Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Another Star Baby Quilt

You may recognize this pattern.  I've used it a few times before, but this time I did it up in RJR Fabrics new collection called Everything But the Kitchen Sink by Yuko Hasegawa.  Plus I quilted it much different than I did in the past.

I started out with this fabric pull.  I needed 8 fabrics to make up the center star and these all seemed to go together so nicely.  These are 30's reproductions and they work really well in this traditional pattern.  The white background lets each of the prints stand out so you can see each of the colors.

You would think this would piece together quickly for me since it's just half-square triangles and squares but I am so particular about where the fabrics fall in the outside border that it takes me forever.  If you did this all scrappy it would go together super fast.  I may try that next time.

While I was putting together the front I decided I loved the green floral print so much that I made it the back too.

The green is so cheerful and while overall I think the quilt still reads girly the green keeps it from being too over the top frilly girly.

You can really see the quilting from the back.  I didn't plan it out but I like how the straight lines end up boxing in the loopy quilting.  The last time I did this I quilted all straight lines following the star but the loopy loops seem to highlight the prints really nicely.

I haven't washed this one yet but I know it is going to crinkle up all lovely.

I've been attaching my binding a little different lately.  If I am doing a quilt with a white front or white border then I am machine sewing it on from back to front.  I like doing it this way because I can make it all perfect on the back - so my stitching is exactly where I want it on the edge of the binding.  The only disadvantage to this method is that it is almost impossible to get it in the ditch on the front so your stitching line will show on the front.  But if it's white on white it's barely noticeable and blends right in with the rest of the quilting.

 Before I used to sew from front to back and catch the binding while stitching in the ditch on the front.   The front looks all perfect but the stitching line is not always perfectly spaced from the edge on the back of the binding - now I know there are some people out there that get that perfect too but I am just not that patient or that good at it.  This method works well when I don't want a stitching line to show on the front.  And really once you wash the quilt no one notices that the stitching on the binding is not exactly perfect.

Of course, if I was a patient person I would hand-stitch my bindings but I just cannot bring myself to spend hours doing what now takes me a few minutes.  It's the same personality flaw that causes me to lose interest in projects that take more than a few days to complete.  I love getting to the end quickly and being able to start something new.

And with that thought I'll end this post and leave you with one last gratuitous beauty shot of this quilt.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

And the Winner Is...

Using the very scientific and sophisticated random number drawing method known as ask-your-husband the winner is...

Congratulations FlourishingPalms!!!

Also, thank you to everyone else who left such nice comments.  I really appreciate all your kind thoughts.

Here's a sneak peek at the fabrics I'll be using in my next project.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mini Quilt Tutorial

I really enjoyed making this mini quilt using RJR Fabric's new line Everything But the Kitchen Sink by Yuko Hasegawa and I know you will too.  Here are my simple directions.

This mini is made up of 4 basic pieces; the dresden plate, the patchwork checkerboards, the background and the binding.  All my seams are sewn at 1/4 inch.

Let's start with the dresden plate.  You'll need a dresden ruler (I use Wrights 8829306 EZ Quilting Dresden Acrylic Tool, 1 to 8-Inch ) or you can print a template off of the internet.   The dresden ruler comes with great instructions on assembly so you can use those or follow my basic outline here.

Use the ruler to cut 20 petals at 5 inches.  I used 4 prints but obviously you can use as many different fabrics as you want.  To make each petal cut a strip of your fabric 5 inches wide -  the length of the strip depends on how many petals you need.  Then place your ruler on the strip and use your rotary cutter to cut the sides.  I like my ruler because it is clear and allowed me to easily fussy cut some of my prints so I could make sure I was centering the little bunnies or other fun elements in the middle of each petal.

To make the tips you just fold each petal in half right sides together and then stitch across the top.  You can chain piece these to make it go quicker.  Snip the corner and then turn them right side out.  You may want to use the tip of your embroidery scissors or such to make the point of your petal nice and crisp.  Now press each petal.

Next, sew all the petals together along the sides.  I like to plan out my plate first before sewing, but you can sew them all random if that's your thing too.

Once the outside of your plate is done you need to make a center.  Use your judgement on the size of the center.  I happened to have a little bowl handy that was the perfect size.  I traced around the bowl on a piece of cardboard then I cut a circle out of my fabric that was about a half inch larger than my cardboard template.  

Then with a needle and thread hand stitch around the outside of your fabric circle about 1/4 inch from edge.  When you get all the way around put your cardboard in the middle of the fabric and pull the thread so the fabric scrunches around the cardboard.  Tie off the thread - nice and snug.  

Now iron the circle so the raw edges are hidden underneath.  Next, carefully remove the cardboard from the center of the fabric.  Finally place the center on your plate and top stitch it in place.

Now let's get the background pieces cut out.

You can see from my fancy diagram that you need to cut 2 pieces that are 2.5 inches x 18.5 inches and 1 piece that is 14.5 inches x 18.5 inches for the middle.

After your middle is cut you need to fold it in half twice and press the folded piece.  Then unfold it and use the press marks to help center your dresden plate onto the background.  Pin it in place.

Now you want to topstitch your dresden plate to the background.  You can do this any which way you like.  I like to do it by stitching around the outside edge of the plate.  

Next make the checkerboards.  I did this the long way.  I cut each individual square out of each of my prints and then pieced them together.  You could do this faster if you strip piece the white and the print together first and then make your 1.5 inch cuts, but I wanted to fussy cut my pieces to show off the little bunnies.  

So that being said you need to cut 19 white pieces that are 1.5 inches square and you need to cut 19 print pieces that are also 1.5 inches square.

Now sew together your pieces into 4 rows of 19 squares following the diagram above.  Basically you are alternating white, print, white, print.  Press your seams toward the dark squares.  Then sew 2 rows together lengthwise to finish the checkerboard section.

Assemble your quilt top as shown in the pictures.  Sew a white boarder piece to a checkerboard section then sew those to the middle piece.

Once your top is done you are going to make your quilt sandwich like usual, then baste, quilt and finally bind.  When I quilted this, I did simple straight lines down the center of each petal of the dresden.  I've seen people leave their dresdens unquilted or done with fancy patterns inside each petal - it's really up to you.  I quilted straight lines the width of my presser foot in the white background spaces and then did diagonal crisscrosses on my patchwork squares.  

For the binding, I used a single fold 1.5 inch binding strip.  Since this is intended for a wall hanging and won't get the wear and tear of a regular quilt I didn't find it necessary to do a double-fold binding.

I hope you have fun completing this mini-quilt and I would love to see you post pictures to Instagram.  Don't forget to enter the fat quarter bundle giveaway  from RJR Fabrics - we draw a winner next week.  

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~
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