Well, our first online mystery quiltalong was a huge sucess. We had 49 participants, and had wonderful feedback that they had learn’t a lot of new techniques and had fun keeping up with the weekly instructions.
Check out our show and tell
As a result, these are just a few of the quilts:
Use up all the scraps!
It was amazing to see just how each quilt takes on a different look depending on the fabrics used. Consequently, our scrap piles took a beating and I think it proved to everyone that scrap quilting is a very successful approach to making attractive and treasured quilts. There is great satisfaction from using up all those random pieces from previous projects and even a walk down memory lane as you remember where or why you bought the fabric and what project it was originally for.
Well done to all our participants.
I’m so glad you had fun. It was also lovely to share in your progress on the facebook group and the weekly zoom meetings. Thankyou for being part of our Sewing Connection quilting community.
To kick off my new blog, I thought it might be handy to go over some tips and tricks that we all kind of know but may need a refresher every now and then.
We’ve all had blocks that haven’t turned out to be quite right. They can often be too small or too large and therefore cause problems in the overall design. When it comes time to sew all our blocks together, they just won’t fit or line up! It can be so frustrating!
The problem can be a number of things but often it’s our 1/4” seam that’s to blame. As one of the foundation skills for quilters, it’s important to get the seam spot on.
So lets do a test…
Firstly, you need a 1/4” foot that is designed for your machine. My Bernina has three feet described as 1/4” feet: #37 foot without guide, #57 foot with guide, and #97 foot with separate screw on guide. I love my #37 because having no guide on the side means as long as I’m using a straight stitch I can use it for normal sewing as well. I find the #57 with the guide doesn’t go cross country too well lol. It doesn’t matter which foot you have really, they are all designed to assist you with an accurate seam allowance.
However, we must remember that all machines are different and all quilters are different so just having the right foot is no guarantee of accuracy. Better to conduct the following experiment to work out your own unique seam allowance for your machine.
So, I’ve cut three sets of (3) 2” strips to demonstrate. They need to be an accurate 2” wide , the length is not important.
Oh just look at that messy sewing table! Never fear its creative mess!
For the first set, I’m going to place my fabric under the foot so I can just see the edge of my fabric poking out from underneath.
This is where I find most quilters place their foot on the fabric. I’m going to sew the three strips together, press the seams to the centre, and then measure.
For the second set, I’m going to place the edge of the fabric directly under the edge of the foot, so I can’t see the edge of the fabric but I know it’s there because I can see it feeding through from the front.
Again press and measure.
For the third set, I’m going to place the edge of the fabric more to the left, way under the foot.
Again press and measure.
So, what is the result?
We would expect the sewn fabric with an accurate 1/4” seam to measure 5” because 2” + 2” +2” = 6” – 1” (1/2” for each seam) to give us a measurement of 5”. We call this 5” unfinished because the very outer edges haven’t been sewn yet.
Here are the official results:
You can see from the picture that visually there appears to be very little difference in the seams but….
Our first set measures just under 5”. Our seam allowance was a fraction, only a millimetre really, too wide! We tend to forget that it’s not just the seam that counts but when we press over those seam allowances, that uses up another millimetre making the block too small. You can imagine over many seams this can make a huge difference.
The second set is exactly on 5”. Perfect! So placing the fabric directly under the foot is how I will get a precise 1/4” on this machine!
The third set measures 5 1/4”, way too big! The seams are too narrow!
I hope this helps you understand how important the seam allowance can be when piecing. Just by doing this little test with some scrap fabric can make such a difference.
Have you heard about my new mystery quilt-along starting on Monday 12th October 2020? Click here for more info.
We are so excited to announce that a new quilting mystery is about to commence! Designed by Leanne, this is a fun project to help you use all those pesky scraps we accumulate but don’t know what to do with.
But don’t worry if you don’t save your scraps… you can still join in! Leanne has put together some great bundles to help you get started. You also don’t need to be an experienced quilter to participate. Even beginner or intermediate quilters can join in. It is assumed that you know how to operate your sewing machine, how to cut fabric with a rotary cutter, ruler and mat. ***Not recommended for brand new quilters***
The finished quilt size is 55″x 70 but is easily adapted to a smaller or larger quilt.
For a sign up cost of $20.00.
You will receive:
Six detailed instructions released one step per week.
Each weeks instalment will contain detailed instructions with pictures and videos so you have a clear idea of what you need to do
Embedded links to materials/tools Leanne uses in the pattern. These are not essential but will make sewing easier.
Weekly challenges to keep you motivated and on track.
A Saturday night check-in group zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have and to share our progress.
What you will learn:
How to choose fabrics to make your quilt ‘sing’
The importance of contrast
How to prepare your fabrics
The basics of improv piecing
Getting an accurate 1/4” seam
Lining up seams to meet perfectly
How to get borders to sit nice and flat and keep the quilt top square
Piecing with scraps
How to minimize stretch
How to baste a quilt for a smooth finish
How to quilt using a walking foot
How to free motion quilt
Leanne’s personal tips and tricks she uses to get great results
How to machine bind a quilt with continuous binding
The importance of labelling your quilt (including an exclusive Sewing Connection 2020 Mystery Quilt label for you to print on fabric or hand embroider
Meet and connect with other quilters working on the same project in our weekly zoom meeting
Make a treasured heirloom to be enjoyed for many years to come
Fabric 25% off
Christmas Fabric 50% off
Yarns 25% off
25% off Diamond Dotz
25% off Tapestry Canvasses
25% off Knitting Patterns
25% off Gift Items
25% off Jigsaws
25% off Craft Patterns
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