Quilting Tools

We all need tools to work our quilting magic. Please leave a comment with the tool you use the most!

Bias Binder Calculator: Ever wonder how big to make your square to make bias binding? So Sew Easy has published a free excel sheet where you put in the length and width of your trimmed quilt and the width of your biased binding, et viola! It spits out how much binding you need and how big of a square you’ll need to start with.

How to Make Continuous Bias Binding: If you’re anything like me, you always forget which sides of the triangle to connect. Here are some links to on-line tutorials.

Craftsy: These instructions include clear photos with each step.

McCalls: Includes a video demonstration and clear written instructions.

Anjennette Klinder shows a unique way of doing continuous bias binding, without the long tedious cutting process on the end. The video is a Periscope, so it’s a live, unedited video, but be patient to see the magic!

How to Connect Binding: This is another area where I always have to quadruple check instructions.

OCMQG’s own Janet Crothers did a demonstration at a prior guild meeting. Watch the magic happen in this video.

Palette Builder: Play Crafts has a palette builder – upload a photo and the builder will show you the hex colors or the Kona solids or Aurifil colors that are the closest matches to the photo.

Randomized Quilt Top with Triangles! Play Crafts also has tools to help chose a random color palette or if you want to make a triangle quilt, this Equal tool randomizes the triangles and the colors in the palette in the size quilt you choose! Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 11.40.46 AM.png

QuiltCon – What’s Your Modern Style?

Contribution by Karen Aalders

There are many spectrums in modern quilting – the construction of the quilt top, the style of the quilting (stitch in the ditch, straight line, free motion), or on the artistic spectrum of eclectic (bold and scrappy) to minimalism. QuiltCon had quilts that represented all of these areas and were inspiring to people who are just starting out to folks who are diving into more advanced quilting techniques.

Many people come into modern quilting asking, “What is modern quilting?” and they get the gamut of answers – modern fabrics, lots of negative space, alternate grid work, improv, straight line quilting, free motion quilting that creates a picture in the negative space….

In my personal quilting journey, I started off as a traditional quilter (yes, there was Civil War reprint fabric in my stash), learning the traditional blocks and ways to finish a quilt. I did that for a while, until life happened and I took a break from quilting for about 10 years. When I was ready to get back into quilting, I found a quilt-a-long with Pile O’ Fabric and Carolina Patchworks, where the challenge was using solids and the pattern was made of bold, graphic lines. That’s when I fell in love with modern quilting.

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Groovy Movie Quilt pieced and quilted by Karen Aalders (pattern by Carolina Patchworks)

My journey moved on to trying wonky log cabins, using fabrics with more modern designs/colors, and experimenting with straight line and free motion quilting (can you say paisleys?).

By the time QuiltCon 2015 rolled around, I was ready to take the plunge into improv piecing, where you loose the rotary cutter and ruler. Now, that was scary. Then liberating and FUN.

This year, I’m dipping my toes even further – the Might Lucky Quilters Club is already stretching my comfort zone with using bias tape and creating a piece using minimalist methods.

Where are you in your modern quilting journey? How are you going to incorporate the sights from QuiltCon 2016 into your quilting journey?

Where ever you are in your journey, remember – there are no quilt police in Modern Quilting. Create and move along the modern quilting spectrums at your own pace.

Share your journey! We’d love to see your work – post your work with #quiltsofocmqg to share your experience with us.

 

Tips for Making a T-Shirt Quilt

At our September meeting, Janet solicited members’ knowledge on how they’ve approached making a T-Shirt Quilt. As usual, our members came through!

If you have a suggestion for making a t-shirt quilt, regarding design elements or construction, let us know in the comments.

Helene’s Tips:

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Helene made this quilt from her son’s tshirt collection
  1. This quilt has t-shirts, stabilizer, batting, and backing.
  2. Use iron-on stabilizer on all tshirt material (Karen recommends Pellon SF101); this allows using a 1/4″ seam and makes the material feel like quilting grade fabric
  3. Save scraps from the t-shirts, in case gaps need to be filled between the blocks

Trudy’s Tips:

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Trudy made this quilt from her Camp Tshirts
  1. This quilt has t-shirts and flannel (it’s really soft)
  2. Instead of using interfacing and batting, sew flannel to the back of the t-shirt blocks
  3. To create a boarder around the t-shirt block, piece the blocks so the seam is on the t-shirt side. Sew seam allowance open and down – a flannel border with raw edges is now visible on the t-shirt side of the quilt

Gail’s Tips:

Gail’s tshirt quilt is of her sisters work tshirts
  1. This quilt used t-shirts, stabilizer, batting, and backing
  2. Use stabilizer

Holly’s Tips:

Holly’s tshirt quilt in memory of a lost friend
  1. This quilt used t-shirts, stabilizer, batting, backing, and pieced blocks from quilting material
  2. Use a block pattern that can easily be adjusted in size to fill in any weird spacing issues due to different t-shirt block sizes.
  3. This type of pattern allows the quilt to be customized to the owner’s color preferences

Other tips:

  1. If the t-shirt has a plastic-y decal, do not iron over it! It will melt. Iron around it.
  2. Check Pinterest for ideas. Shannon found a schematic for using different block sizes.
  3. Use unique features of the shirt – special tabs/buttons – in the quilt design
  4. Browse Craftsy for classes on making a t-shirt quilt
  5. If the quilt will be a wall hanging, use flannel instead of batting to lighten the quilt. press the seams open, if you have to piece the flannel to make it big enough.

Suggestions for Making it Modern

  • Use all the same color t-shirts to create more negative space in the quilt
  • Cut t-shirts into strips, circles, hexagons, etc and piece back together randomly
  • Use different sized t-shirt blocks
  • Use a few t-shirt blocks as part of the overall design of the quilt
Lucinda’s in-process tshirt quilt in hexies