Friday, January 31, 2014


This is my 60th post!!!  I am celebrating each milestone.

Now that I have the Nine Patch and Flower Market quilted I need to get busy and get the binding on the quilts so that they can be washed and then used (my favorite part).

So first things first is figuring out how much binding you need. Time for some math. Nine Patch is 108" square. 108 x 4 = 432". I then add about 10" so I need 442".

Binding strips are cut 2.5" wide by the width of the fabric. My fabric is 41" wide after I cut off the selvage.   So doing math that would mean I need to cut 11 strips.

Now I need to sew those strips together. I like to sew them at an angle . To do this I place the strips right side together like below. I overlap them leaving a 1/4" overhang on both pieces. then I stitch on the diagonal. I drew a line on the piece below to show you where I sew. Normally I just eyeball this part.


Now I trim the seam allowance.

Then I press the seams open.

Here is a view of the front. I have the pencil to show where the seam is. Its almost invisible.

Now I just need to sew all the strips together into a 442" or 37'...that's a lot of binding!

Next thing to do is to double up the binding. I fold over the end to help it blend in once the binding is on the quilt.

Next I fold the binding in half wrong sides together. Making the binding a double thickness is to give the quilt a little extra protection around the edges.

Now I just iron and iron all those feet of binding.

I then need to make sure that the quilt is trimmed up and ready for binding. 

I get my walking foot on my sewing machine. This is a foot that helps move the quilt sandwich through the machine.

Now normally I sew my binding onto the front of my quilt and then hand stitch it to the back but let me say again that this quilt is 37 feet around.

So because this is such a large quilt I am sewing the binding to the back and then I will blind stitch it by machine to the front.

Here is a shot of the quilt resting on my sewing table as I sew on the binding.

Finishing it up and tonight I plan to sleep under this baby.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Flower Market Finish

Finally finish the quilting on Flower Market. Its such a nice feeling when you put the last quilting stitch in a quilt. Its a feeling of joy, accomplishment, and relief. I really enjoy seeing the difference the quilting makes.

Before quilting.

After quilting. So pretty. Wish I could figure out how to put the pictures side by side.

And now the back before,

and after.

Now just to show you that I am not "perfect" I thought I would show you my mistakes. Pantographs are not easy for me,  I tend to get off track here and there.

What the heck happened on this one? Its like I was drunk.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Flower Market and Thread

Yesterday I showed you a new quilt that I started called Flower Market.  I am loving working on this quilt as the weather outside is frightful.

Today I thought I would talk about thread. Sounds exciting I know. But choosing the "right" thread can make a world of difference in the final product. Do you chose thread that is matchy matchy or thread that shouts out to be heard. Do you use the same thread on the top as the bottom or do you switch things up? Do you use one thread for the whole quilt or several different threads. Decisions decisions.

For this quilt I chose to use a light blue thread for the bobbin as it would blend in with the backing and not be to noticeable.

Blends beautifully.

Now for the top I was going to use a bright red variegated but then felt it would just be to much on this busy quilt. Instead I chose to use this pale purple variegated as it would just blend in with the top and not take anything away from all these bright fabrics.

This thread just is a subtle addition.  It doesn't compete and it doesn't demand attention.

Because I love the change quilting makes, here is a before picture....

and after some quilting.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Intro to Pantograph

After finishing the Nine Patch Quilt I was excited to get another top onto Lola. My Mystery Quilt is still a long way from being ready to quilt however I know what I want to quilt on it and its a shock to me. I plan to quilt it with a pantograph and that is not really something I am comfortable with but because of all the pieces it will help calm the quilt and make it not so busy.  (I will explain what a pantograph is as we go along in this post.)

I have a closet in my studio that I store finished tops and I looked through and found this lovely busy top "Flower Market".  I made this from just a bunch of floral fabrics that I had been collecting. My sister M gave me some of the fabrics for my birthday one year. Its just an explosion of floral and I love it! My only problem was I couldn't decide what to quilt on it as its really busy.

This is the backing I had for this quilt. While the top is loud and in your face, the backing compliments the top but is soothing and calm but still wild.

I didn't have enough backing and so I had to add another fabric to get me to the desired size. I like to add a little something different, something unexpected to my backs and this is what I came up with for this one.

Now for the pantograph. Lola has two sides to her personality. The front side is her carefree creative side and the one I always use. What comes out of the front is all me. I decide where the stitches go and how they flow on the top. Lola's back side is controlled and a follower. From the back I can place a pattern down on the table and use a stylus or a laser light to follow a pattern. Its a different skill and one I just haven't explored.

For the floral quilt I chose to use a pattern with large leaves.

Then after much set up that I won't bore you with I just follow that pattern with this laser light.  See that tiny red dot?

This is what the top looks like after just one pass of the pantograph. I have to say I really like the way it is looking! Sometimes I surprise myself.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Finish in Sight

I started the day with just a little more to quilt on the Nine Patch Quilt. So nice to be this close to done.


Fun to see what it looked like before I had done any quilting and then seeing what it looks like finished.

 Big change. This is why I love quilting so very much. You take a top (some people call it a "flimsy") and then all quilting to give it life. So pretty.

Now I just need to add the binding and wash it and then I will be able to sleep under this beauty.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Missing in Non Action

Not much has gotten done here on Herald this past week. I was feeling a little under the weather and my husband was traveling.  This weekend I was at a Women's Retreat and had a wonderful time laughing and connecting to some wonderful people. Even met a fellow quilter.

I did do a little knitting. Started a new dish cloth. How are you doing on you 52 week challenge?? Don't think you have the time. You can knit these little guys anywhere. Here I am knitting at the doctors office. Because you know you never get in right away.

I knit on this dish cloth a little at my retreat but not for to much as I was having to much fun with some amazing women.

I did get my spinning wheel out for a little bit this past week.

My spinning wheel doesn't have a name yet. I just haven't come up with a good name. Any suggestions?

I decided to spin this art batt I had tucked away. No idea what all is in it as I have misplaced the tag but it is beautiful!

This really spins beautiful.

I am thinking I will ply it with another single so that it will go farther. I am thinking of a white and then knitting it up into a hat.

So pretty.

Just a side girlfriend L mentioned that I hadn't made any posts about my spinning so this post is just for her.  If you have an idea for a post just ask and I will do my level best to make it happen. Its nice to hear that you are reading and enjoying my blog.  Thanks!

This week I hope to finish up the Nine Patch quilt that is on Lola and get another one loaded on. I need to get to work on my mystery quilt as I still have a ton to do on that one.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Today's post is a little side step in to what I do when I am not in my studio.

In 2005 my oldest began her high school career. Her high school experience started the last week of July with Marching Band Camp, she was just 14 yrs. old. I has no idea what marching band was about but each morning I would take her to band camp and each evening pick up a tired but excited kid. I watched her day after day in the month of August change and grow and take a leadership role in the band when she felt that her section leader wasn't doing all she could be doing to help the section.

In September my husband and I went to see her first performance in a town we had never been to, to a competition we knew nothing about. We sat in the stands amazed at what was happening on the field.

It was not to long after that that we were asked to help out at a competition. My husband and I had no idea what we were doing but we had a wonderful time and I was hooked. I just had to be a part of something that was so beautiful.

That was nine years ago. Today I no longer have either of my children in the band. In fact it has been several years since my youngest graduated. I continue to be involved not because of my children but because of all the members of the band. Each one holds a special place in my heart and I cheer for each of them as if they are my own.

I spend a great deal of time talking to teenagers and they are not what is shown on TV. They are not self center, partying, bullies who bring guns to school or band nerds. They are kind, funny, driven young adults who are simply amazing to behold.

Yesterday I was helping at a competition for Solo & Ensemble. Hundreds of kids come to our school to perform in front of judges just to get a rating on their playing. Sure you get a medal if you get a 1 or a 2 but for many kids its just about the music.

I spent the entire day in Headquarters working with some of our students. They are nothing short of amazing. When I asked them to help handle a problem they were able to take charge and get things done. Not fuss, no muss. I even got to see a couple of kids who were past students. One came back with her one year old daughter and the other came because she had students performing. How cool is that to see a student become the teacher.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Things are coming along.

As we are halfway through the month I thought I would check in to see how my knitting plans were coming along.

The plan was to knit 2 barn raising blocks each month. Well I have one done and another more than halfway done.

I need to knit 34 hexipuffs each month to stay on target. I got my 34 done for December and for January I have 10 done and an eleventh one that just needs stuffed and bound off. Only 23 more to go!

My dish cloth plan is one a week for 52 weeks. I am way above this mark. Technically these first 2 were done in December for my son to take with him to his new apartment.

I have 7 others I have knit this month. This makes me happy. 52 - 9 = 43 more to go.