Category Archives: Other

Blanket Stitching by Hand for Wool Applique


       sew many notions book

Recently we received copies of Debbie Busby’s new book:  “Sew Many Notions”. If you click on this link, you can purchase this book and add it to your stitching library. Immediately when these books arrived, we thought of our co-worker, Janet, who really enjoys stitching with wool. Don’t tell anyone, but word has it that our Janet has a large trunk stashed full of all kinds of wool for her creations! Already, Janet has stitched up three projects or more, plus a bunch of tomato pincushions, from this book and has plans for even more creations based on this book.8e43a0c84dbfbeb9d5e448ed83e972ed

If there’s anything you should know about wool appliqué, it’s this: it’s fun, easy, quick, and addicting! There are no edges to turn, no right or wrong sides, and no worries about fabric grainline. It’s one of the simplest and most forgiving forms of appliqué.

Wool appliqué is very portable, so you can work on it almost anywhere. It’s so easy and relaxing that you can visit with a friend and not lose your place while stitching. Small wool projects are fun to work on with a group around a table, and they don’t take up much room.tomato pincushion

The author of the book, Debbie Busby has come out with a quick video tutorial demonstrating how easy it is to do the blanket stitch by hand. Check out this video below:

 

debbie busby project

Happy stitching with wool!

Tuesday Tip….What is a Selvage?


selvages

A “selvage” is the long, finished edge of the fabric. It spans the length of the fabric. Most fabric companies will use the selvage to print the name and designer of the fabric and you might also have a series of coloured dots showing on the selvage. These are the colours found in the fabric’s print and this can be very helpful for matching fabrics.

selvage spots

Try to keep the info from the selvage until your project is completed. If you run out of fabric in the middle of a project, this information can help you track down some additional fabric.

Most quilting cotton fabrics are milled on looms that create fabric that is 45 inches wide including the selvage. To accommodate variances and shrinkage, assume a 40-inch fabric width.

Lately, it’s quite trendy to save and collect selvages from various fabrics to create projects. Fabric designers are including more and more decorative elements such as images, script and colour dots on selvages. I bet that even if you aren’t into collecting these narrow strips of fabric, there is probably someone in you sewing group who would love to be gifted with your selvage pieces. It’s amazing what can be created with them!

selvage dress

Ironing and Pressing Patchwork


An iron can be your best tool whilst sewing your quilt blocks. The difference between a quilter whose work looks fabulous and one whose work is so-so often comes down to the ironing and pressing during the quilt’s construction. Your iron can smooth out problem corners, make your quilt lie flat, ease in a piece that’s just a shade too small, create crisp points and so much more. It’s very important to take some time with your iron to press your blocks and quilt tops properly. If you are considering a new iron, the Oliso iron is really neat in that it lifts itself automatically with just a touch.

Oliso-Pro-Smart-Iron-TG1600

We are also loving the new Steamfast travel steam iron. Currently these little hand-held pressing irons are very popular for quilters. They are easy to grasp with your hand and are great for maneuvering over your fabrics as you piece blocks together. They are portable, great to take to classes and retreats as well as to use right in your home studio. Our customers, who have recently purchased this iron, are raving about how much they love this small iron that gives some mighty good results!

SF-717-A_z

There is “ironing” and then there’s “pressing”. Ironing is the act of moving the iron back and forth overt the fabric. Pressing is a simple up and down movement of the iron. Quilters “press” with their irons in a simple up and down movement to avoid overstretching the seams. Just make sure you are using enough pressure to enable the heat to “set” the fabric.

Pressing1

We like using Best Press for this part of the quilt-making process. This spray produces flat, crisp quilt blocks and quilt tops that are nice and flat for laying over your batting and backing.BestPressSpray

There’s some debate in quilting regarding the use of steam. I, personally, like to use steam with my iron as I press quilt blocks. Hot water offers an added force to the iron’s heat to set seams. The use of steam will smooth out most creases and wrinkles from your fabrics. However, if you are working with paper patterns for paper foundation piecing, cut off the steam.

Use a cotton (high) setting on your iron when quilting with cotton fabrics. Remember that Fireside, Minky or other synthetic fabrics, need to be kept away from hot irons to avoid melting!

Fusible products also need to be ironed with caution. A fusible is a glue or glue-like bonding agent applied to interfacings and other materials that when melted with an iron, bond with fabric. Fusible are used to stabilize fabrics, to join fabrics together (as in fusible appliqué) and for other purposes. Each fusible product has a special personality and you must follow the directions that come on the package. Some fusible will quickly melt and destroy your iron with “goo” if you don’t use a pressing sheet. Others might require steam. Some won’t work with steam. The appliqué pressing sheet is great because you can see through this translucent product and keep an eye on your pressing.BTD206_z

We hope you can enjoy the ironing and pressing process as you create your quilt tops and let us know if we can help you with your pressing questions!