Judy L's UFO Challenge

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lazy Sunday on a Lazy Sunday

Remember the stash box I posted about recently?  There were these little tags in there that you use to mark your blocks when you have your layout and help keep everything in order when you go to the sewing machine.  I pinned these tags in the upper left hand corner of each block.  I have tried other tips about how to stack them etc but I invariably sewed the wrong edges together.  These tags solved that problem.  I googled Quilt Dance and found the set for sale for $10.  I think they are worth it.

This is an old photo of my Lazy Sunday quilt top.  It is a Bonnie Hunter pattern and I am lucky enough to live close to the Plano quilt shop where she taught it as a New Years mystery.  It is now in one of her books.  More Adventures with Leaders and Enders if I'm not mistaken.  I now have these rows all sewn together and just finished the sashing rows.  I will start sewing some of these together today and begin working on the pieced borders.  I will at least get the strips I need cut so that I can work on the sub cutting and sewing as I go.

Hope you are getting to sew today and enjoying a lazy Sunday.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

T-Shirt Quilt - A First For Me

See the drawn line?  See the cut edge?  That's a span of 3 3/8ths inches.  This is the second border after the red.  I managed to ease all of that in when I attached it.  Nothing seemed odd when I was sewing it.  In fact I was pleased with how it was going because I was using a new method for cutting my borders.

Previously I carefully measured through the center of the quilt then measured and cut my borders.  This time I lay the strips on the quilt through the center and cut them.  Basically the quilt served as the ruler.  I cut the borders two at a time then sewed and repeat.  

Normally I do not cut my borders on the straight of grain.  For some reason I decided to cut the final border this way.  I followed the same measuring and cutting process.  Everything was going fine until I tried pinning the last borders, last sides to the quilt.  One side went on without a hitch.  I was savoring this finish.  I flipped the quilt around and pinned the final border piece. I pin/mark the quilt and border in quarter segments to make sure things go on a little more square.  

Imagine my surprise when I had way more border on the white than I did the final navy.  I stretched (very little) since this was on the straight grain) pinned, coaxed and coerced.  I knew my only option was to remove that white border and remeasure.  I had to remove part of the navy borders on the side. All this work is how I learned that I had so much extra.  Who knows how I managed that.

Here is the end result.  Ignore the ripple.  There was not enough space to lay it out perfectly.  Believe me, it is flat.  As soon as I finished the top I whipped up the backing and went straight to the quilter with it.  This is for my daughter and is made of her Dad's shirts.  We lost him almost 4 years ago now.  This will be a nice keepsake for her.  I made my daughter go with me to talk to the quilter.  I walked in the door with lots of ideas which my daughter completely discarded.  It's ok.  We brainstormed and came up with a nice quilting plan.  I'll be getting this back sometime in May.  I need to work on the binding so it's ready when the quilt comes back.

i googled and studied many websites about making t-shirt quilts.  I was afraid of ruining my husbands t-shirts but in spite of one small cutting error all went well.  I received the most encouragement and guidance from a lady that goes to my sit and sews at the church.  I can't wait to show this to her. I learned many things and look forward to making more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More BIG Bags

While I was making the first bag my friend commented how much she liked it.  She has been enduring some struggles and I thought she could use a pick me up so I made her this.

I like this bag too so I made myself one.

I plan to carry my projects in it to sit and sews or wherever I might get a chance to work on it.  Its reversible so you can change your bag by flipping it inside out.

The pattern is Sara's B-I-I-I-G Bag by Innovative Designs by Sara.  I keep looking for the pattern online but have yet to find it.  It's a neat concept!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fleece Blankets

I remember around 10 years ago when no-sew fleece blankets were all the rage.  You just put two pieces of fleece together, fringed them and then tied knots to keep them together.  The first and only one I made was neon pink and neon orange.  I really did not like that blanket and, as it was used, liked it even less.  I am not sure where the inspiration came from but I changed my process completely from that first blanket to now.  It continues to be ever changing.

Here is my process.  Buy the best fleece you can afford.  Anti pill is good.  It all works though.  I usually make my blankets 6' long.  If the person is taller than 6' i will add another 6".  Wash the fleece.  Do not use liquid fabric softener as the blankets become crunchy over time.  Fabric softener sheets do a great job.  

Inspect your fleece for the "right" side.  If your fleece has writing on it it is obvious which side that is.  I look for sharper images and consider that right.  If you have a helper grab them now and put the wrong sides together.  Line up the edges all around and lay on a flat surface.  Gently smooth the fleece out.  I do mine on a table and will let the fleece rest for awhile to relax the wrinkles out.  Not necessary but I get a little better result.  I then pin baste around the outside edge about 6" away.  If you notice your edges they are uneven or the selvedge rolls or has a strip of writing on it.  I will trim the edges so that my fringe is consistent all around.

I then sew all around the outside about 5-6 inches away.  Your fringe is going to stretch with use.  I used to cut it about 6" long but my daughter asked me to try 4" this time because of this.  I used a large index card to mark my distance as I sewed by holding it on top of the fleece mostly eyeballing the distance.  Painters tape on the machine bed would have worked too I just didn't feel like looking for it.  LOL.

For the final step I take my shape cut ruler and put the top of the slot on the sewn line.  I then cut at 1" intervals.  When I get near the edge I check to see where my final cut will fall.  If the last piece that lines up with the sewn edge is going to be odd looking I will cut a smaller or larger piece of fringe now so it isn't on the corner where it will be more noticeable.  I've even cut a 1.5" piece then cut that in half with scissors.  I now go over the edges and snip any pieces where my cut may not have been complete.  I also cut the corners out where the sewn line pivots on the corner.

TaDa!  A fleece blanket without those pesky bumps.  One last thing.  You might notice that cutting fleece on your mat leaves tracks and pieces of the fabric stuck in it.  I just took a wet cloth and scrubbed the mat down to remove the fleece leftovers.

I hope you enjoy the process and your snugly blanket.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What I'm Working On

I posted about this quilt a few weeks ago.  When I received it the backing was see through in spots in addition to the quilt having several holes through and through.  The quilt was birthed so the edges were quite worn on the top from being pulled at by everyday wear and tear.  The quilt also had been tied.

First I removed the ties and snipped the seams.  There was nothing salvageable about the poly-cotton backing.  The batting felt like a flannel rather than traditional batting.  I trimmed 2 rows of squares on 2 sides.  On the other sides I removed three rows from one side to remove a good portion of the damage and then a single row on the opposite side.  I was trying to keep the proportion of the quilt.  Using the three row piece I unpicked squares to use in repair of the rest of the top.  I then removed 8 squares that were shattered or had bad fraying.  I sewed in the replacement pieces.

With the newly restored top I layered it with cream flannel in the center and a yellow flannel on the back that was similar in color to the original backing.  I pin basted then quiled in the ditch to form a grid design.  I then used the self binding method to finish it.  In the process of quilting I found another bad square but decided to address it after quilting.  I went to that patch and needle weaved the spot together.  The repair blends in very well and is barely noticeable.

I am packing it up today and shipping it back to its owner.  The cost was $24 in materials plus shipping.  The repair is a gift for them hosting us while we were in MI in January/February.  I've already moved onto my next project.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Ms Fix-It

If you have read my blog for any length of time you will know that I am drawn to fixing textiles.  I was at my church sew-in Friday and a lady teased me that I wouldn't know what do do with a new piece of fabric.

 Last week a friend asked me to look at an afghan she had purchased at an estate sale.  She had even located a matching skein of yarn.  There were just a few seams that had come loose.  I seamed them up and reinforced a few other spots.  I regret not taking a picture.  It is a beautiful piece of work and will be gifted to a friend of hers.

Next up, a neighbor had asked me shorten a pair of king size pillow cases to standard.  I asked her to give me a case that is the size she wants.  Well I misplaced these cases for quite some time.  I am not even sure how long I have had them.  I thought for sure I had returned them.  She insisted I had not.  She came down earlier today and on a whim I looked through a box I hadn't touched in some time.  There they were.  She was delighted and I was a bit embarrassed but relieved.

I went straight to work on them. I'm sharing my process in the event someone wants to do the same.

First I cut the case to be altered one inch longer than the target sized case.

Leaving it right side out I sewed an1/8th inch seam.  I turned and pressed the seam.

Here I sewed a 1/4" inch seam although I had intended to sew a 1/2 inch.  This isn't rocket science folks.  I turned and pressed the new formed French seams.  Voila!  They are done and will be delivered tomorrow.

Another project that I have been working on is a shawl of a former coworker.  She hag gotten it caught on something and tore a hole in it.  It is thread crochet and the ripped portion was in the first 1/3rd of the body.  No easy way to fix it.  I used regular thread to catch the loose pieces and bind it together.  I ended up using some DMC 12 thread as well which worked better.  There was no way to make it match the rest if the shawl.  I stabilized it and touched frayed spots with fray check.  She is going to have to handle with great care going forward.

I noticed some if the fringe was broken and torn away.  I removed a lot of bad thread but it seemed never ending.  I finally stopped and knotted my replacement pieces and tied those into the existing pieces.  It looks better but the thread seemed like it had rotted away.  DMC 8 was used in this part.  Usually I am quite proud of the work I did.  I was not going to be happy with the outcome unless I had pulled it all out and reworked the entire thing.  That was not going to happen.  I hope she is satisfied with the outcome.

Up next is the baby quilt I showed you a few weeks ago.  All the holes are patched and it is pin basted ready for quilting.  I have my machine setup and ready to go tomorrow.  Will be glad to get that one off my plate too.

Happy quilting!