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 tutorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts

Thursday, June 5, 2014

fabric twine oh-so-pretty ~

hi there sweets!

and ~ today's project is pretty sweet, too!
i was immediately drawn to the beautiful colors and texture of the pattern with this scrap-busting technique, "fabric twine" which i found via the My Poppet website... and you will want to check it out if this is something that appeals to your senses as well. she has really great pictorial tutorial, as well as a video one, too. {and i love her australian voice!}
so i got started right away... leftover binding strips and ends, and ripping older scrappy pieces too. i have to say it was a little hard on my fingers, wrists, and hands, to twist and twist... but like she says... take small breaks in between.  {i'm thinking a spinning wheel... or something like that would/must work a little easier?}  i love it enough that i'm going to have to do some experimenting.  but one thing, it's a great little 'to do' when you're watching tv.
i also had big ideas to turn my twine into a large placemat, rug, {like cintia did} or even a group of great little mug rugs... but i'm tellin' ya, it was truly a nightmare to stitch through!  even though i switched to a bigger, {size 100} fresh, sharper needle... it mattered not!  and all i kept getting were skipped stitches... {ugh}

i've been trying to think of what went awry, and all i can come up with is that perhaps i've twisted it too tightly, and i also used batik fabric... which is more tightly woven. so this little mug rug is the result of my hard-fought stitching battle {which i lost!}  :(   so i have to go back to the drawing board and troubleshoot that issue...

the my poppet website offered no tips about sewing it, although she made it sound as easy-breezy covergirl beautiful as those ads... !  but i'm not giving up... gonna have to give it a go again, as i've been making it now with a what i hope is a "looser weave/twist" and see if that makes a difference. and even will try a size 110 needle... we shall see! 

in the meantime... through the depths of my disappointment, came a 'no-sew' idea to use this beautiful fabric twine.  this time, "upcycling" a glass vase.  it begins with this type of glue:

oh yeah ~ it's a little messy... but works like a charm!  this stuff is the way to go, forget the sewing {for now}!  i may have to try and make a rug using this glue... if i can get it in a bigger container, and cheaper.  the 2 fl oz you see here cost $5.99 at joann fabrics, and it took almost the whole bottle to do this vase, which is about 10-12 inches tall. anyway, to begin, i began by cleaning the outside perimeter of the vase, first.
then starting at the bottom of the vase, gluing the tails of the ends as seen below, i glued one row of fabric twine at a time, using my left hand inside the vase, to turn it as i glued:
i gradually worked my way up the vase, adding glue in a larger area towards the top, which helps it set up a little bit before the twine is set down on it:
wrapping, and wrapping, one line at a time...til i reached the top:
i loved the look of the spools on the poppet site, and so i  found some great old antique spools to wrap the twine on. practical and decorative!
my vase is all set for for some fresh flowers.  i have a couple more ideas... bet you can think of a couple too, can't ya?



i hope you'll give it a try, and i would really, really, love to hear what your ideas are, and results!  
{especially if you sew with it!}
thanks for comin' on by!

xo
leslie

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

bobbin play placement tips ~

hi everyone~


this post is about some very simple {commonsense} placement tips i use for stitching from the backside of a quilt, using a very thick thread {such as razzle dazzle} which is something like a 12 weight thread. {i'm kinda guessing here}.  but ~ it's a very thick, large thread, and it never goes in the eye of the needle, {at least not in a domestic sewing machine}.  it is best for stitching by winding it on the bobbin, which is why it's called "bobbin play."  this happens to be free motion... but it works wonderfully with good ol plain stitching {such as an embellishment around the cuff of a denim jacket} click the link to see more on this jacket... or just search "bobbin play" in the search box on the right hand side of the blog for LOTS and lots more ideas and inspiration!

or more random, such as in this quilt, detail from my desert blooms quilt seen below:
sooo. back to the log cabin quilt!  by way of background, my quilt top is batted, and a backing is in place, which is known as the "quilt sandwich" and i'm ready to quilt my long cabin rose table topper quilt, which i posted about here.

below is my basic 'cabin rose' block.  

notice i have pins around the border of the block.  that's my way of marking off the block, in a temporary manner, without having to stitch around it.  stitching is also an option you could do, by stitching "in the ditch" around all the blocks, through all three layers of your quilt sandwich. {but i didn't do that this time}.
notice my elaborate marking system here?!   i have a simple white-headed pin stuck through the middle of the navy blue center of the cabin rose.  this marks the place where i have decided to begin my bobbin quilting... and making a decision on where you want to begin, is a very important one, because i wanted to start in the middle of the block not on the edge, or in the seam {which you could also do}. but you would still want to know where the seams are, so mark them with a pin, or with a stitching line {in the ditch}.  the choice is yours!

after all ~ you are the CEO {creative executive officer} of your sewing machine, sewing life, and sewing studio!!  {yay!}
i've flipped my quilt over, to the backside. {below}  now it's time to mark that center of the rose, which i do using my favorite chalk marking tool, the "sewline" marking pen with white chalk. it's easy to remove, too.  all i do is lightly scrub it with a piece of scrap batting {or even my sleeve!}
notice you can see the backs of the pins, marking the square of the cabin rose block, from the backside, and i've lightly sketched a perimeter line with my chalk pen, too, so you can see it better. the scissors point to the center of the rose block... you see the white dot marking the center, which is where i begin stitching.  

note: i don't mind if my stitching lines cross over into the other blocks... this is merely a "guide" to follow {not a hard rule!}:
i always begin by tying off first.  if i don't, then the front of my quilt is going to be very messy with a nest of threads, stitched all over each other... and i won't see it because i'm stitching from the back side of the quilt... and this is not a fun surprise!  so take the time to tie off.  because this is a metallic thread, it has many multi-ply strands, and is somewhat fragile, so it's best to tie it off, and bring that heavy thread to the back of the quilt, before stitching begins:
to tie off, i hold the top thread in my left hand, and sink the needle, {using the hand wheel}, taking one stitch, and with the top thread still in my hand, i pull until the thick thread pops to the surface.  i do this gently...
below: it's the loop closest to you that you want to pull.  if you pull the other side of the loop... you start to unwind your bobbin, wasting precious thread wound on your bobbin.  in case you're wondering, bobbin thread takes alot of room on the bobbin, and you don't want to run out until you've finished the block you're stitching.

{and i have more posts on tying off here and hints and tips on bobbin play here!

below: a picture of my 830 machine's bobbin, loaded with the silver metallic razzle dazzle thread.  i've used an awl to point to a white silver dot, which tells me that i've loosened my bobbin tension... {four clicks to the left on a bernina 830 machine}... no matter what kind of machine you own, loosening a bobbin case is a MUST for bobbin play. {and if you don't know how, ask your dealer}.  for many people, i recommend buying a secondary bobbin case, having it specially and {accurately} loosened, and keeping it marked {just for bobbin play} so you know that is ALL you will use it for!  

side note: just so ya know, because i own a bernina 830, i no longer need to use/buy a secondary bobbin case... because it is so easily adjustable on the new 830 series. {therefore the picture of how it looks} but i did have a secondary, loosened bobbin case for all of my older machines.
one of the best tips i share for most kinds of straight stitching, free motion quilting, or bobbin play? buy a straight stitch stitching plate!  it keeps your stitches more stable, and produces a beautiful stitch! {without any of those "wobbly-looking" stitches}
i also tie off when i am finished.  i lift up the presser foot, and pull on the top thread, making a loop with my left forefinger, and then sink the needle again, and gently pull until the metallic thread pops to the back {or in this case, the top side as it's facing me}:
{keep the presser foot in the 'up' position}

pull the loop until there's enough length to be able to thread it through a large needle...

i do like to first tie a little slip knot, using both the top and bobbin thread, before i eventually sink the threads into the batting:


trim the thread ends:
finished!

there ya go!  hope you enjoyed my demonstration!

thanks for being here!

xo
leslie

Thursday, May 15, 2014

tutorial ~ making a fitted binding

hi everyone ~   

i've known for a while now, that there was a so-called, "easy" way to join the binding ends so they fit perfectly on the quilt, but also to stitch that seam diagonally. a diagonal seam reduces the bulk of butted binding strip ends.  but ~ i never quite understood the directions i'd read....?

until now! recently i was visiting with a student of mine about that very thing, and she pulled out a fabric sample she'd saved when learning this technique. and bam ~ it finally made sense to me!  once that visual was in my head... i found out  it really was  {very} easy!  

very simply, it's just the width of your strips.  in this instance, my binding strips are cut 2.25" wide.  just overlap the ends that exact same width, {2.25"}, and sew on the 45 degree diagonal, and there you have it!   ...done!

although the photos show a bias cut binding, i also do the same thing with "regular" strips cut on the cross grain of fabric.

in the photo below, the binding has been stitched around the perimeter of the quilt, except for the remaining 6-8 inches or so.  the two strip ends are seen below:
now, overlap of binding strips is 2.25 {see the red mark below}.
they are both marked below just so you can see the overlap.  usually i just place the ruler next to the strips and cut the one on top {only}, at the 2.25" mark. 
one strip will overlap the other for 2.25", and you will cut only one end off, which in this case will be the strip on the bottom {see photo above}. cut the excess fabric of that bottom strip from the left side, and then open up the strips, and with wrong sides together, pin. {once opened up your strip width is 2.25"}
prior to stitching the seam, it's really helpful to pin the extra bulk of the quilted piece out of your way before sewing the strips together:
mark the diagonal line on the strips if you need to, and pin. i've marked it below, so you can see what the diagonal seam should look like.  now just match raw edges from both bindings, crossing them like a "+" shape, but  match the edges on top and right. {like below} 

to choose the correct diagonal, generally it will be east to west {not north to south}. i marked this line in red, below:

you can see in the photo below where i matched the diagonal wrong... and as i have learned, test how it looks before you trim the strip! {you can see my unsewing below, too!}  :)
the raw edges are together, and the fold matches from both strips... now ~ it's safe to trim!
{when i begin} i like to have approximately seven inches as the opening, which leaves you enough room to manipulate the strip ends, and stitch them together.  leave too little of space, and you will find it difficult to maneuver. {ask me how i know}... now that the strips are stitched together, press the seam open, and stitch the rest of that binding onto the quilt:
and the process again, in a different project, where i pin the excess fabric out of my way...

the ends are cut to the width of your binding strips, and also overlap in that same measurement...
cross them diagonally, wrong sides together {match the ends, end to end}:
be careful not to TWIST the ends.  keep the folds of the bindings facing the same direction, as well as the raw edges, and stitch diagonally east to west:
before trimming audition the placement of the binding on the quilt edge.  if the fold and raw edges fit the space remaining then it's time to trim that corner off:
i press open the seams after trimming:
place raw edges together, stitch all layers together!
simple and easy!  diagonal seams mean less bulk in your strips, and i piece all of my binding strips together using a 45 degree angle, not a straight line. 

when cutting binding strips for any curved quilt, it's mandatory that the strips are cut on the stretchy grain of the fabric. i accomplish this using the 45 degree angle mark on my ruler. 

it's important to remember to be gentle as you cut, handle press, and piece these strips, as they are cut on the bias and stretch so very easily.

this is my "new" process, so perhaps you found a hint or two you can use also?  

have a great weekend!  i'm off to help plan some creative decorations for a beautiful young woman's wedding {at the lake!} ~ yay!

soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie
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