MY HINTERBERG QUILT FRAME

MY HINTERBERG QUILT FRAME: People ask me frequently about my quilt frame. I love this frame and am very proud of it. I purchased this frame in the spring of 1990. It is rock maple. The website for Hinterberg is: https://www.hinterberg.com/default.aspx

The bars are 92-93″ long and it can be dismantled to transport or to move around at home. It also has a tilt feature but I like to use it flat. I love having my hands free. It is also nice not to have the quilt on my lap (like with a hoop). I have had 6 people quilting on it at one time.

My Hinterberg Quilting Frame
The frame is empty because I just removed the quilt from it.

I admit this frame looks used, but it works just as well now as it did when it was new. And the frame is used. Before I take out a quilt, the quilt to go into it for quilting is ready and waiting. The frame is never sitting empty.

The ratchet system that keeps the bars (and quilt) tight.
There are 4 ratchets to keep the bars (and quilt) tight

This frame is so easy to adjust, tighten, or even tilt.

Nuts and bolts to adjust frame.
Nuts & Bolts to adjust frame

The frame I used before this was simply 4 (1″ x 4″) boards with c-clamps that was held up at the corners on chairs. The quilt was tacked into the frame. It was big and bulky but did the job of holding the quilt tight.

My husband took time to put a double layer of duck cloth on this frame (when new) with tacks. I pin the quilt to the fabric.

Fabric that quilt is pinned to while in frame.

So here is my Hinterberg quilt frame with a quilt in it. The quilt is tight and without wrinkles or puckers. A joy to quilt this way.

Quilt in my Hinterberg Quilt Frame

My kids were teenagers before it really hit them that a quilt frame is probably not standard living room furniture. They all can hand quilt and have quilted at this frame.

In my opinion, one of the nicest things about a quilt frame is the room to have a quilting bee. I try to do one once a year with other quilters just for the fellowship and joy of being with other quilters.

Suggestion

While I definitely prefer to have an actual quilt frame, it is not for everyone. Some people prefer a different type of frame, or a hoop. Some prefer just to wad it up in their hands and quilt. Find what works for you, and just enjoy the process of hand quilting.

Clip art of woman at quilt frame
Source: Google clip art

Some other quilts I have hand quilted on this frame:

https://indianaquilter40.com/grandma-came-for-christmas-hand-quilted/

https://indianaquilter40.com/queen-annes-star-whole-cloth-quilt-hand-quilted/

https://indianaquilter40.com/maine-row-quilt/

QUILTING DURING A CRISIS

Quilting during a crisis

The past few days have been interesting to say the least when it comes to the media panic over corona virus and how people around the USA are re-acting. I live in a rural area and am currently working from home instead of traveling for work. Any excuse for taking time to quilt is always good, but quilting during a crisis is productive and helps relieve the stress.

I want to encourage you to take care of yourself including eating properly, getting enough rest, some form of exercise, and of course quilting. If you are not sick, the most important thing is to stay well. If you are already sick, rest and allow yourself to get well.

This is great time to drag out those quilting UFOs you have shoved to the back of the closet. Pick one or two to work on and get busy. Busy hands tend to help us have better moods and being able to see progress on a project is always great.

Another important thing to do during this time is check on other people to see how they are doing or if you can help. Obviously the best way to check on people right now is using the phone or other technology. As quilters we tend to be generous and this is a great time to show that.

It looks like I will be working from home at least two weeks. I am understandably happy to not be traveling right now. Here is what I am doing that is quilt related during this quarantine time:

  1. Weeding old quilt magazines
  2. Binding quilts
  3. Cutting scraps into standard sizes and putting into plastic containers
  4. Catching up on reading other quilting blogs
clip art: Cabin Fever Reliever

Some encouragement about Quilting During A Crisis:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/08/just-do-it-or-encouragement-to-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.com/quotes-to-start-your-monday/

https://indianaquilter40.com/getting-more-time-to-quilt/

https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2020/03/sewing-in-times-of-uncertainty.html

QUILTING BOOKS FOR TINY SCRAPS

Quilting Books for Tiny Scraps – I am not really sure how it happens, but I start with one shelf for quilting books and pretty soon they have taken over two. I recently decided that some weeding and/or organizing of these books was necessary. Doing this actually forces me to really look at the books – which can be a distraction because then I start thinking “I could do this quilt, or this one…….” And sometimes I even wonder what in the world I was thinking when I brought a book home.

Over the past 2 or 3 years, I have been trying to use up my scraps and also my stash.  These two books have wonderful patterns or ideas that I have based a couple scrap quilts on. They have patterns from easy to expert.  They are “keepers” for my personal library.

Another great book for small and tiny scraps.
QUILTING BOOKS FOR TINY SCRAPS

I was asked how I get books with spiral bindings.  After purchasing, I take the books to the local copy shop. There they cut off the binding and put on this spiral binding.  I like my quilt books this way because they lay flat when I am working on a project.  The cost is very reasonable – generally about $2-3 each book.

I truly encourage quilters to collect quilt books that are helpful to you, whether it is techniques, patterns, or inspiration. There are so many wonderful quilting books out there to choose from. We don’t need all the books, but building our own reference library of books that help us as quilters is a great boost to our quilting journey.

https://indianaquilter40.com/three-favorite-quilting-books/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/06/more-books.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/05/favorite-quilting-books.html

GETTING MORE TIME TO QUILT

Clip art - triangle quilt block

Getting more time to quilt – in our crazy, busy lives this can pose a real problem. People have emailed me recently asking me how I get so much time to quilt each day. I don’t have any more time than you do.  However, I have learned to be a very good time manager and multi-tasker. We must make each minute count. Here are some simple things to help get more time to quilt each day.

Don’t:

compare what you get done or not to anyone else. None of us have the exact same responsibilities, schedules, or lives. Do what you can do. Remember that quilting is supposed to be fun.

Clip art - Never measure your progress using someone else's ruler.

get discouraged. Look at Pintrest, quilt shows, Facebook, magazines, books, etc as ideas for yourself. Look at the colors and patterns and enjoy.

Do:

keep several projects going simultaneously. I try to have a project in cutting stage, another in sewing stage, another in binding stage.  Also, one that can be completely by hand like English paper piecing or applique.

Tumblers and Hexagons are ready for sewing

always keep the sewing machine maintained and threaded so it is ready to be used whenever I(or you) have a few minutes.  Keep a project that is ready to be sewn beside the machine (right now I have a stack of tumbler blocks ready to go). I keep a container with all the pieces cut (and pinned) there ready to be sewn.

Get more time to quilt by being prepared.

use assembly line sewing if possible.

set a timer for small amounts of time to sew.  Even 5, 10, or 15-minute blocks give you a little more done on a quilt.

Making time to quilt - supplies are ready by sewing machine.
I have my timer set for 15 minutes and the project is ready to go.

limit social media and TV time.  If you are not good at this, set a timer and be firm with yourself about stopping when the timer goes off.

limit time talking on the phone, especially if you cannot multitask while visiting. I iron and sort fabric while on the phone. I put the phone on speaker while cutting.

Multi task while on phone.

keep a small project and supplies in a bag always ready to go along.  While waiting on the doctor, picking kids up, at the airport, at breaks between meetings, etc work on a project.  Small amounts of time add up quickly to a completed block or project.

Take heart:

Quilting should be fun. Even a few minutes each day brings enjoyment into your life. Have a wonderful day.

Other helpful ideas:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/waste-not-want-not-or-tips-for.html

ARE YOU DROWNING IN SCRAPS TOO?

Drowning in scraps - one bin of small scraps for crumb blocks
Just one tub of scraps

Are you drowning in scraps too?? For January, my goal was to totally clean and organize my sewing room… the cleaning is complete, but along with all the nice looking shelves is four (yep, really – sheesh) plastic tubs of scraps.

dumped out scrap bin

I took every single piece of fabric off the shelves, went through every drawer, looked in every project box……Scary stuff. Some of those things I hadn’t seen in years. So after the dust cleared I decided that even though I have a list of 12 UFOs I want to finish this year – I am going to stress using as many of the scraps in those projects as possible.

More scraps from the bins

Don’t get me wrong, I love all my fabric and that includes the scraps. While cleaning I went from two tubs to four because I added all the quarter yard or less from the shelves to the tubs. In my world, small fabric pieces (no matter how pretty) get lost among the bigger pieces of fabric.

I needed some inspiration on how to deal with the scraps. Guess what I saw? Others have too many scraps too and are trying to find a way to use them. Looking at Pintrest, Facebook, and other blogs has been fun and I have come up with some ideas to start with.

And more scraps

I don’t have a scrap organization system however. The scraps are simply thrown in the bins. I actually like this system for now because I am just taking out handfuls, ironing them, and cutting them into 3″ squares or tumbler shapes. I have progressed to 1 see through container for each shape.

Tumbler blocks from scraps
 3" squares

I am challenging myself to use as many of my scraps up in 2020 as possible. I made a list for myself of 12 UFOs that I wanted to complete this year. Hopefully I can actually push myself to make a few more than that out of the scrap bins. Come join me in this fun personal challenge – let’s use scraps. I know it is a year away, but let’s start 2021 not drowning in scraps.

So, here are some links to ideas. Please comment on your scrap issues and tell me what you are going to do about them. Send or post pics. Please, let’s use 2020 to use our scraps. Let’s encourage others too.

Ideas for using scraps:

https://www.redpepperquilts.com/2017/03/scrap-busting-irish-chain-quilt.html

https://www.redpepperquilts.com/2019/11/japanese-stash-buster-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/windmill-blades-one-patch-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2015/05/really-scrappy-quilt.html

https://suzyquilts.com/free-scrap-quilt-patterns/

Basket Weave 9 Patch
Using those scraps to make crazy or crumb blocks.
Drowning in Scraps? Combine two kinds of blocks.

HOW TO MAKE EASY COASTERS

How to Make Easy Coasters – seriously. They are quick and easy, and they can be made from fabric that is personal to the person receiving them or that you just like.

Step 1: Choose at least two fabrics.

How to Make Easy Coasters: step 1 is choose fabrics.
Choose 2 fabrics – one for each side. I made a set of 4 coasters.

Step 2: Iron the fabric.

Step 3: Cut four 5″ squares of both fabrics. Lay out four sets of squares right sides together.

Step 2 - cut 5" squares of fabric and lay right sides together.
Lay out four sets of squares right sides together.

Step 4: Lay the four sets of 5″ squares on batting. I like the batting to be bigger than the fabric squares at this point. Pin at corners. I also use 2 pins to mark where the opening will be so I don’t sew all the way around and have to rip out stitches.

Close of pinned fabric to batting.
One coaster pinned together with batting.
How to Make Easy Coasters - step 4 is lay out fabric on top of batting.
All 4 coasters pinned to a long strip of batting.

Step 5: Sew around all four sides of each coaster, leaving enough open on one side to turn right side out.

Close up of sewing with fabric right sides together.
I start at one pin, and sew all the way around to the other pin marking the opening.
How to Make Easy Coasters - step 5 sewing.
At other pin marking open so I will stop stitching here.
Coasters sewn together but not trimmed yet.
Sewn together but not trimmed up yet.

Step 6: Trim off extra batting. Clip corners close to stitching to get rid of the extra bulk so that when turned right side out, the corners will look like corners.

How to Make Easy Coasters - Step 6 - trim batting and clip corners.
The extra batting is trimmed off and the corners are clipped.

Step 7: Turn each coaster right side out. Make sure corners are as square as possible (use a semi sharp pencil to gently poke the corner out). Pin the opening closed. I pin the corners for extra stability while sewing.

Openings pinned shut and corners pinned for extra stability.
Opening pinned shut, and corners pinned for stability.

Step 8: Over-stitch in thread of your choice one half of the width of your pressure foot all the way around each coaster. Trim threads.

Complete set of 4 coasters.
Complete set of 4 coasters.

YOU ARE DONE WITH A SET OF COASTERS – GOOD JOB !!

I did this set in a bit over an hour because of noting the directions and taking photos. The first set may take a little longer, but I doubt once you do a couple sets that this will take you more than an hour to complete. A great way to make gifts, or to make yourself an easy new useful item. Can be made to match any interest or decor.

Finished size: About 4″ each.

Machine wash in cool water, and dry in medium heat dryer.

Here are some other ways to make quick, easy coasters:

https://seasonedhomemaker.com/how-to-create-modern-quilted-coasters-in-an-hour-or-less

https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2019/05/quilted-leaf-coaster-tutorial.html

QUILTING GOALS FOR 2020

Celebrate clip art - completed quilting goals

Quilting Goals for 2020 – I cannot believe how fast 2019 flew by! It was such a crazy busy year on so many levels: job, personal, and quilting. However, I can honestly say that I completed all my quilting goals for the year. I need to really pat myself on the back!

So how did you do on your quilting goals for 2019? It’s alright if you didn’t get them all done – any progress is better than nothing. If you are one of those rare people who actually got more done than what your goals were – yippee for you!!

People celebrating completing quilting goals.

I am a list maker, and it really does help me get things done in my life. I made myself a new “fancy” list template for quilting projects in 2020. You are welcome to use it too if you like:

I spent yesterday going through UFOs (Unfinished Objects) and deciding which ones I wanted to get done in 2020. Here are my quilting goals for next year:

List of Quilting Goals for 2020
Page 1
List of quilting goals for 2020
Page 2

My 2020 list is hanging in my sewing room where I can easily see it. I didn’t write any “prizes” in yet because I will decide on that as I go.

I don’t necessarily do the UFOs in any order – a lot of how they get done depends on my time and travel. The ones that need a sewing machine I have to do while home, but the ones I can do by hand (like applique, or bindings on small items) can go along on job trips.

The important thing is that I am working on the items all year and staying focused – it is so easy to get distracted and want to move on to another project before one is completed. Yep, that is how I ended up with so many UFOs in the first place….

Hopefully I have encouraged you to get busy on those projects you want to do for 2020, whether they are UFOs or a new item. Set quilting goals for 2020. Remember to have fun with your quilting.

Happy Stitching.

clip art sewing machine

P. S. Another helpful source on writing down goals for 2020:

https://prairiemoonquilts.com/its-that-time-of-year/

SUGGESTIONS TO HELP YOUR MACHINE QUILTER

The gentleman who does my machine quilting always has a list of quilts to quilt and tells me when I drop off a quilt how much he enjoys quilting the quilts I bring to him because they are well made and he doesn’t have to struggle to get them quilted. I asked him for some suggestions to help a machine quilter do a great job on your quilt.

Clip art - machine quilted leaves and vine.

His suggestions to help a machine quilter:

  • Pre-wash all the fabric, both in the top and backing.
  • Use proper tension on your sewing machine so the seams are strong and will not start to come apart during the machine quilting process.
  • Use good quality fabrics and sewing thread in your top.
  • Have consistent seams throughout the quilt top.  Do not make smaller than quarter inch seams because they will start to unravel and come apart.
  • Iron the seams as you sew, and the quilt will be (more) straight.
  • If supplying the batting, buy good quality (he prefers Warm & Natural or something similar). Ask your quilter for his/her preferred batting to work with.
  • Make sure your backing is at least 4” bigger than the top on all sides.
  • Know what kind of quilting design and color of thread before he/she starts on your quilt.
  • Your good quality supplies and workmanship plus the machine quilting will make for a quilt you both are happy with when it is complete.
Clip art of machine quilted loops.

You put many hours into making a quilt.  Take time to complete it correctly.  Snuggle up and enjoy – you have earned it.

Happy Stitching.

Clip art of machine quilting - stipple design.

Here are two quilts he machine quilted for me. I request stippling much of the time.

https://indianaquilter40/prayerful-leader-a-george-washington-quilt/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/windmill-blades-one-patch-quilt.html

MY FABRIC IRONING AREA (a folding table for ironing)

I have nothing against a real ironing board, I just usually seem to need more space than what a “real” ironing board provides. Many years ago, I discovered that in my ironing area, I preferred to use a plastic folding table for ironing. Some days, I just do not want to struggle with large pieces of fabric and small ironing boards.

On this particular day, the antique wooden ironing board that did belong to my husband’s grandma was folded and leaning against the wall. It had a piece of fabric hanging over it (it was the border print I did not want to accidentally cut up while cutting the blocks).

Wooden ironing board with border fabric hanging on it.

Recently, a woman (JG) stopped at my home to bring me another quilt to be hand quilted. After directions were given and noted, she asked what was I currently piecing. We went to the sewing room, and as usual, fabric in various stages of being cut, ironed and sewn was scattered around. I am not a neat “working on a project” person.

Obviously she was distracted, because she kept staring at the plastic folding table I was using for an ironing area. I tend to use this folding 6′ plastic table covered with a 5′ piece of insulated iron board cover fabric more than the actual ironing board that was currently leaning against the wall looking decorative.

Plastic folding table used as an ironing board.

I bought the fabric years ago intending to make a new cover for the antique wooden ironing board (can’t find a ready-made cover that fits), but I honestly just never got around to it. It is simple just to use it like this. Amazon has a similar product: https://www.amazon.com/Therma-Flec-Resistant-Cotton-Batting-Silver/dp/B006P5TZW8/ref=sr_1_6?hvadid=78683916624263&hvbmt=bb&hvdev=c&hvqmt=b&keywords=ironing+board+fabric&qid=1573870931&sr=8-6 ).

I realized at some point that I just like having the big flat work area to iron on. Plus, no fighting to keep the fabric from sliding off the ironing board. If I am working with small pieces of fabric, I do use the ironing board with this therma fabric put over it. Either way, I get the fabric ironed.

Plastic table covered with ironing cover fabric, cotton fabric to be ironed, and iron
Strip of 8" blocks being ironed on covered plastic table.

I like having two “ironing boards” available based on the need of the project, and it is also nice to be able to fold one or both up. That way they are not taking up needed floor space.

Another quilter has made a rectangle ironing board. See here: https://quiltingjetgirl.com/?s=rectangle+ironing+board&post_type=post

I have seen women put a bath towel over a wide board and iron. I personally have put a bath towel on a counter and ironed – this is simply being resourceful and using what is available. The important thing is that (1) the fabric gets ironed, and (2) that no surfaces are melted, or catch fire while ironing.

Remember that our quilting predecessors would have made do and it is just fine for us to as well.

WHAT STARTED MY QUILTING OBSESSION?

Beginnings

I was in that difficult 10 – 12 year old stage and was totally stopped in my tracks by an Amish Lone Star quilt that my Aunt Fran had hanging in her antique shop. Wow!! The colors were so bright and the design was beautiful and I can still see the vivid turquoise colored background of that quilt in my mind. This was not a scrap quilt like the one on my bed or in my surroundings. I remember telling Aunt Fran that I wished I could make a quilt like that for myself. Her response was that I “could do anything I set my mind to”. That encouragement was the first step. Little did I know then, but I hold that beautiful quilt responsible for starting my quilting obsession.

I learned the basics of sewing from my grandma and one year of Home Ec in school. My grandma had her sewing machine in a corner of the kitchen, and it always seemed there was some project on it. I don’t remember her making quilts, but she made a lot of clothing. Once I expressed an interest in quilting, she would give me her cotton scraps and lots of encouragement to make a quilt (for many years, she was my biggest cheerleader).

I don’t remember learning the actual quilting stitch. Grandma exposed me to quilting bees. I do remember loving the texture of the quilting.

Clip art - cheer leader

My mom owned 2 sewing machines but hated to sew and avoided it at all costs. She was glad to let me use her machines but was no help when it came to what needed done on the quilt piecing. I think she believed that I would do one quilt and give it up.

Money was not readily available for extras in my younger years and so it took awhile of saving scraps from Grandma, and buying fabric or good used clothing (it had to be interesting fabric) at yard sales to have enough to make my first quilt, and that one just fueled my need to quilt.

Keep at it…

The years have taught me that anyone who wants to can learn to quilt. I have heard many people say it requires patience. Yes, I suppose but more than that it simply requires the need to not give up on one self. Quilting has helped me through tough times, happy times, and just day to day life.

Clip art - sewing machine with quilt pieces and sewing supplies.

I hope I can encourage and inspire you in your quilting journey:

  • This is not a stuffy office job, have fun.
  • Do not break the piggy bank.  Basic sewing supplies are fine – just use the best you can afford.
  • Check at a local fabric store, the extension office, or the library to find other quilters. You are not alone in this journey. 
  • Start with a simple project. Something small like a table runner or baby quilt is usually quick to finish and boosts your confidence.  If you really want to start out with a bed quilt, the easiest patterns are squares or rectangles.

The best thing is that after all the hours that go into a single quilt I have something wonderful to show for it. Each quilt is an individual object. I also do not have to follow the rules when quilting – other than using good quality supplies and making sure my seams are even. This is a wonderful hobby and stress relief and I fully enjoy it.

And the journey continues…

I have never regretted my journey through quilting. It brings great joy to my life. I hope it gives you great joy in your life too.

Quote: When life hands you scraps - make quilts!