Sunday, September 18, 2016

Quilts Beyond Borders

I cannot believe how long it has been since I completed a quilt for Quilts Beyond Borders. Shame on me! I've had a partially finished quilt sitting on my ironing board for way too long, waiting for binding.

For some unknown reason, I ended up watching (again) the Jelly Roll Race at Missouri Star Quilts. Hmmm...I have a few jelly rolls sitting in my stash. Time to get busy! The jelly rolls I had were 20 strip rolls. Not enough to get to the size I needed for QBB. That's okay. I have a big stash to raid to add more fabric plus backing and binding.

Two days, two quilts, plus I finished the binding on the third. Whew! Time to get them mailed off on Monday.

Binding Complete!

Pink & Yellow Jelly Roll Quilt

Green Jelly Roll Quilt

I made a third jelly roll quilt top but needed a break from quilting. Hopefully it won't sit there for two years waiting to be finished!


Mini Quilt Mania

After taking the summer off from sewing, it was time to get back into Doll Quilt Swap mode. My partner lives in Canada and our theme was "Fall". I wanted to do something that incorporated both things. I found a paper pieced pattern based off of Canada's 150th birthday that is happening in 2017. I thought the pattern was kind of pretty, but I wanted to substitute fall colors. So I did using batik fabrics from my stash. And here is the result. Finished size is 14" 14".

"Canadian Autumn"

I was so inspired by this little quilt and I had plenty of scraps, so I made two more Fall-themed quilts. This pattern was from a potholder pattern at Buttons and Butterflies. I thought the leaf would make a pretty little mini quilt. It did! Finished size of these are 13.5" wide x 15.5" high.

I kept one for myself and donated the other to the Merc Playhouse in town. At the end of September, they are doing a performance of the The Bedquilt by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. They also have a parade of mini quilts on display for it and theater-goers can vote on the People's Choice Award. Some of the mini quilts are spectacular (I got a sneak peak). Mine is fairly simple in design so I am quite positive I will not win. I'm okay with that. I didn't do it for a prize. It will be auctioned afterwards.

"Autumn Leaf"

Mini quilts are fast and fun to make!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A New Dust Cover For My Handi Quilter Machine

I have been using a sheet as a dust cover on my Handi Quilter HQ16 longarm machine. Not pretty, but it did the job.

The other day I was shopping at my local quilt store and she had a bolt of fabric that called to me and said, "Hey! I would make a great cover for your longarm machine." The fabric pattern is called Laugh Love Quilt by Amy Hamberlin for Henry Glass Fabrics.

I knew there was a free download pattern on the Handi Quilt website so I checked to see how much yardage I would need before leaving the store. The pattern is for their Avante 18 (they also include info for the Fusion 24). They also include a pattern size if your machine has the Prostitcher--mine does not.

The HQ instructions are really brief and not very informative. There are not many pictures of completed covers to give an idea on what the finished product is like. I found a couple of blog posts for the sit down version covers that were somewhat helpful. Otherwise I would be on my own.

I would need 2-1/2 yards of the main fabric and 2-2/3 yards of a backing fabric (I used inexpensive muslin). The instructions did not include how much binding fabric I would need. Once I was home I was able to calculate the approximate yardage for binding and pulled the 2/3 yards of fabric from my stash.

It took me several hours to adjust the pattern dimensions and modify the instructions. I added additional height (22" overall) so it would cover my carriage. I was mostly pleased with the finished product. It was a bit bigger than I would have liked but does the trick. The Avante 18 is bigger than my HQ16 so no wonder it was a bit baggy for my machine. 

Finished Cover

Here is how I made my cover.

Dust Cover for Handi Quilter Machine

Materials Used:
2-1/2 yards 43/44” wide fabric for the top
2-3/4 yards 43/44” wide fabric for the backing (I used inexpensive muslin)
2/3 yard 43/44” wide fabric for the binding (approximately 8 yards bias cut binding needed)
Batting to match size of backing
Hook and Loop (either dots or strips cut into 1” sections)
Thread

Instructions:
Note: All seams use ½” seam allowance.
1. Quilt as desired entire top and backing fabrics on your longarm machine.
2. Cut pieces per pattern dimensions. This is set up to allow for directional fabric, but no Prostitcher piece.
Fabric Layout

If I had to do it over again, I would make the side pieces a trapezoidal shape so the back is shorter in height than the front. I would like taper the top pieces so the back width is narrower than the front. But it isn't necessary - the cover works if it is shaped as a cube.

Note: if you want to tailor your cover to be more fitted, measure and cut as follows:
Height of machine at the front from table bed to top of machine plus 1”
Height of machine at the back plus 1”
Width of machine at the front plus 1”
Adjust side panel pieces to new dimensions. Draw a line from the top down to the back.  Adjust back panel pieces to match adjusted back height on side panel.

Side Panel Size Adjustment


If you adjust the width of the front panel, you will either need to adjust the shape and size of the top side piece for the back to be narrower, or adjust the width of the top side and back pieces to keep more of a cube shape. Add 2” to the adjusted front panel width, and then divide that measurement in half to get the new back panel width dimension.
Top Panel Side Adjustments


3. Finish all edges that will not have binding by either using a zigzag stitch or serging. I laid out all of my pieces on the floor and marked the edges that will get binding with a pin. It also helped me to visualize how the pieces would be sewn together.



Edges Zigzagged

Pieces Laid Out on Floor


4. Sew Top Right panel to Right Back Side panel along short edge, stopping and backstitching ½” from “zigzagged” corner. I marked my corners so I could see my stopping points. Remember to use ½” seam allowance.

Repeat for left side top and back panel.

Marking for 1/2" stopping points

5. Sew Top Right panel to Right side panel along long edge, stopping and backstitching ½” from “zigzagged” corners.

6. Sew Right Side Panel to back side panel, stopping and backstitching ½” from “zigzagged” corners. Tip: I flip down the one piece at the corner so I can sew the other seam and not worry about it getting caught. You should now have an actual corner formed where the three pieces come together.
Repeat for the left side.

Fold Corner Tip Down to Sew Second Seam

Completed Corner

7. Sew the Right Side panel to the right side of the Front panel (should be the long edge).

8. Sew the Left Side panel to the left side of the Front panel.

9. Position your longarm machine where you want it to rest on your table. Measure from the front of your machine to the front side of the take-up bar.

10. On the back side of the Right Side panel, measure and mark that same distance from the front seam line.  On my set up, I measured back 15” and then a second mark at 19”


11. Mark another line 4” back from that point.

12. Measure the height of your take-up bar and add 1”. Transfer that dimension to the side panel and mark up from the bottom edge. On mine, my top mark was 15”.

13. Using the Multi-Size Curved Corner Cutter ruler from Creative Grids, I used the 2” radius corner to draw a half circle at the top of my marks. If you don’t have that ruler, find something that is 4” across and use it to mark the half circle.

Marking for Cutout

14. At the bottom edge of the take-up bar area, radius the corners. I used the 1-1/2” corner on my ruler.


15. At the bottom edge of back side panel where the binding will go, radius that corner also.

16. Repeat markings for the left side panels. Then cut out both sides.

Cut Out for Take-up Bar

17. Make bias cut binding using 2-1/2” wide strips. I use the Creative Grids Bias Binding Simplified ruler for mine but use whatever method you prefer. You should use bias cut because of binding the curves for the take-up bar cutouts and radius corners.

18. Starting at either the Right or Left Top panel where it will attach to the Front Panel, sew your binding to the front side using 1/4" seam allowance. Continue the binding all around the unfinished edges until you get to the opposite Top panel edge.

Start of Binding

19. Fold binding to back side of cover and on the front side, stitch-in-the-ditch catching the binding on the underside.

Stitch-In-The-Ditch

20. Pin the top panel pieces to the front panel piece. The two top panel pieces should overlap about 1” in the center. Sew the seam, stopping and backstitching ½” from the two corners.

Overlap Top Panel Pieces

Finished Overlap

21. Test fit cover on your longarm machine and decide where you want the hook and loop pieces, especially around the thread mast area. Attach hook and loop pieces to top and back panel pieces.

22. Your new cover is now complete!






You can download the instructions here in PDF format.