Friday, March 26, 2010

Spiderweb Quilt Top Done

The red/white and black star quilt is a table runner. It's for a special occasion soon. I tried binding it with the tutorial at Sew Inspired. The directions are very easy to follow. Because my hands are a bit arthritic, I wanted to try the final sewing by machine--it turned out I had to pick out some of it and then sew by hand! The brightly colored one is the finished spider web quilt without the borders yet. It's not as cattywampus as it looks--Randy measured it and it's pretty much square. I'm not sure what the borders will be. Thinking of red or orange for a narrow border, then either a dark blue or the same black as the stars for a wide outer border. I absolutely love how it worked out--had thought it would be 2 blocks wide and 4 long, but like this better. Hopefully, by the end of next week I'll have Randy's quilt longarmed and a binding on it. My ever faithful Brother is acting up some--crying for some tlc? It's going in for a tune-up this weekend. Am sure it will be thankful for some lube and whatever else they do when they work their magic at Quality Sewing in Issaquah.
My pickle dish pieces are all cut out and actually have three of ALOT of squares done. Sure glad I've done a lot of other sewing throughout my life and all the experience gained lately through doing the Victory and Day & Night quilts. The pickle dish one is a lot of work, but so exciting to see the pieces becoming blocks. I've also got my little twinnies' comfy quilts almost done. Always seem to have many, many projects going at once--it works for me to work that way most of the time so I don't burn out on one particular thing.
My Auntie Bettie said she has a quilt she's wanting to do for my cousin and think I'm going to cut that out for her--excited to see it as she said it's sea horses but done in a log cabin process. I'm not visualizing it at all, so will be anxious to see the pattern and material she's picked out. So happy to do something for an auntie I love so much and with whom I've spent hours and hours learning (she tried to teach me piano as a little girl) and just spending wonderful times together. Every Easter we dyed eggs with her family.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spiderweb Quilt Directions

Some of the blocks for the wall hanging spider web quilt. It will hang two across and three down. There will be two borders--not sure at this point exactly what each will be but inner one will be about 2 inches and maybe four inches for the outside one, and then a binding that may be made using the left over strings.
This is the process for making a spiderweb quilt. You start with 8 1/2 squares of background material--or whatever size you want--this size will give you about 11 inch squares. Any color background is fine--I wanted black. On back of the square, use a marking pen or pencil to make an X from corner to corner so you'll end up with four triangles. You need to mark the first sewing lines and need a kite shaped template for this. The easiest way to get this kite shape is to have a piece of paper the size of the triangle, fold it in half then measure 2 3/4" from point and 1/4 inch from bottom side of the fold. (There is a different way of making spider web that uses foundation piecing if you look on the web that will show the kite shape). You can see the "kite" marked in several of the pictures.

The strips take a bit of time to cut and you want a variety--I cut them 1 1/4 to 2 inches wide in 1/4 inch increments and across the width of the materials. You want at least 8 different materials--not sure how many I have, but wanted to have a lot of different reds, oranges and blues. There is no rule for this, so if you want to use just a couple different widths that might be interesting--I'd definitely try at least a couple triangles in the kind of mode you're wanting though!! The first strip is sewn right sides together with a 1/4 inch seam to the background, then pressed back--can just finger press, iron it or use a wooden iron so it's flat and ready for the second string. Use a different color and width string for this one and put it right sides together to the first one

Continue adding strings until you get to the end. It is suggested because of the bulk of all the seams that you don't sew within 1 1/2 inches of the end--I'm not too good at
remembering to do that and they sewed together ok.

You can cut strings off as you sew or what I did--after doing the first side, roughly cut the strings off, then start sewing the second side. Your goal is to have the two center strings overlap at the long edge of the triangle so you will have nice points when sewing everything together. Just recently got a quarter inch sewing foot--after I'd sewn all of Randy's blocks without it. Cannot tell you how much easier it is to sew with that foot--I'd pay twice what it cost at the local sewing store!!

Left is a picture of the overlap you want to have. Below is a finished triangle before squaring off or ironing. Below that is the finished triangle on the back showing what needs to be cut off to square it. And you can see part of my "stash" of strings I keep in front of the machine to pick from. They're all mixed up -- no rhyme or reason but I was using various prints with reds, oranges, blues. You want to make sure you use a good variety of widths and prints on each triangle. When I'd sewn most of the triangles for the wall hanging I'm doing, I checked to make sure that there were at least a few of every print among all the strips. When I found there weren't some duplicates, I put a pin in that print and made sure it was included on the remaining triangles. Since some of the strings came from my super jumble jars, there wasn't a match for a couple--oh, well!! the very pointy ends of the sewn strips, I sew just a little bit in from the end so the background and last string are together--don't have to do that, but mostly I do so don't have to worry about that little string getting bunched up. Another thing I've had to do is unpick a couple seams because I wasn't as careful about pressing down the previous strip--then I had to use thread that matches the next string to top sew it down--a pain, so try to press better!!

Here's a finished block. When I sewed the triangles together, I tried very hard to have the inner points of the star meet really well--see the orange/yellow meeting the red on red floral. Then when sewing the two halves together, I made sure the centers "locked" together by having the top seam go up and the bottom seam go down. I also found that if I sewed that center area first, then went out to the ends, they matched up better--sometimes you have to stretch one of the pieces a little to get them to do exactly what you want. As you can see, I'm not so good at always making sure they match up at the star points!!

I wanted black for the background, but have seen these done with various backgrounds. This is mostly done with strips in red, oranges, and blues. I think you could do all sorts of fun arrangements--rainbow colors like in my rainbow quilt, various dotted materials. I'm thinking might eventually try doing something like a bright pink background and then black/white prints--don't know if that would work, but want to try eventually. You could also do the same process but put a couple of the stringed triangles, with plain black, or one stringed triangle per block with solid triangles in the colors of the strings--whatever strikes your fancy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Darling Girlies and their Silly Ladybug Quilt

Finally, the girlies' ladybug quilt. My three adorable grandaughters loved this--Boppa-- aka Randy--says it looks like chickens. It's from a magazine my dear neighbor, Shirley gave me because she knows I love ladybugs. It was originally in black and white with reds. It matches Sydney, Sagie and Sabrina's shirts!! Of course, they're so much cuter than it is!!!!!!! Now I need to get a picture of my boyly's and the tesselating fish foundation pieced wall hanging.

Randy's quilt top all done. I forgot my mother's advice to NEVER sew faster than you can sew straight, so "got" the opportunity to resew one of the seams between ribbon border and the inner black strip because every single place where the red and blue meet on that border there was a little dip in the sewing. Bet my mother is smiling in heaven about this!! I'm so happy with this quilt. Not sure exactly what the next step will be. Don't think my shoulders could handle the strain of trying to quilt it on my machine or by hand. I can't stand for the time required to quilt it on the machine the local quilt shop rents at the store. Their longarm quilt person is on indefinite leave. Will just have to wait for now. This is from the Victory Quilt in a Day book.

This is another Quilt in a Day design--Day & Night book. It's going to be a table runner/wall hanging. It's made from strips, then cut with the template included in the book. You cut strips in various widths, sew them together in a specific way and then cut them in a specific way. It works out that there are leftover pieces that can then be made into other things when you sew them together. It requires precise sewing, but it's quite easy. I am only using two of the large squares and put a narrow strip between the two. You can't really tell, but the black material has kanji--Japanese characters. I'm not saying who this is for at this point, but it's someone who hopefully will appreciate those!! This one is do-able on the machine.