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She & Me Designs – Re-opening!!!!

Did you know that SHE & ME DESIGNS has re-opened on Etsy?  My daughter-in-law and I opened the store almost two years ago and we LOVE making aprons, quilts and pillows for kids and adults!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are just a few pictures of some of our special items –

Moda Squared Kids QuiltTrain QuiltLady's Quilted Apron

Want a custom quilt????  Special colors?  Special design?  Want a name added?  Just ask  –  we’ll be happy to work with you!

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Queen Stained Glass Star Quilt

Yea!!!!!!!!!!
Daughter’s quilt is finished and we delivered it today!  It turned out so pretty, and she loves it!

Several weeks ago I talked about the pillow cases I made for her, a matched set to go with the new bedspread.  In addition to the two pillowcases shown below, I made two others in reverse colors (pink with black top).

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The quilt is made up of 16 squares with a pink background.  Each square uses a different blue star metallic fabric as an accent.   The corners are accented with a lighter pink star.

Queen quilt

The stained glass effect occurs by using black strips between each piece of fabric, representing the lead came used in real stained glass pieces.

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This quilt took about two months to complete.  It was originally going to be a lap quilt, but grew over time into an over-size queen quilt.

I was originally going to tie the quilt at each corner to secure the layers, but decided instead to have it machine stitched in a meandering stipple design.  It looks so pretty with the hot pink thread meandering over the quilt.  It looks like a very large squiggle 🙂

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Overall, the quilt fits the queen size bed beautifully, and the four matching pillowcases (two pink / black, and two black / pink) absolutely finish it off perfectly.

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What have you been working on this week?  Finished any projects that you are thrilled to finally get done?  Please share your stories and let us know how you are doing.

Talk to you soon,

Linda

 

 

Quilted Granny Squares – Squared!!!! (Part 1)

Let me just start by saying that I LOVE to quilt!  The fabric selection, putting the fabrics together, touching them (yes, I said touching them!!), and then finally putting it all together into a quilted project.  LOVE it!!!!

When I quilt I almost always paper-piece – which means sewing the fabric directly onto a paper pattern, sewing the pieces together, and then finally removing the paper after the entire quilt top is finished.  For me, this method is much simpler than the traditional quilting method of sewing the fabrics together which requires being more accurate than I’m apparently capable of!  I tried it years ago – I wasn’t good sewing straight 1/4″ seams!

I recently suggested to my daughter-in-law that I’d love to make she and my son a quilt for their bed, and she  took me up on the offer.  She’s an avid Pinterest user and quickly checked her Boards and found several quilt patterns that she loved and that would look great in their bedroom.  After some deliberation she decided that a Granny Square quilt was the winner!  Her inspiration was from Angela at Cut to Pieces. The quilt that Angela posted is beautiful!   My daughter-in-law loves color, and is open to use of all kinds of fabric, so that opened up all kinds of possibilities.

I may have mentioned in the past that I love fabric!!!!!!!!  And I have tons of it on hand – hundreds of yards of it – florals, solids, stripes, metallics, blenders; you name it I’ve got it.  So this Granny Square quilt is the perfect opportunity to use up some of the stash.    (Picture below is just a small portion but look at all the wonderful colors!!!)

Fabric stash!

I got busy – I pulled out tons of the fabrics and starting cutting 2-1/2″ wide strips.   I know that I cut WAY more fabric strips than this quilt will need – I tend to over estimate – but I figure whatever is leftover will be used in some other project.

Then I had to cut all those strips down into 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares!  Tedious!  For awhile I  tried to cut two strips of fabric (8 layers of fabric) but with so many layers the fabric tended to slip around under the ruler.  I was concerned that the cut square wouldn’t actually be square (and it turns out that some aren’t), and throw off the seam allowance.  I finally changed to cutting only four layers of fabric (one strip) and that worked out better.  I now have BAGS and BAGS of squares!  LOTS of bags.  At least they are separated by color.

Bags of 2-1/4" squares

Each Granny Square consists of 5 central same-color fabrics (i.e. pink), 8 same-color fabrics (i.e. blue), and 12 neutral color fabrics.  We decided that our neutrals would be off-whites and tans, all different, to add more interest to the quilt.  No matchy-matchy 🙂

Ready to Sew!

I sewed together my first Granny Square, matching seams and sewing the first two fabric squares together making sure to use a ‘scant’ 1/4″ seam allowance.  (‘Scant’ = a few threads less than a full 1/4″).  After all the squares were sewed together, and the rows sewed together, I pressed it very carefully being careful not to stretch the fabrics.  Time to ‘square up’ the Granny Square.

Well, apparently I wasn’t careful enough!!!!!!   All edges were straight except one!  For some reason one edge ends up off-square.  I’ve made seven more squares – some are okay and some are off-square.  If I use those off-square Squares, the rows will not be even and the quilt will be ‘cock-eyed’ (cock-eyed is not a quilting term but it certainly explains the situation!)  Note the corner in the next picture where the edges don’t meet up.

Corners don't meet.

See the un-even corner? All corners need to match up!

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PIN! PIN! PIN! Make sure all seems match up!

The last Granny Square I made (the 8th Square) came out perfectly.  I was very careful to only use squares that were 2-1/2″ square, made sure to use scant 1/4″ seams, and it seems to have worked.  So now I know, no more zipping along – quality vs. quantity!

8 blocks

Part 2 of this 2-part series will be completed when the quilt is completed – probably not for quite a while.  This particular king-size quilt will need about 100 of the 9″ squares – so I have quite a way to go  being very careful to sew precise seams.

Based on the few that I have completed though it will be beautiful!   I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Have you tried a Granny Square quilt yet?  Did you use a variety of colors, or was it a ‘color-coordinated’ quilt?  Would love to hear all about it!!

More soon,

Linda

Machine Quilting Mishap

Several weeks ago I blogged “Spray Basting for Free-Motion Quilting“, getting a baby quilt ready for machine quilting.  This step turned out beautifully, with the basting spray holding the quilt package together nicely for quilting.  The time came though to finish the project!

So, with great trepidation, I got the machine set up with the darning foot, which also works as a machine quilting foot. Be SURE to drop your feed dogs, which allows you to move the quilt around effortlessly. This is mandatory when doing a meandering stitch or ‘drawing’ designs on your quilt top.

Admittedly, I’m a beginner at the process of quilting a design on the quilt top.  Following are the steps I followed (and the unfortunate outcome!).

First I determined that I wanted to quilt a flower in the white areas of the quilt, so I went online and found a pattern, and printed off about 20 of them onto onion skin paper.  Those were my sewing templates.

Then I got started stitching around the template.

As you can see, the stitching on the front, although ‘okay’, was less then steller – a little wonky around the corners and I had trouble with the stitches going over the seams being inconsistent in length.

And the stitches on the back looked HORRIBLE!  The pink thread pulled through to the back, which looked really bad!

I removed the stitching – very carefully so that I didn’t break any of the fabric threads – and tried again!  Same result :((((   After doing this on about four squares, and having to remove the stitching very carefully, I gave up!  I’m not generally a ‘quitter’ but I didn’t want to take a chance on ruining this cute little quilt completely.

Obviously the quilt was not useable as it was – –

even though I managed to get out all the stitching, the pin holes were not pretty at all!!

So, to Plan B –

I ‘stitched in the ditch’ around each white area to secure the batting to the fabric, and then cut out felt flowers to cover up the stitching.

I secured the felt flower, along with a contrasting fabric ‘button’, to the center of the white area with white quilting floss, tying it in the back.

It turned out nice –

but not as I had hoped.  Next time I try this (and I will) I will do three things differently!

1.  Use a “topstitching’ needle (made specifically for this type of sewing),

2.  Use the same color thread both top and bottom, and

3.  Practice, practice, practice on a sample that is the same as the original before I start sewing on the original!!!

Although I wasn’t able to show you my successful steps to machine quilting, I think it’s also important to know that a project isn’t necessarily ruined – it can be something different!

Have you had project ‘failures’ that you’ve managed to save by going another route?  Please share your story in the comment area – you never know when your success story may help someone else save their project!!

Good luck!

Spray Basting for Free-Motion Quilting

This is going to be a two-part blog about prepping a quilt for free motion design quilting, and then actually doing it!!

I quilt a LOT!  When I say that, I mean that every day I’m doing something on a quilt, but there are some things that I’ve never had the nerve to do.  I don’t make quilts that use curves in the design – I like using patterns so I do paper-piece quilting.  I don’t applique – I’m not particularly patient so I haven’t learned how to do it yet.  And, I don’t free-motion design quilt.  Yes, I stipple, but that’s the most creative I’ve gotten.

Well, I’m fixing to change that.  I want to do some free-motion design quilting on a baby quilt to jazz it up some.  The quilt top is finished and I need to get it ready for quilting.  I’ve watched a number of tutorials to find out the best way of prepping it – and this is the video that helped me the most –

Unfortunately I live in a rental and can’t mark up the walls, so had to follow the instructions using the floor.

To start, I laid out a left-over Dollar Tree table cloth to protect the carpet.

Dollar Tree

Then I laid out the backing fabric (right side facing the carpet, wrong side facing up), smoothing out all the wrinkles.  I placed pins all around the edge down deep into the carpet, securing the fabric so that it was stretched out, wrinkle free.  Making sure the fabric was several inches longer than the top, I cut away the extra yardage.

Following the instructions on the basting spray, I sprayed over the bottom fabric making sure there was good coverage over the entire piece. I then placed the batting directly over the bottom fabric and placed it down from one edge to the other, again smoothing out all the wrinkles.  As I smoothed I placed pins around the edges securing the batting down over the bottom fabric.  I re-sprayed between the batting and the bottom fabric if it wasn’t adhering together.

Following the same process, I sprayed liberally over the top of the the batting.  I then placed the quilt top gently down over the batting, again smoothing all the wrinkles out.  I pinned around the perimeter, securing ALL three thicknesses down so that the basting spray could adhere well.    I took some time to really press down all over the top to make the glue stick, and left the ‘package’ on the floor for an hour or so.

At this point, I don’t know how this will work when I start to the free-motion design quilting.  I’ll let you know very soon!   In the meantime, I’d love to hear your comments and tips on how you baste and prep your quilts!!!!!!!!