WEEK 11

https://wilford20time.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/c67ce-basicquiltingsupplies.jpg?w=806&h=649    I’ve started making a blanket and wanted to see what other kind of equipment I would need to finish my blanket without the sewing machine.

        One look at the quilting aisle in any of the big fabric stores and it would be easy to feel overwhelmed.  You don’t need every tool on the market for a successful quilt-making experience, but there are a few that will make a significant difference. (some of these include affiliate links to Amazon where you can buy the item directly.)
  • Rotary Cutter –  this tool is like a pizza cutter for fabric. The blades are very sharp and cut fabric quickly and accurately. There are many different sizes.  I use the medium-sized cutter most and recommend this one for any beginners. My favorite is the Olfa Splash.
  • A Self-healing Cutting Mat – allows you to use the rotary cutter for cutting fabric.  A printed ruler-grid can also help with measuring fabric pieces. Mats come in many different sizes, but an 18″ x 24″ mat is a good size to start with.
  • Scissors – sharp sewing scissors are helpful however, most quilt projects are cut mostly with a rotary cutter so fancy, expensive scissors aren’t necessary.  (I love these Elan scissors – inexpensive, but stay sharp.) Do try to keep a pair of scissors purely for cutting fabric/thread so they won’t dull as quickly cutting paper.
  • Seam Ripper – no shame here!  Even the best of quilters/seamstresses stand by their seam ripper. I have at least 4 located strategically throughout the house because I use them so often. Any seam ripper will work, but my favorite is this Clover seam ripper.
  • Fabric – we’ll talk about this more in the future, but 100% Cotton is best. If you’re looking for a variety of good places to start – any of the sponsor buttons on my right sidebar are links to great online shops. I’d recommend any of them.
  • Thread – again, use 100% Cotton thread for quilting.  Some thread is better than others.  Cheaper thread will break easier and could create a lint farm in your machine.  I don’t buy the most expensive thread, but I don’t buy the cheapest either.  Because I use so much thread, I started buying in bulk – hence the big cone in the top of the picture. (My favorite is Aurifil 50 wt.) One neutral color works well on most piecing projects – cream, tan or gray.
  • Pins – I like the longer straight pins with plastic heads, or even better, glass heads. They’re much easier to grab while working and to find when I drop them into the carpet. Safety pins (not pictured) also come in handy in the finishing stages later on.

WEEK 10

   This week I have looked into monogramming the blanket I want to make. I want to be able to do a  monogram in the middle of the blanket, but i am afraid it won’t look good if it is too small.

Materials needed:

  1. 1 yard of adorable flannel patterned material (can be made into swaddle blanket if you give up!)
  2. 1 yard of soft, fuzzy baby minkie material
  3. 1 foot of soft wide-wale corderoy in complementary color (for the circle)
  4. 1 foot of soft-ish black denim or felt (for the initial)
  5. Stitch-witchery or other iron-on adhesive
  6. Enough quality thread for sewing it up
  7. Patience, tenacity, a working sewing machine

 

Steps:

1. Print a template letter. Use Word to make a super huge lowercase letter in a serif font until you’re happy. Print and cut the template. Cut out the letter on the black material exactly.

2. Cut out pieces. I traced a dinner plate to get my circle round and of a good size. I cut my letter based on the template plus a second shadow letter in a different color (optional). I cut squares as big as I could evenly get them. Hey, I told you measuring wasn’t my strength.

3. Attach the letter and circle. Use iron-on adhesive to attache the letter(s) to the circle. Run it through the sewing machine to make it extra secure.

4. Sew the circle to the flannel. Attach the circle around the edges to the flannel material. You’re almost done.

5. Sew the front to the back of the blanket together. Lay out the two squares of fabric so the right-side-outs are facing each other. Pin it so it doesn’t wiggle. Stitch around the perimeter 3 1/2 sides. Squish the whole blanket together and force it through the hole so you can see the blanket right-side-out. Tuck in the ragged edges and stitch the rest together.

Makin’ it: Monogrammed baby blanket

 

WEEK 9

make-a-baby-quilt

This week I have looked for some patterns to put on the quilt I have planned to make. I looked on line a bit to find one I really liked, but I also have to figure out how to put the patterns on the quilt.

Materials:

  • Cotton or flannel fabric, 2 pieces of 32×40 inches
  • Batting, 32×40 inches
  • Bias tape, 2 packs (3 yd each)
  • Fabric scraps for triangles (21 total)
  • Bye Baby Bunting Triangle template (optional)
  • Sewing machine, thread, & straight pins
  • Double-sided fusible webbing (Wonder Under)
  • Iron

Instructions:

  1. It’s important that you wash and iron all your fabrics first. Cotton and flannel can shrink in the wash, so you might regret it if you don’t.
  2. You can use a ruler to measure out your triangles, or you can print my triangle template to use as a guide. Because I’m working with small scraps, I can get the most out of my fabric by cutting my triangles individually. Cut 21 triangles.
  3. Once your triangles are cut, place them on the rough side of a sheet of double-sided fusible webbing. Iron them well and allow to cool. Peel off the paper backing. The underside of the fabric should feel waxy. If it’s fuzzy, you need to iron longer before removing the paper. Separate the triangles.
  4. Lay out three rows of triangles in a pleasing pattern. Lightly press the iron on each triangle to tack in place. Then, take it to your ironing board, and iron firmly in place, making sure to get each point.
  5. Now we’ll layer our fabrics. We’re going to sew directly on top of our quilt , so there will be no need to tie it. Put the backing on bottom, then batting, then the bunting piece.
  6. Pin around the perimeter of the quilt, and add a few pins in the middle. This will keep the layers from sliding while sewing.
  7. Start with the middle row, and use a zig zag stitch to sew along the top of your triangles, connecting them in one long row. Then, sew around the edges of each triangle, turning your fabric to follow the shapes.
  8. You’ll need two packages of bias tape. It’s possible to make your own, but we’re keeping things simple.

    To use the tape, unfold one half, and pin the unfolded edge along the top of your fabric as shown. For the long sides, you can trim the end of the tape to fit, and sew in place. For the short sides, you want to leave 3 inches of excess tape at each end so we can make corners with it.

  9. Make sure your thread matches your tape. Use a straight stitch and sew in place by stitching in the ditch of the first fold line. Remove the pins. Now you’ll fold the bias tape up and over the edge of your quilt. Sew in place close to the inner edge of the bias tape.
  10. You should have some excess tape at the ends. Fold downward and line up the edge of the excess tape with the tape that’s sewn down. Adjust the the seam at the corner so that it’s at a nice angle. Sew along the inner edge, lining up your seam with the seam you sewed previously. Fold the raw edge under and sew.

WEEK 8

 

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This week i have focused on all of the places I can donate blankets to, If i were to actually want to continue making them after this project.

Blankets can be donated to homeless shelters, local churches and charities that have a clothing donation program, victims of domestic violence shelters, and animal shelters.

Make sure the blankets are freshly washed and placed in suitable containers such as plastic garbage bags to keep them from becoming dirty. You may need to call to find out where a suitable drop off point is too.

Domestic abuse shelters may not give out their addresses, but they can arrange a meeting point or drop off for donations at a safe place such as a church. You can also call the homeless shelter and arrange a time for a drop off that is convenient for both parties.

If your blankets are somewhat threadbare, they can still be donated to animal shelters. The blankets can be used for cleaning, bedding and keeping animals warm. What you can’t use, someone else may be able to! And what better time of the year than the cold, winter season when shelters are already operating at their peak capacities?

I have also found something called “Project Linus.” It is a charity specifically made for donating blankets that you do not use anymore or you have made. They have had 5,850,380 blankets donated since 1995. Project Linus National Headquarters is located in Bloomington, Illinois. National President Carol Babbitt and Vice President Mary Balagna direct and orchestrate the activities of Project Linus chapters located across the United States. Both have been involved with the organization since late 1998, as chapter coordinators and now as directors and officers. They also maintain a very busy Central Illinois chapter, donating an average of 350 blankets every month to local children. With chapters in all 50 states, Project Linus continues to grow. Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.

WEEK 7

Easy-Hexie-Paper-Piecing

This week I tried to learn how to English Paper Piecing. It was hard at first, but after trying it a few times it became easier.  English Paper Piecing is a hand stitching technique deeply rooted in the history of sewing.  The technique uses paper templates to stabilize fabric and ensure accuracy when piecing complex angles together.  The shapes and templates can really be anything you can dream of, although straight lines are easier to handle. English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a traditional method of sewing that can be traced as far back as the late 1700’s in the US history books.  Not only did the Pioneer Woman use this technique to create much needed bedding for the long journey ahead but they helped document the story of these times.  You see, since paper was hard to come by, the woman would draw their templates on old letters, newspaper clippings and even torn catalog pages.  Sometimes, the templates were left in the quilts as they were thought to provide an extra layer of insulation against the cold.

Some of the materials you will need are:

  • fabric scraps
  • paper (I suggest freezer paper)
  • sewing needle & thread

Basic Instructions:

  1. Cut your hexagon paper template to the finished size.  This will serve as a sew guide and support the shape.
  2. Cut fabric 1/4” larger than paper template.  This extra 1/4” is your seam allowance.
  3. Place paper template onto the wrong side of fabric.
  4. Fold over two sides of hexagon and stitch the seam allowance overlap with needle and thread.  Repeat the process all around hexagon.  Traditionally baste stitching is through all layers, including the paper.
  5. Join hexagons together with a simple whip stitch, working from one side to the other.  Keep stitches small and close together for best outlook.
  6. Continue to stitch shapes together. After shapes are secure on all sides the foundation paper and basting stitches can be removed.