Friday, August 10, 2012

Newby Quilting Bee - Pinning the Quilt Sandwich

Teri Williams Quilt

We got together this morning for our monthly meeting of the Newby Quilting Bee.  Today we learned how to make the quilt sandwich and pin our quilts.

So to begin, you need to measure your quilt top.  Then you need to have enough batting and backing to go 3-4 inches beyond your top. If you are going to be having your quilt, quilted by a longarm quilter, they will instruct you how much additional fabric and batting you need beyond your quilt top for their purposes.  So, check with them first!  If you are quilting for yourself, on your table top machine, then this will be sufficient for our purposes.

Make sure you have pressed your top and your backing so that they are wrinkle free.  We pushed two or three tables together to avoid having to get down on the floor and pin our quilts.  You may want to do this at home as well.  Folding tables work fine, you don't have to worry about the pins scratching your good dining table.  If all else fails, you can use the floor, you have more stamina than me...LOL.
Brenda Allen's Quilt

First, lay your backing fabric down with the wrong side facing up.  Take your masking tape and tape the edges of your backing to the table so that it is snug and wrinkle free.  Don't stretch it, just smooth and wrinkle free.

Next, lay your batting on top of your backing fabric and start to smooth it from the center out to the edges.  Depending on the type of batting you are using, you may or may not have to tape it as well.  Some of the high loft battings will do better if you tape them.  If you are using a "Warm and Natural" brand you can just smooth it and it will be fine without taping.  Now don't freak out if you bought a huge piece of batting and it is way beyond your quilt, you will trim it in a bit, but not yet.

Now, lay your quilt top on the smoothed batting.  Again, starting from the middle of your quilt top, smooth your top from the center to the edges.  When you have completed this process you are ready to pin your quilt.

SIDE NOTE #1:  See Brenda's cute border on her quilt above?  Well, she was worried about the strips coming apart as she worked on the quilt top.  The easy solution is to topstitch 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around and that will stabilize those edges.

When you purchased your batting, it would say on the package or the bolt end, how close you need to quilt.  When you are pinning, think about what kind of quilting you may be doing.  Stitch in the ditch?  Stitch next to the ditch?  Echo quilting?  Lay your pins out so that you are not having to stop every five seconds and remove and replace pins as you quilt.  Using your safety pins, pin through all layers.  I like to pin about every 6 inches or so.  You want it to be secure so that as you are wrestling it around and quilting, you will not have things slipping.  

Teri's Pinned Quilt
Sometimes, if you are having difficulty getting your pins through easily, remember the trick your mother taught you when you were diapering your babies.  Have a little bar of soap handy and run you pin across it and see how easily it glides through your quilt sandwich.

Janeal, Brenda and Shirley engrossed in their decisions.

Once you have finished pinning your quilt completely, you can trim around the quilt top, 3-4 inches out from the top.  You should have a margin of batting and backing sticking out beyond your quilt top by 3-4 inches.

Ramona Smith's Quilt
Now that you are finished pinning and have trimmed your batting and backing, you can roll your quilt up from one end to the other.  Do not fold it, we don't want wrinkles and folds to have to quilt around, rolling it will keep it in a good state for when we start to quilt our tops!

Shirley Statham's Quilt

Shirley Statham had a good friend who is a quilter and helped her  to deal with odd sized blocks, she simply bordered around each one with a thin strip and then cut them all to the same size and continued on, it's beautiful!  Shirley has been going to town on her quilts and has finished 3 already!

We will meet again on August 24th to start quilting!  Bring your quilt sandwich, your sewing machines, fresh needles, your quilting thread and plenty of bobbins wound with your backing thread color, scissors and a container to place your pins in as you remove them.  You will not need your cutting mats or rotary cutters for this meeting.

Let's talk about thread.  If you are stitching in the ditch and do not want your thread to show, I would suggest you get a clear poly quilting thread.  Here is a link for Superior Brand.  You can find this at most fabric stores and it's available online as well.
Here is another link which offers several brands.
And a link for Aurifil.
Get a poly rather than a nylon thread.

You will only use this thread in your top, you will use regular thread in your bobbin.  I can't stress enough that you load several bobbins, nothing is more annoying that having to take everything apart to wind a bobbin, just when you are getting in the groove.  

It was a blast today, seeing everyone's quilts and I am so excited for our next meeting.  Oh!  One more thing.  Please bring a little sandwich to practice on before we turn you loose on your quilt.  A piece of fabric about 12 x 12 inches with batting and backing as well, will be fine, use an extra block or bits of fabric that you have sewn together so we can practice the stitch in the ditch and others.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Swooning on a Saturday

We were going to go over to see our Granddaughter for her 1st birthday today, but Grandpa is not feeling well and doesn't feel up to the long drive over and back, it would be 7 hours in the car round trip.  I understand, but am disappointed not to be able to share in her day.  He has been having a difficult time lately so I have to respect that.

So, I was up early this morning, hoping to get in some sewing before we were going to leave at 7am.  The power was out yesterday afternoon and I was unable to get any sewing done, not to mention the unbearable heat.  It was over a hundred outside.  Not a good thing to have the power go out in the afternoon.  Anyway, we made the best of it, enjoyed an early dinner of skillet fried chicken and a big green salad.  Spent the time catching up on some magazines and had a generally peaceful afternoon.  Power came back on about 8:30 so we got in a little tv time and then off to bed.

I modified this Swoon block a bit by inserting bits on each of the center sides.  I like that way it looks, we will have to see how it works into the entire quilt.  Thought I would mock up a finished top and see where I am going with the last two blocks that I have yet to complete.

The brightness of each block is different in the photos but in true light, they are all the same intensity.  It will be interesting to see how it looks when it's completed.  Well, off to pour through the fabric and see what I want for the final two blocks.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Brenda and Janeal's Quilt Tops - Newby Quilting Bee

Brenda has now added her wonkie border with curved corners to her quilt top and is anxious to move on to the quilting portion of the event!  We are having a ball!  This is just so pretty and crisp with the red and white.

This sweet top is made by Janeal, a first time quilter in the class.  She even created a little light house scene for her center block, very clever since their last name is Light!  Great color selections for a first time quilter, lovely contrast.  I'm sure this will be something for her too look at with pride in her accomplishment!

We will have five or six more quilt tops that I know of that gals are finishing up...check back, more pictures to come!  Those that may be following along online, if you would like to send a photo of your top when you get the sashing on, we would love to share it!

We will have a catch up day this month, for those that are at the point that their top is finished and they are ready to start assemblying their quilt top, batting and backing, bring that and we will work on that together.

You will need the following materials for your top to get it ready to quilt:

If you will be quilting your quilt on your home sewing machine:

A box or two of 2 inch safety pins.  You want to be able to pin your top every 4-6 inches.

A roll of Masking Tape.  Make sure it is a fresh roll so that you have good stickum on it!  We will be using this to tape your quilt backing to the table and your batting to that before we place your top for pinning.

Batting to stick out about 3-4 inches beyond your quilt top.  Measure your quilt top and add 6-8 inches in each direction.  I like Warm and Natural...just my choice.  Go to Beverly's or Joann's and see all the different types, make a note of what I suggested and compare them.  You can buy it on the roll or in a bag.  You can also order it online on their sites.  Make sure you use one of their coupons to get 40-50% off!  And if you don't have one, if you have the American Quilters Society card (you can get that online here: they will give you 10% off, if you are older, they will give you a 10% senior discount, just ask for it, I do!  

Backing, you will need a piece of backing fabric, again 3-4 inches wider all around than your top.  Measure your top, add 6-8 inches each direction.  You CAN piece your back, it doesn't have to be all one fabric.  You can insert an extra block, strips of various fabrics, be creative.  

Okay, so you will need, pins, tape, batting, backing and your top.

I think we are all set!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sandy's Quilt Top!

One of my students in the Newby Quilting Bee Class, Sandy,  sent this along tonight.   I think it is coming along very nicely.  It's going to be so much fun to see everyone's quilts all finished up.  We are getting close now!  

Thanks for sharing Sandy!