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Free motion quilting tutorial – How to quilt pebbles

how to quilt pebbles

Pebbles are a favorite of mine when there are lots of small spaces that need extra texture. The thing is, it can get kind of boring to quilt the same size pebble over and over AND OVER again until the cows come home. Right?

I like to change up the size of the pebbles to add a little more interest and create a river rock effect. It helps to take some of the monotony out of it, but lets you keep all that ooey-gooey texture that you’re going for. Sometimes, quilting the same shape so much will make you get a little road weary, and I’ve found this is a great way to avoid that.

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How to quilt orange peels – free motion quilting tutorial

Have you ever seen a really cool geometric quilting design? Then you look at it and immediately think it’s too complicated to quilt yourself? With orange peels, that’s just not true! If you’d like to learn how to quilt orange peels, I’ve got a tutorial that breaks the design down into smaller pieces. All you need to start is a ruler (not a longarm quilting ruler–any ruler will do), marking tool, and your sewing machine and fabric.

Begin by marking out a grid of your choice. For this video tutorial, I marked out a 1.5″ square grid. You should also decide if you want a vertical x horizontal grid, or if you’d like to mark it on point (as I did in the video). After you mark your grid, mark a few of the curved pieces that are going to go in and around the grid you drew as a visual guide before you start quilting.

Now that you’ve marked a few visual guides, you’re ready to get started. Quilt a few half circles as the video shows on the outer edge of the quilt. It’s easier for me to quilt half of the circle, and then go back down the line to quilt the remainder. But do what works for you, and find what you like best! Learning how to quilt orange peels is really just quilting several circles that interlock. Don’t make it more complicated than it is. And know this: The more you quilt that circular motion, the easier it will get. The orange peel shape might not come naturally at first, but the more you do it, the better it will look.

Video tutorial

How can I use orange peels?

I love using Orange peel designs if I have a large background on a quilt to work with. Also, the orange peel design looks fantastic if you’re quilting up a panel to be used for a bag. I did a modified orange peel design when I made myself some new cosmetic bags for travelling. It really takes the travel bag up a notch, especially if you imagine it without the quilting and just solid green fabric. You can see the full blog post I did here.

variation of quilted orange peels
Gloss Cosmetic bag Pattern by Sew Sweetness from the Minikins 2 pattern bundle

Orange peels look great as a motif that you want to be seen. If you’ve got a lot of negative space, it can really add a lot of punch to the overall look! Even if you don’t have your machine handy, this is a great design to practice with graph paper. Grab a few sheets and take them with you for moments of free time and you’ll be good to go!

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Learn how to quilt swirls – video tutorial

smoky swirls video tutorial

Want to learn how to quilt swirls? Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what should go in the negative space of a quilt. I really like using swirls to quilt empty space because it gives texture and movement. It can also double as smoky swirls or wind looking swirls to create a darker look, or mimic the weather.

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Binding on the Longarm

Do you follow me on instagram? If you do, you might have seen I’ve been having a LOT of fun with videos lately. I’ve been doing some time lapse videos of some basic straight line quilting AAAAAND decided I’d do a real time video of how I bind mini quilts on my longarm. It’s seriously so easy that if you haven’t tried this yet, you’ll really kick yourself!

If you’ve ever quilted a mini quilt on the longarm, there’s a fun shortcut you can use to quickly attach binding to the front of the quilt after you quilt it. I did a short video tutorial showing how to attach binding on the longarm, and I hope you’ll go check it out! Now just a quick note…I am obviously not a professional videographer…or whatever that’s called, and I even treat you to a view of my gorgeous locks of hair that were quickly and haphazardly thrown up into a very unglamorous mom bun. That’s right. ENJOOOOOY 😉

When I bind my quilting samples on the longarm, I usually stick to pretty small sizes. You could definitely do this with a large quilt, just keep in mind that you’ll be doing some scrolling and advancing of the quilt to finish the job. It’s also a good idea to mark the large quilt so you have a good idea of where the squared portion of the quilt will be so you attach the binding straight. I only do this for quilts that are for myself–because for me this is something to do quickly as a shortcut and not great for accuracy, as I don’t spend a lot of time making sure I’m putting the binding on squarely.

To make the binding, I cut strips 2.5″ wide x the width of the fabric and then sew them together, end to end to create the length I need (I usually do the perimeter of the quilt + 12″ to make sure I have enough). The tutorial shows how to attach the binding to the front of the quilt. After quilting, you’ll need to trim away and square up, then flip the folded edge of the binding to the back and finish. I finish all mine by hand because I’m a weirdo and love hand binding!

Freshly bound mini quilt!

Binding on the longarm details

I’m using an Innova 22″ longarm (hand guided) with a lightning stitch stitch regulator. The fabric panel I quilted was a custom panel I ordered from My Fabric Design, and the thread I used for the quilting was Glide by Hab+Dash (previously Fil-Tec). If you’d like to see a time lapse video of the quilting of this panel, you can check it out on instagram HERE.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful–and I’d love to hear your feedback! Are you up for trying this out soon? Let me know if you do and how it goes! Happy sewing 🙂

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Total Eclipse Heart Pouch Tutorial

Grab your copy of the Total Eclipse Heart Block and check out this free zip pouch tutorial to turn it into a quick and easy zippered pouch for some serious cuteness!

Total Eclipse Heart Block
Total Eclipse Heart Block in Tula Pink’s Tabby Road and Michael Miller Hashdot

Supplies

  • Supplies/fabrics listed in the Total Eclipse Heart Block pattern – we’ll be making the 7″ x 12″ block.
  • Additional fabric cuts:
    • (2) 1.5″ x 4″ zipper ends cut from exterior fabric
    • (2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ lining for zip pouch
    • (2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ pieces of SF101 fusible interfacing for the lining
    • (1) 7.5″ x 12.5″ for Exterior back of pouch (cut this at 8.5″ x 13.5″ if you plan to quilt it, then trim down to 7.5″ x 12.5″. You may also want to alter your border pieces on the Total Eclipse Heart Block and cut them at (2″ x 5.5″ and 2″ x 13.5″) if you’re quilting the front exterior or the quilt block.)
      • If quilting, you’ll also need (2) 10″ x 15″ batting pieces.
      • If not quilting, cut (2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ pieces of SF101 fusible interfacing for the exterior.
  • 14″ closed end nylon zipper
  • Erasable marking tool (I like to use Frixion pens)
  • Turning tool or chopstick

Instructions

  • To begin, follow the instructions in the Total Eclipse Heart Block pattern to make the 7″ x 12″ block. You’ll need to decide if you want to quilt your zipper pouch or not.
    • If quilting – cut the border pieces at (2) 2″ x 5.5″ and (2) 2″ x 13.5″, instead of the 1.5″ width to give a little extra room for shrinkage. Then sew the pieces on as directed.
    • Make a quilt sandwich, using 2 pieces of scrap fabric (these won’t be seen in the finished pouch) measuring 10″ x 15″ as the back of your quilt sandwich. Place the scrap piece wrong side up, place the batting piece on top of that, then center the 8.5″ x 13.5″ block on top of that and baste the layers together using your favorite method. Make another quilt sandwich with the 8.5″ x 13.5″ Exterior back piece. Quilt as desired, then square up the quilted pieces to measure 7.5″ x 12.5″.
  • If not quilting – Follow the cutting/sewing instructions to make the block, then apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the 7.5″ x 12.5″ quilt block, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Do the same for the 7.5″ x 12.5″ Exterior back of pouch.
    • Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each lining piece.
    • Take the 1.5″ x 4″ zipper end pieces and fold the 1.5″ ends to meet in the center. Press. Fold them in once more to conceal all raw edges and press.
  • Take the 14″ zipper and move the zipper pull in away from the metal teeth a little. Trim your zipper down to measure exactly 12.5″, and make sure you trim the metal bits off when you trim it down. Be very careful to not pull your zipper head off.
  • Take the zipper end pieces and place one end of the zipper butted into the middle of the folded piece. Use clips or pin in place. Repeat for the other end of the zipper. Take to your sewing machine and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge to contain the zipper. Trim away the edges of the zipper pieces so they’re even with the zipper tape.
  • Measure and mark the center top 12.5″ edges of all 4 of your fabric pieces. Measure and mark the center of the zipper.

Assembling the Zipper pouch

  • Take the assembled quilt block (quilted or not) and place it right side up. Take the zipper and place it right side down, lining up the centers and the edge of the zipper tape to the top edge of the block. Use clips or pin to secure. Place one lining piece right side down on top of the zipper, sandwiching the zipper between the two layers and matching the centers again. Clip or pin in place. Use a zipper foot to sew through all three layers with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the fabrics wrong sides together away from the zipper and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge of the fabric.
  • Take the exterior 7.5″ x 12.5″ piece (quilted or not) and place it
    right side up. Take the zipper (now attached to the quilt block) and place it right side down, lining up the centers and the edge of the zipper tape to the top edge of the block. Use clips or pin to secure. Place the remaining lining piece right side down on top of the zipper, sandwiching the zipper between the two layers and matching the centers again. Clip or pin in place. Use a zipper foot to sew through all three layers with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the fabrics wrong sides together away from the zipper and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge of the fabric.
  • Open the zipper. Pull the exteriors and linings apart from eachother and pin the edges of the exterior RST. Do the same with the lining pieces. Pin or clip in place. Mark a 5″ opening centered on the bottom of the lining. This will be left open for turning. Start sewing with your regular pressing foot, and sew all the way around the zip pouch, leaving the opening unsewn.
  • Trim the corners away being careful not to clip the stitches. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining and push the corners out with a chopstick or turning tool.
  • Fold the raw edges of the opening in by 1/4″ and press. Clip the folded edges together and topstitch or whipstitch closed to close the opening. Push the lining down into the bag and you’re done! Fill that cute little zip pouch up with some goodies and it’s ready to be gifted.
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Build-A-Block Market Tote Tutorial and Giveaway

Market Tote Tutorial

This week’s blog post has some real treats in it–There’s information about the giveaway that Crafter’s Companion is so generously sponsoring, and a free tutorial for a modern Market Tote.  Check out my previous post for more info about the Build-A-Block.  And I know a lot of you won’t be able to wait for the giveaway results to get your hands on this, so be sure to use the promo code QUILTEASY to purchase the Build-A-Block and you’ll receive a set of threads and a six-piece fat quarter bundle valued at $41.95!!  Free Gift with Code QuiltEasy

I’ve been using the Build-A-Block system and Gemini die cutting machine for a few weeks now, and I’m so excited to be a brand partner with Crafter’s Companion!  The dies that come with the Build-A-Block system make it so easy to cut out all the pieces you need for a project–with no trimming after the fact.  I’m a super fan of half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles, and I use them in just about every pattern I make.  The process is made so much easier by just layering your fabric and die, running it through the Gemini, and cutting it up fast!  If you’d love to get your hands on your very own Gemini and Build-A-Block system, here are the details for the giveaway:

Giveaway Details – a Gemini Machine and Build-A-Block systemBuild a block and gemini

  • Giveaway is sponsored by Crafter’s Companion and opens September 1, 2018 and ends September 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM, PST
  • Winner will be notified via this blog post no later than Monday, September 17, 2018, and must provide a US shipping address once notified.
  • Giveaway prizes can only be shipped in the United States.  Crafter’s Companion reserves up to 30 business days to distribute prize to giveaway winner.
  • In order to enter, you must:
  • Good luck!!!

So I’m really pumped to bring you a free tutorial for the Market Bag–it’s a simple carry all bag with a clean modern look that’s great for the farmer’s market, grocery shopping, gym bag, or whatever you’d love to use it for.  I used Threaders™ Linen Look Cotton in White for the lining of my Market Tote–I like a clean white lining so I can easily spot the things I need in my bag, and the linen feel of the fabric is a little heavier duty than plain quilting cotton, so it will really stand up to the test of time!

Quilted Market Tote Tutorial Market Tote Tutorial

Finished bag dimensions: 16” tall x 13” wide x 6” deep

Materials needed:

  • Gemini™ & Build-A-Block™ die cutting system and 4.5” HST die
  • 4.5” Half square triangle Build-A-Block™ die cutter
  • (2) 23” lengths of 1-1/4” cotton webbing for straps
  • (1) 25” x 45” piece of fabric for the quilt sandwich (will not be visible when bag is complete)
  • (1) 25” x 45” Soft and Stable or 2 pieces of 25” x 45” batting layered together
  • 1 yard of Threaders™ Linen Look Cotton in White sub cut into
    • 20” x 40” for lining
  • 5/8 yard Fabric A (White fabric) sub cut into
    • (25) 5.5” squares
  • 5/8 yard Fabric B (Blue fabric) sub cut into
    • (25) 5.5” squares
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Thread for piecing
  • Thread for quilting
  • Pre-wound bobbin
  • Thread snips/scissors
  • Binding Clips/sewing pins
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Iron and pressing mat
  • Rotary cutter/ruler/mat
  • Starch (optional)

HST-Half-square triangle, RSO-Right side out, RST-Right sides together, RSD-Right Side Down, RSU-Right Side Up, all seam allowances are 1/4” unless otherwise specified.  It is recommended to starch the fabrics for the HSTs prior to cutting them, as they will be sewn on the bias.  This will help minimize distortion of the fabric.

Cut out and assemble the HST units

  1. Use the 4.5” HST die for the Gemini Build-A-Block to cut the HST units. Follow the steps for layering the fabric in the cutting plates and shims per the Gemini and Build-A-Block instructions.  Layer up to eight of the 5.5” squares of Fabric A at a time in the Gemini, with the 4.5” HST die cutting the fabric.  Position the die so you are able to get two cuts from the square.  Cut a total of 50 HST pieces from Fabric A and 50 HST pieces from Fabric B (see Fig. 1).  Your HSTs will measure 4.5” when completed.
  2. Take one HST piece of Fabric A and one HST piece of Fabric B (see Fig. 2). Place them RST, aligning the diagonal edges, and pin in place.  Sew along the diagonal with a 1/4” seam allowance (see Fig. 3).  Repeat to create a total of 50 half-square triangle blocks.  Press seams.

    Figures 1, 2, 3, and 6
    Figures 1, 2, 3, and 6
  3. Layout the 50 HST blocks created in step 2 into a 5 x 10 grid (see Fig. 4).

    Figure 4
    Figure 4

    You can position the HSTs in any way you like, rotating them, etc.  Sew each row of five blocks together by placing two blocks RST and sewing together with a 1/4” seam allowance (see Fig. 5).

    Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Repeat and sew another block to those two until you have one row of five blocks.  Press seams.

  4. Repeat step 3 until you have used all 50 HST blocks and have ten completed rows.
  5. Take two rows and place them RST and pin in place, being careful to match the seam intersections (see Fig. 6). Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance.  Repeat until all ten rows are sewn together into one piece (see Fig. 7).

    Figure 7
    Figure 7
  6. Make a quilt sandwich by taking the 25” x 45” piece of fabric for the back of the quilt sandwich and placing it RSD. Layer the Soft and Stable (or batting) on top of it.  Then place the HST pieced top on top of the batting, with the right side up.  Baste the layers together using your desired method.   Quilt as desired.
  7. Take the quilted piece to the cutting mat and use a ruler and rotary cutter to square up and trim away the excess batting and fabric (see Fig. 8). If you quilted the fabric very densely, measure the new dimensions of the quilted piece, as this will sometimes shrink up the fabric a little.  You will use those new dimensions to measure and cut or trim down the lining for the tote bag (if different from 20” x 40”).

Assembling the market tote

  1. Fold the quilted piece in half RST, matching the 20” ends and use binding clips or pin to secure the sides (see Fig. 9). Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance up each side, leaving the top of the bag unsewn (see Fig. 10).  With the bag still wrong side out, use a ruler to measure and mark a 3” square in each lower corner of the bag (see Fig. 11).  Flip the bag over and repeat on the opposite side.

    Figures 8-11
    Figures 8-11
  2. Make a “tent” with one corner by pinching the bag together, and lining up the lines you just drew with each bottom corner, so the lines you drew give you one straight line to sew on. Pin in place or use binding clips to secure (see Fig. 12).  Sew directly on the line you marked (see Fig. 13).  Repeat for the remaining corner of the bag.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/4” and discard the trimmings (see Fig. 14).

    Figures 12, 13, 14, 17
    Figures 12, 13, 14, 17
  3. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to assemble the lining, with one exception. When sewing the sides of the lining together, leave a 6” opening in the middle of one side for turning the bag right side out at the end.
  4. Turn the quilted exterior RSO and leave the lining wrong side out. Take the quilted exterior and lay it flat.  Measure and mark 6” in from each side seam on one side of the bag.  Place the outer edge of one end of the strap against the 6” mark, with about 1” hanging off the edge of the bag.  Pin or clip in place.  Fold the other edge of the strap over (make sure you’re not twisting the handle) and place its outer edge against the remaining 6” mark, again with about 1” hanging off the edge of the bag (see Fig. 15)

    Figure 15
    Figure 15

    .  Pin or clip this strap in place as well.  Repeat with the remaining strap on the opposite side of the exterior.

  5. Place the exterior (still RSO) inside the lining (still wrong side out), making sure the straps are neatly tucked between the exterior and the lining and still pinned in place (see Fig. 16).

    Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Match the side seams and secure the tops together with binding clips.  Sew the two layers together, catching the straps between the two layers, with a 1/4” seam allowance, backstitching at the start and stop.  Sew all the way around the top of the bag (see Fig. 17).

  6. Carefully turn the bag right side out through the 6” opening in the side of the lining. Prior to tucking the lining down inside of the bag, turn the raw edges of the 6” opening inwards then stitch closed by hand or machine.  Push the lining down inside the bag.
  7. Press the top of the bag so the lining and exterior sit neatly at the top of the bag, then topstitch around the top perimeter of the bag, about 1/8” from the edge (see Fig 18.).

    Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Now you’re ready to fill your modern Market Tote up with all the goodies you can carry!  I hope you’re as excited about the Build-A-Block system as I am–It has significantly cut down on the time I spend preparing my fabrics and eliminating the need to trim all my blocks down.  Sew up this great tote in just a few hours, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  Happy sewing 🙂

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Summer Picnic Quilt

Summer Picnic Quilt tutorial

When summer arrives, I always get the itch to make a quilt.  Nevermind the fact that I live in Texas and it is sweltering, to say the least.  Also, disregard the fact that I have quilts coming out of my ears…what is that saying…you can’t swing a cat without hitting a quilt?  (Surely that isn’t the saying, but I think you catch my drift!)  So when I am thinking about making a new quilt…I need to have a reason for it, aside from just being functional to keep you warm.  I also love to sew with materials that are a little unexpected.  So I teamed up with Janome and American Quilter’s Society to bring you a free tutorial for a great summer picnic quilt.

This pattern is great for many reasons.  It’s layer cake friendly, which makes it a super quick sew.  The blocks are large enough to feature those great prints you’ve been holding on to for a special quilt.  The quilt is large enough to accommodate a family picnic at the park.  The backing can be made from laminated cotton (or regular quilting cotton, if you choose), so it won’t pick up dirt as easily as standard quilting cotton.  You can just as easily throw it in the wash as you can a regular quilt (line dry to be on the safe side).  So grab two layer cake packs and your favorite sewing and quilting notions and get ready to sew your socks off!  Follow the link to the American Quilter’s Society blog to get started on your picnic quilt.  

This is a great quilt to fold up and keep in the back of the car for unexpected outings (and if you have a little one in diapers, you can always use the laminated cotton side as a quick changing station on the go!).  

I quilted this with some large meandering loops on my Janome MC9400, and was done with the quilting in under two hours.  


Since the back of my quilt uses laminated cotton, I slipped a Supreme Slider onto the bed of the sewing machine and it really helped glide the fabric easily under the needle.  This isn’t something you have to do, but it certainly makes the task a little easier.  I tend to use one anytime I’m quilting something larger than a mini quilt.  Put on your favorite podcast/Netflix and get ready to sew up a storm!  Happy sewing 🙂 

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Quilting on unconventional fabrics – Quilted Notebook bag tutorial

Happy, happy 4th of July!  I hope you’re able to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones and make some great memories.  

Today, I’m excited to share a free tutorial that I created with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 for an awesome project bag.  I’m always scouring the house for bags to load up with notebooks, sketch pads, folders, or whatever I’m currently working on to squeeze in a few extra minutes of work on the go, and this bag has a little extra depth to really protect all those items.  It’s also reversible, so you can make one side to go with the fall season and the other a little brighter to work with spring and summer!

Reversible Notebook Bag

Plus…we’ll take a look at quilting on a thicker fabric than your usual quilting cotton.  I do a lot of quilting and embroidery on leather and faux leather fabrics, and there is a lot of hesitation when it comes to that from some.  When I started sewing, I didn’t take a bunch of classes…rather, I just dove in and experimented to find what worked for me.  I didn’t have anyone there to tell me I shouldn’t try something, or that it wouldn’t work, so I think that was a huge benefit.  For this tutorial, break out that walking foot (or your free motion foot) and try your hand at some geometric quilting.  

Janome Dual Feed Foot quilting geometric lines on faux leather

If you haven’t tried quilting on leather or faux leather before, I’d recommend getting a few scraps of some cheap faux leather–my local Joann’s has lots of remnants on clearance that I grab whenever I can–and do some quick samples.  I usually do my best work on “trash” fabric when there’s no pressure to mess up expensive fabrics.  I’ll make sure my pieces are big enough to make a little cosmetic bag or something with later on, because 9 times out of 10, I end up wishing I could save my sample!  

This really is a quick sew–and you can easily alter the bag measurements to make the bag any size you like, upgrade it to add some pockets on the interior and exterior, or whatever your needs are.  Check out the full tutorial on the American Quilter’s Society Blog and have fun with it!  Go and conquer your fears of quilting on some different fabrics, and happy sewing!

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Select a size iPad Clutch free pattern

Good morning!  Things have been a whirlwind in the last month!  I have some really exciting things that I’ve been working on at Kustom Kwilts & Designs that I can’t wait to share with you in the very near future, and I’m so excited that I can finally share this free tutorial with you that I teamed up with Janome to bring you.  Find the full tutorial HERE- at the AQS blog



There are some specific things I look for when creating a handmade gift for someone.  I like a quick project that looks like it took a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time.  This is one of those!  The supply list is fairly short, so you can easily grab a few fat quarters from your stash and get this project going today, in time for Mother’s Day next week, or whip up several for those really awesome teachers in your child’s life.  The tutorial allows for you to select from several sizes of tablets, so you should be able to select the size your person uses and get going right away!  


I’ve been sewing on the newest Horizon Memory Craft 9400QCP, and this machine is a true workhorse.  I love everything about it, and quilting on this machine has been a lifesaver.  It creates absolutely beautiful stitches and really makes my projects look professional.  



I hope you’ll take a minute to check out this free pattern–you’ll love the simple style and elegant finish you can achieve with basic or complex quilting.  You can really make this your own and put your special touch on it to brighten someone’s day.  I hope you enjoy your weekend!  

XO,
Joanna

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Quilted Oven Mitt Tutorial (Free project)

Yikes!!  So I’m a little late on sharing this, but it will be here for future reference 😉



Do you love a fun (and quick) project for Valentine’s sewing?  Check out this sweet tutorial I teamed up with Janome to create HERE .  

This is a great project to incorporate some low volumes with a great print that you’ve been saving (I used Liberty of London), but you might now have a lot of! 


The oven mitt tutorial can also be customized–you can leave out the reverse applique option for a simpler finish and enjoy your new oven mitt quicker.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!