Monday, May 20, 2013

Brick Road Sew Along Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Brick Road Sew Along! I had so much fun watching the progress with all of the photos in the Flickr Group; lots of beautiful quilts and fabrics!! I am using your Flickr usernames to announce winners. I numbered every photo in the Flickr Group and used good old and the winner of the RJR fabric is.....Kathy Parks!!!
Congrats Kathy,  I will be sending you a message through Flickr soon, so be on the lookout!
And I decided to choose two winners for the SunFlower Quilts patterns!!
I will also be sending you a message through Flickr soon,so be on the lookout! You each get to choose one PDF pattern from our website! 
Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you so much for participating!! Click on their names to see their awesome Brick Road quilts!  Come back later this week and I'll show another quilt made with all RJR solids!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Binding Tutorial

Today we are going to talk about binding! I love binding so much, it's fun to make and I love being able to sit down on the couch and hand stitch the binding to complete my quilt! Let's get started...
 How much fabric do I need for the binding?
To figure how much fabric needed for binding (based on width  of fabric) take the total number inches of all four sides and add 15” (for turning corners and connecting ends). Take that measurement and divide by 42” (42” is the width of the fabric). That will tell you how many binding strips you will need and the amount of fabric yardage.
  Example: Brick Road Quilt Size: 63” x 78”
                     63 + 63 + 78 + 78 = 282” + 15” = 297” total
                     297 ÷ 42 = 7.071 (round off to next highest number)
                     You will need 8 binding strips
                     Cut binding strips 2 ½” (this is your preference, but I like to cut 2 1/2" binding strips, I find that this width works the best)
                     Multiply 2 ½” x 8 (number of strips = 20”)
                     You will need to purchase 5/8 yard (or 22.5”) of binding fabric
 Preparing the Binding:
  1. Cut 8 – 2 ½” x width of fabric strips. Before moving strips, cut off selvage.
  2. Take 7 of the strips and on one short end of each strip, fold a 45° angle towards the right, wrong sides together. Press. (the pressed crease will be your stitching line) See diagram.  

3. Lay one end of the strip not pressed right side up with 1 short end at top.
4. Open up one end of the pressed strips and lay on top (of strip from step 3) right sides together to the left side of the unpressed strip. Pin. Stitch on the 45° pressed line. See diagram.

5. Take the next 45° pressed strip, placing on the unpressed end of the previous sewn strip. Repeat until all strips are sewn to make one continuous strip.
6. Trim off excess fabric ¼” from seam of all sewn strips. Press all seams open. See diagrams.

7. Take the long continuous binding strip and fold in half wrong sides together. Press entire strip being careful not to distort.
8. Now you will square the binding strip to 1 1/8” wide by placing the 1 1/8” ruler line on the fold side of the binding strip. Trim off excess binding (raw edge). Do this for entire binding strip.. This is an important step to ensure a straight, even binding. See diagram.
      Sewing the Binding to the Quilt:

    2. Use a walking foot to attach binding to quilt to avoid puckering of quilt layers.
    3. Start on front of any side of quilt (not at a corner) by laying binding strip on edge with raw edges of binding on edge of quilt. Start by leaving 6” – 8” of binding as a tail that will be joined at the end. See diagram.
    4. Sew strip with ¼” seam allowances all the way to the first corner, stopping ¼” short of edge. Cut thread.  See diagram.

    5. Fold binding away from quilt to form a 45° miter at corner. Fold binding back over quilt square to the edge going down the next side. See diagram.

    6. Start sewing from the edge all the way down to the next corner. Repeat Step 5 for all corners and stop sewing 15” – 20” short of where you started.   See diagram.

    7. To connect ends, lay binding loose ends down on quilt and fold back leaving ¼” gap between folds. See diagram.

Cut one end off at fold on right side. Open out cut piece and lay under other folded side to measure cut line of left strip. To join, open right side strip end and lay right side up. Open left side and fold left end corner over wrong sides together and press as you did in joining strips together. Open, lay on other strip right sides together, pin, and sew on pressed line. Be careful not to get strips twisted. Cut off excess fabric ¼” from seam, press seam open and sew strip in half wrong sides together. Lay strip to edge of quilt and finish sewing down.  See diagrams.

    Hand Stitching Binding to Back of Quilt:
    1.       Hand stitch to back of quilt using hand quilting thread color that matches the binding fabric, being sure not to stitch all the way through to the front of the quilt. I like to stitch every 1/4" or so to secure nicely!
    Ok, that's it for the Brick Road Sew Along!  Now, go finish your quilts and upload them to the Flickr Group to be in the drawing for all of the awesome prizes including: RJR Fabrics and SunFlower Quilts patterns!!

    Thank you for participating in the Brick Road Sew Along and I've loved watching your progress and seeing your photos! 
    Also, a HUGE thank you to RJR Fabrics for the Cotton Solid Supreme fabrics, they are wonderful to work with and ya'll are great too! :)



    Monday, May 13, 2013

    Brick Road Sew Along Week 6: Machine Quilting

    Today we are going to focus on machine quilting. Let me begin by saying that I am by no means an expert, I've been machine quilting for a few years and these are just some tips and tricks that help me along the way.  I am just going to give some basic machine quilting advice.
    Two websites that I love are Angela Walter's and Natalia Bonner's.  They are both longarm machine quilters and have beginners FMQ books with lots of cool designs to try. Check out their books and websites and learn from them, they know a lot more than me! :)
    One BIG trick on becoming better at machine quilting is PRACTICE!!  Practice, practice, practice....the more you do it, the better you'll be!  I like to take larger scraps or FQs that I have laying around and make quilt sandwiches with them (backing/batting/top) and practice machine quilting on them.  Practicing on smaller pieces allow me to learn with ease instead of pulling a huge quilt through my machine.
    Some tools I like for machine quilting:
    Machingers Gloves
    These gloves are soft, light and have fingertip grips to help grip the fabric as you quilt. I'm sure there are many places online where you can buy them, and I know JoAnn's carries them (so grab your coupon and go pick up a pair!)

    Walking Foot
    I love using my walking foot when I'm straight line quilting.  A walking foot has feed dogs along the bottom, so that there are two sets of feed dogs pulling your quilt through for an ease while quilting.  If you don't have one already, I highly recommend getting one!

    Free Motion Quilting Foot
    A free motion quilting foot has a wider/open foot to allow for better vision while quilting.
    Straight Line Quilting:
    Straight line quilting is exactly what it says, it's quilting in straight lines. Straight line quilting is how I started machine quilting. It's one of the best (easier) forms of machine quilting for beginners.
    Depending on the quilt, you can decide how far apart you want to space your straight lines.
    Some tips:
    -I like to adjust my stitch length to either 3 or 3.5, I find that these to lengths make quilting much easier and I'm not having to pull on my quilt.
    -Use painter's tape, chalk, or water soluble pencils to mark lines to follow. If you use painters tape you can follow the edge of it with your foot or needle.
    -use a walking foot (for reasons above)

    Please ignore my dorky self on the videos....this was my first video so I say "um" a bit at the beginning....I'm sorry, it gets better! Don't you just hate seeing yourself on camera?
    This video is about straight line quilting and can be found HERE on our YouTube channel. I was going to upload the videos on this post but it was taking forever and there are three separate videos.
    So, please check out our YouTube channel to find all of these videos plus more!

    Free Motion Quilting FMQ:

    Free motion quilting is when you quilt freely. You are the one controlling your machine, design and stitches.  FMQ can be any design you wish.
    Some tips:
    -Before I start any new quilting design, I like to practice drawing it on paper first. This allows me to feel where the design is going and learn where to go so when I'm quilting on my actual quilt I can freely quilt around it. 
    -use your FMQ foot
    -feed dogs down
    -stitch length at 0, this allows you to control your stitches
    -start in the center of your quilt and go outwards. This allows you to smooth out your quilt as you go.
    -Start out slow when you first start FMQ. Your pedal (foot) and hands should be going at similar speeds, this will insure your stitches will be equal.

    The next video is pebble quilting and can be found HERE on our YouTube channel.

    The last video is swirl quilting and can be found HERE on our YouTube channel.

    So, hopefully you're still with me after those videos!

    Try one or all of these machine quilting techniques (or something completely different) on your Brick Road quilt and don't forget to upload photos to the Flickr Group! Just remember to relax and have fun!!!
    I will post a binding tutorial tomorrow; this post already seemed long enough!

    Next week, winners will be announced! Remember, you can only win if you've uploaded photos to the Flickr Group!
    Up for grabs, RJR fabric and SunFlower Quilts Patterns!

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    Our 1st Book!!

    I can't even begin to express my excitement about our first book! It's been really hard keeping it a secret with ya'll!  This book started back in July 2012 and all of the patterns/made projects were finished and shipped to the publisher October 1, 2012.  So, it's been a while and I'm so excited that I can finally share it with you!  

    My Mom and I collaborated on this book and it's called Sewing Accessories at Home & on the Go! It includes 10 projects that will help organize your sewing room and make carrying projects to sewing retreats easier!  From pincushions, a ruler organizer, to a huge bag that will carry all of your rulers and rotary mat as well as fit your machine in it. I'm waiting on my samples to come back from the publisher, and when they do I will posting more details about each project with lots of photos!
    We had so much fun working on this book together and hope ya'll like it too!
    If you would like to purchase a copy, visit our website and get yours today for $9.95!
    If you're a shop and would like to carry our book please contact Annies or United Notions. And if you would like to host a SunFlower Quilts Trunk Show with our book projects please send me an email for more info!
    I would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Sharon at Annie's publishing for giving us the chance to write our first book and all of your hard work helping us make this happen!
    Also, a huge THANK YOU to Moda, Dear Stella and Pellon for providing us with the gorgeous fabrics and materials to make these projects come to life! Our book is so colorful thanks to ya'll!
    And to my Mama, my partner in crime! Thank you for teaching me to sew and going on this journey with me! I wouldn't be doing what I love without you and I love you more than you know!

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    Ohio State Quilt

    A good friend of mine asked me to make a baby quilt for a baby shower that she was attending May 1st. She told me that they were having a little boy and decorating his nursery in red, black and gray for Ohio State.  She gave me free reign on the design and here is what I came up with:

    The back

    Close ups of the quilting

    Thanks to my helper Jared....there is always either a child or animal in the way when I take photos inside :)
    With all of the rain lately I haven't been able to take too many photos outside!
    I hope they like their quilt and I can't wait to see a picture of it with a cute little baby on top!

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Amy Butler Weekender Bag & a Coupon!!

    My friend Angela Walters debuted her first fabric line called Textures with Art Gallery Fabrics back at Fall Market 2012. About a month ago she asked if I could make her a bag with her fabrics so she could carry it around at Spring Market. I said sure and she sent me some of her fabrics.
    Before I show you the bag, let me just say that I love this fabric line! The fabrics were so much fun to work with and they are so pretty! You can check back to my post about an entire quilt I made using them HERE.
    Ok, now for the bag! I made Amy Butler's Weekender Bag and I'm totally in love with it! It was really hard for me to send it to her, I wanted to keep it so bad!  I might just have to make myself another one using her fabrics!

    I added some teal topstitching to add a little extra! Hope you enjoy your bag Angela!
    Also, the nice people at Fairfield wanted to share this coupon with everyone who stopped by the Mirror Ball Blog Hop! I just received it last night and wanted to share it with ya'll!

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    Cherrywood Challenge

    You might remember my post from back in February about the Ovarian Quilt Cancer Project, if you don't or need a refresher you can find my post HERE!
    As part of the Ovarian Quilt Cancer Project, I'm participating in the Cherrywood Challenge again! What is that you ask? Well...
    In 2011, Cherrywood Fabrics donated hand-dyed teal fabric which inspired the inception of the Cherrywood Challenge. Local quilters were invited to create original wall hangings using these fabrics.
    Quilts were on display at the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston’s event at the Stafford Centre and on display at MD Anderson where employees, patients and visitors voted in person on their favorite Cherrywood Challenge quilt. Facebook Fans voted online and photos of each quilt were sent to Cherrywood Fabrics in a power point presentation for their professional vote.
    We are proud to have Cherrywood Fabrics partner with us again for the 2013 Online Quilt Auction. 
    They sent a Fat Eighth bundle with 8 different colors
    The rules were:
      Use only Cherrywood fabrics with no more than 30% of other fabrics. Quilts can be of any shape, but the length + the width of the quilt cannot be less than 48 inches nor more than 120 inches. A round quilt cannot have a diameter greater than 40 inches. (Curator’s Note: any shape is acceptable, you can use scalloped edges and non-traditional designs, but the quilt must hang well from a sleeve with no other support or pins.)
      Here is what I came up with: I'm calling it Happy Trails

      I had a lot of fun Free Motion Quilting this!

      And here is what the back looks like, I just pieced what was left over.

      Hopefully this will help raise money for the Ovarian Quilt Cancer Project and help raise awareness!

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    Brick Road Sew Along: Week 5

    Sorry for not having this post ready this morning....long, fun sewing weekend=tired Jamie!
     Let's get started! This week is backing/basting!
    1. Get your 4 yards of backing fabric and cut in half so you have 2-2 yard cuts (44" X 72") and cut the selvedges off.
    *NOTE: If you want a scrappier/pieced backing look, you could use 4 different 1 yard cuts!
    2. Then, take the 2-2 yard cuts and sew them together along one 72" side.  You will have one long 72" seam sewn where the selvedges used to be and have an approximately 72" X 82" piece. Press seam.
    *I pieced my backing to show you more colors of the RJR Crazy for Dots and Stripes fabrics, but as long as you have a backing piece at least 72" X 82" you'll be fine! Here is a photo of the RJR Crazy for Dots and Stripes fabrics I used: I LOVE THESE DOTS!
    1. Find a big open hard floor area to baste your quilt; you might need to move some furniture around.  I usually move my kitchen table to use the big hardwood floor space!
    2. With your backing fabric wrong side up, spread out on hard floor and smooth out wrinkles. 
    3. Using painter's tape, tape around the edges pulling the backing fabric tightly and making sure there are not any wrinkles or puckers.
    (Sorry, it was hard for me to get an entire backing picture because it's large and I'm short)

    (Ozzie wanted to show you where to tape to the floor)
    4. Then, spread batting out on top of backing fabric, smooth out any wrinkles and tape around edges.
    5. Next, spread quilt top on top of batting and smooth out any wrinkles.
    I don't tape my quilt top, because then I can adjust it while pinning if needed.
    Pinning your quilt:
    *There are many different ways to in your quilt, this is my method!
    What I use:
    I like to use curved safety pins with Paula Jean Creations covers on them, these covers make gripping the safety pins so much easier.

    I also like to use a Kwik Klip, this bad boy saves my finger tips from being sore while closing the safety pins and makes basting so much faster in my opinion. You can find more information about these products on Paula Jean Creations website!
    1. Using curved safety pins, baste your quilt together every few inches making sure to catch all layers (backing, batting and top).
    *I like to pin more rather than less to make sure I don't have any puckering while quilting. But it's your call on how much you pin.
    Ok, that's it on backing and basting! Come back next Monday for a machine quilting tutorial!!  Any requests on designs? 
    And make sure you add photos to the Flickr Group!