Tuesday, January 31, 2012


How do you attach borders to your quilt? I have recently done three quilts that have had technical issues with the borders. I reworked two of the quilts. One of the quilts the piecer had measured and sewn on fussy cut cornerstones. It didn't fit. She hadn't taken into account the seam allowances. There was no more fabric to work with. I eased in the quilt to fit the border. Fortunately, the shortage was just the amount of the seam allowances. It was easily eased in.

The second quilt had borders that were too long. The extra fabric on one side was nearly three inches.  That is a difficult amount to ease into the quilting. After reattaching the borders I started the quilting. It's going very well. I should have it finished and ready to deliver when I visit California at the end of the week.

The last one had embroidery details, so I worked with it as best I could. I asked the piecer how she had attached her border strips. "I sewed on strips and trimmed them." This is not the best way to attach the borders.

Below are two links that have information about a better way to attach borders.  First, is an online article by Janet Wickell. The one from Longarm University is a pdf that you can download.

They both recommend measuring your quilt to determine the length that the border should be. I would add that when I measure the quilt sides I measure along the seams, because sometimes the raw edges of the fabric stretch a little. You don't want wavy borders. Sometimes, it doesn't quilt out.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Playing Hooky

I am playing hooky today.
A beautiful day at Willow Lake

My big brother and sister-in-law are visiting.

They stayed with us for a few days before checking in at their time share in Sedona. We're going to visit them for a day.

I'm working hard (when I'm working) to finish three quilts before my daughter goes into labor. She isn't due until February 5, but you never know when the little guy will decide to make his appearance.

Back to work soon, I promise.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Note to Self

A note to myself, I really must remember that when I'm working on a time line to plan my quilting designs more carefully. I like the way that the feathered wreaths look. However, if I'd chosen a design that filled the space completely I wouldn't need to do the tedious backfill.

I've taken classes where the teacher said exactly that. I just didn't remember. Experience will help me remember, right?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I started working on my Lone Star.

Saturday, I was able to get all of my strips cut in under 30 minutes, thanks to the Accuquilt strip cutter. It was so easy!

The book has a paste up page that is intended to be copied, and you paste your fabrics in place. I pasted on my original fabrics, but decided I wasn't sure I liked the light lavender (the bottom half of the diamond). I had one yard of yellow in my stash, so I tried it (the top half of the diamond). I like the transition with the yellow better than the one with the lavender.

I have sewn the strip sets necessary to make the star. When I pressed them I starched at the same time. I'm hoping that the starch will help control the bias edges.

I cut enough diamonds to lay out one arm of the star.  I think I like it, maybe I should have made a seven color star. That would have given me a color in between the red and the yellow. Or, maybe a five color star. That would have taken out the yellow, and put the red next to the green. Or maybe I'll end up thinking that it's fabulous just the way it is. Geez, I sure have a hard time making up my mind. It's a wonder I ever get anything done!

I'm working very hard not to look at anymore lone star books. I want to. I really do, but since I've started cutting and sewing I don't want to be sorry I'm making this quilt. All the eye candy in those books will be to much for me. I have too many unstarted and unfinished projects already. Pretty please, don't make me look!

Hop on over to Judy's blog, Patchwork Times, to see what others are working on today.

Lone Star QAL

Well, QuiltSue did it. She convinced me to join the Lone Star QAL. I am going to use Eleanor Burns Radiant Star book for my directions. I like the lady's "get it done" style. Eleanor uses 2 1/2" strips, and guess what my Dear Motorcycle Dude got me for Christmas? An Accuquilt Go! He also gifted me with the 2 1/2" strip die for the Accuquilt Go!

I stopped by one of the local quilt shops, Seams Sew Right, and bought these fabrics for my star.

I played around with EQ7 for the color combos. This is one of the possibilities that I've come up with. The colors are a little off. I got tired of playing with the colors. The keyboard strokes have stopped working, for some reason.

Now, I am going to clear off the kitchen island (my cutting area) and cut some strips.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I have been so lucky the past two months. I won the honey bun at the last Arizona Longarm Quilters' Guild. I used it to make this quilt for my daughter's family for Christmas.

I won the charm pack from Pat Sloan, and because of my contact with Pat one of our local quilt guilds has scheduled her for a lecture and workshop. Cool!

On Monday, I got a call from The Quilter's Coop in Temecula. It seems that my name was drawn for their monthly drawing to win a $20.00 gift certificate.

Then today I got an email from Jo Krammer. My name was picked to win a $50.00 gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop! Unbelievable!

I'm thinking that I might have to buy fabrics to join in with Sue's Lone Star Quilt Along. The link is the button on the side of my blog.

I have won more in the past two months, than I have in the past 20 years. My family is urging me to go out and buy a few lottery tickets.

To all of the donors, thank you for my wins. You have been incredibly generous.

Monday, January 2, 2012


I finished the New Year's Day Mystery Quilt. It's just the right size to be a table topper.

The only problem is we don't have a dining table. My longarm is where normal people have a dining table. It is my dream to someday be able to have a dining room table like normal people. Do you think I might be able to be normal?

This quilt was difficult in some ways. I kept wanting to make the quilting more intense, more ... well more. I forced myself to back off, and follow Cindy's plan. It was a good exercise.

I hope that Cindy continues offering the NYD Mysteries. I really enjoy starting the year this way.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and are welcoming in a fabulous new year.

I am continuing my tradition of participating in the Longarm Classroom's New Year's Day Mystery Quilt. I was running a little behind. I finished my top this morning about an hour after Cindy started activating the videos. "No problem," I say to myself. Then I start the top border.

I'm merrily stitching away, when I notice something is wrong. You may have noticed it in the photo above.  I have stitched the center blocks upside down. Well, it's a good thing that it is a class quilt, because I am NOT going to rip out the quilting, unload the quilt and fix that border. It is staying upside down!

Oh well, I'm not a perfectionist. I am of the "Done is good" philosophy.