What About Quilting Makes You Smile?

Although we have different personalities, likes and dislikes, as quilters, we share manyquilters brain similarities. We all love fabric, we love working with fabric, sewing, and creating. Some areas may be more of a challenge than other areas. Some parts of the quilting process we really enjoy, other parts, maybe not so much.

This short video about quilting and quilters from The Quilt Show will make you smile.

Link to smilebox video.

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Quilt Binding Part 1

This past summer I had the opportunity to be the scribe for quilt judges at a local show. Having this responsibility opened my eyes to what the quilt judges look at as they make their decisions on each quilt. Judging criteria varies considerably depending on the quilt category (art, traditional, etc), but one thing that is consistent across all categories is the binding. Judges look with a critical eye at the binding. They look at how even the binding is applied, is the binding full (of batting), are the corners nice miters and flat, are the seams diagonal and pressed open. The binding is the frame for the quilt and if the binding is done well it nicely frames the quilt and makes the quilt look good. Poorly applied binding can diminish the affect of even the most beautiful quilt and quilting.

Part 1 of this series on binding from The Quilt Show teaches how to construct the binding strip, how to apply the strip to the quilt to get the best mitered corners (I learned a new technique), and a quick method for a mitered finish.

Note that in the video she uses a 2 ¼” strip. This width works very well with thinner batting. If using a slightly thicker batting, a 2 ½” strip would work better.  Binding is usually stitched from 1/4 from the edge of the quilt sandwich.  All of the techniques in the video are the same regardless of the width of the binding strip.

After viewing this video on binding, you should be able to make your bindings shine in the eyes of any quilt judge.

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What’s The Story On Frixion Heat Erasable Pens?

If you are like me, you are probably interested in new tools that can save us time and effort in our quilting and give us better results.  Several years ago we were introduced to the Frixion heat erasable pens.  After they were on the market a short time I purchased one and tried it out.  As a former science teacher I did a little testing and reported my findings on my blog.  Unfortunately last October that blog post along with the rest of the posts evaporated into cyber space.  Here is updated information on the Frixion pens.

What I learned from my experimentation was that the ink does disappear from the fabric when ironed.  Not knowing the true nature of the chemistry behind the disappearing ink I had a feeling that there was some kind of reaction that took place with the heat that made the color disappear, but the ink itself was still on the fabric.  The samples below on cotton clearly show that the ink disappears when heated.  In the top right sample half of the oval was pressed with the iron making it disappear.  The sample on the bottom left was pressed making the oval disappear, but the oval re-appeared after being in the refrigerator.  The two smaller samples on the bottom right were washed.  Although they do not show up well, the washed and dried sample did not show the oval, however, the other that was washed, dried and then put in the refrigerator did have a ghost halo.

frixion test resize

Since the questions has come up again about how these pens work, whether they are safe to use on fabric and for some, finding ghost marks after storage in a cold bedroom, attic, or basement, please click the link below to go to another blog to get all of the facts from Pilot,  the manufacturer of Frixion pens.

So, the question remains.  Do we continue using the pens or not?  Certainly it would not be advisable to mark a whole quilt top with one of these pens.  Perhaps it is still OK to mark diagonal lines on HST and QST patches and other places where the mark will be in the seam or seam allowance.  Only you can make that determination as to whether you want to take the chance on a ghost mark on your prize quilt, or any quilt.

Click: More on Frixion pens.

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Learn To Quilt Feathers

Feathers are a traditional and beautiful way to embellish a quilt.  Many quilters, however, shy away from them because they seem hard to do, don’t turn out “right” or look uneven.

Have you struggled trying to make feathers on either your domestic or Longarm machine?  The good news is that there are a few guidelines, but there are really no rules.  Feathers are as individual as handwriting and that is OK.

If you have struggled with feathers or feel you could use help in improving your quilted feathers, Lisa Calle’s video starts with the basics and walks you through feather techniques and several feather designs.  She then demonstrates how to stitch feathers on both a domestic sewing machine and a longarm.

Stay tuned – although the video is long, by following and practicing her suggestions, you, too, can make beautiful quilted feathers.

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