My main task this week is to get the 4th of July quilt bound. I haven't liked the 4th of July name because my color palette just doesn't fit the theme. I've had a lot of time to think about it while binding and I think I'll call it Fireworks.
Anyhoo.....while binding I thought about something that I discovered a couple of years ago that saves me a lot of time and pin sticks. I used to pin my binding as I stitched and I know a lot of people use those little clips but I discovered that you don't need pins at all!
That's right, I don't use 1 pin when I hand stitch my binding.
What I realized was that even after I took a pin out that I'd readjust the section I was getting ready to stitch so what good was the pin doing me? I really only care about the 1/2 inch ahead of the needle. I just roll the binding over as I go.
I adjust - stitch - adjust - stitch all the way to the corner. I don't use pins in the corners either. I stitch to the point where the 2 edges will miter together.
I fold in the side, adjust the miter and then take one stitch on the corner to tack the miter in place.
Then I stitch the miter on the back.
At the tip stick the needle through to the front and have it come out in the fold of the front miter.
Stitch the miter down the front coming out at the base of the miter.
Stick the needle back through all of the layer and come out at the base of the miter on the back.
One more stitch in the corner to make sure the miter is secure.
And then head down the next side. The whole binding is stitched without the extra time to pin.
This quilt will be ready to show tomorrow!
Four more blocks done! My math says that I have 61 finished and 11 left to make.
Here they all are on the design wall. Now I need to get serious thinking about what I want to do with them. Wall quilt? Bed quilt? A dozen placemants? Just kidding, no placemats! But if it's going to be a bed quilt it's got to get bigger. Maybe a wide border with smaller circles sprinkled around it. I might even think about some plain blocks (quilted circles) in the center. I don't know. Just thinking at this point. I still have 10 more blocks prepared for stitching.
This weeks shop news highlights some fabrics that are perfect to use in art quilts for rivers, lakes and streams. Of course, they can be used for lots of other things too but the fabric of the week was inspired by a lake so I'm running with that theme.
Fabric of the Week
This gradient was inspired by a vacation to the Grand Tetons and a photo that I took while hiking around Jenny Lake. These were the colors as the lake transitioned from the shore to deeper areas. This week Jenny Lake Gradient on sale 20% off through Sunday.
Staying with the color theme, and inspiration from rivers, lakes and streams, I have a new Reflections fabric, Cascata, in beautiful mossy greens. All of the Reflections fabrics are designed for water and sky elements. Here are a few more in the spirit of rivers, lakes and streams.
Don't forget to check out Stash Packs, Gradients and Shades Packs when you are looking for river, lake and stream fabrics for your next project.
I was very focused on my Hunter's Star veterans quilt this weekend at our quilt club sewing days. I learned several really valuable lessons about this pattern. I'm probably doomed to forget those lessons and repeat them at some point.
Hunter's Star is traditionally a 2 color, or 2 value pattern. Now I know that having a 2-color design makes pressing and assembly so much easier! I got about a quarter of the blocks together when I realized that I needed to press half of them differently so that the seams would nest properly when I put the blocks together. But the real challenge came when I was trying to put together the blocks. Not having 2 colors or light/dark, I had to pay out the blocks seam side up to make sure they nested properly. I arranged them in rows and almost got it all together. I have one row pinned in place and 3 or 4 more to add.
Those of you who have made this pattern will also notice that I should have the second row as the top row. That's not really going to matter because I think I'm going to have 11 rows so it will be "right" from one edge. I do have too much dark green on the right side but this is a scrappy quilt and I'm not going to worry about that.
I almost finished it when I came home but this is my quilt club project so it can wait until next month. I wouldn't get it quilted before then anyway. I do like it a lot and it will look great with a leaf quilting motif.
It's only going to take a couple of hours to finish that quilt so I needed to get another kit together. I started cutting this Hunter's Star last Monday with 2 Stash Packs. Then I dyed some pale gray for the "light side" of each block. I got those cut out last night. The darker gray in the middle is the binding. I'm all ready for next month and I'm confident that this one will be even easier and faster than the scrappy one.
The rest of the weekend was spent on chores and quilting the Groovy quilt. The photo in the right is the back. The back and sashing are green because that's the recipient's favorite color. Now I'll turn my attention to binding Patrick's quilt and Groovy. I'm going to hand stitch both on the back so it will take a bit more time.
This week's inspiration comes from Patricia Caldwell. She mounted 2" mini squares on a pale gray background. The squares are all from 1 fabric, the Sundance Gradient! They are embellished with embroidery floss, beads and 49 different gemstones. The gray background and darker gray binding were custom dyed. The panels are connected with silver jewelry connectors.
For sharing, Patricia received a 20% coupon for the shop that's good for 3 months! If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. The only rule is that projects have to be complete. It doesn't have to be made totally from hand dyed fabric, just include a recognizable amount.
Mom's hand surgery went really well and didn't take nearly as long as we expected. We think that they tell everyone to arrive at the same time and then just call people in on a first come, first served basis. The procedure on her knuckle took all of 5 minutes but she had 30 minutes of prep time including making her totally undress! Bizarre.
While I waited I worked on my EQ lesson book and learned a few new things. I'll share after I finish teh second lesson that I was working on.
Back at home I have the Groovy quilt loaded. I forgot to take a photo of the spiral tie dyed back so you'll have to wait until it's done to see that.
The recipient of this quilt is my friend's husband, Jamie. He loves tie dye and he really, really loves green. The backing is shades of green so I also picked green threads.
This panto might be a tad feminine but I like the swirl effect with the spiral of the back so I'm going with it. The quilt is loaded and ready for quilting. Tomorrow and Saturday are sewing days with my quilt club but I might be able to get some quilting done in the evenings. During the day I'll be working on the Hunter's Star veterans quilt. There's a possibility that I can get the top together in 2 days of sewing.
Patrick's quilt is quilted! Do you know what a big deal this is? I actually did some custom quilting and still finished it in less than a week. I don't think that's ever happened before. I'm such an agonizier when it comes to quilting. This time I just let go and made it up as I went along and I really like the result.
I'll show some detail photos after I get it bound. The binding fabric is in a dye bath today so I might be able to start binding Sunday.
I also got the sashing and cornerstones cut for my queen size Groovy quilt. The lap size one is going on the longarm tomorrow. First I'm taking Mom to have some minor hand surgery. Seems it's going to eat up most of the day. They told her to be there 2 hours before her schedule 15 minute procedure. They even told her to pack lunch! Insane. I've got to take some hand sewing or my computer with EQ and my audiobook. Maybe we should take a quilt and have a picnic in the waiting room.
A couple of years ago Benartex and Paula Nadelstern introduced a tonal line called Marbella. I've used it integrated into other symmetry quilts but this year I wanted to use it exclusively in one design. I knew that there was a good chance that they would not want it for market but she was willing to send me the fabric so why not give it a try. After I finished the 2 main quilts I started playing with these fabrics.
My original design idea DID NOT WORK at all. But then I got another, simpler idea, that would use the fabrics in a gradient effect.
Here's the simple design. Color placement was based largely on the amount of fabric that I had. It's nothing by 2.5" (cut) squares. I stacked all of them on my side table.
I worked on it in columns creating chain pieced rows. I would pull the pieces for a column so that I could quickly sew the rows.
All the rows pressed and ready for stitching. It took only 2 evenings to get it the top together.
After the top was finished I talked to Paula and she said that there wasn't room in the exhibit for it. I was fine with that and already had an idea for it. I loaded it on the longarm and wavy crosshatched the whole thing in about a hour.
I used a flannel sheet for batting because I thought it would make a cool set of placemats. But before I cut it I took it to quilt club to show the whole thing before I cut it up. That's when my friend, Peg, saw it and said that she wanted it for a room in her house. I was happy to give it to her with the binding that I had already cut. It was one less project on my list.
She said that fabric reminded her of liquid lava, so she named it it "Hale Pele" - "House of the Volcano Goddess". I'm glad I didn't cut it up.
Stash Packs are 20% off this week!
I'm having fun with my Hunter's Star die making veterans quilts. These quilts finish 48 x 60 and need 20 12" blocks. As I finish the first one I started planning the second one. I was doing a little math and realized that fat eighths would be perfect and that means that Stash Packs are perfect!
Since I'm using Stash Packs this week I thought you might want to get some for your own project and there's no better time than when they are 20% off.
Use code STASH20 at checkout for the discount to apply.
I'm using Crossroads and Earthworks to get the 20 fabrics that I need for this quilt. The background will be pale gray. I can dye any color you want in yardage if you need background fabric for any project.
If you have the Accuquilt Hunter Star die this photo shows how perfectly a fat eighth, folded in 4ths, fits this die.
Stash Packs also make great gifts! Start your holiday shopping with this great sale.
Here are a few other projects that customers have made with Stash Packs.
When I started this quilt I had no plans beyond using a pattern from my pattern stash and using display fabric left over from my AQS booth last year. But as I worked on it I kept thinking about my nephew, Patrick. I haven't seen him in several years but I do follow him on IG. I know that he loves bright colors and he is quite artistic. I thought he might like this quilt. So I sent him a photo and asked if he would like it. Boy, did that open Pandora's Box!
Patrick loves the quilt and was very excited to be offered it. Next thing I knew he had read almost my entire IG feed and had questions about lots of my quilts and especially connected with Lost My Marbles. He loved the Spirograph-style quilting.
With his excitement and my own re-focus on FINISHING, I decided that I'd load his quilt this weekend.
I know that he's going to use this as a sofa quilt so I've got to restrain myself and try to keep it soft. I also want to get it done quickly so I'm not letting myself think too much. I want this quilt quilted this week so it's mostly simple quilting.
It's not a particularly fun quilt to quilt because there are so many awkward shapes, like this. I'm doing a little ruler work (because I love ruler work so much) but I'm not doing any stitch in the ditch. The thread is Invisifil so that it only adds texture and no more color. There's enough color!
But Patrick loved Lost My Marbles so much that I had to add a few Spirograph motifs. There are 12 starbursts like this. Quilting them is very awkward because there are so many seams so I'm trying to let go of perfection. Here are 4 of the motifs so far.
This quilt is my primary goal for the week but I'll also be working on Christmas postcards some too and I'm making more progress on moons. Chris is away on a hunting trip this week so, if all goes well, it should be a productive week.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.