Thursday, April 12, 2018

Machine Quilting Tips

A lot of people find this part of the Quilting process a little daunting - mostly it comes down to practice - the more you practice the better your machine quilting will become.  I am sharing some of the things I think that will help the most and they ways I prefer to do things, to set yourself up to enjoy and be successful at machine quilting.

Here are all my tips and tricks for successful Machine and Free Motion Quilting.


* Make sure to change your machine needle at least every 8 sewing hours or at the start of a new quilt.
* I recommend using Universal size 80 needles.
* If using thicker style threads such as Aurifl 12wt - use a Topstitch needle.


* I love to use a variety of different threads when machine quilting - you can     create lots of interest and detail in your quilt by using different colours, weights and specialty style threads such as Metallic and Variegated threads.
* My favourites are Aurifil threads - in 50wt, 12wt and Brillo (metallic)Always   use a good quality thread so that you don't have trouble with snapping,    shedding or breaking.
* I like to use the same thread usually top and bottom.  If you make them different colours then you need to test your tension on a scrap piece of fabric first so that the thread colours do not blend through to the alternate side.


* My favourite tools to mark up a design on a quilt are Masking Tape, Clover    Herra Marker or this Sewline Air-erasable Fabric Pen.  Make sure that if you   use any pens or fabric markers - you read the instructions carefully for how to remove the pen/marks from you quilt before you iron or wash your quilt.  


* With a Quilt always have your wadding and backing at least 4in larger around all sides of your quilt.  I allow 2in larger for Mini Quilts or Cushions.
* I like to use natural Cotton Batting - there is a large choice of different types of fibre content for Battings - each will yield a different result when quilted.
* I prefer to Pin-baste my quilts - as shown in the picture.  Pin about a "fistful" apart.  Make sure to remove pins from the area you are machine quilting as you go.
* When using white background fabrics I prefer to use a "Bleached White"  Cotton Batting so that the white stays nice and bright.  Natural Batting can leave white fabrics looking "discoloured".


* Free Motion quilting requires attaching the Free Motion Foot to your machine and dropping down the feed dogs (the serrated teethe under the stitch plate).  When you are stitching with these - you are in complete control of your machine and its sewing - this takes practice but the more you do the better you will become. 
* It is important not to create "drag" on your quilt when machine quilting.  Roll  the quilt so that the bulk is on the outside of the machine rather than in the quilting bed (neck).
* Get comfortable - make sure you position yourself so that you are at the right height and can sit well at the chair so that you are not "hunched" over your  machine.
* Start in 1/4 of the quilt and work your way around in a circular motion, unrolling the quilt as you go if you are working on a Free Motion design.  When Machine Quilting lines, sew all the horizontals and then all of the verticals.  Take your quilt out of the machine and re-roll when needed to help reduce the bulk of the quilt in the quilting bed and to make sure you don't have "drag" on your quilt.


* There are lot of different patterns you can make when Machine/Free Motion Quilting
* Machine Quilting - you can make Cross Hatching, Double Cross Hatching or   Curved Cross-Hatching Tram-lines just to name a few I use regularly.
* Free Motion Patterns I love to use are Stippling, Loops, Geometric Patterns,   and designs which incorporate all of these. 
* I recommend going to your local Quilting store and taking lessons on Free   Motion and Machine Quilting.  This will really help to increase your confidence and you can work through with them if you are having any issues with your machine and having someone right there can really help.  It is also a great way of practicing. 


Happy Quilting
Jemima x x 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

All Stars Pillow Tutorial

I think it safe to say that with each Tula Pink collection - the designs and colours get better and better - well - meet "All Stars".  Hands down my favourite collection to date.  Tula Pink All Stars features some of Tula's favourite prints - not just re-printed but these have been re-coloured and given a new feel to make a whole collection of all your past favourites.  Along with gorgeous focal prints - "Stripes" and "Pom Poms" along with "Tula Pink Solids" round out this amazing range.  

Here is a fun cushion to make to brighten up any spot - a chair, a bed or a reading nook  Take your favourite prints and solids and get making with this fun and bright Tutorial for you to make your own "All Stars Pillow"

All Stars Pillow
20.5in x 20.5in
1/4in seam allowance included

Requirements -   ½yd (45cm) Background fabric (Glacier)
                            Fat ¼ or 20cm each of 4 Prints
                            Fat ¼ or 20cm each of 4 Solids 
                                 (Cornflour, Sweet Pea, Taffy, Agean)        
  6in (15cm) Binding
                            24in x 24in of Batting
                            ½yd (45cm) Backing fabric
                            Machine sewing thread
                            Erasable marking pen
                            Rotary Cutter, ruler and mat
                            General sewing supplies
                            Size 20 Cushion Insert

Cutting Fabric - 
From the Background fabric, cut 16 – 3in x 3in squares and 16 – 3½in x 3½in squares
From each Print cut 4 – 3½in x 3½in squares
From each Solid fabric colour cut 4 - 3½in x 3½in squares
From the Binding fabric cut 2 – 2½in strips for the binding
From the Backing Fabric cut 2 – 16½in x 20½in rectangles

Instructions - 

Step 1 - Cut Fabrics as per cutting instructions.

Step 2 - To make 1 Star Block you will need the following – 4 Background fabric 3in squares, 4 Background fabric 3½in squares, 4 – 3½in fabrics squares from 1 print and 4 – 3½in fabrics from a solid fabric.

Step 3 - To make the centre pinwheel block - draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of 2 of the same 3.5in square prints using your erasable marker. Place a marked square on top of the solid print with right sides together. Pin to hold.

Sew down each side of the marked line using a ¼in seam.  Cut through the diagonal of the square on the marked line and press seam towards the darker fabric.  Repeat for the other pair of squares.

Step 4 - Trim these squares to 3in.  This will make 4 HST (Half Square Triangles) units in total.

Step 5 - To make the outside star points – take the 2 remaining squares from print 1, the 2 remaining squares from the solid print and the 4 – 3½in Background fabric squares.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on each of the fabric prints.  Pair each up with a Background fabric square and pin to hold. Sew down each side of the marked line using a ¼in seam. 

Step 6 - Cut through the diagonal of the square on the marked line and press seam towards the darker fabric.  Repeat for the other 3 squares.  This will make 8 – HST units in total.

Step 7 - Layout the following fabrics to make the rows

Row 1 – Background fabric 3in square, Solid/ Background fabric HST, Background fabric /Print HST, Background fabric 3in square.

Row 2 – Background fabric /Print HST, Print/Solid HST, Print/Solid HST, Solid/ Background fabric HST

Row 3 - Background fabric /Solid HST, Solid/Print HST, Solid/Print HST, Print/ Background fabric HST

Row 4 - Background fabric 3in square, Print/ Background fabric HST, Background fabric/Solid HST, Background fabric 3in square.

Arrange the star so that the same colour print matches up at the points.

Step 8 - Sew each of the 4 squares in each row together pressing alternate rows in the opposite direction.  This will mean that when you sew up each row the seams will “nest” and lay nice and flat.  Press rows downwards.  Your block will measure 10.5in (unfinished)

Step 9 - Repeat steps 2-8 to make a total of 4 star blocks. Sew up the squares of your pillow by sewing each of the 2 Blocks together the make a row.  Press the seams in the same direction.  Sew each of the rows together pressing alternate rows in the same direction. 

Step 10 - Baste and Quilt your Pillow top – centre the pillow top over the batting, pin to baste then Machine quilt your pillow top.  Trim Batting to size.

I used Aurifil Brillo #800 to quilt my pillow top.

Step 10 - To make the Envelope Back – take the backing rectangles, fold down the backing fabric ½in down from the 20½in end.  Press in place.  Now turn over and pin this folded edge down 1in, pin and press in place.   Machine stitch down both the folded edges to hold in place.  Repeat this for the second backing piece. Take your completed cushion top and the completed back envelope panels.  Place the Front of your cushion down onto the bench (so you can see the wadding), place your first back panel on top of the wadding facing you, matching the raw edges of the side of your cushion front and the raw short edge of your backing.  Then lay your second backing piece down along the opposite raw edge also so that the right side is facing you.  Pin around the outside edges and sew these three layers together by sewing just in from the raw edges to hold in place to make it easier to sew on your binding.  

Step 11 - Take the binding strips and join them end to end.  Press the seam open.  Then press the entire strip in half lengthways with wrong sides facing.  Start about half of the way along one side of the pillow, sew the binding strip to the right side of the pillow, mitring the corners as you go.  Stop about 6in from where you started.  Join the ends and cut off excess.  Continue sewing the binding to the pillow top.  Fold over the binding and slip stitch into place along the back-seam line.

I'd love to see your All Stars Pillow - tag me over on Instagram (@tiedwitharibbon) and share using #allstarspillow, #tiedwitharibbonpatterns, 

Happy sewing!
Jemima x 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

How to Master Foundation Paper Piecing - Stars and Stripes Pillow Set Pattern

Have you ever wanted to give Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) a go, or have done so and found this technique a little tricky to master?  Foundation Paper Piecing is when you sew your fabric onto a Paper Pattern to help with precise points and accurate sewing.  Sewing onto the Paper ensures you get great results with your sewing and provides a guide as to where to sew.

Introducing - Stars and Stripes Pillow Set.  My latest pattern designed to walk you through step-by-step with this Technique.

The pattern includes a Colour, Illustrated guide firstly on how to Foundation Paper Piece and lots of helpful tips and Equipment you will find useful to master FPP. There are two pillow included in this pattern - the Stars Pillow and the Stripes Pillow.  I think that the Stripes Pillow is great to start with if you have never done any FPP before.  

Included also in the pattern is a Layout Variation for the Stripes Pillow - make it whichever way you choose.

The Stars Pillow is a striking and fun pillow to make.  Whether you choose solids, prints or a range of fabrics this design will look great.  There are step-by steps also for this Pillow to walk you through the technique and gain confidence in mastering Foundation Paper Piecing.  And certainly if you already love to FPP then this pattern will suit you as well to make these great pillows to spruce up any spot on a couch or bed.  

I used a Rainbow bundle of Liberty Solids from The Strawberry Thief to make the set above. And couldn't go past using Aurifil Brillo #800 for the Machine Quilting.

This pattern looks great also here in Carolyn Friedlander's range - Gleaned.

If your new to Foundation Paper Piecing or have already mastered this technique, then this pattern will suit you so you can make these gorgeous Pillows.

Patterns are also available Wholesale through Creative Abundance for stores who would like to carry this pattern.  2 pattern options are available to wholesale customers, not only the regular pattern version but also a "Workshop Edition" of this pattern.  It comes with Full Colour Instructions and a Complete Set of Paper Templates to make both the Pillows.  That means that you can simply take the Templates out and start sewing straight away.  That means no mucking about with tracing or Photocopying patterns and that makes it great for Workshops and customers alike.  

More Information about Foundation Paper Piecing can be found here on my blog with some past posts and also the Online Course I created for the Quilting Company.  

Have you ever given Foundation Paper Piecing a go before - I'd love to hear your experiences with it? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Quilting
Jemima x x

Sunday, March 4, 2018

RJR Fabrics - What Shade are You Blog Hop

I was recently asked - "What shade are you" by RJR Fabrics and while in your head your like that easy - I know exactly what my favourite colours are. Then you get presented with an extensive Colour Card to select from, to narrow that down to make a quilt from - well not as easy as I thought.  

RJR Cotton Supreme Solids have such a large range of colours and for this project - deciding which ones to choose became a tough choice - I had so many favourites. I love the slight sheen these fabrics have to them - just so subtle and the movement in the light - beautiful.

So here is #whatshadeareyou
Optical White - #33
Lemon Chiffon - #182
Flamingo - #338
Hot Pink - #217
Rhodedendrom - #181
Hydrangea - #214
Jacaranda - #317
Riveiria - #274
Robins Egg - #391
Harbour - #425

So with a plan in mind I set about sewing and making - the saturation of the colours against the white - I just love. I usually don't work with just solids so I was welcoming the change of direction and really loving the opportunity to design a project where it was about the colours of the fabrics rather than the prints.  Starting first with paper and pen and then moving to the fabric to create my plan - I was starting to feel comfortable with the fabrics I choose and how they would work together.

Using the White background fabric meant that when it came time to pressing that I needed to consider the colours of the fabrics.  When coloured pieces were sewn together for the Half Square Triangles- I pressed towards the darker fabric, when sewing the blocks together - I pressed all my seams open so that I wouldn't have any dark shadows behind that crisp "Optical White".

This is my Aurora Quilt that I designed - and I couldn't be happier with how these solids have worked against the white background in this pattern.  It was exactly what I was after.  

We recently travelled down to our friends farm out in the country, down south and after a bit of location scouting came across the neighbours property where these shed were.  As soon as I saw them I knew they would be perfect against the colours of the quilt for a backdrop.

I had the quilt Long Arm quilted by Carol Brady of The Quilting Cottage with this circular design and it was done in a Mint green thread so that the colour of the thread with the quilting wouldn't stand out to much over the range of different colours.

I truly loved making this quilt - these Half Square Triangles were cheerful and fun to sew.  And I even have plans for anther Solids inspired quilt.  
Happy Quilting
Jemima x 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Aurora Quilt Pattern release

For the longest time I had a quilt idea bubbling around in my head.  I knew that I wanted for to be all about the colour, something bold and graphic style.  I wanted a repeating quadrant pattern for ease of piecing. I wanted it to be beautiful and mostly I wanted it to be versatile enough that it would look fabulous no matter what fabric you chose! I have a love affair with Half Square Triangles and just knew I wanted these to be the star of this design. 

Introducing - Aurora!

Sometimes a quilt design begins on the Computer with ideas and blocks and colours that I work with.  Aurora started with graph paper, coloured pencils and a number of goes to get the colour combo and quadrant design just right. 

In this version I have used Alison Glass' - Sunprint 2018 range with Devonstone White as my background together with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Indigo as my binding.  The beauty of this quilt is that you can use Rainbow Colours, Solids are perfect, it would look amazing in Ombre fabrics - which are so on trend at the moment and definitely one I want to give a go.  It would look fabulous with your fabric range using a selection of prints from the range.  Or even super awesome as a Scrappy Quilt.  No matter what fabric you choose this quilt will look fabulous.

The pattern contains 3 sizes to make - a Lap Quilt 64.5in x 64.5in (163cm), Queen Size 80.5in x 80.5in (205cm x 205cm) and a Pillow that you can make to match and complete your set 16.5inx 16.5in (42cm x 42cm)

I can never resist this shot when I make quilts.

The pattern is also available for wholesale customers to purchase through Creative Abundance (here in Aus) or through Checker Distributors (in the US).  Paper copies have started to arrive in stores so ask at your local Quilt store.

SewMondo have put together kits of my exact Aurora Quilt so if you would like one just the same as is pictured then you can head here to order your kit.   

I'd love for you to share your Aurora quilt - tag me over on Instagram at @tiedwitharibbon and use the hash tags - 
#auroraquilt and #tiedwitharibbonpatterns

I can not wait to see the different version you will create.
Happy quilting
Jemima x x 
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