Friday, July 3, 2015

Finishing Tied in Knots with the “envelope” technique

I wanted to do the tablerunner without a full border, just the triangles pointing out, but I didn’t want to have to bind inside corners. I also didn’t want to have problems quilting after “turning” the quilt. My solution was to layer the top and batting and quilt first.
I started by chalking a line a quarter inch from the raw edge of the quilt, all the way around whole quilt. Sorry about the blurry picture, DSC01938I didn’t notice it until it was too late to take another.
Then I basted just outside of the chalked line.
After basting around the entire quilt, I trimmed the batting close to the stitching. I didn’t want to have all that batting in the seam allowance.
After that I quilted it. For this one I used the walking foot and a serpentine stitch. I chalked lines diagonally across, following lines of the blocks.clip_image008
Now it was time to add the backing.
I’ve never had good results leaving an opening at the edge to turn. I piece the backing, and turn through an opening there.
First was to get the backing the correct size. These pictures show how it was quilted, too. The fabric I had was almost as long as the runner. clip_image010 clip_image012
I cut off what I didn’t need for the width of the quilt…
and added on to the length. clip_image014
I overlapped the two pieces about an inch…clip_image016
And cut away what I didn’t need, leaving some extra, just in case.
Place right sides together, pin clip_image020
and stitch. I start at the edge with a regular stitch length for several inches (depending how long the seam is)…
clip_image022…turn and sew to the raw edge (through the seam allowance), backstitch back to the seam line. I then lengthen the stitch to a basting stitch…clip_image024 …stitch about 6” or so…
clip_image026…stitch out to the edge again, then backstitch and continue to the end with a regular length stitch.
Clip one seam allowance on the regular stitch length side of the stitches made to the raw edge of the seam…clip_image028
…on both sides of the basting stitches. clip_image030Press the seam allowance with the regular length stitches open, leaving the basting stitches seam allowance pressed to one side.
Clip a stitch or two of the basting stitches so that it’s easy to remove those stitches after being turned .
The backing is ready to layer with the quilted top.clip_image032
Lay the quilted top right side down on top of the backing.clip_image034
Pin all the way around. clip_image036
I put a pin in the edge of the seam allowance to keep it going the right direction when I’m stitching from the other side.clip_image038
Remember the basting stitches around the whole quilt that were just less than a quarter inch from the raw edge?clip_image040
Now I sewed right at a quarter inch from the raw edge, catching the edge of the batting.
See that hole under the ‘s’? That’s what happens when you trim batting and aren’t being careful.
clip_image042 After stitching all around the quilt with a regular stitch length, trim the backing to a quarter inch, clip the corners…clip_image044
clip_image046…and VERY carefully clip into the inside corners.clip_image048
Now it’s time to remove the basting stitches…clip_image050
…and turn the quilt right side out.
The corners need some extra work…clip_image056
to get them nice and sharp.clip_image058 clip_image060
once you get all the outside and inside corners the way you want them, it’s time to close up the opening.clip_image062
By leaving the seam allowance pressed to one side, the batting won’t be peeking through.
Give it a good press, stand back and admire it!clip_image064
I’m really disappointed in the photos of this little quilt. The fabric is actually purple, NOT blue. I’ve tried everything I could see to try, but couldn’t get it purple. Even looking through the camera it was blue. The picture below is the same one as the one above. The one below I edited in Fotor, and it looks very true to life, except for the color. clip_image066
I hope you’ll give this a try and see how it works for you to get a nice clean edge when turning a quilt.

Tied in Knots border triangles

Here are some pictures showing how to line up the triangles in the top and bottom borders.
The bottom tips stick out beyond the top piece.


Start stitching right between the two points. DSC01893

To reduce bulk press one seam up and the other down, so that the seams will butt up against each other. (That stained up ironing board looks like batik...)DSC01897

I pressed the center seam open. DSC01899

When sewed in place, the points of the triangles will be right at the seam lines.DSC01898

Friday, June 26, 2015

How’s this for a first quilting project?

The tester I posted about earlier just sent me pictures of her completed project, and added a bit more to her story.

Can you believe this is a first quilt?Full_GB_TRLook at those points.  02-left side03-rightside


















Here are a few more of her thoughts:

“…Almost three years ago I had a stroke. My speech and memory paid a heavy price. Even swallowing food is rough. I'd ask questions and didn't seem to be getting answers. Finally understood it depends on where the damaged  occurred in the brain and what parts of the body that area of the brain affects. Every stroke is different perhaps as unique as a finger print. In short, I knew I was the only one that could change things. I began to play "games" or "studying" a new topic, understanding that learning a new language or subject could make new connections (not repair them) in the brain.

Until you sent me the first pdf on "Tied In Knots" I had never made a half square triangle or flying geese. I have never quilted anything. One email from you questioned if I even understood the pdf... I did. I know that after watching numerous youtube tutorials and programs like "Fons & Porter", "Sewing With Nancy","Quilt in a Day" etc. I was comfortable with the vocabulary. That's why I appreciated the abbreviations in the beginning of your instructions. Almost all of my books are on quilting and digitizing machine embroidery.

What I became very aware of while working on the TR was the thoughts that popped into my head. Making sure the FG were positioned correctly or when joining rows that the seams should bump up together. If they didn't, "If I make another one I'll have to think about that when setting the seams".

…It's been an amazing journey. Thank you for joining me on the way.”


This is from the other tester. DSCN0370 When I saw this, I thought “Oh those corner HSTs should be the same as the border.”  This how I had it in EQ, but seeing it in fabric, it’s more noticeable.  On mine below, I have the border the same fabric as in the HSTs, so it wasn’t as noticeable.


And here is mine—the first completed one, anyway.  I still have to finish the one I sewed together twice and did it wrong both times.

001 Tied In Knots

Yikes!  The thunder is getting close. 

Bye for now!

Pattern tester

A few weeks ago I posted a picture on the EQ yahoo group, asking if anyone recognized the block, as I couldn’t find it in the Block Library.  One lady emailed me to say that she didn’t know what block it is, but she really liked it.  I told her I would be using it in a pattern, would she be interested in testing it for me?  She replied that if it was “something a beginner can do”, she would be willing. 

Somewhere along the line, my mind ignored the “beginner” part.  If she has EQ, she must be a quilter, right?

I worked on the pattern, started sewing, worked on the pattern some more, sewed some more...  I sent her a picture and then the pdf.  THEN her reply got through to me that she was a “beginner”.  She was willing to give it a try, even though I would not have classified it as a beginner pattern.  Confident beginner maybe, but not a first quilt.  I told her it would be a good test of the pattern.

She helped tremendously, pointed out areas that needed to be clearer, or put differently.  She was a very good tester.  And an excellent quilter.  Very accurate.  Excellent results.

We reached the end.  She sent an email saying she “ripped and repaired some errors that were so obvious in the pictures”—uh, no, they weren’t.

Then she went on to say:

I want to thank you and let you know what an impact you have made in my life.

Almost three years ago I had a stroke. My speech and memory paid a heavy price. I worked at recovering from it. Long story short, I knew I was the only one that could change things. I began to play "games" or "studying" a new topic (for instance EQ7) attempting to create new connections in my brain. EQ worked for 8 chapters.

Until a few weeks ago I would get up and go into my room and want to work on something, usually machine embroidery. I could play with the program on the computer. Started an applique, never finished it but continued messing with it telling myself "Why should I stitch it out, it's not right. I'll only have  to do it over again".

Now, that is history. What happened with you was so fast, I didn't have any time to think about it. You were asking and immediately sending pictures and pdfs. Then I made a commitment to you that I HAD to complete.

I have used my machine more since working with you than before I sent that first email. You opened a door to a subject I was interested in. I had been reading books and watching videos, again not doing. Now I am looking forward to getting back on that machine and doing what I really enjoy. It is as though a /wall was knocked down. I truly thank God for using you to bless me.

Eileen, you never know who God will bring into your life, to help you (or someone you love) as you did me.

I avoided commenting on this before but...  I am 85. Guess why I didn't tell you that earlier? You are a beautiful person.”


Never in my wildest dreams, would I ever imagined that I would be helping someone.  I went into this as me being the only one (and potential buyers getting a good pattern) who would gain anything.  I do feel that my talent was a gift from God, and to have actually helped someone else is a true blessing.

I don’t mean to slight any of the other quilters who have tested for me—you have been a great help to me.  This was such an unexpected twist that I just had to share her story.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A quilt not finished, and a new one

I took the brown quilt in to quilt it on Monday as planned.  I decided I was going to quilt it myself instead of using an edge to edge design.  I made it about a third of the way across the first pass, and quit.  It looked icky, and the thread kept breaking.  I gave up on it, and decided to take it home and rip out what I had done.  I knew I wouldn’t have time to rip out and start over before Janelle arrived to use the machine. I had a baby quilt for a customer that needed to be quilted.  It’s a panel print, really cute.  I put that on the frame and in no time at all I had it done.  Both of them are still waiting for me.
What I’ve been working on is a new pattern, one of the designs I submitted to Elizabeth's Studio.  It’s a little tablerunner, and the design would look good without the border I had included, Tied in Knots just the triangles.  My plan is to quilt the top, and put RST with the backing, sew around and turn. Thursday morning I had it to the machine to start quilting.  Then I noticed the two blocks didn’t line up across the sashing.  I had to rip out the triangles at the top and bottom, and the sashing.  A wider sashing solved the problem, and I had to cut new triangles.
Friday morning I again layered it, and this time I stitched around the outside edge in the seam allowance.  Then I noticed the pieces I recut and sewed were not the fabrics I wanted. Sheesh.
By this time I decided to just start over with different fabric, and this time do it with the border, making a rectangle which I will do with a binding.  And I did finish that.
This week worked in the garden.  I have everything in, and part of it mulched with grass clipping.  I tilled what hasn’t been mulched.  The marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias are big enough to transplant.  I did get some in pots to put in front of the house.  I read somewhere that basil in pots by the doors is supposed to keep mosquitos away.  I bought a packet of seed and put that in some of the pots.
I was surprised to see that the calla lilies are already blooming—they’re barely out of the ground!  Peonies and iris are blooming too.  The peonies smell so good.  I wish perfume that is supposed to smell like peonies actually did.
Today I picked some more rhubarb and make 4 pies, and about 10 little pies.  I have some thingies that I place pie crust on, add filling, then fold it and the edges seal.  At least they’re supposed to.  One of the big pies is Rhubarb Custard, two are just rhubarb thickened with tapioca, the fourth thickened with flour.  We tried the custard and one of the tapioca ones.  I’m interested to see if I like the tapioca better than the flour.  From the taste I had of the tapioca, I think I do.
Today was another absolutely beautiful day!  I hope it continues.
I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

This and that

I did finish piecing the brown quilt and I’ll take pictures when I finish quilting and binding it.  I’ll be going in tomorrow to quilt it.

I worked at the Creamery yesterday.  Linda and I worked on using  the 2015 Quilt Minnesota fabric with the Chain of Geese pattern.  We decided on making kits in two colorways, one with browns and blues, the other with blacks and reds. 

We’re planning on several different samples.  We’re going to do a tablerunner in the Baker’s Dozen Squared pattern and another tablerunner I need to write the pattern for.  We’re also thinking of aprons, placemats and napkins, a tote bag, in addition to the 8” finished square pattern which will be given free to all hoppers, and the block will go into the 2015 quilt along with the blocks from the other participating shops.

We had rain and thunder yesterday and last night, with maybe more today.

I looked out at the garden and things are coming up out there—it looks so nice!!

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Overnight company

We had a visitor overnight.  Not only are the deer after my garden, now a bear wants the hummingbird food.  At least that’s what I suppose it was after.

bear damage

The flower pot just off the edge at top right was hanging on it.  That’s what I first noticed, the pot on the ground  (by the top of the shepherd’s hook, not where it is now), then I saw the hook on the ground.  I’m glad the feeder wasn’t broken, although I’m sure it will cost more to replace the hook.  I don’t know if the hook can be straightened out or not.  The bear also tipped over the garbage can and tore open a bag in there and scattered garbage all over.

I hope to get the borders on the lap quilt today, making it twin size.  I’ll take pictures then.