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Archive for the tag “Review”

Sage Garden Patch Quilt or Two day quilt

As a teaser for the book, I’m posting some pictures of a quilt from a book Quilting a Patchwork Garden that I did a review of.  I completed this quilt in two days, although it could have been done in one day.  I changed up the borders from what the book called for because I wanted it to be a little larger and liked the added flair as well.

Outside block

The block above is as hard as this quilt will throw at you.  It is important however that you pin all the panels when sewing them together!!  When I was telling my wife about this quilt and sending pictures to her as it was coming together

She thought it was really nice and had a clean look to it.  In my earlier post of the review for this book I mentioned that it had a garden theme, and as the first quilt you come to in the book the Sage Garden patch quilt didn’t disappoint.

And this is the point when I decided to change-up the borders and add my own bit of flair.

And not satisfied with just a white border on the outside, I added a green square to all four corners.

In closing I’ll say that it was a blast to put this together.  The funnest part was when my wife came home to see this sitting on the couch and said “WOW!  We need to go to the fabric store so I make this quilt this weekend.”  The pictures that I took do not do this quilt justice.  If you’re looking for a beautiful quilt to make for a loved one or friend that won’t take forever, then this pattern is for you.

For the serious quilting I will mention two facts that we had discussed while I was making this.  This can easily be pieced together in one day.  Kay had asked me if I was working on it all in one sitting for both days and I have to confess that I goofed off for a large portion of  both days, rather than keeping at it.  Second, there is some minor changes in a couple of the measurements that I would suggest.

It is already at the long arm quilter (trying someone new) and I’ll post another picture after its bound, but before it goes off to its lucky new owner.

Contact me if you are making this and would like to hear about the changes I would suggest.  Until next time…  quilt on!!

Joann Fabric’s Persian Plum Block 3

I’ve just completed block 3 from Joann’s Persian Plum which is called the “Quartered Star”.  This was a little more difficult than the previous two, made more so by the fact that I put three pieced together that didn’t belong.  Isn’t seam ripping fun???

The block is beautiful when finished and I’m very excited to put all of these together to see what the whole quilt will look like.  Here are some pictures of the block going together.

Here is the finished block

Finished with the Appliqué

Ready for the quilterI was under the impression that I would have finished with the appliqué on the Arbor Lane BOTM quilt and moved on to the double quilt I’m making.  Alas, I spent the entire weekend finishing up with the center block and the four side panels.  Then I spent most of today sewing the rest together instead of posting.  The good news is the quilt top has been assembled and I went out this weekend for Joann Fabrics sale and bought the backing for it.  Now it will be sent off to Candy who performs miracles with her long-arm machine.

Today, I get to start the double quilt.  No, there isn’t such a thing in reality, I just call it a double quilt because I’ll be making two quilts with minor variations for two different people.

Finally I’m able to show the quilt top for the Arbor Lane.  A skeptical decision regarding the backing fabric turned out to be a fantastic decision.  I really love how this quilt turned out.  I will be taking it and the schoolhouse quilt for some long arm quilting and I’ll post the pics after it’s finished.

My Struggle with Appliques

Applique sewn on with Husqvarna Viking Sapphire

Eating carrots as a child was always a chore at the dinner table. My parents knew they were good for me and would not injure me as I thought they would. Likewise, although quilts can contain any number of different techniques from paper piecing to string art, one of the most popular remains that of the applique.

I set my sights a couple of times on trying this out and it has been a disaster, my technique is horrid. I am okay (read not thrilled) with mistakes in the quilts that I make. But there comes a point in time where giving up on a technique seems really compelling. Luckily for me, unluckily for my wife, I’m stubborn. I will ruin 20 pieces just to become adequate at its creation.

Why would my wife become unlucky?  Because I will plead and beg her to stop her projects to work with me on mine, asking her questions nonstop, and criticizing our work until I’m satisfied with the result. She is a real trooper but has politely suggested that I join a quilting guild so I can learn more.

My confession… is that everything I do has been self-taught through trial and error, although at times (many times) I have come across wonderful people who’ve shared their videos of how to’s on the web. (Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!) I know I should be trying to work with more experienced quilters, but it’s difficult while working a full-time job. That doesn’t even mention that I’m a guy and a lot of experienced quilters in my area are women… married women whose husbands probably wouldn’t understand why their wives were spending time quilting with another man!!

Kay and I do go to quilting events when they’re in town and plan on going to the quilt show in Houston this October. that is normally where I am able to connect with other quilters and ask the questions that are giving me fits.

Until then, I would love comments from anyone out there on the best way to do appliques on quilts. I’ve seen them with a satin stitch, a zig-zag, and have seen them done by hand.  But would love to know what your favorite way is…

Until then thank you for all your support and keep sending the comments!

UFO’s and how to complete your least engaging projects

So many times I plan on doing a project and get caught up doing something else, like a site I read that had the same subject “buriedinscraps.wordpress.com.   So this evening I was looking at some of my unfinished projects and knew that I needed to get a move on to finish some.  I decided to start with my old block of the month project from Joann Fabrics Arbor Lane.

Has anyone else out there worked on a project and as it was coming together felt their stomach drop through the floor?  As soon as I started I realized that the measurements were all wrong.  I was texting my wife and letting her know how disappointed I was in this, but that I was persevering in the face of adversity!!

“I AM going to complete this quilt” I keep telling myself, all the while thinking about the quilt I really want to be making.  It’s not turning out horrible, but some of the blocks do NOT match up.

What do you do when things go wrong with your projects?  This UFO isn’t complete yet, but by the end of this weekend it will be.  I think the best way to complete these unfinished project is the same way you do anything else that’s overwhelming like eating an elephant… one bite at a time.  After all, it really isn’t the rabbit that wins the race, it’s the turtle.  Steady and with perseverance, at least that’s my .02 worth.

So as far as ease-ability of putting the Arbor Lane quilt from Joann Fabrics together??  2 out of 5 stars.  We’ll revisit once we’re completely done.

Persian Plum Block 2

This is the second block in the series for Joann Fabrics Block of the Month “Persian Plum”. This block was a little more technical and has you sewing triangles together prior to joining the halves to form a square.

While not impossible to get the tips perfectly lined up, I would suggest pinning for best effect.

At the end of the first round of sewing you should end up with eight half squares.

Joining these together forms your four multicolored squares.

The finished square is well designed and I’ll say once again a beautiful set of colors. Look me up in another week where I’ll be putting block three together.

 

Book Review Quilting a Patchwork Garden

Product DetailsOne of the books that I recently received was Quilting a Patchwork Garden.  As I found time to open it up and review its pages, I came across the first quilt Sage Garden Patch.  Wonderfully inspired I would highly recommend this pattern for a beautiful and easy project that will win over a beginner or an advanced quilter.

But quilt aren’t the only thing this book has instructions for, pillows, table runners, wall hangings, napkins, and more. The last 17 pages of this book have helpful hints and suggestions, it even has quilting designs.  I recommend this book with 4 out of 5 stars.

Quilting a Patchwork Garden

Thimbles and Batting

Have you ever wanted to know which product to use only to go through the process of searching and only have a headache and more confusion for your trouble??  When I first started quilting and figured out how to piece my quilt together through trial and error I was finally ready to put the sandwich together.  Which batting to use?  I went down to the store to find myself inundated with cotton, polyester, cotton/poly, and wool.  Which would be best?  I couldn’t find an answer, not even after I searched extensively online.  No one just came out and said, “this is my favorite!”.  So for anyone searching out there, here’s my opinion for what it’s worth…

Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting is the ONLY batting I have used on any of my quilts.  Another look into what constitutes GOOD batting makes my head spin.  Bearding, loft, composition, and drape… for me it couldn’t be more confusing.  When I start to search this topic through numerous hops on the web, after 2 – 3 pages of information the final answer I read about is they don’t have a straight answer.  Well, polyester is used for some wall-hangings, but is harder with a higher loft to quilt…  blah, blah, blah…

Warm and Natural 100% Cotton

Usually if someone has asked a question or does a web search, they have a specific need in mind.  The bulk of what I make are quilts ranging in size from 12” x 12” up to a King size  of 100” x 120”.  When I ask what batting should I use I not looking for a discourse in batting or a run-thru on the thermal-dynamics of polyester vs. cotton vs. cotton/poly blend.  I’m asking about a personal preference, what would you use if this was a quilt you were making for a family member and why would you select that particular batting.

Microsafe Traditional Loft Polyester

I have noticed that there is far fluffier (read “more loft”) batting out there, but MY personal preference is warm and natural 100% cotton because of the weight and feel of it and it may be kind of goofy, but it says natural (no dyes).  I’ve made enough quilts now that I am relatively sure it will survive my grandchildren tussling and still keep them warm and that’s good enough for me.

Mountain Mist Traditional Loft Polyester

Now on to thimbles…

I have to qualify my remarks first.  I’m a guy and my hands are on the large size, so when picking out a thimble I’m only trying out large ones.  So far I’ve tried out thimbles from Dritz, Clover, and Pons & Foster.  I’ll give you my impression of each one.

I started out using Fons & Porter brass thimble for my hand quilting and after a while was very pleased with the result.  The third day of use however, left me with a green thumb… which is great for gardening, but not so nice when dealing with fabric.

I looked around for an equivalent thimble that kept my finger its natural color and came across the Dritz thimble.  This thimble was fantastic and I did a lot of work with it on my Amish swap quilt.  Alas… after so much use it was cutting into my cuticle on the back side.  I’m not sure if this was due to bad technique, sizing of the thimble, or combination of both.  There was enough pain though to prompt my searching for another.

Enter the Clover thimble, soft supple leather and a steel coin to protect the finger.  This is the MOST comfortable thimble that I’ve used and still use when I want to give my finger a break from the Drizt, but it had a couple of disadvantages for me.  The coin is located on the front of the finger and when I’m using the rocking motion for quilting, I can get more stitches per inch if it’s on the top of my finger.  The other issue is that at times the needle head will get wedged between the leather and the coin.  That can be real annoying when you are on a roll.

The last thimble I’ve purchased seamed like a good idea, it just didn’t work for me though.  The top is solid and the body is elastic.  It stays glued to my finger without any issue and protect it as well… but without the stiffness of the solid thimble I, once again, had trouble with not enough stitches at a time.

So for now i use a combination of the two thimbles, the dritz with its solid performance until my finger hurts, then the soft leather clover to ease the pain.

That is all I have to say on the subjects of batting and thimbles.  I would LOVE to hear everybody’s preferences and opinions.

Book Review for 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts

101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts

Before I went out to purchase this book, I had read a few reviews on it. “If you can’t find a dozen quilts to make from this book right away, you just haven’t opened the cover” was the review that made the decision for me.

At 272 pages this book goes into enough depth that a beginner can crack it open and start quilting and an experienced quilter can find new designs and ideas as well. A section of the book goes over finishing quilts. I couldn’t go over everything this book covers without rewriting it. Color wheel, paper piecing, rotary techniques.. it has something to say about all of that.

The quilts are well detailed and illustrated with a grade by skill level. The real test came after the book arrived and my daughter came down to visit. We were able to talk about which one she should try based upon what she liked and the skill level it gave.  The quilt I posted about earlier that she is working on and almost finished came out of this book. Of course there were some questions she needed answers to about the best way to do something, but I was impressed by how far she was able to get with her first quilt from following the simple-to-use directions from the book.

That is the best review I could give a book, 5 stars out of 5.

Great Book

I originally got this link from http://lazygalquilting.blogspot.com/ and it’s about a book that she suggested and I did end up ordering. If you’re interested in Amish quilts and the history behind them then this book is fantastic.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B0058M82KA/ref=dp_image_z_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

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