Thursday, May 9, 2013

Made whole, no longer in pieces! (Part Two - Quilt Along)

Here we are, ready to stitch the hearts:

12 squares (final size: 8.5"x 8.5") with 48 hearts are all appliquéd and ready to begin the piecing. If you need a template, it is up on the CookiesCreations fan page for this month!

Appliqué sewing tips: especially if this is new to you:

Settings used for appliqué on both the Brother Quattro and Babylock Ellisimo: 3.5 mm width and a 0.5 length zig-zag setting.

You may have a different sewing machine but these settings give you a starting point. Appliqué in quilts is great because you don't need a fancy machine.  You do need a zigzag stitch and a straight stitch for assembly.

Tip #1 Heat and Bond helps to prevent fraying. See posting on May 7, 2013, for using Heat and Bond or similar product. If you do not use a product like Heat and Bond to secure your appliqué fabric, then you will need a tighter satin.

Tip #2 Placing a piece of light weight tear away stabilizer or other stitch and tear product under each block prior to appliqué makes the process stitch smoothly. Tear the paper away afterwards carefully to avoid distorting the stitching and "warping" you block! Tweezers are great for the dips in the hearts.

Tip #3 Watch the swing of your needle as you may get better coverage depending on whether the needle is on the right or left as you turn a corner or curve. There are feet designed for appliqué but I will share with you that the J foot on the Brother and Babylock performed quite nicely.  Bernina has a very nice clear appliqué foot.  The same holds true for many other sewing machine brands.

The first 4 sashing strips are 3.5" x 38" each. Sew 4 squares to each of the strips along the edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. We will use a 1/4" seam throughout the process.  If you are not a purist, then you can serge the blocks setting the serger to M (1/4"). If you serge, then you might choose to finish the quilt differently to avoid "needle deflection" in the seams when quilting. 

Time Saver: The blocks are lined up on the bed of the machine, sewn one right after the other. The strip is on top so that the machine can stitch continuously throughout the process.

Be sure to press your sewn pieces, first as stitched and then press open throughout the process.

Trim them using a rotary cutter and ruler and they should measure 8.5" x 12"( or to the size you set as your goal based on the squares and sashing you have cut). You will have one strip left over. Stitch strip #4 along the end of four of the above stitched pieces to look like the photo below on the left:

                                           *Use rotary cutter and ruler to straighten the edges of all pieced blocks and then arrange and stitch them to create 4 rows of 3 blocks with sashing strips in-between. Again, straighten them up*

Steps to Finish the Quilt Top: Now prepare 5 sashing strips 3.5"x 40" based on the suggested sizes in this projectl. You will stitch the remaining sashing strips in-between the 4 pieced rows and adding the 5th to the outer edge row as we did for the block assembly.

Use rotary cutter and ruler to straighten the quilted top. Place sized batting to wrong side of quilt top. Place back fabric of quilt right side facing down.  It forms a sandwich with both right sides of fabrics facing out.  Pin together starting from the center and work outwards while pinning. Next step is the actual quilting.

There are many ways to quilt the top and the simplest is to stitch in the ditch around every block and sashing seam. Another choice is to stipple over all the sashing, or do loopy stitches with hearts everywhere around the appliquéd hearts.

There are several ways to bind a quilt as well, If you are going to self bind the quilt then leave a minimum 2inches around all four sides of the backing fabric.

The method used in the sample: Measure the amount of binding based on the trimmed quilt top just created.  Make a bias strip 2.5" wide plus 10" added to the length needed. (This is to account for turning corners and overlapping the ends of the bias.) Iron the long strip in half, lengthwise and pin raw edges matching to the top of the quilt and stitch it in place, wrap to wrong side and hand or machine stitch in place. Fold the starting end over the last section prior to stitching them in place.

Do you need a good reference?

Favorite books for students, either 101 Quilting book - green cover is more recent yet the original is still an excellent value. If you are new to rotary cutting, Alex Anderson has a clear concise way of presenting the basics in her book with a few projects added.

If you want to keep up with any changes or improvements to this post or to get new posts, consider subscribing to this blog.

No comments: