Friday Finish

Let’s be honest.  I haven’t turned on my sewing machine since this weekend, but I did manage to find time to take photos of this baby quilt.  That counts as quilting this week, right?!  Baby quilts are the best.  I just love how quick they are to quilt, and that I don’t have to set up the quilting table because they are so tiny.  I based this quilt off of the fabric I bought for the back – and I love it!

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Is there anything better than simple rainbows?!

(Yes, free fabric, but I digress…)

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Is this back amazing, or is it amazing?

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Every time I get perfect corners it’s like the first time all over again.

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And there’s a Friday Finish which could really be called a Christmas Miracle this week.  I want to pass a law where days have to be 30 hours.  I just don’t really know how to get the earth’s rotation to get on board….

Anybody else having that kind of week?

This quilt is now listed in my Etsy Shop!

To Have and to Hold

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Photo Credit: Story Photographers

This guy.

I don’t think he knew that when he said his vows, that he knew it actually meant holding up quilts and not me… he’s handled my obsession hobby well, even though I spend quite a bit of time away from him and with Big Bertha.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of making Forrest a quilt since I started, and I had it all planned out.  A bookshelf quilt.  However, he then saw a quilt that Sarah over at Georgia Girl Quilts had made, and he said, “That’s awesome; do you think you could make that?”  Well, when he loves something, I run with it!  That night I bought a layer cake of comma and a ton of low volume fabrics that reminded me of his personality.  Then I stashed it away…  and stashed it away.  Today he finally has his own quilt.

I have loved the entire process of making this quilt.

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And the back!

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I had so much fun picking out all of the low volume fabrics…

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See the ironing fabric… he.irons.everything.  I walk around a wrinkled mess.

Marriage.

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I love the texture of the square quilting!

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And, finally, a secret message in the quilting:

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There aren’t enough words for me to tell my husband how much I love the way he loves me.  So, I made him a quilt to have and to hold.

Home Stretch

The Terrain quilt is in it’s final stages – Binding.  This is my personal favorite step, and if you ever need a tutorial for machine binding I swear by my corners.  (Brushes off shoulder)

For this quilt, I pulled all of my inspiration from an amazing Kate Spain print, so it was only fitting that I pulled from a newer Kate Spain line for the binding.  I love how the aqua plays against the front and the back.  Plus, the words are such a fun print.

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There is nothing more fun than finally putting on the binding.  Off to wash this beauty now!

Home Stretch

Today I’m here to celebrate binding with you.  There is something about this step that gets me every single time.  I love seeing the finished quilt come together.  There is nothing like sewing the last stitch and immediately snuggling up under a quilt you’ve created!

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Again, I used my machine binding method that you can find the tutorial for here, and I was able to knock this out in less than 2 hours.  I can find hand stitching therapeutic, but for larger quilts I prefer to machine bind my quilts to save my sanity.

How do you feel about this binding choice – my husband isn’t sold… YET, but I know he will be when he sees it completely finished!

Anyone else finishing up a quilt for tomorrow?!

Home Stretch

Oh yes, my favorite part!  The Binding!

I just love binding a quilt and seeing it finally come together.  Nothing makes me happier.  As always (unless it’s a baby quilt) I machine bound this quilt using my Binding Tutorial method.  It took me one hour and ten minutes to bind this 60 x 72 inch quilt.  Say what?!

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For the first time, I almost had the seams on the binding match up to a corner!

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And yet I don’t think I’ll ever take the extra step of laying the binding out to double check.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  (Unless you do, and more power to you!)

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This is my happy place.  Sitting under an almost finished quilt.  And seeing perfect corners doesn’t hurt either!  I swear though, is there any way to get great photos of a quilt while it’s on the sewing machine?!  That light just kills me.

First ’14 Friday Finish

How did you like that alliteration?  Nerdy, I know.  Fourth grade teachers have to get their laughs somehow.  This quilt was quite an adventure.  I bought the fabric, without a plan, drew it out on scrap paper, started cutting, realized I left out measurements, changed it up, trimmed a bit, added a few more inches, and ended up with one of my favorite quilts so far.  Did I mention that cerise is not only a fabric in this beauty, but also the thread color?  Need I say more?

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I love the rich, jewel tone colors, the texture from the quilting, the binding colors, and the cows.

Let’s give it up for the cows, people.

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I know that with this much negative space that I could have really gone to town with FMQing, but I felt like it was almost too much negative space to start with.  I want to have fun on a few smaller projects first.  Plus, I love how these lines play on the quilts design.

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Can you go wrong with a back of Anna Maria Horner fabric and Kona Cotton solids?  Exactly, you can’t.  How have I not started hoarding her fabrics?

And, finally, the binding.  I machine bound this using my method you can find here, and I just love how quickly I can bind a quilt.

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I think choosing the binding fabric might be my favorite part of the creative process.  What’s yours?

I’m linking this bad guy up to all the Friday parties, and I’m excited to start the year out strong with a finish.  I’m also looking forward to joining in on the Year of Lovely Finishes this year, and I hope to reflect on my goals this weekend.

For now, you can find this quilt in my new Etsy Shop.  Yes, it’s open, folks!

Final Quilt Stats:

  • Fabric: Various prints from Amy Butler’s Belle fabric line, Florence by Denyse Schmidt, Cerise and Navy Kona Cottons
  • 64 inches x 78 inches
  • Quilted on my Bernina 710
  • Design: my own

I can’t wait to see what other finishes 2014 brings for us…

Quilting 101: Machine Binding

Over the past few months, I’ve had people ask me how I do my binding by machine.  So, the time has come.  It’s time for my first tutorial.  While there are plenty of great tutorials out there for machine binding, I do mine slightly differently.  I’m assuming that you have some knowledge of binding already, but if there are any steps where you are confused feel free to email me or leave a comment!  Apologies for the photos in this tutorial.  I was more concerned with finishing the quilt, but I think they get the point across.  Let me know if you have any follow up questions – or if you use the tutorial successfully! (I hope it’s used successfully…)

First things first.  Prepare your binding.

  1. I always add up all four sides of the quilt, and then add on 20 extra inches.  That’s how long your binding needs to be.
  2. Then, divide this number by 42 inches (safe side) and that’s how many 2.5 inch strips you need to cut.
  3. You almost always need 1/2 a yard of fabric for your binding.  (Unless it’s a baby quilt!)
  4. Sew your binding strips together.  Here is a tutorial for this step– no need to reinvent the wheel!
  5. Start sewing your binding to your quilt raw edge to raw edge on the back.

Here’s where I do things differently.

Yes, I said to sew your binding to the quilt BACK first at a 1/4 inch seam.  I know, I know – bear with me!

When you start, leave about 10 inches of extra binding.  Also, lower your stitches to .3 to lock the stitches in place.

Then, bring the stitch length up and sew until you get to a corner.  This next step is important!

Now, when you get 1/4 of an inch from the end, STOP, but don’t cut your thread.

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Instead of stopping, turn your quilt at a 45 degree angle and sew off the quilt sandwich.

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Yes, I need to clean my machine.  But, more importantly, do you see that angle?  Good, sew it off.

Now, turn your binding up like this:

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See, those stitches we just made gave you the perfect guide for that 45 degree angle.

Now, fold it back down so you can get back to sewing.

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When you start sewing again, sew directly from the edge at a 1/4 inch seam.

Sew all the way around your quilt, stopping 1/4 of an inch away from EACH corner and sewing off at an angle.  This will miter your corners for you.  Then, when you get about 10 inches away from where you started, back stitch, cut your thread and remove from the machine.  Remember that “tail” we left at the beginning?  It’s time to join the ends of your binding.  There are plenty of ways to do this, and again, you can follow any tutorial because they’re all the same.  I just do mine to the back.  However, this is how I do it.  I place the two ends together and pick where I want to match them up.  Then I finger press them in place.

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After I finger press, I mark with a pen/pencil/sharpie or I press with an iron so that I can see my mark.

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Sew the ends together using the lines you just marked.  Also, I like to sew mine on a smaller stitch but that’s up to you!

Cut off the ends at a 1/4 inch from the stitch line and sew this completely to the quilt sandwich.

Now you are ready to stitch to the front!

Turn your quilt over, and bring the binding over.

Start sewing your binding to the front close to a corner.

TIP: Whenever you start sewing, use a small stitch length to lock it a few times, and then bring it back to your normal length

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See how close I started near a corner?

This is important.  Once I’ve gotten the stitches started, I form the mitered corner, and I hold it in place while my walking foot does all the work.

To form your mitered corner, follow these steps:

Look at the back.  The side that’s on top (below it’s the left) gets folded over first.  THEN, fold the other side (the RIGHT) on top of it to make a corner.

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See, I folded the left side over.  Now I can fold that right side over into a perfect corner.

Whenever you are about 4 inches from a corner, stop and prepare the mitered corner.  Don’t wait until you get too close or it won’t form properly.  This is the secret.  Prepare the corner when you are 3-4 inches away and hold it in place while you sew, and each one will be perfect.

Sew all the way around with your needle barely on the edge of your binding.

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See how close my needle is, and that my corner is already mitered.

And, you might have noticed this, BUT I don’t use any clips.  NONE.

When you come to the mitered corner, do NOT stop sewing.  Turn right at the edge, and start sewing down the next side on the edge of that binding.

See, I know I’m at the corner.  I stop and turn the quilt.

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Then, I pick right back up.  Just make sure you always leave your needle down.

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Your corners will look like this on the front:

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No really.  Each one!

And this is how they will look from the back:

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Continue all the way around your quilt until you’re back at your starting point.

Then, go take your quilt on a photo shoot and enjoy those perfect corners!

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So, that’s how I machine bind my binding.  Without a single clip or pin.  I know, it’s like Christmas morning.  So, how did I do for my first tutorial?  Let me know if you find this helpful – I hope you do!

New Blogger Series

Portholes, baby

First things first, don’t forget to comment on my 100th post giveaway if you haven’t already.  Thank you to everyone who has left new lines for me to covet.  Y’all are the best… said no budget ever.

Now onto quilts.  A finished quilt, at that!

Get ready to sail with these one, friends.  A sweet friend of mine is expecting a baby boy any day now, and I can’t wait to gift this quilt.  When I heard the nursery theme, I immediately started envisioning portholes and waves.  I think it’s been achieved!

ImageI just love these prints and that the quilting looks like ripples.  And, if you’re staring at the binding (like me), don’t worry, we’ll get there!  First, let’s check out the back.  I mean, really – is there a cuter print?

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Why yes, yes those are little lobsters.  I KNOW!

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I have to say it, give me a second to brag.

CHECK OUT THOSE CORNERS!

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I just love these adorable nautical prints, the tiny zig-zag applique stitches, and these lobsters.  It’s really all about the lobsters.  Does anyone else love binding the most on their quilts?

I’m linking this baby up to every Friday party!  Happy Friday and quilt on, friends.

Just Keep Sewing

In this final week before my summer vacation comes to a tragic end, and school picks up again, I find myself channeling Dori’s wisdom: Just Keep Sewing.  I know once work starts again, I’ll be far less productive and I’m trying to get as much accomplished before I’m pulling wild hours for my new kiddos.  So what have I been up to since finishing the twin quilts?  Everything.

I’ve finished quilting my Chicopee Stripe quilt, and let me tell you – I am loving the straight line quilting on this one.

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A view from the back:

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And in an effort to finish just.one.more. I’m working away at the binding!

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Which we all know is the best binding ever.  Memoir in charcoal.

And it has my husband’s name.

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In the meantime, I haven’t rested.  I’ve been working on another project that I want to at least have basted by Thursday – when I go take another FMQ class before I leave NC, and I am so excited about this one.  Red is my favorite color, and I hardly ever use it, but not in this one.  I broke out the entire stash of red.

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Check out those adorable deer!

This quilt has been a special project of love with my Mammaw and sister ironing it, my mom helping me put the strips together, my grandmother helping me cut it, my Mammaw helping me put all 9 patches and rows together, and even my Pappaw sewing a little.

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I can’t wait to finish this one!

So, for the next 5 days, you might think I’m a mad woman.  However, once school starts my time will be devoted to my scholars first and crafting second.  Today I’m linking up to my favorite linky party: Let’s Get Acquainted Monday!  You should check out the other amazing projects!

Summer Sewing Continues

If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve done a better job of sewing this summer than blogging. Whoops. Can I blame it on the fact that my laptop is fritzing out? Yes? Good! I’m buying a new one this week and then we can resume our lovely bloggy relationship :). Also, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, what’s up with that? Exactly, make it happen!

I have a project that’s almost ready to reveal and I’m so proud of myself.

*pats shoulder*

I’ve turned this lovely bundle…

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Into some adorable St. Louis 16 Patch blocks. Since we all know I’m obsessed with them like I was N*SYNC back in middle school…

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Finished piecing the top, and basted it with a little help from my friends…

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This dog is perfection, you guys.
Quilted it with my amazing straight line design that I think I might trademark before long…

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And finished the binding yesterday!

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So, it wasn’t quilt in a day, friends, but I did finish this project in less than a week. From the girl who spent five months resisting anything but piecing a top we have made serious progress!!

Also, I wrote this post on my iPhone … It’s come to this. Don’t forget to go check out the bloggers up this week on Plum and Junes summer blog hop. I have really enjoyed reading more about some amazing quilters and meeting new friends. Finally, get ready for some email overload when I buy my new computer. It’ll be like Christmas in July for ya.

Happy Monday and happy quilting, friends!