Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fishing Lewis & Clark Quilt

This is my third Lewis & Clark quilt.  This one is a wide twin size quilt.  I took one row off of the side and the bottom of the original pattern.

A little bit closer view and a little different angle.  I backed this quilt with a tan full size flat sheet.  I trimmed the sheet to the size needed to back the quilt and have enough to fold to the front for a binding.  I machine stitched the binding with a straight stitch.

Here is a closer view of one of the corners.

 A close-up view of one of the blocks.  These squares and rectangles make a 12" finished block.

 The alternating 12" finished block is one solid piece of fabric.

My mom machine quilted this quilt for me.  The pieced blocks have these three fish swimming in a circle in each of them.
The one piece blocks have these fishing tackle boxes in them.

The borders have these fish in rows along them.

Iris Lewis & Clark Quilt

This is the second Lewis & Clark quilt I made.  This is a queen size quilt.  This pattern is great for fabric with large prints.

Here is a closer view of one of the corners.  The back is a king size yellow sheet.  I trimmed the sheet to the size needed to back the quilt and have enough to fold to the front as a binding.

A close-up view of the blocks.

The squares and rectangles make a 12" finished block.

The alternating 12" finished block is one solid piece.

This is the back side of the quilt showing some of the quilting detail.  My mom machine quilted this for me.

More quilting detail in some of the other blocks.

A close-up of some of the border my mom quilted.

Blue and Pink Floral Lewis and Clark Quilt

This the first Lewis & Clark quilt I made.  This is a queen size quilt.  I love this pattern.  It is very easy.  It was a free pattern on the Internet.  I searched for it today, but I couldn't find it.

Here is a closer view of one corner.  The back is a king size blue sheet.  I trimmed the sheet to the size needed to finish this quilt and folded the sheet to the front side and machine stitched it in place with a decorative stitch.

 Another close-up so you can see the blocks that make this quilt better.

Another close-up.  These squares and rectangles make a 12" finished block.
I put this quilt on my quilting frame.  Pinned it together and took it off the frame.  I quilted it by sewing diagonal lines through the center of each 12" block.  I followed this line from quilt edge to quilt edge.

The alternating 12" finished block is one solid piece.

Fish Quilt

This is a twin bed quilt I made several years ago.  The original pattern was a wall hanging.  I had to make four sets of fish to get it big enough to be a bed quilt.

 The plaid borders are the same plaids that the fish were made from.  The backing and green borders are a sheet.

Each fish is made from a large plaid and a small plaid.  The fin in the middle of the fish is attached at the top of the fin only.
My mom quilted this on her quilting machine for me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Braided Rug Making

My braided rug is finally finished.

This rug is 24 inches wide and 71 inches long.  See instruction on how to make this at the bottom of this page.  This was fun to make, but harder to keep the sides straight than I thought it would be.  And yes I would do this again.

Here is a close-up view.

These are the three color I used.  These strips of fabric are ready to be sewn.

I did not know how much fabric a rug would take, so I bought sheets from a thrift store.  I didn't want to invest to much money into an experiment.  The blue fabric was two queen size sheets.  One fitted and one flat.  The fitted sheet was worn quite thin in the center, so I was only able to use about half of it.  The black fabric was two twin size flat sheets.  The tan fabric was one king size flat sheet.  I have a lot of black and blue left over.  I used all of the tan.

I cut all of the sheets into 3 1/2 inch strips.  I cut the strips the length of the sheets to make them as long as possible.
Each end is cut off at a 45 degree angle.
I have a large bias tape maker and ran each strip of fabric through it to help make folding the outside edges to the center easier.  I ironed each strip as it passed through the bias tape maker.
Next I sewed several strips of the same color together to make very long strips.
I folded each strip in half and sewed the outside edges together.  This does not have to be done, but I did not like the way the edges came apart and spots curled up when braided.
Next I held the three strips together and made sure that there were no strips with seams next to each other.  There was so I cut about one foot off of one of the strips.
Next I cut the ends off straight on the beginning of each strip, folded the raw edged into the center of each strip, stacked them together and sewed them to hold them together.
I braided the strips together.  It took several tries of braiding, sewing, and unsewing before I realized that the strips needed to be braided tight.  I put a large binder clip on the beginning and hung the clip on the thread holder of my sewing machine.  I braided about 10 feet, put another binder clip at that point and moved the new clip to to the thread holder and braided more.  After about 40 or 50 feet I started making the rug.
I made the center strip four feet long.  Then I turned the braid and started working my way down the side of the center strip.  I found that small safety pins worked the best to hold the braid in place.
I bunched the braid together in the corners to make them a squared as possible.  I did not want an oval rug.  Each corner took about five or six safety pins.
I pinned several laps around the rug before I started sewing.  I sewed with mono filament thread.  I used a 16 needle, a wide zig zag and a little shorter than normal stitch length.  I made sure to leave a long enough section of braid undone so that I could attach more strips of fabric and have room to sew the strips closed without the rug getting in the way.
I stopped when I ran out of tan fabric.  Fortunately that was the finished size I had hoped for.
To finish the end I cut of the strip ends and folded the raw edges inside the strips.  Each strip is a different length.  I made sure the braid ended just around the last corner and blended smoothly into the side of the rug.  The ends of each strip were long enough to be sewn into the last row of zig zag.  This wasn't easy and took several tries to get it sewn right.
The braids have a lot of stretch to them.  My rug is not perfectly straight down each side.  Try to keep the tension on the braids the same.  I found that is the rug pulled in on one side then the next section of braid was pinned a little looser next to that area.  I the rug bulged in one spot then I pulled the next section of braid a little tighter when I pinned it to the bulge.

Determine the length and width you want your rugs to be.  Subtract the width from the length and that is how long the center strip will be.  I wanted my rug to be 6 feet long and 2 feet wide.  Therefore 6 - 2 = 4.  The center strip is 4 feet long.