27 October, 2012

Evolution of a Thread Catcher

Can you bear yet another post about my Thread Catchers?  I have been selling them like hotcakes over at my Etsy shop and have recently made this one that is kind of over-the-top pretty, or at least I think so.  

I used my Luna Notte scraps from my Hanging Basket quilt.  I have lots of little odd bits left over and they were perfect for the paper-pieced pincushion.  It is good sized, about four inches square and is filled with crushed walnut shells to give it a bit of heft. It is attached to the thread catcher with Velcro so that you can use it by itself if desired.

I have found little techniques and tricks along the way to make the construction of my Thread Catchers go a bit quicker.  Faster is all well and good, but I actually get a better result, as well.  I have worked up a way to insert the boning in the top of the bag that gives me a much cleaner and smoother edge at the opening on the bag.  

I am wondering just what turn these things will take next.  Can they get any better?  Maybe...  I have another pincushion idea in mind to try. 

This particular Thread Catcher now resides in Perth, Australia.  Kind of CRAZY, right?  G'day!

24 October, 2012

Chubby Chicks, Revisited - Part Deaux

It is a cold and rainy day here today in the 'Burg, the perfect kind of day to work on my Chubby Chicks quilt. I could call them "Cheery Chicks", couldn't I?  I kind of need them to be Cheery Chicks on a day like today...

Making the quilt sandwich is not my favorite thing to do.  I don't have a super large work area so it is always a little difficult getting the whole thing laid out and put together.   But I was using my new basting gun and that went pretty well, I think.  The entire quilt is now basted and ready to be quilted.

I am using the smaller print on the right for my backing and the larger print will be the binding.  I will also be adding a tiny orange piped edge to the binding.

I like to bring the backing and batting forward and pin all around the outer edge.  This helps to keep the edge of the quilt from fraying.  It will suffer through lots and lots of handling when Elizabeth (my Bernina 440QE...) and I do the quilting.  Next step is to decide on my quilting design.  I am hoping to have it under the needle tomorrow.

03 October, 2012

Chubby Chicks, Revisited

Some Wild and Crazy Chicks!

Remember that I told you all that I so loved making a Chubby Chicks quilt that I knew that I would be making another?  Here at my blog, it's been the Chubby Chicks that have been the big winner for total blog page views.  I love that so many quilters out there have viewed my Chicks and I hope that they are as captivated by the Chubby Chicks as I am.  But there was one thing about the directions in the pattern instructions from Black Mountain Quilts that I did not feel so good about.

I envision a Chubby Chicks quilt as being used, being well loved and really used, and that means being laundered.  The pattern instructions directed us to cut out the chicks, add some Wonder Under to the backside, press it down to the block fabric, then add a blanket stitch all around.  I was not so very comfortable with the raw edge thing.  It just doesn't sit right with me.

So for this next Chubby Chicks quilt, and it has been in the works in my head since I sold my first Chubby Chicks quilt, I have found a way to turn that edge under without spending tons of time at it.

I am using Moda's "Good Fortune" line, by Kate Spain.  The colors and prints are to die for!  I picked up a charm pack and a green dragonfly print from the line to make the pinwheel and border blocks.

Moda "Good Fortune", by Kate Spain
I did a "Test Chick".  I traced the chick outline onto my fabric, then stitched it to some very lightweight fusible interfacing, with the fusible part being on the inside.  I trimmed fairly close to the stitching line, then clipped the tighter curves and cut a big "X" in the interfacing for turning.  I turned my chick right side out, then pressed it onto the white block fabric. Elizabeth (my Bernina 440QE) and I added the blanket stitch all around.  I have to say that I feel much better about having the raw edges contained and turned under before stitching down my chick.  No worries about the chicks  raveling and ending up with raggedy edges.  AND, by turning these edges under with the interfacing, I feel like there was less work involved than I did with the Wonder Under used in the pattern instructions. I am all for doing things the easy way, as long as the end result is the same or  EVEN BETTER than the original instructions.

A few days ago I did all of the cutting and started sewing.  I made all of the pinwheels in one day, then moved on to the chicks.

I traced the chick outline onto my fabric, then stitched it to some very lightweight fusible interfacing, with the fusible part being on the inside.  I stitched on the line....

and trimmed all around.  I made a few clips between the point of the tail and the head.

The next step was to cut the large "X" in the interfacing and turn the chick right side out.  I did all 25 chicks in one afternoon.

Here are the "Hatchling Chicks", all leg-less, eye-less and beak-less.


I'll be plugging away on these guys for a bit.  I will post photos as incubation continues.