Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Favorite Way to Make On-Point Settings {Sew Some Love}

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


As I've begun sewing together the Scrappy Susannah blocks I wanted to try a different setting. This technique makes on-point settings SOOO much easier. I saw it here on Summer's Instagram.  Summer was making a rectangular quilt, whereas I made a square one.  First sew together a 4x8 top and then cut along the blue lines.


Flip those triangles over, sew them together, and then sew them to the larger triangle to make the other half of the quilt. Since you do end up with bias edges on the outside I sewed stay-stitching along what would become the outside edges before cutting apart the triangles. With 12" blocks this top finishes at about 68" square. What do you think? Does anyone know the original source for this technique?


Covered in Love has been so blessed by donations from quilters, I want you all to see what each other have going on!  For purposes of the linky, I'm going to define "charity" really generally.  If you're sewing a quilt for you co-worker's mom with cancer or your friend's uncle who lost his home, that totally counts!  Anything you're sewing out of the goodness of your heart for someone outside you immediate circle of family and friends. 




Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Jack's Basket - celebrating babies born with Down Syndrome
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tops to Quilts



Happy Fall, Y'all!  Well, almost. Today it was 90 degrees, but the two days before that it was cool and it's finally starting to feel like the seasons are changing.  The cooler weather always gives me a burst of motivation, so I got busy the other day and transformed some donated tops into finished quilts.


This beautiful batik jelly roll race came from Vickie in Ohio and isn't it lovely? I admit, batik fabrics are my favorites. Those bold, saturated colors!


I put together a backing from the gorgeous, hand-dyed, batik fat quarters sent to me by Jean from Connecticut. This bright quilt is going to be perfect to comfort a family through Covered in Love.


After that bright and a little bit wild top I quilted up this one, which is so serene and refined.  Priscilla from Connecticut sent this in.


Isn't the color fade so beautiful? And I love the borders.  If you want to join in with Covered in Love you can always jump into the current block drive, linked below.

 
If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is a simple Fall-colored patchwork. This drive will run until the end of October if you want to help out.  More info here



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sew Some Love

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


Yesterday was the first day of cool weather here that actually felt like Fall! I can't wait for the cooler temperatures to get here to stay.  It puts me in the mood to sit down and sew up some of the beautiful scrappy susannah blocks coming in through the block drive.  If you want to join in with Covered in Love's block drive this one will run until the end of October :)


Covered in Love has been so blessed by donations from quilters, I want you all to see what each other have going on!  For purposes of the linky, I'm going to define "charity" really generally.  If you're sewing a quilt for you co-worker's mom with cancer or your friend's uncle who lost his home, that totally counts!  Anything you're sewing out of the goodness of your heart for someone outside you immediate circle of family and friends. 




Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Jack's Basket - celebrating babies born with Down Syndrome
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Oh My Stars


Before you look at my post, go check out the awesome quilt Louise made for CiL this week with fabrics from Jean and Sandra!


This week the first finishes from this summer's Red White and Blue Stars block drive are done!  This year I tried to sort them more than I did last year.  This top quilt is mostly blocks with dark backgrounds, "vintage" looking fabrics, and off-white backgrounds.


All three of the quilts in today's post were quilted by the wonderful Kathy.  She's a dedicated local quilter who has helped Covered in Love a ton.


The above quilt was smaller stars floating on white backgrounds.  All of these finished at a very generous 60"x72". They are so cozy and will be perfect for someone to wrap up in.


I love all the variety of stars in these quilts. Nearly 40 of you participated in this block drive!


This quilt was more of a free-for-all with the stars, I didn't really have a theme in mind.


Aren't these stars cool?


Thank you to everyone who sent in blocks! Thank you to Kathy, my quilting hero!  In next month or so there will be more of these star quilts to come.


If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is a simple Fall-colored patchwork. This drive will run until the end of October if you want to help out.  More info here



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Oh Scrap!, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sew Some Love

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


The end is in sight with the star blocks from this summer's block drive. I laid out the last three tops on the design wall over the weekend.


Two of these are going to a local quilter, Kathy, to finish. Kathy is always willing to help however I need it. I can give her a bag of blocks and a few weeks later she'll bring back a finished quilt!  The world needs more Kathys, that's for sure :)


Covered in Love has been so blessed by donations from quilters, I want you all to see what each other have going on!  For purposes of the linky, I'm going to define "charity" really generally.  If you're sewing a quilt for you co-worker's mom with cancer or your friend's uncle who lost his home, that totally counts!  Anything you're sewing out of the goodness of your heart for someone outside you immediate circle of family and friends. 




Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Jack's Basket - celebrating babies born with Down Syndrome
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Unsung Heroes

There are a lot of people who contribute to help make Covered in Love happen.  Like, a lot. Well over a hundred have participated and about 50 of you are active on a regular basis.  I take as many photos as I can and generally any quilt that I finish will show up in a Friday post.  Sometimes, though, I get really lucky and folks send in quilts already finished, so all I have to do is add a label!  I'll be honest, those are my favorite boxes to open, and ironically, they're the ones that tend to fall through the cracks and never make it onto the blog!


So this week is all about celebrating some of CiL's unsung heroes and three quilts that came is already done. First up is Sue from Washington who sent in this beautiful, large batik quilt.  The design looks like Bonnie Hunter's Trips Around the World block and those batiks are so pretty!


Sue said the quilt was pieced by her and quilted by her son, who is a professional long-armer. Don't we all wish we had one of those in the family! He did a great job with a design of diagonal leaves and diamonds (easier to see from the back).  Thank you both, someone is going to treasure this quilt!


Next up are two bonus quilts Cynthia included with the color-block quilts she finished for the block drive.  This one was a top Johanna from North Carolina sent to Cynthia and she quilted it.  Johanna has sent in many tops over the past several years.


You can see I was fighting less-than-ideal light conditions the day I took these, but I was in a rush because I needed to drop them off at the hospital that afternoon!


This quilt was another one of Cynthia's and I love it. The purple-green-grey color combination is so unexpected, but perfect. I love the stacked coins setting for scraps.


Cynthia also sent me another quilt which I either failed to photograph or lost the images of (I told you they fall through the bloggy-cracks!). You can see her post here about the scrappy green quilt she sent.


Cynthia is a long-armer and the oversized flower design she did on this quilt is one of my favorites ever. 


Sandra from Alabama and Louise from Florida have also recently sent in finished quilts which I didn't take photos of. Thank you to ALL the unsung heroes who keep CiL in quilts!

If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is a simple Fall-colored patchwork. This drive will run until the end of October if you want to help out.  More info here



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Oh Scrap!, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

*By the way, thanks for all the well-wishes last week on my eye surgery. I am doing much better, still just a little blurry. The worst part by far was being bored to death for several days because I could not see well enough to read, sew, or drive!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sew Some Love

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


Before my eye surgery last week I got September's do. Good Stitches block sewn up.  Briawna asked for these fun string pieced blocks.


If you've ever thought about joining up with do. Good Stitches I know several circles, including mine, are in need of new members.  It's a lot of fun and I highly recommend it! 

Covered in Love has been so blessed by donations from quilters, I want you all to see what each other have going on!  For purposes of the linky, I'm going to define "charity" really generally.  If you're sewing a quilt for you co-worker's mom with cancer or your friend's uncle who lost his home, that totally counts!  Anything you're sewing out of the goodness of your heart for someone outside you immediate circle of family and friends. 




Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Jack's Basket - celebrating babies born with Down Syndrome
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Pros and Cons of Seeing 20/1000

No finish for Covered in Love this week, I've been too busy getting ahead on everything so I can do nothing but sleep in a dark room over the weekend.  I'm finally having surgery to correct my lousy vision (not LASIK, but something similar called PRK). 

I've worn either contacts of glasses since I was about 12 and my vision without them is terrible, way beyond legally blind. I'm excited about the procedure, of course. Well, not so much the procedure as the results of it.  There aren't many advantages to being this nearsighted, but I admit there is one thing I'll miss. 


Since I started quilting I've enjoyed being able to take my glasses on and off as I arrange things on the design wall.  Take the flying geese above, for instance.  This is a pretty rough layout, just for me to get the idea. I was going for Dutchman's Puzzle blocks set on point.  It's not obvious, but I've got my geese oriented wrong.  Check out the image below.


See how the correct blocks jump out at you right away? And the color problems are much more obvious, too.  I've heard of people using photoshop to manipulate photos of their design wall to look for color/pattern issues, meanwhile I've been able to just pop my glasses off and check things out.

Anyway, obviously it's a small price to pay to not having to wear glasses or contacts any more and I hope by mid next week I'll be back and better than ever!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sew Some Love

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


This week I fired up my quilting machine again for the first time since May. So good to get back to it!  I quilted one of the Red White and Blue Stars block drive quilts and photographed the process for a tutorial about how I baste quilts using glue sticks.


See those cute little penguins in the block above? The star quilts are coming together and I can't wait to have the whole bunch all finished!




Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Jack's Basket - celebrating babies born with Down Syndrome
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Baste a Quilt with a Glue Stick

Quilt basting: everyone's least favorite part of the process.  In the past three years as CiL has grown and the number of quilts I finish vastly increased I've moved from pin basting to spray basting to glue basting.  Glue basting is easy and fast, which are the most important factors for me.  I've gotten a few questions recently so I figured it would be good to do a detailed post :)


I use plain old Elmer's glue sticks to baste.  I like the purple kind because it lets me see my glue lines. These are the extra large sticks, they usually cost a dollar and one will do about 1.5 large quilts.  Despite not changing my needle nearly as frequently as I should (you know we all do it) I have had NO issues with the glue gumming up the needle. If any of it is being transferred to the needle it's not noticeable at all.


Start by spreading out your batting on the floor (or any flat surface, I used to do it across the bed, and you will only do a section at a time). Having something stiff underneath like a large cutting mat does help. Spread out the top and make sure the batting is big enough.


Fold back about 18" -24" of the top edge (where you had it most precisely aligned) and quickly apply lines of glue about every 6". Obviously this wouldn't work with high loft batting, but with something like Warm and Natural, or this Quilter's Dream blend the batting doesn't try to warp or stretch.


Pull the folded up section of top back over the glued area and press firmly with your hands starting from the center.  Then fold up the longer, loose part of the top onto the part you just glued down.


Again, apply glue to a section about 18-24" long, pull the folded top back into place and press smooth.


I find it easiest to smooth and press the newly glued sections from on top of the quilt.  The working time with the glue is similar to with spray baste: not a whole lot, but enough.  Once the newly-glued part is stuck fold back the loose edge again and repeat.


Keep this up until you've got the whole top attached. If you are working on a small surface (like a table or cutting mat) you can fold the finished part and pull the new up as you go.  Once the top is attached I usually trim my batting to within a couple inches of the top.


Flip the top-batting sandwich over and repeat the exact same process, starting with lining up the backing to make sure it's big enough.


Next step: quilting.  The diagram above is a (very) rough depiction of the approach I take to quilting on my domestic machine. Basically I start about 20" from the bottom of a long side, I work across the adjacent short side covering the outer (about) 20" of the quilt, turn the corner and go up the other long side, then down the other short side, then fill in whatever remains.  Often I use the quilt blocks as a guide.  This method keep me from accidentally skipping any areas and minimizes the bulk going through the throat of the machine at any given time.


My mid-arm quilting machine is one of those temperamental divas that only like certain kinds of thread.  Aurifil was recently kind enough to send TWO big cones of thread for Covered in Love. Note, this is not a sponsored post, they sent me thread without asking for anything in return and I just really want to say THANKS!


This kind of glue basting is obviously not for everyone, or for every quilt. You can't do this on a quilt that won't be washable. I don't think it would work for walking foot quilting or for very tight FMQ; the fabric isn't stretched taut enough and wrinkles would be inevitable.  I have seen techniques using thinned out bottled Elmer's glue to paint the entire surface of the batting, and I imagine that might work since every square inch is covered.  For me I find that the amount of shifting/wrinkling I get with this is very similar to what I had with pin basting.  For a loose, free motioned stipple it works perfectly!


For reference, this is my typical stipple density. That is a 12" block, and I have small hands.  After quilting I finish my quilts as usual and then toss them in the wash. I don't have to use extra soap or hot water or anything to get the glue out, it comes out fine. You can tell it's all gone once the rinse water is clear instead of purple. 

I hope this helps take some of the pain out of basting for you! If you have any questions please comment and I will do my best to answer them.