Friday, June 13, 2014

20 Random Facts About Me

I kind of introduced myself in my first blog post but thought that I would do something a bit of the same, but a little bit different. Hope that makes sense to you. So here goes:

1. I have been happily married to the same man for 35 years. We actually just had our 35th wedding anniversary this week.
2. I love the color green. It is probably my absolute most favorite color.
3. I work a day job at a local business not far from where I live. Sewing is what I do when I get home and on my days off. That is where my passion lies.
4. I have three grandkids who are the light of my life. Thank you, daughter!!!
5. I’m a procrastinator.
6. I hate scary movies.
7. I’m a sap for sad ones. I won’t watch them with anyone other than my husband because I bawl like a baby.
8. I like total silence when I sleep.
9. I love, love, love ooey, gooey chocolately desserts!!!
10. I can play the tambourine.
11. My favorite runners are Nike
12. I hated my first pair of glasses so much that I used to put them in my bookbag when I left home in the morning and wouldn’t put them on anymore until I went home.
13. I can’t eat bananas.
14. My middle name is Jean.
15. I eat Multigrain Cheerios every morning for breakfast.
16. I love walking on the beach.
17. I hate winter.
18. I’m not a jewelry person. I wear earrings, my wedding rings and a ring my mom and dad gave me for Christmas when I was 14. That’s it!!!
19. I hate wearing socks!
20. I like almost anything when it comes to music except heavy metal.

So, that’s it. 20 random, (and useless) facts about me. I hope you know me a little better now. I’d love to hear some random facts about you if you’d care to share!

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Monday, June 2, 2014

My Version of the Disappearing Nine Patch

Sorry for having missed the last couple of weeks. My husband had surgery, my grandson had a birthday so we were away for a couple of days and life in general kind of got in the way of blogging.

I’ve been working on a disappearing nine patch. I don’t have it quite finished yet but I figured I would share what I have done. Most people incorporate a strip behind their blocks when they are doing this quilt but as usual, I decided to be a little different and not do that. Not sure if that was a good move or a bad one but so far I’m liking the way it’s turning out.

The fabric I used for this quilt is from the Thistleberry Collection by Fabric Editions. I won it in a giveaway and have to say that I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. It is a gorgeous fabric and really lovely to work with. 
 I cut my blocks into 5 X 5 squares. 
Then I tried to decide which way I wanted to lay them out. I then decided that I wasn’t going to be particular about the order because after all the cutting I would have to do, they weren’t going to appear in the same sequence anyway.
The one thing I will stress when you’re quilting (or actually doing anything related to sewing) is to have your steam iron on. I iron everything. It’s the way to keep everything from looking bulky and lumpy. 
I sewed my 5 X 5 blocks together in rows of 3 and ironed the seams between each one as I finished them. Separate them to each side to reduce bulk. Here is a photo of the full block finished looking at it from the back. 
Lay your block out and cut from one corner to the other. Don’t separate your triangles after making this cut. 
Take your ruler and cut the other way. You now have 4 triangles. 
Now, match two of your triangles up and sew them together being careful to match up the seams. 
Do this until you have the desired amount of blocks that you want to get the size of quilt you are planning to make. Then sew your blocks together to make strips. I sewed mine 5 blocks across and 6 blocks down. Again, be very careful to match up your seams and remember to iron them open on the back of each block as you finish. I also sewed a length of light fabric around each side of mine for contrast but it’s not necessary to do this if you don’t wish to.
Prepare the back of your quilt. I used three strips of different fabric to make mine. Iron your fabric open on the seams. (Yes, I know I’m repeating myself but I really want to stress how important it is to iron)

Now this is the hard part. This is how I put my quilt together for finished sewing. Find a large place that you can spread your quilt out so that it will lay flat. I use the floor. Lay your back out right side down. Tape a couple pieces of masking tape to one side. Then start and pull the rumples out of your back, taping as you go. Don’t pull too hard to stretch the fabric as this will result in wrinkles when you finish. Tape on your straight edges, not on the bias. Taping on the bias causes your fabric to stretch and creates rumples in your fabric.

When you have your backing prepared, lay out your batting. I like to have my back and batting at least 4 to 6 inches wider and longer than the top of my quilt. Smooth the wrinkles out of your batting. Lay your quilt top out. Start in the middle and begin pinning, smoothing out the rumples as you go. Pin small sections at a time. Depending on your preference, you may want to use a few pins or a lot. I go somewhere in between. 

When you have your quilt all pinned, lay your hand on the quilt and gently smooth between the pins. If you get bulk between them, pull the pins out and redo. The quilt should stay smooth between each pin. If it does, then you are ready to complete the sewing of your quilt.

This is as far as I’ve come with my quilt. I’m hoping to finish it in the next couple of weeks so stayed tuned for the finished result. I’m hoping it will look spectacular. We’ll see!

I hope that these instructions are clear. If there's anything that I've left out, or anything that I didn't explain thoroughly enough, please feel free to ask me about it in the comments. 

Until next time - Happy Sewing!