May 22, 2012

Monkeying Around


IMAG0539 by Ayna Nixon

     My friend Ayna came to visit about a month ago. We decided to work on a project while she was here. We did  a LOT of work. It kinda sucks when it seems like work.  We did have some fun. Shopping in Joann’s for her fabrics and bouncing around town for a bit. Then, it was straight to work. This would be her first time using a frame for quilting. I knew that she would love it. It is a lot easier than pushing fabric around under a regular machine.

She bought 2 pack of fat quarters for the colors and 1/2 yard of the white fabric to make border on alternate blocks. Backing will take 1yard and 13 inches or 1 1/2 yard. I believe, she got a few yards just to add to her stash.  Plus, a quarter yard of green fabric for the binding.

These are for 10” blocks. Finished quilt size 40”*50” 

50 strips of 2 1/2” * 10 1/2”

30 2 1/2” * 6*1/2 strips that are for center of blocks.

The white strips are 40  of 2 1/2”* 7”

The white long strips are 40 of 2 1/2”* 10 1/2”

Ayna will be showing you the chaining technique in this post. It is a time saver. You just have to make sure you remember what strips you are putting together  and where you want them to go.



She  started by cutting out our strips that are 2 1/2 *10 1/2”.  If u are cutting fat quarters or other fabric. You could cut length to 10 1/2” and layer your stack and then cut strips. This will “cut” your time down for sure. The one thing I can always use more of is  time.


Here’s the stacks of the strips for this block. If you place them two at a time right sides together. You can chain these strips as well.


This the first block.  All sewn with 1/4” seams.


We took the short white strips and sewed these on top and bottom. Then, attached the long strips to each side.



These three photos above show her chaining the top short white strip onto the block. Once the block is sewn instead of cutting it and starting with another block. Just put the next pieces to be sewn up to the feed dogs and there you go. It’s pretty simple and saves time. Awesome.


This is the finished alternate block.

She laid the blocks out on the bed and began sewing blocks together two at a time. You wanna keep the seams short. This will keep your rows straighter. Always press your seams. This is very important.



This is the other side of the twosie block. Just another picture to show you.


This is what I mean about seams. I call them twosies and foursies. It seems silly, but it works for me. So, We will take two twosies and sew them into a block of foursies.


Here is the quilt top. It is sooo adorable. I love it.


I don’t have a mid arm or long arm :(, so, I am just using a plain old brothers machine. This machine doesn’t have a computer pad. This is a good thing. (We don’t wanna break the computer while in free motion.) My husband rigged the machine with wood handles and attached the foot with Velcro. So, the speed of the machine will be controlled by the hand, instead of the foot. So, the faster you  move the machine, the more you’d squeeze the foot with your hand. It takes some getting used to, but Ayna picked it up quickly.



This is my curious kitty, Tinkerbell.  She always has to be “in the know”.


Here, my mother-in-law, Sharon is getting the quilt ready. My husband, Jason is giving her assistance. When getting started, we have to do a stabilizing stitch at the edge. You want to keep your backing a bit bigger than the front.


This is serious.


Here is a close up of Ayna’s work. Very impressive.


Here’s the final product. Beautiful!


Here’s the back. We worked long hours to get to this point. I was still working on mine. Well, you saw the end of that quilt (stars and chains). I told her next time she visited, we’re doing a smaller project. Haha! We will do more  lunches and trips to Joann’s than sewing. Anyway, she helped me get  through the sewing monotony.

Have fun sewing!  Blog at ya later.

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Maira Gall