Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tasting Table Tuesday - Flying Geese & Quilt Show Results

I finished quilting the first of two quilts yesterday.  I don't want to reveal too much, because I'm sure the recipients are watching my progress, and I want to leave a little bit of a surprise for them when it's done.

Now I just have to finish piecing the second top, quilt it, then bind them both.  These geese will be flying south before too long...

***Quilt Show Update***

And on another note, a while ago, I mentioned that I had entered three quilts into the Modern Quilt Show at the Gmeiner Arts & Cultural Center in Wellsboro PA during the month of September.  I was shocked and thrilled to find that one of my quilts was awarded a First Place Viewer's Choice ribbon!

Thank you to those of you who attended this show, and voted, regardless of whose quilt you voted for.  It was an awesome show, and it was the first of it's kind at the Gmeiner.  We are all looking forward to many more shows like this in the future!

Here are the three quilts that I submitted to the show...

"Modern Churn Dash"



and the winning quilt is... "Shadows"

All three quilts are for sale and I plan on listing them in my Etsy Shop soon, as time allows.
Inquiries are welcome!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tasting Table Tuesday - Tips for Making Quilts from Shirts

Have you ever made a quilt using flannel shirts?

I have made several quilts from oxford cloth shirts (cotton), but this is my first experience using other fabrics, like flannel.  The shirts I was given are a mix of fibers, including heavy chamois-weight flannel, medium weight flannel, and lightweight acrylic/polyester.  For someone who has always used cottons, this is quite a diverse range of fibers, and they create their own set of challenges, requiring a totally different approach.

So I thought I would share what I've learned, for those of you who might want to try making a quilt from these types of fabrics.

The lightweight acrylics proved to be the most difficult.  They are very fluid, loosely woven, fray very easily, and don't play well with the others.

So I resorted to some tools to help them behave.

The first is spray starch.  It makes a huge difference in the amount of control you have over your fabric.  It took two cans to starch all of the shirts, but it made the cutting so much easier.  (Tip - spray one side of the fabric, then flip it over and press on the other side to avoid flaking.)

But the bias edges of the triangles were still very stretchy and hard to control.  So I used Sharon Schamber's method of basting each seam with Elmer's School Glue, then pressed to dry the glue, and that really helped to stabilize those bias edges and reduce the fraying.  (The acrylics fray like crazy!)

Click here for a video by Sharon's daughter, Christy, demonstrating the basting technique and the special tip for the glue bottle.  (If you use the tip that comes with the glue bottle you'll get way too much glue.  You only need a hair-line to do the job.)

Once all the Flying Geese blocks were finished, it was time to start pairing them up... glue-basting and pressing every seam.

Once they were all glued, I chain-pieced them into pairs.  No pins!  Yay!  That glue works like a charm!

Since many of the fabrics were very heavy-weight flannel, the next hurdle was the bulk in the seam allowances.  My solution was to clip two notches out of the seam allowance at the tip of each goose, allowing the seam allowance to go one way in the center, and the other way at the sides, minimizing the bulk in the side seams when I sew all the rows together.

Of course, all this clipping makes for lots of Quilter's Confetti!!!

It is definitely a lot more work to starch, glue, press, clip, etc...  but the end result is so much neater and precise than I could have ever accomplished without these extra steps.

And when it comes to a job like this, precision is not an option.

These Geese will be flying in perfect formation soon.

I hope these tips help, for anyone contemplating making a quilt like this.  I love to share with other quilters, so please feel free to ask questions if you'd like more information.