Great Granny! Weekend

I wanted to have more of an update, but then I slept the day away.  Literally.  The hubs woke me up at 1:30 and I was no where near done sleeping.

It wouldn’t be March if I wasn’t sick.  Since I started teaching, the March illness has struck every. single. year.  Because, you know, this isn’t the busiest time of the year for teachers or anything…

However, I have managed to get started on quilt (top) #4.  My husband thinks I should be clear that I’ve yet to quilt one.  I can’t help that I have a phobia of starting the quilting part.  But, I did buy lime green thread for the baby quilt, so that, my friends, is progress.

After laying out most of my granny blocks, I realized that I was missing reds.  So, I’ve added to my stash, because no NCSU girl should be without red.

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I’ve also joined Pink Castle Fabrics Stash Club, which is why my blues are on overload. 

While I was making my granny squares, there was a lot of ironing going on.  I haven’t made a secret out of how I feel about ironing – hate – but, I needed a strategy.  I want each row ironed in the opposite direction so that the seams will nest like this:

ImageBut, I kept getting confused when I was ironing.  SO, I put the rows up on the design wall in front of my iron so that I could see the previous row, and its direction, as I was ironing the next row.  This kept the confusion down and it kept me from re-ironing, because let’s be honest, that wasn’t going to happen.

ImageThis way, all of my rows are staggered, the seams nest, and the quilting will look so much neater.  So the quilt gods tell me.

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Look at those seams.

Since I’m dishing out all of my secrets here’s another tip.  When you are piecing lots of little blocks, chain piece away.  Just keep putting them through the machine so you don’t have to stop BUT make sure you take a picture of the original block to keep beside you while you work:

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That way, I don’t get confused and I can just reference the image as I go.  This saves me tons of time, and helps me since I mostly sew when I need to decompress at the end of the day.  There are very few brain cells left by then…

Here’s another tip while we’re at it.  See that pill bottle – it’s not for my illness.  That’s for the old needles from my machine.  As you change them out, put them in an empty pill bottle.  You can’t just throw them away, because you aren’t supposed to dispose of them in your personal trash in case someone gets pricked.  But, if you put them in pill bottles, you can take them to a local hospital and they will properly dispose of them.  Just so you know why I have a medicine bottle on my sewing table.

Finally, here’s the progress I’ve made on the granny quilt.  These are only the blocks that are 100% finished and set with the white background.

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I absolutely love this quilt, and I can’t wait to see it finished.

Which block is your favorite so far?

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14 thoughts on “Great Granny! Weekend

  1. I highly recommend making a practice quilt out of some cheap muslin or scrap fabric and batting! I think a foot square is a good size, but smaller or larger is good too. It will help you get comfortable with the quilting pattern (even straight lines), work out the tension bugs without subjecting your quilts to that, and practice coordinating your hands and feet!
    If you lay out your quilt blocks and then add sashing, or sew them together bit by bit, taking a photo of the layout first. It has saved me so many times! I think the green and yellow is my favorite so far.

    • I definitely need to make a practice quilt! I will try that this weekend before I start on the baby quilt 🙂 It’s funny how different the quilt can look in a photo!

  2. Great idea about the pins! I need to change my needles more often… lol.The quilting gods are right about nesting seams- I discovered that yesterday, too! I also wanted to thank you for your sweet comment on my blog – I couldn’t email you back b/c you are no-reply!

  3. Love the medicine bottle idea too.

    FYI, I’m teaching a quilting class at RPS in April/May where we’ll completely finish a mini-quilt in four weeks, and there are going to be quilting workshops too (though focusing on free motion). Beth and I just finalized the schedule this past week.

    Quilting is my favorite part of the process now, but I was terrified the first time.

    • Melanie! You just made my day! I can’t wait to take this class. I feel like this is exactly what I need to become more comfortable with this process. Do you know if it will be on Saturdays or Sundays? I want to make sure I don’t miss it!

      • Hi! Beth sent out the email to the Newbees last night and mentioned that she didn’t have your email address. The free motion workshop for Newbees is going to be on Sunday the 24th. Drop me an email (if nobody else got to you yet) and I can forward the info on. melintheattic at gmail dot com

  4. I do the same thing! I always screw up the ironing when pressing my rows. Or I accidentally have a row upside down, wondering how I ironed it wrong because I was so careful! Even if I use my design wall. haha. and chain stitching saves my life!

  5. Pingback: Behind the Seams | Wasn't Quilt in a Day

  6. I saw on your 6/7 post that you haven’t yet figured out how to make flying geese that you like. I highly recommend buying the QIAD Flying Geese rulers. I have every size she makes, and I wouldn’t consider making them any other way. At my age and quilting experience, I’ve tried every way there is, and this is the only one that makes perfect geese every time. And it’s easy!

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