Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sewing Patriotic Jelly Rolls into QOV quilt tops w/Updates

Starting the New Year off right by tackling another project that's been on my bucket list for quite a while - a patriotic jelly roll quilt!  Here's one in progress on one of my very favorite vintage Singers:

Singer 15-91 sewing patriotic jelly roll strips
 Since I've volunteered to host a National Quilt of Valor Sew Day in my area on February 1, 2014 AND while setting that up also agreed to become a 4-H youth SPIN leader, sharing how to make Quilts of Valor quilts, decided our first project should be FUN and fairly simple, with a stunning finished quilt product.  After doing some research, which jogged my memory about the recent jelly roll quilt races:

Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company demonstrates 'how' to make a jelly roll quilt from start to Finish!

And thought well gee, we could do that with 'patriotic jelly rolls', add a few borders to get these Quilts of Valor jelly roll quilts up to QOV Standards of Excellence and voila - we'd have some really neat patriotic QOV jelly roll quilts, and our local youth would not only learn a few sewing/quilting skills, but the incredible experience of volunteering their time to help create Quilts of Valor for our deserving Veterans...Win/Win!

There are only a few things one needs to learn AND remember while constructing these fast and FUN jelly roll quilts, and one is to chop off the first 18" or so of one of the first strips prior to laying down your first run of stitches, and I'll explain in a few.  I didn't have a problem remembering to do this on the first jelly roll quilt.

However, Please raise your hand if you forgot to do it on the second one and had to rip!  You know how you know if you forgot?  When you get to that first set of seams and they line up...duh?!?  They're supposed to stagger/be off-set, mine weren't!  Dang - after ALL these years of sewing, (longer than many of you have been breathing), I STILL HATE TO RIP!  But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do if she wants to get back to sewing!

TIP:  If you don't have one of these 18" strips sitting next to your sewing machine prior to running that first pass of stitches for your first seam, STOP and whack off that piece!

the 18" whack-off piece - notice the 'ripped stitches' on the left side...
Alrighty then,  now that the ripping is completed and the whacking of the 18" piece has ensued, back to sewing:

Sewing the first patriotic jelly roll strips together - first pass on my FUN Bernina...

Chain piecing the strips altogether

And clipping and trimming the strips apart and trimming those seam allowances:

Trimming joining seams

Jenny uses scissors, I prefer rulers, rotary cutter & mat - BOTH work great!

I've been putting ALL my nice-sized trimmings into a collection box that will be shipped to those really neat folks over at Quilts Beyond Borders, just as soon as it's really good and FULL, which won't be too much longer:
Trimmings to be sent to Quilts Beyond Borders
 And now for the reveal, drum roll Please ;-)

First patriotic jelly roll quilt top - all ready for red/white/blue borders!

I'm thinking all-over 'STARS', like what was applied to Chris's Quilt of Valor for the quilting using Rainbows Patriotic variegated...still pondering.  I'll make that final quilting decision AFTER those borders are added.

2nd patriotic QOV jelly roll quilt top ready for borders

And this colorful Quilt of Valor should benefit from the newest panto released from, Soar - with all of its incredible movement, Soar should give this quilt its final quilting due.

For now, time to get back to sewing and of course quilting - just about finished with that stunning Quilt of Valor...

UPDATE 2/20/2014:  Borders added to patriotic jelly roll QOV #1:

3 Red/White/Blue borders added prior to quilting

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Anyone for a QR coded Quilt Label...?

I've been wanting to write about this QR topic for quite awhile, now.  I stumbled across this really great tut over at Cindi Quilts blog while searching for a really neat quilt care label, which they also happened to have and which I keep under my Favorite Tutorials Tab.  This one will soon join that list ;-)  First, I'll show you the finished product and we'll go from there:

Quilt label w/QR code attached on left side
Here's a close-up of the QR coded label:

QR code printed onto muslin
What's soooo neat about having a QR code on a quilt label in the first place?  And just HOW did I do it?  And Why?

First things first ;-)  This particular QR code is encrypted with the actual blog address to a particular quilt, which happens to be my DGD's Dr. Who quilt, recently completed.

I printed it onto fabric - white heavily starched muslin in this case, using the crafter/quilter's tried and true wax backed freezer paper:

Just iron it onto the back of whatever fabric you wish to print and/or write on using a dry iron, (I recently used this same method to write on a T-shirt for one of my daughter's Christmas presents - worked great!), make sure the fabric piece you wish to print is the proper size for you printer and print away.

First, you will need to pop over to and click on “QR Code Generator”, as Cindi instructs and plug in the web/blog address you wish to have a QR code generated for.  Capture the code, save as a jpeg, .pdf or various other file formats, whichever you desire and save.  I had greater luck copying and pasting the saved file into the center of a word document and then printing, but that's just me.

You'll also need a tag reader for your phone or computer.  There are a whole bunch out there,  I did a search on my iphone for tag reader and found an iHandy scan QR & Barcodes app for F R E E and downloaded - it works like a jet to scan my QR codes, (the Pro version is available for a small fee, I haven't had the need so far).  This particular QR scan will take one directly to the Dr. Who blog posting about this quilt!  How cool is that?

I also made a general QR code just for my blog that can be incorporated into a Quilt Care label like Cindi did and another for some charitable projects I'm currently working on and for my Civil War quilts and...the possibilities are endless.  For a complete tutorial about this, hop/skip/run over to Cindi's and Read ALL About It!  She keeps it available for ALL of us under her Tutorials link.  Is that nice of her or what, I ask You?!?  If you happen to decide to use some of her nifty quilt ideas like I have, drop her a line and let her know how great you think they are - I did!

Oh, and just for you pic-lovers, I took a few of the actual Dr. Who quilt label being created so, here you go:

Dr. Who quilt label getting embroidered

Checking QR label placement next to embroidery

Originally, I was going to print the QR code onto the fabric for the embroidered label first, then hoop and embroider but I thought, what if I goof on placement and one little teeny-weeny embroidery stitch happens to stitch into the QR code and ruin it soooo, decided to print/embroider separately and then attach the QR label upon completion of the embroidery.  It worked great, too, because I was able to print-out different sizes and check to make sure they would fit and that they scanned properly, which they did!

Embroidery ALL finished - time to attach the QR label (above)
This was FUN to do and a really neat way to 'code' those labels for the intended who might enjoy "reading their quilt's story", and there's even a way to 'track' the codes if one so chooses...

 And now, time to get back to quilting a stunning QOV - pics coming soon!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dr. Who FINALLY coming off my frame...! w/Updates

The looooong awaited Dr. Who quilt is FINALLY coming off my frame - woohoo!!!

Dr. Who coming off the frame - FINALLY!
With the current blizzard on it's inevitable way, I knew my quilting time could be limited, especially if we lost our power - which in fact we have a few times just today!  So I decided to get busy quilting and see what I could do and once again, came out pretty good, me thinks ;-)

I used several different threads and more than one quilting technique to get the final quilting effect.  The usual clear mono-poly was used for SID and for all the embroidered blocks, in addition to McTavishing for the background fill for each embroidered block.

UPDATE:  Just when I was all ready to post, we lost our power for 18 hours overnight yesterday.  Wind chills went to -45 below 0!  Thank goodness for little generator - at least we were able to keep our household temps above 50 ;-)  Now, if we can keep it on one more night, windchills are projected at -50 below tonight - let's keep our fingers AND toes crossed and covered up!

Jade's Dr. Who quilt...
Angela Walter's playful 'pulley' quilting motif w/McTavishing


All ready for binding - yippee!
Dr. Who Quilt stats:
Binding will commence just as soon as I make one last trip upstairs to the quilting studio to make sure the heat and water are still working while letting the golden bears/retrievers out for another quick romp and I FINALLY get to take a nice loooong HOT shower....

UPDATE 1/07/2014:  my dear DIL, Emily snapped this photo yesterday sitting in their truck while my son dropped off an LP heater for us, prior to our power returning:

My golden bears/retrievers (brothers) on duty 'guarding' the TITAN generator!
I had to let them out 'occasionally' for short romps in the snow, which they love, and for potty breaks.  Because of the cold temps, we just couldn't let them stay out for too long.  However, whenever ANYONE pulls into the driveway, they insist on being put back on duty, even if only for a few minutes, as in this case when my son and his new bride came by with another heater and generator for one of our farm buildings that has/had running water ;-) 

Stay safe & warm,

PS...I was in such a rush to take my nice looong HOT shower I totally forgot to mention one other HUGE quilting element of Judi Madsen's.  Every Dr. Who fabric filler block utilized her continuous double/triple circle quilting motif.  I also included it on several of the blue borders using the silver thread. This quilting motif creates great eye candy, simple to do once you practice it for a few minutes and most importantly FUN!  You can find it and many, many more incredible quilting designs in her new book, "Quilting Wide Open Spaces", and I featured it in one of my recent blog postings, "A First for My Blog...;-)"

Dr. Who Quilt blog links from start to finish: