Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Snowball quilt

I've been keeping up with my weekly snowball blocks that Temecula Quilt Company is hosting every week.  We are to make 8 light and 8 dark snowball blocks each week.
Right now, I'm slightly ahead of their schedule.  That is ok because if I miss a week or two, I'll be on schedule then.  This is only one half of the blocks laid out on my design wall.  The other squares are already cut out and just need to have the snowball bit done on them.
November and December months saw me busy making things.

Two mug rugs for a guild pot luck luncheon, which I had to miss since I threw my back out.
Two girl blankets for our local NICU.
Two boy blankets also for the NICU
Two pillow cases for a charity.
A Xmas ornament from a kit that was given out to us at night quilt guild.
Two QOV blocks that were in a kit.
 A doily runner for a niece.  My sister and I rummaged through our doilies that we each made plus some that our Mom made.  These runners are quite popular right now.
I sewed all the doilies together using my sewing machine and it worked out very well and it is nice and sturdy.  A lot of pins were used to keep the doilies in place and I did the sewing together in small sections.
Four adult clothing protective covers:
On a sad note, we said good-bye to our sweet Miss Ashes in early October.  She was just shy of 16 years.  We had her for 9 years and what delight and joy she brought to us.  So, no more pets now.  How different it is in the house without our two cats.  Oh well .... we were so lucky to have had them.
Christmas was wonderful, but busy ..... and it is so nice to have that behind us and now get ready to welcome in the new year.  What will I do this coming year?  Time will tell.

So to all, I wish you peace and joy for 2018!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hanging my quilts

I was requested by Chookyblue to show how I hang my quilts and the quilt back .... so to help this quilter and also as a reminder for me too (just in case the brain forgets ....) here is a detailed instruction.

This quilt has been hanging on a wall since January of this year.  It didn't have a proper sleeve because I couldn't find the matching backing fabric.  That fabric was hidden somewhere in my studio and lo and behold, it was recently found when sorting through a basket.  So, this will be the quilt to demo my way of hanging quilts.
This is how this quilt was hung.  Scraps of fabric pinned in place.  It did the trick, but a little picky when trying to fold and store away. 
So, let's make a proper sleeve.  Start with a piece of fabric (this will become a piece of lining) that measures 6-1/2" wide x 5" high (any fabric will do for this lining) and draw 1" lines on the sides and bottom.
Round the bottom corners as shown below.  Rounded corners are easier to handle than squared corners.
Pin the centre of the scrap fabric to the centre of the sleeve (right side of fabric).  If you have done garment sewing, this is my lining.  My sleeve fabric (that matches the backing) is cut 6-1/2" high x width of quilt top plus a couple of inches of extra fabric for the sleeve edges that will be turned back and sewn (you will see more of that later).
Sew on the drawn lines.
Trim away the centre part leaving a good 1/4" seam.  Cut slashes in the rounded corners.
Turn the lining to the back of the sleeve and baste in place.  Top stitch around the opening and around the sides and bottom of the lining to secure in place.  Remove basting threads.
At the top edge, draw a line 1/4" down from the top on the wrong side of the sleeve.
On the right side of sleeve at the bottom, draw a 1/4" line right across the width of the sleeve.
At the top edge of the quilt, draw a line 1" down from the top of the binding.
Find the center of the quilt top and draw a line about 8" long.  Notice that I have been using Crayola Washable markers to do all my markings.  All my quilts get washed right after putting on a sleeve and the markings will wash out.
OK .... so you are not seeing things!  My photos that matched up to the barn fabric were blurry and two photos were substituted.  Here is another quilt that had to be fixed, so might as well do that sleeve too.

Take the sleeve and center it at the top of your quilt.  Bring the top of the sleeve to the line that was marked 1" from the top of the binding.
Here is a closer look at the centre and the 1" marked line.   Start pinning the sleeve in place on both sides of the centre.
Smooth the sleeve out so that it is longer than the actual width of the quilt top.  With your ruler, make a mark 1/2" past the edge of the quilt.  Remove the excess fabric.
Make a line that is 1" from the trimmed edge.
Fold the fabric over to the line, pin in places and then turn that fold over again (don't forget to remove the pins on the first fold line.
Pin in place and then sew the outside seam.  Repeat for the other side of quilt.  Don't have the edges of the sleeve the same width as the quilt.  The extra space will allow space for a hook for hanging.  You will see later.
On the sleeve (the different quilt photo) where it was pinned in place, sew a running stitch along the line that was marked 1/4".  Just be sure not to have your stitch go through the layers to the front of the quilt.
In this photo (left of the centre vertical line), you can see the 1" marked line and the running stitch.  Can you see where I'm starting to fold the sleeve up towards the bottom of the binding?
Fold the sleeve to the bottom of the binding and pin in place.  Start to fold the bottom of the sleeve on the 1/4" line that you marked.  This becomes your hem.  Pin in place through all layers and start to hand sew the sleeve to the backing.
Can you see just below the words "Amish Made" on the red barn?  You can just barely see the folding line for the hem.  Once that hem is sewn, your sleeve is complete.
Here is my finished sleeve and that quilt can be folded up easily now and stored away until it is time to bring it out again.

Here is another way of doing a sleeve.  Pinned in place or a proper sleeve .... just be sure to have that extra bit of fabric at the top to ensure your quilt hangs properly.
Now, the next part of the question was what I used for hanging my quilts up onto the wall.

Other than my queen size quilts, all my other quilts are hung on the wall using these hooks.  No affiliation with this company, I just love using them.  They leave no marks and no holes and the fact that I change my quilts out often, these are perfect.

One thing .... on the instructions, they say to use rubbing alcohol on the spot where you hang the hook, I don't anymore and the hook stays up just fine.  My quilting rulers are great tool for marking the exact spot to place my hooks.  Oh by the way .... just make sure the hook is facing up before adhering to the wall.  How do I know that ....... LOL  If you do have to remove the hook, just pull the tab very slowly because I have pulled off some paint doing it quickly.  Slowly is the key word.
These are my hangers.  Metal hangers because they are strong.  Notice the masking tape?  If I need a longer hanger and don't have any that are the exact size, I just tape two pieces together and they work as long as the taped pieces fit into the groove of my hook.  It is better to have the joined pieces overlapping and taped together and not hung in a hook.  Don't force your hanger into the hook grooves as they don't give but will break.  How do I know that? 
Sometimes, I will use a paint stick to hang up my quilts, especially my smaller ones.  Just be sure to put a coat of Varethane on both sides of the stick because the resin from the wood will seep into the quilt backing and slowly destroy the fabric.  In two of my hangers above, you can see paint sticks tapes to the ends of the hanger.  Sometimes, all you need is just a couple of inches to make the hanger the perfect width and those sticks work quite well.

See the hanger with the writing on it?  These are what I'm using now and can be bought at Home Depot.  I cut up a bunch using a hack saw and grippers to secure the bar to something solid in order to saw.  All I did was get the blade cut through the metal enough so that I could bend the metal back and forth to snap the cut.  With a metal file, smooth out any sharp and rough edges or cover the snapped edges with masking tape.  If a 66 yr. old lady can cut these metal pieces, so can you!
When I am ready to hang my quilt, I put my quilt just slightly above the hooks, flat against the wall and then slide the quilt down into place onto the hooks.  To remove, I put my hands below the hanger and slide up.  If you go up or down at an angle, the hooks will break off and you will need to replace.
Whenever, the metal hanger is thinner than the hook, your quilt will tend to flop over at the top when it is hung up.  Don't despair.  Cardboard (from cereal boxes) will quickly become your friend.   Cut a piece and fold it a couple of times.
Usually, I add this piece when my quilt is hanging on the wall, but for demo purposes you can see where the folded piece of cardboard is placed.  No more flippy floppy!
Made a mistake in measuring the location and your quilt is lopsided by a 1/4" to 1/2" on one side?  Don't remove the hook and replace the sticky bit.  Take another piece of cardboard and fold it a couple of times and place it under the hanger.  See how much the hanger sticks up?  There, problem solved.  Like I said, cardboard will become your friend.
With these hooks, my quilts lie flat against the wall, but I like them snug to the wall.  This is what it looks like behind my quilt.  Lots of masking tape!  I laugh each time a quilt gets changed out and I see how much tape is there.  As long as the tape sticks, it remains in place for the next quilt.  Ah well, that is my trick.
How many hooks did I use to hang this quilt?  Two.  Side-by-side.  Having these hooks placed like this eliminates the need for hooks on the ends.  Also, the quilt is easy to straighten on the wall just by sliding the hanger one way or the other.  This quilt measures 37" width and 55" long.  Each hook holds up to 1/2 lb. each.  So, why are there four hooks?  My quilt sits on the top two.  The bottom two are for another quilt that is not as long.  My hooks are not removed.
See .... this quilt hangs on the bottom two hooks and an piece of decor is placed on the top hooks to just hide the hooks.  Why remove them?  This works. 
Now, Chookyblue has a quilt that is 72" square.  None of my quilts are that size so far that I have hung on these 3M Command hooks.  I would do the pinned scraps for a sleeve (for now) and do four hooks.  Two in the centre and one on each end.  If the quilt stays up, then eventually do a proper sleeve.  If the quilt falls down over time (like overnight) then put two more hooks spaced out between the ends and the centre and see if that works.  When doing a proper sleeve, these additional hooks will mean more openings in the sleeve.  When doing a test to see if a quilt will stay up overnight, just don't have anything breakable close by because the quilt and hanger could break the item if it falls down.

So there, now you know my tricks for hanging up my quilts.  Easy peasy and no holes!

For my foyer quilts, DH found a new trick for hanging those quilts.  That will be a post for another day because we need another person here to take photos of how we do it.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Baskets to keep me warm!

Outside, a snow storm is raging but I got me some baskets to keep me warm!  LOL  Another quilt is finished!  Oh, this was a lovely quilt to work on and there are quite a few baskets that were all hand appliqued. 
Eventually, some blue quilted pillows will be made to co-ordinate with this quilt and other quilts that are of the same fabrics.  These will do for now.

A few years ago, these baskets were quite the rage (original design is by Blackbirds).  Except, I did my own thing.  I found this basket on EQ7 and did a different border layout to make it my own.

Silly thing is .... I'm not really fond of baskets, but how in the world did I end up making a basket quilt?  Go figure that one out!  I guess when you see something on blog after blog after blog, the brain gets a subliminal message to make one too!  So, I did!!  Anyway, I'm glad that I did and this quilt will be much enjoyed.

Block name:  On-Point Tote Basket (from EQ7)
Block size:  finished 6" square placed on point
Quilt size: 96" wide x 95-3/4" long (top size before quilting: 101" x 101")
Date started:  June 2010
Date top finished:  January 2011
Date finished:  December 7, 2017 (again, this top sat on a shelf for way too long)
Machine quilted (edge-to-edge by Tella in Toronto.  Again, you worked your magic to bring this quilt alive!

Have a great day!