Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bernina Q20: Ruler Work for Easy Quilting

I've made two quilts this week, both class samples for Fall classes.

The Creative Log Cabin was started about a week ago, using the 8" Log Cabin Trim Tool from Creative Grids:

It's about 55" square and is asymmetrical on purpose. I find that hard to do but really love other quilts that I see done that way so I forced myself to make this one off-center. My husband asked me when I was going to finish it when he saw it on the design wall--"It's crooked."

As I learn to do more ruler work I watch You Tube videos to see new designs and techniques. I came across an Angela Walters video while making the Log Cabin blocks that seemed to be the perfect way to quilt these blocks:

Square Spiral by Angela Walters. I liked how simple it was to execute, no marking at all, and my favorite ruler, The Line Tamer by Four Paws Quilting would work perfectly.

I did connect the X in the middle of the red square to the four sides of the red square when I noticed on the back that the X was just hanging there if  I didn't go around the red square. This involved backtracking on one line of stitching the red square and I did that pretty well most of the blocks--one start, one stop for each block:

The back:

I did a simple half circle Amish-style border design, one I enjoy hand quilting too. It was easy to stitch, using a 6" circle template--the only marking was a chalk line down the center of the border so I could place the template correctly. I took no time to figure out the corners so each is "unique":

I put the binding and sleeve on by machine then hand stitched it down on the back. It still needs a label, that is tomorrow's task.

Today I made another sample, a "Flip N Sew Throw", that is pieced and quilted at the same time:

Starting with one yard of back fabric and a crib size batt, I worked from the middle out, laying two strips right sides together, then sewing through all the layers: 2 strips, batt, and back. When both sides of the middle strip were sewn, I pressed them over onto the batt, then added the next two strips, on either side:

The Line Tamer ruler, placed so the needle is 1/4" from the raw edges
By using the Bernina Q20 sit down long arm machine, I had the speed of free motion and enjoyed the 78" of table space I have when both table extensions are in place. It only took a few hours to completely cover the batt/back. Fast and easy.
Working out from the white center strip

I only used pins to keep the strips in place until the ruler was put on top of that area 

This still needs a label--tomorrow. I applied the binding to the back, brought it around to the front, and stitched it in place by machine--fast and secure for a baby quilt:

These strips were cut 2" wide and no additional quilting is necessary--unless I want to add more. Some time ago I did a tutorial for this method, using wider strips because I needed a larger quilt for a relative going to chemo treatments:  Snuggly Cuddly Strippy Quilt. This project is great for charity quilts, baby quilts, wheelchair quilts, any time you need a simple, easy pattern. Just choose the batt size you want to cover, make a back that same size, and cut strips in your choice of width and length, to cover the batt/back.

The delightful Stella came to visit this weekend and we had fun with her. She is 26 months old and strings more words together than just 6 weeks ago when we saw her last, like "No, Pop Pop, no help, I do it!"  And she is a techno-baby:

She knows how to "swipe right", which icon is the Photos file, where she can find Instagram videos, it's scary-amazing. My husband erased 300 "photos" from his phone that she took, she's good with the Burst button. She rarely holds still for a photo with BB but I managed to grab one:

Now I'm on to a bed-size class sample, that's this week's job.

Let's Quilt!


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Family Reunion

My husband comes from a large family. Both his parents had 13 brothers and sisters, most of whom survived to adulthood. They married and had children, those children have married and now have children and even some great-grands are coming along.

The Wilkins Siblings at Reunion 1948

The Wilkins Siblings at Reunion in 1967
On the Wilkins side, my husband's father's people, there is still an annual Family Reunion held every July in Cullman, AL. When I joined the family more than 40 years ago, it alternated between there and Henry county, GA, where some of the family still remained. In those days it was a two-day event, with at least 125 in attendance. Stories of the old days were shared and the food just went on and on, country food, all homemade.

As the generations expand, attendance has dwindled. All of my father-in-law's generation  have passed now. It's my husband's first cousins and their kin who survive. Now the event only lasts a couple hours. For many, it's just too far to come for lunch--about 30 were there this year.. But for those of us who get to attend, it's fun to catch up, hear a few old stories, eat good country food, and visit. This time two of our nieces are expecting girls, one in August, one in December so the family goes on. It is good to visit family in joyous times, not just at funerals.

The meat end of the table, pork BBQ and smoked chicken, farther down home grown tomatoes picked that day, squash casserole, hash brown casserole, homemade baked beans, homemade potato salad...

One third of the offerings are dessert--go figure

One first cousin traveled from the country of Georgia, in Eastern Europe, where he lives and works. His wife is expecting their second daughter this Fall, so there are Wilkins around the world.

We ate our fill and had some extra to take home. Our nephew was harvesting fresh corn later that afternoon and gave us some--best corn on the cob we've had in years. And a sister had picked tomatoes from her garden that day, we got a couple of those too. There are advantages to having relatives who live on farms.

It was a good day of family and food. I hope you get to visit your people like this occasionally too.

Then I got back to class samples:

Creative Log Cabin, just a start, using a fabric collection

A scrappy sample, just a start, 8 blocks thrown on the wall
My Halo Star Medallion is almost completely done, one final border to go. Then it's one to another large quilt.  These dog days of Summer are good quilting days.

Let's Quilt!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Road to California--Happy Dance!

Even though enrollment just opened about a week ago, some classes are full, including, are you ready?  One of mine:


This show maintains a waiting list so if you missed out, get on the waiting list--if an opening comes up, and things happen like that, you may still get in. It is a great class, fun to make and fun to teach, and I am thrilled so many are already onboard!

You can find all the class schedule info here: Road 2 California 2018 or use the button on the right.

My other two classes still have some openings:

ANTIQUE ROSE STAR BY MACHINE:  this can easily be done by hand as well

Mine at a trunk show

Student work Anna--all by machine

Student work Celia--all by hand

Student work Jodie--all by machine
2-FOR 1: almost too much fun for words.  This is a two-day class and is worth the time.

One of mine, I've made 6 in various sizes

Student work Susan

Student work Joan
I look forward to meeting some of you on the West Coast. We always have a great time in class--my number one goal is that each student learns much more than they expected.

Let's Quilt!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ruler Work Demo

Today I am preparing for a one hour demo I am doing tomorrow, twice, at my local Bernina dealer, Barb's Sewing Center. There were so many interested, we added the second session. The first is 10-11 a.m., the second follows right after, 11:15-12:15. More and more quilters want to try using rulers on their domestic machine and this is a great way to get some basic information so you can give it a try.

Practice pieces and Long Time Gone in progress

The rulers I'll be discussing

An example of a recently finished quilt

I will start on a 790 domestic machine then will move to the Q20 to add a few designs to my Long Time Gone quilt, currently being quilted.

The one hour will go by quickly so I have detailed notes to keep myself on track. We will discuss safety first. Then how to decide what rulers to buy, how to use them, how to create designs. And lots more.

Here is a blog I wrote recently with a lot of information on Ruler Work or more correctly, Template Work:  Ruler Work--the Basics.

Let's Quilt!