt pebbles
Spaced pebbles is something I have to quilt more!
Geta

15 August, 2014

Geometric Gradation Quilt

I still have 40 blocks to quilt. So today I have to buy a gift!

Here is the quilt top. I made this design years ago and I am happy that I finally used it.

There are 11 different blocks and 121 blocks arranged into a 11x11 grid.

You wouldn't say but it is really easy to cut the pieces for the blocks and to piece them.

The blocks measure 6'' and the green squares vary in size from 1/2'' to 5 1/2''.


I can't help to think of many cool color combinations!!

The final design was 66'' square and as I need a longer quilt, I added two borders, on top and bottom.



Off to buy a gift!
Have a great weekend,
Geta

I am linking to Finish it up Friday 

14 August, 2014

WIP-

25 blocks (out of 121) quilted! And it's 2PM- I don't think I can finish it today. 
I took pictures of the top but I don't have time now to edit them. But I am anxious to show it to you!

I thought that because the design is simple and there are only two colors, there is space for some special quilting. And here is what I am quilting.

I spent some time drawing different quilting motifs onto this sealing wrap. A friend of mine from USA sent me a roll (the stuff I find here is not as great as this one).

I placed it on top of the quilt and with water soluble marker I started doodling different motifs. Great idea if you are not sure how the quilting will look on your quilt.

Back to quilting!
Geta

Edited to add

To clarify - I don't stitch anything through sealing wrap. Before I start quilting, I just "test" how a quilting motif would look on the quilt. Once I made my decision,  I remove it and quilt as usual - only through quilt sandwich.
I am sorry if my pictures confused you! 

13 August, 2014

WIP- two color quilt

121 blocks all ready for joining into the quilt top.


I still have to do a lot of piecing, but I hope to start the quilting today!


12 August, 2014

Two color quilt

I surprised myself how much I loved to cut all these pieces -  4.5 yards of fabric.

I am anxious to piece them- I am making a two-color quilt. I hardly found a 2.5 yard piece of fabric in my stash. It's green, of course.

It has to be washed and bound by Friday! Let's see if I can do it.

Do you use price tags? I find a use for them all the time!

Let's sew now!
Geta

10 August, 2014

Perfect binding

It's the first time I stitched an almost perfect binding!

I used this technique by Sharon Schamber  and glue and an iron.
I saw  this technique years ago but only now I tried it.

Read more about the many uses of glue -"Glue Basting Basics".
Definitely, something we should use more often.



Geta

08 August, 2014

Quick Gifts!

I am always in trouble when I have to sew gifts for men!

What to sew for my 24 year old nephew, in just a few hours? Three years ago I made this quilt for him.
These pouches came to my mind. So here is what I stitched in two hours! My FAVORITE gift to sew!

He travels often so I hope they will be useful.

I love to piece faux leather. I thought that the seam allowances will make inserting the zipper a little harder but it wasn't a problem at all.





Happy weekend,
Geta

I am linking to Finish it up Friday.

07 August, 2014

Evernote


No pretty pictures today!
I wanted to share with you a free program I started to use: Evernote.
Here is what it does:
Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.

Essentially, it is a way to keep organized important information and you can easily access this information.
Let's say you want to learn a quilting technique. You search the web and find a lot of tutorials. Lots of pretty pictures as inspiration for your next projects.
With Evernote you can save any information you want into a note: links, photos, text, videos, pdfs... Everything on one page!
You make different notebooks for different subjects. And for each notebook you make notes. Fast and easy.

Here are a few articles I found on the web- see how crafters use Evernote.





I think I will be more organized from now on. 
Give it a try,
Geta



05 August, 2014

How to sew zippered pockets for bags



This post is part of the series

We love bags with many pockets. Is there something better than a bag with many pockets? YES, a bag with many EXTERIOR pockets! I love to easily find what I need, without opening the bag.


Sometimes the pockets are part of the design and they are not only functional.

(see this bag and this bag and this bag).



No matter how many pockets I have on the front of the bag, I like to sew a zippered pocket on the back of my bags - for important things that I want to safely keep and that I use frequently.


Here is how to add a zippered pocket to the back panel of a bag.You have to do this before you assemble the front and back of the bag together.

First, some math!
  • Decide the width of the pocket - let's say you want a 7'' pocket. You need then a zipper at least 7'' long.
  • Decide how deep the pocket should be. Let's say 6''.
  • For the lining of the pocket you need a piece 3'' wider than the pocket width (7''+3''=10'').
  • To find out the length of the lining, double the desired depth of the pocket (6''x2) and add 3''. The length of the lining will be 6''x2+3''= 15''.

Play with the numbers/size of the pocket as you want.

Turn the lining of the pocket wrong side up.
At 1.5" from the top edge, mark a rectangle (centered width-wise) that is 7'' long (the desired width of the pocket) and ½’’ wide (see the black lines).

A permanent marker is fine, mark with thin lines.

Mark the yellow lines too, as shown.


Pin the pocket lining to the bag back, 1½’’ away from the top edge, right sides together.

Stitch through all the layers along all sides of the black rectangle. Backstitch when you reach the corners, this will strengthen the corners.


Carefully cut down the center of the rectangle (cut on the yellow lines in the previous image) then clip toward the corners as close as you can without clipping the stitching.


Pull the lining though the hole to the wrong side of the back panel.



Use pins to keep the opening flat. Press with steam.

The lining fabric must be hidden when viewed from the front side.

This is how it looks from the right side...


...and from the wrong side of the bag back.


Position the zipper behind the opening. Baste in place. Then stitch all along the opening to secure the zipper in place (a zipper foot is helpful).


Here is the back.

If your zipper is longer, trim off the excess.


Fold the lining in half lengthwise, right sides together and stitch along the three sides- only through the lining.

The zippered pocket is done.


Tips!
It is easier to sew and you will achieve better results if you fuse interfacing to the back of the lining and if the piece you want to add the pocket to is firm.

A quilted panel or a fabric interfaced with heavyweight interfacing are great.

Do you want more secure space in your bag ? Add a zippered pocket to the inside of the bag, on the lining!

Click below for other tips.


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