Thursday, June 19, 2014

Small Town Quilt Show

I'm so excited for the Small Town Quilt Show coming up next weekend! I will be teaching Improv Piecing. Registration for most classes is still available. The show is in Midway, Utah, which is a beautiful, small town in the mountains about an hour from Salt Lake City. I'll be teaching several different techniques in my class, including my circle piecing technique I used in my Whirlpool Quilt.

I contacted a few of my favorite fabric companies to send a few items for giveaways in my class. They were each more than generous. Robert Kaufman, Art Gallery, RJR Fabrics and Timeless Treasures each sent a few bundles for me to giveaway during my class. I just might have one or two leftover after the class to giveaway here as well! A huge thanks to each of this great companies for their help for this event!

 In addition to classes there will be a great quilt show. Because I'm teaching, I decided to enter a couple quilts. This is a huge change for me as I swore a couple years ago I wouldn't do it again. I'm entering my Whirlpool Quilt and Jumbo Star Quilt. We'll see how it goes. I have one more sleeve to sew on before I deliver them this weekend. 

I'll be spending next week preparing and going over all my material for the class. I can't wait to share how it goes! Several readers have mentioned a desire for me to do a tutorial or online class about the Whirlpool Quilt. I'm still debating on how that might work and the best way to go about it. It's much easier to teach hands-on, in person. I wish you could all come next weekend!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vintage Star Quilt

I am finding myself with less and less time as my kids are getting older, so I've been searching for smaller projects that don't require the same time commitment as large quilts. I'm also searching for ways to use my stash.  I've had the backing flannel for this little quilt in my stash for a few years. I pulled it out to make a simple baby quilt. I love this star pattern from a tutorial by Jeni over at In Color Order. It's perfect for random fat quarters. I made this into a baby quilt and started with 10 1/2" squares for the HSTs. The finished quilt is about 37" square.

I quilted it with a flower and leaf design.

The colors for the front were pulled from the flannel backing. I really love this print. Plus it's so nice and soft.

I'll be listing this one in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Patchwork Summer Blog Hop

I'm posting over at Ellison Lane today for Jennifer's Patchwork Summer Series! Head on over there to see a little more of my project!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Apps Quilt Pattern is For Sale and a Giveaway!

**Note: This pattern is no longer available for sale.

After more work than I ever anticipated and some amazing help from some wonderful pattern testers, my App Quilt Pattern is now available for sale! The Apps Quilt Pattern can be purchased from my Etsy Shop or my Craftsy Pattern Shop. As always, when I release a new pattern, all my patterns are 25% off. For the coming week, purchase any of my patterns for $6. Prices will return to $8 at the end of the week.

I wanted to send a big thanks to Brooke, Sarah, Michele, Pennie, and Sandra for their help on this project. Their help was invaluable! I'll be sharing a bit of their work in the next few weeks that they created while testing this pattern. Several of these ladies will be giving away a free copy on their blogs to one reader. Make sure to check their blogs this week.

The pattern provides sizing requirements for baby, throw, twin and queen using two different block sizes: 6" and 8" finished blocks. There are also sketch sheets for each quilt size to aid in the layout process.

As I mentioned previously, this pattern is based on this drawing of a cell phone by my daughter- hence the name "Apps." I still love this little drawing. It translated so well into a quilt.

The design is simple, easy to follow, and fairly forgiving, especially for those newish to quilting. It's a great project for quilters interested in doing something a little wonky, but not too much.

The Giveaway:
I have a fun giveaway up my sleeve this time that's a little different from anything I've tried before. This time around the giveaway will be available only on Instagram. Simply repost the image below (or pull the image from my Instagram feed) via your Instagram account and follow the directions. Make sure to tag me @thebluechair and #bluechair40giveaway. I'm buying one winner a $40 gift card to their favorite online fabric shop. If the winner tags one friend in the repost, I'll buy that friend a $15 gift certificate to any fabric shop as well. I really appreciate all the support I've received from the online community over the years and wanted to do something fun to say thanks!

**The winner must select an online fabric shop that issues gift certificates.
**This post contains Craftsy affiliate links.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Quilting 101: Binding a Quilt

Everyone seems to have their own little techniques for binding quilts. This is the way I've done it for years. I hate hand-binding quilts and nearly always bind completely by machine. I've been asked multiple times for information on how I do my binding and am finally getting around to posting this. I'm fully aware that each of us do this differently, this is simply my method.

Figuring the Binding Requirements:

  • (quilt width + quilt height) x 2 = quilt perimeter
  • (quilt perimeter + 20) divided by 40 = number of WOF strips needed
  • number of strips x 2.5 (or 2.25 for a skinny binding) = total binding yardage

Prepping the Binding:
I almost always use a straight-grain binding from strips cut 2.5" x width of fabric. After cutting the strips I first cut the ends on a 45 degree angle. Make sure the angle for each end is going in the same direction. Place the angled end from one strip onto the next strip (seams offset), and stitch with a 1/4" seam. Press seams open, then press entire length of binding in half.

Squaring the Quilt: 
I trim and square my quilts before adding my binding. I like using my large 20.5" square ruler to clean up the corners. I feel this gives me the best results when squaring the quilt.

Attaching the binding to the front:
When I bind I always add my extension table to my machine to better stability and a larger work space. I leave approximately a 10" tail of binding to attach when finishing the binding. I use my walking to attach the binding to the front of the quilt. The right edge of the foot is my guide. My machine is set to a 5.5 stitch position for a minky or flannel backing and a 5.0 stitch position for quilting cotton (out of 7.0 stitch positions). I always use thinner cotton batting such as Warm and Natural. These settings give me a fat 1/4" seam. I use a 2.0 stitch length. For a thinner quilt such as one without batting and simply a flannel or blanket backing, I would generally start with a strip width of 2.25" and a stitch position of 5.5.

When approaching a corner, I stop stitching and backstitch 1/4" from the raw edge of the quilt. Fold the binding back, away from the quilt. Then fold back toward the quilt and line it up with the raw edge. Pin in place and stitch the next side, beginning from the edge of the quilt.

When nearing completion I stop stitching approximately 10" from the beginning of the binding strip. Overlap the two tails of the binding and trim. Mark the cut line of one strip, matching the angle of the other strip. Make sure they overlap slightly more that 1/4". Match ends and stitch closed. Finger press seam open and finish attaching the binding to the quilt front. I prefer this method as it always provides me with a consistent angle of the binding seams.

Attaching the Binding to the Quilt Back:
I attach my binding to the back of the quilt by stitching blind from the front. I use my edge joining foot. I've mentioned this foot before and love it. It has a guide in the center that makes it perfect for stitching in the ditch. Place the foot guide next to the binding seam. My center needle position is 3.5, although when using this foot, I prefer to set the position to 3.0 which is just slightly to the left of the center guide. I set my stitch length to 3.5.

I wrap the folded edge of the binding around to the back and clip a small section in place. I place my sewing foot between the clips to begin sewing. Raise the bobbin thread and pull both threads under and behind the foot. Begin stitching, backstitching a couple stitches to secure.

I work just a few inches at a time. I fold the binding over and toward the back, checking to make sure the folded edge covers and hides the original stitches. I hold the binding in place while stitching about 5 inches of binding. I repeat this process and continue around the quilt. I do not pin, clip or glue my binding during the majority of the sewing.

When approaching a corner, I do pin and fold the mitered corner as shown below. I've found I have better success with my corners when I pin.

Once the inside of a corner is reached, pivot the needle and continue stitching.

 This is how a finished corner turns out.

With the edge joining foot, the stitches almost disappear into the ditch on the front.


I hope that helps a bit for those interested in finishing the binding by machine.