Easy Peasy Piecing

Last night was the first night I taught a Beginner Piecing class at my great friends’ quilt shop, Inspire! We started with this cute block design called Deck of Cards. The one above is mine and the beautiful ones below were completed by first-time quilters.
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A New Adventure: Machine Quilting

Loopy Flower
Until now, I have sent my quilts off to be professionally quilted with a long-arm quilting machine or I’ve simply tied them myself. Machine quilting myself was the last thing I wanted to attempt even though it’s a great time and money saver.

So, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and learn how to free-motion quilt using my own sewing machine. I’ve found a couple of amazing resources that I thought I’d share.

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Six-Pointed Star Quilt

Star Quilt Top
I’m not sure if you would classify this as a tutorial or a quilt-along; I’ll have to do more research and get back to you. For now, I just thought I’d share pictures of a quilt I’m working on. It’s going to be entirely hand-sewn and is meant to keep my hands busy when I’m watching TV or riding in cars. At the rate I’m going, though, I’m not sure I’ll ever get done.

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Upcycled Quilt Tutorial Part III: Preparing the Fabric

Upcycled Quilt Tutorial
Once you have all your garments chosen, I recommend putting them all through the washer and dryer together. This is particularly important if you want to be able to wash your finished quilt. If any material is going to shrink, now is the time for it to happen. Be aware that if some of the garments shrink when washed then you may not get as many fabric pieces out of the garment as you originally thought you would.

Next, I start cutting. I only rip open seams if it will yield more usable fabric pieces – we don’t need any extra work! Otherwise, I use fabric scissors to cut just next to the seam and use the rotary cutter and a ruler to do the rest. Keep a hot iron handy to press gathered or wrinkled areas flat for rotary cutting. Don’t forget to save the scraps. You may want to turn that smocked waistband into an adorable headband later on.

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Upcycled Quilt Tutorial Part II: Shopping for Suitable Fabric

Upcycled Quilt Tutorial
When you go to a thrift store to begin a new project, expect to spend some time. You should check every section including linens, men’s, and children’s. I employ the rule of grabbing whatever strikes my fancy and ruling out garments after I’ve been through the whole store. Be aware that the smaller the garment, the fewer useful pieces of fabric and the more expensive those fabric pieces are.

In this outdoor quilt, I have some squares of fabric that came from a camisole or a baby dress. Sometimes I only got 3 squares out of a garment, but if I loved the fabric, I didn’t mind taking seams apart to get just one more usable square.

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