April 28, 2012

Binding quilts

Two weeks away from my first son's wedding and I found the perfect activity to relieve stress: binding quilts. Nothing like easy (provided you properly wax the thread), repetitive (provided you don't have carpal tunnel problems on both wrists), and fun work (if you don't poke holes on your fingers) to take your mind away from wedding planning!

Some quilters would rather have others bind their quilts. However, binding a quilt (by hand) is like saying goodbye to a new friend who has left a lasting impression on me... It does not matter if the quilt will join the others I've decided to keep, or if it will grace someone's house - the feeling is the same.

 After sewing the binding to the quilt, I fold it towards the backing and secure it with binding clips (I found it here). I like using thread that matches the backing, instead of hand quilting thread. Double thread 'treated' with Thread Heaven (I found it here) or Dritz Beeswax (I found it here) to prevent thread tangles, a needle with visible (!) eye, and Thimble-It (I found it here) - those plastic wonders for my 'third' finger: must have tools!

Next, I rest my feet on the coffee table, turn on the music and let my hands do the magic. Binding quilts is safer than medication and cheaper than therapy. Do you agree? :-)

April 23, 2012

Puzzle and giveaway

Once I took fabric and supplies to the Montessori school my boys used to attend and taught the kids how to compose landscape with fabric. Their projects were beautiful, creative, and were done by the end of the art class. At that time I made these two pieces. What does this place mat and the little wall hanging have in common? You could win a fat quarter bundle: become a member of this blog, send your answer via a comment, and pronto! I will pick the winner next Monday, April 30th.

April 20, 2012

Medallion - last border

I think I am done with this one. Now, I will quilt it, and bind it with black fabric. Do you like adding pieced borders to your quilts? There is a little bit of math involved, but nothing that would make you regret not having paid attention to math classes in school...  I will quilt it as soon as I finish quilting the log cabin one (see previous post). How do you like my design?

The scallops were fused over the green border. This technique is illustrated in one of Teri Christopherson's books which I featured in one of my earlier posts, as well as on the Meet the Masters page of this blog.  Now, I need to decide if I will applique them now or when I am quilting the top.

April 19, 2012

Machine quilting without Stitch Regulator

Finally decided to quilt a top I made in 2009 during our quilt retreat. For a change, I am quilting it using the darning foot instead of the stitch regulator. I am having a blast! I am marking it as I go along, using a stencil and the FriXion pen. As soon as I am done quilting the block, I iron it so the pen marks will disappear. It is turning out so nice! How about you, girls, quilting anything lately?

Fusible applique tips

When working with fusible applique, I like to cut out some of the paper within the applique design, so as to avoid having a stiff applique area. Additionally, the less glue in my project the better, as the needle will move easily while I quilt. It also helps to have that 'window' if you want to include a particular section of fabric design. Here is what I mean:

A possible friendship?

My son Ryan and I captured this moment yesterday morning. Is it possible that Jamie and Sapphire will co-exist peacefully from now on? We have had three years of classic Tom & Jerry action at home with a twist: between cat and cat. Jamie, about 18 years old and 6 lbs, and Sapphire, 3, weighing about 15 lbs, share the house somewhat unfairly, as Jamie does not venture much beyond the first floor, too old to risk being killed by curiosity. Feisty Sapphire may be getting mellower as she ages. Or so we all hope.

April 17, 2012

My garden

I was tending to my garden while most of you were asleep! Here is a picture of how it turned out. Ribbons, ric-rac, a bit of embroidery... and I have a little wall hanging for my studio. Now I wish I could go to sleep while many of you will tend to your real garden!

April 16, 2012

Black & White

I am trying to decide what to do with these 12" black and white blocks I made a while ago. Sampler quilts are not my forte... Perhaps making three separate bags using two blocks for each bag. Or three table runners. Maybe I should use a yellow and black print fabric as sashing.

If I turn these into a quilt, it will be scrappy since every block has different fabrics. Scrappy quilts present a challenge for me, although these are better because only two colors are involved. I suppose harmony plays a big part on my designs...

These blocks were part of a block of the month project. The other blocks are stashed somewhere, as I did not like them at the time. I wonder if I should hunt for them.

I will await your ideas before I work with them. Hurry up! :-)


April 14, 2012


Still playing with ribbons... It can be so addicting! Gotta work on adjusting the pearls before the glue dries! This could be a pretty corsage, and I might use red satin ribbon as the teal one, instead of organza. Practice, practice...

April 11, 2012


Look what I learned today: flowers with ribbons! My friend Dora showed me how to make them this afternoon, while I was taking a break from hand quilting. When I got home and looked in my favorite ribbonwork book - Ribbonwork, The Complete Guide by Helen Gibb (I found it here), I learned how to make the leaves. For the large petals I used satin blanket binding since I did not have many ribbons available. For the smaller petals, I used grosgrain ribbon, and for the middle of the flower I used ric rac. The leaves were made using 1 1/2" wire ribbon. We can use these to embellish so many things! How do you like it? Do you know of any other books or DVDs that teach ribbonwork? Let me know...

April 10, 2012

Medallion Part 3

Here is the third border for my quilt. Looking pretty good so far. May return to the leafy green fabric next. What do you think?

Kids are on Spring Break, and I am so thankful they played nicely yesterday afternoon so I could work on this project. I needed to only hear the humming of the sewing machine, though I kept going back and forth to check on them...

April 9, 2012

Medallion Part 2

Here is the new border around the medallion. It is so much fun designing a quilt as I go along. I know I will introduce more colors on the next border.

When I go hunting in my stash, I can usually find what I need. Let's see if it will come through for me this time.

What do you think so far?


I was thinking about my friend Diana this morning. She does beautiful embroidery - delicate, with gorgeous colors, and very precise. It reminds me of the work my mother used to do when I was growing up - Brazilian 3D embroidery. So, I looked around the house for some of that work, but only came across these hand towels I purchased in the Northeast of Brazil. Aren't they great? [Oh, I love when blogger rotates pictures for you! $%%$#@^!!!]

April 4, 2012


 Wednesday is my favorite day of the week, which is when a few of us from the quilt guild get together and hand quilt a project. Yes, the modern version of the old quilting bee happens at my friend Sue's beautiful home by the Wasatch mountains in Utah. We take turns bringing lunch and desserts, and have a blast as we chat, laugh, and quilt for hours. My husband calls it crazy work (what? you could do it faster on your machine! he says). I call it a weekly retreat...

April 3, 2012

"Thin" fat quarters

When I buy fat quarters I expect them to be cut to their exact size, 18" x 22". I recently went to a quilt store and bought $55 worth of off-white, light beige fat quarters for a project. As I started cutting them, surprise! I realized that many were missing more than an inch at a corner, resulting in lots of wasted fabric. I also had to buy more fat quarters. Not happy! :-( Does this happen to you? Fat quarters can be folded in many different ways - should we open them before we buy them? Ai, ai, ai...

More green fabric!!!

I just got green fat quarters from my friend Annie (see her blog here and sign up for her giveaways!). Awesome prints! The gears in my brain are already turning: will I make a bag? a wall hanging? a table runner? I am leaning towards a bag, so I can parade these beauties around town! You will see what I come up with soon, I hope!


I love to start a quilt from a random block, and build from there. This time I will try to place pieced borders all around this star block we worked on in a QuiltSmart class. I have already added simple borders all around with another black and leafy green print. I went back to the store and got more of the black, but they did not have the green fabric. I may have fabrics in my stash that will work, although my guess is that I will keep to variations of these two colors. Next step is to figure out how to put the medallion on point, as leaving it square would be too easy... I will post pictures as I complete each border.


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