Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Mom can you...."

The call: "Mom , I'm sending you a package" me..."OK" "If you can help me that would be great" me... "Oh/" "yeah, I HATE binding and I need it for the beginning of February" me..."WHAT?" "yeah, I know, it's short notice" me... "um...I guess I have no choice?" "Well it's in the mail" me..."hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha: The girl OWES me BIG!!!! The purpose of my posts is to encourage those new to quilting! I am not an expert in any way and I am learning just like the rest of you. Trial and error. I hope that my posts motivate you and help you along your own quilting journey! I am trying to pay it forward so to speak in response to all of those quilters out there that encourage me every day! I read your posts and thank God for the internet! Ya'll are amazing! ( I'm not Southern, but I am so envious of those of you who grew up in quilting homes!) So for those of you who HATE binding...he's a few photo's that I hope will make it easier! I use 2 1/2" strips, joined together and folded and pressed in half. I start sewing it to my quilt about 12" down the binding and always start on the middle of one side of the quilt. I sew 1/2" on top and normally use my walking foot so it doesn't bunch on the bottom. (this is after you have trimmed the quilt) The corner is a new tip that I tried. Sew to the corner like so:
Then fold your binding upwards, then back down (you'll notice that my seamline is not perfect, so those "Quilting Police" can keep their comments to themselves!)
Put it back in your machine and sew from the very top down to the next corner (you'll notice that I don't do the pin thing 'cause I'm lazy!)
When you reach the side that you started on, end your binding with an opening about 12". You then want to fold both sides with about 1/2" open. Mark (see the pins) This is where you will sew the binding together.
Before you trim -- place the binding down on your quilt to make sure it lays flat. You want to make sure it is a perfect fit. Trust me, it's much easier to open this seam and take in a bit more if it it doesn't lay flat or there is too much binding. Once you are good to go, trim the ends of that binding to 1/4" and then finger press the seam open, fold the binding back in half and sew down the rest of the binding.
VOILA! Practice makes perfect! I hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt with small stitches, using thread that blends in with the binding. I have tried to sew the binding on in one step, but personally I don't like the look of seeing a seamline on the front and back on the binding. I love how it is invisible by taking the time to hand sew the back. Personal taste is all! So my youngest...your quilt is now on it's way back to you. It's sure to be loved by the little wee one that you are gifting it to! Next quilt, you are on your own! I'll talk you through it!
Happy Quilting all! On to the next big "secret" project!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

KoboArc, Accuquilt and a birthday! (ohhh....and fabric!)

Happy New Year! My birthday is days after the celebrations! I was a spoiled gal and was given a new KoboArc by Chef Murphy. Can blog reading get any better! I can browse, update, read anywhere with the internet hooked up. OK so I'm not a true geek because I don't know the proper names to all the electronic thingies. I'll learn slowly and I'm ok with that! Anything new is a challenge, but a grateful one! I was looking at purchasing a tablet as I always browse for new ideas and blog hop to find out what everyone else is doing. Then I was looking at a new laptop, but then again, it's pretty hard to use on public transport, etc. Chef Murphy couldn't have found anything better! I am thrilled!
A lovely package arrived at the door after we arrived home from my birthday celebrations. I love Keepsake Quilting! They are fantastic! I find that their sales are too hard to resist. I try and buy a bundle of their fat quarters for $99 after every season. I am working hard to build my stash and find that I am overwhelmed when I go shopping for fabric. So many choices! How do you pick? Slowly I am getting a decent stash together and am starting to fulfil those dreams of finishing more quilts! If I have a certain project with certain colors, I would go out and just buy fabric for that particular project. Then, the project would be done and I would search for another project and buy fabric according to the recommendations. I never stretched out and went against the color choices. Silly as it is, I was too afraid to try other colors because it might look "stupid". As they say, there is no wrong color choice! I started reading about color choices and color saturations, etc. I started buying my own colors of fabrics for those new patterns. It was refreshing and at the same time terrifying. Why terrifying? If you buy all that fabric out of funds that could be used differently, and the hours to cut, sew and then it turns out horrible? Chef Murphy has been incredibly supportive with my hobby. He calls it "talent", I smile at him and thank God for this man who encourages and indulges me with my love for fabric! He is the one that plans those trips to include fabric and quilt shops and hunts down the addresses. So many times I've been surprised with a side road drive only to find that he's parked outside of a little quilt shop!
If cat's could talk, this one would say, "Take the picture alreadly so I can continue staring that squirrel down outside!" Along with my fat quarters, I bought a layer cake and matching jelly roll. I find that I can quickly throw together a quilt with pieces that are already cut. Working full-time makes it a bit difficult to fit in time to sew as I have to put in time cutting and the like. I'd like to just sit down and sew, sew, sew!
VOILA! I finally did it! It was after the arrival of the jelly roll and layer cake that did it! Why am I buying these pre-cuts when I could be doing the same with my growing stash! So exciting! I have gone to all the quilt shops in Calgary and of course the sewing store where I bought my Symphony. My travels led us (Chef Murphy in tow!) to Out of Hand Needle Arts located in Lakeview in Calgary. I've been there a couple of times to buy fabric and they have a fabulous selection of ribbons not to mention all those yummy fabrics! Deirdre was full of great ideas and information and was fabulous with all the questions that Chef Murphy asked. Terri was great when it came to choosing dies to start with. His prior experience with quilt shops here in the city have been totally negative. Bless his heart. On Valentine's day he walked into one of the quilt shops where he was looking for "red fat quarters for my honey". This is the man that has terminology down and knows what he is looking for. The woman he encountered said, "We don't have anything like that," and then (because it was Valentine's Day) continued to say, "You sure are leaving it a little late!" Now being in customer service myself, I've seen how they treat him in quilt shops. Deirdre and staff were so welcoming and so different than the other shops in Calgary (especially when it comes to a man in a quilt shop)! Thank you all for that! Regardless of the sex of the customer, what happened to, "I'll be right with you!" (when they are busy with another customer), or "How can I help you?" or "Is there anything special that you are looking for?" AND what about a SMILE? I am not surprised why a man (who doesn't quilt) wouldn't want to step in within two feet from the front door! Thank you Out of Hand for being so welcoming to my honey! I am sure he will be back! Happy Quilting everyone! :-) Birthday Girl Margo!