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.

English Paper Piecing

Tree Skirt Display

We started bringing our Christmas ornaments out of storage at home this past week and there were a few things I just couldn’t find. I haven’t figured out yet if they’re packed away someplace odd or if I gave away some things without remembering. One thing we actually haven’t used in a couple of years is a tree skirt because I just haven’t really found one that I liked. It may be time to make one for myself.

The skirt in the display above is made using English Paper Piecing. We’ve talked before about my love for hexagons, so this just seems like a great idea to me. You can use any size hexagons you’d like, but the skirt above is made using the 3/4″ pieces (A21116). These are the perfect size for use with 2-1/2″ pre-cut fabric squares. As you can see in the picture below, they fit perfectly and you only have to remove a very small amount of fabric from the corners.Trim & Baste

If you’re new to English Paper Piecing, you can give it a try by using our Beginner Paper Piecing Kits (A21178 and A21179), which include everything you need to get started; a charm pack, thread, a needle, paper pieces, and instructions!Starter Kit A21179

One reason I really love paper piecing is that it’s so simple to work on a little bit at a time. It’s super simple to do your basting while watching television with your family. Then you can work on sewing together your pieces while you’re sitting in the car pool lane. I also really love that they can be used as a quilt top or applied as applique to your quilt top, either by hand or by machine. The possibilities are endless!

Even if you’re not interested in working on a tree skirt, there are so many projects you can get started on making with English Paper Piecing. And there are so many pre-cut shapes, not just hexagons. I’m only slightly less obsessed with dresden plates than I am hexagons. Maybe I’ll go on about those another time.

Well, I think we all know what I’ll be working on this weekend. How about you?

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.

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.

I’m Stuffed!

Well, at least my star is!  Though to be completely honest, I am frequently stuffed, too.

I’m working on getting my Mystery Quilt done for our Reveal Party on Saturday, September 14th at 10am. Please come and see our quilts if you live nearby. You’ll get an idea of how the Club works and some hints about our next one starting in October. (Sign up if you can, but if it’s last minute and you’re free, just come!)

Anyway, I wanted the star in the center to stand out, so I decided to do it with Trapunto. I’m Dsc01200using Dream Puff batting because I want the whole quilt to have a little dimension.
I’m using another layer of Dream Puff for my star.

I cut a square a little larger than I needed, and pinned it behind the star, being sure that there was extra batting beyond each point. I added a few more pins to the front, out of the way from where I’d sew.Image2

Vanish Lite  is a thread that dissolves in water, so I used it in my bobbin and on top to sew around the outside of the square to hold it in place.Image4

Since I only wanted the extra puff in the star, I needed to cut away the extra. I used an applique scissors (16100) and had the wide blade against the quilt.    sure didn’t want to accidentally cut it!

Dsc01217This is what it looks like on the back after trimming.

It’s a little hard to see on the right side of the quilt, but the green star (and the block inside it) are raised..Dsc01219

Now I put it on my Handi Quilter Fusion, with another layer for the whole quilt, and of course, the backing.  I’ll decide what I want to do inside the area when I get there.  (It’s essential to sew with non-vanishing thread around the star from the front to hold the batting in place so I’ll be sure to do that.)

I’ll show it to you when it’s done.

(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.).

Steam-A-Seam, Take Two!

ImageAs Crafters from all different reaches of the creative world, most of us have heard of and used Steam-A-Seam. For those of you who haven’t, it’s an iron-on adhesive for applique and all kinds of other things, even hemming!.

Image

Personally, I’ve used it on many of my costume projects, (one is shown at the right) and have found it very useful. It’s really a go-to product line for any applique needs. Though I remember having to be really careful when ironing, since it separated a bit easily, sometimes before I’m finished ironing..which did not turn me away from the product by any means, but I did have to take extra care while working with it.

Image

The Warm Company now has a totally new and improved line of Steam-A-Seam products, some in stock and some coming soon.  The problem before, as I said, was keeping the paper liner firmly attached to the fusible web.

New and Improved, these great products became even more convenient. They’ve replaced the paper backing with a much friendlier material. It’s thicker, for easier, more accurate cutting, and you can clearly mark on it with a pencil without smudges, so you can see what you’re doing! Also, if there’s a bit left over, you can put it back on  the paper liner to use later on.

I got my hands on some of this last night, since we sell it for a very affordable price here at Erica’s. You can get it in packs or by the yard, and both come with detailed instructions. It’s a hundred times easier to work with, and I am so excited to use more of this in my future projects! Believe me when I say I will have some pretty neat pictures for you next time!

Image(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.)