QUILTsocial | Issue 03 Spring 2015

anptmag

FREE issue of QUILTsocial Magazine! Featuring a full 68 pages packed with tips, projects, and quilting know-how!

Take it all off!! This issue reveals the quilts created by Elaine Theriault and Jennifer Houlden for What's good for the gal, is good for the guy Quilt Challenge. Not to miss! Plus...7 design elements that add personality to your quilts; Quilting with templates; Sewing applique shapes; and Thread painting with DecoBob thread! And did I mention the awesome projects?... It's a must-read issue!

Spread the news about QUILTsocial...don't forget to share / post / tweet / pin to let your friends in on all the fun! And don't forget to follow our blog at www.QUILTsocial.com for daily tips and techniques.

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Spring 2015

• 7 quilting design elements to

add personality to your quilt

• quilting with templates

• sewing applique shapes

• how to make perfect prairie points

UILTsocial

…eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

Diagram 2

PLUS Revealing the

QUILT Challenge!

50

40

22

7

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spring 2015

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Contact your

Contact Canadian your

dealer Canadian today

dealer for a demo! today

for a demo!


Editor's

letter

scissors measuring tape cutting mat rotary cutter sewing machine marker thread sewing feet pins

“Is it so wrong to LOVE a sewing machine?” said

Elaine Theriault in one of her posts this spring.

For that matter, is it so wrong to LOVE a particular

brand of needles, and thread, and fabric? And so

on…

The very important sewing and quilting tools we

use on a daily basis to quilt things together are an

extension of our limbs, fingertips and creativity. As

beginner sewers and quilters, we don’t really have

favorites, since we have little quilting knowledge

to speak of. We are introduced to the tools of the

trade , and their uses, by teachers, and mentors

who already have many years of sewing or quilting

under their tool belt. But as we gather experience

with every seam we sew, we also develop a feel for

using one brand over another, until a very particular

pair of scissors is the tool you can’t live without

and you’ll swear it’s the best thing ever since sliced

bread or should I say since the electric sewing

machine!

Why get giddy at a quilting retreat when they’re

announcing draw prizes? You know good tools are

being raffled off...and they are brand new and they

will help you achieve that perfect quilt, or at least

help make it happen.

I remember, my mother was super ‘jealous’ of her

pair of cutting scissors and still is today. She hides

them in the deepest part of her large sewing tool

box. They were her favorite and heaven forbid

anyone should come across them and use them to

cut paper for whatever reason, or unbox a parcel! I

know you’re cringing too.

You might remember in the winter QUILTsocial

eZine about the launch of a quilt challenge called

What’s good for the gal, is good for the guy! Our

expert quilters Jennifer Houlden and Elaine Theriault

were challenged to create a quilt for a guy

and a quilt for a girl, respectively, using the same

printed fabric and the same amount of fabric too.

They were also given a bio of the recipients, and

other details to incorporate in the said quilts. In this

issue, it’s with great excitement that we reveal not

only the result of the quilt challenge, but also you’ll

enjoy reading about their design process, products

they used to accomplish the challenge, their musings,

and eventually their awesome achievements.

I’m so pleased you’ve tuned in to QUILTsocial.com

to see quilting and sewing products and discover

more features on the Husqvarna and Pfaff sewing

machines reviews. Thank you for pinning your

favorites on Pinterest, you know, the place we love

to visit and drool over things we’d love to make with

our favorite sewing tools.

Enjoy the issue.

follow me on

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spring 2015

3


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… for those who gather with thread and fabric to

‘eat, sleep, quilt, repeat’.

PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ART DIRECTOR

Carla A. Canonico

carla@QUILTsocial.com

PUBLISHER, ADVERTISING SALES

John De Fusco

john@QUILTsocial.com

PHOTOGRAPHERS

John De Fusco, Carla A. Canonico, Alessia De Fusco

BLOGGERS/CONTRIBUTORS

Christine Baker

www.FairfieldRoadDesigns.com

Nancy Devine

nancywhiskeynancyo.blogspot.com

Jennifer Houlden

http://quiltsbyjen.ca

Elaine Theriault

crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com

Kathy K. Wylie

www.kathykwylie.com

GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGN

Carla A. Canonico

carla@QUILTsocial.com

Derek Goode

derek@ANPTmag.com

WEBSITE / BLOG : www.QUILTsocial.com

Like us on Facebook : QUILTsocial

Follow us on Twitter : @QUILTsocial

WHERE TO GET YOUR COPY

QUILTsocial is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle

Pulling Thread. It is available free for personal use online at

www.QUILTsocial.com.

A limited number of printed copies of QUILTsocial are available for

purchase at select quilt shops and specialty stores. Ask for it at your

local shop. QUILTsocial is not available by subscription.

QUILT SHOPS

If you are interested in carrying QUILTsocial in your store, please

email john@QUILTsocial.com.

EDITORIAL

Designers and other contributors who would like to be considered

for future issues please email carla@QUILTsocial.com with a

brief description of your work and your proposed project for the

magazine.

Introducing! …

FREE!

©2015 QUILTsocial. All rights reserved. Issue #2. ISSN 2368-5913.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without written

permission from the publisher.

All designs, patterns, and information in this magazine are for private,

non-commercial use only, and are copyrighted material owned by

their respective creators or owners.

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daily blog

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weekly bulletin

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monthly newsletter

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quarterly magazine

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Pinterest page

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ALL of the above!


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ALL

SIGN UP today at

www.QUILTsocial.com

and receive a free ebook

Elaine’s Quilting Tech Tips!

Advertiser Index

25 A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine

49 Banner of Hope

66 Business Directory

6 Country Concessions

65 CreativFestival

67 Gütermann Creativ

02 Husqvarna Viking

68 Pfaff

39 QUILTsocial

6 Ruby Pearl Quilts

29 Sew Fancy

29 The Needlework Pages

6 The Quilt Store

63 UNIQUE Sewing and Quilting


48

36

c o n t e n t s

Jennifer Houlden &

Elaine Theriault

Donna Housley

Cheryl Stranges

Jennifer Houlden

Christine Baker

Christine Baker

Nancy Devine

Nancy Devine

7

36

40

44

48

50

58

59

Revealing the quilts of the

Quilt Challenge

Prairie Points Jewelry Hanger

Happy Spring Banner

Dancing Tulips Mug Rug

The Many Uses of DecoBob Thread

It's Blooming Flowers!

"Waiter, there's a quilt pin in my soup!"

Only Spooling Around Runner

44

59

50

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Ruby Pearl Quilts

500 King Street West

Oshawa, Ontario L1J 2K9

905 436 3535

www.rubypearlquilts.com

email: joy@rubypearlquilts.com

& Embroidery

If you’re passionate about your hobby, whether it be Sewing, Quilting,

Embroidery, Knitting or Crochet, come explore the endless possibilities...

We have been providing York Region with inspiration for over 30 years.

www.thequiltstore.ca

Bernina Sewing Machines and Accessories,

Fabric, Notions, Books and Patterns.

Stop in for a visit today and experience the Ruby Pearl Quilts difference

for yourself, and don’t forget to look for us on Facebook and Twitter!

Quilting • Embroidery • Knitting • Crochet

905-853-7001

17817 Leslie St. Unit 40,

Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C6

Mon-Wed: 9-6 Thurs: 9-8 Fri: 9-6

Saturday: 9-5 Sunday: Closed

The Tech Shop is now at Unit 14 - 905-853-6532

indulge your passion

Visit our lovely and unique quilt shop in the quaint village of

Cookstown. We have over 7000 bolts of the finest quilting

cottons plus a a wide selection of patterns, books & notions. Join

1 Dufferin St St

Cookstown, Ontario

705 458 4546

one of of our exciting classes for every skill level. We are a

Pfaff and Brother sewing machine dealer and service centre.

Ideally located only 3 km west of Hwy 400, just off of Hwy 89.

You can shop online at www.countryconcessions.com

We We invite you to to come and enjoy one of Ontario’s largest quilt shops—

you will be so glad you did!

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UILTsocial

Quilting is our passion...make it yours.


What’s good for the gal,

is good for the guy!

quilt challenge!

The time has come to unveil the results of the

quilt challenge! But first, We'll walk through the last

steps of the design, sewing and quilting process

as created by our QUILTsocial bloggers and

quilters, Jennifer Houlden and Elaine Theriault.

Jennifer and Elaine have both expressed that the

task of designing for their recipients has not been

an easy one. Tailoring the design to the fabric AND

incorporating the personality of the guy and the gal,

forced them to think outside of the quilting box.

For a recap of their initial steps of the quilt challenge

see our feature in the Winter 2014/15 QUILTsocial issue

released on February 12, 2015 on www.QUILTsocial com.

Without further ado, here's the last of there quilting

and design thoughts followed by the unvieling!

- Carla

materials & equipment provided by

Husqvarna Viking: Designer Ruby Royale

sewing machine

PFAFF: Creative 4.5 sewing machine

H.A. Kidd: batting, templates, and all

sewing notions

WonderFil Threads

Northcott: backing fabric

Coats & Clark: quilt top patterned fabric

Photo by Jennifer Houlden

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good for the guy...

Inspiration for the block

Template ready to be cut

The two pieces are mirror images of each other.

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Template drawn on paper

The piece on the right is the off cut and the

piece on the left is for the block.

Pieces placed right sides together with the

corner over hanging.

Sewing

the

hour

glass

block

together

Photos by Jennifer Houlden

Jennifer Houlden

The last time I wrote about the What’s

Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy

quilt challenge I was making the first

block of the challenge quilt. I’m now

going to be sewing the hour glass block

together, which is the second of the

three blocks I’ll be using in this quilt

challenge.

My inspiration for this block came from

my kitchen. Not the egg timer, but

rather the coffee pucks for the coffee

machine. They were stacked on top of

each other and, I thought, oh, that’s kind

of cool and would make an interesting

block design. In order to get the right

angle, the square would have to be cut

at more than a 45 degree angle making

it easier to piece if I used a template to

cut the pieces.

Making the template

After drawing the block on paper, I cut

out the shape and pasted it to a piece of

heavy box board. Then, I cut around the

paper through the box board to make

the template. Remember last month

when I was making templates for the

Snowball Block? I recommended not

using cardboard for this as it tends to

shrink the more times it’s used because

it’s soft and collapses on itself.

The snowball block last month was

based on a 5-inch square as is this hour

glass block. This makes it much easier

to do the math and creates even rows

within the quilt, if everything is kept

within the same measurements.

Cutting the pieces

To cut the pieces, place the template on

the square with the straight edges of

the template lined up at the edge of the

square. Cut along the diagonal side of

the template to create two pieces.

I’m using a different fabric to test the cut

before starting on the quilt fabric, which

is in limited supply. It’s always good to

use some scraps for testing to make sure

everything is right before starting with

the actual quilt fabric.


Pieces ready for sewing with the quarter-inch foot Using the start/stop button to sew Thread cutter

Unfortunately, there’s some waste with

this block design, but the off cut can be

used elsewhere — I’m hoping — or for

another project. The piece being used is

to the left and the off cut is the piece to

the right.

In order to make a complete block, a

mirror image of the piece needs to be

cut. To do this, cut one piece with the

fabric right side up and one with the

fabric wrong side up. This goes for both

the Eclectic Elements feature fabric and

the background blue fabrics.

Sewing a test piece

Sewing the pieces together means

sewing on the bias because the edges

are cut on a diagonal through the square.

With the IDT system engaged on the

Pfaff Creative 4.5 machine, there should

be no issue with stretching or distortion

of the fabric. The IDT system ensures an

even, smooth feed of the fabric under

the foot and over the feed dogs.

Picking the foot

My choice of foot for this sewing job is

the quarter-inch foot with the guide. It

keeps all the pieces aligned perfectly

because they’re butted up against the

guide and cannot wander.

Start, stop & speed control

If you don’t want to use the foot control

while sewing, it’s easy to use the start

and stop button. Simply press the button

to start sewing and press it again to

stop sewing. The button is found on the

front of the machine beside the up and

down buttons for the presser foot.

I press the start button to sew and it

takes off like a rocket and the seam

is sewn in no time. I didn’t even have

time to hold onto the fabric before I

was pressing the button again to stop!

I guess I didn’t check to see what the

speed was set at. When I’m sewing

without the foot control, I prefer to go at

a slower speed because I feel I’ve more

control over what I’m doing.

The speed control is found on the home

screen of the LCD screen. In the picture

below, I’m pointing to the speed control

icon with the stylet.

You can tap on the icon to change the

speed or hold the stylet down and a

larger version of the icon will appear

with a slider button. Hold the round

circle with the stylet and slide it up and

down to position on the speed you

prefer. The top of the icon is fast, fast, fast

and the bottom of the icon is slow, slow,

slow. I want a bit faster than the slowest

position and click the check mark to enter

my selection.

The speed control icon is straight forward

and easy to use. I did have to look it up in

the manual to learn where to find it on the

screen because the icon wasn’t obvious to

me as “speed control”. Now I know where

it is, I’ll definitely be making use of it.

Sewing the block together

I’ve been sewing the pieces together to

create the 5-inch blocks for the hour glass

block. Chain sewing has definitely made

the process much faster. When finished, I

used the thread cutter on the side of the

machine to disengage the pieces from the

thread and machine.

The thread cutter is found at the side of

the machine. It’s a little round piece with

a groove along the top to slide the thread

into where it gets cut.

I’ve arranged the 5" squares into piles to

make it easy for sewing them into pairs.

I match a light and a darker piece together

in order to get some contrast within the

block.

Finally, the pairs are sewn together to

make a 9½" block.

5-inch squares Squares sewn into pairs The hour glass block

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Paper Piecing the Intertwined Block

Foundation template divided into sections

Template with pieces assigned and

stitching lines indicated

Paper piecing tools

Fabric glued to template

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UILTsocial

And now for the third and final block of the

What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the

Guy quilt challenge. This block is a little more

involved and appears to be intertwined,

hence the name. I’ll be paper piecing the

intertwined block to ensure accuracy and

perfect points.

Paper Piecing Template

In order to paper piece this block, foundation

piecing templates need to be created. The

block once again is 9½". After drawing out the

block on a piece of paper, I divide it into four

sections to make it easy to piece together.

The four sections are then drawn onto their

own pieces of paper and photocopied. When

photocopying foundation templates, make

sure to photocopy them all on the same

copier. You don’t want any distortion in size

because each copier is just a little bit different.

To make 12 blocks I need 12 of each template.

I use regular computer paper to make

the templates. Although you can purchase

special paper for paper piecing, I find regular

paper works fine.

The template below has been numbered to

indicate which piece is first, second and third,

as well as, which line to stitch first. BG and EE

defines whether a background fabric or Eclectic

Elements fabric is needed.

I really enjoy paper piecing and, even though

it takes a bit longer to do the piecing, the

blocks come out perfectly finished. I’ve gathered

my tools I need for the job.

Stitch Length

I always decrease the stitch length on the

machine when paper piecing to make it easier

to rip the paper off afterwards. There are

more holes when stitches are closer together

resulting in easy tearing of the paper. Not so

easy for ripping out if a mistake has been

made!

The stitch length is decreased on the home

screen of the LCD monitor on the Creative 4.5

sewing machine. Use the stylet to touch the

minus icon under the stitch length icon.

The stitch length in numbers is at the top

of the icon. The default stitch length is 2.5,

which can be seen in the photo above in

white. As the length is changed the number

is seen in green. The photo below shows a

stitch length of 1.5.

Paper Piecing

the

Intertwined Block

Second piece on top of first piece

0A Foot

Hooks and bars lined up to attach foot


I like to glue my first fabric piece to the

paper with a dab of glue from a glue

stick. Then, it won’t slip or slide around

on you. Make sure to glue the wrong

side of the fabric to the paper.

The rest of the pieces are then put on

with right sides of the fabric facing

each other. The second piece is placed

on top of the first piece with right sides

together.

The key to paper piecing is to make

sure to cut the pieces large enough

that they will generously overlap the

space to be covered allowing for the

seam allowance and a bit more. I cut

my pieces quite generously as I would

rather waste a bit of fabric than have to

recut and reverse sew.

Holding the fabric and paper up to a

light source allows you to see if the

fabric is covering everything it needs

to cover.

Sewing the fabric to the foundation

paper

The quarter-inch foot with the guide

doesn’t work so well for this type of

piecing because the guide cannot line

up with an edge. I’ve changed to the

1A or 0A foot. The center of the foot

runs down the printed line, which is

the sewing line. The wider foot also

allows for more purchase on the paper.

Changing the foot

Changing feet on the Pfaff Creative 4.5

is fast and easy. Place the foot under

the presser foot with the two silver

bars lined up with the hooks on the

machine. Then, press the presser foot

down button to engage the foot.

To remove a foot place your thumbs or

two fingers at the front of the foot on

each corner and push down to release

it release from the presser foot column.

After each piece is sewn in place, trim

the excess fabric to a ¼-inch seam

allowance and press.

All the foundation piecing is done!

Once the sections are sewn together, it’s

just a matter of putting those sections

together to create the block. This can be

done with the paper on or off. I prefer

to take the paper off before I sew the

sections together.

Changing the needle

At this point, we should change the

needle before going to the next sewing

project as it has probably become dull

from punching through the paper a few

hundred times.

Multi-purpose tool

To change the needle take the multi-purpose

tool out of the accessory box. It’s a

grey piece of plastic that looks a bit like

an H and has a hole in one end.

Slide the needle into the small hole at

the one end. It works much better if the

foot is removed.

Move the multi-purpose tool up to the

top of the needle. Loosen the screw to

the right of the needle. You may need

to use the screwdriver depending how

tight it is.

The needle will release into the tool.

Reverse the directions for removing the

needle to replace it. Make sure the flat

part of the needle faces the back of the

machine.

To be honest, I find the tool a bit cumbersome

and it’s much easier to change

a needle just using your hands and

holding the needle with one hand while

loosening and tightening the screw with

the other.

Wow! I’m really moving along with this

What’s Good For the Gal is Good For

the Guy quilt challenge. Now that a new

needle has been put in the machine, I

can start sewing all the blocks together

to form the quilt top.

Paper piecing the intertwined block

made for perfect points on this block

and tomorrow the blocks are going to

be sewn into sections to get ready for

some applique.

Trim excess fabric to a ¼-inch

Foundation piecing completed

The Intertwined Block

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Designing tools

Snowball blocks in the corners

Intertwined block through the middle

Designing Quilt Patterns

Now that the blocks have been created

for the What’s Good for the Gal is Good

for the Guy quilt challenge, I'll back up a

bit and explain how I came up with the

design for this quilt. Designing the “challenge”

quilt was definitely a challenge. It

took time to figure out what it was going

to look like, which is part of the fun of

designing quilt patterns.

Because the person for whom I designed

the quilt has a logical thinking

mind, likes engineering, and the double

helix, I figured it should be a geometrical

design with several different shapes in it.

But, they all needed to blend together to

form a cohesive and eye pleasing design.

There are many different kinds of software

available to help us create designs.

Pfaff has one called 5D QuiltDesign Creator.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a copy,

so I decided to stick with the good old

standby of paper, pencil, pencil crayons,

and eraser to create my design.

Designing on Paper

I have my blocks designed and, now, it’s

just a matter of deciding where to put

them in the quilt. I had already decided

the snowball block would be along the

outer corners of the quilt.

I drew a 7 x 7 row grid on a piece of

paper and then drew in the snowball

blocks and the background blocks.

My idea was to have the intertwined

block going from the edge of the quilt

to the center. I’d made 12 of them so

that meant three from each edge down

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into the center. By drawing them into

the layout, the piece is starting to come

together. Normally, I start my design

from the center and work out, but this

time I’ve designed from the outside in.

I love how they look a bit like a double

helix when placed together – definitely

the look I was wanting.

The hour glass blocks will go between

the snowball blocks and the intertwined

blocks. I decided to place one vertically

and one horizontally. Because of the

angle the pieces were cut on, the blocks

create the illusion of a circle in the

center of the quilt. One of my favorite

things about quilting is how blocks give

illusions of shapes and movement within

a quilt.

With the design mostly complete, I can

sew the blocks together in sections on

the Pfaff Creative 4.5.

With the IDT system engaged, I’ll be

able to sew the blocks together with no

problems and no pinning required. One

of the best parts about the IDT system is

it feeds everything through evenly and

smoothly matching the seams up pretty

much every time.

I’ll use the quarter-inch foot with the

guide to sew the blocks together into

nine sections.

Designing the last 9 inches

Now that the sections are sewn together

and the design of the challenge quilt is

almost complete, I can add in the last

nine inches of the quilt. The quilt is to be

72-inches square and right now it’s only

63-inches square.

The outer edge of the quilt isn’t going to

be a border but an extension of some

of the blocks, as if they’re running off

the edge. It’s going to look a bit like this:

extend the snowball blocks with a single

strip to the edge of the quilt, as well as,

one section of the intertwined block to

create the look I’m after.

Sewing the final 9 inches

I start sewing the pieces together to create

the last bit of the quilt and, suddenly,

the Creative 4.5 whistles, stops, and gives

me this message on the home screen:

bobbin thread low.

With the bobbin easily visualized

through the clear bobbin cover, I continue

to sew. I thought that clicking the

check mark on the “bobbin thread low”

message would be a confirmation that I

was aware. But, as soon as I started sewing

again, the message came up again so

it had to remain on the screen.

I continued sewing thinking that the

machine would stop when the bobbin

ran out. Nope, it just kept on sewing. But,

the sound of the sewing changed, which

alerted me to the fact the bobbin was

now empty.

Winding the bobbin

Since I didn’t have a second spool of this

color of thread, I decided to wind the

bobbin with the machine still threaded.


Hour glass block added to design

Extension of design all the way around

Blocks sewn into sections

I took the thread out of the needle,

which is recommend to prevent the

needle from bending and snapping

in two while the bobbin is winding.

It’s never a good thing to have sharp

objects flying around!

Then, I thread the thread back up the

left hand thread guide of the machine

and through the bobbin guide at the

top. Also, make sure the presser foot is

in the up position.

Once the bobbin is in place, a “wind

bobbin” message comes up on the

screen. I clicked start with the stylet.

Pressing the foot pedal does not work; it

just makes the needle go up and down

– I did that first.

I love this feature of not having to unthread

the machine to wind another

bobbin.

Reverse back tacking

Since the bobbin ran out in the middle

of the seam, I wanted to back tack

to make sure nothing comes apart

down the road. Normally, in quilting,

there is not much back tacking done

because seams are usually caught

with another seam.

To back tack, press the reverse button,

which is found at the bottom of the

machine near the presser foot. It only

needs to be pressed a couple seconds

then continue sewing forward.

Pieces for the missing 9 inches

Clear bobbin case allows me to see the

bobbin easily

Bobbin thread low message

Reverse threading to wind the bobbin

Bobbin winding icon

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Applique

Patterns

Multiple hexagon templates

Tracing the shapes

The Jelly Monster template

The Jelly Pointer template

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Now that the quilt top is complete or at

least in sections, it’s time to add some

applique to the challenge quilt. To compliment

the rest of the quilt design, I thought

of using the Sew Easy hexagon templates,

very useful and time-saving tools to create

these applique patterns.

Applique shapes

My main shape for the applique is going

to be hexagons. I have a set of hexagon

templates ranging from 1" to 5" in diameter.

I’ll be using all the sizes in a variety of

the Eclectic Elements fabric to be placed

on the open background areas of the quilt

top.

I also have a couple other templates which

I may use for some different shapes.

My favorite applique method is to use

fusible web which, I believe, is the fastest

form of applique. Needle turn is gorgeous

but, I’m afraid, the quilt wouldn’t be ready

until 2020 if I had to use this method for

the applique. I’ll stick to the fusible.

I trace my pieces out on the paper side of

the fusible with a hard leaded pencil because

hard leaded pencil doesn’t smudge

or get lead on your hand. You don’t want

to get pencil marks on the fabric.

When I cut the pieces out, I leave about a

¼" of space around each one. This ensures

the glue of the fusible will come to the

edge of each piece when it’s cut out on

the line and fraying will be prevented.

Following the manufacturer’s directions, I

fuse the pieces to the wrong side of the

fabric. Once in your applique career you’ll

fuse it to the right side of the fabric and

have to start over — it happens to all of us,

don’t worry you’re not the first.

Now, cut out each shape on the pencil

line with a sharp pair of scissors. For these

straight lines, you could use a ruler and

rotary cutter. Doing it that way would

definitely ensure straight even edges on

the applique shapes.

After cutting the shapes out, I position

them on the quilt top. Once I’m happy

with the layout of the pieces, I’ll fuse them

to the quilt top.

Below is a picture of the idea of what I

want to do. Hexagons with lines going out

to other hexagons starting in the middle

of the quilt and moving out to the edge.

That’s a lot of shapes that still need to be

drawn, fused, cut and placed!

Along with the solid hexagon, I also want

to use this hexagon ring. I made it with the

Jelly Monster template. I ended up drawing

the middle section with lines and then

removing the template and cutting along

the lines. This was easier and much more

precise than cutting in the lines on the

template.

I left the quilt top in sections to make it

easier to stitch down the applique pieces

with the Pfaff Creative 4.5. Although with

the design I’m creating with the applique

shapes, I’m thinking that some of the

pieces will have to be appliqued in place

once all the sections are sewn together.

Thank goodness this machine does have a

nice large throat space. It will make it much

easier to sew those few remaining shapes

in place once the quilt top is put together.

Finding a stitch

I know I should be working on the shapes,

but I’ve been side tracked by all the stitches

on the Creative 4.5! Trust me, the library

of stitches is huge. Now, for the hard part

— picking a stitch.


Lots of hexagons Cut shapes along the line Hexagon ring

To pick a stitch, I need to familiarize myself with

how to find the stitches on the sewing machine.

There is a bit of a map of the stitches on the top

flip up cover of the sewing machine. It shows six

different categories of stitches ranging from utility

stitches in section one to hand look stitches in

section two, decorative stitches in section four and

much much more.

Each of these sections shows subsections with

even more stitch choices. Oh, this is not going to

be an easy task! But, I do know I need a stitch that

will cover the edge of the applique shape to ensure

it stays in place and doesn’t fray.

The hard copy manual shows all the stitches as well.

All the stitches are found and are accessible on the

LCD screen.

When on the home screen, use the stylet to click

on the icon that looks like lines in a book at the

bottom right hand side of the screen.

The pink screen of the decorative stitch catalog is

now available for me to preview all the stitches. The

default setting is category one, which is the utility

stitches, including several subcategories, such as

“essential stitches”. This is shown in the photo below.

The other categories of stitches run along the top of

the screen from 1 to 7.

I click on category two and now have the stylet

ready to click on stitch #8, which is a blanket stitch.

This is one of my favorite stitches for securing

applique pieces.

After clicking on stitch #8, a screen appears telling

me what foot I should use, that the feed dogs need

to be up, an image of the stitch, and much more.

The stitch length and width can also be changed

on this screen using the minus and plus arrows at

center bottom.

As well, if I wish to switch to another stitch in this

subcategory, I can do so at the right hand side of

the screen.

Accessing the stitch catalog and picking a stitch

is very straight forward and user friendly on the

Creative 4.5.

Hexagon positioned with strips of fabric

Top cover with index of stitches

Lots of throat space on the Pfaff Creative 4.5

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Zigzag squares all in a row

16

4 variations of the blanket stitch

Manly-looking decorative stitches

Decorative stitches

on the

PFAFF Creative 4.5

Decorative stitches that look manly

Since this quilt is for a young man, I wouldn’t want to be adding

decorative stitches that looked girlie such as hearts, flowers and

leaves. I went searching for stitches that had a more manly look

to them and came up with a few that I think are interesting.

I found a few that looked interesting, however they won’t work

very well for securing the applique pieces because they are too

difficult to place along the edge of the applique shape.

I love the 'circle in a circle' motif, however, here too, it will be

difficult to use for the purpose of applique.

Adding the applique shapes

When I started with the applique shapes, I had visions of the

hexagons being connected with lines of fabric. As I placed and

re-placed the shapes on the quilt to get the optimal placement

of the hexagons within the design of the quilt, I changed my

mind about connecting them. I only wanted the shapes to be

placed on the background fabric but didn’t want to use up all of

the negative space. Otherwise, the quilt would be too busy and,

if I’d connected each shape, the background space would be

overwhelmingly busy. Instead, I did the opposite and went with

the more of the minimalist thing.

TIP Placing the quilt sections on the large design wall

made it easier to see what the whole piece is going to look

like. Standing back at least 10 feet and looking straight at

your work makes a huge difference when auditioning fabrics,

shapes, colors, blocks, etc. If you don’t have the space

to stand back and look at your work, then use a reducing

glass to achieve the same effect. Taking a picture and looking

at it on the camera or on a computer screen will give

the same perspective.

I’ve added the applique pieces to the sections I sewed together.

The corner sections each have three hexagon rings arranged

together in a straight line coming out from the snowball block.

Arranging the hexagons this way creates the look of a linked

chain.

The outer edge middle sections continue the hexagon line from

the snowball block, as well as, adding solid hexagons to the

points of the intertwined block.

Finally, the middle section has solid hexagons added around

the intertwined block and in the middle block of the quilt.

Keeping these pieces in sections rather than sewing the whole

quilt together will make it easier to stitch around the applique

pieces.

There’s so much the PFAFF Creative 4.5 has to offer in decorative

stitches; there are all kinds of options. I’ve only touched

on a small amount of what this machine can do. If I were to go

through it all, we would be here all year – well, not quite, but it’s

quite extensive. See the large variety of stitches in our March post.


Sewing

the

applique shapes

After spending a couple days going through the different decorative

stitches on the PFAFF Creative 4.5 sewing machine and finally made a

decision on which stitch to use when sewing the applique shapes to

the What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy quilt.

Certainly it hasn't been easy to choose from the extensive selection of

decorative stiches. Narrowing it down to a 'manly' stitch helped, but

nonetheless. "Please give a standing ovation and round of applause

to the winner: The Satin Stitch!" The satin stitch is elegant and neutral,

and used on the applique for this particular quilt, represents a clean

and logical personality. Of all the stitches I auditioned, this one will

stand up to daily wear and tear, when used daily in a university dorm.

Sewing around the shapes

The next decision was choosing a color of thread to use for stitching

around each applique shape. I decided on a taupe color, which blends

with some of the Eclectic Elements fabric and stands out on others.

All in all, I do believe it’s a good balance. The applique shapes can be

seen, but don’t jump off the quilt saying: “look at me, here I am!”

The stitch width was set at 3.0 and the length at 1.0 to create a fairly

dense stitch.

TIP When sewing a dense satin stitch do not try to push or pull

the fabric along as this causes gaps in the stitching. Just let the

machine feed the fabric along and the stitching will be nice and

even.

To help create a great looking stitch, I used an open toed foot with

the IDT system engaged. I also added a leave-in fusible fleece stabilizer

behind the applique shapes on the back of the quilt. These three

elements allow the stitches to look their best.

Once the sewing was complete on the shapes, the next step is to sew

the quilt top together. I sewed the sections together row-by-row. As

the rows were sewn together, other hexagons needed to be added.

But, with the large throat space on the PFAFF Creative 4.5, it was easy

to maneuver the quilt to stitch around those few shapes.

Just because I like to tease, I’m only going to show part of the quilt

sewn together.

The satin stitch

Satin stitch with taupe thread

Stabilizer applied to back of applique shapes

Mirroring stitches

I personally have never mirrored a stitch as I have had no reason to do

so because I don’t use many stitches that work well with the mirroring

tool. It’s so easy to use! All you have to do is click on the mirror icons

to mirror the stitch either side-to-side or end-to-end. The icon with

the stylus pointing at it and the arrows pointing side-to-side mirrors a

stitch-to-side. Whereas, the icon beside it with the arrows pointing up

and down mirrors the stitch from end-to-end.

Below is a photo of a stitch pattern that I mirrored side-to-side so that

the circles are on top instead of on the bottom of the stitch pattern.

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Quilting the Challenge Quilt

Curved safety pins about a fist width apart

A pile of binding

The fabric sampler

Thread choices

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At this point, the quilt top is finished and

ready for the quilting stage. It has been

a lot of fun seeing how the the three

different blocks and the applique pieces

for the What’s Good For the Gal Is Good

For the Guy quilt have developed and

emerged into a whole entity. I love creating

the individual parts of a quilt but it’s

also satisfying to see it all put together.

What is even more satisfying is seeing it

quilted. There are few things that need

to be done first before I can actually sit

down and quilt.

The three layers

I already have the top layer finished and

ready to go but I still need some batting

and a backing for this quilt.

The batting I have and I just need to cut

it to the correct size. It’s 100% cotton,

which is one of my favorite battings. It’s

a low loft batting so will remain quite

flat when quilted. If I use a batting with

polyester, which has more loft, the quilt

would have some puffiness to it.

The backing I will create from a fabulous

piece of flannel. Now, when I started

the challenge way back when, the idea

was to create a pieced back using some

of the Eclectic Elements fabric and the

backing fabric. Unfortunately, I don’t

have enough of those fabrics left to

create a backing. But, I do have an idea

to create something else with them —

shhhhh don’t tell as it’s a surprise.

The backing is a single fabric in lovely

blue flannel by Northcott Fabrics, which

will be warm and cozy to the body.

Sandwiching the quilt

I’ve rearranged my studio and put some

tables together so I can sandwich the

three quilt layers together. Once the

layers are all layered smoothly, it’s time

to do a whole lot of pinning. I’ve made

sure that the backing and batting are

2-inches larger than the quilt top all the

way around. It’s always a good plan to

have these two layers larger just in case

there is any movement of the quilt layers.

There’s nothing worse than having a

section with no backing or batting.

I prefer pinning to spray basting even

though it does take longer. If you pin

well, there should be minimal movement

of the layers while quilting.

TIP Place pins about a fist width apart

— this will ensure optimal pinning for

minimal movement.

Binding

I like to make the binding before quilting

the quilt to have it all ready to go

and I don’t accidentally use the binding

fabric for something else. I decided on

one of the feature fabrics for the binding

— stripes in blue and tan. This fabric

is going to look super framing the quilt.

Plus, it looks great with the backing fabric

that it is lying on.

When I calculate how many strips to

make for the binding, I keep it simple. All

I do is add the measurements of each

side together and add an extra 20-inches

to ensure overlap for sewing the ends

together. then, I divide by 40. Not exactly

an exact science but it works for me and

there isn’t all kinds of convoluted measuring

or matching involved.

For this quilt that’s 72" on each side, I

rounded up to 80" (this will include the

extra 20" I normally add), multiplied by

four to get 320" and divided by 40 which

equals eight strips of fabric. Easy peasy!

Picking a thread

I made a little sampler of some of the

feature fabrics and the background fabrics

to test a couple of threads. I did both

straight stitch and free motion samples

with each thread. Because all the fabrics

are a bit different, it’s hard to get a thread

that will blend into all the fabrics. I don’t

want the thread to stand out because I

feel the design is the focal point of this

quilt, not the quilting.

My two choices of thread are a variegated

blue or a variegated gray. I’ve

decided on the blue for the background

and, most likely, the gray for the feature

fabrics. But, I may change my mind when

I start quilting the feature fabric and go

with a variegated brown, since many of

the blocks have a brown tinge to them.


The denim 'corner' pocket sewn on the backing is a

great detail. It proves to be very useful for holding cell

phones, iPods, chocolate (?), whatever floats your boat

during those difficult university days.

Quilting the quilt

The large throat space of the Creative

4.5 is going to make the quilting so

much easier. Another bonus is the

great lighting on the machine — four

LED lights really light up the work area.

This will help me to see the blue thread

on the blue background.

TIP Rolling the quilt makes it easier

to maneuver the quilt within the

machine. You can even secure the

roll with bicycle clips so it won’t unroll

— these clips are used to secure

your pant leg from getting caught

in the chain.

I’ve put the open-toed decorative foot

on the machine so I can see where I’m

going with my stitching. Make sure to

also pick a foot that's compatible with

the IDT system. The system needs to

be engaged while quilting to ensure

that the three layers of fabric move

smoothly under the foot and over the

feed dogs.

TIP Always start quilting from the

center of the quilt working out

to the edges. This will ensure any

movement of the layers towards

the edges of the quilt rather than

towards the center where unwanted

bulges could remain from the

movement of the quilt.

I’ve decided to do straight quilting

on the background fabric. My reason

for this is that I think that if I do a free

motion design it will take away from

the actual design of the quilt and the

feature fabrics. Plus, to me, the straight

lines are much more masculine than

a free motion design and, since it’s for

a young man, I’m going with my gut

feeling.

Check out my earlier posts here and

here on QUILTsocial.com, for a complete

tutorial on free motion quilting,

and ideas for free motion quilting

designs.

I haven’t quite figured out what I’ll do

in the feature fabrics yet, but I’m leaning

towards some echo quilting of the

shape of the feature fabric in the block.

Open-toed foot in place ready to quilt

Quilt rolled and in machine

One alphabet option

Making the labels

I have to say that I’m not the best one for putting labels on my quilts, but this

quilt will have a label because I have an embroidery machine to make a label!

The PFAFF Creative 4.5 also has an embroidery component — an awesome

one at that.

I need to add a phrase to this pocket. As well as another phrase on the backing

and then of course the label with the name of quilt, who made it, and so on.

To make these labels, I can choose from several different alphabets within the

software of the machine to embroider phrases. If I wasn’t happy with any of

those fonts, I could download one from the computer to the machine to use.

Lots of options.

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Intertwined quilt block

Hour glass applique quilt block

After working on the challenge quilt

for months, it's a great feeling to

get it finished.

It's an even greater feeling to see

how all the details in the making of

the quilt come together to pull off

the challenge.

With the leftover fabric, I made 3

cushion covers matching the quilt.

The 'intertwined' quilt block,

geometric applique shapes, the

straight line quilting and the

binding, give a crisp and masculine

feel to the quilt. But, let's not

forget the cozy flannel backing, the

special denim pocket, the label

and embroidered words, is what

makes this quilt heartwarming for a

young man off to university.

I hope you've enjoyed following

this challenge as much as I've

enjoyed creating it.

- Jennifer Houlden

Binding

Straight quilted lines

Label on quilt

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good for the guy...

Constellation Quilt

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Is it wrong to

a sewing machine?

Hourglass blocks made from cutoffs from

diagonal seams on borders.

The two border strips are joined on the

diagonal. Note the pencil line from the two

intersections. Pinned for stability.

Trim the seam to 1⁄4" seam allowance and OH –

there go the selvedges! Don’t need them any more.

Press that seam to one side and you can cut

off that dog ear if you like.

In this update on What’s Good for the Gal

is Good for the Guy quilt challenge, my

heart is all aflutter as I think how easy

the embroidery element of this quilt is,

thanks to the Designer Ruby Royale. Is it

wrong to LOVE a sewing machine?

As I’m typing this, the Husqvarna Viking

Designer Ruby Royale is busy working

on the challenge quilt and I’m as nervous

as the mother of a new born child!

Well you’ll see by the end of the post

what’s happening. Sort of. I don’t want

to divulge too much information – I

know Carla is dying to see the quilt but

I’m going to make her wait until it’s

absolutely complete. I’m so excited.

Quick tutorial on borders

Sewing a border on a quilt can be a

tricky thing. I’ve seen people measure

out the border length and then add an

inch in case they’ve made a mistake!

Some just sew on the border and hope

for the best. I’ve had to cut out inches

of excess fabric in a border that someone

else assembled. It isn’t fun.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to

properly put on the border. You want

that border to be flat, you want the two

sides to be equal and you want the top

and bottom to be equal to each other.

Corners should be 90 degrees. Are you

ready?

STOP THE PRESSES – I just heard the

Designer Ruby Royale’s beautiful song

alerting me that my embroidery is

FINISHED! I’m afraid to look.

We’ll look in a minute – let’s get back to

the tutorial.

I cut my borders from selvedge to

selvedge. I don’t think it makes a huge

difference to cut them parallel to the

selvedge and it takes a lot more fabric.

However if you don’t want seams in the

borders, then you’ve no choice but to cut

parallel to the selvedge.

Unless the border is wider than 61⁄2" (my

standard border size), I join the border

strips on the diagonal. And don’t throw

those cut off triangles away. Nope – I

use them to make hour glass blocks.

And soon I’ll have a scrappy hour glass

block quilt.

In the photo, you can see that I have NOT

cut off the selvedges. By overlapping the

strips this way, it is much easier to see

where the intersection of the two fabric

pieces is and that is where I start and end

my seam.

Next up – measure the quilt through the

center. I like to put the longest border on

first. I don’t bother taking averages, but

you can if you want. That just takes too

much time!

Cut two pieces that are the same length

as that measurement from the center of

the quilt. I use a tape measure, a small cutting

mat, ruler and rotary cutter to make

this an easy process. It also helps if you

have a table that you can lay that strip on

to get a more accurate measurement.

Make sure you carefully move the measuring

tape out of the way before you cut!

Now you’re going to find the center of

that border strip and the center of one

side of the quilt. Pin at both ends and in

the center.

I am not a pinner. It takes up too much

time (I use a quilter’s awl instead), the pins

get on the floor, you can’t find the pin

cushion – you know how that is. BUT I do

pin borders on. I want my borders to lie

22


good for the gal...

Elaine Theriault

flat and you cannot achieve this by just

sewing the strips to the side of the quilt.

When you’re pinning the border, you’ll

likely have to ease the border on one side

of the quilt and then have to ease the

quilt on the other side. Sometimes, I have

to ease the top half of the border and

then ease the bottom half of the quilt.

That’s why we “force” the quilt to be the

same length by adding those two borders

strips that are cut the same length. Makes

sense right?

Bottom line – pin the borders. If you get

your quilts quilted by a long-arm quilter,

they’ll love you and they can tell if you

pinned those borders or not.

Something else to ponder: Remember

how I positioned those pins with the

head sticking out? Well look at what happens

when I start to sew.

I love using the Quilter’s 1⁄4" Piecing

foot P for getting a nice 1⁄4" seam.

Notice that I shifted my fabric just slightly

to the left of the edge of the foot. That

allows me to get the scant 1⁄4".

Let’s do some applique

Now that I have borders on one section

of the quilt, it’s time to get the applique

done before I get everything sewn

together. I changed to the Open Toe Applique

foot so I could see exactly where

I was going. This is especially handy if you

have tight spots to get into and going

around corners.

Notice how my needle is in the background

fabric on the extreme right of the

stitch. Technically, my needle could have

been one stitch closer to the applique

fabric but let that be our secret!

You want 99 percent of the applique stitch

to sit on the applique piece. The needle

just skims into the background on the

right hand side to ensure that the outer

edge of the applique piece is covered.

Rip rip rip

I do aim for accuracy in my piecing and I

find that using the quilter’s awl instead of

pins makes a big difference. It does take a bit

of time to get used to it!

I’m careful with my cutting, pressing and the

scant 1⁄4" seam allowance. But sometimes –

well those darn seams don’t match up. Now

I know – you’re thinking that this seam isn’t

so bad, but because of it’s position and

coloring in the quilt – this was a big deal. So

I ripped it out. Just one inch on either side of

the intersection.

There was one last section that was haunting

me. I struggled with this small but critical

section of the quilt. It has been on the design

wall and I have stared at it for days. I cut

pieces for it – first they were not big enough,

then they were too big. Then I sewed them

together and I still wasn’t happy.

My daughter (about the same age as the

recipient) came into the studio and she said

NO – you can’t leave it like that. Drat! That’s

what I was afraid of. So that means I have

to get the stitch ripper out and replace a

couple of pieces. Thankfully they are small

and I won’t be wasting any fabric.

But just when I thought I was almost

done!

I have to confess that I’m not a big planner. I

find it difficult to follow the instructions in a

pattern, I find it hard to write things out so

others can follow. But if you gave me fabric

and said – make something. Oh yes – but it

has to ‘come to me’ as I work. I’ll rarely plan

something out completely before I start. I

like to dive in and see where the project

takes me. That’s what happened in this

challenge.

Hold your breath!

I have been watching Jennifer’s design (for

the guy) with interest. (By the way Jennifer…

thanks for letting me have the ‘Gal’.) If you

haven’t checked out what Jen is creating –

you should! Our designs are so different, but

then our recipients are very different people.

Measuring the length of the border strips.

One end of the border pinned (note the way the

pin is placed – with the head sticking OUT)

The other end of the border is pinned

The center is pinned (I moved my pin slightly so

you could see my pinch press to mark the center).

Photos by Elaine Theriault

Pins in the rest of the border

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Quilter’s awl

Protruding pins are easy to remove (I am right handed)

Sometimes I even use my quilter’s awl to wick those

pins out of the fabric so I don’t sew over them.

Applique using the satin stitch

I have been focused on the machine

embroidery this week and my intention,

almost from day one of this assignment,

was to incorporate some embroidery into

the design.

So – I figured out what I was embroidering.

I so want to tell you, but it won’t make

sense until you see the entire design. Let

me just say that I put words on the quilt.

Yes – I hooped the quilt top (held my

breath) and hit start!

As you could tell earlier in this post

– the embroidery is done. And the results…………….

I can’t tell you. Not yet. But let’s just say that

I have a huge smile on my face. No – I’m

grinning like a Cheshire cat. The embroidery

turned out exactly how I imagined it.

I’m thrilled. I’m doing the happy dance! I

think you get the picture.

And thank goodness for the Royal hoop

(360 mm by 200 mm) because I was able

to do all the embroidery with one hooping.

I was worried, because I’m not the best at

hooping fabric especially if I have to line it

up, but one hoop was all I needed! I feel

like I cheated a bit because my design

is quite basic, but there are a number of

subtleties within it that I think are very special.

I hope the recipient feels the same way.

I even have my Dad hunting down something

for the quilt and he lives in Saskatchewan.

Patience – all will be revealed in due

time.

I still have to quilt the quilt… well first I

must replace those unruly parts!

Working with the Husqvarna Viking Designer

Ruby Royale has made all these embroidery

projects a snap. Like I said – I don’t do

a lot of embroidery, but I had no problems

figuring out what needed to be done and

where. And I want to find something else

that needs to be embroidered.

What can I say – the Designer Ruby Royale

has made me look like a real professional

and I didn’t really have to do much! Really?

Is it wrong to LOVE a sewing machine?

A not so nice seam intersection

Much better seam intersection

Getting ready to do machine embroidery on the quilt top

24

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Machine quilting

Free motion quilting – to some it's a bad word, to others it's freedom!

Let's explore free motion machine quilting on the Husqvarna

Viking Designer Ruby Royale.

I’m going to show you how easy it is to do free motion quilting on

the Ruby Royale and I’m throwing in a few related tips along the

way.

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale

Machine quilting gloves

Basting the quilt

The first step is to baste the three layers together. I laid out the

backing (wrong side up) on my work tables. I love to use the 505

basting spray because it's fast and easy. However, I do not like the

over spray which leaves sticky residue on surfaces and has to be

cleaned up.

Keeping that in mind, I decided to try a different way of using the

spray. Instead of using a light steady stream of the spray, I spot

sprayed and those three layers were basted together perfectly

and NO RESIDUE and nothing to clean up! Yes, I just went spritz

– spritz – spritz and that was enough to hold the quilt together.

A can of basting spray will go VERY far when used like this.

I kept checking the back of the quilt as I quilted to make sure that

there were no tucks or wrinkles. It was perfect and I didn’t have to

make any adjustments.

Nothing to clean up – I like that. More time for quilting. One of the

other reasons I like the 505 basting spray is that while it has a bit of

a smell, it's not over powering and since I didn’t use a lot, the smell

dissipated rather quickly.

Quilting gloves

A pair of quilter’s gloves are very useful for getting a grip on the

quilt and helping to move it around. As you can see, my gloves are

well used. They do NOT look that black in real life. The lighting did

something to the color. Oh my – perhaps they need to be washed!

505 Basting Spray

Backing taped to the work surface in preparation for basting

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Prepping the Ruby Royale

I installed the Open-Toe Free Motion

Spring Foot on the Ruby Royale. Then

I selected the appropriate free motion

technique. In this case, Free Motion

Spring Action.

Next up – load the quilt beneath the

needle and pull up the bobbin thread.

Ready, set, quilt!

Notice that for the design that I was

quilting, I started at the bottom of the

quilt and worked my way to the top.

Sometimes, it's easier to see the design

that way. If what you have just quilted is

behind the needle, it's hard to see where

to quilt.

When you’re doing your practice stitch

outs – try starting at the top, then try

starting at the bottom. Which direction is

easier to see and quilt?

Just in case you are wondering about my

thread – I was using a cone of thread so

it was sitting on an external thread stand

behind the Ruby Royale.

I placed the Ruby Royale in my sewing

cabinet, making a nice flat surface to

work on. I have the extension surface on

the left hand side (it’s under the quilt)

and you can see as I was pulling the quilt

towards myself, the quilt is very nicely

supported by that extension surface.

You absolutely need something to support

the quilt on the left. Otherwise, you

will struggle to support the quilt.

For some reason as I was quilting, I kept

hitting the screen and I was afraid of

changing a setting. It was easy to set the

Lock Screen function so that it didn’t

matter how many times I touched the

screen, no changes were made unless I

wanted them.

I love this feature. It’s brilliant!

The design

Let’s talk about the design. I’ve been contemplating

confessing this to you and I

finally wrapped my brain around the fact

that I need to fess up. It's (was) a good

learning experience for me and hopefully

you won’t make the same mistake.

The quilt that I chose to “practice” on is

the one for the What’s Good for the Gal,

is Good for the Guy Challenge. That was

my first mistake.

It would appear that QUILTsocial has

become my confessional. While I’ve done

many hours of free motion on a domestic

sewing machine, I’m out of practice.

I’ve been quilting smaller items on the

domestic sewing machine or quilting

on a long arm. So if I'm out of practice,

what possessed me to pick this one to

experiment on? Obviously – I was having

a delusional moment!

Let’s just say that I wanted an overall

design of vines and leaves on the quilt.

Note the word OVERALL. What do I tell

my students? Break up the quilt into sections

– it’s harder to do an overall design

on a domestic sewing machine. It can be

done, but it’s harder.

The other thing I tell the students – think

about density. I love dense overall quilting,

but NOT on a lap or bed quilt. Guess

what size my challenge quilt is? Yep – a

lap quilt.

I think that makes three strikes against

me!

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve

always had trouble quilting leaves. Don’t

know why – just happens. Do you see

where I'm going with this??

Anyway – I did practice on paper. I was

very happy with my doodles. The leaves

were wonky – just like leaves are, I was

able to travel around the design – no

problem.

I did a test stitch out sample on fabric

and yes – I was good to go.

And then …………..

As I was quilting, I checked the tension

of the stitching – yes – looks good, I

checked the back for tucks – yes that

looks good as well. The consistency of

the stitches – not perfect, but not so bad

considering my lack of practice on the

domestic sewing machine.

Select the appropriate free motion technique

Practice doodling the quilting design on paper

Open Toe Free Spring Foot on the Ruby Royale

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However my common sense ran completely out of the window

when it came to density. I realized that the quilting was way too

dense for a lap quilt. I didn’t like the density at all.

I spent a week ripping out the quilting. GASP! (I have totally

wiped that week from my memory bank!) They say that negative

experiences like this are character building. Hmmm – let’s

just say that I built a LOT of character as I patiently took that

quilting out. Yes – the quilt was almost done when common

sense took hold of my brain.

In order for all of us to learn and become better free motion

quilters, here are some tips to help you with your free motion

quilting – especially choosing a design!

Ready to start quilting

Quilt is supported on the left by the extension surface of the quilting table

Quilting design from the front

Tips for successful free motion quilting

Density – this is a personal taste, but I love very densely quilted

quilts. If the quilt is to be used as a table runner or wall hanging,

dense quilting is great. But a too densely quilted lap or bed quilt

doesn’t drape well and isn’t cuddly. Think about the end use of

the quilt as you contemplate the density of the stitching you’re

planning.

Overall designs – while overall designs are great and can be

expertly done on a domestic sewing machine, be careful. The

area in which you’re quilting (around the needle) is small so it's

harder to get that sweeping motion for a loose design. It can be

done, but be very careful. Check often – are you happy with it?

Quilt in sections – it is super easy to break a quilt down into

sections (visually – not physically) and then quilt section by

section or block by block. So you need to consider how you can

do that on your quilt. My problem was – I didn’t want to break it

down in sections.

Practice – doodle your design on paper before you start to

quilt. Do you have the flow? Can you travel from motif to motif?

Try to doodle in the size you need on your quilt. Too dense, not

dense enough?

Thread – pick your thread colors wisely. While the thread

doesn’t have to match exactly, the more it blends in, the more

any mistakes are disguised.

Busy backings – a busy backing will disguise a whole multitude

of sins.

The good news

I’m happy to report that although my quilting skills were a bit

lacking – I had no problem working on this size of quilt on the Ruby

Royale. There were no skipped stitches and the stitches were well

formed - a bit too well since I had to remove them all! The Ruby

Royale was a lot of fun to quilt on.

Another question that I frequently get asked is how to deal with the

bulk of the quilt under the arm of the sewing machine. We tend to

think of how much space we have to the right of the needle. In this

case, the Ruby Royale has 10" of space.

28

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Sew Fancy

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Quilting design from the back

By pushing the quilt UP, I still have 10 inches of space to the right of the needle

However – we forget that we also have lots of room in the

HEIGHT of that space. As you’re quilting, if you push the quilt UP

– you’ll still have the entire space (10") to work. There is slightly

over 4" of clearance between the bed of the Ruby Royale and

the top of that space. That's a lot of space to push a quilt up into.

The second piece of good news

Because the quilting design that I wanted was very specific, I

quilted the What’s Good the Gal, is Good for the Guy challenge

quilt on the long arm.

Would I try another quilt on the Ruby Royale? You bet – the

sewing machine did NOT let me down. My lack of skill for this

type of design needs some work. Next time, I'll try a smaller

piece and break the design down – just like I used to and had

much success.

There's ample space to maneuver a quilt on the Husqvarna

Viking Designer Ruby Royale. No skipped stitches, excellent

tension, and the ability to lock that screen, made the quilting

job easy.

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7 Quilting design elements to add personality

Here you can see the chalk line which allowed me to match up the next row

Seams are pressed away from the mortar (sashing) to make them recede

from the bricks (focus fabric)

The house built into the bricks

Time for a ‘tour’ of the design process

and elements and the inspiration behind

it. Here are 7 quilting design elements to

add personality to this quilt:

••

incorporating the interests of the recipient

into the quilt top (duplicating

bricks and mortar and the house)

••

quilting the vine

••

adding a jean pocket to remember a

beloved family member and clever

label

••

using embroidery to ‘say what you

need to say’ on the quilt top and

backing

••

add special tags

••

making the story of the quilt special

by incorporating a little history

••

using a forgiving quilt backing

If you’ve been following QUILTsocial, you

know that Jen was working on a quilt for

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the guy and I was working on the quilt

for the gal.

You can check back here for more details

on the challenge.

Although I never met the recipient of the

quilt, I was provided with a few details of

her likes which includes things that are

vintage, rustic and countryside scenery.

She’s studying architecture and is highly

creative. She would love to live in a real

functioning tree house, or a house in the

forest.

Hmmm – I was getting a recurring

theme here – houses! I also thought

about some of the other requests – no

traditional borders, try to highlight the

theme fabric. That was a lot of information

to decipher and come up with

something creative.

The design

I wanted to keep the elements in the

quilt simple. I also wanted the elements

in the quilt to be subtle. And somewhere

in the quilt, I wanted a house.

We had received a package of 10-inch

squares of fabric to work with. Not a lot

of room for error and I really wanted to

showcase the fabric by not cutting it up

much.

Hmmmm – I could make the quilt look

like a brick wall and incorporate the

subtle elements onto the wall. Yes – that

would work, and I proceeded to cut the

10" squares into “bricks” that were 10" x

5". Absolutely no waste from the fabric

pieces.

Although I do have a few bits left over

which I’m making into another project

(a gift for Carla) which you’ll see in an

upcoming post.


Next up was to add some mortar to the mix. It was very

difficult choosing a color – I wanted to keep it neutral to

help highlight the focus prints, I wanted it to be somewhat

realistic and I eventually went with a gray.

So now that I had the mortar color picked out, I had a

couple of other issues that I had to take care of that involved

piecing and pressing.

Although real bricks wouldn’t have exactly matched up

from row to row, I wanted my bricks to match. So I used a

chalk pencil to mark where the seams for each row should

go in order to have the bricks in alternating rows line up

properly.

Next up was the pressing. If you look at the mortar on a

brick house, you’ll notice that it recedes from the surface

of the bricks. In order to replicate that look, I had to press

the seams away from the mortar to make it recede from

the bricks (focus fabric). That meant I had to press the

seams back against all those cross seams. This is the opposite

to how I would have pressed it, but I was going for

a certain effect and so those seams were pressed that way.

I like to use steam when I press so it wasn’t a big deal, and

I was very happy with the end result. A very very subtle

effect, but it’s something that I would notice (hey – I like

small details!) Do you see how flat my seam allowances

are? A little steam will do wonders!

The house

I had been pondering how to incorporate a house into

the bricks. Initially, I was going to put a small house into

one (or several) of the bricks, but after chatting with a very

creative thinker (Tish), she suggested that I build the house

bigger with the bricks.

I looked through the fabric pieces and YES – there was a

way to make the house fit that approach and so the house

was built into the bricks.

That created a new dilemma – how to maintain the

mortar pattern through the house. I wanted the house

to be subtle – but if I had used the gray fabric, the house

wouldn’t have been noticeable at all as all the prints are

very busy. So I changed the color of the mortar so that the

house would be more noticeable. But then what to do

with the sides of the house?

No design effort goes off without collaboration. My

daughter (who is the same age as the recipient) and I were

discussing the mortar (sashing) and we both agreed that

the gray had to be incorporated to make the house noticeable.

I won’t tell you how many times I had to measure

and remeasure to get those pieces replaced. Don’t forget

to add a quarter inch seam allowance – DUH!

The windows and doors were cut from one of the fabrics

in the line Tim Holtz (Eclectic Elements) and fused in place.

Then outlined with a satin stitch.

I’ve had discussions related to the stories that people

dream up about their quilts. Do they think of everything

Abandoned house near Spinney Hill, Saskatchewan

before the quilt is made or do they make the story up after

the quilt is done? I do a bit of both. I really have a hard time sitting

down and planning all the details out – I just let it happen

which has driven everyone I work with absolutely crazy.

As I sat back and looked at this house, I realized that it reminded

me a great deal of an abandoned house from the area that I

grew up. So I phoned mom and dad in Saskatchewan and asked

them to photograph the said house. I think they enjoyed the

assignment even though they had to make three trips before

they got the pictures – no batteries, dead batteries – you see,

my technology issues are genetic!

I learned the history of the house which has been abandoned

for a long, long time (50 years) and I’m going to include a picture

of the house and the story with this quilt.

The poem

If you have been following my story on the Husqvarna Viking

Designer Ruby Royale, you know that I love words on quilts.

I wondered how I could incorporate words onto this quilt. I

happened to be reading a book called Art Quilt Maps by Valerie

S. Goodwin. Hey – she has used words on some of her art quilts,

not embroidered words, but words nonetheless. She often

incorporates Haikus, which is a style of poetry. I’ve been known

to write poetry in my time so I sat down and wrote out a Haiku.

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Once I was happy with the text, I placed the quilt top in the

embroidery hoop and hit START. It’s moments like these that

you hope everything goes well. There was no turning back. I

breathed a huge sigh of relief when that part was completed.

Again, I wanted this poem to be subtle. Almost like I didn’t want

it to be seen unless the observer ‘felt’ the words. It was hard to

choose a color of thread that would completely blend in, but I’m

happy with the results. And for someone who doesn’t do a lot

of embroidery, I hooped it pretty straight!

Haiku embroidered on the quilt front (top left hand corner)

Author: Elaine Theriault

The quilt back

We were also given instructions to make the back more than

just a plain back. I was using a flannel from the Man about

Town flannel collection from Northcott Fabrics. It’s a gorgeous

fabric, mottled enough to be a great backing concealing a

multitude of sins.

I embroidered a message on the back. I had to be careful where

the message went so that when the quilt was layered, the message

was in the right spot. Again – I went for subtle and chose a

thread color that stood out, but not too bright.

The quilting

As you know from yesterday’s post that I struggled with the

quilting. Not because of the Ruby Royale, but my area of expertise

or lack thereof.

I had a vision and I wasn’t able to execute it on the domestic

sewing machine. The picture of the vine on the brick wall was

my inspiration with the addition of leaves.

After removing all the quilting, I did the quilting on the long arm

and I was pleased with the results.

Machine embroidered message on the back of the quilt

Inspiration for the quilt design

Quilting on the bricks and mortar

The label and the pocket

We were also asked to incorporate a denim pocket onto the

back of the quilt. The pocket was from a pair of jeans that had

belonged to a family member who had since passed.

I thought of the pocket and the label many times over the

course of making the top. I had this vision, then I had another

and when the time came to attach the pocket, the design just

happened all by itself.

At first, I was going to make a tag and incorporate it with the

pocket. So I took a piece of fabric and ran it through the ink-jet

printer to get the tag.

It’s very easy to do this – I first designed and printed the label

on paper. Then carefully taped (very well) a piece of fabric over

the writing on the paper. Then reprint the label using that piece

of paper with the fabric taped to it. And voila! – you’ll have

printing on your fabric.

TIP I only use black ink (ink-jet only) for this purpose as colored

inks are not permanent unless treated.

Now I had to embroider a message onto the pocket. ACK – that

pocket is too small to hoop but I used a sticky stabilizer and

stuck the pocket to the stabilizer.

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Choosing the lettering was easy as pie using the built in fonts

on the Ruby Royale. No need to bring up a computer program

– ALL of the printing on this quilt was designed directly on

the Ruby Royale Embroidery Edit screen. It just doesn’t get

any easier than that. The flexibility in this area is phenomenal.

And when I think of what I used to have to do to get lettering –

well I shudder at that complicated process.

Before I hooped the pocket, I marked the center lines of the

pocket so I could center it in the hoop. Notice the chalk lines are

lining up with the center notches on the hoop.

Then it was easy to use the on-screen tools to center the words

and position them just right.

Embroidered designs can be a bit rough on the underside. Since

I wanted to keep the pocket usable, and therefore soft to the

touch, I applied a lightweight fusible to the underside of the

pocket to cover up the back side of the embroidered message.

As I was working on the lettering for the pocket, I changed my

mind about the tag. I would incorporate the wording as if it

were a tag right into the stitching of the pocket, and let’s not

forget the trademark label that I put into things that I make!

I was going to have to hand stitch the pocket/label elements

to the back of the quilt and I certainly did not want to have to

handstitch that denim pocket down.

So I stitched everything to a leftover piece of the backing fabric.

Everything was top stitched with the Ruby Royale and then the

background of the pocket/label was trimmed down and hand

stitched to the back of the quilt. If you didn’t know that detail,

you may not realize it unless you look closely. The busy backing

is great camouflage for that kind of thing.

One more note about quilting designs

I frequently have discussions with customers about the style of

quilting designs. Should it be overall or should it be custom? In

this case, I didwn't want any of the elements to be highlighted

and my inspiration of the vines would add to the feel that this

was a brick wall.

The following series of pictures shows detail of the quilting over

the various elements and you can see that not once does the

quilting detract or interfere with the design elements.

Choosing the appropriate, and in this case, very neutral threads

makes the quilting design part of the quilt. It adds to the total

look and feel of the quilt, but doesn’t steal the show!

And there you have it. What an interesting project. I love a

challenge and this one certainly was challenging. But I am very

happy with the end result.

It was exciting to use the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby

Royale to make this quilt. The embroidery was easy regardless

of the surface I worked on, the lettering was easy to select and

everything was built into the Ruby Royale.

Be inspired to add character to your quilts. I hope you enjoyed a tour

of my 7 quilting design elements to add personality to your quilts.

The label printed onto fabric which is taped to a piece of paper

Pocket hooped on sticky stabilizer

Stitching out the message for the pocket

Lightweight fusible interfacing on the underside

of the embroidered pocket

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The pocket – a great place to put a note (or in this cases, pictures)

There's a definitely an anticipated thrill when revealing the

quilt I designed for the What's Good for the Gal, is Good for

the Guy challenge.

Although I've never met the recipient of the quilt before the

quilt was done, the few details of her likes which include

things that are vintage, rustic and countryside scenery. She is

studying architecture and is highly creative. She would love to

live in a real functioning tree house, or a house in the forest.

Hmmm – I was getting a recurring theme here – houses! I also

thought about some of the other requests – no traditional

borders, try to highlight the theme fabric. That was a lot of

information to decipher and come up with something creative.

I wanted to get a picture of the quilt at an abandoned house

and this is the only house I knew of that was close by. So yes

– there I am on the corner of a very busy intersection wandering

around with camera and quilt in hand trying to find some

good shots.

You know – you've seen people doing weird things on the

side of the road and you think "what the heck are they doing?"

Now you know – it usually isn't mindless wandering – there's

usually a good reason. But this is a gorgeous house and I'd

love to see the inside. Alas the big NO TRESPASSING sign on

what used to be the front door was enough to deter me and

get those pictures taken quickly.

Thank you for following along

during my designing, quilting

and my many musings in the

creation of this exciting quilt!

I hope I've inspired you to

quilt outside the box and

most especially, to tailor the

quilt design to the recipient to

experience absolute success!

- Elaine Theriault

Quilting on the embroidered poem

PS – "Thanks Jen for letting me have

the Gal quilt. I'm sure I would have

come up with something for the Guy,

but I had fun working for the Gal." z

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Quilting on the message on the back

35


Prairie

Points

jewelry

hanger

Donna Housley

Prairie Points are not just for quilts.

In this project, they have been used to

decorate the strap that keeps things in

their place in this cute jewelry hanger.

36


skill level intermediate

finished measurements

11½" x 22" [29 x 56cm] including the

elastic loop

materials

24" [60cm] cotton for front, back and lining

fat quarter for strap

fat quarter for Prairie Points

2" [5cm] of ¼" [6mm] elastic

1 pkg Unique double fold bias binding

Sulky Soft’n Sheer Extra

14" x 28" [35.5 x 71cm] HeatnBond Vinyl

22" [55cm] invisible zipper

Heirloom 5⁄16" [8mm] Rinse Away basting

tape

all purpose thread

40 wt Sulky rayon thread

Microtex needle size 70 or 80 depending

on the thread you are using

child size plastic hanger (no wider than 12")

suggested notions

Clover Fabric Folding Pen

Clover Wonder Clips

quilter’s ruler

18mm cutter

Heirloom Air-erasable marker

Heirloom Teflon pressing sheet

Heirloom Sew Smooth

fabric glue stick

cutting instructions

From fabric cut:

2 – 4" x 10" for prairie points

2 – 2½" x 10" for strap

1 – 13" x 20" for front

1 – 13" x 13" for lower back

1 – 13" x 6½" for back top

1 – 13" x 16" for lower back lining

From Sulky Soft’n Sheer Extra cut:

2 – 2¼" x 9¾"

1 – 12½" x 19¾"

1 – 12½" x 6¼"

1 – 12½" x 1½"

1 – 12½" x 12¾"

From HeatnBond Vinyl cut:

2 – 14" x 14" for pockets

instructions

the strap

sewing machine set up:

regular sewing foot

cotton or all-purpose sewing thread top

and bobbin

Microtex size 80 needle

making continuous prairie points

1. Draw a line lengthwise down the

centre of a 4" x 10" strip.

2. On one side of the centre line,

draw a line every 2" from the centre

line to the outside edge.

3. On the other side of the centre

line, draw one line 1" in from the

centre line to the edge, then draw

lines every 2" offsetting the lines

by 1" from the lines on the opposite

side. See Diagram.

4. Cut on each of these 2" lines up

to the centre line. Cut away the 1"

piece from each end. See Photo 1.

5. Use the Fabric Folding pen and

mark a 45⁰ line on each 2" piece.

Fold wrong sides together and

glue down with a fabric glue stick

if necessary.

6. Use the Fabric Folding pen and

mark a 45⁰ line across the fold. Fold

and glue if necessary. The strip will

have points on either side.

7. Fold the strip in half lengthwise.

You now have a 8" to 9" strip of

Prairie Points.

8. Repeat with the second 4" x 10" strip.

finishing the straps

1. Fuse the 2¼" x 9¾" pieces of Sulky

Soft’n Sheer Extra to the back of

the 2½" x 10" strap pieces.

2. The straps can be finished in a

point or left flat. If pointed edge is

desired, use a quilter’s ruler with a

45⁰ mark to cut one end of each

strip. See Photo 2.

3. Measure 1½" back from the point

and mark with a pin. Align the

straight edge of one of the Prairie

Point strips along the straight

edge of the strap fabric. Holding

the points in place with Clover

Wonder clips makes this very easy.

Baste in place. See Photo 3.

4. Repeat for the other side of the

strap. Loop a 2" piece of ¼" wide

elastic and pin to the tapered end

of the strip with the loop facing

the centre.

5. Lay the 2nd strap piece, right sides

together, to the strap with the

prairie points (the prairie points

and the elastic are sandwiched

inside). Pin in place or better yet

use the Clover Wonder clips again!!

1

2

3

1"

1"

2"

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6. Use a ¼" seam allowance to sew around 3

sides of the strip leaving a 3" to 4" opening

along one of the long sides for turning.

Do not sew the square end closed.

7. Trim seam and clip corners (run the Fabric

Folding Pen along the stitching line) then

turn right side out.

8. Press and neaten the square end if necessary.

Set the strap aside.

hanger back

1. Fuse the 12½" x 6¼" piece of Sulky Soft’n

Sheer Extra to the back of the 13" x 6½"

Back Top. On the lower edge of the back

top, fold ¼" of fabric to the wrong side.

Press in place and set aside.

2. Fuse the 12½" x 1½" piece of Sulky Soft’n

Sheer Extra to the back of the 13" x 16"

Lower Back Lining along the top edge. Set

aside.

3. Fuse the 12½" x 12¾" piece of Sulky Soft’n

Sheer Extra to the back of the 13" x 13"

Lower Back fabric.

4. Be as creative as you like with the Lower

Back. Embroider, free motion, use fabric

paint or markers, appliqué or just leave

plain.

Note: Remember that the strap will be

hanging down the centre of the back so

keep that in mind when designing your

embellishments.

5. Mark the top centre of the Lower Back.

Using this mark as a guide, lay the

strap on the back fabric with the raw

edges together. Baste in place.

6. With right sides together sew the Lower

Back Lining (along the edge with the

Soft’n Sheer) to the top of the Lower

Back piece. Press seam toward the lining.

7. Along the edge of the 1½" piece of

Soft’n Sheer fold the lining to the back

(wrong sides together). Press the fold.

inserting the decorative invisible zipper

1. Place double sided basting tape on

the right side of the Top Back and the

Lower Back along the folded edges.

Remove the paper and finger press

the zipper in place right side up along

the upper back.

machine set up

decorative stitch foot

rayon thread top and bobbin

Microtex size 70 or 80 needle

2. Open the zipper and stitch it down

with a decorative stitch. Close the

zipper. Line up the Top Back and

Lower Back strip, remove paper and

finger press the zipper in place. Open

the zipper and stitch the second side.

If you’re using a dense stitch float a

piece of tear away stabilizer under the

zipper to avoid puckering.

Note: If the needle gets gummed up with the

adhesive from the basting tape put a drop

of Sew Smooth on a cotton swab and wipe

the adhesive off the needle. Not only does it

clean the needle but it will lubricate it as well.

hanger front

create Heat n Bond Vinyl yardage

1. Remove the paper from the back of

one of the pieces of vinyl and lay it

with the sticky side up on the ironing

board. Scatter threads and small bits of

fabric on the vinyl. Remove the paper

from the other piece of vinyl and lay it

on top (sticky side down) of the other

piece. Use the paper peeled off from

the vinyl, or a Teflon pressing sheet, to

seal the vinyl closed. Never allow the

Vinyl to contact the base of the iron.

2. From this piece of decorated vinyl, cut

3 strips 13" x 4". Bind one 13" edge of

each strip with double fold bias tape

using a decorative stitch. Set aside.

3. Fuse a 12½" x 19¾" piece of Sulky Soft’n

Sheer Extra to the back of the front

fabric. Measure up 11½" from the lower

edge and draw a line with an air-erasable

marker across the width. Place the

top of the first pocket on this line.

4. Add a decorative feature to the top

of the Front. When designing the

embellishment remember you will be

adding a button.

machine set up

regular sewing foot

cotton or all-purpose sewing thread top

and bobbin

Microtex size 80 needle

5. Stitch across the bottom of the pocket.

Lay the second pocket so that the top

of the pocket is overlapping the stitching

line of the last pocket. Stitch the

bottom and repeat for the 3 rd pocket.

To create smaller pockets stitch 1 or

2 lines from the top of the binding to

the bottom edge of the pockets.

assembling the jewelry hanger

1. Place Front and Back right sides

together. At this point you may need

to trim so that the back and the front

are the same size.

2. Lay the hanger along the top edge of

the back. Trace the top edge of the

hanger on the wrong side of the Back

with an air-erasable marker.

3. To avoid an everlasting hole, use

Clover Wonder clips instead of pins,

to place the back and front right sides

together. Slightly open the zipper.

4. Starting ½" from the centre top (where

the hanger goes through) stitch on

the line drawn along top, then sew

down the side, across the bottom

and up the other side with a ¼" seam

allowance. Then sew on the line again

at the top stopping ½" from the centre,

leaving a 1" opening.

Note: If your hanger is a bit smaller than

the 13" width of the fabric you may want to

use a bigger seam allowance on the sides to

make sure your hanger is “square".

5. Trim the seams, cut off excess zipper,

clip the corners and turn right side out.

Insert the hanger. Fold up the pockets

and bring the strap around the

bottom of the hanger and measure

for the placement of a button. Sew

button in place.

Note: If it’s necessary to press the finished

hanger do not press the vinyl, use the

Teflon pressing sheet.

38

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… eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

Good for the Gal Quilted by Elaine Theriault

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Visit our blog at

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39


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Happy

Spring

Banner

Cheryl Stranges

PFAFF ® provided the following sewing machine and products

to make the sample:

PFAFF Creative 4.5Sewing/Embroidery Machine

All embroidery designs

6D Embroidery Software

INSPIRA ® Stabilizers

INSPIRA ® Machine Needles

INSPIRA ® Scissors

Robison Anton Embroidery Threads

Hoops

skill level intermediate

finished measurements

27¾" x 29¾" [70.5 x 75.5cm]

materials

fabric

15" x 15" [38 x 38cm] sun background fabric

12" x 12" [30.5 x 30.5cm] sun fabric and

additional fabric needed for sunrays

9½" x 15" [24 x 38cm] printed cotton for

nest background

9" x 12" [23 x 30.5cm] printed cotton for

Happy Spring block

12" x 16" [30.5 x 40.5cm] solid cotton for

chick embroidery block

2½" wide assorted jelly roll strips to frame

each block

subcut jelly roll strips for inner blocks:

••

1 – 2½" x 12"

••

1 – 2½" x 15"

••

1 – 2½" x 24"

4 additional 2½" x 30" strips to frame project

fusible web strips for jelly roll strip placement

32" x 32" [81 x 81cm] cotton quilt batting

or INSPIRA® Sew Soft Fusible Batting

32" x 32" [81 x 81cm] cotton backing piece

2 – 12" x 12" [30.5 x 30.5cm] pieces of felt

for felting flowers

sewing feet used

embroidery foot

¼" piecing foot

free motion foot

general sewing foot

topstitching or stitch in the ditch foot

with guide

software

Husqvarna Viking® Decorate for Easter

Embroidery Kit #920395096

Pfaff ® Cushion Creator #482 for nest

Pfaff ® Felted Elements Mini Collection #483

Pfaff ® Felting Embroidery Kit

needles

INSPIRA® Microtex needle size 80 or 90

INSPIRA® embroidery needles

INSPIRA® quilting needles

threads

assorted colours of Robison Anton 40wt

Rayon thread for topstitching

assorted colours of Sulky 30wt Blendable

threads for topstitching and piecing

other

marking tools

cutting tools including rotary cutter, cutting

mat, and Inspira appliqué scissors

assorted embroidery hoops for felting

Happy Spring, nest, chick and egg

embroideries

SewSlip sheet for free motion

appliqué pressing sheet

INSPIRA® fusible web for sun appliqué

INSPIRA® Aqua Magic for embroidery felting

INSPIRA® Aqua Magic Plus for embroidered eggs

INSPIRA® Water Works for embroidery felting

INSPIRA® Fast & Easy Tear-A-Way for nest

embroidery and sun

Circular Attachment tool for sun

assortment of wool roving to add to felting

bits and pieces of yarn remnants for nest

instructions

Sun and Rays

Note: Finished sun size is approximately 10"

x 10", work with a larger piece and cut to sun

size as desired.

1. Place INSPIRA® Fast & Easy Tear-A-Way

behind the 15" x 15" sun background

fabric.

2. Determine the sun’s location on the sun

background piece and place the 12" x 12"

sun fabric piece (will be cut to 10" x 10"

later) on the top of the background fabric.

3. Set up the circular attachment tool on

the sewing machine and placement into

the centre of the 12" x 12" sun fabric. Set

the circular attachment tool to desired

circle size. See instructions with tool.

4. Stitch a straight stitch in circular motion.

Use appliqué scissors to trim away the

excess fabric from the 12" x 12" sun fabric

when circular stitching is complete.

Circular Attachment tool

Duck billed appliqué scissors

Instruction photos by Cheryl Stranges.

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Sunshine cut around edges

Sun Rays cut

Planning

5. Choose a wider appliqué stitch or satin

stitch to stitch over the previous circular

stitch using another thread colour. Tear

away any excess stabilizer.

6. Create sunrays simply by drawing them

out on the back paper of a fusible web,

see fusible web instructions. Press all

sunrays using the appliqué pressing sheet.

Use a straight stitch to do raw edge appliqué

around each sunray.

TIP It’s always important to use stabilizer

behind all of the decorative stitches.

Felting Flowers and Spring Chicks

Embroidery Felting Preparation

1. Load embroidery on the embroidery

machine screen.

2. Prepare the embroidery hoop with 1 layer

of Inspira® Aqua Magic

3. Place the felt pieces on top of the Aqua

Magic, and an assortment of wool roving

on top of the felt. Last place a layer of

Inspira® Water Works on top of this.

TIP It’s best to do a machine baste around

embroidery area before beginning the embroidery.

4. Install the felting kit & felting needle to the

embroidery machine. See kit instructions.

When using the felt kit there’s no thread

used until it stipulates embroidery stitches

using thread. The actual felting that is

occurring in this procedure is evolving on

the underside of the hoop. Not the right

side like we are used to with machine embroidery.

Once the felting is complete, any

embroidery stitching will be done using

normal embroidery set up.

5. When the piece is complete, remove the

hoop from the embroidery machine and

take the felted piece out.

6. Cut around the perimeter of each embroidered

flower, leaving excess felt.

7. Soak and rinse away excess stabilizer. Trim

close to the embroidery using Inspira

scissors. These are ready for placement on

the fabric.

Embroidered Chicks

Note: These can be embroidered before or after

the quilt is assembled.

1. Place the stabilizer in the hoop, then

place the fabric on top and machine

baste the fabric into position.

2. Load the chick design onto the embroidery

screen, duplicate and mirror image.

Embroider each just as an outline design

omitting the fill in stitches.

Wool Roving on Felt

Machine Felting on right side

Nest with egg placement

Embroidered nest

Happy Spring lettering

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3. Remove the fabric and stabilizer from

hoop, and then tear away the excess

stabilizer.

4. Clean up all of the edges of block.

5. Add the felted flowers by machine

stitching or using fabric glue.

Embroidered Eggs

Note: These wonderful eggs can be stitched

together to give a 3 dimensional look or left

flat as one design.

1. Place two layers of Inspira® Aqua Magic

plus in the hoop.

2. Load the embroidery design. For a single

flat egg, use a 60wt bobbin thread

and a 40wt rayon thread. If a 3 dimensional

look is preferred, use the 40wt

rayon in the thread and in the bobbin

as this enables see-through egg. It’s

very lacy looking and great for placing

the eggs in a ‘nest’.

3. Load the embroidery onto the screen of

the embroidery machine and stitch out

all of the eggs. They can be done in a

variance of colours. Have fun with it!

4. Once the embroidery is complete, see

stabilizer instructions for washing the

stabilizer away. Let them dry. Stabilizer

has a tendency to stiffen thread, so if

a stiffer look is preferred, don’t soak or

rinse as much.

The Nest

1. The nest fabric is hooped with Inspira®

Fast & Easy Tear-A-Way and embroidered

with 40wt Rayon thread. This design

is meant to have the cutwork needles

used in the design; however, it was just

stitched out as a straight embroidery

design with no cutwork for the sample.

2. When completed, tear away any excess

stabilizer. Use remnants of yarn to create

a small nest on top of the embroidered

nest. Add the embroidered eggs, and

stitch or glue using fabric glue.

Construction

1. When all of the blocks are completed

use the quilt piecing foot to join the sun

block to the nest block, then the Happy

Spring block to the felted flower block.

Join the two large components to each

other. Press all seams.

2. Audition the jelly roll strips for placement

and cut them to size.

3. Use the picture as a guide for placement,

stitch the embroidered eggs on

centre strip and on the nest, and then

stitch the nest on the other strip.

4. The strips are added and then raw

edge appliquéd. Use a fusible adhesive

to fuse into place first and

then stitch. The fusible adhesive will

prevent them from fraying.

5. When all of the 2½" inner borders are

completed, place the outer borders.

A thin strip of fusible adhesive is used

just along the inner edge of the long

strips to prevent them from slipping

when free motion stitching.

6. Set the machine to a free motion setting,

and use a SewSlip sheet to free

motion with co-coordinating thread

each section sitting on the batting

piece. A free motion foot works very

well for this. Topstitch any areas that

require stabilization.

Finished Edges

1. Place the quilted top and batting on the

backing, and cut the backing to allow

at least 1½" to 2" of backing around all

outer edges of the top and batting.

2. Fold the edge up to the cut edge of

the banner, press.

3. Fold one more time to the banner

surface and press. Pin into position.

4. Stitch into position using an edge

stitching foot. The needle position

may have to be adjusted according to

the edge. Stitch all around banner.

Audition and piece

Cheryl Stranges

Product & Event Specialist

husqvarnaviking.com

seecherylsew.blogspot.com

Happy Spring ...eggs

43


Dancing Tulips

Mug Rug

Jennifer Houlden

HAPPY QUILTING!

The Dancing Tulips Mug Rug is the third in a series of four seasonal

mug rugs. Jennifer's 2015 mug rug challenge started January 5 th with

the first of 52 which can be seen on her blog www.quiltsbyjen.ca.

A selected few are included in this feature purely for eye-candy and

inspirational purposes.

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picking fabrics

Flowers are a breath of

fresh air in the spring,

and tulips, being one of

the first to bloom, can

be seen everywhere.

The yearning for this

flower inspired the Dancing

Tulip mug rug.

This mug rug was done

in spring colours purple

and yellow, which also

happen to be complementary

colours. Three

purple fabrics were used

from light to dark. The

lightest one is also used

for the background

and the darkest for the

binding.

Add in some yellow and

green for the flowers

to create a bright and

cheerful mug rug to

brighten any desk or

studio this spring.

TIP

To help determine the

value of the fabrics

take a picture of them

and turn it to black and

white – this will result

in a grey scale image

which shows how light

or dark the fabrics are,

making it easier to put

them in order from

light to dark.

skill level intermediate

finished measurements

9” x 12¼” [23 x 30cm]

materials

12” [30cm] fabric A (light purple batik) –

for rail fence block and background

4” [10cm] fabric B (medium purple batik) –

for rail fence block

6” [15cm] fabric C (dark purple batik) – for

rail fence block and binding

12” x 14” [30 x 35cm] fabric D (dark purple)

– for backing

12” [30cm] square fabric E (yellow batik) –

for flower

6” [15cm] square fabric F (green batik) –

for leaves & stem

12” x 14” [30 x 35cm] low loft batting such

as 100% cotton 10” [25cm] fusible web

such as HeatnBond Lite

Neutral coloured cotton thread for

piecing such as grey or beige

Orange/Yellow coloured thread for stitching

flower – variegated or solid colour

Thread for quilting rail fence area

instructions

Notes:

••

read all instructions thoroughly before

starting to cut and sew

••

all seams are ¼” unless otherwise specified

••

all pieces are sewn together with right

sides together unless otherwise specified

••

pin strips as needed

••

chain sewing will speed up the construction

process

••

press all seams towards the darker fabric

abbreviations

WS – wrong sides

WST – wrong sides together

WOF – width of fabric

Rect – rectangle

Sq – square

RS – right sides

RST – right sides together

cutting instructions

All measurements include a ¼” seam

allowance and are based on a 40”

WOF. Press all fabrics prior to cutting.

Fabric A

Cut ONE 1” x WOF strips sub cut in half for

2 – 1” x 20” pieces

Fabric B

Cut ONE 1” x WOF strips sub cut in half for

2 – 1” x 20” pieces

Fabric C

Cut ONE 1” x WOF strips sub cut in half for

2 – 1” x 20” pieces

Note: There’s no need to trim the selvedge

edges off on these strips.

Background – Fabric A

Cut ONE 6” x 12½”

Binding – Fabric G

Cut ONE 2½” x WOF (strip)

making the rail fence blocks

The rail fence block is made up of the 3

purple fabrics. The strips will not all be

the same length as fabrics are not always

manufactured at the same length. This

is okay as the strip set will be squared off

once it’s made.

TIPS

When sewing strips together, alternate

the direction in which you are sewing to

help reduce any distortion of the strip

set. For example, sew strips A & B in one

direction and then when you add C to A

& B, sew in the opposite direction.

When pressing long strips such as these,

set the seam then start in the middle and

press to one end. Return to the middle

and press to the other end – this will help

to reduce any warping of the strips.

1. Sew fabric strips A & B together. Make

two (2).

2. Sew fabric strip C to fabric B on the

unit from step 1. Make two (2). Each

unit will measure 2” x 20”.

3. Square off one end of each unit from

step 2 and then sub cut into sixteen

(16) 2” squares.

Three fabric strip sets sewn together

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4. Sew the squares together to create a

design such as in the finished mug rug

or play with the squares and make a

different configuration. Sew together in

groups of 4. Press seams so they will nest

together. Make four (4) total. The units

will measure 3½” square.

5. Sew the squares from step 4 together.

The unit will measure 3½” x 12½”.

appliqué tulips

Group of 4 squares to form a block

For this section fusible web is needed. There

are many different manufacturers of fusible

Rail fence section completed

web. Use fusible web that has paper on at

least one side to trace the template pieces.

Making the Flower Pieces

1. All templates are reversed. Outline the

tulip with a dark permanent marker to

enhance the shapes; this will make tracing

easier through the fusible web paper.

TIP

Placing the template sheet on a light box or

against a window will help to see the lines

making it easier to trace the pieces.

2. Trace three of each shape onto the fusible

web – 6 shapes in total for a total of 18

pieces. The dashed lines mean that that

piece slips under the piece beside it so

make sure to add that section into each

corresponding shape. Leave approximately

a ¼” space around all the pieces to make

it easier to cut each piece out. Make sure

to number each piece with its appropriate

number for ease of placement.

TIP

Use a hard leaded pencil for tracing, as the

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lead will not smudge onto your hand or

fabric.

3. Once pieces are drawn, cut pieces out

leaving some white space around each

Pieces drawn on fusible

one. They can be grouped on the fusible

if going on the same colour of fabric.

Do not cut on the line at this time. The

pieces will be cut out on the line once

they have been fused to the fabric.

4. Place pieces on the wrong side of the

fabric – yellow for the petals (pieces 4,

5 & 6) and green for the leaves & stems

(pieces 1, 2 & 3).

5. Fuse the petals to the fabric as per

manufacturer’s directions for the fusible

web being used.

TIP

Make sure to cover the pieces with a Teflon

appliqué sheet or parchment paper so as

not to get any glue on the iron.

6. Cut each piece out with sharp scissors

– the cutting can be a bit tough going

Shapes fused to wrong side of fabric

through all of the seams.

Building the Flower

1. Place the parchment paper or Teflon

sheet on a flat surface. Place the template

under the paper or Teflon sheet

with the wrong side of the template

facing up. This will allow placement of

pieces easily to build the flowers.

2. Lay out the pieces using the template

as a guide. Piece number 1 is a leaf.

3. Continue all the way around until all

of the pieces are in place. Make three

Template under Teflon sheet

flowers total.

4. Fuse the petals together on the parchment

paper or Teflon sheet. Make sure

to also cover the pieces with parchment

paper when fusing them. Once

the piece has cooled peel the whole

flower as one unit off of the Teflon

sheet. Nothing sticks to Teflon so this

works like a charm to build the flower

on and the piece can then be put on

the background as a whole unit.

5. Arrange flowers on the background

piece with stems touching the bottom

Two tulips built on Teflon sheet

of the piece. Fuse in place using Teflon

sheet or parchment paper.

6. Sew the background piece to the rail

fence unit. The stems and leaves will

Flowers fused to background fabric

be sewn into the seam allowance. The

unit will now measure 9” x 12¼”.

quilting & stitching

1. Baste the three layers together either

Instruction photos by Jennifer Houlden.


6

5

4

Tulip Template

Trace 3 of each shape

to make 3 flowers.

The template is reversed.

Background sewn to rail fence piece

curved safety pins or basting spray.

Pick threads for stitching and quilting.

TIP

Place basting pins approximately a fist

width apart for optimal coverage and

securing of layers. Always pin from the

centre of the quilt out to the edges.

2. Stitch around the raw edge of each

applique shape with either a blanket

2

3

1

Layers pinned together and thread selection made

stitch or satin stitch. Satin stitch was

done for the sample with a stitch

width of 2.0 and a stitch length of

0.4. Or use a preferred stitch. This

stitching also serves as the quilting.

3. Quilt rail fence section with straight

line quilting or free motion quilting.

binding

Trim and square off quilt. Cut binding

Stitching and quilting complete

as per instructions and use preferred

method to bind the quilt.

Quilts by Jen

www.quiltsbyjen.ca has

many great free tutorials

that will help with the

picking of fabrics, value

of fabrics, pressing,

building Bargello runs,

pinning, binding,

sandwiching, couching,

quilting, and much

more. Check them out!

Other mug rugs by Jennifer including the Maple

Leaf and Snowflake mug rugs below from our

fall 2014 and winter 2014/2015 issues.

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The many uses of

DecoBob

thread

Christine Baker

DecoBob

Available in 36 colors in 2187yd (2000m) spools and 6500yd (6000m) cones.

Not just for the bobbin!

Throughout many of my previous posts I’ve used DecoBob in

the bobbin when I’ve been testing out the different types of

WonderFil threads that were sent to me. Lucy Garvin from WonderFil

recently sent me a chart that highlighted the many uses

of DecoBob thread, so this week I’m going to show them to you!

Getting the details

In case you missed my previous posts that mentioned Deco-

Bob, it’s an 80 wt cottonized polyester. DecoBob creates high

definition for any quilt stitch and it’s great as a bobbin thread for

machine embroidery. It can also be used as the top and bottom

thread for quilting, quilt construction and all purpose sewing,

including button holes. Since it’s so fine, it’s also excellent for

hidden stitching.

Pre-filled bobbins of DecoBob from WonderFil

Pre-wound bobbins! One less step for you!

DecoBob comes on spools and also in prewound bobbins. The

thread is tightly wound on high quality AS bobbins, which are

re-usable. Unlike most other prewound bobbins, DecoBob prewound

is free of any chemical adhesive to ensure unhindered

delivery of the thread. This also avoids the build up of undesired

residue (dried adhesive) in both the bobbin case and machine.

Since the tension in the bobbin is so consistent, it makes stitches

regular and even and minimal bobbin tension adjustment is

required. The thread is so fine, it reduces build up of bobbin

thread to enhance sewing results. Because of its high tenacity,

it works well even with heavy top thread. The matte finish also

blends well with most fabrics.

So many ways to use this thread

Here’s the chart that Lucy Garvin sent me. As you can see, it

gives lots of great tips, such as what size of needle to use and

what stitch length will work best.

DecoBob chart

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What we’ve done so far

In my previous posts I used DecoBob in the bobbin when I

couched threads and machine quilted using Mirage thread

from WonderFil, and I used it for thread painting with Tutti and

Konfetti. Lucy tells me that she loves to use it as the top and

bottom threads for machine quilting and also for hand stitching

the back of her bindings. With all this research, I’m starting to

get some ideas of what I can work on and ways to show off the

many uses of DecoBob thread! z


BANNERS OF

F

Visit our booth and:

View a display of banners by the

CHA Designers made for Charity Wings

(www.charitywings.org)for their outreach

program.

Spend some time in the “Construction

Zone” where you can construct your

own Banner of Hope.

Banners of Hope

are small fabric banners with

inspirational messages that are

displayed in hospitals, shelters and

charity locations that greet members

of the public in times of challenge.

fabric

tional

ed in

arity

bers

allenge.

Learn how this project can be used in

your store or business to promote local

causes and encourage more

consumers to use fabric in their projects.

booth #1654

www.craftandhobby.org/BOH

Coming to a craft show near you!

VIEW a display of banners by the CHA

Designers

ENJOY some time in the “Construction Zone”

where you can construct your own Banner of Hope.

Offered at some of our events.

LEARN how this project can be used in your store,

business, guild or community group to promote

local causes and encourage more consumers to use

fabric in their projects.

For more information on events in

2015 visit

www.craftandhobby.org/Canada

Banners courtesy of Paula Jones, Ana Araujo, Kelly Goulder, Susan Pyrcz Weckesser.

49


Leaves made with Shiva Paintsticks and a freezer paper stencil

Paintsticks and foils

)

Painting,

thread painting

&

It's

Blooming

Flowers

quilting

Christine Baker

Coneflowers made with freehand stitching and Inktense pencils

Flower shaded with Prismacolor artists pencils

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Finish up some quilting projects...

Time to finish some UFOs

Like many other quilters, I’ve a “few” unfinished objects

(UFOs) kicking around my quilting studio. Some are big

projects and some are small, and some will never be

finished! But, the ones I really wanted to work on were

the samples that I made in Elaine Quehl’s Surface Design

course. For three Fridays in a row, my friend Nellie and I

traveled to Ottawa to spend the day learning how to use

many different surface design products. My class samples

were just begging to be finished with thread painting and

quilting. I figured what better way to highlight the many

uses of DecoBob thread from WonderFil than to finish up

some quilting projects?

Tons of surface design techniques

Each day in our class we learned two different techniques

and got to play with different products. The first class had

us working with Shiva Paintstiks and foils. The second

class we used Prismacolor Artist Pencils and Caran d’Ache

Neocolor 2 Water Soluble Wax Pastels (yes, that sure is a

mouthful!). The third class, was my absolute favorite and

Elaine taught us the ins and outs of using Tsukineko Inks

and Inktense pencils.

Although I had a set of the Tsukineko Inks that I’d bought

over a year ago, none of the little bottles had even been

opened! Elaine showed us how to dilute the ink with aloe

vera gel to get different shades of one color in order to

paint a flower on fabric.

Then, we got to try out the Inktense pencils to shade in a

free-motion thread painted sketch. These amazing pencils

look and feel like pencil crayons, but when you spray the

fabric with water the colors pop and get brighter and

more intense! Immediately after the class, Nellie and I

headed to the closest art supply store to buy our own sets

of Inktense pencils!

A class of high achievers

Everyone in our class was so creative; it was amazing to

see what everyone did with the same products. Elaine

has pictures of all of the class samples up on her blog. Her

website also lists her future classes and lectures. I encourage

you to check out everything that she has to offer!

What to stitch first?

After looking through all my samples again, I decided the

tulip I made using the d’Ache Neocolor 2 Water Soluble

Wax Pastels was my first order of business. Once I got

out the WonderFil threads that I had on hand, I couldn’t

believe how well they matched my tulip – it’s like it was

meant to be!!

Peony painted with Tsukineko Inks

Tutti, Fruitti and Spagetti threads to match the tulip

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Thread painting with

DecoBob

Finishing up my Caran d’Ache Neocolor 2 Water

Soluble Wax Pastels Tulip

To paint my tulip, I traced the photo onto PFD (prepared for

dying) white cotton fabric and then used the wax pastels to

shade in the different colors. Once finished, I used a paintbrush

to paint water onto the fabric, which caused the wax pastels to

bleed into each other causing a watercolor effect. It was so fun!

Now that the tulip is dry, I’m going to use my Tutti, Fruitti and

Spaghetti threads to do some thread painting with DecoBob in

the bobbin.

Thread painting and free motion embroidery basics

There are lots of videos online that show how to do free motion

stitching, thread paint, and embroider. In my posts back in September,

I talked about some videos that I found on YouTube, but

here’s one more that’s very good.

Starting with the background

Since the lines of stitching in the background would be fairly

straight forward, I decided to use my green threads to do that

stitching first and then work my way to the more complicated

shading of the tulip. I dropped the feed dogs and put on my free

motion quilting foot.

I did some sample stitches on a scrap piece of fabric to get my

tension just right and then started to stitch on my tulip background.

Since my fabric had been treated with polymer medium

(to prevent the wax pastels from rubbing off on my fingers), it’s

fairly stiff and I don’t need to have a stabilizer on the back.

Start with the medium tones of threads

For my tulip, I stitched with the medium tones of threads first and

then added the darkest and lightest threads at the end.

Stitching the background

Make sure to raise your foot!

One thing to keep in mind when you’re changing thread colors

often is to make sure you always raise the foot of your machine

before threading. This ensures that the tension discs are open

when you pass the thread between then and will ensure that

your tension is always correct. If you find that your tension is suddenly

not right, the best thing to do is to re-thread your machine.

DecoBob thread to the rescue

Since the DecoBob is such a fine thread, even lots of stitching on

the front of the piece did not cause a great build up of bobbin

thread on the back of the piece.

Even though the DecoBob in the bobbin prevented a build up

of threads on the back of the piece, once all the stitching was

done, the fabric was a bit rippled just from all of the threads on

the front. A quick press with the iron, a pressing cloth and steam

made the fabric lay nice and flat!

52

Close up of stitching on the tulip

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Pressing using a pressing sheet

Artwork worthy of a frame

Now that my thread painting with DecoBob is complete,

my tulip’s finished. I quite like it and decided

to frame it. I found a nice frame with a mat included,

popped it in and voila! one of my UFOs is finished! z

Finished thread painting on front of tulip

DecoBob on the back of the tulip

Tulip in the frame

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Machine quilting with

llllllllllllllll

DecoBob

thread

I’m going to head to my sewing room to do some machine

quilting with DecoBob thread on my next UFO – my painted

peony.

lllllllll

Squaring up the peony using two rulers

Squaring up the fabric

The first job is to square up the fabric the peony is painted on.

When squaring up fabric and quilts, I like to use two rulers. My

large 16" square and my 6" x 25" long ruler. By butting them up

together, you can cut a multiple of sizes making sure that the

corners are a 90º angle.

Adding the borders

The stitching that I’m going to do on the peony is much less

dense than what I did on my tulip, and I want to have it serve

as quilting stitches too, so I’m going to add the borders and

layer the quilt before stitching. I want the emphasis to be on

the flower, so I’m going to use pink tone on tone fabrics for the

inner and outer borders. The inner border is cut 1½" to finish at

1" and the outer border is cut at 4" to finish at 3½". Since Lucy

mentioned how well DecoBob works for precision piecing, I’ve

decided to try using it in the top and bobbin to sew on my

borders.

Layering the quilt

Once all of the borders have been added, it’s time to layer the

quilt with the batting and backing. I talked about this process

in my QUILTsocial posts back in June. Whenever I am basting a

small project like this, I always use 505 adhesive spray.

Using DecoBob to sew on the borders

Quilt basted with 505 spray

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Picking the threads

I have some Tutti and Fruitti threads that match my peony

beautifully, so I’m going to use them to do the machine stitching

and embellishing on the flower petals and leaves. I’ll use the

DecoBob in the bobbin to make sure there isn’t a lot of thread

build up on the back of the quilt.

Embellishing the peony with machine quilting

To do the stitching, I put on my free motion quilting foot and

dropped my feed dogs. On the first stitch, I bring up the bobbin

thread from the back and do a few stitches in place to lock the

threads in place. Then, I follow the contours of the petals and

stitch the veins with the medium-colored threads first. Next,

I re-thread the machine with the darkest thread and then the

lightest thread. Finally, I change to the green threads and stitch

the leaves and stems. I really love the effect that the green variegated

thread has on the stems.

One thing to watch when changing thread colors often is to

make sure that you always have your machine foot up to make

sure the thread passes between the tension discs. This ensures

your upper thread tension is consistant.


Closeup of machine stitching on the peony petals

Picking threads for the peony

Machine quilting with DecoBob

Since I want the focus to be on the flower, I want the quilting in

the background to blend in with the fabric. DecoBob, because it

is so fine, will work wonderfully for this! So, I thread the machine

with DecoBob on the top and in the bobbin and start quilting

the background.

As I quilted, I noticed the top thread looks like it’s tighter and

tighter. All of a sudden, there’s a huge crash and my needle

looked like this:

Practice what you preach

I realized that I hadn’t followed my own advice and, in my haste

to get quilting, forgot to put the top DecoBob on the thread

holder instead of leaving it on the top thread pin. Since I also

forgot to put a WonderGuard on the spool, the slippery threads

slid off the spool and wrapped around the thread pin. Once I got

the WonderGuard thread guard on the spool and put it on my

thread holder off the machine, things worked much better!

I used DecoBob to to do the quilting in both the white background

and in the outer pink border. As you can see the thread

blended in well with both! I used one of my variegated pink

Fruitti threads to quilt the skinny inner border.

Closeup of machine stitching on the leaves

The bent needle

DecoBob on the thread holder

The completed machine quilting on the wall hanging

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Sewing the binding and making a hanging sleeve with

DecoBob

Trimming the edges of the quilt

Making the binding

Usually when I’m making binding for my quilts,

I try to use a thread that matches the fabric, so

when I press the binding seams open, I won’t

notice the stitches. I’m going to use my Deco-

Bob thread to sew the binding strips together.

I talked about how to make quilt binding on

QUILTsocial. As you can see from the photo, the

stitches that I did using the DecoBob are invisible!

The only thing you have to watch when

using this thread is that you need to backstitch

at the beginning and end of the seam.

Binding seams sewn with DecoBob

Making the hanging sleeve

Many of the quilts I make are intended

to be used as wallhangings, so I’ve got

a pretty good system that I always use

when making the hanging sleeves for

these quilts. Here's my step-by-step

visual guide to making hanging sleeves.

Step 1 Measure the width of the quilt.

Step 2 Cut fabric strip 6" x the width of the quilt.

Step 3 Fold over the short ends of the strip twice and press.

Step 4 Sew the ends of the hanging sleeve using

DecoBob.

Step 5 Fold the hanging sleeve in half lengthwise

and press.

Step 6 Center the hanging sleeve on the top back of

the wallhanging with the raw edges aligned and pin

in place.

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Now to sew on the binding

Now that the sleeve is pinned onto

the back of the quilt and our binding

is made, we can sew it onto the quilt.

Working from the front, align all of the

raw edges of the quilt and binding and

sew the binding to all four edges of the

quilt.

For most of my previous projects, I

stitched the binding to the back of the

quilts using a decorative machine stitch.

This is an easy and fast way to get a

binding sewn on, and is especially good

for quilts that will be washed a lot (such

as baby quilts). But, this quilt will only be

hung on the wall and I want to stitch the

back of the binding by hand. In the past

I have always used cotton thread that

I’ve matched to the color of the binding.

But, for this project, I’m going to try using

DecoBob for the hand stitching. I try

to use a double strand of thread when

stitching down binding, just to make it

that much stronger, so I’m going to cut

off a long piece of DecoBob and knot

the two ends together after threading

my needle.

Hand stitching the back of the binding

Time to watch a movie

Lots of people hate sewing on bindings,

but I also know many people who

absolutely love it – I have to say I’m

somewhere in the middle on this topic.

It’s a nice, thoughtless activity to do

while watching a good show on TV. So, I

put on a good movie to watch with my

family and got my hand stitching done.

After finishing the binding, I also stitched

down the folded edge of the hanging

sleeve.

The finished product

I’m happy to say that my second UFO

is now finished! Thanks to WonderFil, I

was able to finish my peony quilt using

all of the threads left over from previous

projects. Sewing the binding and making

a hanging sleeve with DecoBob gave

me great results and I’ll use my DecoBob

threads for these jobs over and over

again. z

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Waiter, there’s a quilt pin in my soup

!

So, a diner calls over the

server and says: “Waiter,

there’s a quilt pin in my

soup.” No, it’s not a joke;

there’s no punchline.

It’s the reality of anyone

who uses a table where

family and friends gather

to indulge in the passion

for quilting.

From now on, guess

what’s not coming to

dinner? Pins. I’m no

longer using the dining

room as a cutting and

design surface. Dinner

guests are, in a word,

relieved.

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Folded up, the Studio Collection Design

table is a compact marvel.

A bit of history here: I’m a life-long

maker of stuff. I have made room for

making for as long as I can remember.

By the time I was 16, I had a machine

that did zigzag stitches and a sewing

area in the family’s recreation room.

When I moved out on my own, I had

turned my machine into a portable

dynamo that could create anything,

anywhere, at anytime. Back then, I was

sewing clothes, making curtains or

cushions to disguise the ever deteriorating

condition of my sofa bed. Most of

my sewing stuff had to fit into a corner

of a closet, in a plastic storage tote.

Then, I discovered quilting and other

creative sewing. My collection of stash

fabric and notions exploded.

I know, I don’t have to explain.

By then, we had our first house. It was

small and had few multipurpose areas.

The kitchen also became my sewing

room, and the kitchen table often

played host to my creative pursuits.

That’s when I discovered the necessity

of a magnetic pin wand. I needed to

pick up errant pins before the sock

clad feet of guests and family members

found them. There was mention

made of giving up creative pursuits

for lack of space. I would have none

of it, and did my best to avoid the

unwelcome dinner pins.

Fast forward to now. Finally, I’ve a

sewing space that’s almost all my own.

Technically it’s a den, but really, it’s a

poorly insulated, over-the-garage bedroom.

But, it also has almost floor-toceiling

windows. My sewing studio is

sort of cold in the winter, and way too

hot in the summer, but it’s all mine.

If it has any real flaws at all, it’s that

there’s no room for a cutting table —

or so I thought.

Enter the Studio Collection Home

Hobby and Design Table from H. A.

Kidd, part of a range of sewing furnishings

available at participating retailers.

The collection includes not only this

amazing table, but also a space-saving

sewing cabinet featuring sewing

machine storage, a design surface, and

a fold out serger platform.

The Studio Collection table is

thoughtfully designed and well

made. Fully extended, it’s a 36" x

591⁄2" cutting, layout, and design

surface. Casters make it easy to

wheel it into position and the locking

mechanism means it won’t roll

away.

Folded away, it measures 13" x 36".

That’s like a sofa table or a bookshelf.

I can see this appealing to those who

are downsizing or, like I once did, trying

to find creative space in a tiny first

apartment.

When you aren’t designing or cutting

out, you can artfully arrange a vase or a

bowl of potpourri on it and congratulate

yourself on your interior design

sense.

This table is not only sturdy, but the 36"

height means you don’t have to bend

and strain your back. It has a wipeclean

laminated surface.

Bonus features, like a tool caddy/scrap

bin that clamps to the table legs, or an

ironing surface that turns the table into

a sizable ironing board, can be purchased

separately.

The family is surprisingly dismayed by

this clever new addition to the studio.

“You mean you’ll be cutting everything

up there too?”, the dear husband asked.

“That was about the only time we saw

you when you were spending the day

sewing.” This is the same guy who

complained loudly about the pins. Just

sayin’…

And the answer to the

comment: “Waiter,

there’s a quilt pin in my

soup”… “Not at my dining

table, Bud!” z


Only Spooling Around

Nancy Devine

No spooling, we’re sewing a table runner...

Studio Collection Home Hobby and

Design Table from H.A. Kidd is a welcome

and space-saving addition to any sewing

space. But, when folded up and not

working, it’s a bit plain. We’re quilters and

this just won’t do. So, no “spooling”, we’re

making a table runner!

Let’s make my Only Spooling Around

table runner. It fits the folded table, and

makes it just a little bit more special.

Spool blocks are considered beginner

blocks. They’re not difficult to put

together, but they’ll put you through

your paces in terms of cutting accurately

and sewing perfect 1/4" seams.

If you’re a regular reader of QUILTsocial,

you’ll know I’m not a big fan of rules.

However, in this one case, I have to tell

you, the Spool Block is unforgiving to

quilt scofflaws like me. But, they’re so

darned cute, I force myself to behave like

a rule abiding quilter.

Many quilters like to use striped fabric for

the center of the block to suggest lines of

thread. Not me, I love polka dots.

I also like to use brown batiks for the

“wooden” parts of the spool. I think it

suggests a patina of age on vintage

wooden spools.

Lastly, I like to sash the spool block, top

and bottom, in a neutral print. I found a

soft batik dot that compliments both the

polka dots and the darker batiks.

For each spool block, you will need:

Cutting mat

Rotary cutter

Ruler

1 4" x 4" Polka Dot Square

2 2" wide by 4" long brown strips

2 2" wide by 4" long side beige strips

4 2" x 2" brown squares

4 2" x 2" neutral squares

2 1 1⁄2" wide by 7 1⁄4" neutral sashing

I cut enough pieces for five blocks.

It takes a while, but, on the bright side,

the Studio Collection Home Hobby and

Design Table from H.A. Kidd provides a

clever, flexible cutting surface.

Playing around with the designing table,

creating a spool block.

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Q

Start the blocks by piecing the middle of the spool.

To create corner blocks, place one light square and one

dark square right sides together. Pin. Draw a diagonal

line from one corner of the square to the other.

Strategic pinning will help the corner blocks align

properly to the top and bottom of the spool block.

Here are the elements for each spool block.

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Once the patchwork pieces to make spool blocks are prepared,

we'll need the following to put them together.

sewing machine, fitted with 1/4-inch patchwork foot

chalk marker

small quilting ruler

scissors

curved micro tweezer snippers

seam pressing tool

Gutermann sew all thread in cream

First, change your machine needle. I use Patchwork and Quilting

needles for almost all my work. They’re very sharp and leave

a very small hole in the fabric when piecing. They’re durable

enough to handle the quilting phase of the project. Use a new

one for each new project.

The spool block begins with the center block. Attach two

neutral sides to each side of the colored square.

With right sides together, place one beige square and one

brown square together. Pin. Draw a diagonal line from one

corner to the other, using the chalk marker.

Sew along the marked line. That small corner can easily get

caught up in the feed dogs of your machine. I use a scrap of

fabric to start sewing just ahead of the unit I’m about to sew.

Like magic, the little corners do not get caught.

Using a 1⁄4" seam allowance, trim away one diagonal side of the

square. Use the seam pressing tool to press the seam toward

the dark fabric. Take care to press, not pull, the tool along the

seam. This is essentially a seam on the bias, so it will stretch if

you aren’t careful.

Use an iron to press the seam fully, but don’t use steam — it will

also ease out the bias.

Repeat this corner step three more times.

Make the spool top and bottom by attaching the corner pieces

to the brown strips. (see photo for placement)

Pinning is really important when doing this step. I’ve found that

putting a pin just before and just after where the “thread” seams

meet the corner seams really helps keep everything neat and

even.

Again, the quilting rules dictate that everything lines up if

the block elements have been carefully cut and pieced. Give

yourself permission to do the best job you can. If you are just a

bit off, that’s okay. I’ve found the more I do a block, the better I

get at piecing it together.

If you don’t like one, just set it aside. You can turn it into a

greeting card or something.

Try again, practice makes perfect. And, if you find some of your

blocks are a bit wonky, strategic placing of sashing and borders

help fool the eye into thinking everything is perfect. Shhh.

That'll be our little secret.

When you’ve pieced the top and bottom of the spool, press all

the seam allowances toward the center of the block.

Attach the sashing strips to the top and bottom of the spool

block. Each block should measure 7" x 81⁄2".


Quilting the

Only Spooling Around

table runner

No foolin’ — our spooling, stylin’ runner is almost finished!

I used two colors for the center “thread” on the spool block, so I

alternated colors.

Cut six (6) sashing strips, 2" x 8 1⁄2". Attach sashing vertically

between each block of the table runner. Press with steam.

Along the width of fabric, cut two 11⁄2" strips. (I found it easier to

tear these two strips.) Attach the strips along the entire length

of the runner. Press the seam toward the center.

Cut two pieces of fabric, 101⁄2" x 14". Attach these to either end of

the runner. Press the seam allowance open.

While the the Studio Collection Home Hobby and Design Table

from H.A. Kidd offers a very long cutting and design surface, the

same can’t be said for my stash of batting.

I didn’t have a long enough piece of batting, so I attached the

extra bit using the zigzag stitch as shown in Elaine Theriault’s

earlier post on QUILTsocial.

Attach sashing strips between each spool block.

It’s easier to tear the long border strip than to cut it.

Echo quilt the spool on the table runner.

Use binding clips to attach the binding to the table runner.

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spring 2015

61


The finished table runner now

decorates my Studio Collection

space saving design/cutting table in

my sewing space. When it’s folded

up, it takes up less space than the

bookshelf it replaced. And, it’s way

more useful!

Baste the layers of the quilt sandwich together using 505 Adhesive.

Once you have a long enough piece of batting, make

a quilt sandwich.

Spray baste the layers together using 505 Reposition

Fabric Adhesive.

Attach your machine’s walking foot according to the

manufacturer’s instructions. Position the walking

foot edge to the edge of the spool, echo quilt along

the spool. Then, stitch in the ditch along the vertical

sashing.

Set your machine up to free motion quilt the side

panels.

Cut four 2" binding strips along the width of fabric.

Join the binding strips together (see photo). Press the

binding strip away from the runner.

Turn the runner over and fold the binding strips

to the back. Use Wonder Clips to hold the folded

binding in place. Press the fold, taking care not to

melt the clips with the iron.

Slip stitch the binding to the back of the runner.

Well, we’re done quilting the Only Spooling Around

table runner. It can now decorate the Studio

Collection Home Hobby and Design Table from HA

Kidd. My table has a great new outfit for when it’s

just being a decorative part of my sewing space. z

Q

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Canada’s most trusted notions brand

is getting a makeover!

Our new UNIQUE ® brand packaging

is as beautiful and practical

as our ne products!

Find all of your favourite UNIQUE ® Sewing and Quilting

products in more alluring and informative packaging.

With lifestyle images showing application suggestions

and detailed instructional diagrams, it has never been

easier to nd and use the products you need to make

your very best work.

Look for UNIQUE ® Sewing and Quilting products at your favourite

fabric, sewing and quilting store!

Q

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63


QUILTsocial bloggers

Jennifer Houlden

http://quiltsbyjen.ca

Nancy Devine

nancywhiskeynancyo.blogspot.com

Christine Baker

www.FairfieldRoadDesigns.com

Elaine Theriault

crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational

resource for quilters with many great free tutorials

ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding

the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello

runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching,

quilting, and much more. Check them out!

Nancy Devine is a devoted user and collector of

remnants, scraps, and vintage buttons. She lives in

Aurora, Ontario, and can often be found working

on her latest project, and playing around with

her vintage (and much loved) Bernina machine.

Find more of her work and musings on her blog.

Christine has been designing and publishing

quilt patterns for the last 10 years under the

business name Fairfield Road Designs. Her

patterns range from fusible applique and

piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle.

You can see all her patterns on her website.

Elaine made her first quilt at the tender age of 13.

The urge to quilt resurfaced when her daughter

moved from a crib. The rest is history – she now

teaches several days a week, makes quilts on

commission and quilts for others on the long-arm.

64

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spring 2015


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.com


spring 2015

65


BUSINESS DIRECTORY To list your business in this space please visit www.ANPTmag.com/TopShop or call 1.866.969.2678.

Art of Fabric

955 Brock Rd Unit 1B, Pickering, ON L1W 2X9

905.420.1101

artoffabric.ca shop@artoffabric.ca

A creative shop offering quality fabrics, specializing

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Authorized Bernina dealer providing quality

service&support. Classroom rental space available.

Brampton Sew & Serge

289 Rutherford Rd S, Unit 7, Brampton, ON L6W 3R9

905.874.1564 bramptonsewnserge.com

monique@bramptonsewnserge.com

Welcome to Your One Stop Sewing Centre! We are

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offer a full schedule of sewing classes for everyone.

Brantford Fabrics

128 Nelson St, Unit 3, Brantford, ON N3S 4B6

519.304.8220 facebook.com/BrantfordFabrics

BrantfordFabrics@live.ca

Your authorized PFAFF & Husqvarna/Viking dealer

offering sales, service & parts. Select fabrics, notions,

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1.888.831.4095 bytownethreads.com

mlj@bytownethreads.com

Featuring AURIfil® thread from Italy. Extra-long

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Country Concessions

1 Dufferin St, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0

705.458.4546 or toll-free 1.888.834.4407

countryconcessions.com

quilting@countryconcessions.com

Visit our lovely and unique quilt shop in the quaint

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& notions. You will be so glad you came for a visit.

Divine Stitches

West Half 10910 102 Ave, Fairview, AB T0H 1L0

780.835.2403

Indulge your creativity at Divine Stitches – with

lovely fabrics & yarns; artful threads; beads &

embellishments; notions for sewing, quilting, knit

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Evelyn's Sewing Centre / The Quilt Store

17817 Leslie St, Unit 40, Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C6

905.853.7001 or toll-free 1.888.853.7001

thequiltstore.ca

Evelyn's Sewing Centre in Newmarket is your Quilt

Store Destination! The staff here at Evelyn's is always

on hand to provide Quilt Wisdom, Quilt Inspiration

and most of all we pride ourselves as the place to

make... All Your Quilt Dreams Come True!

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626 Main Street, Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0

306.682.0772 or toll-free 1.800.344.6024

hausofstitches.ca

Our one of a kind store offers everything you need

for sewing, quilting, knitting, rug hooking and

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325 Wortley Rd, London, ON N6C 3R8

519.433.5344 joycessewingshop.com

joycesewingshop@bellnet.ca

Our mission is to make sewing fun by providing

professional training to teach the benefits of sewing,

to provide excellent service and quality products

to make your sewing easier and to provide friendly

customer service to make you a happy sewer.

Log Cabin Yardage

425 Whitevale Road, Whitevale, ON L0H 1M0

416.818.1393 logcabinyardage.com

info@logcabinyardage.com

LCY is your source for the newest exciting novelty

and designer fabrics, kits and odds and ends.

Follow on Facebook for enticing fabric pictures,

promotions and programs.

Mad About Patchwork

Online Store

PO Box 412, Stittsville, ON K2S 1A5

madaboutpatchwork.com

Online fabric shop featuring modern fabrics from

Denyse Schmidt, Patty Young, Amy Butler, Kaffe

Fassett and more. Great selection of Kona cotton

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My Sewing Room

148-8228 MacLeod Trl SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2B8

403.252.3711 mysewingroom.ca

Queenofeverything@mysewingroom.ca

Canada's Largest Independently Owned Quilting

Store with fabric, patterns, kits, notions, sewing

machines and more! My Sewing Room boasts over

10,000 bolts of 100% cotton fabric from designers

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17477 Hwy 2 PO Box 68, Trenton, ON K8V 5R1

613.392.1422 pineridgeknitsew.com

yvette@pineridgeknitsew.com

We have knitting machines by Artisan and Silver

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variety of yarns, threads, dress and pant zippers.

Rags to Rugs Craft Shoppe

98 Water Street, Pictou, NS B0K 1H0

902.485.2775 or toll-free 1.800.249.7465

ragstorugs.com linda@ragstorugs.com

Rug hooking supply store offering hooks, frames,

rag cutters, new and recycled wool, dyes, scissors,

rug hooking books and a variety of other rug

hooking supplies. We feature the Bluenose Rug

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Rosalie I. Tennison, Quilt Appraiser

Certified by American Quilters’ Society 2005

Newmarket, ON

905.953.1441 R.Tennison@sympatico.ca

What if something happens to your treasured quilt?

Do you have written proof of its value for your

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Ruby Pearl Quilts

500 King St W, Suite 8, Oshawa, ON L1J 2K9

905.436.3535 rubypearlquilts.com

joy@rubypearlquilts.com

We are your full service source of professional quilting

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Ruti's Needlebed

10 Thomas St, Mississauga, ON L5M 1Y5

905.821.9370 ruti.ca

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Guelph, ON

519.824.4127 sewfancy.com

sales@sewfancy.com

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4155 Fairview St Unit 3, Burlington, ON L7L 2A4

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sewetc.com info@sewetc.com

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189 Thames Street S, Ingersoll, ON N5C 2T6

519.303.1563

stitchitcentral.ca sales@stitchitcentral.ca

Stitch-It Central is a store to satisfy all your cross

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fabrics and linens, and so much more.

Sue's Quilting Studio

22 Main St E, PO Box 427, Vankleek Hill, ON K0B 1R0

613.678.3256 suesquiltingstudio@bellnet.ca

facebook.com/pages/Sues-Quilting-Studio/

101057286682381

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905.715.7725 thatsewingplace.ca

jaret&liana@thatsewingplace.ca

Introducing That Sewing Place as your sewing

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#2, 185 First St E, Cochrane, AB T4C 2E9

403.932.3390 stitchingcorner.ca

nygabe@telus.net

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info@thestitchersmuse.com

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416.752.1828 or toll-free 1.800.836.6536

theyarnguy.com info@sewknit.ca

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PO Box 64, Brockville, ON K6V 5T7

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66 ●

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UILTsocial


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CREATIVE, PERFORMANCE, EXPRESSION and PASSPORT are trademarks of KSIN Luxembourg II, S.ar.l.

CREATIVE, PERFORMANCE, EXPRESSION and PASSPORT are trademarks of KSIN Luxembourg II, S.ar.l.

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68 ●

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©2013 KSIN Luxembourg II.S.ar.l. All rights reserved. PFAFF, PERFECTION STARTS HERE, IDT (image),

CREATIVE, PERFORMANCE, EXPRESSION and PASSPORT are trademarks of KSIN Luxembourg II, S.ar.l.

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