Category Archives: Project Finishes

Quilted Postcards {Tutorial}

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In my previous post, I shared my current experiment with quilted postcards. I make a finished 4 x 6″ standard sized postcard. Here is the list of materials and the instructions which start after you have a finished 4 1/2 x 6 1/2″ postcard front.

Materials

  • One (1) 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ pieced front
  • One (1) 4 1/2 ” x 6 1/2″ backing fabric
  • One (1) 4 x 6″ Fusible Fleece (like Pellon 987F) or
    Two (2) 4 x 6″ SF101 Pellon ShapeFlex
  • Thread for piecing/quilting
  • One (1) Adhesive Postcard back (purchased from Amazon.com)

Instructions

The postcards cannot be too thick otherwise you will not be able to use normal postcard postage so I use fusible fleece that is like a quilt sandwich or two pieces of Shape Flex interfacing (one on each side fused to the back and the top).

I have two ways of making my postcards. The first is not that different from a normal quilt, and can be seen in this image below. Take the postcard pieced top and baste to the fusible fleece, and then baste with a glue stick the bottom fabric to the fusible fleece. Quilt as desired, trim. Zig-zag or overlock the edge of the post card to finish.

Balance_Postcard

The second method, I chose since I was using bias tape and wanted to encapsulate the bias tape edges within the edge of the postcard. Here are the step by step instructions for this finish.

  1. Fuse the fusible fleece to the top of the pieced postcard top.fullsizeoutput_23fb
  2. Quilt the top with the fleece as desired and add the bias tape to the front.fullsizeoutput_23f9
  3. Place the top and back right sides together (RST). Stitch a 1/4″ seam around the postcard edge, leaving a two inch opening along one edge.fullsizeoutput_23f7
  4. Cut the corners inside the seam line, removing the bulk in corners. fullsizeoutput_23fc
  5. Turn the postcard inside out, using a chop stick or pencil end to push the corners out.
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  6. Press the postcard edges, to position the seams folds correctly. Top stitch the edge of the postcard. fullsizeoutput_23fe
  7.  To finish the postcard, take one of the adhesive postcard backs and place it on the back side of the fabric.
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The other size you can consider is a 5 x 7″ postcard and you will need to purchase the appropriate adhesive backs.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you make any postcards I would love to see them on Instagram – just tag me @ml_wilkie or use #quiltypostcards.

 

 

 

 

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Quilted Postcards

I had a goal for September to make 30 postcards in 30 days (#30daysofpostcards) and have been sharing over on Instagram. Well, I will have 30 but it will take me more like 60 days. It has been the greatest experiment to play with 4 x 6″ quilts. I love it as I get these ideas all the time, and this size allows me to play but not invest too much time, to see if it works or not.

Right now, I am at 29 postcards. I am sending around 17 of them off, as postcards, to people who wanted to receive one. They in turn will send one postcard to someone else. I love the idea of sending a traditional note, a piece of mail, with a little quilty inspiration.

The first postcard that kicked it off was inspired by my effort in finding balance. The line representing balance and the quilting about finding the positives. I had to use my wonder women stamps in this pic., it seemed fitting.

Balance_Postcard

I have a couple of other book project ideas rolling around in my head. I experimented with both ideas and will likely move forward with these as book projects.

The first is a project based on the plastic construction fences.
PlasticFence_Postcards

The second an improvisational triangle idea that is based on airplanes. ImprovTriangles_Postcard

With these next two postcard, I had vivid shapes pop into my head that I could not shake. The first being a Square with a cream border on one side, and one half made up of two triangles at various heights and dimensions. I played with the white and cream solids, stripes and black linen for interest.

Minimalism2_Postcard
The second shape was split across 4 postcards, where each had a corner of a square. One of the corners was a 1/4 circle instead. In my head this 1/4 circle was also the opposite in color combination. I had not envisioned a color combination but decided when making it to do it in a navy and bright yellow. This is my favorite combination and will likely become a much larger quilt at some stage.
Square_Circle_Postcard

For the longest time, I have admired Erin Wilson’s work (@erinwilsonquilts) who does amazing line work in her quilts. These last postcards were my study of lines. I still need to quilt these two.

LinesStudy_Postcard

I have loved playing with this size that I think I might do another round, but this next one will be a cohesive collection vs. random experiments. I am thinking of playing with minimalism or just with lines in a specific color-way. The idea is still forming.

PS. If you are living in the US, I was very surprised with some of the great stamp collections the USPS (US Postal Service) has at the moment. I went a little crazy in purchasing a few, so I am thinking my son can now collect stamps ;-).

PPS. In a couple of days, I will post a tutorial so that you too can make your own quilted postcards. I am just finishing editing the photos.

 

Maker’s tote II {a finish}

MakersToteLarge_Front
I finally have my own maker’s tote (a noodlehead pattern) and its the large version of it. You may remember a couple of months ago I shared some tips on making a maker’s tote. At that stage I had finished a small maker’s tote (which I gifted) and I was 3/4 through making this one.
MakersToteLarge_Back

I have finally added the binding and the handles, which was all that was really left to finish. I added a bright pink binding to pull out the pink in the insects and natural Essex yarn-dyed linen handles that match the zipper covers (in the inside part of the bag).

The only additional  problem area I had while finishing this one up, was actually catching all the layers when I sewed in my gussets. I missed lining in some areas.  Next time, I think I may glue the lining to the edges of the top as well.  Luckily, I discovered this in time,  before stitching on the binding, so I could unpick and re-stitch areas while sewing on the binding.

MakersToteLarge_Inside

The bag is a success. I have already used my bag for a quick overnight business trip. I used it actually for my change of clothes and toiletries and it worked great!! I love my new bag, highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make one.

 

Safari Moon Fractal Quilt {a finish}

Last month, I was digging around my WiP pile and found a finished 60 x 60″ quilt top. This is one of my early quilts from 2014, and one of a few made from a pattern. The pattern is Fractal from the book Quilt Lab.

Safari_Fractal_QuiltTop_Complete

I made a decision last year, that if I did not have a quilting plan for myself to execute on, it was ok to send quilts off to my LQS for long-arming. That is what I did with this one. I dropped it off to Cary Quilting Company, decided on an edge to edge Baptist fan design and ~$90 later (includes batting) I have a finished quilt.

SafariMoonFractalBack

It was perfect timing too, as a friend’s daughter just turned one, and she is now a proud owner of her own quilt.

SafariMoonFractalQuilt

I did find it interesting reflecting on where I started to where I am now, but relieved to say that this is off my WiP pile.

Details

Name: Safari Moon Fractal
Design:
Fractal from Quilt Lab (Alexandra Winston)
Fabric: Safari Moon, Frances Newcombe, Art Gallery Fabrics + Variety of solids
Backing: Tula Pink Free Fall wide back
Binding: Utopia, Frances Newcombe, Art Gallery Fabrics
Dimensions:  60 x 60″
Quilted: Baptist Fan @ Cary Quilting Company

 

 

 

 

Traverse Bag {a finish}


Recently, I traveled to Denver for a weekend of catching up with some sewing buddies and fun. In other words, Sewtopia. This is my favorite event and I look forward to it each time. This time, we got to have a class with Anna Graham from Noodlehead.

We made her Traverse Bag, a recently released pattern. Spending time with her, talking about her work, her patterns etc. was such a memorable event. Corrinna, my Sewtopia roomie, by fluke, chose the exact same fabric for the back, but in different color ways. It’s a Japanese print we both found at Bunny Designs at our last Sewtopia in Austin.

I love this little bag, only my third I had ever made!! This was the first time using actual bag hardware to make that strap. Strap and piping is a mint Cotton + Steel basic.

Lifting the front flap reveals two fantastic slip pockets. I lined all the pockets with Tula Pink’s Owl fabric.

There are two zipper openings. One revealing the opening to the main pocket at the top of the bag.  The other zipper opening is on the bag where a pocket is perfect for storing my phone.

I really enjoyed making this bag. It can easily be done in 3 hours (if all your fabric and prep work is done before hand – add about 2 hours for the prep work).

So, this was my only finish at Sewtopia. On the last day, things wrapped up around 12pm. This gave me time to walk around the downtown, before catching my flight home. I bumped into this guy peering into the convention center 😉

 

Maker’s Tote {a finish}

Friends and I have gotten together for two sew days to make Noodlehead’s Maker’s Tote. While others start theirs, both times I avoided it. I was apprehensive for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s my second bag I have ever made, and the first was 3 years ago.
  • There are several new techniques that I have not done before.
  • I wanted it to be good (funny how this stops us making things).

Finally, over Easter weekend and the following week, I managed not just one but started two Maker’s totes (a large and a small). I really wanted to have one for myself and one for a gift at Sewtopia Denver (this past weekend). Yes, I decided to try a brand new pattern the weekend before I needed it….Procrastination in my middle name :-).

Overall, the bag pattern is really not that complicated. Anna (@noodlehead) really walks you through the pattern step by step. I really enjoyed making them. There were a lot of lessons learned which you will find as tips below.

For the Large tote (which is the one I am keeping), I decided that I would finally cut into the Cotton Steel bug print which I have been hoarding and paired it with a Carolyn Friedlander print, pinks and Citrus.

The small tote, is made with this fabulous strawberry print from Cotton and Steel. The inner lining is the metallic Lizzie House Asterix,  the accents in various red prints and Art Gallery Denim.

I decided to quilt both bags. I liked the finish of them quilted. I used Aurifil 50 wt to quilt the bags.   Tip: Glue baste the fabric to the soft and stable. The first one I pin basted and I still got movement and the fabric shifted as I quilted.

I loved the bug fabric so much, I almost decided not to include a pocket. I did add the front pocket, but to keep the fabric the focus, I matched the print the best I could. I loved how it turned out.

Tip: Remember the 1/2″ seam allowance when trying to cut and match the print. This one landed up being a little lower that I would have liked but it still works.

On the back is a zipper pouch. On my large Maker’s Tote (the first one I was making), I found that the pins for the inside pouch did not stop the fabric from rolling/popping out when top-stitching around the zipper. Tip: For my small Maker’s Tote I glue basted the fabric to the soft and stable to hold it in place. It was easy to peel off when I needed to stitch the pocket seams.

I had a hard time with this zipper pocket on the small tote, I managed to stitch the pocket lining all the way through the zipper stitching, the handles, the joining of the bag layers (inner and outer), and the binding. The pocket lining was not down but landed on being flipped up. I unpicked all the offending stitches to free the pocket lining and re-stitched.   Tip: The lesson learned, make sure you have your pocket lining is facing down before any other step.

The inside lining and pockets were a breeze. If you have made Anna’s Carry-All pin cushion then the pockets are very similar instructions. I had some difficulty installing the zipper binding. The stitching appears on the outside so you will need straight lines. Tip: I  landed up glue basting both sides, drew a straight line using a marker, then stitched these two lines.

The gusseted ends were easy to make, but the hardest part of the making of the bag. I used binding clips as recommended in the pattern. This worked well for placement as I did have to play with moving the gusset around the bag to make it even and finish at the same height on both sides of the bag.  Tip: Use the binding clips to get placement and then glue baste it down. The clips get in the way of turning of the gusset as you stitch it in. Also, use a walking foot, I used a zipper foot as proposed which worked ok, but I think the walking foot would have handled the thickness better. No-one will see your seams when you are done….they are covered by the binding.

Final Tip: For the binding, stitch on the inside binding with a machine, but hand-stitched the binding to the front. Press the binding. I think it gave it a nicer finish.

I still need to finish the binding and handles of the large tote, but the small tote is finished and gifted!!

I can highly recommend this pattern. I loved making it and it is such a great finish. The small tote (after working out all the gotchas in the large tote) only took ~4 hours.

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Pink Sherbet {a finish}

What feels like forever ago, I posted a secret project out on Instagram.

Pink_Strip_Piecing

Well, that project had its reveal to on Love Patchwork and Quilting Instagram and Facebook accounts. “Pink Sherbet” is a pattern in this month’s issue of LPQ #43.

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Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting

This is a huge project for me, as its only the second time I have made a twin size quilt.  I am also not a fan of pink, so getting the right balance was important for me. I loved playing with the improvisational strip piecing and seeing some of my favorite prints in the mosaic of pink.

A couple of design decisions, included adding 3 areas of scrappy grey piecing into the sashing – the bottom left corner was just some strips, the right middle was a variety of quarter triangles, and lastly (which is almost hidden) top second left strip has a few flying geese (also in the first image above).

The other design decision was to add a bright yellow binding, which I think offers a great complementary warm color, balancing the silver grey. This yellow is also in the back with some great Alexander Henry 60 looking prints.

michelle-wilkie2
Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting

Details

Name: Pink Sherbet
Design:
Original Design
Fabric: Pink Strips of variety prints, Kona Sliver
Backing: Alexander Henry (mostly)
Dimensions:  72 x 90″
Quilted: Large Circles by Cathy Kirk @ The Quilting Cowgirl

The best news is that LPQ are starting a sister TV channel (Sewing Quarter – coming soon..tomorrow in fact) and you may see this quilt in the backdrop of the set sometime.