Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Basting on my Knees

The last few days, I have felt like I am running around in circles.  I know it's that time of year and all, but I  was just feeling like I have been spending so much time thinking about it all that it is keeping me from doing any of it.  (Please tell me this happens to you as well ;)  So this morning I decided to stop.  I picked out one thing that I wanted to get done, (not necessarily had to get done, but I know it will make me feel real good when it is done) and that is what I am doing today.   And that one thing I decided on was decreasing the number of tops waiting to be quilted ;)

And since the Star Value quilt was on the top of the pile (and happens to be the smallest of the three :)  it was the lucky winner.  Now, I love the long arm, but I decided I want to quilt this one on my home machine.  Quilting on my home machine is a skill I put a lot of practice into acquiring and I don't want to lose it ;)  And besides, it is always fun to mix it up a bit :)

And on top of that, I am pretty sure I promised a video on quilting swirls on your home machine a while back that I still haven't gotten to.  That is just one more thing floating around up there, so why not knock out 2 birds with one stone.  So ya, consider it Coming Soon :)

Now I am off to go crawl around on my knees on the hardwood floor to do some basting.  I sure do like basting for the long arm better than this method. (as do my knees).   Oh well, it will give me a good excuse to listen to my book on Ipod for the next hour or so :)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Winner!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, Can I just say I was blown away by all of the comments for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!  My, that was a lot of fun!!!  So now, I need to choose a winner ;)  And the lucky, lucky reader that will be taking home this beautiful rainbow of goodness courtesy of The Intrepid Thread is .


Congrats to Angelia Lanouette!!!  I have sent you an email :)  And thank you to everyone for stopping by for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  It is always so much fun and I am looking forward to the next one :)
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Rainbow Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

I finished up my little Christmas present to myself . . . A new Rainbow Ironing Board Cover!!! Squeal!!!   Ohh, I can't tell you how much I love this.  It makes me want to press all day!!!  And for a little Christmas present for all of my wonderful readers, I snapped some pictures of the process and have a fun new tutorial for you ;)  Yippee :) So if your ironing board cover is in a sorry state, and you happen to love rainbows as much as I do, you just might find this very useful :)  So let's get to it :)

To start you are going to need 8 Rainbow Fat Quarters or Fat Eighths if you have them.  I mentioned on Wednesday that I was playing with my Jenean Morrison True Colors bundle for this and boy did I have a fun time choosing my 8 Fat Quarters :)   Along with the Rainbow Fat Quarters you will need some long scrap batting pieces, a measuring tape, and a pack of thin elastic. (pretty much whatever you have on hand will work :)

Lay your 8 Fat quarters out in the order you want them on your ironing board cover.  Note - The first fat quarter is not going to show up on the top of the ironing board cover, it is just for underneath.  Hence why mine is the grey one ;)

Start by cutting each of your fat quarters into Fat Eighths.  (If you are already using Fat Eighths you can just skip this step.)  You don't have to be perfectly precise, I just cut mine along the fold line so that I wouldn't need to bother pressing yet, we will get to that later :)

Take your first two Fat Eighths and place them right sides together with raw edges aligned (I didn't pin but you can if you like.)   Turn the stitch length dial down to a small stitch, like 1, so that when the cover is pulled tight over your ironing board frame you will have strong seams ;)  Stitch a 1/2" seam along the long aligned edge, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

Continue adding Fat Eighth's to the strip in the same fashion, remembering to stitch a 1/2" seam and backstitching at the beginning and end.

Keep this up until you have stitched all 10 Fat Eighth's into a row.

Now, take your row over to your sad shabby ironing board and press each of the seams open (you don't want any bulk on your pressing surface) and press the Fat Eighths flat ;)

Once your pressing is complete, you can take the cover off of your ironing board.  This was quite easy for me as mine was already falling off.  Can you see how badly this is needed ;)

Place your ironing board frame onto your rainbow row centering it from side to side and having the back end 3" away from the edge of the final Fat Eighth in the row.  (Sorry, I somehow forgot this picture :)
Now using your measuring tape, measure 3" out from the frame and mark your fabric.  Do this all around the way around the frame, taking care to really mark around the curves.

Now freehanding the curves and using a ruler on the straightaways, connect the dots to draw a full ironing board frame line 3" away from your ironing board.

Now cut along the line.  Yes, you will be cutting off most of that first Fat Eighth :)  Set your beautiful rainbow aside for a minute.

Now grab your long scrap batting, you know, the pieces you cut off the end or side of a quilt ;)  I like to have double layers of batting so go ahead and spray baste or pin baste (but straight pins not safety pins) your two layers together.   Just a light spray will do, this only has to be a very temporary hold ;)

Place your ironing board frame on to your basted pieces of batting.  We are going to repeat the same process only smaller ;)  Measure the side of the ironing board frame from the top to the little lip on it.  Mine is 1".  That is your measuring guide ;)

Now, just he same as before, use your measuring tape to mark the 1" all the way around the ironing board frame.  Connect the dots and then cut along the traced lines :)

Your batting should now be just a bit larger than the size of your ironing board.

Now, grab your rainbow row again and your basted batting and head to a machine.  If you have a serger, great, if not, you can use your machine :)  Serge or zig-zag stitch all the way around your rainbow top and all the way around your basted batting.  This creates a finished edge on both and holds the batting together ;)  Set your batting aside :)

Now, to create a casing on your rainbow top.  Starting at the bottom center of your cover, fold your edge over 3/4" to 1".  Start stitching along the edge of the serger line backstitching a few stitches at the beginning.

As you come to the first edge, ease in the curve.  You can pin this in place or just ease as you go.  Remember, this is going to be under your ironing board so it doesn't have to be perfect by any means.  Just be sure to keep that 3/4" to 1" opening, otherwise threading the elastic can be a pain, doable, but a pain :)

The straight away sections are a breeze and you can tell that you are right on with the "easing" process if your seams match up when folded over :)

Continue to create the casing all the way around the cover.  When you get back to the bottom, leave a 1 1/2" gap open (to feed the elastic) and backstitch at the end.

Now, grab your elastic.  Put a safety pin (the larger the better) though the 1 1/2" gap you left in the bottom of the cover.  Feed the elastic through the casing.

If you haven't done this before, you just bunch some fabric up along the safety pin, then hold the top of the safety pin and pull the fabric back over the elastic.  Keep doing this, bit by bit.  Every once and a while you will need to hold on to the safety pin and push all of the fabric back over the elastic, it tends to bunch up ;)

Oh, and when you get to the seams, you need to be sure to go right through the center, otherwise your pin will get stuck behind your open seams.  I like to push down slightly on the seam to "open" it in the middle, this seemed to aid in getting the pin right through the center ;)

 Once you feed the elastic all the way through the cover and out the opposite end you will need to stretch out your cover.  See how it gets all bunched up.  I find the easiest way to do this is to pin the safety pin to myself, that way you don't have to worry about it sucking back into the casing.  Then just smooth the fabric over the elastic until all the bunching is out ;)

Now, pin the two ends of the elastic together and cut the extra elastic about an inch away from the pin.

And now it is time to put it all together!!!  Lay your finished batting on the ironing board.  Make sure it is centered by finger pressing the ends over the edge and ensuring that they reach the lip on the side of your frame.

Now, without shifting the batting, place the rainbow cover over the top of the batting and allowing the elastic casing to curl under the edge of the ironing board.  I found that it is much easier to start on the pointed end of the iron, it doesn't shift near as much as the other end, and if you have a second body to hold the batting and cover on that end while you move your cover over the bottom, way easier ;)

 Now all that is left is to grab that elastic under your ironing board and pull, pull, pull.  Pull on the elastic until the cover is pulled taught under your frame.  Pin the two pieces of elastic together and then allow it to ease into that gap in the casing. (sorry this picture is blurry) I just left my extra elastic hanging (just in case my pin ever pops and I need to re-thread it :)

And now your beautiful Rainbow Ironing Board Cover is finished and you are ready to get pressing!!!

I pressed for two hours last night and loved every minute of it.  You just can't help smile when looking at such a pretty rainbow ;)     I hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you make your own Rainbow Ironing Board Cover I would love to see it.  You can add it to my Flickr Group here ;)

Well, I am off to do some more pressing.  Eeekkk, I just squeal every time I walk through the sewing room now.   I love, love, love it!!!

Have a Happy Quilting  (and Happy Pressing!!!) Weekend :)

Linking up to Sarah's and Amanda's
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Changes for Christa Quilts

ChristaQuilts has some bittersweet news to share. She's decided to close down her website and clear out all of her fabrics, notions, and patterns so she can have more time for designing, blogging, and quilting!
Christa is still selling precuts and thread through her Amazon store, but everything located at her ChristaQuilts.com site is up for grabs at 20% - 50% off the regular prices.

So what has she been up to lately? Getting her patterns and articles published in magazines, designing more fun quilt alongs (such as her Modern Trees quilt), and winning awards for her work. 

So let's help her out by scooping up as many goodies from her store as possible, then visiting her blog to see where her next adventures takes her.  
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Been Awhile

Seriously, it has been a long while since I did a Work In Progress post. It's Wednesday, and I need to get everything all written down for the new year , so here it goes :)

I have two projects that I want to work on this week.  First. I have received enough of my Paper Pieced Improv Tree Blocks (tutorial found here) from the Bees Knees group to get the first four rows of the quilt put together.  I guess that means I should probably figure out the measurements of my rows and cut some backing fabric :)   Oh, I would love to have this ready in time for Christmas, we shall see if that happens or not :)

Secondly, I decided to give myself a little handmade Christmas present.  This is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time and this lovely bundle of True Colors by Jenean Morrison is just perfect!!!

Oh the fun part, picking the fabrics!!  I need 10 Fat Eighths for this little project and wanted them in a rainbow so I figured it would be best, to first lay all of the Fat Quarters out in color order and go from there.  Although, once I had them laid out, I just sat and stared because they are oh so pretty!!!

I seriously went back and forth for like a half an hour trying to pick my favorite combination.  Every print is just so perfect it was so hard to pick just 10.  In the end, these are the prints I went with.  I just love seeing a rainbow of fabrics, it just makes me smile!

And now, I can actually start my project.  Are you wondering what it is???  Don't worry, I won't make you wait long. I am hoping to have it all put together and finished by Friday, and I plan on taking some pictures along the way for another fun tutorial ;)  Yippee!!

And last but not least, It wouldn't be a Work In Progress post without the run down :) It is sad that since the last time I did this in September I have added 9 quilts in the completed category and yet the same 4 quilts still sit in the Quilting Stage category.  I think something needs to be done about that and quick!!  I see a new little goal coming up :)

Designing Stage
  • DJ
  • Oakshott
Piecing Stage
  • Jessi and Me Quilt - Starting back up again on Wed Afternoons :)
  • Block of the Month - Lucky Stars (So far behind, I don't know if I will ever get caught up)
  • Improv Tree Bee Blocks
Quilting Stage
  • Solids Quilt for Free Motion
  • Star Value Bee Quilt 
  • Star Surround Quilt-A-Long
  • Starburst Quilt-A-Long 
Completed Stage  
  • Steps to Tranquility
  • Back to Basics
  • Sister's Choice Josie
  • Twists and Turns
  • Lucky Stars
  • Shabby Hexie Twist
  • Playing the Scales
  • Boxed In and Out - Alumni Edition
  • In Your Neighborhood

Linking to Lee's :)
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