Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - Printing Quilt Labels

Printing Labels

This is one of my favorite discoveries.  

My whole mantra in quilting, is "do what works, and make it easy (if you can)."  When I started making quilt labels, I did it the traditional way, with a permanent marker.  Because I am a lover of perfection, I hated using my handwriting.  So, then I found products you could print on, and then iron onto fabric.  I found flaws with that method, and went back to the drawing board.  Finally, I tried sending the blessed fabric through the printer.

I have never gone back.  I love the results.  The ink only fades ever so slightly, maybe as much as permanent marker (maybe less), never enough to make me quit.
  So, I call it success. 

Here's how to do it:
fabric label 
(I enjoy having a stack of fabric, already cut and ready to use when needed)
scotch wrapping tape

1. Print your label on a piece of paper, to get spacing, font, size, etc... correct.

2. Tape the fabric onto the paper, using wrapping tape, and cover all sides

3.  Send the paper through the printer again.  I like to have about an inch margin for the fabric.

3.  Iron the printing.  I find this helps to set the ink.  

4.  Fold the top and left side of the fabric under, and iron.  I place the quilt label in the lower right corner, so the other edges are sewn in with the binding.

If you are really good at planning ahead, try to do this as part of the backing.  Then you can quilt the label into the quilt, and no one can take it off and say it is their own work.  Most of the time I can't remember to do that.  I get way to excited about finishing the quilt, and remember the label at the time I bind.   Someday I will remember.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial - backings and thread

I am always grateful to my friends who call me about quilting questions....thanks for the inspiration.

My friend Becky inspired this tutorial, which is more a tip than anything else.

Often when we are preparing a quilt, the back of the quilt is the last thing on our minds.  We work feverishly on the top, and lovingly piece it together with the joyful thoughts of what a fantastic quilt it will become.  We find a back which will work, then pin that "baby" together, and then think about how we are going to quilt it. Now, is the time, we realize the quilting question should have been in our minds well before this moment.

Tips for happy quilting:

Have the back of the quilt be roughly the same color as the top.  This way, you can use approximately the same color thread, and you won't have to play as much with the tension.

Use a back with a big print.  The more going on in the fabric, the less you will see of the quilting, thus, the less you have to worry about imperfections.  Of course, the reverse is true, if you want to show off your expertise in quilting....please oh please, use a plain fabric.

Do not use monofilament thread (clear thread) in the bobbin.  Trust me, you will only create problems.

Use the same weight of thread in the top and bobbin.  You don't HAVE to do this, it just makes quilting easier.

Use embroidery threads, and other fun threads to quilt.  Cotton thread is not needed for quilting (shocker, I know).  Embroidery thread has a little sheen to it, and I love the look of it in the quilt.

Variegated thread is Awesome.  The thread changes color, and it is a nice thread to use to help the quilting blend into the quilt.

Go and Quilt something today!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Did you know?

 Did you know babies are squishable?  Lovable?  Perfect? Yum!

Did you know I love fun photos?  I took this last Saturday, and I love it.  Love spring.  Love new life.  Love color.  Love new perspective.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Review- Felting For Kids

A fun perk I have from writing this book, is I am able to review a number of Martingale's books.  It has been a treat to see what so many others are creating.    You can look forward to a number of installments about Martingale's books, and please let me know if there is a particular book you would like to know more about.

Anytime I want to buy a book, I want to touch it, feel it, look through it, and determine if this is a book worth my money and time.  As I review each book, I hope you get a better idea of its contents, so you can know if it is indeed a book for you.

This is not a quilting book, but a book on felting wool.  I seriously love wool felt.  I love wool!!!  When I saw this book, I knew I had to check it out.  Not only was it about all things wool, but it had stuff kids can do too, BONUS.

It starts with great instructions on how to felt wool.  Then it goes on to give you tons, of ways to use it.  There are four sections: baby, princess, love, and cool.  Within each section there are projects to make.
  Some examples are:
Balls, blocks, toy box, bags, pillows, cars, slippers, pencil holders, runner, hairpins (CUTE), book covers, jewelry, desk sets, and storage pockets.

Every single thing in this book is super cute.  If you have ever considered dabbling in wool felting, you should pick this book up.  It looks like a perfect activity for you and your kiddos to do together.

Where to get supplies for wool felting? There's a list at the end of the book, here's the info.

Wool Batts, Fibers, and Supplies

Outback Fibers

New England Felting Supply

Spritely Goods

Ready-Made Felt

Weir Dolls and Crafts



Tuesday Tutorial-sew it!

I don't even know what to call the method of sewing shown in the video. The video shows how to start sewing, when piecing, to prevent threads from bunching up on the bottom. The scrap piece of fabric sewn on in the end, is used to help the sewing process go quicker. Now, when sewing starts again, the threads are already occupied in the scrap, and don't have to be held, or worried about.

Happy Day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - Machine Quilting (Start It Up)

Starting and Stopping
Machine Quilting

For today's tutorial, something simple, time saving, fabric saving, and dare I say life saving. Okay, not life saving, but sanity saving for sure.

When it comes time to quilt your first quilt, this question invariably comes up.
How do I start and stop sewing? Why is there a bunch of thread on the back of the quilt? Where do I start and stop quilting?

As the video below shows, to start quilting, first lower the needle into the fabric sandwich while holding the top thread with your left hand. The needle will grab the bobbin thread, as you bring the needle back up and out of the quilt sandwich, continue to hold the top thread and pull slightly until the bobbin thread comes up. Now, hold both the top and bobbin threads as you secure the stitch. To secure the stitch, move the two threads to the right and left as you take three stitches. The threads are now secure, and you can start stitching without making a mess on the back of your quilt. To stop quilting, secure your stitching with several stitches in the same spot.

I also had a question last week, about where to start and stop when quilting. I like to start in a corner, or a part of the quilt that will be the least visible.

Never quilted before? Go try it today...use a couple scraps, and see what you can do. Remember, lower your feed dogs and use a darning foot. Have fun!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Project Linus

Saturday morning we had an eagle project we really wanted to participate in, making blankets for Project Linus.  Project Linus provides blankets for children in hospitals.  Ever since I started making quilts, I have heard of Project Linus, and loved the idea of it.  When my own dear Liz was bit by a rattlesnake, and was in the PICU, my heart was warmed to see a quilt wrapped beautifully on her bed.  I know now, these quilts really do go to sweet little ones in need, and each time I look at that quilt I feel little tugs at my heart.

Anyway, we didn't make quilts this time, instead fleece blankets.  First thing in the morning while my boys (minus the baby) were helping friends move, the girls worked to make blankets.  We trimmed, cut, and tied these beauties.  The girls were such great helpers, it warmed my heart to see them happily learning new skills while helping someone in need, and I was so proud of them.

As our blankets reach someone who is clearly having less than a stellar day, I hope the recipient can feel the love of a couple strangers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fast, Flirty, and Fun

Pretty exciting stuff!  It's ready for pre-order, let's make it sell out before it even releases.  Ha ha.

Okay, here's the best part.  There are images of every quilt on Amazon.com right now.  All ya have to do is click on the book image, and then it will open up the images window, and you can spy a view of every quilt project.  ENJOY!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial v.1

Simple Knot

Recently my ward spent an evening tying quilts, and since we were tying knots, the subject came up. I showed many of the women this simple way to tie a knot, and I was surprised to find that none of them had seen this method. Since then, I have wondered how many people would benefit from some simple knowledge.

I know there are questions many crafters have about various methods of doing tasks, but may feel "stupid" asking them. I hope you will all feel comfortable asking these questions to me, and to each other.

Here's a video of me tying this simple knot. There's no sound, so don't worry about hearing anything.

Holding the threaded needle in your right hand, and the end of the thread in your left hand, wind the thread around the needle at least 4 times (more times=bigger knot). Keeping the thread tightly wound, hold the needle and the wound thread firm as you push the needle through the thread, until you form a knot.

Please feel free to ask any questions.