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Finished – Too Precious to Cut (But We Will) Challenge

I have finished my Too Precious to Cut (But We Will) Challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild of NWA. This was a challenge put out by Paula Mariedaughter, one of our members. I was in a panic last week thinking that it was due for our September meeting (next week), but it’s actually not due till October. Ah well, it’s finished. Go here to see what else this creative quilter is up to.  She’s always putting a new spin on quilt design and makes the best labels.

http://paulamariedaughter.com/

Me n the Moon with Lilies - Finished

Me n the Moon with Lilies – Finished

I faced this quilt using Susan Brubaker Knapp’s tutorial. Check it out along with her other free tutorials.

http://www.bluemoonriver.com/assets/nonmitredfacing.pdf

The only thing I do differently is Step 4. I don’t like to pivot at corners, so I sew to the end, and then cross the seam at the corner. I also use these little clips instead of heavy pinning–you don’t want the facing to show on the front and this helps.

Facing Me n the Moon with Lilies

Facing Me n the Moon with Lilies

Me n the Moon with Lilies - Finished

Me n the Moon with Lilies – Reverse

I had a little trouble with the quilting. After doing all the straight-line quilting in the center, I went to free-motion quilt the lily fabric and ripped out this lily twice. Then I quilted this spot with regular stitching, which required a lot of pivoting, cleaned and oiled the machine AGAIN, changed the needle AGAIN, and free-motioned the remainder with no problem. Gremlins, I’m tellin’ ya.

Troublesome Lily

Troublesome Lily

I also finished my placemats. See my previous post for the Round Placemat Tutorial. And why does spell check always want “placemat” to be two words? Not doin’ it.

http://wp.me/p5pibn-12i

Lily placemat, Lori Kennedy Flower Power quilting

Lily placemat, Lori Kennedy Flower Power quilting

Lily Placemat, Leah Day Layered Flower, circle quilting

Lily Placemat, Leah Day Layered Flower, circle quilting

Lily Placemat, line quilting

Lily Placemat, line quilting

Lily Placemat, front, contour quilting

Lily Placemat, front, contour quilting

Lily placemat, front, contour quilting

Lily placemat, reverse, contour quilting

Well, it’s back to my studio. I am putting everything away so I can get back to finishing up the rest of my Christmas UFOs. And here is one of my favorite Paula Mariedaughter quilts from a local Q.U.I.L.T. Guild of NWA show in 2013–those wonky flowers and the colors just make me happy. Till next time, do what makes you happy for at least part of the day!

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

 

Placemat Tutorial

Keep reading for directions on making a quilted, round placemat with no hand stitching or binding. Last week, I posted about the Too Precious to Cut (But We Will) challenge with my modern quilt guild. The idea is to take a piece of fabric that you have a hard time cutting into

Lily Fabric

Lily Fabric

and do something with it. This is where I left off with the piecing.

Adding a third diagonal strip

Adding a third diagonal strip

I thought this was a boring table runner and decided that I could make more interesting placemats. Since I have a round table, I cut out a 13-inch circle from freezer paper using my Creative Grids Circle Ruler. This ruler must be discontinued–I could not find a link for it so unless you have one, you’ll have to find an alternative way to make a circle template.

Creative Grids Circle Ruler

Creative Grids Circle Ruler

After pressing my freezer paper template onto my pieced work, I used a small rotary cutter to cut out three pieced circles, one whole cloth circle from the leftover piece of lily fabric, four batting circles,and four backing circles. I was able to reuse the freezer paper template. This gets a little tricky for the batting–press from the center out in segments.

CAUTION: I was actually able to cut out the circles keeping my free hand on my hip. If you cannot do this, keep your free hand well away from the rotary cutter as you cut and be sure to close your cutter each time you lay it down. I have known of quilters who have needed a trip to the emergency room because they have cut themselves. More often than not, it is their husbands who don’t believe how sharp these blades are. USE CAUTION.

Rotary Cutter Safety

Rotary Cutter Safety

Next, layer the pieces as follows. Good side of batting facing up, right side of front facing up, right side of backing facing down. Read this five times so you get this layered correctly.

Backing and Top right sides together

Backing and Top right sides together with batting on bottom

Otherwise, you’ll have to do what I did: unstitch, relayer, restitch. It’s a process. I used a half-inch seam allowance, leaving a 4-6-inch opening for turning. Then I trimmed the batting close to the stitching.

Trimming batting

Trimming batting

Finger press the fabric layers where the opening is; this will make closing easier.

Creasing seam allowance at opening

Creasing seam allowance at opening

Next trim the fabric layers with pinking shears. I left a little extra where the opening was so I would have enough fabric to easily turn under.

Pinking edges before turning

Pinking edges before turning

Turn your placemat inside out, smoothing the edge with your fingers. Machine stitch close to the edge. I started at a seam line and then when I got back to the beginning, I stitched in the ditch a few stitches and continued stitching circles, using my presser foot as a guide. This gives you continuous stitching without having to break your threads. As I got toward the center, I had a hard time maintaining the circle shape, ripped out my last two circles and did a free-motion design to finish the center. This is one of my favorite Leah Day designs: Layered Flower, #226.

http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-226-layered-flower.html

Here is the finished placemat after steam pressing.

Placemat 1, Layered Flower variation, Day 226

Placemat 1, Layered Flower variation

I’m playing with the leftover pieces and will probably make a mat for the center of the table. We have a glass table and it’s irritating when salt and pepper shakers, etc., rattle around while you’re eating. If you decide to make your own set of placemats, send me a link. I would love to see them! As always, leave me a comment if you have questions. Till next time, I’ll be in my happy place stitching.

Leftovers

Leftovers