But we must pull ourselves out of this cakeless funk and celebrate all that has been accomplished this month by so many quilters. Some DaGMT stats:
- Number of quilters participating: Somewhere around 80, up from 30 last year.
- Number of bloggers who linked to the linky page: 32
- Number of quilters who joined this year's Flickr groups and posted stuff: 31
- Number of Flickr groups there were this year because I posted the wrong link and some people used last year's group: 2
- Number of Flickr groups there will be next year: 1 if I do it correctly, 3 if I screw up again.
- Number of projects I personally worked on: over 10
- Number I finished: 5
- Number of times I had to change buckets to a larger one because the entry slips for prizes were overflowing: 3
- Number of prizes which will be awarded tomorrow: 22
I promised a Sneak Peak, so here we go. "Taking Names", my new group project that has nothing to do with "Kickin' Stash" but I wanted to be cheeky with the name of the quilt, has been a big focus this month. I've shown you a few of the group blocks I have worked on for other members of the group, and I've started to get my own blocks back in the mail and I am loving them! Until the other day, though, I was still somewhat up in the air on how I was going to set them, but as I was playing a revelation came to me, and I just love it.
|"Taking Names"block, copyright 2013 EvaPaige Quilt Designs|
Cake would be nice.
But in celebration of all of the UFOs you surely finished up, I am going to share a tutorial for a machine sewn sleeve that changed my life. Not, of course, to the extent that Jewel-it and the Binding Tool have done, but in minor quilting-related life-changing lessons and discoveries, it rates right up there with piecing battings into Frankenbattings, and deserves to be shared for those who may not know about this technique.
Don't you just love sewing a sleeve onto a quilt? I thought not. I know many people who have not bothered to put a quilt in a show because it meant sewing on a sleeve.We quilters just have better things to do, like fondling our fabric, planning the next project, and really pretty much just sitting in a silent room breathing, than make and sew on a sleeve. I was vending at a show several years ago and someone was demo-ing this method, which makes getting a sleeve on your quilt a quick and almost painless process.
1.We all know the best sleeves are those made from atrociously hideous fabric. I don't care how you make the actual sleeve for your quilt, but the first step is to find some horrific fabric and make one. Then pin it to the back of your quilt, about 1" from the top. Place the pins about 1/2" from the edge of the sleeve. That will make it easier for you. Note that I did not do that here, and therefore you are benefiting from my stupidity.
2. Thread your machine with top and bobbin thread that blends with the quilt front. Especially the first few times you use this method, you might get a thread or two popping through to the front, so disguise it. Set your machine to "Blind Hem", with about a 3.5 stitch width and 2 for length.
3. "Sleeve to the feeds, weight to the left." Ingrain this mantra in your head, make a sign for above your machine, embroider it on a pillow - whatever it takes to remember this extremely important fact. I promise you the first time you do this on your own without looking at this tute, you will do it wrong if you haven't memorized this. Please don't ask me the number of times I did it wrong.
Fold back the quilt to reveal about 1/4" of the sleeve and center the needle right where the sleeve and quilt come together. Sew slowly and carefully the length of the sleeve, attempting to keep the weight of the quilt from dragging the sleeve out of position. It's slightly harder than it sounds, but that's why we go slowly.
|Setting it in the machine|
|Sewing along the length|
5. When your sleeve is sewn, it will look something like this. See how the pointy parts of the blind hem go into the bulk of the quilt? When you do it wrong because you didn't embroider the mantra like I told you to, they will be going the other way and will suck.
|Front view - see? Nothing shows!|
|She may not get a half birthday this year, but "Greta's Kaleidoscope" is finally on the wall.|
I don't have any finishes....but many closer tos.....and some firsts..etc.
2 quilt tops pieced
some practice quilting (first time)
pages of hand doodling to practice for free motion
fabrics pulled for a Scrappy trip along.
Fabrics cut for three swaps
Some hand applique.
Lots of time learning/playing with my new sewing machine.
I think that is it. It was kind of an eye opener to me. I really didn't know how long it takes me to do various steps in the process. I hope I will get faster over time.
My only actual finish was the little bag for the Friendship Bag Swap organized by Laura Van Vleet. There's actually a second small completed project in the bag, but I didn't want my partner to see it before receiving it. I made tons of progress on my Starburst (QAL by Melissa@happyquilting) and Easy Street (Bonnie K. Hunter) projects. I also began two new quilts: a scrappy trip around the world, which is now off to the longarmer, and a comfort quilt for my neice. I'm very pleased with everything I accomplished in February!
I have also begun a quilting journal, where I can note my progress daily and set monthly goals. Thanks for encouraging me to get some quilting in each day!
The best time of day to quilt if you work nights has been during Judge Judy! That has to be worth a few points! HA HA!
Quilted and finished 3 twin/lap quilts. One went to the Quilt Cupboard.
One BOM done.
Finished quilting and hand bound a wall hanging.
Sorted Batiks for a workshop that was cancelled.
Spent a 1/2 day working at Doris's and the Quilt cupboard. She is a task master!
Went fabric shopping once.. yes..only once. Restraint.....
Ordered a few quilting things on line.
Sleeves on 2 quilts for the library show. Will have to try the Quilting Hottie's method.
PhD UFO quilt pile is not as high and for that, Gabby is happy!
Found an earring I had lost in the sewing room when I sorted quilting stuff.
Even though I had to spend quilting time shoveling snow, it was a very productive month.
Thank you Quilting Hottie
I had one finish....a "twin" to a quilt I finished in January. Hopefully I'll be able to get pics on my blog tonight.
But I also moved several projects along.
A. Finishing piecing the top of my Stack & Whack quilt that I started . . . .um. . . 7-8 years ago.
B. Cut backing and batting for a table runner that will be a gift for my middle sister.
C. Cut and pieced the top of a table runner (same pattern as B above) for my home.
D. Sewed 4 blocks (2 log cabin & 2 Windblown squares) for swaps.
It's been fun working on these things & I plan on keeping to the 20 minute a day (or more) for the rest of the year (and maybe beyond??!!)
Thank you for the inspiration.
Aside from the post today on Facebook (which was an accomplishment by itself - I have never put an album up on Facebook), the major accomplishments included finishing 3 quilts (including machine quilting two of them), piecing two other quilt tops, learning to work with Minkee (3 pair of slippers and 2 doll blankets with the leftovers, and, of course, a trip to Wanda's and one to Fabric Extravaganza. I also did 3 more labels and sleeves, prepped for 3 classes, did a small wall hanging, knit three moebius strip scarves, and ALMOST finished knitting a boucle sweater.
I spent more time ripping things out this month than ever before. The only thing I finished was The Quilt That Shall Remain Nameless (and only as a top) with it's "report" (it was a test quilt.) I can't post pictures of it. *sigh*
I wasted quite some time on a block for Big Wheels that I eventually trashed because I couldn't make myself think "paper-piecing." I guess I just don't have the pp gene or something. In the end I finished four of them (well, I still have to sew the background onto the last, but that should only take 10 minutes or so.
I did the required number of Grandmother's Choice blocks.
I didn't do as many Seven Sisters blocks as I had hoped while I was on the road because I forgot my magnifying glasses and, it turns out that I am as blind as a bat without them. (again, *sigh*)
So, in retrospect, I was not as prolific as I was last year. However, I'll be continuing with a DAGM20-like thing hosted by The Scientific Quilter in March (she only "requires" 15 minutes, but since I was doing 30 anyway, I figure it won't be a stretch at all.)
Great tutorial - that stitch is one that intimidates me for some reason (or maybe because I also don't like to do hems!) so I should try it.
It was a good quilty month. I think I only missed one day of sewing in the midst of a 10 day long cold bug. I finished 9 UFOs, 2 new projects and moved 5 other UFOs closer to the finish line. It felt great to drop off 9 quilts for Project Linus on Monday and clear some space in my UFO Collection!
Thanks so much for the challenge, things like this really keep me motivated to the next finish!
I was away from home for a week+ mid-month and came home with a custom quilt to work on so that put a stop to playing! But thanks to DaGMT, I did manage to way improve my free-motion quilting skill and use up a bunch of fabric/batting/binding remnants making dozens of potholders that will now be nice gifts. Score!
I finished one quilt (this was quite significant, as I FMQ'd the entire thing - a first!), completed another quilt top, pieced a backing for a quilt that has been waiting a while, and caught up on my BOM's, Bee and Swap blocks. I feel like I had a great month!
Accomplishments.. hmm.. crazy wonky tooth fairy monster.. and almost all eight envelopes of TN blocks.. and several blocks for my impromptu quilt pattern using circa 1934. oh! and two BOMs. Why do I feel like that's not very much? :/ I have a top done that needs quilted and finished but haven't worked on that yet.. guess I'm out of time for that! Oh, and tried to mock up a tee shirt, does that count?
Five sewing projects completed. One knitting project completed. Some free motion quilting practice. One quilt labelled for my quilt group's charity project. Some hand applique (though not completed, progress was made).
All and all, way more than I would have completed last month, without your push!
~One UFO finished and delivered
~A basket full of packs for a scrap vomit quilt emptied for 15 total blocks complete
~a doll quilt made and mailed
~a few random blocks for swaps
~lots of fun, triangular shaped blocks called "Taking Names
~one "Star Wars" pillowcase son #2 has been begging for for three months since we bought the fabric
~One housework-free day spent at a quilt show
I'm calling it a good month!
Although I found time each day to do something creative, I didn't actually "finish" as much as I hoped I would. I do have a nice new table runner on my coffee table, and all the parts to a sweater are knitted now and just need to be sewn up.
I did get quite a bit accomplished this month, but did not complete anything. I did not really expect to complete anything, because the project I spent the most time on has been hand quilting an applique quilt. I did complete the quilting on 2 blocks and am nearly done the third. I logged nearly 55 hours quilting this month.
The other large accomplishment was cleaning out my craft closet. I removed everything, donated some to my guild's UFO auction, tossed a bunch of useless stuff, and separated the rest into scraps, yardage and projects. My projects pile is larger than my stash pile. I haven't tackled sorting the yardage pile into something usable yet. That is the next step. What this tells me, though, is that I have to work on that pile of projects or decide to let them go before I start something new.
Thanks for the challenge. It did get me to do some quilting and lighten my mood on a few nights.
When I attach sleeves, I take the piece of sleeve fabric, fold it in half, align the cut edges with the edge of the quilt, and sew (baste) in the ditch next to the binding on the front. If I've been smart, the sleeve fabric is wide enough that I can stitch in the ditch of the border and catch the bottom edge too.
Okay ... while I technically only completely finished ONE quilt - the t-shirt quilt for my friend's husband - I did get more done than I had thought:
* 80% machine quilted an old lap quilt that had been kicking around
* Helped my daughter finalize a design for the blocks she made in her first ever quilting class and we found the perfect fabrics to finish the front and back.
* Re-organized my quilting room as I located my UFOs. Photographed them, created a spreadsheet and have them all not in one place with their appropriate fabrics etc. Then posted them as a reminder of what I want to work on in the next couple of months>
* Got to visit a lot of neat new to me websites.
* Finally able to sort through three sections of my fabric stash that I have keep "meaning to get to" - pulled what needed washing and finally did it.
* Took apart my primary piecing sewing machine and gave it a good thorough cleaning and oiling.
I did really well this year and sew almost everyday. I was able to complete two projects and get lots of work done on several others. Great Big Thanks! Can't wait to do it again.
Brilliant! Thanks for sharing the sleeve tute. I just hemmed my son's Boy Scout pants, so as soon as you said to fold back the top, I knew where you were going.
I got a lot less done than I had hoped as life really interfered. My business is also picking up so I was busy cutting, packing and shipping fabrics to my very happy customers. Of course, this should count as I had my hands on fabrics..lots of fabrics.
That said, I finished my daughter's quilt top, "Llama Love" for my daughter and blogged about it.
I'm participating in ModernInstabee and finished up and mailed off the first block. I'm also participating in the LayerCakeQAL and have 2 blocks completed. And finally, I've made good progress on one of the charity quilts I'm quilting. And finally, I got my sewing room moved from the dining room back to my sewing room and did a bit of organizing and cleaning up along the way. Considering the month I've had, I'm pleased with what I've done.
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