Archive | September, 2010

And we’re back!

29 Sep

We had a brief break in our class- we skipped last Wednesday, and we were back to our regular schedule today. Miami Beach has been under either tropical storm/tropical depression watch all day, so it’s been one of those days when I just want to hang out and do nothing. So that’s what I did- after class this morning, I came home to Charlotte and we sewed while catching up on TV.

So the task at hand today was to add the borders to the quilt, which is going to finish up the top. Our book advised to cut strips 2.5 inches wide for the inner border and 5.5 inches wide for the outer border. They also gave a length, but I just kept them all the same length with the intention to cut them to the correct length later. Good call on my part.

In order to determine the correct length, the quilt needs to be folded in half, and the width measured from that mid point of the fold. Then two strips need to be cut at that length- one for the top, one for the bottom. I didn’t get the importance of that until our teacher explained it- there’s a chance that the top and bottom might not be the exact same size, so that’s the part where it could be straightened out. Pin the quilt top in the middle (on the fold) and on the fold of the border fabric once it’s cut to size. Pin it, right sides together, starting in the center. Then pin on the edges, and several more times along the edge.

Sew along the edges with a 1/4 inch seam. I did the top inner border, then the bottom inner border, then finished with the sides. I repeated it with the outer border. I finished by pressing the seams down so they were nice and flat.

Due to the terrible weather outside today, I had to take the final picture on our bed. Click it to enlarge to see the details!

And since no post is complete without my helper, here’s Charlotte all wrapped up.

My shopping list for next weeks class is the batting, safety pins, and backing fabric (which I already have). I’m anxious to see what’s next.

Woohoo! It looks cool now!

20 Sep

Well, I neglected to bring my camera to my quilting class to track my progress, but this is what I have finished now- and it actually is starting to look like a quilt!

Although the process of putting together all the blocks was pretty easy, it was time consuming because it requires a lot of attention to detail. I laid all of my squares out on the table, per the pattern we were working off. It took awhile to make sure it was perfect- all the blocks lined up, all the fabric is the right direction, etc. While it was laid out on the table, I put pins on the far right block to make sure I would remember the proper pattern before I sewed it all together.

I sewed each block together individually, alternating ironing down the seams on the right and left for each row. It’s important to do that, because it makes the blocks lay much flatter in the final product because you’re not stuck with one huge seam at each intersection. I then spent the next two or so hours sewing, block to block, row to row. I finished it off by pressing the seams, and now I have a nice pretty quilt top.

I managed to get the seams to match up in the corners pretty well- most of them look like this, only a few are off 🙂

Block Party

17 Sep

I enjoy the actual cutting of blocks from the strips of fabric- the big piles of fabric begin to take the appearance of a quilt, which is quite rewarding. I made sure to spend a lot of time pressing my seams. Since all of my blocks have a dark strip of fabric in the center, I pressed the seams inward. That way, the seams won’t show through the lighter fabrics when it’s all put together. The seam on the right hand side, on the bottom strip, is how the full seams end up being pressed.

After completing all of the pressing, it was on to the cutting. I measured out each block to be 6.5 inches wide, which, in theory, should be the same as the height. It will allow for a final measurement of 6 inches with 1/4 inch seam allowances once the sewing is completed.

It’s a pretty important step to remember to let Charlotte wear a block as a hat.

After I cut all the blocks out, I arranged them on the floor per the pattern. It’s beginning to look like a quilt!

Next step – actually sewing those blocks together.

Quilting, Step Two

13 Sep

Charlotte would like to take the reins on todays teaching. She learned a great deal while helping me sew last night.

Step 1- Get a pretty dog to sit on your lap while you work. But make sure she’s well behaved enough to not get all up in your business while you’re sewing. Example below. Try tying a scrap of fabric around her neck to amplify her awesomeness.

Step 2- Decide what order you want the fabric in. I’ve decided to place the darkest fabric in the center, with the two lighter strips on the top and bottom. We’ll follow suit with all of the fabric colors.

The strips were cut have a 1/4 inch seam allowance for each seam. My sewing machine has a 1/4 inch foot, as well as a 1/4 inch mark on the machine. But I also have a little quilting ruler that allows me to double check the 1/4 inch mark. I checked before I started sewing, then did several spot checks throughout the sewing process.

Our class instructor advised us to use a medium/neutral grey color for the thread, because it blends in with most fabric choices and doesn’t require frequent thread changes.

This is my final strip for the blue fabric- I just need to iron the strips down so they’re nice and smooth seams- the next step will be cutting out the blocks. Stay tuned!

I’m learning to quilt!

10 Sep

As if I didn’t already have enough hobbies, I signed up for a quilting class at The Quilt Scene. I’ve been throwing around the idea of quilting for awhile, and wanted to do it the right way. Although I’m pretty decent at teaching myself things, this was not something I was willing to tackle solo. Our first class was this week.

The class is based around the book Start Quilting. We’re completing a Rail Fence quilt, which follows this general pattern.

I knew that my first quilt was going to be a baby gift to my roommate from my freshman year at the University of Florida, who is due in December, and is having a little girl. The first step to quilting is my favorite- choosing the fabric. That was the easiest thing for me to do- I actually had it chosen months ago, well before I even signed up for the class… fabric is my weakness. The majority of it came from Fabric.com, although some of it was purchased at Joann Fabric. The pattern is based off nine colors for the blocks, so I chose three oranges, three blues (our school colors), and three orangey/yellows. The backing fabric is cream colored with orange, blue, and yellow umbrellas on it.

Step two is the boring part- washing and ironing. There’s evidently this huge debate in the quilting world about whether fabric should be pre-washed or not. Something about the way it crinkles and looks pretty if you don’t pre-wash. I don’t know. But our teacher advised us to pre-wash- perhaps I’ll get crazy on my second quilt and not do it 🙂

I whipped out my handy cutting pad and rotary cutter- way better than scissors- and cut 2.5 inch strips of each fabric- that’s to end up with a 2 inch finished piece, with a quarter inch seam allowance. (Notice I’m watching Bones on my laptop in the background. It’s my favorite craft-time TV)

So now I’m the proud owner of 18 2.5 inch wide strips of fabric. The next step will be the piecing!

It’s also important to meet my crafting assistant, Charlotte…. Till next time!

Intro- About Me

10 Sep

I am Angela. This is me

I have always been very crafty (thanks, Mom!), and have recently taken up sewing as one of my crafts.

In an attempt to share my crafts, I’ve started this blog.

In addition to being crafty, I work for a to-be-unnamed, well known computer and gadget company. I have to leave it unnamed for confidentiality purposes.

I also own my own graphic design business.

This is where I live. Isn’t it pretty? Our view is amazing.

This is where I work. I thought about cleaning it up before taking pictures of it, but that’s unrealistic. This is what it looks like when I’m working.

What I work with (AKA- my toys)

Camera- Canon Digital XTi

Computer/Accessories – Apple MacBook, Waacom Intuos Tablet

Sewing machine – Brother XL-3750

and that’s me in a nutshell 🙂