Friday, May 27, 2011

A challenge...and a Mystery...

If you aren't a member of the forum, then you wont know what fun we are having! LOL. I have started a fun challenge. It's called "It's too pretty to cut!" challenge and you can read all about it here.

Basically, you find a pretty FQ or larger piece of fabric in your stash (or heck, go buy one!). You take a picture of it and post it on the thread. Then, you make something fantastic out of it. Your finished project picture is due by July 31st. And then the pieces will be judged. The WINNER get a $50 gift certificate to Jess's store, and the runner up gets a $25 gc to her store!! WOW, what generous gifts.

So hop on over to the forum and join in the fun.

And that's not all! Jess has the BEST quilt mystery's. She does them 4 times a year, and June is our next weekend. You sign-up, buy the pattern for only $9.95 each (or subscribe for the year, get all 4 mystery patterns for only $34.95).

Here's one of the mystery quilts that I made in 2009. 

It's an awesome weekend to have the mystery quilt going on too! June 25th and birthday

We are always having fun, what between mystery quilt weekends...we have challenges, swaps, make charity quilts and baby quilts for members.

Hope you can join us :)

Thanks for stopping by


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Square in square

Hello Blogland, and my new followers! So glad to have you with us. If you aren't a member of the Q&N forum, come on over and join the fun!

Do you have trouble with making square in square blocks? They can be a little tricky, getting the triangles just right on the square. So I have a few tips to help you out.

The first thing to do is figure out how big your inner square and triangles need to be. Correction: I find that if I make my inner squares 1 3/4" smaller than you want your finished block to be, then they come out right. So they will be the same size on the diagonal, as the finished block. (I'm so sorry about this mistake!! New meds for my fibro...enough said.) EX: if you want your finished block to be 6", then the inner square needs to be 6" on the diagonal.

And to find out how big I need the triangles, I first put my inner square on point. Making sure the points are on lines. I put my ruler on the top point, and measure from there to the side point. And then add 1/4" for the seam allowance. So in this case, I need my triangles to be 3 3/4".I usually add another 1/8" to a 1/4" for some wiggle room.

There is mathmatic formulas, for figuring this out. But I can never remember them :)

Cut out squares the size you need. Then cut in half once diagonally. 

You'll need two squares per inner square.

Here is an easy way to get that setting triangle just right. You want it centered on the inner square. So I fold the inner square in half, and just give it a little pinch at the top, where the triangle is going to go. (Ignore the flour on my thumb, I was also making bread. LOL)

The pinch just leaves a little fold mark, which quickly goes away.

Do the same thing for your setting triangle. Pinch.

Right sides together, match pinch marks and then pin.

Sew at a 1/4". Your 'dog ears' should stick out  a scant 1/4".

Now just trim.

So my tips are:

Tip 1: cut your setting triangle 1/8" to 1/4" bigger than you need.

Tip 2: Fold pieces in half and pinch to find the middle.

I hope this helps any of you having problems getting that 1/4" seam on your Square in square blocks.

I am making a new scrappy quilt with this. Called butterfly wings. Here's a picture. 

Just a starting. But it's what I'm working on now. You can see more pictures/etc on it on my blog, RidgeTopQuilts.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.

Copyright D. Lucas, 2011 This is my tutorial. You are welcome to use any of my tutorials for personal use. You are not permitted to use my pictures or my words without linking back to the original and giving me credit for them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quilt as you go....quilt

So we've given you a few great quilt-as-you-go table runners and place mats. But what about if you want to quilt a small to large quilt, in this manner? How do you do that?

When I first learned to quilt, about 17 yrs ago now, I read all the books I could get my hands on. And some of them were books by Georgia Bonesteel. Who taught me how to quilt-as-you-go....something that I have done very little of. LOL

But anyways, here is the gist of it. It's easy and a GREAT project for practicing machine quilting (which I need a lot of!)

First thing to do is make your blocks. All of them. I made 4, just to show you the technique. Cut out squares from your backing material that is just a bit larger than your blocks, maybe an inch (which I failed to do, so things were tight later on). Cut your batting pieces about 1/2" smaller than your blocks. So you will have squares of backing and batting, enough for as many blocks as you make.

Layer them in the normal way, and pin.

Then quilt each of your blocks individually. And trim your backing to the size of the front.

Now take two blocks, put them right sides together. Pin the backing fabric away from the edge where you are going to sew. 

Now pin the edge of the top pieces together, and sew a 1/4" seam.

Here is the front and back.

Keep adding blocks to make the rows as long as you need them.
Then take one row, and lay if face up and another row and lay it face down on top. Pin your backing out of the way, match your seams up, and pin and sew top of the rows together (just like you did for the blocks).

Here is the top of my 4-square.

And here is the back.

Now smooth out one backing so that the edge goes under the edge of the next block.

Now fold over the other edge, 1/4" inch.

And lay it down on top of the first edge. Do this along the whole length of one seam. Start with either the vertical seams or horizontal ones, but do all of them before the next.

Pin and sew. You can either whip stitch this by hand or you can sew it by machine. Going right thru the top layer if you use your machine.

When you've done all the horizontal (or vertical) rows, move to the vertical (or horizontal) rows. Lay down one edge flat, fold the other 1/4" under.

Pin and sew.

And here it is, all done...Except for my machine kept acting up and I am going to have to resew both my horizontal and vertical rows. I can't whip stitch them, as it hurts my hands. So I need to fix the tension or something...sigh~ and I just noticed that my seams weren't matching on the two bottom blocks too...

 So it's to the seam ripper I go...and then I can bind it....if I made the machine behave.

Have fun!

Thanks for stopping by

Copyright D. Lucas, 2011 This is my tutorial. You are welcome to use any of my tutorials for personal use. You are not permitted to use my pictures or my words without linking back to the original and giving me credit for them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Forum swaps

Sorry it's been awhile, I was offline for almost a week. Computer problems are a pain, but I just can't do without the computer :)

So, I worked on my signature blocks. Last year, in April, the gals on the forum made these blocks. And we traded them, so we all ended up with 22 blocks. We all put our names/city/state on them too.

Over the winter, I made all my signature blocks into these bigger blocks.

And this week, I put them into this square quilt top. It measures roughly 65"x 65".

A lovely day for picture taking.

That was a fun swap. I'm glad to see one more UFO, get closer to finished.

We also have recently done a friendship swap, secret of course! We made these cute little bags, and put some thread and other goodies into them. This is the one I received from Debbie.

Isn't it cute!
We also have another mugrug swap going on. I have mine made, need to get it put in the mail.

What kind of swaps do you like to do?

I have another tutorial coming up, later this week, or maybe next. Depends on how quickly I can get it done. So stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.