Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pressing Quilt Block Seams


For years I have read in every book and magazine along with discussions with other quilters, that when pressing seams in a quilt block to press BOTH seam allowances off to the darker side or to one side that will help keep all the seams aligned correctly for sewing all the blocks together. So I pick up a magazine yesterday (sorry can't remember the name off hand) and while I was looking through it, they had an entire page devoted to pressing the seams in quilt blocks open and why, including preventing two seams from getting off kilter when you sew over both of them where you might go from two layers of fabric to six within one stitch length. They had a lot of good reasons for pressing them open and pooh-poohed the idea of it leaving the seams with too much thread tension to hold up. As a garment sewer first before being a quilter, I know that I'm still wearing skirts regularly that I made up to 20 years ago with nary a popped seam. So how can the seam pop out so easily on a quilt when they don’t on garments which actually would get rougher use and lots of trips through the washer?

Anyhow I was looking for ideas on whether any of you have tried and/or routinely press your seams open instead of off to the side. It 'seams' it would help those of you that have trouble with intersections on your 7700 not get thrown off so easily.

Have the books and references been wrong for all these years? As part of my quest to be the best I can be with quilting, I have been trying hard to follow the rules, but is the this a rule that needs to be updated and broken?

Here are some great quilt magazines that I have enjoyed over the years. The one that I found the information about pressing quilt blocks was in the premier issue of a magazine on using pre-cuts. I don't buy precuts, I make my own. At the end of every project, with the leftover small pieces of fabric, I cut out 2 1/2" strips, 2 1/2" squares, 4 1/2" squares and 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles. If I still have odd shapes left over I will cut them into something that is a fairly common size, such as if I have enough to make a 3 1/2" square, that is what I will cut it into instead trimming off an inch of fabric on both sides and thus wasting part of it. If I wanted to, I could also make 5" and 10" charm and cake squares and fat  quarters, but instead if I have that large of piece of fabric leftover, I fold it up and put it back in my stash. But I've been thinking about rethinking that process. Stince I started working on hexagons for quilting, I am also always looking out for  leftover fabric shapes that I can use for different size hexies.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Doll Faces machine Embroidery Design and Rag Doll Pattern

One of the things I like the best about Embroidery Library, besides all their great FREE designs that they give us, is their constant innovation. Today's email from them features Doll faces and a rag doll body design in several sizes and instructions for making the rag doll. Here is an example of just one of the MANY faces you can use.


You can find this doll face here: Doll Face . You can buy them in 4 different sizes ranging of this face from 2.51" X 1.79" up to 5.87" X 4.18". Obviously you can choose what eye color that you like as well. With the many variations in the doll's faces, whether awake, asleep or winking, as well as different mouth, eye and nose formations 36 different faces were showcased today x four sizes gives you a choice of 144 doll faces, some of which are suitable for the face of a Raggedy Ann and Andy type doll. Not enough faces for what you are doing? Go to the Doll Faces Department and take your pick from 30 pages of doll faces!

Over my years of sewing and machine embroidery, I have run across the occasional doll face that you were generally stuck with one size and one face, so this is fantastic for doll making, especially for rag dolls that a smaller child will use as there are no small parts like button eyes to fall off. With being able to embroider the face, a grandma or other type of holiday elf, can churn out a lot of unique rag dolls for presents in no time at all.



Not only did they show us some new doll faces today, today's email focused on ideas for children's clothing, such as this unicorn that comes as a split design for use on opposite sides of a zippered jacket or sweater. One of the designs was a dinosaur that they split on either side of a Kangaroo pocket so that you see the head coming out and the tail going into the pocket. There are even instructions on how to make this effect. These designs also come in whole animals in all embroidery or applique and feature a lot of different animals. The unicorn design you can see here with a link to the instructions on that page.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Who are these Fairy Tale characters?

 
 
Can someone help me out. I'm trying to list this girls costume pattern, Simplicity 0666 or 8514 Size 2-6. I recognize the one character, but her name escapes me and I have no clue who the other one is although she looks a lot like my niece Kim when she was little! As soon as I know who they are, I will get the listing up and thank you!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Ideas For Recycled Blue Jeans

 


One of the best things about Pinterest, in my opinion, is finding terrific blogs and websites with a bountiful supply of ideas. Finding this blog started with seeing one photo on Pinterest and then following the link to this blog called ANDYAAF . While the site is in another language, once the photos load, you can click on the button at the top of the blog to have it translated into your language. I have NEVER seen such a wealth of ideas for using up old worn out blue jeans. No matter how they get worn, there are always spots on the jeans that will wear like iron for another decade or so. Pop on over to visit to get some great ideas. Maybe you can make all your stocking stuffers for Christmas out of a stack of old blue jeans hanging out in your sewing room, or maybe just one idea will grab at your creative heart. Whichever, you need to visit this site!

A blue jean purse and a blue jean apron I could have thought of, but blue jean sandals?!?!!

After visiting the blog, write in with photos and tell us what you made once you got an idea of what to do.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Free Flower Bouquets Machine Embroidery Designs

Embroidery Library, besides their 2 Free monthly designs that they posted for April has now posted four more Free designs just for this weekend ending Sunday, April 5, 2015. The  four lovely designs are in for sizes each so you can download a total of 16 designs for free and if you haven't downloaded your April designs, 2 new ones in two sizes each, this is a good time to do so! This Poppy design is one of the four designs available for free just this weekend. Isn't it pretty?

This Robin with her nest and eggs is one of the April designs, free to download all month.

Starbird Stock Designs also has a cute Rubber Duck Swirl Design that would be so cute on a baby's bath towel or burp pad.

I hope you like these designs and download them and then go on to support these great companies that consistently develop new, wonderful, great quality machine embroidery designs.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Taking your time to finish a project

I've been working on a Project Linus quilt off and on for several months now. Between not feeling well, being too tired to sew, and just busy, I still don't have the top finished. Sometimes, however there is a gift for procrastinating. I've been using some really cute frog fabric with blue backgrounds. I also have another top made with a pink background, and enough scraps and leftover chunks of fabric to make another quilt top. I kept feeling like it was missing something. I needed a frog machine embroidery design. While I found a few that might work, I would have had to pay for them. Since these are quilts to give away for charity I try to make them the best possible without spending a lot of money on them. The fabric was given to me, so other than the thread and batting they are essentially free. A frog design would have raised the cost. But today I found an adorable frog applique for FREE at Adorable Applique.  Isn't this frog just too cute and fun for a child's quilt? It's Perfect!


Adorable Applique also has a sister site called Cute Embroidery. I've only been connected up with them for the last couple of weeks, and they seemed to have a lot of FREE machine embroidery designs, especially ones that will appeal to children. Sign up for their newsletter so you know when a new design is introduced. You have to get them quickly before another design replaces them.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March 2015 Free Embroidery Library Designs



Check out the newest FREE embroidery designs from Embroidery Library for the month of March 2015. After that there will be a price. I love the great designs from Embroidery Library. These two both come in 2 different sizes. For free designs I always download all sizes of a design since you never know when someone is going to give you a Janome 12000 or 15000! Generally though, when Embroidery Library only publishes two sizes they will fit into a size 5" x 7" hoop as well as a 4" x 4" hoop. I don't like how some designers forget that some still are happily embroidering away with machines that can only take these two sizes.



Embroidery Library currently has a sale going on and I'm picking up a couple of designs that I really like including the Sweet Pea Design Pack. It has several variations including two sizes of border designs and sizes of corner designs. I love sweet peas and these are just too pretty. Do I know what I will be using them for? Nope. I will think of something eventually though in the next 500-1000 years I will need to stay alive to complete all my intended projects!