Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland!  That's a great theme for the November Island Batik Ambassador challenge!  Like some of the other Ambassadors, I decided to use the small roll of blue strips that Island Batik sent us to play with.  The strips look like winter with snowflakes and sparkle and lovely blues.

I added another blue and white Island Batik for backgrounds, and was all set to go.  It's really surprising what you can do with strips- even just a few.

I made this table mat and hot pad I call Winter Twilight.

Winter is coming with cold and snow- hope you can snuggle in with some fabric and have fun creating!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Published Table Runners

The new book Precut Table Runners & Toppers by Annie's Quilting has two sets of my projects.

The first project is featured on the cover (see above).  It is called Riverbed and is a set of place mats and a table runner and hot pad.  It  is made with French Roasted fabrics from Island Batik and Warm Blend and Insulbright batting from The Warm Company.

Riverbed by Connie Kauffman from the book Precut Table Runners & Toppers published by Annie's Berne, IN. 

The second project is called Winter and is a runner and table mat made with Holiday Happenings fabric from Island Batik and Warm Blend Batting from The Warm Company.

Winter  by Connie Kauffman from the book Precut Table Runners & Toppers published by Annie's Berne, IN.

Runners, place mats and hot pads are great projects for gift giving - you still have time to make some!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

domestic machine quilting with templates 101

In an earlier post I talked about the Westalee ruler foot and how wonderful it is.  With this foot, you can quilt using templates on your domestic machine - something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

I plan on doing several posts about quilting with templates, so this is lesson 101.  I'm assuming- hoping- that you have purchased the ruler foot for your domestic machine if you are at all interested in quilting with templates.  That is the first step.  If you haven't decided to make the leap and purchase a foot yet- check out the website of Sew Steady to check out purchasing a foot and templates (Sew Steady sells the Westalee Design products in the US).  You might also want to go to the Westalee Design site and view some of their great videos to get you motivated.

Once you get your ruler foot, you need to attach it to your machine at the correct height.  You need to adjust the height of the foot to make sure you can move the fabric easily under the foot when quilting, but not so high the templates would move under the foot.  Experiment a bit to get the correct height.

Now you are ready to start!  I bet you are excited!  Now you have those pretty, shiny templates and you are ready to go - but wait!  Before you start quilting you need to put something on the back of each template so that it will not slide on the fabric.  Believe me- this is about the most important thing you need to do!  If you don't put something on the back, your template will slide all over the place and you have no control and you will end up taking out lots of stitches- ask me how I know!

I've experimented with a few different ways to prepare the back of the template.  Westalee Designs sends you a strip of what they call Stable Tape with each template.  This looks similar to rubber shelf liner, but has fusible on one side.  You cut the strips and adhere them to the back of the templates in a couple spots.  I try to place them where they don't cover any of the lines on the templates.

I've also tried a package of clear rubber dots about the size of pencil erasers, but those didn't hold as well for me.  I also tried spraying quilt basting spray on the back of the template as some long arm machine quilters do.  This works well, but it does attract lint and you need to clean it off periodically and respray.

So after some experimenting, I'm sticking with the Stable Tape.  It works well for me.  I just have to remember to put it on before I start using those fun templates!

If you are starting on the journey of quilting with templates on your domestic machine, I'd love to hear from you.  We can learn together!