Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall Triangle Banner

Hey sewers!
Here's my non-traditional colored fall banner.

Using a triangle quilting ruler, I cut those triangles from solid and printed felt squares.
The felt has some kind of a finish to it that makes it have some body,
even a bit stiff, which is perfect for this banner.

The dark "blobs" on the solid triangles are embroidered lace leaves in a dark, Merlot color thread.
All the leaves fit in one hooping on my Bernina 750.
I used two layers of wash away stabilizer.

Large ric rac, is sewn across the top of the banner
and a beautiful, wide lace adorns the top of the printed triangles.

I stitched the leaves on with the button sew-on stitch on my sewing machine.
That way, I can simply clip the stitches to remove the leaves.
Since the colors of the banner are not necessarily fall oriented, 
I will replace the leaves with snowflakes as winter arrives.

For the lettering, my sizzix dies and machine came in handy.

I planned to use white glitter felt for the lettering,
but the white felt blended in with the light color triangles.
Good thing I had a bunch of dark felt triangles left over.
I used the dark solid color for the letters and they stand out perfectly.

I didn't even stitch each letter to the banner.
Since it is felt on felt, they stay up there nicely.
I will remove them when I replace the leaves with snowflakes
and the new word will be "snow".

It's officially "fall", do you have your seasonal decorating started?

Happy sewing, friends.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friendship Quilt

The Friendship Quilt will be a new class offering at Nuttall's Fabric Store.
Before it is offered as a class,
we (the employees) are sewing blocks to exchange with one another.
You guessed it, the friendship quilt is a block swap.
We each make 10 blocks and exchange them with one another.
We each end up with 10 different blocks than those with which we started.

The color 'rules' are:
  • White background
  • Blue star points
  • Red corner
 The Winter Star block pattern we're using is from this book:

 I fussy cut all 10 of the block centers from some fabric I had leftover from this skirt 

Fussy cutting may be a new term for you.
If you're curious, here's a short video that I recorded on fussy cutting fabric:

 Now that all the cutting is done, I'm ready to sew those 10 blocks!

Exchanging quilt blocks is like giving presents.
Sew much fun!!!

If you are in the local area, check with the Layton store to sign up for the Friendship Quilt.

Have you participated in quilt block swaps?
Please leave a comment and let the rest of us know your thoughts.

Until next time, my friends, keep sewing.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to Easily Sew China Silk (and other slippery fabrics)

I'm sewing another Painted Portrait pattern.
This time it is a blouse instead of a dress.
The bodice lining is China silk.
I love to use China silk for lining.
I hate to fiddle with slick, misbehaving fabric.
Above are some of my favorite tools to use with such fabric.
First, a tip from Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns:
lightly spray the fabric with Sullivan's Fabric Stabilizer
(be certain to test it on a scrap first).
Then, I like to lay out the fabric and pattern pieces on a cutting mat.
Finally, I cut the fabric and pattern using a rotary cutter instead of sheers.
Works like a charm!
After my pattern pieces were perfectly cut,
I began sewing the lining together at the shoulders.
Ugh!  Look at the difference between the left and right shoulder seams.
I sewed the first seam with my general purpose presser foot
(Bernina Foot #1, Reverse Pattern Foot)
The fabric got hung up under the presser foot and the seam slipped.
What a mess!
I switched to my non-stick zig zag foot
(Bernina Foot #52)
What a difference.
Look at how smooth and lined up that seam stayed.
I've now added the non-stick presser foot to my
group of favorite tools to use with slippery fabrics.

Are you shy about sewing with specialty fabrics?
Do you have any tips to share when sewing with these fabrics?
Please share with the rest of us.
I love to learn new tips and ideas.

Have a smooth sewing week, my friends.