Saturday, March 25, 2017

One Monthly Goal - March Finish Link Up


There were 106 projects shared in the March Goal Setting Link-Up!  I very much enjoy visiting everyone and seeing your projects and now it is time to see those finished goals.

New to One Monthly Goal?  Welcome!  You can read about the event and the rules on the main event page.
Sign up to receive email notifications when the One Monthly Goal linkup is open.  Think of it as a helpful reminder!

The April One Monthly Goal link up will open on April 1.   (And as you start to think about April, remember a goal could be to finish a quilt but it could also be to attach a binding or make three blocks.  Whatever it takes to help you move forward and make progress on your projects!  And as long as the project involves a needle and/or fabric, you can link up!)

My goal for March was to finish my quilt from the Meadow Mist Designs mystery QAL.  I call my quilt Galaxy and just love my new wall-hanging.  (See more photos here.)



Now it is your turn to link up - share your goal finish for March.  

Please only link up if you finished your goal and if you also participated in the March Goal Setting Link-up.  



There will be three winners this month - Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $25 gift certificate, Bagmaker Supply is offering a $20 gift certificate.  Leah Day from Leah Day.com is offering one lucky winner an Online Quilting Workshop called Quilting a King on Your Home Machine. 


(Note this post will be updated with the names of the winners on or about April 1.)




Visit the One Monthly Goal event page for the specific requirements for links and social tags. 

And remember, to be eligible for the prize(s) by random drawing you must linkup at both the goal setting and the accomplishment linkup in a given month.  (March Goal Setting Linkup)


Make sure you add a link to this OMG post so others can follow where you are linking.   Let's make that easy -  just paste this into your post:  











Thanks for linking up!
Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, March 24, 2017

Don't forget to link up your improv projects!

Have you been stretching those creative juices by trying improv?

It not too late to join in and try one of the prompts from play, the improv QAL!  There have been great prompts so far - wonky log cabin - triangles - stack, cut, sew wonky geese -  wonky stars - crumbs.

There will two more prompts (3/27 and 4/3).



There have been many fun photos on Instagram and Elm Street Quilts QAL Facebook Group of  amazing improv underway as quilters all over are playing with fabric!

This play in-process link up is open for just a few more days (through March 27.)  Please take some time to visit others and encourage their creativity.

Any in-process photo goes here.  You could have just one wonky geese (goose?) done, link it up.  You could be ignoring the prompts altogether and doing your own improv - link it up!

Really only one rule - besides being improv (!!) - is that for an entry in the random participant giveaway to be considered valid, it must be shared from a blog or from Instagram and contain the links / tags are listed below. 


  • Instagram posts must contain #playimprovqal and @elmstreetquilts. 


What have you been making in your improv studio?




Read more about prizes, sponsors and ways to win on the main event page.

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors - American Made Brand and Aurifil !  They have provided prizes for five (5) participants who will be randomly chosen.




Thanks for linking up!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Piecing Batting Tutorial

I've a bin filled with batting scraps that I want to put to good use for a backing for my next quilt top.

In this post, I am sharing how I tackle piecing batting and I'd love to hear in the comments any tips you might have as well.


Here are the steps I use to piece my batting (reference numbered photos below):


  1. Find two pieces of batting that are roughly the same size where you want to join them
  2. Overlap them about 1 to 1 1/2''
  3. With your rotary cutter, cut a wavy line 
  4. Pull away the extra bit of batting and discard.  The two pieces will fit nicely together.
  5. Using an open zig-zag stitch on your machine, slowly sew the two pieces together.  They are not overlapped but just butted against each other
  6. Enjoy your new piece of larger batting and use it as it were one piece.


piecing quilt batting

You can use the same zig-zag technique on batting with a straight edge but I find that a little easier to find in the finished product.

I'll be linking up with Tips & Tutorials Tuesday.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, March 20, 2017

improv QAL - crumbs


For overall information on play, the improv QAL, please see the QAL kickoff as well the main event page.  

The improv QAL has a set of basic rules - 

  • you are in charge
  • make what you want
  • don't follow a pattern
  • play with fabric
  • experiment

Anything goes here. 

This is your project, your creativity. 

There will be weekly prompts each Monday, through April 3.  The prompts so far have been wonky log cabin , the half triangle blockstack, cut & sew, wonky geese & wonky stars.

As you've been working on your improv blocks so far, you've likely generated really small, odd shape bits of fabric scraps.  This week's prompt makes good use of those castaways.  If you can't find any on your work space, take a look in the trash can or on the floor.  That is where I collected the crumbs for my mini.

Today's prompt is -

  Crumbs - those odd shaped, tiny bits of leftover fabric
 Produce a mini or create blocks to be assembled together with other blocks from the QAL.


Remember, this prompt is just the start of this week's assignment.  Embrace it or ignore it.


My mini is 4 1/2 x 5 ''.

I used four (4) colors of Aurifil thread for my quilting.  I auditioned the final mini on several different colors before deciding to set it 'on point.'   The back is another improv mini block.

See my mini progress in pictures - 



This might just be my favorite mini that I created in support of the prompts.  (But I bet I've said that before!)  I used at least 4 different colors of Aurifil thread to quilt this.



Some tips & ideas -


  • Sew together smaller bits of fabric to create a slightly larger small bits to join to your piece. (See photo in top right corner.)


  • Sew with a really tiny stitch length.  Mine was set to 1.2.


  • If you mess up, throw it out or cut it out.  Don't waste time on unpicking a seam.


  • The smallest strips which end up as only a sliver can add the most interest.

    Remember - anything goes here.  It is your project, your creativity coming through.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  This might feel uncomfortable but don't give up - keep working through to the end product.




    • Use #playimprovqal to earn entries towards one of the QAL prizes.  





      Next prompt Monday, March 27.  (One more prompt follows on April 3.)  Here's a sneak peak.



      My mini quilt top will be linked up with  Main Crush Monday's,   Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Fabric Frenzy Friday,  Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.   My improv quilt top is finish #13 for 2017 - most are minis.

      Have a wonderful day! Patty

      Friday, March 17, 2017

      Mini Blocks

      Aren't these cute?


      Each of my mini blocks measure between 2 and 2 1/2''.  The word 'between' is key here.  Some were supposed to be exactly 2'' and some were supposed to be exactly 2 1/2''.  None of them are exactly anything but cute!


      These are great fun to assemble and I know I'll be making more.

      Check out more mini blocks in the Precision Piece QAL link-up hosted by Quilt Shop Gal.

      Have a wonderful day! Patty

      Wednesday, March 15, 2017

      Sweet Bunny (and a single fold binding tutorial!)



      When I saw the pattern Woodland Animals by Juliet of Tartankiwi, I just couldn't resist.  (You may remember that Juliet was our featured designer in January for One Monthly Goal.)

      My little bunny mini finishes at 5''.  Isn't she cute?

      The pattern includes several sizes so I'm likely to make more, maybe a bigger one as a pillow. This one will be gifted.


      When I make small quilts, I always use a single fold binding.  I put together a quick tutorial on what I do.


      First cut the binding at 1 1/4''.  Place right side against the top of your quilt and attach at 1/4'' like you would a typical binding.


      Attach on all four sides, making sure to leave a tail at the beginning and end.  (left photo, below)

      To join each end of the binding strip, fold each binding edge so that the folds lay right up against the other and finger press each of the folds.  (center photo, below) 

      Align the binding strip edges, right sides together, so the fold lines you just created are aligned. Sew on this fold line.  Fold your quilt in half to help get things lined up. (right photo, below)


      Once you test to make sure binding fits, trim away excess and finish sewing down binding.

      Fold binding over to back and press.


      With right side of quilt facing down, fold over the edge of the binding to quilt edge and then fold again to tuck the raw edge underneath.

      Attach binding.  I sew by hand (and these small quilts go quick!) but you could also sew by machine.

      If all goes well, your folded over binding will cover the line of stitches that resulted from attaching it to the front.


      I'll be linking with Tips & Tutorials Tuesdays.  My quilt top will be linked up with  Main Crush Monday's,   Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Fabric Frenzy Friday,  Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.   My improv quilt top is finish #12 for 2017 - most are minis.



      Have a wonderful day! Patty

      Monday, March 13, 2017

      improv QAL - Wonky Star


      For overall information on play, the improv QAL, please see the QAL kickoff as well the main event page.  

      The improv QAL has a set of basic rules - 

      • you are in charge
      • make what you want
      • don't follow a pattern
      • play with fabric
      • experiment

      Anything goes here. 

      This is your project, your creativity. 

      There will be weekly prompts each Monday, through April 3.  The prompts so far have been wonky log cabin , the half triangle block. stack, cut & sew & (my favorite) wonky geese.

      Next to flying geese, stars are my favorite block.  Star blocks come in all shapes and sizes and with improv, you've the opportunity to create unique stars.  You could even use some of the wonky geese you made last week with this week's prompt.

      Today's prompt is -
      Combine rectangles and triangles to create wonky stars.
       Produce a mini or create blocks to be assembled together with other blocks from the QAL.

      Remember, this prompt is just the start of this week's assignment.  Embrace it or ignore it.


      I'm working on a larger improv piece to share at the end of the QAL - it will definitely have some stars!

      See my mini progress in pictures - 



      Some tips & ideas -


      • Use your ruler to stabilize the fabric when cutting through several layers at once instead of just cutting with your rotary cutter alone
      • Lay your triangles so they lay overlap the edge on two sides.  (See photo top row, center above).  Trim excess background fabric with scissor.
      • Periodically press and trim to get straight edge.
      • Use additional fabric of the background color to frame or further offset the blocks
      • Star centers is a great place to use a fussy cut fabric

      Remember - anything goes here.  It is your project, your creativity coming through.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  This might feel uncomfortable but don't give up - keep working through to the end product.


      • Use #playimprovqal to earn entries towards one of the QAL prizes.  




        Next prompt Monday, March 20.  Here's a sneak peak.




        Thanks for linking up!

        Have a wonderful day! Patty

        play - an improv QAL link up

        There have been many fun photos on Instagram and Elm Street Quilts QAL Facebook Group of  amazing improv underway as quilters all over are playing with fabric!

        Our wonderful sponsors - American Made Brand and Aurifil - have provided prizes for five (5) participants who will be randomly chosen.





        There are four ways to earn entries (see the overall play page for specifics on prizes and rules) and there will be five (5) winners overall.

        1. Share as often as you want (each share counts as an entry) via Instagram or the Elm Street Quilts QAL Facebook Group using the tag #playimprovqal .  (Anything shared through April 30 is considered valid.)
        2. Share an in-process photo in THIS link-up.  (read more below)
        3. Share a quilt-top (quilted or not) in the finish link-up from April 10 to April 30
        4. Submit a finished quilt (i.e. quilted) for the finish parade.  (More details on the parade in April.)


        The play in-process link up will be open through March 27.  Please take some time to visit others and encourage their creativity.

        Any in-process photo goes here.  You could have just one wonky geese done, link it up.  You could be ignoring the prompts altogether and doing your own improv - link it up!

        Really only one rule - besides being improv (!!) - is that for an entry to be considered valid, it must be shared from a blog or from Instagram.  


        • Instagram posts must contain #playimprovqal and @elmstreetquilts. 

        What have you been making in your improv studio?






        Thanks for linking up!


        Have a wonderful day! Patty

        Friday, March 10, 2017

        Galaxy

        Introducing Galaxy!


        I always name my quilts.  Sometimes the name incorporates a bit of the fabric line I used.  Sometimes the name of the quilt is a reflection of the pattern.

        For this quilt, I wanted a name with some bow to astronomy.  The design of the quilt and the spiral quilting suggested planets and stars to me so I choose the name Galaxy.



        The quilt was designed by Cheryl of MeadowMistDesigns.  I downsized her pattern by making blocks at half size.  I wanted a wall hanging for my sewing studio and used solids that map to my favorite colors.  (When given an opportunity to choose fabric, I always end up in this color family!)


        The spiral quilting was fun to do.  (See my tutorial.)  Often the inner spiral gives me a hard time but I switched from using my walking foot to the most basic foot on my machine and moved very slow as I stitched.  This might be very well be the best inner spiral I've ever done!  (The bulk of the spiral was done with my walking foot.)


        The quilt is 34" square - perfect for a wall hanging!  I used American Made Brand solids in three shades of aqua (colors 32, 33, 34) and lime (color 18).

        My quilt top will be linked up with  Fabric Frenzy Friday,  Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.   Galaxy is finish #11 for 2017 - many of these finishes have been minis. 




        Have a wonderful day! Patty

        Wednesday, March 8, 2017

        Prepare your quilt for binding

        I am actually one of those people who likes the process of hand-stitching the binding to the quilt.  It is relaxing to sit in my comfy chair with the finished quilt top draped across my legs.

        For today's post, I thought I'd share a couple of things I do to prepare my larger quilts before attaching the binding to ensure great results.


        Finish the edges of the quilt

        I send many of my larger quilts to my LAQ and pay just a little bit more to have her square off the quilt and to serge the edges.  This nice neat finish provides a great foundation for the binding itself.



        Label

        Labeling your quilt is important.  My go to label is a triangle made by folding a square of fabric in half.  Before sewing on my binding, I attach two of the three sides to a corner of the quilt.  The third side (the fold) is sewn down by hand.  (See my post on labels.)


        Press then seam

        I cut my bindings at 2 1/4'' which gives me a narrow binding on the front and just enough to cover the serged edge on the back.  I always press my bindings in half before attaching and found it cumbersome to bring a long binding to the ironing board.  For one thing, the binding ended up on the ground and collected dust and threads from my floor.



        Now I press each WOF strip individually.  Once the strips are joined, I come back with a quick press just on the join points.


        How do you prep your quilts for binding?

        I'll be linking with Tips & Tutorials Tuesdays.


        Have a wonderful day! Patty

        Monday, March 6, 2017

        improv QAL - wonky geese


        Click here to go to the One Monthly Goal March link-up.

        For overall information on play, the improv QAL, please see the QAL kickoff as well the main event page.  

        The improv QAL has a set of basic rules -

        • you are in charge
        • make what you want
        • don't follow a pattern
        • play with fabric
        • experiment

        Anything goes here.

        This is your project, your creativity. 

        There will be weekly prompts each Monday, through April 3.  The prompts so far have been wonky log cabin , the half triangle block. and  stack, cut & sew.

        The flying geese block is my favorite traditional block.  I use the block as often as I can and nothing makes me happier than seeing a flock of geese flying across a quilt top.

        The wonky geese block is about using scrap triangles of different sizes and shapes to create blocks that represent or vaguely remind you of a traditional flying geese block.


        Today's prompt is -
        Cut triangles of all sizes and assemble wonky geese
         Produce a mini or create blocks to be assembled together with other blocks from the QAL.


        Remember, this prompt is just the start of this week's assignment.  Embrace it or ignore it.



        This is one of my favorite improv minis so far.

        Some tips & ideas -

        • Dip into your scrap bin to find bits of leftover fabric from other trimmings
        • Add strips to the side or the bottom so your geese don't all fly in a straight line
        • Make geese of different sizes to create interest
        • Once strip of geese is assembled, trim off sides to get a straight edge
        • Use additional fabric of the background color to frame or further offset the blocks

        See my mini progress in pictures - 

        If you've got a lot of scrappy triangles from trimming other blocks, you can build a big flock of flying geese.



        Remember - anything goes here.  It is your project, your creativity coming through.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  This might feel uncomfortable but don't give up - keep working through to the end product.




        • Use #playimprovqal to earn entries towards one of the QAL prizes.  


          • Blog link-up opens March 13 for another way to share your progress!



          Next prompt Monday, March 13.  Here's a sneak peak.



          My quilt top will be linked up with  Main Crush Monday's,   Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Fabric Frenzy Friday,  Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.   My improv quilt top is finish #10 for 2017 - all minis so far.

          Have a wonderful day! Patty

          Friday, March 3, 2017

          QuiltCon 2017 - A personal reflection





          QuiltCon is an annual conference devoted to all things quilts presented by the Modern Quilt Guild.  QuiltCon East, held in Savannah, was the 4th instance of the conference and the first on the east coast. (The 2018 event will be held in Pasadena and the 2019 event in Nashville.)

          What is QuiltCon all about?

          There are classes, workshops, lectures, demos, quilts, vendors, fabric, and many opportunities to volunteer and get involved.  If you every have the opportunity to attend Quilt Con, GO!!   There is so much about the experience that I want to share - this could be a very long post!

          Much of the action took place in a set of classrooms as well as the large event floor which opened at 10 am each day (Thursday through Sunday).  Each morning. there was always a large crowd of quilters ready to charge the floor the moment the gate opened.  Some were there with only small amounts of spare time before their class or lecture and wanted to use every spare minute to see the quilts or visit the vendors.

          Others were there for the swag.  (Swag = free stuff).  Cotton and Steel handed out bags with fabric inside, Aurifil ran a jigsaw puzzle completion competition with thread as a prize.  Many other booths had you spin a wheel for a chance to win fabric.


          On day one, I was there in the crowd at the door to see the quilts.  When the gates opened, I noticed a group of women running towards Cotton and Steel and I did what any other quilter would do, I followed them!  It was such fun and I enabled some friends on other mornings by taking them on that morning run. It was fun to collect fabric and bags and stuff!


          Swag collected, I spent most of Thursday walking the quilts.  They were everywhere.  (I heard second hand that over 1700 quilts were submitted and there were 300-ish hanging in the show.  Don't know if these are official numbers but likely close enough.)

          The quilts that follow are just a small subset of the awesomeness that was at the show.  I walked the floor several times, often retracing my steps and discovering a quilt I had missed the first time.


          (Row 1) Susan Bleiweiss (@suebleiweiss), Brittany Burton (@brittanybowenburton) & quilted by Nataline Bonner (@nataliabonner), Anne Sullivan
          (Row 2) - Angela Watters (@angelafmq),Sherri Cifaldi-Morrill, Sylvia Schaefer (@flyparrotquilts))
          (Row 3) - Kathleen Carragee (Jr Member), Cassandra Beaver (@cassandra.beaver), Katherine Jones (@twocatsquilts)

          The quilt in the bottom corner by Katherine Jones won Best of Show.  The quilt is called Bling and is paper pieced.  She said it took 160 hours just to put together the quilt top.  This photo doesn't really do it justice.

          You can hear more about this quilt from Katherine (Kat) herself in this special podcast episode from Abby Glassenberg.






          (Row 1) Cheryl Brickey (@Meadowmistdesigns), Stephanie Ruye (@spontaneousthreads), Chawne Kimber @cauchycomplete)
          (Row 2) - Sarah Mckee (@sarahjamckee), Amy Ellis (@amyscreativeside), Shelby Skumanich (@goshomesmovies)
          (Row 3) - Lynda Hutchison (@artfultoo), Laura Bennett (@drbennett), Marla Vaner (@pennylanequilts)

          (Row 1) Chawne Kimber (@cauchycomplete), Diana Van Deyar (@dianavandeyar), Paige Alexander (@quiltedblooms)
          (Row 2) - Elaine Poplin (@messygoat), Kim Soper (@lelandarestudios), Frances ODowell (@offkilterquilter)
          (Row 3) - Anne Hammand (@brokenladderquilt), Liz Harvatine (@ladyharvantine), Kristen Sheids (@kristinsheids)

          Two of these quilts pictured in the collages above are made by people that I am lucky enough to have as a friend.  I am so proud of them - both of these quilts won ribbons.  Mustard by Paige and Birds in the Air by Frances.

          Modern quilt guilds were invited to make a charity quilt for display at the event using a specific color palette with a focus on scale.  I was excited to see our quilt from the Triangle MQG hanging at the show.

          It was great fun to bump into guild members at the show.  We easily had twenty people at the event from the Raleigh area!


          My favorite part about the event was actually the opportunity to volunteer and I did several 4 hour shifts.  I had the opportunity to work registration on Wednesday and met a lot of people that day.

          However, the most fun volunteer shift was sitting at the floor entrance to make sure people had their badges / tickets.  Quilters seem to be an honest bunch so there wasn't much to do other than answer questions.  It was, however, a perfect spot to see some of the greats in the industry.   And, yes, I did the fan-girl bit and asked them for selfies.  Everyone was gracious and wonderful.

          Here are just some of the selfies I collected.

          You may recognize Christa WatsonMary FonsStephanie Palmer & Merel Birdblocks (row 1)Pam Cobb (1/2 of the Stitch TV show), Jenny DoanPaige Alexandra,, (row 2);  Abby GlassenbergYvonne Fuchs  and a sailor from Savannah.(row 3)



          If you've ever the opportunity to attend QuiltCon, go and schedule some time to volunteer.  It is a great way to meet people.

          Sadly, I didn't take any time (other than walking to dinner) to see the beautiful city of Savannah.  Here are some photos at the convention center or near my hotel. I took a ferry every day to the convention center (center photo).  It was a short 3 minute ride and lots of fun.


          (Row 1) - View of city from conference center, View of bridge, Waving Girl Statue
          (Row 2) Large ship filled with containers, Ferry, Street in Savannah
          (Row 3) Sign in conference, Street in Savannah, Conference Center

          It was sad to leave the event and head home.  My heart was full with wonderful memories and my car was filled with conference swag.

          Have a wonderful day! Patty