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23 secrets for stress-free quilting

23 secrets for stress-free quilting
Related:  Techniques & Tips

Red Pepper Quilts A few weeks ago I received an email from Diana. Diana asked if she could send me some fabrics: "I would like to send you some fabrics. Because i like them and because i love your quilts. I don't want you to make me a quilt, I don't want you to buy them from me. And without further ado these gorgeous fabric arrived in my letter box during the week all the way from Romania. I don't know anything about these fabrics except that they are a beautiful cotton fabric, and that they are bold and colorful. As promised to Diana, one kind deed deserves another, and as such today I am giving away the pictured bundle of the much coveted Flea Market Fancy fabric from my stash. Four FAT EIGHTS To be in the draw all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, with the only requirement being that you provide either in your profile, or in your comment, an email address so that I can contact the winner! Enjoy Sunday!

How to Quilt: Scrap Quilts How to Quilt>Scrap Quilts Bonnie Hunter is a quilter who specializes in scrap quilts using fabric from thrift shops or donations from friends' closets. Recently she visited with us for our Eavesdrop on a Telephone Conversation, and the specific topic was how to choose the garments at a thrift shop that will make great fabric for a quilt. Here is a sampling of her answers: Penny: How do you know whether a particular garment would make a good fabric for a quilt? Bonnie: I look for garments the same way I look for fabric. If it says 100% cotton, then that’s the first thing I’ll look for. The next thing I check is how the fabric feels in my hand. I look for the same kinds of things when I look for articles of clothing to cut up for fabric. Penny: You don’t use polyester? Bonnie: No, I don’t. Men’s shirts, so far, have not incorporated spandex. Penny: How do you estimate how much fabric you’ll be able to get from a particular garment? Bonnie: The size of the garment will give you an idea.

How to resize quilt blocks: easy (promise!) quilt math I’ve always had trouble with numbers. I stand in awe of those of you who can manipulate them with skill and finesse. I break into a sweat if I need to figure out what numbers to punch into the copy machine in order to enlarge a 12″ appliqué pattern into 15″. Are you with me here? Do you have a math phobia too? If you don’t and number among the math adept, please feel free to smirk and feel superior. Quilting has a way of sneaking past phobias. “Ya start with whatcha want, and ya divide it by whatcha got.” Imagine a darling little appliqué that’s just perfect for your wall, but the 12″ block is too large. Begin with your goal—it’s the reason you have to deal with quilt math in the first place. The copy machine wants a percentage, so move that pesky decimal point to the right by two spots, and then you’re done. Let’s work it the other way and make it a little more complex. One way to check that you did the math correctly is to remember the following.

A Fabric Case Atkinson Designs: “Tag Along Tote” Project: Tag Along Tote designed by Terry Atkinson, featuring “Urban Couture” fabrics by Basic Grey. Click here for bag pattern. Click here for fabric collection. Finished Size: 7” x 8” x 2” Skill Level: Confident Beginner Techniques: Free Motion Quilting Binding Basic Bag Construction Useful Supplies: Machinger’s Quilter’s Gloves (click here) Fusible Fleece (click here & here) Aurifil 28 weight thread for machine quilting, top-stitching, and bag construction. Project Description: The pattern states: “For a fast fashion statement, make this tote in your favorite colors. I’ve made a lot of bags lately, and some pattern designers clearly stand apart from the crowd. I love the way this little bag comes together. Also, the fabric requirements are simple. Disclaimer: This blog is meant to illustrate the ease of bag construction, and demonstrate some useful tips. Let’s get started… Quilting fabric “sandwiches” for a bag is a good opportunity to practice free motion quilting.

10 Big Picture Habits for Happy, Successful Sewing Virginia Lindsay of Gingercake and Gingercake Patterns recently gave us the Free Owl Pattern from her latest book, Pretty Birds. She also shared her free Day Out Purse + Variations (which you can make and sell, if you wish) and discussed The Balancing Act of Putting a Price on Handmade, both tying in nicely with her informative Sewing to Sell book. Virginia’s back with her thoughts on 10 Big Picture Habits for Happy, Successful Sewing. What are some big, important things you can do to improve the quality of your sewing time? Have you made any overarching changes to your sewing time or attitude? Lately I have been thinking a lot about habits– both forming good habits and breaking bad ones. It gets me thinking about my favorite subject: sewing, of course. I have been thinking about bigger picture habits. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. I would love to hear some of your big picture habits that have made your sewing time better. « Is there a “Best Sewing Needle”?

In Color Order Denim Chenille Quilt Denim Chenille Quilt This very, very, very easy quilt has no quilting, no batting, no binding… and you can recycle old clothes to make it, so it's inexpensive, as well. It makes a great take-along quilt - a throw, picnic rug, car quilt - because it's so sturdy and washable. Mine is 55" X 66", but you can make yours larger or smaller as you like. It goes together quickly, and it looks equally good with bandanna reds as with pink pastels! Sewing machine in good working order, with denim needles Sewing Thread - gray or to blend with the cotton fabric Rotary cutting equipment ----a 45 mm or larger rotary cutter, a mat 18" x 24" or larger, a 24" long ruler. Sturdy scissors (to cut through several layers of fabric) DENIM: If you are buying denim, purchase 4 yards of 44" wide or 3 yards of 58" wide. COTTON CALICO: The fabric used on the back of this quilt should be all cotton, and it should also be prewashed and pre-shrunk. Rotary Cutting Instructions Do you have all the supplies? and then

Virtual Classroom HST - 8 at a Time I make 8 HST at a time using this method that you've probably seen before, so this will be a refresher for some of you. Begin with two squares, in this case I'm beginning with (2) 8" x 8" squares. Place RIGHT sides together. I use an OMNIGRID 1/4" ruler and I then draw a line on each side of the ruler from corner to corner. Then do the same procedure on the other corner. Your square will look like this.....ready for you to sew....... ....exactly on each of the lines....well as exactly as you can! Then, use a ruler and your first cut will be down the center, vertically exactly through the intersection of the stitching lines. Your second cut will be horizontally through the intersection of the stitching lines. Then you will have this. Now, cut diagonally through each of the little squares. Press each HST with the seam toward the darker fabric. I have very little waste, and 8 perfect 3-1/2" HST in no time at all. CUT TRIM TO Unfinished HST 8" x 8" = 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" Hello Everyone,

Cluck Cluck Sew Stabilizing knits (stay tape, elastic, interfacing) (top: stay tape, middle: clear elastic, bottom: regular elastic) Thanks for following along with the series so far! Today we're talking support systems - stabilizers, elastic, interfacing, etc. To recap, you can read all the Never Fear Knits posts here. InterfacingOccasionally you'll come across a knit pattern that requires interfacing - think wide waistbands on jersey dresses. Yes, they do make knit interfacing and yes, it does stretch. You'll find it in the store mixed in with the rest of the interfacings. Stay Tape Even though knits stretch there are certain parts of knit garments that you don't want to stretch out - like shoulder seams. Elastic For waists of dresses you'll probably need some elastic to maintain the shape. If you want the waistband to lay flat you'll cut your elastic the length of the waist measurement of the dress. Like with Stay Tape you lay the elastic on top of the fabric as you feed it under the presser foot. ***Phew, almost done!

Quilt Basics - Quilting The Quilt - Part 5 of 5 As we enter the final phase of making a quilt, you should be proud of all you've learned thus far. If you think back to Part 1 of this Series, you may have been skeptical about adding "how to quilt" to your sewing toolbox of skills. Now you can see it was simply a case of ignoring your fears and going forward with curiosity and confidence. We encourage you to remember this as we venture into the final phase! Quilting a quilt can be very simple or quite complex. In this tutorial, we'll be providing step-by-step instructions on basic quilting techniques that can be used on any kind of quilt (or any other quilted item, like a pillow or bag). There’s a general misconception that the final quilting is a machine function. If you’re just joining us, we strongly recommend reviewing the previous sections of our Quilting Basics Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4A and Part 4B. You need to determine which quilting method you want to use prior to sitting down at the machine. In the ditch quilting