QUILTsocial Issue 12

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Welcome to another extraordinary QUILTsocial issue! Don't miss the 11 essential tips for quilting on a domestic machine. See which machine features help you to accomplish beautiful quilting results. We also look at how we can get even more creative, if that's possible, by using FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to enhance your quilting, make it look like it were applique, make your own 'printed' fabric and add dimension, all using these fabric markers!

We're taking a close look at the features of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe and Brother Dreamweaver XE, which you don't want to miss. In exploring the features, we also explore what's important to know when quilting a machine embroidered piece and a hand embroidered piece - what's the difference? Find out in this issue!

Included are several quilting projects using Northcott fabrics, including one of Banyan Batiks latest, Mary Batik. Make sure you scroll to the very end there's a drop dead gorgeous quilt called Birds of Paradise by none other than Elaine Theriault. The pattern is reminiscent of the exotic birds.

Q .c



…eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

Diagram 2

Visit QUILTsocial.com to download

a PDF version of this issue.

essential tips

* 3 ways to use a laser guide for piecing

* color your free motion quilting for the instant

look of applique

* 3 tattle tale experiments on binding a quilt

* quilting a hand embroidered piece

* making doll clothes

* how to use FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers

* PLUS *

4 quilted churn dash blocks!

Mary Batik churn dash cushion cover


editor's letter

You might remember in QUILTsocial Issue 11, I

talked about a quilt that created quite a sense

of frustration, particularly once the quilt top was

all pieced. Looking at it was disheartening, and

I couldn't figure out where I went wrong. Why

did very few points match up? And why didn't

the colors gel even if they were of the same

collection? It was important to set it aside and let

the frustration evaporate.

Two years later

brings us to

July 2018 and

a new attempt

is made to

revive the

quilt. I realized

the problem

of the points

not matching

up. HSTs are

one of the

most versatile

and creative


for making a quilt block, and they come together

beautifully when they are squared up! I ripped out

the entire quilt top, squared up my blocks, and

looked for a better arrangement that highlights the

muted colors and print.

Check out the new quilt top! These are the same

pieces as in the first attempt, with the addition of

only 6 HSTs of a different fabric line. The reason

the diagonal strip wasn't working out is there isn't

enough contrast in the colors to make the most of

the effect. It has become one of my favorite quilt

tops! See the quilting in the next Issue 13, it will be

the first time I quilt on a domestic machine.

As for this excellent issue, you'll find many ways to

improve your quilting skills. The one I found most

fascinating was how to use FABRIC FUN Fabric

Markers in the next

quilting project. See

the many ways they

can be used: add

dimension to the

existing quilting

for dimension, add

color for that instant

applique look, or

draw your own

creative elements on

fabric. I'm sure you

can come up with

other ways to use

these on fabric.

Another fabric collection from Banyan Batiks was

launched very recently, Mary Batik. A soft floral

print with deep colors I adore. See what our writer

Sarah Vanderburgh made with this fabric line!

Lastly, I love hand embroidered pieces, they reflect

the quiet time spent stitching with love. See the

useful tips Elaine Theriault has to share when

quilting hand embroidered pieces. Enjoy the issue.


follow me on




issue 12 3



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ALL of the above!


eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

* projects

* techniques

* product reviews



Visit QUILTsocial.com

and download our free ebook

Elaine’s Quilting Tech Tips!


Carla A. Canonico



John De Fusco



Carla A. Canonico, John De Fusco


Christine Baker


Julie Plotniko


Elaine Theriault


Sarah Vanderburgh



Carla A. Canonico


Sondra Armas

WEB and IT Support

Alejandro Araujo

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QUILTsocial is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle

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


A limited number of printed copies of QUILTsocial are available

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

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


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

email john@QUILTsocial.com.


Designers and other contributors who would like to be

considered for future issues please email carla@QUILTsocial.com

with a brief description of your work and your proposed project

for the magazine.

©2018 QUILTsocial. All rights reserved. Issue 12. 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

64 A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine

59 Banyan Batiks

63 Brother

62 Business Directory

61 Coats

58 Eat Your Heart Out Tours

33 Gütermann Creativ

57 Husqvarna Viking

60 Melissa Marginet


04 QUILTsocial


4 .com| issue 12



issue 12

c o n t e n t s






















Making a batik statement with a quilted cushion cover

Bold batik prints make for a dashing churn quilt block

Mary Batiks and a star design steal the show in quilted cushion cover

Making a dashing Mary Batik churn dash cushion cover

4 quilted churn dash blocks are better than 1!

How to use FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers in your next quilting project

How coloring your fabric meets up with a fabulous quilting experience

5 ways to create your very own fabric designs using fabric markers

Color your free motion quilting for the instant look of applique

Adding dimension to applique pieces using fabric markers

Unboxing the Dreamweaver XE from Brother

5 basic ways to customize your sewing experience with the Dreamweaver XE

6 awesome features to love on the Dreamweaver XE

Help is always close at hand with the Dreamweaver XE

3 ways to use a laser guide for piecing

Designer Ruby deLuxe, NOT your grandmother’s sewing machine

3 tattle tale experiments on binding a quilt

11 essential tips for machine quilting

9 key steps to machine quilting a machine embroidered wallhanging

Quilting a hand embroidered piece and making doll clothes, is so much fun!

Bird of Paradise Quilt




issue 12 5

Making a

batik statement

with a quilted

cushion cover

Sarah Vanderburgh

Fabrics for the front of the cushion cover.


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I’m quickly becoming a lover of batik fabrics

and I have Northcott to thank! A new line from

Banyan Batiks called Mary is in quilt shops! This

one is beautiful! Large florals, dynamic block

printing, and the colors! I tried to restrain

myself as I prepare these articles but I’m not

sure I succeeded. I had designed this block

several months ago and decided to try it out

with some Mary batiks.

I played with color a bit differently in

this design. I wanted to try making the

background of the design dark and I wanted

to use the dark brown floral without it taking

over and making the design feel heavy. I

chose batiks from two different colorways in

the Mary line – Rust and Pink. I also chose two

Ketan batiks that coordinate with this line to

give the eye a place to rest and to keep the

focus on the floral prints.

Photos by Sarah Vanderburgh

The codes for my six choices are:

• A – Mary RUST colorway 80075-34

• B – Coordinating Ketan 81000-310


• C – Mary PINK colorway 80076-22

• D – Mary RUST colorway 80072-37

• E – Coordinating Ketan 81000-262


• F – Mary RUST colorway 80070-34

Cutting Directions

We’re getting right into cutting because,

well, I couldn’t restrain myself and there

are TWO projects to make in this feature!

Cut in the order of my instructions and

you should have large enough pieces left

to use in the next project;)

Fabric A – Inner Background

• 2 – 3¼” squares cut on both diagonals

to make 8 total quarter triangles

• 2 – 3” squares

• 4 – 2½” squares

Fabric A pieces

Fabric B – Outer Background

• 2 – 3¼” squares cut on both diagonals

to make 8 total quarter triangles

• 4 – 3” squares

• 8 – 1½” x 2½” rectangles

Fabric B pieces

Fabric C

• 1 – 4½” square

• 8 – 1½” x 2½” rectangles

Not pictured but required:

4 – 1½” x 17½” strips for borders

Fabric D

• 4 – 27⁄8” squares cut once each on the

diagonal to make 4 total half square


• 4 – 2½” squares

• 8 – 1½” x 2½” rectangles

Not pictured but required:

4 – 1½” squares for borders

Fabric E

• 2 – 3” squares

Fabric F – Corner Triangles

2 – 93⁄8” squares cut once each on the

diagonal to make 4 total half square


TIP Cut across the squares in opposite

directions so the pattern will be

maintained when sewn onto the

center block.

You'll need a bit more fabric to complete

the cushion:

• a fat quarter from your stash to use as

backing to quilt the front of the cushion

• a fat quarter for the top back panel –

you’ll see my choice soon!

• batting – approximately 19½” square

• thread for stitching and quilting – I

used some bold red for some of my

quilting and thread that blends in for

the rest

The Mary batik line has a beautiful variety

of prints that will start coming together

to create the center block of the quilted

cushion cover.

Fabric D pieces

Fabric C pieces

Fabric E pieces

Fabric F pieces




issue 12 7

Bold batik prints make for a

dashing churn quilt block

Can you spy the churn dashes in this

cushion? I challenged myself to use the

bold batik prints to create a secondary

design out of them. There are other

colorways too – green, red, and teal. I’ve

used the rust and pink! Follow along and

create your own dashing cushion cover.

Make Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

Use the Fabric B – 3” squares to make


Pair 2 with Fabric A squares and 2 with

Fabric E squares.

Draw one diagonal line on the back of

EACH Fabric B – 3” square.

With Right Sides Together, sew one

Fabric B – 3” square to one Fabric A – 3”

square sewing ¼” away on each side of

drawn line.

Cut on the drawn line to create 2 HSTs;

press the seams to the darker fabric.

Trim each HST to 2½” square.

Repeat to make a second set of Fabric


Repeat two more times with the two

Fabric E – 3” squares and the two

remaining Fabric B – 3” squares.

You should have 4 Fabric A/B HSTs and 4

Fabric B/E HSTs.

Half square triangle units

Make Corner Block Units

Make border units by sewing one Fabric

B rectangle along a long edge of a

Fabric C rectangle; press the seam to the

Fabric quarter triangles side. Unit should

measure 2½” square.

Repeat to make 8 total units.

Arrange HSTs and border units as

pictured. Sew HST to border unit in each

row, pressing the seams to the HST.

Join the two rows to complete the

border unit. The joining seam will need

to be pressed in different directions

depending on the block’s location in the

final assembly. You could choose to wait

and do the pressing once your blocks are

laid out.

The unit should measure 4½” square.

Repeat to make 3 more blocks.

Corner block units

Make Quarter Triangle units

Sew a Fabric B quarter triangle along

one short edge to the LEFT of the short

edge of one Fabric A quarter triangle;

press the seam to the darker fabric.

Sew a Fabric D half triangle along the

bottom edge of the Fabric A/B half

triangle; press the seam to the Fabric D

half. Unit should measure 2½” square.

Repeat to make 3 more identical units.

Quarter triangle unit pieces

Sew a Fabric B quarter triangle along

one short edge to the RIGHT of the short

edge of one Fabric A quarter triangle;

press the seam to the darker fabric.

Sew a Fabric D half triangle along the

bottom edge of the Fabric A/B half

triangle; press the seam to the Fabric D


Repeat to make 3 more identical units.

Two quarter triangle block units

Using the next photo for orientation,

sew one of each of the quarter triangle/

HST units together, sewing the Fabric A

quarter triangle sides together.

Press the seam to one side.

Unit should measure 2½” high x 4½” wide.

Repeat to make 3 more middle blocks.


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Quarter triangle units

Make Middle Blocks

Make inner rectangle units by sewing one Fabric D rectangle to

Fabric A square.

Sew a second Fabric D rectangle to the opposite side of the

Fabric A square.

Press both seams to the inner square.

Each R/S/R unit should measure 2½” high x 4½” wide. Repeat to

make 3 more units.

Sew one on the triangle units to the top of one of the R/S/R

units. Press the seam to the R/S/R unit.

Repeat to make 4 middle blocks.

Make center square

Make center

square in a square

unit using Fabric

C – 4½” square and

four Fabric D– 2½”


Place one Fabric D –

2½” square right side

down on a corner

of Fabric C square

and sew a diagonal

line opposite the

outside corner.

Two units to create middle block unit.

TIP Sew your line just a wee little bit to the left of the line, the

side you will not be cutting off.

Repeat on opposite corner. Trim ¼” seam and press to the new

triangle corners.

Repeat with the two remaining Fabric D – 2½” squares.

Completed Center Square in a Square measures 4½”.

Mary batiks quilted cushion cover

Square in a square middle block unit




issue 12 9

Block units sewn into rows.

Assemble the block

Sew the blocks into rows, following the

photos for correct orientation of the units.

Don’t press the seams until the full row is

sewn, then press the first-row seam to the

left, the middle to the right, and the bottom

row to the left again.

Pin and sew rows together, pressing the final

seams away from the middle row. The block

should measure 12½” square.

The center block is complete. Can you see the

churn dashes now? This block could be used

in a sampler quilt, repeated to make a table

runner or a full-sized quilt. The Mary batik

rust floral does a great job in the background

and doesn’t even look like we cut it up! My

favorite part of this design is that by using a

different fabric placement the churn dashes

have become a central star.

12'' quilt block

Mary batiks and a star design steal the show

in quilted cushion cover

Adding the corner triangles.


10 .com| issue 12


The Banyan Batik line, Mary, is captivating in this churn dash design.

We’ll set that star on point with some more batik magic, quilt the

cushion front and sew the cushion together.

Add Corner Triangles

Lay one Fabric F corner triangle right side up and pin one edge

of the block right side down to it. There should be almost a ¼” of

the corner triangle showing on each end. Don’t worry if it’s not!

Once all four are sewn on trim anyway.

Sew the first corner triangle on then sew one on the opposite

corner – remember to check that your fabric’s pattern will be

going in the same direction.

Press the seams to the corner triangles.

Sew the next two

corner triangles on

and press the seams

out as well. The block

should now measure

17½” square.

Sew the next two

corner triangles on

and press the seams

out as well.

Trim to make it

Square up the cushion center.

square; I lined up

my ruler along each edge to make sure I still had a ¼” of my

fabric past each corner of my on point block intact.

The cushion cover should now measure 17½” square.

Add Borders

Sew one Fabric D – 1½” square to each end of two of the Fabric

C strips. Press the seams to the strips.

Sew one of the strips to each side of the block, pressing the

seams to the strips.

Sew the strips with squares to the top and bottom of the block,

pressing the seams to the borders.

The block should measure 19½” square and is done!

Cushion cover top with borders added

Quilt cushion front

Lay your stash fat quarter right side down on your pinning surface.

Lay the batting on

top followed by your

cushion cover, right

side up. Pin through

all three layers (or

use your preferred

basting method.)

Quilt to secure all

three layers. I quilted

in the ditch around

the center block,

around the outside

borders, around the

Fabric A inner square,

Cushion cover pinned for quilting

and around the rust

star. I used red thread to stitch ¼” around the pink fabrics in the

center block to hint at the churn dash they create. I used a gray

thread in the corner triangles following some of the vertical

lines in the print.

When you’re done quilting, remove the pins and square up the

quilted cushion top. Use your trimmed size as the width for your

backing panels, it should still be pretty close to 19½”.

Prepare cushion back panels

For the top back panel I used a fat quarter of another Mary batik

print – 80074-34. I cut it to measure 19½” wide x 17½” high.

For the bottom back panel, I used part of a coordinating Ketan batik

print – 81000-377

(Chestnut Orange).

This piece I cut 19½”

wide x 8” high.

Hem one edge of

both panels: press ¼”

of fabric over to the

wrong side and then

another ¼” and sew a

¼” seam using thread

that blends in with

the fabric colors.

Fabrics for the cushion back panels

Sandwich and

Assemble Cushion cover

Lay your cushion cover parts on top of each other in this order on

your pinning surface:

• Place the cushion cover front, RIGHT SIDE UP.

• Put the back top panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN with the non-hemmed

edge lined up with the top edge of the cushion cover front.

• Line up the back bottom panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN, with the

nonhemmed edge lined up with the bottom edge of the

cushion cover front: the hemmed edge will lay over top of the

top back panel hemmed edge.

Pin all the way around the outside of the cushion cover: be sure to

pin at the sides where all three layers overlap.

Sew ¼” all the way around the edges of the cushion cover.

Check to make sure you have sewn through all the layers.

Serge or zigzag stitch

to finish seams.

Turn cover right

side out by pulling

cushion front

through the cushion

back opening; use

your finger inside the

cover to push out the

corner points.

Your batik quilted Sewing around the layered cushion panels

cushion cover is

complete! Insert your pillow and enjoy :)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project I made with Banyan Batiks new

line, Mary. Visit your local quilt shop and get some – remember to

get some coordinating Ketan batiks too!




issue 12 11

Making a dashing Mary Batik

churn dash cushion cover

Mary Batik churn dash quilted cushion cover

Fabric pieces for churn dash blocks

We will double the fun with a second

quilted cushion cover. The batik fabrics

might still steal the show, but the churn

dashes are up for the challenge! You’ll

have enough leftovers from the first

cushion or you could try out another

colorway of Mary – check out the green

colorway here.

Fabric Requirements

Leftovers of Fabrics A, B, C, D, and F

(cutting directions follow below)

• A – Rust colorway Mary 80075-34

• B – coordinating Ketan batik 81000-

310 (Nougat)

• C – Pink colorway Mary 80076-22

• D – Rust colorway Mary 80072-37

• leftover of fat quarter of coordinating

Ketan batik 81000-377 (Chestnut


• fat quarter of coordinating Ketan batik

81000-370 (Light Cinnamon)

• fat quarter from stash for backing of

front cushion panel

• batting – 20” square

Cutting directions for churn dash


We’re making 2 sets of churn dash blocks,

each set using two fabrics.

Fabric A

4 – 4” squares

8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units

1 – 3½” square

Fabric B

4 – 4” squares

8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units

1 – 3½” square

Fabric C

4 – 4” squares

8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units

1 – 3½” square

Fabric D

4 – 4” squares

8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units

1 – 3½” square

Make Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

Draw one diagonal line on the back of

EACH Fabric C 4”square.

With Right Sides Together, sew one

Fabric C 4” square to one Fabric A 4”

square sewing ¼” away on each side of

drawn line.

Cut on the drawn line to create 2 HSTs;

press the seams to Fabric A.

Trim each HST to 3½” square.

Repeat steps 1-3 to create a total of 8


Make Dash units

Make dash units by sewing one Fabric C

rectangle along a long edge of a Fabric A

rectangle; press the seam to the Fabric A

side. Unit should measure 3½” square.

Repeat to make 8 total units.

Assemble rows

Referring to the photo, layout the units

you’ve made to sew them into rows.


12 .com| issue 12


To start make a block with the Fabric A as the churn dash and

Fabric C as the background.

Sew the units into rows. Press the seams once the full row is

sewn, pressing the top row to the right, the middle to the left,

and the bottom row to the right.

Sew the rows together to complete the churn dash block. Press

the seams away from the middle row. The churn dash block

should measure 9½” square.

Repeat with the remaining Fabric A/C units to make a second

churn dash block, this time with a Fabric C churn.

Now use the Fabric B and D pieces to make two more churn

dashes. Remember to rotate the units to make one Fabric B

churn and one Fabric D churn.

Now you should have four different churn dash blocks. I love

the contrast between the two sets! Initially, I thought I would

just sew these blocks beside each other and add a border to

the outside, but even though I like how each fabric would meet

in the center I felt the result was too busy. The churn dashes got

lost where the different blocks meet.

To make sure the beautiful bold Mary batiks don’t become a

blur I decided to add a sashing. This is the next part...

Keep reading and see how adding some Ketan batiks to the

Mary batiks help to make the churn dashes come out and shine.

Churn dash units sewn into rows

Two churn dash blocks from same batik fabrics

Churn dash blocks from two different batik fabrics

Four batik churn dash blocks




issue 12 13

4 quilted churn dash blocks are better than 1!

Two batik quilted cushion covers

Back panels of both quilted batik cushion covers.

The beauty of the separate batiks was

being challenged setting the blocks

beside each other so we’ll add a sashing

between them before quilting and

creating the cushion cover.

Before we add sashing, make sure each

of your churn dash blocks is 9½” square.

Then use the Ketan batik Light

Cinnamon (81000-370) cutting it into 2

– 2” strips. Subcut one into 2 – 9½” strips

and one into a 20” strip.

Sew one of the 9½” strips to the right

side of the top left churn dash block;

press the seam to the strip.

Sew the top right churn dash to the

other side of the strip, pressing the seam

to the strip.

Repeat with the bottom two churns and

the remaining 9½” strip.

Sew the 20” to the bottom edge of the

top row; press the seam to the strip.

Sew the top edge of the bottom row to

the strip, pressing the seam again to the


The cushion top should measure 20” square.

Quilt Cushion Front

Layer the cushion front backing fat

quarter Right Side Down on a flat

pinning surface.

Place the batting on top.

Place the assembled cushion top on top

Right Side UP.

Pin the layers together or use your

preferred basting method.

Use a contrasting thread to quilt. I

quilted ¼” away from the Fabric B/D

churn dashes and in the ditch of the

Fabric A/C churns. I also quilted in the

ditch of the sashing.

Trim the quilted pillow front to 20” square

remembering to keep a ¼” of fabric past

the churn dash points.


14 .com| issue 12


Prepare Back Panels

The top back panel is made up of leftovers from Fabric F and coordinating Ketan batik

Chestnut Orange. Sew them together to make a panel 20” wide x 15½” high. Be sure to

zigzag the seam between the fabrics.

The bottom panel is made from the coordinating Ketan batik (81000-370) used for the

sashing cut 20” wide x 8½” high.

Hem along one long edge of each panel: press ¼” of fabric over to the wrong side and

then another ¼” and sew using thread that blends in with the fabric colors.

Sandwich and Assemble Cushion Cover

Lay your cushion parts on top of each other in this order on your pinning surface:

• Place the cushion cover front, RIGHT SIDE UP.

• Put the back top panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN with the non-hemmed edge lined up

with the top edge of the cushion cover front.

• Line up the back bottom panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN, with the non-hemmed edge

lined up with the bottom edge of the cushion cover front: the hemmed edge will

lay over top of the top back panel hemmed edge.

Pin all the way around the outside of the cushion cover: be sure to pin at the sides

where all three layers overlap.

Sew ¼” all the way around the edges of the cushion cover.

Check to make sure you have sewn through all the layers.

Serge or zigzag stitch to finish seams.

Two quilted cushion covers done! Turn this second one out, pushing the corners out

with a fingertip and insert a pillow.

The backs of the cushions look great together thanks to the coordinating Ketan batiks

and the prints in the Rust colorway of Mary.

I hope you enjoyed the design possibilities of the churn dash block this. The Banyan

Batiks, Mary line was fun to use creating different coloring options for the design. You

can’t go wrong with these prints! I plan on having fun with batiks all year long. :)

Churn dash blocks with sashing

Back panel fabric choices

Sarah Vanderburgh





issue 12 15

How to use


FUN Fabric


in your next



FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers primary colors collection


16 .com| issue 12


Julie Plotniko

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers have 2 tips for thick

and thin lines

Fabric taped in place on cardboard or foam board

Test fabric pinned on to foam board

One of my favorite things to do is

coloring on fabric.

FABRIC FUN Dual Tip Fabric Markers

available at your local quilt or craft shop

allow me to do this with absolute ease.

We are exploring some of the fabulous

ways to use these versatile markers on

cotton fabric.

Let’s start with the basics

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers are dual tip

meaning that they have both a thick and

thin tip on each pen.

They’re permanent, odorless, non-toxic

and fast drying, water resistant, work

well on cotton-based fabrics and come

individually or in two color collections of

ten markers each, primary and brights.

All this makes them super versatile for

use on clothing, accessories, home decor,

quilting, and crafting.

It’s a good idea to lightly pre-wash your

fabric prior to coloring.

You can do this by hand or in the

washing machine. No soap is needed,

just a rinse with clear water. Remove

before completely dry if using a clothes

dryer to prevent setting the wrinkles.

Iron while still slightly damp and your

fabric will be all ready for coloring.

Once colored, your fabric will need to

be heat set using a dry iron on cotton


Colored fabric is washable in cold or

warm water.

Stabilize your fabric for successful


You’ll get better results when coloring

with FABRIC FUN markers on cotton

fabric if you stabilize the fabric to stop it

from shifting while you work.

There are a few simple ways to do this.

1. One of the easiest ways to keep your

fabric stable for coloring is to iron

plastic coated (not waxed) white

freezer paper to the back. This is

available at your local grocery store.

Use a dry iron to set the cotton

setting for best results.

This method is quick and inexpensive as

the freezer paper can be reused several


Once coloring is complete simply pull

the whole sheet of freezer paper off and

save to reuse.

2. Another easy way to stabilize your

fabric for coloring is to tape it to a

piece of foam board or cardboard.

Painters tape works well here.

3. You can, of course, use pins or tacks

to attach your fabric to the cardboard

or foam board. Just be careful to

angle the pins so that they don’t go

all the way through.

Our preparation is done and we’re ready

to start coloring with our FABRIC FUN

Fabric Markers.

Keep reading as we practice our basic

coloring skills by customizing a printed


Oh the possibilities!

Northcott Black and White

with a Dash of Color- black



White with a Dash of

Color-line print

I’ll use a printed fabric to show you

how this helps you learn and develop

coloring skills. For this technique, I’m

using two fabrics from Black and White

With a Dash of Color by Northcott.

Ready, Set, Color!

There are endless possibilities for

coloring on print fabrics.

Black and white prints are the easiest

to learn on because they give clear

boundaries to work with.

It’s kind of like having a coloring book

on fabric, all ready for you to add your

personal touch.

As I mentioned, FABRIC FUN Fabric

Markers come in a wide variety of colors

both bright and primary.

Choosing which one to use first is

probably the hardest part.

An easy way to start is to use a single

color to completely fill in an area of

design. Use the thin tip to get into small

areas and the thick tip where you’re

working on larger areas.

If you just want to see what the colors

look like you can “go wild” and use

them all at once for a whimsical looking


Go wild with color for a whimsical look

Using a variety of similar colors within a

design can add depth and dimension.



your fabric

meets up

with a




Using a single color for each motif is an easy way

to start.

Photos by Julie Plotniko

Go wild with color for a whimsical look

A detailed print gives many design


I started by coloring a repeat element

with the primary pink.

Use a light touch for limited color

saturation or a firm pressure for deeper

more intense color.

The fine tip will give a softer appearance

while the thick tip instantly gives more

ink flow for a deeper richer effect.

Isolate and color a single motif for a pop of color

Uncolored areas of design within a

colored area add a touch of light for

sparkle and can be also used to add in

different colors later.




issue 12 17

Use a light touch and leave some white showing

for sparkle

Use several shades or colors on a

single design element for a more

detailed three dimensional look.

If you add different colors in areas left

previously uncolored each color will

remain separate and pure.

Because the FABRIC FUN Fabric

Markers are so fast drying you can

also layer colors on top of one another

creating entirely new color variations.

Follow the pattern to color at an angle to create

the impression of depth.

Here, a little of the bright collection

goes a long way.

Let the pattern on the fabric guide you

to color at the correct angle.

I followed the direction of the veins on

the leaves and varied the pressure on

the pen throughout.

This gives a natural almost painted effect.

Continue coloring areas of the design.

A little bright color goes a long way.

Color individual motifs all the same or

all different, whatever you find pleasing.

You can leave some areas of the design

uncolored for an interesting contrast.

Coloring on fabric is just so much fun

that I often can’t quit until everything

is colored!

Remember to heat set by pressing with a

dry iron on cotton setting.

You can use your

colored fabrics for

garments, crafting,

quilting and more.

They look great

by themselves or

combined with

the original print.

Leave some of the design uncolored for contrast

Coloring everything to create a one of a kind print.

5 ways to create your very own fabric designs

using fabric markers


18 .com| issue 12


Small test pieces

allow you to gauge

how the pens react to

your chosen fabric.

Practice can be fun!

Before you begin a project it’s always a good idea to do a little test piece.

Even a 4” square can tell you a lot about how your fabric will behave.

Always do your tester on a piece of the actual fabric you’ll be using. This

gives you an opportunity to see how your colors will look and get the

feel of how the fabric reacts. Some fabrics have more texture to them.

Others may have a tighter or looser weave.

Your little test swatches will become mini works of art all on their own.

You can create a variety of special effects when creating your own fabric.

Coloring individual sections of a design will keep your colors pure.

Layering your colors on top of one another will blend the colors creating

new ones.

Fabric Fun Markers are extremely fast drying so there’s no risk of

damaging the coloring tip when layering colors.

Both techniques have been used in

this leaf.

Layer colors on top of one another or separate

the colors for two different effects.

Another specialty technique is to put

something that has texture underneath

your fabric while you color.

Try coloring with your pen upright as

well as using the side just as if you were

shading with the side of a pencil.

Heavy grit sandpaper will give a subtle

almost suede like texture.

Color on top of sand paper for subtle texture

In the photo below, I used textured

shelf liner.

In the example on the left the pen has

been used upright. In the example on

the right the pen was used on its side.

I really like these interesting effects.

It’s time to create some fabric designs

If you’re comfortable with your drawing

skills then simply jump right in and draw

directly on your fabric.

The fabric does have a little more drag

than paper because of the weave and

cotton fibers. However, the stabilization

techniques we learned in How to use

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers in your next

quilting project, will minimize this issue.

You can of course draw your design

onto paper first. Use your drawing as a

reference or transfer it to your fabric for

coloring. I just use a regular pencil when

using this method as the ink from your

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers will hide the

pencil lines.

I’m certainly not good at drawing but I

sure have fun doodling on fabric!

An allover design in progress

Fabric design does not have to be

complicated. Simple geometric designs

can be very effective.

Even grids are fun! What could be

simpler than drawing with a ruler and


Experiment of grid designs

For those who are just not comfortable

with their own drawing skills there

are plenty of tools available to give a

helping hand.

Stencils cut from a thin piece of plastic

come in a huge variety of designs and


Letters, numbers, words, celebratory,

floral, animals, geometric… traditional,

art deco, modern and more.

You can use the ones made for

transferring quilting designs or the ones

used for crafting and home decor.

Simply tape the stencil on top of your

stabilized fabric with painters tape and

color away!

Have fun with simple geometric designs.

Use painters tape to hold your stencil in place.

Interesting texture created by coloring with shelf

liner under fabric.




issue 12 19

You can color all of the design or just small sections.

This colored stencil design would be beautiful

used in a quilt.

You can color all of the stencil design or

just small sections.

Experiment with your colors until you

get the effect that you want.

Many stencil designs lend themselves

well to all over designs.

Individual patterns are beautiful for use

in quilts, pillows, bags and more.

Another wonderful source of designs are

adult coloring books.

You could use these for inspiration to

draw your own designs or just place a

page under your fabric and trace the


Tape your design page and fabric to a

window or light box for easy visibility.

Children are fearless artists.

Their charming drawings can be

preserved by transferring them to fabric.

Better still give them their own fabric

and FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers and let

them draw along with you.

The options for creating your own fabric

are absolutely limitless. It’s no wonder

that our pens are called FABRIC FUN!

Coloring books can be a great source of design.

Children’s drawings can be preserved on fabric.

Color your free motion quilting for the instant

look of applique


20 .com| issue 12


The look of applique without taking an extra stitch

I’ll free motion quilt a design and then use the FABRIC FUN Fabric

Markers to color the design for the appearance of instant applique.

Let’s begin!

The correct batting, thread and needles-oh so important

It’s important that you choose

a quilt batting that will be thick

enough to absorb some of the

color from your pens without

bleeding through to the back.

I used Soft & Toasty natural

cotton quilt batting from

Fairfield. This is a low loft

cotton batting that has been

needled with a light scrim. The

scrim adds strength but also

helps stop the batting from

absorbing too much ink.

I wanted a bit of a puffy

appearance to show off the

stitching so I used two layers of

Soft & Toasty.

For this technique I like to use 50 weight

cotton thread for my stitching. It gives

a nice outline to the design and is thick

enough that I can feel it with my pen to

help me stay within the lines. It also acts

as a barrier to stop the ink from bleeding.

The samples I used GÜTERMANN 50

weight cotton thread and a SCHMETZ size

11 quilting needle.

The quilting needle pierces the fabric

quickly for nice even stitching.

I especially love the look of the

GÜTERMANN variegated thread Coffee &

Cream as it adds a subtle warmth with

just the right amount of light and dark.

GÜTERMANN Variegated 50wt cotton

– Coffee & Cream

To practice my techniques I free motion

quilted a simple allover floral design.

Next I added color to the flowers.

Look how beautiful a simple design

becomes with a little bit of color.

Because the outline of the design is

stitched you really have to look closely to

see that this in not an applique.

Look how beautiful a simple design becomes

with a little bit of color

Next I stitched an improvisational free

motion with flowers and leaves.

It’s so much fun to just stitch away

without any pre-planning!

If this makes you uncomfortable then

just use your favorite marking tool

to mark your desired design prior to


Remember… you can use your FABRIC

FUN Fabric Markers to color any type

of design.

Animals, birds, buildings and more.

Here’s the same design colored for the

look of instant applique.

I played with drawn lines, spots and dots,

layering colors and different shading


Don’t forget that your pens each have a

thick and a thin tip so you can color large

areas or easily work on tiny details.

It’s fun to leave some of the background

showing for sparkle or even color

outside the lines.

All of the techniques I’ve shown you so

far can be put to use here.

What a difference color makes to the design!

What a difference color makes!

Store your pens flat between uses for

longer lasting life. I’ve done a lot of

coloring with mine and they’re still

going strong.

Of course you can color more than just

the inside of the areas that you quilted.

You can color the background too!

I like to leave a little of the background

showing through is spots to look like

there is light shining through.

You can color your designs completely

for solid color if you prefer.

Up to now, I have been showing you

how to work with basic white fabric.

Simple uncolored floral design stitched with

GÜTERMANN 50wt cotton Coffee & Cream

An improvisational free motion quilting design

with leaves and flowers waiting for color

Yes, you can color the background too!




issue 12 21


dimension to

applique pieces

using fabric


I’ll use the FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to

accent and add extra dimension to hand

or machine applique.

Here we go.

I’m working on fabric from NORTHCOTT,

the Black and White with a Dash of Color


Our FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers will color

just as beautifully on dyed or printed

cotton fabric as they will on plain white.

The line doesn’t need to be too neat as

only a little will show.

The edge is turned under for this

technique so be sure to cut out the

applique pieces far enough outside the

drawn line.

Turn the edge under using your

favorite method.

Do not turn the drawn line all the way

to the back. You’ll want it to show just

above the edge where your fabric turns

under. The dark line looks like a shadow

and gives the applique the appearance

that it’s three dimensional.

This method is usually reserved for hand

applique as machine stitching would

hide the edge.

Though black is traditionally used

other colors can be used for a more

modern look.

Dark color on the edge makes the center come forward

like a cone as the center recedes and the

edges appear to come forward.

We have so many colors of FABRIC FUN

Fabric Markers that sometimes I just

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers

work wonders for hand or machine


One of the most traditional and effective

ways to use color with applique is to

draw your applique shapes directly onto

the right side of the fabric with black ink.

Draw the applique pieces with the thin or thick tip


22 .com| issue 12


Turn the edge part way so that the black line

shows on the edge.

Color will instantly add dimension to our

hand or machine applique pieces.

Remember that dark colors visually

recede while light ones come forward.

A simple circle is the perfect shape for a

flower center. When we add a dark edge

to the circle it makes it look as though

the center is dome shaped.

Placing the dark color in the center of

the circle makes it appear to be shaped

A dark color in the center visually recedes.

want to use them all.

For this flower center I colored the dots

on the yellow fabric with a variety of

colors for a fun, playful appearance.

Create a fun playful look by adding multicolored dots.

A more traditional flower center can be

achieved by using a realistic color palette.

This flower petal is pretty but

we can make it even better

A rolled over edge drawn

on a petal

Rolled over edges colored with

bright colors to add light

Darker shadow added for

more dimension

Texture lines added to

petal center

Amplify the three dimensional effect

Looking at the photo of freshly bloomed

crocuses several things happening to

make it look three dimensional.

1. The center of the flowers is a different

color than the flower petals.

2. The leaves in the background are

crossing over and under one another.

3. The petals roll inward on the top and

or sides.

4. The roll of the petals is a slightly

different color than the rest of the

petals and the veins on the petals

accentuate the depth and direction

of the petals.

We can use the techniques that I went

over these articles to mimic the way

nature uses color.

The first oval shaped flower petal above

is very pretty but we can make it even


I drew a rolled edge on the petal using

my UNIQUE air erase marker.

Drawing the first step allows me to make

changes if I’m not satisfied with the look

of my petal.

A pen that’s a brighter color than the fabric

was used to color the sections that I want

to look as if they’re rolling to the front.

For the next step a darker pen was used

to add a shadow to the underside of the

visual rolled edge.

This shadow will give the impression

of depth.

Texture lines were added to the center

portion of the petal adding even more

visual depth.

Look at how wonderfully three dimensional

our colored petal appears when laid out

with the other uncolored petals.

Just for fun I will make each petal a little


I have had a wonderful time exploring the

many uses of FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers for

coloring on cotton fabric.

Though I have used a flower theme

remember that these techniques can

be used anywhere your imagination

takes you!

The flower will look three dimensional with the

accents to the petals and center.

Julie Plotniko





issue 12 23

The Dreamweaver XE arrives

The Dreamweaver XE

Unboxing the Dreamweaver XE from Brother

Christine Baker

A few weeks ago, THE Dream Machine 2 left

my house and the next day I received

a text from my teenage son saying that

I’d “gotten a small package”. Since I was

expecting the Dreamweaver XE to arrive

at any time, I knew that he was teasing

me! Although this box was definitely

NOT as big as the box THE Dream

Machine had arrived in, it was still no

“small package”.

All of my studio renovations were

complete (we’d pulled out all of the old

carpet in the room, installed laminate

flooring and I rearranged and purged the

contents), so I was ready to open and set

up the machine the next day. I decided

to use the sewing functions of the

machine first, so I kept the embroidery

unit in its box and tucked it away under

the table until I was ready to do some

machine embroidery.

The first thing I noticed when comparing

this machine to THE Dream Machine 2

was that it comes with fewer accessories.

Being someone who’d never done

any machine embroidery, I was a little

overwhelmed with all of the “do-dads”

that came with THE Dream Machine 2

and actually did one of my QUILTsocial

posts back in January 2018 about

accessory storage. Since cleaning and

purging my sewing room, I was a little

worried about the number of accessories

that would be arriving with this new

machine, but I’m happy to report that

almost everything fits either in the foot

storage tray or in a small plastic storage

bin. There are also 3 embroidery frames,

but for the moment they are stored in

the box with the embroidery unit.

The sensor pen and holder are

easily installed onto the side of the

Dreamweaver XE. Just press the holder

into the hole on the side of the machine

and then slide the pen into the holder

and plug it in.

The embroidery unit

Presser foot storage tray

Sensor pen and holder


24 .com| issue 12


Photos by Christine Baker

At the moment I have the machine on

a table that is a tad too high for normal

sewing, so the knee lift that came with

the machine isn’t going to get used.

When I turned over the wide table that

Brother sent with the machine, I realized

that there is a little storage spot made

just for the lift. I’ll store it in there until I

move the machine to my regular table.

Since I want to do more thread painting,

free motion embroidery and free

motion quilting with this machine, I

asked Brother to send me the optional

extension table along with the machine.

Just like the table that came with my

NQ900, the folding legs of the extension

table for the Dreamweaver XE make it

easy to store away when not in use.

I really love that I can actually slip my

table into the retreat bag that I take to

retreats and workshops!

At first glance I thought that this table

and my NQ900 table were about the

same size, but boy was I wrong!!

Here’s a picture of my table placed on

top of the Dreamweaver XE table. It

is about 3” wider and longer than the

table for my machine!! What an amazing

amount of work space!

Now we’re all set up and ready to roll!

Keep reading, we’ll talk about some of

the easy ways the Dreamweaver XE can

be customized to make your sewing

experience even more enjoyable!

The knee lift The folding legs of the extension table The optional wide extension table

5 basic ways to customize your sewing

experience on the Dreamweaver XE

Changing the language

When I first plugged in the machine, I

realized that the person who had it

before me had been using it in French.

Now, I can read and speak a little French,

but not well enough to manage using a

computerized sewing and embroidery

machine. So first things first, let’s get it

speaking my language!

Now, if you bought this machine new,

you wouldn’t have to do this step. When

you turn the machine on for the very

first time it asks you what language you

would like to use and it sets it right then

and there. But, let’s say your long lost

cousin from Spain comes and wants to

use your sewing machine…here’s how

you would change the language for her.

First, press the “machine setting mode

key” at the bottom left of the screen. It

looks like a little piece of paper.

The Home Page screen

Select the settings screen button




issue 12 25

The settings screens open up. You can

scroll through the screens using the

arrow buttons at the bottom of each

screen. When you reach screen 5, you

can change the language by pressing

the left and right arrows. There are many

different languages available!

Settings screen 5

OK, now we’re in business!

Changing the needle position

You can set the default position for the

needle on Screen 2. I personally like the

needle to be in the center whenever

I start sewing, but you can pick the

position that works best for you by

highlighting one of the selections. The

blue color means that that option has

been selected.

Setting needle position

Set the volume

You can set the speaker level on the

Dreamweaver XE from Brother on Screen

4. I like this volume to be fairly low, so

I’ve selected 1.

Setting the light level

Setting Eco Mode

On page 5, you also have the option

of selecting Eco mode or the “Shutoff

Support Mode”. I like Eco mode to be

set to “on” and I’ve set the timer to 10

minutes. This just means that if I’m away

from the machine and don’t press any

buttons the machine goes into a sleep

mode to conserve energy. The lights go

off and the screen is dimmed, but the

green on/off button blinks to let you

know that the machine is still powered

on. Once you sit down at the machine

and press any buttons or touch the

screen everything comes right back on.

The English Home Page screen

Setting speaker level

Set the light level

Brightness is set on Screen 6. My

studio is not well lit, so I like the lights

that illuminate the workspace on the

machine to be bright. You also set the

LCD screen brightness on the settings

screen, so go ahead and change that at

this time too if you want.

Setting Eco Mode

For Shutoff Support Mode the same

type of thing happens, but you have to

actually turn the machine off and then

back on again to continue sewing. I

prefer the Eco mode so I can just get

back to work with the touch of a finger.

These 5 ways to customize your sewing

are based solely on personal preference

and none of them have to be made in

order to start sewing (except perhaps

the language LOL). If you take your

Dreamweaver XE right out of the box, set

your language and plug it in, you can

start sewing right away. Once you’ve

worked with the machine, you’ll know if

you want more or less sound or light or if

you need the Eco function to take over if

you get taken away.


26 .com| issue 12


6 awesome features to love on the

Dreamweaver XE

To be honest, there are at least 30

other ways that the machine can be

customized just in the settings screens

alone, but I think maybe we should

actually sew with it before we adjust

anything else!

I’m sharing some of the features of this

machine that really stand out for me. As

you know I was so impressed with the

NQ900 that I blogged about last year

that I bought it instead of returning it

to Brother. THE Dream Machine 2 was

over the top amazing to work with and

I think I’ll probably love this machine

just as much! But here are some of the

great features that make these Brother

machines so awesome!

Great feature 1 – workspace

The Dreamweaver XE has over 11” of

space to the right of the needle making

it a great machine for free motion

quilting and embroidery. THE Dream

Machine 2 had this exact same space

and my NQ900, although a much smaller

machine has 8.3“ – not too shabby!

Great feature 2 – upper thread shutter

This must be a standard feature for all

Brother machines because all three of

the machines I’ve used have had this

simple yet amazing feature. The upper

thread shutter on the Dreamweaver XE

opens when the presser foot is up and

closes when the presser foot is down.

This prevents the machine from being

threaded if the presser foot is in the

down position. This is VERY important

for your thread tension. If you thread

your machine when the foot is down,

the thread may not pass between the

tension discs and you will not be able

to achieve correct upper thread tension.

Believe me, I can’t understand why other

machines don’t have this simple feature!

Great feature 3 – red/green stop/

start button

Ok, this may be standard for most sewing

machines, but coming from an old

Bernina to these fancy Brother machines

I was very impressed that the stop/start

button could basically tell you if the

machine was ready to sew or not. If the

button is red, something is wrong! For

example, perhaps the presser foot hasn’t

been lowered. If you start free motion

quilting with your presser foot up, you’ll

have a HUGE rat’s nest of thread on the

back of your quilt (I know because this

has happened to me many, many times

with my old machine and I’ve seen it

happen to many of my students). If the

machine won’t sew when the foot isn’t

down, this is a GREAT feature!

Upper thread shutter

The red stop/start button

The green stop/start button on the

Dreamweaver XE from Brother shows

that the machine is ready to start sewing.

11'' of throat space

The green stop/start button




issue 12 27

Great feature 4 – well lit work area

The bright LED lights on the

Dreamweaver XE illuminate the work

surface wonderfully while you are

sewing. THE Dream Machine 2 had

great lighting as well, and although my

NQ900 doesn’t have quite as many lights,

it still has way more than comparable

machines. The more light you have, the

easier it is to achieve great results and as

I just showed you, there is the option to

dim these lights on the settings screen.

Great feature 5 – the guideline marker

The guideline marker (laser pointer) on

the Dreamweaver XE can be used for

many different sewing functions. In next

article, I’ll show you 3 different blocks

that can be pieced with the help of this

feature. THE Dream Machine 2 also has

this guideline marker, and now that I’ve

used one I wish my NQ900 did too!

Great feature 6 – the automatic threader

OK, I think I’ll just let this one speak for itself.

Press the automatic threader button on the

Dreamweaver XE from Brother and prepare

to be amazed!! And I thought the automatic

threader on my NQ900 was spiffy! Check

out this video – the Dreamweaver XE and

THE Dream Machine 2 both have the same

amazing automatic threader!

Bright LED lights

The guideline marker (laser pointer)

The automatic threader button

Well, there you have it! 6 awesome features

on the Dreamweaver XE that I know you

will fall in love with. Once you try them,

you’ll find it hard going back to your old

sewing machine. I took my old Bernina to

a workshop last week and spent half of the

day trying to find the thread cutting button

(spoiler alert…it doesn’t have one). But now

that I’m so used to sewing on these Brother

machines, I’ve been a bit spoiled!

Help is always close at hand

with the Dreamweaver XE

The operation manual

Now I know that operation manuals

aren’t the most exciting things to read,

but I really need to say that the manuals

that come with the Brother sewing

machines are excellent! I read

through THE Dream Machine 2 manual

so many times over the last 6 months

that it was pretty ratty looking when I

returned the machine. I had folded over

corners of pages and had sticky notes in

different places to mark a spot that had

really great information.

I encourage you, if you have a new

sewing machine of any make or model,

to get your manual out and follow some

of the exercises. You’ll be amazed at all

the wonderful things your machine can

do that you never knew about!

When I get a new machine to review,

this is my favorite page in the manual

– the accessories page. Not only does it

tell you what the heck that do-dad is for,

it also gives you a glimpse into all of the

things your machine is capable of!

The sewing machine help screen

If you’d rather have more accessible

information at the tip of your fingers,

pressing the sewing machine help key

– the “?” key at the bottom of the home

page on the Dreamweaver XE – opens

the help screen.

The sewing machine help screen on

the Dreamweaver XE has a wealth of

information for using the machine. From

this screen, you can access the operation

guide, sewing guide, and pattern

explanation. Let’s select the operation

guide to start.


28 .com| issue 12


The operation manual

The sewing machine help key

The type of information in the main

operation guide is divided up into 6

categories – principal parts, principal

buttons, basic operation, embroidery

basic operation, troubleshooting, and


The basic operation button on the

Dreamweaver XE displays information

about threading the machine,

changing presser feet and more.

Some of the functions are described

in movies. Watch these movies for a

better understanding of the functions.

Make sure to look at the bobbin

threading information as I know

from teaching that MANY quilters

inadvertently do the lower threading

of their machine the wrong way. This

can lead to issues with tension and

poor stitch quality.

Pressing the “maintenance button” on

the Dreamweaver XE shows that there’s

only one thing that you need to do on

a regular basis to properly maintain the

machine – clean the bobbin area! Isn’t

that a great thing to hear?

Take some time to look through all of

the sections in the guide. You’ll find

that it covers almost everything that

you need to know, and if you can’t

find something specific, there’s always

the manual!

The main operation guide screen

The sewing machine help screen

The maintenance button

The basic operation button




issue 12 29

3 ways to use

a laser guide

for piecing

Let's use one of the great features I

mentioned about before: the guideline

marker (laser pointer) that is a standard

feature on both the Dreamweaver XE and

THE Dream Machine 2 from Brother.

Here’s a video I found on the Brother

Canada Youtube channel that shows how

to use the guideline marker to make

half-square triangles, flying geese units,

and snowball blocks.

Setting the guideline marker for ¼”

In order to use the guideline marker to

make half-square triangles and flying

geese, we need to set it so that it’s ¼”

away from the stitching line. I like to

use the “J” foot for piecing and to get a

¼” seam I select stitch Q-02 in the utility

stitches menu. This is a piecing stitch

with the needle in the right position.

Once that is selected, the laser pointer

button is selected on the LCD screen of

the Dreamweaver XE. Once this button

is highlighted (dark orange) you set

the position by pressing the “+” and “-”

buttons. Press the “-” button until it says

“0.0mm”. The laser is now ¼” away from

the stitching line.

The laser pointer settings

Half square triangles

Most of the time your pattern will tell

you what size to cut your squares in

order to get the correct size of half

square triangle units. But if you aren’t

following a pattern, it’s pretty easy

to determine what size squares you

need to cut. All you need to know is

what finished size you need – that is,

what size you want them to be once

they’re all sewn together. You take that

measurement and add 7⁄8”. Personally, I

like to add a whole inch which makes

my half-square triangle units a bit big

so they can be trimmed to the accurate

size. For my example, I cut my squares 3”

square, so that I can trim them to get my

2” finished size.

There are MANY resources on the

internet that will help you with this

math. Just google “half square triangle

calculator” and you’ll find many sites that

have a chart already made for you. How

nice is that?

Line up the laser

Now, to stitch the squares together, line

up the laser pointer with the diagonal of

the squares (ie. corner to corner). Since

you’ve already set the laser pointer to be

¼” away from the stitching line, just aim

the laser at the far corner of the square

and start stitching.

Chain piece one set of squares after the

other, and when you get to the end,

don’t clip them apart, just flip them

around and starting with the last pair,

sew the opposite side of the diagonal.

Once again, line the laser up with the

opposite points of the square.

Sewing the half square triangle units

Sewing the second side


30 .com| issue 12


When both sides have been stitched,

use a rotary cutter to cut between the

stitched lines.

Layer the large square and two small

squares as shown in the video. The two

smaller squares overlap a tiny bit at the

middle of the large square.

Press towards the smaller triangles and

then align a third small black square on

the point of the large triangle.

Cutting the halves

Next, the half square units are first

pressed open and then trimmed to the

desired size.

Ready for stitching

Using the Dreamweaver XE laser pointer

as a guide, we sew ¼” away from the

center diagonal along both sides.

Press then align a third small square

Once again using the laser pointer we

sew ¼” from the center on both sides of

the square and then cut apart between

the two lines of stitching. Press towards

the small triangles and the flying geese

units are finished. Wasn’t that easy?

Press then trim

No waste flying geese

True Flying Geese are rectangular units,

twice as wide as they are high. Quilt

patterns should tell you the finished

size of all geese that are used. But, like

before, if you aren’t using a pattern, you

follow this method to cut the correct

sized squares.

The main fabric: cut a square that’s 1¼”

larger than the finished width of your

flying geese. For example, if you want

your flying geese units to finish at 3” x 6”,

cut a square that measures 7¼” x 7¼” (6”

+ 1¼”).

Side triangle fabric: cut four small

squares that are 7⁄8” larger than the

finished height of your flying geese. For

example, for geese that finish at 3” x 6”,

cut four squares that measure 37⁄8” x 37⁄8”

(3” + 7⁄8”).

Sew down both sides of center

The two sides are cut apart, using a

rotary cutter, down the center between

the two lines of stitching.

Sew and then cut apart

Here are a couple different colors of

flying geese units I made using the same


Flying geese units

The fabric squares

Cut the two sides apart




issue 12 31

Setting the guideline marker for


To make the snowball blocks you need

to sew right along the diagonal of

the small squares, so both, the needle

position and the guideline marker need

to be moved so they are aligned.

Select stitch Q-01, which is the center

stitch and then touch the “+” to move

the guideline marker to 3.5mm. As you

can see from the display along the left

side of the screen, the red line (indicating

the guideline marker) is directly on top

of the blue stitching line.

The laser pointer on the Dreamweaver

XE is used to sew down the middle of

each small fabric square on the diagonal

to make the corner triangles of the

snowball block, as in the photo below.

The excess fabric from the corners of the

block is cut away before pressing the

seams. As you can see, I sewed a second

line ½” away from the diagonal so that

when the excess fabric was cut off I

ended up with four small half-square

triangle units – waste not, want not I

always say!

Adjusting the laser and needle position

Snowball block

To make a snowball block you need one

large square and four small squares of

fabric. To figure out the size you need

to cut the fabric, take the desired size of

the finished block, divide it by 3 and add

½”. This is the size to cut the four small

corner squares. Cut your big square ½”

bigger than your desired finished size.

For my example I want a finished

snowball block size of 6”, so I’ll cut my big

square 6½” and my four small squares 2½”

(6” divided by 3 plus ½”).

Cut away the excess fabric

Press towards the corner triangles and

here’s the finished snowball block.

The snowball block

Now that you’re acquainted with the

Dreamweaver XE from Brother, in the

next issue, Issue 13, I’ll have a fun project

to make. I think it will have something

to do with either half-square triangles or

snowball blocks – you’ll have to join me

to find out.


32 .com| issue 12


Sewing the corner triangles

Christine Baker



Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe with optional extension table




Elaine Theriault

NOT your grandmother’s sewing machine

It’s so exciting to be back and I’ve got

another great articles of super sewing

tips and ideas to share with you.

I’ll be using the Husqvarna Viking Designer

Ruby deLuxe. Just a quick note, the most

recent model of the Ruby family is the

Designer Ruby Royale which has a few

additional features.

I’ve been using the Designer Ruby

deLuxe for about five years (it’s probably

longer than that). Not only is it a sewing

machine, but it’s an embroidery machine

as well. Do I love it? It’s never let me

down and while I don’t do a lot of

machine embroidery, I’d be lost without

the ability to do embroidery.

You can read my sewing machine review

of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby

Royale, it’s a 5 day blog posts with lots of

great stuff!

This sewing machine resides in a small

portable table with a cutout to give me a

larger surface. I don’t need the extension

table or the accessory box. However

when I went to find the accessory box

to take a picture, it was not to be found.

What does that tell me? I’ve put it in a safe

place which I haven’t found yet. But the

picture above shows you how much of an

added advantage the extension table is

whether you’re piecing, quilting or doing

applique. If I didn’t have a set-in table, I’d

always have the extension table attached.

I’ve had a feature-rich sewing machine

for the past 20 years. I decided that if I

was going to get serious about quilting/

sewing that I needed to get a serious


34 .com| issue 12


sewing machine with some helpful

features. It’s not that I take these features

for granted, but I’ve become so used to

them that they’re second nature to me.

These features have definitely made my

sewing life a whole lot easier. I certainly

notice this when I teach a class of

beginners with less feature-rich sewing

machines. It’s a bit of an oxymoron

actually – they’re struggling with things

that would be so much easier on a

different sewing machine, however, they

haven’t made the commitment (yet) to

want to upgrade their sewing machine.

I was teaching a class and one of the

students was working on her project and

the bobbin ran out. She hadn’t noticed

it immediately and lamented “wouldn’t

it be nice to have a sewing machine that

told you when the bobbin ran out?”

Matter of fact that feature exists! I

provided a quick rundown of some of

the features that are available on sewing

machines today. As a result, I thought

I would share some of what I think are

the more helpful features built into the

Designer Ruby deLuxe.

Are these features necessary to make a

quilt or a garment? Are these features

necessary to do a good job on your

project? The answer to both is NO.

However, I must say that these features

will certainly make life a whole lot easier

for you. Some of them help to control

the sewing machine functions, some of

them provide a helping hand to you the

sewist, while others are time savers.

Let’s dive right in and I’ll show you some

of my favorite features.

The Function Panel

Many of the features and functions that

I’m talking about are easy to access right

on the Function Panel which is situated

right above the needle. Lights will

indicate whether that particular feature

is activated (if necessary).

The Function Panel on the Designer Ruby deLuxe

Needle Stop Up/Down

This is one of my favorite features. When

I bought my first sewing machine with

this feature, I thought I had died and

gone to heaven. It’s like having a third

hand to help you.

Essentially, when I stop sewing and this

feature is engaged, the needle will stop

in the fabric and prevent the project

from moving. The the presser foot raises

ever so slightly when you stop with

the needle down and that’s definitely

like having a third hand. If you want to

pivot your work, insert the next pieces

of fabric to sew, or whatever, it’s a MUST

HAVE feature.

Photos by Elaine Theriault

In the photo below, I’m sewing binding

onto a quilt. If I need to stop to position

the binding, the needle holds everything

from slipping away from under the

presser foot which could cause a large

and rather ugly stitch.

This feature is essential to free-motion

quilting. If you have the needle stop

in the down position, you can take

your hands off your project and the

work won’t shift. This is critical if you’re

working on a big quilt in a tight space.

Just make sure you have your hands

securely back on the quilt before you

start to quilt.

The needle down feature keeps things in place

while sewing on a binding

Here I’m sewing the binding to the front

of the quilt and the needle down again

is preventing the quilt and binding

from moving away from the needle (if

I need to stop to position the binding)

and creating a large stitch. If I need to

temporarily leave the work for whatever

reason, I make sure the needle is in my

work so there’s no danger of the fabrics

shifting under the needle.

The needle is in the down position when I stop to

reposition the binding, preventing a large stitch

caused by movement of the project

Having the Needle Stop Up/Down and

Pivot features are essential at the corner

when sewing on a binding. I’ll use my

quilter’s awl to help hold the binding

in place. Using the sewing machine

features to assist in keeping the project

where I want it to be, helps to ensure

that I’m getting a nice clean corner.

If I had to lift the presser foot manually

and ensure the project (with all those

extra layers) didn’t move at the corner,

it’s much harder to deal with. It’s super

easy to turn the corner on the binding

with these features.

Using a quilter’s awl and the Needle Stop Up/

Down and Pivot features to turn the corner on a

machine sewn binding

Using the Needle Stop Up/Down and the

Pivot feature when I’m piecing is fabulous.

As I’m repositioning the flange and border

in the sample below, the needle is holding

everything in place to prevent that flange

from shifting. If I’m chain piecing, the slight

rise in the presser foot (when I stop with

the needle down) makes it a breeze to

slip the next set of fabrics right up to the

needle and prevents any shifting for more

accurate seams.

Notice that I’ve used several different

feet in these last pictures. It doesn’t

matter what type of seam you’re sewing,

the Needle Stop Up/Down and the Pivot

work for all types of seams.

The Needle Stop Up/Down feature is very handy

when piecing

Let’s not forget how handy this feature

is when quilting. When I was ready to

turn the corner when doing some stitch

in the ditch quilting, I let the Designer

Ruby deLuxe do the work of raising the

foot. I simply pivoted the work to get

the project lined up for the next line of

stitching. No large stitches and as you’ll

see later, those corners are perfectly

formed thanks to this feature.

Using the Needle Stop Up/Down feature when

quilting makes it easy to get perfect corners for

stitch in the ditch quilting

For my students who are gasping with

horror that I’m pivoting my work when I

tell them not to, this piece I was quilting

is small enough to pivot without any

pushing and shoving (thanks to a nice

large opening between the needle and

the side of the sewing machine and the

smaller sized wall hanging).

If this were a large quilt, I would NOT be

pivoting. This is also the border of the

wallhanging so there wasn’t really much

to the right of the needle that could

cause pushing and shoving issues that

you would experience on a large quilt.

Yes, I realize that you could manually

lower the needle on any machine

and yes you could manually raise

(and lower) the presser foot when it’s

necessary. Or you may have a knee lift

that you could use.

What I like about the Husqvarna Viking

Designer Ruby deLuxe – these features


Needle Stop Up/Down function is set –

the sewing machine does all the work for

you leaving your hands completely free

to guide your work. It just doesn’t get

any better than that!




issue 12 35

Sensor Foot Down and Pivot/Sensor

Foot Up and Extra Lift

I’ve mentioned the Pivot function as it

works in conjunction with the Needle

Stop Up/Down, but here’s a couple of

other points that I didn’t mention.

This took me a bit of time to get used

to, but once I got the hang of it, I was

hooked. There’s NO presser foot lever on

the Designer Ruby deLuxe.

There’s no presser foot lever

You can see on the back of the of the

sewing machine where you would

normally find the presser foot lever, that

there isn’t one. Raising and lowering the

foot is done using two function buttons

(Sensor Foot Down and Pivot/Sensor Foot

Up and Extra Lift) on the Function Panel.

I love the Extra Lift function. If you

need a wee bit more room to slide your

project under the presser foot, touching

the button will raise the foot that extra

amount needed. For instance, if you’re

turning the corner when applying a

binding. There’s a lot of thicknesses

at the corner and you’ll find yourself

jamming the mess under the presser

foot. It’s a simple matter to raise the

foot to the highest point which makes it

super easy to slip the project under the

presser foot.

This feature was also very helpful when

using a thick clothesline cord to make

a fabric bowl. Starting the coil for the

center of the bowl is a bit messy and by

using the Extra Lift, it gave me the space

needed (without using my hands to raise

and lower the presser foot) to get the

center started. The list of places where

these functions are amazing just goes on

and on.

The Extra Lift allows the corner of the binding to

easily slide under the presser foot

Here’s another instance where the Extra

Lift makes things much handier. I’m

quilting along the edge of a quilt and

the edge wants to flip back onto itself. I

press the button to get the extra lift and

now it’s easy to move the fabric back in

place. Once the fabric is repositioned, I

don’t have to manually lower the presser

foot. It’s all automatic so I can focus on

my project, not the functioning of the

sewing machine. I LOVE that.

The extra lift feature comes in handy to lift the presser

foot to allow the edge of the quilt to be repositioned

Lifting the presser foot allowed the fabric to be

easily put back into place.

Advancing a half stitch at a time

Let’s say that I’m doing some applique

or I’m quilting and I want the needle to

end up in a very specific position. It’s

difficult to know the exact moment to

stop stitching and there are times when

the needle is on the left (when doing a

zigzag) when I want it to be on the right

and vice versa. Or I may stop stitching

one stitch before I need to pivot. How do

I advance the sewing machine to get the

needle exactly where I want it to be?

A quick tap on the foot pedal (which

is large and hard to miss), will advance

the stitch by half. If the needle is down

and to the left, the tap will bring the

needle up and to the right (when doing

a zigzag). Another tap will bring the

needle down (in the rightmost position).

It’s super easy to advance that half stitch

that you need, especially when doing

applique or quilting.

I’m not required to take my hands off the

project, I don’t need to move my knee.

A simple tap (or two) will position the

needle exactly where I want it to go.

A brilliant feature and I often forget to

mention this as it’s so automatic for me

to use this feature.

Foot pedal

There’s NO need to touch that

handwheel on the side of the sewing

machine! NONE!

It’s NOT necessary to touch the handwheel to

move the needle


36 .com| issue 12


The Needle Threader

I was a big user of the needle threader

when I got access to one on that first

sewing machine that I bought years

ago. I used the darn thing so much that

I wore it out! So I got used to threading

the needle by eye.

When I got my hands on the Designer

Ruby deLuxe, I was reluctant to use

the needle threader. I could thread the

needle as quick with my eye. Then I did a

lot of machine embroidery and I needed

to change thread colors often. I finally

broke down and learned how to use the

needle threader. It’s super easy and now

I use it all the time. It works on pretty

much any kind of thread, including

invisible thread. Just remember that the

needle threader will not work with the

Size 8 (very small) needles as the eye of

the needle is too small to allow the hook

to enter and grab the thread.

As we age, this feature becomes very


The same for free motion quilting. If you

can reduce the speed to something that

you’re comfortable with, then you know

that every time you floor the foot pedal

that the sewing machine will go at the

same, constant speed which will help

you with your free motion. A very good

feature to have.

Can you control the speed manually? Yes,

you can, but it’s a lot more work, more

tiring on your body and hard to maintain

a steady speed. Learn to use the built-in

features of the sewing machine to help

you work better, faster and smarter.

Low bobbin thread indicator

When your bobbin gets to a certain level,

you’ll receive a pop-up message letting

you know that the bobbin is low. When

you get this message, you know that you

still have bobbin thread, but it’ll run out

shortly. It’s now up to you to watch and

stop sewing when the bobbin does in

fact run out.

A note – DON’T close that window. If

you do, you’ll receive another pop-up

message very quickly to tell you the

bobbin is low. Just leave the window


If you’re paying attention, you’ll be able

to hear when the bobbin runs out. The

sound of your machine sewing will

change and sometimes you can hear the

bobbin rattling in the bobbin case.

It’s amazing how many people do not

listen to their sewing machines when

they are sewing. Next thing, they’ve

sewn yards without realizing that the

bobbin has run out.

Pop up menu shows five different speed settings

Using the Needle Thread is easy

Speed Control

There are five different speed settings

on the Designer Ruby deLuxe. Why

would you need five speeds? If you’re

doing decorative stitching and you

want to use the START/STOP function

instead of using the foot pedal, you’ll

probably want to reduce the speed as

this machine is made to go fast. I find

that I’m not in control when the machine

is stitching decorative stitches at top

speed, so I’ll reduce the speed to about


Separate Bobbin Winder

There’s a separate speed control for

the bobbin winder. If you’re winding a

specialty thread like an invisible thread,

you do NOT want to wind that at full

speed. Winding invisible thread at high

speed is asking for trouble. The bobbins

have been known to compress so much

that they can’t be removed from the

bobbin winder or the bobbin will crack

and break from the pressure.

Pop up message indicating that the bobbin is

almost empty

Separate controls and speed levels for winding

the bobbin




issue 12 37

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale with embroidery unit

Interactive Touch Screen

Interactive Touch Screen

There’s so much information on the

Interactive Touch Screen, yet it’s all very

nicely organized and easy to read.

It’s easy to scroll through the stitch

menus to find an appropriate stitch and

once you’ve selected a stitch, you can

see the stitch number in the top left

corner. The recommended presser foot

appears on the screen, as well a diagram

of the actual stitch.

Changing the width or length of the

stitch is easy with the appropriate touch

buttons. Other functions on the screen

will indicate the tension, mirroring

stitches, moving into free motion mode

and a whole lot more.

Although the screen looks intimidating,

it’s not! It’s very easy to read and doesn’t

take that long to figure out what does

what. That’s where sitting down with

the manual and doing a little bit of

experimenting will make you a whole

lot more comfortable with the sewing

machine and all of its features.

Sewing Advisor

At the bottom of the Interactive

Touch Screen is the Sewing Advisor.

By indicating to the Designer Ruby

deLuxe what type of fabric you’re

using and what kind of technique you

want to perform (simply by selecting

the appropriate buttons), the sewing

machine will set the tension, tell you

what is the best presser foot and also the

best stitch to use and will provide the

optimal settings for that stitch. All those

items can be over-ridden if you feel that

you don’t like the settings.

That’s like having the Home Economics

teacher sitting at your side. A very useful

tool if you’re relatively new to sewing or

you’re doing a new technique. I use this

a lot if I’m changing the type of fabric I’m


In the few points mentioned here, you

can see just how easy it is to use the

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe

sewing machine. While all those tasks

could be performed manually, having

the sewing machine take care of them

means that you can focus on creating a

better project.

If you’re in the market for an amazing

sewing machine that also does

embroidery, I’d seriously check out the

Designer Ruby Royale. It’s got everything

you need to make great projects and it’s

so easy to use.

I love experimenting and I’ll show you

some experiments with quilt binding

that I think you’ll find very interesting.


38 .com| issue 12


3 tattle tale experiments on binding a quilt

So far, we looked at the several features

of the Ruby Royale that make sewing/

quilting so much more fun and much

easier. Quilting is our hobby after all. It’s

supposed to be all about having fun.

Last time I guest blogged on QUILTsocial

it was March 2018, it was all about

binding. While this seems like such a

simple topic, there are lots of little tips

and tricks. Although I shared a lot of

what I know last time, there are still a few

things that have been bothering me.

I’ll be using the Husqvarna Viking

Designer Ruby deLuxe to walk you

through these binding experiments.

I was at a recent guild meeting and the

topic was bindings. As the presenter

walked us through a number of different

styles of binding, the topic of bias

binding came up. There’s an urban myth

(or should we call it a quilt police law?),

that bias binding is better than cross

grain binding. OK – I’m good with that,

but WHY is the bias binding supposed to

be superior to the cross grain binding? I

like to know why.

I had performed this experiment a

number of years ago when seeking an

answer to that same question. I thought

it was time to revisit this issue (for the

last time) to see if the results were the

same or different.

Bias binding versus cross-grain

binding and lengthwise grain binding

For the samples, I used pre-quilted fabric

for the “quilts”. I chose a striped fabric for

the binding so it would be easy to see

which grain was used on which sample.

The stripe runs parallel to the selvage of

the fabric.

Then I got busy and made binding,

cutting the binding fabric in three

different directions.

Binding made using strips cut on the lengthwise grain

Binding made using strips cut on the crosswise grain

And I made binding using bias strips.

I used the continuous bias binding

method I described in my 9 steps to

continuous bias binding in March 2018

series of posts.

Binding made using strips cut on the bias

Then the bindings were attached to the

pre-quilted fabric pieces. I used the Dual

Feed Foot to attach the bindings to the

backs of the quilts and I used my Clear

Foot B to attach the bindings to the

fronts of the quilts. I used a straight stitch

for the seam on the front.

Binding made with strips cut on the lengthwise

grain of fabric

Looks nice on the corner, but not all

corners were this nice. It’s very hard to

get the stripe to run parallel unless you

fussy cut the strip which I did not.

The pattern on the mitered corner may or may

not end up matching. This one matched, but it

was a fluke.




issue 12 39

Binding made using strips cut on the crosswise grain

Again, nice corner, but they all didn’t

look like that. I suppose I could have

taken the time to fuss with each corner,

but this was an experiment so I didn’t

take the time.

The pattern matched up at the corner, but this

just happened. I didn’t fuss with it.

Binding made with continuous bias

binding strips.

Binding made with continuous bias binding strips

The corners gave a more consistent look

than the other samples.

Here are all three binding samples

together so you can compare. All of

them are fine – it all depends on the look

that you want for your quilt.

Three different looks for the binding depending

on which direction the binding strips were cut

Then I took my seam ripper and poked

holes in several spots along the edge of

all three bindings. I also poked a couple

of holes in the flat side of the binding.

All three samples were then washed

three times with loads of clothing

for more agitation. I have a front load

washing machine (does anyone have

any other kind these days?)

Now, this wasn’t super scientific. Were

those holes that I ripped the same size?

Through one layer of the binding or two?

I tried to be consistent, but it wasn’t easy.

Let’s have a look at the results.

Frayed edges around the damaged binding cut

on the lengthwise grain

All three of the samples had frayed

edges after three washes. Interesting to

note that the lengthwise grain seemed

to be the worse. But that could be just

the way the binding got nicked? What I

notice is that there doesn’t seem to be a

lot of difference between the crosswise

grain and the continuous bias binding.

Hmm – did we just displace an urban

myth? I was told that the bias binding

would wear significantly better because

it was stronger and there would be less

fraying than using the crosswise grain.

Either way, it’s best to not damage

the binding.

This is the second time I’ve done this

experiment and I got the same results

both times. I’m taking this to the guild

meeting to show my peers.

Don’t you love experimenting?

Comparison of the three damaged bindings

Repairing a wavy quilt edge

This next situation is NOT for the fainthearted.

I had made a wall hanging a

couple of months ago. As per usual, I

was in a hurry. I needed a picture of the

finished project ASAP.

I put the sleeve on the quilt and hung

it up. I was a bit disappointed. Can you

see why?

Frayed edges around the damaged binding cut

on the crosswise grain

The pattern at the corner will have a more

consistent look than the other samples.


40 .com| issue 12


Frayed edges around the damaged binding cut

on the bias

The quilt has wavy edges.

I felt the edges were just a tad too wavy

for my liking. I did get my picture and

it has served its purpose, but this wall

hanging was hanging in my family room

and every day I saw it, that wavy edge

taunted me to fix it.

I decided that for the sake of this article,

I would remove the binding to see

if I could make it less wavy. I’ve been

procrastinating on this job because I

knew it was going to be nasty. I could

have cut the binding off – it wouldn’t

have affected the quilt that much, but

then I would have had to remove the

sleeve at the top and I didn’t want to

do that.

Instead, I got out my seam ripper and

proceeded to remove the binding. Did

I mention that it was machine stitched

down? Did I mention that it was a

blanket stitch? Did I mention that it was

a tight blanket stitch? Well, after listening

to half an audiobook and spending an

entire afternoon, removing the binding

and picking out all the threads, the

binding was off.

I highly recommend that you do NOT

do this. It was a very long and tedious

process. Let’s learn how to do the

binding correctly the first time!

After the binding came off, I laid the

wall hanging on the floor. The quilt was

square and it was flat. The binding had

to be the culprit for the waviness.

I should interject

here that you

need to have good

tools to do any

job. Doesn’t matter

what profession

you’re in. Having a

good SHARP seam

ripper is key. You

should buy several

of them – keep

them everywhere

and make sure you

replace them from

time to time. Yes –

you need to replace Seam ripper

your seam ripper. Did you know that

they get dull? And what happens when

we use dull tools? You either cut yourself

or you cut your work. Neither of which is

a good thing.

The seam ripper I was using has seen

better days and there were a few times

when it wasn’t doing the job properly.

And some of those blanket stitches were

TIGHT! I was hoping to reuse the binding,

but that wasn’t going to happen. I felt

the edge was too fuzzy so I tossed this

binding in the scrap pile and made a

new binding. The leftover bit of fabric

from the first binding has been sitting

in my studio while I tried to find other

more interesting things to do!!! But at

least I knew where it was!

The quilt lies flat without the binding attached.

Then I reapplied the new binding using

the Designer Ruby deLuxe. I was hoping

to use the old binding so I could see how

much extra binding had been sewn to

the quilt, but it was too damaged to reuse.

I used my walking foot (Dual Feed Foot)

to stitch the binding to the quilt on the

back and then used the Clear Foot B to

stitch the binding to the front. This time

I used a straight stitch to secure the

binding to the front of the quilt.

The quilt lies flat without the binding on.

The old binding was damaged when it was

removed because of a dull seam ripper.

Once the binding came off, I decided to

hang the quilt back on the wall to see

what it looked like. Just a teeny bit wavy

hanging up, but overall – it’s pretty flat.




issue 12 41

Do you think it was the worth the effort?

The quilt now hangs flat. I’m happy.

While there’s still a touch of waviness on the left-hand side, the

wall hanging looks significantly better. I’m glad I took the time.

And now when I see the quilt hanging on the wall, I don’t hear

it taunting me at all.

So what did I do differently the second time around?

While I used the Dual Feed Foot both times, the second time,

I gently pulled the binding as I sew it. That helped to ensure

there was NO extra binding being stitched to the quilt.

I suppose if you wanted to get really scientific about the

process, you could measure the sides of the quilt and ensure

that the exact amount of binding gets stitched to each side of

the quilt. I’m not sure I want to fuss with my quilts to that extent.

I’m going to think about that process and see what I come up

with. The binding is a very important part of the quilt and I

don’t want the binding to distort my projects.

Sewing the binding before you trim the quilt

This last area is a bit of a gray area for me, but it’s been on my

mind so I thought I would discuss it.

Should you sew the binding on a quilt before you trim it? Hmm

– I asked around to see why people did that. I wanted to find out

if this process makes a better binding.

I have a couple of questions about this method. How can you

make sure the quilt is square or at least the corners are square?

After asking around, there seems to be a couple of reasons that

people would sew the binding on before trimming. One is to

help secure the raw edges of the three layers together. Hm – I

think that would be easy enough to zigzag around the edges

to keep everything secure. I did touch on that technique in

my posts, 7 essential tips on sewing on the binding on a quilt by


The second reason was to help ensure that the binding was

completely filled with the quilt. This actually surprised me a little

bit because if you want a full binding, why wouldn’t you adjust

the seam allowance to ensure that the binding was going to

be full? I think the issue here is that many sets of instructions

will have you cut 2½” strips for the binding and then have you

sew the binding on with a ¼” seam. That will leave a large gap

in the binding for sure. But if you use 2½” strips and sew with a

GENEROUS ¼” seam allowance, there’s NO gap.

It’s interesting how we learn to do things one way and it takes

a big change in mindset to even realize that there are other


I was wanted to try the technique and I had a small quilted

project that hadn’t yet been trimmed. However, when I got to

thinking about sewing the binding on, I realized that I always

sew my binding to the BACK of the quilt first and then machine

stitch it to the front.

I think you can see that this technique will not work with 100%

machine binding.

That means that all my quilts will be trimmed before the

binding is sewn on. I’m glad I asked the question. I’ve had a

chance to think through the process and I feel happy with my

decision. That allows me to square up the corners and make

sure the top is the same width as the bottom and that the two

sides are equal. With all the batting and extra backing hanging

off the quilt, that process just seems a whole lot harder.

Prepping to sew the binding to the quilt BEFORE the quilt is trimmed.

Wow – don’t you love when we think outside the box? Try new

things or at least think about new ways to do old things. Let’s

not forget that we figured out how to fix wavy binding. But we

don’t really want to fix it, we want to avoid it!

All the of the projects here were bound or quilted using the

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe. I will be touching on

some quilting tips and techniques for the remainder of the

feature. I’ve discovered some pretty exciting stuff.


42 .com| issue 12


11 essential tips for machine quilting

What I love about quilting is that there is

NO right or wrong way to do anything.

It really depends on the look that you

want, what tools you have available to

you, and what skills you have learned

along the way.

One thing about having good tools is

they make you look great even if you

don’t have all the skills. That’s the case

with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby

deLuxe. I’m a good sewist, but with this

machine, I’m a fabulous sewist!

I was busy quilting up some small

wallhangings and table runners the

other day and I thought I would share

my tips for machine quilting with you.

I’ll confess that I don’t often sit down

to machine quilt on a domestic sewing

machine. My skills were a bit rusty when

I started but by the end of the day, my

muscle memories kicked in and I was

doing great.

Here’s the thing – I used to hate machine

quilting on a domestic sewing machine

(GASP!). Yes, there were two reasons. The

first one was that my shoulders and neck

would be in pain after 40 minutes or

so. That would never do, so I tended to

put quilting off. I’m happy to report that

I quilted for a long time that day (after

doing three projects) and I had no issues.

When I realized that, I was doing a happy

dance. Why didn’t I experience any pain?

I checked my arms – they were BESIDE

me, not flapping up in the air as they

usually do. I think my chair was higher!

The second reason that I was put off by

quilting on a domestic sewing machine

was the quality of the stitches that I was

getting on my sewing machine. Skipped

stitches was a big issue for me and

although I tried many things to resolve

the issue, I was never 100% happy.

Well after three projects, there wasn’t a


You know – I might just like this machine

quilting on a domestic after all!!!

Now that I’ve shared that with you, let’s

get down to those tips.

1. You need space around the sewing

machine to support the quilt

Whether you’re doing stitch in the ditch

or free motion, you need some space

around the sewing machine to support

your work. Doesn’t matter if your project

is big or small, you need space around the

sewing machine to support your work.

I love the optional extension table

that you can get for the Designer Ruby

deLuxe. You don’t need a lot of space,

but you need space. The smooth, curved

front of the extension table makes for

easy movement of your quilting project.

And it’s great for piecing as well.

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe with

optional extension table

The wallhanging is supported by the extension

table during the quilting process.

2. Always bring the bobbin thread to

the top of the project

It’s easy to bring the bobbin thread to

the top of your work. With your quilt

positioned under the needle where you

want to start, hold the top thread in your

left hand, touch the Needle Stop Up/

Down function twice and a loop of the

bobbin thread will come to the surface

of your project. Pull the bobbin thread

so the end tail is completely on top and

then you can start. You’ll never get a

thread nest on the back of your work if

you use this technique.

The bobbin thread has been pulled through the

quilt layers to sit on the surface.

3. How to manage stops and starts

with variegated thread

Let’s say you’re quilting away and your

bobbin runs out – hey it happens. Easy

to pop in a new bobbin, but you’re using

variegated thread. After you cut the top

thread in order to get started again and

you’ve popped in a new bobbin, you

realize that the last bit of top thread was

green and now you see blue. If you just

started to quilt with those two different

colors, the join will look nasty. Simply

pull on the top thread until the same

color appears that you ended with and

you’re good to continue stitching.

Pull on the variegated thread until it matches the

color found at the spot you had to stop.




issue 12 43

4. Do a sample stitch out, ALWAYS

Before you start quilting your project,

you should always do a sample stitch

out, ALWAYS. This will let you know

if the machine settings are correct.

Do you have the right tension? Is the

thread breaking or shredding? (incorrect

needle/thread combination is usually

the culprit there) Are there any other

issues? This will prevent you from having

to rip out stitches which is never fun. The

sample stitch out can also be a place to

practice the stitch that you’re about to

do and the process can also alert you to

the fact that today might not be the day

that you want to machine quilt. I’ve had

that happen.

Notice that I don’t use a fresh sandwich

every time. If I’m using a different

thread color and I can still see the new

stitches, then I reuse those practice

pieces several times.

Sample stitch outs are critical.

5. Allow the sewing machine to

complete the stitch when turning a


In the sample below, you can see that

the corner stitches are beautifully

formed. They were stitched using the

Dual Feed foot. I ensured that the stitch

was complete and right into the corner

rather than half turning or rounding the

corner. This was aided with the Needle

Stop Up/Down and using the foot pedal

to tap through the stitch sequence to

ensure the stitches were completely

formed. Simple tools, but they make for

great looking stitches on the back of

the projects.

6. Allow extra backing and batting

whenever you’re quilting

You absolutely must leave some extra

backing and batting for all quilting

projects. It doesn’t matter who or how

the project is going to be quilted, you

need extra backing and batting. Why?

Well, you can see that as the Dual Feed

foot approaches the edge of the quilt

that without the extra backing and

batting, I would have nothing to hold.

That means I’m not in control when

approaching the edge of the quilt. We all

know what that means. The stitches are

not going to look pretty.

Extra backing and batting are crucial to nice

quilting along the edge of the project

7. Stitch the edge of the quilt to the

batting and backing

I’ll show you the steps I took to quilt this

wall hanging. But when I had finished

the stitch in the ditch quilting, I stitched

around the entire edge of the quilt to

help secure the edges. Having all three

layers sewn together will make it easier

to attach the binding.

To prevent tucks and to help ease in any

fullness, I’m using a quilter’s awl to keep

the fabric under control.

8. If your quilt has a flange, start your

quilting under the flange

No one wants to see the beginning and

ending stitches of your quilting lines. If

you have a flange on your quilt, gently

pull back the flange and pull up your

bobbin thread to start the line of quilting.

You can end the same way. I don’t like

to stitch the flange down in any way and

if the edges are popping back because

you had pulled them away, a gentle

press, once the project is complete, will

have the flange flat again.

Start and end your lines of quilting under the

flange if you have one.

9. Piecing thread is an EXCELLENT

choice for quilting

I’ve learned that the more variables you

could eliminate when machine quilting a

project, the less you have to think about

when you actually sit down to quilt.

The type of thread you use is one of

those variables. If my sewing machine

likes the thread that I’m piecing with,

then it should like that same thread for

quilting. Makes sense? Right? Don’t go

crazy on different threads until you get

the hang of your sewing machine and

the quilting process.

I love these spools of Gütermann thread.

They’re inexpensive to purchase, they

come in a huge range of colors and you

can get them in 100% cotton or polyester.

The thread comes in different sized

spools as well so that is handy.

I have a good story to tell you about that

spool of yellow sitting in the front, but I’ll

save it for the next article.

Use a quilter’s awl to prevent tucks and ease in

fullness on the edge of the quilt.

Beautifully formed stitches the create a square corner.


44 .com| issue 12


A few of the wide range of colors of Gütermann

threads available for thread that is excellent for

machine quilting.

Gütermann threads: the beige spools are 100%

cotton and the white spools are polyester.

10. Use good quality needles

These are my FAVORITE needles to use

for any piecing and quilting. Matter of

fact, if I could only have two kinds of

needles, it would be the Micro-Tex Sharp

and the Top Stitch needles. Size 12 works

for piecing and quilting. While there are

many options (needle types and sizes), I

find that these two needle types in this

size will work with almost anything you

want to do.

Don’t forget to change your needles

often. Every project or every five

bobbins. You pick a system and stick to it.

Don’t forget to clean the bobbin area as

well when you change the needle.

11. Read the manual

I can’t say this often enough. Read the

manual. You’d be amazed at what you

can learn. There are little things about

the Designer Ruby deLuxe that I never

knew about and I’ve had the sewing

machine for a few years. When I read the

manual, I was pleasantly surprised and

now I’m that much smarter!

There you have it. Some great tips for

machine quilting. Every little tip will

make your life easier when you go to

machine quilt. And having a great tool

like the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby

deLuxe helps a whole lot as well.

Good quality needles are a must for great

looking projects

The User’s Guide and the Sample book of the

built-in embroidery motifs on the Husqvarna

Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe

9 key steps to machine quilting a

machine embroidered wallhanging

I thought I’d focus on quilting a

machine embroidered wallhanging.

I embroidered this wallhanging

in a previous QUILTsocial post. The

embroidery design is one of the

standard designs that comes with

the Husqvarna Viking embroidery

sewing machines.

I added the borders to the machine

embroidery piece in another QUILTsocial

post and now it’s time to get the

wallhanging completed. I get asked for

suggestions on how to quilt around

machine embroidery designs so I

thought that would be a good topic to

share with you.

Step 1 Choose the design

I really like the idea of quilting a grid

behind the machine embroidery.

However, this will require a lot of

stopping and starting so I’m never keen

to do it. As you can see in the photo on

the next page, I drew a few sparse grid

lines and each time the grid intersects

with the embroidery motif, you have to

work around the motif to the next line or

stop and restart. A tighter grid would be

that much worse.

I decided that I didn’t want to do

that much work so I opted to fill the

background with free motion quilting.

Wallhanging with machine embroidery motif




issue 12 45

Grid lines (of quilting) will intersect the embroidery


Step 2 Stabilize the quilt

Because I’m lazy, I’m not a huge fan of

basting smaller items before I start to

quilt them. This quilt top measures 24’’

x 32’’ and I did not technically baste it.

I did press the three layers (backing,

batting and quilt top) together on both

the front and the back. I’ll explain what

other things I do to prevent shifting as I

go through the quilting process. I’m not

saying that you should do what I do, but

I just find it a hassle to baste these small

things and my method prevents tucks

and mishaps from occurring.

I did stick a few straight pins into the

piece before I started to quilt for a little

bit of security. Should you choose to

give this method a try, you must iron

both the front and the back and DO NOT

FOLD the piece after you’ve done that.

Folding can cause ripples on the front or

the back.

For this particular piece, I attached the

Dual Feed foot to the Designer Ruby

deLuxe. I used an invisible thread (clear)

on top and a regular piecing thread that

matched the quilt back (green) for the

bobbin thread.

I don’t like to start with the free motion.

I like to work up to that. If I’m only going

to do free motion quilting, then I have

no choice but to start with that. My

preference is to stabilize with as much

stitch in the ditch or straight line quilting

that I’m going to do on the piece.

The first thing I did here was to stitch

in the ditch where the flange meets

the border. On a large quilt, I would

NEVER pivot at the corners, but this

piece was small enough that I could

get away with pivoting.

Notice that there is LOADS of room

under the arm of the Designer Ruby

deLuxe so there was no pushing

or shoving required. The more you

manipulate your quilt, the more you may

have issues with the backing and tucks.

Stitching in the ditch with invisible thread on top.

3. CHECK the back

This is absolutely critical to the success

of the work whether you baste or not.

CHECK the back. Check it often – check

it after every step. If there’s an issue, you

can fix it right then. If you don’t, you

can be guaranteed that the back will be

messed up.

You may want to press the top and

back again. Press gently so you don’t

compress the batting (remember this is

a wall hanging so a little flatter batting is

OK). Press away from the center so any

fullness is pushed to the outside edges.

As mentioned, I did NOT baste this piece

and I didn’t have to rip a single stitch out

for any reason.

4. Continue with the stitch in the ditch

I’ve now stitched around the flange

and I’ve checked the back. No tucks, no

ripples. I know that the fabric inside that

center block on the front and back isn’t

going to do anything as it’s now well

stabilized on all four sides. And yes that

block is big, almost 12’’ x 20’’!

I like to get all the straight line quilting

done first, so it was onto quilting the

border. Again, I stitched in the ditch

using invisible thread (clear) on the top

and green piecing thread in the bobbin. I

did not have to adjust the tension at all.

I had to do three separate lines of

quilting to complete the stitch in the

ditch on the border. Since I was on the

edge of the quilt, it was easy to pivot on

those angles and no need for pushing

and shoving under the arm of the

sewing machine. If you have to push and

shove that quilt under the arm, you’re

not doing yourself any favors. Don’t do it!

Notice in the picture below that

I’m using quilter’s gloves to better

manipulate the quilt. I also gently spread

the seams apart when I’m stitching in

the ditch. That helps to hide the thread

into the valley (the opposite side from

which the seam allowance was pressed).

Using quilting gloves to help manipulate the quilt

when stitching in the ditch.


46 .com| issue 12


Step 5 – CHECK the back

I’m sounding like a broken record, but

you MUST check the back of your work.

I checked after each of the three lines

of stitch in the ditch quilting. If I felt

that the wallhanging needed a bit of a

press, then I gave the piece a quick press

(always pressing away from the center).

This might seem like a lot of fussing but

it’s these seemingly unnecessary little

steps like constantly checking the back

that are critical to not having a mess on

the back.

Even if you baste your quilt in any of the

traditional methods, I would still check

my back after every section of quilting.

Chalk this up to experience – it takes

a second to check the back and saves

hours of ripping.

Checking the back after two rows of stitch in the

ditch quilting have been completed.

In this next photo, you can see that I

completed the stitch in the ditch around

the center block, the three rows necessary

to complete the stitching in the border

and I’ve also stitched the outer edge of

the quilt to the backing, as I mentioned

in the previous article. I like to do that as

it helps to keep everything from moving

around and it certainly helps when it’s

time to sew the binding on.

All the stitch in the ditch is done and the back

looks great with beautifully formed stitches and

no tucks.

The stitch in the ditch quilting from the front of

the quilt.

6. Set up the sewing machine for free


It’s very easy to set up the Designer Ruby

deLuxe for free motion quilting.

There are many different styles of free

motion feet. And I have most of them. But

this one is my favorite. It’s metal (not sure

why I like metal over plastic – they both

work the same), but the best feature for

me is that the front of the foot is open

so I can see exactly where I’m stitching.

Depending on what type of quilting I’m

doing, I would choose one of the other

feet if it were more appropriate.

This is the open toe spring action free

motion quilting foot.

The spring action free motion foot is attached

to the sewing machine. The spring action free

motion foot is attached to the sewing machine.

Here’s one of the features I love about the

Designer Ruby deLuxe. See that button in

the photo below with the squiggly lines

on it? I just have to touch that button, the

pop-up menu comes up asking me if I’m

using the Free Motion Spring Action foot

or the Free Motion Floating foot and then

I let the Designer Ruby deLuxe do the

rest of the setup. It drops the feed dogs,

sets the tension or whatever else it feels

necessary for free motion.

That’s pretty much foolproof and I didn’t

have to adjust the tension. I can override

any of the automatic settings any time

I feel the need. Something I rarely have

to do.

Choosing the type of free motion that I installed

on the sewing machine.

7. Choose the free motion design

This is where most people have trouble.

I covered this off in a post on QUILTsocial

about practicing and figuring out what

you want to do on paper before you

tackle your piece. It’s also a good idea

to figure out the density that you want

the quilting to be and stick with that. I’ll

show you something about density in a


You don’t need to know a lot of designs,

but you should be willing to experiment

with the size and shape and that’ll give

you enough variety.

I know what to do, but let’s look at the

piece. It looks like a disaster. All the

stitch in the ditch is done around the

border and that center square which

has caused the center to pucker up and

it looks awful. Just wait – you know the

saying – it’ll quilt out? Stick with me and

you’ll see what happens. Remember –

we know that front square is the same

size (and amount of fabric) on the front

and the back.




issue 12 47

The center block has puffed up because the outer

borders are quilted and the center is not.

That center square almost looks worse as

I start to quilt it with fairly dense quilting.

But we’re not done yet. Don’t forget to

periodically check the back to make sure

things are going smoothly there.

8. Make sure you have enough thread

You can see that I’ve plenty of room to

work under the arm of the Designer

Ruby deLuxe. I didn’t really do anything

special in placing the quilt around the

sewing machine other than I have the

extension table attached. The piece is

small and I bunched it up as I saw fit to

make the job of quilting it that much


However, I just about had a heart attack

when I realized that even though I was

close to finishing the stitching in the

background of that block that I was

going to run out of the thread. NO WAY! I

checked my thread stash and no – I didn’t

have any more of that color. Thankfully

the shop was open and I was able to

get more. Back home and when I was

prepping for another project later in the

day, I happened to check a small thread

box that I keep for my machine quilting

class and you guessed it – there was a

spool of the EXACT same color! Well, now

I have enough for another project.

That’s one of the other things that’s

nice about using the piecing thread for

quilting. If you run out, it’s pretty easy

to get a replacement. If you’re using a

specialty thread and you run out, it may

not be so quick to get another spool.

The finished back of the quilt

I should mention that I used a regular

piecing thread on the top and a regular

piecing thread (a completely different

brand and color – green) for the bobbin.

The tension was perfect.

Running out of the thread for the top of my project.

9. Check the back and admire!

Once I had finished all the quilting on

the center square, I changed the thread

color on the front to a variegated green/

blue/purple for the borders. This was a

polyester thread, but I kept the green

piecing thread in the bobbin. Again, no

need to change the tension.

I did check the back as I went. Notice the

back has NO tucks, that center block that

looked so bad went completely flat. The

center block is not distorted because

I stabilized it before any free motion

quilting had a chance to distort things

as can sometimes happen. The stitch in

the ditch quilting stabilized all the major

lines in the quilt.

The center square is even more puffed now that

I’ve started to quilt it.


48 .com| issue 12


A note about density

When you draw out your quilting designs, it’s not a bad

idea to think about the density that you want when you

quilt the piece. You can see in the picture below (bottom

right) that I started off with an open density and very

quickly made it tighter. I’m not going to fix it – this will

become a good learning piece. The bottom line, that’s

a very small space and not really noticeable. But if I had

changed the density up in the quilting, it would be very

visible. Something to keep in mind!

Obviously, the sequence of quilting will vary depending

on the type of project that you’re doing, but I try to stick to

that method and I don’t have any issues with the quilting.

One thing I want to remind everyone. I’m giving you my

tried and true techniques that I’ve learned over the past 20

years. Some of what I do may not work for you – like NOT

basting a quilt. What I hope is that each of you will take

my ideas and mold them with your experiences to find a

technique and style that works for you.

I almost feel guilty to say that I quilted that piece because

with the help of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby

deLuxe, the job was so easy and I basically did nothing but

guide the fabric. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

I have another wallhanging to share with you. This time it’s

a hand-embroidered wallhanging and I’ll show you how I

quilted that one.

The wallhanging is completely quilted and it looks awesome!

In the photo above, you can see that all the fullness that we

saw has been completely quilted out. That’s the beauty of

quilting. But you must, must, must check the work back and

front as you go. You must stabilize the quilt with basting or

quilting and you can’t skip any of those steps or you’ll be in


I’m very happy with the results. Now I must get the quilt

trimmed and put the binding on. Since I haven’t made the

binding, this one is going in the pile with the other quilts that

are waiting for binding.

Notice the

slightly larger

density in the

lower right





issue 12 49

Quilting a hand embroidered piece and

making doll clothes, is so much fun!

Technically, you could quilt a hand

embroidered piece similar to the

machine embroidery piece that I just

highlighted in the previous pages. The

only problem is that hand embroidery

tends to have more open spaces and to

me, it seems more delicate and all that

free motion can just muddy the design.

Maybe that’s just me who feels that way.

I’ll do things a bit different. Plus you’ll get

another idea for quilting a wallhanging

or hand embroidered quilt blocks.

I did change threads. This time, I have

invisible on the top and I’ve got a

matching thread (beige piecing thread)

in the bobbin.

Using the same techniques for holding

the quilt while doing the stitch in the

ditch with the Dual Feed foot, I quilted

around the edges of that block. Yes – if

I looked at the lines on the back, they

might not be perfectly straight like they

would be if the lines had been stitched

using the Dual Feed foot, but you can’t

see the lines because of the busy back

that I put on this wallhanging and the

stitches don’t show on either the front or

the back so who is going to know?

I used invisible thread on the top and

my beige piecing thread in the bobbin. I

didn’t stitch on the lines of embroidery,

but right beside them. In some cases,

you can see the line of stitching wasn’t

exactly beside the embroidery, but

that’s OK. I did all the stitching without

stopping and starting resulting in

backtracking over some lines of stitching.

However, the detail on the face of the

pumpkin was done with separate lines

of stitching.

Hand embroidered wallhanging ready to be quilted

This piece is quite small measuring 15’’

square. There won’t be any issues to

maneuver this quilt under the arm of

the sewing machine. This is the type of

project that people should learn to quilt

on – small in size and the threads will

completely blend into the background,

so no one will know if your stitches were

consistent or not.

I’m stitching in the ditch around the

outline of the block. Again, I used my

iron only basting method. I don’t think I

even stuck pins in this one.

Instead of attaching the Dual Feed

Foot for that one outline, I decided this

was a good place to do free motion

stitch in the ditch. I still had the Spring

Action Free Motion foot attached to the

Designer Ruby deLuxe.

Stitching in the ditch – FREE MOTION style

I learned this technique a long, long time

ago. I had some major stitch in the ditch

to do and I wasn’t about to do a lot of

shoving and pushing or stopping and

starting. The quilting wasn’t perfect on

that compass quilt, but the free motion

stitch in the ditch sure saved a lot of time

to quilt that quilt and I’ve been saving

tons of time with this method ever since.

A good skill to learn!

Then it was time to choose the style of

quilting for the embroidery. Personally, I

like to stitch just beside the embroidery

lines. I may change that up depending

on the design but in this case, I think it

works well to stitch along the lines of


Lines of embroidery are highlighted by “stitch in

the ditch” quilting with invisible thread.

I didn’t go around some of the smaller

details like the stars on the hat and the

cat’s face. That’s OK. You could if you

wanted, but it’s not necessary to keep

the integrity of the piece.

If I wanted to, I could have done some

loose overall stitching in the background

to make the image stand out a bit more,

but you have to be careful with the

density. If you quilt that background too

tight, the pumpkin will puff up similar to

my machine embroidered piece.

This is a seasonal wallhanging and it

looks just fine like this.


50 .com| issue 12


A closer look at the quilting around the hand

embroidered stitching

Here’s a close up of the stitching that

I did in the border. Normally I would

have done that with a darker thread –

maybe grey or even black. But this is a

glow in the dark thread so it looks neat

when the lights are off. I wanted to do

the entire pumpkin face with the glow

in the dark, but it didn’t look great if I

accidentally stitched the white thread

on the black hand stitching. That got

ripped out real quick.

The stars were done fast and are by no

means perfect. That’s OK. It’s a small

seasonal wallhanging. No one should

be losing sleep if the stars aren’t perfect.

What I do like is that the Designer Ruby

deLuxe made PERFECTLY formed stitches

and I managed to do a pretty decent job

with the stitch length. I’m happy!

And now that one goes onto the

binding pile along with the rest of the

quilts waiting to be bound.

While I was on a roll and the Designer

Ruby deLuxe was set up, I decided to

quilt another small hand embroidered

wall hanging that was sitting in the “to

be quilted” pile.

I basically followed the same method as

for the Halloween project. I used invisible

thread to outline all the lines of hand

embroidery. I didn’t do the feathers on

the owl body and wings. I stitched in the

ditch using the free motion technique

around the perimeter of the block and

around all the stitching on the leaves,

flowers, and the owl.

I used a matching thread for the backing.

It was a cream piecing thread. I used

invisible for all the stitching on the top.

Stitching in the ditch beside the lines of hand

embroidery stitches

I also decided to quilt all the border

seams with stitch in the ditch using the

Spring Action Free Motion foot. Note on

the border that I could stitch in either

a sideways motion or an up and down

motion whichever worked best for me.

It’s nice to have options and it’s nice to

have a sewing machine that will make

great stitches depending on what is

easiest for me, not what is easiest for the

sewing machine.

Stitching front to back on the borders using the

free motion foot

Here’s the finished wallhanging. It needs

to be trimmed and have the binding put

on. Yep – this one is also going on the

pile of quilts to be bound. I will have to

break down and start doing one or two a

day as the pile is getting rather large.

Hand embroidered wall hanging quilted and

ready to be trimmed

A close up of the quilting with invisible thread

Back to my childhood sewing…

I have to confess that for months, (OK –

so it’s more like years), I’ve been wanting

to make doll clothes. I’ve no one to give

them to. I don’t even have a doll to put

the clothes on, but I love little things and

doll clothes are little and they’re cute.

Quilted stars in the border using glow in the

dark thread.

Stitching side to side on the borders using the free

motion foot




issue 12 51

Tools that will make the assembly of the doll clothes a breeze

Doll clothes pattern for an 18" doll

I found some extra time in my schedule to get one outfit made.

It’s a great use of the sewing machine and my quilting tools so I

thought I would share my experience with you.

It’s been a while, so I’m starting with something simple. A pair

of pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I went through my fabric

stash and found some denim for the pants and a nice pink

gingham for the shirt.

I started by cutting the pattern pieces that I needed from the

pattern tissue. Then I evaluated the tools that I needed to cut

out the fabric pieces. I was certain that if I used flower head

pins, that I’d be able to use my rotary cutters and a ruler to cut

some parts of the pattern.

I also dug out some of my threads that I can use to sew the

clothes and I chose matching threads because some of the

stitching is going to show.

Here are some of the accessories that I will need. Elastic,

velcro (sew-in velcro is my favorite), and look at those teeny

tiny buttons. I wasn’t sure which size I would need for which

application, so I got all sizes. They are so darn cute!!

I used to sew doll clothes years ago and I used to do a lot of

garment sewing years ago as well. Things have changed and

when I went to cut out the pattern, I decided that the rotary

cutter was probably a lot better, faster and easier than scissors.

When I cut the pants out, I didn’t trim excess tissue paper away

beyond the cutting line. That made it a wee bit challenging to

keep the pattern tissue flat.

When I cut the shirt out, I trimmed the excess tissue paper away

prior to pinning the tissue pattern to the fabric and using the

rotary cutter worked like a charm.

Fabrics for a shirt and a pair of pants for an 18" doll

Items for finishing the doll clothes


52 .com| issue 12


Cutting out the pattern using a rotary cutter

Using a ruler and rotary cutter to cut out a pattern piece for a doll shirt

I used my ruler on all the straight edges of the pattern. This is why

it’s important to use those flower head pins. They are flat and in

no way impeded the ruler. I used the small rotary cutter on the

curves and the medium cutter on the rest.

The pants and the shirt were cut out in no time!

Here’s something exciting. I can use my Quilter’s P foot (¼”

piecing foot) to sew the doll clothes as the patterns are made

with a ¼” seam allowance. Isn’t that exciting? It will be a snap to

get these clothes sewn together.

Here they are – my first shirt and pair of pants for my pretend

doll. Yes – I know the pants aren’t finished, but I needed to get

the picture taken and I was running out of time.

Let’s just say that some of my garment skills are a tad rusty, but I

was able to use a lot of my quilting skills. Insetting those sleeves

was just like a curved quilt seam. My quilter’s awl came in darn

handy and there are so many techniques and machine features

that I used that I decided to save them for the next set of posts.

I’ll take a day and walk you through what I did and what tools I

used and where. It was loads of fun and I have a lot of ideas on

how to improve the process.

And there you have it. Some more great ways to use the

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe. The more I sew, the more

I want to sew. The more features I uncover, the more I want to try

them on different things which is why I decided to try the doll

clothes. I really want to try some garment sewing again. The good

thing about doll clothes – you don’t need to worry about fit! Now

where to find an 18” doll who can model her new wardrobe?

I hope you enjoyed these series of articles. I hope you found some

tips or ideas that can apply to your sewing and quilting adventures!

Elaine Theriault


The Quilter’s ¼” foot is perfect for sewing the seam allowance on the doll


Shirt and pants for an 18" doll




issue 12 53

skill level intermediate

finished measurements

60” x 67” [152.4 x 170.18cm]



• 60” [1.5m] – Fabric A light grey background

Cut 3 strips measuring 3” x wof


Sub cut 32 squares measuring 3”


Cut 17 strips measuring 2½” x wof


Sub cut 256 squares measuring 2½”


• 23” [60cm] – Fabric B yellow flower centers

Block A

Cut 2 strips measuring 3” x wof


Sub cut 16 squares measuring 3”


Cut 4 strips measuring 2½” x wof


Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x


• 32” [80cm] – Fabric C orange outside Block A

Cut 10 strips measuring 2½” x wof


Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x



Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x


• 23” [60cm] – Fabric D pink flower centers

Block B

Cut 2 strips measuring 3” x wof


Sub cut 16 squares measuring 3”


Cut 4 strips measuring 2½” x wof


Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x 4½”


54 .com| issue 12


Birds of Paradise


• 32” [80cm] – Fabric E burgundy outside

Block B

Cut 10 strips measuring 2½” x wof


Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½”

x 4½”


Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½”

x 6½”

• 1yd [0.9m] – Fabric F green sashing and

inner border

Cut 9 strips measuring 1½” x wof


Join end to end using a diagonal seam

for the sashing

Cut 6 strips measuring 2½” x wof


Join end to end using a diagonal seam

for the inner border

• 15⁄8yd [1.4m] – Fabric G burgundy outer


Cut 7 strips measuring 4½” x wof


Join end to end using a diagonal seam

for the outer border

Cut 7 strips measuring 2½” x wof


Join end to end using a diagonal seam

for the binding

• 37⁄8yd [3.5m] – backing

Pieced crosswise


• matching thread

• rotary cutter

• cutting mat

• ruler

• pins

A mixture of Northcott’s

basic collections including

Toscana, Stonehenge

Gradations Brights and

Artisan Spirit Shimmer.

Joining the blocks into rows

transforms this ordinary

block in a garden bursting

with color to brighten up

any day. This quilt is also a

great opportunity to try out

a new quilting design and

because the quilt is made in

rows, it’s super easy to quilt.



Use ¼” Seam Allowance unless otherwise


Block A and Block B are identical except

for the colouring.

Half Square triangles

1. Using 16 3” squares, each of Fabric

A and Fabric B, make 32 half square


2. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side

of the lightest of the pair of squares

for the HST.

3. Stitch a scant ¼” on either side of the

diagonal line.

4. Cut apart on the diagonal line.

5. Press to the dark fabric.

6. Trim the units to 2½”.

7. Repeat using 16 3” squares of Fabric A

and Fabric D.

8. Sew each half square triangle to a

background square (2½”) using the

diagram to get the correct orientation.

Logs for the blocks

1. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side

of the remaining background squares

(2½”). Place a background square with

right sides together onto a rectangle of

Fabric B. Watch the orientation of the

diagonal line.

2. Trim the excess away and press

towards the background.


3. Using Fabric C rectangles (2½” x 4½” and 2½” x 6½”)

and the background squares (2½”), complete the

remainder of the logs in the same manner. Watch

the orientation of the diagonal line as the angle on

the background square is not the same for the three

logs used in each block. Use the block diagram to see

which way to place the diagonal line.

4. Repeat using Fabrics D and E.

5. Assemble the blocks. Unfinished block size = 6½”.

6. Alternate a Block A and B, sew the units together in

rows as per the diagram. Notice that the odd rows

start with Block A and the even rows start with Block


Quilt Center

1. Measure several of the rows to get an average length.

2. Cut 7 strips of the sashing fabric to that

measurement. Add a sashing strip to the bottom of

seven rows.

3. Sew the rows together, pinning to prevent the edges

of the quilt from going wonky.

Inner Border

Repeat the steps for the inner border using Fabric D, add

the 2nd border.

1. Using Fabric F, cut 2 pieces of fabric that equal the

vertical length of the quilt (take the measurement

through the vertical center of the quilt).

2. Match the center of the inner border to the side

center of the quilt and pin.

3. Match the ends of the inner border to both ends of

the quilt and pin. You may have to ease the inner

border or the quilt.

4. Sew the seams. Press toward the inner border.

5. Repeat this process for the top and bottom inner

borders using the width (through the center) of the

quilt as your measurement guide.

Outer Border

Repeat the steps for the inner border and using Fabric G,

add the outer border.

Note: 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 Elaine Theriault

measurements accordingly. crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com

Colouring for Block A

Block outline diagram




issue 12 55

don't miss these

projects & tutorials online!









+ HSTs =

a fun and

functional gift


5 steps for adding

a pop of color with

a flange in the



Pairings –

needles and

threads work

together for



and there's so much more!


56 .com| issue 12






january 2019


remote desert villages

limited spaces!

also morocco, uzbekistan, orissa






Kelly’s Creative Sewing

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58 .com| issue 12


Ketan, pronounced “kay-tan,”

is a colorful holiday rice from

Indonesia that inspired this

collection. Ketan Precuts come in

six gorgeous color palettes, such

as Pink Skies (shown here).

Visit BanyanBatiks.com to see

the full range of Ketan Precuts

and use the Product Finder tool

to locate a shop that carries this


Pink Skies fat quarter bundle

and strip pack



QUILTsocial bloggers

Christine Baker


Christine has been designing and

publishing quilt patterns for the

last 10 years under the business

name Fairfield Road Designs. Her

patterns range from fusible applique

and piecing to felted wool applique

and punchneedle. You can see all her

patterns on her website.

Elaine Theriault


Elaine made her first quilt at the

tender age of 13. The urge to quilt

resurfaced when her daughter

moved from a crib. The rest is

history – she now teaches several

days a week, makes quilts on

commission and quilts for others on

the long-arm.

Sarah Vanderburgh


Sarah loves to play with color and

quilts are her playground! A selftaught

quilter, She's been designing

her own quilts for almost 20 years.

She's inspired by happy fabrics,

selvages, traditional blocks and

nature. She's also a wife, mother,

and elementary school teacher, and

enjoy drinking coffee on my front

porch in northern Ontario.

Julie Plotniko


Julie Plotniko is a quilting teacher,

blogger and designer from Vancouver

Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Teaching for almost 40 years, recent

credits include Quilt Canada 2016

and 2017, many quilt guilds and

groups throughout Canada and

CreativFestival Sewing and Craft

Shows in Victoria, Abbotsford and

Toronto. When not on the road Julie

works and teaches at Snip & Stitch

Sewing Center in Nanaimo, BC. Her

favorite things include free motion

quilting (standard bed and midarm

machines), precision piecing,

scrap quilting, machine embroidery,

blogging, designing and of course

teaching. Julie believes that to

see a student go from tentative

beginnings to having confidence in

themselves and their abilities is one

of the greatest rewards that life has

to offer.


60 .com| issue 12


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.


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

Brenda Franklin Designs

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

519.638.9958 bfdesigns.on.ca


More than 500 charts available for counted

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Brampton Sew & Serge

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905.874.1564 sewnserge.com


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Many kits available. Check our website!

Canadian National Fabric - Brampton, ON



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Hardanger House, designs by Betty Stokoe

PO Box 1223, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0

403.742.2749 bettystokoe@gmail.com


Hardanger embroidery charts and kits. Designs

feature contemporary adaptations of this traditional

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Haus of Stitches

626 Main Street, Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0

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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


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Laser engraving is a beautiful process for fabric,

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Kelly's Creative Sewing

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902.435.7380 kellyscreativesewing.ca


We offer sales and on-site service of high-end

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Needles & Knits

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62 .com| issue 12


The Ultimate Accessory that

Fits Virtually Anywhere

Introducing THE Dream Fabric Frame that maximizes your workspace and unlocks the potential of your advanced Brother

Sewing and Quilting machines. Paired up with select models, you’ll enjoy enhanced capabilities - all at your fingertips.

MSRP $2999.99


Small space,

huge possibilities

in just 3’ x 5’!

Expand your horizons and take on the projects of your dreams!

Includes the SureStitch stitch

regulator for enhanced control

during free motion sewing

Multi-function foot

control brings enhanced

features within reach

Adjustable legs

let you work standing

or sitting

Compatible with the following machines that are available separately: XV8550D, VM6200D, VM5100, VQ3000, VQ2400, PQ1500SL

Visit your Brother authorized dealer,

or go to brother.ca to discover more.


Photos are for illustration purposes only. Sewing machine not included. Brother and its logo are trademarks of Brother Industries, Ltd., Japan. All specifications are subject to change without notice. All registered trademarks referenced herein are the property

of their respective companies. ©2018 Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. 1, rue Hôtel de Ville, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec, H9B 3H6. 07/2018 - 18_0213


Get more quilting fun in





A Needle Pulling Thread


Thoughtful Soles

Winter is coming

Knit faster


2018 Issue 48


Pulled Thread


the Beauty of


Arrowhead Smocking


Visit www.ANPTmag.com

to order!





25274 74758

$11.95 Can/USA

7 0

8 2

Retailer display until 31Jan2019 16 86 47

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