Binding · Finished Projects

The Quilt Parade

The Tula quilt is quilted!!! Well, quilted enough.

By the end of last week, I had all the sashing pretty much quilted. I decided to make a goal for myself. My birthday was this week, which marks 4 years of sewing. I decided that I needed to be sleeping under my own quilt on the night of my birthday, so I finished the sashing, the outer border, and the binding. Last step was to finish weaving in all the thread ends and I managed to get that finished on the birthday day! That night, sleep city!!

Not a great picture. As you can see, I went with the purple striped binding. It went the best with the most amount of the edge. I am very happy with the look. There will be a better picture when I finish quilting the blocks … if you zoom in, you may be able to tell that there are still safety pins in the blocks. That’s part of the reason the quilt is folded the way it is – safety pins in! That way, I won’t stick myself in my sleep. 🙂 I want this quilt 100% DONE for the end of February, so I’m not too worried about the pins. That’s a really aggressive plan for 90 blocks, but I’m hoping I can make it? It might be tough to hit, because …

The baby quilt is also ready to go!! I may have ordered WAY too much backing … I think I have enough to make 2 more baby quilts. This is why I should not go fabric shopping late at night. I needed 4 feet of backing, but I ordered 4 YARDS of backing … yeah. Oh well – lots to spare!! It will dictate the colour of the next couple of baby quilts, but oh well!!

The quilt is hanging in the closet, ready to go. I think this is fanatic use of the closet hanger bar! I could also put the quilt on a hanger in a similar fashion and hang it up on the bar, but I REALLY don’t want to get a quilt backlog. This should inspire me to GO GO GO!! March goal – get that sampler quilt finished once and for all!! It’s been 3 years, for crying out loud! Enough is enough!


Binding · Finished Projects · UFO

Moar Powarrrrrr!

Well … The miracle actually happened.

As of last week, it’s finished! From top to bottom, start to finish, DONE! I can’t believe it myself! There is a teeny tiny amount to do left – weave in the thread ends and attach the label – but I’m counting this quilt as a 2021 finish!

After the previous week’s blitz, I only had the Tree of Life block to do. As we all know, that’s a special block for me, so I did a little extra quilting on it. Do you see the little leaves? I got very excited about that part. In fact, I’m still excited about it! I think it’s a perfect way to finish the block quilting portion of this quilt.

Up next was the sashing. I actually had several ideas about the sashing as I was working on it and had settled on fake cursive or waves. I thought waves would be more fitting, but would take longer. After I finished all the blocks and spread it on the bed to roll it, I realized that the quilting looked very busy because each block had completely different quilting designs. I thought that making the sashing busy too may detract from the blocks, so at the last second I decided to go with a simple X pattern on each strip. I used chalk and a ruler to mark the lines, then free-motion stitched the lines. I learned a couple of lessons about this design. First – I like it for sampler quilts! Very simple and clean looking. Second – 16” blocks are too big to quilt that design with a ruler. The first row didn’t look super straight and I got a similar look using the free-motion foot instead. Plus less cumbersome with no ruler and it went faster. Third – If I want those lines to look super straight and crisp in the future, I can only use the ruler on smaller focal blocks. I wanted to use it on the Amish Barns quilt when I finished it, but we’ll have to see. It may be easier to do the larger blocks if I’m only quilting a lap size. Fighting a queen size quilt through the machine while sewing with a ruler is hard!

With the sashing finished, all I had left was the outer border! This one I had picked out from the moment the quilt was finished and I stuck with it. I used the Taj ruler to put a simple design around the border. It will keep everything stitched down, it didn’t take too much time, and it looks neat and clean. Win win win!

Time to put away the quilting feet and rulers!! Whooo!!! Of course, we’re not quite finished, but OH SO CLOSE. First to trim the quilt. I took this opportunity to also measure the quilt dimensions at this point. When I pulled out the binding the night before, I was terrified that I didn’t have enough fabric to do the binding! Measuring the quilt first told me that I had more than enough to get it on. I may even have a fat eighth left over. And when I got the binding on, I cut off a spare 3 inches. How is that for perfect measurement!!

Binding was finished the night before UFO club. I tossed the quilt on the spare bed, took a picture, and sent everything off for my completion check-mark. I’m planning on weaving in the ends and putting on the label when I’m in Sudbury for a few days in November (more on that another day). My FIL may be dropping in this week, though, so I need to find a good place to hide it in the meantime!!


Binding · Block-of-the-Month · Finished Projects

How Not To Bind a Quilt

I got the binding on the quilt and all the ends stitched in the night before the deadline. I am very happy with the result! I used the blue rows that I removed from the quilt mixed with a blue solid. Ohhhhh boy … that was not fun. You’ve heard of measure twice, cut once? I am hear to tell you to check twice to make sure all your mitred binding seams are pointing the same way. I was coming up on the end of the quilt and suddenly realized that the seam I just stitched on was facing OUT. If I was doing this the longish way, it wouldn’t be an issue, but since I was using the binding attachment tool, it was an ordeal. I had to feed an extra 12 inches through the tool, take the tool off, then juggle it on my lap while I cut out the seam and figured out how to stitch it on so the seam would face in. The air in my sewing room may have been a little blue, but I finally figured it out and got everything attached.

I think it looks cute! All this quilt needs is a wash and a label and it is out the door! That won’t be for some time, but I let the new mother something would be heading her way in about a month. I want to tuck a colouring book in the package for the older brother anyways and I’ll need to get out and find something. Which reminds me … where did I tuck that baby card … :S

On to my next project! We had our first Tula Pink City Sampler class last week! We were getting all inspired by the lesson. I’m glad I didn’t commit to anything before the first class. I already knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to set it. Since it’s a bunch of 6” blocks, I’m going to use a floating block setting for the blocks when they’re finished.

Floating blocks setting

I saved all my sewing for Sunday. I’ve come to realize that I can’t realistically quilt during the week with my current office set up. That’s okay – we will change that with a little time. That is one of the reasons I wanted to do this sampler – the blocks are very simple and I’m able to easily hammer them out in a weekend. Turns out, I can hammer them out in one day if I really lean into it!

Look at all the pretty colours!

I’m super excited for this project! My first 10 blocks were all made out of my scrap bin from quilts/projects I made with Tula fabric. You should recognize most of the fabric from my past blog posts. Next month, I’ll dig into some of my uncut bundles to make a diversely colourful quilt. If I’m lucky, I’ll even have some Lineworks pieces from my sister’s bag to add to the quilt! Speaking of … I should get back to that soon …

The one block I’m not happy with is the pink-and-green checked block. The idea was to take two of the less prominent colours to show case the cute little mouse blocks. Well … I did definitely use two less prominent colours. The colours are probably less prominent because they are LOUD. Instead of highlighting the block, the pink-and-green checks totally overwhelm the corner blocks and pull focus. It’s a good learning experience and I’m totally not re-doing the block at this stage. The funny thing is that the blue-and-yellow block did the exact opposite, even though they are also loud colours. Maybe because the Tula fabric I used in that one was less subtle? My favourite has to be the dark grey block with the one bright leaf in it. I love how it stands out on the dark fabric. The large amount of dark grey means I’ll need to pick a lighter background when I go to piece them in, but that’s a future problem.


Binding · Finished Projects · Piecing

Pride Goeth

So I guess we should first address that it’s a new year. I feel very Eeyore-ish about it. Happy new year. If it is a happy year. Which I doubt. 😀 No, it’s not that bad, but it doesn’t feel like a new year. It seems like 2020 version 2. Which isn’t terrible, all things considered. It’s just not cause for excitement. What IS exciting is that I got one of the two jobs that I applied for! I’m staring that on the first Monday in January, so I guess the new year is a little exciting after all!

On to quilting!! While I didn’t get everything I wanted to have done for Christmas, I got quite a good deal finished! You’ll have to make do with these pictures – I literally washed and packed everything the day before (typical M!). First off were the girls’ quilts. When last we spoke, the quilts were together and quilted. What’s left? The binding! I tried yet another new stitch for binding – a serpentine line. I did a tighter one on the first quilt and a loser one on the second quilt, just to see how it would work out. I don’t think I’ll do that again. There’s just too much of a gap in the binding in spots. It should work for these quilts. If there’s a problem, I’ll just take my machine up for a visit and fix it. The girls were actually excited to get the quilts, which surprised me. They’re pretty young to be excited about presents that aren’t toys. The oldest one was happy because she had asked her mother to replace her old travel blanking and now she got a replacement. The youngest one though … she ripped through the package, pulled out the quilt, and immediately proceeded to run around with it over her shoulders yelling “Look at my blanket!” While it was a surprising reaction, it’s a memory that I’ll treasure for years to come.

Next up was Mum’s table runner. Here was my first downfall due to pride. When I was making it, I thought I could do one better than the pattern and cut some corners. Um …. NO. I wound up having to Frankenstein a couple of blocks because I ran out of uncut fabric due to my lack of foresight. Then I got the block together … and it looked kind of wrong. I MADE THE BLOCKS TOO BIG. Really???? If I wasn’t down to the wire, I would have put the project in jail. Nice thing about having to cut down the blocks meant that I cut off all the Franken-block parts. Yay!! Then I laid everything out, put it together, and got it quilted up. Because it’s obviously a Christmas/winter topper, I quilted it with little snowflakes a la Pan quilt. The champagne-coloured thread seemed to go with all the colours and looked very sweet. Mum loved it! She was very excited to get her own table runner that was different from my sisters. As soon as she got it home, she put it on the table and sent me pictures. I was giving myself a pat on the back for being so clever and thoughtful. That’s when I noticed Downfall #2 … do you see it??

The pinwheels are spinning different directions!!!! I worked so hard on getting them going the same way, but when I re-did the blocks I must have put the green ones on backwards and now they aren’t going the same way!!! At least both the red ones and both the green ones are spinning the same way – it looks like it was done on purpose. #facepalm

Oh well! New year, right? Clean slate, fresh start. And I did make an effort with my next project (full details coming in my next post). BUT … I decided to change the pattern (because I obviously learned nothing from the Christmas pinwheel debacle) to be more clever and artistic. Next time I say I want to do that, please just throw a banana at me before pride ruins my hard work. Part of changing the pattern was including an extra block. I thought this would be adorable and really bring the row together. Now that I paid for my pride, I think I’m allowed to say that I was right in the long run … right???

I know I mentioned this quilt earlier. It’s a baby quilt for a friend who’s expecting. The colours are a light blue, dark blue, orange, yellow, and green. It’s turning out pretty cute! In one section, I decided to use all the colours to make a middle block. I stitched the, green, yellow, and orange squares together then added a row of around the edge. That’s where I should have stopped, but no … I was in the creative zone and I just HAD to make it into a diamond. One thing I’m learning (but have by no means perfected yet) is figuring out where the center of a block is when you need to cut a specific size. In my case, I had to cut off the 4 corners to make a smaller square while changing the angle of the finished block (the picture will make more sense). Instead of a four-piece block, it’s a diamond of the four colours. I swear I measured 4-5 times. Then I walked away, came back, measured again, and then cut up the block … only to discover it was a 1/2 inch TOO SMALL!!!. I almost cried. If it was too big, no problem, but you can’t uncut fabric or hair (I say that as I hide my COVID bangs in the rest of my hair …).

Cut just a LITTLE to short. 😦

I almost quit and went back to the original pattern, but I couldn’t let go of the idea. Since I knew how much I was off by, it was super easy to re-make the block and re-cut it correctly, but it was almost more than I could bear to do. And when I did it again, it was just slightly too small AGAIN (see how all the corners are cut off a little bit?). I could make it work, though – the extra space could come out of the seams without showing anything. And now it looks stunning. But lesson *hopefully* learned. NO MORE PRIDE. Or at least, I have to admit that I did it to myself. 😀



Old Year, Old Quilt

I know, I know – it’s technically 2019, but I would have finished this quilt in 2018 if I hadn’t gotten sick on the last day of the year. And I did finish the quilting, just not (what turned out to be) the overly-complicated binding, so I’m counting it as a 2018 finish.

Since pictures of the quilting are in the last image, I’m focusing on the binding for this post.

The backing suited the fabric so perfectly that I decided to use it as the binding. That’s a bit of the problem, though, because that makes the binding fade right into the backing. So … use the left-over pieces from the quilt top! It’ll be easy, right?

First issue – I have some cut squares of fabric and some half-square triangle pieces. I had to sort all the pieces so the half-square triangles seamlessly fit around the cut squares. That was … fun. But I did it! On to squaring up the quilt!

I folded the quilt in half and pinned around the edge. This made sure that the quilt layers did. not. budge. when I cut it. Once the the sides were pinned down, I borrowed my husband’s straight edge ruler (THANK YOU HUNNY!!!) and my quilting ruler to make-shift a square. I would have used my husband’s carpenter square, but it’s hiding somewhere out in the shed and it was -30C out … so forget that. 😀 By stacking the straight edge ruler on top of my quilting ruler, I created a firm brace for running the rotary cutter along the straight edge. Oh, forget it … a picture paints a thousand words.

Using this method, I could make sure that the ruler stayed squared to the previous row while cutting the next one. Now it’s ready for binding!

At this point, I took the 2-3 inch edge scraps I cut off the quilt earlier and cut them into 1.5″ strips to make the front-facing binding. I also cut two 1.5″ strips from the made up square ribbon (6″ wide by who knows how long) and sewed the two strips together. This led to the second issue – the strip-cutting and sewing together and flattening along the fold took 4-5 hours total. I am sooooo not ever doing this again … even though it looks stunning (if I do say so myself).

Since I’m doing machine binding, I started by sewing the pretty pieced side of the binding to the back of the quilt, then flipped the binding over the top and secured the backing binding to the front using a blanket stitch. I need to practice doing this in the future, but the beauty of making a husband quilt is being able to make mistakes without having to worry about giving my mistakes away as a gift.

And the big reveal!

(I will be adding a last set of pictures to this blog post when I am able to take pretty outdoor pictures of the quilt in the new snow (all lovely 10″ of the blasted stuff). I am trying to keep this blog mostly positive, but I will not ever express love for the super-cold we are currently experiencing in conjecture with the white bits. I’m a summer gal – I needs me hot sunny sun sun!)

In 2019 – more frequent blog posts. Starting with my dad’s birthday quilt. Since his birthday is Groundhog’s Day (and he’s not following my blog at the mo), I’ll post my progress here and I’ll be starting soon!