Good Dogs

While putting the rows together for the quilt I’m working on I snapped a few pictures of my “good dogs”. Even the puppy knows to stay off the quilt.

Good Daisy

Here is a picture of Daisy tip-toeing around the quilt. She was about 7 months old when I took this picture. What a good puppy!

And here is the old guy, Laddie, laying beside the quilt. Good boy!

Good Dog

While clearing floor space to lay out the quilt, I tossed one of Daisy’s toys behind me. Here is where it landed.

Good Laddie

Poor guy! He just laid there with that ratty toy on him. I guess he thought I put it there for a reason.

Dogs…you gotta love ’em!

All the Blocks Are In

The 2011 Amish Quilt Shop Hop quilt is almost done. After I had sewn the rows of blocks together to the half-way point…

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I started on the opposite corner.

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That way I don’t have to keep sewing rows onto a big and bulky quilt top.

After sewing the final rows on the bottom corner…

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I sewed the 2 halves together and voilĂ ! All the blocks are in.

almost done

Next and final step is sewing on the borders.

My Favorites at the NQA Quilt Show, part 3

Here are the final quilts from the NQA Quilt Show that simply, caught-my-eye. I think you’ll see why.

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This final quilt was made by Alisa Seamster…love the name! How ironic.

This is an impressive quilt.

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I took a picture of the label explaining how the quilt was made.

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Yes, 33,320 half-inch squares…wow! And if that isn’t impressive enough, she “tied” it. Alisa was standing there by her quilt so she showed me the back and all the ties!

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I hope you enjoyed the NQA Quilt Show and Tell. As I said…it always inspires me to improve my quilting and try new innovations. Cross-stitch quilting will not be one of them though. I’ll leave that to Alisa Seamster.

My Favorites at the NQA Quilt Show

As I said in yesterday’s post. I also took pictures of quilts that I especially liked. Sorting through them I saw that each one fell into 1 of 3 categories: Traditional, Flora & Fauna and just simply Caught My Eye.

Here is the Traditional category…

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I really liked the border on the quilt above. Here is a close-up…

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And the last quilt in the my Traditional category must be seen close-up.

Full Size View

Full Size View

Close-up

Close-up

Tomorrow will be my Flora & Fauna category.

NQA Quilt Show

I had the privilege of volunteering at the 2013 NQA Show this year in Columbus, Ohio.

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I was a sack-sitter. I baby-sat quilters’ purchases while they went to shop for more…hahaha. Actually it is a very useful service. It’s like a coat-check system but it’s summer and no one is wearing a coat. So we checked shopping bags, suitcases, rolling carts, lunch boxes, even fencing equipment. Yep, fencing equipment. There was a fencing conference going on next door and a lady from that conference stopped in to look at the beautiful quilts. She was from California. She said she was a knitter but she appreciated the art of quilting. I love meeting interesting people.

After my volunteer time was over I had the pleasure of viewing all the beautiful quilts. And I took several pictures. Here are the pictures of the top winners.

Best of Show Lrg Quilt

Best of Show Large Quilt

Best of Show close-up

Best of Show close-up

As you can see the quilting is beautiful!

Best of Show Medium Quilt

Best of Show Medium Quilt

Close up of the texture

Close up of the textured fabric

I don’t know how the quilter obtained such texture on this plant, it looked real. I wanted to touch it…but I didn’t.

Best of Show Small Quilt

Best of Show Small Quilt

Other Best of Show Quilts

Other Small Best of Show Quilts

Best Machine Quilting Large Quilt

Best Machine Quilting Large Quilt

As I sorted through my pictures I realized I did not take a closeup of the Best Machine Quilting Large, Medium or the Small quilts. Apparently I was more impressed with the quilting on the Best of Show quilt. I guess that’s why it’s the Best of Show.

Best Machine Quilting Medium Quilt

Best Machine Quilting Medium Quilt

Best of Show

Best of Show

I’m not sure the category of the above quilt. Perhaps NQA has a whole cloth category. This quilt is beautiful! You need to see it in person to truly appreciate it. Here is a closeup.

Best of Show close up

Best Hand Quilting Large Quilt

Best Hand Quilting Large Quilt

Best Hand Quilting Medium Quilt

Best Hand Quilting Medium Quilt

There were lots of beautiful quilts. I love to go to quilt shows it always inspires me.

After looking at all the top winners, I then meandered through the rest of the show and took pictures of quilts that caught my eye. I will post those tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Putting it All Together

The quilt top from the 2011 Amish Quilt Shop Hop is coming together.

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I really like it! The colors look so vibrant. I’m really taking my time with pinning and sewing so that I get sharp points and corners.

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I use a lot of pins, I mean a lot of pins!

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That is how you keep the fabric from moving when you get those corners and points lined up.

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Sharp corners make this quilter happy.

Flying Geese Ruler

Here’s my confession…I’m not one of those gadget loving quilters. I’m usually pretty basic when it comes to my quilting tools. But the finishing kit for this Amish Quilt Shop Hop quilt that I’ve been working on came with a Flying Geese Ruler from Marti Mitchell. I really like this ruler!

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First of all, the pink tag holder that came on the ruler is brilliant! When I’m done using the ruler I can re-attach the directions so that they will always be on the ruler. Such a simple thing but so helpful. I won’t have to go searching thru drawers and stacks of paper looking for the directions the next time I use the ruler. Good thinking, Marti!

To use the ruler for my project I used the 3 1/2″ strip line. The top of the ruler has a flat edge that lines up on the top of the fabric strip. The picture below shows the cutting of the next triangle.

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Then you flip the ruler around to cut another triangle, without wasting fabric.

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After you cut the triangles you then trim the corners as shown in the picture below. This step is surprisingly helpful as I will show you.

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Here are the cute little triangles that you trim away. You could save these for you next project…! Please don’t, don’t do that to yourself! Throw them away!

Okay, next step.

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I did the same for the turquoise fabric triangles. I’m making border strips, not flying geese even though I’m using the Flying Geese Ruler. The corners for the turquoise triangles are trimmed also.

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Here is where those trimmed corners really matter. Lining up the triangles is so much more accurate with these trimmed corners.

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I pin to hold the triangles in alignment while I sew.

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Here are the finished border strips. I am greatly impressed with this ruler and look forward to using it to make flying geese, but it’s nice to know that this little ruler pulls double duty making triangle borders as well.

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Purposing to Perfect the 9-Patch

The next items to piece were 9 patch blocks and setting triangle units.

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They went together really well. Here is how I pieced the 9-patch blocks.

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I made strip sets like the ones in my Straight Strip Set post. Then subcut them into 2″x5″ rectangles.

Here is my pinning technique…

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I sandwich the units together making sure the seams lock together. As you pinch them together you can feel the seams locked next to each other. Then I place a pin on either side of the seam.

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I like these long pins that are easy to grab as I’m sewing. I take just a small “bite” of fabric with the pins.

Here is how I pin each unit before sewing.

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As I said in my earlier post, proper pressing is very important also. I press after each piece I sew together.

Straight Strip Sets

The first thing to piece in the finishing kit that I’ve been working on were bar strip sets. I don’t know if that is their official name, but that’s what I’m calling them.

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I’m really pleased by how they turned out. They are nice and straight, without any bending. Here is how I did it.

When I sewed the brown and cream strips together I made sure to turn every other strip. Here’s a picture to show what I’m talking about.

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I flipped the cream strip around. The printed selvage edge of the cream fabric is at the other end. This seemed to really help avoid that bend in strip sets that all quilters despise.

The other thing I did to insure straight strips involves proper pressing. Here is how I did that…

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I always press the seam first, commonly called “setting the seam”. Then I ran the iron along the right side of the seam. Pressing to the dark or in this case the brown fabric.

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I have found that running the iron along the seam like this helps avoid that small crease that sometimes happens along the seam if you’re not careful how you press. I want a nice tight seam without stretching. Then I gently pull back the fabric and press the seam.

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Here it is…a nice straight strip.

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It doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to get a straight strip set. Just a couple of things to keep in mind. Hope it helps your next project.