Irish Lake Quilter

......snippets and quilts, family, pets and friends....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mitered Corners

I have offered to teach my way of doing mitered corners at Retreat next month. So while I was putting that together, I decided to post it here and see if others can understand my directions. I'm not sure how I figured this out, but I've been doing it this way for years, and have recently seen it in a book - and I'm not sure whose book it is. It isn't the most technical way, but it works for me. I hope you can understand my jibberish! If you have a problem understanding my directions, please let me know so I can adjust.

First, cut your borders to the length and/or width of your quilt PLUS the TWICE the width of the border for each border piece or side. The border must go beyond each side of the quilt at least the same distance as the width of the border.

2.. Mark the corner of your quilt with a 1/4" dot or if you have a good 1/4" feeling when you sew, keep that in mind. The dot ..... I'm sure you've seen these on clothing patterns and this one will work the same way - sew to the dot or 1/4" away from the edge. Stop and backstitch.

3. Add your first border, allowing overlap on
both sides of the quilt.
Stop sewing at the corner dot.

4. Add the second border, stopping at the dot.

5. Press both borders open. Lay this corner out on the ironing board so that it is flat, allowing you to work with it and to press it.

6. Choose one border and gently turn so that it's wrong sides are together. I find, being right handed, that it is easier to work with the one on the right. (black) Fold it under/perpendicular so that the edges of both borders meet and are even. At this point, the two borders will be right sides together and going in the same direction. Confused? Try this explanation.... Take the upper left corner of the black border (right side up) and turn it so that it is now the the lower right (wrong side up).

Pull gently to get the sharp corner where all 3 pieces come together - at the dot. You should be able to see the miter at this time. Pin the two straight edges together just enough to hold it while you press the angled edge.

7. After pinning the right-sides of the two borders together, gently press with the iron and on the inside, pin again along the edge of the crease made by ironing.

8. Turn the quilt/borders so that you can sew right along that ironed crease, directly into the corner where the dot is. Push the seam allowances to the side so that you can reach that corner.

9. Open, iron. You should have a stitched and mitered corner. Trim the excess away leaving 1/4" seam allowances. When you open the corner, if you find that there is a pucker, loosen a stitch or two and see if that doesn't release it. That is caused when too many stitches are taken in that corner. The dot helps prevent this.

This may sound confusing and more complicated than it really is. Actually, it takes only a few minutes to miter a corner this way. The explanation takes longer than it does to do it!! If you are totally confused, e-mail me and I'll try to confuse you some more! :>) Now once I prepare the demo on needleturn applique, I'll be ready to go. Only 35 days to go!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do you think it is the quilting?

Anne sent me a link this morning that I found to be rather nice. Here is the website for the story of a couple who have been married for 83 years - and she still quilts! Inspiring!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Paint Chip Challenge

The sky is blue, the sun is shining and the snow is melting!! For a few weeks I've heard birds singing in the morning when I go out for the paper or the mail. Spring is surely just around the corner! All this perkiness makes me want to wash windows and clean house - and if you believe that one, I have a bridge to sell you! What it really does, is make me want to finish something. My energy level goes up and that makes for more things getting done. A gal in the quilt club has made a bag called the Sunday Satchel by Linda Marcou so I've decided to make one as well. The picture on the right shows the first step that is completed - quilt and bind a 37 1/2" square. The blue doesn't show up much but it is there. The other picture shows my paint chips that I needed to match for the September Challenge. So far so good! Next comes the straps. It is an unusual kind of bag - no zipper - all foldy and stuff. This one I think I'll have ready when the time comes. Another bag for schlepping my goodies! :>)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Challenge

The time is flying by, no blogging. We are running between IN and IL each week with 3-4 days in each place, trying to get things done as they should be done in both places. This week I'm staying home and will enjoy hugging my sewing machines! One of my projects this week is to complete a challenge that was issued at the Spring Retreat last May. The picture shows a bit of what we have at the retreat. We are challenged to come up with a quilt that expresses an emotion that we feel about the group/retreat. I've come up with several ideas over the past year but the one I really wanted to do would take much longer and most likely never get done. That idea was to choose a color that each person reminded me of and match that color up with a flower and then applique a large vase of flowers for the center of a quilt to be made someday. Oh well.....knew that one wouldn't get done! So I've searched on Google, Web Shots and books to find an "inspiration quilt" to give me some ideas. Nothing. But last week it hit me. Duh! It is amazing how much is right in front of us, staring us in the face and we still don't see it. My choice is really a no-brainer, probably being duplicated by half of the group, but it fits and I like it! I can't say what it is because it has to be a surprise and Mary is the one who issued the challenge. My challenge will be hung over my long arm machine after retreat is held in May. Of course, I'll post a picture of it when the challenge is over.