Skills and Techniques

Basic Paper Piecing

I am writing a step-by-step to paper piecing for one of my quilt guilds and thought I’d share it with all of you as well!

In this sample, I used Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper. This paper is thinner and easier to tear away after the blocks are joined. Regular copy paper can easily be used as well. In either case I use a 1.6 length stitch (in other words, very small straight stitch).

When starting a paper pieced block, measure each piece and add 1″ to the length and width. This will be the size you will cut each piece. Be sure to label them!

The pattern you choose should have each piece labeled. This tells us which order to sew the pieces in.

The basic concept is to place the pieces of fabric with the wrong side of the fabric facing the wrong side of the paper and that each piece of fabric will cover it’s coordinating place on the paper with at least 1/4″ seam allowance extending past it’s line. In other words, the lines on the sheet are the sewing lines. The seam allowance needs to be added.

1. Take your first piece of fabric and cover the outline of A1. I use stick glue to adhere the fabric piece in place.
Place piece A2 on top of piece A1 with right sides facing each other. Make sure that when these pieces are stitched on the line, A2 will cover it’s spot when folded to right side up.
2. Stitch on the line between A1 & A2. Start at one end of the line and sew to the end of the line. Do not sew past or before the line.
3. Fold paper on line that was sewn and cut to 1/4″ from the fold (which is that seam allowance), and press A2 to lay on it’s spot.

4. Fold A2 back in it’s place and press seam. I like to put a dab of glue in the spot again to hold it in place.
5. Fold the paper pattern on the A2/A3 line and trim fabric to 1/4″ from the fold.
6. Lay A3 fabric piece, right sides together (on A2 piece) on the wrong side of the paper pattern. Line up the edge to be sewn, and stitch on the A2/A3 line.
7. Continue doing steps 5-6 until all the pieces are sewn onto the paper.
8. When all the blocks are complete, cut on the dotted line of the block which will leave 1/4″ seam allowance so the blocks can be sewn together WITHOUT REMOVING FABRIC at this point.

When all the blocks are sewn together then you can remove the paper. This is a great task for a TV night!!

Thank you for reading my blog! Please tell me how you liked it, and please share with your quilting friends!

Have a wonderful Day!

Pam

Skills and Techniques

Machine Stitched Binding Technique

There are many ways to do a binding that are good. I want to share the techniques I use for creating and sewing binding. This is for the big queen (almost king) size quilt. I encourage you to research a bit and find as many different bindings as you can and try them on a placemat size quilt. This way you know what feels comfortable to you.

In my art quilts that are small, I cut strips of fabric that are 2″ wide. For this project, I cut them 2-1/2″ wide just to be proportionate. When cutting your strips, make sure you cut them salvage to salvage or it is sometimes called width of fabric (WOF).

You may be asking “How do I know how many strips to cut?” Here’s the formula I use:

  1. Measure the top or bottom and one side. For this example, let’s say that the quilt is 50″ x 50″. There are 4 sides to a quilt. The equation would be: 50″ x 4 = 200″
  2. Measure the width of your fabric. (In this example we are using a 40″ width.) Take the 200″ and divide by your width of fabric (40″) to equal 5 strips of fabric need to be cut. (I usually add one more strip for extra).
  3. Take that number of strips needed and multiply it by the width of each strip desired. For example: 5 strips x 2-1/2″width = 12-1/2″ of fabric needed for this binding.

Now you have all the fabric you need and the strips cut. It’s time to sew the strips together.

2-1/2″ strips cut for quilt.

These strips need to be sewn together. I sew them at a 45 degree angle. This will disperse the bulk of the fabric in the seam allowance as to not create bulky spots on the binding. If you are a beginner, I encourage you to mark and pin everything until you are comfortable. The directions are under each picture.

1. With the wrong side of fabric facing up, place the 45 degree angle on the short straight edge of the strip and move the ruler to the bottom corner of your fabric strip.
2. With the ruler still laying down as it step 1, mark the line.
3. Place a second strip perpendicular to the first strip with right sides facing together. Be sure to line up all the edges, pin on either side of the line and sew directly on the line.

The previous 3 steps are for beginners. The next is for more advanced and using the markings on my machine.

1. Over lab two strips with right sides facing each other. This time don’t line up the edges. Off-set the edges a little bit to create tiny 90 degree angles as shown above.
2. Place the top 90 degree angle to the needle and under the presser foot. Then use the bottom 90 degree angle to line up at the center needle mark on your machine. (Not all machines have this mark. Bernina’s do have it. You can put tape or a mark on the extension table that mimics the line I use.) Sew from the point of one 90 angle to the other 90 degree angle. I like to chain stitch the strips all together.
3. After all of the strips are sewn together, I cut them apart and cut off the point, leaving more than 1/4″ of the fabric for seam allowance. I do use scissors in this case because accuracy in cutting at this point will not make a difference in my opinion.
4. Press the seam allowance open and press strip in half with wrong sides together, creating a 1-1/4″ strip.
I tend to roll my binding strip as I go to keep it neat.
5. Sewing the binding onto the quilt. I start by sewing the binding onto the back of the quilt. I stitched a scant 1/2″ seam allowance and checked it by folding the binding over to the other side of the quilt and making sure that the folds meet up and cover the stitch line.

Leave 6-8″ of the binding free and start sewing onto the back of the quilt.

The above slide show has step-by-step photos of how to fold and sew the corners and I explain it below. I wanted to give you as many photos I could to help explain what is hard to explain in words.

1. Stop sewing 1/2″ before the edge of the quilt. (second photo)

2. Fold the unsewn part of the binding back at a 45 degree angle and finger press. (3rd photo)

3. Fold the unsewn part of the binding back lining up the raw edge of the binding to the raw edge of the quilt and leaving the fold along the first raw edge of the quilt that is already sewn (6th photo)

4. Starting at the edge of the quilt where the fold is, continue sewing that scant 1/2″.

5. Repeat these steps and stop 6-8″ from where you started sewing the binding.

Joining the binding is another tricky spot. Once again, I am providing a bunch of similar photos to help to understand the written directions below.

  1. If necessary, trim the loose end on the left so that it falls approximately in the middle of the open 6-8″. Lay it flat against the edge of the quilt and pin. (2nd photo)
  2. Use a scrap piece of the binding (about 2-3″ long), open it up and pin the scrap piece on top of the already pinned binding. Line up the long edge of the scrap binding to the end of the already pined binding. Pin the scrap on the left side. (3rd photo)
  3. Lay the right side of the unsewn binding over already pinned binding from step 2. (4th photo)
  4. Fold the top piece so that the fold is matching the edge of the scrap piece underneath (5th photo). Finger press.
  5. Unfold that top piece and cut on the fold. Unpin everything. (both of the pieces are suppose to over lap at this point for sewing room)
  6. Lay the edges of the binding facing together and open up (wrong side of fabric facing up).
  7. Pick up the edges slightly and match the edges together (the quilt will seem to be shorter, just push it out of the way).
  8. Rotate the end on the right 1/4 turn away from you. The ends are now at a 90 degree angle from each other. Line it up the same way when the strips were joined together. (The right side strip can be marked at that 45 degree angle if you wish to have that line)
  9. Pin on both sides of the “to be” sewing line. (Tip: the binding strips are at a 90 degree angle and you will be sewing across to form an “A”.)
  10. Sew ends together
  11. Unpin and check to make sure the sewing was done right by folding the binding in half lengthwise (the way it will be sewn to the quilt). It should lay flat. (photos are in the below slide show)
  12. Open up and trip the corner, finger press seam open
  13. Continue to sew the unsewn section of the binding.
  1. Roll the binding over to the right side of the quilt. It should be snug around the edge and slightly covers the previous stitching. (6th photo)
  2. I use a foot with a flange to help line up the binding when I fold it over. I also move my needle to position 2 to the right. (photo7)
  3. When I get to the corner, I pull out the binding on the other side of the quilt and this should create a 45 degree angle on the right hand side. I continue to sew straight to just about 1/4″ from the edge of the quilt. (photos 11 & 12)
  4. I rotate the quilt 1/4 turn, fold the binding over aligning the corner to the previously sewn binding, and continue sewing until completely sewn around.
  5. Whew! Lots of information!

Thank you for reading my blog! Hope you try this method on your next quilt.

Have a wonderful day!

Pam

art quilt, Skills and Techniques, Uncategorized

New Card Images!

There are four more card images for painting on fabric, creating a mini quilt, and sewing it onto a card.

All of the patterns are written for these images and ready for purchase. In the patterns, there is an image that has the placement area for each paint and formulas of how to mix the paints. Also, I have put together a small paint set, fabric medium (aloe vera gel), paint brushes, and fabric and card gifts for purchase to make it easy for students to start learning painting on fabric skills.

If you are interested in purchasing a starter kit, or if you know of someone who might be interested in purchasing a kit, please contact me and I will be able to send the supplies to you.

Thank you for reading my blog today. Have a wonderful day!

Event, Skills and Techniques

Getting Ready for AQS Spring Paducah!

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Going through my list of things to do to get ready for teaching at the AQS Spring Paducah Show from April 23-27, 2019!!!  It’s only 3 weeks away!!

I filled all of the little paint containers with Red, Yellow, Blue, and White paint.  Filling the Aloe Vera (Fabric Medium) containers was a bit tricky, but using a pastry bag and the big round piping tip worked perfect!!  Labeled all of the containers.

There are a few more things to pick up for my classes, have to do the step-outs for the ALL STAR REVIEW on Wednesday, and organize all of the boxes of class supplies I have.

I am really excited to attend this show!

 

Skills and Techniques

How Long Does It Take?

Just a fun little story to start today:  My cousin (who did not know how to sew at the time) came to me in November to make quilts for her immediate family for Christmas.  I asked her how many quilts are you thinking of doing?  She said, “About 10 twin size quilts.”  This with us spending only about 2 hours per week on them.

When I’m talking about my quilts, one of the first questions that is asked is:  “How long does it take for you to make a quilt?”

To help you all be a part of my world for a bit, I would like to share with you the time it takes to make a quilt and my thought process for how I come to the price I charge.

There are certain factors I consider when pricing a quilt:  cost of materials and labor.   I don’t want to dwell on labor charge with this line of work, however, keep in mind this does fall under the skilled labor work category for me.  I do this for my job and not a hobby.

The size will vary the time I take on each piece, so that is why I am giving you the specifics of what I am working on to give you a good idea.

This quilt that I am showing you is all t-shirts (Top and Back) and it is 88″ x 88″.  The only added materials I added in this quilt was batting and thread.  I am still working on it so there is no finished product photo today.  I’ll add one when it is done.

 

The first step is preparing the t-shirts which takes about 4 hours.  In that time, I have to rough cut the shirt, iron stabilizer on the back, then cut to size, and plan the layout of the t-shirts and the design of the quilt.

Next is sewing everything together and pressing.  Not hard…..all straight lines.  It’s amazing how long it really takes….another 5 hours.  Now I have a front and a back of a quilt totally sewn.  I don’t do this all in one day.  It is vary tough on my 52yr old body.  I do it in steps over about a 1-2 week period at the shortest amount of time.

 

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Now, is putting it all together.  The technical term is “sandwiching”.  This is when the top quilt and the back quilt are sandwiching the batting and pin basted together (the little colored dashes in the photo above).  This took me about 1 hour.

The final step is quilting.  This is the stitching that goes through the quilt sandwich to hold it together.  On this size quilt, it takes me approximately 5 hours.

So on an 88″ x 88″ quilt (about a twin size quilt):

Total hours worked:    15 hours.

Adding the skilled labor/hour rate (not as much as a mechanic or general contractor), and material cost.  That is how I come up with my final price.

I hope this helps enlighten you to the time that is involved in this type of work.

Thank you for reading my blog today and visiting my corner of the internet!

Have an amazing day!

Peace – Pam

Skills and Techniques

All About That Thread!

bottom-line-quilted-feathers  Sharing my knowledge of threads with you. Click on this link to read: All about that Thread 

I found Superior Threads to have a vast amount of articles to educate the public on threads, needles, tension, etc.  Here’s their link: Superior Threads Website

They also had on their site a chart of what threads to use for what project and here’s that link: thread-selection-guide

Hope you learned a lot!  I learned that I have more to learn about threads!!!

Thank you for reading my blog and for visiting my corner of the internet!

Pam

 

Skills and Techniques, Uncategorized

Not Just for T-Shirt Quilts – Part 1

I am huge on family memories stories and tangible items.  It’s even better if the item can be sewn!  You can wrap yourself up in those memories or hang them on the wall to gaze upon those memories every day!

You may have heard about T-shirt Quilts.  If not, these are quilts that are made from t-shirts that were saved typically from a young adult’s childhood (ie: sport participation, musicals, school functions, vacations, etc.)

There are quilts that are termed as memory quilts (t-shirt quilts are just a part of that category) are designed from any memory that can be sewn.  For example:  Ties, Hankies, Dance Costumes, Button Down Shirts, even photos (I make a copy of them for the quilt) to name a few.

Currently, I am designing and making a hanky quilt from my customer’s mother’s hankies.  I had a few challenges (which I love to figure out).

  1.  The hankies are a thin fabric  and a bit fragile.  So I decided to back them with Heat and Bond Lite to support the fabric and adhere it to a piece of white fabric (another piece of the puzzle that I will explain).
  2. When I ironed the hankies, they were almost impossible to make perfectly square, so I decided adhering to the white fabric would give me that perfect square to attach to other pieces for a good result.
  3. A couple of hankies had hand crocheted borders that needed to be starched.  I never did that before, but I knew how to do it.  Not hard, but time consuming!!!
  4. The photos below are showing the hanky in the original state.  I started pinning the point of each set of stitches.
  5. After it was all pinned and straight, I sprayed it with Terial Magic and let it dry over night

 

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I was impressed that it came out stiff as a piece of paper!  I was able to adhere it to the white fabric, stitch down and secure the crochet stitches and then eventually into the quilt.

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This is the point I am at so far.  It will be a very big quilt when completed.  I’ll keep you updated as to the progression!!

Please leave a comment to tell me (or ask me) about this article!

Thank you for supporting handmade and reading my corner of the blog world!!

Peace – Pam

 

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