About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label Bernina #20D. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bernina #20D. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

decorative thread applique ~ and a giveaway


since recently becoming enamored to magnifico thread, i've been itchin' to stitch! that is, to see how it looks with decorative stitching techniques ~ and it's also a good reason for me to play with some of the thousand+ decorative stitches on my bernina 830 machine!  i love this thread so much, but sadly, i cannot purchase it locally.  but there's no reason for a sad face! 

tada!  thread of the month club is here to save the day!!  {sing it mighty dog!}  lol  ... {in case you don't remember that cartoon!}

anyway!   i {finally}  signed up for a wonderful offering that superior has implemented; it's called the magnifico thread-of-the-month club! 

did you know that they have a thread of the month club for every type of thread they sell??!!!  it goes for the spools, and the cones, too!  there are pretty sweet advantages to joining up with a club like this:
like free shipping, {including add-on items} for one!

FREE SHIPPING to U.S. and Canada addresses. See below for details.
each month, we will send a different selection of our threads personally chosen by Mother Superior.
Open enrollment. Start anytime. Cancel anytime. No sign-up or cancellation fees.
Members-only specials offered each month.
and with my free shipping, i added a set of twelve spools  called 'crayon', seen below {love the selection of colors!} 
i'm also trying "so fine" thread for the first time, too; a 50 wt polyester instead of the 50 wt masterpiece.   it's $3 less than masterpiece.  and i'm using it in my bobbin:
this is the pattern; it's by laura heine of billings montana, who owns and operates a gorgeous quilt shop "fiberworks" ~ i do so look forward to going into this shop; the sad truth is that i just don't get there very often. {a good thing for my pocketbook!}  i'll show the pattern when i finish the quilt and post about it.

then it's time to stabilize, stabilize!  without a good stabilizer, decorative stitching, especially with heavier motifs, just does not stitch out nearly as neat and nice. 

my favorite is this one: a heavyweight tear-away by oesd {sold at my local bernina shop in great falls}.  i lightly spray 505 on the back of the fabric, and then pin the stabilizer just in the corners, to keep it from getting unruly on me as i slide it under my needle.
and once again, it's time to audition threads. blue, red, orange, purple!  which one{s} will i choose?
the orange is pretty and since it's a neon color, {yes, i love these, too!} ~ it will highlight the flower petal edges... which appeals to me.  i kind of have a creative notion that they are 'glowing' against a dramatic sky, highlighted by the sun... {indulge me, k?!}

now, which color of superior's razzle dazzle?  hmmm... blue or orange?  the orange will blend with the petals... the blue will stand out a bit more, and it will also bring out the tones of the background blue/sky feel of the fabric.  {as i see it!}  regardless of the choice, it will ALL be pretty!

and ya gotta have an open-toe foot! visibility, and ease of use make this the bernina #20 foot the champion of decorative stitching enthusiasts! {like me!}
i chose decorative stitch #419 on my bernina 830.  i'm going to taper it to begin with, which means that as i start at the tips of the petals, i begin with a 3.0 width, and as i am stitching, {no need to stop with berninas}... i gradually widen my stitch out to a 6.0 {or so} width.  i could go up to 9.0 on my bernina 830, but i decided against that. the look i want is just for accent - not to overpower. and that... is what it's all about ~ what i like!  

notice too, i've changed my needle position so it's oriented in the far right setting. {that is key to achieving easy and  exact placement of the stitching}
starting at 3.0 width, and turning the knob as i am also stitching, tapering to gradually increase to 6.0 width {seen below}
engaging the needle position to the far right enables me to achieve perfect alignment along the exact edge of the applique fabric, seen below.  i also use the #20 foot to guide my stitching placement as i sew, by keeping my eye on the needle, and the edge of the right-hand, inside edge of the toe of the foot!  {that's a mouthful!}.

in hindsight! i believe it would have been more attractive {and professional looking} had i thought to begin part way up, in the middle of the shape... not at the point.  it's a smoother transition, and one will avoid nasty bulk at the points as you start and stop with your stitching.  and because there are so many threads in play at those points, it can get bulky, and a tad bit unsightly.  oh well.  that's how i'll learn! 

and another hint.  switch to a small straight stitch and adjust the length to a very tiny length, such as 1.0 to  begin and finish your stitching.  

and once i've stitched a half-inch with that small straight stitch to start, i then touch the decorative stitch, and start into stitching it.  that way you won't have thread unstitching itself... and it also looks far more attractive than backstitching with the decorative stitch, which is unsightly, and messy-looking, i think.  i do the same thing when i end, too, or when the stitch breaks and i need to start again.
once the petals are all stitched out, i flip over to the back. one of the best aspects of using a heavyweight stabilizer, is that when you stitch a heavy decorative stitch, it very easily tears away!  {love}

not necessary to tear away the stabilizer on the inside of the petals... although i could, {but i won't!}
and i won't because it's also going to get a layer of batting, and then some more stitching.  this second round of stitching is done with razzle dazzle, and my #39 clear motion embroidery foot, as i outline the shapes with the beautiful blue-aqua-pinky color of razzle dazzle thread.

{i almost changed my mind and went with that red thread!} it would have looked really good with the orange, too...

did you know i have a tutorial published about using the bernina #39 clear embroidery foot with the sweet couching technique it performs? 
view the tutorial  here!

my pictures don't do that neon orange thread justice!  it's much brighter with good light.  but hopefully that will happen when i'm finished.

all done.  for now!  {i love~love the blue thread!}
so... what do you think of my thread choices/colors?  i hope you found some inspiration, and hopefully some good information, too.  

thanks for hangin' out with me and my pal, 'magnifico' ~ and now it's time for the monthly superior giveaway too!

to enter, first, go to superiorthreads.com, and tell me {by commenting on this post} which set of 12 magnifico threads is your fave, or, if you'd like, let me know which thread of the month club you subscribe to, or would like to.

winner announced next monday ~ november 11th {veteran's day}. the prize is a $25 gift certificate to spend at superior threads

yay! it's good  for everyone, including international readers! {beautiful!} share this post on your facebook, website, or blog for an extra chance to win, and leave a comment here with the link that you did so!

joining up with  linky tuesday with free motion by the river, today, too!

thanks so much!

Friday, May 31, 2013

faux piping the 'marveles' way ~

hi there everyone ~

finally ~ as promised ~ my faux piping tutorial.  i've been working on the writing all week {written in the fog of a nasty head cold} so let me know if it seems strange in any way?!!   lol! 

this is a step-by-step process of a finishing technique on my smaller art collage-journal quilts.  i call it 'faux piping.'  while i haven't seen it anywhere else, i'm sure it's not a new thing.  i discovered it rather accidentally as i was ironing a small quilt from the back, when i flipped it over, i  saw it looked like 'faux piping' and  i really liked the effect.  

i finally got back to finishing up my first little house quilt over the long weekend, initially posted here, and it's shown below in most of these tutorial photos. i'll show detail photos and share more about the finishing details in another post. 

in the photo below i'm showing the quilt top, and the fabric under it which will become the 'faux piping' ~ that's the green floral print on the bottom. i chose this print because it looks like the kind of sweet feeling & organic background as i see in my own neighborhood when i look down our street.  and i like the color story, too, picking up on the lime green, yellow, and pinks in the main piece, as well as a bit of gray blue in that print. 
 to begin, cut your 'piping' fabric to roughly 1" larger {or not ~ i eyeballed this} on all sides
with right sides together, stitch around the entire perimeter, allowing a 1/4" to 3/8" seam or so.  i judge this according to how i want the outside perimeter to look.  you could make it square, but i find there won't be as much 'piping' to show. the more curvy you cut your outside dimension, the more 'piping' look you will be able to achieve.  this one i kept mostly square, as i felt i suited the piece ... so essentially i approach this process pretty loose... {i know ~ surprise, huh?!}
once i'm done with stitching that part, i cut a large opening in the back... the cut i make goes from top to bottom, and {sometimes} i also cut a couple that are horizontal, depending on how much stretch i'm achieving. of course, i could get more stretch if i cut the backing fabric on the bias, too.  {but i don't usually do that}
i am rather picky about trimming my corners.  this is important in order to achieve a neatly turned corner; one that will look really nice and finished {see below}
then {gently} turn your  fabrics so the right side is out.  my quilt is fairly stiff, due to the interfacing i used to stabilize it for quilting, so i took my time.  a note about batting and stabilizer:  i use a thinner, fused batting on these small quilts, and add a layer or two of stiff interfacing, as well, so they quilt up really easy, and i can add heavy stitching if i decide to later, without fear of puckering or warping the fabric. {and they hang nicely too}
my favorite 'turning' tool is a four-in-one tool, containing a point, a seam ripper, presser and an awl, designed by alex anderson.  i purchased it at my local quilt shop.  i actually have two; the smaller one i've had for 10+ years, works just as well {both shown below}.
take your time!  be careful not to push too hard, or you will push your seam right out of the corner. 
{not to worry about the slash ~ i'll take care of it later}
all done with that step. my corners look just as i like them to look!  neat and tidy.  now it's time to press.
as i press, i'm pressing pretty firmly, pushing the fabric from the backside to the front; essentially stretching it, and widening the slash in the back as i do so. that's why the slash in the back comes in so handy, it essentially provides 'give' so i can push that fabric to the front of the quilt, and the slash will widen in that process:
 i made some extra cuts to the original slash, just to give me a tiny bit more ease in which to push the fabric to the sides of the quilt.  i don't want to trim it all away, as i lose the 'controllability' of the stretch.  {hope that makes sense}. 
 this process will allow more stretch if you have curvy edges cut too.  this piece happens to be cut a bit more 'square.' below, you can see where i pushed the fabric toward the bottom edge ~ so there's just a tiny little bit of 'piping' that's showing. straight of grain {or not} will change this up somewhat.
now i will give everything a really good pressing again, {this is just the opposite of how you would press a normal pieced seam}, pushing and pulling where i want that fabric to show to the front.  then i take it to the machine, and stitch in the ditch of the faux piping-binding. i used a coordinated thread color, and love using my bernina #20D open toe foot.
the photo below shows the stitching in the ditch, completed, and i did this all the way around the quilt. i like how it keeps the whole piece nice and flat.  note: i don't always do this - it just depends on the quilt, & what i might want to still consider adding, in the way of more quilting embellishment, etc. 
 and this is what it looks like from the front top edge:
 and again, just another look at it from a corner view:
in this particular case, next, i trim away the excess fabric {nice for the scrap pile ya know} but i don't always.
and to cover up that gaping hole i use another piece of fabric that has been fused to steam-a-seam; which will act as the final piece of backing fabric, which also adds a bit more stability for hanging it.
after fusing, it's cut to fit the backside more precisely. and then i write the title, date and dimensions, signing it with a permanent marker:
i don't always have a big slash to cover up; sometimes it's smaller, and i cover it up with something like the heart shape below, {done with a margaret applin stencil i might add}:
 and... an amazing thing happened i want to share with you {this is a different quilt now}. i decided to add stitching, after i had sewn on the little plastic ring for hanging... {not smart}.  i was lucky; the needle did not break! amazing.  can you see the needle holes in the plastic ring?!!  wowzers. anyway... the plastic rings i purchase in the window supply section at the fabric store; they are 1/2" size i believe. 
 i usually like to add more quilting after finishing it this way, as it seems i'm better able to judge 'what it needs' at that juncture ~ if anything. and sometimes further inspiration strikes. i'll show some of those details in the next post.  here's how that same technique for faux piping turned out on the post: "she dared to dream" quilt: 
margaret applin tulip stencil used on this piece; accented with paints, and her various flower stencils were used to add more flowers, both fused on, and painted.
i hope you enjoyed my little process. it's pretty doggone easy {or i wouldn't be doing it!}

looking forward to sharing more?  i am!  joining in the studio crowd here!  won't you join in the fun?

thanks so much for stopping in!  happy weekend!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Turkey Talkin Placemats ~

it's the tuesday turkeys! love fall.  love sewing n' quilting.  love turkey {yum} ~ and now ~ make that turkey-talkin' placemats!  
basically all that is required for quilting is a straight line of stitching.  i chose to engage the dual feed mechanism on my bernina 830, using an open toe foot bernina #20D {"d" is for dual feed in bernina land}.  a walking foot would also be just great. you can choose to do it free motion, too, or with any other regular stitching foot of your choice.
i don't like 'perfect' straight lines, so this pattern is perfect.  and I just had fun zippin' along my merry way; but decided to change out my normal stitch plate {pic below} and switch in my straight-stitch plate.  that way i get a real nice, straight stitch.  it just looks better, and eliminates any of that wobbly-stitch-look that might happen with the straight-line stitching i was doing.
especially with a 9mm wide stitch width opening.  there's lots more 'give' in the fabric and needle movement of the straight stitch with that stitch plate.  this is a tip i share when teaching mastery classes at bernina, too.  want a better stitch when piecing?  a straight-stitch plate will help.
i picked superior threads, beginning with king tut 40 wt, and i used isacord polyester 40 wt in the bobbin.  works smooth as silk {but it's not silk} and i loved the slight variegated look from king tut that 'fades in and out' on this cool plaid fabric which is the background
for a little extra pizazz, i changed out {for just a few stitching lines down and across} to a superior thread rainbow tri-lobal poly in purple-blue for some fall-color lovin'.  {love it with the brown} i did the other one with some rainbows pinks - {love it too}
if you've been following my blog for awhile, you already know i'm not much about traditional fabrics.  i dig contemporary for the most part.  i love traditional ~ but i rarely make it.  {but if anyone wanted to give me a quilt that was all about traditional ~ hey, i wholeheartedly raise my hand and scream wildly "pick me ~ pick me!"}
but i dig these charming little floral prints.  and when i saw the kit ~ i knew it was the only way i was going to be interested in finishing these cute turkeys. the work was done for me ~ and i love laura's style, anyway ~ these fabrics are so adorable.  for $80 you got the kit, including enough fabric for backing and binding.  the kit makes 8 placemats. the pattern was $10 
it wasn't a whole lot of fun to cut 100 {be patient} of those feathers ~ each turkey takes eleven feathers
but i stuck with it. 
{i can be 'plucky' that way}
something else i don't do too much of  is hand stitching.  love, love, love the look of it... but i just don't have enough hand strength and not nearly enough time.  so i free motioned those details for eyes, beak, red stuff, and his legs.  hand stitching would be totally adorable, tho.
i got two of 'em done.  and i'm turkey-talkin' happy about that!  i timed myself too ~ took about 15-20 minutes to quilt each mat.  not bad. {doesn't count fusing, cutting, binding and finishing time}
i did a simple, bias binding from striped fabric.  love that look, too. i left myself plenty of binding on the back, as I 'stitched in the ditch' from the front to get 'em finished easy and quick.
in most circumstances, i like a hand-stitched binding best... but again - time is the deal here, and since these will be washed, this kind of sturdy stitching will endure. 
I recently posted about finding this adorable pattern, and the kit I purchased for it on September 25th.  You can re-visit that post to see pictures of both.  The pattern is an original creation by quilter and fabric designer, Laura Heine, who owns Fiberworks, a spectacular quilt store in Billings, MT.  {you will love this store} {and no I wasn't paid or given a 'deal' for this review ~ laura doesn't know who i am even} she has a wonderful website as well.  Click here!

whatdayathink?  are they cute or what?

so cute cute CUTE!  {two down... six more to go!}  i have listed these two in my etsy shop, fyi.  i may make more ... but the rest will be for our own table here at home.

EnJoY ~ thanks for stoppin' in!  {GOBBLE GOBBLE!}

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