Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Meeting

November brought a couple of BIG changes to the OKMQG.

Earlier in the month, members met for a special meeting and voted to officially become part of the National Modern Quilt Guild!  It's exciting to be a part of a group that is, literally, worldwide!  We look forward to sharing and implementing new group features in the near future.  Please join us if you haven't already.  We'll start accepting membership dues for 2014 on December 1st.

The next change in the coming year will be our new meeting place. More details will come in time for the January meeting, but let's just say...the new place has room to breathe!  We simply out grew our current location.  Many thanks to the Neighborhood Alliance.  We appreciate you so much!

Our last meeting in the Neighborhood Alliance also brought a changing of the guard. New officers were unanimously elected! (Okay...there was only one person per position running...but still, we all voted unanimously Yes! for each one.) Congratulations to the new and returning officers!

Now...on with the show!

Amanda L (new Programs Coordinator) This was a bee quilt/swap that Amanda participated in. Participants just picked a color, made up the block and sent it to her. The variety of colors look planned!  Amanda is hand quilting this with these cute chunky stitches she likes to do with Perle cotton...

Angie has been testing a lot of patterns lately. This was a cute purse she sewed up and machine quilted the owl.  Yeah...I need to work on my free-motion quilting too. Oh, and that's a peak of her new little squeak in the corner. I just couldn't crop her out!

Ann (new President) is working on The Local Quilt which was a winning quilt at QuiltCon. Here's a look at several of the block she's made.  She's done a fabulous job so far!

I have to give my apologizes to my guild members. I'm seriously challenged when it comes to camera settings. My husband took my camera to New York and I now realize my settings were all wonky. So no, you all don't need to get your eyes checked. I need another camera lesson and the photos really are a blurry.

Agnes (returning Treasurer) I didn't make it to the Lisa Calle workshop last month, but Agnes did and here's her finished quilt. You make those curves look good, Agnes!

Agnes also made a large block/mini quilt using the OKC Memorial Block that Amanda L designed...

...and an improv mini too.  Love that free-motion quilting!

Candace - made this adorable mini. I love just looking at all the little prints she used and I dig the quilting that echoes the shape of the blocks.

Jemellia (outgoing President) made this groovy quilt for her little sister. So cute and vibrant! We know she'll love it.

We will NOT be having a meeting in December. Instead, we'll have a member party and handmade gift exchange. 

P.S. Handmade gift exchanges are the best. Ever.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quilt Block of the Month Wrap Up: How to Assemble Your Quilt

Now that the Block of the Month is complete, it is time to turn that quilt top into a quilt.  Here is a quick rundown of the steps to assemble the quilt layers, quilt them, and add the binding.  

1.  Prepare the Backing

Choose the fabric for the quilt back.  The backing should be 4"-6" larger than the quilt top, meaning 2"-3" of backing should extend past each of the edges of the quilt top.  While quilting, the fabric can be "pulled" in some.  If the backing is the exact size as the quilt top, when the quilting is complete you may find the backing is actually smaller than the quilt top.  More backing is better.

Use masking tape to tape the backing right side down.  Tape it tight and smooth, but not so tight as to distort the fabric.  If there are any seams in the backing, pull tight along the seams and tape in place.  This will help keep them straight when quilting.

2.  Assemble the Layers

Once the backing is taped down, add a layer of quilt batting and trim to the size of the backing.  Then center the quilt top on top of the batting (right side up) and smooth out any wrinkles.  Make sure the seams are straight and neat and start pinning.  Use safety pins to baste the three layers together and pin every 3" - 5".

Quick Tip*
Press the quilt top and backing with a hot iron and spray starch prior to assembling the layers.  Spray the starch on the wrong side to prevent starch build up.  The starch helps to give the fabric some body and stiffness and aids in preventing tucks and pulls when machine quilting.  It really makes a difference!!

3.  Quilt the layers 

Three options for quilting are: free motion quilting, straight line quilting (using a walking foot), or hand quilting.  This part is all personal preference.  Quilt it however you like, use your imagination and have fun.

Quick Tips for Machine Quilting*
*Roll up the excess quilt to help make it easier to move around under the arm of the sewing machine.

*Stitch length is a matter of personal preference, but a longer stitch length of 3 - 3.5 is a more relaxed stitch and doesn't pinch the fabric as much as the smaller stitches.  Start quilting with a 1.0 stitch for several stitches to lock in the quilting and then increase the size to the preferred stitch length.  When finished quilting, reduce the stitch length back to 1.0 and stitch several stitches to lock in the final stitches.  This will prevent the ends from unraveling.

4.  Prepare for Binding

When the quilting is complete, use a ruler and a rotary cutter to trim the edges and square up the corners.

5.  Prepare the Binding

For the length of binding needed, measure and add up all four sides of the completed quilt and add 25 inches to the total.

6.  Attach the Binding

Start sewing the binding on the bottom side about 1/3 of the way in.  Leave about 10"-12" of extra binding loose before starting and backstitch at the start.  Prevent the layers from shifting by using a walking foot.


7.  Closing up the Ends

Sew the strips together as demonstrated by the line below.

8.  Blind Stitch the Binding to the Back of the Quilt

Now your all finished!  Congratulations and enjoy your new quilt!