Thursday, August 20, 2015

RBD Back-to-School Blog Tour

Throw Me A Curve Sports Throw by Deonn Stott, 60" x 60"
featuring School Colors by Riley Blake Designs:
Chevrons, Dots, Solids, Houndstooth
Can't believe it's time to get back to school already - seems like a such a short summer!  For us, since our kids are all out of high school, our participation in local school events is mainly theater productions or sporting events.

And what better way to keep up our school spirit strong than with a snuggly sports throw in school colors!

And, why not make it easy to carry?  
Perfect for a stadium seat.

Or, open it up for a pre-game picnic.  (Wasn't that sweet of the boys to hold their practice just so I could get some pictures?)

Then, when it gets a little nippy, wrap it around and enjoy the game!

I'll follow up in a few days with some instructions for turning a quilt into a pack-along!  Stay tuned, or follow along for updates.

I loved making this quick throw.  Big, easy "ten-minute" dimensional blocks, quick machine applique' of a few block letters, and...

"We've got SPIRIT, yes we do!
We've got SPIRIT, how about you?"

Check in daily with this Riley Blake Designs
Back to School Blog Tour through the end of the month
to see more great Back-to-School project ideas.

Then, be sure to stop by Riley Blake Designs
on September 4th for a wrapup of the blog tour
and a great GIVEAWAY!  Now, that's the spirit!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fancy Finishes: Odd Angles - the Ins and Outs!

A few good tricks to remember for those quilts with a little something extra!

Have I told you that I love binding a quilt?  I do!  I usually stitch my double-fold binding to the front of the quilt, then hand-stitch to the back.  One of my favorite things about quilting is to sit with my feet propped,   put on a good movie as I hand-stitch, think about the recipient of the quilt, infuse a little more of myself into the quilt (sometimes blood, sweat and tears), and then it's done!  I've finished my creation and it can go out in to the world and serve it's purpose. And yes, my quilts are like my children.

Like all children, each quilt is unique - and some are more "special" than others, requiring a bit of effort and creativity in their rearing.

These tree skirts edges have all sorts of angles - including sharp points and gentle slopes, odd-angled both inner and outer corners.  (Isn't it time to start thinking Christmas?)
Star Medallion Tree Skirt pattern
These on-point hexagons give a picket-fence look.
Sheep Shape quilt made by Suzanne M.

First, let's tackle those odd OUTER ANGLES.  I generally use 2" strips, joined and folded in half lengthwise, raw edges aligned, stitched with 1/4" seam allowance.

Insert a pin to mark a seam-allowance-distance away from the next edge;
the same width you are using to apply the binding.  Mark each corner.
Stitch binding to the quilt and stop just before the pin.  
Backstitch a couple of stitches and remove quilt from the machine to clip threads.  

The first step is pretty much the same as any square corner with a 90-degree angle.  See the basic binding tutorial HERE.  Next is the tricky part:  creating those mitered corners.  Pivot the quilt so the next edge is to your right.  
Here's the trick:  Fold the binding up so as to create a straight line,
continuing from the quilt's edge.

 Next, fold the binding back down, aligning raw edges of the binding
 with the quilt edge. Place the quilt back under the needle and continue
 stitching, repeating the mitering process at each corner.

Once the binding is stitched to the quilt, give a light press or finger press the binding so it will fold back right at the stitching lines. 
Now, take a little time to pin or clip the binding corners in place,
forming identical miters on the back side, ready to hand-stitch!

If you wish, you can stitch the miters down as you bind the quilt.

Star Medallion Tree Skirt.2  by Deonn  - Lost & Found Chritsmas by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs

No matter how sharp or wide or odd the angle, the trick is the same.

Now for those INNER CORNERS.  If you have not basted the edges of the quilt, take a minute to baste or stay-stitch (garment construction term) a scant 1/4" on all inner corners. 

Here's the trick:  CLIP a scant 1/4" notch to, but not through
the inner corner basting stitches.

Insert a pin to mark the center of the clip.  Stitch binding to the quilt,
stopping at the pin, then plant the needle.

Remove the pin, take one more stitch.  With needle still down, pivot the quilt
to give a straight edge, then resume stitching.
Finish the binding as usual, mitering the outer corners and straightening out the inner corners.
Once the quilt springs back, it forms a natural miter.
If desired, stitch the inner miter closed.


And what of those sometimes problem-children, SCALLOPS??

Basically, it's the very same technique as above, plus stitching around curves.  Again, baste or stay-stitch a scant 1/4" at the inner points.  You must also use Bias Binding.  Check out the Curvaceous Curves tutorial HERE for a full bias binding lesson.

After basting, clip to the inner point, then insert a pin to tell you where to stop.

In addition, be sure to ease the binding around the outer edges of the scallop. 

Stitch to the pin, then plant the needle and remove the pin.
Pivot the quilt to get a straight line for stitching.

The final mitered seam is a little bit tricky, since it is on a curve,
but you can do it!  Just allow a little extra ease.

And finally, fold the miter over as you press the binding to the back side.

Pin or clamp in place, then it's ready to machine- or hand-stitch to the quilt.

Quilted placemats by Deonn - Fancy Free by Lori Whitlock for Riley Blake Designs.
For more binding fun and some "Alternate Endings", as I call them, see more Binding Tutorials << here.
Happy Binding!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Among the BEST of the BEST! (& a giveaway!)

Quiltmaker magazine just released a brand new collection of Reader Favorites, a special collector's edition of 22 patterns selected from the past 33 years of publications.  Including this sweet little baby!  

Originally published in Quiltmaker May/June 2014 (& featured on the cover), my little Sheep Shape quilt pattern makes a new appearance as one of Quiltmaker's top 5 reader favorite kids' quilts, amazing!

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