A Quilting Weekend with Friends


They never seem to come often enough — weekends spent quilting with friends. A lot of projects were waiting to go along with me, but I mainly worked on just a couple. I never empty very many bobbins, but that’s not the point of the weekends. It’s the getting together, relaxing, and sharing that’s important (sharing food, advice, stories, and friendship).

I’ll show my projects next time. For now, here are the much more impressive projects shared by the other “retreaters.” (All photos will enlarge with a click or two.)

(1) Georgia has been working on her scrappy 12″ pineapple blocks and put them all together on Saturday. Pattern is from
Positively Pineapple. She will be adding a border.

(2) I think the spiderweb Q made by Becky is from a Fons and Porter pattern, but I didn’t find it in their “Best of Scrap Quilts,” as I thought I would. Triangles are 6″ tall.

(3) Following her pattern, Chris’s placement of the cut pieces made the yellow and purple appear to intertwine–with a pretty butterfly background. She trimmed the sides just after I shot this photo.
(4) Pat made the Blogger Girl quilt (from
Open Gate Quilts) using red and green fabrics with gold highlights. She worked hard on the sashing — the on-point squares are labor intensive, but they’re stunning when they’re added to the quilt to frame the blocks.
(5) Sue saw this quilt in someone’s Fons and Porter magazine, and we found
a download-able copy of the pattern online. It’s “Aunt Gracie’s Garden,” AKA “Emily’s Wedding Quilt.” Her background is Kona Snow, and we helped her cut an 8-1/2″ wide border from that. Flowers, leaves, and vines will be appliqued on the wide border
beforeit’s attached to the quilt. Four appliqued flowers will go on last, covering the mitered border seams.
NOTE: There are no curved seams here–only the
appearanceof some. Look carefully. It’s a combo of HST next to squares made with
Tri-Recs toolby EZ Quilting. Google “Tri-Recs” and you’ll find photos, tutorials, and ideas galore.
(6) We’ve been given all steps for our guild’s current mystery quilt. This is Kris’s version. Some gals used one fabric for the alternating snowball blocks; others used varied fabrics, as Kris did here.
(7) The biggest stash buster I’ve ever seen in person was this one that Georgia brought to show. She cut 30″ squares of fusible grid interfacing and ironed on 2″ squares. After folding on the lines and stitching 1/4″ seams, she ended up with
22-inch blocks (225 squares on each). The main body of the quilt is made from nine of those blocks plus three half-blocks.

Georgia added a 3″ black border, then a border of squares, four squares wide. My quick estimate is that there are more than 3000 2-inch squares in this quilt. I’m also estimating it’s around 84″ x 93″.
I have a lot of 2″ squares and some iron-on grid interfacing, so I could start one any time. I also have a daughter who enjoys the artistic arrangement of quilt blocks. I think she’ll enjoy arranging those squares for me–at least for a while. (I’ll take the help as long as I can get it.)
I hope you had a quilty weekend. Mine was filled with inspiration and relaxation.

A Guide On How To Quilt


Many sewers begin their journey by wanting to sew a quilt for themselves or their loved ones. A quilt which when done well is a treasured gift which is past down like an heirloom. But these should not just become aspirations as at the beginning it looks like a huge task. It is not such a tough task as you think if you can follow the instructions.
A few tips that you should keep in mind is that start small and with a simple design, do not attempt to start with a quilt for a cot, but instead try cushion cover or something on those lines which will give you the confidence to do something bigger.

Choose fabric: You can choose many fabrics for your quilt which can be of a single color or multicolored. IF you are selecting fabrics which are different, then you should match the colors and designs so that they go well with each other. You can now cut the materials to any size you desire, but they should be squares using a scissor or any other tool. Arrange all the squares into a pattern which that looks good to you.

Sew the sides: After you arrange them into rows, take each row and pin the sides so that you can stitch the sides using a sewing machine. Stitch all the rows and flatten them out so that they are in the same direction.

Add the border: Now that all the squares are stitched together, you can add some highlight by creating a contrasting border, have all four sides bordered or any two of them stitched.
Layering: You can use a bamboo batting to layer your quilt, put it on top of the stitched fabric, now add another layer of fabric for backing and sew them together and you have now learned how to quilt.


Tips On Machine Quilting


After many days of effort, you are now past sewing the quilt top and are now ready to start the process of quilting. It is essential that you do everything right as you do not want to undo all the effort of sewing the quilt top by messing up now. To ensure that all the time, money and effort that you have put into this project does not go waste, here are a few tips that can come handy when you are machine quilting.

Needle: The needle you use on your machine is very critical to the success of your project. So it is a great idea to start with a new needle, are you asking yourself why. The answer is that first of all an old needle will not last the entire workload of quilting, and it is also seen that as the needle gets old, it starts to miss stitched. So to prevent problems in the future, it is best to start out with a new needle. Also, ensure that the needle is down when you are facing the quilt through at the end of the line. When the needle’s position is down, you are ensuring that the stitch is straight and not crooked.

Walking foot is best: If possible use a walking foot instead of a usual one as that will help to pull the quilt in a straight line through the sewing machine. If you have a standard foot, worry not as you can reduce the dial pressure and that helps in smooth sliding of the quilt.

Use cotton threads: For quilting, it is best to use cotton quilting thread which is of high quality. The thread count should be between 45 to 50. For machine quilting, the weight of the thread does not matter when compared to when you are hand quilting, so you should use a 40 50 cotton thread to get smooth lines.


How To Sell Your Quilts


If you have decided to sell the quilts that you have made, there are numerous options available. You can start with local shops and then move ahead of the ladder and sell at handicrafts events.Online sale through social media is also another great way to start selling your work.

Social media: A great way to interact with your future customers. You can use your creativity to tell a story of how you started this work; the more inspiring the story is, the better your work sells. Also, you should mention what differentiators you have from others who display their art. A visual representation will work wonders for your sales.

Pictorial representation: You may have the most beautiful, well-designed quilts. Unless these are visually represented, they will not grab the attention of the customers. You should get professional photographers to click high-quality images of your product if you are planning to sell it online. That image should bring out all the qualities that your product has that can lure the customers to buying it.

Showcase your work at shows: If you want the locals to appreciate and buy your work, then you should display them at the local shows. A craft show in your location or any art gallery can be chosen to present your product. Even an apartment clubhouse is also a great starting point.


Learn To Make A T-Shirt Quilt


If you are among those who are sentimental about throwing away your favorite T-shirts, then one of the ways of keeping it for a longer time is to make a quilt out of it. You need not worry about the patterns or designs they can be done the way you want, complex or straightforward. The technique for sewing a T-shirt quilt is slightly different from the normal one.
But before you start out with this unique designed quilts, there are a few things to consider.
● The number of T-shirts that you have for this project
● Size of the Tshirt and the size of the quilt you want to sew
● Are you planning to sash the quilt and if yes what is the purpose to do it. You can also make the quilt larger by using borders if the goal of uses sashing is to make it big.?
● Are the designs on the T-shirt all of the same size, even they are not, you can make a different pattern out of it.?

Step1: Take a washed and dried T-shirt and using a scissor cut the front panel, remove all the other parts and keep only the panel. Do the same to all the other T-shirts you are using to make this quilt.
Step 2: Keep the panels which are of the same sie side by side on a surface which is flat, check if the pattern looks ok to your eyes and start sewing then in rows.
Step 3: Interfacing should be done so that it fits the panels.
Step 4: It is now time to add some sashing or any patchwork to the panels.
Step 5: Once you are done with the front of the quilt, the rest of the process is the same as other quilts that you do. But one thing to note is that you may find it difficult to sew it by hand, so better to use a sewing machine to do the stitching.


Essential Machine Quilting Hacks


Quilting on a sewing machine is quite tricky for a beginner. If you have decided that you will use a device to sew your quilt, then you should ensure that you get your machine ready for the task at hand.

Start with a small quilt: If you have just started to sew and consider yourself a beginner, then it is beneficial to start with a little project. If you start big and mess up, then you will never have the confidence to do it again. Go with a maximum of 50 inches which is an optimal size for a beginner anything less will be too tiny for your liking. You should have enough fabric so that it rests well in your hand and you do not sew your fingers.

Use safety pins to pin down the fabric: When you are sewing the panels or even quilting, it is best to use safety pins. A flat, smooth surface is also needed, lay out the fabric and iron it so that it becomes stiff. All the puffiness that the fabric brings reduces once you iron it and your hands will feel more comfortable.

Reduce the feed dogs: The feed dogs are the parts below the plate where the fabric is fed to the needle. These should be fixed, if not you cannot expect to get straight lines. The feed dogs should be reduced to as less as possible so that they do not allow the fabric to move. To securely stitch the fabric, sew it more than once.

Opt for bold designs on fabric: Choose fabric which can cover up your mistakes. The back of the quilt should not be of a solid color as it does not hide all those curved thread lines in your first attempt. Look for fabric which does not show up the skipped stitch or any other mistake.

How To Sell Your Quilts Online


Your friends and family believe that the quilts that you have made are great and that you should start selling them, then you can do it easily online. You can begin to sell your stuff online and that too without any substantial investments, here are a few tips on how to go about that.

Target audience: You should target your product to your niche, that way you can see better sales at a lesser time. Do not try to sell it to everyone who says they like a quilt; you should look at specific searches of you want to get better results. Some of the searched you can be based on the types of quilts, materials, gender, etc.

Build your website: Having a site is essential so that you can all your products listed in a place from where you can sell. By having a website, you can have customers buy these products all the time.

It is not a rule that you have to sell only those products that you make; you can sell others work too. In fact, selling other products is better as you can make more money out of it. You can choose products that are profitable and sell them along with other lucrative options.