Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sweet Stars Sew Along - Machine and Free Motion Quilting Tips and a GIVEAWAY!

Today is my turn as the Guest Blogger on the Sweet Stars Sewalong and I will be sharing all my tips and tricks for successful Machine and Free Motion Quilting.  

This Sweet Stars Quilt was designed by the lovely Peta from She Quilts A Lot.  You can grab a copy of the pattern from Peta's store here and Fat Quarter shop have kits to make this quilt for yourself.

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.


* 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 
* 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 


* 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  
* 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 
* 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. 



* From the pattern I made several of the blocks and then joined them to make a    
   Mini Quilt.  I used my favourite design which is Loops. This is my "go to" Free 
   Motion design as I can sew it quickly and looks great when the design   
   incorporates several blocks and lines within the patterns are less obvious.

EDIT _ GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED GIVEAWAY - If you would like to win a Fat 8th Bundle of Sweet Orchard by Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane for Riley Blake Fabrics then you can leave a comment below.  There is one bundle up for grabs - open internationally and a random name will be drawn on Friday 30th September.  (make sure to leave a contact email)

Happy Sewing
Jemima x x

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Foldover Clutch Tutorial

Fat 1/8th Feature Fabric
Fat 1/4 Lining Fabric
Fat 1/8th Faux Leather
8in (20cm) Trouser/Jeans Zip
Fat 1/8th Fusible Medium-Weight Interfacing
Optional - Tassel

Note: I used Faux Leather for this project - you can, of course, use real Leather or even fabric like Chambray or Linen.

Cutting Instructions
Cut 2 - 7.5in x 9in pieces from Feature fabric

Cut 2 - 5.25in x 9in pieces from Faux Leather

Cut 2 - 12.25in x 9in pieces from Lining fabric

Cut 2 - 7.5in x 9in pieces of Interfacing

1/4in Seam Allowance 

Step 1 - Take the Feature Fabric pieces and with the iron, fuse the Interfacing to the wrong side of the feature fabric.  Take one Feature Fabric piece and one Faux Leather piece and with right sides together (RST) place the raw edges together.  Pin and sew in place.    When you pin faux Leather, place your pins into the seam so that you do not leave holes in the leather or you can use Wonder Clips to hold in place while you sew.

Step 2 - Gently press the seam towards the feature fabric.  Make sure to turn your iron heat down and do not press directly on the side of the leather but rather the back side.  Repeat steps 1-2 for the other pieces to make the back.

Step 3 - To sew the zip, take your front side panel and place it down with right side facing UP.  Place the zip - right side DOWN along the top edge of the front panel piece. 

On top of the zip place one of the Lining piece with right side DOWN.  Pin to hold the three layers together.

Step 4 - Pull the zip open about 1/3rd of the way along.  Sew along the raw edges of the fabric and zipper to sew in the zip.  You may need to put your Zipper Foot on your machine.  When you have nearly reached the zip put the "Needle Down" into the fabric and then place the Foot up and pull the zipper closed (then put your foot back down) to sew past without hitting the zip.

Step 5 - Turn your fabric out and over the right way.  Pin the Zip and Front and Lining Fabrics together and Top Stitch along the edge of the fabric to hold the Front and Lining fabric into place.  By Top Stitching this will ensure that you do not catch the lining fabric into the zip when you open it.

Step 6 - Repeat for the Back side by firstly placing the Lining fabric with the right side facing UP.  Then place the completed Front Panel on top of the Lining fabric with the right side facing UP.  Then place the Back piece on top of the front Piece.  Line up the top raw edges and Pin.  Sew in place as you did for the front. Top Stitch the Back top edge.

Step 7 - To sew the Foldover Clutch together - place the Front and Back sides together and the Lining pieces together (RST).  Make sure to OPEN the ZIP!!! Pin around the outside edges of the clutch lining up the corners, side seams and zip ends.  Begin sewing 2/3rds the way along the bottom edge of the Lining and then all the way around your clutch till you get back to about 1/3rd.  You can see I have marked where I start and finish with Blue Pins leaving this gap in the Lining for turning out.  Once you have sewn all the way around clip the corners and turn your Clutch out the right way and make sure you have "poked" out the corners.  Sew the opening in the Lining closed.

Step 8  - Gently press the clutch at the side seams and then fold over the top edge and press in place where you would like it to fold.  I like to do this about half way down the leather.  

These are great fun to make for yourself and as gifts.  Fill them with your favourite things and off you go. You can add Tassel's or Zipper Pulls or even pieces of Ribbon through the Zip pull.

If you have a go I'd love to see your makes - tag me - @tiedwitharibbon or use the #foldoverclutchtutorial so I can see your creations.

Happy Sewing

Jemima xx 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Playground Showcase

It's pretty safe to say that one of my Quilting idols is Amy Sinabaldi - I love her style, her colour choices, her patterns and her fabric ranges are to die for.  So getting to be able to work on her Playground Showcase was nothing short of amazing.  Playground is Amy's latest range for Art Gallery Fabrics and is available now.

As soon as this amazing bundle arrived from Amy I got straight to sewing.  I love the childhood memories behind this range and how each of the prints remind me of games I played or things we used to do with my family when I was young.  The colours work so great together and I knew I wanted to do a project that involved using the complete range together.

First up,  I made this Pin Pal Pincushion.

From the range I would have to say that Chopsticks in Iris would be my favourite print - I can see using a lot of this one in lots of upcoming projects - I love stripes - but these Chevron, staggered stripes are the ultimate.

This Pin Pal is our latest Sew Along pattern (Sew Along is a joint venture between myself and Claire Turpin Design) and I have not been able to stop making these addictive Sewing Room mates.  I really adore the colours in the prints and how well they work together.

When Amy and I chatted about possible projects this Confetti Cushion was definitely going to work well to show how the range of prints and colours all can work beautifully in one project together.  Using the collection and a Cotton/Linen Weave Blend I set about making a Confetti Cushion.

And when it came to machine quilting it - I could not go past adding some Pink Sparkle with my favourite Aurifil Brillo Thread - #700.  I really love this Aurifil metallic thread - it sews like a dream through your machine and gives that added touch of glitz.

I can't wait to get making on some more projects using Playground - and can't wait to see what Amy will have in store for her next range.

There are a lot of amazing makers involved in the Playground Showcase - you can check them all out here - 

SEPT    14: Katie Skoog ~
              15: Michelle Curtis ~
              16: Peta Peace ~
              17: Minki Kim ~
              19: Jemima Flendt ~
              20: Tara J Curtis ~
              21: Alexis Wright ~
              22: Melissa LeRay ~
              23: Ali Brorsen ~
              24: Angie Wilson ~
              26: Rachel McCormack ~
              27: Stacy Olson ~
              28: Shannon Fraser ~
              29: Cristi Cooper ~
              30: Guiseppe Ribaudo ~
OCT     1: Kristyne Czepuryk ~
             3: Amy Sinibaldi ~

Happy Sewing 
Jemima x x

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Penny Rose Design Team - Foldover Clutch Tutorial

Today is my turn on the Penny Rose Design team to share with you all about some of the latest ranges and a Tutorial.  You all know just how much I adore the fabric collections of Elea Lutz and her latest range Apple Farm is just so darn adorable.

With so many sweet prints - you will just love this range.  While the designs are cute and whimsical I decided to pick out some of the more "sophisticated" prints to show you how to make these Foldover Clutches.  I think these would be great for a night out to mix and match with your outfits and hold all of a girls essentials!

You can head over to here to see the Tutorial at the Penny Rose Blog.

These are great fun to make for yourself and as gifts.  Fill them with your favourite things and off you go. You can add Tassel's or Zipper Pulls or even pieces of Ribbon through the Zip pull.

If you have a go I'd love to see your makes - tag me - @tiedwitharibbon or use the #foldoverclutchtutorial so I can see your creations.

Happy Sewing

Jemima xx