Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm here... it really going to be August this weekend? Where has this summer gone? As you can see, I haven't been on blog land in a couple of weeks...spending the last days of summer trying to fit in all those summer activities we had planned to do. E. starts school August 10th - way too early in my opinion. Haven't done much sewing either - but will get back into the groove soon. Just wanted to stop in and say hi! Hope you all are enjoying your summer too!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finished Goods sure does feel good to finish a project. I really should do that more often. My first and second quilts are complete - the binding on the first is a packaged bias binding (and really isn't the right green, but I just wanted to get it done). Nothin' to write home about.

For the wonderland quilt binding, I found a red/cream ticking in my fabric stash and while I would have preferred to have seen one of the wonderland fabrics on the binding, I thought this would do nicely. Since I'm guessing this quilt will get used quite a bit, I decided to do a bias binding.

This was the first time I've cut anything on the bias and I was a little nervous about it. I've read numerous tutorials on how to cut on the bias, but I am such a visual learner that I just wasn't getting it from text alone. They lost me after "take your square and fold the corner..." Any time I see any shape described in text, I'm immediately brought back in time to my 10th grade geometry class. Let's just say that geometry and I did not mix!

So, I found this tut and got it! Lots of pictures, which is exactly what I needed! And I love her method of stacking the strips so they are ready to sew together. It didn't take me nearly as long as I expected to cut and sew all the strips into one long continuous binding strip. This probably isn't anything new to most of you, but I sure felt like I accomplished something! Surprisingly, I enjoyed finishing the back of the binding by hand (using a ladder stitch). It went rather quickly and it was a pretty relaxing task.

Oh - I forgot to tell you how I ended up quilting this baby. I did straight-line quilting down the vertical sashing (and used painters tape as my guide). For the squares, I started out by quilting 1/4" from the seam on the inside of each large square block. Then, at first, I did diagonal stitching (a big X) inside the large blocks. I finished the 3 blocks in the center of the quilt and realized that I was seeing triangles! The "X" really took away from the smaller squares and I didn't like it. So, I ripped those stitches out and ended up stitching 1/4" from each seam inside the block so it looks like all the small blocks are outlined. Does that make sense? Anyway, I liked the look much better.

While this quilt is far from perfection , I love it (but that little loopy thread in the photo above is buggin' me!). I know it will be used for many years (if it doesn't fall apart when I wash it)! And, I learned a lot from it too. Looking forward to my next one!

By the way, thank you for all your kind comments and suggestions!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A week in review

Where in the world has this week gone? 10 things I've done this week -

1. laundry, cleaning & paying bills (ugh)
2. saw Ice Age 3 with the kids
3. sewed binding on first quilt - yee haw!
4. sewed up some zippered pouches from charm squares
5. took kids "gem mining" and on a gold mine tour, had lunch in charming Dahlonega and sneaked in a visit to the Southern Living Idea house.
6. finally scheduled doggy training for Toby. Better late than never, right? He'll be 1 on Sunday!
7. had a girls' night with K. the other night and watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua
8. slept in
9. started reading a new book
10. almost finished quilting 2nd quilt

Regarding #10, I am in the process of ripping out some of the quilting. As much as I don't want to, I didn't like how it looked. I'm trying to finish the quilting so I can do the binding over the weekend. I'm spending a few days at my parents' house without hubby and the kids, so I figure it might be a good time to finish it. I'll post more about that quilt when it's completed.

Have a great weekend!