Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More with Panels and Borders.....

I wanted to talk more on panels and borders today. One of my choices for my granddaughter, Mariah’s baby quilt was another panel “Baby’s First Friends” by Pat Yville, #21454, Wilmington Prints Collection. This panel had many matching pieces which I had to buy. Yes, just what I needed was more material but how can I not pick all these wonderful colors to make this adorable quilt. At the time I decided this was my baby quilt I didn’t know if it was a girl or boy. So I chose the greens, yellows and blues. I was really happy with the end result.

Another thing you can do with border prints, especially with this baby material, I chose to make matching bumper guards. I decided to make six individual pads, tying them together with matching material bias strip ties, and matching dimple cuddle material for the backs. 
(Tip: If you can’t find a border print that works for you, add a row of 4” pieced blocks along the top and bottom. Don’t forget you can use a theme print for the outer border also.)

I hope that maybe I’ve opened a few more doors now with panel and border prints. Try them you can have so much fun and it’s exciting to see the end project. I would love to hear some of your ideas with border and panel prints.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Don't be scared of panels?

Do you ever see a panel print or border that you wish you’d know how you could convert it into a quilt?  Another way to empty those overflowing scrap bags or totes that you have stored on your shelves by adding additional blocks.  Yippee!!!  These are more challenging projects but you can do it.  Just have fun with it and don’t stress out! 

 Panel prints are usually a large central design.  They will vary in size but can usually be used in place of pieced blocks in quilts or the center of a large quilt.  Most the time when you see a panel it will also have frames or additional designs between panels that go along with the theme.  Some will have border prints which are images printed lengthwise on the grain of the fabric.  These border prints are usually repeated 2 or 3 times across the width of the fabric.  Cut these up and use as blocks within the quilt.  Sometimes they will also have scenes along both selvages with area in between left plain to incorporate within your quilt.
(TIP:  Remember when you are picking out fabrics they don’t always have to be from the same collection or line of fabric. This would be of your choosing which to use where in your quilt.)

Spaces between blocks can be filled with sashings or filler strips, allowing you to use border strips or theme prints here.  Sometimes your fabric frames, pictures you want to use are too small and won’t match your other block sizes.  Consider adding a frame around all 4 sides of a darker fabric to make them stand out.  If you want these blocks to blend in then use a lighter fabric.  Don’t forget that adding triangles to a block will also add dimen
Now start jotting down your ideas on how you want this quilt to look.  Look through quilt books.  The first step is starting somewhere!  It might change by the time you start cutting or maybe change your mind at the end.  It will work!   Be sure to pat yourself on the back when you are finished because you deserve it!!!

You will see in the picture I have posted below is four panels the same print and size. 

I used coordinating fabric for the sashing in between and around the outside of the panels.  The picket fence was a coordinating fabric and chose that for borders with sunflowers in the corners.  These sunflowers were too small and I added a frame with light fabric around the flower to make it fit my border pieces.  I had the quilter machine quilt sunflowers and vines in the blue border to pull it all together. 

This is not as complicated as you might think!  So look for those panels and just imagine what kind of wall hanging or quilts you can come up with!  Get those creative juices flowing!
Let me know your thoughts and ideas on panels. Feel free to comment below.  I have more panels to work with but that will be another time. 

Glad you could join me – until next time………Connie

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer means new projects!

Well summer is finally here! I have a feeling it’s going to be another hot one for us here in Kansas.  I’m thinking staying inside and what better way to spend your evening or day being in your sewing room! New projects or finish old projects here we come!!!

I have a new granddaughter born March 2, Mariah Rose and decided to make her a very colorful rag quilt. I started looking for baby flannel and was quite surprised to see all the colors in flannel with baby designs. Now she can lay on the floor and play! (photo) I decided to make it 6 blocks wide by 7 blocks long. I cut my flannel into 5 inch squares, batting into 4 ½ squares. Assemble with the right side of 1 flannel piece down, piece of batting, 1 flannel block right side up. Secure all pieces together with pins before sewing because it will shift on you as you’re sewing. Sew blocks together by sewing an X from each corner to corner. See my tip for the day to sew the “X’s.” Sew each of these blocks together with all the seams being on top of the quilt. Then you have one side with all the seams on top, flipping it over and have a quilted look from your blocks on the back. Clip your seams to about ¼ inch from seam line about every ½ inch. This is really up to you how close you want to clip. Clip the entire quilt. I found using a small Fiskars scissors was the easiest because it didn’t hurt your fingers so much. Now the fun parts of making it look like a rag quilt! I go to a laundromat to wash my rag quilts for the 1st time. I do wash it by itself because of all the loose threads it loses. However, a nice gesture would be to clean out the wash machine before leaving so the next person doesn’t have to. I come home and dry it in my dryer which gets more loose threads. You’re finished and now to pass it on or enjoy yourself!

My tip for the day: I use Tiger Tape on all my rag quilts for sewing the X’s. It goes much faster than drawing a line on fabric. These tapes you can reuse over and over until it doesn’t stick on fabric any more. It sure saves a lot of time versus marking each block. There are other ways to use Tiger Tape than marking corner to corners on blocks. Be sure to check this product out.

I’ve also made a puppy dog rag quilt for another granddaughter, Ryleigh at that time she was age of 3. This puppy quilt had big floppy ears and legs. Ryleigh used this quilt so much that I had to sew the ears and legs on it several times.

Another idea is football season is around the corner! Whether its high school, college or NFL wouldn’t it be awesome sitting in the stands watching your favorite team or player with a rag quilt. Make it your own design! Just have fun with it. So you can see that everyone “LOVES” these rag quilts. They’re soft, warm and nothing beats “coziness” under a homemade rag flannel quilt.

More to come... Have a great week sewing.  Until next time bye for now