How to Sew a Cotton Binding on a Cuddle Blanket [Sew Together Tuesday]

This week we got to join forces with my friend Liz from Sew4Home.com and share a tutorial that she did on their site years ago. The Soft Elegance Big Bound Blanket originally used a fabric that Shannon Fabrics no longer makes, so I substituted in the Buffalo Check Cuddle. Combine that with Luxe Cuddle Sherpa and Carolyn Friedlander cotton… ooohh la la, you got a beaut.

I’d never bound a Cuddle® blanket with cotton (though I have done the opposite!), so I was a bit surprised by how very much I liked it. The cotton gives you lots of play in designs/colors because there are about 80 billion different cotton prints out there. I chose one that I particularly love, the 104″ Architextures that I’d bought a half yard of out at SLO’s Picking Daisies. It was great, though if I’d have had the time, I probably could have found a half dozen more fabrics that “would be just perfect!”

Check how it turned out….

Also! Sew4Home.com has these fab “Sewing: A Real Life Survival Skills” patches they are selling and since we’ve all realized that sewing is a great skill for an apocalypse, it’s the perfect patch for right now. You can find it on their Etsy site.

Happy sewing!

How to Sew a Minky Binding [Sew Together Tuesday]

There are lots of things that intimidate sewists about working with Cuddle® minky, but I think the task that freaks people out the most is using it for quilt binding. It seems like a crazy idea at first, then you do it and see how great it looks and feels. Sorta like using it for quilt backings; once you try it, you’ll want to do with most of your quilts.

A few weeks ago, we tackled Cuddle® binding for our Sew Together Tuesday and if you’re thinking about doing it yourself, this is a good place to start. I show different Luxe Cuddle® fabrics and which work best for bindings, which stitches you might want to try and give some tool tips that can be helpful.

Continue reading “How to Sew a Minky Binding [Sew Together Tuesday]”

Happy Anniversary, Fairfield!

You know the good ol’ Poly-Fil stuffing, I’m sure, but did you know there’s a whole lot that Fairfield makes, beyond this basic stuffing?!

One of my favorite products is their Poly-Fil Royal Silk, a softer, silkier version of the standard Poly-Fil. I’ve used it in a variety of projects and I love how soft it makes stuffed animals without getting clumpy. Stuffing seems like something so basic that there can’t be much variety in the quality, but I’m here to tell you there is and it is totally worth the extra cost.

Continue reading “Happy Anniversary, Fairfield!”

Sew Together Tuesday: Quilt Cadets

This week we did a whole series of patterns (rather than just one project for the week) and focused on Quilt Cadets patterns, an offshoot of Latifah Saafir Studios. They are super cute patterns written with kids in mind, so there’s no fancy lexicon and easy step-by-steps to help kids of all ages complete these projects.

Whether you’re new to sewing or new to sewing with Cuddle, these are fab patterns to add your collection. Plus she offers some super cute little badges that you’ll earn as you progress through the patterns.

The first day, we made the Enchanted Travel Pillow, a pattern designed in conjunction with Little Pincushion Studio. Who doesn’t love unicorns? Okay, some don’t, but for them they can take off the horn and make a horse or just do the dragon version. Any way you do it, it was super simple and ridiculously cute.

Make a Unicorn Travel Pillow with me!
Continue reading “Sew Together Tuesday: Quilt Cadets”

Sew Together Tuesday: Sleep Mask

Teresa wearing the sleep mask she designed

This week’s Sew Together Tuesday class we finally got to do a sleep mask. This is one of those ‘duh’ projects–of course you’d use Cuddle® minky for it–but I just hadn’t gotten around to designing one yet.

I drew up the pattern and made a second version where I added some cute eyelash appliqués, though that isn’t required to be effective. I just like adding a touch of cute when I can.

Happy sewing!

How to Sew a Little Chick Pillow [Sew Together Tuesday]

This week’s Sew Together Tuesday for Shannon Fabrics is the Chick version of the Barnyard Buddies Jelly Bean Pillow pattern. The pattern is from McKay Manor Musers and it’s a favorite. All the designs are super cute and they have a wide variety: cow, chick, Yeti, unicorn, dog, werewolf, etc. You can see them and download your own preferred pattern on their site.

If you want to make your own Chick pillow, you’ll need:
* 1/2 yd. Luxe Cuddle Rose White
* Scraps of Cuddle 3 in Black, Scarlet and Canary
* McKay Manor Musers’ Barnyard Buddies Jelly Bean pattern
* Poly-Fil from Fairfield

You’ll notice a few tools that I really love: the Precision Stiletto from ByAnnie.com, flower-head pins from Clover and the BabyLock Crescendo sewing machine with a Schmetz 90/14 stretch needle.

Happy sewing,

Sewing Cuddle Strip Quilts

I’m often on the road teaching quilters and sewists how to sew with minky/Cuddle fabrics, and this summer I was able to film some videos with Fat Quarter Shop. In this video I share a bunch of tips and tricks for making the most popular kind of Cuddle project: the strip quilt. Shannon Fabrics offers a wide variety of quilt kits, from 27″ squares to 58″ x 72″ throws, but regardless, they are all constructed in the same method. If you’ve been wanting to make one, but weren’t sure how, this video is for you:

Still have questions? Go ahead and ask!

What’s What: Top-, Edge-, and Under-stitching

 The Back to School Blog Hop is back and I’m excited to participate again this year.  We had a great run last year (I talked about all sort of pressing issues – pardon the pun) and it’s back again with 32 sewists and quilters sharing our hard-earned wisdom with y’all.  Thanks to the amazing Sam Hunter for spearheading this yet again! Check out the end of this post for a link to all the participating blogs.


If you got your start with sewing in the quilting realm, top-stitching, edge-stitching, and under-stitching can seem a bit foreign when you find them in your apparel/bag/accessory patterns. They sound pretty similar, and they actually are, but each serves different functions in the construction of your sewing project.

Let’s start with the most common: Top-stitching.

This is the one we are most familiar with; it’s used to emphasize the structure of a garment’s design and gives a nice, flat edge to collars and cuffs, pockets and necklines.

Technically the top-stitching should be 1/4″ from the edge, so if you have a 1/4″ foot for your machine, this is the perfect time to break it out.  You will get a much straighter stitch line and since the whole point is for the stitch line to show, it’s important. If you don’t have a 1/4″ foot, use something that will bump against the edge of your fabric to keep it in place (a stack of Post-Its work great).

The top-stitching on the denim jacket was done with two stitching lines, 1/4″ apart, but if you’re doing this kind of top stitching someplace where the back won’t be seen (along a waistband, a mock flat fell seam, etc), you can use the wide double needle instead.

The purpose of top-stitching is really two-fold: keep the edge flat and add a design element. The second aspect means it’s a time you can use fancy and/or heavier threads. If you have some nice 30 wt. threads, this is a great way to use them, especially on heavier fabrics such as wool, denim and linens. I used 30 wt. (Coats and Clark) and 40 wt. (Aurifil) red thread on this piece of wool and you can see that the top one shows up a bit better.

But the real difference is the stitch length.  Take note that extending your stitch length on top stitching is important. When I use a 4.0mm stitch length, it looks best to me.

On these I used the wide double needle to create parallel top-stitching on wool, merino wool, and canvas. You can see the the coarser wool eats the thread a bit more, so I’d probably want to use an even heavier thread for top-stitching if I really want it to pop, while it shows up beautifully on the canvas.


Edge-stitching is a close cousin to top-stitching, but makes for an even crisper, neater edge. It’s generally used on collars and cuffs, as well as alongside zippers on pouches, pocket edges, bag straps and bag openings.

   
Stitching line is about 1/8″ (or less) from the edge/fold and is used more as a tool for keeping the edge flat than as a decorative addition. Use a standard weight thread that matches your fabric.

But how do you get it to stay straight, you wonder… a lovely little invention called an Edge-stitch foot (sometimes it is referred to as a Joining foot or Stitch-in-the-Ditch foot). I first stumbled onto it about five years ago when I was teaching at Modern Domestic.  I was instantly sold and if you don’t have one already, I want you to head over to your local sewing machine shop and pick one up. Now.

The little guide down the middle keeps your edge straight and with a tick of your needle, you’ll be sewing a consistently straight line down the edge of your piece.  It’s a little magic for your machine and adds a whole level of ‘pro’ to your sewing, I promise.


And for the one that confuses too many: Under-stitching.  Used almost exclusively in garment sewing, it can be a bit bewildering.  It’s a technique that is very important when sewing apparel, though, so make sure you don’t skip it because it seems unnecessary. It can make a huge difference in how a garment lies on the body.

First, you’ll sew your seam, then press with your iron (on an appropriate heat seating) to set the seam.  From the wrong side, press the seam allowance toward your facing/lining.  Turn it over and press from the right side (use a pressing cloth if needed), keeping the seam allowance to the facing/lining side.

Use your edge-stitch foot, ticking your needle over just slightly to the left, and run the guide down the seam line, sewing the facing/lining to the seam allowance.

 

You will use a standard weight thread that coordinates with your fabric so it doesn’t show (i used red only so you can see it).  Then fold the lining at the seam and it will automatically pull toward the inside, hiding the lining and the hard edge of the seam.

This is the lining of a little girls dress, made with Embrace double gauze, and you can see how neat it makes the whole neckline look, both the back where we can see the facing and the front where the outer fabric curves over beautifully.


So there you have it: Top-stitching, Edge-stitching and Under-stitching.  Each has purpose and learning how to master them will make all your sewing and quilting better, more handmade and less homemade.  If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to check out everyone else in the Back to School Blog Hop 2017!

Day 1 – August 15 – Sam Hunter: How to spray baste a BIG quilt – www.huntersdesignstudio.com

Day 2 – August 16 – Mandy Leins: Thread Dread: removing stray bits after quilting – www.mandalei.com

Day 3 – August 17 – Nancy Stovall: The Sweet Creamy Filling – www.justquiltingpdx.com

Day 4 – August 18 – Ebony Love: 7 Indispensible feet for your sewing machine – www.LoveBugStudios.com

Day 5 – August 19 – Michelle Freedman: Machine throat plates – www.designcamppdx.blogspot.com

Day 6 – August 20 – Teresa Coates: Edge/Under/Top stitching – www.crinkledreams.com

Day 7 – August 21 – Kelly Cole: Ten ways to regain your sew-jo – www.vintagefabricstudio.com

Day 8 – August 22 – Megan Dougherty: Choose to Fuse: tips for working with fusibles for applique – www.thebitchystitcher.com

Day 9 – August 23 – Kim Lapacek: Tricks to being productive while hauling your kids around – www.persimondreams.blogspot.com

Day 10 – August 24 – Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines – www.quiltingjetgirl.com

Day 11 – August 25 – Sandi Hazlewood: Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks Tips – www.craftyplanner.com

Day 12 – August 26 – Juliet van der Heijden: Paper-piecing with children – www.thetartankiwi.com

Day 13 – August 27 – Maddie Kertay: Fabric folding for any storage solution – www.badassquilterssociety.com

Day 14 – August 28 – Cath Hall: Working with Lawn fabric – www.wombatquilts.com

Day 15 – August 29 – Tracy Mooney: Tips for the perfect seam – www.sewmuchcosplay.com

Day 16 – August 30 – Teri Lucas: How to bury thread – www.terificreations.com

Day 17 – August 31 – Debby Brown: Securing machine quilting knots – www. higheredhands.blogspot.com

Day 18 – September 1 – Flaun Cline: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 1) – www.ipleadquilty.com

Day 19 – September 2 – Jessica Darling: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 2) – www.jessicakdarling.com

Day 20 – September 3 – Trish Frankland: A bigger blade really IS better?! – www.persimondreams.blogspot.com

Day 21 – September 4 – Lynn Krawczyk: Build a simple design with hand stitching – www.smudgeddesignstudio.com

Day 22 – September 5 – Jane Davidson: How to make scrappy HSTs – www.quiltjane.com

Day 23 – September 6 – Linda Pearl: Low cost tips for organizing your sewing room – www.onequiltingcircle.com

Day 24 – September 7 – Christa Watson – Top 10 tips for quilting on a domestic machine – www.christaquilts.com

Day 25 – September 8 – Sarah Nunes: To Starch or Not to Starch – www.berrybarndesigns.com

Day 26 – September 9 – Suzy Webster: Testing fabric for bleeding – www.websterquilt.blogspot.com

Day 27 – September 10 – Sarah Goer: Machine bind your quilts like a pro – www.sarahgoerquilts.com

Day 28 – September 11 – Vanda Chittenden: Beginner paper-piecing tips – www.chittenden.co.za

Day 29 – September 12 – Cheryl Sleboda: Needle threading tips – www.muppin.com

Day 30 – September 13 – Kim Niedzwiecki – Different thread weights and when to use them – www.gogokim.com

Day 31 – September 14 – Sandra Healy: Conquer Your Fear of Machine Appliqué – www.sandrahealydesigns.com

Day 32 – September 15 – Sandra Starley: The Basics of Antique Quilt Collecting – www.utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com

 

 

 

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