Monday, May 23, 2016

Quilty Crime!! Backings Post #2 The Poser!

Purpose of these post is to teach and inform.  No quilts were harmed or quilter jailed for the following (or any other) Quilty Crime.

Quilty Crime - Backings Post #2 The Poser!

poser (poh-zer)  noun
                 1. a question or problem that is puzzling or confusing

That's right, the poser.  The backing that looks square but it's faking it. That backing isn't square and here's what it looks like:

From this view it looks square, right?  Let me show you why it's not and the difference it makes.

Before loading a backing I will press the center point on the backing on the top and bottom of the fabric.  On my photo's I've also marked with pins.   Here's the top of the backing...

...and here's what the bottom of the backing looks like...

I have marked center point and straight horizontal lines on my wall with a pencil.  In this photo, I have pinned the top of the backing on the center point and horizontal straight line and let the backing fall where it will.  As you can see the center point of the backing is off about an inch from the ironed crease/pin and the pencil mark on the wall.

In the next photo I have moved the bottom of the backing to the center point on the wall.

Now this is what the entire backing looks like....

Here's what it looks like on the frame....

Here's where it makes the difference....if your backing is saggy, we have to "fix" it.  And by "fixing" it we will pull and distort the backing to lay flat.   This may or may not affect your quilt, but do you want to take the chance?  AND the more it's off the more adjustments that we have to make.  Think about it, if you start with a square backing no adjustments, no risk.

Below is what the backing, batting and top SHOULD look like....FLAT.  Again, this is the ripped edge of the backing.

I have found that when the quilt backings are ripped they lay flatter on the sides and the center point is truer on the fabric.  Scientific proof, no not really, but when I see a ripped backing I am doing the happy dance.

Okay, I think that's all I've got for now.  There's a couple more post that I know I'd like to cover.  Stay tuned and thanks for hangin' in there with me!

Thanks for checking on me,


love to hear what you've got to say.........

Monday, May 9, 2016

Quilty Crimes!!! Un-Square Backings! Part 1

Backings Part 1

I haven't written a Quilty Crime for a while but its beyond time to cover BACKINGS!!  Not sure what the great mystery is on getting one done properly, but let's try to figure it out.  Backings are important!!  I cringe when I hear a quilter say "it's only the backing".  Wrong!  It's the backing, and it is just as important as the quilt top.  In the next series of post I'll show you why.

I've had a run on un-square backings lately and figured it's just time!!  Let's get it out in the open and talk about what a bad, un-square backing looks like to your longarm quilter. I'm going to try to keep this post as short as I can, but I'm telling you I've got a ga-zillion photos on this subject.

It is a huge mystery to me why quilters can't square a backing.  There are two ways of doing it, ripping or cutting.  Other quilters, however will simply cut the fabric once it gets to a flatish look. I'm not going to re-invent the wheel here so here's a video that I have found on line to show you this method.

 This method might be okay in your book, but having made clothing in my younger years, I'm a FIRM believer in the straight of grain.  Here's an EXCELLENT site to show you how the straight of grain works and how to straighten your fabric.  It's worth the time to read the entire post.
Sew4Home Straight of Grain
In garment construction, pattern pieces that has NOT been cut on the TSG (true straight of grain) the piece will not lay flat after the garment is completed.  Remember those awful wonky pants that twisted and drove you crazy? Those crazy pants were NOT cut on TSG.

I'm a TSG person through and through ESPECIALLY on backings.  What that means is I don't worry about squaring those fatquarters or the fabrics that I'm using for the smaller cuts in my quilt piecing, but, when it comes to backings and we are working with huge pieces of fabric, it is important.  Trust me.

I am a ripper, as the post mentions, I will cut a small snip about a 1/2" from the edge and rip the fabric.  I will continue to snip 1/2" pieces until I can get the piece to rip the entire length of the fabric on the WIDTH of fabric.  You are snipping at the selvage edge.  The selvage is on TSG, but the width of fabric (WOF) is not always. You should continue to do this and be able to pull a thread all the way across the WOF.  THIS is when your fabric is on the TSG. 

Now, let's talk about how it applies to backings.

Let me share a couple of photos showing the difference between a backing before and after squaring. Click on the photo's and read my notes....

Here's what a backing cut like the above might look like on a frame without being squared.

I will roll the backing back and forth until we get it somewhat manageable, but it's not a good thing. It will sag on one side and be tight on the other at some point during the quilting. More on this later I also have photos showing this.  But let me show you the other problem encountered when the backing is not cut square or on STG is the sides. They will vary and if we don't have that 4"-6" we NEED here's what it looks like to us.

This is the left side of the backing, the blue painters tape illustrates where the backing was at the top of the backing.  See where it is now?  We've lost almost an inch on just the left side.  Here's what the right side of the backing looks like.

In this photo you can see the difference also, and notice the fabric on the frame will go back the the starting position?  What happens if I get to this point on your quilt top and I'm short on the backing?  AND...since this is the backing I really can't see it since the batting and top is laying on top of this as I'm quilting. 

 Backing that are not square are more difficult for us to work with.  
We run into many problems with backing that are not square.

I'm ending here and will post more later.  I think the post is getting too long and this is too important.  Hang in there, I'll be covering a lot that has to do with backing and show you why.  Keep checking back.  

I do a presentation for guilds called "Do you see what I see" explaining what a longarm quilter encounters during the quilting process.  Contact me if you are interested in having me come to your guild or sewing group for a presentation.

thanks for checking on me,


love to hear what you've got to say...........
<--yup i="" m="" p="" yelling="">

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Quilts for the month of March

Managed to work through quite a few during the month of March.  These ladies kept me pretty busy with some amazing quilts. Don't forget you can click on the photo for a closer look!  AND!!  More photo's are over at the other blog, so check it out!  Here's a link....

This one is a knock out!  Ginny from WA sent this one to me and I just adore all of the gold on the fabrics!  The sparkle and shine is soooo pretty!  As I remember this quilt is headed for her guest room bed. What a treat for her guest! The quilting is a design from SweetDreams and I think it's a winner!

Brandie from here in NH got her hands on some beautiful fabrics and finished up this very, very cool quilt!!  I've got this one on my "to-do" list, love being able to see it up close and personal.  Brandie did a great job and I love the quilting design!

This quilt from Rosemary took me way, way longer to finish than it should have!!  I fell in love with it the minute I opened the box!  I had such great plans, but ended up just adding a ton of feathers to it.  It is a beautiful piece!

Kelli!!  Oh my gosh!!  First time quilter and she went BIG!!!  How fun is this HUGE t-shirt quilt?  I love seeing all of the graphics from t-shirt quilts when I get them.  I think they can tell you quite a bit about their owners, and what a gal Kelli is, just take a look at the shirts...

Moving into the next quilt, is another one from Terry over at Terry's Treasures.  Another FABULOUS gal I'm sure just look at her shirts!  Terry wanted a ballet theme if I had one, and boy, oh boy, I think the Ballet Shoes just fit the bill.  As always Terry did a fantastic job on the quilt.

Lisa!!  WOW!!!  Here's a beautifully simple quilt.  But we know that quilts really aren't that simple.  The two color design makes it.....just amazing!  Even with the seemingly simplicity of the design I just had to go with the very simple meander on the quilting.  I wanted NOTHING to distract from this beauty.  

I also worked on two more for Lisa, but the red and white one....too beautiful!  Here's her other two, one her first paper piecing that she finished and another sweet little quilt for her Momma.  Lisa is such a sweetie....

Deb over in VT had me work on a couple of fund raising quilts for a local horse rescue.  Here's her cool quilts done all up in 30's prints finished off with a horse shoe quilting design.  The second project is place mats!  I stitched out the horse head Deb added some fabric to the sides and how cool is the finished project??

Following up with another horse theme quilt, Julie from CA put this cute little one together.  How great are these fabrics??  Add a super soft Minky backing and it's a real keeper!!  

Jeanne in MA finished off this great wall hanging and had me add a little thread to it.   Simple, yet fabulous!  Purple with the green is a great combo.  A heavier quilting since it's a wall hanging and it's just about finished up!  

Pat from VA sent me this antique piece that finished up wonderfully!  How perfect is the coloring on it?  We did a simple meander again, not to distract from the original artwork on the quilt.  Photo's are Pat's.....mine are still MIA thanks to Windows 10.

And while we are on the subject of missing photos, I'm missing several!!  Updated to Windows 10 and life just hasn't been the same!  ugh....  I know (besides Pat) I'm missing photo's from Penny in NH, Peggy in NC and Amy in WI.  IF I ever find them I'll post, until then I just need to move on...sorry ladies!!

Here's just one of the three quilts that I had the pleasure of working on for Peggy in NC.  Shamelessly lifted from her facebook page.  Peggy is on the right with her friend Nancy on the left.  Peggy made the quilt for Nancy, it's a pretty cool quilt, lucky Nancy.  That Peggy!!  She is a one in a million, glad I had the chance to get to know her while she was living in the area.  Here's her quilt...

Amy, who is Peggy's "Favorite" sister sent me 5 quilts and I can only find photo's for two!  Amy finished a pretty cool t-shirt quilt with a baseball theme, an amazing tablecloth with cutwork that she had me quilt (it was pretty cool!) and a blue scrappy one.  Those I can't find the photo's of, but here's the ones I did find!  The first is a baby quilt that mixes textures, what a great idea!!  And how cute it is!!  Second we have a black and red, classic!  Good job, favorite sister, Amy!!

Apologies to the gals with the photo's MIA!  Darn that Windows 10!!  I'm pretty excited about posting the quilts from April and already working on a few amazing ones to show in May!  Can't believe time is passing so quickly!!

Wishing all of you the very best,
thanks for checking on me...


love to hear what you've got to say...............