Friday, June 26, 2015

Table Runner

While my mom has been away in Alberta visiting my brothers, I have been busy working on store samples and getting ready for some late summer and fall classes. This post is for the Atkinson Designs Seminole Table Runner.

My first step was fabric selection...

Right now I really love using the Artisan Spirit Shimmer Collection from Northcott Fabrics. I chose a Black, Grey and Red palette.

I just love this whole line.  On to the pattern. I find patterns from this company really quite awesome. For this pattern the diagrams were great and the cutting instructions fantastic. My only complaints were the pressing instructions, some reverse sewing and the left over fabric (but who can't use extra fabric).

They have you start by making four patches. Sew the two strips together, Press to the background fabric. Sub-cut the strip set into smaller pieces then sew them back together. Voila! Four patch! 

When making multiple strip sets for a project I match the same ends together to help insure the same number of sub-cut pieces.  I make sure when piecing that I keep the fabric from peaking out from under my 1/4 inch foot and I use the markings on my stitch plate and the bed of the sewing machine to keep my sewing straight.

Then the pattern has you sew another strip set together. Which gets sub-cut and then added to either side of the four patch. When sewing long strips together even from the same collection the width of the fabric can vary. The directions at this point have you start pressing one strip set one way and one the other. By pressing in opposite directions you can't but the seams together for this step however. 

At this point in construction I pressed toward the red and in the four patch I kept the pressing to the background. I used the iron for the preliminary press but then finger pressed and pinned to get the seams to but against each other. 

For the next step you make another strip set of background and Red. Sew the strips together then sub-cut and add them to either side of all but two pieces, only add them to one of the sides on those two. Once this is done they want on two more the full pieces for you to remove the background from one side of the piece.

Leave the four odd men out until the last step and piece the rest together matching the two contrasting colours, in my table runner it is the black and dark grey. They will form the centre of this runner


When the full pieces are together you can now add the odd men out. 

Its a little weird you need to continue the off setting of the pieces and then we will trim them down.

We now add two strips to each side of the ends, add some more background grey to the centre of the runner. The directions say to lay it as flat as possible, lay the strip next to the spot on the runner and sew it together, trim off the excess. I really hate doing it that way so I measure the side and cut the strip to fit. I did this for both sides and both ends of the runner.

Next you trim off the jagged sides. Pay close attention to this because we are now making this a biased edge runner.

We now get to add the narrow inner border, I chose the black!

Next up trimming of the ends to make the angle and adding then end pieces. This is done for the inner narrow border and the outer border ( I missed taking photos of that step in black but I have it in red!)

Again when adding these pieces the directions show sewing them on without measuring and cutting them to length after. I didn't do this I measured, sewed and trimmed off to make the angles.

The runner is now complete!

This is me pinning it to the 100% cotton batting and Thermal Fabric backing! Come back next week to see the quilted finish!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Hi I'm Adrian. I am so happy to be part of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! The hosts of this years Blog Hop are Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, Terri at Childlike Fascination, and my Hive Leader Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. They have shared some amazing tips so far to get this blog hop started.

A little about me! I have been sewing on a sewing machine since I was 16 years, hand sewing embroidery, cross stitch and such since I was about 8. My aunts always had a hoop or crochet hooks and were always keeping their hands busy.

I tried my first quilting attempt when I was 18 and it did not go well. I chose a Kentucky Chain Pattern and was planning on giving it to my grandparents who are from Kentucky. My cutting wasn't accurate and I didn't have a 1/4 inch foot. I gave up after trying to make those triangles lay flat and have points. I put the fabric back in the bag and tossed it in my closet. When I moved to Canada in 2007 I left it behind at my mom's house and never saw it again. It was for the best. There was no way that quilt was ever going to turn out right!
This is the first quilt I ever finished! It is an original design mixing fosil fern and batiks! Sunset.

The second quilt! Ocean Current! It's still not finished. The binding is only half done! 6 years in the making. We still use it every day! Maybe one day I will finish it.
When I married my first husband in 2005,who has since passed away, it was great because his mom was a quilter too. I was so happy to have some common ground with her in sewing, but I didn't really have the drive to be a quilter after my first failed attempt. I have always had the feeling that if I wasn't instantly good at something it wasn't worth continuing, I am glad I was proved wrong with quilting. After my MIL opened her shop in 2006 we became a Bernina Dealer. One of our first events with Bernina was a 440QE event and one of our customers didn't make it in. A machine was available to try the BSR and after just a few short hours I was hooked. The piecing love came later, but Free Motion Quilting was my first real quilting love.

Over the last few years I have started doing custom quilting for the customers at my mom's quilt shop and have done a few original patterns. Some of the greatest inspirations in the FMQ and Longarm Quilting world for me are Leah Day, Judi Madsen, Angela Walters and so so many other talented quilters. I have a one and done policy for myself because there are so many different ways to make a quilt and I want to try them all. I hate having to remake the same quilt over and over. For me creating the quilt, selecting fabric, construction and quilting and finishing are a unique experience and I love the novelty of that.

Fishes! I loved making the 3D tails on these little Fish. I used an ombre strip blue fabric for the background paying close attention to which fish had which background blue. It took some organization.
I just started this blog over a month ago at the urging of my friend Jean. I was hesitant at first because I didn't think my quilting credentials we solid enough, but when we attended the local traditional quilt guilds show and about half the quilts in it were quilted by me I figured I could do. I hope to share my continuing journey through quilting, running my local MQG and sharing it all with my husband, Chaz (we have been married one year yesterday!) and our son!

Speed Round Like and Loves

Name: Adrian, my mom named me after the Rocky Movies!

Sign: Cancer, climb on board the emotional roller coaster!

Author: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, Stephanie Laurens, Jim Butcher, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Musician: David Bowie

Comic Book Character: DC Harley Quin

Movie: Serenity, Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh and Joss Whedon), Twister

TV Shows: Stargate SG-1, Anything Joss Whedon and Company, Once Upon a Time, Peg + Cat

Dream Vacation Spot: Any where near the Water, ocean, lake, river, pond doesn't matter so long as I
can dip my toes in the water and see the sun rise or set on it!

Favorite Quilt Pattern: Sister Stars designed by my MIL Joy!
This is my favorite customer quilt I have ever done! Moon over Mountain. I rotated 21 different quilting designs in each row in a Suduko style. No design was repeated in each row and column. 
My Tips for Now

Blogging: Give it a try. We all have a unique voice and style. Someone somewhere will listen to yours!

Quilting: It takes at least 60 hours to get comfortable FMQ on a home machine, don't get discouraged before that! DOODLE DOODLE DOODLE! I always draw out a new design before quilting it!

Sewing: Get the right foot for the right job!

Life: Life is too short for small talk, get to the point with the people who matter!

Questions to get the conversation started:

What was your first quilt attempted? Did it turn out the way you thought and would you go back and make that quilt again?

I am so happy to have been included in this Blog Hop. Hope to see you back here soon. Don't forget to check out the other members of my hive posting today!

Erin @ Twin Mom Quilts
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Carrie B @ Chopping Block Quilts

I started this quilt in 2008 and was going to be a gift for my sister, it hasn't made it there yet! I knew how I wanted to quilt it but I didn't feel my quilting at that point was going to be good enough so it is now in my work in progress pile again! Maybe one day she will get it!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Brother Scan N Cut and Why I love it!

If you have never heard of the Brother Scan N Cut you will now! I love this thing! It is a multi-medium stand alone cutting system. One thing about me is that I hate hand sewing, well that's not really true Hand Sewing Hates Me! Applique, Embroidery, English Paper Piecing, and Binding are techniques I wish I could explore fully and increase my skills but Carpal Tunnel and my general klutziness has made holding small needles painful at times! When we started being a Brother Sewing Machine Dealer at my mom's quilt shop, JoyQuilts Website,  it was just as they were introducing the Brother Scan N Cut. I fell in love with this machine. Years before I wanted to be a scrapbooker, but never made it past getting supplies. I looked at other cutting machines over that time couldn't justify the price of the machine and the shapes for cutting. With this awesome thing it has a built in scanner and can cut whatever size, shape, or pattern I can scan!

We started a Scan N Cut Club at the store about 6 months ago to get the ladies who purchased them using it! Most still had them in the box and what little cutting they had done with it was problematic. They didn't know what settings to use or anything. There are so many great blogs or youtube channels for tutorials on the amazing things this machine can do!

We have cut several different mediums and made several projects with our Scan N Cut but my favorite so far has been our block of the month. The machine has 114 pieced blocks and 60 applique blocks. One of the things I also love about this is that it will draw on your 1/4 seam allowance, keeps me accurate. To make our block of the month with our Scan N Cut I chose 4 blocks that were in the machine. I changed the size of the blocks off set them and used lots of negative space and intense quilting.

This is a mini quilt. It finished at 24 inches on all sides. I used the solids from Kona. They were from the QuiltCon 2015 Charity Quilt Challenge Fabrics. 

This was the first block we made for this Quilt and the inspiration for the quilts name! We made four of these blocks and they were placed in the corners.

 Block 2 was a little more complicated because I changed a few of the colour choices from the what the Scan N Cut suggested.

We are cutting this block out this month on our Friday Club Night. The tiny pieces have some of the ladies so NO NO NO. But I reminded them that the seams are drawn on and the machine is cutting them not us!

Our Fourth block will be cut in July and we will also be cutting the extra white to off set the blocks in the right order. I really love how the sharp contrast of the background white shows the piecing.

I darkened this photo using Pic Monkey to highlight the quilting. I haven't really used photo editing software before this week. I wanted this photo to show the intense quilting I used on this Mini Quilt. I pieced this project with aurifil 50wt white thread, Kona Cotton Fabric, Hobbs 80/20 batting, and quilted with Mettler Polysheen colour 15, my Bernina 770 with the BSR!

So if you haven't tried the Brother Scan N Cut try it out! Post again soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

T-Shirt Quilts with out stabilizer!

I have previously stated, a little over a month ago in fact, that I hate doing T-shirt Quilts. I never make them for myself always for customers of my mom's quilt store. Most of the time people are never happy with the final result, even though I explain the process, what the final product will be and how much the final thing will cost. On our quilt store website we have price break down on our services and in the end it seems to come as a total surprise to people how much the quilt costs.  I do take care when creating these special memory filled quilts making sure to preserve the most of each article and using as much of the clothing and printed designs as possible. With all that in mind and my general frustration at creating these one of a kind memento quilts when push came to shove I was pushed. A mother brought in her son's soccer jerseys and said it was for his grade 8 graduation, I crumbled. I told her yes I would do it, I am so weak! I explained people are never happy with the product or the price. (I have had one exception to this in my years of quilting!) I then proceded to show the mother what I would do and marked out exactly what of each shirt I would be using in the quilt. I wanted to make sure there would be no surprises in this one!

So here is a break down of my process of making quilts from clothes.

Tools I use are as follows:

-Rulers and/or templates for the exact size piece of the clothing I will be using.
-Marking pencil, I like the Fons and Porter Mechanical Fabric Pencil or a chalk marker if I don't need to be exact.
-Straight Pins
-My Sewing Machine and 1/4 inch foot
-Cotton Piecing Thread, I like aurifil 50wt.
-Rotary Cutter and Mat

So here goes my process:

1. Step one evaluate what parts of the clothing will be used and what will be the exact design of the quilt. For this quilt I am using a blue fabric as sashing between 12 Shirt squares and a 6 inch border. The finished quilt will be 3 x 4 t-shirt blocks sashed with blue.  I have marked the parts of the shirts using my 12 1/2 inch square ruler and a chalk marker. The importance of this step is that you will have a visual of what you will be actually using. This will show you any surprises like seam, collar, or shirt logo bulk! In my experience most shirts by the time you want to make a quilt from them have stretched and faded. Shirt logos and such will be a little off center if they were ever center.

2. The next part is actually cutting these one of a kind fabrics into usable quilt shapes. Take your fabric scissors and cut up along the side seams and through the under part of the sleeves on each side of the shirts. After making the shirts a single layer, place the ruler on the spot of the t-shirt you will be using. Make sure the shirt is laying stress free and flat, when you are happy with the shirt and ruler placement you can begin to cut. It is important to be able to cut all four sides without moving the shirt. Use the corner of your cutting mat in the corner of the table where you can reach two sides of the table or a swivel cutting mat.

3. After cutting all the shirts needed, cut the vertical sashing. This needs to be 2 1/2 inches wide by 12 1/2 inches long. You will need 8 pieces. An important part of this process is to have an accurate 1/4 inch seam and know how to do quilter math! Pin the sashing at the minimum places both ends and in the middle. If you have a particularly stretchy shirt pin more. Press towards the sashing, make sure you lower the temperature on you iron, use a pressing cloth, and don't stretch as you press.

4. Pin the rows together with the sashing. PINNING IS IMPORTANT!!!!

5. The next step is to cut the horizontal sashing. Here we will need our quilters math. The two outside t-shirts measure 12 1/4 inches, two 2 inch sashing and the middle t-shirt is 12 inches. All measurements totaled together equals 40 1/2 inches. This is the measurement we will use to cut our sashing. I have then marked the wrong side of the sashing with the above measurements. We will be pinning the sashing at the measurements, if you need more pins use them! With this method you will need to force the t-shirts to fit because otherwise things will get stretched out of proportions.

6. Join your rows together at the sashing using the measurements marked on the wrong side, following the desired layout. In order to keep the feel of the t-shirts and the bulk of the quilt make sure to pin and keep an accurate 1/4 inch. When starting and ending you may tend to make a narrower seam, check this using your ruler.

7.Once the rows are pieced together with their sashing you will need to cut the borders. For this t-shirt quilt we decided on a 6 inch finished border. Now for some quilter math again. To cut the two side borders we will need to add two 12 1/4 inches, two 12 inches and three 2 inches, for a total of 54 1/2 inches long by 6 1/2 inches wide, Cut two. Mark the wrong sides of the border pieces with the measurements listed above. Pin the border at the seam lines and the markings.

8. Now for the top borders. We will be doing the same marking and pinning as we have done all along. The quilting math is as follows, two 6 1/4 inches, three 12 inches and two 2 inches, for a total of  52 1/2 inches. Again mark the wrong side of the border and match them to the seams. PIN!

9. Now that your top is together. Give it a final press. Layer with your favorite batting and backing. When pinning or basting your top together don't be fooled by the stretchy t-shirts make sure you use the borders and sashing to make sure it lays flat. If your shirts are a bit trouble some place extra pins and make sure they aren't stretched in a weird way.  Free motion quilt to your liking!

This has been my process for making a t-shirt quilt top. Tips for quilting these types are loose all over patterns that are rounded, sharp pointed designs can create a strange pull on the shirts. When Stitching through logos your machine may skip stitches. I have been known to go stitch by stitch with my needle up down button to make sure the paint doesn't prevent my quilting. If the shirts have embroidered patches do all you can to avoid them. They are usually too think for regular needles to penetrate and can cause your machine to break needles.

Hope this has given you some confidence to create your own t-shirt quilt. Post again soon!