Quick Tip ~ Green Pin, Red Pin

My daughter, Cathy, showed me the quilt top she had just finished.  She does great machine applique blanket stitch and finds it really relaxing.  The quilt is “Andrew” from the book Fat Quarter Baby (A31813).  It’s so cute!  A31813 book

When I looked at it, I immediately thought it needed “Piping Hot Binding,” (23940) my23940b.jpg favorite way of finishing a quilt.  It puts just a touch of extra color at the inside edge of the binding, and brings the quilt to life.  It’s ingenious, and the tool that’s included with the booklet is the key.

Below is what the piping looks like on our quilt.

Here’s our Andrew quilt.  Isn’t it adorable?  Unfortunately the piping didn’t show up in the photo, but you can see it in the close-ups above.whale quilt

20160509_112719As I worked on the quilt, I thought I could share a few tips.  When you put the binding on with the Piping Hot Binding method, you’re actually working on the back.  I wanted to be sure I stopped sewing with enough tail to join the binding.  So I put the red pin in. Stop!

I also wrote about using colored Flower Head Pins when adding borders.  Find it by clicking here.

Something that makes joining binding tails easier is to fold the quilt at the beginning and end of the part you left unsewn, and pin.  That way the tails are closer together and you have more to work with.

quilt folded

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item. Some of the images on this post are also links!)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Trees for Sale!

The pattern of the day around here today is Trees for Sale (43242) by Pieces from My Heart. It’s a freezer paper piecing pattern that is so simple to use with a pre-cut layer cake fabric set. If you’re really adventurous you could use scraps, just making sure that your pieces are at least 10″ x 10″ each.

It’s difficult to show you exactly how easy this pattern is without giving away all of it’s secrets, but, here’s just a little hint.

pieces

The pattern really simplifies the cutting and piecing process, making the whole project quick and relatively simple. And since all of the seams within the block are floating, there’s no matching seams! Each block is pieced and then cut to size. Easy peasy!

We have three projects in the store right now. One still being pieced, made with Nature’s Christmas Fabric Pack  (A23215):

version 1

One finished quilt top, made with Christmas Countdown Fabrics:

version 2 quilt top

And one completed quilt, made using the Holiday in the Pines Fabric Pack (A21176).

version 3 quilted

I also love the backing on that last one

backing

We have so many layer cakes to choose from, you can easily make your quilt reflect your own or a loved one’s tastes.

I hope you’ll try it and send us a picture when you’ve finished! If you’d like to work with a group and you’re local you can join our class at the store starting December 3rd, running for two weeks, 6:30-9pm. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Jennifer

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F.  Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

That Perfect Fit

ImageAn interest in costuming brought me into the world of sewing, and so the majority of my own projects include original and replica designs for renaissance faires, theatrical productions, comic conventions, and of course, Halloween. (Example on the right is me and some of my male friends as Nintendo Characters.)

Sometimes, I work from a sketch as a reference, and the artist is forming the garments in a way that are pretty on paper, but a bit of a challenge to fabricate. Especially since some of the shapes need to be made from altering existing patterns. There are times when the alterations to the in the finished products end up working well and looking good, but I don’t actually alter the size.

I alter the form, which gives me the shape that I need for what the garment needs to look like..but it’s still not 100% custom fitted to the person wearing it. Rather, it still falls into a fit that is made for a range of sizes.

The numbers we see for measurement ranges on a pattern may not be a perfect match for everyone, because we are all different sizes. It is part of being beautifully diverse as humans. Just going by bust, waist, and hip measurements might not always work the best for what we’re trying to accomplish.

https://i1.wp.com/www.tauntonstore.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/318x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/0/7/071349_1.jpg

Enter Fitting for Every Figure (A20783) from the editors of Threads magazine. This book passed my desk, as most of our new items do, and it had me as soon as I read the back description. I knew in an instant that this book was the cure to my pattern-drafting dilemma.

ImagePaying close attention to all skill levels, this book takes you through the many different ways to make your stitched garments fit like a glove. True to its title, it also covers several different body types in a detailed way, showing how to custom fit nearly any shape. It moves from altering manufactured patterns to drafting your own patterns. Image

One of my absolute favorite tutorials in this book was where it shows you step-by-step how to make a custom dress form out of duct tape!

The fact that they also explain a few different ways of how to make patterns from Imageexisting garments without ruining them was the selling point for me. I didn’t know that you could make a pattern out of painter’s tape, either! I now know that I don’t have to take apart clothing that I still love and wear with a seam ripper because I want to make something similar.

This book is an amazing reference for any sew-er at any skill level. Hundreds of detailed, color photos and easy-to-read instructions really help avoid any misunderstanding.

With Halloween coming up fast, maybe this might help you make some custom-fit costumes!

ImagePhotos are from Fitting for Every Figure.

 (To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item. Some of the images on this post are also links!)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Patterns, Patterns Everywhere

I had the opportunity to travel a bit recently, and while I was away, I tried to notice everything around me. I had the most fun searching for patterns to photograph as inspiration for future quilts or drawings.

Hexagon FloorOf course, one of the first I found was the ever popular hexagon. I’ve mentioned before that it’s one of my all time favorites.

Some times even a very simple pattern can seem fresh or new. It just depends upon the colors, the size (unexpectedly large or small), or perhaps the placement of the shapes, or the combination of all three.

Black floor with color squaresLarge Sidewalk SquaresBrick Sidewalk

I also love finding a familiar pattern used in a way that makes you see it in a fresh way. This next one is pretty simple, really. Hexagons and triangles. But with contrasting colors it’s a rather bold pattern. The triangles at the bottom are pretty cool, too, broken up the way they are. My reflection in the glass only makes the whole thing more fun (to me, at least).Star of David Floor

This last image isn’t as much a pattern as just a cool image. When the building next door was torn down, the wall revealed parts of two advertisements that had been applied over the years. It reminded me of old, worn quilts that people would sometimes use as batting for a new quilt. There’s a lot of history inside those quilts. (And of course we don’t recommend this as older materials can’t stand up to the quality of new materials.)Advertisements on Building

So, have you ever looked for quilt or other craft designs in the world around you? Where do you find interesting color combinations?

Until next time, enjoy your world.

Jennifer

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.