Making a Quilt Sandwich

Hello and Happy Friday!

Sorry I have been absent for a few days, but have been quilting and then sick...bummer. Yes, I have actually been quilting...and finished a quilt for our little Lilly.
While I was making Lilly's quilt, I got to thinking about tips for making a quilt sandwich. For those of you new to quilting...the quilt sandwich is the finished quilt top with the batting in the middle and the backing. All of this gets basted together for quilting. This may seem like a very tedious step to some (and I know sometimes it seems very tedious to me), but putting the quilt sandwich together properly is very important in the overall process of quilting. Thinking back to some of the very puckered or saggy quilts I have seen in my time...not a pretty sight! If they had only taken the time to put the quilt sandwich together properly, those puckers and sags could have been avoided.

Example of a very puckered quilt back!!!

So I took some photos when I was basting the baby quilt for Lilly and hope this helps avoid those puckers and sags!

First, and probably most important is to lay your quilt back down (right side down), smooth it out (make sure to press first), and then tape it down tightly. I tend to use the seamstress (sewing) boards for laying out my quilt sandwich. These are made out of thick cardboard (more details on why in a minute) and prevent damage to whatever other surface (such as a table) they are covering. Purchase these at any JoAnns, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby or other craft or sewing store...they are about $10 each. (Tip: to lay out a queen size quilt, you will need 2 boards).

I use painters tape (green or blue) to tightly tape the back down to the board. Painters tape can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot or anywhere that sells paint. I use painters tape because it won't damage the surface, or take the paper off of the cardboard. In fact, I use painters tape for lots of things in my sewing room!! It doesn't leave any sticky residue, even if it stays on for a long time.

Next, lay out the batting on top of the quilt back. Make sure to smooth the batting out from the middle to the sides. Get the batting as smooth as possible...this is very important! (Tip: unroll the batting and lay it out to "rest" for a day or so before making the quilt sandwich. This will get a lot of the crinkles and wrinkles out of it for easier smoothing. The batting can also be put in the dryer for a few minutes to smooth out the wrinkles a bit.)

When you cut the batting, be sure to leave 2-4 inches more than the size of the quilt top and back. As the quilt is quilted the batting will shrink up some, so you want plenty of extra.

If the quilt is to be machine quilted, pin basting is the easier and better choice. For hand quilting, always thread baste the quilt. Start basting (pin or thread) in the middle of the quilt and baste toward the edges.

Make sure pins are at least a handwidth apart or less. Some quilters use the three finger rule: basting pins or stiches must be no more than 3 fingers apart.

When you are done basting, remove the tape from the quilt back and go quilt! Remember to remove the basting pins as you quilt. If hand quilting, the basting thread can remain in the quilt until you are finished quilting, or it can be snipped as you quilt.

I hope these instructions for the quilt sandwich have helped you! Happy Quilting!!


Back to Quilting!

Ah, at last, I am feeling better and am about to return to my quilting!! Yippee! Just checked the pollen count and forecast though and had better get cracking...the pollen count is about to go back up over the next couple of days...so I am making hay while the sun shines (except it's not shining today).

Took more photos of completed blocks from the Pirate Quilt (working title only), so you could see them. Working on the skull/cross bones block currently (no photo yet). Enjoy!

I changed this block up just a bit and added the yellow circle to the middle, simply because I didn't like the look of it before I added the yellow circle.

The telescope block...hmmmm...still think it looks lackluster and needs something else?! Any thoughts?
BTW... The gray behind the block is my felt board. Hubby made it for me by using adhesive spray to stick the gray felt to a large piece of cardboard (like a cut up cardboard box for a water heater or other large piece of cardboard). He actually made me two of these boards and as soon as the sewing room gets organized (poof...) the boards will get hung on the wall to serve as my "block board".
Added an extra palm tree to the "X marks the spot" block because it didn't look balanced enough. I am happy with it now!
Quilt a friend of mine started and gave to me to finish. Just got it yesterday, so haven't started on it yet, but will this week. As you can see from the photo, she has started the quilting.
Rows of the quilt started for baby Lilly. Making her a scrap quilt with flannel and cotton 5" squares. These are such simple, easy quilts to make! Made one for a friend a few months ago and made the whole quilt, start to finish, in one week!
Here's how: Sew seven 5" blocks together to form a row; make 9 rows; sew 9 rows together for the top (making sure to press seams as you go). Pick out a cute back (I love the wide back fabric!!), make the quilt sandwich; quilt (x pattern); bind. This makes a nice size baby quilt and you can include squares of different materials for baby's tactile senses...cotton, flannel, minkee, silk, satin...etc.


Up Late

Once again, I find myself apologizing for not posting anything over that past few days, but it seems the annual winter allergies have hit me hard and early this year. Hubby went out and bought, I think, the whole allergy relief aisle at the store! I have been taking everything that says it decongests, relieves coughing and unstuffs noses...as well as doing some extra snoozing.

As you might have assumed by now, not much sewing has been going on over here in the past few days! And your assumption would be correct. We did have the great fortune to be able to go over and visit our baby Lilly before the allergy onslaught...we actually got to babysit her! Changed a couple of diapers (nope...you never forget how) and spend some quality time with her. I miss her dearly...and it's only been a few days.

BTW...it is nearly 2:00 a.m. here and I can't sleep, so I thought I would catch up on my blog!

Where was I?...Oh yes, so we got to see our sweet Lilly. Before we went over to see her, I started a scrap quilt for her. The top is nearly finished, and once I get back in my sewing room it should go pretty quickly. Her mom requested some more burp cloths with the Minkee in the middle, so I will sew some more of those up for her too. (photos forthcoming)

I have several ideas for new quilts, so I have decided to keep a "quilt journal" of sorts. Just a blank book where I scribble my ideas, paste photos and things for ideas. I think that is a good place to start, and will help me to organize my thoughts and ideas a bit better. Getting my sewing room organized is also something that will help...and yep, it is on my "to do" list!

Well, I believe I will try to sleep a bit now. Good night!

(P.S. - If you are reading my blog, please let me know...thanks!)


More Toys!

Well, I said I would let you know how my new photo printer works...but I can't right now. Last night we took the printer out of the box, read the instructions, plugged everything up and it wouldn't print! Problem was that my digital camera is several years old and won't sinc with the printer...SO...hubby and I promptly went out and bought an upgraded digital camera! We are in the process of learning how to work the camera, so we can shoot photos, so we can test the photo printer! Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about it all! Anyway, the new camera should take WAY better photos...which makes me excited, because I have a new grandbaby to take pics of!

Okay...okay...I will settle down for a minute. No quilting yesterday...what with all of the new toys and trips to the store. But I have quilted some this morning and will go back to it in a minute. I think I forgot to mention that I am working on quilted wall hangings for both of my daughters. I am done with one, and will finish the other one...hopefully, today. My new camera will get broken in taking photos of the wallhangings and the other Pirate Quilt blocks.

Probably won't get to go over and see our little Lilly baby until tomorrow, so no new photos of her for now.

Ideas for new quilts are simmering around in my head and I am collecting things for them. I will share my ideas in a later post, because the ideas need to simmer a bit more. Being unemployed sure does bring out my creative side!

Later my friends...quilting time! Sew, get to sewing!!

Okay...I don't want to disappoint anyone, so here is a photo for you...this is the wallhanging I made for baby Lilly. Photo taken at her baby shower...her dad is holding the wallhanging. I just love this Fairy fabric. You can get it at http://www.keepsakequilting.com/


Granny's New Toy

Our precious grandbaby Lilly got to go home from the hospital today with mom and dad, so we decided to give them a couple of days at home before we went back to annoy them with camera flashes and oooing and awwing. Good thing too, because I just feel tired today. But, as soon as I finish blogging, I will walk down the hallway and enter my sewing realm!

Oh...hubby bought me a new toy today!! Since Granny Sue is going nuts taking photos of our new precious, we bought a photo printer. I haven't set it up yet, but I think it is pretty cool, and it's blue. I can't wait to start playing with it and printing photos, but sewing is a priority today. Anyway, the photo printer is a Canon Selphy CP780 (see photo).

This is going to make it super simple and easy for me to print photos and give them to family and friends, or keep them! I won't have to wait for them to come in the mail, or take my camera card somewhere to print the photos out. I can print photos in my jammies! I just think that is way cool. Once I start using it, I will let you know how it works and if I really like it.

I know I said I would post more photos of the Pirate Quilt blocks...and I will...tomorrow. I just haven't taken the pictures yet because we were at the hospital last night holding our new little grandbaby! Oh...yes, I have photos! Well, see you tomorrow...must go quilt now.


Grandma Day 2

Well, we were just exhausted last night, but in a good way. We slept in this morning and hopefully, will go back over and see our sweet baby girl today. Her mom posted some better photos, and the best one is at the end of this post. What a sweet face!

Running errands today and hoping the rains hold off. I will be working on the Pirate quilt some more today, but want to start a quilt for baby doll. Oh and I have some more Pirate quilt blocks done, but still have to photograph them. I will try to do that today or tomorrow so you can see the progress. I have soooo many sewing/quilting projects lined up that is is almost overwhelming! And trying to job hunt and be a new grandma at the same time...just boggles the mind!! Oh well...deep breath and take one thing at a time!

Off to get the day started at nearly noon! Enjoy the photo of our little peach!


My Life Now with Lilly!

Okay...okay...I missed blogging yesterday and most of today, but for very good reason. Yesterday I was trying to get things done around the house so that today we could spend at the hospital waiting on our first grandchild to be born!! Yep...Quilting Granny Sue now! So now we have a baby granddaughter named Leylia Dawn (to be called Lilly). Born today, Oct 5, 8 lbs. 11 oz. and 21" long...and she is gorgeous!! She is like a little peach. (Photos below this post)

It has been a very long day, but mom and baby Lilly are doing very well, and Grandpa (Pappy) and I are so proud. We were up at 5 a.m. this morning so we could dress and eat and get to the hospital. Lilly's parents were at the hospital at 9 p.m. last night, so they had been there a while when we got there. Anyway, baby Lilly was born (don't have exact time) about 2:00 or 2:15ish this afternoon. We all got to hold her at least once (Pappy several times) and she already has our hearts.

I did actually get some appliqueing done on the Pirate Quilt while we were waiting on Lilly to be born, so don't think I slacked off on my quilting today. I fixed up a bag last night with some quilting magazines, a couple of blocks, needles, silk thread and applique pins to take with me to the hospital. I am working on the skull and crossbones block right now and it is coming along nicely. Of course, after meeting our precious granddaughter I have the urge to make her another quilt, which I am sure that I will do very soon. Well, I know you are anxious to see our baby Lilly, so I will get those photos posted while Pappy snores downstairs!! Bye for now.


Rainy Day

Nice relaxing Saturday and now it's raining again...or should I say pouring down buckets again! Hubby and I went over and had lunch with both daughters today. It was so much fun. We got to talking about blogging and different kinds of blogs and ended up laughing so hard we were in tears!!

I also picked up my block of the month (BOM) from Quilt Country (http://www.quiltcountry.com/) in Lewisville. I am doing the batik version of this BOM, and think it will look really great when it is finished. The problem is that I have actually put together a total of 1 block and had trouble with that one. They are using Thangles for the blocks, and even though I have gone to the website (http://www.thangles.com/) and watched the "how to" video I am still not getting it right. Apparently, there is some trick that I am missing. Any advice?

Okay, yesterday I clued you in to the fact that I am working on a pirate quilt and am hand appliquing it. The pattern is called "It's a Pirates Life" (couldn't remember until I looked today).

<--- Here is the pattern, and below are images of some of the blocks that I have finished. I will post photos of the other blocks as I complete them. You might notice that my blocks look a little different from the pattern, but that is my habit to take a pattern and put the "Quilting Sue Spin" on it. Enjoy the photos!

<---I know the mermaid is a little "cartoony", but that is how she was in the pattern, and I added my own embellishments!


First Time!

Well, this is my first ever blog post! I wanted to start this blog to document and share some of my quilting, embroidery, sewing projects and hopefully, helpful tips and product reviews. Please bear with me as I learn how to blog as I go. I have had a website for several years, but wanted a venue that was easier to maintain and update...so here goes!

I will post photos as my projects progress (at least that's the plan!), and will try to give some explanations to go along. Product reviews are something that I love to read and post. I hope these will be helpful to you as you engage in your craft.

One of the projects I am currently working on is a pirate quilt. Photos of the blocks are coming soon! This has been a really fun project for me. It is an applique quilt, and I am hand appliqueing all of the blocks. Very fun!!