WIP: American Made Brand Placemats

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American Made Brand Placemats Three Collage

While the American Made Brand 50 states blog tour is about to start up, I’m working with my fabric leftovers to make some placemats.  I’ll tell you more about it when I’ve got them all finished, but I can share that they’ll be a charity donation meant to bring smiles to some very deserving people, and I felt it was especially appropriate for the spirit of  American Made Brand.  (They said we could give away leftovers if we liked, and this is how I interpret “giving away.”)

It’s been a joy to work with these fabrics, and I’m especially liking the way they work up in patchwork.  The somewhat crisp feel presses and stitches together wonderfully.  I can’t wait to wash the finished placemats and see that quilty crinkle!

sarahsigres

 

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WIP: Herringbone Painted Wall

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Herringbone Shuffle Stencil WIP

The sewing machine is set aside for a while as I spend a crazy amount of time painting our dining room.  I’m using the Herringbone Shuffle stencil by Royal Design Studio, but because of our heavily textured walls I’m having to trace the stencil, then fill in with paint by hand.  (The picture above shows about ten hours worth of work.)  It takes AGES, but because of my stencil painted headboard, I knew what I was getting into:

Painted Headboard

Thankfully our china cabinet is really large and really only fits on that one wall of the dining room, so I’ll only be painting on either side of it.

I think what really drew me to that stencil design is that it’s similar to this quilt that I’d love to make someday.  I’ve been semi-planning a gray-and-brights color scheme for the dining room.  Soon my table runner will finally fit in!

Patchwork Table Runner

Well, semi-soon-ish.  Painting with little brushes on textured walls is a pain.

sarahsigres

“What Does the Quilt Shop Do to Your Quilts?”

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Healing Quilt Top Stained Glass Look

Healing Quilt Top Side

The “Healing” quilt top is pieced and ready to be dropped at the quilt shop!  A friend of mine asked what the quilt shop does to my quilts that I can’t do at home (and my husband has asked at least five times), so just in case you’ve wondered, too … they have a long arm sewing machine, very different from what I sew on at home, that makes the quilt making process much easier.  I found these pictures licensed for creative commons use from Stephanie Vacher on Flickr.  The backing, batting and quilt top are rolled onto bars, and the machine itself moves back and forth across the quilt.

long-arm sewing machine

From this angle, you can see the big roll of batting (below) that feeds between the front and back of the quilt.

long-arm sewing machine

The machines can either be pre-programmed with a quilting design or the quilter can guide the machine by hand.  I love this colorful shot by Open Threads!

Quilting Machine

Here’s the Lava Meets Sea quilt freshly quilted and not yet cut away from the excess batting and backing.

Kim's Quilt Ready to Bind

This is so much easier than quilting at home, carefully laying out the backing, batting and top on the floor and pinning them together so they won’t shift as you jam them through your sewing machine. (More creative commons photos by Jessy Roos and athenamat.)  At this point, the weight and volume of the quilt become factors as well.  While you try to keeping sewing just where you mean the stitches to go, gravity pulls your heavy quilt off the table to the floor.   Meanwhile, the size of the quilt makes it difficult to fit through the arm of the sewing machine.  It is a great workout for your arms, but it doesn’t make for easy, relaxing sewing.

365.116

Quilting at the Urban Qulting League

My personal policy is that anything larger than a baby quilt can go to the quilt shop.  I know many quilters who love quilting on their home machines, I’m just not one of them.  So as much as I loved piecing the Healing quilt, I’ll take it to Phyllis at my local shop, Quilts by Phyllis, for the actual quilting.

sarahsigres