Friday, January 28, 2011

Thread for Boston Commons

For this quilt, the top quilting thread will have to blend in with the pinks and variety of blue fabric. I pulled some of my lighter shades of Superior's King Tut 40 wt. cotton thread to audition for the quilting.

The quilting plan is to quilt a grid across the entire surface of the quilt. The piecing seams will be stitched-in-the-ditch and the stitching will extend across the inner pink accent border and the outer blue border. To get an idea what the thread will look like, the strands of the different colors are set on the pink and blue fabric.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boston Commons Quilt

A Boston Commons Quilt is constructed of strip sets which provide enough to make two quilts, sometimes called a two-for-one quilt. Typically made of two color gradations, this twin sized quilt features a variety of pinks in the middle and moves to shades of blue out to the border. The other quilt is a small square quilt with blue in the middle and pink on the outside edges. That will be finished later. For now, the focus is on the twin sized quilt.

This quilt top was pieced by my friend, Ruthann, who gave it to another friend, Felicia, about seven years ago. She asked me recently if I would help her finish it up and quilt it for her daughter, Aimi. The quilt covers a standard twin mattress but we plan to make it a bit bigger.

First, we trimmed the blue triangle edges off, to make a straight edge. Then we added a 2" inner pink border.

Next we will add a dark blue border which will really make the pink inner border pop.

Copyright ©2011, Sharon Baggs

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Tuffet Class

My first completed Tuffet was the black, white, and yellow pictured (right) for my daughter. See my previous post (Christmas Gift #2). I took a class at Pioneer Quilt Shop in Happy Valley, Oregon, taught by Judy Dillree (also right, standing). She has made several of these adorable foot stools, including the four pictured (left). Judy will teach this class again on Tues., March 8 & 29, 1-5. Contact for more information.

Judy is a wonderful teacher who provided helpful tips and an opportunity to purchase the plywood base and 6" foam insert needed to upholster the tuffet. I bought an extra set so I can make another tuffet in the future.

With two class sessions, held two weeks apart, we were able to sew the top together during the first class and return for the second class to put the tuffet together, adding a felt bottom over the base and hardware to secure the bun feet.

Heavy weight decorator fabrics, similar to those used to upholster a dining chair, made this tuffet special.  High gloss black spray paint to finish the four feet, add to the regal appearance.

So many beautiful fabrics! Here are a few other tuffets made in class:


Copyright ©2011, Sharon Baggs

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas Gift #2

This 18" round footstool is made of black, white, and yellow fabric. The pattern is The Tuffet, designed by Myra for PM Lane's Patterns. I took a class to put this together and it was great fun! I've been wanting to made this design for quite some time. In my next post, I'll share some photos of the other tuffets made by my classmates.

Some of the fabric is newly purchased but much of it came from my stash of black and white fabrics. My oldest daughter's room is decorated with black and white with yellow accents so this will look great in front of her black futon.

Our first class consisted of sewing fabric strips to eight panels. I think it would be fun to free motion quilt over these panels before putting the tuffet together, but I had to be realistic with this first time around and just focus on putting it together to get it done.

At the second class, we put the sewn top onto a 6" foam insert over an 18" round plywood base. Batting is added to the top to fill in all the soft spots and make a firm cushion.

Once the tuffet is covered, the center is secured with a fabric covered button. We used a 2-1/2" button made by Dritz but a large standard 2" button could also be used.

The bottom of the tuffet was covered with a black felt circle and stapled in place. Then the necessary hardware was added to the bottom of the plywood base over the felt, so the four feet could be added. These bun feet were purchased at The Home Depot. Interestingly, everyone in the class had a different set of feet for their tuffet.

I spray painted the feet with black matte paint. I set up a box in the garage and sprayed them in that. Light sanding between coats help achieve a better finish. I adhered non-skid 1" circles to the bottom of each foot.

The most challenging part was dealing with the winter temperatures so I ran a small heater/fan to dry the feet between coats and to ventilate the area. Next time around, I'll do this process on my back patio during the summer.

Copyright ©2011, Sharon Baggs

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas gift #1

I made a couple of non-quilted, handmade gifts for Christmas. The first is a messenger bag, constructed of canvas fabric. I followed the directions provided by which were very clear and easy to follow. I did, however, make three modifications: the addition of two D-rings, a slightly larger pocket and larger velcro closures.

First, I added two D-rings, one to each end of the strap to allow items with clips to be attached to the bag. I wrapped the end of the strap over the straight edge of the ring and sewed through all thicknesses onto the bag, using a zipper foot attachment so I could sew closely to the ring. I double-stitched a long rectangle and sewed an 'x' through the center.

On the inside of the blue canvas lined bag, I attached a black pocket. The original directions call for a 7" zipper but I had a 9" zipper so I made it slightly larger. In addition, I added sew-on velcro, a 2" x 2-1/4" strip to each side of the bag. The original directions list 7/8" fusible squares but that didn't sound like enough security to me.

A final personal touch is the "tap" pin. Having lost other pins in the past, I secured this one with some thread. My youngest daughter dances tap and ballet and she's ready to go back to the studio in the new year.
Copyright ©2011, Sharon Baggs