Thursday, August 30, 2018

Borders on...Perfection

A few weeks ago I was
a quilt judge at our local county fair.

The quilts were stacked high and between
myself and 2 other judges we critiqued 140 quilts,
looking at the design, the workmanship,
and overall visual impact.
Eventually we narrowed down the piles to
choose the Grand Champion. 

It was not an easy task.
Each participant loved their quilt
and was confident enough to enter.
We certainly enjoyed looking at each and every stitched creation.

Overall, the quilts were lovely, but
I did notice one issue in many. 
That was with the application of the borders.

I know when I get to the borders, at least in my mind, 
I'm thinking, Yay!!! I'm almost finished!
Sewing on a couple of borders, isn't that the easy part?

I'd like to think so.
But the application of the borders 
 can make the difference between a good quilt and 
a great quilt.

I guess the reason I'm bringing this up is
because I've been sewing on a lot of borders lately.

**Accurate measurements are key.**

"Summer Log Cabin Quilt"

I know, I can get sloppy, careless
and sew in a hurry.
That's when I'm always sorry.

Going around and around,
wrestling with yards of fabrics
is a challenge.

There are lots of tutorials online
to help with the right techniques, but
I think it mostly boils down to
accurate measuring, did I say accurate measuring,
 and taking your time.

This is the second quilt that I've added borders to.
"Christmas or Not Applique Quilt"

Borders don't have to be fancy, or pieced or
even have mitered corners,
but sewing them on carefully
so the quilt lays flat withougt ripples and waves
takes careful measuring, concentration and time.

I'll share more about the quilts I've shown today,
but I wanted to encourage all of us
to take care with the finishing touches.

Let's all border on perfection.


Until Next Time-

Thursday, August 23, 2018

It's That Time Again

It's that time again to share
my August small quilt
along with Wendy and the rest of the quilter's
participating in her monthly mini.

Earlier in August I was sitting outside
and noticed how pretty the prairie sage looked in the garden.

The dusty purple and green colors looked so soft
and luscious on that hot August day.

I decided I would use this as my color palette.

(Running Man's bees are crazy in love with the flowers.)

A while ago I was the lucky winner of 
Janet O's blog,  rogue quilter anniversary giveaway.
Besides sending some of her awesome soap,
a mini Dresden plate pincushion, fabric,
the prize included Jo Morton's newest book!

I turned to the first quilt in the book, sorted through fabrics
and started sewing.

I love sewing hourglass blocks, especially
when they are over sized and easy to trim.

Using the easy sewing method Jo
describes in her book,
the blocks came out perfect every time.
Before I knew it the quilt was finished.

Prairie Sage
20" x 22"

The colors and the simplicity of this quilt
harmonized with the Prairie Sage.

It's a lovely way to remember August.

Thanks again, Wendy, for your monthly encouragement.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Oh, I Could Do It This Way!

How many times has a task
felt insurmountable.  
Just the idea of getting from here to there.

What if you just let your mind dance on air.

Possibly you'd find a
new idea that would work. 

That's just what I did when it 
came to tackling the next border 
of Di Ford's Sutton Grange pattern.

Can you believe this is the only photo I took of Di's quilt
when I saw it in person!!!

Oh, well.  (sigh)
Remember, I had those 320 tiny drunkard path blocks to make.

I couldn't get past the idea of prepping and then 
appliqueing each one individually.
I started thinking of each little block
as a quarter of a circle that was appliqued on a square.

I did some experimenting.
I had to figure out the size of the squares and circles 
including the extra seam allowances.
I finally did it and
it was going to work!

So rather than prepping 320 quarter circles
it was down to 80 full circles.

I decided to go with the freezer paper method
and was so happy how quickly it went especially
using Missie's Fingertip Stiletto

It works as a fingertip stylus allowing you to get
very close the iron to gently fold the seam allowance into place. 

Next I had to decide how to
applique 80 circles in a reasonable amount of time.

I recalled Angie, whose blog is
reviewed some different threads for machine appliqueing
and it reminded me of Wonderfil's Invisafil thread.

I even had a spool and gave it a try.
It's a 100 ply poly thread that is soft, comes in lots of colors
and has a matte finish.
I think I had my solution.
I ordered a few spools from 

They had a good prices and also had the smaller spools.

I was in business.

I used the overlock stitch flipped and crunched way down.

It's hard to even see the stitches!

Once the 80 circles were appliqued, I quartered them, 
and finally, sewed them into blocks.

I was pretty pleased.  The edges matched up
as well as if I had done it by hand.
Plus it was done in record time.

My nanny Nana duties are resuming this week
for these two Lovelies, as my daughter heads back to the classroom.

So, my sewing time will be spent in
a different way.
Finding some time efficient methods
 is essential.

Keep in mind, the
next time you're stuck on a project,
let your mind do an air dance 
and see what you come up with.
Until Next Time-

Thursday, August 9, 2018

One More Memory

It's hard to believe that it's been 
a year and half since I went to 

Den Haan & Wagenmakers
in Amsterdam.

 It was a wonderful shop to visit.

I treated myself to a kit.
and started sewing it earlier this year.

I substituted lots of other Dutch Heritage
fabrics into the pattern.

Well, I got the top finished earlier this spring
and finally had opportunity to get it quilted by
one of my favorite local machine quilters, Debi R.

All the quilting has brought it to life.

So much color and pattern.
So much texture. 

I was initially concerned that stitching over
the big chintz pattern would be distracting and
take away from the beauty of the fabric.

But I was very happy how those large squares looked.

The border was the same wonderful complicated fabric, but
even using a feather design it worked out beautifully.  

You might have noticed that I didn't add a
tradition binding, but rather finished the edge in
the traditional Dutch way.

This method involves sewing strips of fabrics together,
 then sewing them to the front of the quilt 
and bringing it the the back of the quilt
where it's hand stitched in place.
In essence, it's creating a facing to finish the edge.  

 It's a very clean and sharp finish.
There are many tutorials online to get the specifics.
I used the same backing fabric so you can barely see it.

I finally got to use this special label
that I had been saving.
It includes the names of the wonderful quilters
I traveled with and those that I had the privilege to meet
along the way.

I am so happy to have this quilt finished.

The pattern name was called Clafoutis,
 which is a classic French dessert that
combines fresh cherries in a rich dense custard.
So obviously, to celebrate
I made a cherry clafoutis.

Both the dessert and my quilt
turned out perfect. 
Hope you agree.

Until Next Time-