Saturday, September 29, 2012

Woo Hoo, It's Finished

I have finally finished the quilt I was working on. I worked on it pretty steadily the last couple of weeks and now I kind of feel lost with out it being on my lap and working on it. I really enjoyed the feeling of working on the quilt knowing that it is going to one of my grand daughters.

The finished Quilt

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pin, Pin, Pin

Pin, Pin, Pin. Did I say "pin"? When I sew I am not a pinner. When I do, I pin very sparingly, just enough to hold the fabric together. I have found while sewing this quilt that I must pin,pin,pin. It is to easy with the weight of the quilt to pull at the seams you are sewing. Then you have seams that are not even or miss a piece of fabric that should be sewn. This must be why I sew, rip and sew again. That being said. I have found it easier for my sewing machine to "under" pin my fabric sandwich. In other words pin the area that is going to be facing the feed dogs. My machine doesnt like to sew over pins, as most machines dont. So I try to pull them out just before they go under the foot of the machine. Occasionally I will miss one or two. Today is the first day that I have broken a needle hitting a pin. Of course I am using a heavy duty jeans needle as I am very hard on needles when I sew.

As you can see here I am sewing with the pins on top. With all the layers and thickness it put a lot of strain on the pins and the needle tends to hit them more and bend them. With the pins on the underneath of the fabric the pins lay straight and go between the foot and feed dogs much more smoothly.

A couple of other key points that I would like to mention about my QAYG quilt, one is to have a large flat surface around your machine. It helps to keep the quilt in the area that you are sewing. Another point is to be sure to leave at least one whole inch around your square. You need to have ease of movement when sewing your seams. I also sew a normal quarter inch seam. I tried the scant quarter inch seam and my machine just doesnt like it. The feed dogs dont seem to pull the fabric through like it should. There is one site that I visited and she quilts all the way to the edge. I had already started mine this way. So it will be the way I finish it. Maybe the next quilt I will try her way and it will be easier to put together. Her link is at the bottom of this page.

Dont quilt any closer than one inch to the edge of the quilt.
My husband made me this extra large table for my sewing machine.
I think I am going to tape the table to the machine bed as it tend to
move around a lot.

Be sure to make sure you fold back all the extra material before sewing the seams. You dont  want to have to rip out anymore seams than you have to.

The back of the quilt. I have five more rows to add to it.
It's not quite the size of a twin bed, but it will be close.

The back of my quilt has a grid pattern because I am using the same fabric for the back sashing as for the front. If you dont want the noticeable grid pattern you could use the same fabric as the backing. I only bought enough fabric for backing two years ago for the quilt and the chances of finding some that matches is very slim. Although if you happen to like the Disney Princess fabric you can find it on Ebay. I searched for the fabric just in case I happened to screw up some of the squares while making this quilt.
This is me ripping out a seam because it became all ruffled
and not a very flat seam which is what you want.

Even though I pin, pin, pin I still find that I have to rip out quite often. I like to sew fast. I have found that when I sew fast the bottom layer of fabric tends to ruffle or scrunches up. I'm not sure if that's my fault because I sew fast or if my machine needs a tune up. Probably the later as the machine is about 12 years old and has never been in for a tune up. I figure if it aint broke dont fix it. The tune up will have to wait until I am through with the quilt and a Halloween outfit that I need to make for one of my granddaughters.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rows As You Go

  Last two weeks ago I purchased the book" Crazy short cut quilts" from Amazon. Much to my amazement It was two books in one and not in a good way. The first half was about the reincarnation of dogs and the second half was about quilts. I did send it back and got full credit for my sale. This still leaves me in a bind.

I have sewn my 40 squares into 8 strips. The first two rows went together really easy and well. Even though the blocks didnt match up exactly on point which is ok by me as this is a trial by error quilt. Yesterday I put on the third row. The first blocks meet pretty good. It's the rest of the row that is way out of whack. I will take it off today and see if I can get it to match a little better.

What I think is happening is the bottom of the square is the weft weave and is stretching and the strips I cut are on the straight of the grain and are not stretching which leaves the sewn edge with a wavy border to try and work in to a nice straight and unpuckered seam.  What I find is really strange are the blocks on the back meet up pretty well. It's the top blocks, the not so square ones are the ones that are being bad.
Now is when I wish that book hadnt been all screwed up. I will probably reorder it in a couple of days. Unfortunately I am unable to find it at my local library.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quilt As You Go

My first attempt at quilting. I bought this fabric a couple of years ago that was meant to be made into a quilt for one of my granddaughters. It got put up and that was the last I saw of it until a couple of weeks ago.
The Disney Princesses
As you can tell it's a disney print and in squares. I couldn't figure out how I was going to get in my sewing machine to quilt. So I started researching different methods of quilting and found the Quilt as You Go method. This seemed to be the answer to all my prayers.  So... without measuring very accurately and not realizing the squares were not truly square but slightly off but more of a rectangle... I cut them into squares. LOL the joke was on me. You can't make squares out of retangles.
Wonky Squares
My Sqaures sewn into strips
Next will be sewing them together to make a quilt that is not quite 50" x 70" to get it that big I will need to add some sashing and a then a border. I will post those pictures when I get that far. I have done quite a bit of ripping and sewing to get everything to turn out ok. I think that it will turn out cute and my granddaughter wont notice how badly this is done until she grows up and says" What was Mema drinking when she made this?" LOL

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Time Off, Been in a Funk

It's been a while since I have been here. I guess I took quite a bit of time off from blogging. Mainly because I have just been in a funk and didn't want to complain.

I had a very nice summer visiting with family who came to Florida for their vacations. First my son and his family came from Georgia to spend some time in Ft. Myers. I loved seeing my grandchildren. They are growing so fast. Next came one of my daughters and her family from Texas. They spent some time in Orlando doing the theme parks. And lastly my sister from Georgia and her family came down for some summer sun and theme parks.

It's now Sept 2012 and I have been doing a lot of research on how to quilt large projects and quilt as you go. Reason being, I made my daughter her quilt top and gave it to her when she was here in July. Now she gets to find someone to quilt it for her. It would take me forever to quilt it by hand and she might never get it. I don't own a long arm quilter either. I have found that it is expensive to have it quilted, but even more expensive to buy the machine to quilt it with. There are so many different types of quilting machines that is would make it hard to decide which one to buy. Then setting one up requires more room than I have to put one, as I share my spare bedroom with my sewing/crafting area.

This is what I made this spring. A new purse.  

It's not quite as big as I had hoped it would be. It's after lunch. Time to stop for now.