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2014 Quilting To-Do List: Update 9

I can’t believe October is over! With only two months left to finish the quilts on my to-do list, I’m starting to panic! I finished one of my quilts this month and am really close to finishing two more, which will take a little stress off. I’m, of course, still enjoying the process, but my goal was to FINISH these five quilts and I don’t want to fall in the trap of putting them off until next year. I can tell you that I already have a long list of things I want to start in 2015, and don’t want a stack of “need-to-be-quilted” projects weighing on my conscience! See my list for making time to get projects done below.

 

On my to-do list this year:

 

I got one more of my APQ Quiltalong blocks done. I have six more to go before I can sew them all together. I’m still deciding if I want to do sashing or not. I’ve seen the quilt both ways on Instagram and love them both! This decision might come down to how much time I have left to finish this!

 

 

I finished the setting and borders for the Globetrotting Block of the Month.  I absolutely love the way this quilt turned out! Since I’m quilting this one myself, I need time to sketch out a quilting design. I’ve never quilted such a large quilt on my home machine, so it’ll be a fun challenge!

 

 

I cheated and took the pattern for the Quilts and More Winter Welcome Home door hanger a little early (the issue is officially on sale November 4). I’m making one for my mom for Christmas, since she loves snowmen. I have almost half of the appliqué done on one of the door hangers. A few more days of work on these and they should both be ready to go!

 

I have some tips for prioritizing projects. (See my tips for making your list here.)

1. Make a list. Although this seems like an obvious tip, writing down what you need to sew and any supplies you’ll have to buy can really help speed up the process. You’ll cut down on your number of shopping trips. Then organize your projects by how long they’ll take and when you need them done by. Then you can prioritize by deadline or squeeze in a project that will only take a few hours when you have a free afternoon.

2. Work before play. Although this isn’t something we love to hear, the quilts that you’re doing for yourself might need to take a backseat to any gifts or decor you need to make. And even though you may think you can always do your “work” projects tomorrow, my experience says that pushing back those type of projects can make you panic last-minute. Better to get them done as early as possible and if you have extra time, you can always do your “play” projects.

3. Recruit a friend. Did you decide to make holiday gifts for all the grandkids this year? Or did you get asked to make a few quilts for a charity auction? If you have fast deadlines or are overwhelmed with your to-do list, ask a sewing buddy to help out! Make an evening out of it with some snacks and a movie. Even if they don’t help you finish everything, they’ll at least make a dent and you’ll get some stress-relilef from the hangout.

 

Happy quilting in 2014! Share your own quilting to-do list in the comments and make sure to check back to  see my progress.

Lindsay

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Perfect Your Skills: Choose Batting

Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn about different batting choices and how to choose the best one for your project!

Batting is the soft layer between the quilt top and backing that gives a quilt dimension and definition and offers warmth. Because it comes in various thicknesses and fibers, it can make a quilt flat or puffy, stiff or drapable. It is available by the yard or packaged to fit standard bed sizes. The batting you use should complement the nature and use of your finished quilt. Check package labels, talk to other quilters, and test samples to find the batting with the qualities that are important for your project.

 

 Low Loft Batting———->High Loft Batting

 

General Batting Characteristics

 

100% Cotton:

  • Characteristics: Can give a puckered appearance if washing after quilted. Soft, drainable. Good for experienced quilters’ fine, hand-quilting stitching or machine quilting.
  • Advantages: Natural fiber so batting breaths. Resists fiber migration. Readily available.
  • Disadvantages: May have seeds and plant residue that can release oils and stain the quilt. Often cannot be pre washed. Shrinks 3% to 5% when washed. May be too dense for beginning hand quilters to needle.

 

Cotton/Polyester Blends 80/20, 50/50:

  • Characteristics: Low to medium loft. Drapable. Good for hand quilting and machine quilting.
  • Advantages: Some natural fibers so batting breaths. Resists fiber migration. Easy for beginning hand quilters to needle. Readily available.
  • Disadvantages: Some shrinkage, which can be avoided by prewashing.

 

Wool and Wool Blends:

  • Characteristics: Blend of fibers from different animal breeds. Resiliency enhances quilting stitches. Soft, drainable. Good for hand and machine quilting.
  • Advantages: Natural insulator. Preshrunk. Available in black.
  • Disadvantages: May have inconstant loft. May need to be encased in cheesecloth or scrim if not bonded.

 

Silk:

  • Characteristics: Has excellent body and drape. Lightweight. Good for hand quilting and machine quilting.
  • Advantages: Good choice for quilted garments. Does not shrink. Can be washed.
  • Disadvantages: Expensive. Not widely available. Damaged by exposure to direct sunlight.

 

Flannel:

  • Characteristics: 100% cotton. Lightweight, thin. Good for machine quilting.
  • Advantages: Lightweight alternative to traditional batting. Readily available.
  • Disadvantages: Extreme low loft limits quilting pattern development.

 

Polyester:

  • Characteristics: Available in many lofts. Suitable for hand quilting and machine quilting. High lofts is good for tied quilts, comforters.
  • Advantages: Resilient, lightweight. Cannot be harmed by moths or mildew. Readily available. Available in black.
  • Disadvantages: Synthetic fibers lack breathability.

 

Fusible:

  • Characteristics: Good for machine quilting. Eliminates need for basting.
  • Advantages: No need to prewash. Eliminates need for basting. Good choices for small projects.
  • Disadvantages: Limited batting options and sizes. Adds adhesive to quilt. Difficult for hand quilters to needle.

 

Bamboo and Bamboo Blends:

  • Characteristics: Thin scrim and smooth drape. Ideal for machine quilting.
  • Advantages: Soft, silky, eco-friendly. Lightweight. Made from one of the fastest growing plants. Natural antibacterial properties.
  • Disadvantages: Limited availability. Limited options and sizes.

 


Blogs We <3 This Month

Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!

 

 

Nana Company

Designer Amy Sinabaldi is the cover girl of our most recent issue of Make It Yourself magazine so, of course, we’ve been drooling over her blog. Sprinkled with beautiful pictures of her current projects, her kids, and her inspiration, this blog is a treat for the eyes. Amy is a see it, do it type of person and after scrolling through her projects, you’re sure to see something that makes your to-do list!

Read her blog here.

 

 

 

A Stitch in Dye

We’re not going to lie — we’re constantly learning from and inspired by designer Malka Dubrawsky’s blog. Know for her fearless color and design choices, Malka provides amazing tutorials for those looking to expand their horizons of what fabric can do. For example, her most recent tutorials cover improvisational quilting, which she not only gives great tips for, but shows off her own work as inspiration.

Read her blog here.

 

 

The Quilt Engineer

Designer Latifah Saafir has a BS in mechanical engineering. She also is a quilter, so if you are a creative type with a science mind, you’ll appreciate her projects. Using many geometric shapes, her quilts have a modern feel but with a planned purpose in both design and color choices. She uses a lot of curves (but we promise, she makes it easy!).

Read her blog here.

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2014 Quilting To-Do List: Update 8

I can’t believe it’s already October! With only three months left to finish the quilts on my to-do list, I find myself in awe of how much sewing time I was able to fit into my busy schedule and also equally in awe of how much I still need to do. I’m nearing the end of a few projects and have also really expanded my creativity, which was part of my goal this year. (Find out more about my goals in my resolutions blog – read it here.) With the holidays coming, I know I’ll be juggling these projects with handmade gifts and Christmas decor. See my tips at the end of this blog for prioritizing projects!

 

On my to-do list this year:

 

 

Nine of the blocks for the Globetrotting Block of the Month are done. The quilt is almost done! I’m eagerly awaiting for Pat Sloan to release the setting block and finishing instructions so I can spend more time on this one!

 

 

So close to finishing my Passion 48 quilt! I just have to sew the binding to the back of the quilt. But with a 12-hour car ride this weekend, I’ll definitely be able to finish it. Then a final press before this quilt finds a spot on my wall!

 

 

My Welcome Home door hanging from Quilts and More was hung up on the first day of fall with cute burlap ribbon. I’m a huge fan of fall colors and motifs, so Im obviously in love with this project! I have other plans for the pumpkin and leaf motifs (including fulfilling a request from my mom for one, too!).

 

I have some tips for prioritizing projects. (See my tips for making your list here.)

1. Make a list. Although this seems like an obvious tip, writing down what you need to sew and any supplies you’ll have to buy can really help speed up the process. You’ll cut down on your number of shopping trips. Then organize your projects by how long they’ll take and when you need them done by. Then you can prioritize by deadline or squeeze in a project that will only take a few hours when you have a free afternoon.

2. Work before play. Although this isn’t something we love to hear, the quilts that you’re doing for yourself might need to take a backseat to any gifts or decor you need to make. And even though you may think you can always do your “work” projects tomorrow, my experience says that pushing back those type of projects can make you panic last-minute. Better to get them done as early as possible and if you have extra time, you can always do your “play” projects.

3. Recruit a friend. Did you decide to make holiday gifts for all the grandkids this year? Or did you get asked to make a few quilts for a charity auction? If you have fast deadlines or are overwhelmed with your to-do list, ask a sewing buddy to help out! Make an evening out of it with some snacks and a movie. Even if they don’t help you finish everything, they’ll at least make a dent and you’ll get some stress-relilef from the hangout.

 

Happy quilting in 2014! Share your own quilting to-do list in the comments and make sure to check back to  see my progress.

Lindsay

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Trend Talk: Kitchen Prints

Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up (we’ll call them the eating holidays), we’re highlighting cute kitchen- and food-theme fabrics! Make a oven mitt, pot holder, or apron from one of these collections for a fun gift or decoration for your table during the holidays!

 

 

Kitchen fabric for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):

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