Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Embroidery Stitches - Straight Stitches

Many of my friends are 'woolies' you know those people who work with wool. It is interesting to watch the freedom of working in wool. Nothing to turn under, and very easy stitching. I've not been bitten by the bug very hard (and I'll try to not be) but I have been playing around with embroidery stitches.

The straight or 'quilting' stitch.

Rows of the straight stitch.

Random straight stitches.

Rows of straight stitches.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Stitching Through the Layers - The book

Here is your chance to purchase a book dedicated to straight line quilting and only straight lines! Use your walking foot be creative and successful using my tips and tricks for success!

Order your signed copy here!


wholesale inquiries welcome

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Feet You Probably Own - 1/4" or Piecing Foot

Quarter Inch Foot
This foot assists with sewing a perfect quarter inch quilting seam. The inside of the foot markings are for a 1/8 inch seam. The markings on the front of the foot mark 1/4 inch in front of the needle for perfect square corner turning. This foot is a straight-stitch-only foot; zig zag and decorator stitches cannot be done. If your machine allows for a straight stitch plate, use it for better control of the fabric.

The Sewing

                                    Top Stitching
                                    Stained Glass Appliqué

Stained Glass Appliqué

Top Stitching

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quilting or Free Motion Feet

Most free motion sewing machine feet are clear and have a tension spring which gives them the ability to adjust freely to changes in height of the materials beneath them. Free Motion quilting requires you to drop the feed dogs on the machine and use your hands to control and move the fabric.

 Melody’s Tip: For more control, do not drop the feed dogs.

Free Motion Quilting
Bobbin Work
Decorative Stitching

Bobbin Stitching

Free Motion Quilting

Decorative Stitching

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Free-Motion Quilting Tips

When free-motion quilting is done well, it looks effortless. It takes practice, lots of practice, to get those quilting motifs looking even and well-spaced, enhancing the quilt rather than detracting from the design. 

There are lots of books out there about machine quilting and classes that feature free motion quilting. Here are a few tips I've learned along the way:

I no longer lower the feed dogs! I find I have more control. I know, this is contrary to everything out there, but try it, it works for me!

 Practice machine quilting motifs with pen and paper several times to get the hang of looking ahead as you stitch. The key is to look ahead of where you are quilting so that you are always planning where to go next.

Practice with pen and paper will only take you so far. I recommend you make a quilt for community service and quilt it. Maybe you will need to make two or three of these before you get comfortable with free motion, but it so well worth the effort.

A drop-in table where your machine sits flush with the bed of the table is ideal for free-motion quilting. Gravity will pull the weight of your quilt down and cause it to drag, creating friction, which prevents good stitches from forming. If you don’t have a drop-in table, use the largest table top surface you can. Set up portable tables to control as much of the bulk as you can.

Hide your mistakes with busy fabric prints. The stitching doesn't show on fabrics that with lots of pattern (busy fabrics), or have many different colors or medium to dark values.

Notice the yellow thread. It shows on the white fabric, but not so much on the busy print fabric.
Use cotton piecing thread and match thread colors in both top and bobbin. This is easy thread to sew with and eliminates one possible source of frustration.

The most important step is to start! Stitch something, if you like the way it looks, do it some more. Can you change it? I usually have some idea in my head when I start, but 'let the quilt talk to me' as I stitch.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Feet - Walking foot

The Walking Foot is used when stitching the layers of a quilt together. The Walking Foot uses a walking technique for increased control of feeding the fabric into the sewing machine. Guide bars can be added to the foot if sewing rows of straight lines across the quilt. This foot has its own set of feed dogs which help to keep layers of fabric from shifting during the sewing process. It can also be used on fabrics that tend to move around and are hard to sew on such as velvet and corduroy.


Five reasons you need a walking foot:

   1. Attaching the binding
If you attempt to attach a binding to your quilt with a utility foot, then the top will slide along as you sew, and the quilt will be puckered underneath the binding when you turn it back. If you apply the binding with the walking foot attached, then you should avoid this problem.
   2. Straight line or grid quilting
Sewing a grid across the quilt surface can be a trap for unwary players, without the walking foot attached to your machine. Pulling along the rows is a result that you want to avoid.
 Many walking feet have a guide arm which attaches so you can quilt in set distances from the previous row, for a grid or line pattern.
   3. Stitching in the ditch
This is stitching very close to the seam on the low side of two adjoining patches, to stabilise the quilt, before any design quilting is attempted.
   4. Sewing continuous curves
Curved quilting across the patches in a quilt in a form of outline quilting.
   5. Sewing free-form curves
Using the walking foot to create curved grids or cables across the surface, making the quilting simple and effective.