Thursday, November 14, 2013

picnic quilt tote

Ok BMQG Ladies this is for you, I will be demonstrating this at the November meeting, I will be referring you back to my blog for picture details if you are a visual learner.  I have now made 4 of these quilt totes starting with this lovely quilt commissioned by an etsian, those 2 quilts blogged both have gussets, this sounds complicated but it just a matter of adding 2-4" strip of fabric to your zipper before you apply it to the quilt.  This is necessary if your quilt is fluffy or large, which both of those were.  The plus quilts I am demonstrating are only 67" square and fairly thin so they fit with just the zipper.  Speaking of must use a zipper that is heavy duty and sturdy for it will be getting some wear and tug, you want to shop for one that is also wide because the wider the zipper edge the more space for your folded up quilt and a much easier zip when folding up.  The purchasing of the zipper will be your most challenging part of this project!  If you are lucky enough to happen upon a "sleeping bag " zipper at the fabric store grab it, they are 100" long, which is too big but the are wide and sturdy, otherwise you need to head over to the upholstery section and buy a zipper by the yard or an upholstery cushion zip.   You will probably need somewhere around 48" It is a good idea to finish your quilt and fold it and measure before you buy your zipper...unless you strike gold with the sleeping bag one.  

7 Easy Steps and 21 Pictures to your Quilt Tote!  
  1. Your quilt: If making a new quilt you may bind three sides if you wish and leave the binding free for the side with the zipper or wait until the last step to bind.  If you are using an existing quilt, on one side pull out the stitching and free the binding from the quilt as below

2. How to measure for the zipper: Lay quilt out and depending on size you will fold in half or thirds (A.) Then bring the ends to the middle (B.) At this point you will measure from your fold in the middle around the outside edge, down the fold and back to the middle edge.  That is the length of your zip, when you open up the zipper to apply it will then go around all 4 sides. Another way to think about measuring the zip is to measure the circumference of the folded quilt and divide by 2.


3. Prepare straps: Flip the folded quilt over and you will have your working surface for applying the handle(s) and zip.  You will have to determine the length of your own strap to your preferences and if you would like 1 or 2, or if you want to get fancy with an adjustable strap (if you cut them off of duffel bags before you toss them like I do then you can cheat a bit) or embellish any ribbing, jute webbing, nylon strapping, make your own with fabric and a stabilizer....get creative.
If using one strap, take measurements of the top of the tote (along the binding) find the middle and then center for one side and evenly space the straps, do the same for the second strap.  Stitch them on by going over stitching multiple times, making sure the ends don't fray you may zigzag too. You may then bind your quilt, keeping in mind you need an open place for zipper ends but I would rather rip out an inch of stitching later to keep the flow nice and smooth. Then refold the quilt to have (C) facing up to continue.



4. Prepare Zipper: Lay zipper out on folded quilt (D.) leaving a few inches hanging off the end, measure around 3 sides and add 2" for safety. Cut zipper at top (make sure the pull is below cut) 
Cut a piece of fabric 2 1/2" X 2x the width of zipper plus seam allowance
i.e. my zipper is 1 1/4 wide so I will cut fabric 2.5 X 3"
you will then fold right sides over the end of your measured zipper (E.), stitch along the bottom edge encasing the zipper, be aware of the zip part and use the wheel to lower your needle one stitch at a time so you don't break a needle, then run a stitch as close to the zip side without catching the zipper. Pull stitched fabric right side out (F) trim if too long and fold raw edges in and top stitch (G)





5. Attaching Zipper: (H) Open zipper up and lay right side down, this part is too tricky to explain so I will refer you to the pictures. (I) starting in the center of your folded quilt start pinning the zip with the teeth facing inward. (J) run the zip over your straps along the edge of the binding. Being careful at the corners to round them out and pin well but do not lip corners,( it will seem tight for now but will be perfect later)
(K) Pull the stitching now from your binding and insert the top ends of the zipper, I pin one side at a time and then make sure its all even then insert the tips into the binding (K) (L,M) is the pinned zip ready to stitch.




6. Stitch the Zip: Open the quilt flat and attach your walking foot, insert the quilt and align the needle to the outer edge of the zipper and position the teeth on the left outer side of your foot,(N) slowly stitch. When you have stitched the zipper all the way around, replace the top stitching over your zip ends. (P)



7. How to fold and zip:
Depending upon your quilt size if you folded in thirds or in half twice its still the same basic fold, (Q)Lay flat with handles at top, fold up (R,S) and fold into the center (T) then zip (U)





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

scrappy log cabin finished!

This little quilt that I started a few weeks ago as a scrap buster was so fast and fun.  Being able to use scraps and not have to fuss over size allowed me to play with colors and enjoy my block as it grew.  Follow Red Pepper Quilts Tutorial to find out how!

I found the perfect backing to complement my multi-colored top called Modern by Robin Zingone for Robert Kaufman Fabrics o used black and white polka-dot for the binding.
AND.......its up for sale in my re-opened etsy shop, featuring "little quilts"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


April Modern Block of the Month Pattern

Thursday, April 11, 2013

little bits finished quilt pictures

 As I was going through my old blog list I realized that I never posted a finished picture of my little bits quilt.  One of my first projects on this blog.  Well its been a few years and the boys have changed a little but as you can see they still are excited about their quilts, even little boys like to have nice things and they feel special when its made by mommy...

this is the quilt with the emphasis on "blue", the backing and the binding have more blue details

This quilt has the emphasis on "red", with a red backing and red details in the binding

It may not seem like much of a difference, but when you have twins you learn you have to color code things and so for quite a while we have stuck to it, but lately Mr. Red has been wearing and asking for blue and its confusing everyone, so now its just whatever color you like, its a new phase and the color coding has served its purpose.

This next photo is of the backing and a label I made, it was really cute when I put the quilts on their bed for the first time, I showed them the label and their name and they hugged it and like to sleep holding that corner because it says love cute are these little guys?


So I have to say that I am happy with this fabric, it has not faded much, through all the washing's  and believe me they have been washed!

Monday, April 8, 2013

scrappy log cabin update

rainy day and a change of plans gave me the perfect unexpected opportunity to sew
love it when that happens....
so here's where I'm at, I was debating on 9 or 12 squares, but think I'll keep it at 9, perfect wall hanging, lap or floor throw for baby
I went ahead and bordered in 2.5 white strips and like how that set off the blocks

now a trip to my favorite fabric shop for the backing and binding, they have had many fun and unusual juvenile prints lately, hope to find something tomorrow!

Friday, April 5, 2013

scrappy log cabin blocks

After all that talk yesterday about scraps I thought maybe I should use some! So inspired by red pepper quilts bright log cabin scrap quilt I got started on my first log cabin quilt.  Something that I personally am really attracted to is taking classic patterns and making them modern with new techniques and fabrics, since I'm a vintage modern girl ;)
red pepper quilts inspiration
Here is what I did this morning, I seem to have many children's novelty prints and polka dots...


4 blocks completed and I don't have a finished plan for this quilt, I am just going through my color boxes and completing one block at a time, since it is obviously a juvenile quilt I am guessing it will stay small, lap or crib size, might even be a nice "I spy" floor quilt, adding sashing would expand it also so who knows?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

BOM2 Block #1 I wanted to make my BOM2 blocks with scraps. do you define scraps?
Well, I buy designer fabrics most of the time, so if there is a scrap 1" wide after I cut, it goes into the :small" scrap bin, if it i large enough to be used again it gets folded back in with the large piece of fabric.  Why do you save such small scraps? I get asked frequently (especially by the shrapnel police) and I have even pulled out scraps I've found in the trash! I shout "hey, that's Amy Butler"and  my kids giggle.  Well if I paid $8-17/yd I want to get every bit used out of that yard.  If I need to make a greeting card, or little gift and have the opportunity to use a 1"x1" scrap of some of my fav fabric from my fav designers then the whole project just became a designer piece, even if its background is drop cloth.  I have many examples of this in action here on my blog.  It's kind of like tossing the bacon grease for a chef, don't do it!

This example pretty much sums up what I'm trying to say, my friend made me this bunting...
spot any designer prints? I can name three off hand.

ok enough about the idea of scraps....what I am getting at is when I thought I would do this quilt with scraps, I had to define scraps.  The BOM2 quilt has JUMBO blocks that measure 24.5" each so the blocks pieces are 4.5" wide and run from 4.5"-16.5" so my "scraps" need to be pretty big, but this does not mean I have to buy alot of fabric, just be using my "large" scraps for this one.....that all being said I did not have enough Kona solid to finish even one block...hahaha no problem I have not purchased my 5 yards needed of background fabric to complete this quilt, so now I have a reason to get out there and buy it!
Here is where I had to stop, I was short the 4.5"x16.5" pieces to complete the block

I followed the instructions she gave in great detail about starching, cutting, and "scant 1/4" a little extra prep work but I like the results.  I plan on making each block in one colorway.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

modern block of the month

I'm thinking about trying this out, making a quilt a little at a time! Block #1 is out...lets try it!!! Anyone with me??? Here is the BOM2 Flicker page to follow others progress

Thursday, March 21, 2013

plus quilt quilted....but not finished

 The plus quilt is quilted and bound, so it may look finished, but...... I still have plans for it to be made into a zip up picnic blanket

I chose the backing fabric from this adorable set of novelty prints, its called Sherbet Pips- play dot by Angela Hoey for Moda Fabrics...look at the coordinates, they are so cute!

I chose to add left over squares into the binding to keep with the scrappy look of the quilt

I plan on writing a tutorial on the steps taken to turn any quilt into a zipper tote picnic blanket....
coming soon!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

plus quilt picnic blanket

Well I finished 2 quilts already this month and now I can't stop!
I have been wanting to make a quilt entirely of my scraps, and since I buy new fabric for most projects, my scraps have added up.   I store them in clear bins by color and knew that I had enough of each color to make a spectrum quilt.  This quilt is a gift and I plan on turning it into one of my  picnic blankets in a bag.
Here is one of my inspirations, as there were many on pinterest of course....I was considering using soilds like FITF to break it up but after I finished cutting I had enough to do the whole quilt.
Here is the top half, I had to lay it out in sections my table is not large enough for the whole thing......more to come soon im sure.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

finished quilting and binding

this was my first large scale free motion machine quilt project since I got my new Bernina last year.  I learned a few things along the way, but over all I love the finished product and it just fueled my desire to continue and quilt some we'll see whats up next, I am thinking something with the scraps I already have in the stash since the beautiful backing fabric from this quilt broke the fabric allowance for a bit, but well worth it!
Since the almond trees are so pretty the quilt wanted its photo shoot outside so here it is.

Monday, March 4, 2013

scallop quilt update

It has been time for finishing up projects.
First the hankie quilt.... I needed to find a way to display my Grandmas hankies in a useful and beautiful way. I used a white swiss dot for the sashing and boarders as well as the binding,  my goal was to let the colors of the hankies be the main focus of this quilt, I also backed the quilt top with interfacing and decided to hand tie rather than machine quilt.
Then I got to work on the scallop quilt.
The quilt pieces were set aside for other projects and when I went to pick them back up I found that I needed to re-iron them.  The ironing technique using the foil goes quickly, but still time consuming.  So the only other thing I have to say about the construction of this quilt is that the pieces are round so they are stretchy which can pull and become esque.  So this quilt is less than perfect....but colorful and pretty non the less.  I have the scallops, boarders and back ready to sandwich and quilt.
I have a little quilt corner where I can display quilts and linens on an old ladder.  I have hung my hankie quilt, and below that is a quilt my  great-grandmother hand embroidered, all 50 states and the sate bird.  Then she hand quilted this large King size quilt.  Such beautiful craftsmanship.

scallop quilt before the boarders
A sneak peek at the boarder and backing.....I cant wait to get this thing quilted!  I used Joel Dewberry Notting Hill Voile for the backing, I you have not touched this fabric yet......let me just say you need to!!!