The holidays are long gone and I guess the new year is here to stay. January was a trial month. I guess 2016 is a new year and I’ve got so many new ideas cooking…or should I say sewing?? Not yet…I don’t want to the cat out of the bag here. Even if she sticks her tongue out at me. So instead I’ll get you caught up on what else I’ve been up to.

I couldn’t post the Christmas presents I’d made before I gave them to the recipients. So between being busy making them and not wanting to spill the beans I’ve been missing in action here. But I’m back now.  Did I hear a sigh of relief? This year promises to be fun and exciting..just you wait!

flower powerSome of my presents this holiday season were non-sewing projects that started out very innocently with a no-sew fleece blanket for my daughter.  I had about 2.5 yards of polar fleece fabric that I had bought several years ago with my daughter in mind. It had the bright colors and that 60’s style she likes. I spotted a neighbor’s no-sew baby blanket and decided what a great way to use that polar fleece.  So I “experimented” on her blanket. I learned the basics of making these no-sew blanket by seeing my neighbors and watching a couple of You-Tube videos.  All of my blankets were only one layer of fabric. I tied one fringe to the fringe next to it instead of one layer of fleece to the other.

owlsHowever I had so much fun making my daughter’s blanket that I bought some more fabric and made one for my granddaughter and one for my grandson.  She’s just started college in her senior year of high school and I thought she would like the owl print I found.  She’s smart and she’s unique…just like the owls in this fleece.  It’s funny that when I took my BFF shopping to buy the fleece to make a blanket with her, she initially picked this very same print.  I hope my granddaughter likes her owl blanket as much as Sadie did.

Ford fleeceMy grandson is not old enough to drive but interested in fast stuff…like cars so the Ford Mustang print was just his speed.

But wait a minute…I missed someone.  My son-in-law needed his own blanket too.  It wouldn’t be right not to make one for him too…right?  So I found a camoflauge print that was decoratively tasteful and made his.  My husband liked it so much I had to make one for him too.  However he got his after Christmas.

This is a project that I’m going to be making with my BFF, Sadie…soon. I think she has a short break from school coming up and I’m hoping for a break in the weather so I can visit her safely. Nothing like Michigan winters to keep you on your toes or sometimes just staying home.

marking quilting linesTODAY’S SEWING TIP

Here’s my sewing tip for today and it’s a quilting hack for lots of projects where quilting grids are featured. The secret to easy quilting featuring a 45 degree angle of grid quilting and below I’ve shared my tips.  This is actually a tote bag project I was working on and I wanted to quilt the batting and the exterior of the bag together with just straight lines.  I only made the lines going one way instead of sewing perpendicular lines to cross forming a grid. This trick could be used for any variety of straight lines you want to sew.

First hack…or trick….mark ONE straight line.  I choose a 45 degree angle so I would be quilting on the bias of the fabric.  I used my rotary cutting mat and ruler to find the 45 degree angle and mark the first line.  Make sure to line up your ruler with the angle at the top of the fabric and the bottom of your fabric.  In the photo you can see 60 which indicates the 60 degree angle.  My ruler is along the line marked 45, for the 45 degree angle.  These lines run diagonally across your cutting mat and you need to pay attention to the other end of the line that sticks out at the bottom of your fabric.  Make sure your ruler lines up with the line for the appropriate angle you are marking.

quilting straight line attachmentThat ONE line is the ONLY line you need to draw on your fabric…unless you are going to create a crossing grid.  In that case you would need to mark the ONE line that crosses your first quilting lines.  In my case I only quilted the lines all perpendicular to each other, so this was the ONLY line I needed to mark.  I used the attachment that came with my machine, and does with most sewing machines…this arm.  I’m using it with my regular presser foot.

The armature in the back of the presser foot has a hole.  On my machine it’s a triangular hole. The bar slides into this hole and can be adjusted (slid) to any distance from the needle that you want.  Use your throat plate with measurements marked on it to determine how far to slide the arm from the actual presser foot.  Now sew the first quilting line following the marked line that you did in the previous step.

Now adjust your fabric so that this arm lines up with the previously sewn line and sew your new quilting line equadistant from the last sewing line.  Turn your fabric to sew the quilting lines on the other side of your intial drawn line.

TO RECAP:

  1. My first line is drawn down the middle of my fabric on a 45 degree angle, so I sew the first line following my actualy drawn line.
  2. I use this arm attachment I sew all the lines to the left of the original line until I have quilted all the lines my project allows.
  3. Then I turn the fabric so the arm is lining up with the attachment and the quilted lines can be sewn on the other half of the fabric.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year…January was a trial month!

    1. Thanks! I bought it at Shop N Save but I think they sold out. I also saw it at Manistee Variety along with another similar print.

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