Saturday, March 16, 2013

International Quilting Day

Did you know I love to quilt?  I think it may be obvious to many by now, lol.  And today is National Quilting Day, hopefully soon to be International or World Wide Quilting Day. 
There have been some great surprises leading to this day.  World Wide Quilting Day has been giving out prizes.  I won on Day 3.  I got a new ruler and pattern, which I'm looking forward to trying.
Benartex Fabric's blog, has just started another contest, which promises to be fun.  It's my kind of March Madness.  I recently discovered I won a bundle of fabrics from them, too. 
And most online stores are having sales, too.  I'm so tempted to order!!  It's such fun to see the latest fabrics and notions, and find a bargain or try something new. 
My Etsy team, Quiltsy, is also celebrating, by creating treasuries of inspiring quilts.  This is my treasury, a collection of quilted items perfect for Spring.  Go look and comment, please!  It would be wonderful to see it on the front page. 
I've baked cupcakes, too.  What's a Sew-cial without chocolate??  I'll be frosting them soon. 
So, here's my quilting so far this evening.  I had a customer ask for a smaller version of the Jelly Roll Race quilt she recently purchased, in the same fabrics.  I cut the strips from my fabrics and pieced it last week.  I will finish this tonight, hopefully with the binding, and start on Quilt In A Day's newest pattern, Piece Of Cake, which is March's Party quilt pattern.  It came in the mail yesterday, and I can't wait until Tuesday's webinar to make it!  I have some of the fabrics picked already. 
I love Free Motion Quilting.  On this quilt (and it's larger sister) I used a clear nylon thread in the top, to add texture without adding too much more to the design.  The quilt has 14 different fabrics, so I wanted the quilting to just add texture, not compete with the fabrics.  I'm doing a loopy meander, kind of like a bumble bee visiting all the flowers in a garden.  This will be called Mary's Contrary Garden II.  (I was called Mary growing up, lol)
I do have a hint or suggestion, though.  When I quilt near the edge, I remove the safety pins and use large straight pins, the Quilters pins with flower heads.  I prefer the flat head, vs. a ball, because the quilting foot can pass over the pin.  Normally I choose pins that contrast with the fabric, so I can easily see them as I stitch.   See the yellow and white pins??  I space them about 4 inches apart, so I'm sure my border lays flat as I get close to the edge. 
Last week I was sewing at Christine's and forgot to grab my pins.  I borrowed a few from her.  I was stitching a meander in the border of this quilt.  She handed me a few blue pins.  I didn't realize at the time that they matched so well.  After I got the binding machine stitched on, I handed back the pins.  Then I went back to my apartment, and used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut the extra fabric and batting.  One cut was extremely difficult, but again, I didn't think about it.  I then brought it over to the ironing board and proceeded to press the binding away from the top, and over the edge to the back.  The binding is easier to turn and stitch if it's pressed (but only if your batting will tolerate heat).  I saw something shiny as I was turning the binding.  I had SEWED OVER A PIN!!!  The flower head was stitched into the binding, and the pin was still in the quilt.  That could have been painful if I hadn't noticed it.  It would also have damaged the machine when sewing the binding.  I had to remove some of the stitching to get the pin out of the fabric, and realized I had also cut the pin head with the rotary cutter when trimming the fabric.  So, if you choose to use flat head pins to hold the border so you can sew close to the edge, make sure you pick heads that CLASH with the quilt, and keep track of them!  You don't want to cut a pin with your rotary cutter (it damages the blade and pieces can become airborn) and you don't want to leave one in the quilt!  Getting pricked while snuggling is NOT fun.  I usually just use 2 pins to hold the border edge, and keep moving them, so I can keep track of where they are, and make sure they are out of the quilt when adding binding. 
So, count your pins!  Make sure you know where they are, and use contrasting colors so you can easily see them.
And DO enjoy World Wide Quilting Day. 


Anonymous said...

Ouch! (My sympathies to the rotary cutter blade!) I'm glad you found that pin when you did. Good reminder to be careful with pins.

The blue and yellow quilt is really pretty.

SewCalGal said...

Great tips and inspiration. Certainly fun sewing with you today. But I'm still smelling cupcakes and have yet to enjoy a yummy bite. Hymm We definitely need to work on a physical sew-cial. Still, I enjoyed our virtual sew-cial and thought of you all day.