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 minkee fabric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minkee fabric. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

minkee blankets and baby stuff ~


i have a small pile of minkee and flannel goodies finished, at last!  i believe many of the fabrics from this pile are at least 5 years old, probably alot longer.... and so alot of washing, trimming frayed ends, and pressing flannel fabric has taken place, with a good deal of reassessing, too!

i had to do some reorganizing of the 'minkee stash' in order to find some of the fabrics i knew i had {and found others i had forgotten i had}, and like many other things we start... well, it leads to other things!  while i know it's popular to do all that "clean out" in january after the holidays, it felt right for me to do it now, so i can relax, plan and enjoy my own holiday sewing, too.  when i can't find {quickly} things i know i have, or buy/remake things i already had, it's time to take matters into hand and re-think about how i have things put together in the studio.   

one thing is for sure.  it's always good to take stock of what you have.  and i am glad i did, because it motivated me to use {and enjoy} what i have, but more importantly, to share the excess of things i likely won't use, and pass them on, or donate.  that's always a good thing.

and as long as you're making a mess... make it a good one, and then clean it all up at once!

and... i do have some tips for sewing minkee.  look for those at the end of this post.

i not only made blankets, but with the scraps, i made matching little burping cloths too.  {they are in the far right pile in the photo below}
i also used up some soft, luxurious cotton velvet in a rich, dark brown.  i think this material is beautiful, and while the photo doesn't show the rich color of the matching birdie flannel... it was real pretty, and great for a boy, too.
and one of my favorite edge treatments, a scalloped effect occurs using my bernina #10 edge-stitch foot, and a simple hem stitch function. just click on those links to see more tutorials and how-to's on this lovely foot, or use the search button on my blog ~ search bernina #10}. i love teaching this class, too... and then i finished it with a serpentine stitch instead of a straight stitch trim.
the stringy yarn seen below on the edge of this flannel blanket?  it was a pain to sew!  it kept getting caught, and well... lots of thread fraying, etc... although i do love the look... not sure i will try it again!
sometimes i round the edges of my blankets... sometimes i do not!  {aren't these little monkeys so cute?  i wasn't that thrilled with them, but one of my girlfriends thought they were adorable, so i took her advice, and i am glad i did buy it!

and new fabric, purchased for a baby gift, the ever-popular dr. suess; this is cat-in-the-hat minkee with a matching cotton for the other side, and finished with a white chenille yarn on the edge.  soft and cuddly, that's for sure. 

hello little monkeys...!
more of that birdie print, only this time with a dark green minkee.  love this combo, too, and this time i added a double topstitch on the edge, which is a nice finish, too.

and nice little cotton patchwork leftover pieces... stitched together, right sides together, and that's it.  simple, and practical use for those leftover blocks, they make handy burping or "anything" cloths for a mom or dad {and baby!}

~  i like to sew with the minkee fabric on the bottom when i am sewing two layers together
~ a walking foot or a dual feed foot is absolutely essential for sewing with a stretchy fabric, and especially one with a thick pile such as minkee
~  i like to use a basting spray, which helps to keep the minkee from shifting so badly when sewing
~  i also pin "lengthwise ~ that is to say, parallel along the raw edge, and pull them out as i am sewing 
~ some people like to use a narrow, sticky, water-soluble tape along the raw edges... {but i haven't tried that yet}
~  a ballpoint needle is helpful
~  a zig zag stitch, lengthened to 3.0 to 3.5 is sometimes a good alternative stitch for stitching stretch fabrics
~  sew more slowly!  this is probably the one thing i have found that helps the most!  it really helps  to be able to manage the layers, and keep the shifting of fabric to a minimum, as you sew with raw edges together
~ increase your stitch length when topstitching.  it looks so much more professional, and ... beautiful!

soli deo gloria~

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Hope Quilt for Rowan

The quilting is finished. 
I laid the quilt out on the studio floor and pinned it to the pieced minkee backing fabric.  It does not have batting in it, which means it won't be really heavy or bulky, but will remain pliable, soft and cuddly
In my opinion, using a walking foot and a ballpoint needle is the best way to piece the stretchy minkee fabrics together for the back.
As for thread, I chose a bright golden variegated yellow, in YLI Variations, a 100% polyester, 35 weight, in both top and bobbin for the free motion quilting, with a 90/14 Microtex needle.
 I began quilting it two days ago, and when I came downstairs the next morning, Nicki, our black kitty seemed to think it was really soft and cuddly too! Love her green eyes and those long, elegant white whiskers!
I want to mention here, it isn't the easiest way (or my most favorite) to free motion quilt a quilt with this minkee fabric on the back.  However,  I chose to do it as most everyone who has ever received a quilt in this combination loves it.  This is the first one I've made that is so large, and in which I attempted this type of free motion without a batting in the middle.    
I employed my straight stitch plate, and made sure to engage my safety function, by choosing the symbol to match the plate I put on the machine.  I didn't start it out this way, but quickly found out it was needed.  The straight stitch plate will help keep the stitching from being real wobbly looking, due to the nap and thickness of the minkee fabric.  On my machine, you can choose from three different stitch plates.  I choose the 0mm picture, for this machine.
I ended up using 3 new microtex needles, as they dull rather quickly with minkee fabric, and 8 bobbins later, and about 12 hours later, having used a full spool of thread, and more, I was done.
I deliberately left the quilting as loose and wide open with soft swirls, which also emulate the pattern in the blue border fabric.  I felt this type of quilting motif was the best choice, keeping this twin-sized quilt feeling soft and supple, and also because it would have taken three times longer to quilt it! The word "hope" is also quilted  in many places throughout. And since this was rather short notice, I needed to quilt it quickly. It needs to be displayed locally in Highwood and Ft. Benton communities by next week, so we can sell the raffle tickets for it.  Did you see my Quilt Raffle and Giveaway post?  Check it out here if you missed it!!

I stitched a yellow binding from a batik fabric.  I cut my binding 2.5" wide, and used a 3/8" for seam allowance, to allow it to be folded over the thick minkee fabric backing.  The binding will be hand stitched by my friend, Lisa, which she will do this weekend. Thanks so much Lisa!!
In HOPE.  
Thank you for supporting Rowan
(click his name to check the his webpage)
Thank you for your prayers.
Linking up with Studio JRU today!
Soli Deo Gloria

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