Tag Archives: mystery quilt

Scrapitude Part 3

Sandy posted part 3 of the mystery quilt this past week & I was so excited I dove in on Thursday & completed this step:

Scrapitude part 3

It went very quickly so after the piecing & pressing I went ahead & trimmed all my dog ears on these blocks as well as the triangles in part 2.

So this quilt is put away for a while now & I’m working on other projects in the meantime.  Some baby things, some Block of the Month things & also just figuring out where I am on several projects.

Happy sewing!


Scrapitude Update!

********First I want to apologize if you’ve received any empty or double posts from me.  I recently decided to migrate the website/blog over to WordPress & let’s just say it’s been a bit of an adventure!  I *think* I’ve got the bugs worked out, but you never know!**********

Things are actually settling down so I’m starting to be able to do some sewing!  I’m still not at a point where I can give a lot of attention to projects, so mindless sewing is what I’m craving.  Luckily there’s that mystery quilt Sandy is hosting I’ve been able to work on in small bits.

I started talking about it back before I moved & honestly wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep up with the clues.  Surprisingly I haven’t done too badly so either this is really an easy project or I’m doing a good job at procrastinating all the other stuff I’ve supposed to do!

But have I told you why I was drawn to this mystery quilt?  For the record, I’m not a mystery quilt fan.  I’m a control freak & there’s no/little control in mystery quilts.  That’s supposed to be the “fun” part of participating in them.  I don’t get it.  I have done a few, & regretted it.  In fact during packing I found one that needs to be quilted but there’s a huge mistake in it where I turned a block & I’m not happy with the overall look & honestly I just need to meander the dang thing & give it away & move on.  So that’s how I feel about mystery quilts.

Now I love scrap quilts!  The kind of quilts where you can put Christmas fabric next to baby fabric & it all works out in the end b/c it’s a hodge podge; where you can add in pieces of your favorite fabric & your “ugly” fabric & it all looks great in the end.  They’re also just so incredibly efficient!  No eliminating a block b/c it doesn’t go with the rest of the quilt, no need to visit 20 quilt shops to find that perfect shade of red.  You just use what you have & move on!

So I decided to join this mystery quilt since it was truly scrappy & being led by Sandy, I knew it would be a low pressure group.  The collecting & cutting of scraps went fairly quickly since I’ve started a scrap cutting “system.”  (I use that term liberally, it is a system & they are cut scraps, but I’m a little more inclusive about my sizes than many of the systems out there, but honestly that’s a whole other post.)  Everything used in this project came from stash, even the background fabric- it feels great to truly be using what I have & helping it move on to live it’s life in a quilt rather than sitting in a box in my studio!

Step 1 was fun.
4-patch pieces
Simple 4-patches where I used my seam twisting trick.  It was a nice break in between packing, decluttering, experiences the joy of morning sickness & wrapping up my life in Omaha. (Seriously, what the heck was I thinking taking on this project?)

Step 2 was released when we just got to our new home, so I didn’t get around it to until this past week.
pieced triangles
These went very quickly & I appreciated how Charlotte (the mystery quilt designer) had us assemble the triangles in ways that weren’t so obvious from the initial cutting directions.

So now I’m all caught up with clues & have to admit that I’m anxiously awaiting the next clue which should be released any day now!

A Little Update & a Mystery Quilt!

So you may have noticed it’s been a little quiet around here.  Well, at least on the blog because my personal life has actually been going *faster* than normal!
We found out the end of July that my husband got a job back in DC (where we used to live), so most of our house looks like this:

Then in August we found out we’re going to have a baby!!!

So needless to say, things have been a *little* busy over here with trying to sell the house & dealing with morning sickness & wrapping up our lives.

One of my tasks was to seriously look at the fabric & only keep what I love.  I gave a bunch to Quilts from the Bluffs, but also ended up putting a lot in the scrap bin.  This is all great fabric, but some of the pieces are really too small to justify keeping in their color bin & other pieces I honestly wouldn’t use.  For these fabrics I cut them down & they become part of my “pre-cut” piles that I use for scrap quilts.  I cut all the pieces into these sizes:
5″, 4 1/2″, 4″, 3 1/2″, 3″, 2 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ squares

All the pieces except the 1 1/2″ are organized by size & placed in bins.  The 1 1/2″ go in their own bin for my on-going postage stamp quilt.  I’ll blog about that another day!

Yesterday I saw that Sandy from Quilting for the Rest of Us is hosting an online mystery scrap quilt with a pattern written by a fellow guild member, Charlotte.  Clues will be released monthly through Novemeber, December we take a break & then start assembling the top in 2014. 

Since this sounded like a *true* scrap quilt where anything can used next to each other, & I have all these nice precut pieces I decided to join in & use this as my “incentive quilt.”  i.e. once I get all the chores for the day done like packing & giving away things & organizing the business to be setup in Virginia, & planning cute baby things to make- I can play with scraps!  Now yes, I could make any quilt I have in progress be my “incentive quilt,” but really those scraps are taking over my life at the moment and from Sandy’s description this won’t be an “intensive” mystery quilts like some others out there, so this will be a nice relaxing break at the end of the day.

I’ll be posting my progress as the months go by so you’ll be able to see the quilt develop- I can’t wait to get started but first I must tackle packing!

Happy quilting!

Tuesday Tip!: The Stay Stitch


This cute little quilt top was a mystery I did with Stitchin’ Tree Quilts in Harlan, Iowa at a retreat back in January.  It’s a great scrap quilt & a fun play with color value.  Since my neutral was more of a medium color, I chose dark scraps for my piecing- but what, this isn’t a post about color theory- let me get onto the Tuesday Tip!

See how the outside border is pieced with all the different squares? Here’s a close up:

Notice how those seams that piece the border together run off the quilt? This can lead the stitching on the outside edge to become loose:

See how loose those seams are? And that’s just from folding & unfolding the quilt top! To keep those seams secure, we can sew a “stay stitch” around the outside edge of the quilt to keep them in place.

This is how I do it:  I simply sew around the edge of the quilt, 1/8″ from the outside edge.  Here it is in more detail:

I first get my “regular sewing foot.” This is the foot I use when constructing clothes or appliqueing. Basically it’s the foot I use when I’m not piecing a quilt. Now my foot has an 1/8″ marking on it. See where my needle is? Look just to the right of that- see that red line? That’s my 1/8″ line. I line up my fabric to that guide & start sewing as normal.

Now for thread, I don’t usually care what color I use for this technique- I just use whatever because since I’m stitching at 1/8″ from the edge & I usually sew my binding on at 1/4″ or 3/8″, it will be hidden in the binding. Here’s I’ve used a dark blue thread. So I continue sewing down the edge of the quilt side, until I get to the end, here I just stitch of the quilt:

Then I turn the quilt top & start the next side from the top:

My corner ends up looking nice & crisp like this:

You may be wondering why I bother sewing to the end, cutting my thread & rotating the quilt & starting again on each side- I do this because I get a crisper corner with my sewing machine. I found if I turned the corner, the corner ended up smaller & not as nice & even something crooked with my sewing machine. So in the end do what works for you- for me, I like the method that may take a little longer & use a little more thread, but I prefer it for the nicer finish. Thank you for joining me again for the Tuesday Tip! The stay stitch makes for a much nicer top to give your longarmer when you have a pieced border or a quilt that has curved edges (like in a Double Wedding Ring.) I hope to see you next week!