Colouring Cushions…Colour Play

Sometimes its just nice to have a mindless moment and just be, or as I like to do, colour. I’ve made a Colouring Cushion, so that when I’m done colouring I have something useful to keep and use. Here’s Snaily.

 

When I was at school some of the students would create amazing doodle art on their folders, I wasn’t one of them. I would randomly make squiggles then colour each of the little sections made by my squiggles different colours. It was all about the interplay of colour for me. Now I’m doing that again! This is Doodle Two.

 

 

I doodle a design and then I carefully stitch it out, either with thick thread or my couching yarn onto the quilt top. And it really is a little quilt: fabric top, wadding or batting and a backing. Then I trim each design down, add overlapping fabric backs to hold a cushion insert, and bind the edges. Hence it’s a mini quilt, that can be coloured in or left as it is to be enjoyed.

Half Square Triangles – 2 at a time

Half Square Triangle

There are many ways to make half square triangles. You can make one at a time – simply use two squares the same size, place them right sides together and mark a diagonal line on the back of one. Stitch on the line, cut a 1/4″ from one side of the line and press open. 

Two squares the same size
Mark a diagonal line
Stitch on the line and cut away excess

Two at a time is similar but with less waste. Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner and stitch a 1/4″ from each side of the line. Then cut on the line! Here’s a video for that one, I didn’t even mark the line I just used tape on my machine and kept everything lined-up!

Two squares the same size.
Sew twice a 1/4″ from the centre line
Cut on the centre line and press.

More methods to come.

Cheers Sewing Sue

Stash Busting – Boom!

Okay I’m bragging, my last finish was made entirely from my stash. Don’t worry there is plenty more where that came from. But I think this is a first for me and I’m feeling pretty accomplished! Usually I cannot touch my stash because I’m saving it for something?!? But this quilt feels really good. I made it as a gift for my son’s teacher. She mentioned that green was her favourite colour – that was a challenge for me. But I couldn’t be happier with the results. I even made a how to video, see it here. I don’t have a pattern for this design, I just made it up as I went along using what I had! Enjoy Sewing Sue.

Code at Showcase

Here she is my Code Quilt at Showcase. Eventually she will end up on my bed, so I kept the quilting light.

I wrote a pattern for the centre of the quilt simply called Code. This one really had some challenges for me, the pre-cut I had was ombre so each strip had to maintain a constant centre…much more challenging than it sounds. I hope you enjoy it.

Cheers Sewing Sue

How to bind a quilt.

There are many ways to bind a quilt, this is how I do it.

1.  Measure around the outside of the quilt and add 10″ (25.5cm).

 

2.  Cut as many 2-1/4″ (5.5cm) wide strips as you will need to make this measurement.

For example:  a 60″ square quilt would be 240″ + 10″ = 250

250/40″ (width of fabric) strips = 6.25 strips

 

3.  So I join my six and a bit strips end to end using diagonal seams. Once they are sewn, I trim the seam allowance to approximately a 1/4″ (6mm). And press the seams open. This helps to share the bulk around so I don’t end up with big lumps in my binding.

 

Diagonal seam
Diagonal seam
Diagonal seam pressed open
Diagonal seam trimmed and pressed open

4.  Press the entire strip in half along the length – Wrong Sides Together. Now your binding is ready to go.

Press strip in half along the length, Wrong Sides Together.
Press strip in half along the length, Wrong Sides Together.

 

5.  Square-up the edges of the quilt. Make sure the corners are true. Use a square ruler and cut both sides of the corner without moving the ruler.

Place a square ruler on the corner of the quilt.
Place a square ruler on the corner of the quilt.

 

Trim corner without moving the ruler.
Trim corner without moving the ruler.

6.   On the Right Side of the quilt, start somewhere along the middle of one side. Pin the binding to the starting position and roughly place the binding all the way around the edge of the quilt. Make sure the diagonal seams DO NOT fall on the corners. If they do, move the start position along and repeat. Its not impossible to sew the diagonal seam into the corners, its just a lot easier not to.

 

Starting point
Starting point

7.  When you are happy with your starting placement. Move 10″ (25.5cm) along the binding from the start. This is where to start stitching. USE A WALKING FOOT OR DUAL FEED System. Line up the raw edged of the binding strip and the edge of the quilt. Check your 1/4″ seam allowance by stitching for 4″ (10cm) then stop and wrap the binding strip from the front of the quilt over the raw edges to the back. The folded edge should cover the machine stitching line. If not adjust your seam allowance.

 

Leave 10" of binding loose before you start sewing.
Leave 10″ of binding loose before you start sewing.

8.  Now sew the binding to the quilt top, matching the raw edges as you go and keeping your seam allowance consistent. I generally use a 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance. What ever seam allowance you are using is your stopping distance from the corner of the quilt. So I stop a 1/4″ (6mm) from the edge and sew a few reverse stitches. Take the quilt out and cut the threads. On the flat bed of your sewing machine turn the quilt so the next edge to be sewn is running straight from you to the machine. Flip the binding up toward the machine making a diagonal fold on the quilt.

Stop sewing 1/4" from the edge of the quilt and reverse to lock stitches.
Stop sewing 1/4″ from the edge of the quilt and reverse to lock stitches.

 

 

binding12

Make a diagonal fold.
Make a diagonal fold.

9.  Then fold straight down so that the raw edges to be sewn line up. The fold at the top edge of the quilt must be equal with the top of the quilt. If there is too much fabric at the top it will create a big bump. Place the bind and quilt under the needle and sew from the very edge straight down to the next corner. Again stopping a 1/4″ from the edge. Repeat this corner method on each corner.

 

Fold the binding down so the fold is equal with the top of the quilt and the binding lays along the edge to be sewn.
Fold the binding down so the fold is equal with the top of the quilt and the binding lays along the edge to be sewn.
Sew right from the top fold then continue around the quilt.
Sew right from the top fold then continue around the quilt.

binding16

binding17

10.  When you are getting close to where you started STOP 12″ (30cm) from your start point. Leave the long tails of binding attached. Breath.

 

Stop 10 to 12" from where you started sewing
Stop 12″ from where you started sewing

11.  Go to the middle of the binding gap and cut ONE end of the binding off square.

 

12.  On a flat surface, position the cut end of the binding along the raw edge as if it was sewn. Lay the other end over the cut end. Overlap these two strips by the original width of the binding strips 2-1/4″ in this case. Cut the second end of the binding strip making sure that they overlap by 2-1/4″ (I said that twice because its really important).

 

Ends overlap by width of binding strip = 2.25"
Ends overlap by width of binding strip = 2.25″

13.  Scrunch up the quilt so you can work with the two ends of the binding strip. Make a diagonal join by placing the strips Right Sides Together and rotate the corners by one…Pin where you would stitch and check that you have the stitch line going the correct way and nothing is twisted. It is really easy to get this muddled up. I always check this before I sew and then again before I cut the seam allowance off.

binding20

binding21

14.  Okay when you are satisfied that its the correct way, stitch the diagonal seam. Pull it flat to check that its correct. And cut the seam allowance back to a 1/4″ (6mm). Press the seam open.

 

Trim seam and press open
Trim seam and press open

15.  Now continue stitching the binding on as you did before, using a walking foot or dual feed system and a 1/4″ seam allowance. It should fit nicely.

 

16.  The final step is to flip the folded edge of the binding to the back and hand stitch it covering the machine stitch line. As you flip the corners they will create gorgeous little mitered corners. Make sure your stitches don’t show on the front of the quilt. I using approximately a 1/4″ (6mm) stitch length for this.

Hand stitch folded edge of the binding to the back of the quilt, covering the machine stitching.
Hand stitch folded edge of the binding to the back of the quilt, covering the machine stitching.

Butterfly Field

Here it is my Butterfly Field all quilted and bound. Finally finished.


 

I’ve quilted it so the butterflies are sitting on flowers enjoying themselves. I particularly like the backing fabric for  this quilt. I don’t usually buy the backing until the top is made. But this time I couldn’t help myself. When I finally got around to making the backing I used the design along the edge to create that blue and orange stipe across the back. I just love it when the front of the quilt isn’t the only feature.

Cheers Sewing Sue

 

Finally Done

As we all know sometimes life happens and our sewing projects are put aside. Finally I am happy to announce that my Half Square Triangle Passion quilt is complete. Not only is it complete it has been delivered to a well deserving recipient, in the form of the local pre-school teacher who just lost her mother. Nothing beats a warm hug from your mother, but a quilt might help.

 

HST Passion

Favorite Things – Love Connecting Threads

Its about time I shared one of my favorite things. I love love love Connecting Threads. One day I was admiring gorgeous fabric on-line and a week later I was fussy cutting it into tiny little pieces to make a brand new quilt. Not bad timing as  I live on the other side of the planet and the fabric went from a virtual dream to a tangible, pat-able bundle on my doorstep in just seven days.

Here’s the fabric….its from their Mosaic Blooms Collection.

Mmmmmm Fabric
Mmmmmm Fabric

Here’s what I’m doing with it. I was inspired by my coffee mug – it has a Moroccan tile style to it.

Mmmmm Pretty
Mmmmm Pretty

It will be a while before I can show you a finished quilt, life and all gets in the way of quilting sometimes, here’s a couple of blocks…

Mmmmm More Pretty
Mmmmm More Pretty

If you want to try my favorite thing , Connecting Threads, here’s a special, secret code that will give you 10% off on fabric – download patterns and furniture are excluded. Its good until the 30th of April 2016, and you can only use it once, So shop wisely. CTAU10

Cheers Sewing Sue

PS. This will be a pattern in the near future called Sophia’s Quilt.