This was the finished quilt prior to the binding being put on. Love the design, and I think Emily did a great job!
If you’d like to make the perfect project for your special little trick-or-treater, I teamed up with Janome to bring you the perfect tutorial for a reusable treat bag! Visit Janome’s website for the full tutorial and a quick and easy sew!
This is a great project with a little pop of color on the reverse side of the drawstring bag–you can use a contrasting fabric to really make it pop (or even glow in the dark fabric!)
And learn to quilt some really fun spiderwebs! Enjoy!
In the midst of tragedy, I am relieved that I belong to a group of people that goes out of their way to show love for others. The group I’m talking about is the Modern Quilt Guild. And even more specifically, the San Antonio chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. The Orlando MQG organized collections to accept in progress quilts and completed quilts to show support and love for some of the people affected by the Pulse night club shooting. I hate that I’m even writing a post about this, because it’s so disturbing the amount of violence we hear about on a daily basis on the news…but I want to focus on giving back and showing support for our fellow human beings.
The SAMQG members are SO giving and generous with their fabric and time, that we’ve had a plethora of blocks constructed (most using the Heart pattern tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew). A few charity sew-ins, and we’ve finished (I think) 5 quilts!
I had the great opportunity to quilt a few of these, and wanted to discuss charity work in this industry. I’ve done a little bit of charity sewing in the past, but not really donated much of my time or resources prior to getting my longarm. And once I started donating my quilting, I kind of just rushed through the process, doing a stipple or some quick meandering design to get that top off my frame as quickly as I could. But one night, I started thinking about the recipients of these rushed through pieces I had worked on. Was I proud of the work I was doing on them? No. Absolutely not. I was just FINISHING THEM. There was nothing special or generous about what I was doing to add to the quilt. And maybe those recipients don’t even look at the quilting. But it really got to me that I was doing about 2% of my best work on something that was supposed to be making someone happier. I decided to start doing my best work on every quilt top. Whether it was a paying customer or not. If I’m going to commit to working on something, why would I give anything less than my best? And besides, if you want to look at it from a really selfish angle, it’s great practice and helps develop your skills even further.
I really love the graffiti quilting style, and chose to do that on this quilt. These blocks were pieced together by so many different people, with such love and compassion in their hearts. It really does give me a little bit of hope for humanity.
Anyway, my two cents for the day is to think about where your heart is when you decide to do charity work. If it’s in your heart, put your best foot forward and really give all you have. Otherwise, what are you wasting your time for?
|Decorative stitches with a 3-way cording foot|
I had absolutely no idea what couching was when I first heard of it. I saw a demonstration of couching on a longarm quilting machine, and then very quickly wrote it off (since I didn’t have a longarm at the time), thinking I would never have the means or opportunity to try couching. You can use couching to emphasize a print on fabric, outline applique, doodle with it, and you can even quilt with it.
|Couching can add a little flair to regular fabric
Well, there are some ways that you can couch without buying a super expensive longarm quilting machine, and then also buying a super expensive couching attachment for said longarm. You can actually couch by hand–but it takes a while. And you can certainly try couching by using a domestic sewing machine. You don’t even have to buy a special foot for it if you don’t want to. As long as you have a free motion quilting foot that has some sort of round part that the needle goes through, you’re good! I will say, that if the hole for the free motion foot is really big, you can easily modify it yourself by taking a small piece of scotch tape and covering a portion of the hole (not a portion the needle will travel through). The smaller the hole on the free motion (or couching) foot, the easier it will be for the yarn to travel where you want it to go.
|Make an art piece using couching techniques if that floats your boat!|
I wrote a super easy to follow couching tutorial for Janome’s website that can be accessed HERE
So click it and check out how easy couching is! There are seriously so many things you can do with couching to spice up existing projects.
Check out my newest tutorial for Janome on the AQS blog this week! The tutoiral is for Quilted pillow shams that will really step up your bedroom decor and give an extra special touch.
Follow this LINK to see the full tutorial and add some new tools to your quilting toolbox!
I’ve always loved quilting, and was a little skeptical at the stencils. Especially before I knew about the chalk pads. I tried them when I first tried my hand at quilting, and used a water soluble pen to trace each stencil line. And let me tell you…that will be a wonderful deterrent for anyone to never try stencils again. Time consuming, inefficient, etc. Then one of my friends had some of the chalk pounce and pads and so I thought I might just go ahead and try it again. WAY better than tracing each line by hand. What originally to hours literally changed to minutes. So if you haven’t loved stencils, maybe try this and you’ll change your mind!
I had the awesome opportunity to team up with Janome and AQS to offer a free pillow tutorial! You can find the complete instructions and supply list here: Blue December Quilted Pillow Tutorial
One of my guilty pleasures is Instagram. One of the people I follow on Instagram, @orchidowlquilts, posted a photo of some awesome quilting and an astounding mini quilt. It inspired me to try the technique as well. If you’d like to give it a try, here are the steps you need to follow:
Supplies you’ll need:
Small (super sharp) embroidery scissors
mini quilt (backing, batting, 2-3 layers of top fabric)
1. Choose two or three fabrics (solids work well for this).
2. Make a quilt sandwich. For my first time, I made a mini as well. I think it’s good to try this out on a small quilt so you don’t get discouraged by the time involved…
3. You will lay your backing fabric wrong side up, batting on top of that, then one of your solid fabrics on top of the batting (right side facing up). Smooth to get all the wrinkles out.
4. Now you’re going to layer another solid fabric on top of the one you just smoothed. This could be your final piece of fabric, or you could choose to layer one more on top of this. I would keep it to three fabrics for the top for your first attempt.
5. Smooth all the top fabric layers to remove wrinkles and baste in place.
6. Mark the top fabric for quilting if you need to mark, or if you like to wing it like me, get ready to quilt!
7. Quilt your mini quilt. I would recommend not quilting too heavily or small for this. It will make cutting the fabric much easier if the space between your quilting lines is at least an inch.
If you use a long arm quilting machine, you probably have noticed that it isn’t always easy to keep your most valued tools at hand while working. I know this was an issue I had, as I currently rent time on a community machine and couldn’t just keep my items laying around wherever I pleased.
I used to be big into making aprons, but since I took up sewing…my cooking time has long diminished. The need for aprons in my household had kind of gone away, until I realized a sewing apron would really solve a lot of my problems.
I had written a pattern for a simple pocketed apron a few years ago and tweaked a few things to make sure it would accommodate my needs. Plus…Alison Glass’s Ex Libris fabric had just come out and I had to have something showing off that wonderful panel print. I really wish that I had bought an entire bolt of that color way of the corsage print, because I can’t seem to find more of it anywhere. When I adjusted my pattern, the bottom patchwork section of the apron had been a complementary strip of fabric–so I just added in the extra 1/4″ seam allowances for the little squares and pieced them to go with the center. The pocket on the front of the apron is actually 3 pockets, which easily contain my seam ripper, scissors, and a water soluble marking pin. The top flap that folds down on the body of the apron is where I slip my needle for burying threads so I always have it handy.
If you have a spare apron laying around, you wouldn’t even need to make a special one for quilting. I really love mine, and it has seriously uncomplicated my life in the quilting room. Instead of wasting time searching for my scissors or seam ripper, I know where everything is and they’re always within reach.
I know I’m surely not the first person to do this, but I hadn’t seen other quilters suggest this, so I thought I would put it out there. If you can’t tell, I’ve got a serious Alison Glass fabric love going on.