Dish mat – Because You Just Can’t Buy Awesome

Dish mat – Because You Just Can’t Buy Awesome

Time to complete: 2 weeks.

Why not?

It took me 2 months to buy the dish rack. [and 1 week to buy the towel which is included in the project time] Besides, aren’t you tired of seeing tutorials that say you can make an entire quilt in a hour?  You look at it and feel inferior before you even try. Well, if you make this, you can beat my time, and feel awesome.
I saw this nice dish rack at the store back in December for $20, but it only came in white, black and turquoise. The curtains I made are turquoise, with birds, and bird feeders with bits of red in them by Judy Niemeyer , and I need some more red in my kitchen! Not to be defeated, I went home and googled it. I found the red, but it was $50!!! I’m not paying that, so I back burnered it.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the store again, and there were those dish racks taunting me. Now the black was sold out, but I didn’t care. I wanted red! Then it hit me. I can make red happen. I bought the white one, got it home, and got to work.
I don’t know why I googled it. I wasn’t going to pillowcase the stupid thing. I am going to quilt it! You betcha!
I think I will play with my Strip Tube ruler I bought months ago.
I measured the counter top and decided I want it to work out to be 23 +/- 1″ by 26 +/- 1″
I figured 4.5 finished blocks would take me there, and went with 2 1/4″ strips.

I first sewed the turquoise to the red I had bought for hot pads and the like, then sewed the two strip sets together with opposites facing each other.

drying_mat_2-25_strips

drying_mat_2-25_strips_sewn
I skipped the instructions, and placed the ruler over the seam, as high as it would go without the peak hanging off the top, which turned out to be the 5″ mark. Gee, I did that right, didn’t I?

drying_mat_strips_alignto5inmark

Open them,  iron, trim ears.

drying_mat_open_blocks_iron

I played around until I got kind of a inside out on point pattern.

drying_mat_top_done
I like to lay it out, admire it for awhile, then flop em over on each other, and pin it on the edge I will be sewing incase I lose my mind and forget where I am to sew. Hey, it happens!

drying_mat_layout_blocks_pin
Of course I have a quilt going on and Mustang has white thread with the 1/4″ guide already installed, so rather than run these pieces through, stopping to pin the rows, and starting again to sew the rows, I will run a piece of the quilt through every time I need to stop, and just leave it there until I start again. Some call these leaders and enders. I call it multi tasking.

leaders_enders
Now the backing. How about a nice thick towel? I couldn’t find one I liked that didn’t have that wide flat band on each end. I ended up getting one big enough so that when I cut off the ends with the bands, I will have enough left over to make 4 hanging towels. Yeah, I could buy towel-like fabric, but I like this better for $9, and can you really put a price on having pre finished ends for hand towels? I didn’t think so.

drying_mat_pin_to_towel
I was going to practice some free motion quilting, but I am a Ditch Girl, and I liked the pattern sew much, that I didn’t want to ruin it. I’ll learn later. Yep, I’m going in the ditch. I like it there. It’s nice and quiet, and no one bothers me.
I sewed around the outside before trimming it because this stuff sheds!

drying_mat_quilt_sew_edgesdown
I did get to practice my binding. Yay!
I sewed the binding strips together, and the mailman came.
My Sewing Sampler box had arrived. It was my very first, so I had no idea what it would be like. It contained a Kona color of the year charm pack, a pattern, a 45mm blade, needles, fabric wash, and a thread cutter thingy.

drying_mat_open_fqs_samplerbox
and another box, of something Brat [who uses our address because she was stationed in Japan], sent to her friend but it got returned as undelivereable. What is it?

What to do? Oh cake. Lets do that first. Open cake, taste cake, improve cake. There, that’s better.

By the way, I heard you gasp when you saw the can of Sanders chocolate sauce on this quilt, but remember it is a dish drying mat. It will get dirty.

Back to the sampler box, which happens to contain a thread cutter. Let’s try it.

It works! I really thought the little thing would topple over when I push the thread down on it, but it didn’t. Would I buy one? Nope. Am I disappointed? Nope. The handy thing about this is, when you are seperating a bunch of strips or chain sewn pieces with scissors, you always run the risk of cutting into the fabric. This gadget pretty much prevents that. The blade is so far down, it would be difficult to get fabric down there.

Now on to the binding!

I use what some call the pocket method. I could learn a different method, but not today.
Basically, once your binding is made [I use 2 1/2″ strips ironed in half], you open part of it, iron a dog ear [left side down if you sew on the right], and sew it on, starting at the point for about 6 or 8 inches. Then you sew off of it.

Fold the binding back over and start sewing where I left off.

drying_mat_binding_pocket_start04
I keep my binding wrapped on a piece of cardboard, and lay it down as I sew.

drying_mat_binding
I sew off the corner, and do the corner fold, which took me forever to figure out what the heck those books were talking about. I like corners now. Mostly because each one brings me 25% closer to being done.


Now when I start getting back to that pocket, I stop with the needle down. Then lay the binding down [that is how I measure it] and cut at an angle about 2″ past the begining. One inch is probably enough.

Then I tuck it in, and finish sewing it down.

Take it to the ironing board and iron the binding flat, leaving the corners alone for now.

drying_mat_binding_iron_sides_flat
Flip it over and pin the corners.

drying_mat_binding_pin_corners
Iron the binding over making sure it covers the stitch line, and clip it down. Don’t you just love these little guys? I have like 200 of them!

drying_mat_binding_iron_back_clip
I will be sewing just outside the binding which will catch the other side.
hmmm, should I use walking foot or my ditch foot? Some machines have a needle left/right adjuster knob which would let you use the walking foot. Some don’t and you will have better luck with the ditch foot. My Viking does, but . . . .


You know it! In the ditch it is!
I hand turn the wheel to bring the needle down and make sure it’s going to go where I want it. Nope. Gotta switch adapters. I knew one of these wasn’t the right one.
drying_mat_binding_ditch_foot
I remove the clips as I get to them, and since my corner pins are on the back side, I remove them when I get real close, stopping with  the needle down.

drying_mat_binding_pullpin

and we have a winner!

6 blocks across, and 5 down made it 22.5 by 27.

drying_mat_finished

Oh. I guess that means I have to wash dishes now.

 

#EasyBindingTechnique #TheTiesThatBind #JellyRollStripPattern  #ThingsihateToDo #YouJustCantBuyAwesome

Jenny’s Starburst Quilt Enlarged

Jenny’s Starburst Quilt Enlarged

Many people have seen Jenny from Missouri Star Quilt Company’s video on making a quilt she calls Starburst, and would like to make it bigger. Me too.

Yes, I am breaking another rule, because I haven’t made this quilt yet. I’m actualy playing with HST’s right now in another project, but I thought I’d have some fun ‘on paper’ with this for a moment. I’ll post that project later.

Starburst Quilt Video

Jenny’s quilt is 58×58 including a 4.5″ border [49×49 without border]. It uses 16 colored  Layer cake pieces [or 10″ square], and 16 background layer cake [or 10″ square] pieces. She has 8 rows and 8 columns.

I designed the same quilt using 36 colored Layer Cake pieces [plus 36 background Layer Cake pieces] based on her method shown in the video above resulting in a 6.5″ block.  The blocks will actually be close to 6 3/4 inches, but most HST’s need trimming, so lets go with 6 1/2.

With same size border [4.5] as Jenny’s it will be 87×87
[78×78 without border] I also colored the original 8 rows and 8 columns of blocks differently to help visualise the added on rows. There are 12 rows and 12 columns in this version.

picture_quilt_starburst_81x81w4-5border_36lcs_6inblocks

Color option with the incomplete diamonds on the outside edges blending into the border, which I like better.

picture_quilt_starburst_81x81w4-5border_36lcs_6inblocks02

Here is the same thing, but using 49 layer cake pieces [plus 49 background Layer Cake pieces] to make 100×100 with the 4.5 border, or 91×91 without. Layer cakes tyically come in packs of 40, so you’ll have to hit up your stash.

There are 14 rows and 14 columns. Again, I have colored the original 8 rows and 8 columns of blocks differently to help visualise the added on rows.

picture_quilt_starburst_93x93w4-5border_49lcs_6inblocks

If those aren’t big enough, here is a 108″ square one with the incomplete diamonds on the outside edges blending in to a 2″ border, that will take 56 [each of the red and background] Layer Cake pieces [or 10″ squares]. Not 64 if you are paying attention, because  28 of the HST’s plus 4 corner blocks are paired with the border color.

Again, I have colored the original 8 rows and 8 columns of blocks differently to help visualise the added on rows. This one has 16 rows and columns.

picture_quilt_starburst_100x100w2border_56lcs_6inblocks

I hope you enjoyed my resized version’s of Jenny’s lovely quilt!

and now I can get back to my tiny little HST project.

#JennysStarburstEnlarged #BiggerStarburstLayout #LayerCake4HSTmethod

Breaking the rules – Disappearing 9 patch

Breaking the rules – Disappearing 9 patch

Who names these things anyway? I mean did they make a 9 patch, not like it, slice it up and say, “Hey where did my 9 patch go?” and their accomplice answered “I dunno, it seams to have disappeared”?

This quilt was in my head from the moment I saw a picture of one.
The instructions seemed simple enough, but I wanted the small patches to repeat, and all the pictures I found were scrappy.
Like usual, I had to modify. and educate myself.
A co worker had wanted me to make a quilt.
Sound familiar?
This wasn’t the first co-worker who had asked. The first one wanted a Spider Man quilt, and he’s a big guy, so that would be no throw. I had to tell him the bare facts: The fabric would cost over $100, and if I only charged $100 labor, he wouldn’t be happy with paying it, and I wouldn’t be happy with doing all that work for that, so we’d have 2 unhappy people at the start.
but this co-worker wanted a baby quilt for a gift for his new Grand Daughter. He only had a budget of $60 and wanted pinks. I told him I would see what scraps I had, because the budget would quickly be used up in fabric and batting. I found a charm pack I paid $2 for on a daily deal, plus some fabric I had left over from other projects, and told him I could do it, as long as he didn’t mind giving me all the design control.
Wheeeee!
Now I could do an experi-mental 9 patch!
I had already broken my first rule: I have 2 price points – “Free, if I want to”, and “You can’t afford me, if I don’t”.
Breaking that rule was like the first scratch on a new car. I was set free – of rules.

A nice size baby quilt will take 12 of these blocks. There are 4 corners, 4 background pieces, and one contrasting center piece in each, so I will need 48 prints, 48 backgrounds, and 12 contrast pieces. Using charms or 5″ pieces should result in a 39×52 quilt before borders.
I got out that 42 piece charm pack, and began cutting 12 – 5″ squares in a co-ordinating color [yellow] I found at a thrift store for $2.
I had some 108″ Kona white set aside for curtains, and figured I wouldn’t miss a couple 5″ wide strips, so I cut 48 5″ squares of that.
I dug up enough scraps to make 6 more 5″ squares in cordinating colors, and I was ready to assemble.
Now, here’s the thing: when you combine a precut with pieces you cut, they don’t always match.

Disappearing 9 patch patches

This precut had pinked edges, and mine didn’t. Some say to measure from the outside [or peaks] and some say the inside [or valleys] but knowing my 5″ squares were dead on [I obsess] I used my cut pieces as my guide, and sewed my 1/4″ seam from those.
I probably broke another rule here by making every printed square orient so that all prints were in the same direction. No easy feat since I would be turning every other block. [more obsessing]
Would people notice? [I would]

So, I put the pieces I wanted to orient ‘up’, in the 2 opposite corners on every 9 patch block. It doesn’t matter which two corners, as long as [1] they are opposite, and [2] they are the same for all 12 blocks. See the girls in the upper right, and the trees in the lower left pieces shown below. You will see why when I slice and turn the blocks later.

Disappearing 9 patch block

Once the 9 patches were done, I had some trimming and squaring to do.
The rule I did not break: People don’t tell you this, but when you trim, you don’t just willy nilly even the edges. You not only have to make the blocks all the same size, but the pieces in that block must measure the same distance to the outside edges. If you just line up your ruler with the bottom corners and start slicing off excess fabric, you will have problems. Knowing the middle squares measure 4.5 inches [5 inches minus the 1/4 seam on each side] after being sewn, that is where I want to start. These blocks will measure about 14 inches. Then  after trimming, cutting and resewing, they will have a finished size of 13″ if I did it right.

Disappearing 9 patch_trim

You want to line up the center patch in the middle of your ruler, making sure the 45 degree angle on your ruler goes from point to point on the whole block, as well as that center patch, and then trim the top and side, spin, and do it again. This will ensure that your block is truly square.

Disappearing 9 patch_trim02

Once trimed, slice in half both ways

Disappearing 9 patch_trim03

Disappearing 9 patch_slice

Then turn 2 of the 4 resulting patches in opposite corners. Notice I did not turn the little girls, or the tree.

Disappearing 9 patch_turn

So happy I had my husband build me this 24″ rotating mat!

Disappearing 9 patch_trim04

Now to agonise over block placement

Disappearing 9 patch_arrange

Take a picture and walk away. See if I still like it, and either rearrange [always] or begin sewing [never]
Oh, and did I fail to mention that he wanted the baby’s name in the quilt?
It took me 3 weeks to find someone to do this – that was still open by the time I got to my home town after work. Given the cost of embroidery machines, $8 was a bargain.
I broke another rule by making the top border bigger then the other 3.

Disappearing 9 patch_embroidered

Now to check it with the backing I bought for $15 and see if I still liked it. It had to be pink. The quilt needs more pink!

Disappearing 9 patch_assembled

Knowing who this quilt is really for – the parents – it’s always for the parents. I guessed that they may not be familiar with how flat hand made quilts are, so I broke another rule and used #3 thick batting – doubled. Twin size [72×90] for $15 worked for this 43x 58 quilt.

Disappearing 9 patch_quilted04

Yep, and not only that, I had exactly one inch to spare for the backing!
Many quilters want the batting and backing to be 4″ bigger on all sides.
I blew that rule up with a 43″ quilt on a 44″ wide backing.

Disappearing 9 patch_quilted02

Of course I stiched in the ditch. Ima ditch stitcher. There I said it.
Embrace who you are. I embrace the ditch!

Disappearing 9 patch_finished03

I wasn’t done breaking rules yet. I used yellow thread on the spool, and pink in the bobbin.

Disappearing 9 patch_binding_back

Disappearing 9 patch_binding_front

I managed to stay under the $60 in materials for this quilt, but just barely. I mean who can go shopping for a 2 yard piece of backing and not see some fantastic fabric you must have for a future project?
There’s another rule I broke: buying pretty fabric without any project in mind, figuring the pretty fabric will tell me what it wants to be in due time, . . . and I will obey.

#Disappearing9Patch #HeyWhereDidTheyGo

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