…eat, sleep, quilt, repeat
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
* 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
WHERE PERFECTION MEETS FREEDOM
WHERE PERFECTION MEETS FREEDOM
PREORDER creative icon TM
And receive our Perfection Gift Package
A $2500 value available while supplies TODAY last
PREORDER creative icon TM
And receive our Perfection Gift Package
A $2500 value available while supplies last
Visit PFAFFcreativeicon.com for more details and to find a dealer near you.
PFAFF, CREATIVE ICON, PERFECTION STARTS HERE, MYSEWNET, IDT, and ACTIVSTITCH are trademarks of
Visit PFAFFcreativeicon.com Singer Sourcing Limited LLC. for ©2017 more Singer details Sourcing and to Limited find LLC. a dealer All rights near reserved. you.
While quantities last. Presale period starts 7/7/17 and ends 10/1/17. See your local, authorized PFAFF ® dealer for details.
PFAFF, CREATIVE ICON, PERFECTION STARTS HERE, MYSEWNET, IDT, and ACTIVSTITCH are trademarks of
Singer Sourcing Limited LLC. ©2017 Singer Sourcing Limited LLC. All rights reserved.
While quantities last. Presale period starts 7/7/17 and ends 10/1/17. See your local, authorized PFAFF ® dealer for details.
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
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
ALL of the above!
eat, sleep, quilt, repeat
and download our free ebook
Elaine’s Quilting Tech Tips!
PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ART DIRECTOR
Carla A. Canonico
PUBLISHER, ADVERTISING SALES
John De Fusco
John De Fusco, Carla A. Canonico
GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGN
Carla A. Canonico
WEB and IT Support
WEBSITE / BLOG : https://QUILTsocial.com
Like us on Facebook : QUILTsocial
Follow us on Twitter : @QUILTsocial
WHERE TO GET YOUR COPY
QUILTsocial is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle
Pulling Thread. It is available free for personal use online at
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
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.
53 A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine
90 Business Directory
61 Gütermann Creativ
92 UNIQUE Sewing and Quilting
45 WonderFil Specialty Threads
4 .com| 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
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
Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers
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
Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers
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
Sew Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
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
New York Beauties & Flying Geese
Dramatic curves and angles for today's
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
6 .com| issue 9
hooked on books
Intuitive Color & Design, Updated 2nd Edition
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
True Blue Quilts
Sew 15 Reproduction Quilts Honoring 19th-
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
80 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-340-3
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
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
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
issue 9 7
6 features I love on
the Brother NQ900 sewing machine
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
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
issue 9 9
adds a modern twist
to this baby quilt
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,
• 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
All ready for free motion quilting
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
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
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
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
More binding stitches
18 .com| issue 9
Here are the snowflakes stitched on the binding.
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
“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
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
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!
' T AGITATE!
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
• 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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Here are the supplies needed to make
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
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.
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
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
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
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”
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
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!
• blue polka dot fabric – cut three
strips 2½” x 12”
• blue solid fabric – cut five strips 2½”
• 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
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
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
4. Allow to cool.
5. Cut out both shapes directly on the
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
7. Fuse the landscape appliques in
place with a hot iron.
Landscape appliques added to the table runner ends
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
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
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
Landscape applique added to both ends of my
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
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
Bill Locke Designs
Bill Locke - Bill Locke Designs
42 .com| issue 9
issue 9 43
Fussy cut no more!
Using precut and prefused applique shapes
Let's discover the wonderful concept of precut and prefused
applique pieces using fabric from Northcott’s Urban
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
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
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
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
shapes for your
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
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
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
working with these
from Northcott’s Urban
collection, and can’t
wait to do another!
Appliqued cushion top with border added
issue 9 47
PFAFF passport 3.0
delivers on stitch selection
It’s one thing to create something with
beautifully designed fabric, it’s a totally
different adventure to create the
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
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
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
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
Experimenting with the stitch selection
on the passport 3.0 has given me even
more ideas. I hope it’s inspired you to
PFAFF passport 3.0 stitch samplers
Stitch samplers with stitch notes
50 .com| issue 9
Create a mug rug
using passport 3.0’s
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
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.
Lucky Mug rugs
Two lucky mug rugs
Get more quilting fun in
A NEEDLE PULLING THREAD
QUILT SEW KNIT CROCHET CROSS STITCH EMBROIDER HOOK RUGS
A NEEDLE PULLING THREAD
A Needle Pulling Thread
QUILT SEW KNIT CROCHET CROSS STITCH EMBROIDER HOOK RUGS
red & white
R e d w o r k
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
• 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
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
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
• 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
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
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.
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
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
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
Decorative stitches beside the topstitching
Lucky table topper and pincushion
60 .com| issue 9
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
• 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
Look for Gütermann threads at your favourite
fabric, sewing and quilting store!
3 key weights of
Coats’ Dual Duty XP thread & their benefits
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
• 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
• Great for creating bold accent Buttonholes,
Cording and Topstitching.
• The right choice for interior and exterior
• Use a size 100 to 110 needle.
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
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
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
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
Photos by Annette Millard
issue 9 63
Physical features of
the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q
The Sapphire 965Q has an Interactive
Color Touch Screen where all the
information you’ll need to sew is right at
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
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
Stitches on the Sapphire 965Q are shown in the
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!
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
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.
DUAL DUTY XP®
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.
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
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
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
• 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.
101 Courtland Avenue
Vaughan, Ontario L4K 3T5
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!
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
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 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
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
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
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
• 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
with the top and
the four corners
looks a whole lot
nicer than the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q
78 .com| issue 9
Christine has been designing and
publishing quilt patterns for the
last 10 years under the business
name Fairfield Road Designs.
Her patterns range from fusible
applique and piecing to felted wool
applique and punchneedle. You can
see all her patterns on her website.
Elaine made her first quilt at
the tender age of 13. The urge
to quilt resurfaced when her
daughter moved from a crib. The
rest is history – she now teaches
several days a week, makes
quilts on commission and quilts
for others on the long-arm.
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.
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
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
Center blocks layout
skill level intermediate
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
• 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
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
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
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”
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
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.
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
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.
Fabric Collection: Northcott Stonehenge A
Stitch In Time by Deborah Edwards
issue 9 81
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,
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
• rotary cutter and supplies
• marking tools
• 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
• 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
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
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.
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
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
• glass head pins
• water soluble marking pen
1. Placemat Tops: 4 pieces using outline
of Half Diamond ruler from top fabric
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.
issue 9 87
your table &
enjoy! Use the
for a cool glass of
or a hot drink.
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
TIP You do not need to go right to the
corners as the square will be trimmed
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
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
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!
too early for
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
More than 500 charts available for counted
needlework, latch hook rugs, beadwork, beaded
knits and knitting patterns. Mail/fax order or ask
for our products at your local shop. Contact us for
custom designs or needle felted sculpture.
Brampton Sew & Serge
289 Rutherford Rd S, Unit 7, Brampton, ON L6W 3R9
Welcome to Your One Stop Sewing Centre! We are
authorized dealers of Baby Lock, Husqvarna Viking,
and Singer sewing machines and sergers. We also
offer a full schedule of sewing classes for everyone.
Bytowne Threads - Ottawa, ON
Featuring AURIfil® thread from Italy. Extra-long
staple Egyptian cotton threads: 12wt, 28wt, 40wt &
50wt - 252 colours. Bobbin threads, black & white:
60 and 80wt. Polyester threads 240 high-sheen
colours. Wool threads 180 colours.
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
cotton fabrics plus a wide selection of patterns, books
& notions. You will be so glad you came for a visit.
271 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G8
Gitta's, named after owner Gitta Al-Basi, nestled in
the east village of Port Credit, is the place where
stitchers meet with their stitching friends, shop for
stitching supplies and see the new stitching designs
from Europe and the United States.
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,
DMC pearl Cottons, Caron Collection threads, and
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
for sewing, quilting, knitting, rug hooking and
needlework. Authorized dealers for Janome and
Heartfelt Fibre Arts
42 Industrial St, Toronto, ON M4G 1Y9
Canadian Fibre Arts supply store specializing in
high-quality, unique fibre and tools for all of your
knitting, felting, rug hooking and stitching needs.
Impressions Embroidery & Engraving
#8-449 Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3L8
Our shop does embroidery and laser engraving.
Laser engraving is a beautiful process for fabric,
as nothing cuts cleaner and more precisely than a
laser. We now carry a nice array of fabric as well to
compliment the abilities of the laser.
Joyce's Sewing Shop
325 Wortley Rd, London, ON N6C 3R8
Our mission is to make sewing fun by providing
professional training to teach the benefits of sewing,
to provide excellent service and quality products
to make your sewing easier and to provide friendly
customer service to make you a happy sewer.
My Sewing Room
148-8228 MacLeod Trl SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2B8
Canada's Largest Independently Owned Quilting
Store with fabric, patterns, kits, notions, sewing
machines and more! My Sewing Room boasts over
10,000 bolts of 100% cotton fabric from designers
and manufacturers from around the world.
Needles & Knits
15040 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 1M4
Fabulous selection of yarns. Extremely
knowledgable and expert help. Cozy and friendly
atmosphere. Classes. Guild night every first Tuesday
of the month. Tea with Tove, the owner, every
Thursday from 6-8pm.
Pine Ridge Knit & Sew
17477 Hwy 2 PO Box 68, Trenton, ON K8V 5R1
We have knitting machines by Artisan and Silver
Reed, embroidery machines by Husqvarna/Viking
& White. Sewing notions and supplies, books and
software. Hands-on lessons and classes. Wide variety
of yarns, threads, dress and pant zippers.
Rosalie I. Tennison, Quilt Appraiser
Certified by American Quilters’ Society 2005
What if something happens to your treasured quilt?
Do you have written proof of its value for your
insurance company? Get an appraisal now.
Ruby Pearl Quilts
500 King St W, Suite 8, Oshawa, ON L1J 2K9
We are your full service source of professional quilting
equipment, products, & courses. Led by 44 years of
sewing experience & more than 20 years of quilting
experience, we have the experience necessary to help
you push your hobby to the next level!
10 Thomas St, Mississauga, ON L5M 1Y5
Mississauga's Finest Quilting and Knitting Store!!
Come see our huge selection of yarn, fabric, supplies,
sewing machines and knitting machines…a local
store for all your quilting, sewing, knitting needs! We
offer a wide variety of classes.
Sew Fancy Inc.
Your Premier Canadian Source for Specialty Sewing
Supplies including Smocking, Heirloom Sewing,
Goldwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Needle Tatting,
Swarovski Crystals, Sashiko, Quilting and more. Visit
the website for the latest in sewing supplies.
That Sewing Place
16610 Bayview Ave #10, Newmarket, ON L3X 1X3
Introducing That Sewing Place as your sewing
source and Authorized Dealers for Bernina and
Brother machines. Jaret & Liana focus on placing
your sewing needs first, providing outstanding
support, service, and training.
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
Store Destination! The staff here at Evelyn's is always
on hand to provide Quilt Wisdom, Quilt Inspiration
and most of all we pride ourselves as the place to
make... All Your Quilt Dreams Come True!
The Stitching Corner
#2, 185 First St E, Cochrane, AB T4C 2E9
Your Needlework Shop in Cochrane.
The Stitcher's Muse
99 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G3
A divine little shop with supplies for all your hand
stitching needs! Friendly, knowledgeable, helpful
staff. Cross stitch, canvaswork, needlepoint,
embroidery, counted thread, lace making and
more. Books, patterns, fabric, threads, tools.
The Yarn Guy
15 Gower St, Toronto, ON M4B 1E3
416.752.1828 or toll-free 1.800.836.6536
See us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter!
Knitting machines, sewing machines, repairs, parts
for Passap, Studio, Singer, Silver Reed, Superba,
White. Sewing notions and supplies, books, ball
yarns, coned yarns, TAMM yarns, Paton's yarns,
Bernat yarns, Phentex yarns, Bernat kits & crafts.
Ultimate Sewing Centre
191 Bloor St East, Oshawa, ON L1H 3M3
For all your sewing needs be sure to call Durham’s
largest one stop shop: Janome and Elna Sewing
Machines, Sergers, & Embroidery machines,
over 3000 bolts of first quality cottons, Floriani
Embroidery supplies, the latest notions, books, &
patterns, year round classes, and so much more!
Upper Canada Quiltworks
PO Box 64, Brockville, ON K6V 5T7
613.345.3956 Fax: 613.342.3327
Visit us online for a wide selection quilt patterns
and books. Techniques include felted wool, fusible
appliqué, punchneedle, rag quilting and printing
photos on fabric.
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.
INSPIRING CREATIVITY FOR GENERATIONS
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!