Rustic Sampler - A Finish

Tracing the Design w/ a Light Box

All traced and ready to spray baste the muslin onto a piece of backing.  This makes it easier to embroider and creates a neat cushioned effect on the final stitchery.

Tracing onto Fabric Complete

The stitchery has begun; I used a variegated valdani pearl cotton thread which I absolutely love.  I do not separate the threads…I just unroll and go.  Go visit their website here and see all the great things that they have!

Start of Embroidery

Here is the stitchery all done…I used only three stitches.  Backstitch, french knots and daisy loop.  Here is a reference guide on line for embroidery stitches.  I am still learning new stitches all the time.

Center Embroidery All Finished

The rest of the quilt went together quickly with some scraps from my stash.  Here are the border pieces that I selected.

Border Pieces All Ready

Here are the border pieces all ready to go together….

Ready to Sew

I then created my quilt sandwich; check out this tutorial here that demonstrates how I put together my quilt sandwiches with spray baste. I then decided to hand quilt the top with a dark brown valdani thread.  It turned out great and was fund to do.

Hand Quilting

Trim and and the binding.  Here is the final quilt all complete…turned out really nice.

Rustic Sampler All Done

Happy Sewing…enjoy a beautiful summer weekend.  I confess that I am security waiting for fall to hurry up and arrive so I can break out all the fall decorations!

You can purchase this mini sampler from my easy store….here’s the link!


Jasmine Quilt All Finished!

I started this create spring quilt that was inspired by jasmine back in late April / early May.  You can see the first post on this quilt here.  I have been working on this quilt little by little on the weekends and really tried to take my time.  Well, it is now finished.  Yes, it is finished. I tried to take my time on every step of this quilt and as always, tried something new.

As a reminder, this is the fabric that I started with from Simplify by Camille Roskelley.

The pattern is from Fresh Vintage Sewing by Fig Tree Quilts.  

Quilt Pattern

One of the great parts about this quilt is that the blocks are very large and the quilt comes together fairly quickly for such a large quilt.  The one thing I might do differently next time is pick a slightly darker color for the inside of the star blocks.  I selected a light green dot on white background fabric which doesn’t show well unless you are in person.  This is the quilt top below before any borders were added or before Baja the yellow lab curled up in this chair!

This quilt has two borders; first a smaller framing border followed by a larger and wider border.  Check out an earlier post for my method of measuring and making your borders perfect.  You can see this post here.

Here is the finished quilt top.  This is when the next step begins of adding your batting and backing.  This was such a large quilt that I had to find just the right place to layer the batting and backing.  Here’s the link to the tutorial on how I create my quilt sandwiches…

Finished Quilt Top … Before Quilting

Here is the quilt in the midst of quilting.  I quilt my quilts on my Bernina machine which sometimes can take some muscle given the throat size of the machine and the need to navigate a large quilt through.  I quilted the entire quilt over a series of two days so that I didn’t wear out my shoulders.

Quilting the Top

I typically use a stippling pattern to quilt most of my quilts simply because it is what I am most comfortable with.  Over the last two years, I have branched out and tried some different patterns.  This time, I decided to quilt some designs that just seemed right for this quilt.

Quilting Close Up

Quilting Close Up

Here is the completed quilt with the binding added on.  You will see that I used several quilt methods throughout the quilt including using some special quilting in the blocks themselves as shown above, stippling on the border and a wavy pattern on on the corners near the appliqué.  The tutorial for my appliqué method is on a post a few weeks ago and you can see it here.

Jasmine Quilt All Finished

I used a scallop/stripe fabric for the binding in a green fabric which turned out really well.  I tend to love stripes for binding as they add just the right element to the edge of a quilt.  It’s like a good picture frame.

Close Up Applique Detail with Blanket Stitch

And, here is the finished quilt hanging in the fresh air.

Jasmine Quilt All Finished

This was a fun quilt to make.  I even added my own elements of appliqué to the quilt which were not included in the original pattern.  I was inspired by the blooming jasmine in my yard initially and my inspiration turned into this.  Take not of the inspiration in your everyday world….you will be surprised what you notice.

Jasmine Quilt All Finished

 If you are interested in purchasing this quilt, you can now buy it on etsy.   Check out my etsy store here. 


Machine Applique Tutorial

I first learned to machine applique about 6 years ago in a class at the Fat Quarter Shop in Vista taught by Michelle who is now the shop owner.  This shop continues to get better and better and still remains one of my favorite shops.  I thought I would pass on what I have learned over the 6 years since I have been using the machine applique technique.  Some of my favorite quilts are appliqued.  You will find a step by step guide in this post….

First, you want to figure out what shape that you want to applique.  One of the easiest ways to find a shape (if one doesn’t come in the pattern) is to google it.  If you google ‘flower template’ and click on images, you will be amazed at all the different choices that come up.  It is a great resource for getting the applique shape you want. There are many other options as well (kids coloring books, magazines, etc.)

 This technique utilizes fusible web.  My favorite is ‘steam a seam lite’.  There are many kinds including ‘wunder under’, pellon, etc.  This is my favorite and works well for machine applique.  The others work as well, but this is my preference.  You want to trace the image on the waxy (non-sticky) side of the fusible web.  For a simple applique, I slip the template under the fusible web and continue to reposition to trace multiple pieces of the same template.  There is no need for a light box; it is fairly transparent and easy to trace.

I then cut out each of the items leaving some white space around each of them.  I would suggest at least a 1/2″, but do not carefully cut them out.  Rather, I loosely cut them out as shown below.

 I then select the fabric I want for each of the applique pieces.  I place the fabri on the ironing board wrong side up and iron the fusible web onto the wrong side of the fabric.  Really easy and no need to steam or iron multiple times.  It is a really quick iron and they are adhered to the fabric.

Now, you cut each of the shapes out along the trace line.  It can be easily seen on the wrong side of the fabric as seen below.

Here is what the cut out pieces look like when they are ready to start placing on your project whether it is a pillow, quilt top or even a piece of clothing.

Now, carefully layout where you want each of your applique pieces.  Once you know where you want them, peel the paper backing off each of the applique pieces.  This will leave you with a piece of fabric with a slightly tacky back.  This tacky back is the magic and what will eventually adhere to your quilt with a little heat.  If the paper backing is difficult to get off, score it lightly with a pin and it will make it easier.

Now, iron on your applique pieces onto your project.  Just run over each piece several times with the iron and you are ready to sew.

I prefer to machine applique using the blanket stitch.  Here is what it looks like on my machine.  The stitch length is set to 2.0 and the stitch width is 2.7.  Make sure that you change your foot to allow for the side to side motion or you will break a needle!  Trust me, I have done it a number of times!  I also use the knee lever on my machine when I applique as it makes it gives me the most flexibility to operate the pressure foot and keep my hands on the material when maneuvering corners or tricky areas.

I always start the stick by bringing up the bobbin thread first.  Then, I make multiple stitches to knot the beginning of the stitch with the needle dropping down right on the outside edge of the applique piece.  You will want to practice this stitch and to understand the rhythm of your machine and the order with which the blanket stitch is created.  This will help you to understand how to manuever curves, turn and angles.  You will learn when you are on the inside of the stitch and on the outside.  You always want to turn corners and curves on the outside of the stitch.  You need to practice, practice, practice.  The more you practice, the better you will get!

Here is a closeout of how the stitch looks on the applique.  You will notice that part of the stitch is on the applique piece (the legs of the stitch) and the other part (the stem of the stitch) is on the base fabric.  You will notice the turns are maneuvered with the stem portion of the stitch.  Again…practice, practice, practice!

Here is a sneak peak of a quilt that I am working on with multiple appliques. 

The key to this technique is patience and practice.  The great part about this technique is it’s simplicity.  Compared to other techniques (starch method, plastic template, double applique, needle turn, etc), it is pretty simple and quick to do.

Applique away….