Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blessed by friends!

This is embarrassing. In March (yes, March) Julie celebrated her 300th post and offered a couple of books. I was a winner and so surprised. The parcel arrived a few weeks ago, but not just the book. She send more goodies, such a sweetie. While I thanked her privately, I wanted to do it publicly. I guess late is better than not at all. Thank you, Julie.

However, I've messed up again. Karol-Ann and I swapped some fabrics, quite a feat since she is in England and I am in Canada. And I am certain I got the better end of the deal. For my reds, she sent this lovely bundle of nine African fabrics. The day before it arrived, I was on her blog and saw the little change purse and thought, "I should have ordered one..." and there it was too! We have emailed, but I wanted to say "Thank you Karol-Ann" publicly too.

Quilters are thoughtful and generous. I'm so thankful to know Julie and Karol-Ann. You are both favorites. I'm hoping some of your good qualities rub off on me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Facing a Large Quilt

I've done facings before, but tried a combination of two new methods (new to me) this time for My Mountain. Because this quilt is large and heavy, I wanted something strong to hold it. This was easy and I really like the results. The steps are as follows. I hope the pictures correspond, but if not, they will be in the right order.

1. Cut four 2-3" squares. Fold in half diagonally and press.
2. Cut four strips of fabric 4-5" wide and the length of the sides and ends of the quilt, less 2". Fold in half lengthwise and press.
3. Cut 4 strips the same length of fusible web. I used Stitch Witchery.
4. Sandwich and quilt the quilt. Do not trim the edges. Instead, using rulers, mark where they will be trimmed with a pencil, fabric marker, etc. where you will be trimming off the excess batting and fabric.
5. Lay the triangles on the right or top side of your quilt, matching the corners. Pin.
6. Lay the strips on the edges with the folded side toward the center of the quilt and the ends just overlapping the triangle. Try to have them meet just at the triangle's fold line. Also, line the raw edges with your marked trimming line. Pin in place.
7. Use walking foot, sew 1/4 inch seam all around, through all layers and pivoting at the corners.
8. Turn the facing pieces out, and press them open. Stitch around through the facing and the seam allowances under it, going as close as you can to the corners. (The triangles will prevent you from going right to the corners.) This is a dressmakers tip to make facings stay inside and not show on the outside.
9. Turn the facings to the back. Press and make sure the edges are straight, then slide a piece of fusible under each facing and press again, fusing the facing to the back of the quilt.
10. Hand stitch. This might not be necessary on a small quilt but it was on this big one - that has a lot of quilting and is heavy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Mountain -- just needs a label

This one is finally finished. It is pieced and raw edge applique, first done on a piece of pellon and then quilted. I bound it with a facing (will post the steps next time) and am very happy with it. It is 36.25" wide and 41.25" high. 

I called it My Mountain because I didn't do much of what the instructor in a landscape class said. For instance, dryer lint for clouds would have not been the right thing on this piece.

The close-ups are a tad blurred (will I ever conquer this camera?), but they show how that floral fabric was cut into bits and combined with batiks and quilting to get the effect of a rock garden. 

I'm really happy that it is done - almost. I'm not saying done until the label is made and on it. The following photo shows why I could not take my photos outside today. In AB we say, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute. This is the fence and some bushes in our back yard. The grass IS GREEN under all that!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Do you EQ?

Some days I just want to play and not cut, sew, stir up my stash, or make another UFO! So I open up Electric Quilt and make a quilt, or two, or ten. 

I bought EQ way back when and upgrade to each new version. EQ6 is really a great program, but now EQ7 is about to be released with even more great features. Their website says: "EQ7 helps develop your creativity. Combine blocks, borders and virtual fabrics, turning your computer screen into a design wall. Print quilt labels, draw original block designs, even import scanned fabric and photos. And no math needed – EQ7 calculates yardage and all pattern sizes & seam allowances." See more here.

The cool news is that Electric Quilt is also offering to sponsor a giveaway on 10 blogs, starting May 3. Whoever is chosen as one of the bloggers can give away a copy of the new software and get a copy for him/herself. I've added my name, and hope to be one of the ten. Have a look at the EQ blog for details and keep coming back in case my blog is picked and you want a free copy too.