Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Au revoir Avril

 A couple of accomplishments this week and a nice way to end the month of April.  First the flannel lap quilt is completed and I am quite pleased with it.  I wanted a no fuss quick quilt to do up and have achieved just that.  To go along with it I have created a tutorial to share with my followers and viewers.  It is a simple quilt and easy for beginners.  Even the binding is super easy.  Anyone can do this.  See the pictures following.  I used a charm pack by Bonnie and Camille called Marmalade for Moda.  Nice and soft flannel, it would be great for a baby shower gift.  You can see it pictured in my post from Jan 6, 2013 in the box on the left hand side.  It is quite nice fabric.  The backing is a Riley Blake fabric by Carina Gardner, Dainty Blossoms pattern F2760. 

Material supply list:  1 - 5" charm pack with 42 pieces
                                  42 strips cut into 5" x 2" (strip A)
                                  42 strips cut into 6 1/2" x 2" (strip B)
                                  1 strip cut into 45 1/2" x 2" (strip C)
                                  1 strip cut into 51 1/2" x 2"  (strip D) 
                                  2 yards batting of your choice
                                  2 yards backing fabric
  Note that strips A thru D are all the same fabric, you will need about 1 1/2 yards of this fabric.
  I hope the pictures posted will help.
Charm squares with strip A along the top edge. (diagram 1)

  1.   Lay out your charm squares in a manner that appeals to you, on the top edge match strip A to each square (diagram 1 above). With right sides together stitch edges using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press all seams toward the outside edge - be careful not to stretch your squares out of shape as you press (diagram 2(. Note do not cut your stitching between each set and this will keep them in the order you have selected - in other words chain piece.
    diagram 2
  2. Next place strip B to the right side of the strip/square set.  If you prefer the left side that is okay - but keep all of the B strips on that side (diagram 3).  Stitch 1/4" seam allowance using the chain piecing method.  Press all the seams toward the outside.
    diagram 3
  3. Now you should have 6 or 7 rows of  blocks.  You can number each row 1 thru 6 or 1 thru 7 to help keep them in order.  Take row 1 and 2 right  with sides facing and stitch together.  By now you know that all the seams are 1/4" wide.  Continue in this manner until all the rows are sewn together.
  4. Next take strip C and sew it along the shorter edge of the row that does NOT have a border.  I like to pin mine at the center and at each end as well as along the rest of the edge so that the seams are kept down in the direction they are pressed.  Also that allows me to make adjustments if needed.  Do the same with strip D.
  5. Your top is now completed.  Lay out your backing fabric right side down, place the batting on top of that.  Your pieced top will sit on top of the batting.  Baste your quilt sandwich together.  Then go have a sandwich yourself, take a break and stretch!
  6. If you have a walking foot on your sewing machine this would be a good time to use it.  Stitch in the ditch up and down each row.  Always start your stitching first in one direction then from the opposite direction - this will help keep your quilt from shifting.  
  7. Bind your quilt!
            Next, back to the homemade spray starch - big tip start with ONLY 1 teaspoon of corn starch!  I used three and have enough starch to last until 2020! (Well maybe not that long, but you get the idea.)  I did notice that once it was cooled down it became a bit lumpy, maybe this is because I used so much corn starch - it did need to be watered down quite a bit.  I separated some into a spray bottle (strained) and the rest I drained into a plastic bottle for later use.  I will be trying it out today - wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Something New

  Today I am trying something new - home made spray starch.  "Why?" you ask.  Mostly because I am too lazy to go out to buy some and partly because I don't want to spend the money.  So yes, lazy and cheap.  I have found that I am not the only one making my own spray starch though, as there are recipes that are around to make it.  I'll let you know how I make out in a little while....

and actually,  next week is sewing week for me I can't wait and am preparing this week so that all the projects are set up and ready to go under the needle!  Having this starch is just part of the preparation process.

I made maybe too much of it (I think) as I put 3 teaspoons in cold water to dissolve and then heated it, adding more water to make it thinner as  needed - during the week I will be using it on fabric 

Friday, April 19, 2013


The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Wonder Wednesday

  Today my thoughts are on thread and whether or not I should use a variegated thread on the back side of the quilt shown in the previous post.  The top will have a solid color thread but the back is a solid color so to add interest maybe the color should be from the multicolor thread design that the quilting will make.  Any thought on this from readers?  Has anyone done this?  What were your results and were you pleased with them? 

This is just my wooden spool collection some of which were my mother in laws, thanks Ida.  One time in the not too distant past all thread came on wooden spools, now I don't think that there are any that do.  Do you have a wooden spool collection?   


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Stitches

  This is today's progress, not really a lot but I am "sketching" out my stitch layout for this next small quilt that I am working on.  Not sure if you can make it out very well.  Here is what you are looking at a large piece of clear vinyl overlay with the pattern drawn on with erasable marker over the quilt top.  This gives me an idea of how the stitching can be done on the machine.  It helps a great deal, when the quilt is rolled up on the bars, I don't always remember exactly what I wanted to stitch in a particular area.  This way it's all there for me as a reference once the final decision is made as to pattern.
  You can buy the vinyl in most fabric stores or hardware stores.  There are different thicknesses as well, choose what works best for you.  Any erasable marker will work, just make sure that when you are finished with the design that it is well wiped off so that the next quilt isn't soiled.  
  Take a look.
The black lines are drawn onto the clear vinyl.  This gives you the idea of  what the stitch pattern may be, of course at this point you have the option of change and experimentation without ripping out stitches.

Here are some of the experimental ideas that I am playing with.  These are from my sketch journal.  Click on the pictures to have a closer look.


Monday, April 1, 2013


   In Italy the day after Easter Sunday is celebrated as Pasquetta or Little Easter. So in honor of this official Italian holiday Buona Pasqua!  Enjoy.
Warm and delicious home made by Erran, Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, nice and sticky and then...

Little Peeps Chic and Bunny with eggs basket...

and their friend the Easter Chicbunny. Created by the very talented Miss Sarah.


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