From My Carolina Home

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Sew Day Patriotic Nine Patch Stars

We had our second sew day to work on the patriotic quilt, five more friends sewing on my machines, pressing seams, cutting sashing and cornerstones, and making binding.  Of course, we had a pot luck lunch too, and did take a nice break to enjoy a meal.  I decided to do the Nine Patch Star on the first sew day, but didn’t show it to you then. I had worked on the Classic and Vintage Fat Quarter Shop design for a patriotic quilt, and they have now pushed their reveal back to January.   So, I went with the Nine Patch Star for this community quilt.  For the first sew day, I had cut fabrics for several hours the day before so we could hit the ground running. For this patriotic version, the center unit has a star print for the center, surrounded by blue scraps.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Then the flying geese units were done in scrappy reds.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

We pressed those seams open to reduce bulk, and make it easy to see the point for sewing the next seam.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

After the previous sew day, we had all the nine patch units made, all the flying geese units made, and all the squares cut.  On this day, we needed to finish assembly of the 20 blocks, add sashing and cornerstones, and complete the center section of the quilt top. Here we are set up for day two of sewing.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

The units were all completed, and then the blocks assembled.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Time out for lunch!  We did a Mexican theme pot luck lunch, with a Christmas Tablescape. The salad courses were lined up on the counter, my guacamole was in the center.

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

We had a tossed salad full of crunchy lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cranberries, bacon, olives, onions and hard boiled eggs.

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

We scooped up the Seven Layer salad, yummy refried beans, avocado, olives, cheese, onions, salsa and sour cream to eat with chips.

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

Then we moved to the stove for the Mexican Chicken Enchilada casserole in a slow cooker.

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

Taco soup was in another pot, made with ground beef and corn with lots of spice that was so thick it was more like chili.  We ladled it into our bowls, filled up plates, and sat at the dining table for a leisurely lunch with lots of chat time. This was my plate.  I’ll show you the tablescape on Wednesday.

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

They laughed at me as I took a picture of another full plate.  Seconds were encouraged, and taken advantage of!

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

Stuffed too full for dessert right away, we went back to the basement for more sewing. We cut sashing strips, 2-1/2-inches x 12-1/2-inches. Cornerstones of the same star print were placed between the sashings.  The top was constructed in two big pieces.  When we had all 20 blocks made, we put sashings on two sides of each block.  The blocks were sewn into rows, and two large sections were done.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Then it was time for dessert, Chocolate on Chocolate. It was a happy thing that the Christmas sprinkles were also the colors of the Mexican flag, after all, there is a lot of chocolate in Mexican cooking. Chocolate chunk brownies, frosted with dark chocolate ganache and sprinkles left everyone with a sweet taste.

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

Every dessert looks yummy on a Christmas plate, right?

Sew Day Pot Luck at From My Carolina Home

Back to sewing, the final assembly meant joining the two large pieces, then adding the last two edges of sashings, and the center of the top is done.  We counted it up, and so far with 10 quilters working in five different machines over two days plus the cutting time, we have 70 quilter-hours in this quilt so far.  Cutting, marking, pressing, sewing, and ripping out some bad seams here and there really adds up.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

At this point it is still not large enough for Quilts of Valor, right now it is 59 x 72 inches. So I will add a scrappy border made during the first sew day, along with a solid red border on the outside edge to bring it over the minimum size of 60 x 80.  I’ll show you those steps soon, when I get to them. I don’t expect to finish this quilt before Christmas, there is too much going on this month.  The block pattern is the same as the Christmas Quilt Along from yesterday.  I’ll have a pdf for you with both sizes later in the quilt along.  I just got three new pantographs for quilting too and I cannot wait to try them out!

What do you think of our Sew Day and Pot Luck?  Do you think you might try this with some of your sewing friends?

 

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Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

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Embroidered Stars Quilt and more quilting

The stars and bars design on this next Quilt of Valor was interesting and a wonderful way to use up scraps, but I had a moment of pause when I realized the bar of stars on the left side vertical panel was embroidered.  I have not worked with this type of fabric on the longarm before.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Have you seen this embroidered star fabric in the stores? I have recently, and would not have thought of using it on a quilt as it is heavier than the standard quilting cotton, and the stars are heavily embroidered with a substantial thread build up.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I decided to use red thread as the majority of the top was red, plus the back was a red fabric with stars.  I liked this backing print so much, I got some at the local fabric store for my patriotic quilt, more on that in a minute.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I was really apprehensive about quilting this one, would the hopping foot get caught in all that thread?  As it turned out, it did fine.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

The stitches looked fine too, the difference in weight between this fabric and the cottons didn’t have an effect on them.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I used the pantograph that appears as clouds called Halcyon from Willow Leaf.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

The red thread looks great on the navy.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

And it adds some interest to the plain white background fabric.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

It lets the stars shine.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

All done, the quilting provides a nice texture to the overall quilt.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Stars on bars, the asymmetrical design is really nice.  One more close view of the stitching and piecing.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

The Fat Quarter Shop Classic and Vintage quilt along is coming soon!  It won’t be long now until I can show you.  I did mine in patriotic colors, and quilted it with the same Halcyon pantograph.  See the red star print?  It was the perfect choice.  Batting is Warm and Natural on both quilts.

Secret Project for FQS at From My Carolina Home

I’ve got it bound now too, hand stitching is nice while watching football games.  It was fun to do this classic and vintage design.  The big reveal is scheduled for December 8th on the Fat Quarter Shop blog, Jolly Jabber.

Classic and Vintage at From My Carolina Home

More quilting coming up! I have a new block design that we are using in patriotic colors for our Sew Days.  A few friends are coming over today to complete the quilt top we started last time with a wonderful lunch I’ll share soon.  On Sunday, we’ll start a very fast quilt along using the block in Christmas colors for a table runner.  It will finish in just three weeks.  Then, on December 1st,  Moda begins their Countdown to Christmas quilt, with a sampler of 6-inch blocks. Mine is called Candy Twist and will be on December 10th on the Bake Shop blog, and I’ll show it here too.

What are you working on now?

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Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home


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Quilt of Valor Barn Raising

This barn raising setting for the next Quilt of Valor was so interesting with the variety of patriotic prints and mix of colors with a bit of gold.  I liked the transition from a light beige to a darker beige background as the blocks go from center to edge.  I loaded it longways in order to get the maximum amount of quilting per row.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I folded it up to check the borders.  Look at that, perfectly straight!  What a joy!  I do not know who pieced the top, but she (he?) did a fabulous job.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph is one I use a lot.  It is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.  The gentle curves go so well with just about every quilt piecing design, and especially on those with lots of hard angles.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I didn’t even audition thread, I knew I wanted to use red from the moment I unwrapped it.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

This is Superior thread on top, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.  The batting is Warm and Natural cotton.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

The quilting went so easy because this quilt was so well pieced and flat, that I finished it in an afternoon.  Stitches were perfect without loops or issues.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I hope the service person who receives it loves it as much as I enjoyed quilting it!

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I want to get more QOVs done in the coming year, so I have hatched a plan to have friends come over and help me.  I will pick up my workhorse Kenmore today from the repair guy.  I had cleaned it as best as I could, but there was something just gumming up the gears.  Likely it was old grease or something that hardened with lack of use.  The hand crank would move but with a lot of drag.  With six sewing machines needing to be run regularly to stay in perfect sewing shape, it makes sense to have some sew days and use those machines to get some blocks made.  If you have any patriotic orphan blocks sitting around (any size), or you want to make a couple for this project, I’ll take any that you have.  Local friends, let’s sew!  Out of area friends, let me know and I’ll send you my mailing address.

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Quilt of Valor Four Patch

Moving to the next Quilt of Valor, this one was a four patch design, alternating with printed large squares, and a red border. It had a masculine look to it, so I decided to use a pantograph called Tiger Swirl on it. The points have a flame-like feel, meant to be like a tiger’s stripes, with curved lines.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Folding it up to check the borders, there was a little bit extra but not too bad. You can see how the outer edge of the red angles just a bit downward at the edge compared to the joining seam on the inner edge of the border.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

I steamed it after loading, and the top edge was looking pretty good.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

First pass looking good, the pantograph seems like a good fit.  You can see the curved lines ending in points here, it does kind of look like a tiger’s stripes.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

I forgot to get a picture of my thread audition, but you can see I decided on a light ecru color thread. It gave the darker block areas a bit of punch as those were solid colors.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

It disappears over the busy print with the ecru background.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

And then I messed up again. I didn’t pay close enough attention when I advanced the quilt, and overlapped the stitching a bit on the next pass.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

I noticed the little extra in the borders made some wrinkles in the fabric when quilting. This isn’t too bad and hopefully will be camouflaged after it is washed and draws up a bit. You can see the overlapped pass here too.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Ugh. I cannot believe I did that.  I thought about this for quite a while, ripping it out would take me a long time, literally hours, and this was a charity quilt.  I was doing the quilting for free. If someone was paying for the quilting, I would have just started in fixing it without a second thought. Ultimately, I decided to leave it.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

The backing is predominately white, so the thread color did well for that print. You can see the backing print on the roller here as I got to the bottom edge.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Two of the blocks had handwritten messages with signatures. Hopefully, that is what you notice looking at the quilt, not my quilting mistake.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Overall, I hope it looks nice.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

So the question of the day, would you have ripped out this mistake on a charity quilt?  Or did I make a reasonable decision to leave it?

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Quilt of Valor – Eagle Squares

Moving on to the next Quilt of Valor, each one has been unique and interesting.  This one had foundation pieced stripes on a muslin base, alternating those squares with an eagle print.  I was concerned that the difference in weight between the squares might make quilting a challenge.  I laid it on the longarm bar to check the size of the backing and batting.  The batting is Warm and Natural all cotton.  It was nice that this piecer did a good job on her borders.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The stripes had to be precise so that they would seem to move behind the eagle print squares. Foundation piecing made sense for this. But the difference in weight between the muslin backed squares and the others was noticeable.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

I loaded it on the longarm, and chose a lighter color thread than I usually choose to use.   I picked a lighter ecru color Essentials thread, with the same thread in the bobbin.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The backing fabric was a light beige, and anything dark would show every little wobble or glitch. I don’t plan to do that but it usually happens anyway. The first pass across the quilt did nicely, thank heaven no tension issues with this one.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

That was a relief, as it was very apparent to me with the additional drag on the machine when I was stitching in the striped blocks. Quilting on the eagle print squares had less drag, so I tended to speed up just a tiny bit. I think the stitching does the best when I can maintain a consistent speed in movement of the machine.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Still, it really didn’t seem to matter, the stitching was good over the stripes too.  The pantograph is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Looking at the two different blocks after quilting, side by side,  the size is pretty consistent.  The stitches get a bit longer when I am changing directions, so I adjusted the cruise to a higher speed to compensate.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Going over the borders, the thread color blended well.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The seams where the corners joined had some excess bulk due to the extra muslin layer. It would have been better to clip out some of this excess muslin before sending it for quilting. But, I just tried to do my best.  Here you can see the rounded seam and a bit of gathering in the blue on the left.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Most of the time I was lucky and the stitching line on the pantograph went around the point where there was extra bulk.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

But you can see how the extra fabric in the seam allowance makes that point pop up a bit where four blocks come together.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

It quilted quickly, and I trimmed it before folding it up to add to the shipment back to the guild.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

As usual, I learn something with every quilt. This one taught me that differences in block weight didn’t make a difference in the stitches, but I should trim excess foundation from the joining seams where possible. I have a couple of friends with longarm machines helping me with these, but I still have several more to show you. I’ll get to most of them between the end of August and through September. I am working on doing another Autumn Jubilee in October, and I already have some fantastic plans in the works. More on that later!

What are you working on? Have you ever done a quilt with foundation piecing?

 

My blog is about a variety of topics, quilting and sewing, crafting and cooking, reading and travel, mountain living and gardening, and more.  I have lots of free patterns for quilters, mystery quilt alongs, holiday quilt alongs, and seasonal events with giveaways.  Please follow me for all the fun!  New projects coming up!!  I do new tutorials and patterns quite often, along with a variety of other subjects on my blog. I would like to invite you to follow if you want, by using the sidebar buttons for your favorite blog reader, or enter your email to follow via email. I post usually about 4 times a week, not excessively. My annual Autumn Jubilee is coming up in October, and I’ll have a lot of new things to show, projects to do, a quilt along and giveaways.

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Quilts of Valor – Diamonds

Loading the next Quilt of Valor, this one is a really nice diamond pattern. The red, white and blue prints go really well together. The pattern is so simple, just large half square triangles arranged in a nice pattern with red squares.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Loading it on the longarm, ready to begin quilting. I auditioned thread, and decided on red for a bit of punch on the white areas.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

This one had a different issue that I have frankly never seen before. The middle border is larger than the outer border.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

I think part of the reason that this happened, is the quilter used bias seams in the borders. I have no idea why piecers do this. You need a bias seam in binding, but not in borders. Using straight border seams to join border strips will result in a more stable border, just like piecing the blocks.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Luckily, a bit of stretching of the final border and steaming the middle border flattened it out for easier quilting. I stitched the edges down to hold it in place.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

The backing gave me a bit of a fit in the quilting process. These raveling edges produced strings that got wrapped around the encoder wheels on the longarm machine head, and made a mess with the quilting. There was a section I had to take out, as the machine started skipping stitches and not sewing at all while I moved the head. When the encoders don’t spin, the machine doesn’t stitch. If you have a backing like this, pink the edges to prevent the raveling.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

With this linear pantograph, it was so obvious when a glitch happened.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph is a modern design called Contempo by Lorien Quilting. I thought it would be suitable for a more masculine design.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

It does well with the backing too, a perfect starry print for this QOV.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Aurifil in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin, made for subtle quilting.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a closer look at the corner.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Once again, my favorite thing to do is pick threads that show in the backgrounds of the piecing and blend with the colors in the quilt top.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Even though the pantograph is quite linear, I think it works well with this design.  So, all done and ready to give back to the piecer for binding.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Are you quilting today?

 

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Eagle Panel Quilt of Valor

Continuing on with the Quilts of Valor for the Grand Strand Quilters, the next one is a panel with an eagle in the center surrounded with borders. The backing provided was a dark blue.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Once again, the borders are a bit full, and I suspect that they were not measured. The cornerstone blocks are not straight.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

There is fullness in the middle too.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Folding it up from the bottom, you can see how the middle of the quilt is smaller than the edges, indicating too much fabric in the borders.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I removed it from the frame and steam pressed the entire quilt with the 50/50 solution I make of Best Press and water. I do use a spritz bottle, never put this solution in the iron itself. After some pulling and pressing, I was able to get the quilt a bit more squared up, with only a couple of problem areas left.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Next is auditioning thread. The important consideration with thread this time was not only the color of the backing, but the thickness of the thread. In order to minimize the impact of the quilting on the eagle, I needed a thin thread that would not obscure the eagle’s face.  The blue Aurifil thread was perfect, and matched the backing.  Yes, I often quilt with Aurifil, both the top thread and the bobbin.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I decided on the gentle swirl of this pantograph, as it was suggestive of clouds like on the panel.  Here is one of the many puckers that appeared on the side.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

You can see some puckering of the fabric due to the excess of border fabric at the bottom of this picture. I really didn’t like this, but I didn’t want to rip it out.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I think the quilting looks good on the background sky of the panel.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Some of the excess fabric on the border edges created fullness in the middle as I tried to keep the border seam lines straight.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Once again, as I got to the bottom, the fullness and wonky corner became apparent.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

It seemed to be worse on the bottom blue border, as this much fullness was too much to work in.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

So, I made a pleat with the excess and stitched it down. I ended up doing four of these, one on each side and two on the bottom.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Even so, there is still puckering in the bottom border.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I know I harp on this a lot, but you can see what your longarmer has to go through when the borders are put on with the slap and sew method. I just wish I could get this message out to everyone. If you haven’t seen my tutorial on properly applied borders, click HERE to understand the difference between measuring and not measuring.

Puckers at the top of the picture too. Yes, these will be minimized with washing, but I don’t think these quilts are laundered prior to presentation.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

All done, I am not happy with the sides, but I did the best I could.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I was pleased with the Aurifil thread for quilting, as it is thin and doesn’t detract from the eagle.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Ready for binding, it was sent back to Myrtle Beach.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

What are you working on today?

 

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