Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Halloween "Home is Where the Haunt Is" Quilt Along Part 3

Get ready for some Hand Embroidery!  As you can see from the pictures below, I am a beginner too. For those of you just joining in, this is our Halloween Quilt Along.  This pattern was designed by Kim of Kimberbell Designs.  She has wonderful instructions and lots of pictures.  You will enjoy this pattern.  Quilt kits are available in our shop!
 Only a few seams and another spider to applique this week.  Then on to the embroidery.

 Your kit bag this week includes the above fabrics, embroidery floss, and ric rac.  The small square with the oval of fusible webbing on it was in last weeks kit.  Remember I said to save it for this week.  Prepare your spider the same way as last week.  The cream and black 5 inch squares are for next weeks project.  Set them aside. 
 The fabric in the bottom of this picture looks white, but it is actually cream with little branches on it.  Sew the two rectangular pieces (cut yours as directed by the pattern) to the bottom of last weeks finished block.  Remember we are using 1/4" seams.  That's it! Your only seams this week are done.   I pressed the seams towards the black fabric because of the embroidery work we will need to do on the cream fabric.

Position your ric rac and sew into place.  As you can see I positioned where I wanted my spider to go first and then pinned on the ric rac.
Applique your spider.  I used the same blanket stitch as last week with black thread.
Trace your embroidery pattern on your cream squares.  I used a Pilot Frixon pen - the ink disappears with pressing.  (I have heard of the ink disappearing if left in a car on a hot sunny day)  I like the fine tip and the fact that the lines will disappear.  You can also use a pencil.
 I didn't have any problem seeing through the fabric to trace the pattern.  No light box or window taping needed.  You may need to tape yours to the window or use a light box if your fabrics are darker.

Beginner Alert :)  Yes I am fairly new to embroidery.  This is a fun project and you don't have to be perfect either.  I figure a Halloween project is the best to learn on!  It will be fine if our lines are not perfect!  Right!   It has been 20 plus years since I have done embroidery work so please go easy on me!  Thanks in advance. 

Separate your black embroidery floss as directed in your pattern instructions.
 The pattern has a wonderful diagram that explains the back-stitch.   Read through your pattern first. 
Thread your needle and knot your thread at the end of the three strands.  Do not double the floss in your threaded needle or you will have 6 strands and that will be toooo thick!  Begin at the end of starting line and bring the needle through from the back to the front of your fabric.

The above two pictures are actually ONE sewing step.  Point the needle down into the fabric to make your first stitch BUT  then bring it back up through the fabric creating your next stitch.   Try and stay ON your traced lines.  Any wavering and your stitches WILL be crooked.  Be patient.  Try to make even stitches - about an eighth of inch is a good stitch for this project. 

 Yes!  One stitch done.... 999 to go...
 BACK-STITCH - Go back to the previous stitch and insert your needle down through exactly where the first stitch ended bringing it back up through the fabric like before coming underneath where your thread is another 1/8th of a inch.  Keep the thread consistently to the same side.  I prefer to keep my thread to the top of my stitching.  You will repeat this process a thousand more times  :)
 Pull needle through snug, but not too tight - you don't want to pull or gather the fabric.
 Two stitches down.....998 to go :)
 Keep repeating the process.
 Three stitches down....997 to go :)   I am just teasing about the stitches to go.
 For the filling stitches - Use 2 strands of floss.  Just take small stitches next to each other filling in the space. You will outline this with the black, but still try to stay on your pattern lines.
And I am still stitching.  Am I half way there?  This is something you can get started this week and keep working on over the next couple of weeks.  I will post a picture of my handwork when I am finished.  Remember to embroider the legs on the first spider.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Halloween "Home is Where the Haunt Is" Quilt Along Part 2

Today is Part 2 for our Halloween Quilt Along.   This pattern was designed by Kim of KimberBell Designs.  If your just checking in for the first time, this quilt is made up of 6 parts.  Last Wednesday was Part 1.  See below. 
First off - WARNING lots of pictures today.  There were several steps and for those of you who haven't appliqued before, I have lots of pictures for you!  

Ok, the first step is obvious and super easy.  Piece your background fabrics together using the dimensions in the pattern.  PRESS your long vertical seams OPEN.  I pressed them open because I don't like the bulk when applying appliques over seams. 

Next step is the Witches Hat.  I copied the pattern pieces and made sure to overlap the dots as instructed.  The hat and brim are much larger than regular paper size so you will need to cut them out and piece them together.
Slip your pattern underneath your fusible web and trace your design onto the PAPER side of the fusible web.   Kim has the pattern all ready reversed for you!  No need to reverse this image!  Always stop and think about this step whenever you are doing applique.  Your image needs to be reversed because you are going to fuse this to the back side of your fabric. 
Cut out around your traced images leaving about 1/8 - 1/4 inch of excess fusible web.  SAVE those larger unused pieces of fusible web.  You can make use of them later.
Iron the fusible web to the back side of your fabric pieces.  Remember - Iron to the paper side and glue or webbing side to the fabric.  It doesn't take long to adhere.  Follow the iron settings and time suggestions on your fusible web.  Mine only took a couple of seconds to adhere to the fabric. Notice how I left a little excess around each of the pieces.  Make sure to clear your selvages!  FYI - there are two spider squares in this weeks kit - save one for next weeks spider!
Now cut out your applique pieces on the traced lines.  Use sharp scissors and be accurate.  Take long smooth cuts.  You don't want jagged edges. If you need to trim any jagged edges, do so now.
Peel back the paper from the fusible web.  Can you see that little sheen on the back of the fabric?  You will be able to tell/feel if the glue did not stick. Click on this picture if you need a closer look.  My favorite fusible web is Shades SoftFuse.  Shades SoftFuse is so soft and adheres so quickly.  It is available at local quilt shops and is sold by the yard.
Lay out your applique pieces as directed in your pattern.  I set the pattern image in front of me and try to duplicate the placement.  You can place pins in your background fabric to remember your placement if you need to. You will need to press each piece on separately.  Place them in perfect position before you press.  Make sure your surface is flat.  Press the main hat on first, then the brim, then the yellow gold band.  The position of the Hat Band is easy - it will only fit where it is supposed to go.  Do not iron on the spider yet.  He (or she) goes on after the ric rac.
I placed my ric rac where I wanted it to be, pinned it at crucial turns, and then sewed it down.
I just used a straight stitch down the center.  The ric rac wanted to curl a little bit on the curves. Press the ric rac flat - remember that these trims are often polyester so watch that your iron settings are not too hot or use a muslin cloth in-between.
I placed my spider where I wanted him over the end of the ric rac, pressed, and Walaaa....I am almost done.

Now for the part that intimidates me the most!  I get butterflies at this point.

There are several ways to secure your applique edges.  There are some great free tutorials on the web or YouTube.  I would suggest watching them.  I used a blanket stitch done by machine (although I  like hand stitching the best, it just takes too long).  Remember to start and stop in a spot that will be the least conspicuous.  I choose the corner of the hat where the flower will be.  Just follow the edge of your applique.  Watch your stitching as you sew and make sure you right at the edge of your applique.  Sew your straight stitches just at the edge of your applique on your background fabric.  The crossover stitches cross over onto the applique.  Does that make sense to you?  Make sure your needle position is down when you stop!  If you click on my picture, you can see just above the hat band I am a smidgen over the edge into the orange background - not enough to make me unpick though :)    If you notice your stitching is over that far make sure to correct it.  Just take it slow but steady around the corners.  Stop if you have to adjust your fabric but MAKE SURE YOUR NEEDLE IS DOWN and resume sewing in the same place or you will have a jump in your stitches.  Practice on a scrap first! And practice a curve!  

AND now as I look at this picture, I realize that I followed the machines advice on which presser foot to use but there is another one that is OPEN in the center and you can view the applique stitches as you go - If you have access to that presser foot USE THAT ONE!  Your job will be easier. I don't know why I forgot this  but I did!  I will try to remember this and post pictures of it in the next applique post.

You can also zig zag the edges, but I think the blanket stitch looks best on this type of quilt.  I used black thread on the gold hat band and the spider,  and I used a dark golden color thread on the black hat.  Orange would be another great choice!
I am almost done.  The flower is just strips gathered by needle and thread.  Follow your pattern for the size of strips.  If you want to add tulle, you will need to purchase just a couple of inches. After gathering the strips, just hand stitch them together and attach the button.  In your kit, your button is in a small bag with all of the buttons.  Sandra did a really nice job of selecting these buttons.
Do not attach the flower yet.  Sew it to the hat AFTER the quilt has been quilted.  I just placed it where it will be to show you what it will look like.  The spider has legs...but that is for next weeeeeeek!  We still have a few quilt kits left.   Now is a good time to get yours, we still have 4 weeks left.   

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Halloween "Home is Where the Haunt Is" Quilt Along

We are so excited to be offering these "Home is Where the Haunt Is" Quilt Kits.   This pattern was designed by Kim of KimberBell Designs.  Thanks Kim for letting us sell your fun Halloween pattern!   We love the embroidered words "Bugs and Hisses Welcome Here" and  "Mind Your Mummy".  

 Below is a picture of your quilt kit.  These are available on our SISTERSANDQUILTERS.COM AND SISTERSANDQUILTERS.ETSY.COM.  The price is $55.00 and includes ALL of the fabrics for the blocks, the border, and the binding.  And all of the accessories are included except the black bats you see above the house.  We have some bat buttons on order but they won't be in stock until the 21st of July.  You will need to provide your own fusible web for the applique.  

This pattern is a great summer project because it is divided into 7 steps.  Join us each Wednesday and piece your quilt top along with us!.   We will be posting all 7 steps to help make it easy for you.  

Let's get started this week on Step 1

First A BIG THANK YOU to Sandra  for dividing each step in a separate bag for you.  She really made this easy for us.  She also cut the fabric to approximately the sizes you need - Saves you time and money!  Thanks Sandra!      

 Step 1  Sewing the 9 patch blocks and left corner block.
I have cut my squares and stacked them - all ready to sew.  Just follow the pattern cutting instructions.  By the way Kim has done a great job with the directions in this pattern.  Lots of diagrams and photos.
My 9 patch.  3 rows of 3 squares.  Next...just sew the rows together.    I love these gorgeous Andover quilting fabrics!  These prints were designed by Jo Morton  and are perfect for this project.

As you can see, I have sewn one of the 9 patch blocks to the side pieces and TaDaaa ...... Step 1 is finished.
(The Ric Rac is the Broom handle and the rest is completed in the last step)
This should be a fun project to do together.   We have sold several kits all ready.  If your one of those speeeeeedy seamstresses and you have finished your quilt, then pretty please send us pictures of your finished quilts - we would love to see them.
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Look At This Beautiful Quilt!!
MY Sister Kris designed and made this beautiful quilt out of Cathy Heck's Emma Collection. Cathy featured it on her blog. Check it out!!

It's a HIT!! Many have bought kits and we're ordering more fabric for more kits. Convo us if you want a kit from this beautiful collection before they are gone again. It was quilted by my daughter Leisha Farnsworth.
Way to Go!!!!!