Being a quilt pattern designer and going to International Quilt Market at least once a year for the last six years, I’ve met a LOT of quilters; quilt shop owners and their employees, other quilt designers, fabric reps, distributor reps, notions reps, batting reps, thread company reps, and the list goes on and on. I’ve learned so much from these quilters’ experiences, plus I’ve experimented a lot myself.

This morning while mindlessly ironing my DH’s dress shirts I got an idea, (I get some of my best thinking done while doing these types of monotonous tasks, and don’t you dare tell him or he might get some of his own great ideas such as thinking that I enjoy said tasks) anyway… I thought I would list some of my favorite things and perhaps they might become some of your favorites too.

If you check out my website you’ll see a tab for “Quilt-as-you-go”.  These are all lap quilts that I’ve created using my own technique, a form of foundation piecing.  These are a few of them:

 The “foundation” is actually the batting and backing fabric cut to the size of the finished quilt, then basted together.  I like to use Sullivan’s basting spray for this.  It keeps the foundation together nicely, doesn’t gunk up my needle and there are no pins to move as I sew.  Below is a small-scale of what the “foundation” looks like basted and ready to start sewing.

The only batting I use and recommend for these quilts is Warm & Natural.  It has its own “velcro” type properties that eliminates all slipping while I sew these quilts together.

 It’s time to start sewing the strips on.  The first strip is lined up with the edge of the foundation,

 

The second strip is lined up on top of it, right sides together. 

 Pin and sew 1/4″ away from the inside edge of strip.  The seam is going all the way through the foundation creating the “quilting”.

Two important things to remember while stitching, 1) use a walking foot and 2) use a long stitch length.  I set my machine to the longest stitch setting (8 stitches per inch).  You’re quilting, not just sewing a seam.

 Next comes the pressing. With the strips still flat as sewn, press, picking up the iron as you work down the strip not sliding it.  I also do not use any steam, notice empty iron!

Open the top strip out, then press again.  Be sure to not slide the iron, pick it up instead.  Continue sewing strips on in this manner.Once all of the strips are sewn onto the foundation your quilting is done.  Add the binding and the quilt is finished. 

 

One last favorite thing I’d like to note is a finger pin cushion.  This keeps my pins with me at my sewing machine, at the iron, and at my pinning table.  This is a big time saver for these projects.

Some of the quilts have fusible applique and therefore require a bit of stitching to add before the binding.  This stitching acts as more quilting. 

These quilts truly can be made in one day, 6-10 hours depending on which pattern you choose. Several of the patterns are designed for jelly rolls and charm squares which really minimizes your cutting time.  They make great gifts because they’re not a huge time or money commitment.

If you don’t already use my favorite things, go to your local quilt shop and ask for them. Perhaps my favorites will become your favorites.

Until next time,

Susan

 

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