Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eldon getting close

Eldon is getting close to being done, at least the body of the quilt. The setting log cabins were added between the star blocks, and the background batik diamonds as well. All the blocks now have the background diamonds sewn on, and the diagonal rows are starting to be assembled.

The fabrics are on a huge design wall, which is insulation board covered with flannel. If only it could stay like that and not need sewing! Oh, well, it would be hard to keep it together without sewing it!

Designer visits Back Door Quilts

We've had lots of people in the shop lately including locally famous quilters, shop owners and former shop owners, and we love to visit with all of them. We don't usually think to get pictures, but when Tara Lynn Darr from Sew Unique Creations came to visit last Saturday, we were inspired by her blog and camera, and pulled ours out. Unfortunately, our pictures didn't turn out, so we'll have to let you see Tara's on her blog:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Eldon in Progress

Progress is being made! All the stars have log cabins in the eights sections between the points. It wasn't hard to do, I just had to do one side at a time. Careful pressing ensures that the blocks are flat. All the connector log cabins are made, so the next step is putting the background diamonds on like the star in the top left. Watch those seam allowances!

Come on Spring

We're thinking Spring in the shop! We have the cutest Spring Tree as you come in, and it's covered with watering cans, flowers, Spring signs, vintage chenille stem garland and more. It's all for sale! Get some and make your own Spring tree at home.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shop Hop continues

Well, a few posts ago I said we were going to party, snow or no snow. The snow won! We are extending the Mardi Gras Shop Hop an extra week, until Saturday, February 27. But each store is going to just have their regular hours, so that means if they are closed on Monday, they will be this week, even though the Hop was extended. You can click on the link below to get to each shop's web site. Please check with the shops brefore you travel!

Shops include:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Breaking News

We are now a sub-dealer for Accomplish Quilting in Michigan. We have just taken delivery of a Statler Stitcher, and will soon have a Vision Home-Pro. You will be able to see demonstrations, take a longarm class, and rent time on one of our machines! You can even purchase your Gammill Longarm from us! We're working out the details, but we are really excited by this new partnership.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Eldon stars

The stars were easier! You just sew the long strips together and then use the template provided to cut the shape. The strips are slightly wider than the template, so all four sides are perfectly trimmed.

Next, the stars are sewn together in pairs, stopping 1/4" from the outside edge. Edyta includes holes in the templates for easy marking. Next step will be setting the log cabins into the stars. Wish me luck! Or at least perfect seam allowances!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The search for the perfect seam allowance I've been trying to get the perfect seam allowance on my machine, because it's critical for the First Saturday blocks and for the Eldon quilt that I'm working on. I'm getting the best results with this item. It's a cling that just lays on your sewing machine and table and the original purpose was to help with diagonal seams and corner connectors. It's great for that, but as an added bonus, I've found that the black line to the right of the vertical green stripe makes the perfect 1/4" seam!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First Saturday

We have quilts from two of the colorways for First Saturday completed, and I'll be making the third (Batik) block each month. The patterns from Lori Smith are terrific, with assembling and pressing directions, and the only thing I really had to be careful about was the seam allowances. What I decided to do was measure the pieces as I was putting them together, instead of waiting until the block was completed.
Here are some more First Saturday tips:
1) Starch the fabric for best results. We like the Mary Ellen's Best Press or heavy duty spray starch. Spray the pieces (separate darks and lights) and let them absorb the starch, then press dry. Be careful not to stretch the fabric.
2) Cut carefully. We included a smidge more fabric than the pattern will say, but there's not much more! In most cases, there's not enough fabric to oversize the blocks then trim later. If in doubt, measure twice and cut once.
3) Check your seam allowance as you go--don't wait until the block is done! For example, in the first block there are half-square triangles that are sewn next to a 2" square. The half square triangles need to measure 2" as well, and if they don't, you need to adjust your seam. The blocks this year have lots of pieces in them, so you will need to be accurate.
4) Pressing arrows are included in this pattern, so you won't have to guess. Once in a while, there are none, so you can choose for your self.

Accurate seam allowances

I've been working on the Eldon quilt from one of our favorite designers, Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. Edyta always has something exciting going on, and new ways to make old blocks. This pattern includes templates for cutting the pieced strips accurately, and I found that I really had to watch my seam allowances so the log cabin squares wouldn't be too big or too small.

Using the Clearly Perfect Angles cling on my sewing machine, I carefully sewed all the seams together in the log cabin blocks, then trimmed them with the template provided when I was done. I also marked the corner dots so I would know where to stop and start the seams.

Mardi Gras Shop Hop

Snow or no snow, we're going to party! The Mardi Gras Shop Hop is Feb. 12 – Feb. 20, 2010 from 9-6 each day, closed Sunday. When you purchase your party pass, you will receive a string of gold beads. When you visit the shops, each one will have a string of different color beads for you. Since the hop is during Mardi Gras, any shops you visit on Fat Tuesday will give you a free fat quarter. All during the hop, each shop will have a pattern using fat quarters as well as a block pattern and kit, and a kit for that shop’s project. The blocks are made from Moda’s Bella Black and batiks. Party Pass is $5 through Feb 11, and $6 during the Shop Hop.

Shops include:

Always In Stitches, Noblesville

Back Door, Greenwood

In Stitches, Rushville

Pohlar Fabrics, Liberty

Quilt Shoppe, Anderson

River’s Edge Quilt Co., Shelbyville

Ruth’s Legacy, Pendleton

Shiisa Quilts, Bloomington

Stitching Nook, Richmond

Civil War Tribute

We started the Civil War Tribute in January, and it's been so popular that we are doubling the number of spaces available in this Block of the Month. We're waiting on patterns, so it will take a week or so to be able to send out the blocks, but we're very excited about the response we've had for this program. Check it out on our web site