Monthly Archives: March 2013

2013-7: Xmas Gold Table Topper


This table topper, made of luscious gold print Kaufman fabrics was fun to quilt. I used Nancy Haacke’s Snowflake Simple pantograph using a tan colored So Fine and a Cream colored Bottom Line.  It quilted up nicely!  The snowflakes in the design coordinate with the snowflakes in the fabric print.

I used my new machine binding technique.  This time, I applied the binding to the back, folded over to the front and stitched using MonoPoly on top with a blanket stitch (narrow width, long length).  My Bernina balked at sewing with MonoPoly on top.  After five tries, rethreading, cleaning, changing needle and anything else I could think of, I finally gave up.  I put MonoPoly in the bobbin and used a light tan Bottom Line on top.  It sewed like a dream.  The Bottom Line is so fine, it basically fades into the fabric.   I was again quite pleased with the result.  Now that my machine binding turns out better, I am going to make it my go-to binding method.  Definitely is a lot faster to do it this way!

This table topper will be a donation quilt.   Hopefully it can benefit a charity.

2013-6: Farm Animal Quilt

Farm Animals

This quilt is made of a top I pieced last summer at the cottage.  The tumbler pieces are die cut with an Accuquilt small tumbler die.  I raided my bin of animal print scraps to cut these pieces of farm themed prints.  I had a stack of yellow tumblers left over from my zoo animals quilt.  They seemed to go fairly well with these prints, so I chose to use them as the alternating tumbler.  The backing is a light tan colored print of tossed cows.

The quilting design is a pantograph with horses heads.  There is no copywrite on the pattern, but I have the feeling it was designed by Nancy Haacke.  The top thread is a tan Polycore with Bottom Line in the bobbin.  The binding is attached to the front by machine and hand stitched to the back.  Binding is always my stumbling block, as I do not like doing it.  This one has been my take along project for the last week and I finished it at the Guild meeting, just in time for Show and Tell.  The reward for sticking at the binding is that now I can count this one as done!

2013-5: Rail Fence Baby Quilt

Rail Fence Baby QuiltThis little baby quilt top is one I made last year after I was given fabrics from a shirting fabric.  All of the top and border fabrics are from the bag of scraps.  It is a simple pattern and it went together quite quickly.  Great way to use random scraps.  I quilted it with a Deb Giesler digital pantograph, a very dense panto of daffodils and tulips.  I decided to enlarge the panto to the full width of my throat space so it would be less dense and minimize the need to advance the quilt.  It worked out to almost three full rows.  I chose a purple Poly thread on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Binding for me is always the element that causes quilts to pile up in the “Still-more-to-be-done” corner.  I applied the binding to the front and it sat in the pile for a while.  Then the quilt made it to my hand sewing bag, which I carry with me to meetings and events, always with two projects.  If I get one finished, then I have another one ready to go.

Last week, Patti Carey of Northcott came to our guild as the guest speaker.  She showed her machine bound quilts and explained her technique and said she has never been caught by the quilt police.  At break, I examined the quilts quite closely and decided that her style of binding would work well on my utility quilts and gift quilts.  I would still bind competition quilts by hand, but for other quilts, this is perfectly acceptable.

Patti applies her binding to the back with a regular straight stitch.  She then folds the binding to the front and fastens it down using a blanket applique stitch.  As her top thread, Patti uses a clear polyester thread like Superior MonoPoly and in the bobbin, she uses regular thread in a coordinating colour.

I decided this simple scrap quilt was a good one to try out a new technique.  I pulled it out of my hand sewing bag and decided to give it a go.  Since my binding was already applied on the front,  I did the reverse of Patti’s method.  I used clear Superior MonoPoly in the bobbin and a pale blue thread as my top thread.  My preferred binding is 2 inch double fold fabric, so when I fold it to the back side, it ends up very close to the seam line.  With the blanket applique stitch set with a length of 5 and stitch width set at 1 I carefully stitched so the vertical stitches were a fraction of an inch outside the seam line and the horizontal stitch made a small sideways stitch into the binding.  I am very pleased with the resulting look of the binding.

Here are photos of the binding from both the front and the back:

Binding from the back

Binding from the back

Binding from the front of the quilt

This method will work very well for my regular quilts.  I will still do competition quilts by hand, but this method should keep my pile of quilts waiting for binding under control!  In fact, I can hardly wait to bind the next one.

2013-4: Let It Snow Quilt

Let It snow quiltThis quilt is made from a kit of coordinating fabrics from Reichard’s quilt Store in St. Jacobs Ontario.  The fabrics are from a line of flannels called Let It Snow.  The flannels are a nice heavy weight and were relatively easy to sew, but in general, I prefer to sew with quilters cottons.

It was quilted with a digital pantograph call Snowflake Simple by Nancy Haacke.  It is a fairly dense panto, so I made it as large as my throat space would allow.  I used a cotton covered poly thread on top and a Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Let it snow detailI like the overall effect of the panto.  Despite the dense quilting, the quilt is still soft and cuddly.  This was my first time to make a quilt from a kit.  It was an interesting change, but I still prefer to make quilts of my own design.  The quilt is a donation quilt.

2013-3: White Memory Quilt

Memory QuiltThis small quilt, 20 inches by 20 inches, is a Memory Quilt, to be donated to the Grand River Hospital’s Bereavement Program through the Waterloo County Quilters Guild.  The program description in the guild members handbook explains these small quilts are “given to those who have lost an infant due to stillbirth, SIDS or some other catastrophe.  These quilts provide something tangible for parents who are going home with empty arms and are given along with other keepsakes, such as hand an foot prints and a lock of hair, all put into a box provided by the Waterloo County Tole and Decorative Painters Guild.”

Recently the guilds program coordinator told us of a need for memory quilts for Muslim families.  The request was for quilts that are white fabric, quilted with white thread, with no representation of any living plant, animal or person on the quilt.  This small wholecloth quilt is my response to that request.

Before quilting, I basted the layers with Vanish thread to keep it square and pucker free.  The quilting was done with a poly core thread on top and white Bottom Line in the bobbin.  It took me quite a while to design the cross hatching to sew with only one stop and start.   The binding was applied to the front and hand stitched to the back.   I’m pleased with the result and would definitely make another, although the binding on a second quilt would definitely be attached by machine!

2013-2: Zoo Animals

Zoo Animals QuiltThis baby quilt made of die-cut tumblers has a zoo animal theme.  I raided my scrap bin and pulled all of the fabrics that had an animal or jungle theme.  The monkey print border was a piece left over from another project  – exactly enough fabric to make these borders!

It is machine quilted with a tan colored So Fine on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin.  It went together very easily and leaves me wanting to make more of these simple quilts.  It is a great way to use scraps!

Quilting for the Community – A Busy Winter!

Qutreach QuiltsWe have worked hard this winter making quilts for our guild’s community outreach efforts.  Since I took on the chair of the committee, we have completed approximately 150 quilts with another 60 kits in circulation to be assembled.  This photo shows about 80 of the quilts.  Most of these will be given to Victim Services in May.  About 10 large quilts will be given to Women in Crisis in June.

At that point, my chair role is finished.  Even though I have enjoyed it immensely, working with a wonderful team of quilters, I will be happy to be able to focus on my own projects.  Fall Fair season is coming up soon and I have almost nothing ready!  I’d better get cracking!

Several of my own projects are complete to the point of binding.  Always my stumbling block!  I tend to save this for when I have to sit waiting – during travel or waiting for appointments.  I have not had to do any waiting for a while, so the binding is piling up.  I’ll have to put a project right by the phone, so when I am chatting with a friend, my hands can be busy too!

A few more projects are in the block assembly stage.  I really like piecing blocks, but because I like small intricate blocks, it takes a while to get them done.  I may have to reconsider my decision not to post projects until they are done-done.  If I wait to post, it might look like I am not quilting.  Not true! I’m quilting steadily – but just not getting things to the finish.   It sounds like a new approach might be in order!

2013-1: Loon Table Runner

Loon Print Table RunnerThis is a table runner made for my cousin Stephany to coordinate with the Loon place mats I made for her last year.

I fussy cut the fabric to center a loon in each setting triangle.  The loons are oriented so that people on both sides of the table see the loons swimming right side up.  The feature block also has a bird theme;  It is called Hovering Hawks.

The table runner was custom quilted with So Fine thread on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin.  I finished it in January, but because she lives in Northern Michigan, it did not get delivered to her until March.  Stephany is an avid bird watcher and she loves this table runner.