Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scary but exciting news.

A new quilt shop opened in my area called Pins & Needles Quilt Shop.

6425 Hixson Pike, Ste 1
Chattanooga, TN 37343

The owner is Stacy Slockbower and we've been facebook friends for awhile.  I had gone to the Grand Opening to show my support.  They have some great patterns, fabric & notions in the shop and I'd walked away spending enough that I was entered into one of the prize drawings to win a 1 night 2 day stay at a quilt retreat called Home Harvest Retreat  I got a phone call to tell me that I had won.  When I went in to pick up my prize I had a talk with Stacy about possibly quilting some shop samples.  Since I'm fairly new to all this I offered to quilt it for free in exchange for the experience & posting my name up and handing out cards offering my quilting services.

I was pretty frightened by the idea but excited too.  To my surprise she ended up taking me up on my offer and yesterday I picked up the quilt.  The quilt top was hanging on the wall and Stacy's husband who was minding the store to give Stacy a much needed break had to cut the backing and batting for me.  I use an Ipad and I have a program from Kaufman Fabric called QuiltCalc on there that will calculate the yardages for you.  We put in the dimensions for the quilt and he pulled the fabric and batting out to cut. It looked like over kill but he double checked the math (sort of lol) and said I guess that is about right.  When I got home the backing fabric was just right with no extras.  The problem came with the batting.  Now I don't really know what size batting Kaufman uses in their program but I swear I had at least 2 yards too much batting.   I also have a roll of batting at home but a different brand and when I want to cut a size for my personal quilts I lay the quilt on the bed and roll the batting out on top and cut from there to save as much as I can. I felt bad that we over cut but hopefully she can just use it for some smaller twin or crib size quilts.

One of the things new to me is the way they would like the binding done.  Instead of using binding tape, ribbon,or cutting and sewing binding for double or single fold, they like to cut the backing fabric at least three inches bigger and use that to flip around to the front and create an extra border/binding combo with mitered corners. I really think that is a cool idea and I'm excited to try it out.  Anyways after getting every thing sewn, cut, & sandwiched it was time to baste the quilt.  Now I don't know how you like to baste but I found I prefer spray basting.  I normally take my quilts to my Moms house as she has a huge Garage that she converted into a nice hang out. One side has a couch, TV, aquarium and the other side is her workshop as she does woodworking projects. On the workshop side there is a ping pong table.  The funny thing is people are always asking her to sell it but she tells them she cant and that its not a ping pong table.  The inside joke is that it is a quilting table.  It is the perfect size for basting a quilt and the line down the center is perfect for lining things up.  Now the last time I basted a quilt it was too late at night to go to my Moms so I tried a method Id learned from a Craftsy Class.  You pin and baste the quilt on your wall and let Gravity be a second helping hand.  Truth be told it is an awesome way to spray baste a quilt and keep the wrinkles out.

Once I got everything spray basted and ready to go I double checked the dimensions of the backing fabric around the entire quilt to make sure I had enough space to do the new kind of binding.  Mu trouble was when I hung it up I used the side that was even.  See the backing fabric had been cut on an angle so when I sewed it together to piece the backing there was about a two inch difference on one side.  I hadn't cut it off straight because I felt it was good to leave until everything was done to give me extra space to hold the quilt while quilting the edges besides I would even everything up near the end and didn't want to cut twice.  Well that left me with it being a tad too short.  At this point the backing could have used a few more inches when cut as length wise we were just perfect for what we needed and this angle kind of threw me off.  At this point I decided to just take it to Moms and put on the ping pong/quilt table.  I'm glad I took that extra time because even though I had ironed everything Mom has a new fantastic steamer that I got to use to make sure not a wrinkle was left.  

Once I got home it was around 8:30 before I got the quilt on the table and under my machine at home.

So far I got some of the middle stitched in the ditch.  I'm hoping to get all the sitd done today.  My only worry is running out of the YLI smoke thread that I'm using. I'm new to using it so I'm not sure how much one small spool will last.  Hopefully the Bernina store is open today or I will have to wait until tomorrow to buy more.

Another thing I'm doing is checking my design ideas using a great program called "Explain Everything". It is an IPad program that will let you import a project and doodle on it or take written or dictated notes and even make a slide show.  Now all I use it for is practicing my free motion drawing designs. Here is my partially finished slide.  The Pattern for the quilt is Honeybell to get a really good photo of it I copied it from the free pattern I downloaded from their website. 

Here is what it looks like with my FMQ Feathers. Of course I will probably try a bit of marking with my feathers on the quilt just so they are a bit more uniform in size.  For the blocks I'm thinking of putting in some dot to dot designs that I learned in Angela Walters class. 

It may sound like a lot of work but I'm having an absolute blast working on this quilt.  Please Wish me luck!!!