Stars on the Table

House updateHouse updateStars runner

I mentioned a bit ago that I was given a few star blocks from our guild’s block drawing, and I’m glad to say I’ve actually done something with them! I put them together into this table runner, using some fabric from my stash with outlines of the states for the borders. I can’t lie, I would probably have let the blocks languish in UFO territory for ages if I hadn’t been so jazzed by the speaker at our last meeting! I was really inspired by Lane Wilhite’s quilting, so I decided to put the runner together to have a practice project!

Ditching

For starters, I outlined the blocks and the stars with a clear monofilament thread by “stitching in the ditch.” If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s quilt-slang for straight-stitching along the seams of your quilt blocks, in the “ditch” created by the bulk of the seam allowance under the fabric. Lane pointed out a little trick to help with “ditching” that I really should have thought of myself – with one hand on either side do the needle, gently push the fabric taut so that the ditch is easier to access!

Meander

Brilliant…. I’d planned to switch to a more visible thread, but decided that I like the look of the monofilament, so I’ve kept on that way instead, with some bubbles in the center of the blocks, and meandering in the background fabric! I’m pleased with the look.

I’ve also been working on the house block from my block of the month, though not as faithfully as I had planned. But again, progress being made is a good thing, right? Unfortunately, I already received my next block, so I’m officially behind, but the next one is a set of US flags, and I plan to cheat. The pattern calls for the stripes to be appliquéd onto the background, but I don’t see me doing that… I’d much rather stitch them together by machine then appliqué the field with stars on after. I know, but really, when have you ever known me to follow the pattern? Never…

M

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So that’s what’s happening here, happy weekend to all of you!

Quilts on Vacation

Tis the season for vacations, and it’s finally my turn! I headed to Boston to visit family, and we headed to the Museum of Fine Art for a special exhibit of quilts from the Pilgrim-Roy Collection called Quilts and Color.

The exhibit displayed numerous amazing quilts arranged to best highlight their use of color as a design element. This log cabin variation was probably my favorite, and I was so upset that I didn’t get a better picture! The museum was very crowded, as it was the last day of the exhibit – lots of people moving in and out of each other’s photos!

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Many of the quilts used little or no white or black, instead focusing on complementary colors! These two I found particularly fascinating, as they are almost identical in design, and even more similar in the quilting! They were made in the same county in PA, but almost forty years apart!

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There was also an area that showed variations on a theme, displaying about fifteen different log cabin variations!

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And just for Miss Priss, here’s a cool hexagon quilt!

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Hope your week is off to a good start!
M

Worst blogger ever?

Yup, that’s me! I get so caught up in other things that I completely lose track of time, and suddenly it’s been almost three weeks since my last post!!! How did this happen???

Well, I’ve been working a LOT on my guild’s website. With help from my brother, I got it set up and designed on WordPress, and I think it turned out great! Of course, there’s still lots to do, and lots of changes to make, but I’m pleased with the direction it’s headed! (Check it out and tell me what you think!)

I’ve also been working on finishing a UFO from several years ago – a block of the month that I mostly gave up on. I’d show you, but of course I haven’t actually taken any pictures, as that would require planning!

And then there’s my hand appliqué project. Well, I can’t say I’ve succeeded in working on it every day, but I have actually made progress. Don’t get me wrong, there are still LOTS of pieces to go, but it’s starting to look like a house!

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And for once, I actually remembered to make a block for the guild’s Block of the Month program! It was a great patriotic theme this month, and I love how my blocks turned out! I didn’t win, but the fabulous winner, Marcia, actually gave me a few of the blocks to make a table runner from!! What a sweetheart! Check out the instructions here!

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Anyway, I’ll fill you in on more details later, but wanted to check in and let you know I’m still here!
M

Front Porch Quilt

I know it’s been a while since you heard from me – things have been a bit crazy! I’m contemplating a major career change in my day job, plus getting a house ready to sell, so there’s been lots happening! But I couldn’t resist starting a new project anyway.

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To make this sound even crazier than it already did (because who really needs another project???) I’ve decided to hand-appliqué. Yes, I know, it’s insanity. But I can’t help myself. I’ve been meaning to try out a technique I learned at a guild meeting, and this is the perfect project. Plus, it’s a block of the month, so I have four weeks to accomplish the block before the next one appears! The question is, can I stick with it? I count on you to be my conscience! The technique I’ve been using is back-baste appliqué. I first tried it at one of my guild’s Quilt University segments, and I’ve been dying to put it to good use! Here’s a great tutorial on the technique from Sentimental Stitches

So the first block is the house in the top left corner, and I’m off to a decent start – I managed to get all of the windows on yesterday while the contractors installed new carpet! My goal is to complete at least one little piece every day. Today’s objective is the door!

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TTFN!
M

UFO Friday – Mitered Border Tutorial

One of my favorite things at my local quilt guild meetings is the Free Table! Yes, it’s every bit as wonderful as it sounds – all those quilters bring their crafty cast-offs for others to enjoy! I leave just about every meeting with a new-to-me pattern or piece of fabric, but sometimes I strike pay dirt! At our last meeting, I picked up a quilt top that was almost 100% complete!!

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Please forgive the blurry pictures, I almost didn’t remember to take them at all! Now, I can’t lie – I would probably never have bought any of these fabrics on my own, but they remind me really strongly of my mother’s favorite dinnerware, so I grabbed it anyway! When I picked up the quilt top, there was a bunch of the white fabric with up, but just enough for the backing. I’d have had to piece several small pieces together to make each side of the border, so instead I went to the fabric store and found this directional fabric.

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I decided just to use the dark strips from the pattern, so I cut them apart one at a time, making sure to leave a quarter-inch for my seam allowances.

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I love the look of these linear prints with mitered corners, it makes me think of Provençal table linens – so here’s a little tutorial for you!

The first thing you need to know about mitered borders is that each length of border fabric needs to be extra long so you have plenty of overlap. Exactly how much extra really depends on the width of your borders. My borders are 4″‘ so I went with an extra 8-10″ on each end.

Second thing, start and end your stitching 1/4″ in from the edge. You’ll want to stitch all 4 borders on without any overlapping – each seam should end just about where the next one begins.

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Press all of the seams the same direction – I like to go toward the borders, but it doesn’t really matter. Fold the quilt top in half and align the borders. This will make a fold at a 45 degree angle in the body of the quilt.

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Use that angle to draw your seam line for the mitered corner, and stitch. Be careful not to overlap the stitching from the center of the quilt – that’s how you get pleats in your miters!

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Open up your seams, and check your work! Make sure that you don’t have any holes, especially right near the corners, then trim off the excess fabric, and press open! Behold, a beautiful mitered corner!

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I’m pretty happy with how this turned out – I think it has a future as a tablecloth! It’s not very square, all those bias edges got stretched out before they got to me, but I don’t really mind -it’s going on a round table anyway!

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Enjoy your weekend!
M

Watermelon Feast

It’s here! Day 3 of the Perfect Picnic, and it’s our turn to share!!

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For our feast, we decided to stick close to home. We pulled out our quilt in a pasture on the edge of a cornfield, on the outskirts of our property here in central Texas!

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The puppies came along, and definitely enjoyed the cheese and hard sausage we brought. We decided to keep the menu fairly light, strawberries, Brie, hard Italian sausage, and crackers. We banned all mobile devices for the evening, and it was great to have some quiet quality time as a family. The fortunate thing about keeping the picnic close to home is that when the mosquitos got too bad, we were close enough to move the party indoors!

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For our picnic blanket, I put together a quick Watermelon Feast. The pattern is available FOR FREE from my Craftsy store for the rest of the Perfect Picnic Blog Hop! (When the hop is over, it will still be there, just not for free…). Check it out here!

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Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the Perfect Picnic hop today! There are some fantastic adventures to see!

Quilt Taffy
Pampered Pettit
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Miss Priss Quilts <~~~~ you are here!!
Life in the Scrapatch
That’s Sew Julie

M

Getting ready to picnic!!!

It’s almost Monday, and the Perfect Picnic is set to begin! Here’s the final schedule!! I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures everyone had!!

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A big thank you to Mary for being our cheerleader, and to Madame Samm for hosting us!!

Monday June 2
Sew Incredibly Crazy
How Art You?
The Reluctant Quilter at Hazelnut Deux
GrammieQ’s
I Piece 2 -Mary
Pig Tales and Quilts

Tuesday June 3
Ridge Top Quilts
A Stitch in Time
Quilting in a Not Shell
Just Let Me Quilt
Creativity Amongst Chaos

Wednesday June 4
Quilt Taffy
Pampered Pettit
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Miss Priss Quilts <~~~~ you are here!!
Life in the Scrapatch
That’s Sew Julie

Thursday June 5
Ella and Nesta’s Little Room
Thimblemouse and Spouse
Jane’s Quilting
Amanda Murphy Design
Quilting Quietly
Words & Stitches
Childlike Fascination

Friday June 6
Quiltscapes
More Stars in Comanche
Stitchin’ By The Lake
Life, Quilts and a Cat Too
Kris Loves Fabric
In The Boon Docks
Living with Purpose

Monday June 9
Cherry Blossoms
The Quilting Queen Online
Mad Quilter’s Disease
Daisy Days
Buzzing and Bumbling
From My Carolina Home
Sew We Quilt