Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quilt as you go - direct join technique

Do you love the idea of quilt-as-you-go
but don't want to add strips between each block.
Then this direct joining technique is for you!

There are 3 key points to remember to make this easy to achieve
1 Several blocks can be joined into a strip of manageable size before quilting

2.  Cut the backing & wadding at least 1" larger than the piece you are quilting
       i.e. 9 1/2" square block requires minimum of 10 1/2" squares of backing & wadding

3.  When quilting you leave at least a 1" margin unquilted around the edges of the piece
 I quilted this project as 3 long strips of 4 joined blocks
When the quilting is finished it is time to trim up

First trim the wadding back to to the edge of the block

If you have cut the backing 1" larger than the block you will not need to trim it.

In this photo I had been more generous and needed to trim the backing back to 1/2" along the edge that I would be joining to the next strip

Join the fronts right sides together with a 1/4"seam. 
Ensure the wadding & backing are flipped out of the way.
NB: Remember Key point 3 - 
If you have quilted to the edges of the block it is not
possible to join the fronts in this way!

View from the back while making 1/4" seam

View from the back after pressing seam.

With the edges of the backing still folded out of the way, smooth the wadding into place with one layer on top of the other. Carefully cut away excess wadding with scissors so that the edges of the wadding meet exactly.

Finish the backing by smoothing one side flat over the wadding.
Then with the edge folded under, position the other backing on top so that the folded edge is on top of the seam underneath. Use a ruler if you need.
Pin fold in place and handstitch closed with invisible stitches.
Note: Don't stitch through the wadding if you need to add another piece to this edge.

This quilt and its borders were assembled using the direct joining technique.

Back view of quilt showing machine quilting & handstitched joins.
Please try this technique and vary it to suit your project and your skill level. I often go back and add some lines of quilting across the joins. Any edge that won't be joined to another can be quilted closer to the edge for example the binding edge of the borders in my photo.

This quilt was a UFO for a long time because I chose a brushed cotton backing fabric that frayed badly and was very difficult to work with. On the other hand it is a lovely soft and snuggly finish so I am glad that I perservered.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sewing & Sunshine

Don't look now
I took my sewing machine on holidays and made this
bright & cheerful cushion designed by Australian
Kellie Wulfsohn and called  
First Day of Christmas
This pattern comes with fabulous instructions and tips for free motion machine sewing and inserting a zipper into the back of the cushion. Find this and all of Kellie's patterns at her blogsite

Next I had a scrap quilt to finish
(This one had been lurking in the back of the cupboard for a few years) 
It is a quilt-as-you-go scrap quilt that I had sewed one border on. I'd packed it away and then lost track of where the rest of the backing fabric was. Finally during a clean out I found the backing and set my sights on finishing it off. It has a flannel back so it is really cosy and soft.
Here I am quilting continuously up and down the border strips. Note that I leave 3/4" unstitched where I will attach it to the quilt. For this quilt I used the direct joining technique for the front and hand stitched the back joins.
I attached a scrappy binding and here it is all finished. This one is for Dad to snuggle under this winter.

Sunshine Coast, Queensland , Australia - Holiday Destination
Come on down and enjoy all that Australia has to offer 
Watch the sun rise over the ocean
 Take an early morning beach walk
You can walk for miles & miles on white sand
 Go for a paddle on a tidal lake by the ocean
 find something interesting on the beach
like this shell encrusted rope
 Watch the 'wormers' at work
and in the late afternoon
join the people making the most of the afternoon sunshine at Mooloolabah Beach
or watch the lifesavers do some off duty training at Kawana Beach
I was trying out some special effects with my camera  - black & white with only warm colours
 Here is a quick preview of what I am working on next 
it is big, bright and bold
 Bye for now - Linda