QUILTsocial | Issue 10


Welcome to a new issue of QUILTsocial! I'm so excited to share with you tips, tutorials and product reviews in this issue and I'm even more excited you'll be able to download it for future reference! Among the several projects 5 of them are created by playing with rulers: a square, a triangle and a circular cutter. My favorite is the triangle ruler, as it simplifies and shortens the time it takes to make half square triangles, substantially. Another must-read feature is about using the lowly placemat as a creative platform and learning tool to discover different quilting techniques and embroidery possibilities. Also you don't want to miss the 9 essential tools for successful quilting on your domestic machine, guidelines that will change your quilting possibilities. Let me highlight one more, you know those quilt panels you love so much and hate to cut up into a quilt? We offer tips about how to cut these so the images are highlighted instead of lost. Enjoy exploring everything else there is in this amazing issue.

Q .c



…eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

Diagram 2

Visit QUILTsocial.com to download

a PDF version of this issue.

essential tips:

* tools for successful quilting on

your domestic machine

* in decorative stitching, the magic is

in the rayon threads

* using the TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter

* what to know about stabilizers and

threads for machine embroidery

* the power of paper, marker and

clipboard for free motion quilting


* PLUS *

Pinwheel Quilt

Drunkard's Path Quilt

City Scene Quilt

Circles & Rings Banner

Modern HST Quilt

Patchwork & Triangle Quilt

Embroidered Crazy Quilting Mug Rug

5 Outstanding Placemat Ideas



.com | issue 10 1


Top-of-the-Line Sewing & Quilting Machine


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HUSQVARNA and the “H” Crown Device are trademarks of Husqvarna AB. ©2018 Singer Sourcing Limited LLC. All rights reserved.


editor's letter

How well do you know your rulers?

How many rulers have you explored,

or better yet, played with? In this

issue, we explore 5 rulers and using

each to make a quilt. Each ruler

facilitates the task of making a quilt

block long considered tedious to

make. One example, is the SEW EASY

90° Patchwork Triangle Ruler. I was

thrilled to learn how to make half

square triangles in a fraction of

the time it takes to make these the

longer way. I'm more motivated

to make projects using HSTs. Other

rulers explored in the feature

Playing with rulers are the Sew Easy

Square Ruler, True Cut 360° Circle

Cutter and the Pinwheel Magic

template, making blocks that

have circles, rings, pinwheels, and

triangles sew very easy to make


Also in this issue, is a feature on

working with quilt panels. Let's

face it, it's difficult to cut into a

printed fabric so very perfect and

attractive to begin with. I mean

who can slash a scenery and still

retain the essence of it? See what

Christine Baker has done with the

lovely Northcott City Scene panel.

The simple placemat,

underestimated most of the time, is

such a powerful creative project.

Usually placemats are made to

use up scraps of fabric, or because

we simply need a placemat. But

what if we use the lowly placemat

as a creative platform to explore

and refine our creative ideas?

Using it to test techniques and

get acquainted with products,

and those features on our sewing

machine we tend to ignore. Then,

use this knowledge and experience

on a larger quilt? The 5 placemat

ideas make great gifts feature lets

you do just that, starting with In

decorative stitching, the magic is in

the rayon thread. This is just the tip

of the iceberg.

Don't miss the feature about THE

Dream Machine 2 and its vast

embroidery feature that makes the

task child's play so you can focus on

your creative work.

Enjoy the issue, there are so many

tutorials within it to list in my letter to

you. But my message is always the

same, learn as much as you can of

all products and techniques that

help to make quilting easier and

about the sewing machines that

make your experience blissful.


follow me on



.com | issue 10 3




eat, sleep, quilt, repeat


Carla A. Canonico



John De Fusco



John De Fusco, Carla A. Canonico


Christine Baker


Jean Boyd


Paul Léger


Allison Spence


Elaine Theriault



Carla A. Canonico


Sondra Armas

WEB and IT Support

Alejandro Araujo

WEBSITE / BLOG : https://QUILTsocial.com

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QUILTsocial is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle

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


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

at your local shop. QUILTsocial is not available by subscription.


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

email john@QUILTsocial.com.


Designers and other contributors who would like to be

considered for future issues please email carla@QUILTsocial.com

with a brief description of your work and your proposed project

for the magazine.

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ALL of the above!



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and download a FREE ebook:

Elaine's Tech Tips,

Quilting with Elaine Theriault!

©2018 QUILTsocial. All rights reserved. Issue #10. ISSN 2368-5913.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without written

permission from the publisher.

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

private, non-commercial use only, and are copyrighted material

owned by their respective creators or owners.

Advertiser Index

80 A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine

79 Brother

78 Business Directory

65 Coats

02 Husqvarna Viking

39 Northcott Fabrics


04 QUILTsocial.com

61 UNIQUE Sewing and Quilting

37 WonderFil Specialty Threads


4 .com| issue 10



issue 10

c o n t e n t s










Hooked on Books

Overcoming the fear of cutting quilt panels

Machine Embroidery with THE Dream Machine 2

Playing with Rulers

5 placemat ideas make great gifts

9 essential tools for successful quilting on your domestic


Red and White Celebration Lap Quilt

Flight of Fancy Quilt

City Landscape Vest



.com | issue 10 5

hooked on books

Quilting Row by Row

Jeanette White & Erin Hamilton

Grow your skills, row by row! Dresden plates,

pinwheel blocks, and flying geese... piece like a pro

with The Piper's Girls! Starting with the simplest

patchwork squares and working your way up to

more challenging appliqué and paper piecing, you'll

sew through a cheery, 11-row sampler quilt and

2 bonus projects. Build 25 specific quilting skills

such as getting an accurate ¼" seam, constructing

on-point squares, and using the 45° angle on a ruler.

Straightforward how-to photos and full-size patterns

are included. Gain confidence and learn new tips

along the way, whether you're just a beginner or a

more experienced quilter.

72 pages + pattern pullout, ISBN 978-1-61745-592-6

C&T Publishing


Bright and Bold Wool Appliqué

Angela Lawrence

The author of best-selling Wool Appliqué Folk

Art presents a treasure trove of 12 seasonal wool

appliqué projects, with 3 for each season. Her

Americana aesthetic, although very true to early

decorative arts, would look great in many homes

today. Presented in a lovely antique color palette,

these simple and elegant projects include a journal

cover, pillow cover, wallhangings, storage boxes,

table rug, and more, perfect for your home or to give

as gifts; includes a basics chapter and an updated

chapter on the collection, storage, and use of wool.

112 Pages, ISBN 978-1-935726-81-4

Landauer Publishing


The Fussy Cut Sampler

Nichole Ramirez & Elisabeth Woo

If you are like authors Nichole and Elisabeth, your

favorite part of quilting is fussy cutting – and it usually

involves figuring out how to enhance an interesting

quilt block by framing a favorite element in your mostloved

fabric! Let fussy cutting become more than

just showing a single design. By following along with

how Nichole and Elisabeth create drastically different

samplers from each of their 48 unique patchwork

blocks, see how those same 9'' blocks can easily be

adapted to your own personal taste.

144 pages, ISBN 978-1-940655-22-2

Lucky Spool Media


Hope and Survival: A Story of the Halifax


Story and Quilt Art by Laurie Swim

This brand-new children’s book was written and illustrated

by Laurie Swim to accompany the monumental community

art quilt project commemorating the 100th anniversary of

the Halifax Explosion.

Hope and Survival tells the story of Jess, a young girl caught

up in the aftermath of the disaster. It is richly illustrated with

Laurie’s unique quilt art, on snow-dyed fabric, and the book

acknowledges the legacy of hope and survival that continues

to this day. It is a beautifully original gift – perfect for those

young and young in spirit. Each book is personally signed by


48 Pages, Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-9783548-3-1

Art Quilt Publishing



6 .com| issue 10


hooked on books

Free-Motion Meandering

A Beginners Guide to Machine Quilting

Angela Walters

Finishing your own quilts is easier than you think.

Turn the corner to free-motion success with a

meandering makeover! Angela Walters shows you

that free-motion quilting doesn't have to be scary

- with a couple designs in your pocket, you can

finish almost any quilt on your home machine and

enjoy the process. Practice 8 meandering stitches

for beginners, plus creative variations on each, with

step-by-step visuals and quilted samples. Start your

free-motion journey on the right foot with proven

techniques to help you disguise mistakes and

transition between designs with ease.

80 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-520-9

C&T Publishing


Improv Patchwork

Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape

Maria Shell

Explore new options in improvisational piecing and

empower your creativity! Cut and combine solidcolor

fabrics to create your own "prints" - stripes,

polka dots, chevrons, plaids, and more. Forget the

rules (and even your ruler) as you piece colorful

solids into compelling quilt designs. Use color,

pattern, and repetition to develop your personal

design aesthetic as you stitch freely to create unique

quilts that pack a punch!

96 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-496-7

C&T Publishing


One-Block Wonders of the World

New Ideas, Design Advice, A Stunning

Collection of Quilts

Maxine Rosenthal and Linda Bardes

Transform a single fabric print with marvelous

piecing magic! Best-selling author Maxine Rosenthal

and Linda Bardes share stunning One Block Wonders

quilts. Learn how to choose the right 60-degree ruler,

pick the most useful fabric, and change the look of

a quilt with a different strip size. See what others

have done - the beginning fabric and the ending

projects - and courageously cut into that beautiful

yardage! Sew simple pieced hexagon blocks with

no "Y" seams, and enjoy the thrill of arranging and

rearranging them on your design wall.

80 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-518-6

C&T Publishing


The Versatile Nine Patch

Joan Ford

Often, the nine patch is one of the first blocks taught

to beginners learning to quilt. But the nine patch is

also one of the most diverse blocks, offering many

different design options. In ScrapTherapy® The

Versatile Nine Patch, quilt designer and teacher Joan

Ford offers gorgeous designs using the traditional

nine patch block plus more challenging and creative

patterns that turn a nine patch into something

entirely new.

224 pages, ISBN 978-1-63186-675-3

Taunton Press




.com | issue 10 7

City Scene panel


the fear of

cutting quilt


Christine Baker

A quilt panel (almost) too beautiful to cut up!

We’ve all been there. You have a stunning fabric that you just

can’t bear to cut, so it ends up finding it’s final resting spot

folded up in your stash. But that’s no way to treat a beautiful

fabric! It deserves to be used in a project that you’ll love!

The panel that comes with the Artisan Spirit City Scene line of

fabric is one of those fabrics that you might just be afraid to cut.

It’s BEAUTIFUL! It looks like a modern art oil painting of New

York City.

Panels are great to use to make a quick and easy quilt project.

You can just add a couple borders and you’re good to go!

But I want to be a bit more creative here, so I decided to cut up

the panel. The only problem is, I was only sent ONE panel, so I’m

a little afraid to mess it up!

Checking out the options

One great way to preview how a quilt will look before sewing,

is to plan it out in a computerized quilt design program using

images of the actual fabrics you want to use. Follow this link to

see how to download fabric images from the Northcott website.

I’m trying different versions of my cut up panel quilt. Use any

program with which you feel comfortable.

Version 1 – windowpanes

For this version I chopped the panel up into equally sized

squares – about 10” x 10”. I also cut up four 10” squares each

of fabric #21879-62 (which has the same coloring as the sky

section in the panel) and fabric #21874-64 (which looks much

like the bottom section of the panel). By adding sashing

in between these squares, the resulting quilt looks like a

windowpane looking out over the city. By adding the fabric

squares at the top and bottom, my panel appears to look even

larger than it is!

Quilt version 1


8 .com| issue 10


Photos by Christine Baker

Version 2 – vertical sections

For this version I decided to cut the panel into four equal

sections vertically and added darker blue sashing in between

and as an inner border. I like the clean, simple lines that this

produces. Using two different fabrics in the outer border makes

it a bit more interesting.

Version 4 – angular sections

For my final version, I wanted to see what the panel would

look like if I cut it on different angles and sewed sashing strips

in between the sections. Although sewing these sections

back together would be more difficult than sewing square

or rectangular sections, I think this is the version I’m going to

model my project after!

Quilt version 2

Version 3 – horizontal sections

For this version, I cut the panel horizontally in equal sections

and used a light gray for sashing and inner border. Again, I used

two different colors in the outer border.

Quilt version 4

I also LOVE how the striped fabric looks in the inner border, so

I’m definitely going to be doing that in my project!

As you can see, there are many different ways that my

Artisan Spirit City Scene panel can be cut before sewing it into my

project. By trying these different versions out on my computer

using digital images of the fabrics first, I’m much more relaxed

about cutting a favorite fabric!

Keep reading, I’ll give you 2 great tips for sewing with

directional fabrics. Also I’ll cut up that beautiful panel, and I’ll

share some tips to help you to sew oddly shaped pieces of

fabrics together.

Quilt version 3



.com | issue 10 9

Sew one fabric #21876-64 triangle to one

side of a fabric #21879-63 square lining

it up so that an equal amount of the

triangle is hanging over on either side of

the square.

2 favorite tips

for sewing with

directional fabric

City Scene is a directional fabric and

not at all ordinary. I’d like to make my

panel into a lap quilt to send to my son

who’s just left for university for the first

time, so I’m going to add some rows of

pieced blocks to the top and bottom

of the quilt.

I want to sew my pieced rows together

first before I trim the panel, so I can

adjust the size of the panel to match the

finished size of the rows.


Here are the materials for the lap quilt:


1 Artisan Spirit City Scene panel


5⁄8yd [0.5m] City Scene fabric #21874-

64 (second from the right in the first



3⁄8yd [0.3m] City Scene fabric #21876-

64 (stripe – fourth from the right in

the photo)


¼yd [0.2m] City Scene fabric #21877-

63 (third from the right in the photo)


½yd [0.45m] City Scene fabric

#21879-63 (second from the left in

the photo)


1yd [1m] Colorworks fabric #9000-93

(dark gray)


3yd [3m] backing

Lining up the triangle

If you’re using a ¼” foot with a guide to

sew your blocks together, you’ll need to

trim off the dog ears after pressing.

The City Scene fabrics

I’m using the two different directional

fabrics and two of the other fabrics to

make square-on-point pieced blocks.

The first block will have the lightest

fabric as the center and the striped fabric

on the corners.

TIP 1 – pay attention to the direction

in which you cut the fabric

To make the pieced blocks, cut one 6½”

strip across the width of both fabric

#21877-63 and fabric #21879-63 and

then cut each strip into five 6½” squares.

Cut two 5” strips across the width of both

fabric #21876-64 and fabric #21874-64

and then cut ten 5” squares of each fabric.

From each fabric cut FIVE of these squares

diagonally one way and FIVE diagonally

the other way. This will make it possible to

sew the block with the lines in the fabric

pointing in the same direction.

Trim off the dog ears

TIP 2 – preview alignment before


Sew a second triangle to the opposite

side of the square, but first PREVIEW the

alignment of the fabric before you sew.

As you can see, this triangle has the fabric

lines running in the correct direction.

Assembling the block

Cutting on the diagonal

Previewing the triangle before sewing


10 .com| issue 10


1 essential tip for sewing together

oddly shaped fabric pieces

Press the seams towards the two

triangles and then sew triangles to

the remaining two sides of the square.

Repeat these steps to make a total of five

Block 1 that look like the following:

The finished block

Follow these same steps using fabric

#21877-63 and fabric #21879-63 to make

a total of five Block 2. Sew three of Block

1 and two of Block 2 together to make

one row (alternating the blocks) and sew

the remaining blocks together to make a

second row.

Cutting the panel

Our next step is to cut the

panel. Just earlier I showed you

a variety of cutting options, but

the one I liked the best was the

last one with the diagonal cuts.

Using my rotary cutter and

ruler, I lined up and cut from

the bottom edge of the panel

to the left side. As you can see,

I’ve left the selvage edges on

the panel – we’ll trim those off

later on.

From the dark gray

ColorWorks fabric, cut ten strips

1½” across the width of fabric.

Take one of these strips and

pin it to the edge of one of the

panel segments. Before sewing,

flip the sashing strip right side

up – the ColorWorks sashing

strip must be lined up correctly

so that when it’s sewn and

flipped back to press, the far

edge is long enough to allow for

proper trimming. If I were to just

line up the end of the sashing

strip with the end of the panel

point, when it’s flipped right side

up, there isn’t enough sashing to

trim even with the edge of the


As you can see in the picture,

the sashing strip must extend

quite a ways past the edge

of the panel to allow enough

fabric for trimming.

Deciding where to cut

Incorrect alignment of sashing strip

The finished blocks sewn into rows

Now that my rows are sewn together and

pressed, I’m ready to work on my panel.

Correct alignment of sashing strip



.com | issue 10 11

Sewing the panel sections back together

Now that the sashing has been sewn to the one side of the

panel, the other side of the panel must be attached to the

sashing. This can get tricky when the pieces are not square.

TIP To make sure that they line up correctly, use a fabric marker to

mark a ¼” line from the edge of the sashing and a ¼” up from the

edge of the panel. The intersecting point will be used for pinning.

Put these two pieces of fabric right side together and insert a

pin so that it goes through the intersection point on both the

sashing and the panel and then pin the two pieces together

and sew.

Insert a pin at the intersecting point

Marking the ¼” seam

Mark the same two lines on the second piece of the panel, ¼”

from the edge and from the bottom.

Even though the bottom edges of the City Scene panel will match

up when the sashing is added, the side seams will not and will be

trimmed off after all of the sashing strips have been added.

Mark the ¼” on the panel

The side of the panel


12 .com| issue 10


Continue to slice, and add sashing strips across the panel on

different angles. I chose to add four sashing strips, but you can

add as many as you’d like!

Once you finish with this step, trim the top and bottom of the

panel straight and then measure your pieced rows and trim the

panel so that it’s this exact width. Write down this measurement

as you’ll be cutting all of the remaining strips of fabric for the

lap quilt this same size.

Repeat this same process using fabric #21874-64, except that

you’ll be sewing the 4” wide strip to the top and the 5” wide

strip to the bottom. The final ColorWorks sashing strip is sewn

to the top of these rows and then this entire section is sewn to

the bottom of the panel.

Below is how the finished quilt top looks.

The panel with sashing strips

From fabric #21879-63 cut one strip 4” wide across the width of

fabric and one strip 5” wide.

Trim them to the same length as the pieced rows.

Cut the six remaining ColorWorks sashing strips the same

length as the other strips.

Sew one sashing strip to the top and bottom of one of the

pieced rows and then sew the 4” strip of fabric #21879-63

to the bottom and the 5” wide strip to the top. Sew another

ColorWorks strip to the bottom of these rows and then sew this

entire section to the top of the panel.

The finished quilt top

This finished top measures approximately 42” x 65”. A good lap

sized quilt. If you wanted to make it bigger, just add an inner

border of the ColorWorks gray (cut at 2½” wide) and then add an

outer border of one of the coordinating fabrics (cut at 6” wide).

This would result in a quilt that is 57” x 80”!

Use the remaining ColorWorks gray fabric to make binding that

is 2½” wide.

Artisan Spirit City Scene

This City Scene fabric is so beautiful and I just love the finished

quilt! We are planning a trip to New York City this fall and using

this fabric has got me even more excited!

Top rows of the quilt

Christine Baker




.com | issue 10 13

Machine Embroidery with

THE Dream Machine 2

Jean Boyd

THE Dream Machine 2 with embroidery unit

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning to use

THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother and I invite you to join

me on the journey as there is so much to explore. Be

sure to check out the QUILTsocial posts from August 28 –

September 1, 2017 by Christine Baker. She did an amazing

job highlighting many of the sewing features of this great

machine. In the articles that follow, I’ll be introducing you

to some of the embroidery features of THE Dream Machine


I have never used an embroidery machine before, and I

must admit I was a bit intimidated when I saw this model

and all its many parts and attachments. But using the very

detailed Brother Operation Manual (1 of 6 that comes with

the machine), I was able to set up everything, including

the embroidery unit, with no problem at all. You can see by

all the sticky notes that I attached to the manual that I’ve

been using it a lot!

The embroidery unit is a separate piece that you slide onto

the machine after removing the flat bed attachment. It just

clicks into place. You can still do regular sewing with the

embroidery unit attached. Just make sure that you don’t

have anything too heavy (like a big quilt!) resting on the

embroidery unit.

The embroidery foot is quite unique. You attach it to the

machine just like the other feet, but it also has a connector

that plugs into a jack on the back of the machine. This

feature allows you to use the LED pointer. Christine

explained this feature in her August 30 post for general

sewing and I’ll show you how to use it when using the

machine for embroidery.

There are 5 different hoops that come with THE Dream

Machine 2, ranging in size from 14” x 9½” to 4” x 4”. There’s

also a scanning frame that you can use to scan your own

drawings and then convert them to embroidery designs.

This is going to be an exciting adventure!

Manuals for THE Dream Machine 2


14 .com| issue 10


Photos by Jean Boyd

Embroidery foot for THE Dream Machine 2

A spool of bobbin thread, some small

scissors and a roll of stabilizer are

included with the accessories so you can

start with the embroidery right away. I

love the little pointy blades on those


There are dozens of embroidery designs

that are stored in the machine including

a special section with Disney designs.

Please remember that all of these

designs are copyright protected and are

intended for personal use only. Many

of the designs can be re-sized, rotated,

re-colored and moved, but more about

those features later in this feature.

When using THE Dream Machine 2 for

embroidery, it’s essential that you use

stabilizer under the fabric. There are

many types of stabilizers and which one

you choose depends on the project you

are making.

Scanning frame for THE Dream Machine 2

5 different hoops are included with THE Dream

Machine 2

Brother bobbin thread and small scissors come

with the machine.

What to know about stabilizers and

threads for machine embroidery

When using THE Dream Machine 2 for

embroidery, stabilizers are used under

the fabric to support the embroidery

and eliminate puckered stitches. Usually,

the more stitches you have in a design,

the heavier the stabilizer should be so

the stitches are well supported. There

are several different types of stabilizers

available. Here’s some information on

some of the more common types.

Cut-away stabilizers are non-woven,

permanent stabilizers that are cut away

after the embroidery is finished. They

cannot be completely removed, but are

available in a variety of weights to suit

the fabric and design you’re using.

Tear-away stabilizers are nonwoven

and are gently torn from the

embroidery after it is stitched. They’re

also available in a variety of weights to

suit your fabric and design.

Water-soluble stabilizers are

temporary and available in several

weights. They’ll disappear completely

with water. Use this type of stabilizer

with washable fabrics where you don’t

want any stabilizer to remain.

Heat-soluble stabilizers

disintegrate with heat and should only

be used on fabrics that are heat-resistant.

It’s important not to get water or any

liquid on this type of stabilizer, as it could

damage the fabric.

For the beginner type of work that I’m

doing for this issue, I’ll be using lightweight

cut-away and tear-away stabilizers.



.com | issue 10 15

When using THE Dream Machine 2 you’ll

almost always be using a light-weight

bobbin thread like the one that comes

with the machine. I used the Brother

bobbin thread for almost all the samples

I did here. I also tried some prewound

bobbins and they worked perfectly with

this machine. If you have trouble with

a prewound bobbin, Brother includes a

Bobbin Center Pin that you can use.

For the top threads, there's a wide variety

of threads from which to choose: rayon

(which has a lovely sheen), polyester,

cotton, silk and metallic. Each one serves

a special purpose and you’ll get to know

more about these threads as you do

more embroidery.

Brother bobbin thread that comes with the


A variety of threads that can be used for embroidery

Using an embroidery machine for the

first time can be quite challenging, but

going a step at a time and reading the

manuals, you’ll be surprised how quickly

you’ll learn all the wonderful features of

THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother!

I did lots of practicing before I started my

first “real” project. Here are some of the

samples I did, just by reading the manual

and “playing”. I discovered it wasn’t so

difficult after all!

You might need to use the bobbin center pin if

you are using prewound bobbins.

My first embroidery samples using THE Dream

Machine 2. Can you tell that I like Redwork?


16 .com| issue 10


Machine embroidery 101 on THE Dream Machine 2

I found that the best way to start using

the embroidery unit was to watch the

videos that are built into the machine.

Just press the video button at the top

of the LCD screen and then choose

Embroidery Basic Operation from the list

of topics that appears. Every step that

you need to start embroidering is shown

on a video that you watch right on the

screen on the machine. How cool is that?

I also read through many sections of

the manual, but then it was time to just

start embroidering.

Even though I’m a complete newbie

about machine embroidery, I wanted

to try some of these wonderful designs

right away to see how it all worked. I

chose this heart design from the built-in

embroidery designs.

To prepare the fabric, loosen the screw

on the bottom section of the hoop.

Cut a piece of light-weight tear-away

stabilizer that’s slightly bigger than

the hoop.The fabric can be whatever

size you need for your project. Lay the

stabilizer and fabric, right side up, on top

of the bottom section of the hoop. Place

the top section of the hoop on the fabric

and press gently to lock the 2 sections

together. Make sure to do this on a table

or other firm surface. Tighten the screw

on the hoop. Gently stretch the fabric

and stabilizer so they’re taut in the hoop.

LCD screen showing the help menu

See how easy it is to set up your stabilizer and the

hoop on THE Dream Machine 2!

LCD screen showing my chosen heart design and

options that are available

Once you select the design, it appears

on the LCD display screen along with a

menu that allows you to resize, move

and rotate the design along with many

other options. You just touch the buttons

on the screen either with your finger or

the stylus that comes with the machine.

There’s a lot of information that appears

on this screen. Right at the top of the

screen, you’ll see the size of the design.

My heart design was 3.06” x 2.96”. You’ll

also see the 4 hoop sizes at the top of

the screen. All of them have a red + sign

which means you can use any of the

4 hoops that come with the machine.

There’s one red + sign that is highlighted

(the smallest hoop) which means this is

the best hoop to use for this design.

It’s very important to use a light-weight

bobbin thread when doing machine

embroidery, so I filled the bobbin with

the Brother bobbin thread that came

with the machine, as I mentioned earlier.

I used a variegated, 30 weight rayon

thread in the top.

Fabric and stabilizer have been placed in the

hoop and are ready for embroidery.

Raise the presser foot using the

presser foot lifter button. Raise the

frame-securing lever on the side of the

embroidery unit. Slide the embroidery

frame into the holder on the embroidery

unit and lower the frame-securing lever.

Hooped fabric attached to the embroidery frame



.com | issue 10 17

Machine embroidered heart design from the

design library on THE Dream Machine 2

Gently tear away the stabilizer from the embroidery

A small amount of stabilizer will remain in the

stitched area.

It’s really hard to make a mistake with

THE Dream Machine 2. If the start/stop

button is red, the machine won’t sew

and you’ll see a message on the LCD

screen that tells you what to do. When

the button is green, you’re ready to sew

or embroider.

I removed the fabric from the hoop and

gently tore away the excess stabilizer

from the back. You don’t want to

accidentally tear out any stitches from

the embroidery!

Although it seemed a bit intimidating at

first, I found that using the embroidery

unit on THE Dream Machine 2 was

really quite easy. The on-screen help

is excellent and the manual has every

detail you would ever need.

Keep reading I'm making a mug rug.

Machine embroidery + crazy quilting

makes a gratifying mug rug

I decided to use my little heart

embroidery as the center of a crazy quiltstyle

mug rug. I left the embroidery unit

on the machine but switched to ‘Sewing’


Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

1 embroidered square of approximately 5”

to use for the center

2½” strips of fabric in coordinating colors

Machine embroidered heart and co-ordinating

fabric ready to be cut into 2½” strips

Starting on one side of the embroidered

square, sew on a 2½” strip, right sides

together, on an angle. Press seam away

from the embroidered fabric. Trim excess

fabric from the seam allowance.

Trim excess fabric from the seams

Using a different fabric, sew a strip,

on an angle, on the next side of the

embroidered fabric. Press. Trim excess

fabric from the seam allowance.

Continue adding strips all around the

embroidered fabric. Try to use a different

fabric for each new strip and create a

variety of angles as you sew on the strips.

You could stop and square-up the block

now. You could also sew another round

of strips on top of the previously sewn

strips to make a larger mug or table mat.

Depending on the angle on which you

sew the pieces, you will have to add

4 – 6 strips in order to get all around the

block. Press and trim each seam as you


Using a plastic square or ruler, and a

fabric marking pencil, draw a line to

mark the outside measurements of the

block so that the block measures your

desired size. My block is 8½” x 8½”, but

you can make yours whatever size you

wish. Don’t cut off the excess fabric yet.

For an added accent I stitched ‘in the

ditch’ of each seam using stitch #Q-04

and the same thread that I used for the

embroidery. This is just 1 of 30 different

“Q” stitches on THE Dream Machine 2 that

is designed especially for quilting.


18 .com| issue 10


Stitch in the ditch for added accent

Quilting using the walking foot and serpentine stitch with monofilament thread

I layered the embroidered crazy quilt

square, batting and backing and pinbasted

to secure.

Using the walking foot and the serpentine

stitch #Q-16, I quilted a simple design

around the square using monofilament

thread. THE Dream Machine 2 had no

problem sewing with this sometimes

difficult thread. I added a binding and my

little mug rug was finished.

This is a quick and useful project to make

and you can make the mug rugs any size

you like. You can try out many different

embroidery designs as you are learning

to use THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother

and also use up some of those scraps you

have been saving for a special project.

Next up, is how to use the scanning frame

that comes with THE Dream Machine 2 so

you can convert your own drawings or

designs into embroidery designs.

Machine embroidered and quilted mug rug



.com | issue 10 19


THE Dream Machine 2

changes your design into a

machine embroidery design

Making a small embroidered design on

THE Dream Machine 2 and incorporating it

in a mug rug is easy enough. Let me show

you how easy it is to use the scanning

frame that comes with the machine to

turn your own drawings or designs into

embroidery designs.

Some time ago, I designed some

Redwork and embroidery quilts and

thought the drawings would be perfect

for the embroidery machine. My original

designs were for hand embroidery, but

now, there’s a whole new way to use

these designs. As an added bonus, my

designs could be re-sized to any size I


I printed one of my Redwork Basket

designs on regular copy paper and then

placed the paper on the scanning frame.

The paper is held in place with the

magnets that come with the machine. I

then placed the scanning frame in the

embroidery unit the same way I placed

the hoops for embroidery. Starting with

‘My Design Center’, I pressed the scan

button (the button with 2 flowers and a

blue arrow on it), and ‘scan’ and then let

the machine do its thing!

My design on the scanning frame ready to be scanned

Press the “scan” button to activate the

scanning operation

When the scanning was finished, I

pressed line and then this screen came

up. I can use my finger or the stylus on

the red arrows to frame the parts of the

design that I want to stitch.

Press ‘OK’ and then ‘Set’.

I can touch the ‘size’ button to make the

design the size I want. The size of the

design is shown at the top of the screen.

Press the arrow buttons to re-size the design.

Then press OK.

The default stitching line for a scanned

design is a satin stitch, but because my

design is going to be quite small, I want

to use a straight stitching line instead.

I press the top menu button on the

side of the screen (it looks like a square

with lines on it) to get the stitching line

options. I pressed the triple line stitch –

you can see it highlighted in blue on the

screen. Then I chose the red color for the

stitching line by pressing the red square

on the color palette.

Move the red arrows to frame the parts of the

design you want to stitch.


20 .com| issue 10


Press the triple-stitch line and then choose red

from the color palette.

These are simple steps…

Press OK and I’m back on the design screen.

Press the green fill button on the right (it looks like a

pitcher), touch a line on the design with finger or the stylus,

and the lines are filled in with a red, triple stitch line.

If the design lines are not all connected, I may have to

touch each line separately to color it. My design is all

one color, but several different colors can be used if

your design lines are not connected.

Save the design by pressing the red arrow going into a


Press ‘next’, ‘preview’ and ‘set’.

Now I can press ‘OK’ and then ’embroidery’ at the

bottom of the screen, attach my hooped fabric to the

embroidery unit and the machine will stitch out the


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a few of the basic

techniques for THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother.

Press the “pitcher” button on the top right to fill

the lines with red.

Press the arrow buttons to re-size the design.

Then press OK.

On the right is

my Redwork

design stitched in

the original size

with double-line

stitch. On the left

is the re-sized

design with

triple-stitch line.

Jean Boyd




.com | issue 10 21

Playing with Rulers



Welcome to the start of a fun-filled

series of articles that explores the variety

of rulers available to create a deal of

designs. I'll cover designs for pinswheels,

circles, rings and triangles. Get your

supplies and follow me!

There are at least two ways to do

a pinwheel block: the traditional

way and the easy Paul way. In other

words, I found a template that

makes the pinwheel block quick

and painless to do. I’m using the

SEW EASY Pinwheel Magic 6½” template.

SEW EASY Pinwheel Magic 6½” template

Use two different colored fabrics.

From one of the two fabrics, cut five

9” squares and from the other, cut

four 9” squares.

From either fabric cut 4 strips, 2 that are

5” x 26” and 2 that are 5” x 35”. It doesn’t

matter which fabric you use as either will

create a unique look.

Sew the cut squares of fabric together to

make a nine patch block.

As you’re sewing the blocks together, I

strongly recommend that you press the

seams open as you go. Why? There will

be less bulk on one side of the seam or

the other. It’ll help the ruler to lay flat on

the fabric with little to no rocking that

could result were your seams pressed to

one side.

Make a 9 patch block and add the borders.

As you can see from the photo above, I

chose the darker fabric for the border.

The reason for my choice is that I liked

the colors in the darker fabric more than

those in the lighter one. As simple as

that: personal preference.

As you look at the template, you’ll notice

that there are lines on it marked A, B

and C. Using any one of those lines will

give you a slightly different look. For this

article I’m using the line marked: A.

To use this ruler, simply place the center

of the ruler where the fabrics intersect as

shown below.

Place the Easy Sew template where all fabrics


Use either a

KOMFORT KUT Rotary Cutter – 28mm or

a KOMFORT KUT Rotary Cutter – 18mm

rotary cutter to cut your fabric.

When cutting using the template, you

need to be careful to barely go beyond

the template. Using either of the

rotary cutters above will allow you to

stop cutting closer to the edge of the


When cutting the fabric using the

template you may cut from left to

right or right to left, but whichever

way you choose to cut, the direction

must be consistent throughout the

cutting process.

Two contrasting yet complementary fabrics for a

pinwheel quilt


22 .com| issue 10


Place the Easy Sew template where all fabrics


Photos by Paul Léger

As you’re cutting each piece, place them

aside on a flat surface and turn each

piece 45° counter-clockwise.

As the pieces are cut lay them out in

the order the are cut. You should have 4

rows with 4 blocks per row.

When the pieces are cut and laid out sew

the blocks and rows together.

As blocks are cut put them aside and turn each of

them at a 45° counter-clockwise.

The blocks cut using the Sew Easy template are

laid out in the order they were cut.

Sew all blocks and rows together.

As you can see, the SEW EASY Pinwheel

Magic 6½“ template is easy and fun to

use. For any fabric you may have left,

you may want to consider using the

SEW EASY Pinwheel Magic 4½” template.

The completed pinwheel quilt

The only thing

left to do is quilt

the project! I

kept it simple,

and quilted the

pinwheels only,

but you can add

more quilting

to yours. Echo

quilting on the

purple portion

would create

cool triangles.



.com | issue 10 23

Let's explore cirlces by making a

small Drunkard’s Path quilt using

the TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter.

I wasn’t a big fan of the Drunkard’s

Path block due to all the pinning

required to assemble it.

In the process of creating this feature,

I decided to give the Drunkard’s Path

block another chance which led me

to an idea which avoids the need to

pin the curves!

A Drunkard’s Path quilt

made easy with the

TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter

Fabric selection for Drunkards Path quilt



½ yd of fabrics, the equivalent of

approximately 4 fat quarters

TIP This is a great project to use up your



17” x 1yd stabilizer HEATNBOND Lite

Iron-On Adhesive Sheets


Cut from your fabrics:


four 10” squares


two 8¾” squares


two 6¾” squares

Cut from the HEATnBOND lite stabilizer:


two 8½” squares


two 6½” squares

Completed Drunkard’s Path quilt


24 .com| issue 10


With a pencil, draw a diagonal line from

corner to corner on the wrong side of

each of the four 10“ squares of fabric and

also on the four pieces of stabilizer. This

step will help you to locate the exact

center of each piece and will also help

when you center the stabilizer on the

wrong side of the fabric pieces.

Adjust the sizing knob to the desired circle size

and lock it into place.

Before cutting each of these blocks into

4 quarters, using a decorative stitch

around each circle, I’ll be using a blind

hem stitch.

Draw lines from corner to corner.

Place the stabilizer on the wrong side

of each fabric square, matching the X’s.

When you’re satisfied that your centers

match, apply heat according to the

directions on the stabilizer packaging

to the stabilizer so that it bonds with

the fabric.

Now, place the pin that’s located under

the sizing knob where the lines of the

fabric intersect and cut your two 8”

circles then do two 6” circles.

The circle fabric is secure to the background fabric

using a blind hem stitch.

Next, cut each of the fused and stitched

squares into 4 quarters and lay them out

to your liking.

Remember, there are no correct or

incorrect ways to place them. Go for a

look that appeals to you.

Match the lines of the X on the stabilizer to the X

on the fabric.

Using the TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter

cut an 8“ circle from each of the two 10

fabric squares that have been bonded to

the 8½” square piece of stabilizer.

Then, cut 6” circles from the 10“ squares

that have been bonded to the 6½”

square of stabilizer.

See how easy it is to make circles with

the TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter? You

simply adjust the sizing knob to the size

you wish.

A prefect centered circle is cut from one of the

fabric squares.

From the squares with the circles cut

from them, remove the stabilizer’s paper

backing and lay the fabric face down on

your ironing board. On the squares that

have the 8” circles cut from them, place

the 8¾” fabric squares over the circular

hole ensuring that you fully cover any

stabilizer with fabric. Fuse them together

by pressing lightly.

Repeat this process with the squares

with the 6” circular hole and the 6¾”

fabric squares.

The 8¾” and the 6¾” fabric squares are place over

the circle opening and pressed to larger piece of


Four of the many possible placement of

Drunkard’s path blocks

Once you decide on the final

placement, sew the quarters together

then quilt away! Unless, of course, now

that you used this great tool you want

to construct more blocks to make a

bigger quilt!

I hope you enjoyed this project using the

TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter as much as I did,

I think it facilitates the task of making a

Drunkard’s Path block and quilt. I have

more to share about this handy and

useful tool.



.com | issue 10 25

Making perfect

circles and rings

using the

TrueCut 360º

Circle Cutter

5 perfect circles using the TrueCut Circle Cutter

Ok the Drunkard Path block, which is

more of a traditional block was made

using the TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter. Since

I liked using the circle cutter I decided to

play with it for a 2nd day. I’m using the

circle cutter to link circles, sort of like at

the Olympics…

The fabrics I’ll be using now are all

from the Northcott ColorWorks Premium

Solid 9000 collection. I’m using 5 bright

colored fabrics plus a black fabric for the

background. You may wish to add more

colors if you want a longer quilt.

I’m going to need squares that are a bit

bigger than 10” squares of all the fabrics

but the black.

HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive Sheets -17” x 1yd

On the back of all the 10” stabilizer

squares draw lines from corner to corner.

This is needed to assist in finding the

center. After all the squares are marked,

press the stabilizer on the back of the

fabric squares.

Adjust the sizing knob to the 6” mark to

cut the inner circles. Again, place the pin

located under the sizing knob where the

lines intersect on the fabric and cut the

6” circles from all 5 circles.

Decide the order you wish your circles

to be placed. There is not right or wrong,

place them as you please.

Inner circles are cut from the larger circles.

As the title says, we’re going to link these

circles. To make the links, every circle but

the first must be cut open as shown in

the next photo.

The 6 fabrics Northcott ColorWorks Premium

Solid 9000 collection. The 5 brights pop on the

black background!

I’m also using HEATnBOND Lite Iron-On

Adhesive Sheets – 17” x 1yd stabilizer.

From the stabilizer cut 5 – 10” squares.

Press HeatnBond stabilizer on the back side of the

fabric squares.

Adjust the sizing knob to the 9½”

marking on the TrueCut 360 Circle

Cutter, this is the first size of circles to

cut. Place the pin (located under the

sizing knob) on the intersection marked

on the stabilizer and cut 9½” circles from

all 5 fabrics.

Cut every circle except the one that will be placed first.


26 .com| issue 10


The opening of the red circle is hidden under the

green uncut circle.

Position the uncut circle on your

background fabric. Take the second circle

and position it on the background so

that the cut of the circle is hidden under

the first circle as shown below.

Repeat the above step for the remainder

of the circles.

Tuck all the cuts under the circle before it in order

to complete the links.

Once all the circles are in place and spaced

as desired, press the circles in place so they

bond to the background fabric.

I realize that up to this point there has

been no sewing. I wanted to show you

that all quilt tops do not need to be

sewn into place. I’ll spend some time

adding a decorative stitch around the

edge of the circles. Once the decorative

stitch has been added it’ll be time to

quilt and bind the quilt.

I hope you enjoyed using the TrueCut

360º Circle Cutter like I did. I’m already

thinking up other quilting projects I can

do with the circle cutter.



.com | issue 10 27

Using the SEW EASY Square Ruler – 6½” x 6½” to

cut fabric squares for our modern quilt.

SEW EASY Square Ruler

makes easy work of

half square triangles

We went ‘modern’, and got a bit dizzy going

around in circles using the TrueCut 360º Circle Cutter.

Now, we’re making another modern quilt using

the SEW EASY Square Ruler – 6½” x 6½”.

For this project, you’ll need the following:

From white fabric using the SEW EASY

square ruler cut the following:


16 squares 6½” x 6½”


2 strips 2” x 32½”


5 strips 2” x 29”


12 strips 2” x 6½”

From colored fabric (any scraps would

work well for this project) cut the



1 square 6½” x 6½”


2 squares 5½” x 5½”


3 squares 4½” x 4½”


4 squares 3½” x 3½”


3 squares 2½” x 2½”


2 squares 1½” x 1½”

After all your pieces are cut you’ll have a

beautiful squares for your quilt.

With a pencil, draw a diagonal line from

corner to corner on the wrong side of

each of your colored fabric pieces.

Draw one diagonal line going from corner to corner.


28 .com| issue 10


Place colored fabrics squarely on the

white fabric squares, right sides together,

matching edges. As the colored squares

become progressively smaller square

them off at the upper right corner.

Place colored fabric on the upper right corner of

the white fabric square.

Sew along the diagonal line.

Start sewing the first row together for a

total of 4 rows.

There are two ways to sew the rows

together: the first is to place them

randomly and the second is to put them

together in an organized manner.

I organized mine in the following way

from left to right using the colored fabric

size as the point of reference:

Row 1: 3½” x 3½”, 4½” x 4½”, 5½” x 5½”

and 6½” x 6½”

Row 2: 2½” x 2½”, 3½” x 3½”, 4½” x 4½”

and 5½” x 5½”

Row 3: 1½” x 1½”, 2½” x 2½”, 3½” x 3½”

and 4½” x 4½”

Row 4: 6½” x 6½” (white), 1½” x 1½”, 2½” x

2½” and 3½” x 3½”

To separate the blocks, sew a white 2” x

6½” strip between each block.

The 2” x 6½” white strips are sewn between

each block.

Take 3 of the 2” x 29” strips and place

them between each row. Then, sew the

remaining 2 – 2” x 29” strips on each side

of the quilt. Sew the last 2 – 2” x 32½”

strips to the top and bottom of the quilt.

Quilt and bind as desired.

Place all blocks in rows prior to sewing white strip

between blocks.

The modern half square triangle quilt is completed.

Sew along the drawn diagonal line.

Once all 15 squares are sewn, trim fabric

to ¼” from seam on the upper right

corner then press the block open.

Trim fabric to ¼” from seam on the upper right corner.



.com | issue 10 29

SEW EASY 90° Patchwork Triangle Ruler

Here's the last project of this series using

SEW EASY rulers.

HSTs are so versatile and can create a

wide range of designs. The possibilities

that this ruler has are limitless, I hope you

will enjoy using it.

We’ll explore the SEW EASY 90° Patchwork

Triangle Ruler – 7½” x 15½” to make a baby

quilt. I want to show you how easy it is to

use this ruler to make blocks.

Take a 5” strips from each color, put them

right sides together and sew on both

sides of the strips; you‘re sewing a tube.

Sew all your 5” strips this way.

Once all strips are cut, remove the few

stitches at the point of the triangle by

gently pulling the fabrics apart then

press the seams to the dark side.

From the 3rd fabric, 7” strips, cut triangles

in the same fashion as you did the with

the 5” strips, using 7” mark on the ruler.

Cut a total of 16 triangles.

I found great fabrics from Northcott that

I’ll be using for this quilt, they are from

the Stonehenge OH CANADA Our Home

and Native Land collection.

For this quilt, we’ll need three

complementary fabrics.

We’ll need 7⁄8 yard of each of the 3

fabrics. You’ll also need an additional

10” for the color of your choice for the

quilt’s binding.

From 2 of the fabrics cut 6 strips that are

5” wide. From the 3rd fabric cut 4 strips

7” wide.

Sew a seam on each edge of the fabrics strips.

Take your Sew Easy triangle ruler and

align the 5” line of the ruler to the edge

of the fabric. Once both, ruler and fabric

edges are aligned use your rotary cutter

to cut the fabrics.

Align the 5” line of the ruler to the edge of the


Once cut, rotate your ruler 180°

repeating the above step on the

opposite edge of the fabric. Continue

rotating your ruler until the entire strip is

cut. You should be able to get 7 blocks

per set of strips. You’ll need 35 blocks.

Triangles made from the 7” strips along with the

blocks made using the 5” strips.

Using this method to cut your half

square triangles makes the task faster

and less tedious than other methods.

The single triangles cut from the 7”

strips are used to put the blocks on

point which will complete the rows, as

shown below.

Placement of the quilt block and triangles

Stonehenge OH CANADA Our Home and Native

Land collection


30 .com| issue 10


Rotate the ruler and align the 5” line

with the other edge of the fabric.

makes quick job of half square triangles

Once the half square triangles are sewn,

press the seams towards the darker fabric

and cut off the dog ears.

Cut off the dog ears after the rows are sewn.

Sew the blocks and triangles into rows

in a diagonal fashion as per the above

photo. Then sew the rows together

to complete the quilt top. Keep the 4

corner triangles for last.

Center the triangles at the corners and

sew them in place.

Center the corner triangle piece and sew.

I’m on a roll…I’ve had so much fun with

all the Sew Easy Rulers explored here.

They really make the task of making

what could be considered a tedious

quilt block, into a quick task. As you

saw, making HSTs for this baby quilt

simplified this otherwise tedious task.

Putting a quilt together doesn’t have to

be complicated when using rulers like

the SEW EASY Triangle Ruler 90° – 7½” x


Paul Léger


To ensure their correct placement lay rows

diagonally prior to sewing.

The last step before quilting is to add the

corners. Before you can sew the corners

to the quilt top they must be trimmed

down. Line up the bottom of the triangle

with the 6½” line SEW EASY Triangle Ruler

and cut.

Trim down the corner triangles for a perfect fit.

The completed baby quilt, it measures 49” x 49”



.com | issue 10 31

5 make

Placemat Ideas

great gifts Allison Spence

WonderFil rayon thread packs

Making placemats is a creative way to explore WonderFil

Specialty Thread’s rayon thread packs offering that instant

gratification to boot! These little boxes of thread hold 10 spools

of 40wt Splendor thread (with an occasional metallic thread,

Spotlite thrown in). Each spool holds 164yd [150m] of thread.

These packs are available in a variety of sets. There are theme

packs, harmony packs and seasons packs. I’ll be sewing five

different placemats using 5 different packs and include a hint or

two for using these threads.

To show these threads off, I decided to stitch some placemats

for my kitchen. These are roughly 12” in width. There’s just the

two of us at home and we try to eat most of our meals at our

little kitchen table. These little placemats are perfect for our

small table.

I began with a layer of very low loft batting under the chosen

fabric. I laid out the selection of threads to see which I liked best.

Getting everything ready to stitch with WonderFil fall thread pack

Stitch using a variety of thread colors and decorative stitches.

In the past I’ve stitched these placemats with strips of fabric.

This time I’ve chosen to create a striped effect with thread for

these placemats. I stitched rows of stitches using WonderFil fall

thread pack. The yellow didn’t show too well, so I stitched a few

rows of a heavier pattern to balance things out.

TIP Choose the right needles for the


WonderFil rayon thread pack in the fall colorway


32 .com| issue 10


Schmetz universal and topstitch needles

I’m a bit of a needle snob. I’ll spend a bit

more money for the needles I like. I have

a preference for Schmetz brand needles.

I especially like the topstitch needles.

Topstitch needles have a larger eye and

deeper groove for decorative threads. I

can use a smaller needle which will make

smaller holes in my fabric and still not have

to worry about my thread shredding.

The top needle in the above image

shows a size 80/12 universal needle

and the bottom needle is a size 80/12

topstitch needle. You can easily see the

larger eye and the deeper groove on the

topstitch needle.

I sewed the triangles into sets of 3 and

pressed the seam allowances open.

Layer the block with backing and batting.

I sewed the sets of 3 together and

pressed the seam allowances open.

I then placed the blocks face down

onto the backing and another piece of

batting. Pin well.

Sew around the outside edge, leaving an

opening for turning.

I turned the placemat right sides out and

pressed. I stitched close to the edge so I

don’t have to hand stitch any openings


I make these placemats for quick and

easy gifts. I can use as many threads and

stitches as I like to get a great design.

I find this kind of stitching almost

meditative and often have a project or

two on the go for the times I want to sit

and sew, but am not sure what I want to


Continue reading for another great

placemat idea using another of

WonderFil Splendor rayon thread pack.

Trim the fabric into a strip and cut 60° triangles.

Once the line of stitches were complete,

I pressed the strip well. I trimmed the

fabric into a usable strip and then cut 60°

angles. I arranged the strips, alternating

the stitching arrangement as I went.

Sew around the edges leaving a small opening

for turning and trim.

Arrange the triangles and sew into sets of 3.

Placemats stitched with WonderFil fall rayon thread pack.

Photos by Allison Spence



.com | issue 10 33

In decorative stitching,

the magic is

in the rayon threads

Stitching hexagon placemats is fun using threads from the

Seasons Colorway rayon pack on a single piece of fabric.

This time, let's play with a variety of fabrics and make the fabric

piecing really sparkle in a placemat using decorative threads.

I began by cutting strips of my orange and green fabrics and

used the stitch and flip method to sew the strips of fabric onto

a length of low loft batting. I finger pressed each seam and

once the stitching was complete, I pressed with a hot iron.

Decorative stitches add interest to strip piecing.

Sew strips of fabric to batting using the stitch and flip method.

Once the piecing was done, I started stitching with my

machine’s decorative stitches and the threads from the

Pumpkin thread pack. The colors are perfect for this project.

Some of the threads are a little bit lighter in color, so I used satin

stitches to help them show clearly.

These placemats use a selection of coordinated hand dyed

fabrics and the Pumpkin thread pack, part of the Seasons

Colorways. This pack has some lovely oranges and greens and 2

metallic, Spotlite threads that I used sparingly.

Decorative stitching adds interest to stitch and flip piecing

WonderFil Pumpkin rayon thread pack

TIP Make use of the easy lock in the

thread cap.

Secure threads in the cap of the spool.

WonderFil small spools

of thread have little

hooks in the caps of

the spools. This is an

easy way to secure

the thread and keep it

from unraveling. Just

wrap the thread a

couple of times around

the top of the spool

and the thread will just

click into place.


34 .com| issue 10


Once all my decorative stitching was

complete, I pressed the piece and

trimmed it to an even width.

I used another piece of batting for the

base of the placemat and cut it an inch

or two larger than I need for the project.

I placed the decorative stitching strip on

the left side and using the quilt as you

go method, sewed a plain piece of fabric

to both sides of the strip.

I also trimmed the stitched corners so

that I would get neater corners once the

piece was turned right side out.

I like to stitch close to the edge of the

placemat and then not have to hand

stitch the opening closed.

Use quilt as you go to sew plain fabric pieces to

either side of the decorative strip.

Once all my pieces are stitched to the

batting, I trim everything down to size.

At this point I could layer the backing

fabric right side facing down and the

placemat piece right side up and add a

traditional binding. I’m making these as

quick projects, so I just layer them right

sides facing, stitch around and turn.

Place the placemat right sides facing the

placemat backing and sew around all edges

leaving a small opening for turning.

I turned the placemats right side out

and used a point turner to push out the

corners. I pressed with my iron and then

used some of my decorative stitches

to stitch along the outside edge of

the placemat and on either side of the

pieced panel.

Turn placemat right side out and press. Top stitch

close to the edge.

This is just one way to sew the strip

piece into the placemat. Why not try a

horizontal line instead of a vertical line.

Your imagination and the fabrics you

have are your only limit.

I’ll show you another way to use these great

WonderFil rayon thread packs and stitch

another placemat with just one fabric.

Trim backing and placemat top to the same size.

I matched the backing fabric right sides

facing with the pieced placemat and

stitched around all sides. I left a small

opening along one edge to turn the piece.

Strip pieced placemats using WonderFil Pumpkin rayon thread pack.



.com | issue 10 35

Making woven

Holiday Ribbons on placemats

using fabric and threads

Christmas thread pack creates ribbon effect on placemats.

Here we go, playing with the Christmas pack!

I like using the rayon Splendor as an embellishing thread. I find

the 40wt thread just a little too fine for quilting larger projects,

so I limit myself to quilting wall hangings and decorative


This placemat is simple, but really great looking.

It involves some pre-marking on the fabric, and then some

fun stitching!

There are 3 different Christmas theme packs to choose from:

Christmas, Classic Christmas and Country Christmas. I’ve chosen

the Christmas pack.

I’ve also chosen a light beige fabric with metallic print as I think

the thread will show well.

TIP Stitch with fabric right side up!

I was showing off my finished placemats and hubby noticed

that one was shiny and the other wasn’t. I guess I wasn’t paying

attention. Good thing these placemats are for us and not gifts!

WonderFil Christmas rayon thread pack

One placemat with fabric right side up and one with wrong side up


36 .com| issue 10



My placemats will be 14” x 10”. I’ve cut

the fabric and a layer of low loft batting

15” x 11” to allow some shrinkage as I


I drew myself a little map on a piece

of paper so I know which ribbon will

weave under and which will weave over.

I started my lines about 3½” away from

the top and left edge of the fabric. I’ve

drawn 4 lines 1” apart horizontally and

vertically starting at the left edge.

It’s always a good idea to test decorative

stitches. I look for density, size, whether

I can flip or mirror the image and just to

see how the pattern stitches out. It’s a

good time saving idea.

I chose different stitches and green

thread to stitch the vertical ribbons. It’s

starting to look good.

Have you noticed that I’ve used 2

different green threads and 2 different

reds? The reds are quite close in color,

but there’s a clear light and dark in the 2

greens. I could have easily used just one

red and one green threads, but I like the

lacy effect I get with two shades.

Draw ribbon lines on right side of fabric.

TIP Test stitches on scraps

of fabric.

Use scraps of fabric to test decorative stitches.


38 .com| issue 10


Stitch decorative stitches between the marked lines.

I used the drawn map to give me an

idea of where to stitch. I started with

stitches a bit more solid down the center

between the lines. I then used stitches a

bit more open to stitch down both sides

of the center line.

Add the green stitch to show off the ribbon effect.

Quilt the placemat with outline stitches on either

side of the ribbons.

Once the decorative stitches were sewn,

I layered the placemats with backing

fabric. I used a triple straight stitch to

outline the ribbons and quilt the layers

of fabric together at the same time.

There was no need to add a 2nd layer of


Notice that I used the darkest green

thread from the pack to outline the

green ribbons and the darkest red to

outline the red ribbons.

I used the Fall, Pumpkin and Christmas

rayon thread packs from WonderFil to

stitch up some quick and easy placemats.

You can see all these exciting collection

packs under Seasons Colorway – you’ll

fall in love.

I’ve got a Variegated and the Bright

thread pack left to work with and I have

some more placemat project ideas to

share with you!







Northcott offers a wide selection of basics that can be mixed and matched to create a

palette perfect for your next project! Combine ColorWorks Premiums Solids, Stonehenge

earth textures and Toscana suede-like cottons to make bold beautiful quilts.

Visit Northcott.com to see the full range of colors and textures, and use the Product Finder

tool alongside each collection page to locate a quilt shop that carries these fabrics.





Decorative stitches and WonderFil rayon threads create one of a kind fabric.

an original



WonderFil Bright rayon thread pack

There are over 20 combinations of thread with 10 spools

in each WonderFil Splendor rayon thread pack. Choose from

harmony packs made up of a combination of threads in

one color way, or choose a theme pack with 10 spools of

coordinated thread.

I hope the last three projects I shared with you have given

you inspiring ideas to make your own version of a placemat.

Let's look at the Alphabet Applique Placemat I made for my

granddaughter. II made this placemat for her when she started

preschool and learning her letters. This placemat will stay at our

house for her to use when she comes to visit.

This is a great way to personalize a placemat or even a wall

hanging. I’m using the Brights rayon thread pack. There are some

great colors in this pack: purple, teal, green, red, 2 shades of

blue and more!

I began by fusing some fusible interfacing to the back of a plain

piece of fabric. The interfacing gives the fabric some body and

prevents puckers or pulls in the fabric.

TIP Adjust tension for perfect stitching

Throughout the previous projects, I’ve been using low loft

batting as a stabilizer for the decorative stitching and WonderFil

DecoBob 80wt polyester threads in prewound bobbins. I didn’t

really need to adjust the tension for my decorative stitching.

Use a variety of decorative stitches and thread colors to create a bright, colorful

piece of fabric.


40 .com| issue 10


For this project I’m using fusible interfacing which is much

thinner. I do need to turn my tension down to a lower number.

I start by turning the dial down one whole number. If I can’t see

the bobbin thread coming to the top of my fabric, I’m good. If I

can see the bobbin thread coming to the top, I turn down half

a number at a time until I’m happy.

I want some stability as I stitch the applique in place and know

that using a satin stitch will show too much on the back side of

the placemat. So I layered the fused applique/placemat fabric

and the low loft batting. I used a dense satin stitch to secure

the applique in place. I could have chosen a blanket stitch,

but I wanted to make sure to secure all the loose ends of the

decorative threads.

Can you see how the tension has been adjusted to show that

the needle thread is coming to the back side? This would look

really messy if I were stitching through all layers.

Auditioning placemat fabrics

I had originally planned to sew the placemat with the pink

fabric, but as I was stitching the fabric, I thought that maybe the

purple was a better choice. Purple it is.

Once I decided on the best fabric color, I cut the placemat 11” x

15” and later trim down to 10” x 14” once the applique has been


I traced the reversed applique letter onto fusible web and fused

to the back of the stitched fabric. I then cut out the applique

and fused to the right side of the placemat.

Quilt around the edge of the placemat and around the appliqued letter.

Once the satin stitch was complete, I trimmed the placemat to

10” x 14” and placed it right side down on the backing fabric. I

sewed around all edges leaving an opening for turning.

I used a straight stitch close to the edge of the placemat

and used the width of the presser foot for additional lines of

stitching. I also outlined the applique with a straight line. I used

matching thread in the needle and bobbin and adjust my

tension back to normal for the quilting.

Next up is something completely different. It crosses the line of

‘quilting’, but makes some great placemats.

Use a satin stitch to secure the applique to the placemat.

Simple applique and decorative stitching with WonderFil rayon thread packs



.com | issue 10 41

WonderFil Splendor

Variegated Thread Packs





4 finished corded placemats

I've been playing with

WonderFil Splendor Thread Packs and stitching a

variety of placemats. Here’s the exciting list of

techniques used while exploring these colorful

thread packs and making cool placemats to boot!


Hexagon Placemats using the Fall thread



I used the Pumpkin thread pack and strip

piecing for the Quilt as You Go Placemats


I used decorative stitches to create the

illusion of woven ribbons in my Holiday

Ribbons Placemats using the Christmas

thread pack.


I created the fabric using decorative stitches

to then make the applique for the Alphabet

Applique Placemat, using the Bright thread


Never a dull moment with WonderFil Rayon

Thread Packs! Read on as the sewing fun


I’m straying from the ‘quilting’ focus and using

piping cord and the Variegated A thread pack to

show you something you might want to try.

There are 3 variegated thread packs and each one

has a different combination of variegated threads.

Some are light to dark values of a color. Some

threads are a combination of different colors.

I’ve found that about 20yds [18.3m] of cording

will make a nice sized placemat.

I begin with a 3” length folded piping cord, and

using a matching thread and a zigzag stitch, I

anchored the original folds in place.


42 .com| issue 10


WonderFil Variegated Thread Pack A

Begin stitching the placemat with matching thread.

I switched to the variegated thread

and sewed over the original anchor

stitches. At first I needed to sew slowly

around the corners but once I got going,

everything was easy.

This variegated green moves from a

bright green to a very, very light green.

WonderFil variegated threads are

random dyed. The lengths of each color

are never the same length. I find it adds

interest to sewing projects.

When using a narrower stitch be very

careful that both sides of the zigzag

stitch catch both parts of the cording!

These can be used as placemats, table

centerpieces or places to put hot dishes.

The pin marks the beginning of the row.

I changed from a regular zigzag stitch

to a double zigzag stitch, which helped

to highlight the red to very light pink

variegated thread. The red is darker and

the light is lighter.

Simple zigzag stitches

I found that the machine’s default stitch

length and width is perfect for these

projects. I tried some different stitches

using this red to salmon pink variegated

thread. I used an heirloom stitch, double

zigzag and also played with the stitch


Alternating yellow and green variegated thread

I changed from a yellow variegated to a

green variegated thread every 10 rounds.

It adds a lot of interest.

I sewed a total of 4 corded variegated

placemats. Compare the picture above

with the one below. The picture below

shows the reverse side of each placemat.

The red and white front has a blue and

white back. The red and salmon pink has a

golden yellow and white back. The yellow

and green striped placemats have a plain

cotton matching thread on the back.

When I get to the end of my placemat,

The reverse side of the stitched placemats using

WonderFil variegated threads

I pull out the center core for a few

inches and trim. I then fold over the

outer part of the cord and stitch over

the folded end.

WonderFil variegated thread pack B

This has been a fun creating placemats

using WonderFil Splendor Thread Packs

in 5 different ways.

WonderFil variegated thread pack C

One final thing. These thread packs make

great gifts. They’re reasonably priced

and the colors are coordinated. Add a

few matching fat quarters of fabric to a

thread pack and you’re ready to go.

I’m sure everyone has done one of those

fabric wrapped bowls or bags. I’m lazy

and instead of wrapping the clothesline

with fabric, I’ve made bags with just the

clothesline and thread! I now use narrow

cotton piping cord. It’s much thinner

and easier to sew through.

Enjoy your adventure with WonderFil


Allison Spence


Different stitches add interest.



.com | issue 10 43



Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50

Free motion quilting fun

Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50 with optional extension table

44 .com| issue 10


essential tools for successful quilting

on your domestic machine Elaine Theriault

I’m so excited to write this article about the

Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50 sewing and embroidery

machine, there's so much I want to show you. I’ve been sewing up

a storm and there isn’t anything that this machine can’t handle!

I’m focusing on machine quilting. A quick confession – I’m a long

arm quilter, although I teach people to quilt on the domestic

machine. I had so much fun quilting on the Designer Topaz 50 and

it performed beautifully.

Follow along and see how amazingly easy it is to get great

machine quilting results. There are loads of tips for all aspects of the

quilting process.

Let’s get started!

When I chat with quilters about machine quilting, it’s always about

how afraid they are of messing up their quilt. The other thing I

notice is that most people think that quilting is all about sitting

down at the sewing machine and quilting.

If only it were that easy. While the end result is certainly very

dependent on the quality of the sewing machine, there are many

other factors and tools that come into play when machine quilting.

Extension Table


Let's look at the

tools that are critical to successful machine


If you’re serious about machine quilting on a domestic sewing

machine, the first thing you need (besides getting an awesome

sewing machine like the Designer Topaz 50) is to get an

extension table.

I’ve been piecing and quilting with this table for several years

and I can’t say enough about it. The front edge is curved so

there’s zero danger of your work getting caught or being

dragged over a sharp edge like on other ‘straighter’ extension


The purpose of an extension table is to give your hands some

place to rest while controlling the quilt. Think of the extension

table as your steering wheel. You don’t need a huge steering

wheel to drive your car – you don’t need a huge extension table

to quilt your quilts. You can only control the immediate area

surrounding the needle of the sewing machine.

This extension table provides just the right amount of room,

particularly the area to the left of the needle. Compare the first

and second pictures above. See how little room there is to the

left of the needle without the extension table? If you didn’t

have the extension table, where would you place your left hand

when trying to control your quilt? The quilt would fall off the

bed of the sewing machine.

There’s a nice ruler guide on the front as well so if you’re piecing

and need a quick measurement, the ruler is very handy.

I NEVER sew or quilt without the extension table. I LOVE it! It’s a

'must have' accessory!

Photos by Elaine Theriault

Straight Stitch Plate


This Straight Stitch Plate isn’t absolutely necessary to successful

machine quilting, but it helps to provide a nicer stitch.

The larger hole in the general purpose stitch plate allows for

more movement of the fabric. The larger opening is necessary

when doing decorative stitching, zigzag, etc. You know when

you start a new line of stitching and the fabric gets sucked

into the bobbin case through that large opening? That doesn’t

happen when you use the straight stitch plate.

I try to use the straight stitch plate as often as possible for

piecing and quilting. Make sure that your needle is 100%

centered when you insert it and it’s not a bad idea to manually

lower the needle in the event that it’s not positioned quite right.

There’s very little space surrounding the needle.

I would also suggest that you go into your settings and engage

the Stitch Width Safety. You’ll not be allowed to select any stitch

that moves the needle out of the center position. You’ll get

a pop-up message when you turn on the sewing machine if

you’ve engaged this feature. Saves a lot of worry about what

mode you’re in. I use it whenever I have the straight stitch plate

on the Designer Topaz 50.

Dual Feed Foot (aka walking foot) 3

This is a must have foot if you’re planning on doing any stitch in

the ditch quilting. It also works like a charm for serpentine lines,

grid quilting, top stitching and yes – I even use mine when I

apply a quilt binding.

The purpose of the Dual Feed Foot is to move the top layer of

your project (the quilt top when quilting) at the same rate as

the feed teeth (in the sewing machine) move the bottom layer.

If they don’t move at the same rate, you may end up with a top

that is slightly stretched.

When you’re piecing, it’s easy to control your work as you can

pretty much see the edges of both pieces at the same time,

but when quilting, it’s impossible to see the bottom. It’s for this

reason that pinning long expanses of fabric (like borders) is

CRITICAL to a beautiful finished product!

The Husqvarna Viking Dual Feed Foot comes with three

different feet that snap into place. I mostly use the one on the

right with the wide opening so I can see what’s happening

when I apply quilt bindings. The openings on either side

become great placement guides for the wider than ¼” seam

allowance that I use when applying my bindings.

If you want parallel lines of quilting you can use the guides that

come with the Dual Feed Foot. There’s one for the left and one

for the right depending on the direction that you’re sewing. You

can see in the picture above how they slip into the back of the

Dual Feed Foot.

And not a bad idea to take a quick peek at the booklet if you’ve

never put a walking foot on before.

I’ve found that there’s a LOT of valuable information in these

booklets! As always if the Dual Feed Foot isn’t on properly, the

sewing machine will not stitch properly.

Straight stitch plate

Dual feed foot with interchangeable presser feet

Left and right guides for the Dual Feed Foot and an instructional manual



.com | issue 10 45

One thing I should mention. To some, my

studio might look a tad messy, but I’m a

stickler for keeping things together. My

Dual Feed Foot and all the accessories

are stored in the original box which is

then kept in the drawer with all the other

presser feet. There is ZERO excuse for it

to go astray.

Free motion presser feet


Various styles of free motion presser feet

There are numerous styles of free motion

presser feet that you can purchase for

the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50.

I missed getting a picture of the one

that’s included with the Designer Topaz

50 but it does come with one style of

free motion/embroidery foot.

You’ll notice that some of the presser feet

have a spring and some do not. Some

come with a guide as pictured above.

There’s a purpose for each of them and it

all depends on the kind of quilting that

you’re doing.

My two favorites are pictured above

– a spring action open toe foot and a

floating (non-spring) open toe foot. I like

the fact that the foot is metal and there’s

an opening at the front of the foot which

allows me to see right into the tightest

areas that I’m quilting.

I would strongly suggest that you play

around with the free motion foot that

comes with the Designer Topaz 50 and

then book an appointment with your

Husqvarna Viking dealer so they can show

you what other options are available.

Or you can check out Page 64 of the

Husqvarna Viking Accessory Catalogue

and look at the quilting presser feet.

It’s easy to set the Designer Topaz 50

for free motion quilting. See the box in

the photo below with the squiggly line?

Hit that button and you’ll get a pop-up

message asking if you’re using a floating

(non-spring action) presser foot or

spring-action presser foot.

And what is the difference? I like to use

the floating feet, but I do find that some

threads, especially some heavier threads,

work best with the spring-action.

Just be aware that there are two options

and try both (because you’ll have

bought one of each kind of foot!) to see

what works best for the quilting/thread

that you’re working with.

The box with the squiggly line sets the Designer

Topaz 50 for free motion quilting

Machine quilting gloves

Machine quilting gloves

Some form of machine quilting gloves

is essential, especially if you’re working

on a larger project. You hands are oily or

cold, your cotton quilt fabric is slippery

and when you’re trying to move the

quilt with your hands, it’s hard to get

a grip. If you don’t have a good grip

on the quilt, your quilting will not be

smooth. Remember – the ease at which

you move the quilt is what dictates how

smooth the lines of stitching are.

Some people use gardening gloves.

Personally, I find them bulky or hot

and sweaty.

This was a new pair of gloves that a

friend (designed by the award-winning

quilter herself ) gave me to try. I used to

cut the tips off a couple of the fingers

of my own gloves so this felt weird with

two fingers missing completely.

I liked the feel of the glove and they

certainly helped to move the fabric

nicely. I think it’s a question of getting

used to them. But gloves are essential to

smooth, even quilting. If you don’t have

quilting gloves – buy a pair!




I could go on for days about different

kinds of thread. There are so many

options available. Thread weights, colors,

styles, glitz or not.

It’s essential that you use GOOD quality

thread. Do yourself a favor and do NOT

use those old spools of thread that your

grandmother left you. Thread has a shelf

life. I find the biggest issue that most

people have with their quilting is the

thread. Good thread equals good quilting.


46 .com| issue 10


Pop-up screen to choose between Floating Free

Motion or Spring-Action Free Motion

Two spools of Wonderfil thread and pamphlet

outlining their thread line-up

A quick mention of what type of thread

to use. For piecing, I like to use a 50

weight cotton thread. The Designer

Topaz 50 loves the thread. For quilting, I

use whatever I can get my hands on that

works in the sewing machine (haven’t

had to give any thread away so far) and it

can be anything from cotton to nylon to

rayon and many other types.

I can’t say this often enough – use a

GOOD quality thread for piecing and

a GOOD quality thread for quilting. It’ll

show in your end result.

I had two different threads to play with

(in addition to using my own thread


The variegated thread is a 40 weight – 3

ply thread.

The brown thread is a 100 weight – 2

ply thread.

As I work with those threads later, I’ll

be providing a bit more information

as to what tension settings I used, and

whether I used the thread in the bobbin

or on the top or both.

Variegated and brown thread

Marking tools


Various marking tools

Like the threads, I could go on and on

about the pros and cons of the various

marking tools that exist.

Let’s just say that you need to be fully

aware of the pros and cons of each

tool. Some will work perfectly for one

application and be lacking in another.

Some things to consider when choosing

a marking tool:

• Can the project be washed after it’s

completed to remove the markings?

• Will the item need to be ironed at

some point?

• What length of time will occur

between the marking and the

quilting? (don’t laugh as this can be

an issue!)

• Is the fabric dark or light or a

combination of both?

That list is not inclusive of all the

questions you need to ask, but it’s a

starting point. While it’s OK to ask your

friends which marking tool(s) they

use, I find that it’s essential to do some

experimenting on your own. Buy one

of each type – try them out. Do you

like it? Does it work for you and your

style of quilting?

We each have our own style, so be sure

to find a marking tool that YOU like.

I used to do a lot of marking when I first

started to quilt and now I try to not mark

if I can avoid it. Why? It takes time to

mark and takes time to remove the mark

(if necessary). I’ll like to use marking tools

to create registration lines, but rarely for

marking an entire design. More on that


Sewing machine needles 8

I’m not going to go into great detail on

sewing machine needles, but again like

the thread – good quality needles equals

good quality quilting.

Bigger is better than smaller and make

sure that the needle matches the thread

weight that you’re using.

When in doubt, buy quilting needles and

use the large ones for thicker threads

and the smaller size for the smaller


Clipboard, scrap paper


and a marker

Scrap paper on a clipboard with a marker

The items shown above are ESSENTIAL to

good quilting.

Why? Well – here’s the thing and this

seems to be one of the hardest for

people to understand. People will look

at the quilting of someone with more

experience than themselves. They seem

to think that most of us were born with

superior quilting skills. Not so – I’ve come

a long way from when I first started to

quilt many years ago.

Have you ever tried to pat your head

and rub your stomach? Try it! It’s hard

– right? Well imagine sitting down at

your sewing machine and you’re trying

to move the fabric under the needle

of the sewing machine AND you’re

trying to figure out where to quilt. It’s

HARD, very hard. While we think we can

multitask, few of us can do it well. If you

become familiar with the many aspects

of quilting one at a time, you’ll be much

more successful.



.com | issue 10 47

That’s why the paper is so essential.

Practice your designs on the paper first

before you hit the sewing machine.

Work out the issues. Do you always work

yourself into a corner? Practice on the

paper so you can figure out how to not

do that!

I was chatting with participants

attending a machine quilting class about

how useful a tool this was. After we had

attended a guild meeting and heard the

guest speaker say that she doodled her

designs on paper before doing them on

her quilts, one of those students turned

to me and said, “Oh – she designs her

stuff on paper first!”.

I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t

work out the logistics of what design

you’re going to stitch, you’ll never be

successful (unless you happen to be

a super gifted artist). For the rest of us,

we’ve got to work a bit more at it.

There you have it – some of my alltime

favorite – NO – those items are

must have tools to successful machine

quilting. Even if you miss one of them,

you’ll run into trouble.

Check around your house – do you have

them all? If not, better get shopping!

And while all these extra tools are

essential to successful machine quilting,

if you don’t have a great sewing machine

like the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz

50, you’ll still be able to quilt, but you

won’t get great stitches. Wait until you

see some of the results. This sewing

machine shocked me at how easy it was

to quilt with and the results are amazing.

The power of

paper, marker

and clipboard

for free motion

quilting designs

Have you assembled the essential tools

for successful machine quilting? If you

did – great! If you didn’t what are you

waiting for?

I’m having great fun with machine

quilting on the Husqvarna Viking Designer

Topaz 50 which in addition to being an

awesome sewing machine is also an

embroidery machine.

Do you remember the last tool that I

mentioned in the previous article? The

clipboard, the scrap paper, and the


Here’s the thing – whenever I talk about

machine quilting to people, I often hear

three issues:

• What design should they use

• They stitch themselves into the


• The lines of quilting aren’t smooth

We’re going to set the sewing machine

aside as we take a look at how important

the paper and marker are for successful

machine quilting.

We’re comfortable with our sewing

machines and we’re comfortable with

pen and paper, but most of us are not

comfortable with drawing. And when we

attempt to do free motion on the sewing

machine, we freeze. Why? That’s because

we haven’t learned how to mix the two

elements together – drawing on the

sewing machine.

We’re going back to kindergarten. I’m

giving you permission to get as much

scrap paper as you can find (it’s a great

way to recycle paper) and we’re going to

learn this once and for all!

So get that clipboard and your marker (or a

smooth flowing pen) and let’s get started!

A quick note – if you bought a very

inexpensive clip board, I would advise

that you keep the protective plastic on it.

I’ve heard from some of my students that

the quality is less than desirable and the

sweat from their hands was enough to

crumble the material the clip board was

made from.

I can’t draw a straight line

Let’s be very clear, I’m not an artist. The

best version I can do of a person is stick

legs and arms with an oval body! Dogs

get four sticks for legs and two blobs for

the head and body! I’m not a doodler,

but I wish I was, but I can at least doodle

better than I can draw. But my doodling

has improved immensely over the years.

Why? because I’ve been practicing! The

more I practice, the better I’ve become.

And in case you wonder why I’m

chatting on about doodling, look at most

quilting designs. It’s a form of doodling!

No way! Yes – quilting is technically

doodling by sewing machine!

When I ask my students to “draw” a

straight line with their free motion foot,

almost everyone says, “I can’t draw a

straight line!” And my response? “GREAT

– I don’t want the line to be perfectly

straight – it looks unnatural!”

So here’s the first exercise. Draw a leaf

shape on your paper. It doesn’t have to

be perfect – we’re learning here and

the outer shape isn’t important. It’s just

a reference.

Two things to keep in mind

• Do NOT rest your hand on the paper.

That’s why the marker or a smooth

flowing pen is good. If you keep your

hand on the paper, you’re trying to

write and we write small. We want

flowing movements.

• Go BIG. See how my leaf is almost half

a page?

Now draw a straight (ish) line through

the middle of the leaf. Looks boring,

doesn’t it? And how much fun was that

to draw? Not much at all.


48 .com| issue 10


Leaf shape with a boring straight line through

the middle

Now draw another leaf shape and this

time, have fun with that line through

the middle. Draw an ‘organic’ (for lack of

a better name) straight line. Wasn’t that

way more fun to draw?

Now go ahead and draw another leaf.

You could always draw one leaf and

photocopy it if you wanted. But we’re

not going for perfection here and the

more you practice drawing the leaf, the

better for you. In most cases, the leaf

would have been appliqued on your

quilt so no need to worry about that

shape. We’re going for the quilting lines

within the leaf.

Let’s pretend that we’re actually quilting

this leaf. We don’t want to stop and start

at every leaf because we’ve hundreds of

them on our imaginary quilt.

Draw that organic line from one end of

the leaf to the other, but this time, you

have to go back to the beginning so

you can move to the next leaf. Oh – am

I supposed to come back down right on

the line or beside or a combination of

both? Well – why don’t you try it both

ways and see which you like the best.

And if you had 100 leaves to quilt and

each one was slightly different – who

cares? Each leaf could be unique if you

so chose.

Don’t like what you drew? Throw that

scrap paper in the recycling! Don’t keep

these papers if you don’t like them. If

you have one that you like – keep it! It

becomes a good reference of what you

like. You may also want to keep the ones

that you don’t like so you have that as a

reference as well. Don’t just say you don’t

like it – ask yourself – why don’t I like it?

That’s very important feedback for you!

The same leaf with a few extras veins drawn in

A different leaf with an ‘organic’ straight line

through the middle of it

OK – now ask yourself, which line is

more appealing? Which line have you

seen on someone else’s quilt that you’ve

admired? Which line was more fun to

draw? Most people will answer the

second line to all three questions.

By the way, there’s NO need to keep

these papers once you’ve drawn on

them. They’re just practice sheets.

Center line of “quilting” up and then back down

again – notice the lines are not on top of each other

How are you doing so far? Are you

getting a feel for the organic lines? Try

this exercise a few more times. Get

comfortable with the flow of the lines.

Keep your hand off the paper.

Now when you get back to the bottom

of the leaf, try a few additional veins. Go

to the tip of the vein and then back to

the center stem and travel up one side

and down the other. Try the squiggles in

different angles. What feels right? What

works best?

The second leaf has a different style center spine

than the first leaf

Practicing a design for a quilt

Even though I’ve been quilting for years,

I still spend a lot of time messing around

with potential designs. It’s not so much

as developing hundreds of designs, but

figuring out about 10 designs really well

and then getting creative with how you

use them. There are oodles of books on

the market with design ideas in them.

Or you can search the internet. Here’s a

couple of things to watch for:



.com | issue 10 49


The design you’re trying to copy

won’t work for you! You must take

that design as an inspiration and

adapt it so it works for you. Someone

might be able to do tiny little circles

and your circles might end up

looking like ovals. That’s OK – that’s

your style. Don’t try to fight it – let

your style develop instead of trying

to force something. Once you’re

comfortable with your style, then you

can start to learn new things.


Take the style and figure out how

you can modify it to get a new look.

What if you lengthen or widen the

marks? What if you adjust the height

within the same area (like a triangle)?

What if you add a small loop

between your main components? If

you look carefully at the professional

quilters, they do this all the time. It

broadens their repertoire without

requiring them to learn a whole lot

of new styles!

I had a quilt to quilt recently and I

wasn’t sure what to quilt in the blocks.

The block had been designed using a

computer software program. The block

was 6'' and I was able to print out an

outline of the block onto paper. I then

took a pen and tried different ways of

“quilting” the block.

You’ll notice how rough my doodling

is – it’s horrible in fact. I didn’t really

care as I was trying a couple of things.

Does the design that I’m trying even

flow so that I can complete one block

without stopping? That’s very important

– no one wants to spend a lot of time

starting and stopping!

I was also looking for issues – like the

bottom left corner – should that have a

mitered design or not?

The block represents a flower and I

tried multiple designs in each block to

see which I liked best. Often I find that

the vision we have in our head doesn’t

always translate well to the real thing.

That is why this doodling exercise is so


Doodling attempts in a 6'' flower block

Below is an example of whether the

bottom left corner should be mitered

or not? If I was going to miter it, then

this is where a registration line would be

helpful so I would be reminded visually

to miter the design.

Should I miter the design in the corner?

It would be a tad easier to see if the

block were colored, but I’m using the

sections of the block as my reference

lines. No need for marking and no need

for registration marks, unless I decide I

need something in that bottom left.

Same design, different direction and some of the

potential background quilting

And yet another option

And another


50 .com| issue 10


Same design in the two sections

One more option with a few sashing options

added at the bottom

Let’s not forget that you can do the

same exercise for sashings and borders.

If it helps, draw lines on your page to

represent the width of your sashing

or border. Don’t forget to figure out

how to deal with the corners and the


The beauty is that there is NO right or

wrong about any of this. It’s what you want,

what you like and what you have the skill

for. There are no quilt police and friends/

acquaintances who make comments –

well – we just won’t go there.

Options for the inner border

The back of my quilt with the flower blocks

Here’s another very important thing.

Once you’re relatively happy with the

design, you may want to do a couple

more on paper as if you were really

quilting them. In other words, make

them a teeny bit neater. You can move

from the beginning to the end of the

block and perhaps even on to the next

block without breaking the thread – a

huge time saver!

Here’s a picture of what the quilting actually ended up looking like on

the right side. The quilt is called Birds of Paradise and was featured with

full instructions in A Needle Pulling Thread Issue 45.

Then I’d go to the sewing machine and I’d

stitch out a few of them on some scrap

fabric (practice quilt sandwiches). Can

you translate all that practice on paper to

the machine? If you “quilted” with the pen

several times, it should be way easier to

do this on the fabric sample. Once you’re

comfortable with it, then it’s time to get

to the quilt.

Really? Do I have to do all that prep

work before? Yep – it’s better to do all

that prep work than spending hours

and hours ripping out! Depending on

the design, I can spend a lot of time

prepping before I ever touch the sewing

machine! Who knew?

Do you feel a little more comfortable

now? This prep work is not just for

beginners. It’s for everyone who is

learning something new or trying to

understand how the logistics of getting

from A to B will work with minimal stops

and starts.

PS – keep that

clipboard handy

so when you have

a few minutes of

downtime (put

DOWN your

phone), you can




.com | issue 10 51

How to choose the right thread

for your quilting project

How’s the doodling? Isn’t that just the

best tip ever? Wait until you get going

and you’ll be totally surprised at how

easy free motion quilting can be when

you know where you’re going. Think of

going into a large city and having no

idea how to get from A to B. But if you

have a GPS (your doodles), you’re way

more comfortable.

We’re continuing our free motion

adventure using the Husqvarna

Viking Designer Topaz 50 sewing and

embroidery machine!

Choosing thread

The thread you use is a very important

factor in how the finished project looks.

What thread weight should I use? What

color works best? Will I have to adjust the

tension? Do I have to use the same thread

weight in the bobbin and the top? What

about the color – does it have to be the

same in the bobbin and the top?

The only reasonable answer I can say is

“it depends!”

I’m going to focus on quilting a couple

of projects and show you what the

end result looks like and why I choose

the style of quilting that I did and what

thread I used in the bobbin and on

top. There’s no right or wrong in these

choices. It’s what one has on hand at

that time or it could be for a number of

reasons that those choices were made!

And like everything, the more you do,

the more experienced you become and

you can make better choices.

I decided to make a tote bag from this

panel by Northcott. I only want to use

the middle section of the panel for this

particular project. The top and bottom

motifs will be used for other projects. So

I started with two panels. It’s from the

Artisan Spirit Flight of Fancy collection.

Northcott Artisan Spirit Flight of Fancy panel

I had chosen the variegated orange/gold

WonderFil FabuLux thread to quilt the bag.

I knew that I was only going to use the

middle section of the panel.

Now you can’t try this in the store, but

here’s the ideal way to view how a

thread will look on your project. Reel off

a couple of feet and lay it on top of the

project – does it look OK???

By looking OK – you need to ask

yourself – do you want the quilting

stitches to show? Will a contrasting

thread compete with the main motif?

Do I want the thread to blend in and

provide only texture?

The darker thread would compete with the main

motif if it were used in the background

In the picture above, the variegated

thread is too dark to be used in the

background of the top motif but I could

quilt the motif with this color. Too dark

of thread in the background would

compete with the motif.

The thread blends in beautifully with

the motif in the middle section of the

panel. You won’t see the stitches, but

you’ll see the texture which is just what I

wanted! I’m not sure I would use this in

the background as the top part of the

background is still fairly light.

The variegated thread blends in with the motif

beautifully to provide visible texture

In the next example, I could probably

use the variegated thread in either the

background or the motif itself to provide

visible texture. If I wanted the quilting

stitches to show, I would have to pick a

completely different color.


52 .com| issue 10


Thread blends into the motif and the background

in the bottom section of the panel

I’m making a very simple tote bag. The

two pieces on the ends will be the

sides of the bag and the section on

the bottom of the center panel will be

the bottom of the bag. I’m making two

sections like this. I won’t have the bag

completed, but I’ll have parts of the bag

made so you can see how perfect the

thread color is.

I hope to incorporate more machine

quilting into my work. That’s how much

fun I’m having! So if you have suggestions

for the type of project you would like

quilting ideas for – let me know!

When I was getting ready for vacation, I

came across this embroidered block that

was done but not quilted. Hm – what

color thread would I use to quilt this

one? See how the black thread would

just make this a muddy mess. Even the

brown thread on the bottom would be

too much, but the light beige in the top

left works just fine even though it looks

dark on the spool. Just goes to show

that you need to reel off a length of

thread before you can make a call on the

specific color!

The pieces for ONE-half of the tote bag

I could use several different thread

options for this tote bag. Did I want

to use a metallic thread? Did I want

a matching or contrasting thread?

Invisible thread?

Since this is a tote bag, it doesn’t need

a lot of quilting and I don’t want the

quilting to be the main focus, I want

the motif and the fabric to be the focus.

That’s why I’ve chosen the matching

thread color.

Here’s another example of numerous

options for the type and color of thread

to choose for a project. I’ve got metallics,

cotton, and rayon. I’m going to have to

pick one!

Thread choices for an embroidered block

In this next example, I want to do some

stitch in the ditch around the applique

and also to follow the embroidered vines.

No need for something thick as I want

the texture only and not for the quilting

stitches to show. That’s a spool of beige

InvisaFil from WonderFil. GASP – beige?

Yes – that’s what I’m going to use. The

thread is a 100 weight – 2 ply, so very

thin. If the project is quilted carefully, the

thread won’t show.

WonderFil InvisaFil in beige for the quilting on this

small wall hanging

Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50

Various thread choices for the snowman table runner


Variegated thread options

Since one of the threads I’m going to

use is variegated, I thought I’d spend

a moment to chat about variegated

threads. It’s hard to tell when the thread

is wound on a spool, but an important

factor to check is how long the spans are

between the variegations. You should

be able to find this out on the internet

or ask the shop owner if they have a

sample on hand.

I thought I’d show you a sample of how

these two similar colored variegated

threads differ from each other.

Two different brands of orange variegated thread

We interrupt this feature…

There’s a moral to this diversion so please

bear with me!

It’s very hard to photograph black

fabric in my studio so I decided to take

it outside to snap pictures on my deck.

Next thing I knew, my two helpers (dogs)

were jumping around and very excited

to be helping ‘mom’ take pictures.

While Lexi created a diversion by

stretching and then laying on my fabric,

Murphy snatched one of my spools of

thread! Wait – come back here with that!

When I got the spool of thread back after

mere seconds, there were a few dents

in the spool. I wound off a couple of

outer layers and thinking I’m good to go,

I loaded the thread onto the Designer

Topaz 50 so I could proceed with my


Spool of thread with dents (from dog bite)

Hmm – I seem to be having some

problems with the sewing machine. I

changed presser feet, I changed the

thread to a vertical position and I

unwound some more of the thread.

Turns out that bite went deep and

the entire spool of thread was pretty

much toast!

Look at what those sharp teeth did to

the thread – almost bit through but not

quite. Yards and yards and yards of it was

like that.

The thread was damaged by a dog bite!

Lexi creates a


while Murphy

(the thief )

hides in the


(upper right)

Thankfully she took the spool that was

my own and I was simply going to use

it for my stitch-out! I’ve put it back in my

sample box that I use for teaching.

The moral of this story is – keep spools of

thread away from your pets! This is the

second spool that Murphy has stolen

and destroyed!

And now back to the feauture...

I did manage to get a bit of a stitch

out with the damaged thread. You can

see that thread on the left side of the

sample below. The color variegates

from an orange to a very pale yellow

and the variegation is quite long.

The sample on the right (FabuLux

by WonderFil) doesn’t have as much

variation in the value of the color and

the variegation is much shorter.

Stitch-outs of two different brands of

variegated thread

Again, there’s no right or wrong, it’s just

knowing that each one is different and

stitch outs help to learn how each thread

will suit your project. It’s essential to

stitch samples of the variegated thread if

you’re not familiar with it.

What did I use in the bobbin? For both

types of thread (the damaged thread was

a 40 weight rayon thread and the other

one was a 40 weight 3 ply polyester), I

used the InvisaFil in the bobbin. I also

tried a 50 weight piecing thread.





issue 10

In the next sample you can see the tension is a slight bit off in the

left-hand sample. That’s because I was messing with the tension

because I thought I knew better than the Designer Topaz 50 did.

But alas, I was wrong! I ended up putting the tension back to

what the default was and it worked like a charm!

Note to self – don’t try to fix what isn’t broken!

Let’s just say that I learned a few things while writing this.

• Don’t let the dogs steal thread!

• Don’t mess with the tension unless there is a problem

I’m very excited about the results of the quilting sample with

the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50. I had used several

different thread weights in the top and bobbin and there was

no need to change the tension. Imagine sitting down at your

sewing machine and being able to just start quilting? That’s

what I call exciting!

Two different thread weights used in the bobbin

6essential tips for perfect free motion quilting

How’s the doodling? Doodling really is such

a simple technique and yet it has improved

my quilting so much I can’t believe it!

I’m going to start quilting a couple of

small projects on the Husqvarna Viking

Designer Topaz 50 and I’ll be sharing my

techniques and thread choices with you.

Let’s get started!

1 The Function Panel

Here’s a picture of the Function Panel

on the Designer Topaz 50. There are

some key features here that help make

free motion quilting a breeze. If you’re

not comfortable with controlling the

speed with which you do free motion

quilting, you can manually adjust the

speed and that eliminates one variable

when you’re learning.

Surprisingly, I never use the Scissor

Function when I’m quilting. I like to leave

long tails so I can pull them to the top of

my work and trim the threads at the end

of a line of stitching. So I don’t use the

scissors when I quilt.

Needle Up/Down is an absolute must

when quilting. When you stop, you want

that needle to remain in your work to

prevent your piece from shifting and

causing a big stitch where you don’t

want one.

And of course, the Presser Foot Up and

Presser Foot Down functions are essential.

I rarely use the other functions when I’m

quilting, but I do use them all the time

for piecing and decorative stitching.

The Function Panel of the Designer Topaz 50

2 Pulling the bobbin thread

to the surface

As I mentioned above, I never use the

Scissor function when I’m quilting. That

means I’ll have a long bobbin thread

tail which I can pull to the surface of my

project. In the photo below, you can see

there are two threads – one is coming

from the needle, the other is the bobbin

thread which has been pulled through

the quilt sandwich. It’s easy enough to

do – hold the top thread in your left

hand. Touch the needle down function

twice – up comes the bobbin thread.

Tuck the two threads behind the needle

under the presser foot. I like to hold

them when I’m starting. Otherwise, the

threads have a tendency to be pulled

to the back of the work and will cause

unsightly messes.

There’s more on this subject further on in

this series.

Pulling the bobbin thread through the quilt

sandwich so it’s sitting on the surface of the project

3 Use InvisaFil thread for

stitching in the ditch

Enough talking, let’s get started with

some quilting!

I found this small wall hanging when I

was going through some stuff. It’s been

sitting unfinished for years and it’s time to

get it done! I looked at the beige InvisaFil

thread from WonderFIl. Hm – I think that

would be perfect for this little piece.

InvisaFil thread is a 100 weight – 2 ply

thread which means that it is very thin.

It’s recommended by WonderFil (in

their very helpful pamphlet) that this

thread is great for “stitch in the ditch”.

I’ve used it before and absolutely love

it! I could have used invisible thread,

but I prefer InvisaFil as it doesn’t have a

sheen to it whatsoever.



.com | issue 10 55

Another great advantage is that when

you wind a bobbin, it lasts a long, long

time! So I wound a bobbin with InvisaFil

and also put it on the top. I did a sample

stitch-out to make sure that the tension

was fine. No problems and no need to

adjust the tension at all. Yeah!

4 Learn to do free motion

“stitch in the ditch”

I quilted the entire piece without

stopping. I simply back tracked if I

needed to move to a new location.

No need for marking on this piece

as I stitched in the ditch around the

appliques and the border and followed

along all the embroidery.

Here’s the most amazing thing about

InvisaFil. Can you see the thread?

Remember, I used the beige thread

for the entire piece, even over the

embroidery which in some cases, I had

to cross over the embroidery stitching.

This thread is truly amazing and I would

love to have all the colors, but if you

can only manage a few spools, I would

highly recommend a dark, a light and a

couple of beige/taupes. You’ll be set for

pretty much anything you want to stitch

in the ditch!

Now notice in the photo below the foot

I have on the Designer Topaz 50. YES – a

free motion foot! NOT the Dual Feed foot

as we commonly think of when stitching

in the ditch.

Years ago, I had a big project to quilt

with a lot of compass blocks. I wanted

to stitch in the ditch around all those

compass points and the thought of

doing it with a walking foot made me

ill. I learned how to do stitch in the ditch

with the free motion foot and haven’t

looked back since! I still use my Dual

Feed foot for stitch in the ditch, but I’m

very selective about using it!

In the photo below, I’m stitching in

the ditch beside the hand embroidery

stitches. The thread is so fine so it blends

right in and you only see the texture, not

the stitches.

“Stitching in the ditch” beside hand

embroidery stitches

Here are a couple of close up shots of

the piece AFTER it’s been quilted. You

can’t see the thread along side the

borders or beside the applique or on

the embroidery. The InvisaFil is truly a

magic thread!

Stitch in the ditch using a free motion foot

Quilting stitches are almost completely invisible

on the wall hanging

Even when I stitched on the blue fabric

with the beige thread, the quilting

stitches are pretty much invisible.

Small wall hanging quilted entirely with InvisaFil



56 .com| issue 10


Think about it – you’re new to quilting.

You’re afraid to quilt because you know

your friends are going to look at your

stitches which are not necessarily that

consistent. Imagine if you used InvisaFil.

What would your friends say when they

can’t even see the stitches!

6 Keep your learning projects


One other tip – keep your first projects

small. You’ve got a lot of things to learn

about how your sewing machine works,

how you move the fabric, learning the

designs and a whole lot more. Keep the

piece small so it takes an hour to finish,

not a week. You’ll be more encouraged

with your progress!

The Snowman Tablerunner

Remember this table runner that I made

in July 2017 when I was showing you

4 key tips to successful and stress free

machine applique embroidery? I had

used an embroidery design from the

built-in designs in the Designer Topaz 50.

Then added borders.

Quilting stitches are still invisible in the blue

sections of the wall hanging

5 Use busy backings for your


And here’s another amazing trick. Use

a BUSY backing for your quilt! Can you

see the quilting stitches below? Can

you see where I had to backtrack to get

to a new spot? If you look really really

close, you can see them, but nothing

jumps out at you!

Be a good friend to yourself and use

busy backings and fine threads. You’ll be

happy that you did!

Snowflakes are a bit large for the scale of the

table runner

Here’s what I did to resolve this issue.

I decided to use the snowflake applique

as a template and quilt the snowflakes

into the center section! I thought that

was a brilliant solution! I could have

done something like a grid but I’m very

happy with the snowflakes.

Now the question is how to mark the

design so I can stitch it out. If I had the

negative of the snowflake (essentially

a stencil), I could have used that and a

chalk pounce to mark the outline of the

snowflake. But I didn’t have that. I could

have cut it out of paper, but that was too

much trouble!

Quilting stitches pretty much disappear on the

busy backing

Snowman table runner

Now it’s time to get it quilted.

Remember how I wasn’t sure what to

put in that center part? My applique

snowflakes were a tad on the large size.



.com | issue 10 57

So I got out my trusty Chaco Pen (my

favorite marking tool) and I marked a line

around the applique.

Oh yes – I used the free motion foot for

these snowflakes. Way faster than the

Dual Feed foot.

Using a Chaco Pen and the applique shape to

mark the quilting lines

There are times when I don’t follow my

own advice. I choose a thread color

and I stitched out the first snowflake.

Good grief – you can’t even see it! I was

disappointed. Now if I would have used

that blue thread on a sample of this

fabric and even stitched out one section

of the snowflake, I would have seen how

awful it looked in the blue thread.

So I did the next one in white thread and

I was much happier with the results. Yes,

I ripped the blue one out. Grr!

Thread on the back of the table runner matches

perfectly to the fabric to hide possible flaws

In the photo below, you can see that I’ve

pulled the bobbin thread up from the

back of the work. I have it tucked behind

the open toe free motion presser foot.

I’ll continue holding that thread for the

first half inch or so. Otherwise, there’s a

tendency for the bobbin thread to get

pulled to the back of the work and cause

a knot or thread nest.

A knot or nest of thread on the back of the

table runner

Stopping and starting

the line of free motion


If I wanted to do a super professional

job, I would leave those long thread

tails until I was finished the piece and

then bury them with a needle into the

batting. But this is a simple table runner

and I don’t need to be that particular

about it. Once I have stitched away from

the start, I will clip those threads off right

at the surface of the work. Because both

the top and bobbin thread are on top,

it’s easy to clip the threads.

When I arrive back at the beginning

of the outline, I simply stitch over the

existing stitches for a bit to anchor the

beginning and end of the stitches. I

could also do a couple of small stitches

at the beginning and at the end of the

line of stitching.

One snowflake stitched in white, and one stitched

in blue which is practically invisible

I used a matching thread on the reverse

side of the table runner. This backing isn’t

that busy so a matching thread helps to

hide any flaws.

If you want to get those nice points,

make sure you hesitate ever so

slightly before you change direction.

It’s like dancing the waltz – there is a

slight hesitation before you move to

the next step.

Pull the bobbin thread to the surface of the work

and tuck it towards the back of the presser foot

In the next photo, you can see a knot

that occurred because I didn’t hold the

threads tight enough. In this case, that

knot looks just like one of the stars on

the fabric, but trust me, it’s a thread knot!

Stitch away from the start of the line of stitching

and clip the threads


58 .com| issue 10


Quilted snowflakes

And here’s my three snowflakes nicely

stitched into the center of the table

runner. I’m thrilled with the results

and it took a few minutes to do each

including the marking! Marks that I

don’t have to worry about removing.

The chalk mostly bounces away by the

time I’m done the quilting.

I did mark each snowflake and then

stitched it immediately, before marking

the others, so that I wouldn’t disturb the

design for the others while stitching one

of the other snowflakes.

There’s so much more to cover in the

world of free motion machine quilting.

I won’t have time to cover everything

here and this is not an exhaustive

tutorial. Just some basic tips and

suggestions to get you over that fear

of free motion quilting and to improve

your stitching!

Snowman table runner with three quilted snowflakes



.com | issue 10 59

Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50 with optional extension table


essential tips

that takes

stitching in the


to a



Time sure flies when you’re having fun

and I had loads of fun creating feature.

Hopefully, you’ve picked up some great

tips along the way.

The Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50

is a great sewing machine and also an

embroidery machine. I was very happy

to note that the Designer Topaz 50 is a

sewing machine that does both, stitches

and embroiders, beautifully which isn’t

always the case with a dual purpose

sewing machine.

It executed all purposes with ease,

keeping the quality of the stitches for

embroidery and free motion quilting,

impeccable. I was very, very happy using

the Designer Topaz 50!

I’m going to show you a few things

that I did with the Designer Topaz 50.

I’ll include tips for stitching in the ditch

and more free motion work using the

WonderFil threads I used earlier on the

panel from Northcott. Let’s take a look.

Quilting with a decorative


I want to do some stitch in the ditch

to highlight that light border on the

snowman table runner.

I contemplated using a decorative stitch

on the Designer Topaz 50 down the

middle of the light border instead of (or

in addition to) the stitch in the ditch.

The first step was to evaluate the stitches

in the decorative stitch menus to see

if there was something appropriate.

I found Stitch Number F:7 which is a

snowflake. The second step was to stitch

it out on my scrap quilt sandwich. I did

that for two reasons.

Some decorative stitches are not meant

to be stitched through a quilt sandwich

and may not look as pretty as we would

like them to be on the back and the

second reason was to evaluate the size

of the stitch.

F:7 – a snowflake stitched on the scrap quilt sandwich

This is the underside of the decorative stitch and

it looks great!

The underside of that stitch looked

just fine on the back side of the quilt

sandwich. I would have been happy to

stitch that out, but I felt that the stitch

width was a teeny bit too small. No

problem, the border isn’t that wide so if I

don’t put any stitching in it, it won’t be a

problem. I was just trying to find another

way to use a decorative stitch.


60 .com| issue 10


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Stitch in the ditch

What exactly is stitch in the ditch? When

you press your seams to one side, there

is a hill (the seam allowance part) and

a valley (the side of the seam with no

seam allowance). When you stitch in the

ditch, you want to stitch on the valley

side of the seam allowance. This will help

to tuck the stitching line down into the

pre-existing seam so no one can see it.

It’s hard to tell in the photo below, but

the seams were pressed away from the

center so the top horizontal line has

the seam allowance towards the white

fabric, meaning the quilting stitch has

to be on the blue. On the other side of

the white border, the seam is pressed to

the blue (both seams are pressed in the

direction of the bottom of the photo)

so this time, the quilting stitch has to be

on the white.

That raises the question of what color

thread to use. But having used the

InvisaFil from WonderFil, I don’t think it’ll

be hard to find something that I can use

in both spots.

The horizontal seams are pressed towards the

bottom of the photo

I bet you’re puzzling about the direction

that the seam allowances were pressed

in, especially if you’ve been taught to

always press to the darker fabric. I tossed

that myth out the window years ago.

My motto now is press to eliminate bulk

and if that means pressing towards the

light – then I press towards the light

fabric. I also try to press to be consistent

and I think that’s what happened here. It

doesn’t really matter – you do what you

think is best, but just remember some of

those myths? Well, they’re just myths!

The other thing you may notice is that

I’m using straight pins to baste my

project. This is a case of “don’t do what I

do!”. I normally do not baste small items.

GASP! I know – it’s true. Partially because

I’m lazy, but I do press all the layers well

with a steam iron (front and back – very

carefully). Then I throw some straight

pins in the project to keep things in


62 .com| issue 10


place and lastly, I check and check and

recheck after every seam to ensure that

the back is still smooth in the area that

I’m quilting. I would advise that you do

NOT do this unless you’re comfortable

with the process!

1 Choosing the right


I set up the sewing machine for the

stitch in the ditch. I kept my light blue 50

weight thread for the bobbin, it matches

the backing very nicely and I didn’t want

to have to change it.

I had some white WonderFil InvisaFil in

my thread stash so I popped that on the

top. Remember this thread is 100 weight

which means it’s very, very fine.

I just happened to have a light blue very

fine thread as well as the white, so I used

the white on the white section and the

blue on the blue section. The lines of

stitching are pretty much invisible.

2 Using the a sewing foot

with a flange

I attached the Dual Feed foot and used

one of the Interchangeable Feet. It

has a flange right in the center of the

foot. This is brilliant for stitching in the

ditch. That flange rode along the edge

of hill side of the seam allowance (in

the photo below, the seam allowance

is pressed to the white) and my stitch

in the ditch was perfect. That flange

allowed me to stitch at a fairly fast pace

and little danger of wobbling onto the

hill side of the seam allowance.

3 Do not pivot when

stitching in the ditch

I do NOT suggest that you pivot your

work when doing stitch in the ditch.

However, if the piece is small enough like

this table runner, there isn’t a problem.

But if you have to push and shove

Using the Dual Feed foot for Stitch in the Ditch

The lines of stitching are invisible

your quilt under the arm of the sewing

machine in order to pivot, then don’t

pivot. I work those seams in straight

lines, stopping and starting at the edges

of each section OR I use free motion

stitch in the ditch.

If your piece is small enough that you

can safely pivot, then be careful. You

want your stitching to come right into

the corner as shown below. That means

that you may have to shift the work

forward or back to make that happen.

Whatever you do, make sure that if

you shift the project, that you keep

the presser foot down whenever you

take the needle in or out of the fabric.

If you don’t, you’ll get a little blip at

the corner or sometimes, you’ll get a

rounded corner. It takes a bit of skill

and understanding of how the sewing

machine works, but remember, in order

to keep the tension, the presser foot has

to be down when the needle moves up

or down.

I know that I’m being super picky here,

but if you look at the corners below,

you’ll see that the one on the left is

perfect while the one on the right has a

teeny blip in it and it’s rounded. When I

raised the needle, the presser foot was

up meaning there was zero tension on

the thread. That was enough to cause

this little blip!

Stitching right into the corner

In the big scheme of things, the corner

on the right isn’t bad, but it’s details

such as these that will take your quilting

to the next level giving your quilting

project an overall professional look. It’s

up to you how you where you want to

take it!

Take a close look, there are lots of

instances where my backtracking wasn’t

perfect. Did I worry? Did I rip it out?

Nope and I’m going to show you why.

One perfect corner, the other has a tiny blip

Free motion quilting the


But, getting back to the free motion

work on the side panels of my tote bag.

I’m working with Northcott’s Artisan Spirit

Shimmer Flight of Fancy panel in the

autumn colorway and this time I used

the floating free motion foot. I loaded

the WonderFil FabuLux thread on the top,

used the InvisaFil in the bobbin. I changed

the needle to a topstitch size 14, lowered

the feed teeth, put on my quilting gloves

and away I went. I couldn’t believe how

much fun I was having!

I fused fusible fleece to the wrong side

of the panel motif. There’s no backing

as the bag will be lined. This is what the

design looks like from the underside. I

simply followed most of the lines on the

motif. No marking! And I did it all in one

stop and start so I had to backtrack over

some of my stitching.

The underside of the free motion work on a

quilt panel

In the big photo below, the left side is

the panel that hasn’t been quilted yet,

while the right side (folded on top of the

other bag panel) has been quilted.

See how that thread blends right in

and provides a lot of texture on the

right-hand side? I don’t need to see the

stitches, I really just want to enhance the

panel and do it fast! So while it may be

a bit messy for you, the effect is exactly

what I was looking for.

This is one of the huge advantages of

having a matching thread to your work.

It blends right in and you get the texture,

but no visible stitches. You can stitch fast

and if you wobble a bit, who is going to

notice? Matching threads (and this one

was variegated as well) are a quilter’s

best friend.

I also did some organic straight lines

(using the floating free motion foot) as

I was too lazy to change to the walking

foot and why should I when I can get the

effect I wanted with the free motion foot.

The left side is not quilted, while the right side is

Organic wavy lines of quilting

This almost looks like a practice piece

from a class on free motion quilting.

Simple which is good and also fast!


I’m going to chat about density another

day, but I want to make a brief and

important point here, in the photo

below, you can see there’s an area that

has no quilting in it. If this were a quilt, I

wouldn’t be happy with that. But this is a

panel for a bag – I’m letting it go!

Density isn’t quite as even as it could be, but this is

a panel – it’s OK



.com | issue 10 63

If you’re going to do free motion along the sides like I did, be

very careful. In an ideal world, you’d have 2'' – 3'' of backing

or backing extending beyond your top. I had NOTHING to

hang onto when I got into the corner and it was a bit tricky

to keep a good stitch length. Do yourself a favor – make sure

your backing and batting are larger than the top so you have

something to hang onto!

Gosh, I’m thinking this article is all about what NOT to do! I

do want to show you that once you’ve mastered the basic

techniques, then it’s OK to experiment and do what suits you!

Since the thread was already on the Designer Topaz 50, I

decided to forge ahead and top stitch the handles. That thread

color just blended in beautifully with this fabric. I love the end

result. The thread color enhances the fabric, but not enough to

detract from the fabric color. A perfect match!

That brings to a close a fabulous article, using the

Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50 for some great quilting

techniques. There were loads of tips and hopefully one or two

of them were enough to inspire you to pick a small project and

give it a whirl.

Use GOOD tools including the sewing machine, needles,

thread, and fabric. If you use inferior products, your results will

be inferior as well.

Make sure you doodle – I can’t stress that enough. Most

important of all, STOP criticizing yourself. Seriously – STOP! Just

go with the flow, use matching threads, use busy backings and

just do it!

Don’t forget to let us know if there’s something in particular that

you’d like to see quilted. A particular type of project, a particular

type of thread or whatever. Happy quilting!

Nothing to hold onto when quilting in that corner

Color of thread is perfect for this fabric

Elaine Theriault


Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50 with optional extension table


64 .com| issue 10


Dual Duty XP® combines superior strength & durability

with a smooth finish for trouble-free sewing.


The "Xtra Performance" All Purpose Thread.

World’s leading thread company for over 200 years.


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


Red and White


Lap Quilt


| issue 10


Brother NQ900

Embroidery, Sewing, Quilting, & Crafting

Use beautiful built-in embroidery designs from

the PR1050X (or any lightly embroidered stitch

pattern for a 10” x 10” block that you may have)

to quickly stitch up this lap quilt using a Quilt

As You Go Method. Your quilt is quilted by the

embroidery design saving you quilting time.

Fast, Fun and Fabulous!

skill level Intermediate

finished measurement 50” x 40” [127 x 102cm]



• 3½ yds white cotton for embroidered squares and 4 patch


• 3½ yds red cotton for embroidered squares, sashing strips

and borders

• 1 fat quarter coordinating fabric for 4 patch blocks

• 3 yds print fabric for backing

• 2½ yds quilt batting


• red rayon embroidery thread

• white rayon embroidery thread

• light grey cotton thread


• NQ900 Brother Sewing Machine

• Brother Entrepreneur® Pro X PR1050X Embroidery Machine

• 9½” x 9½” embroidery hoop

• rotary cutter and mat

• 505 adhesive spray (optional)


• WOF = width of fabric

• All seam allowances are ¼”

Entrepreneur Pro X PR1050X



.com | issue 10 67

Fabric in the hoop

Design on the screen

Attach sashing to the block


Cutting instructions

• 6 – 12” x 12” squares from white fabric

(embroidered block 1)

• 6 – 12” x 12” squares from red fabric

(embroidered block 2)

• 12 – 12” x 12” squares of quilt batting

(embroidered blocks)

• 12 – 12” x 12” squares of backing

fabric (back of embroidered blocks)

• 2 – 3” x 50” strips of fabric for side borders

• 2 – 3” x 45” strips of fabric for top and

bottom borders

• 2 – 8” x 55” strips and 2 strips 8” x

45” for quilt facing (same fabric as

quilt back)

• 2 – 3” x width of quilt, strips of batting

• 2 – 3” x length of quilt, strips of


• 4 – 2” x WOF strips of fabric for the

4 patch appliqué block patches.

Two different print fabrics and white

fabrics were used in the sample.

• 1” x WOF sashing strips

Note: 4 – 1” x 12” strips for each

embroidered quilt block. Red blocks

are sashed with white fabric and white

blocks are sashed with red fabric.

• 3” x WOF sashing strips for back of


Note: 8 – 3” x 12” strips for the back of

each block to use to sash the back of

the blocks together.

• 3 – 3” x 35” strips to join the rows. Fold

the 3” strip lengthwise – 1½” in width

Note: For the quilt back sashing use the

same fabric as the quilt back or use a

coordinating fabric.

Embroidering blocks

1. Layer quilt block fabric with a piece

of quilt batting and a piece of

backing fabric.

2. Hoop layered fabric in 9½” x 9½” or

9½” x 14” hoop.

3. Select embroidery design #012 or

#017 (in the PR1050X).

4. Add a basting line around the outside

of the design.

5. Stitch 3 white blocks with design

#012 using red embroidery thread;

and stitch 3 blocks with design #017

using red embroidery thread; 6 white

and 6 red blocks in total.

6. Stitch 3 red blocks with design #012

using white embroidery thread; and

3 red blocks with design #017 using

white embroidery thread. (6 red

blocks in total).

7. You should have a total of 12

embroidered blocks.

8. For each block remove layered

fabric from hoop; trim and square

to 11” square.

Add Sashing to Each Block

1. With right sides together place the

1” x 12” a strip of sashing fabric to

one of the outside edges of the

embroidered block.

2. Stitch sashing to block.

3. Repeat for all four sides of the block.

4. Press sashing away from the blocks.

Note: Stitch red sashing to the white block;

white sashing to the red blocks.

Add Border to Quilt Front

With right sides together stitch 3” border

strips to the sides and top of the quilt


Assembling Rows of Blocks

1. Lay out sashed quilt blocks

alternating red and white

embroidered blocks.

2. With right sides together stitch the

blocks together, stitching the edge

of a white sashing to the edge of a

red sashing.

3. Repeat this step to join all the blocks

of row one of the quilt.

4. Flip the quilt over.

5. Now attach the sashing strips to the

back of the quilt. Sashing strips will be

attached to the right side of the first

block and the right side of the second

block of the row. It isn’t necessary to

add a sashing strip to the third block

in the row.

6. Lay the raw edge of the quilt back

sashing strip to the back of the

quilt block.

7. Stitch in place, making sure to keep

the front sashing out of the way.

8. When a quilt sashing strip is attached

to the back of a quilt block it should

fold over to hide the seam join.


68 .com| issue 10


Instruction photos by Lynn Swanson

9. Pin quilt sashing strip in place.

10. Flip quilt over to the right side and

stitch in the ditch of the embroidered

block and the sashing strip.

Note: The picture shows stitching in white

thread so you can visualize the stitching.

By using the same colour thread as the

sashing strip the stitching disappears.

11. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above to join

the block into rows.

Note: Don't worry about perfect joins of

the seams where 4 blocks join together

you will be covering the join with an

appliquéd 4 patch block.

Join Rows of Blocks

1. Sew the horizontal sashing strips to

the back of the quilt. Sashing strips

will be attached to the bottom of the

blocks in row 1, 2 and 3.

2. Lay the raw edge of the quilt back

sashing strip to the back of the first

row of quilt blocks.

3. Stitch in place, making sure to keep

the front sashing out of the way.

4. Repeat for rows 2 and 3.

5. When a back of quilt sashing strip is

attached it should fold over to hide

the seam join.

6. Pin back of quilt sashing strip in place.

7. Flip quilt over to the right side and

stitch in the ditch of the embroidered

block and the sashing strip.

Final Assembly of Quilt

1. Lay strip of quilt batting 3” x width

of quilt to the wrong side of quilt

border strip (top and bottom). Use

505 adhesive spray to hold in place

if desired.

2. Lay strip of quilt batting 3” by length

of quilt to the wrong side of quilt

border strip (left and right side). Use

505 spray to hold in place if desired.

3. Fold 8” x 45” fabric strip in half to form

4” x 45” strip.

4. Stitch raw edges backing fabric strip

to the edges of the outside quilt

border strip, in this order: top edge,

bottom edge, left side, right side.

5. Fold and press to the back of the


6. Stitch in the ditch from the right

side of the quilt to secure quilt

facing in place.

4 Patch Appliqué blocks

1. Stitch 1 white 2” strip to a red 2” strip.

2. Repeat with a second print strip.

3. Cut into 2” blocks.

4. Rotate colours and stitch into 4

patch blocks.

5. Fold to the back side ¼” on all sides

of the 4 patch blocks. Press in place

6. On the right side of the quilt

position the 4 patch blocks over the

joins between the quilt blocks. This

will hide any untidy seam joins.

7. Using a blanket stitch, stitch

around the outside of the blocks to

stitch in place.

Attach sashing to quilt back

Stitch in the Ditch

Lynn Swanson

Brother Educator

Western Canada


Appliqué block 2



.com | issue 10 69

Flight of Fancy

2 other colorways: Blue Lagoon and Earth


70 .com| issue 10


Panel photos courtesy of Northocott Fabrics

Designed by Deborah Edwards, Flight of Fancy,

the latest addition to Artisan Spirit Shimmer

is stunning and sophisticated! The collection

is offered in three palettes including Autumn,

Earth and Lagoon.

The featured panel and full width ombre are

elegantly depicted and exquisitely detailed.

Complementing the panel and ombre are tossed

butterflies, dragonflies and feathers. Flight of

Fancy was created with the same refinement

and style as in the existing Shimmer patterns.

All of the existing blenders in Shimmer

coordinate seamlessly with Flight of Fancy.

In creating the quilt patterns, the designers

should make full use of the panel and ombre.

As well as incorporating the new designs, they

should use the existing coordinates that are

shown with this group to offer relief from the

busy patterns.


skill level intermediate

finished measurements

51” x 47” [129 x 119.5cm]



• 1 panel – Fabric A (21662M-39)

Butterfly Panel

NOTE: You may wish to carefully trim the

border away from the center before you

cut out the motifs. The border from the

panel was used to frame the blocks, but

there wasn’t enough to make the inner

border. You may choose to use the dark

raindrops fabric for all the frames and

inner border.

Trim the center butterfly to 17”

x 13”. Center the butterfly so

approximately 3⁄8” extends above

and below the motif.

Trim the dragonfly to 11½” x 7½”

Trim the small butterfly to 10½” x 7½”

• 1½ yard – Fabric B (21461M-580) Dark

Raindrops (frames, outer border and


Cut three (3) strips measuring 1½”

x wof (block frames) (you may wish

to use the border from the panel

for this part)

◊ Subcut two pieces that measure

17” x 1½”

◊ Subcut two pieces that measure

15” x 1½”

◊ Subcut one piece that measures

11½” x 1½”

◊ Subcut one piece that measures

10½” x 1½”

◊ Subcut two pieces that measure

8½” x 1½”

Cut four (4) strips measuring 1½” x

wof (inner border)

Cut five (5) strips measuring 4½” x

wof (outer border)

◊ Join end to end using a straight


Cut six (6) strips measuring 2½” x

wof (binding)

◊ Join end to end using a diagonal


• 5⁄8 yard – Fabric C (21665M-39) Overall

Motifs (background)

Cut two (2) strips measuring 8½”

x wof

• 5⁄8 yard – Fabric D (21664M-39) Overall

Wings (border 2)

Cut four (4) strips measuring 3½” x

wof (2nd border)

◊ Join end to end using a diagonal


• 2¾ yard Backing

Pieced crosswise


• matching thread

• rotary cutter

• cutting mat

• ruler

• pins



Use ¼” Seam Allowance unless

otherwise stated.

It’s best to NOT prewash preprinted

fabrics such as panels and border prints.

The fabric goes through many processes

to be delivered to the consumer and

there may be some size variations. If

you’re unable to cut the panels/border

prints to the sizes mentioned above,

cut the pieces to a size that works

for your panels and adjust any other

measurements accordingly.

Block frames

1. Using Fabric B (or the border from the

panel), sew a 17” frame to the top and

bottom of the large butterfly block.

Press away from the center.

2. Sew a 15” frame to the two sides of

the large butterfly block. Press away

from the center.

3. Sew an 11½” frame to the bottom of

the dragonfly block.

4. Sew an 8½” frame to the left side of

the dragonfly block. Press away from

the block.

5. Sew a 10½” frame to the top of the

small butterfly block.

6. Sew an 8½” frame to the right hand

side of the butterfly block. Press away

from the block.

Quilt Center

1. Measure the height of the large

butterfly block including the frame. It

should be 15”. From EACH of the 8 ½”

strips of Fabric C, cut one piece that

measures 15” x 8½”. Sew one to each

side of the framed butterfly block.

Press towards the frame.

2. Sew the remainder of one strip of

Fabric C to the LEFT hand side of

the dragonfly block and sew the

remainder of the other strip of Fabric

C to the RIGHT hand side of the small

butterfly block.

3. Measure the width of the center

section, should be 35”. Using that

measurement as a guide cut the

dragonfly and the small butterfly

‘border’ strips to match the length of

the center section.

4. Sew to the top and bottom of the

large butterfly section and press away

from the center.

Inner Border

1. Using Fabric B, cut TWO pieces of

fabric that measure the center width

of the wall hanging.

2. Match the center of the inner border to

the center of the wall hanging and pin.

3. Match the ends of the inner border

to both ends of the wall hanging and

pin. You may have to ease the inner

border or the wall hanging. Sew the

seams. Press toward the inner border.

4. Repeat this process for the side inner

borders using the height (through the

center) of the wall hanging as your

measurement guide.

2nd Border

Repeat the steps for the inner border

using Fabric D, add the 2nd border.

Outer Border

Repeat the steps for the inner border

using Fabric B, add the outer border.

Elaine Theriault

Fabric Collection: Artisan Spirit Shimmer Flight

of Fancy - Autumn by Deborah Edwards




.com | issue 10 71

City Landscape Vest

Create mirrored fabric and then use it

to cut out a simple vest. I have done this

with as little as two fabrics to a maximum

of six, always keeping the sky or the top

fabric the same. Although I used red and

white with a hint of black you can get a

very elegant look using black and gold

and for a quick serger sweatshirt use this

technique with fleece and don’t quilt it.



72 UILT social

issue 10

This is a version of Bargello quilting. It's

much easier and quicker as you don't

need to worry about lining up perfect

points. Working with strips of different

widths and less colors you will get the

look of a city skyline. A great technique

for the first time quilter!

skill level intermediate

finished measurements

This is a technique more than the project,

use the size and pattern that’s best for




• 2¼yd [2m] white cotton

• 3 different red prints

• 2¾yd [2.5m] Colour 1 red dots

(quilted fabric and lining)

• 39” [1m] Colour 2 solid red

• 20” [50cm] Colour 3 black with

red maple leaves

Note: There will be some left over of each

of these fabrics. This will allow a little play


• 39” x 59” [1 x 1.5m] Fairfield

light weight cotton batting


• Burda 6986 was used for this sample


• 1 – 65cm red, 2 way separating zipper

• 1 – 65cm white, 2 way separating zipper


• white Gütermann cotton thread

• red Gütermann cotton thread

• clear invisible Sulky thread

sewing feet

• ¼” foot

• stitch in the Ditch foot

• zipper foot


• Schmetz Quilting size 75/11 or

Microtex size 70/10

cutting tools

• cutting mat

• rotary cutter

• 6” x 24” ruler

• scissors

suggested sewing notions

• double sided basting tape

• point turner

• pins

• iron

• wonder clips

• temporary fabric markers



Sewing Machine set up

Sewing Foot: ¼” foot

Needle: Schmetz Mictrox Needle size

70/10 or Quilting needle size 75/11

Stitch: Straight Stitch Length 2 mm

Tension: Normal

Thread: White Gütermann cotton


Cutting Instructions

White Fabric

1 piece 20” x wof

1 piece 24” x wof

1 piece 12” x wof

Colour 1

1 piece 20” x wof

Colour 2

1 piece 24” x wof

Colour 3

1 piece 12” x wof

Creating the Quilted Fabric

Step 1

To determine the length of quilted

fabric required for your size pattern,

measure the vest back pattern from

the shoulder to bottom edge, double

this measurement, add the 15”.

Example: Back 36” x 2 = 72” +15” = 87”

Note: This cannot be larger 88”, so choose

the pattern carefully or shorten the vest.

Step 2

1. Piece one: 20” x wof white and 20” x

wof colour 1.

2. Cut the red fabric in half so you

have 2 pieces 20” x ½ wof.

3. Trim selvages of all three pieces.

4. Right sides together, stitch a red

piece to each selvage end of the

white fabric creating a strip 20” x

88”. Photo 1

5. Press seam towards the red and

straighten one side.

Step 3

Cut 6 strips 2½” x 88”.

Step 4

1. Piece two, 24”x wof white and 24”

x wof colour 2. Cut the red fabric

in half so you have 2 pieces 24” x ½


2. Trim selvages of all three pieces.

3. Right sides together, stitch a red

piece to each selvage end of the

white fabric creating a strip 24” x

88”. Press seam towards the red and

straighten one side.

Step 5

Cut 10 strips 2” x 88”.

Step 6

1. Piece three, 12”x wof white and 12” x

wof colour 3.

2. Cut the red fabric in half so you have

2 pieces 12” x ½ wof.

3. Trim selvages of all three pieces.

4. Right sides together, stitch a red

piece to each selvage end of the

white fabric creating a strip 12” x

88”. Press seam towards the red and

straighten one side.

Step 7

Cut 6 strips 1½” x 88”.

Note: These amounts are for a size 12 if

you’re using a larger or smaller pattern,

adjust the number of strips.

Step 8

Sew strips with right sides together,

making them randomly uneven as in

photo 2, keeping the up and down

spacing to no more than 4” – 5” from

previous strip. Working from the center

outwards, start with colour 3 add colour

2 on each side. Continue in this manner

adding colour 1 on each side and then

colour 2. Repeat in this pattern (3-2-1-

2) until all strips have been used. Your

panel should be approximately 30” wide.



.com | issue 10 73



Step 9

Press all seams open.

Step 10

Place light weight cotton batting on the

wrong side of the panel.

Step 11

Set sewing machine up for Stitch in

the Ditch.

Sewing Machine set up

Sewing Foot: Stitch in the Ditch foot

Needle: Schmetz Mictrox Needle size

70/10 or Quilting needle size 75/11

Stitch: Straight Stitch Length 2.5 mm

Tension: Normal

Thread (Top) Sulky invisible thread;

(Bottom) White 60 weight bobbin thread

Step 12

Starting on the center strip, stitch in the

ditch down the length of each seam.

Step 13


Fabric is now quilted and ready to make

a vest.

Garment Construction

Sewing Machine set up

Sewing Foot: Zipper foot

Needle: Schmetz Mictrox Needle size

70/10 or Quilting needle size 75/11

Stitch: Straight Stitch Length 2.5 mm

Tension: Normal

Thread: White Gütermann cotton thread

Step 1

1. Back: Remove the center back seam

allowance from the pattern.

2. Place the lower edge of the pattern

as far down on the reds as possible

aligning the center back with the

center strip (Colour 3).

3. Trace pattern piece, flip over aligning

the center back and trace second


Step 2

Front: Place the lower edge of the

pattern as far down on the reds on the

opposite end of the panel with the

center front lined up on the seam of the

center strip, trace the right front.

Step 3

Flip the pattern piece over and move

over slightly to other side of the center

strip. Trace the left front.

Step 4

Cut out the three pieces for the vest (2

fronts and 1 back). DO NOT cut the center

back seam.

Step 5

Cut one back lining on the fold from

Colour 1.

Step 6

With right sides together cut front lining

from Colour 1.

Step 7

Sew side seams of lining together, leaving

a 12” opening on one the side seams.

Step 8

Press the shoulder seam allowances to

the wrong side.

Step 9

Sew sides seams of the quilted fabric


Step 10

Press open side seams on lining and

quilted fabric.

Step 11

Using two different colours of zippers to

create one dual coloured zipper: separate

the zippers and take one side from each

zipper, zip together and put the other two

sides away. On front side of both zipper

tapes place double sided basting tape.

Photo 3.

Step 12

1. Place the zipper along the center front

of the vest (quilted fabric), right sides

together matching the raw edges.

2. Remove the paper from the basting

tape and finger press in place.

3. Baste in place.

4. Repeat for the second front.

Step 13

Pin lining to the quilted piece, right sides


Step 14

1. Starting at the front of the shoulder,

leaving the shoulder seam open,

stitch the front of vest and continuing

along the bottom and around the

other front finishing at the second

shoulder opening.

2. Stitch back neck.

3. Stitch the arm holes.

Step 15

Clip the seams and remove excess


Step 16

Reach in through the opening in the lining

side seam. Turn the vest right side out.

Step 17


Step 18

Sew quilted shoulder seams together and

press open.

Step 19

Slip stich shoulder lining seams and

side seam.

Step 20


Step 21

If you like the look of topstitching,

topstitch the vest with white or red thread.


Cathy McClean

Product Specialist



74 .com| issue 10



QUILTsocial bloggers

Christine Baker


Christine has been designing and

publishing quilt patterns for the

last 10 years under the business

name Fairfield Road Designs.

Her patterns range from fusible

applique and piecing to felted wool

applique and punchneedle. You can

see all her patterns on her website.

Elaine Theriault


Elaine made her first quilt at

the tender age of 13. The urge

to quilt resurfaced when her

daughter moved from a crib. The

rest is history – she now teaches

several days a week, makes

quilts on commission and quilts

for others on the long-arm .

Jean Boyd


Jean has been designing and

publishing patterns since 1997. Her

work has been published in several

magazines across North America.

Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in

quilting and has taught extensively

throughout Canada, including six

national Quilt Canada conferences.

She was named "Canadian Teacher

of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian

Quilters Association and has won

numerous awards for her quilts.

Paul Léger


I took my first quilting course in

September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario,

near the armed forces base where

I was stationed. After moving to

Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first

guild. I took more courses and

began to buy quilting books and

lots of fabrics. Quilting has become

my passion. I have made over 150

more quilts since then, and have

never looked back. I now share my

knowledge of quilting by teaching

and doing presentations, and


Allison Spence


Allison began teaching sewing and

quilting while working at a sewing

machine dealer in Calgary, Alberta.

She also owned her own fabric

store and sewing school for 6

years where she had the wonderful

opportunity to teach a wide variety

of classes to many sewers, young

and old. She now has a studio and

classroom in her home and does

customer quilts. She teaches in

her studio, locally and in North

America. Allison has a very, very

supportive husband, 2 daughters

and granddaughter close by.


76 .com| issue 10


don't miss these

projects & tutorials online!




1 way to






with THE


Machine 2


Quilting with the NEW

PFAFF creative icon




Unboxing the

Husqvarna Viking

Epic 980Q

Twin needle free motion

quilting adds gourmet detail

and there's so much more!



.com | issue 10 77

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

Brenda Franklin Designs

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

519.638.9958 bfdesigns.on.ca


More than 500 charts available for counted

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

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Brampton Sew & Serge

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

905.874.1564 sewnserge.com


Welcome to Your One Stop Sewing Centre! We are

authorized dealers of Baby Lock, Husqvarna Viking,

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offer a full schedule of sewing classes for everyone.

Bytowne Threads - Ottawa, ON

1.888.831.4095 bytownethreads.com


Featuring AURIfil® thread from Italy. Long staple

Egyptian cotton threads - 270 colours in 12, 28, 40

and 50 wt; 88 colours in 80 wt. Polyester Aurilux -

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Many kits available. Check our website!

Canadian National Fabric - Melancthon, ON



We are an online fabric shoppe offering a wide

variety of fabrics, patterns, books and notions for all

your sewing needs. Flat rate Canada wide shipping

of $5 with FREE SHIPPING for orders over $75. Shop

in person available by appointment!

Country Concessions

1 Dufferin St, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0

705.458.4546 or toll-free 1.888.834.4407



Visit our lovely and unique quilt shop in the quaint

village of Cookstown. We have over 7000 bolts of

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

905.274.7198 gittas.com


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

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Hardanger House

PO Box 1223, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0



Hardanger embroidery charts and kits designed

by Betty Stokoe. Hardanger House designs feature

contemporary adaptations of this traditional

cutwork embroidery from Norway. Shop online at


Some digital downloads available.

Haus of Stitches

626 Main Street, Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0

306.682.0772 or toll-free 1.800.344.6024


Our one of a kind store offers everything you need

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Heartfelt Fibre Arts

42 Industrial St, Toronto, ON M4G 1Y9

647.920.3616 heartfeltfibrearts.com


Canadian Fibre Arts supply store specializing in

high-quality, unique fibre and tools for all of your

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Impressions Embroidery & Engraving

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

403.942.3934 impressionslethbridge.ca


Our shop does embroidery and laser engraving.

Laser engraving is a beautiful process for fabric,

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My Sewing Room

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

403.252.3711 mysewingroom.ca


Canada's Largest Independently Owned Quilting

Store with fabric, patterns, kits, notions, sewing

machines and more! My Sewing Room boasts over

10,000 bolts of 100% cotton fabric from designers

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Needles & Knits

15040 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 1M4

905.713.2066 needlesandknits.com

Fabulous selection of yarns. Extremely

knowledgable and expert help. Cozy and friendly

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Needleworker's Delight / Silkweaver Fabrics

Plaza K 181 Route 1 South, Metuchen, NJ 08840

732-388-4545 needleworkersdelight.com


Standard & specialty Zweigart Fabrics & canvas,

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Pine Ridge Knit & Sew

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

613.392.1422 pineridgeknitsew.com


We have knitting machines by Artisan and Silver

Reed, embroidery machines by Husqvarna/Viking

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Ruby Pearl Quilts

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

905.436.3535 rubypearlquilts.com


We are your full service source of professional quilting

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Ruti's Needlebed

10 Thomas St, Mississauga, ON L5M 1Y5

905.821.9370 ruti.ca

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

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Serenity Knits

525 Brooker Ridge #102, Newmarket, ON L3X 2M2

905.710.3283 serenityknits.ca


We offer a wide selection of high quality yarns as well

as needles, hooks, patterns and notions. We also offer

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Sew Fancy Inc.

Guelph, ON

519.824.4127 sewfancy.com


Your Premier Canadian Source for Specialty Sewing

Supplies including Smocking, Heirloom Sewing,

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the website for the latest in sewing supplies.

That Sewing Place

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

905.715.7725 thatsewingplace.ca


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

403.932.3390 stitchingcorner.ca


Your Needlework Shop in Cochrane.

The Stitcher's Muse

99 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G3

250.591.6873 thestitchersmuse.com


A divine little shop with supplies for all your hand

stitching needs! Friendly, knowledgeable, helpful

staff. Cross stitch, canvaswork, needlepoint,

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The Yarn Guy

15 Gower St, Toronto, ON M4B 1E3

416.752.1828 or toll-free 1.800.836.6536

theyarnguy.com info@sewknit.ca

See us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter!

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Ultimate Sewing Centre

191 Bloor St East, Oshawa, ON L1H 3M3

905.436.9193 ultimatesewing.com


For all your sewing needs be sure to call Durham’s

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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

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photos on fabric.


78 .com| issue 10


Your quest for

the best stops here.

Brother’s Q-Series machines are ready to take your sewing passion to a whole new level! Whether you’re a seasoned

sewer, an embroidery enthusiast or a crafty quilter, you’ll find the perfect model with the best features, fast embroidery

speeds, super-sized workspaces and fantastic functions.

Quench your creativity and bring all your projects to life!


Impressive 8.3”

from needle to arm

Exceptional sewing

experience with longer

feed dogs and zigzag foot

Filled with

easy-to-use features

Disney is in our DNA.

Our machines have the

magic of Disney embroidery

designs built right in.

Visit your Brother authorized dealer, or go to brother.ca to discover more.


* Disney embroidery designs are built-in the NQ3500D sewing machine model. The Disney embroidery designs are included in select Q-Series sewing machine models. Photos are for illustration purposes only. The NQ3500D shown in this ad has

been manufactured by Brother Industries, Ltd., under a licensing agreement with Disney Enterprise Inc., through which Brother has permission to use the Disney images. The embroidery designs built into the embroidery machine are for personal

use within the home only and may not be used for business or industrial purposes. Brother and its logo are trademarks of Brother Industries, Lts., Japan. All specifications are subject to change without notice. All registered trademarks referenced

herein are the property of their respective companies. ©2017 Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. 1, rue Hôtel de Ville, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec, H9B 3H6. ©Disney 06/2017 - 94598

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