Binding, I find it uninspiring

I know I know, some of you reading this will be saying “I love binding” well, I don’t. I don’t find it creative. Actually I believe it is the task of helping the heavy quilted quilt through the machine. That’s what makes me not enjoy binding. Sew, I need to figure out a way I can enjoy binding. After all it is the last step! I find it uninspiring so, lets try to think of a way to make it faster or more creative…

Here is what I find difficult when sewing the binding on the traditional way:

1-dealing with all the bulk through the machine, it is heavy.  Yes, I use my walking foot, also known as an even feed foot.

2-Next is having the quilt in my lap to hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt. Oh my, being that I am in MENOPAUSE! Are you kidding me! I’m an oven right now and to have the quilt on top of me for sewing…just ain’t gonna happen, LOL

3-Arthritis in my hands. Having to hold binding, needle with fingers that ache…not fun

So there are my 3 reasons why I don’t like binding

And, I must add, I do not enter any of my own quilts into quilt shows. If I did, then I would use the traditional method. It is a cleaner look.

You have probably figured out that I machine bind. I truly feel it is stronger than hand binding. You can argue with me if you want, I’m not going to change, see reasons listed above, LOL.

I have 2 methods of machine binding.

1- After squaring the quilt and preparing the binding, I sew the binding to the back of the quilt first. Roll the binding to the front, secure with pins or wonderclips, choose a decorative stitch with a pretty thread and SEW<— that is how I make it creative …pretty thread and a decorative stitch.

2-After squaring the quilt and preparing the binding, I sew the binding to the front of the quilt or top. Next I roll the binding to the back, secure with pins in the ditch from the front of the quilt. I only secure a little bit at a time so I don’t get poked with pins. Use my Digital Dual Walking foot with the ditch foot with guide. Position quilt with the binding ditch area directly in the line of the guide from the foot and sew in the ditch..hoping to catch the back of the binding in place.

I thought I’d show how I mark the binding at the corner. I use my Creative Grid Ruler “Bias Binding Simplified”. If you have this ruler you know that it has a 45° angle on one end. I place the ruler with the angled tip at my corner with the ruler going to my left. I mark the angled line with a chalk pencil. As I continue to sew towards the corner, the needle will land directly on the drawn line. That is where I STOP sewing, needle down, pressure foot lift and turn the quilt so I can sew off at the corner.  I then create the 45° sewn line for re-positioning the binding. Now I can continue onto the next side of the quilt.

My Digital Dual Feed Walking Foot. The Digital Dual Feed Walking Foot is belt driven. Directly behind the foot, is the belt that is 1/2″ wide and grabs the fabric gently advancing. Now top and bottom layers are fed through evenly. Love Love Love this foot.

 This is how I align my ruler. I get perfect mitered corners!

Happy Quilting (Binding) everyone,

Nancy McNally

 

 

The Element of Surprise

The Element of Surprise.

This is not the first time this has happened to me.

When it does it is a welcomed surprise!

You see, I had a deadline that was on top of me, breathing down my back “gotta finish this quilt, gotta finish this quilt. only have a week to piece, quilt and bind…gotta get this quilt done…call a friend (Cheri)” Cheri came over 3 days in a row. This quilt was not difficult, just a little different from the traditional method of piecing.

Sorry, can’t show you the quilt. In May 2018 will be the reveal

Once the quilt was pieced, it was time to quilt. Oh great, someone (me) forgot to request the backing fabric from the manufacturer.  Quickly scan my fabric shelves, do I have enough? Ummm of course I do! I found a wide backing I had purchased from a few years ago. Cheri ironed the wide backing.

Quilt is done, backing is ready. Now on to the longarm machine. We pinned the backing onto the leaders. Wound bobbins, threaded my Innova Longarm. Cheri cleaned off the table. I had not dusted it in a while :/

Grabbed my rulers for machine quilting. I love ruler work! At the same I am gathering my rulers, I’m telling myself , ” Don’t do anything complicated or time consuming!” Cheri must have heard my mind, because she was telling me the same thing, lol

Before I knew it I was stitching a Cross Hatch pattern. I Love ruler work. I grabbed another ruler to help me stitch arcs and I was off a running, I mean stitching, a really neat pattern.

But you know what? I had no idea how this would turn out on the back of the quilt. Most of the time, I can’t really vision what the quilt is going to look like on the top because I only get to see a small portion of the work as I progress. Why? Because we advance the quilt on to a bar. The quilt gets wrapped around a bar..so the stitching design gets hidden. I progress for another 4.5 hours. I quilted about 5.5 hours that night.

The next day I quilted another, close to, 6 hours. Quilt is done! Take it off my longarm as fast as I could. Now I have to sew on the binding. I’m rushing and racing around trying to finish. You see, I have to have this quilt at the publishers by tomorrow…

I drape the finished quilt over the longarm exposing the back.  All I can say is “WOW”!! I actually started crying tears of joy! I could not believe how beautiful the quilt turned out!!

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Draping from my Innova Longarm machine. Love how this quilt turned out

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

Midnight Mystery Quilt Along

Back in the late summer of 2017 I came up with an idea that I presented to the producer of Annie’s Creative Studio (ACS), Midnight Mystery Quilt Along. My idea happened through the individual blocks that I would be filming on how to piece. There was 36 blocks for me to choose from. Well, let me start over…

The producer, Laura (whom I adore!) offered me a position for the new program ACS instructor. A video instructor. I was given a list of 36 blocks that I could pick and choose the order in which I wanted to video tape for ACS. Great! I was in. She had also given me other projects to video tape too. I will discuss those in another blog.

As I was reviewing each block, I thought, “why do quilters make 1 block…let alone 36 blocks and not have a project that these blocks could be included in? What is a quilter going to do with 36 blocks that do not go together, are connected by some type of color theme?”These blocks would just sit in a drawer or bin….I need to figure something out. I wanted ACS to be successful.

I presented an idea to Laura: A Mystery Quilt. I would combine X amount of blocks with a theme. Something that would bring them together.

Ah! A skill builders quilt.

Now, it has to have something that brings all the blocks together…color scheme

Next, there has to be something unique in the middle…a center medallion…a unique center that is created by bringing 2 blocks together.

Laura loved the idea and away I went designing!

That is how Midnight Mystery Quilt Along was birthed (pieced, lol) A Skill Builders Series 🙂

Midnight Mystery Quilt Along is all about building your skills as a quilter. I begin with an easy block and I build to a more complicated block. No special seams, all straight piecing. This quilt challenges you to try different blocks from a beginner level to advanced beginner. This series is all about you, the quilter.

Choosing colors: I have to thank Northcott Fabrics for providing me with this beautiful line of solids! Northcott’s Premium Colorworks solid line has the most scrumptious line of colors. I wanted all of them!

Batting: Thank you to Hobbs.  Hobbs Tuscany Collection, Cotton Wool Blend. I chose Hobbs because I love the quality of their batting. The Tuscany Cotton Wool batting quilts beautiful, drapes with ease, the needle glides through.

Some of you might be asking what thread I used for piecing the quilt…Hmmm…well, I used YLI’s Soft Touch.

And, what thread did I use to machine quilt? I used YLI’s Polished Poly Variegated Primary Brights.

Enough for now, I have to get busy working on the next great project for Annie’s!

More to come later!

I hope you plan on joining me at Annie’s Creative Studio!

https://www.anniescatalog.com/studio/

 

 

Winter Retreat!

Oh my Goodness! I went on retreat! a Quilt Retreat! I have never been on a retreat where I was not teaching, I loved it!

Not only was the facility beautiful and fantastic, it was held during the winter when we have the blahs. So yes, I enjoyed Winter Retreat at Creative Passions Retreat Center in Chesaning, Michigan.

I was able to finish 1 quilt top and begin a second one. I’m naming them both after the retreat.

I only knew a few of the ladies that attended retreat with me. Now I have a lot of new friends! Everyone was fantastic.

I have attended retreats before, as a teacher. I can say the sleeping conditions were no where near as nice as Creative Passions Retreat Center. The food was fantastic, the accommodations were beautiful and perfect. I honestly can’t say enough about my experience. Because of my experience and talking with the owner Laura (who is beautiful and wonderful) I have planned my own 2 retreats. Yes, you read that right. The retreats are scheduled for 2019, winter and fall. Details will follow as we work out all the details. Yes, I will be teaching.

So for now, enjoy the pictures! I did not want to leave. Yes, Of course I missed my family. When a retreat center offers all that CPRC did, you want to stay a little longer than a weekend.

Enjoy!

Nancy McNally

Need a little trimming

Hi Everyone! You know, I have no problem admitting I don’t sew perfect! How about you? Do you sew perfect? Are you friends with your seam ripper? Close friends? LOL I know I am! I decided that in order to be “not so close” friends with my seam ripper, that I needed to improve my skills or figure out some way to stop ripping stitches. I was ripping stitches even when I pinned the units together. Hmmm…well let’s look at our mistakes in a different light. Let’s trim our units.

First: Always measure twice! Then cut!

Second: Pin your units together.

You know, even though you lined those two units so perfectly there can still be slippage. Yep! How and why does that happen!? It is frustrating, isn’t it! Sew, you’ve lined up your units, pinned them and you sew…press and dang it, when you are ready to sew the next unit on…things are not lining up just like you want.  What the heck happened? Honestly, sometimes the units will miss-align when you pull the pin out. Or they miss align when you release the units because you can’t get your fingers in there under your presser foot to continue holding things secure..those darn feed dogs and needle! LOL

Well, before you go to line up your next unit go to your cutting mat and measure! Your unit just might need a little timing. It is well worth it! You know, when you join those units up and they are off just a “hair”! Trim your units before you sew the next piece.

See the little tiny slivers of fabric? I trimmed those from these units and let me tell you I was happy I did!

 

Now my double triangle units are ready to join to the next unit.

Which are the tan/cream colored triangles above.

Have you figured out what block I am making yet? NO, Yes? Maybe? LOL

Here ya go!

Does it not look like it is hovering?

Because I took the time to trim along the way, my block came out perfect in the end!

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

I am so Happy to announce…

Without making you read any further, I am so HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE what I have been up to!

I’ve been filming for Annie’s publishing company! So many projects to choose from.

Back in the spring (2017) I received an email from the producer Laura at Annie’s. She said Annie’s was going to be starting a new video program and was I interested. Oh you betcha!! Before I knew it we had a few conference calls scheduled, patterns were assigned, and really cool equipment arrived at my home!

This program was so exciting! I could not wait to begin….yet I was a little nervous. I would be filming alone..who is going to hit the record button??? Think about that… Doing this alone…. It all worked out and I actually prefer doing this alone. I will begin blogging about the projects that go online to let you know the latest. I will do my best to keep you updated.

This was a fun journey filming out of my home! Honestly, I procrastinated! And finally I just got in my video room, a few tweaks from the technical crew at Annie’s and I was up and running! Annie’s production team is top notch! I love working with all of them. I am so grateful and thankful they considered me to be a part of this new program.

Go check them out!!!

Annie’s Creative Studio is LIVE today just click on the “Start Your 30-Day Free Trial”

With this new program, you can join now for FREE, there is a 30 day free trial! So take advantage of it now!

More great classes are coming!

Projects in Progess?

What project(s) do you have in progress? I know I have several. I always have several projects in progress, always! This one in particular is way out of my comfort zone when it comes to colors. Mary, owner of Decorative Stitch, asked me to piece the quilt a while back for the shop. Things got busy and my focus was needed on a different project. Sew! Now I am back to piecing this one.

 

Latte Mosaic
See the circle? Not the blue one, the one formed by the fabric

This quilt is made from browns, grays, creams and variations of each color as in hue. If you look close you will see the circle and how it forms. I circled the fabric circle in blue. This quilt is still in progress.

At first I did not think I would enjoy piecing it because of the colors. But! I am! It is the illusion of the circle that forms from triangles that makes me love this quilt. When you see in person the colors are very warm and soft. You may think the triangles are from 60° ruler, nope. It is a different angle, I love it!

What projects do you have in progress?

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

Do you ever shop at Harbor Freight?

Well I do!

Yes, I shop at Harbor Freight! And look what I bought! Actually my husband decided that I needed this cabinet. We have been rearranging my sewing room and he knew I needed something to put my threads and other longarm supplies in. So, one day he called me and said he had an idea for my thread storage. When he came home he showed me the Harbor Freight sale flyer and said I think this would work for you. I told him it would be great! Except, I could not afford it. He bought it for me, I think he loves me.

 

My new cabinet from Harbor Freight

And Guess what?! I filled it! I have just a few items left to put into 1 drawer. My tools such as screwdriver and a few other small items.

Look how full it is!!

So here is what I have in my longarm cabinet drawers. On top I keep the bobbin winder, notebook, holder for thin templates, a row of foam that holds the bobbins I’m currently using, and scissors.

Top of cabinet

 

bottom draw, cottons
pretties!! Polyesters from YLI, Glide and Superior
Variegated threads from YLI, Superior
Silks, metallics from YLI, Fil-Tec and Wonderfil
More threads the long skinny cones are from Madeira . They are actually polyester, they look like cotton

 And I filled my cabinet! The longarm rulers you see in this picture are for sale. I do NOT have them on my website yet. If you are interested, you can send me a message. I have 2 straight edge rulers, 3 circles, 2 curve cross hatching rulers and my Humpty Bumpty. I will have them on my site soon with prices and descriptions. Of course I will offer tutorials too.

I wonder what other goodies I can find at Harbor Freight?! Do you have any you would like to share? Let me know in the comment box below, Thank you!

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally

On the Road again…to Saginaw, Michigan

HI everyone! Last night I presented my trunk show to the Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Saginaw, Michigan. I had a blast! The guild members were wonderful! Guess who forgot to take pictures??? That would be me, the one and only!

I have all my trunk show quilts packed and ready to go!

Count them! There are 6 suitcases ready to go!

I spent the last two days pretty much preparing for this guild presentation. A lot of work goes into the prep. One thing I brought with me that I have never done before is bring fabric with me to sell. Now, I have a store front (website store) but I don’t sell fabric. I was helping a girl friend out. She, Deb, had hand surgery this past Tuesday morning and will be out of sorts for a little while. I told her I would bring some fabric to sell at my trunk show.

 This is me…I was so hot my hair had wilted! LOL Quilt is Playground of Triangles. If you want to see this quilt is in my store:

http://nancymcnallyquilts.com/product/playground-of-triangles/

 

And this is Cheri! My awesome assistant, helper! She was refolding all the quilts after each was displayed. You can find out about Cheri Terry here on her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Lighteningnlilacs/

I left the guild meeting packed and ready to hit the road home I believe around 9:30pm. It is a 75 mile drive. About mid way home, there was an accident on I-75South. The police and firemen made us all get off the interstate and well, they did not tell us which way to go! Navigation was telling me to get back on the interstate, lol…after a few wrong turns I got on the right road and made it home by around 11pm. It is always an adventure!

Before I traveled to Saginaw, I stopped off in Chesaning, Michigan. I wonder what I was doing there?

Oh!! Do you remember me talking about planning a retreat? Maybe not? Well if you are a member of my Facebook group: Sew Anyways with Nancy McNally you will probably remember that discussion. Sew Anyways, I stopped by the Creative Passions Crop & Quilt Retreat!! Oh my peas!! It is beautiful!!

Love Love Love

http://www.creativepassionsllc.com/

I could not believe how beautiful it is inside and spacious!! And Laura showed us around. I can’t wait to plan my first retreat there!

I’m going to get the ball rolling on this soon! I spoke with Laura yesterday and I’m thinking a longarm retreat and a retreat for us piecers! Woo-Hoo! If you want to participate in either retreat, keep watching for me to make announcements.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally