QUILTsocial | Issue 09


Here's another informative and unequivocally fun issue filled with leading edge quilting and sewing products to explore. We're working with modern quilting and adding some old fashion charm to it; we use current accessories and explore the art of machine embroidery. We're also looking at machine applique and how to use it in different quilted projects. You'll also find a comprehensive talk about the characteristics and benefits of 5 Fairfield quilt battings and exploring the answer to the question 'How do I choose the right batting for my project?' We answer more questions as in 'When do you know when it's time to throw out older thread and why?' Let's not forget the fun you're going to have making the 7+ free projects with full instructions in this spectacular issue! Enjoy!

Q .c



…eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

Diagram 2

Visit QUILTsocial.com to download

a PDF version of this issue.

essential tips for

* topstitching and its purpose in


* binding a quilt with baby's name

* understanding batting loft

* using rayon threads in machine


* when it's time to throw your

threads away

* machine applique

* PLUS *

Elephant Baby Quilt

Kid's Artist Case

Modern Landscape Table Runner

Lucky Mug Rug & Table Topper

4 Leaf Clover Pincushion

Quilted Basket & Needlecase




issue 9 1








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While quantities last. Presale period starts 7/7/17 and ends 10/1/17. See your local, authorized PFAFF ® dealer for details.

editor's letter

Never underestimate the power of quilting.

I'll tell you a story about an 80 year old lady who in

the time lapse of 2 years has lost the LOVE of her

life (husband), has battled with cancer and most

recently had a stroke. All this within 2 years. This

lady is comforted every day by her beloved family

and despite all that's happened to her, takes great

joy in daily sewing, quilting and needlework, which

play an important role in her recovery. This lady is

my mom, one of the strongest women I've been

blessed to know and love, and be loved. Here's

her latest quilt that we collaborated on together.

Designed to mom's specifications, cut and

measured by me, and entirely pieced by mom. The

exquisite free motion quilting was done by none

other than Christine Kempson Baker.

It isn't the first time I talk about how quilting

empowers you, picks you up, and downright

comforts you.

This concept isn't new, but it's important to highlight

the experience of completing a quilt.

You know it, you felt it time and time again.

Let me know how quilting has touched your life,

and how you touched someone's life with your


Post your story and pictures on our QUILTsocial

Facebook page, I'd love to hear it.


follow me on




issue 9 3





daily blog


weekly giveaways


monthly newsletter


quarterly magazine


Facebook page


Pinterest page


ALL of the above!

eat, sleep, quilt, repeat



Visit QUILTsocial.com

and download our free ebook

Elaine’s Quilting Tech Tips!


Carla A. Canonico



John De Fusco



John De Fusco, Carla A. Canonico


Christine Baker


Bill Locke


Allison Spence


Elaine Theriault


Sarah Vanderburgh



Carla A. Canonico


Sondra Armas

WEB and IT Support

Alejandro Araujo

WEBSITE / BLOG : https://QUILTsocial.com

Like us on Facebook : QUILTsocial

Follow us on Twitter : @QUILTsocial


QUILTsocial is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle

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


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.


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

email john@QUILTsocial.com.


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.

©2017 QUILTsocial. All rights reserved. Issue #9. 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.

Advertiser Index

53 A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine

91 Brother

90 Business Directory

67 Coats

61 Gütermann Creativ

43 Northcott


89 QUILTsocial

92 UNIQUE Sewing and Quilting

45 WonderFil Specialty Threads


4 .com| issue 9



issue 9

c o n t e n t s












Hooked on Books

6 features I love on the Brother NQ900

Comparing 5 Fairfield quilt batting types

Exploring WonderFil's Rayon Threads

Northcott’s Urban Elementz Collection

PFAFF passport 3.0

3 key weights of Coats’ Dual Duty XP thread

The Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q

A Stitch in Time Quilt

The Scrap Buster Tote

Scrappy House Placemat




issue 9 5

hooked on books

Walking Foot Quilting Designs

Melissa Marginet

A brilliant quilter, Melissa Marginet has compiled in

this golden nugget of a book, step by step diagrams

and pictures to help you quilt your quilt. The

designs shown can be made as simple or complex

as described in clear and comprehensive diagrams.

Walking Foot Quilting Designs will become for you a

reference book you’ll keep by your sewing machine

and quilt with confidence using its creative guidance.

100 Pages, ISBN 978-0-9952741-0-5



The T-Shirt Quilt Book

Lindsay Conner and Carla Hegeman Crim

Turn treasured tees into something brand new–a

T-shirt quilt! Capture the memories of a special

time, starting with a quick pillow project or a baby

quilt made from onesies, and work your way up

to bed quilts in multiple sizes. Learn the secrets

to choosing shirts, centering and cutting out

around a logo, working with shirts that are too

small, and interfacing knit fabrics with finesse. You'll

practice your skills with 8 projects ranging from

simple squares to pieced stars and triangles, plus

easy machine-appliquéd motifs. With beginnerfriendly

designs and truly unique layouts to entice

experienced quilters, this essential guide to T-shirt

quilts covers all the bases.

80 Pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-530-8

C&T Publishing


Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers

Judy Gauthier

You'll actually be hungry for more leftovers

Are you swimming in fabric scraps from sewing

garments, bags, and quilts? Learn to rescue and

reuse fabric leftovers with 12 stunning, colorful quilt

patterns for scrap lovers. Judy Gauthier teaches you

her indispensable system for cutting usable squares

from real, oddly shaped scraps, not just strips or

precuts! Cut scraps into 3½", 4½", and 5½" squares, a

magical combination for both beginning quilters

and more advanced piecers, using traditional rotary

cutting or Judy's fast2cut Simple Square Templates.

Judy’s clever organizing and quilt-assembly tips will

help you uncover hidden treasures from your stash.

96 Pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-461-5

C&T Publishing


Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers

Natalia Bonner

Put a feather in your quilting cap

Take the fear out of quilting feathers! Explore 68

modern feather designs with step-by-step guidance

from award-winning quilter Natalia Bonner. Quilt

stunning feathers on a variety of blocks and borders

with this beginner-friendly, visual guide. Unlike

traditional feather quilting, which relies on exactness

and precision, Natalia’s ideas will help you break

away from perfection and find creativity in your

quilting practice. Use your home sewing machine or

a longarm to free-motion feathers with confidence,

adding a truly elegant finish to today’s modern quilts.

144 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-506-3

C&T Publishing


Sew Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Mary Hertel

Pick your project then pick your block: mix and match

8 super-easy projects with 16 adorable paper-pieced

blocks just for Christmas. Simply follow Mary’s clearly

illustrated instructions to create fun and fresh holiday

blocks. Plus, use her time-saving technique for paper

piecing with less waste to create custom winter decor

ranging from tree skirts and table toppers to gift bags,

mug rugs, pot holders, and more. Sew by number and

watch your image emerge!

56 Pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-528-5

C&T Publishing


New York Beauties & Flying Geese

Carl Hentsch

Dramatic curves and angles for today's

adventurous quilter

Become a skilled foundation piecer with New York

Beauty blocks and arcs of Flying Geese that amaze! Carl

Hentsch simplifies a technique loved by many with his

straightforward approach to curved piecing, foundation

piecing, and simple machine applique. Stitch your

way through 31 architectural block patterns, ideal for

advanced beginners and intermediate quilters. Then it's

time to practice on 10 full-size quilts and 27 bonus pillow

projects with lively color combinations to provide

movement and drama.

96 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-176-8

C&T Publishing



6 .com| issue 9


hooked on books

Intuitive Color & Design, Updated 2nd Edition

Jean Wells

Jean Wells gives you the assignment of your life: put

away your ruler and use your inner vision to design

and piece spectacular, free-form quilts you'd never

have guessed you could create. In this updated

edition of best-selling Intuitive Color & Design, Jean’s

workshop assignments get your creative juices

flowing, giving you challenges to expand your

quilting horizons. Start by learning to see line and

color; study the nuts and bolts of design; develop

your color work and composition; and when you get

stuck, there’s expert advice on problem solving. You

will never see quiltmaking in the same way again.

112 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-524-7

C&T Publishing


True Blue Quilts

Annette Plog

Sew 15 Reproduction Quilts Honoring 19th-

Century Designs

The blue-and-white quilt is one of the most desired

antiques, and many can still be found in good

condition. Learn the history of blue fabrics used

during the 19th century, from the first production

of indigo fabrics through the invention of the

sewing machine, and up to the development of

synthetic dyes in the late 1800s. Get inspired to

design and create your own heirlooms, stitching

up 15 historically accurate reproduction quilts from

traditional blocks.

80 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-340-3

C&T Publishing


Wonderful One Patch Quilts

Sarah Nephew and Marci Baker

A new angle on classic quilt designs

What can you sew with a 60° ruler and a simple,

repeated shape? The possibilities are endless!

Favorite authors Sara Nephew and Marci Baker are

back with 20 beautifully bold one-patch quilts made

from triangles, half-hexagons, diamonds and more.

With their eye-catching color placement and clever

pieced units like half-triangles and quarter-hexagons,

no two quilts look alike. For even more variety, pick

your favorite method – working from scraps or strip

piecing yardage – to create an array of quilts from

wallhangings to full-size beauties.

128 pages, ISBN 978-161745-467-7

C&T Publishing


Charm School – 18 Quilts from 5” Squares

Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique

Mind your p’s and q’s... precuts and quilt blocks, that

is! Popular designer Vanessa Goertzen puts charm

squares to the test with 18 projects using precut 5" x

5" squares. Start with fresh, simple blocks and build

your skills to sew versatile snowballs, stars, flying

geese, and more. Using precuts from your stash or

cutting your own charms from scraps or yardage,

you’ll learn tips to take the guesswork out of piecing.

Quilters of all types will fall in love with these quick,

clever, and clean designs!

128 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-281-0

C&T Publishing


Block Genius

Sue Voegtlin

An amazing new quilting book, truly perfect for

quilters of all levels…. With 201 pieced block designs,

each in three different sizes (6”, 9” and 12”) with

sample settings…an exceptional reference tool.” All

the math is done for you!

144 pages, ISBN 978-1-935726-90-6

Fox Chapel Publishing


Artful Log Cabin Quilts

Katie Pasquini Masopust

Take the first steps to becoming an art quilter with

popular teacher and best-selling author Katie Pasquini

Masopust. Starting with an inspiration photo or

painting, choose fabrics to create your own artistic

log cabin quilts. Learn to navigate visual pathways

and composition, applying easy techniques and

experimenting with color. Student work is presented,

showing that anyone can create an art quilt! Design

and make your masterpiece with freeform log cabin

blocks using this versatile method.

80 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-450-9

C&T Publishing





issue 9 7

6 features I love on

the Brother NQ900 sewing machine

Christine Baker

The NQ900 is packed and ready to go

The extension table legs fold up for travel or storage.

You can never know what a sewing

machine is all about until you have the

opportunity to play with it. In this issue

here are my thoughts about the Brother

NQ900 sewing machine. You'll find more

information about this little powerhouse

sewing machine on our blog site,


Great feature 1

One feature that Jean didn’t talk about

is this machine’s portability! At just 23lbs

the Brother NQ900 is so easy to take

along on vacation, to classes, on a quilt

cruise OR like I did a couple weeks ago –

to a quilt retreat!!

Great feature 2

The extension table on the NQ900 is not

only HUGE, but it also has fold up legs

so it can be easily stored or slipped into

a bag to take along with the machine.

Here’s the extension table slipped inside

of the retreat bag that I made during my

QUILTsocial posts in December 2015.

Great feature 3

The NQ900 has two LED lights which

is AWESOME for when you are sewing

somewhere that the lighting isn’t all that

great. I really appreciated that extra light

while I was sewing at the quilt retreat.

Great feature 4

OK – all I have to say about the needle

threader on this machine is WOW!!!! It’s

so easy to use that I HAD to make a little

video to show you. The needle threader

can be used with machine needles 75/11

through 100/16.


8 .com| issue 9


Photos by Christine Baker

Great feature 5

I love how this machine won’t stitch

if the foot is up. If the foot isn’t down,

the stop/start button glows red and

the machine beeps if you put your

foot down on the foot peddle. This is a

wonderful feature, especially when using

the free-motion quilting foot. Here’s

what each color means:

• Green: The machine is ready to sew

or is sewing.

• Red: The machine can’t sew.

• Orange: The machine is winding the

bobbin thread, or the bobbin winder

shaft is moved to the right side.

Great feature 6

Another super feature is that you can’t

thread the NQ900 when the foot is

down. A little cover, called the upper

thread shutter, slides over the take up

lever and prevents you from pulling the

thread through. If you thread a sewing

machine when the foot is down, you

may not get the thread between the

two tension discs and when you sew, the

tension between your top and bottom

threads may be completely unbalanced.

I see this happen a lot when I’m teaching

beginner machine quilting classes so this

feature would be amazing to prevent

this problem from happening!

I really enjoyed using the NQ900

machine at the quilting retreat – and

everyone thought it was so funny how

excited I got when I needed to thread

my needle, LOL. I spent three whole days

sewing on this machine and ended up

piecing a lap quilt, three baby quilts and

four book covers.

Make sure to keep reading as we’re

going to start making a baby quilt using

Northcott’s new Bundle of Love fabric

line and the Brother NQ900.

All set up at the retreat

Red glowing Start/Stop button

The upper thread shutter is closed, preventing the sewing machine from

being threaded.




issue 9 9

Elephant applique

adds a modern twist

to this baby quilt

Brother NQ900

I talked about my six favorite features of the Brother NQ900

sewing machine. Really, I could have gone on longer. The more I

use this machine, the more features I find that I LOVE. But, I have

a project that I want to share with you, a fun and easy baby quilt.

So let’s get going!

We have a family member who’s pregnant, so I wanted to make

a baby quilt for her new little bundle of joy. Northcott has a

bunch of new kids and baby fabric lines, so I contacted Elaine

and asked if she could send me some fabrics to play with. Here

is Northcott’s Bundle of Love fabrics, which is just perfect for a

new baby boy!

I really wanted to try out the decorative stitches on the NQ900,

so I decided to do a machine appliqued design in the center

of the quilt. Since the Bundle of Love fabrics feature elephants,

I decided to use one of them as my design inspiration. I’ve

attached a PDF with the applique design for your use, if you’d

like to make your own version.

Elephant baby quilt

finished size 33'' x 40''


• ½yd white fabric for background

• ½yd gray fabric for borders

• ½yd gray print fabric for applique, borders,

and binding

• ¼yd each of five other prints for applique,

borders, and binding

• 1yd backing fabric

• batting 40'' x 45''

Fabrics for my baby quilt


10 .com| issue 9


Tracing the applique shapes

When using fusible web, trace your

applique shape onto the paper side of

the product. Since the elephant is such

a large applique shape, I decided to cut

away the center part of the fusible web

so that it was only stuck around the

edges of the elephant. This results in a

“softer” feel to the finished applique. In

order to not waste that piece of fusible

web, I traced the heart and ear shapes

inside of the elephant shape.

Cut your background fabric to 18'' x 24''.

Arrange the applique shapes with the

fusible side down onto the background,

and then fuse into place.

Here’s the background with the applique

shapes fused in place. I can’t wait to get

started stitching with the NQ900!!

I found three different WonderFil threads

in my stash that will work beautifully

with the fabrics.

that the applique shapes are fused

and I’ve picked some threads for the

elephant baby quilt, I’m ready to get

stitching! There are so many amazing

decorative stitches on the Brother

NQ900 that I’m sure I’m going to have

lots of fun doing my machine applique.

Positioning the shapes on the background fabric

Traced applique shapes on the fusible web

Cut all of your traced applique shapes

loosely from the fusible web, and then

iron each to the back of your chosen

fabrics. Follow the manufacturer’s

directions for your chosen fusible web

product. Next, cut each of these shapes

along the drawn line. As you can see

in the photo below, the center of my

elephant shape does not have any

fusible web stuck to it. Next, peel off the

paper backing.

WonderFil threads to match the fabrics

Back side of the elephant applique

The fused shapes




issue 9 11

1” test square

When printed on your

home printer, the above

square should measure 1”.

If it doesn’t, your printer

will need to be adjusted.

Fusible applique pattern for the elephant baby quilt.


12 .com| issue 9


1” test square

When printed on your

home printer, the above

square should measure 1”.

If it doesn’t, your printer

will need to be adjusted.




issue 9 13

Eye catching

machine applique

with the Brother NQ900

I showed you how to prep and fuse

your applique pieces to make the

center of our cute baby quilt. Now we

get to use the Brother NQ900 to do the

machine applique!

Let’s select a stitch!

With 240 built-in sewing stitches,

including 58 stitches that you can

combine, it was hard to decide which

stitch to start with!! Usually when I

do machine applique, I use a blanket

stitch because, let’s face it, my home

sewing machine has a limited number

of stitches available. But, after seeing the

decorative stitches that Jean used on her

table runner last month on QUILTsocial,

I knew that this machine was going to

give me WAY more options!

I loaded a gray variegated thread

into the top of the machine, placed a

prewound bobbin of DecoBob in the

bottom, and I was in business. I loved

how this stitch looked on the edges of

the elephant!

Close up of stitching on the elephant

For the elephant’s ear, I decided on a

stitch that looked like a slanted blanket

stitch – #12 in the Utility Decorative

Stitches group. This stitch needed the

same foot, so no need to switch it out!

The open top cover showing the stitch selection chart

So, I decided on stitch #25 in the Utility

Decorative Stitches grouping. Once

I made my selection, the LCD screen

showed me what the stitch was going

to look like, AND which foot I should use

– the N foot as shown on the left side of

the screen.

LCD display showing settings for Utility

Decorative Stitch #12

LCD Display for Utility Decorative Stitch #25


14 .com| issue 9


Here’s a close up of the stitch done

with Fruitti #FT02 which is a blue and

yellow variegated thread. Doesn’t it

look awesome?

Here it is stitched on the outside edge of

the balloon heart. I used Tutti #TU30 for

this stitch and really like how it looks on

the green checked fabric!

Here’s a close up of the butterfly

antennae – doesn’t that look great?

Close up of stitching on the elephant ear

Since I’m such a blanket stitch nut, I

decided that I better try out the NQ900

blanket stitch too! This stitch is #20 in the

same group as the above two stitches

and again uses foot N.

Close up of stitching on the heart shape

After stitching down all of the edges of

the applique shapes, the next job was

to stitch the antennae of the butterfly

and the string for the balloon. I used an

erasable marking tool to draw these lines

onto the background fabric.

Closeup of zigzag stitched antennae

In total, I used six different decorative

stitches to finish the machine applique

on the quilt. I quite like how the quilt

is progressing and can’t wait to start

putting on the borders! Next, we’ll add

all of the borders, and start machine

quilting with the awesome Brother


LCD display showing the settings for Utility

Decorative Stitch #20

The butterfly antennae drawn with a Frixion pen

I wanted to mimic the look of hand

embroidery, so I decided on zigzag

stitch #10. The LCD screen showed that

I needed to change to foot J, so I did

that and then loaded a black thread

into the top of the machine. I shortened

the width and length of the stitch by

pressing the “-” buttons under the width

and length indicators on the screen.

Completed stitching

LCD display shows the settings for Utility Stitch

#10 – zigzag




issue 9 15

Jumpstart your free motion

quilting on this elephant baby quilt

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I used

many of the decorative stitches on the

Brother NQ900 to machine applique the

center of our baby quilt. I really loved

how each of the different stitches looked

on the applique shapes!

We’re going to add the borders to the

center panel!

The Brother NQ900

Adding the borders

1. From the inner border fabric (gray), cut 3 strips 1½” x the width of the fabric (WOF).

From these, cut two strips that are 1½” x 24” and sew these to the sides of the inner

panel. Press towards the borders. Cut two strips of the inner border fabric that are

1½” x 20” and sew these to the top and bottom. Press.

2. From each of your six border fabrics, cut one strip 5” x the WOF. Cut one section

from each that is 5” x 15”, and cut each of these in half to make two 2½” x 15” strips.

Randomly sew these together end to end with a mitered join to make the binding.

3. From the remainder of each strips, cut 5” wide rectangles that range in length

from 3” to 6”. Randomly sew these rectangles together to make one long strip

that is 5” wide.

4. From this long strip, cut two inner borders that are 5” x 26” and sew these to the

two sides of the quilt. Press. Cut two inner borders that are 5” x 29” and sew these to

the top and bottom of the quilt. Press.

5. From the gray fabric cut four strips that are 3” x WOF. From these cut two side

borders that are 35” long and sew these to the two sides of the quilt. Press. Cut two

borders that are 34” long and sew them to the top and bottom of the quilt.

Layer the quilt

The next step is to layer the quilt top with batting and backing. I used an adhesive

spray to stick my layers together, but you could pin or hand baste if you prefer.

Piecing is a breeze!

The Brother NQ900 is great for piecing

too! The ¼” quilting foot with guide is

great for sewing accurate ¼” seams and

the Thread Cutter Button is GREAT for

when you’re chain piecing!!

The ¼” quilting foot with guide

Quilt top with batting and backing layered


16 .com| issue 9


Prepping the machine for free

motion quilting

When you want to free motion machine

quilt, you need to drop the feed dogs on

the machine so that they won’t be trying

to move the fabric in one direction when

you are moving it another direction.

The feed dogs on the Brother NQ900

are dropped by sliding the Feed Dog

Position Switch located at the back of

the machine.

For the background of the applique

design, I decided to do a large meander

throughout. I’m so used to machine

quilting on my Gammill that I’m a little

rusty doing free motion on a home

machine!! As you can see, my stitches are

not all the same length, but as I tell my

machine quilting students, developing

skill in machine quilting is all about

practice, practice, practice!! The large

extension table on the machine made

the quilting experience quite enjoyable!

I decided to quilt straight lines across

the diagonal of each of the blocks in the

pieced border. The walking foot worked

really well, but I did increase the length

of the stitch so that it’d be closer to what

I’d stitched with the free motion foot.

The knee lift came in VERY handy for

doing this border as I could raise the foot,

swing the quilt around and not have to

take my hands off of the quilt!

Dropping the feed dogs

You also need to attach a machine

quilting foot or darning foot. The quilting

foot for the Brother NQ900 is great and

makes free motion machine quilting

super easy!

Close up of the machine quilting

I did a little loop-de-loop design in the

first narrow border.

Quilting diagonal lines across the border squares

For the final border, I decided to just quilt

parallel straight lines all along the border.

The quilting guide on the Brother NQ900

walking foot was great for keeping my

lines an equal distance apart!

Changing to the quilting foot

Now that the quilting foot is attached

and the feed dogs are down, the

machine is ready for quilting!

Loops in the inner border

For the next two borders, I wanted to try

out the walking foot on the machine. It

was easily attached, and after I raised the

feed dogs with the switch on the back of

the machine, I was ready to try it out.

Using the quilting guide on the walking foot

The quilting is done!

Now that the baby quilt is quilted, all

it needs is a label and binding!! Since

taking the machine to the quilt retreat

a couple weeks ago, I’ve been piecing

like crazy!!

All ready for free motion quilting

Walking foot




issue 9 17

It’s written in the binding!

Bind a baby quilt with baby’s name

I showed you how great the Brother

NQ900 is for piecing and machine

quilting our Elephant Baby Quilt. Now

I’m going to use more of the machine’s

decorative stitches to sew down the

binding and make the label for the quilt.

Making the label

Back in November on QUILTsocial, I

shared with you my new favorite way

of making fast and easy permanent

quilt labels. On that label, I just hand

wrote the information with a permanent

marker, but since this awesome machine

can embroider letters, I decided to

use the same method but make an

embroidered label.

When I first looked at the character

stitches on the Brother NQ900, I

thought that I would stitch each letter

individually, for example, I would set the

machine to stitch an “F”, it would stitch,

then I would set it for an “A” and it would

stitch that letter. BUT, after reading the

manual I realized that I can program up

to 70 patterns or characters all at once!!

So, using the stitch guide on the top

of the machine, I programmed in the

words “Welcome to the Family”. You can

see that on the LCD screen, the machine

shows the last six characters that will be

stitched, so you can check your spelling,

and the foot that you attach, the “N” foot.

I drew lines on my label parallel to the

folded edge, and used them to guide

the machine as it stitched. The machine

automatically stitches reinforcement

stitches at the beginning and end of

EACH letter, and leaves a thread in

between the letters in the words.

The embroidered label

I used small scissors to snip the threads

between the letters stitched with the

Brother NQ900.

Snipping the threads between the letters

I pinned the label to the back of the quilt.

In order to use the decorative stitches

on the Brother NQ900 to sew down the

binding on the front of the quilt, I first

sewed the binding to the back of the

baby quilt, and then folded around to

the front.

Folding the binding to the front of the quilt

Next, I selected a stitch to use for securing

the folded edge of the binding. I decided

on Utility stitch #68 which looks like one

of the cross stitch designs. The LCD screen

shows me to use the “N” foot.

Stitch selection for decorative stitches on the binding

After stitching that design for a while, I

decided that I really wanted to use more

than one stitch to go all the way around

the quilt, so I checked out the stitch

guide and picked Decorative Stitch #12

which looks like a snowflake.

LCD display showing the character stitches selected

Finished label

More binding stitches


18 .com| issue 9


Here are the snowflakes stitched on the binding.

The finished

Elephant Baby Quilt

is all done and ready for

the new addition.

The snowflake decorative stitch on the binding

I kept stitching my way around the quilt, changing the stitch

every six inches or so, when all of a sudden I thought – “OMG

– why am I not stitching WORDS onto the binding???”. Since I

don’t know what the new baby’s name is going to be, I decided

on the word “BABY” repeated over and over with a heart in

between. Just think, if the baby had already been born, you

could stitch his name, birth date and birth weight on the

binding. How cool is THAT??

Settings for the words stitched on binding

Here are the words that I stitched on the binding. I did find

it a bit harder to keep everything lined up nicely when I was

stitching the words, instead of just one of the other decorative

stitches. But I found that if I stitched a bit slower and paid close

attention it worked quite well!

The finished Elephant Baby Quilt

Christine Baker


“Baby” stitched on the binding




issue 9 19

Comparing 5 Fairfield quilt batting samples

Which one is for you ? Allison Spence

A batting sample cut and measured at 12"

I've always wanted to collect a selection

of batting samples and do some testing

on them. This week I'm going to focus

on 5 battings from Fairfield.

I received 5 batting samples: 3 polyester

battings, a cotton/polyester blend

batting and a cotton batting. I spent

some time stitching and washing and

want to share my results with you.

I began by cutting 14" squares of each

of the batting samples and drawing

12" squares on each sample. Then

I conducted some very scientific

experiments! Each day this week I'm

going to highlight and compare the 5

battings under a variety of considerations.


20 .com| issue 9


Photos by Allison Spence

I'll be looking at the 5

battings with these points

in mind.

1. What materials are used

in batting and how does

that affect the project?

2. How does the thickness

or the loft of the batting

affect the quilting process

and the finished quilt?

3. How does pre-washing

and washing after quilting

affect the finished quilt?

4. How the amount of

quilting affects the

finished look of the quilt

in relation to the batting.

Let's take a brief look at each

of the batting samples that I


Poly-Fil Extra-Loft is a 100%

polyester batting and can be

quilted up to 4" apart. The

information on these packages is

very helpful for choosing the right

batting for each project.

Poly-Fil Low-Loft is also a 100%

polyester batting. The package

doesn't say what the stitching

distance is but the website

recommends a stitching distance

of 2" – 4" apart.

Poly-Fil Project Fleece is another

100% polyester batting that can

be sewn up to 4" apart. This

batting is recommended for

a variety of quilting and craft


The Fairfield family of cottons,

Quilter's 80/20 batting is 80%

cotton and 20% polyester.

Recommended quilting distance is

2" – 4". It has been needle punched

to keep the layers firmly together.

And the last batting I tested is

the Soft & Toasty. This batting is

100% cotton and can be quilted

up to 8" apart. It also is needle

punched with a light scrim to give

it stability.

In this feature I'll also take a look

at why we like the battings we do

and give some hints on when to

use each one.

Poly-Fil Extra-Loft batting from Fairfield

Poly-Fil Low-Loft batting from Fairfield

Poly-Fil Project Fleece from Fairfield

Quilter's 80/20 batting from Fairfield

Soft & Toasty batting from Fairfield




issue 9 21

The benefits of cotton batting,

how to pre-wash it and how to quilt it

I'm focusing on the 2 cotton battings:

Soft & Toasty and Quilter's 80/20.

Quilter's 80/20 and Soft & Toasty battings from Fairfield

I wanted to do some simple testing of

the battings. I cut 14" squares of each

batting and then drew a 12" square with

a permanent marker.

12" square marked on a 14" piece of batting

I soaked the batting pieces in a tub of

warm water for an hour. I then squeezed

out the excess water and placed them

in the dryer with a large bath towel. I

allowed the dryer to run until the battings

were still damp. I then spread them flat

on the bath towel to finish drying.

I remember my 2 very first quilts. When

I bought the batting for these large

twin quilts for my daughters, I was told

that I had to pre-shrink my batting. The

directions were to fill my bathtub with

warm water and immerse the batting. Let

it sit for a while and then squeeze out the

excess water. I thought I'd save some time

by "washing" the entire 5 meter length

at once. Well, I felt like Lucille Ball and

her infamous grape stomping episode! I

spent a good half hour stomping on the

batting in my bathtub and then trying to

pull that wet length of batting out of my

tub and finding a place to dry it! Things

are much easier now.

I recommend the following procedure

to pre-wash cotton battings. Fill the

washing machine with water. Unfold and

submerge the batting in the water and

turn the machine off!



Allow the batting to soak for a while and

then spin the moisture out. The batting

can then be tossed in the dryer with a

large towel to get most of the moisture

out. Lay the batting on a flat surface to

finish drying. If you agitate the batting,

you'll end up with a tub full of fluff!

The benefits of cotton battings

Cotton battings have a few clear benefits.

They're made mostly with natural fibers.

Cotton battings 'breath' and therefore

can be warm in winter and cool in the

summer. They drape well and are ideal

for bed quilts. Cotton battings tend to

be heavier than polyester battings and

for those of us who like the weight of our

quilts, cotton battings are ideal.

Personally, I like cotton battings for their

natural materials. I have a few allergies

and cotton batting assures me that I

won't have any sleepless nights.

Soft & Toasty is a natural cotton quilt


Soft & Toasty natural cotton batting from Fairfield

Soft & Toasty is a low loft natural cotton

batting. The package states that the

batting won't beard, shift or gather and

can be stitched up to 8" apart.

What in the world is scrim?

The batting has been needlepunched

onto a very fine scrim. Scrim is a very

thin stabilizer that the batting material

has been needlepunched to. When

looking at both sides of the batting, the

scrim side will appear firmer and flatter.

The non-scrim side appears and feels

softer and loftier. The scrim also helps

the batting from becoming distorted.

Pre-wash batting in warm tap water to pre-shrink


22 .com| issue 9


The Fairfield website has the following information

about Soft & Toasty.

Soft & Toasty batting is the perfect 100% natural cotton

quilt batting for all of your quilts and crafts. You will get

the same strength and warmth you expect from similar

battings at a very affordable price. You can use it to create

everyday quilts and crafts or award winning masterpieces

with confidence.

• Low loft

• 3 oz per square yard

• Quilting distance: 8"

• Ideal batting for clothing

If you choose not to pre-wash your batting, the

quilt will take on an antique look once it has been


Batting that is made up of more than one fiber

has the added benefit of giving the quilter the

best of both worlds. Cotton is a natural fiber and

breathes more than polyester, but it does show

creases from the folds of the quilt. Cotton/poly

batting blends give the breath-ability and weight

of cotton and the polyester fibers help to keep the

creases to a minimum.

The Fairfield website gives the following


Quilter's 80/20 is a super-soft needle punched quilt

batting that is preferred by hand quilters for its easy

needling and smooth drape. The 80% cotton and 20%

polyester blend yields a beautiful antique look and

is an ideal batting for clothing. Weight: 3 oz / square


Soft & Toasty batting quilted and washed

Quilter's 80/20 batting is 80% cotton and 20%


Quilter's 80/20 batting quilted and washed

Quilter's 80/20 batting from Fairfield

• Low loft

• 3 oz per square yard

• Quilting distance: 2" – 4"

• Ideal batting for clothing

The following image shows the quilt washed after

being quilted. There's some shrinkage from washing

the batting which gives some nice texture to the


Both of the batting samples shrunk once they

were quilted and washed. There's a little less

texture on the Quilter's 80/20 sample, but both

battings quilted beautifully and I'll certainly be

adding these battings to my quilting toolbox.

The advantage of the polyester in the Quilter's

80/20 is added thickness or loft. I'll go into more

detail in this feature.

Keep reading as I'll look at the 3 polyester batting

samples I received from Fairfield.




issue 9 23

The characteristics & benefits

of polyester batting

Poly-Fil Project Fleece batting

I'm pleased to report that I didn't have any issues with any of

the polyester battings. As you can see below, the washed piece

is pretty square to my 12" ruler. The other 2 polyester batting

samples were the same.

Fairfield Poly-Fil Project Fleece

Poly-Fit Project Fleece is a needlepunched batting. Needle

punching is when thousands of little needles "felt" the fibers

together. The advantage of needlepunching is that the fibers

won't migrate or pull apart in the completed project. Look

carefully, there's a definite right side and wrong side to a

Sample of a polyester batting that didn't shrink

in the wash

Polyester battings are preferred when you know a quilt will be

"used and abused". There's no worry about polyester battings

shrinking in the wash and quilters can be assured of long lasting

quilts despite many years of little [and big] kids dragging their

blankie around with them.

Polyester battings will also drape nicely for great cuddles. It's

also the preferred choice for preventing creases when quilts are

folded. Some quilters will use a double layer of batting, a cotton

on the bottom for weight and stability and the polyester on top

for texture and to reduce creasing.

Fairfield Poly-Fil Project-Fleece quilted sample

needlepunched batting.

Project Fleece is ideal for projects that need a bit of stability. So

craft projects and garments lend themselves ideally to the use

of Project Fleece. Project Fleece is also great in table runners,

place mats and other project that require very little texture.

The Fairfield website has this information about Project Fleece

Poly-Fil® Project Fleece, a low loft, needlepunched batting is a

multi purpose insulating craft material perfect for quilt batting,

garment liners and crafts. It will give your quilt a flat appearance

and its felt-like texture makes it the perfect craft batting.


24 .com| issue 9


• Multipurpose insulating craft material

• Perfect for quilt batting, garment liners and crafts

• Recommended quilting distance: 2” - 4”

• 100% recycled polyester needlepunched batting

• Proudly made in the USA, unconditionally guaranteed

Poly-Fil Low-Loft batting

The quilted sample remains soft and flexible.

Poly-Fil Extra-Loft batting

Fairfield Poly-Fil Low-Loft batting

Poly-Fil Low-Loft batting is a very light, low loft batting. It's

100% bonded polyester batting which means that fibers with

different melting points are passed through a warmer and

some of the fibers melt and fuse the rest together. The low

loft batting is easy to hand stitch and is perfect for lightweight

projects and baby quilts.

The Fairfield website has this information

Poly-Fil Low-Loft® quilt batting sets the standard for all other 100%

bonded polyester battings. It is a favorite among machine and

hand quilters. It will retain its loft wash after wash and dries quickly,

making it ideal for lightweight quilts and baby quilts. Hand quilters

love that it is the easiest batting to needle through and accentuates

tiny hand stitches. Weight: 2 oz / sq yd

• Low loft

• 2 oz per square yard

• Quilting distance: 2" - 4"

• Felt-like texture

Fairfield Poly-Fil Extra-Loft batting

Poly-Fil Extra-Loft is a bonded batting that's quite thick with a

loft of up to ½" thick. It's the perfect batting to use when you

really want to see texture.

The batting is easy to stitch through, although I recommend

caution when stitching through this thicker batting. You may

find that the fabrics will slide as the foot moves across the


The Fairfield website has this information

Poly-Fil Extra-Loft® batting is a bonded polyester quilt batting with

a medium loft that creates a more pronounced relief when hand

quilting, making it perfect for beginners. It has an even give in

both directions and is appropriate for hand or machine quilting,

Trapunto and tied quilts. Great for all quilting and crafting projects.

Weight: 3.5 oz / sq yd

• Breathable – ideal for bed & baby quilts

• Easy to needle by hand or machine

• Recommended quilting distance: 2” - 4”

• Washable and non-allergenic

• Proudly made in the USA, unconditionally guaranteed

Keep reading as I'll look at loft and when to use it in your project.

Fairfield Poly-Fil Low-Loft batting quilting sample

Fairfield Poly-Fil Extra-Loft quilted




issue 9 25

Understanding batting loft & which to use

for your quilted project

5 battings from Fairfield

3 samples of loft in batting

I pre-washed the battings and quilted them and then washed

them again to see the finished results.

I'm going to focus on loft. What it is and why quilters think it is


Let's look at batting loft

Loft is the thickness of the batting and gives you an idea how

fluffy or thick the quilt will be once it has been quilted.

The picture below shows the Project Fleece, Low Loft and Extra

Loft battings, left to right.

Some battings are considered low loft. They're quite thin

and will not have much definition from the quilting stitches.

These are perfect battings to use for wall hangings or table

runners. These battings would be approximately 3⁄16" thick.

That's just over an 1⁄8" thick. The Project Fleece and the Low-Loft

batting both give a loft up to 3⁄16". The Project Fleece has been

needlepunched and appears more compact or felted.

Geese quilted with Project Fleece


26 .com| issue 9


Some battings are considered high loft which will show the

stitching definition as well as be fluffier or thicker. High loft

battings would be approximately ½" thick. Many quilters will

use a higher loft polyester batting for whole cloth quilts where

the quilting stitches are the main feature.

Extra-Loft batting from Fairfield

Loft is a personal thing for quilters and sewers. A low loft

batting would be ideal for garment construction or projects

that require stability without any extra thickness.

Soft & Toasty and Project Fleece are ideal for place mats and

table runners and the wide variety of bags that we tend to make.

Remember that the Soft & Toasty is a cotton fabric and when

washed, will tend to shrink and make your project pucker. The

puckering effect is a great look if that's what you're looking for.

A little bit of texture from Quilter's 80/20 batting

Extra-Loft is perfect for when you want the quilt stitches to

really show!

Next up, I'll share with you why I like each batting and how I use

each of these great battings from Fairfield.

Stitch samples and journal covers with a low loft batting

Low-Loft is a good choice for a quilted project that doesn’t

require anything special. Baby quilts are a good example of

quilts that can make use of low-loft batting.

Quilter's 80/20 batting is also a good choice of a low loft

batting. Again, like Soft & Toasty it will shrink a bit when it is

washed but you'll have less puckering and texture because of

the polyester content.

Once this baby quilt is washed and dried it will become a soft

and comfy blankie.

Dense quilting and Extra-Loft batting




issue 9 27

4 questions to ask yourself

when choosing batting for your quilt project

I've been taking a close look at 5 batting

samples I received from Fairfield. I did

some testing of the effects of washing

before quilting and after. I quilted

samples using each of the different

battings to see how they stitched out.

I've looked at the 3 polyester battings;

Project Fleece, Poly-Fil Low-Loft and

Poly-Fil Extra-Loft.

3 batting samples from Fairfield

I also reviewed 2 cotton battings I was

sent; Quilter's 80/20 and Soft & Toasty.

I know the cotton batting will give a flat, minimal texture finish to

the quilt and the cotton/poly will have a bit of texture once the quilt

is quilted. Remember these quilts will have a much different look

once they are washed!

After conducting my pre-and post quilting washing experiments, I

think I'm going to be expanding my selection of battings for myself

and my customers and start using some polyester batting.

So, why would I choose a poly batting?

I would choose a polyester batting for projects where I want to have

texture and when I know that repeated washes won't affect the

texture of the quilt. The Poly-Fil low-loft batting would be a great

go-to choice.

I think I'll certainly keep some of the extra-loft on hand for the

special quilting projects when I want to see all that great texture

from quilting. I have a whole cloth wall hanging to quilt at some

point this year. The texture I get from quilting this batting will be

fantastic and I know that as this quilt travels with me to show it will

not get any distracting creases.

Below are two samples of densely quilted quilts. The yellow sample

uses a single layer of Fairfield's Extra-Loft batting. The blue sample

uses a single layer of wool batting. Both have been washed to

remove the markings I made during the quilting. Notice the blue

sample is a slightly bit puckered. Not that I don't like it, but some of

the quilting gets lost. Unlike the yellow sample using the polyester

batting, the texture is all batting and thread!

I can see more extra-loft batting in my quilts in the future!

Soft & Toasty and Quilter's 80/20 battings from Fairfield

Why use one batting over another?

Batting choices are personal. Often we

stick with something that we're already

familiar with. I usually have the same

2 battings in my studio available for

customers to choose for their quilting

projects. I've stuck with a cotton/poly

blend and a cotton. Pretty boring I know.


28 .com| issue 9


Extra-loft batting vs. wool batting

I would choose the low-loft batting for baby or kid quilts that I know

will be getting a lot of wear. Polyester battings cost less than natural

fibers like cotton. So, for my giving quilts (charity) I'll probably

choose to use this batting.

Here's a picture of an older quilt [25 or more years]. It has been well

used and washed a lot. In some areas the fabric has disintegrated,

but the polyester batting is still going strong!

Fabric disintegrated, poly batting lasts

Package over Roll?

Most stores that you visit to purchase batting will have packages

available. The packages are conveniently cut into a variety of sizes

for easy sale and use. Sizes are available from baby or crib size [36" x

45"] to king size [110" x 110"]. I would recommend that you open the

packages well before use, especially the cotton ones. If you choose

not to pre-wash, lay the batting flat and give it a mist of water from

a spray bottle. The batting will relax from it's tight roll and will be

much easier to quilt.

Some of the battings are also available in rolls or bolts for those of us

who use a lot of batting! Personally, I prefer the rolls of batting when

I can get them for my own use. I can then cut exactly the amount I

want off the roll and not have any batting waste. But then again, I'm

always looking for scraps of batting for smaller projects.

My advice would be to start by purchasing a package of batting to

see how you like it and then you can invest in a roll. You'll need to

talk to your local store to get them to order a roll for you. It may not

be something they carry as part of their regular stock.

What's the bottom line?

As I've already said, batting choices are

personal decisions. Ask yourself the

following questions to help you decide

on which batting to choose for your

next project.

1. What is the purpose of this quilt? Will

it be a baby blankie, a wall hanging or

an art quilt?

2. Are there any allergy or material

preferences? A polyester batting

won't work for someone who prefers

all natural fibers.

3. What batting is available to me? Can

I wait until I can order from my local

retailer or does that quilt have to be

done right away for gifting?

4. What effect do I want for the finished

project? Do I want the finished quilt

to be smooth or textured like an

antique quilt?

You can be assured that whatever batting

you choose to use your quilt will turn out

wonderfully. Just remember to give some

thought to the desired finished project,

and it will help you decide which batting

will be most appropriate.

I enjoyed this batting study. I'm off to my

local retailer to order some batting rolls!

Allison Spence





issue 9 29

Why WonderFil’s rayon thread

is a clear winner for your creative stitching

I was first introduced to WonderFil's threads way back in 2005.

They have done a great job of meeting the needs of sewers

by providing the threads in spool sizes to meet our needs. The

rayon threads have long been my favorite to stitch and quilt

with. I know I can choose the size of spool to meet my needs.

WonderFil has also made these threads affordable with very

reasonable pricing. It’s easy to build your stash and have the

right color at your fingertips!


WonderFil’s rayon threads are available in a number of different

weights. In this article the focus is on three finer weights. One

thing to remember is that as the thread weight number gets

smaller, the thread gets thicker.

Splendor is the 40wt rayon embroidery thread. The finest of the

3 we’re going to focus on this week. This thread gives a lovely

sheen to any project. It’s available in 164yd [150m] spools as

well as 1094yd [1000m] and 5000yd [4572m] cones. With 342

solid colors and 31 variegated colors available, you’re sure to

find the perfect match for any project. Splendor is great for

decorative stitching, machine embroidery and thread painting.

For more information on how to use this thread, check out

WonderFil’s Hints and Tips page.

WonderFil has created over 25 thread packs containing 10

spools of coordinating Splendor threads.

Mirage is the 30wt rayon thread. It’s a little bit thicker than

Splendor and all 40 colors are random dyed variegated threads.

Random dying means that each of the colors in the thread

will be different lengths. They’re available in 875yd spools

and 3000yd cones. These threads are wonderful for use in

embroidery, quilting, thread painting and embellishments. For

more information on how to use Mirage thread, check the Hints

and Tips page.

Accent is a 12wt rayon thread and is the thickest thread

that we’re looking at in this article. There are 40 solid and 20

variegated colors available on 437yd spools. Although Accent is

only available in a single spool size, there’s still a lot of thread on

that spool – enough to last you for quite some time!

Any stitching with Accent shows up really well! The thread is

quite thick but can still be used in the machine as well as for

hand stitching and embellishments. For more information on

using Accent, check out it’s Hints and Tips page.

3 spool sizes of Splendor

10 pack of rayon thread

2 sizes of Mirage

Allison Spence


30 .com| issue 9


A spool of Accent thread

Photos by Allison Spence

How to use the threads

I love to use Splendor thread

for satin stitch or button hole

applique stitches. The smooth

reflective thread gives a lovely

sheen to any project.

I do a lot of machine quilting

with Mirage because I love the

shine and the gradual color

changes of the variegation of

the thread. Some of the color

changes are subtle and some are

very vibrant.

When I really want the stitching

to show I use Accent! I use it with

my machine’s decorative stitches

and I also free motion quilt with

Accent for spectacular effects!

I’m going to spend this week

showing you lots of ways you can

use WonderFil’s rayon threads in

your quilted projects!

Read on to see how great these

threads are for thread painting.

Satin stitch with Splendor

Quilting with Mirage thread

Quilting with Accent thread




issue 9 31

Thread painting adds

wonderful texture

to fabric printed photographs

I reviewed three different WonderFil rayon

threads – Mirage, Splendor and Accent.

I thought I’d share a simple project that

showcases these lustrous threads!

Last summer I visited my daughter. We

went camping for a few days and lazed

around in the sun on a dock in the lake.

While there, I snapped a few pictures

of the scenery with my phone. Later,

when I looked at these quick shots, I was

fascinated by the reflection of the trees

and sky in the smooth, clear water.

I thought that one of these pictures

would look great as a little quilt to send to

my daughter as a memento of our time

together. The little quilt wouldn’t need a

lot of piecing, just some thread accents.

Another view of Klein Lake

A photo of Klein Lake

What threads to choose?

I started playing with the threads in my

boxes and decided to experiment and

do three mini quilts with three different

weights of thread. I tried to choose

different weight threads that were similar

in color to show how they affected the

printed image. The trick with thread

painting is to avoid being too “matchymatchy”.

A thread color a bit lighter

or darker adds shading to the image

and helps it to stand out or to recede.

The amount of stitching is a personal

decision. As you can see, my three miniquilts

had minimal thread painting, but I

could have added more if I wanted to.

Stitching the photos

This is a very simple process.

First, print the photograph to fabric.

I stabilized my fabric with sheets of

freezer paper.

Next, I layered the printed photograph

with a scrap of batting and a backing.

Using my darning foot I simply

stitched along areas that I felt needed

some enhancing.

Stitching Successfully

As you can see, the 40wt Splendor

thread from WonderFil creates just a

bit of texture to the quilt. You have to

look closely to see the stitching. From a

distance the threads don’t really show,

but there’s something about this little

quilt that pulls you in.


32 .com| issue 9


When I did my second sample with 40wt

Mirage thread it showed up more on the

fabric photo because it is a bit thicker and

variegated. The light seems to bounce off

the various images in the photo giving

the quilt some real definition.

Accent is the thickest thread at 12wt

and really adds a lot of visual texture to

the quilt. I used both the solid and the

variegated threads in this quilt. Because

this thread is so much thicker and shows

up so much more, I found that I didn’t

need to add as much stitching to this

quilt, especially in the water.


The little quilts were finished with simple

borders and another layer of batting. I

stitched in the ditch along the seam of the

border and used a pillow turn backing.

It's facinating to see this quilt evolve

quilted with WonderFil’s rayon threads.

Thread painting with Splendor

Thread painting with Mirage

Thread painting with Accent

Thread painting with Splendor – detail

Thread painting with Mirage – detail

Thread painting with Accent – detail




issue 9 33

Comparing 3 weights

of rayon threads in machine embroidery

Ok I showed you how wonderfully

WonderFil rayon threads look when thread

painting on photographs printed on fabric.

Now, we'll take a look at how nice they

work for machine embroidery.

I recently had the opportunity to use a

couple of different embroidery machines to

experiment with these rayon threads.

When I visited with my first friend, we spent

some time playing with her new embroidery

machine. We chose 3 simple designs

and combined them into a lovely floral

arrangement which I knew would give the

rayon threads an opportunity to shine. For

the different samples, I tried to choose thread

colors as similar as possible in each of the

three weights of thread.

My second visit was to a friend with a PFAFF

Creative 4.5. Again, we had fun choosing a

simple design that would show the thread

well so that we could easily compare them.

Here are a few of the samples that were

stitched with the Splendor Retro Pack of thread.

Retro pack of rayon thread

Machine embroidery with Splendor rayon

Machine embroidery on a PFAFF Creative 4.5

Working with 40wt rayon thread

I started with WonderFil’s Splendor. The 40wt

rayon thread is available in three sizes and

with over 300 colors, there’s a great variety

to choose from. WonderFil has a number of

theme packs of ten spools of thread. I chose

to use the Retro pack as I just loved the

colors. The solid colors of the threads show

up in the design quite nicely.

Machine embroidery with Splendor rayon thread


34 .com| issue 9


Machine embroidery with Mirage rayon thread

Working with 30wt Rayon Thread

My next stitch out was with Mirage. Mirage is the 30wt thread

and is available in random dyed variegated colors. I love how

the colors change and how every color segment is a different

length as this adds lovely texture to the embroidery. Because

the thread is a bit thicker, the design stands out from the fabric

a bit more than with the Splendor.

Working with 12wt Rayon Thread

The final embroidery stitch out was with Accent. Accent is a

12wt thread and is available in solid as well as random dyed

variegated colors. For my samples I combined both of the solid

and variegated threads.

What’s the bottom line?

The bottom line for machine embroidery is to use the weight of

thread that you like the most! I love the 40wt Splendor thread

for most of my machine embroidery. It gives a lovely satin stitch

and with the huge number of different colors that WonderFil

has in their line of Splendor thread it’s easy to do some lovely


I’ve always liked using the great colors of 30wt Mirage thread

for my machine stitching. I think for embroidery though, that I

would choose designs carefully to make sure that I liked how

the variegation stitched out.

Despite being a very thick thread, the 12wt Accent thread

still looks great as an embroidery. I’d use it when I want the

embroidery to really stand out. Again, I would pay special

attention to where the color changes occur. I love that I can

combine solid and variegated colors for even greater effects!

Using a wide satin stitch looks fantastic!

I’ve had so much fun experimenting with these wonderful

threads to do machine embroidery!

Machine embroidery with Mirage rayon thread

Machine embroidery with Accent rayon thread

Allison Spence


Machine embroidery with Accent rayon thread




issue 9 35

Machine embroidery using rayon thread

makes for a very pretty make up case

There are times when we hunt for

a little gift to give to a friend, so it’s

always nice to find a quick and easy

pattern to make yourself. These great

little bags can be made any size and

with any fabric to meet your needs.

Make some ahead of time and you’ll be

ready for any special occasion!

I used the samples that I machine

embroidered with WonderFil’s rayon

threads earlier in the week to sew these

lovely bags.

Here are the supplies needed to make

one bag:

Prepare the pattern

These bags can be made in any size for

a wide variety of uses. I like this size the

best because it will fit inside most purses

and can still hold a lot of bits and pieces.

Use the diagram below to draw out your

own pattern.

Sewing the zipper

Sandwich the zipper tape between the

top edges of the bag/batting and the

lining fabrics of the front of the bag. Pin

in place. Make sure the right side of the

zipper faces the main fabric of the bag.

Sew through all layers. A zipper foot

really helps to get close to the zipper.

Sandwich the zipper tape between the bag layers.

Fold the zipper tape towards the lining

fabric and stitch a narrow zigzag or

straight stitch along the fold line. This

is called “understitching” and keeps the

lining from getting caught in the zipper.

WonderFil rayon embroidery threads


• Two fat quarters of coordinating fabrics

• Zipper to match – 9” (23cm) or longer

• Thread to match

• Low loft batting – I always save my

batting scraps for projects just like this

Zipper bag pattern

Using your pattern cut one front and one

back from each of the following: main

fabric for the bag, lining and batting. I

like to use a bit of spray basting to hold

the main fabric and the batting together.

I can then treat the main fabric and

batting as one piece.

Understitch lining to zipper tape

Repeat these steps with the pieces of the

back of the bag.

Pull the zipper tab to the middle of the

bag. Use a short zigzag stitch to secure

the side of one end of the zipper tape

together. Repeat with the other end of the

zipper and trim even with the bag sides.

Cut pattern pieces


36 .com| issue 9


The top of the bag layers will naturally

fold along one edge of the zipper when

all of the bag layers are smoothed

together. Stitch across the side of the

bag through all layers from one edge of

the zipper tape to the other.

Clip the corners then turn the bag right

side out through the opening in the

lining and press. Sew the opening in

the lining closed with hand stitches or a

straight stitch on your machine.

Stitch across the end of the zipper

Sewing the side and bottom seams

Fold the bag with right sides facing and

the bottom edges matching. One side

(the back) will be longer than the other.

Sew the bottom edges of front and back

main bag together. I used the width of

my sewing foot. Line up the bottom

edges of the lining with right sides

together and sew them together leaving

an opening along the bottom edge of

the lining fabric.

Stitch across zipper

Sew the side seams of the outer bag and

the lining separately, stopping at the end

of the previous stitching.

Clip the corners

Enjoy your little zippered bags or share

them with your friends.

Allison Spence


Sew the side seams

Sew across the bottom edges of the bag and the lining

Little zipper bags




issue 9 37

Northcott’s Urban Elementz Basix fabrics

make a clever kid’s artist case

I hope you'll be as excited about this

project as I am. I'm using the extra piece

of fabric panel left from Urban Elementz

Basix Collection, Northcott Fabrics and

mixing some of their Colorworks solids

with the dots.

I designed The Little Artist Tote with you in

mind, surely you have a little artist in your


To start the project, you'll need to make

a panel consisting of 10 strips 2½” x 14”

sewn together and trimmed to the 13"

x the width of the panel. For the strips I

used the fabric from the Urban Elementz

Basix Collection as I linked above.

table and mark the center on each of the

long sides with a pin.

Lay the larger pocket tube on the cover

with the seam side down – seam lined

up with the pins.

Repeat with the second pocket tube,

layer it on the first pocket tube, lining

the center seam up with the pins.

Pin in place.

approximately ½” of the raw edge. Press.

Refold the previous side folds and

press again.

Top stitch along all four sides of each

handlle as close as possible to the edge,

stitching the open side first, followed by

the remaining sides.

To fold the handle into the “U” shape, see

the photo below. Once the handle is

folded, press well.

The 13” long panel

Our next step is to cut pocket panels for

our Little Artist Tote.

Cut the following fabrics:

• Fabric 1 – 13” x 32” (for pocket 1)

• Fabric 2 – 13” x 24” (for pocket 2) and

two rectangles 5” x 10” (for handles)

• Fabric 3 – two strips 2¼” x width of

fabric (for binding)

Take the first pocket fabric, fold it in half,

right sides together to make a rectangle

13” x 16”. Stitch along the long raw edge

with a ¼” seam allowance, making a tube

with the pocket fabric.

Turn right side out, center the seam on

one of the sides of the tube and press.

Repeat this step for the second pocket


Lay the striped artist tote cover right

side/striped side down on your work

Pocket tubes pinned in place on the artist case cover

Adding the binding

Turn the artist case over with the stripe

side up.

There are ten strips and the pins on the

side should be lined up between strip 5

and strip 6.

Stitch in the ditch between strips 5 and 6,

stitching through all layers to attach the

pocket panels to the artist case cover.

Make your binding from the 2¼” strips

of Fabric 3 the same as we did yesterday.

Machine stitch the binding all around

the artist case on the front side then turn

the folded edge to the back and hand

stitch in place.

Adding the handles

For the handles, fold the 5” x 10”

rectangles of Fabric 2 in half to make a

rectangle that is 2½” x 10”. Press on the

fold. Open the rectangle and fold the 10”

raw edges towards the center fold line,

with both raw edges aligned along the

fold line. Press. Fold once again with the

folded edges aligned. Press again.

Open both of the short ends to fold in

The folded handles

Once the handles are folded and pressed,

stitch as shown in the next photo to

secure the shape.

Topstitching secures the shape of the handles

Next we need to attach the handles to

each end of the artist case. The handles

will be sewn to the inside of the case.

Place the handles so that the short ends

are aligned with the edge of the binding

that has been hand stitched to the inside

of the artist case. Make sure that there is

an equal distance between the each end

of the handle and the sides of the case.


38 .com| issue 9


placement of handles on the inside of the artist

case; ready to be stitched

Attach the handles to the artist case by

stitching in the ditch along the binding

seam on the front of the case (through

all of the layers).

On one of the inside pocket panels, draw

a pencil line dividing the pockets into

two equal sections.

Stitch on the line through all of the

layers starting on the center seam of the

artist case, stitching towards the top of

the largest pocket. Be sure to lock your

stitches on both ends.

The finished case

Truly, this has been a wonderful project that really does turn

fabric scraps into a clever kid’s artist case.

The pockets are large enough to hold coloring and story books.

The smaller pockets can hold a smaller book, crayons and

coloring pencils.

This fun project really does highlight the wonderful dots from

Northcott Fabric’s Urban Elementz Basix Collection.

Dividing the pocket into two


Completed case, measuring 10” x 13” closed

Lots of space for the little artist – the case measures 20” x 13”

when open.

Bill Locke





issue 9 39

How to applique

a modern landscape table runner

I'm not sure what it is about the

Northcott Fabric’s Urban Elementz

Basix Collection, that makes me think

of spring. Obviously the colors, but

it's more than that. The dots give it

that extra play that's guaranteed to

revitalize the decor of whatever room

it will ultimately be placed in. Whether

the fabric is made into a quilt, a table

cloth, or as I'm going to make here, a

runner, it will feel fresh like spring all

year long.

When I looked at the blues and

greens in this collection I immediately

thought about a wonderful sky and

a welcoming meadow. I’m going to

turn some of these dots and some

beautiful solid blue fabric from

Northcott’s Colorworks collection into

a modern landscape table runner.

I’m one of those designers that

believes that we need to lose the fear

of coloring outside the box, make

some of our own rules and have a

barrel of fun with our projects in

order to truly enjoy our creativity.

Let's get started!

material/cutting list

• blue polka dot fabric – cut three

strips 2½” x 12”

• blue solid fabric – cut five strips 2½”

x 12”

• dark green fabric – cut two

rectangles 9¼” x 12”

• light green fabric – cut one rectangle

14” x 12”

• orange fabric – 3½” x 22”

• purple fabric – 2½” x 12”

• black fabric – 1½” x 6½”

• fusible adhesive of choice for

appliques – ½ yard (my personal

choice is Heat n Bond Feather Lite)

• threads to coordinate with the light

green, orange, purple and

black fabrics.

Sewing the background

To begin the project, start by sewing

together the seven blue strips.

Stitch these together along the 12”

length, alternating colors as shown in

the photo below, using a ¼” seam


The blue strips will be the center of the

table runner and will represent the sky.

To each of the 12” ends of the blue center

panel, add one of the 9¼” x 12” dark

green rectangles.

Dark green rectangles added to the blue center panel

The template on the next set of pages,

is the landscape shape that is used for

the ends of the table runner. Take note

that the template is in two pieces in the

picture below. You’ll need to cut and join

the template pieces by matching up the

dashed line on each piece.

Once this is done, trace the landscape

template to the paper side of your

fusible adhesive. You’ll need to trace two,

one for each end of the table runner.

Landscape templates traced to the paper side of

the fusible adhesive

The blue strips stitched together, alternating the fabrics


40 .com| issue 9


Fusing the landscape shapes

1. Cut out the two landscape shapes,

leaving a little extra of the white

fusible outside of the drawn lines.

2. Lay the shapes on the wrong side of

the light green fabric, shiny side down.

3. Follow the manufacturer’s

instructions to fuse in place using a

hot iron.

4. Allow to cool.

5. Cut out both shapes directly on the

drawn lines.

6. Peel off the paper backing from

the applique shapes and lay one

of the green landscape shapes on

each of the dark green ends of

the table runner as shown in the

photo below.

7. Fuse the landscape appliques in

place with a hot iron.

Landscape appliques added to the table runner ends

Adding flowers

Next, add a little color to our table

runner. With all of these beautiful dots

in the Urban Elementz Basix collection,

Northcott Fabrics has made sure that

we have lots of lovely options to choose


1. Trace the flower shape, the large

flower centers and the small flower

center templates to the paper side of

your fusible adhesive. You’ll need to

trace six of each template.

2. Leave a little space between each of

the shapes as you trace them.

3. Cut out all of the shapes, leaving a little

extra of the fusbile adhesive paper

outside of the drawn lines as per what

we did with the landscape applique.

4. Lay the shapes, shiny side down on

the wrong sides of the fabrics – six

flower templates on the orange

fabric, the large flower centers on the

purple fabric, and the smaller flower

centers on the black fabric.

5. Use a hot iron to fuse all of the

applique templates to the fabric.

6. Cut out all of the shapes directly on

the lines.

7. Peel off the paper backing from

each piece and position the

applique shapes on the ends of

the table runner as shown in the

photo below.

Here's what the runner looks like using

all 3 components of Northcott's Urban

Elementz Collection: Urban Elementz,

Urban Elementz Basix, and Urban

Elementz Appliques. You'll notice I added

decorative stitches to give the pieced

strips an appliqued look to it.

All I need to do is add more machine

applique, finish my flowers and then

quilt it.

Landscape applique added to both ends of my

table runner

Machine or hand stitch along the curve

of the landscape applique with a blanket

stitch, using a thread that coordinates

with the fabric.

Flower appliques positioned on the end of the

table runner

Now that the top of the runner is all

fused, I’ll be using a blanket stitch

on my machine to stitch around

each of the applique shapes, and

then quilt my table runner to get it

ready for the binding.

Ready for more machine applique

Machine blanket stitching on the landscape applique




issue 9 41

A Modern Applique Table Runner


Table Runner



Bill Locke Designs



© 2017

Bill Locke - Bill Locke Designs


42 .com| issue 9





issue 9 43

Fussy cut no more!

Using precut and prefused applique shapes

Bill Locke

Let's discover the wonderful concept of precut and prefused

applique pieces using fabric from Northcott’s Urban

Elementz collection.

The typical way to make our applique pieces, tracing the design

shapes to the paper back side of the fusible adhesive, cutting

out the paper shapes, leaving a little of the white paper outside

of the lines. Then, fusing the shapes to the wrong side of the

fabrics and lastly removing the paper backing and fusing the

applique shapes.

With this special product, the applique shapes are all

prepared for you. These applique pieces have been prefused

and precut; all you have to do is fuse them to your project.

There are a wide variety of packages to choose from in

Northcott’s Urban Elementz Applique series.

Prefused applique packages

Prefused appliques allow us to be creative and less

task oriented.

The applique shapes are created in the various fabrics within a

collection, the beauty of it is that the fusible adhesive is already

on the applique pieces, and each of the applique pieces already

precut. All you have to do is lay them on your project, and with

a hot iron, fuse in place.

I opened one of the packages and laid out the pieces to show

you how easy it is to play with these. It took me just a couple of

minutes to arrange the pieces as per the photo on the packet.

This is going to be a fun!

The applique pieces shown above are from the Daisy Dotz –

Small package. All of the applique pieces are prefused and

ready to apply to your project. Just peel off the paper backing,

place on your project, and press with a hot iron.

Applique shapes from one package are laid out

as per the design idea on the package

Each package of appliques comes with a project idea for

the pieces. Daisy Dotz – Small, has a pattern for a 12” x 12”

finished project that would make the most adorable cushion.

Of course, once the cushion has been appliqued, adding a

border to the cushion from one of the coordinating fabrics

is going to give it even more pizzazz as all quilters know the

magic of easy borders!

An important note is that the appliques don’t necessarily have to

be used on cotton fabric. You can use these on canvas, burlap, or

even wood!

When you use the applique pieces, once you have positioned

the pieces on your project correctly, you must permanently fuse

the appliques in place. It’s suggested that you use a pressing

cloth to press the shapes in place. I like to use the cotton/hot

setting and I always use steam for my appliques. The steam

really helps set the adhesive on the back of the applique pieces.

After you fuse your applique pieces, you must let your project

cool before handling. If you find that the applique pieces didn’t

adhere correctly, simply press again. Sometimes, I find that

turning the project over and pressing from the back side also

helps to set the adhesive, especially if some of the applique

pieces have been layered.

To finish off the appliques, I suggest machine stitching around

each of the pieces with a blanket stitch.

I’m thoroughly impressed with the packaging, the directions

and the overall quality of the applique pieces. These Urban

Elementz Applique shapes by Northcott are definitely on my

buyer list for my own customers, and me of course.

Remember, although a pattern is included with each of the

packages, you can create your own. These applique shapes

would be great for placemats, mug rugs, cushion covers,

table runners, and a wide range of happy designs for quilts.


44 .com| issue 9


Photos by Bill Locke




issue 9 45

How to use

precut and

prefused applique

shapes for your

quilting projects

Using the Daisy Dotz – Small package, let's delve into the details

on how to use fusible appliques from Northcott’s Urban Elementz

Applique collection. The end product is a summer cushion with

that cute bird, and flowers.

Cut the 4 pattern pages on the dotted lines and match them

up. Tape them together as directed to get a 12” square design.

Cut a piece of 12” x 12” solid white fabric for the base the

appliqued cushion, and lay it over the 12” design square. The

design shows through the white fabric and acts as a guide for

each of the applique pieces. I used a tiny piece of tape to hold

the white fabric in place on the paper design.

Four pattern sections included in the prefused applique packet

White background square is laid on top of the paper design

Applique design sections are taped together to complete the 12” applique

design template


46 .com| issue 9


Remove the paper backing from the

applique pieces and place the pieces

in their appropriate spot on the white

background fabric, following the design

underneath. This was so much fun.

Normally, at this point, I would machine

applique the first pieces with a blanket

stitch, and then continue to add the

layers of the other pieces because it can

be easier to applique the first pieces

then fuse the other pieces on top as you

layer. But, for this project, I decided to do

as per the instructions and lay all of my

pieces and fuse everything at the same

time to complete the panel. Of course, I

couldn’t wait to see the complete design

coming to life.

One of the great things about the

appliqued pieces is that when you

place them on your background fabric,

you can simply press with your finger

and the pieces will adhere lightly in

place, which keeps them from moving.

I took the whole piece to my ironing

board and ironed the pieces lightly to

fuse them a little, then removed the

appliqued cushion top from the paper

design, and fused everything in place.

I also turned it over and pressed from

the back to be sure that everything was

well fused.

I decided that I wanted to add a border

to my cushion since I wanted to create a

16” x 16” decorative cushion for a summer


To finish the cushion, I used a 2¾” border.

Cut two strips 2¾” x 12” and add these

strips to the 2 sides of the appliqued


Cut 2 stripes 2¾” x 16½” and add those to

the top and bottom.

Now all that's left to do is machine

applique the pieces, add a backing, and

complete the cushion top. I love it.

Placing the applique shapes in their appropriate spots on the design

All of the applique pieces are now fused in place.

What a beautiful

promise of summer to

see these wonderful

colors, the flowers,

and the bird. A totally

adorable project. I

thoroughly enjoyed

working with these

prefused appliques

from Northcott’s Urban

Elementz Applique

collection, and can’t

wait to do another!

Happy Stitching!

Bill Locke


Appliqued cushion top with border added




issue 9 47

PFAFF passport 3.0

delivers on stitch selection

Sarah Vanderburgh

It’s one thing to create something with

beautifully designed fabric, it’s a totally

different adventure to create the

design yourself!

One of the ways I enjoy designing fabric

is experimenting with the stitches on

PFAFF’s passport 3.0.

There are 100 stitches built in to the

passport 3.0 with most having the

option to adjust the length, width, or

position of the stitch.

I thought it would be fun to share with

you some of my stitch play. My go-to

playground for stitch play? Selvages!

PFAFF passport 3.0

PFAFF passport 3.0 stitch review pullout

I have a tutorial on my blog for making

fabric from selvages and that’s the basic

method I used to create my selvage

piece. I made my piece 8” tall x 9” wide.

However, instead of using the machine’s

straight stitch and thread that blends

with the selvages, I’m changing my stitch

with each selvage I join and I’m going

bold in my thread choice!

Selected selvages ready for stitching

I took this opportunity to use up some of

my selvages that don’t have the white line

or dots on them. In this way the stitches

will be the main feature of the fabric.

There are different categories of stitches

to choose from on the passport 3.0: utility

stitches, quilt stitches, needle art stitches,

satin stitches, and decorative stitches.

Closeup of PFAFF passport 3.0 stitch review pullout


48 .com| issue 9


Photos by Sarah Vanderburgh

Several of the utility stitches and the

quilt stitches engage the IDT system

with the presser foot to ensure even

feed of the fabric under the needle. It’s

recommended to use stabilizer under

your fabric when using the decorative

stitches; I usually don’t when I’m sewing

selvages as there are already two layers of

material. This time I’m making a second

stitch sampler with stabilizer to see

how the stitches compare when I make

adjustments to their length or width.

Second stitch sampler layered with stabilizer

I started with stitches at the top of the

pullout card and went down. To select a

stitch I pressed the number keys to the

left of the LED display. Then I pushed

the “i” button beneath the display to find

out the recommended presser foot to

use with the stitch.

Pressing “i” button to display presser foot


Push down to release the presser foot from the

PFAFF passport 3.0; presser foot released.

Presser feet included with the PFAFF passport 3.0

Stitching the samplers

Before stitching, I pressed the needle

down button to keep the needle in the

fabric whenever I stopped sewing.

I also used the Start/stop button to sew

the stitches instead of using the foot

peddle. I like doing this for this type

of project because for several of the

stitches, the needle goes in different

directions to stitch. By using the stop/

start button I can focus on feeding the

fabric straight under the guide and leave

the actual stitching to the machine.

I also lowered the speed of the machine

which is easy to do by sliding the speed

control down to about halfway. The

machine is much better at stitching at a

consistent speed than I'm!

All of these buttons are easily accessible

right on the front of the passport 3.0. I

find I get into a rhythm and really enjoy

trying out different stitches because the

machine is doing most of the work and I

just get to play!

Picking the stitches is easy and they’re all

ready with automatic preset sizes – which

you can change! You can adjust the stitch

width or position, and the stitch length.

A yellow light goes on to show you that

you’re changing one of the presets; if

you go too far one way or the other, the

machine beeps and prevents you from

adjusting any further. I like this feature

because it lets me know that the passport

3.0 has built in safeguards so I can’t get

into trouble by making the machine do

something it just can’t do. This makes it

safe for someone like me to play and try

new things.

The yellow warning light

I got so into my stitches that I didn’t take

photos of the process! Instead I was

taking notes of which stitches I picked

and what I adjusted.

Take a look at my two stitch samplers on

the next page!

Changing the presser foot

There are several presser feet included

with the passport 3.0. To change the

presser foot you push down on the foot

to release it from the presser foot holder.

Pick the presser foot that you need and

once it is lined up with the holder you

just push up – you’ll hear and feel it pop

into place.

Needle down, start/stop, and speed control on the PFAFF passport 3.0




issue 9 49

I used the preset stitch sizes on the

selvage sample, but I adjusted the sizes

of the different stitches that were done

on the fabric with the stabilizer. By

making those adjustments, the same

stitches can really look different!

See the picture below that I took with the


You can see that I went systematically

through the stitches and took note

of what kind of adjustments I made. I

selected stitches that went in a fairly

straight line to make sure that I covered

the edge of the selvages when I was

sewing. For the most part, I pushed the

limit when I adjusted the stitches. You

can see that the heart stitch – number 97

– ended up looking nothing like a heart

with the adjustments made. I thought

others, like stitches 40 and 45, still looked

quite nice with the adjustments that

were made.

If you like, you can write your stitch

notes directly on the sampler and keep

it for reference. I’m going to keep this

photo for reference as I have plans for

these samplers!

Experimenting with the stitch selection

on the passport 3.0 has given me even

more ideas. I hope it’s inspired you to

play too!

PFAFF passport 3.0 stitch samplers

Stitch samplers with stitch notes


50 .com| issue 9


Create a mug rug

using passport 3.0’s

decorative stitches

One of my favorite symbols is the

shamrock, a promise of good luck. I’m

going to add it to my stitch sampler and

make it into a mug rug.

I used three hearts to make my

shamrock. To make the heart template

I cut out half a heart shape on a 2½”

square of paper folded in half on the

diagonal. If you don’t want to make your

own template, I included the template

for the heart and the stem in this feature.

My green fabric was also cut into 2½”

squares. I folded a fabric square on the

diagonal then tucked it into the folded

heart and cut around the template as in

the picture below. I repeated this step

with the other two squares of green

fabric to make a total of 3 hearts.

I lined up the stem on one of the rows of

decorative stitches, then placed the two

side hearts on top. The final step was to

place the third heart on top of the edges

of the other hearts.

Stitch sampler turned into lucky mug rug

I used black as my thread color to boldly

outline the shamrock. Stitch 27 is the

machine blanket stitch on the PFAFF

passport 3.0. Before stitching, I pressed

the needle down button. As I worked

my way around the shamrock there were

points where it was easier to keep going

in the opposite direction. Lucky for me,

Stitch 28 is the reverse blanket stitch! I

lifted the presser foot to pivot my fabric

then pressed the needle down button

to raise the needle, selected Stitch 28,

then pressed the needle down button

and continued stitching.

To finish the mug rug I cut backing fabric

the same size – 8” x 9”. Then I switched to

the 0A presser foot, put the two fabrics

right sides together and sewed around

the edge leaving a turning gap.

Folded fabric tucked into template

Shamrock applique pieces pinned in place




issue 9 51



blanket stitch

to attach

applique to


Using red


guide on

presser foot


I snipped the corners then pulled the fabric

through the gap, pushed out the corners

and pinned the gap closed. I used the red

1⁄8” guide mark on the 0A presser foot to

top-stitch around the edge, closing the

gap securely inside the stitching.

I made my other stitch sampler into

a mug rug too. For this one I used

matching green thread to secure the

shamrock appliques. Making two mug

rugs doubles my luck – and gives me the

opportunity to gift one to a friend!

The PFAFF passport 3.0 makes me feel

lucky every time I sit down to sew – every

project stitches up great! I hope you'll

make this lucky mug rug too, make some

tea and celebrate all your blessings while

using the lucky mug rug.



Test block



Test block


Test block



Lucky Mug rugs


Two lucky mug rugs





issue 9

Get more quilting fun in




A Needle Pulling Thread











red & white

knitting &



linen yarn

R e d w o r k

3p rojects




& Be



Visit www.ANPTmag.com to order!




issue 9 53

Create your own luck with a

four leaf clover pincushion

A shamrock can be added to items in your

sewing space to make it a set – maybe

even increase your luck in managing

your stash or finishing projects! This pin

cushion is the perfect mate to the Lucky

Mug Rugs made from the stitch samplers

I created with PFAFF’s passport 3.0. Here's

how to make this lucky four leaf clover


I made many different projects using

PFAFF's passport 3.0 and finding that I

really don't have to think about what

I'm doing with the machine to get great

results. This allows me to focus on my

creativity! This machine sews precisely

and has great features that help me

quickly complete projects with fun

details and professional looking topstitching.

I decided it's time to make something

for my quilting space and settled on a

pincushion. I seem to be one of the only

quilters I know who doesn't have many

pincushions, so now is the time!

Making the pincushion


• one 6” square of fabric for the top

• one 6” square of fabric for the bottom

• 4 – 2½” squares of green fabric for

the hearts

• stuffing for the pincushion

To make the four leaf clover, I used the

same heart template used for the Lucky

Mug Rugs, but cut out four instead of

three. I then pinned them to the top 6”

square of fabric.

To make my template I cut out a heart

on a 2½” square of paper by folding the

paper on the diagonal. My green fabric

was also cut in 2½” squares. I folded

a fabric square on the diagonal then

tucked it into the folded heart and cut

around the template.

I used stitch 27 to machine blanket stitch

the pieces to the background square. I

used the needle down button and IDT

system with presser foot 1A to stitch. I

also adjusted the speed of the passport

3.0 which helped me stay on the edge of

my fabric and get even stitches. I started

in the middle and sewed in a figure 8 to

sew around all the hearts in one go.

Lucky pincushion on passport 3.0

Folded fabric square inside of paper template

Stitches on the passport 3.0

When I was done the blanket stitching I

switched back to stitch 00 and changed

to presser foot 0A. Then I sewed this top

piece right sides together to the bottom

fabric, leaving a turning gap in the

middle of one side.

Then instead of having a pillow-like

pincushion, I decided to box the corners

to make the cushion more 'square'.


54 .com| issue 9


To box the corners I lined up the 1”

square grid of a quilting ruler at one

corner and trimmed the inch away with

my rotary cutter.

Then I sewed a ¼” seam at each corner.

Ruler lined up on edge at 1” mark

I trimmed all the remaining corners too.

All four corners squared

Then I separated the front and back of

the pincushion and then pushed them

back together making a straight edge,

nesting the seams.

Corner sewn with straight seam

Believe it or not I recently purged my

bits of batting so after turning the

pincushion right side out, I resorted to

stuffing my pincushion with wool bits

that I purchased a few years ago. Use

what you have on hand to stuff your

pincushion, then hand stitch the turning

gap closed.

Stuffed pincushion

I’m really pleased with my lucky four leaf

clover pincushion and the time I spent

making it with the passport 3.0.

I hope you make some time to create a little

luck with decorative stitches and shamrocks

for your sewing space.

Straighten edge and nest seams.

Top view of lucky pincushion




issue 9 55

Using charm squares

to sew a lucky table topper

Lucky table topper


• four 5” charms of one fabric

• three 5” charms of a second fabric

• four 5” charms from green fabric

• one fat quarter for backing – choose

a backing fabric with a different

theme to make it reversible for use

on several occasions.

• one 14 x 14” square of batting

Making the applique shapes

To make my hearts I cut out a heart

template from a 5” square of paper. I

folded the paper on the diagonal and

cut out my shape. Then I folded one 5”

green charm in half on the diagonal and

tucked it inside the paper template and

cut it out.

I repeated these steps with the three

remaining charms to make a total of 4

green hearts.

After making the lucky pincushion using PFAFF’s passport 3.0, I

thought I’d keep the luck rolling and add a table topper to my

decor – decorated with a lucky four leaf clover, of course!

I wanted to make this table topper the easiest way I could think

of, so of course precut fabrics came right to mind. I didn’t have

a charm pack on hand, so I decided to make my own charms

from my stash. But instead of using lots of different fabrics for

the background, I chose to cut my charms from two fabrics.

Then I picked a fun, bright green to make my four leaf clover

look happy and lucky!

Making the applique hearts


Materials required for table topper

56 .com| issue 9


If you don’t want to make your own

heart templates, follow these directions:

• Print and cut out the template on the

next page.

• Trace the template onto wrong side

of fabric – or simply pin the fabric

and paper template together.

• Cut out on the line to make one fabric


• Repeat with the three remaining

charms to make a total of four shapes.

Assembling the top

Cut two of the charm squares in half

on the diagonal once – they’ll be the

diagonal sides of the topper.

If you’re using two different fabrics,

alternate them in your layout. See the

photo below for the layout that I used

for my topper. If you’re using a variety

of charms, move them around until

you’re happy with the arrangement

remembering that the middle one won’t

really be seen.

Next, sew the rows together. This is where

I really appreciate the PFAFF passport

3.0. I use the needle down button so

the needle is always in my fabric when I

stop sewing and since I can trust it and

the IDT system to feed my fabric evenly

under the needle, I don’t use pins! I find

myself only pinning now on long sides of

projects – like sewing the rows of a quilt

together – and that’s it!

Sewing without pins

Press the seams away from the center row.

Pin the hearts to the center of the topper.

As you can see in the following pictures,

there are two different options here –

either line up the centers of the hearts

with the centers of the side squares,

or line them up with the center of the

triangle sides.

I lined mine up with the diagonal corners.

The centers of the hearts lined up with the triangles

on the sides

I used one pin in each heart to keep them

in place for machine blanket stitching.

When you’re pinning the applique pieces

in place, make sure they are secure but

that there is enough room to move the

presser foot easily around the pieces while


Hearts pinned in position

Table topper charm square layout

Sew the charms together into rows,

pressing the diagonal ends towards the

center square on the top and bottom

rows. On the middle row, press the

seams away from the middle charm.

Center of the hearts lined up with the squares




issue 9 57

Then I changed my top thread to a shade of green and

chose stitch 27 on the passport 3.0 – the blanket stitch

– to applique the hearts to the topper. By choosing the

blanket stitch I know I need to change my presser foot

too. When I pushed the “i” icon under the LED display,

the display changed to show that the recommended

presser foot for the blanket stitch is 1A.

I started stitching around the edge of the clover leaf,

lining up the red guide on the foot with the edge of the

green fabric.

Red guide on the presser foot lined up with edge of fabric

Presser foot 1A

I attached the 1A presser foot and the IDT system was

engaged! I love using the IDT system – it reassures me

that my stitches will come out evenly which is really

important to me when I’m using decorative stitches.

Using charm squares made quick work of putting

together this table topper and the passport 3.0 helped

me securely stitch the clover leaf in place. Next, let's

add some decorative stitches to our table topper.

Lucky Table



Template for

Lucky tabletopper


Sarah Vandenburgh

Make 4


Test block

Make 4


58 .com| issue 9


Using PFAFF’s passport 3.0 stitches

to add charming details to a table topper

Let's finish up the Lucky Table Topper by

adding some decorative stitches using

PFAFF’s passport 3.0.

To start, trim the excess ¼” off of the

edge of the square sides of the topper

with a quilting ruler, so that they match

up with the edges of the triangular sides.

Repeat on all four square sides.

Now the topper is ready to be sewn

together using the envelope method.

I could have trimmed the batting and

backing even with the topper and then

pinned the layers together – but I didn’t!

Instead, I put the batting on my cutting

mat and the backing fabric right side

up on top of it. Then I placed the topper

on top, right side down, with one edge

lined up with the other two pieces. Next,

I pinned around the outside edge of

the topper, marking my turning gap by

putting in two pins where I’m supposed

to stop sewing.

Circle guides on presser foot

Then I lifted the presser foot and turned

the topper. Perfect alignment!

Trimming the square edges of the table topper

Then trim the ‘dog ears’ from the

diagonal sides.

Trim the dog ears

Layers pinned together

I used the basic stitch 00 and the needle

down button. I used the reverse stitch

button at the beginning and end to

secure the sides of my turning gap.

I found the sewing guides on the presser

feet really helpful for finishing this topper

– sorry in advance for a lot of closeups,

but for me, this is the part I like to see.

What’s different about this machine?

How does it make it easier, more

precise to sew my seams? In this case,

the circle in the outside edge of the

presser foot helped me turn the corner.

I lined the circle up with the edge of

my topper.

Using presser foot guide to turn corner

Once I had sewn all the way around to

the spot where I had put the two pins

(to mark the spot for turning) it was

time to trim all the excess backing and

batting. I lined up the ¼” on my quilting

ruler with the stitched line.

Trimmed table topper




issue 9 59

Turn by pulling fabric through the gap. I

finger pressed the gap closed and used a

pin to secure it.

I changed back to a black thread and

lined up the red outer marker on the 0A

presser foot to topstitch 1⁄8” from the edge.

Using the presser foot guide for topstitching

After that I really wanted to use some of

the decorative stitches I had played with

earlier in the week.

I started stitching on the silver/white

fabric with stitch 86, lining up the red

guide mark with my topstitching. As

I approached the the white/black

background fabric I had the idea to

change my stitch! So I did :)

I switched to stitch 90 in the white/black

background, then continued to alternate

stitches as I progressed around the

topper. To change the stitch I pressed

the needle up/down button to lift it out

of the fabric, then I selected the stitch. I

pressed the needle down button again

and continued with the new stitch until I

got to the next background change.

Last but not least, I echo quilted ¼” away

from the shamrock with black thread

and the basic stitch 00; this required

changing back to the 0A presser foot. I

used the ¼” dash guide on the presser

foot to help me keep a consistent

distance away from the shamrock as I

went around. I used the reverse stitch

button at the end of my stitching to

secure the threads before lifting the

needle and cutting the threads.

I’m really happy with how my lucky

table topper turned out. I think it’ll hang

out in my sewing space for a little bit!

Echo quilting around the clover leaf

The lucky table topper and pincushion

made with the passport 3.0 will brighten

your sewing space and might even

encourage you to make and finish more

projects this month!

Using the PFAFF passport 3.0 has made

me feel really lucky! The features of the

machine make it easy for me to bring

my ideas to life with accuracy in a short

amount of time. I’m already thinking

about what’s next :) Good luck in your

quilting adventures!

Decorative stitches beside the topstitching

Lucky table topper and pincushion

Sarah Vanderburgh



60 .com| issue 9


cr eativ

100% cotton thread

A fine, strong, high quality sewing thread

for hand or machine sewing, no matter

the stitch type or fabric.

Gütermann 50 wt. Cotton Quilting thread

is made of long staple 100% Egyptian

mercerized cotton; it’s versatile and gives

seams a natural character.

• Suitable for hand or machine sewing; the

perfect thread for your quilting projects

• Larger cone sizes are excellent for long arm

quilting machines

• Available in 100m, 250m, 400m, 800m, 3000m

and 5000m spool lengths

• 186 stunning solid and variegated shades

• Ideal for ornamental stitches, decorative

seams and embroidery

• Soft and supple with tear and abrasion


• Colorfast: fade resistant to UV rays and

multiple washings

Look for Gütermann threads at your favourite

fabric, sewing and quilting store!


3 key weights of

Coats’ Dual Duty XP thread & their benefits

Annette Millard


62 .com| issue 9


Each thread has specific properties and purposes, it’s important to know

what they are when considering thread.

If you’re like me, I enjoy

a visit through history

to know how products

were created, how they

evolved and used over

the years and the story

of Coats & Clark families

twisted in history to

make quality cotton

threads is a fascinating

one. Let’s take a closer

look at the Dual Duty XP

threads offered today for

your sewing creativity.

Coats Dual Duty XP All Purpose Thread

Coats Dual Duty XP Fine Thread

Coats Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread

Due to Coats’ continued inventiveness,

innovation and dedication to quality, Dual Duty

XP thread is core-spun using modern technology

for consistent tension and fabulous stitches. This

means that smooth, long, multi-filament fibers

are tightly spun as a “core”, then wrapped and

twisted again with spun polyester to create a

single strand. Two or more of these core-spun

strands are then twisted together to make the

high-strength, beautifully fray-resistant Coats

thread you count on.

The General Purpose weight is exactly what

you need while you’re zigzagging and sewing

through several layers. But, you’re not always

sewing thick layers, so let’s take a look at all 3

weights of Coats Dual Duty XP.

Coats Dual Duty XP General Purpose Thread . . .

the thread you’ll use most for machine and hand


• Available in 114, 229 or 457 meter spools.

• Easily find just the right color for your project

– General Purpose 114m has the widest color

range available, including Fashion Brights,

Color Tints and Multi-Colors.

• Perfect for all fibers and fabrics – quilting

cottons, knits and wovens.

• Use a size 70 to 80 needle.

Coats Dual Duty XP Fine Thread . . . the thread

you’ll use for sewing sheer magic.

• Solves your longing for pucker-free seams in

light-weight fabrics.

• Strong, yet the perfect weight for lingerie,

bridal, silks, organza and sheers.

• Excellent for Machine Embroidery.

• Use a size 60 to 70 needle.

Coats Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread . . . the thread

that makes bold, heavy stitching fabulous.

• Heavier and stronger than General Purpose

or Fine.

• Great for creating bold accent Buttonholes,

Cording and Topstitching.

• The right choice for interior and exterior

upholstery fabrics.

• Use a size 100 to 110 needle.

4 hints

it’s time to throw your sewing threads out

What we sew with, makes a difference in our project, whether

it’s purely practical, such as altering a garment, or a more

creative one.

It’s sounds wasteful to contemplate throwing away sewing

thread, but when you make something with your sewing

machine, or hand stitching, good quality threads, and threads

that are stored properly will enhance your work.

While I was working in a sewing store, a customer came in

steaming mad because the thread kept breaking on her brand

new machine. Since thread choice is key to successful sewing, I

asked what kind of thread she used. Her answer? “I don’t know.

I inherited this box of thread that had been stored in the attic

years ago”.

When I explained that old thread may not be good thread and

cheap thread is the worst, it was a big revelation. She eventually

bought new thread and came back later to thank me. Thread

can last for years if it’s stored properly, but exposure to direct or

sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures can compromise

its integrity.

Pamper yourself this month and go through your thread box

with the following in mind.

1. Test your ‘old’ threads. Take a 38 – 45cm piece of thread, hold

one end in each hand and pull on it until it breaks. If you feel

some resistance, it’s probably okay, but if it breaks easily, it’s

time to say goodbye.

2. Look at the color of a few meters of your old threads. Do

they start out light, then get darker? This is thread that has

been discolored by light exposure and it’s probably time for

it to go, too.

3. Consider tossing thread with just a few meters left on the

spool. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually have enough to use on

a project when you need that color, so it’s really just clutter.

4. Banish any ‘5/$1 bargain’ or thrifted threads and replenish

your supply with fabulous new threads.

Fresh new threads enhance your creative as well as your practical sewing projects.

The only time it’s good to trap your thread!

Here’s my favorite thing about Coats thread – the trap spool!

The only time it’s good to trap your thread!!

On the end of each spool, you’ll find a little slotted ‘trap’ to lock

the end of your thread in before you store the spool or you

can lift up the trap, wind the thread inside and snap it closed

to secure the thread. You know that exasperating, knotted,

wild mess that you call your thread box? Gone!

Sewing bliss at its best! Happy Sewing!

Coats Dual Duty XP thread

Annette Millard


Photos by Annette Millard




issue 9 63

Physical features of

the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q

Elaine Theriault

Physical Features

The Sapphire 965Q has an Interactive

Color Touch Screen where all the

information you’ll need to sew is right at

your fingertips.

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q

Interactive Color Touch Screen

One of the things that I love about the

touch screen is that whatever stitch you

choose will appear in real size right on the

screen. The actual stitch length, the width,

or whether you want the stitch to be

mirrored end to end or side to side, you

get to see all the details on the screen.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do

a stitch-out on a scrap before you start

on your project, but seeing the stitch on

the screen can save a couple of steps.

There’s a stylus conveniently located

on the side. The stylus makes it easy

to select the functions on the screen,

although the tip of your finger works

just as well.

Look at the back of the Sapphire 965Q.

There’s the accessory box to hold the 12

Snap-On Presser Feet that come with

the sewing machine. If you’re going to

be working on some small, hard to get

at projects, it’s easy to reduce the size of

the sewing machine bed, by removing

the accessory box to reveal the free arm.

However, the more exciting feature

about the back of the sewing machine is

what’s missing. No presser foot lever. I’ve

been using machines with this feature

for several years and I absolutely love

it. I was working on some very fiddly

little bags a couple of weeks ago and

it required two hands just to hold all

the bits in place. I simply tapped on

the foot pedal to lower the presser foot

and started sewing. This is a must have

feature on any sewing machine!


64 .com| issue 9


The Interactive Color Touch Screen and the stylus

Photos by Elaine Theriault

The accessory box and no presser foot lever on

the back of the Sapphire 965Q

Plenty of space on the bed of the sewing machine

to keep block pieces handy

Function panel

However, the first thing I did upon

unpacking the Sapphire 965Q was to

remove the accessory box and install

the extension table. This is an extremely

practical extension table. Notice how

the front edge is curved. Whether you’re

piecing something long, like a border, or

short, like components of a block, there’s

no sharp edge along the front for your

project to get caught on.

There’s also a ruler (inches and

centimeters) along the bottom so if your

project has lots of different sized pieces

and you need to be picking up the

appropriate one, it’s easy to use that ruler

to measure the pieces and get them in

the correct spots.

The other thing that’s nice is that software

upgrades can be done via the USB port

on the side of the sewing machine.

The two leftmost buttons on the top row

are for controlling the speed. There are

five speeds on the Sapphire 965Q.

While I use the foot pedal to control the

speed for regular piecing, I may want to

adjust the speed for other tasks.

Extension table on the Sapphire 965Q

The other thing that’s nice about the

extension table is the amount of room it

provides for keeping your block pieces

handy. There’s 9¾” to the right of the

needle and that, combined with the

space in front and to the left of the

needle provided by the extension table,

means there’s lots of room for keeping

your block pieces handy.

Built-in USB port

The Function Panel is on the front of the

sewing machine. The various features

included on the Function Panel helps

with the operating functions of the

sewing machine. Things like Speed,

Needle Stop Up/Down, Sensor Foot Up/

Extra Lift and Sensor Foot Down/Pivot

(these are used instead of the presser

foot lever), Start/Stop, Reverse and FIX

(to anchor the end of a seam).

Five positions for speed control

If you want to read more, check out our

post about sewing machine speeds and

when to use the foot pedal.

I’ll chat about a few more of the

features on the Function Panel later in

the next pages.




issue 9 65

There are three LED lights on the sewing

machine that illuminate the needle area.

The lights have a long life expectancy so

it’ll be a long time before you have to

worry about changing them.

Three LED lights to reduce eye-strain

All the built-in stitches are shown on the

flip-up lid of the Sapphire 965Q. While all

the stitches are listed in the manual and

are included in the stitch menus that

can be viewed on the Interactive Color

Touch Screen, it’s handy to have them

all visually in front of you when you’re

looking for something.

I was looking for the blanket stitch and

there are two different ones on the

Sapphire 965Q. It was easy to identify

the one that I wanted by looking at the

stitch diagrams on the lid. The diagrams

clearly show the number of stitches in

each stitch.

Stitches on the Sapphire 965Q are shown in the

flip-up lid

Looking at the flip-up lid made me

think of how people set up their sewing

machine to sew. I’ve always sewn with

the flip-up lid open. No idea why. But

many people sew with the flip-up lid

closed. I have to keep my hands to

myself when I’m teaching a class and

see the lids closed! Does anyone have

thoughts on that?

There’s also a built-in needle threader. I

must admit that this is a feature that I

rarely use, although if I’m having trouble

to thread the needle, I’ll use the needle

threader. I’m fortunate in that I can still

thread the needle by eye. For the most

part, I sew all of my projects with gray

thread so there aren’t many times when

I need to thread the needle. However, I

was working on a multi-thread colored

project a couple of weeks ago and the

built-in needle threader was very helpful

and saved a lot of time!

Needle threader

The foot control is big and with my new

found trick of keeping it in place, I’m not

having to search for it under my sewing

station. Nor am I sitting on the edge of

my chair because the foot pedal has

wandered away. This alone has made

sewing much more comfortable which is

good because I’ve been putting in some

long days at the sewing machine.

I should mention that it’s very easy to

keep this outdoor mat tidy. A quick pass

with the vacuum and all the threads

were gone.

Perhaps I should take some time one

blog post and talk about the ergonomics

of your sewing station. The important

thing to remember is, make your

environment efficient and comfortable

and you’ll enjoy sewing more and you’ll

be able to sew longer.

The last thing to discuss today is, you

guessed it! The User’s Guide. I know that

we think we know everything there is to

know about a sewing machine. I mean

how complicated can it be? I used to

think that way, but after reading the User

Guides of the sewing machines that I’ve

reviewed, I can honestly say that I’ve

learned a LOT. Not just about the sewing

machine, but I’ve learned some sewing

techniques or tips that I never knew.

While there’s a physical User’s Guide that

comes with the Sapphire 965Q, you can

also go high-tech and download (for

free) the User’s Guide to your tablet. No

danger of losing the User’s Guide!

User’s Guide for the Sapphire 965Q on a tablet

I noticed while reading this User’s

Guide, that there’s a lot of great little

tips. Not just tips, but WHY you should

do something a specific way. I like that.

Nothing better than someone telling

you to do something, AND explaining

why it’s important that the task be done

that way. This User’s Guide has a lot of

those gray areas covered.

That covers the main physical features

of the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q

sewing machine. Those physical features

make sewing easy and help to make our

projects look professional.

Large foot pedal


66 .com| issue 9


Dual Duty XP® combines superior strength & durability

with a smooth finish for trouble-free sewing.


The "Xtra Performance" All Purpose Thread.

World’s leading thread company for over 200 years.


15-020 © 2015 Coats & Clark. All rights reserved. Coats & Clark is a registered trademark.




issue 9


Key tips on sewing your binding

by machine and thread choice

Welcome back to another tips with the

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q.

Did you change your needle? I’m always

amazed at how we try to prolong

using consumable items like a needle.

Compared to the cost of the fabric we buy,

a needle doesn’t cost much. But sew with

a bad needle? You’re asking for trouble!

While I’ve been sewing for many years

(we don’t need to say the number out

loud, but it’s been a long time – OK –

over 40 years!), I’m always learning new

things. Some of them are things that I

didn’t even know that I didn’t know and

some are things that I know how to do,

but not how to do them well.

When I first started to quilt, it was against

the “rules” to sew a binding on a quilt

by machine. I still don’t like sewing the

binding on completely by machine but

the number of samples that I have to

make means that I don’t have time to

hand stitch the bindings in place. I still

hand stitch those quilts which are special.

That means that I’m on the hunt for new

techniques and tips on how to sew the

binding on better. I’ve even signed up for

a class to see if I can glean any more ideas.

So the other day I had to sew a binding

on by machine and I was contemplating

what to use for thread. I’m currently

using the straight stitch, although I

do know people prefer one of the

applique stitches (blanket stitch) and

I use matching thread. The matching

thread on the top is easy to use, but if

you miss on the back and your binding

is significantly different color than the

backing, the stitching will show and I

don’t like that. Yep – I’m picky!

I start by installing the walking foot on

the Sapphire 965Q. The extra set of feed

teeth provides more stability along the

edge of the quilt.

Using the walking foot to sew on a binding

Sew the binding to the BACK of the

quilt the same way that you would sew

it onto the front if you were going to

hand stitch it in place. I use one of the

openings on the walking foot as my

guide, but if in doubt, sew six inches.

Remove the quilt from the sewing

machine. Fold over the binding. Is it in

the correct position? Does the quilt fill

the binding? Does the binding cover the

stitching line on the front of the quilt? If

not, now is the time to correct the seam


As for the color of thread? Technically it

doesn’t matter at this point as in a perfect

world, all that stitching will be hidden.

Use a line on the walking foot for a guide for the

seam allowance width

Notice how that quilt and binding just

slide up the extension table. There’s no

drag, no pulling as there would be if the

edge of that table was square.

The extension eliminates drag on the quilt

Then you flip the quilt over and using

thread that matches the binding and a

straight stitch (length set to 2.5 or 3.0),

stitch the edge of that binding in place.

Stitch the binding on the front of the quilt

Corners are a bit tricky, but after doing

them a couple of times, you’ll have

no problem. One of the features on

the Sapphire 965Q that helps on the

corners is the Extra Lift on the Sensor

foot down and Pivot function. This is on

the Function Panel on the front of the

sewing machine. When I turn the corner

with the binding, I need the extra lift

(and the automatically lowering of the

feed dogs) makes it easy to get the extra

height of the binding corner under the

presser foot.

Then while I’m holding all that in place,

I can use the foot pedal to start sewing.

No need to manually lower the presser

foot. It’s all automatic. It doesn’t get any

better than that!


68 .com| issue 9


Sewing the corner on the binding

Another feature that’s great when

sewing on the binding or even going

over lumpy seams is the Exclusive

Sensor System. This technology

means the presser foot is constantly

sensing the thicknesses of what you’re

sewing and adjusts the presser foot

pressure and helps to keep the fabric

feeding smoothly.

Did you notice that I didn’t mention

what kind or color of thread that I used

in the bobbin? Well, it was always the

bobbin thread that I had trouble with.

Since you are sewing on the top of the

quilt, you can’t always predict what will

happen on the bobbin side. Most times,

the stitching ends up on the quilt, but

occasionally, the stitching will end up on

the binding. If the thread matches the

backing, but not the binding, it becomes


So as I was getting ready to stitch the

second line of stitching, I had a thought.

I have some pre-wound bobbins of

invisible thread. I had purchased them

for my longarm, but I’ve never used

them. Would they fit the Sapphire 965Q?

Matter of fact, they fit perfectly. Yes, I was

a bit hesitant to put them in the sewing

machine, but I’ve used polyester prewound

bobbins before for applique so

why not pre-wound invisible thread.

The end result?? I’m very happy for two

reasons. One the thread doesn’t show on

the back of the quilt and second, I found

a home for those pre-wound bobbins

with invisible thread.

The invisible thread doesn’t show up on the quilt

backing nor the binding

Here are the bobbins I used. Now I

bet you’re wondering why I can use

a bobbin from the longarm in the

domestic sewing machine? Well, there

are four basic sizes of bobbins and as

far as I know, sewing machines/long

arms use one of those four sizes. It just

so happens that my long arm and my

domestic sewing machines use the

same size bobbin.

The L bobbin, which is the ones that fit

the Sapphire 965Q, is the most common

bobbin size. And it also is a bobbin size

that’s used in some longarm quilting

machines. Who knew?

Pre-wound bobbins of invisible thread

Straight stitching on the binding

However, if you want to wind your own

bobbins using invisible thread, here are a

couple of tips.

• Wind the bobbins at a SLOW speed.

If you wind the invisible thread at a

high speed, the invisible thread will

compress the plastic bobbins and

you may not be able to remove it

from the bobbin winder.

• Fill the bobbin only half full. Again,

invisible thread is sort of stretchy

and filling the bobbin can result in

compressing the plastic bobbin or

breaking it.

• Use a good quality, fine invisible

thread. Some of the original invisible

threads were like fishing wire.

I’m feeling a whole lot better about

sewing my bindings on by the sewing

machine. I may try using invisible thread

on the top in addition to the bobbin and

try using a blanket stitch.

The joys of sewing. There’s always

something more to learn!

I hope you enjoyed that tip on the

binding and if you have tips for

perfecting sewing the binding on by

machine, please share them. I’m still

experimenting. The Husqvarna Viking

Sapphire 965Q has such an amazing feed

system, that is super easy to get that

binding on by machine.




issue 9 69

5 tips for topstitching and

its purpose in sewing

It's a few days now with the Husqvarna

Viking Sapphire 965Q and I feel like I’ve

barely scratched the surface with what

this fabulous sewing machine can do!

I’m going to explore topstitching.

What’s the purpose of topstitching? I

found this definition of topstitching

on the internet – “make a row of

continuous stitches on the top or right

side of a garment or other article as a

decorative feature”. However, I’d strongly

consider that topstitching is more than a

decorative feature. Topstitching provides

a nice finished edge on whatever you

happen to be sewing. Let’s check it out

and you’ll see what I mean.

The little basket that I’m using in this

post is a free download that you’ll find in

the Resource Section on the Northcott

website. Fabrics used are from Northcott’s

Toscana collection. There’s also a surprise

included with the pattern to put in the

basket. Be sure to download the pattern

below and follow along.

Northcott Canada

101 Courtland Avenue

Vaughan, Ontario L4K 3T5


Northcott USA

1099 Wall St. West, Suite 250

Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

70 .com| issue 9


FREE PATTERN • Happy Thoughts Calendar Tiles

by Elaine Theriault for Northcott


Northcott’s downloable pattern to make this

amazing little basket!

Topstitching Handles

There are many ways to make handles

for bags and baskets. I like to use a heavy

interfacing for my handles rather than

batting. I find the interfacing makes

the handles sturdier and looks more

professional than if softer batting is used.

It’s a personal choice, you decide.

Because I use the heavy interfacing, I

cut the interfacing ½” narrower than

the fabric for the handle. The excess

handle fabric is folded over the edge of

the interfacing and the handle is folded

in thirds, not fourths as is commonly

found in patterns. This does present a

challenge in how to close up that seam

on the back and here’s where the top

stitching plays not only decorative role,

but it’s functional as well.

Basket handles are folded in thirds

You can see that my opening on the

back isn’t at the edge of the handle. My

first line of topstitching is to close that

opening. This opening is on the back of

the handle and so I do the first line of

topstitching from the back. You can get

real scientific about it and measure so

both of those openings are in the exact

same spot, but if you’re using matching

thread, it’s not a big issue.

Once the first line of stitching (used to

close the seam) is complete, I flip the

handles over and do the remainder

of the topstitching from the front of

the handle. The nice thing about the

Sapphire 965Q is that you’re going to

get a beautifully formed stitch on the

back and the front so doing this flip

technique for the topstitching shouldn’t

be a problem.

I do a row of topstitching along the

outer edge of the handle and then I do

as many rows as I feel is appropriate for

the width of the handle. I don’t mark, I

don’t measure, although I do use the

presser foot as a rough guide.

When I first started to sew and quilt,

I would spend hours ensuring that

everything was perfectly lined up. The

rows of stitching had to be exactly

spaced and perfectly straight. I’ve

learned over the years that one must

evaluate the purpose of the finished

item and then determine whether the

extra time required to have every stitch

absolutely perfect is worth it. I do aim

for accuracy and I do aim to make my

finished items pretty, but I don’t aim

for perfection. Nothing would get

completed if that was the case. We have

to learn to take it easy on ourselves, this

is our hobby and we should be enjoying

it, not ripping things out because of

some small variances.

That is the best advice I’ve learned over

the years. Now I can enjoy sewing and

quilting and I don’t rip nearly as often.

Having a good sewing knowledge base

and an excellent sewing machine like

the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q

help me succeed in making my finished

items look amazing.

Topstitching the basket handles

In the example below, you can see

that the handles have four rows of

topstitching. You can’t tell which ones

were done from the back and which

ones were done from the front. They’re

not perfectly straight, the lines are

not 100% perfect. I’m OK with that.

Remember what I just said. If the item

isn’t an heirloom, and not entered in a

major quilt show, then think about the

time involved to get those lines perfectly

straight and perfectly even. I’d rather be

stitching than ripping!

You’ll notice that when I was topstitching

the handles that I used my regular

presser foot. You can see that some of

the stitches on the wrong side are not

as nicely formed as the stitches used

in the line to close the seam. I was

going through a lot of layers and this

was about the time that I needed a

new needle. See how important those

needles are. I could have made a new

handle to make everything look 100%

perfect, but I think it’s important to show

you what happens when you don’t keep

sharp needles in the sewing machine. I

also used a regular Microtex needle and

because of the layers, I probably should

have moved to a Topstitch needle. Hey –

we’re all learning together!

Topstitching the bag edges

The handles and the lining are now sewn

in place and the bag turned right sides

out. It looks terrible. All puffy and lumpy

and not very attractive.

Let’s see how topstitching can turn this

lumpy mess into a very cute little basket.

better than the wrong side and we want

this stitching to look its best. In many

instances, you need to stitch from the

top side in order to get the stitches

exactly where they need to be.

Sapphire 965Q set up as a free arm to facilitate

the top stitching

In addition to removing the extension

table, I used the Sewing Advisor to

change the weight of the project to

Woven Heavy. Selecting this feature will

change the tension to better suit my

project. It also lengthened the stitch to

3.0. If there are many layers, you want

a longer stitch and the Sewing Advisor

takes care of all those details for you.

I also changed the needle. I’ll be going

through many layers of fabric and the

regular Microtex needle that I was using

isn’t going to be happy going through all

those layers. I choose a Topstitch needle,

Size 14 because of all the thicknesses.

The front of the topstitched handles

The basket is turned right sides out

I’ll be stitching along the edges of the

basket, so this time I’m using the Edge

Stitching Foot.

The back of the topstitched handles

Edge Stitching Foot

I’ve removed the extension table from

the Sapphire 965Q as the basket is small

and it’ll be much easier to stitch using

the free arm. Topstitching should also

be done from the TOP or the front of

the item. It’s not that you can’t topstitch

from the wrong side, but the top (right

side) of the stitch is usually slightly

Sewing Advisor is now set to Woven Heavy




issue 9 71

You can see in the photo below how

the flange on the Edge Stitching Foot

is going to keep me stitching at a

consistent width all around the top of

the basket.

The other thing that is very important is

to bring up the bobbin thread through

all layers of your project. This will prevent

a nest of thread from happening on the

underside which isn’t pretty and it’s hard

to clean up.

In instances like this, I won’t use the

scissors on the sewing machine to cut my

threads. That way the thread tails are long

enough that I can pull them through to

the top. Some parts of me are old school

as I rarely use the scissors on the sewing


Bobbin thread is brought up through all layers of

the project to prevent nesting on the wrong side

Ideally, you don’t want any of the lining

fabric to show on the front. So that

requires either a good press with an iron

if you can get inside the basket to make

that happen or you have to constantly

roll the edge of the basket while you’re

sewing to keep the lining on the

backside and not appear on the front.

In the photo below, I’m about to go

through all the layers at the side seam of

the basket. The topstitch needle made

this stitching no big deal.

It’s advisable to go slow over these

very thick spots. If you don’t, you may

end up with a broken needle in the off

chance that the needle flexes and hits

something it shouldn’t. The quality of the

stitching will be better as well.

The Exclusive Sensor System Technology

that I talked about earlier this week

helps enormously as you do this row of

topstitching. In some parts, I’m going

through many layers and in others,

not as many. The Exclusive Sensor

System Technology automatically and

continuously senses and adjusts to

provide even feeding along that entire

seam. This ensures that the stitch length

is consistent.

And now we have our basket with the

topstitched edge. It looks much better

than it did prior to the topstitching, but

let’s see if we can give that basket a bit

more shape.

Basket with a topstitched edge around the top

This time, I’m going to topstitch the

corners. Start by making sure that the

lining is well tucked into the corners of

the basket. Then fold along one corner

so the side and the front (or the back)

are on top of each other. Then top stitch

down the side seam to give the basket

more definition.

There’s a lot of thicknesses in the corners,

particularly at the top, but if you go slow,

you’ll end up with nice stitching. I use

my FIX function to anchor the top and

bottom of the line of stitching.

The corners of the basket have been topstitched

Tips for topstitching

To recap, here are some key tips for

beautiful topstitching:

• Use a longer stitch length

• Go slow over the extra thick areas

• Use a top stitch needle

• When you get back to the beginning

of the row of stitching, move

the project slightly forwards or

backwards so you’re stitching in the

same holes as the topstitching at the

beginning. Just for a few stitches to

lock the ends of the seams.

Topstitching on the upper edge of the basket

Getting ready to top stitch through all the layers

at the side seam

Getting ready to topstitch the corners of the basket


72 .com| issue 9


Here’s the

finished basket

with the top and

the four corners

topstitched. It

looks a whole lot

nicer than the

original basket

when it was first

turned inside out.

Storing partially used needles

We’ve talked about needles in the

past and the fact that you should be

changing needles on a regular basis. But

if I’ve just used the topstitch needle to

stitch the top and the four sides, there’s

still a lot of life in that needle. What do I

do with the needle? I wouldn’t put the

needle back in the plastic needle case as

then I’d have no idea which needles are

partially used and which are new.

Here are a couple of options. Mark off

sections on a piece of fabric and write

the type and size of the needle in each

section. Insert the needle and then when

you want a topstitch needle, you can

start by using the partially used needle.

I used to use a tomato pincushion,

but I found that some of the needles

were getting embedded deep into the

pincushion and well, no way to get them

out. So I must find something else.

I hope you enjoyed these tips for

topstitching. Topstitching is such a useful

technique and it can take anything

from a lumpy, bumpy looking project/

garment to something polished and

professional looking. And there are

many features on the Husqvarna Viking

Sapphire 965Q that help to perfect the

topstitching techniques.

I have the neatest little project to share

with you. It's something to do with

storing those partially used needles.

Use a piece of fabric to store partially used needles

Tomato pincushion used to store partially used needles




issue 9 73

Making a sewing machine

needlecase using

the Sapphire 965Q embroidery feature

When I was topstitching and sharing my

ideas for storing the partially used needles,

it hit me that I need to make a needlecase

for those partially used needles. Simple to

make and totally practical.

Follow along as we make a needlecase

for sewing machine needles. You can

customize it for hand needles or leave

it generic.

Gather the supplies

I’m using Northcott’s A Stitch in Time

fabric collection for the needlecase. I

fussy cut two quilt blocks from one of

the fabrics to use as the outer fabric

and a coordinate for the lining. I found

some felt in my stash for the insert. You

don’t need much, those quilt blocks are

approximately 3¼” square.

Supplies for the Sewing Machine Needlecase

I decided to use some fusible fleece

inside the outer cover. This isn’t

necessary, but I like my projects to have

some body to them, so I dug out my

resealable bag of fusible fleece scraps

and found a piece that was a perfect fit.

Prepping the pieces

I’m using my outer fabric (the two quilt

blocks) as my guide for size. If you’re

using something from your stash, the

size is approximately 7½” x 3¾”.

Cut one piece from each of the outer

and lining fabrics. You also need to cut

one piece of fusible fleece that is ½”

smaller on the length and the width. In

this case, 7” x 3¼”.

Pieces for the outer part of the Sewing Machine

Needlecase are trimmed and ready for next step

Sewing the outer section

of the needlecase

Place the right sides of the outer fabric

and the lining right sides together and

using ¼” seam allowance, stitch on all

four sides, leaving an opening (about

1½”) along one side (not at a corner) so

you can turn the project inside out. In

my case, I sewed along the edges of the

quilt block.

Sewing the lining and the outer fabric together

along the outer edge of the fabric square

Place the fusible fleece on the wrong

side of the outer fabric. It was cut ½”

smaller so the piece should fit just

inside the seam lines. Following the

manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the

fleece to the project, making sure it’s

well adhered. A hot iron and steam are

often required.

Fuse a piece of fusible fleece to the wrong side of

the outer fabric

Cut away the corners of the project. You

can see in the photo that I not only clip

the corners away, but I grade down the

side seams as well. This helps to reduce

the bulk in the corner once the project is

turned inside out.

Trimming the corners down to reduce bulk

Turn the project right sides out. I used

a point turner to help poke out the

corners. Make sure you do that job

gently as with the clipped corners, it’s

easy to go right through the corner and

that isn’t a good idea. You can also use

the point turner to run along the edge

(inside the project) to help get a smooth

edge. Press well.

Leftover bits of fusible fleece stored in a resealable

plastic bag


74 .com| issue 9


You can close the opening by hand

stitching, but I like to use the ¼” strips of

fusible web. I cut a small piece and insert

in the opening and fuse in place. Works

for me and simple!

A point turner and a roll of ¼” fusible web to finish

off the outer section

Pop up safety message on the Interactive Touch Screen

Second pop up safety message regarding the

Stitch Width

The finished cover of the Sewing Machine


Making the insert

I could simply have inserted a piece of

felt inside the cover of the needlecase

and be finished. However, I wanted to

customize the insert to make my life

easier. If I put the partially used needles

in the case with no labels, I won’t

remember which needles are in there.

Plus, there are built-in alphabets in the

Sapphire 965Q and I thought this would

be a good time to give them a try.

I cut two pieces of felt approximately 6¼”

x 2¾” for the double sized insert page.

I’d been sewing with the single hole

throat plate and when I attempted to

select a non-straight stitch, I got a popup

warning message. This is so awesome

because even though I know to change

the throat plate if you’re focused like I

tend to be when I sew, you don’t always

think all the steps through when you

switch from one technique to another.

No danger of broken needles with this

Stitch Width Safety feature.

Single hole throat plate

I removed the single hole throat plate

and I got a second pop-up warning

message as you can see below. So even

though the single hole throat plate had

been removed, I still had to deactivate

the Stitch Width Safety. While the

Sapphire 965Q is intuitive, it makes sure

that I know what I’m about to do before

it deactivates that stitch width safety. I

like that the Saphire 965Q asks me – “do

you really know what you’re doing?”

Here you can see that the Stich Width

Safety is now off. I have put the all-purpose

throat plate on the sewing machine and

I’m ready to program my lettering.

Stitch Width Safety is no longer engaged




issue 9 75

There are five built-in alphabets in

the Sapphire 965Q. I choose the Block

alphabet for my project.

I’m going to use the START/STOP

function instead of the foot pedal for my

stitching so I lowered the speed. This will

allow me to keep my lettering somewhat

straight and in the right place. Again, this

is a needlecase, strictly for my personal

use. If something is a bit off, I’m not likely

to care. But if this project were super

important, then I would take the time to

position the lettering more accurately.

Using the STOP function will stop the

stitching after ONE complete stitch

sequence, which in this case is 14. That’s

a very important thing to know. Since

I’m not using the foot pedal, the sewing

machine will start sewing when I hit

the START/STOP function and it will

stop on its own (after it stitched one

complete stitch sequence) because the

STOP function has been selected. Super

neat feature and very practical. Takes

the guesswork out of where to start and

where to stop.

Built-in Alphabet menu

It’s easy to program the lettering, with

separate menus for Upper Case, Lower Case

and Numbers. You can see on the Interactive

Touch Screen below the first part of my

lettering which is the word “Topstitching”.

I decided that I would use the Sapphire

965Q to write the type and size of the

most common needles that I would use.

As I was prepping this project, I realized

that despite the fact that there are many

different sizes and types of needles, I

really only use a few different ones. I

created a space for each of the needles

and sizes that I use. You’ll see which ones

in a minute.

Speed control set to mid point

The other function that I’m going to use

is the STOP function. This is different from

the START/STOP. You can see that I have

the FIX and the STOP function engaged.

The stitch sequence repeats endlessly.

Function panel with FIX and STOP engaged

I’ve done the first row of lettering which

was the word “topstitching”. Now I want

to add the needle size. I programmed 14

into the Sapphire 965Q. If I don’t use the

STOP function, I’ll get a continuous row

of 141414141414

Only one stitch sequence appears on the

Interactive Touch Screen

Temporary programmed lettering


76 .com| issue 9


I used a contrasting 40-weight thread

so I could read my lettering. A little bit

heavier to help define the lettering. I

used a topstitch needle because the

thread was a bit heavier than I would

normally use.

It’s a good idea to do some stitch outs so

you can gauge the size. After this stitch

out, I realized there wasn’t enough room

to put the name and the number of the

needle side by side. Again, I wasn’t going

for perfection here, but practical and

relatively quick.

To finish off the insert, I wanted to

stitch the two pieces together back to

back so they created one insert. I used

the overcast stitch A10. Here’s another

instance where seeing the stitch on the

Interactive Touch Screen, the exact way

it will stitch on the fabric is very helpful. I

can see that this stitch is opposite to the

way I want it to stitch.

The outer edge of the overcast stitch was

actually on the outer edge of my two

insert pieces, but it worked beautifully and

now my two insert pages are in fact one.

Insert sections are now sewn together

Center the insert page on the inside of

the cover of the needlecase.

Stitch outs on a scrap

Stitching the lettering on the felt insert

After evaluating which were the most

common needle types and sizes, I ended

up with four “pages”. I stitched them so

they can be placed back to back in the

needlecase. Customize your needlecase

with whichever needles you commonly

use or make one for your hand stitching

needles. In my instance, this is strictly

for my partially used needles, so there

should only ever be ONE of each type

and size in the needlecase.

Default setting for the overcast stitch A10

I simply touch a button to mirror the

stitch side to side and you can see what

happens to it. Now I’m ready to join the

two pieces together.

Insert section layered onto the outer section of

the Sewing Machine Needlecase

I sewed from the back of my needlecase so

I could get that seam somewhat centered.

Top stitch the two sections together

Side to side mirrored overcast stitch A-10

Lettering is complete on both sections of the insert.




issue 9 77

And now I have a cute little needle case for the

partially used needles. It has locations for all the

needle types and sizes that I use. Guess what? The

piece of fabric and the tomato pincushion that

have been in my sewing machine needle box

forever are going to be history! I LOVE my new

needle case.

Isn’t that just the cutest little project. I’m thrilled

with it. While I was making this one, I also prepped

another outer section which I think I’ll customize

that one for hand stitching needles.

That wraps up this review of the Husqvarna Viking

Saphire 965Q. I had so much fun and I hope you

did too. Not only that, but I hope that you learned a

sewing technique or tip along the way.

If you make a needlecase, let me know. I’d love to

see what you make.

Elaine Theriault


the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q


78 .com| issue 9


QUILTsocial bloggers

Christine Baker


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 Theriault


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.

Sarah Vanderburgh


Sarah loves to play with color and

quilts are her playground! A selftaught

quilter, She's been designing

her own quilts for almost 20 years.

She's inspired by happy fabrics,

selvages, traditional blocks and

nature. She's also a wife, mother,

and elementary school teacher, and

enjoy drinking coffee on my front

porch in northern Ontario.

Bill Locke


Quilter/Stitcher, Designer, Teacher,

Blogger, with a passion for all that

is "stitchy", Bill's goal is to share

that passion with as many people

as possible through designs that

inspires a great sense of creativity.

He has a wide range of informative

and exciting lectures, trunk shows

and workshops. As well his designs

offer various sewing and quilting

techniques including regular and

foundation piecing; hand, machine

and wool applique; catering to all

levels. He creates and has a world of

fun in his Montreal studio, Studio

Bill Locke.

Allison Spence


Allison began teaching sewing and

quilting while working at a sewing

machine dealer in Calgary, Alberta.

She also owned her own fabric store

and sewing school for 6 years where

she had the wonderful opportunity

to teach a wide variety of classes to

many sewers, young and old. She

now has a studio and classroom in

her home and does customer quilts.

She teaches in her studio, locally

and in North America. Allison has

a very, very supportive husband, 2

daughters and granddaughter close





issue 9 79





table topper





Center blocks layout





issue 9

skill level intermediate

finished measurements

34” [86.5cm] square



• 1 strip of quilt saying blocks – Fabric A

(21330-69) Quilt sayings

Cut FOUR blocks. The squares are

approximately 5” square – do not

add seam allowance. Cut them on

the line between the light and the

dark sashing.

• 5⁄8 yard – Fabric B (39300-69)

Stonehenge blue (Coping strip, Border

2 and Binding)

Cut ONE strip 1” by WOF. Sub cut

two pieces that are the same

length as the quilt saying blocks.

(Spacer for center block)

Cut TWO strips 2” by WOF (Coping


Cut FOUR strips 1½” by WOF

(Border 2)

Cut FOUR strips 2½ by WOF. (Join

on the diagonal and press in half

wrong sides together for the


• 3⁄8 yard – Fabric C (21332-34) spools of

thread (four patches – Border 1)

Cut THREE strips 3½” x WOF

• ½ yard – Fabric D (39305-68)

Stonehenge light (four patches –

Border 1, Coping blocks in Border 3)

Cut THREE strips 3½” by WOF

Cut ONE strip by WOF. This strip

needs to be the SAME width as the

border cut in Fabric E.

Cut that border first and then cut

this coping strip border the same

width. (Coping blocks in Border 3).

• ¾ yard (or enough to get FOUR sewing

machines) – Fabric E (39356-11) Border 3

Fussy cut FOUR borders –

(four sewing machines are

approximately 24” in length).

Cut ¼” beyond the light

background above and below the

sewing machines for the seam

allowance. You may want to leave

a bit more than ¼” on the top of

the sewing machines as this is

where the binding will be attached

to the table topper.

Cut about ½” beyond the left and

right edges of the sewing

machines for seam allowance. The

sewing machine part of the border

will measure about 24” x 4¾”.

• 1 strip of quilt blocks – Fabric F (39357-

11) Cornerstones – Border 3

Fussy cut FOUR squares adding ¼”

seam allowance beyond the quilt

square edge. The quilt squares are

approximately 33⁄8” and with ¼”

seam allowance on all four sides,

they will be approximately 37⁄8”.


• rotary cutter

• cutting mat

• ruler

• pins



Center block

1. Arrange the blocks for the center. They

were each rotated one quarter turn to

make the table topper non-directional.

Insert a 1” strip of Fabric B between

Block 1 and Block 2.

2. Insert a second 1” strip of Fabric B

between Block 3 and Block 4. Press to

Fabric B.

3. Measure the length of the Block ½

combination and cut a 1” strip that

corresponds to that measurement.

4. Sew the 1” strip between the Block

½ and Block ¾ combinations. Block

should measure approximately 10”


Coping strip

1. Using Fabric B add a 2” strip to two

sides of the center square. Press away

from the center. Add a 2” strip to the

remaining two sides. Press away from

the center.

2. Center the center blocks and trim to


Border 1 (Four patches)

1. Make three strip sets from Fabric C

and D. Sub-cut the strip sets into

twenty-four (24) 3½” sections.

2. Using two sections for each fourpatch,

make a total of twelve (12)


3. Sew two (2) four-patch units together

twice and add to the top and bottom

of the center square. Watch the

orientation of the four patches.

4. Join four (4) four-patch units together

twice and add to the sides of the

center square. Watch the orientation

of the four-patches as they should be

alternating. Table topper at this point

is 24½” square.

Border 2

Using Fabric B (1½”), add the third

border. Side borders should measure

24½” long and top and bottom border

should measure 26½”. If your top is

a different size, adjust your border

lengths accordingly.

Border 3

Using Fabric D, add a length to each

end of all four sewing machine borders

to make the sewing machine borders

26½” long, centering the sewing

machines in the border. If your border

needs to be a different size, adjust your

border lengths accordingly.


Using leftover scraps, add Fabric B to

two adjoining sides of the small quilt

blocks. Trim them to create a square

that measures the same width as the

sewing machine border. Adding fabric to

only two sides will help prevent skinny

borders on all four sides which adds a lot

of bulk. When joining the cornerstones to

the border, place the corner of the block

where the fabric has been added to the

outside of the table topper.

Add two sewing machine borders to

the top and bottom of the table topper.

Add a cornerstone to each end of the

remaining two borders. Sew the last two

borders to the table topper.

Elaine Theriault

Fabric Collection: Northcott Stonehenge A

Stitch In Time by Deborah Edwards





issue 9 81

The Scrap




82 .com| issue 9


Brother THE Dream Machine 2 XV8550D

Embroidery, Sewing, Quilting, & Crafting

If you’re a quilter I’m pretty sure you have

scraps! Totes are ideal for scrap-busting.

Actually totes are one of those projects that can

be done in a morning or afternoon, depending

on your sewing and quilting abilities. Not that

there’s any rush, but totes are great last minute

gifts that can make family and friends so happy,

so fast!

Try this quick method of quilting as you go, using

THE Brother Dream Machine 2 - XV8550D

along with the MuVitTM foot and laser

positioning marker will help make your stitching

through multiple layers of fabric a breeze!

skill level Intermediate

finished measurement 16” x 14½” [40.5 x 37cm]

time required 3 hours



• assorted scraps – a big pile of them so you have lots of selection!

• 2 pieces each 18” x 20” low loft batting

• 2 pieces each 28” x 20” utility fabric - this can be any fabric you’re not

fond of as it won’t be seen at all

• 2 pieces 2” x 25” Peltex #70 or equivalent stabilizing product

• 5⁄8 yd lining fabric for tote

• 2 pieces 5” x 25” fabric for bag handles


• thread and wound bobbins

• pins

• rotary cutter and supplies

• marking tools

• ruler

• spray baste (optional)

• Wonder Clips


• Brother’s THE Dream Machine 2 XV8550D

• zigzag foot “J” foot (included with THE Dream Machine 2)

• MuVit Digital Dual Feed foot (included with THE Dream Machine 2)

• iron and ironing board




issue 9 83


Getting started

• Gather your scraps. Don’t disregard any scrap no matter how

small. If you have a very small scrap, piece it together with a larger

scrap. The smallest scrap used in this sample was a 1½” x 1½” piece.

• It’s a great idea to incorporate small orphaned blocks in this project.

• Sort scraps into lights and darks so you can have a balance of

contrasting colors.

Creating the scrappy fabric for the bag

1. Cut two 18” x 20” pieces of utility fabric and batting.

2. Layer utility fabric right side down and place batting on top.

You may wish to spray baste the utility fabric to the batting.

3. Select a scrap and place it right side up in the center on


4. Stitch the first scrap in place by stitching straight lines back

and forth over the scrap. You can vary the distance apart you

stitch the lines or you could use decorative stitches or free

motion stitching if you like.

5. Lay a second scrap right sides together along one side

of the first piece you just quilted and sew with a ¼” seam

allowance, as in Photo 1

6. Finger press the piece in place and then stitch down.

TIP Stitch in the opposite direction of the first piece to add


7. Continue as in step 5 adding scraps around the outside of

center piece.

8. Use a variety of colors, sizes and shapes of scraps. Photos 2 & 3

9. When both pieces of batting are covered with scraps trim

each piece to 17” x 15” using a rotary cutter. Photo 4


1. Determine desired length of tote handles. The handles on

the sample are 20” long.

2. Center piece of stabilizer in middle of handle fabric.

3. Fold one edge of handle fabric over long side of the


4. Fold under ¼” along one opposite edge of long side of fabric

to create a clean edge.

5. Fold second edge over stabilizer and press in place. Use

Wonder Clips to hold fabric in place.

6. Attach MuVitTM foot to your Brother Dream Machine and

activate laser positioning marker.

7. Stitch several lines of stitching on handle. Photo 5

8. Repeat for second handle.

9. Position one of the handles on top of one of the bag fronts.

10. With right sides together, align end of handle with top of

bag, and edge of handle 4” from each side of bag. Stitch in

place ½” from top edge of bag. Repeat for other side of bag

front. Photo 6




It makes a great gift bag when gifting

other things with it !


84 .com| issue 9


Instruction photos by Lynn Swanson

Lining with pocket

1. Cut two pieces of fabric 17” x 15” for lining – set aside.

2. Stitch 2 fabric scraps 2” X 6” right sides together, leave a 2” gap on

one side for turning. If a pocket on each side of the bag is desired,

do this step twice.

3. Position one pocket on right side of lining fabric centered

horizontally and placed 4” from the bottom edge of the fabric.

4. Stitch on three sides of pocket – leaving top edge open.

5. Place 2 pieces of lining right sides together and stitch on three

sides of lining, leaving top edge open, and leaving a 3” gap along

the right side of the bag. Use a ½” seam.

6. Create a box corner by aligning the side seam and the bottom

seam of the lining: find the center point on each side of the

seams and pull outwards to form a point. Mark 2” from the point

and stitch across. Repeat for the other side of the lining. Photo 7



Assembling the scrappy tote

1. With right sides together stitch the left, right and bottom seams

of the bag.

2. For best results use the MuVitTM foot.

3. Create a box corner (as in step 6 above).

4. Place the scrappy bag and the lining right sides together

matching side seams.

5. Ensure the handles are tucked in out of the way. Use wonder

clips along the top edge to hold in place.

6. Stitch all around the top edge of the bag.

7. Turn the bag right side out pushing lining to the inside of the bag.

8. Top stitch top of bag.


Lynn Swanson

Brother Educator

Western Canada



Fill it with your favorite things!





Scrappy House Placemats

It’s time to play with your sewing machine!

Since we so often go to our sewing rooms with a specific task or project in mind, we often

forget to make the time to experiment. But did you know that the very best way to get the

most of your sewing machine is to play with different stitches and techniques that you have

never used? Why not try decorative threads, decorative stitches, using twin needles, and/or

placing multiple threads through the eye of one needle? You just might land on a technique

or look that becomes a fast favorite for your subsequent projects.


86 .com| issue 9


skill level intermediate

finished measurement

13¾” x 16½” [35 x 42cm]


Makes 4 placemats


• 6 different fat quarters for front

• four 10” x 12” pieces of Sulky Totally Stable

• four 16” x 20” pieces of cotton fabric for

backing to match front

• binding (optional)

• four 16” x 20” pieces of cotton quilt batting


• Schmetz quilting needle size 75/11

• Schmetz twin needle 2.0

• Schmetz top stitch needle size 80/12


• assortment of Sulky 40wt rayon thread

• Gütermann cotton or sew all thread

• Sew Easy ½ Diamond ruler

• cutting mat

• ruler

• cutter

• scissors

• glass head pins

• water soluble marking pen



1. Placemat Tops: 4 pieces using outline

of Half Diamond ruler from top fabric

(fat quarter)

2. Inner Top and Bottom of placemats:

8 pieces measuring 3” x 9½” from fat


3. Placement sides: 8 pieces measuring

3” x 13½” from fat quarters

4. Back fabric: 4 pieces measuring 16” x 20”

5. Cotton quilt batting: 4 pieces

measuring 16” x 20”


1” strips across the WOF from the 6 Fat


TIP Don’t throw out any of the scraps as

you can you use the shorter pieces.

Creating the scrappy weaving center

1. Prepare four 10” x 12” sheets of Sulky

Totally Stable: Working on the shiny

side and starting at the upper left

hand corner and lower left hand

corner, draw two 45˚ guidelines

across the 12” as in picture below.

Repeat for all sheets. Pin Sulky Totally

Stable sheets shinny side up on

ironing board, using 4 glass head pins

to each corner will be useful.

Do Not Iron!

2. Prepare first set of scrappy strips.

Working from the top left corner,

lie a strip of fabric down on Sulky

Totally Stable right side up along the

diagonal line, pining at the top to

secure. Lay the remaining strips of

fabric down in the one direction until

the Sulky Totally Stable sheet has been

covered, leaving a small gap between

strips and securing only one side.

3. Prepare second set of scrappy

strips: Lay the second set of strips

perpendicular to the first set of strips,

at a 45˚ angle. Use the second line as a

guide, pinning only one side as you go.

4. Weaving the scrappy strips: To weave,

fold back the second set of strips.


Easy ½






issue 9 87

Place on

your table &

enjoy! Use the

triangular top

for a cool glass of

iced tea

or a hot drink.

Cathy McClean


1. Beginning at the upper right hand

corner, fold back every second strip of

number '1s'. Lay the first strip from the

second (diagonal) set on top. Then,

fold back the first set of strips onto the

strips just placed. Next, fold back the

opposite strips of (every other) from

the first set.

TIP Snug the second set of strips in place

as you go.

Continue this weaving method in

rows until the Sulky Totally Stable is

completely covered.

TIP You do not need to go right to the

corners as the square will be trimmed

to fit.

2. Finish scrappy strip piece: Once

done step four, double check the

weaving to make sure there are no

errors (gaps). Iron and steam in place,

removing the pins as you go. Carefully

turnover and iron the back to secure.

Repeat steps two through five for all

four pieces.

3. Embellish woven pieces with

experimental stitches: Carefully

bring woven pieces to the sewing

machine. Add a running stitch around

the outside edges to firmly secure

in place. Play with various threads

and needles! Try a top stitch needle,

twin needle, and decorative threads.

Embellish by working with stitches

on your machine that you haven’t

used before. Use each piece as an

opportunity to try something new; be

bold and remember that the only way

to truly learn your sewing machine is

to play. Note: If the Sulky Totally Stable

is no longer adhering to the fabric it can

be re ironed over and over again.

4. Assemble placemats: First, thread

machine with Gütermann Cotton or

Sew All Thread, Schmetz 75 Quilting

Needle, and ¼” foot. Stitch the 3” x 8½”

bands to the top and bottom of the

woven fabric. Square off. Stitch the 3”

x 13½” bands to the sides. Square off

(if needed). Stitch the ½ diamond to

the top.

5. Cut batting and backings to fit.


Option 1: Make a sandwich with

placemat front to placemat back with

right sides together and batting on

the back. Then, sew all the way around

leaving a small opening to turn right

sides out. Turn right-side-out and slip

stitch opening shut.

Option 2: Sandwich as you would for a

quilt and bind. Stitch in the ditch.


88 .com| issue 9


don't miss these

projects & tutorials online!




It's never

too early for

holiday season




Pinwheel blocks made

easy with the sew easy

pinwheel magic template


8 essential steps to

successful bobbin work

and there's so much more!




issue 9 89

BUSINESS DIRECTORY To list your business in this space please call 1.866.969.2678.

Brenda Franklin Designs

7570 Mapleton SR 18 RR 1, Alma, ON N0B 1A0

519.638.9958 bfdesigns.on.ca


More than 500 charts available for counted

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knits and knitting patterns. Mail/fax order or ask

for our products at your local shop. Contact us for

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Brampton Sew & Serge

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

905.874.1564 sewnserge.com


Welcome to Your One Stop Sewing Centre! We are

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1.888.831.4095 bytownethreads.com


Featuring AURIfil® thread from Italy. Extra-long

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60 and 80wt. Polyester threads 240 high-sheen

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Country Concessions

1 Dufferin St, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0

705.458.4546 or toll-free 1.888.834.4407



Visit our lovely and unique quilt shop in the quaint

village of Cookstown. We have over 7000 bolts of

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271 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G8

905.274.7198 gittas.com


Gitta's, named after owner Gitta Al-Basi, nestled in

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stitchers meet with their stitching friends, shop for

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Hardanger House

4708 52 St, PO Box 1223, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0

403.742.2749 or toll-free 1.866.742.2749


Patterns from Canadian, American and European

designers, linen and evenweave fabrics from Zweigart,

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all the related stitching accessories are kept in stock.

Many additional items can be special ordered.

Haus of Stitches

626 Main Street, Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0

306.682.0772 or toll-free 1.800.344.6024


Our one of a kind store offers everything you need

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Heartfelt Fibre Arts

42 Industrial St, Toronto, ON M4G 1Y9

647.920.3616 heartfeltfibrearts.com


Canadian Fibre Arts supply store specializing in

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Impressions Embroidery & Engraving

#8-449 Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3L8

403.942.3934 impressionslethbridge.ca


Our shop does embroidery and laser engraving.

Laser engraving is a beautiful process for fabric,

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Our mission is to make sewing fun by providing

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My Sewing Room

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

403.252.3711 mysewingroom.ca


Canada's Largest Independently Owned Quilting

Store with fabric, patterns, kits, notions, sewing

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Needles & Knits

15040 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 1M4

905.713.2066 needlesandknits.com

Fabulous selection of yarns. Extremely

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613.392.1422 pineridgeknitsew.com


We have knitting machines by Artisan and Silver

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

905.436.3535 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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519.824.4127 sewfancy.com


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16610 Bayview Ave #10, Newmarket, ON L3X 1X3

905.715.7725 thatsewingplace.ca


Introducing That Sewing Place as your sewing

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The Quilt Store / Evelyn's Sewing Centre

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

905.853.7001 or toll-free 1.888.853.7001


Evelyn's Sewing Centre in Newmarket is your Quilt

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The Stitching Corner

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416.752.1828 or toll-free 1.800.836.6536

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Visit us online for a wide selection quilt patterns

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90 .com| issue 9


Luxury in every detail

Introducing THE Dream Machine 2. Enhanced, fine-tuned and graced with refined new features giving

serious enthusiasts like you, an incomparable sewing, embroidery and quilting experience. Dream big!


INNOVEYE ® 2 TECHNOLOGY - For precise positioning. It’s like having

a built-in camera and scanner.

ENHANCED MY DESIGN CENTER - New design capabilities to make

your projects unique, all without a PC.

10.1" LARGE LCD SCREEN - 10.1” built-in high definition LCD.


DISNEY IS IN OUR DNA - Only THE Dream Machine 2 has the

magic of 166 Disney embroidery designs built right in.

Visit your Brother authorized dealer, or

go to www.brother.ca to discover more.


Photos are for illustration purposes only. The XV8550D shown in this ad has been manufactured by Brother Industries, Ltd, under a licensing agreement with Disney Enterprises, Inc, through which Brother has permission to

use Disney images. The embroidery designs built into this embroidery machine are for personal use within the home only and may not be used for business or industrial purpose. Brother and its logo are trademarks of Brother

Industries, Ltd., Japan. All specifications are subject to change without notice. All registered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective companies. The Best Buy Seal and other licensed materials are

registered certification marks and trademarks of Consumers Digest Communications, LLC, used under license. For award information visit ConsumersDigest.com. ©2017 Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. 1, rue

Hôtel de Ville, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec, H9B 3H6. ©Disney 04/2017 - 92171

UILTsocial issue 9




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!

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