What a Difference a Snow Day Makes

Yesterday we had the wintry mix storm, which is the one I stay home and inside for sure. Within a second, you could find yourself on black ice. I don’t love staying home all day, but I finished all twenty-five of my Lighthouse Quilt blocks, and am very excited about that.

Pattern design from www.freshlemonsquilts.com/‎  QAL.

Tomorrow I go to a weekly open quilt studio at Pins and Needles in Mt. Kisco, when I am not scheduled to be at work at the library. I am planning on squaring them all off, and will hopefully begin to sew the rows together. For the back of the quilt, I am planning something modern and fun.
Also something I’ve never done before and will share soon.

 Our sweet boy cat, Biscuit fell asleep and used the stack of blocks for a pillow shortly after I finished them.  He loves to hang out near the sewing machine, even when I’m not using it. I started a tradition about ten years ago. I always make a single-sized bed quilt, and dedicate it to one of our cats.  Biscuit is sitting on his below.

When I finish Emma’s I will post it. She is the cat in the masthead sitting on my sewing box. I still have a long way to go on that one.

Next week I hope to show a lot more WIP, and I will be posting a book review of a sewing book, which no quilter or sewist should be without.

And, I believe I have an addition to make. In an earlier post, I mentioned that these were the spring, 2014 colors home dec colors,
http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2014/01/pantone-home-dec-colors-for-spring-2014.html Today I received an e-mail from Panetone pantone@web.pantone.com Fashion Color Report Fall 2014, because it is fashion week, and the colors are somewhat similar.

Have a great weekend.  

Enjoy the Olympics. 

Go USA!! 

The Winter Olympics are my favorite. I would have a tough time choosing my favorite event, I really enjoy so many. I would love to hear what your favorite is, so please let me know in the comment box. I think if I had to pick one, it would be the figure skating events.

Happy Quilting.

Basting Tutorial

I finally basted my teddy bear quilt. I did the safety pin basting method, and it was so much less time consuming than hand basting. I usually hand baste, but now, whenever I can I safety pin baste, because it is a huge time saver. I’m not abandoning hand basting forever, because I have four WIP that are king size quilts, and I don’t think safety pin basting will keep the three layers smooth and taut when I quilt them together, and that is key for successful basting, quilting and finishing.

As some may know, a quilt is like a sandwich, and is made up of three layers; the top, the batting and the bottom. The three layers need to be firmly structured together for the quilting part of the process, and when finished, the safety pins, or hand basting thread are then removed. 

It is not a good thing when the three layers shift while quilting, because then you get an icky pocket or bump in the back, and it’s there forever, because ripping out all your quilting and going back to the basting stage takes an enormous amount of time, and is painstaking. (This is the voice of experience talking, so take my word for it). Make sure you’ve basted the three layers so they are completely smooth and flat, before you begin quilting. The goal is to have all three layers smooth and flat when you are finished quilting.

Below is a diagram of the quilting sandwich concept 🙂

Isn’t it easier to visualize a concept when fun food is involved?

So I am using big clips to clamp down my bottom layer, or backing on a high and large table,courtesy of my favorite place to quilt, and hang out with other creative and interesting quilters, Pins and Needles in Mt. Kisco,NY. I have known the owners, a Mother -Daughter team, Deb and Lisa,for 15 years, and they are the nicest people and fabulous teachers. 

These clips can be bought at any store where they sell office supplies, such as Staples or Office Depot. When I baste big king size quilts, I use these big yellow clamps which I bought at Home Depot.

Here is the backing layer, clipped down.

Because the end of the quilt doesn’t reach the end of the table, we used packing tape to secure that end down securely. I usually use 2″ blue painters tape which works really well too.

The next step is to place the batting on top of the backing layer, and smooth it out from the middle to the edges.  By the way, both the backing layer and the batting are at least 4″ larger in diameter than the quilt top. This is important because, not only will I need a little extra room to add my binding to the quilt after I’ve machine quilted the three layers, but the extra room provides insurance that the quilt top won’t overlap the batting and the  backing layer.

So I brought the clamps up carefully from the backing, to include the batting.  I used Hobbs 100% cotton batting, which is my batting of choice. I like the feel and texture of it. I also like that all three layers are 100% cotton, and can be washed and dried easily in any washer and dryer.

Then the top is added and smoothed out from the middle to the edges, but not clamped to the other two layers. If I were hand basting, I would have included all three layers in the clamps.

I started safety pinning from the middle out in an X shape. Then from the middle, top to bottom and across the sides in a cross shape. Then I randomly filled in with safety pins in spaces where I thought the extra security would be useful so no bunching would happen on the back.

And there you go!!  Happy Quilting.

We’ve made a lot of progress on the new sewing room, and one of my king size WIP. I am excited to show how both are shaping up later this week.