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11  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: I think I"m done making my friends baby quilts on: November 19, 2007 08:23:37 PM
It seems to me that the "oooh I can't believe they were TOO CHEAP to buy me something" element might come into play frequently with things like weddings where a fairly expensive present has come to be the norm.  (Of course WE know that a homemade quilt usually represents a bigger investment than we otherwise would have made for that person, but oh well...)   
I just had the opposite experience.  My cousin was married recently, and they requested 'no gifts' and I just can't attend a wedding without giving, so I made a throw sized quilt.  I knew their decor and lifestyle, so I went with all organics, neutral & natural colors.  They were really mad that I gave them a gift, but appreciated how much time went into it.  They even sent pictures of it on their sofa.  Of course the fabric cost a fortune, and I would have happily spent that money on something off the registry, but they didn't have one, so...

I do agree that you have to know your audience.  I made my sister a quilt (on her request) and mocked it up in Adobe Illustrator before I purchased the fabric, she approved it - I made it, and she says she loves it, but I have yet to see her use it.  Oh well, at least I felt like I achieved something!
Smiley
12  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Newbie question on baby quilt on: November 19, 2007 07:33:41 PM
I think the 'bag' method is one of the easiest ways to finish up a quilt if you don't want to mess with binding.  If you're worried about the edges needing something, you can try a contrasting thread and top stitch around the edges. 

If you haven't assembled yet, you can add a border to the quilt top of about 1"-2" thick so that top looks like it has an edge, but then you can just sew it all as described in the original post, turn it and top stitch around the edge.

I wouldn't go and add a binding if you are using this method - it would add a lot of unnecessary time to the project.

Good luck!
13  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Quilt top keeps smooshing downwards while quilting...HELP on: November 11, 2007 06:39:58 PM
Also, quilting from the center out...
Yes, yes, yes.  It took me forever to learn that one.  I would always start at the top and go down and would end up with the same distortion.  Quilting from the center out helps a lot.  Also, I found basting from the center out made a big difference.  It helped push out any preliminary wrinkles towards the edges before quilting on top.

As far as basting spray goes - I have had problems with bunching using it too, but I think it was the same problem - going from one side to another and not from the center out. 

Also, when I prepare the quilt sandwich, I stretch out and pin down the backing on my floor (on a newly vacuumed rug) then smooth out the batting as much as possible on top of it, and pin that down too.  Then overlay the top - which I fold into quarters and place in the middle then smooth out to the sides, and pin that down too.  Then the hours of basting.  The more you baste the better off you are.  Smiley
14  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Quilting Advice for Beginners on: November 11, 2007 06:31:37 PM
I make a lot of baby quilts, and find that one layer of quilters cotton and one layer of heavy flannel is all you need.  If the flannel is lightweight, then I use 2 layers of flannel. 

Sometimes, even with a low-loft batting, those smaller quilts just stiffen up since they are so small.  I really like the flannel because it is very soft and bendy (for lack of a better description!).  Backing a quilt with flannel (and without batting) also gives the small blanket some weight without being too warm or heavy - and for infants, makes it really easy to swaddle a baby with.  Smiley 
15  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Do you prewash your fabrics? on: November 11, 2007 06:25:14 PM
I really don't like to pre-wash because of all the time it takes to press each piece afterwards, so being the organized person I am I've decided to follow these rules for myself...

1. If I'm not worried about bleeding (with all light colors for example) and I'm using all cotton fabrics, I don't pre-wash. 

2. I either pre-wash all fabrics for one project, or don't pre-wash any.  I've had bad experiences when a binding fabric was not pre-washed while the quilt top was and gotten strange shrinking. 

3. If I'm using 2 different materials (like cotton and minkee) I pre-wash the cotton but not the polyester - again so that there is no strange shrinking later on.  This also goes if I use a polyester batting but cotton fabrics, I'll pre-wash the cotton.

4. Reds and dark fabrics nearly all bleed, so I test a small piece first to see if I should pre-wash all the yardage, if they bleed then they get pre-washed.

Lastly, I've made the mistake of machine drying a dark green and a white at the same time - the dark green bled onto the white while drying - oops! Won't do that again.  Smiley
16  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Would like to make a quilt kit as a gift on: November 03, 2007 08:24:36 AM
Scanning the fabric on my scanner might work too!
Absolutely!  Why didn't I think of that.  Please let me know if it works so that I can use the idea for myself!  Smiley
17  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Machine Applique - Not sure where to start on: November 03, 2007 08:20:20 AM
That cookie monster quilt is awesome.  I think you could use three colors - white, black and blue - keeping your bobbin thread the same and just changing the top thread. 
18  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Would like to make a quilt kit as a gift on: November 03, 2007 08:02:19 AM
I think one of the easiest ways you can do this would be to take photos of your fabrics then print them out with a color printer.  You can then cut the paper into the shapes you need and arrange them in the pattern you want.  When you're done, glue or tape them all down to another piece of paper and either scan it into your computer to print out, or take it to a color copy place to reproduce. 

The only challenging part will be creating the right scale for the pictures/ prints, so you'll have to be sure to photograph each fabric from the same distance.

This way you can give your friend an idea of what the finished quilt will look like while giving her less work in decoding the pattern.  This is a great idea.  I think your friend will love it.  Smiley
19  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: have or would you ever sell a quilt? on: November 03, 2007 07:56:04 AM
I only saw one reference to Etsy on this thread, so I wanted to reiterate that.  Take a look on Etsy.com and see what others are selling theirs for - but keep in mind Etsy prices are on the low side.  I sell baby quilts for $40 (infant size) which take me 3 hours per blanket, but I have done custom toddler quilts too.  I charged $150 for the last toddler one I did because the customer gave me the majority of the fabric.  I have also made twin and queen sized ones (for friends) and have found that fabric costs alone will run you $100-$150 so keep that in mind when you select a price point.  I think $300-$500 is fair, and I would actually say $350 minimum for a twin, and $500 minimum for a full or queen size. 
20  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Ideas of how to bind a positively unruly t-shirt quilt? on: November 03, 2007 07:45:28 AM
I made one of these recently out of soft worn T-Shirts and I found the only way I could finish it off without going crazy was to 'bag it' meaning place right sides together - stitch around the edge, leaving a space for an opening. Flip it right side out, and hand stitch the opening.  I then used top stitching around the border to give it that finished look.  It is not my favorite way of binding a quilt - but in this case it was the easiest. 
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