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5 Jul 2019

How to Make French Fold Binding

How to Make French Fold Binding

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French Fold binding is one of the most popular quilt bindings and for good reason. Because the fabric is doubled, French Fold binding creates a durable edge for your quilt. It's particularly good for quilts and quilted items that are going to get a lot of laundering. It's a very simple binding to make. I use it on all my quilt projects. If you want to add a little flair to your French Fold binding, see my tutorial on French Fold with Flange binding.

HOW TO MAKE FRENCH FOLD BINDING

1) DETERMINE THE BINDING LENGTH YOU NEED
 
EXAMPLE: Finished quilt size = 54" × 60"
(54" × 2) + (60" × 2) + 10" = 238" (10" extra is added for finishing the binding).
(238" ÷ 36") = 6.6 yards
You will need 6.6 ≈ 7 yards of binding for a 54" × 60" finished quilt.
If making bias binding, cut your fabric strips on the diagonal before making your binding.

2) DETERMINE THE BINDING WIDTH YOU NEED

Decide on the binding width you need, then refer to the chart below to get the correct overall strip width for that binding. Important Note: When choosing a binding width, keep in mind your batting loft thickness.



3) CALCULATE HOW MANY STRIPS YOU NEED

EXAMPLE: 238" (length of binding needed in inches) ÷ 42" (fabric cross grain width) = 5.6 ≈ 6 strips

4) CALCULATE THE YARDAGE YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE FOR YOUR STRIPS

EXAMPLE: 2.5" (strip width) x 6 (number of strips needed) = 15" + 2" = 17" (2 inches is added to allow for possible uneven edges). Yardage Needed: 17" x 42"

5) MAKE THE BINDING



6) HOW TO ATTACH THE BINDING TO THE QUILT

18 Jun 2019

How to Make Flange Quilt Binding

How to Make Flange Quilt Binding

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I love flange quilt binding. It gives quilts an elegant and finished look. I don't use it on all my projects, but sometimes a quilt needs that extra pop. Flange binding takes a little extra work, but it's well worth the effort when you see the finished result. I made the following tutorial as comprehensive as possible and hope it will help you give flange binding a try.


INSTRUCTIONS

1) CALCULATE THE LENGTH OF BINDING YOU WILL NEED FOR YOUR QUILT

EXAMPLE:
Finished quilt size = 54" × 60"

  • (54" × 2) + (60" × 2) + 10" = 238" (10" extra is added for finishing the binding). 
  • (238" ÷ 36") = 6.6 yards
  • You will need 6.6 ≈ 7 yards of binding for a 54" × 60" finished quilt. 

2) WIDTHS TO CUT FOR FLANGE AND MAIN COLOUR STRIPS

Decide on a binding width and refer to the chart below to get the correct overall strip width for that binding. Important Note: When choosing a binding width, keep in mind your batting loft thickness.
Using the overall strip width, use the chart below to get widths to cut for the main colour strips and the flange strips.
  • Calculations for main and flange strip widths
  • Main: Half the overall strip width.
  • Flange: Half the overall strip width plus 1/4" (This gives you a 1/8" flange).



3)   CALCULATE HOW MANY STRIPS TO CUT BASED ON YOUR FABRIC WIDTH

EXAMPLE:  238" (length of binding in inches) ÷ 42" (fabric cross grain width) = 5.6 ≈ 6 strips

4)   CALCULATE THE YARDAGE NEEDED FOR YOUR STRIPS

MAIN STRIPS

EXAMPLE 
  • 1.25" x 6 (number of strips needed) = 7.5" + 2" = 9.5" (Add 2" for uneven edges).
  • Yardage needed for main colour strips: 9.5" x 42"
FLANGE STRIPS

EXAMPLE  
  • 1.5" x 6 (number of strips needed) = 9" + 2" = 11" (Add 2" for uneven edges).
  • Yardage needed for flange strips: 11" x 42"

5)   HOW TO MAKE THE BINDING




6)   HOW TO ATTACH THE BINDING




20 May 2019

Garden Breeze Table Runner

Here is my newest table runner pattern, Garden Breeze, just in time for summer. I designed this project using the half-hexagon whirligig block in floral prints. The whirligig block is a traditional favourite and so simple to foundation piece. Anyone new to foundation piecing will love making this table runner.



MY GARDEN


My hubby loves to garden. We don't have a big yard, but he turned it into a little piece of heaven. This is the pond that we put in a few years ago.

Photo by Monica Curry

Here is Teddy taking a dip in the pond to cool off. This little guy is a real character!

Photo by Monica Curry

2 Apr 2019

Easter Blessings Banner

Easter is coming up quick and I was so glad to get this beautiful pattern Easter Blessings launched before the celebrations. This is a very simple project if you have basic skills in foundation paper piecing. The optional tabs are a nice touch to create a banner for your home or church.

13 Mar 2019

TOP 10 favourite things in my studio . . .

Like most of you, my studio had humble beginnings but over time evolved into a creative sanctuary. As in any good studio, there are special items that keep me inspired, grounded, and working efficiently. In no special order, these are the Top 10 things in my studio I would never part with.

1.  MY ART QUILT ON THE QUILTING ARTS MAGAZINE COVER




This framed Quilting Arts magazine cover featuring one of my art quilts helps to remind me that hard work and perseverance can pay off and that even though I've created some epic fails, I've also created some beautiful work that others can appreciate.

In 2012 my art quilt Mother Ship was selected to be published for the Quilting Arts magazine Readers Challenge. I was even more excited when I was told my art was going to be on the front cover of the magazine. The Readers Challenge was to create an art quilt interpreting the phrase "What If." Being a UFO/alien buff, I wondered "What if I saw a UFO over my house?" and I created a piece with a UFO floating over a row of suburban homes. 


2. FOLD DOWN MINI IRONING BOARD

I used to use a TV table ironing board next to my sewing machine for small pressing jobs. However, I found it to be a real pain to move around when I didn't need it, and the legs would get caught in the electrical cords. So, I came up with a solution that works great for me. I took the legs off the ironing board and attached it to the wall with folding shelf brackets. It sits next to my sewing machine and is so convenient! When I don't need it I can fold it down out of the way and there are no legs getting tangled in the cords below.

I didn't make a tutorial for this project, but I found a helpful video on YouTube for attaching the table and brackets to the wall. If you want to give this project a try be sure to either hit a stud or use a strong screw anchor aka wall plug when attaching the folding bracket to drywall. I attached two boards to the wall and then attached the table brackets to these. There are many other options for making a folding wall table on Pinterest but I used folding brackets because I didn't want any obstructions under the table.

FOLD DOWN MINI IRONING BOARD (2)

FOLD DOWN MINI IRONING BOARD

Folding Ironing Table | Detail



3.  WOODEN SEWING SCISSORS



My husband is an intarsia artist and not long ago we put our heads together to make this sewing room decor project. I designed the pattern for the scissors and my husband put it together. You can buy the intarsia pattern for these scissors HERE


4.  WOODEN INTARSIA SEWING MACHINE





This is another combined effort by my husband and me. Again, I designed the pattern and he built it. I think it turned out so cute! I am not sure if I'll be selling this pattern, but if I do I'll be sure to let you know. We used a small nail to represent the sewing machine needle and a vintage wooden spool cut in half for the thread. How cool is that?


5. SCRAPPY FABRIC LAMPSHADE




This pretty little lampshade is so easy to make and a great way to use up your leftover fabric strips. I had the little lamp hanging around forever and wasn't quite sure what to do with it until I saw this project on Pinterest. (CAUTION: Regular incandescent bulbs can get quite hot and cause a fire hazard with all that fabric, so I used a 9W LED bulb).


6. MY JUKI SEWING MACHINE


My JUKI 2010TL-Q is my pride and joy. It's a real workhorse. This Juki has a powerful motor and a long neck which makes it perfect for my free-motion machine quilting.  You could sew through at least five layers of denim like butter with this thing, not that I'd do that but it's a testament to the power of this machine. It's also pretty low maintenance and very easy to use. I designed a wrap-around pin cushion for my machine (shown here) for my post on pin cushions last year. You can download the free pattern HERE.



7.  VINTAGE SEWING MACHINE BOOKENDS



I think this is the coolest thing I've ever bought for my studio. It's a vintage Singer sewing machine cut in half and turned into bookends. We purchased the lamp from Prairie Pickers just outside of Winnipeg. Greg, the seller, said he had a heck of a time cutting the machine but was very proud of it when it was done. He was happy to see it going to a good home.


8. REFURBISHED STORAGE DRESSER



I desperately needed a clean, dry place to keep my quilt batting and backing and thought an old dresser would do the trick. After some searching, I bought a rickety old mid-century vintage dresser for $40. With a few coats of paint and some stain, I turned it into this stylish storage dresser. This idea has freed up a lot of space in my studio!  Update: Sold my dresser for $125! Used the $$ to buy Ikea shelving for my studio.



9. VINTAGE FLOWER POT PIN CUSHION



I came across this pin cushion project at Lovely Little Handmaids and knew I had to make one. I picked up a vintage planter at the flower shop and turned it into this adorable little pin cushion. Actually, it's so precious I'm afraid to use it in case it breaks. To keep it stable I glued stones to the bottom before adding the cushion. This gave it some needed weight and made it less tippy. You can get my tutorial for making your own vintage pot pin cushion HERE.


10. SEWING NOTIONS BOX



If you haven't guessed by now, I enjoy upcycling old stuff. I picked up this jewellery box at Goodwill for $5. It was originally stained a dark yucky brown but I saw it's potential as a box for my quilting odds and ends. As they say, it had good bones. It's the best way for me to keep all my notions in one place.

29 Jan 2019

How To Cut Scraps for 9-Patch Quilt Blocks

How To Cut Scraps for 9-Patch Quilt Blocks

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A year ago, I posted a tutorial for sorting fabric scraps. I decided to supplement that post with a quick tutorial for cutting fabric scrap squares for 9-patch blocks. Because of their versatility, 9-patch blocks are great for making scrap quilts. The easiest square size to start with is 5 inches should you have a lot of Charm Pack and Layer Cake scraps.

SQUARE SIZES


The easiest square size to start with is 5" should you have a lot of Charm Pack and Layer Cake scraps.
  • 5 inch - Finished Size: 4½ inch   (12.5 cm - Finished Size: 6.25 cm )
  • 2¾ inch - Finished Size: 2¼ inch   (7 cm - Finished Size: 3.5 cm)
  • 2 inch - Finished Size: 1½ inch   (5 cm - Finished Size: 2.5 cm)

YOU WILL NEED

  • A good assortment of quilt cotton fabric scraps
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Rotary cutter (have fresh blades available)
  • 6" x 12" and/or 8" x 8" quilt ruler

INSTRUCTIONS


1. Separate your scraps into individual colours: yellow, orange, purple, red, etc. This is a very important step. You don't want to have to sort little 2-inch squares by colour, trust me!

2. Sort scraps by size. 



3. Press all the scraps before cutting. A quick way to do this is to layer about 4 to 6 pieces and steam press.



4. Before cutting squares, stack several pieces and line up the top right corner.



5. Line up your ruler about 1/4" away from the top right corner of the fabrics and trim.





6. Rotate the fresh-cut corner to the lower left. Line up your square size at the corner and trim. If some of the offcuts are large enough, cut squares from these as well.





STORING YOUR SQUARES

Store your squares neatly according to colour. Over time you'll accumulate a lot of squares, so finding the right box for them is a good idea. I normally use plastic bins from the dollar store. The container below is a cookie tray from Costco. Use whatever works.




18 Dec 2018

Quilting room storage: Revamped vintage dresser

This is a great storage idea that I wanted to share. I can't afford much for storage furniture so I normally have to think outside the box to furnish my sewing room. I picked this little mid-century modern dresser at a thrift store. I desperately needed more storage for my batting, backing and those miscellaneous things that needed a home.


I forgot to take the before picture but, basically, the original was sprayed in a dark stain and had super ugly drawer handles. After combing over ideas on Pinterest, I came up with this. I really love how it turned out. And I can keep an awful lot of stuff in these drawers.

Refurbished mid-century vintage dresser - image 1

UPDATE: June 2021
Dresser was sold for $150. I paid $40 for the
original so I made a $110 profit.😀
I used that $$ to buy IKEA shelving for my studio.

31 Oct 2018

Vintage Sewing Machine Mini Quilt

This is my most recent foundation pieced pattern, Vintage Sewing Machine mini quilt pattern. I have this piece in my studio and love the bright colours. It measures 15" x 15" (37.5cm x 37.5cm) and would make a perfect little project for your sewing room.

Buy this pattern at my Etsy Store






11 Sept 2018

Feather Your Nest Table Runner

I had a great summer! I finished up some UFOs and I have some beautiful new patterns to launch in the next few months. I'm sure you'll love them as much as I do.

My new pattern launch for this month is my Feather Your Nest table runner pattern. I had been seeing the feather block all over the internet and had to make my own pattern for it. My method for making the feathers is simple. My instructions are thorough and easy to follow, so don't be afraid to jump right in and give it a try. This pattern is great for using up your scraps. The finished table runner is 38" x 14". The pattern also includes instructions for making a single 12" x 12" block shown below.