How to Prepare your Quilt for Quilting

After you’ve pieced your quilt top, it is time to quilt it! But how do you prepare your quilt for quilting? I’ve teamed up with Fave Quilts to make this video showing you how it is done!

If you are sending your quilt to a long-arm quilter, you’ll want to make sure you have your quilt top and quilt back ready to go, so your longarmer can get your quilt done and back to you for binding. If you’re quilting it yourself, you’ll need to baste it. Spray basting is fast, easy, and my favorite way to baste a quilt. I’ll show you how to baste together your layers so that they don’t shift while quilting.

I use Thermoweb SpraynBond Basting Adhesive to baste my quilts. You can find it at JoAnns, many local quilt shops, and online.

Check out all the details on how to prepare your quilt in this post on the Fave Quilts site. And be sure to check out the Fave Crafts YouTube Channel for more fun quilting videos!

How to Prepare your Quilt for Quilting

 

Working with Multiple Colors of DecoFoil

As a member of the Thermoweb Design Team, I’ve been working with the iCraft Decofoils since before they were available to consumers. I’ve had lots of opportunities to play with them, test them, and try out different techniques.

How to work with Multiple Colors of iCraft Decofoil

With many of the different projects I made, I wanted the iCraft Decofoils to be right next to each other. There are lots of projects where you don’t need this, but for projects like the Modern America Foiled quilt, and the R2D2 Mini Quilt I’ll be sharing later this week, two different foils touch one another.

The reason this is a challenge is because when you apply the foil, you melt the adhesive. As the adhesive cools, it bonds with the foil. When you apply a second foil next to the first, the first melts as well, which makes the foil lose its shiny surface. This isn’t the end of the world – the twice-foiled area looks a little more vinrtage-y, but it IS possible to get multiple colors next to one another, and still have a mirror-shiny surface!

I’ll take you through the step-by-step in this video. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

Block Printing with Fabric Creations by Plaid

Earlier this month I attended the Crafts and Hobby Association (CHA) annual tradeshow in Anaheim. I love going and checking out all the new products that are coming out on the market. Many of the products are crafting products, and there are lots of scrapbooking supplies at the show. I love seeing all the new papers, scissors, punches, and cutters… but I’m always on the lookout for fun new fabric finds. This year, in the Plaid booth,they had these Fabric Creations inks and block printing stamps. I was intrigued, and excited when they sent me home with a bag filled with the supplies!

Block Printing with Fabric

I had the supplies in the craft room, and decided to give them a try last night. I have never done block printing before, and I had not seen a demonstration at the CHA show. I have done some rubber stamping, and figured I would give it a shot on some cotton solids I had lying around. I made a video of the process. Spoiler alert: it was crazy easy!

The inks dried beautifully. The gold has some sparkle to it, all the inks are wonderfully flexible – not at all stiff or crunchy.

Plaid Fabric Creations Fabric Ink

I only had a chance to play with three of the stamps. They all created beautiful, crisp designs on the fabric.

block stamps for fabric printing

There are still several more stamps… I’m looking forward to stamping with those, too!

Additional Blocks for printing on fabric

That one time I got to Mingle with Midge and Madge!

I spent the weekend with friends, both new and seasoned, up in Denver, Colorado at the Create – Make – Celebrate Retreat hosted by the fabulous and talented Laura Kelly Walters. I got to learn some new crafting techniques, brush up on some that I’ve played with in the past, and even teach one of my favorites… English Paper Piecing!

The wonderful folks at Prym-Dritz sent kits for me to share so that I could teach the class. I was so excited to be able to share my passion with all these awesome creative gals!

Learning to English Paper Piece

Some of the gals tried it, and it wasn’t for them. But others… others really took to it! I saw ladies doing EPP in our group pow-wows throughout the weekend, and it warmed my EPP-loving heart!

epp-in-the-laura-kelly-stud

epp-at-retreat

playing-with-hexies

Two of the amazing ladies at the retreat – Midge and Madge – have a crafty YouTube series, and invited me to be a guest (WHAT!?). I had a blast chatting with them… please watch the video below!

In case you’re wondering, the quilt shown in the video is “25 Hexies” and the pattern is available for purchase on Craftsy.

25 hexies image small
And I did take a quick photo of Madge’s flappy EPP before she fixed it. This is too cute!
the-epp-faux-pas

Pin Cushion Dish

I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books. I’m so excited that Andover has come out with a line of fabric celebrating this fun series of books. They sent me some of their fabric to play with, so I made this fun Pin Cushion Dish. The dish is nice and deep so that not only can you hold pins and needles in the pin cushion, but the dish will also keep scissors, thimbles, and more corralled.

make this simple English Paper Pieced pincushion dish to hold your sewing notions

You’ll need:
Ramekin (these were 2 for $3 at Target)
LHOTP Fabric (at least 4 designs)
1.5″ Dritz English Paper Piecing Shapes
Fabric glue stick
Needle & Thread
Sewing Machine
Crushed Walnut Shells
Polyfil

supplies for pin cushion

Cut your fabrics with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

cut fabric

Baste the fabric onto the hexagons. I like to glue baste.

glue baste edges

Stitch the hexagons together.

stitch hexagons together

You’ll want to make a flower shape with 7 hexagons.

finished flower

Press well, front and back.

press-back

press-the-hexies

Remove the papers.

peel out papers

Press again, so seams are flat. Place onto a background fabric, and topstitch the two layers together. This is like quilting, but with no batting between the layers.

place-on-backing-fabricstitch-to-quilt

Draw a circle, and trim.

draw-circle

cut-into-circle

Trace the ramekin on spare fabric, and cut.

trace-ramekin

Pin the two together. ease the excess seam evenly all around.

pin-in-sections

pinned-pieces

Stitch down, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

cut-hole-in-bottom

Fill with crushed walnut shells. Then add a little bit of Polyfil to vover the hole.This helps to have less walnut shells fall out.

stuff-with-polyfil

Stitch the hole closed, then tuck into the ramekin.

LHOTP-pin-cushion

Your pin cushion is complete!

finished-pin-cushion-dish

100th Day of School Lego Shirt

So, apparently, the 100th day of school is now a “thing”. Which I think is fun. Any time I can get my son to celebrate going to school is a win in my book! Our school invited students to wear a shirt with 100 things on it to celebrate the 100th day. Most kids would pick something simple – stickers, buttons, pom-poms… but my son wanted Legos. A 100th day of school Lego shirt. Okay.

My first thought was to paint 100 Legos onto a shirt. But I knew that would be tedious. I then thought about hot gluing the Legos onto the shirt… but I wasn’t sure how well it would hold up with my very active 6 year old… I knew it needed to be more secure. That’s when I came up with the idea of using Thermoweb’s HeatNBond Iron-on vinyl. The vinyl is most often used on top of placemats or coasters so that you can just wipe them off… but in this case, it is PERFECT for making a clear “window” to secure the Legos in place! And, because of the heat-activated adhesive, the Legos all stay in place in the zeros, instead of falling to the bottom in a heap, like they would with regular vinyl.

100th day of school lego shirt

You could absolutely use this technique for something other than Legos – buttons, bows, beads – anything small that is fairly heat-tolerant (it needs to at least be able to go through the dryer without melting).

Of course, I made this shirt the night before, and wasn’t sure if it would work, so I didn’t take step-by-step photos. But I’ll walk you through how to make the shirt yourself:

You’ll need (affiliate links added for your benefit and mine):
Plain shirt
Thermoweb 17-Inch by 2-Yard Heat’n Bond Iron-On Vinyl, Gloss
Iron, ironing board
Washcloth
Fabric Paint
Paintbrush
100 small Legos (or other object)
Scissors

1. Decide how big the ovals for your zeros are going to be. You can draw them on the backing paper for the Heat n Bond. Cut them out.

2. Divide the Legos into two piles, each with 50 pieces.

3. Place one pile of Legos on the shirt, and spread out. Flip them over, rotate them, do whatever you want to get them into position. Peel the backing paper off the vinyl oval, and place on top of the Legos. Make sure you have a border on ALL sides of at least 1/2″. You are placing the HeatnBond so that the side that used to have the paper on it is facing DOWN.

MY SUGGESTION: According to the directions on the HeatnBond, you cover your oval with the paper, and then press. If your oval is at all wonky, this leaves vinyl exposed. Instead of risking my shirt, I cut a large piece from the roll of vinyl, removed the vinyl and used the large piece of paper. I felt this protected the whole area better. I threw the extra piece of vinyl in the garbage. Call me wasteful, but wasting the entire shirt when I ruin it by burning a hole in the vinyl is worse in my book.

4. So… cover the oval with the backing paper, and then a washcloth, and press. Move the iron frequently, leaving it in each spot for just a second. I don’t know how much heat a Lego can take – I didn’t want to find out.

5. Once you’ve set everything in place, remove ONLY THE WASHCLOTH. Using the edge of the iron, seal all the edges of the vinyl by securing them to the shirt. This is what that 1/2″ border is for.

6. Repeat these steps with the second oval.

7. At this point, I stitched the edges of the ovals in place. I think this was overkill, and not needed. You can stitch yours if you’re worried about it… but for a shirt that only needs to last a day, it might not be worth getting the sewing machine out. Vinyl is a pain to stitch on – it sticks to the bottom of a standard sewing machine foot. You can use your walking foot, but it might be too wide (mine was). You can put masking tape on the bottom of your zipper foot, or you can use a free-motion foot (which is what I did).

8. Last step! Put a piece of paper inside the shirt to keep the layers from sticking together from the paint, then paint in the 1 and around the ovals to make the zeros. I used puffy paint and a small paintbrush. Let dry overnight. Your shirt is DONE!

100 day of school lego shirt

I did tell my son not to play with the shirt at school – I don’t know how easy it would be for him to tear a hole through the vinyl with a pointy-edged Lego. And I told him that if the shirt breaks or gets destroyed at school, not to worry. It is really just for today, and he doesn’t need to get upset if it gets messed up.

Legos added to a 100th day shirt

He was super excited to put it on. He is pretty confident that it will be the best 100th day shirt in the class. I think any 100th day shirt with Legos is pretty ambitious, and I’m really excited with how this one turned out. AND – it was super easy! I might have to use a technique like this on a quilt in the future – it was so fun and easy!

100th day of school shirt with legos

How to Square up Quilt Blocks

When quilting, squaring up quilt blocks is important. Squaring up blocks helps to keep the entire quilt square. The finished quilt top will lie more flat. The entire quilt will be more even. But squaring up blocks is a pain. It takes time, and sometimes it seems like maybe shaving off all those slivers can’t be as important as getting the project done NOW. But it is. Squaring up is such an essential part of having your points line up.

Here, I’m going to show you how to square up Half Square Triangle, or HST block. Because HSTs are stitched on the bias (an angle across the fibers, instead of parallel with the fibers), it can make the blocks stretch out of whack when you press the block open. I’m trimming these HSTs to 3″. I could use a 3″ ruler, but instead I use a square ruler that is larger than 3″, and just keep an eye on my 3″ mark.

trim block

I also line up the angle of the block with the 45 degree line at an angle across the ruler. This will help all the points line up. I make sure that the block is inside the 3″ mark, then trim off the excess on the two sides, where the block hangs out past the ruler.

The block gets rotated 18o degrees, and then I line up the 45 degree line, as well as the 3″ line both horizontal and vertical. Trim off the excess on two sides, and the block has been squared up!

trim other side

Repeat – over and over and over again… until all your blocks are squared up!

trim half square triangle blocks

That scrappy pile on the right… that’s a whole scrappy pile towards accuracy.