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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 🙂
(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
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.
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 🙂
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!
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
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 New Year! Well, this post is a day late and a dollar short, but it’s here 🙂 I usually post on Tuesdays, but this one got away from me! Sometimes winter blues can get you down (although here, in Texas, it was nearly 80 degrees yesterday and looked WAY more like spring than winter!) and it helps to have some fun and easy projects to get you through the weather. I hope you’ll take a look at the free tutorial I teamed up with Janome to create. It’s listed on the APQS blog and is a great free pattern for a mini quilt–or– if you prefer not to quilt it, hang it in a window that gets lots of light for a stained glass effect. Either way, it’s a great way to add another technique to your arsenal of skills.