Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tips and Tricks - Narrow Inner Border

I've been asked how do I do the small inner borders that appear on several of my quilts so this is the step by step process that should explain the process. First you need to cut 1 inch strips of the fabric that you want to use for your inner border. Typically this fabric is a contrasting or complimentary fabric to the main body of fabrics in your quilt. This example that I'm showing is for the cats and dogs quilt and I'm making a teal inner border to give emphasis to the pale turquoise sashing as well as the bright outer border. If the sides of your quilt are longer than the width of the fabric then you will have to join 2 strips of fabric together to make then the appropriatate length, I always allow an extra 1/2" - 1" as a safety margin.
Next you have to press the strips of fabric in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together just as you do for bindings so that the right side of the fabric is on the outside.

Next you take your first strip and place it on the edge of one side of the quilt (raw edges to the edge of the quilt) and sew down using a 1/8" seam. Yes this seems rather small but there will be a second 1/4" seam going down when you sew on the large outer border so everything will be secure. The reason why I only use a 1/8" seam is that you don't want any stitching lines showing after the outer border goes on if your two 1/4" seams happen not to match exactly.
You continue the process with the other sides ensuring that border covers over the edge of the quilt. I personally find if I extend this inner border about a 1/4" beyond the quilt and start sewing it feeds better through my machine. This is just my preference.

Next comes the trimming of the ends that extend beyond the edges of the quilt.

This is what it looks like when all the inner borders have been sewing on.
Next you go and sew your regular large outer border on like you normally would. Here you see that my outer border fabric extends well beyond my quilt, this is because I'm doing a mytered corner border. Here you want to change you foot to a 1/4" seam foot which will let you guide the fabric for a consistent 1/4" seam.
This is the end result.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cats and Dogs - Part 10

I've been working on the embroidery details on the cats and dogs quilt. I had to add eyes to all but one set of cats and dogs, whiskers to all cats and noses to all but one dog. One set of blocks from one of the gals already came with little button eyes and the dog had a button nose. For the rest I used a decorative yarn and made French knots, brown for the dogs and green for the cats. Then for the cats I embroidered whiskers using rayon thread that I use for machine quilting. I used an off white for the light coloured cats and black for the dark cats.

Then I used brown embroidery floss end did the noses on the dogs.

So now I'm ready to make the quilt sandwich and start quilting the cats and dog quilt. The first step will be stitch in the ditch to stabilize the quilt and then I will start on my patterns. I've got an interesting dog pattern for the border and I'm still working out the details for the individual blocks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cats and Dogs - Part 9

So here are the rest of the quilts that were done using the paper pieced cat and dog blocks that we traded back in September. What is really interesting is just how different all the quilts look.

The first quilt to be presented last night was the one made by Kathi who unfortunately wasn't able to be with us. She picked Jennifer's name and this is the quilt she made for her and it was fully finished including the quilting. The border fabric really sets the cat and dog blocks off nicely and Kathi had some nice detailing of some scattered circles from the outer border fabric in the inter border. I didn't get a picture of the back because my camera decided to act up with a battery change and then a memory card full issue but it was made of some wonderful paw print and dog bone fabrics.

After Kathi's quilt was presented, I presented the quilt I made for Kathi which you can see on the previous post. Next was Jennifer who had picked my name and she did a wonderful job show casing the cats and dogs and then adding some personal touches that reflect Fergie and Jordie. In the top row is the apartment building that we live in and Fergie and Jordie are looking out the window. They love to play with stuffed mice so in the corners are little mice.

Then on the back are portraits of Fergie and Jordie surrounded by little mice. What an adorable touch.

Next came Joan who had picked Bernice's name. She made a wall hanging sized quilt which was also finished including the quilting but Joan still had some embellishment work left to do. I don't know if you will be able to see some of the details if you click on the quilt, but there were some adorable embellishments already on the quilt. Things like a pair of scissors, a bow made from measuring tape ribbon, a fire hydrant, etc.

Then Bernice presented her quilt which was for Cathy. Yes we have 2, one with a C and one with a K so at least we can keep our Cathy/Kathi's straight. Cathy has been busy with her cottage so Bernice added a paper pieced cottage as well as a fire hydrant to the mix.

Cathy has a pet boxer and Bernice found this boxer fabric that will become the back of the quilt.

Next up was Cathy who picked Charlene's name and she has a Cairn Terrier named Brodie who loves a treat called Greenies. So Cathy went to the local pet store to find out about Greenies and then she took a dog bone paper pieced pattern and modified it and made a Greenie which is in the top right hand corner. Very nice touch.

Next was Charlene who had Beth's name and she has 3 cats. (Sorry about the end table in the last 2 pictures but I didn't notice it until I was downloading the pictures to my computer last night)

Charlene found the series of fabric called 'XOXOXO, The Cat' collection by Wendy Slotboom for In The Beginning fabrics in the blue / brown colourway which is Beth's favourite colours. Charlene also paper pieced mice in the corners of the quilt and her quilt was also fully completed and hand quilted.

Finally it was Beth's turn and she had picked Joan. Joan is another dog lover, boxers to be specific. Beth added some paper pieced dog houses with dogs inside the dog houses and she had some cute dog house fabric in addition to the pieced dog houses.

So there are all the cats and dogs quilts. We had a fun evening last night but now it's back to work for several of us who still have to get our quilts quilted in time for the York Heritage Quilt Guild meeting on Tuesday April 20th when our group will be "Quilter of the Month".

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cats and Dogs - Part 8

Our small quilt group "Quilter's Pet" met this evening and we revealed our quilt tops (some actually had finished quilts) to each other. When we started this project everyone had filled out a one page survey about our pets as well as our likes and dislikes when it came to quilts and fabrics. I had picked Kathi's name last spring. She had a Bichon name Gilligan who unfortunately had passed away. I wanted to make a special quilt in honor of Gilligan but at first I wasn't certain what I was going to do.

Over the summer while I was working on the cats and dogs blocks for our trade in September I came across Silver Lining Originals, a paper piecing site that sold all kinds of animal and nature patterns: I found the most adorable Bichon pattern and thought that this would be perfect but was concerned about the difficultly of the pattern. I finally bit the bullet at the beginning of this year and bought it. I figured that if I'm going to move forward in building my skills then what better way then to dive right in and do it. So here is the my quilt top that I made for Kathi. Unfortunately she wasn't able to make our meeting this evening due to a family illness so I have sent her an e-mail with the details for her to enjoy. The other gals loved it.

There are 3 Bichons on the quilt top. The one in the upper left hand corner is a classic white coloured one. The middle one is a beige one which is in honor of Gilligan who was beige and the third one is a mocha coloured one simply because I wanted 3 different coloured dogs and I like this colour combination.

Below is the pieced back. I had some interesting doggy portrait fabric but there was only 1/2 yard so I needed to figure out a way to stretch it. I also had some fun dog bone print and paw print fabrics so this is the result.

So now I have a month to get this quilted and bound.

I will post pictures of the other quilts that the gals made hopefully tomorrow or the next day so that you can see what everyone else did with their cat and dog blocks. Jennifer picked my name and she did a wonderful job on my quilt, it's so cute, it even has a Fergie and Jordie on it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

BOM Drunkard Path Variations - Feb Block

Yes I know it's already March and I'm only posting my Feb block but I had to make sure I was at a certain point in my cats and dogs quilt for this coming Monday before I went and did the BOM. I have to say that the cats and dogs quilt flimsy will be ready for the meeting I just have some finishing touches to do on it this weekend. So I played catch up with the BOM the last couple of evenings and finished my Feb block which was King Tut's Crown.

I have to say it is getting easier to do the curved piecing but the first couple of sections I still had to sit there and remember how it all went together. After that it all came back and the block went together quite nicely.