Sunday, April 5, 2020

~ Quilting and Cleaning ~ Gingerbread Man Quilt ~

Hello Happy Quilters!  For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to quilt my Gingerbread Man quilt.  The progress is slow but little by little she's getting done.  
I love it when the light shines through the studio in the evenings, it really helps to show off he quilting.

As usual I started out thinking a simple quilting plan would be best.   I had no real plan other than a few feathers and free motion with no marking the quilt.  And as usual me, myself and I took over the plan.  This trio can come up with good ideas but the ideas usually are more work than I want to do.

Luckily they came up with a plan that wasn't too hard or intense.  Lots of free motion feathers with very little marking.

All was going well, just feather this girl to death!

And then this started happening and it was leaving black marks on my quilt.  It happened several times and each time I had pick out stitches.  For some reason I kept thinking it was a thread or needle issue.

After about 4 or 5 times of this I pulled my quilter off to the side and started taking it apart.  I soon realized I was the cause.  I wasn't cleaning the bobbin area as often as I should.  And I also didn't oil my quilter after my last quilt.  Oh the shame.  What a mess.

A good cleaning and oiling and I was back in business and things were running smoothly once again.  Lesson learned.....well at least for a little while.  For some reason I repeat this mistake every few months.  Trying to push the limits of my machine when I clearly know what she can handle.  Do any of you do this?  Am I the only one?

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

~ Orange Dots Mask Pattern FREE ~ BEST FABRIC TO USE ~

Just wanted to pop in to share a mask I made for myself.  Please excuse the at home all natural me.  I never do hair and makeup when I don't plan to go anywhere or have company.   Anyway back to the mask.  I have an autoimmune disorder so I wanted the best mask I could make.  This one looked like it provided the best protection without curved piecing.  Quick and easy was important.  It took about 30 minutes to make.   The mask quilters are making with the 3 pleats are great for covering a N95 mask to extend the life of them but don't provide good protection without an N95 mask.  

The pattern I used was designed by Dora Cary Orange Dots Quilts. CLICK HERE FOR THE PATTERN.  You will need to fill out a form as if you were purchasing a product.  NO CREDIT CARD INFORMATION IS COLLECTED.  A PDF pattern will be available for download after you complete the purchase information.

Dora suggests batting as a filter but I chose to use a non woven interfacing because I had it on hand and it has been proven to help filter the virus.  Is it as good as a N95 mask?  I don't think so but it's better than nothing and the simple pleated masks.  You can read more about using interfacing (CLICK HERE) and decide for yourself., there is also another face mask pattern provided on the same page.  

I saw on social media some quilters were having issues understanding the folding instructions for the mask I made.  Dora has made a short video that you can find on her Facebook page.  or on her Instagram This is the one I like best
Below is a screenshot from Dora's Instgram showing her masks being used by some nurses.  You can find the Instagram post by CLICKING HERE.

The next big issue is finding elastic.  I didn't have any so cut the elastic out of an old bra to use in mine.  But I found a couple alternatives for those of you who don't have an old bra to cut up.
First option buying T-shirt yarn.  Here's the article by The Renegade Seamstress about using T-shirt yarn.  There's also a video showing how to make your own.


Stay safe quilty friends!

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

~ Jelly Roll Rug Tips ~

The Jelly Roll Rug pattern by RJ Designs has been around for about a year or two.  In that time I've seen many beautiful rugs and many no so beautiful rugs.  So when I was asked to review the Purple Hobbies Jelly Roll Binding/Batting Tool I was super excited but at the same time scared.  Why scared?  The answer is simple, AFRAID OF FAILURE.  Many quilters/crafters have made some really awful looking Jelly Roll Rugs.  And as you know they are a little expensive to make.  It wold break my heart(tick me off) if my rug came out wavy or shaped like a bowl.   And I didn't want a little rug I wanted the Colossal, the bigger the better!  So I took my time, did my research until I felt confident I could make a rug instead of a mess.

While my confidence level was high I purchased a PDF pattern directly from the designer, RomaQuilts.  Click here to purchase a Colossal Jelly Roll Rug pattern.  By the way, it looks like Roma is having a SALE this weekend.  I'm in no way affiliated with this shop.  I will not receive anything if you click on the links provided.  

My first tip is to fan fold your strips after they have been sewn together.  This will make it easier to feed them onto the batting.

When doing the rug research I saw many ideas and tips.  The best one was a trash can and a dowel rod.  I had both but neither were large enough for my batting roll.  So instead I used a laundry basket and an adjustable curtain rod.

I think it might work better because the rubber end caps kept the rod from sliding out of the holes on the side of the basket.  In the picture below you can see how I had it set up under my sewing table with my foot pedal right up against the outside of the basket.  It was a little tight but I could also still use my knee lift.

The batting roll wanted to creep to across the rod as it turned so I used a potato chip bag clamp on the rod to keep it from drifting.

My research found that many quilters were having issues from the very beginning.  The center being the hardest part.  Easing in the bulky layers of fabric and batting was quite tricky.  So I decided to make a change.  That's not a surprise to those of you who know me.  It's rare for me to follow any pattern to the "T".   The alteration is simple.  I cut (2) 3" x 11" pieces of coordinating fabric.  Drew a line 1/4' away from the 2 long sides.  Used something round to trace a curve on each end.  A soda can, veggie can or water bottle will work for the curve.  

I used one layer of batting.  When I make another rug I'll used 2 or 3 layers of batting so it will be thicker and sturdier. 

Pin and stitch on the drawn lines leaving about a 2" hole for turning.  Trim off excess fabric and batting.

Turn it right side out, stitch around the outside edge using a 1/8" seam.  Then stitch 3 lines of zigzag stitch to give the illusion of Jelly Roll batting strips.  

Next I needed to taper the end of the strip.  The instructions an measurements for this are in the pattern.

Again I flew by the seat of my pants and just clipped some off at an angle.

Here's a handy tip.  Dip a long pin in some glue.  I used washable school glue.  Now pinch the pin with the glue between the end of the strip.  The pin will also help you to push the fold into place.

Remove the pin and add a binding clip or paper clip to hold it all together while the glue dries.  Next I started adding more clips to close the binding.

I let this set for about an hour so the glue could dry.  Just enough time for lunch and to check my email.

By the time I came back it was ready to be stitched together.

You might want to use a stiletto to assist the tiny end through the presser foot.

It was a little tricky and it's not so pretty but no one will ever know but you and me.

 Tuck the small end of the strip under center as shown below.  Zigzag stitch until you get to the edge of the next curve.  Tack stitches in place and move to the ironing board.

 Iron your curves before stitching them.  Notice the puckers on the inside curve of the pink fabric.  You want puckers.  I gave this a little spritz of water so the steam could help hold it into place.

Pin the curves in place and zigzag stitch in place.

Next you'll want to press the entire piece.  Pressing is the most important part of making a Jelly Roll Rug.

After pressing she looks pretty good.

 I repeated the same process  for about the next 4 or 5 rounds, until I felt I could go around the ends without causing issues.  After this I would press the rug about every 3 or rounds.  Steam is your friend while making these rugs.  I never use steam when quilting but I quickly learned it is necessary to keep the rug flat.

Okay the hard part is over.  Once you get around those first few rounds it's smooth sailing.  

My research also uncovered a lot of big balls of strips.  This  seamed like a bad idea.  It looked to me that it would add tension to the strip and cause a bowl shape rug to form.  My strip was placed in the laundry basket and set it off to the right of my sewing chair.  

Notice the pink plastic below.  That is pink trash bags.  The trash bags were put over my ironing station that is behind my sewing machine.  I also moved my old treadle sewing machine cabinet next to me and covered it with plastic.  This allowed the rug to slide much easier as it grew.  

When it started to hang off the edge of the table I would fold it up as shown below.  Adjusting it every so often to keep the weight evenly distributed.

Below a video to show how I pushed the rug through.  Notice I'm not adding a lot of pressure  to push the rope against the rug.  You want them to just touch.  Your stitches will pull it together.  The gloves with rubber grippers helped to hold onto the rug and push.  I tried it without the gloves and my hands would slip.  They also started to cramp up due to trying so hard to grip and push without the gloves.

I love my Colossal Rug.  So cute!  Bake Sale 2 by Lori Holt was the perfect fabric.

You can see my Purple Hobbies Jelly Roll Binding Batting Tool Review by clicking here.  It made the construction of the rug so much easier!

If you use the code PodunkPrettiesJan20 at checkout at the Purple Hobbies Website you will get 20% your entire cart! expires 12/2020

I also made a short video about how to make your rug lay flat on this post, click here.

Thank you for stopping by my little spot in Podunk!

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Friday, March 20, 2020

~ Nifty Notions #6 ~ Purple Hobbies Quilt Block Markers ~ WINNER ~

This weeks Nifty Notion is the Purple Hobbies Quilt Block Markers.   These were sent to me by Heather Snow of Purples Hobbies for review.  My review is honest, good or bad.  

So lets get started!  For those of you that like to keep the original packaging for storing your notions and tools you'll love the clear plastic resealable hanging bag.  The letters are in a separate little zip-lock bag.  Both are great for peg board storage.

I felt like the best way to store the markers was right by my sewing machine in my pin cushion.  I took the time to put them in alphabetical order so I could quickly grab the next one needed.  If you look closely you can see pins in my pin cushion with numbers on them.  This was my cheap attempt at marking my quilt rows.  They were functional but hard to see.  The Purple Hobbies Markers are much easier to read.

I realize not everyone has a big pin cushion for these markers.  And every time I show my dresden pin cushion I get tons of request for the pattern.  It was made by me flying by the seat of my pants which means I didn't have a pattern.  But today is your lucky day!  No I didn't write a pattern but I found a FREE pattern that is very similar to mine.  Click here if you would like to make a big dresden pin cushion. 

Okay back to the review.   These are super easy to use.  Big enough to grab easily but they do not interfere with piecing.  And unlike some markers on the market, these can be pinned to the fabric not just lay on top of them.

And would you look at that, I can see them even when I drop them on the floor.  Orange sticks out like a sore thumb in my Studio.  As many of you know I'm not a big fan of orange, so it's the perfect color for not blending into my quilts.  I love them so much I'm planning to purchase a second set for when I need double letters for pattern pieces.

All of the Purple Hobbies Tools are available in several colors.


 Well since you can use the code below at checkout  for 20% off your entire cart at Purple Hobbies Website.  I think it's a good deal!  And since they are plastic they will last forever.  I've made and replaced several paper markers over the years.
PodunkPrettiesJan20  expires 12/2020

2. Ease of use
Very easy to use and easy to find when dropped on the floor.

 3. Efficiency
Yes these markers cut the time off the time it takes to construct a quilt.  They made the organizing of the pieces and blocks much easier.

If you would like to see more Nifty Notions reviews click the image below or in the sidebar of this blog. 

Okay now let get to that winner from last weeks Giveaway.  

Congratulations! to Brenda who commented here on my blog.  Brenda I'll be sending you an email.

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