Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Blog Hop: Mod Winter Table Runner Tutorial

  I'm super excited to show you something I've been hard at work on for the last few weeks.  Here is my very first quilting tutorial for Lupin's Holiday Blog Hop!  I am thrilled to be able to put something together for everyone to make and enjoy thru the long dreary Winter days.  It's also my first pattern under my new name Little Red Thread.

 Little Red Thread Mod Runner
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner / Intermediate
Finished size: 12" x 43"

Supplies

Fabric:
- 1 yd of white
- 1/2 yd of gray
- 3/8 yd of scarlet or deep red (accent chevrons and binding)
- 1/2 yd of cotton batting or 1 package of craft size cotton batting
*Note: you'll have some extra fabric left over in case of any "oops!" moments  :)

Misc:
- rotary cutter, cutting mat, 12" acrylic ruler, thread, scissors, fabric marking pen, straight pins, safety pins, an iron with steam setting

Nice to have:
- labels/ Post-it notes
- spray starch or pressing spray


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Cutting
(WOF = Width of Fabric)
Hint: Use one of your labels or Post-it notes to put on top of each of your cut stack of squares so you don't mix up the sizes.


White:    cut (2) 2 7/8" strips the WOF. From these strips cut (33)  2 7/8" squares         
               cut (2) 2 1/2" strip the WOF. From this strip cut (33) 2 1/2" squares
              *set aside your remaining white for the backing*
Gray:      cut (2) 2 7/8" strips the WOF. From these strips cut (28)  2 7/8" squares
               cut (2) 2 1/2" strip the WOF. From this strip cut (28) 2 1/2" squares

Red:       cut (1) 2 7/8" x 18" strip. From this strip cut (5)  2 7/8" squares         
               cut (1) 2 1/2" x 18" strip. From this strip cut (5) 2 1/2" squares

Binding: cut (4) 2 1/4" strip the WOF out of your red fabric

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1/2 Square Triangle Units

1)  Take one of your 2 7/8" white squares (if you're using a print turn it to the wrong side of the fabric). Draw a line down the center from point to point.  Do this on all of your 2 7/8" white squares.

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2)  Match one of your 2 7/8" white squares and a 2 7/8" gray square (right sides together if you're using a print) with the white on top.  Sew 1/4" from the drawn center line on both sides. Continue sewing until you've used all your gray 2 7/8" gray squares.

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Tip: Try chain piecing your squares together for faster sewing!
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3)  Match the remaining 2 7/8" white squares with the (5) 2 7/8" red squares wrong sides together with the white on top.  Sew 1/4" from the drawn center line on both sides.

4)  Cut each square in half using the center line that you drew earlier as your guide

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5)  Open each cut unit and using your iron on the cotton setting press, using steam, your seam towards the darker fabric.  You now have a completed 1/2 square triangle!  Continue pressing the remaining units.

6)  Cut your "dog ears".  These are the little piece of fabric that stick out at the ends of your 1/2 square triangles.

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Tip: This is a nice task to do in front of the tv as it's kind of mindless work.

Block Assembly
Reference the picture below to see how to set your pieces out to form the basic layout:

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7)  Lay out one gray and white 1/2 square triangle unit and one solid white 2 1/2" square beside it.  Lay out one solid gray 2 1/2" block and one gray and white 1/2 square triangle unit beside it.

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Sew units together using 1/4" seam. Open the sewn units and press seam toward the solid block.

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10)  Join the two pieces together making sure to "nest" your center seam.  Pin and sew using a 1/4" seam.

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11)  Open your sewn block and finger press the center seam (the one you just sewed) open.  Then press the seam open using your iron.  If you haven't already been using spray starch or pressing spray, it's very helpful, especially at this point, in keeping your block nice and crisp.

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You now have a completed block!

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Repeat steps 7-10 to complete the remaining blocks.  For the red chevron blocks make sure to use your red and white 1/2 square triangle units when putting them together ;)

Finished size should be 4 1/2" square, but if not, don't fret!

Squaring up:  While some blocks may come out perfectly others may end up a bit "off".  If this happens you can square up each side of your block by taking off a teeny tiny sliver from each side.  With my blocks there were just a few spots that needed to be cut straight again.

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 You do want to be very careful with how much you trim off as you may lose your points at the tips of your chevron block. Ideally, you want all of your blocks to be as identical in size as possible.

Row Assembly

12)  Lay out your blocks working left to right in the pattern shown in the picture to form your rows.

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Make sure each of your chevron blocks are facing the same direction as you go.

13)  Gather up 3 of your completed blocks from Row 1.  Pin and sew the finished blocks together using a 1/4" seam making sure your center seams are aligned.

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Set your completed row back into your layout and move to the next row, Row 2, until all 11 rows have been completed.

14)  Press Row 1's seams up towards the top of your runner. Press Row 2's seams towards the bottom of the runner. Odd numbered Row seams are pressed up, even numbered Row seams are pressed down. Continue pressing all remaining rows in this manner.

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Hint: Pressing your seams in alternating directions helps them to nest together and to reduce overall bulk helping your runner to lay nice and flat.

15)  Pin and sew pressed Rows together working left to right.

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 Press these seams open.

Hint: Pin your rows together starting in the center, lining up your seams there, and working out to the ends.

The runner top is complete! Yay!


Backing

16) Using your remaining white fabric cut (2) 16" x  25" pieces. Sew these two pieces together on the short sides, the 16" side using a 1/4" seam.  Press open.

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Quilt Sandwich

17)  Spread your batting out and give it a quick iron to smooth out any crazy wrinkles if needed. Lay your runner top over your batting and gently smooth it out making sure all your seams are laying flat and you don't have any weird puckers or fabric flipped under.  Go ahead and trim your batting within an inch of your runner top.

18)  Lay your white backing fabric on your work top or the floor (right side down if you're working with a print), then center your batting and runner top over your backing.  Smooth out any wrinkles.

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19)  Baste all three layers together using your safety pins.

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Hint: I used my curved safety pins for basting and it saves my fingers so much pain.  You can usually find these at any quilting or craft store along with the snazzy colorful pin grips.  Here's a little post about them if you're curious.

20) Quilt it!  I quilted mine in the white space between the chevrons and followed the chevron shape.  This made for a pretty neat mirror image on the backside.  I used a big stitch length, 3.0, for my quilting which made it show up more. 

Once you're done quilting go ahead and trim off all the excess batting and backing to the size of your top.

Binding

20) Take two of your red binding strips and lay them at a 90 degree angle with right sides together.
 Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  Pin on either side of the line and then sew straight down the line.

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Cut off the excess fabric within a  1/4" of your sewn line.

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Find the end of your binding strip and add another strip using the method above until all 4 strips have been added.  Make sure your have right sides together and that your strips are not twisted. 

While it's nice to have things in writing it often easier to see it done and if you've never done binding before it can be a bit intimidating. Missouri Star Quilt has an excellent tutorial on how to do binding from start to finish.  While some of their techniques are different than what I've been taught, the end result and the overall method are the same.



Now you're done!

I hope you had fun making your Mod Winter Table Runner.  Make sure to come back in two weeks for a Bonus Mod Chevron Mug Rug Tutorial!  

Quick tips for caring for your new table runner:
- Spot clean with soap and mild detergent when possible. 
- Or wash in cold water only on the gentle cycle if needed and add a SHOUT color catcher sheet on the first time you wash it.

For more Holiday fun check out this link for even more crafty projects: http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/the-2014-crafty-christmas-tutorial-link.html

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Summer

You'd think with all the sewing I've been doing over the last several months that I'd have no time for anything else.  I haven't really had too much extra time, but in that space I've managed to do some canning of green beans and digging out of potatoes.

Beans for days. Getting to the point where it's not "fun" anymore, but almost done.

The beans I picked from both my garden and a new friend's.  I'd forgotten how tedious and boring snapping beans could be.  I managed to can 14 quarts of green beans, thanks to my new pressure canner I received last Christmas from the hubby, and dig out around 20 pounds of potatoes.

Purple Viking, 1st harvest / one plant made about 10# of taters.
(purple viking potatoes are so tasty!)

It was a really weird gardening season this year.  We had rain consistently, almost every 3 days on average, and unseasonably cool weather.  The potato harvest was truly sub par as were several local farmers in the area.  Even the tomatoes have been having a difficult time ripening.

Oh well.  I have the majority of the garden cleaned up for the year and am going to attempt a Russian Kale this winter. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

As It Ends

Too soon. Mid - August and the trees are beginning to change already.

I snapped this pic Mid-August.  I couldn't believe the leaves were already turning and falling.

Despite the on going heat or as most people are calling it, Suddenly Summer, I've got two more Lil' Twister Stockings in the making and they're almost ready for quilting.  These will be for Chris and I.  I'm also sketching out Fiona's RenFaire costume to make up in the next 2 weeks (fingers crossed).  I'm attempting to make it without a pattern.  It's very hard to find patterns in her size for what I'm looking for and really if I were better at writing up patterns I'd publish a few for other people to use.  Wish me luck!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Feather Quilt (DONE!)

Allison's Wedding Quilt

It's DONE! Completed, boxed up, lovingly given and well received.

I'll admit to being extremely attached to this project.
It certainly was a love/hate relationship with all the pattern woes, but I am so immensely proud of the final result.  I even got a little weepy before wrapping it up.  It's hard to part with something you've put so much effort into, especially knowing you'll never see it again.

012 (2)

Untitled

The main backing fabric looks so uniform, which surprised even me seeing as it's split down the middle and sewn back together to make 2 seperate pieces.  Even the pieced section looks remarkably "intentional".

Pieced backing

And those points.  I feel like I could've almost entered this in a competition.

Perfect Points

020 (3)

Even if it's hot (Summer finally showed up over the weekend here in the Midwest) never underestimate a good final quilt snuggle.

It's MINE!

If you'd like to see how this whole project came together from beginning to end follow the link below:


Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Feather Quilt (Part 5)

Allison's Feather Quilt 2014

Check it out!  The Feather Quilt is all quilted up!

Thanks to Missouri Star Quilt Co. for doing another fabulous job and staying true to their turn around time.  I haven't measured the quilt since I've got it back, but I swear I lost about 2 inches on all sides from the density in the quilting.  While I'm not nuts over how the quilting pattern turned out (the loops were alot closer together than I thought they'd be) it will work out for the best.  Quilts that will see lots of use and wear should be quilted more densely than, for example, a wall hanging.

I'm trying to decide if I'll bind it in the backing fabric or do a scrappy binding from left over fabric remnants.  I'll need to sit down and look at it first, but that also means I'll need to clean my floor of all the thread bits again.  I've been going back and forth about washing this one before giving it away.  I wash 90% of all my quilts before gifting them mostly because I'm paranoid of stitching pulling out or colors running. Since this quilt is dominated by white space, it's probably in my best interest to wash it prior to wrapping it up. This means I'll be throwing in 5+ SHOUT color catcher sheets to make sure the white stays white.

This quilt's absolute completion date is set for August 22nd.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Peeking Out

The Last One. Project GRREAT comes to a close. A few more odds n' ends to tie up and 60 pups will be shipped out early next week. Feels strange to be done sewing these and a little bittersweet as I won't be doing these ornaments "en mass" anymore.

The Last One. Project GRREAT comes to a close. 60 pups will be shipped out later this afternoon. Feels strange to be done sewing these and a little bittersweet as I won't be doing these ornaments "en mass" anymore.

I've been sick the last week too which has made finishing up this order all the more challenging, but they're still arriving 3 weeks ahead of schedule.  That always makes me feel good and helps lighten the load for other projects.

I know a busy schedule has prevented me from blogging much this summer, but I hope you've all been enjoy the Summer (especially those of us here in the Midwest).  We had record low high temperatures last week, thanks to a mini Polar Vortex.  It meant highs only reached into the mid-70's in the middle of JULY!  That's nuts people! 

My project list continues to expand and contract as commissions come and go.  I've busy looking thru my fabric stash to begin binding The Feather Quilt too :)  It came back from the quilters at the beginning of July.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cutting It Out

120 pieces of felt are all cut and ready to start the next stage of assembly.

40 pcs. is about 3" high.  Arthritis yo.

40 pieces of felt is about 3" high.
That's enough to give me phantom hand aches just thinking about it again.
Now imagine 3 stacks of these and you'll have an idea of why it took me nearly a month of constant cutting in the evenings to get them all done.

I've started embroidering these ornaments already and am making nice progress now that the Feathers Quilt is gone for a few weeks.
There won't be too much to report for the next month as I finish this order up, but I can promise you that I already have my sights set on a second quilt and Fiona's Renaissance costume for this year, not too mention completing 2 more Lil' Twister Stockings for Chris and I (before Christmas!).


Happy Sewing!
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