30 April 2012

Cheap Quilt Backing

You know how you hear a simple idea and you go, why didn't I think of that? Well, I had one of those moments a couple of weeks back when I was reading Red Pepper Quilts blog and they mentioned using sheets for backing quilts. What a great idea. They are the right size and if you buy a quilt cover, you get two backings for the price of one.

So on the weekend I hit the local op shop and found a few quilt cover sets. I figure there should be enough for eight quilts here. I got the whole lot for like $30!! I'd be paying that a metre for "quilt backing". Also, they are already washed and broken in!!

I think the top two would be great for kids quilts and the bottom two for bloke quilts. I am making a "country quilt" at the moment, that will need backing in the next couple of weeks, and I think the middle one will be great for that. 
Op Shop Quilt Covers to Use As Quilt Backing

25 April 2012

Lest We Forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

23 April 2012

Stash - Michael Miller Neutrals and Modern Quilts

I've found a few really nice "modern" quilts on Pinterest that have got me interested in doing something in solid fabrics. I'd just started thinking I needed to start collecting them when I found this pack at the Fat Quarter Shop. List of links to more modern quilts at the end of the post.

When I look at the "modern" quilts that I like, they are just about all made with all solid colours. I think this is probably the thing that sets them apart from more traditional designs (except for Amish of course).

Here are some of the ones that got me thinking:

Source: google.com via Michelle on Pinterest

18 April 2012

Quick Rag Quilt Completed

I felt the need to actually get something finished over the Easter break. So while I did do a bit of work on a couple of in progress projects, I also started and completed a Rag Quilt. These are a great beginners project and also for those who just need something finished!! Also a great way to use up scraps.

I didn't follow any particular tutorial, as the process is pretty simple, but for a details tutorial, check out Rag Quilt Tutorial over at Green Apple Orchard blog.

Completed Rag Quilt - It is just a nice size for a lap quilt.
 Basically, you cut up three layers:
  • front fabric
  • batting
  • backing fabric

This is the various layers cut out and ready to sew.

You cut the front and backing about an inch larger than the batting. I used a layer cake pack (cut into 5" squares) of Soiree from Moda for the front. I used plain white with the odd bit of Heather Bailey for the back and cotton wadding for the middle. Make a sandwich of front, batting, back and then quilt. I just did a diagonal quilt using my walking foot (for the first time ever!).

Quilted Squares

Then sew block together, sewing wrong sides using an 1/2" seam. Snip the exposed seams, wash and tumble dryer. Finished. Best to wash inside a quilt or bag as it produces lots of lint.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. If I hadn't gone at it like at bull at a gate, I would've realised that if I had alternated the coloured blocks with plain white, I'd have only used half the fabric and been able to make something else!! Ah well, next time. It takes a few washes and tumbles for the seams to get nice and fluffy.

3 April 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - Spike Dresden Plate

I found this great block, via Pinterest. I had no idea how to make it. However, after consulting the incredible wealth of knowledge that is Southern Cross Quilters, I had a pretty good idea how to make this version of the Dreseden Plate. It is a variation of the One Seam Flying Geese technique.

This tutorial assumes that you know how to make a Dresden Plate block. I've never made one before this tutorial. I used the Easy Dresden Tool by Darlene Zimmerman for this block. I was super easy to use.

The trick to this block is inserting an isoceles triangle into the seam between two wedges of the block. I basically used trial and error to get the right height for the triangle. The base of the triangle needs to be twice the width of the base of the Dresden Wedge (the skinny end). My Dresden wedges were 1", therefore, the base of my triangle was 2".

Working out the height is a bit more "artistic". What I did was sew a few trial runs. My opinion is that the sides of the triangle should be the same length as the side of the Dresden wedge. However, to get a piece that sews and sits well, a clipped the top of the triangle off. Sooo, in order to do that when drafting the triangle insert, I would recommend the following steps.

1. Base is twice the width of the base of the bottom edge of the wedge.
2. Measure the length of the side of the wedge. This is the vertical height of the triangle.
3. Add 1/2" to this measurement.
4. Use these measurements to draw your triangle.
5. Then clip 1/4" off the top of the triangle.

You should end up with something that looks like the shape below. Then fold wrong sides together (if using print fabric) and finger press the vertical height. 

Place the folded triangle along the outside seam of the Dreseden Wedge and then place another wedge over the top. All the raw edges should be together. The triangle should be the same height as the outside edge of the wedge (or pretty close).

This is what the triangle looks like sewn into the seam between the two wedges.

Finger press the seam open. I used a crochet hook pushed up inside the triangle to help me flatten it. Normally, Dresden Plate tutorials say to press the seams all in one direction, but because of the bulk of four layers of fabric in this technique, I think it's better to press the seam open. The pressed open seam will be protected by the triangle insert once it's pressed.

Turn the section over and press.

That is basically it. I did them in pairs, then in fours etc until the plate was complete. Below is an image of the back of the plate once it's all sewn together.

Add your middle circle. Completed block.

I'd like to thank Jeannie, Fran, Jodie, Jan, Jo and Judy for the help they gave me in working out how to do this. Please let me know if there is anything which is unclear or confusing in the tutorial!!

YES, please feel free to Pin on Pinterest. Sorry, can't get the auto-pin button to work!!

EDIT: If you don't have the dresden template, visit this Quilts By Design tutorial for instructions on how to make your own template.

EDIT: New video tutorial supplement now available - video on how to insert spike between wedges.

1 April 2012

Stash Builder

So lately I've really been getting into green, especially olive and khaki. I've managed to collect a few of these in fabric, but I needed more. So I put out a call on my main quilting list, Southern Cross Quilters and got a few answers from shops who had stash builder bundles. One was a shop I'd dealt with when I first got into quilting, Patchwork Products. I bought a couple of pre-picked bundles from the website (orange and tan), but asked Sylvia, the owner if she could put together a bundle of olive/khaki tone on tone for me. Below is what I got.

I love them all, they are all ones I would've picked out for myself. So if you are looking to build your stash, at $20 for 10 FQ's, give Patchwork Products a try.

Also, I found this great block via Pinterest, a sort of spiked Dresden Plate design. After asking for some tips on SCQ's Email list, I was able to work out how to do it. I am writing up a tutorial and will be posting it on Tuesday.