Bordering on Perfect

Borders can be the perfect way to complete a quilt! I like to make sure my quilt stays square and flat. There are LOTS of awesome books and tutorials on measuring and attaching borders- many with parts of this method, I’m sure. Plus the guru has passed along all her skills! This is how I do things:)
I measure the quilt. You’ll want to measure down the middle. I also measure the two edges to ensure its fairly close to the center measurement. Measure both directions of your quilt. This quilt is square, but when we measured, they were .5″ different. We will do the top and bottom borders first.

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Next I cut two strips to this measurement x the width of the border (don’t forget your seam allowance). I tend to put my seams off center; I think they’re less noticeable.

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Now fold the quilt top in half and mark the center with a pin. Also mark the center of your border.

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Align the center of the quilt with the center of the border. Obviously, you’ll want your edges to align; I photographed it this way so that you could see the alignment.

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Next, you’ll pin either corner. I add an additional pin to the other edge to make sure my border is sewn on square.

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You will want to pin halfway between the pins. And then halfway between those pins. Ease in any differences in the length of your border and quilt top.

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Now you attach the left and right side borders. You have already measured this width. You will add both the border widths (don’t forget your seam allowance:). If your quilt top measures 100 and your finished border width is 5, you would do 100 + 5 + 5 + .25 +.25.

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Attach these borders using the same process. Finished!

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Special thanks to my friend Suzie for letting me take pictures of her doing this process to share with you!! This is her FIRST QUILT! It looks amazing; I’m so proud!!

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Let me know if y’all have any questions!! This process always works for me to get a flat, square quilt top:)
xo LC

Top of the Class

I’ve been teaching LOTS in the last few weeks! I’m really enjoying teaching more and I’m so proud of what everyone has made:)
First off, there’s Sarah! She just got her first sewing machine and wanted to make her baby a quilt. First baby=first quilt, of course! She started a few weeks ago and wanted to be done before the baby arrived. I was worried, but we made it!! Her due date was August 18 and we finished in time. BUT no baby yet…I’ll keep you posted. Here is what she made!!

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Check out her sweet label; I’m so honored that she included me:)

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And do you see the amazing quilting?!? She made the whole thing herself! (We borrowed the guru’s 830 to quilt.) So amazing!! I WISH my first quilt looked half this nice…

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I’m also helping my friend Suzie make her first quilt! She chose a great rail fence design from Elizabeth Hartman‘s The Practical Guide to Patchwork. This is the first of her patterns that I’ve used and it’s been wonderful! Highly recommend!! Suzie is making great progress. We are meeting every Monday and probably have a few more weeks to go! Check it out!!

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There’s been LOTS of seam ripping, but she’s doing well!

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And today I taught my Designer Star Quilt to Betty! She is making it for her daughter who loves yellow and gold. It turned out lovely.

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She finished the whole top this afternoon! Fast and fun!! We had a blast!
The Designer Star is also MY FIRST PATTERN! I’m very excited;) It will be on Etsy soon and (hopefully) available in your LQS! Check it out!!

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Now I NEED to get to work on my projects! Store samples are in the works for Sew Original and Studio Stitch! Sew! Sew! Sew!!
xo LC

Feeling Lonestary…

Last night was part deaux of Color Theory at Sew Original. It’s a great group and they did so well! Each one of them chose something unique for their wall hanging.
They each finished a quadrant.
Here’s Laurie’s! She is doing a color wheel with bright prints. I like how she is using different scale fabric. She did a wonderful job of figuring out what color each fabric “reads” as. If a fabric has a few different values of a color or multiple colors, you have to decide what it will read as. A great tip to do this…take a picture on your camera phone, it’s easier to tell how it will read in a small image than by looking at the fabric.

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Marty also did a fabulous job! She made a wheel out of all fruit and vegetable prints. I don’t know how she found them all, but I love it! She is going to put each color on the neighboring point. So when it is finished, there will be a lot of movement.

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And Joyce! Joyce struggled with her choices, or so she tells me. Her choices are awesome! She loves muddy colors (colors with grey in them) and decided to make a wheel of muddy colors. She is rotating her fabrics throughout for a windmill effect. She did a great job at finding fabrics that were not only the right color for the spot, but also all of her prints complemented one another. Well done!!

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And Tammy! She is doing a wheel with the pure color as the diamond and a lighter tint (color + white) and darker shade (color + black). All of her darker shades are solids which helps balance the wheel. And she chose a very cool print for the background!! She also snuck out before I got a picture:( You’ll just have to imagine the amazingness!! I’ll post a pic as soon as she sends it.
Another helpful tip if you’re going to paper piece something like this where placement is important: Lay out all the papers as they will be once all pieced together. Label each quadrant with the fabric that belongs there. And remember, if you want your wheel to go clockwise, label counter-clockwise (as you’re labeling the back). Make sense?
We missed Carole and Peggy last night as they were out of town. We are going to meet again in a few weeks and I hope (fingers crossed!) that Laurie, Marty, Joyce & Tammy will arrive with completed wheels! I cannot wait to see:)
I’m also adding a Color Theory II class next quarter at the request of this crew. I will be talking about the most efficient way to organize your stash. And lots of ideas for your sewing room. It’s going to be informative and fun!
I am loving the color wheels they’ve done. What type of color wheel would you want to make?
xo LC

Off to the Races

The Olympics came to Sew Original today! We had a jelly roll race!! For those of you not familiar, you take a jelly roll and sew all the strips together to make a quilt top (or back!). If you want to make this or host a race, here is a great tutorial.
Muriel, Holly, Lisa and I were racing. The “fans” could choose one gal to cheer for and if they won, they’d get a discount. The guru came and I suggested she cheer on someone else. I wanted her to get a discount and I was not super confident;)
And we were off…
Lisa with a smug smile…did she have a secret weapon?

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Shelby…the secret weapon!!

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Muriel…where’s the end? Where’s the end?!

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And we’re not sure what she’s doing here!

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Holly…cruising along!

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And me!!

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I had a minor snafu midway through, but still pulled off a second place finish!! But the winner is… LISA! Yay!!
And these adorable quilt tops will be quilted for charity!

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All in all, a fun day! I might need to make one for myself;)
xo LC

Giveaway!

I bet the title got you excited!! And you should be:) While I do have some giveaways planned (signed Tula Pink Nest charm pack anyone?), I’m not quite ready for that!
But I read quite a few blogs and saw this giveaway. It is for a set of thread! I mostly use aurifil and YLI, but I love to try new threads. You can go here to sign up. Alison, of Little Island Quilting, is hosting the giveaway. She is uber talented and raves about this thread. She made me a pillow for the Pillow Talk Swap:) The company giving the thread away is in England, but don’t worry, they ship internationally!
Good luck!
xo LC

Covered Up!

Today is a big birthday day!! It’s dear old Dad’s 64th AND Mack the wonder mutt turns 9! Mack is enjoying a day of napping and extra snacks:)

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And I made Dad a carrot cake!! It tastes better than it looks…

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On Friday I taught my sewing machine cover class at Sew Original. I only had one student, but I decided to teach anyway:) I wanted to make a new cover for myself so I made one along with Gladys. She is delightful and we had a wonderful time. Here is her cover! She made it to cover her machine when it is in her sewing table (that is why it’s short).

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I decided to use my coveted orange pearl bracelets, some grey pez and a Japanese linen with buttons. The linen was a present from a great friend; she bought it in Bath, England. I’ve been hoarding it:) I used a smidge on my sketchbook cover and I decided this was the perfect time to use the bulk of it!!
My machine (Bert!) lives in a sewing table as well. I wanted to make my cover fit over my machine while it was in the table. I had made a cover before that fits perfectly on Bert when he’s all put away. Only problem is that he is NEVER all put away!

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I’m using the Empty Bobbin pattern. It is a great pattern that fits your machine perfectly. I’ve added an extra piece to the bottom. The one problem with the pattern is that you can end up with a cover that is just shy of the table.
I wanted to practice my machine quilting on this piece. I did straight line grids on the pearl bracelets. I’ve found that quilting a lot on these covers makes it extra stiff which is great for a machine cover.

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I went with pebbles on the button print. This was first real attempt at pebbling. I need more practice, but I’m happy with the result!

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Finished quilting!

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And Bert’s new cover is ready:) He is very happy!

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What have y’all been making lately?
xo LC

Lock those Stitches!

I’m teaching a few classes right now and I’ve been talking about locking stitches. Some folks probably call it different things, but everyone should strive to have every seam lock:)
Here is how you do it:
1. Hold the two pieces you are sewing together where the seams align. The seam allowances should be on opposite sides. The pieces will fit snugly and “lock”.

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2. Pin down both seam allowances.

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3. Sew the pieces together. You should get a perfect intersection every time!

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Let me know if you have any questions:)
xo LC