Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mercy Me!

Hi Everyone,

It is pretty near the end of the month so it is time to share my Schnibble.  This month the group could make a brand new pattern, Mercerie.

Image of Mercerie PDF ~ No. 470

This was a fun pattern because you could "square up" the block nicely prior to sewing them all together. 

I have noticed in making all these Schnibbles that not every charm pack collection is conducive to a given pattern.  I found that out when I made my first one.  Since then, I carefully look over each collection and pattern to see if they will work--by having the right amount of darks, medium, lights, and the correct "feel" for the pattern.  The fabric line I chose for Mercerie I have had for quite a while because it just didn't seem right for any of our previous patterns.  I was really happy to be able to use it this month:  Moda Seascapes by Deb Strain.

Undoubtedly due to my Hawaii influence, I fell in love with this line of fabric and really looked forward to making something with it. 

Sinta and Sherri host the Vintage Schnibbles group and show off everyone's finished quilts on the first of each month.  I look forward to those blog posts all month!  It is a lot of work for them and I can't thank them enough.

I played up the beachy-ness of the fabric when I photographed it.

I love how the colors of the sky and the water are reflected in the quilt!

Have a great day!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Latest Audio Books

Hi Everyone,

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that while I cut and sew away, I listen to audiobooks.  Late last spring, I listened to 61 Hours, a Jack Reacher book by Lee Child.  My parents recommended it because it takes place in South Dakota (our home state.)  I really enjoyed it and so I spent the summer listening/reading all the Jack Reacher books.  I finished the last of what our library has a few weeks ago and am on the list for the newest one.  I like to say that I spent my summer with Reacher.  It seems that I have been spending the last few summers getting to know other characters.  There was my summer with Lizbeth Salander, and another with Katniss Everdeen.  I think it is great discovering a new series and being able to immerse oneself in that "world" instead of waiting all your life for the next installment, like with Claire and Jamie Fraser, etc., although I am VERY patient in that regard, too.

At any rate, once I finished with Reacher, I am finally able to indulge myself in the book that I have been "hoarding" a bit.  To continue the "suspense," I listened to a few of the previous books, but now I'm part way through the new one.  Do you know Three Pines?  Have you "met" Chief Inspector Gamache?

Louise Penny has written a series of lovely mysteries set mostly in the fictional village of Three Pines in Quebec.  The village is full of great characters that seem so real and fun that you wish you could visit, too.  Art, good food, parties, and crime solving--what more could you want?  Good writing?  You've got it.  I love this "quote" (remember I'm listening, not reading so I may not have it quite exact) "They set out walking together, one man tall and straight, and the other short and round, looking like a broken exclamation point."  And then this quip, "I used to be as pure as the driven snow, but then I drifted." 

Meanwhile, I still can't decide what major project to begin, so I'm spending the time finishing up a few things.  It isn't as exciting, but it is good to get those things off the pile!

I'm always looking for new books to read, how about you?

Have a great day!

Lizbeth Salander:  The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo  by Stieg Larsson (plus the next two books) 
Katniss Everdeen:  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (plus the next two books)
Claire and Jamie Fraser:  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (plus the next 6--nearly 7! books)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quilt Show Ribbons

Hi Everyone!

Last week I alluded to a big project that I wanted to share with you but that I was having trouble getting good photos.  Well, thanks to my good friend, Trish, I have finally got some reasonable pictures.  Her suggestion was to pin them to burlap, and that worked perfectly!

Our guild is having a show at the end of October.  I signed up to be on the committee so I could get to know some of the other guild members better.  I ended up becoming the chair of one of the smaller committees.  Our small committee meets and I take our information to the "main" meeting.  Our committee is responsible for having demonstrations throughout the show, acquiring and distributing the door prizes, and the viewer's choice voting and ribbons.  Let me just tell you that my committee has some amazing women on it.  I think we have over 80 door prizes and the demos were booked up months ago.  My particular responsibility was to make the prize ribbons.  Our show is called "Fallin' for Quilts" and the logo is a leaf quilt block.  My vision for the ribbons included having a leaf block in the center.  I also wanted to use coordinating fabric in a variety of colors.  Luckily, I found the perfect fabric line right away.  Harvest Moon by Kansas Troubles featured some wonderful tone on tone leaf prints.  I got blue for first place, red for second, and gold for third.  I got a second color for each "place" ribbon for the leaf in the block.  Here, let me show you the photos so you can see it better.

So I chose a pumpkin/russet color to go with the blue for First Place
Brown went nicely with the red for Second Place

And green went beautifully with the gold for Third Place
The vision I had for these was to construct a leaf block, which I did, and then another member of our committee was gracious enough to embroider the numbers on them.  After that, the vision clouded as I wasn't sure how to proceed.  I did a lot of googling and reading the few blog posts/tutorials that I could locate.  One of them mentioned using a CD inside the ribbon, to form a nice circle. 
Completed and embroidered blocks.

Trimmed to a circle

One blank CD

Topped with a circle of batting

I ran a strong basting thread around the edge of the circular block, laid the block on top of the batting and CD, and drew up the basting thread as tight as possible and knotted it.  I had to fuss a bit to make sure the leaf was centered.
I don't seem to have photos of any more of the steps.  Next I made a ruffle by cutting a strip of the leaf fabric at 1.5" by wof and a strip of streamer fabric 2" by wof.  I sewed the two strips together on the long edge, and then folded the new strip in half.  The back half of the strip is all streamer fabric, and the front half has mostly leaf fabric with an edge of streamer fabric--when gathered up, it looks like a double ruffle.

I cropped one of the other photos, so it is a little blurry, but you can see the idea.
I'm going to mention here that I really, really don't like pulling up gathering threads and adjusting everything so it is even and fits.  But I did it anyway.  The first one I attempted to hot glue in place, and discovered almost immediately that it wouldn't work.  It just cooled and peeled off.  So a break in the process occurred from June until late August when I finally remembered to buy the best/strongest fabric glue I could find.  I glued on a few ruffles at a time, weighing them with heavy books to keep everything nice and flat while the glue dried. 
Next I made the streamers, which were easy enough once I figured out the length and width that I wanted.  And then I hit the biggest stumbling block, the center streamer with the wording on it.  I tried many different ways to make them.  This is already a long post, so I won't bore you with all the details.  I practically was bald, though, from yanking out my hair in frustration.  My end result was done on Printed Treasures.  I did them in Power Point and although it doesn't look like it in the photos, I colored the background a light tan.  They used lots of printer ink, but it was worth it. 
I laid two colored streamers side by side, pinned the printed streamer centered over the middle, and gathered them up and glued it to the bottom back of the ribbon center.
Now I had a great looking ribbon from the front, but the back was a mess.  I cut a circle of tan fabric larger than a CD and ironed on a piece of fairly stiff interfacing that I had cut out by tracing around a CD.  I sewed a pin back onto the middle of the interfacing, then used the
CD and gathered this circle around it like I did the front block (only omitting the layer of quilt batting.)  

So yes, there are two CDs in each ribbon.  And yes, my husband did wonder where a good part of his stack of blank CDs had gone.  I bought him some new ones, though, so all is good.   
I then used most of the rest of the bottle of glue to attach the back covered CD to the front covered CD.  To hold them in place and together I used the new, large, green wonder clips.  They worked great!
I let them dry overnight and the ribbons were done!  I rejoiced to have such a big project off my to-do list.  There are three places in three categories:  bed quilts, wall quilts, and "other."  So I had nine of them to make.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Well Do You See Color?

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday on my Facebook page, this test appeared.  It is to test your ability to see color.  I would compare it to a sophisticated color-blindness test--testing your eyes, not your ability to combine and play with color, however I thought it looked like fun, so I tried it.  You don't need Facebook to do it and it does not require any personal information to be entered.  At the end, it will ask you for an age range and sex, but you do not have to enter it if you don't want to.

In this test, getting a zero is the perfect score!  I took it and got a four.  Then, after I had clicked away, I realized I hadn't noticed what color range was my problem area, so I did it again and got a three.  My problem seemed to be in the greens. 

So when my husband got home last night, I decided to have him try it.  I thought it would be fun to see whatever score he got and then tease him that I got a 3 and no wonder he couldn't pick out clothes that match.

He got a perfect 0!  Yes, I learned my lesson.

If you would like to try it, here is the link.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

An Update

Hi Everyone,

It was a wonderful, restful weekend.  Our weather has been so nice.  Last year, the fall was unusually hot, but since it was our first one here in Southern Virginia, I thought it was usual.  I swear that we turned the air conditioner off and the furnace on in the same week sometime in early November.  This year has been different and we have had the windows open and the AC off for over a week now.  Another thing that is different than last year is that we have an oak tree in the back yard.  Last year it was full of acorns and we had trouble sleeping at night (when we could open windows) because of the sound of the acorns falling and crashing through the branches.  This year there isn't a single one!  Does anyone know anything about oaks?  We have had plenty of rain all year and other trees are full.  We don't even have any more squirrels than usual. 

There was some excitement on Saturday.  On Friday when I finished my version of Nabby's Dowry, I emailed the picture to Pam Buda.  She put it and a link to my blog on her facebook page.  At the time, I hadn't "liked" her page so I didn't know about it until Saturday morning when I read her reply to my email.  I wondered why I gained a few new followers on Friday.  Welcome to any newcomers! 

For you brand-new visitors and frankly, some who have been here for a while, it is time to update you, or inform you, about my current 3-5 year project.  At the beginning of 2012 I signed up to receive Sue Garman's Block of the Month called Sarah's Revival.

This is the photo of Sue's quilt--not mine!
A quick count will tell you that there are 36 blocks.  Four are identical and form the center.  Then there are the appliqued borders as well.  Sue designed it from an antique quilt made by Sarah Holcomb in 1847.  I fell in love with this quilt for several reasons.  The first is that it is mostly red and white.  The second reason is that I wanted a challenging applique project to work on.  And third, and most influential, this quilt's antique inspiration was the Pennsylvania Dutch's art form called "Scherenshnitte." a form of decorative, folded paper cutting.  When the missionary women introduced the native Hawaiian women to quilting, they showed the children how to cut folded paper as well, into shapes like snowflakes.  The women didn't like the way "patchwork" looked--all the tiny pieces sewn together, but they did like the paper-cutting.  The native Hawaiian textile, Tapa--a fabric/paper made from the bark of mulberry trees--often was printed with large graphic designs, so the native women adapted the look of the tapa and the decorative paper cutting techniques to develop their unique style of quilting.  Since I was in Hawaii at the time this BOM came out, I thought it was a great way to achieve a medley of my own desire to attempt the Hawaiian-style applique mixed with my own quilt preferences.  I may actually substitute one of the block patterns for a traditional Hawaiian block.
How am I doing?  Well, last Wednesday at my bee, I finished my 16th block.

I have only really been working on it at bee, and then not always.  I could say that I'm not sure why.  I enjoy doing applique, but I will confess the truth to you all:  instead of doing handwork while I watch tv these days, I seem to occupy my hands with my laptop.  Blogs, Facebook, Email, Pinterest--they seem to have more appeal to me than the hand-stitching.  I am happy to report, though, that since I finished the 16th block, I began another and have been spending time working on it and am almost done with it!  I really want to refocus my time and get going on this project again.
I use the back-basting method of applique, and like all forms of needle-turn, the more you work on it, the better you get.  My sporadic time working on it has not helped my workmanship.  I am going to "encourage" myself to work on it everyday.  When I finish 4 more blocks, I'll be half-way finished and maybe that momentum will encourage me more!
I read on Sue Garman's blog that she has heard from other people working on this project that they have renamed it "Sarah's Revenge!"  Have you ever read her blog?  I think she gets more quilting done in a day than I do in a month.  Of course she only writes her blog once a month, probably doesn't read any, and maybe isn't on facebook or pinterest!  That's life, though, we make our choices.
I hope you all have a great day!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nabby's Dowry Big Reveal

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday!  For some reason this week, I'm glad to see the weekend coming.  I'm not normally one of those people who is always counting down to Saturday and Sunday and then complaining about Monday.  I feel like I should enjoy each day as it comes.  This has been a fairly busy week though, more for my husband than me.  He has been suffering with a cold for nearly two weeks now ( he generously "shared" it with me) and Wednesday morning he had to take a PT test.  For everyone not in the military out there, that is where they get tested on their physical fitness.  In the Army, the normal test consists of 2 minutes of sit-ups, 2 minutes of pushups, and a 2 mile run.  The person must complete a certain amount of pushups and sit-ups in the two minutes and that amount changes for sex and age.  The run is timed and you have a minimum time to complete it.  Anyway, that is sort of irrelevant in this story because my husband has a "profile" (basically a note from the doctor) saying that his ankle is screwed up so he can't do pushups or run.  He gets to skip the pushups but instead of the run he can bicycle, swim, or walk.  He walks.  He wasn't informed that he had this test until the night before.  He had to be there at 6 AM, which meant a 4:30 wakeup.  Despite being sick, he "gave it his all" and did well.  In fact, has actually passed many of the runners, some by as much as a quarter of a mile.   This is just a long way of saying that the poor man needs some rest, and I am glad that he can tomorrow. 

I myself woke up this morning at 4.  Usually I can get back to sleep, but I started thinking about how the final installment of Pam Buda's Nabby's Dowry was coming out this morning.  Needless to say, I didn't get back to sleep.  (I suppose I already know that I'm a little bit of a quilt geek that way.)  Anyway, Pam posted it around 6 AM my time.  I got right to work.

Here is the finished project:

When I laid out my blocks before this morning, I thought they looked kind of busy all together.  I was glad to see the sashing going between them, and I think it really helps give them the "separation" that they need.  However, I worry that the red is maybe a bit too strong.  All I see is the sashing when I look at this. 

But maybe that isn't a bad thing?  I'm thinking that if I had used something duller or softer, it may have disappeared into the whole thing and made it busy or muddy.  At any rate, I'm not going to rip it apart.  I'm going to live with it for a while and see how I feel. 

Here is a detail shot.  The red has a bit of a stripe in it, and I couldn't help but use a reproduction, navy flag print for the outer border, just to add my patriotic signature. 

I got a nice surprise in the mail yesterday!  I had won a prize for the last Schnibble parade and it arrived.

It is a sweet, fun pincushion form Cheryl Brickey at Meadow Mist Designs.  She has an Etsy shop if you are interested.  Thanks Cheryl and Sinta for the prize!!

I hope your weekend is good!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Purse

Hi Everyone,

As promised yesterday, I have something else to show you today.  Monday I was out to a quilt shop and they had just gotten in some of Tonga's Mocha Kiss line.  It was funny, because a while ago one of the friends I was shopping with had a piece of the most lovely batik with chocolate brown and strawberry pink with some cream in it--just like Neapolitan ice cream.  On our way to the shop, I asked her about it and if she remembered what line it was from, and it was Mocha Kiss.  Then the shop was unwrapping the bolt while we were there!  It seemed serendipitous, so I bought some and a few of the coordinating fabrics. 

This is the fabric that hooked me!

These are the coordinates that I also got.  I didn't use the darker pink.  Yet.

I'm not much of a pink person, but when you see a gorgeous piece of fabric, sometimes you have to get it!  I thought I would make a purse for my sister, who is a pink person.  When we got home, I was so enthused, that I started right away on the construction. 

This is the pattern that I used:

I have made it once before.  I blogged about it here.  When I made it the first time, I used Soft and Stable instead of the fusible fleece that the pattern recommends.  I love Soft and Stable, but I remembered that there was something with this pattern that didn't work as well as I hoped, so this time I used the fusible fleece.  I no longer have the original bag but I wished I did.  I also remember thinking the pattern was a little confusing at times, and this time it still was.  But, if you read it through a few times, it will start to make sense.  I really, really like the finished bag. 

I knew I could get it started but I thought I would need zippers, since I was fairly sure I wouldn't have any pink ones, but much to my surprise, I looked through my zippers and found two that were perfect!  As I worked, I remembered what it was about the Soft and Stable that I wasn't happy with.  I loved it for the bag front and back, but the pattern has you put just a facing of fleece on the lining, and I didn't like the way that worked with Soft and Stable.  So, the third and subsequent times that I make this pattern, I will use Soft and Stable on the front and back and fleece on the lining.  I'm going to write that note on the pattern so I remember this time!

I was able to finish it on Tuesday.  If you have all the materials, this pattern really doesn't take too long.

I love the long strap.  Using the hardware is optional, but I think it adds to the purse.
Here is the front.  It features a zippered pocket, and there is another deep pocket behind the brown accent. (I put the pocket zipper in backwards.  I wanted it to zip from the left to the right and I was attempting to do so, but I had it turned around.  It wasn't worth redoing, though.)
The back of the bag.  The pocket is divided into two.  They are great for cellphone and sunglasses.
There are pockets in the inside as well.
The good news is that I still have a nice bit of fabric left over.  I'm going to make a wallet and other bags with the leftovers.  And I'm resisting the urge to order more!  This is really a fun group of fabrics to work with!
Update:  To my neighbors, in the slight chance you are reading this.  Yes, that was me out on the porch a little while ago.   Yes, I was in my pajamas, and despite how strange it seems to you, I was in fact taking photos of a purse hanging off my front door.  I know it doesn't make much sense to you, but my readers will understand.  Yes, I could do it in the privacy of my backyard, but the light is best in the morning out front.  This sort of activity may indeed happened again.  I hope you understand.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bon Voyage to Sue

Hi Everyone,

I know I've been a little sporadic with my blogging lately.  Mostly it has to do with the lack of good photography.  I have a big project to share but I've been unable to get any decent pictures of it, despite two major "shoots."  I got a great idea from a friend, though, and when the sunlight gets right, I'll try it.

I'm also at a bit of a loss without my Dresden project to work on.  I'm not exactly sure what my next big project will be.  Believe me, it isn't from a lack of patterns/books and fabrics!  I think I spend all of my time just looking through everything finding great possibilities.  I know from reading other blogs that I don't have near the patterns that others have, but still.  I get them out and say "I love this!  I want to make this!"  And then I get to the next one, and feel the same way.  I love all the patterns, that is why I bought them, but goodness, I don't think I'll ever get them all done.  And this isn't figuring in all the book and magazine projects I have marked!

Meanwhile, I have small things underway.  I have the blocks from my Schnibble done and am ready to put them together.  I have a table runner started for a Christmas gift, and Nabby's Dowry is almost ready to complete.   Monday I was gone all day out quilt shopping, and I have something to share tomorrow from that trip.

Today, though, I'm sharing this cutie.

The Temecula Quilt Co. in California is having a blue and white show in their shop on October 5 and they have invited quilters to submit an entry.  I have thought about sending quilts in to some of their past shows, but never got around to it, so this time I'm making the effort.  I call this "Sunbonnet Sue Plays with Yo-yos."  The Sues are embroidered--you know, a blue version of "red work."  I made it way back in 1999.  I had a label made this whole time and it was just pinned to the back, so I finally stitched it on!  I have no ide what the pattern was or who designed it.  I think I got it from the House of White Birches.  Doesn't anyone remember that?  Is it still in business?

I had never done much embroidery before, although my grandma was proficient and my great-grandma was a master.  My grandma embroidered most of the quilts she made--the ones with the States and State birds, etc.

The yo-yos were fun, too.  To get them, I traced the bottom of a spool of dual duty thread.  They are tiny!  The whole quilt is probably only 12" square.  Here is a picture with a dime on it so you get an idea of scale.

That is all for now!  I have to scurry to get ready for quilt bee this morning. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dresden Doilies Done

Hi Everyone,

I'm really excited to share with you that I finished the Dresden Doilies quilt top!  I didn't think it was going to happen so soon, but I had a good audiobook and lots of time yesterday, so I kept at it.  The biggest challenge with this quilt was the machine applique.  The quilt became fairly heavy as more plates were added, and manipulating the quilt became less fun as I went along. 

The good news is that I'm still every bit in love with this project as I was before I even began it!  I can't wait to get it quilted and have it finished.  I will not tackle that myself, though.

It is going to be a fun day!  My guild meets this morning and then there is a quilt show in the area so I plan to go with some friends after the guild meeting.  Quilt friends, quilt talk, and quilt eye-candy, can anything be better?! 

Have a great weekend,

Car Cover

Hi Everyone,

I haven't had as much quilting time as usual lately.  I'm afraid I've spent a lot of free time reading real books, as opposed to listening to audio books while I sew.  What time I've been spending is just appliqueing more dresdens on my Dresden quilt, so it isn't anything too interesting.

I have something really fun to show you, though.  A group of ladies that I knew in Hawaii made this great car cover and I figured you may like to see it!  I think it is just incredible.

These photos were taken at the 2013 Women's Expo in Honolulu.

The car underneath is a 2012 Prius.  I just love the Hawaiian quilt touches!  And the flag of course!

The talented group that created this lovely piece are The Pupule Quilters: Beverly and Susan  –Project Coordinators  and contributors: Kay, Joan, Mona, Tahmi, John, MaryAnn, Rick, Carol, Carla, Linda, Jeanie, and numerous friends who donated quilt blocks.

Have a great day,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Hi Everyone,

Today my thought are filled with the events of 12 years ago.  Believe it or not, but I was at a quilting bee that morning.  The events were already under way when we gathered at our usual time.  As I remember, most of us were there, taking comfort from each other.

When  I was in New York City, we took a tour and one of the places we visited was the 9/11 Memorial.

It was quite emotional--more than I even expected.

I made this quilt in 2007:

The pattern is from Little Quilts' Patriotic Quilts book.  If found the patriotic "toile" type fabric in a shop in Alaska.  I've never seen it anywhere else nor made up into any project.  It feature historic patriotic images.


Older ones and more recent ones.

Including this most iconic image of my lifetime:

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Recent Acquisitions

Hi Everyone,

It seems like my habit lately is to not buy very many books for a long period of time and then suddenly I see some I like and order several at once.  I don't intentionally do this, it just seems to be how it happens.  Anyway, I just had one of those book-buying frenzies and here are the results.

I've been wanting this Bonnie Hunter book for a while.  I finally decided to get it because one of the projects, Jamestown Landing, is in my near future.  I have long admired it, and since I live very near to Jamestown, I thought it would be a great quilt to make to remember Virginia.  Bonnie did it in two colors, blue and cream.  BUT, I recently saw this photo of it done in blue, cream, and red!  In the picture, you can see Bonnie's version in the background.  I've also seen photos of it in red and cream and that looks great, too.  So far I haven't decided which version I will make. 

Next I found this book.  I'm not sure how this one stayed below my radar until just lately.  I recently saw a collection of patriotic quilts and the photos mentioned the book the project was in and after I really like three from this particular publication, I knew I had to have it.
Check out this one!  I'm in love...
Finally I got this one:
The youngest people in our family right now are my niece and step-niece who are about to turn 8.  My sister is now pregnant again and so we will have a new baby in the family next year.  This book is full of lots of ideas, and since I am thinking grandchildren may be in my future, I thought it would be a good book to have.  Because it is full of great ideas, it is one thick book.  I would say it is as thick as the old Christmas catalogs used to be, you know, not as big as the fall/winter or spring/summer catalogs. (If you are as old as I am, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about, right?)  I'm not sure yet which pattern I will make for the new baby, but I have an idea or two.  I'm waiting to find out if it is a boy or girl.
Back to the old Christmas catalogs, please tell me I wasn't the only kid out there that circled items and folded down the corner?  Didn't Sears call theirs the Wishbook?  What a perfect name!  While I miss them, there is always Hancocks of Paducah, Keepsake, Connecting Threads, etc. to drool over.  There may even be a few corners turned down in my copies...
How about you?  Have you gotten any good books lately?
Have a great day,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Can We Talk?

Hi Everyone,

If you watch any television at all, you may have seen this commercial.  Please realize that I am in no way supporting this product, I just want to talk vent about it.  In general, do people really change their insurance all the time?  It seems to me that every second or third commercial on tv is for insurance and I just don't get it.  I've had the same car insurance since I bought my first car....   Oh well.  I find most of the commercials to be pretty annoying--the duck, the gecko, the pig, the witch, Flo..  (Okay, I'll admit I like the camel.)  But this one has brought a new issue into our house.

Yes.  It is the owl commercial with the obnoxious "who?" coming from the male while his female companion is trying to talk to him.  For some reason, this appeals to my husband and he began emulating it.  If I tell him something about my friends or something I read on one of your blogs, I am getting these annoying "who?" inserts into my conversation.    Grrr..

Maybe the first time is was a little bit funny, but it is going on and on. 

And then I had my revenge.  My husband (who is by no means at all a "sports watcher,") made a random comment on a certain player who was changed to a different team.  I instantly saw my opportunity and started with the "who?"   My friends, the look on his face was priceless!

I know that the companies do these commercials so that they are "talked about" and remembered (if not for the shear stupidity) but I find that I'm not exactly sure of which company the commercial is for.  I'm glad of that.  I'm also glad that for now, my company hasn't jumped on that bandwagon.  I'm afraid it might make me finally change mine.

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How To Do A Scalloped Border

Hi Everyone,

Today I'm giving my tutorial on how to make a scalloped border for your quilt.  This is going to be a long post with lots of pictures!  First, go ahead and layer your quilt and quilt it as desired.  Once it is all quilted, trim the backing and batting even with the edge of the quilt.

The tutorial that I learned from is by the incredible Bonnie Hunter.  You can find it here.  I really encourage you to visit and read her instructions first.  She is doing a larger quilt and when you come back here, I will show you how I adapted it to a smaller quilt. 

Are you back?  Wonderful!  Now for my input and photos.

The number one thing to know before you begin is that you MUST USE bias-cut binding.  You will not be able to do this with straight of grain binding!!  So go ahead and make your binding and set it aside.

The technique that Bonnie used is to cut two shapes--one corner and one "hump."  To cut the corner, you will cut a square of paper that is larger than your border is wide, by around an inch or so.  Fold it in half diagonally.

Make a line at the seam between the outer in inner border, and then cut that small triangle away.

This leaves you with a piece of paper that fits your border perfectly, but has a little "window" so you know where exactly to line it up.

Next, grab a bunch of whatever round things you have laying around that might be the right size.  If you are doing a bed-size quilt, glasses, bowls, and plates may be your friend, but for this I grabbed a couple different jar lids and my roll of blue tape.  Lay out your circles on your corner piece until you find one that is "just right."  You don't want the corner to be too small, nor do you want a curve that is too big.

For me, this jar lid was perfect.  I centered it and drew around the outside curve. 

The second thing you must keep in mind is that you don't want to attempt scallops that are too deep!!!  Bonnie says to keep it under one inch from the hump to the valley.  I used one inch on Canasta, but then realized that Bonnie was doing a larger quilt, so the scale was larger.  I had a bit of trouble binding the one inch difference, so for this one, I only allowed a half inch difference.  To help me, I drew a line a half inch from the outer edge of the pattern.

So now you can see my curve and the half-inch line.  Next you hand -draw in a nice transition line from the curve to the  straight line. 

Then fold it back in half and trim your drawn line.  I actually found it was easier to make a graceful curve cutting than drawing.

Voila!  The corner template is done!!
For the next photos, I cut a second corner template, but you don't have to, just make a mark where one corner ends. 
The next step is to measure the distance between the corner templates on each side of your quilt.

Here on the top and bottom, you can see that the distance between is about 13"

And the sides measure just short of 17 inches.  Bonnie's technique allows for measurements to not be totally exact. 

Now it is time to do some visualizing and math:

I know that I want more than two "humps" across the top and bottom.  So I did the math for 3 and for 4.

13" divided by 3 is 4.33 inches.  So if I did 3 humps, each one would measure 4.33"
13" divided by 4 is 3.25 inches.  So if I did 4 humps, each one would measure 3.25"

The sides are longer by 4 inches than the top/bottom.  If I'm thinking about 3 or 4 humps for that edge, the sides should have around 4-5 humps, so the math for that looks like this:

17" divided by 4 is 4.25 inches.  So each hump would measure 4.25"
17" divided by 4 is 3.4 inches.  So each hump would measure 3.4"

You are making one template for all the humps, so to have them as close to the same size is very important.  The math is looking good because the humps on both sides are very close:  4.33" and 4.25" in one case, and 3.25" and 3.4" in another.  Brilliant!  If one set of measurements was way more close than another, that is the set I would use.  In this case, I could do either.  To help me make up my mind, I cut templates for both. 

I cut pieces of paper as wide as the outer border and then subcut one 3.25" and another 4.25." 

I used my assorted circle "templates" to draw the curves.

I drew the half inch lines and cut the curves into a pleasing shape.  Can you see on the bottom photo I initially used a circle that was too small?  Trust your eye, it will tell you what looks the best.

I laid out each template with a corner to see which one I liked.  Again, trust your eye.

This is the shorter one

This is the longer one. 
To me, I prefer the longer one--the shorter one looks more "bumpy" than graceful.  I decided to use the longer one.
Now all you have to do is trace around the templates to mark the scalloped line.  I put the hump piece on template plastic to make it easier to draw around, but the corner was fine as just paper.  I began by doing all four corners.  Then I placed the humps.  On the top and bottom, since it has three humps, I first centered the piece over the center of the border and traced, then I placed the template between the traced line, and the corner. 
 This is how easy it is to use these two templates.  Above, the pieces are squished together, and below they are spread apart. (I photographed these examples on the back of the quilt so they were easier to see.  You want to lay everything out and trace it on the front of your quilt.) This technique allows for the fudging and fiddling that you need to get your pieces to fit!  I'm telling you, Bonnie Hunter came up with a gem here!

Pin your binding in place.  You may have to really "boss" it around to get it in place around the curves.  The bias will stretch nicely around the humps, but you will struggle more with the fullness in the valleys.  I found using a stiletto really helped to keep that fullness from pleating as you stitch.

There is a lot going on with this binding, so I find the easiest way to end it is to have the beginning end folded in and then just tuck the last end inside the fold. 

Once it is all stitched, then you trim the quilt to the scallop.
Next you just hand stitch it down the same as any other binding.  I found that I really like using the clips for this binding.  Best of all?  No corners!!!
I hope this helps any of you out there wanting to try one of these borders.  Give it a try and I hope to see some of your results!
Have a great day!