Bluebirds and Christmas Quilt Along

Yesterday the directions for Step 3 of the From My Carolina Home  – Christmas 2015 Quilt Along came out.  You can find Step 3 here:   Christmas Table Topper .

While I “thought” I was ready, I soon discovered I was not.  Turns out, I had pulled the WRONG SIZE pieces of red from my scrap storage.  So, I gathered up those 3″ red squares, and stored them back in the Scrap Storage bins, and searched among the 2.5″ bins for enough “red”.  Then I dug deep into the overflowing baskets under the ironing board and managed to again pull out just what I needed. A little starch, a bit of time with the iron, and off to the cutting mat and onto sewing!  Thanks again to my friend Cindy & Nancy and many others for their scrap contributions!!  Check out these pieces!!Part 1 of Step three  (note – in an effort to “save space” here on WordPress, I am linking some of my photo’s back to FLIKR.  Let me know if this is driving you nuts, or works out ok please!)

Then it was on to Part 2 of Step 3….well…..again, I was not ready.  I guess I just failed to ready the directions fully, and I had to get busy and make more 1/2 square triangle brown and neutral blocks….like 40 more.  So, I got busy and did a little more marking, stitching, cutting, pressing, trimming and sewing and now the Part 2 of Step 3 is complete. Check out those pieces!  Step 3 fabrics from the scrap basket   I’ll tell you what, I hope I do better reading the instructions for Bonnie Hunter’s  Allitare Winter Mystery Quilt 2015 which comes out on Friday morning next week!!!

With this Christmas 2015 Quilt Along, I am to wait until Friday for the assembly instructions, but I did “look ahead” and am contemplating some assembly between now & then, just to move the project along.  While I am contemplating, I am rethinking my “scrappy” decision on the project, but it will be what it is!

While I ponder, I went ahead and got the last of the applique elements ready and fused to my Little Bluebird pattern by Pat Sloan.  I am quite happy with the outcome and anxious to get the red and green thread out to do the final applique stitching on the vines, the berries and the hearts. I love the cottage look it lends and have loved every step in the process.   Already as I look at it, I am thinking ahead to the binding ….and trying to decide how I will do it.  While I get it layered up for quilting, I am going to contemplate what color and what method to use in the binding.    I have a large piece of the “vine fabric” ready to cut on the bias, which will make a nice binding and give a bit of contrast. I also have plenty of the outer border fabric and that wonderful stripe that is the inner border. Oh, the decisions!!!  Never mind the quilting….my brain did a speed up and I skipped right over that process.

 

My Little Blue Bird

My Little Blue Bird

 

I have never been a “cheddar” fan, but I really like the way it works in this pattern.  I loved making this, and I am already thinking ahead to that backing we made in class and get on with Ma-Ma’s Flower Garden.  Oh, the fun.  (I say that as I think of the Christmas things I keep sliding to the back burner).

All in all a good Saturday of sewing!  What are you working on?

Binding and other projects

So many projects, so few complete~!!~  Only 1 week to go before the 1st clue on Bonnie Hunter’s blog  Allietare Winter Mystery Quilt 2015 .  My fabric is all pre-washed.  I won’t bore you with the photo’s of the RED color catchers and the BROWN color catchers! Just know that I am VERY happy to report that my pre-washing was not done without good reason.  Used nearly a full box of those color catchers while washing the red, the brown, the gold, and the green.  Yes, the red bled like crazy, and so did the brown.  (The red fabric that was running was quality quilt store fabric by Robert Kaufmann.  Can’t blame it on the fabric I got at Hancock’s or Wal-Mart.)  No color transfer from my golds or greens.  I have some ironing to do, but all in all, the fabric came out of the washer & dryer with little ravel.  I pinked the raw edges with an Olfa rotary pinking blade before they got washed.  I have all the reds “starched” and ready.  I will work on the other colors this weekend getting them ironed. Meanwhile, while I await the 1st clue, I have other things in the works.

I  do need to “make a list” at some point.  Actually have my UFO list posted, but I have many more things to get organized.

I have been helping my hubby at his train club get ready for the annual  Delmarva Model Railroad Club Open House .  The skirting under the HO layout needed some work, washing, repair, resizing etc.  I did some of it at home, but then took my machine, rotary cutting tools, iron & mat to the club and worked Monday for several hours. I had convinced him to buy new fabric and got quite the deal on some broadcloth for $1.79/yard. So, 2 bolts &  40 yards later…..My part is easy. He has to hang new furring strips etc to attach the skirting in a more permanent fashion.  In previous years the members had just “unrolled the bolt, wrapped and stapled as they went”.  This wasn’t a bad approach, but when ever you needed to get UNDERNEATH for work (wiring etc), it was difficult to move.  I am working with width of fabric (44″) sections and measuring to length.  This way, they can just clip up a section in the area they need to access.  Certainly won’t get it all done before the first Open House date, as the hubby is the “limiting factor”.  I can sew pretty fast, but his efforts for hanging furring strips take lots more time.  Oh well, on to more fun sewing…that black fabric gets pretty darn boring!

I am doing a Christmas Table runner Sew Along, following along with From My Carolina Home on WordPress.  Step 3 of the Table Topper was published a few minutes ago, so I am chomping at the bit to get out to the sewing room.  I have Step 1 and Step 2 completed – pix here:  Step 1 and 2 on Flickr  .  (Note – I am going to start using Flikr for my photo’s for the blog for a while as I am nearly at my limit here on WordPress.   Do let me know if you were able to click the link and if you had any troubles.)

I am also “busy” working on my Little Blue Bird project by Pat Sloan.  I got the half square triangle border on yesterday and the final outer border.  I worked on cutting bias strips (THANK YOU to YOU TUBE) to make the trailing vine around the outer border.  I actually got the vine attached on the top, and have the other strips cut and ready to attach.  Pat Sloan used a fabric glue, but I found I had a roll of fusible web that I could press on the back of the bias strip and iron to the project.  That worked out really well for me, and I didn’t have to wait to order the fabric glue.

My other project this week started on Wednesday, and FINISHED on Wednesday.  My quilt bee – The Material Girls met at 1 pm, and we were handed a stack of flannel squares.  The backing fabric was cut and ready, the batting was cut and ready, and after 2 hours of sewing during the bee, and then a couple of hours at home, I have a finished charity quilt ready!

I was reading a post from Carole – Adventures in Machine Binding ; this morning and her efforts at machine binding. Well, 1/2 way through the article, she discusses turning the backing from the back over and making it binding.  Good tutorial if you are working with charity quilts.

I was “supposed to” do that with this flannel quilt, but I struggled with the method, and ended up using my favorite binding “SUSIE’S MAGIC BINDING”.   My first exposure to this method was from Aunt Marti on her blog 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks (Susie’s Magic Binding ). Recently I tripped over a great tutorial by Margo Clabo on this style of binding.  The video is a bit long, but she had so many tips on my favorite binding method to ensure an excellent finish. Yes, I learned several things and have incorporated them already!  This is a great tutorial and one you might want to save:  Margo Clabo tutorial .  Carole also mentioned a method she was going to investigate and linked to it from Susan at Quilt Fabrication – and it is the same as Susie’s Magic  Binding, and the Margo Clabo method.  As a collector of information, I will share that link as well.  Quilt Fabrication method   I think it is important to “look at all these tutorials and get as much information from them as possible, to find methods that work for you.  Every time I look at other tutorials I find things that make the method a little bit easier.  I still struggle with lining up the piping at the join and use lots of basting stitches until I get it “just right”.  Takes me longer to line up that join than any other step!  Practice makes perfect!

I hope what ever your project is today, that it goes well, with few ripped stitches!

Do let me know if you had troubles with FLIKR.  Did you have to join anything? Sign up? Etc….    🙂