About Me

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Sewing and cooking are two of my favorite things. In the past, I often found myself searching for pictures and details of projects I have done, without success. So I decided to start documenting my creations. Then my son suggested I add my recipes to the blog so that they are documented also.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Two Sided Binding

Once in awhile I am binding a quilt or runner and cannot decide on the binding because my fabric just doesn't coordinate with the backing and the front.  So today I had this quandary and decided to make a two sided binding.  I only do this occasionally so I decided to make a tutorial for myself because it took me all morning to get it right. I also made a sample for myself to hang on my peg board for the next time.  The front of the binding matches one of the batiks used and the back binding matches the backing.

Cutting the binding strips.
I sew my binding onto the back so that when it is flipped to the front I can machine stitch on the front so these directions will follow the procedure I use.
Front binding strips are cut to 1 5/8 inch. You will need enough strips to match the lengths of the sides and top and bottom. Each side,  top and bottom are sewn on separately. This 1 5/8 inch strip is folded in half, wrong sides together and pressed.
Back binding strips are cut to 1 1/8 inch. This strip is not folded.
The front and back binding strips are sewn together by matching raw edges, right sides together, of the folded front binding and the back binding (unfolded), as shown below using a 1/4 inch seam.  Once sewn together, the 1/4 inch seam should be pressed open.
Now sew the binding to both long sides first.  Place the right side of the 1 1/8 inch strip to the right side of the back of the quilt.  Sew in a full 1/4 inch seam; do not use a scant 1/4 inch.
Press up from the backing side.
Now turn to the front and sew with an Edge Joining Foot/Stitch in Ditch Foot with the needle moved to 1.3 to right of guide. Trim even with the top and bottom.

Now sew the top strip onto the back leaving about an extra 1/2 inch at both sides. When you flip to the front, before sewing onto the front, turn the extra 1/2 inch in to cover the raw edge. Do the same for the bottom and your binding is complete.
The binding will look great from the front and the back and lay flat.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My New Cutting Table - Gate Leg Table

So before Christmas, my generic cutting table from Joann Fabrics has its top come off the legs. To be fair, it was really old, maybe over 15 years old, but my husband once again filled the holes with wood putty and redrilled new holes. The next week we were out shopping and saw this table from Somerton. It can be found at Overstock.com and Walmart. Gate Leg Table    I thought it was so nice but it was my hubby who suggested we get it for my sewingroom to replace my wobbly cutting table. What a great idea!! It extends to 65 X 36 inches exactly like my cutting table but is  about 4 inches shorter which has proven to be a godsend when I am doing a lot of cutting. Being on the shorter side, the regular cutting table height of 35 inches is a little too high for me. Also it is the same height as the table my sewing machine is on so when I am quilting a large item it is supported by the table. Behind that door are shelves for storage.

Better yet, over the holidays we moved it to the livingroom to serve as a buffet table for appetizers when we had guests over.

Free Motion Quilting on the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0

Well I have had my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 for about 6 weeks now and finally am comfortable with free motion quilting with the Sensormatic foot.  Originally, I thought I would use the spring free motion foot but actually like this little Sensormatic foot.  I had great difficulty at first and I am not happy there is so little instruction in the manual.  I have searched the web and sewing forums and as usual have found several places with comments and recommendations.  I found that the Pfaff Quilters Forum  http://www.pfafftalk.com/chatroom/mvnforum/index was most helpful on this topic. I took advice from these sources and here is what works for me.


Sensormatic free motion foot

I had trouble putting on the foot at first.  As shown below the top plastic hooky thing goes in front of the needle bar.

 Feed Dogs:
Lower the feed dogs by pushing the feed dog lever on the front of the machine to the left.


Under the Settings Menu (the button with the tool icon) I turn on the Sensormatic Free motion.  I change the Pivot Height to -3 and I turn off the Auto foot lift. This will automatically change the thread tension to 5.2 but on my machine I need to increase it to 5.4 or 5.6 depending on the thread that I am using. This will also automatically set the stitch length to 0.0.


I have experimented with embroidery thread, King Tut Quilting Thread and Coats and Clark All Purpose thread.  All have worked well as long as I have the same thread in the top and bobbin. 


I am using a 90/14 Organ needle; I had been using a 75/11 and experienced thread shredding and since changing to the 90/14, all is well.

So now I am quite happy with FMQ on my QE4!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Tumbler Runner for ME!

Well I have been taking down the Christmas decorations and my buffet looks empty without the holiday runner on it.  I have a quilted wall hanging beside the buffet and I have leftover fabric from it, so I decided to make a tumbler runner out of this fabric. So here is how the project went.  I made a tumbler runner for my daughter with the 5 inch tumbler ruler and it turned out great.  But at Missouri Quilt Company I watched a video Tumbler Tutorial on making a quilt with the 10 inch and 5 inch tumbler rulers. So I decided to make a runner using both sizes.  It sounded easier than it was; for some reason I just couldn't get it to line up correctly.  I tried to do 1 row of large and 1 row of small tumblers but I could not get it to line up.  So I ripped it all apart twice, really most of the pieces I ripped apart 3 times, and finally got it right.  I would have thrown it all in the trash but it was the only fabric I had to match the wall hanging shown below so I persevered.

When I got it sandwiched I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it.  In the center larger 4 tumblers I just did free motion stippling which I am pretty happy with.  But between the smaller tumbler rows and on the long sides I decided to use a quilting stitch from the Pfaff QE4.  Now here is the funny story about this decorative stitch.  I rarely read the sewing machine manuals but half way through doing the quilting stitch I see that you are supposed to use transparent thread in the top so that it looks like hand quilting.  Too late but I actually like how it looks; next time I will try some samples of those quilting stitches with invisible thread.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and Finally Those Christmas Gifts

I absolutely love Christmas! One of my favorite things is giving gifts that I have made. I have not been able to post about them lest the recipients were reading the blog. So here is what I made this year.

The first gift that I finished was a Charlie Brown Christmas quilt (twin size) for my oldest son.  He loves Charlie Brown and while I was in Annapolis at a quilt shop back in August, I saw a sample and just had to make this quilt. It was a big hit and he was wrapped in it all Christmas Eve.  I finished early in October which allowed me to start the rest of my gifts.  I also made a table runner from my extra fabric.

I made numerous runners from several different patterns. The first was from a French Braid pattern and I did some embroidery with the embroidery machine to quilt it.  I love Batiks and love the color of these. The colors reminded me of my daughter-in-law so this was made for her dining room.
I also did some 'quilt as you go' runners, actually quite a few.  This first one is made with fabric from a quilt shop in Morgantown, W.V.  I went there to visit my aunt and using my iPhone app Quilt Shops, was able to  locate a nearby shop.  It was a great store and I thought these fabrics would make a great runner for my sister-in-law. 
My daughter needed Christmas pillow covers so I made her 2 from my Christmas fabric scraps (actually I used alot of my best friend's scraps as mine were not enough) plus a table runner just as an added surprise.  She was happy with all the items when I visited her in mid December.  While I visited with her in Baltimore, we went to G Street fabrics and she helped me pick out a few fabrics.  I then went home and made her a table runner out of the fabrics she helped me choose and surprised her on Christmas day with the runner. I made it with small tumbler ruler and am pretty happy with the result.  I think I will buy the large tumbler template now.  She couldn't believe I had time to make it for her.
So for now, just a few more of the runners.  The Zig Zag runner was fun to make and went together easily.  I think the next time I make it, I will try to do the 'quilt as you go' method.
I made a few embroidered towels too.  I found that a nice hostess gift is a personalized tea towel.  I use the linen like towels from Pat Cattan's because they launder pretty nicely.  They also do not need a topper.  For my hand towels I use Apt 9 towels from Kohls and they definitely need a topper when embroidering.

That is all for show and tell for now.  have a good New Years Day!!