Snuggles Quilts  
 
Aug
14
0 comments

 

I've been doing a bit of organizing in my sewing room the last few weeks so I decided to feature some tips on keeping things organized. First up .... fabric!
 
I organize fabric by size and color and keep these in separate bins. I have shared that with you in the past, but here's a photo of some of those bins:

Fabric Stash.jpg
 

Well, this is mostly successful, but I have found that storing fat eighths or eighth yards in these bins posed a unique problem. They are small, so as they are placed in the bin, some of them will start to disappear under others. So, eventually, the bin becomes hard to search through. In the photo below, see how some of the folded fat eighths are slipping under others?

Fat Eighths9.JPG

So I came up with a solution .... roll the fat eights and secure them with a rubber band. That way, I can store them all in a bin and they would be easier to sort through without making a mess! Here's how they look when they're rolled:

Fat Eighths8.JPG
 

Here's how to roll them:
 
First fold the fat over once, then over again (see photos)

Fat Eighths.JPG

Fat Eighths1.JPG

Now, from the bottom, start to roll it up.

Fat Eighths2.JPG

As you get to the end, fold over the opposite end:

Fat Eighths3.JPG
 
 
 
Now, fold the rolled portion and the folded end in as shown so the raw edge is inside:
 
 
 

Fat Eighths5.JPG


Finally, using small rubber bands, rubber band the fat eighth to secure it:

Fat Eighths6.JPG



Here's the rubber bands I use:

Fat Eighths7.JPG

So, now you have no excuse not to organize your stash!!

Happy Organizing!
Deanne
 
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Aug
13
3 comments

Are you ready for BOM block 8? I'm a few days early in posting this since I will be away from my computer on the 15th. I hope you like it!

2017BOM8 - Copyright.jpg

You can find the pattern here: 2017 BOM Block 8

Enjoy your stitching this month!

Deanne

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Tags : BOM

Jul
14
29 comments

Well, it's the middle of the month so you know what that means! It's time to reveal the BOM block.

Here it is, block #7 in my BOM series. This is another basket block.

2017BOM7 - Copyright.jpg

I embroidered phrase "sow seeds, harvest dreams" for fun. As always, the embroidery is optional if you do not like to do that. 

Find the pattern here: BOM Block 7

Have fun and happy stitching!

Deanne

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Tags : BOM

Jun
15
5 comments

Hi Everyone!

Mid June is here and it's time to reveal block #6!

2017 BOM6 - Copyright.jpg

The added embroidery is optional. Obviously you would replace my initials with yours! So, to download the free pattern, click here: 2017 BOM Block 6.

Enjoy!

Happy Stitching!

Deanne

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Tags : BOM

Jun
08
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Test Blocks

Here’s a block I made to test a pattern I am designing.

Blog - 6-8-17a.JPG

Have you ever wanted to make a quilt but were not sure how a block would go together? Or were you unsure of colors you wanted to use? Consider making a “test” block. This is something I do often, especially because I design patterns. Use scrap fabric if you are just trying to practice how to make the block. If you are auditioning colors, you can use your good fabric because you can use this “orphan” block later!

To get started, gather your fabric and print out instructions for one of the blocks (or pull that page from the pattern).

 

Blog - 6-8-17b.JPG 


Test blocks help you plan block piecing when you are ready to make a quilt. Depending on how many pieces or units are in a block, there are often ways to piece a block that are more efficient than others. Knowing when you can chain piece and the order that pieces and units need to be stitched is something else you can find out by making a test block.


Blog - 6-8-17.JPG


I like to also measure each of my units for a block as I make them to make sure they are the correct size.


Blog - 6-8-17c.JPG

 

Sometimes, I know how to make a block that I am planning to have in a quilt so I don’t have to make it to “practice”. I make it to audition colors, like I mentioned earlier. This is a great practice if you are not sure certain colors and/or prints will look the way you want.

What do you do with this “orphan” block? You can make small quilts to give away! Here’s a photo of a practice block that I made into a small candle mat by adding some borders using scrap fabric. These orphan blocks can make some handy quick gifts!

Blog - 6-8-17d.JPG

 

Happy Quilting!

Deanne

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May
31
1 comment

It's only been 2 weeks since the last block was posted, but I wanted us to be caught up so we can finish by the end of the year. Here is the next block in my BOM series.

2017BOM5-Copyright.jpg

You can get the pattern here: 2017 BOM Block 5

Enjoy making this block! I will see you on the 15th of June for block number 6. That one will be a basket block.

Happy stitching!

Deanne


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Tags : BOM

May
22
0 comments

Monday Musings – That 1/4” Seam Allowance

So, we’re ready to sew our pieces together. Why is the 1/4” seam allowance so important? Because quilt pattern pieces include a 1/4” seam in the measurements of the pieces (at least most of them do!) unless otherwise indicated. So, if you do not piece with an accurate 1/4” seam allowance, your 1 1/2 x 2 1/2” flying geese unit, for example, might measure something quite different.

It’s best to test out whether your machine is stitching a 1/4” seam using scrap fabric. Even if your machine comes with a 1/4” foot.

Seams.JPG

Thickness of thread and needle position (if your machine allows you to move it) can make your seam more or less than 1/4”. First, stitch two scrap strips together using the edge of your 1/4” foot and then measure the seam.

Seams2.JPG

Mine measures up! But if your's doesn't, here are some added steps to help to achieve a 1/4” seam (or if your 1/4” foot doesn’t give you an accurate seam). Marking a 1/4” line on your machine’s throat plate is one. Some newer machines already have a mark etched in the throat plate that guides you to a 1/4” seam if you line up the edge of your fabric with it while stitching. Once again, test this on some scrap fabric!

Seams4.JPG

Notice, in the photo above, the etched line on my machine. I have put the needle into a tape measure and you can see that my 1/4” foot falls right at the 1/4” mark on the tape and my etched line matches up too. Good guides!

If you do not have an etching on your machine's throat plate, you can mark the 1/4" with a small piece of painter's or masking tape at the 1/4 line.

I like to stitch with a scant 1/4” seam (just a hair under) and then trim up the resulting unit to the correct size after pressing, if necessary. This way you are at least guaranteed that your unit will not be too small.

measuring4.jpg

I make sure to verify that all the units of a block measure correctly for ease of piecing the block and having it come out the correct size. Remember, a small seam error made on the pieces can magnify if the block has a lot of units. You will save yourself the headache of “unsewing” if you have accurate pieces to begin with! I only takes a little extra time to measure and trim units. It definitely saves you time down the road!

So time to get that quilt pieced!

Happy Quilting!

Deanne

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May
15
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BOM Block #4!

Hi Everyone!

No Monday Musings today because it's BOM day!

So far, you have the first 3 blocks. We will actually have 2 blocks this month so we can catch up and make sure we are done with the BOM by December. Block #5 will be posted in 2 weeks .... so you have time to get this one done!

So, here is the block:

2017BOM4 - Copyright.jpg

For this block, you will need to use one of the 12 1/2" solid squares. Be sure to remember to mark 1/2" in on all four sides to define the stitching space.

The templates for the bird and bird wing has already been reversed for tracing so just trace them as is onto the paper side of your Heat n' Bond and fuse to the wool. Your bird will be facing the correct way!

Here is the pattern for this block: BOM Block #4

 

 Happy Stitching!

Deanne

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Tags : BOM

May
09
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It's here! My new pattern called Mill Country Sky! You can order the pattern by clicking here.

#244 Mill Country Sky.jpg

This beautiful 74 x 74" lap quilt uses up your favorite color prints that are framed by a vibrant cheddar background fabric.

I know you will enjoy this pattern!

Happy Quilting!

Deanne

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Tags : New Patterns

May
08
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Sewing Checklist

Now that the quilt pieces are cut ….. it’s time to sew!

Do you have a pre-project checklist? I will share with you the steps I go through before starting a project. Maybe you’ve thought of these? Maybe these will help if you haven’t!

1.  Start with a clean and oiled machine. When was the last time you did that? You should do this after every project, if it’s a large one, or after a couple of table runners.

Follow the instructions for your machine. I clean out under the throat plate, in the bobbin case and compartment. Then I oil the parts as recommended.

Cleaning2.JPG

Yes! That pile of lint under the throat plate is not a part of your machine …. although you may think so!

2.  When was the last time you changed your needle? Many quilters do not think about changing the needle until it breaks. We figure …. it’s still in one piece; it should be OK, right? Actually, that is wrong!

To the naked eye, the needle may look like this:

Machine Needle.jpg

 

 

However, under a microscope after one project the needle is nicked and bent.

And it gets worse with even more use. A dull, overused needle will snag your fabric or punch larger holes than is needed into the fabric as you are sewing. You don’t want to damage that fabric!

3.  Depending on what kind of thread you are using, you may use more than one bobbin of thread. If you are doing a large project, wind some extra bobbins. Same thing goes for when you are machine quilting. When you are machine quilting, you go through a lot more thread than when you are just piecing. So, wind some extra bobbins so they are ready and you do not have to break your concentration!

When it’s time to change the bobbin, that’s also a good time to do some light cleaning that makes your pre-project cleaning for the next project that much easier!

4. I also keep my pincushion close by and my wooden “presser”.

Cool Tools4.JPG

 

I have to admit this is a great tool! I can press smaller seams and not have to keep going to the ironing board.

5.  A few last things.  Make sure you have good lighting, a comfortable chair and that you take a few breaks to stretch. It’s not good to sit at the machine for hours at a stretch …. although we’d like to get that project done fast!

Well, that’s my checklist to begin sewing. Do you have some things you always do before starting? Share!

Happy Quilting!

Deanne




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Pattern designs on this web site are © 2017 and the property of the designer, Dorothy Eisenman and Snuggles Quilts.
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