Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bacon Quilt-Along: Adding the NOM NOM and quilting

We're almost done! For this step you will be choosing how you want to applique your letters.

To view the main post and find links to all of the steps, click here.

First you need letters! Mine are 14" tall and you can find a PDF file on Dropbox HERE. There's a pale background pattern to help you line everything up. I'd personally like to thank my awesome sister for helping me create the file, because I don't know how to do that!


You'll need to place your letters where you want them. Mine are 3 1/4" above the seam between the large background piece and the background that is included in the bacon strip. There is 1 3/4" between each letter, and 7" between the words. There is about 9" between the edges of the quilt and the letters. You may need to adjust your letters a little so that they look good to you.

Now, to applique. You can choose any method that works best for you. Because of the tight angles in the letters, doing anything with turned edges would likely be very difficult, so I'd recommend doing a raw-edge or fusible method.

I chose to cut out my letters with pinking shears, and then I glue-basted them in place. See a photo in progress HERE. Basically I laid my quilt top out on a flat surface, placed my letters where I wanted them, and then folded back one portion of each letter at a time so I could glue it in place. I didn't actually sew them on until I quilted my quilt. You may or may not want to add some pins for stability if you use this method. Mine stayed on just fine. I used Roxanne's Glue Baste, but any washable glue or lapel stick would probably work. Just don't overdo it.


Once your letters are on you're ready to prepare your backing, baste, and quilt as desired. In the photo above you can see how I quilted all the areas of mine. I did a wood-grain pattern on the background that ended up looking quite a bit like flames. I did geometric patterns in the N and M, and pebbles in the O. I put wavy lines on the bacon. 

If you'll be quilting yours on a domestic machine with your walking foot, check out what my friend Marion did on hers. It had a nice wavy effect and was easy to do! See it on Instagram here and see more details on her finished quilt blog post.

If you want to do bias bacon binding on your quilt that will be in the next post. If you want to do regular binding, go ahead and you are DONE! Please remember to share on Instagram with the hash tag #baconalong so we can all see your progress. Tag me @thequiltingmill too!

Please leave any questions in the comments and I will clarify anything you need.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bacon Quilt-along: Adding the Background

To view the main Bacon Quilt-along post and find links to all of the steps, click here.

 Once you have sewn together your bacon strips, you need to add background fabric to the ends.
Cut a width of your background fabric 14" wide. Trim off the selvages and barely trim off the fold, giving you two pieces about 14" by 21-ish" inches. Using your dresden ruler for the angle and your long straight ruler in the method described in the previous post, cut them into two pieces. The top of my smaller piece, pictured on the right, measured 6". If you want yours a little different go with it!


Next sew one short piece to one end of one bacon, and a long piece to the other. Make sure that when you lay it out the angles add up to make it "straight."

When you flip the background piece down to line up the edge, it will look like this. Be sure to pin as you've got bias edges. Stitch and press.


 Do the other end the same way. This is my short end.


Repeat on the other strip of bacon. Check to make sure you have the bacon strips facing the way you want them to go and so that the ends will be offset from each other as seen in the finished quilt.

Once you have sewn the background onto the ends you need to trim the long edges of your bacon strips. Line up your ruler with the innermost edges of your waves and cut off the extra. Go all the way down both sides of both pieces of bacon until both are straight.

Another example of where you will line up your ruler:

Now it's time to cut the remainder of the background pieces. Lay out both of your bacon strips and measure how long they are. Hopefully they are the same. Mine measured 86.25", yours may be a little different.

You will need three more background pieces, and they can all be cut from one width of fabric the same length that you measured your bacon. Carefully fold the length of the fabric a few times so that it is shorter than your ruler. Cut one pieces 6.5"wide, one piece 4.5" wide, and the other piece 24" wide.

Arrange pieces as follows:
24" piece, bacon #1, 4.5" piece, bacon #2, 6.5" piece. The edges of the bacon are full of bias edges so carefully pin everything.

We're almost done! Next week we'll do letters, I'll talk about how I quilted mine, and I'll give you instructions for bias bacon binding if you're interested.

Anyone want to do a linky? Or just share on Instagram with the tag #baconalong? I'd really love to see yours!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bacon Quilt-along: Turning Your Bacon from Straight to Wavy

To view the main Bacon Quilt-along post and find links to all of the steps, click here.

I need to apologize for falling off the face of the earth over here. I had a couple of crazy weeks quilting for Quilt Market, and between that and not knowing if anyone was actually following along, I was considering cancelling. A couple of days ago I got a comment from someone letting me know she was awaiting the next post as she is making a bacon quilt for her husband, so here we go! I won't be following a specific schedule right now, but I'm just planning to post the next step every couple of days until it's all there, then you can follow along at your own pace.

At this point you should have sewn two pairs of identical strip sets for each strip of bacon, with the seams pressed in opposite directions as shown below. Each pair will be different, but each strip set in each pair will match. I hope that makes sense.

To prepare to cut, layer one pair of strip sets on top of each other, both FACE UP. This is important. Wiggle them around until the seams nest together for the full width of fabric. Make sure that the bottom left corners match up pretty closely, as this is where you will start cutting.

The first piece you will cut will be the shape of the EZ Dresden ruler. another 18 degree wedge ruler should work fine. Line up the narrowest end of the wedge on with the top of the fabric on the left side of your strip set. The EZ Dresden ruler is not nearly long enough to reach across the fabric so you will need to use another long ruler. Line up a long ruler even with the side of the dresden ruler. Make sure that the lower end of the long ruler is as close to the end as you can make it without hanging over.

Make sure the lines on the dresden ruler are parallel with the seams in your fabric.

Carefully remove the dresden ruler and cut.

Replace the dresden ruler in the same spot and align the long ruler with the right side of it to cut the other edge of the wedge. I found it easiest to walk around the table I was cutting on because I am not comfortable cutting left-handed. If you can use both hands well you will likely do just fine. After cutting the second side of the wedge, you will cut a parallelogram 3 1/4" wide. Next you will cut another wedge, this time lining up the narrow end on the bottom of the fabric. Use the long ruler to cut the full width of the fabric as previously described.
Continue cutting, alternating upward wedge, parallelogram, downward wedge, parallelogram across the full width of fabric. You should end up with three of each piece by the time you get to the end, for twelve total pieces cut.

Now the fun part. Although I've made five quilts now with this method, it's tricky to explain it, so I decided to make a video. I made one while I was making my bacon quilt, but unfortunately it was accidentally deleted and could not be recovered. So I've made another video using another set of strips in different colors. The concept and method is the same even.

View the video on YouTube HERE


 Once you have cut and rearranged your shapes, it is time to sew them together. When you look at all those waves next to each other, you may wonder, "HOW AM I GOING TO SEW THESE WEIRD SHAPES TOGETHER?!?" Have no fear! When you flip one piece on top of the one next to it, because of the opposing angles, the seams match up PERFECTLY. If you have pressed your seams in different directions they will also nest, so you can sew it all together without pinning! Remember the one seam in the middle that will not nest--I recommend pinning that one.

After sewing all of your pieces together, press all seams one direction, it doesn't matter what you choose. Repeat the whole process with your second bacon strip, and you've got two wavy strips of BACON!

Today's post goes over the most confusing part of this whole quilt. If I explained anything inadequately, PLEASE let me know so I can address the issue.

Remember if you're quilting along, please tag your Instagram photos with #baconalong so we can all follow along! You can also tag me @thequiltingmill.

I'll try to get the next post up tonight or tomorrow, which will involve straightening the sides of your bacon and adding your background fabric for the whole quilt. I'll be attending Sewtopia this weekend so the next post after that will likely be on Monday, November 10th.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BaconAlong: Cutting and Strip Piecing

To view the main Bacon Quilt-along post and find links to all of the steps click here.

Okay, time to start making some bacon!

Today we'll just cut the fabric strips that will go into the bacon strips. We'll worry about cutting the background fabric later.

Note: including Kona Espresso in your bacon is OPTIONAL. It will finish as a 1/4" wide dark edge on the bacon. If you don't want to bother with such a thin piece, you can leave it off.


                                         Bacon Strip One                            Bacon Strip Two
Kona Espresso                       (2) 3/4"                                           (2) 3/4"
Reddish brown #1                 (2) 3 1/4"                                         (2) 3"
Light bacon fat A                  (2) 2"                                               (2) 2 1/4"
Reddish brown #2                 (2) 2 1/2"                                         (2) 2 3/4"
Light bacon fat B                  (2) 2"                                               (2) 2"
Reddish brown #3                 (2) 3 1/2"                                         (2) 3 1/4"
Background Fabric                (4) 2"                                               (4) 2"

Strip Piecing:
For Bacon Strip One you need to sew two identical sets of strips. Sew them in the order above, except for with the background fabric you will sew one on each side of your strip set. Press all seams on one strip set up, and all seams on the identical strip set down.
Repeat for Bacon Strip Two.

Make sense? Please let me know if not.

Check back on the 20th for instructions on how to make your bacon wavy!
Although I have to admit I am up to my neck in quilting for Quilt Market, so there's a chance the next post may get delayed. I'll do my best.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bacon Quilt-along: Fabric Requirements

To view the main Bacon Quilt-along post and find links to all of the steps click here.

Are you in? Do you want to make a BACON QUILT? Here's what you'll need.

The finished dimensions for this quilt are 60" by 86", so it is a generous throw. Great for a guy, especially if he's tall.

First, please think about how you want to do your applique letters. If you want to use heat'n'bond or something similar, two yards of that will be plenty. I used Roxanne's Glue-Baste and did a raw edge applique.
The colors above, from top to bottom: Kona Brick, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Gold, Paprika, and Espresso. The Espresso was used for both the letters and a very thin edge on the sides of the bacon strips. For the background color I used Kona Raffia. My second choice was Kona Sand, which is quite a bit lighter. These were my original planned colors, and I actually didn't order enough fabric so I had to pick up some near-solids from my local quilt shop so my colors are slightly different.

For a Bacon Quilt with regular binding:
Three reddish browns: 1/2 yd each
Two light bacon fat colors: 1/4 yd each
Background fabric: 3 3/8 yd
Very dark brown for letters and dark crispy bacon edge: 3/4 yd
Binding fabric (2.5" strips): 5/8 yd
Backing with a vertical seam: 5 yd
Backing with a horizontal seam: 3 3/4 yd


For a Bacon Quilt with Bias Bacon Binding (which is quite fun to say out loud):
Three reddish browns: 5/8 yd each
Two light bacon fat colors: 3/8 yd each
Background fabric: 3 3/8 yd
Very dark brown for letters and dark crispy bacon edge: 3/4 yd
Backing with a vertical seam: 5 yd
Backing with a horizontal seam: 3 3/4 yd

Remember, you also need a dresden ruler. I used an EZ Dresden ruler, but any 18 degree ruler should do.

Now for the bacon fabric giveaway winner: comment #11, The Full Meal Alchemist! I've sent you an email. I loved reading all of your comments! Some of them especially made me laugh. It's fun what bacon can bring out in people.

For those of you quilting along, please let me know if you have any questions!
Now one last question for you--is next Wednesday too soon to start cutting? Do you need more time for fabric to ship?


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Announcing the Bacon Quilt-along!

When I was making my rainbow Dresden Ripples quilt this spring, as the first two rows were assembled they looked remarkably like bacon. I decided that a bacon quilt had to become a thing, and it's here!

 I'm still hand-stitching the binding on mine, because I'm slow and it takes me DAYS, but we need to get started on this so anyone quilting along has time to finish before Christmas. Because I'm sure you have at least one man (or anyone, really) in your life who loves BACON. If you choose to participate you can either make the whole quilt, one bacon strip for an eclectic table runner, or any other variation using my method to make your own bacon. Be sure to tag your progress on Instagram with #baconalong so we can see what you're making!


Just FYI: You will need an EZ Dresden Ruler to make this quilt. Every seam is straight and it's so easy to make!


So here's where you can find the posts for each step:

Post 1: Announcement and schedule
Post 2: Fabric requirements
Post 3: Cutting instructions for bacon strips and strip piecing
Post 4: Turning your bacon from straight to wavy
Post 5: Cutting/adding background
Post 6: Applique letters and Quilting 
Post 7: Bias Bacon Binding



So I mentioned a giveaway, right? Here are the details: I'm giving away enough fabric to make two strips of bacon and your own bias bacon binding! You'll need your own fabric for the background and letters.

There are two ways to enter. First, leave me a comment here telling me who you'd like to make a bacon quilt for. Second, check out my feed on Instagram and repost your favorite Bacon Quilt photo, mention the giveaway, and be sure to tag me @thequiltingmill and use the hash tags #baconalong and #baconfabricgiveaway. I'll randomly choose one winner either from the blog or the #baconfabricgiveaway hash tag on October 8th. The giveaway is open to all US residents. (Sorry, international friends!)

So who's excited to make some bacon?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pin Weaving Mini-Tutorial

If you're looking for my Sewvivor Round 2 Post, please click here or scroll down, it's the next post. Remember to vote before midnight, eastern time on Wednesday!

I wanted to share how I did the pin weaving on the top of my bag. It's a simple technique with beautiful results! I didn't take a ton of pictures while I was doing it, thinking I'd be able to find a tutorial that someone else had made and just link to that. Wrong. The other methods I found were REALLY cool, but quite different than what I did. So here's the very basics of how to pin weave with fabric strips.

First you need a foam board. Mine measures 11" x 14", and can produce a piece of woven fabric up to about 8.5" x 11.5". Mark the board with a 1" grid. Please note that the edges of your fabric may not be all usable, so plan on a piece a couple of inches larger than you will need.

Place strong pins (T-pins are great, I don't have any) pointing in towards the center at about a 45 degree angle every half inch across the short ends of the foam board. I found it useful to put an extra pin 1/4" on the outside of each row to help keep the edges under control.

Next you will need two skeins of embroidery floss. I used three because I couldn't decide on two colors. They can be the same color or different colors, but I like different colors in mine. Tie the ends of the skeins together and loop the knot around one of the corner pins. Next, TIGHTLY wind the floss across the board as shown, moving around two pins at each end so that the rows of floss are 1/2 apart (1/4" on the sides). When you get to the end tie a knot to secure the end as best you can. Remember you want it TIGHT. If you use a larger foam board you may need more embroidery floss.
Cut 1" strips of fabric that you want to weave with. Mine were 1/4 of a width of fabric and were just about perfect. You want them to be 1-2" longer than the width of your foam board. You will need approximately 3 strips for every inch that you will fill. Start by weaving a strip of fabric over, under, over, under, etc. until you get to the other side. Then fold the strip into thirds. If you kind of wiggle the strip back and forth while folding from the ends it kind of folds on itself. The above photo shows a strip that has been folded once. Make sure that the raw edges of the strips are on the top. Continue weaving strips through, alternating over-under to under-over with each strip. Slide the folded strips close together and continue adding strips until you reach the desired size or can't fit any more on your board.
 Cut a piece of fusible interfacing about the size of your woven area and fuse it on according to manufacturers directions. I used a black knit interfacing, but any lightweight fusible will do.
After applying the interfacing you can remove the pins and turn over your creation!
This does need to be quilted to add stability. You can do freemotion or carefully use a walking foot. If you're worried about catching anything while quilting you can sandwich it between water-soluble stabilizer and wash it off afterward.

As I said I wasn't planning to make a tutorial of my own when I started this. If there are any steps that need additional photos, PLEASE let me know in the comments and I'll do what I can to make it more user-friendly.
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