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Visit QUILTsocial.com to download a PDF version of this issue.

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I S S U E 12

‌eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

essential tips * 3 ways to use a laser guide for piecing * color your free motion quilting for the instant look of applique * 3 tattle tale experiments on binding a quilt * quilting a hand embroidered piece * making doll clothes * how to use FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers

* PLUS * 4 quilted churn dash blocks! Mary Batik churn dash cushion cover

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editor's letter

You might remember in QUILTsocial Issue 11, I talked about a quilt that created quite a sense of frustration, particularly once the quilt top was all pieced. Looking at it was disheartening, and I couldn't figure out where I went wrong. Why did very few points match up? And why didn't the colors gel even if they were of the same collection? It was important to set it aside and let the frustration evaporate.

Two years later brings us to July 2018 and a new attempt is made to revive the quilt. I realized the problem of the points not matching up. HSTs are one of the most versatile and creative elements for making a quilt block, and they come together beautifully when they are squared up! I ripped out the entire quilt top, squared up my blocks, and looked for a better arrangement that highlights the muted colors and print. Check out the new quilt top! These are the same pieces as in the first attempt, with the addition of only 6 HSTs of a different fabric line. The reason

the diagonal strip wasn't working out is there isn't enough contrast in the colors to make the most of the effect. It has become one of my favorite quilt tops! See the quilting in the next Issue 13, it will be the first time I quilt on a domestic machine.

As for this excellent issue, you'll find many ways to improve your quilting skills. The one I found most fascinating was how to use FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers in the next quilting project. See the many ways they can be used: add dimension to the existing quilting for dimension, add color for that instant applique look, or draw your own creative elements on fabric. I'm sure you can come up with other ways to use these on fabric. Another fabric collection from Banyan Batiks was launched very recently, Mary Batik. A soft floral print with deep colors I adore. See what our writer Sarah Vanderburgh made with this fabric line! Lastly, I love hand embroidered pieces, they reflect the quiet time spent stitching with love. See the useful tips Elaine Theriault has to share when quilting hand embroidered pieces. Enjoy the issue. Cheerfully,

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eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ART DIRECTOR Carla A. Canonico carla@QUILTsocial.com PUBLISHER, ADVERTISING SALES John De Fusco john@QUILTsocial.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Carla A. Canonico, John De Fusco BLOGGERS/CONTRIBUTORS Christine Baker FairfieldRoadDesigns.com Julie Plotniko juliesquiltclass.blogspot.com Elaine Theriault crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com Sarah Vanderburgh sewjoycreations.com

* projects * techniques * product reviews

GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGN Carla A. Canonico carla@QUILTsocial.com Sondra Armas WEB and IT Support Alejandro Araujo WEBSITE / BLOG : https://QUILTsocial.com Like us on Facebook : QUILTsocial Follow us on Twitter : @QUILTsocial WHERE TO GET YOUR COPY QUILTsocial is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle Pulling Thread. It is available free for personal use online at https://QUILTsocial.com. A limited number of printed copies of QUILTsocial are available for purchase at select quilt shops and specialty stores. Ask for it at your local shop. QUILTsocial is not available by subscription. QUILT SHOPS If you are interested in carrying QUILTsocial in your store, please email john@QUILTsocial.com. EDITORIAL Designers and other contributors who would like to be considered for future issues please email carla@QUILTsocial.com with a brief description of your work and your proposed project for the magazine. ©2018 QUILTsocial. All rights reserved. Issue 12. ISSN 2368-5913. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. All designs, patterns, and information in this magazine are for private, non-commercial use only, and are copyrighted material owned by their respective creators or owners.

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Advertiser Index 64 A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine 59 Banyan Batiks 63 Brother 62 Business Directory 61 Coats 58 Eat Your Heart Out Tours 33 Gütermann Creativ 57 Husqvarna Viking 60 Melissa Marginet 02 PFAFF 04 QUILTsocial


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c o n t e n t s 06

Making a batik statement with a quilted cushion cover

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Bold batik prints make for a dashing churn quilt block

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Mary Batiks and a star design steal the show in quilted cushion cover

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Making a dashing Mary Batik churn dash cushion cover

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4 quilted churn dash blocks are better than 1!

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How to use FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers in your next quilting project

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How coloring your fabric meets up with a fabulous quilting experience

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5 ways to create your very own fabric designs using fabric markers

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Color your free motion quilting for the instant look of applique

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Adding dimension to applique pieces using fabric markers

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Unboxing the Dreamweaver XE from Brother

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5 basic ways to customize your sewing experience with the Dreamweaver XE

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6 awesome features to love on the Dreamweaver XE

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Help is always close at hand with the Dreamweaver XE

30 3 ways to use a laser guide for piecing 34

Designer Ruby deLuxe, NOT your grandmother’s sewing machine

39 3 tattle tale experiments on binding a quilt 43

11 essential tips for machine quilting

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9 key steps to machine quilting a machine embroidered wallhanging

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Quilting a hand embroidered piece and making doll clothes, is so much fun!

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Bird of Paradise Quilt

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Making a batik statement with a quilted cushion cover Sarah Vanderburgh

I’m quickly becoming a lover of batik fabrics and I have Northcott to thank! A new line from Banyan Batiks called Mary is in quilt shops! This one is beautiful! Large florals, dynamic block printing, and the colors! I tried to restrain myself as I prepare these articles but I’m not sure I succeeded. I had designed this block several months ago and decided to try it out with some Mary batiks.

Fabrics for the front of the cushion cover.

I played with color a bit differently in this design. I wanted to try making the background of the design dark and I wanted to use the dark brown floral without it taking over and making the design feel heavy. I chose batiks from two different colorways in the Mary line – Rust and Pink. I also chose two Ketan batiks that coordinate with this line to give the eye a place to rest and to keep the focus on the floral prints. Photos by Sarah Vanderburgh

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The codes for my six choices are:

• A – Mary RUST colorway 80075-34 • B – Coordinating Ketan 81000-310 (Nougat)

• C – Mary PINK colorway 80076-22 • D – Mary RUST colorway 80072-37 • E – Coordinating Ketan 81000-262 (Azalea)

• F – Mary RUST colorway 80070-34

Fabric B pieces

Cutting Directions

Fabric C • 1 – 4½” square • 8 – 1½” x 2½” rectangles

We’re getting right into cutting because, well, I couldn’t restrain myself and there are TWO projects to make in this feature! Cut in the order of my instructions and you should have large enough pieces left to use in the next project;) Fabric A – Inner Background

• 2 – 3¼” squares cut on both diagonals to make 8 total quarter triangles

• 2 – 3” squares • 4 – 2½” squares

Fabric D pieces

Not pictured but required: 4 – 1½” x 17½” strips for borders Fabric D

• 4 – 27⁄8” squares cut once each on the diagonal to make 4 total half square triangles • 4 – 2½” squares • 8 – 1½” x 2½” rectangles Not pictured but required: 4 – 1½” squares for borders

Fabric C pieces

Fabric E

• 2 – 3” squares Fabric F – Corner Triangles 2 – 93⁄8” squares cut once each on the diagonal to make 4 total half square triangles Fabric A pieces

Fabric B – Outer Background

• 2 – 3¼” squares cut on both diagonals to make 8 total quarter triangles • 4 – 3” squares • 8 – 1½” x 2½” rectangles

TIP Cut across the squares in opposite directions so the pattern will be maintained when sewn onto the center block. You'll need a bit more fabric to complete the cushion: • a fat quarter from your stash to use as backing to quilt the front of the cushion • a fat quarter for the top back panel – you’ll see my choice soon! • batting – approximately 19½” square • thread for stitching and quilting – I used some bold red for some of my quilting and thread that blends in for the rest

Fabric E pieces

The Mary batik line has a beautiful variety of prints that will start coming together to create the center block of the quilted cushion cover. Fabric F pieces

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Bold batik prints make for a dashing churn quilt block Can you spy the churn dashes in this cushion? I challenged myself to use the bold batik prints to create a secondary design out of them. There are other colorways too – green, red, and teal. I’ve used the rust and pink! Follow along and create your own dashing cushion cover.

Make Corner Block Units Make border units by sewing one Fabric B rectangle along a long edge of a Fabric C rectangle; press the seam to the Fabric quarter triangles side. Unit should measure 2½” square.

Make Half Square Triangles (HSTs) Use the Fabric B – 3” squares to make HSTs.

Arrange HSTs and border units as pictured. Sew HST to border unit in each row, pressing the seams to the HST.

Pair 2 with Fabric A squares and 2 with Fabric E squares. Draw one diagonal line on the back of EACH Fabric B – 3” square. With Right Sides Together, sew one Fabric B – 3” square to one Fabric A – 3” square sewing ¼” away on each side of drawn line. Cut on the drawn line to create 2 HSTs; press the seams to the darker fabric.

Repeat to make 3 more identical units.

Repeat to make 8 total units.

Join the two rows to complete the border unit. The joining seam will need to be pressed in different directions depending on the block’s location in the final assembly. You could choose to wait and do the pressing once your blocks are laid out. The unit should measure 4½” square. Repeat to make 3 more blocks.

Trim each HST to 2½” square. Repeat to make a second set of Fabric A/B HSTs.

Quarter triangle unit pieces

Sew a Fabric B quarter triangle along one short edge to the RIGHT of the short edge of one Fabric A quarter triangle; press the seam to the darker fabric. Sew a Fabric D half triangle along the bottom edge of the Fabric A/B half triangle; press the seam to the Fabric D half. Repeat to make 3 more identical units.

Repeat two more times with the two Fabric E – 3” squares and the two remaining Fabric B – 3” squares. You should have 4 Fabric A/B HSTs and 4 Fabric B/E HSTs. Corner block units

Half square triangle units

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Two quarter triangle block units

Make Quarter Triangle units Sew a Fabric B quarter triangle along one short edge to the LEFT of the short edge of one Fabric A quarter triangle; press the seam to the darker fabric.

Using the next photo for orientation, sew one of each of the quarter triangle/ HST units together, sewing the Fabric A quarter triangle sides together.

Sew a Fabric D half triangle along the bottom edge of the Fabric A/B half triangle; press the seam to the Fabric D half. Unit should measure 2½” square.

Unit should measure 2½” high x 4½” wide. Repeat to make 3 more middle blocks.

Press the seam to one side.


Quarter triangle units

Make Middle Blocks Make inner rectangle units by sewing one Fabric D rectangle to Fabric A square. Sew a second Fabric D rectangle to the opposite side of the Fabric A square.

Mary batiks quilted cushion cover

Press both seams to the inner square. Each R/S/R unit should measure 2½” high x 4½” wide. Repeat to make 3 more units. Sew one on the triangle units to the top of one of the R/S/R units. Press the seam to the R/S/R unit. Repeat to make 4 middle blocks. Make center square Make center square in a square unit using Fabric C – 4½” square and four Fabric D– 2½” squares. Place one Fabric D – 2½” square right side down on a corner of Fabric C square and sew a diagonal line opposite the outside corner. Two units to create middle block unit.

TIP Sew your line just a wee little bit to the left of the line, the side you will not be cutting off. Repeat on opposite corner. Trim ¼” seam and press to the new triangle corners.

Square in a square middle block unit

Repeat with the two remaining Fabric D – 2½” squares. Completed Center Square in a Square measures 4½”.

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Assemble the block Sew the blocks into rows, following the photos for correct orientation of the units. Don’t press the seams until the full row is sewn, then press the first-row seam to the left, the middle to the right, and the bottom row to the left again. Pin and sew rows together, pressing the final seams away from the middle row. The block should measure 12½” square. The center block is complete. Can you see the churn dashes now? This block could be used in a sampler quilt, repeated to make a table runner or a full-sized quilt. The Mary batik rust floral does a great job in the background and doesn’t even look like we cut it up! My favorite part of this design is that by using a different fabric placement the churn dashes have become a central star.

Block units sewn into rows.

12'' quilt block

Mary batiks and a star design steal the show in quilted cushion cover The Banyan Batik line, Mary, is captivating in this churn dash design. We’ll set that star on point with some more batik magic, quilt the cushion front and sew the cushion together. Add Corner Triangles Lay one Fabric F corner triangle right side up and pin one edge of the block right side down to it. There should be almost a ¼” of the corner triangle showing on each end. Don’t worry if it’s not! Once all four are sewn on trim anyway. Sew the first corner triangle on then sew one on the opposite corner – remember to check that your fabric’s pattern will be going in the same direction. Press the seams to the corner triangles. Sew the next two corner triangles on and press the seams out as well. The block should now measure 17½” square. Sew the next two corner triangles on and press the seams out as well. Adding the corner triangles.

Trim to make it Square up the cushion center. square; I lined up my ruler along each edge to make sure I still had a ¼” of my fabric past each corner of my on point block intact. The cushion cover should now measure 17½” square.

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Add Borders Sew one Fabric D – 1½” square to each end of two of the Fabric C strips. Press the seams to the strips.

When you’re done quilting, remove the pins and square up the quilted cushion top. Use your trimmed size as the width for your backing panels, it should still be pretty close to 19½”.

Sew one of the strips to each side of the block, pressing the seams to the strips.

Prepare cushion back panels For the top back panel I used a fat quarter of another Mary batik print – 80074-34. I cut it to measure 19½” wide x 17½” high.

Sew the strips with squares to the top and bottom of the block, pressing the seams to the borders. The block should measure 19½” square and is done!

For the bottom back panel, I used part of a coordinating Ketan batik print – 81000-377 (Chestnut Orange). This piece I cut 19½” wide x 8” high. Hem one edge of both panels: press ¼” of fabric over to the wrong side and then another ¼” and sew a ¼” seam using thread that blends in with the fabric colors.

Cushion cover top with borders added

Quilt cushion front Lay your stash fat quarter right side down on your pinning surface. Lay the batting on top followed by your cushion cover, right side up. Pin through all three layers (or use your preferred basting method.) Quilt to secure all three layers. I quilted in the ditch around the center block, around the outside borders, around the Fabric A inner square, Cushion cover pinned for quilting and around the rust star. I used red thread to stitch ¼” around the pink fabrics in the center block to hint at the churn dash they create. I used a gray thread in the corner triangles following some of the vertical lines in the print.

Fabrics for the cushion back panels

Sandwich and Assemble Cushion cover Lay your cushion cover parts on top of each other in this order on your pinning surface: • Place the cushion cover front, RIGHT SIDE UP. • Put the back top panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN with the non-hemmed edge lined up with the top edge of the cushion cover front. • Line up the back bottom panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN, with the nonhemmed edge lined up with the bottom edge of the cushion cover front: the hemmed edge will lay over top of the top back panel hemmed edge. Pin all the way around the outside of the cushion cover: be sure to pin at the sides where all three layers overlap. Sew ¼” all the way around the edges of the cushion cover. Check to make sure you have sewn through all the layers. Serge or zigzag stitch to finish seams. Turn cover right side out by pulling cushion front through the cushion back opening; use your finger inside the cover to push out the corner points. Sewing around the layered cushion panels Your batik quilted cushion cover is complete! Insert your pillow and enjoy :)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project I made with Banyan Batiks new line, Mary. Visit your local quilt shop and get some – remember to get some coordinating Ketan batiks too!

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Making a dashing Mary Batik churn dash cushion cover

Mary Batik churn dash quilted cushion cover

We will double the fun with a second quilted cushion cover. The batik fabrics might still steal the show, but the churn dashes are up for the challenge! You’ll have enough leftovers from the first cushion or you could try out another colorway of Mary – check out the green colorway here. Fabric Requirements Leftovers of Fabrics A, B, C, D, and F (cutting directions follow below)

• A – Rust colorway Mary 80075-34 • B – coordinating Ketan batik 81000310 (Nougat)

• C – Pink colorway Mary 80076-22 • D – Rust colorway Mary 80072-37 • leftover of fat quarter of coordinating Ketan batik 81000-377 (Chestnut Orange)

• fat quarter of coordinating Ketan batik 81000-370 (Light Cinnamon)

• fat quarter from stash for backing of front cushion panel

• batting – 20” square 12

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Fabric pieces for churn dash blocks

Cutting directions for churn dash blocks We’re making 2 sets of churn dash blocks, each set using two fabrics. Fabric A 4 – 4” squares 8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units 1 – 3½” square Fabric B 4 – 4” squares 8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units 1 – 3½” square Fabric C 4 – 4” squares 8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units 1 – 3½” square Fabric D 4 – 4” squares 8 – 2” x 3½” rectangle units 1 – 3½” square

Make Half Square Triangles (HSTs) Draw one diagonal line on the back of EACH Fabric C 4”square. With Right Sides Together, sew one Fabric C 4” square to one Fabric A 4” square sewing ¼” away on each side of drawn line. Cut on the drawn line to create 2 HSTs; press the seams to Fabric A. Trim each HST to 3½” square. Repeat steps 1-3 to create a total of 8 HSTs. Make Dash units Make dash units by sewing one Fabric C rectangle along a long edge of a Fabric A rectangle; press the seam to the Fabric A side. Unit should measure 3½” square. Repeat to make 8 total units. Assemble rows Referring to the photo, layout the units you’ve made to sew them into rows.


To start make a block with the Fabric A as the churn dash and Fabric C as the background. Sew the units into rows. Press the seams once the full row is sewn, pressing the top row to the right, the middle to the left, and the bottom row to the right. Sew the rows together to complete the churn dash block. Press the seams away from the middle row. The churn dash block should measure 9½” square. Repeat with the remaining Fabric A/C units to make a second churn dash block, this time with a Fabric C churn. Now use the Fabric B and D pieces to make two more churn dashes. Remember to rotate the units to make one Fabric B churn and one Fabric D churn. Now you should have four different churn dash blocks. I love the contrast between the two sets! Initially, I thought I would just sew these blocks beside each other and add a border to the outside, but even though I like how each fabric would meet in the center I felt the result was too busy. The churn dashes got lost where the different blocks meet. To make sure the beautiful bold Mary batiks don’t become a blur I decided to add a sashing. This is the next part... Keep reading and see how adding some Ketan batiks to the Mary batiks help to make the churn dashes come out and shine.

Churn dash units sewn into rows

Two churn dash blocks from same batik fabrics

Churn dash blocks from two different batik fabrics

Four batik churn dash blocks

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4 quilted churn dash blocks are better than 1! The beauty of the separate batiks was being challenged setting the blocks beside each other so we’ll add a sashing between them before quilting and creating the cushion cover. Before we add sashing, make sure each of your churn dash blocks is 9½” square. Then use the Ketan batik Light Cinnamon (81000-370) cutting it into 2 – 2” strips. Subcut one into 2 – 9½” strips and one into a 20” strip. Sew one of the 9½” strips to the right side of the top left churn dash block; press the seam to the strip.

Two batik quilted cushion covers

Sew the top right churn dash to the other side of the strip, pressing the seam to the strip. Repeat with the bottom two churns and the remaining 9½” strip. Sew the 20” to the bottom edge of the top row; press the seam to the strip. Sew the top edge of the bottom row to the strip, pressing the seam again to the strip. The cushion top should measure 20” square. Quilt Cushion Front Layer the cushion front backing fat quarter Right Side Down on a flat pinning surface. Place the batting on top. Place the assembled cushion top on top Right Side UP. Pin the layers together or use your preferred basting method. Use a contrasting thread to quilt. I quilted ¼” away from the Fabric B/D churn dashes and in the ditch of the Fabric A/C churns. I also quilted in the ditch of the sashing.

Back panels of both quilted batik cushion covers.

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Trim the quilted pillow front to 20” square remembering to keep a ¼” of fabric past the churn dash points.


Prepare Back Panels The top back panel is made up of leftovers from Fabric F and coordinating Ketan batik Chestnut Orange. Sew them together to make a panel 20” wide x 15½” high. Be sure to zigzag the seam between the fabrics. The bottom panel is made from the coordinating Ketan batik (81000-370) used for the sashing cut 20” wide x 8½” high. Hem along one long edge of each panel: press ¼” of fabric over to the wrong side and then another ¼” and sew using thread that blends in with the fabric colors. Sandwich and Assemble Cushion Cover Lay your cushion parts on top of each other in this order on your pinning surface: • Place the cushion cover front, RIGHT SIDE UP. • Put the back top panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN with the non-hemmed edge lined up with the top edge of the cushion cover front. • Line up the back bottom panel, RIGHT SIDE DOWN, with the non-hemmed edge lined up with the bottom edge of the cushion cover front: the hemmed edge will lay over top of the top back panel hemmed edge.

Churn dash blocks with sashing

Pin all the way around the outside of the cushion cover: be sure to pin at the sides where all three layers overlap. Sew ¼” all the way around the edges of the cushion cover. Check to make sure you have sewn through all the layers. Serge or zigzag stitch to finish seams. Two quilted cushion covers done! Turn this second one out, pushing the corners out with a fingertip and insert a pillow. The backs of the cushions look great together thanks to the coordinating Ketan batiks and the prints in the Rust colorway of Mary. I hope you enjoyed the design possibilities of the churn dash block this. The Banyan Batiks, Mary line was fun to use creating different coloring options for the design. You can’t go wrong with these prints! I plan on having fun with batiks all year long. :) Back panel fabric choices

Sarah Vanderburgh

sewjoycreations.com

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How to use FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers in your next quilting project Julie Plotniko

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers primary colors collection

One of my favorite things to do is coloring on fabric. FABRIC FUN Dual Tip Fabric Markers available at your local quilt or craft shop allow me to do this with absolute ease. We are exploring some of the fabulous ways to use these versatile markers on cotton fabric. Let’s start with the basics FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers are dual tip meaning that they have both a thick and thin tip on each pen.

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers have 2 tips for thick and thin lines

Fabric taped in place on cardboard or foam board

They’re permanent, odorless, non-toxic and fast drying, water resistant, work well on cotton-based fabrics and come individually or in two color collections of ten markers each, primary and brights.

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This method is quick and inexpensive as the freezer paper can be reused several times.

It’s a good idea to lightly pre-wash your fabric prior to coloring.

2. Another easy way to stabilize your fabric for coloring is to tape it to a piece of foam board or cardboard. Painters tape works well here.

You can do this by hand or in the washing machine. No soap is needed, just a rinse with clear water. Remove before completely dry if using a clothes dryer to prevent setting the wrinkles.

Colored fabric is washable in cold or warm water.

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1. One of the easiest ways to keep your fabric stable for coloring is to iron plastic coated (not waxed) white freezer paper to the back. This is available at your local grocery store. Use a dry iron to set the cotton setting for best results.

Once coloring is complete simply pull the whole sheet of freezer paper off and save to reuse.

Once colored, your fabric will need to be heat set using a dry iron on cotton setting.

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There are a few simple ways to do this.

All this makes them super versatile for use on clothing, accessories, home decor, quilting, and crafting.

Iron while still slightly damp and your fabric will be all ready for coloring.

Test fabric pinned on to foam board

Stabilize your fabric for successful coloring You’ll get better results when coloring with FABRIC FUN markers on cotton fabric if you stabilize the fabric to stop it from shifting while you work.

3. You can, of course, use pins or tacks to attach your fabric to the cardboard or foam board. Just be careful to angle the pins so that they don’t go all the way through. Our preparation is done and we’re ready to start coloring with our FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers. Keep reading as we practice our basic coloring skills by customizing a printed fabric. Oh the possibilities!


Northcott Black and White with a Dash of Color- black background

NORTHCOTT Black and White with a Dash of Color-line print

I’ll use a printed fabric to show you how this helps you learn and develop coloring skills. For this technique, I’m using two fabrics from Black and White With a Dash of Color by Northcott.

If you just want to see what the colors look like you can “go wild” and use them all at once for a whimsical looking design.

Ready, Set, Color! There are endless possibilities for coloring on print fabrics. Black and white prints are the easiest to learn on because they give clear boundaries to work with. It’s kind of like having a coloring book on fabric, all ready for you to add your personal touch. As I mentioned, FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers come in a wide variety of colors both bright and primary.

Go wild with color for a whimsical look

Using a variety of similar colors within a design can add depth and dimension.

Choosing which one to use first is probably the hardest part. An easy way to start is to use a single color to completely fill in an area of design. Use the thin tip to get into small areas and the thick tip where you’re working on larger areas.

How coloring your fabric meets up with a fabulous quilting experience

Go wild with color for a whimsical look

A detailed print gives many design options. I started by coloring a repeat element with the primary pink. Using a single color for each motif is an easy way to start.

Photos by Julie Plotniko

Use a light touch for limited color saturation or a firm pressure for deeper more intense color. The fine tip will give a softer appearance while the thick tip instantly gives more ink flow for a deeper richer effect.

Isolate and color a single motif for a pop of color

Uncolored areas of design within a colored area add a touch of light for sparkle and can be also used to add in different colors later.

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Use a light touch and leave some white showing for sparkle

Follow the pattern to color at an angle to create the impression of depth.

Use several shades or colors on a single design element for a more detailed three dimensional look.

Here, a little of the bright collection goes a long way.

If you add different colors in areas left previously uncolored each color will remain separate and pure. Because the FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers are so fast drying you can also layer colors on top of one another creating entirely new color variations.

A little bright color goes a long way.

Let the pattern on the fabric guide you to color at the correct angle.

Color individual motifs all the same or all different, whatever you find pleasing. You can leave some areas of the design uncolored for an interesting contrast.

I followed the direction of the veins on the leaves and varied the pressure on the pen throughout.

Coloring on fabric is just so much fun that I often can’t quit until everything is colored!

This gives a natural almost painted effect.

Remember to heat set by pressing with a dry iron on cotton setting.

Continue coloring areas of the design.

You can use your colored fabrics for garments, crafting, quilting and more. They look great by themselves or combined with the original print. Leave some of the design uncolored for contrast

Coloring everything to create a one of a kind print.

5 ways to create your very own fabric designs using fabric markers Practice can be fun! Before you begin a project it’s always a good idea to do a little test piece. Even a 4” square can tell you a lot about how your fabric will behave. Small test pieces allow you to gauge how the pens react to your chosen fabric.

Always do your tester on a piece of the actual fabric you’ll be using. This gives you an opportunity to see how your colors will look and get the feel of how the fabric reacts. Some fabrics have more texture to them. Others may have a tighter or looser weave. Your little test swatches will become mini works of art all on their own. You can create a variety of special effects when creating your own fabric. Coloring individual sections of a design will keep your colors pure. Layering your colors on top of one another will blend the colors creating new ones. Fabric Fun Markers are extremely fast drying so there’s no risk of damaging the coloring tip when layering colors.

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Both techniques have been used in this leaf.

It’s time to create some fabric designs If you’re comfortable with your drawing skills then simply jump right in and draw directly on your fabric.

Even grids are fun! What could be simpler than drawing with a ruler and pen?

The fabric does have a little more drag than paper because of the weave and cotton fibers. However, the stabilization techniques we learned in How to use FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers in your next quilting project, will minimize this issue. Layer colors on top of one another or separate the colors for two different effects.

Another specialty technique is to put something that has texture underneath your fabric while you color. Try coloring with your pen upright as well as using the side just as if you were shading with the side of a pencil.

You can of course draw your design onto paper first. Use your drawing as a reference or transfer it to your fabric for coloring. I just use a regular pencil when using this method as the ink from your FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers will hide the pencil lines. I’m certainly not good at drawing but I sure have fun doodling on fabric!

Heavy grit sandpaper will give a subtle almost suede like texture.

Experiment of grid designs

For those who are just not comfortable with their own drawing skills there are plenty of tools available to give a helping hand. Stencils cut from a thin piece of plastic come in a huge variety of designs and sizes. Letters, numbers, words, celebratory, floral, animals, geometric… traditional, art deco, modern and more.

Color on top of sand paper for subtle texture

In the photo below, I used textured shelf liner.

An allover design in progress

Fabric design does not have to be complicated. Simple geometric designs can be very effective.

You can use the ones made for transferring quilting designs or the ones used for crafting and home decor. Simply tape the stencil on top of your stabilized fabric with painters tape and color away!

In the example on the left the pen has been used upright. In the example on the right the pen was used on its side. I really like these interesting effects.

Have fun with simple geometric designs. Use painters tape to hold your stencil in place.

Interesting texture created by coloring with shelf liner under fabric.

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You can color all of the stencil design or just small sections. Experiment with your colors until you get the effect that you want. Many stencil designs lend themselves well to all over designs. Individual patterns are beautiful for use in quilts, pillows, bags and more.

You can color all of the design or just small sections.

Another wonderful source of designs are adult coloring books.

Coloring books can be a great source of design.

You could use these for inspiration to draw your own designs or just place a page under your fabric and trace the design. Tape your design page and fabric to a window or light box for easy visibility. Children are fearless artists. Their charming drawings can be preserved by transferring them to fabric. Better still give them their own fabric and FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers and let them draw along with you.

This colored stencil design would be beautiful used in a quilt.

The options for creating your own fabric are absolutely limitless. It’s no wonder that our pens are called FABRIC FUN!

Children’s drawings can be preserved on fabric.

Color your free motion quilting for the instant look of applique I’ll free motion quilt a design and then use the FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to color the design for the appearance of instant applique. Let’s begin! The correct batting, thread and needles-oh so important It’s important that you choose a quilt batting that will be thick enough to absorb some of the color from your pens without bleeding through to the back. I used Soft & Toasty natural cotton quilt batting from Fairfield. This is a low loft cotton batting that has been needled with a light scrim. The scrim adds strength but also helps stop the batting from absorbing too much ink.

The look of applique without taking an extra stitch

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I wanted a bit of a puffy appearance to show off the stitching so I used two layers of Soft & Toasty.


Here’s the same design colored for the look of instant applique. I played with drawn lines, spots and dots, layering colors and different shading techniques. Don’t forget that your pens each have a thick and a thin tip so you can color large areas or easily work on tiny details. It’s fun to leave some of the background showing for sparkle or even color outside the lines. For this technique I like to use 50 weight cotton thread for my stitching. It gives a nice outline to the design and is thick enough that I can feel it with my pen to help me stay within the lines. It also acts as a barrier to stop the ink from bleeding. The samples I used GÜTERMANN 50 weight cotton thread and a SCHMETZ size 11 quilting needle.

Next I added color to the flowers. Look how beautiful a simple design becomes with a little bit of color.

All of the techniques I’ve shown you so far can be put to use here. What a difference color makes to the design!

Because the outline of the design is stitched you really have to look closely to see that this in not an applique.

The quilting needle pierces the fabric quickly for nice even stitching. I especially love the look of the GÜTERMANN variegated thread Coffee & Cream as it adds a subtle warmth with just the right amount of light and dark.

What a difference color makes!

Look how beautiful a simple design becomes with a little bit of color

Next I stitched an improvisational free motion with flowers and leaves. It’s so much fun to just stitch away without any pre-planning!

GÜTERMANN Variegated 50wt cotton – Coffee & Cream

To practice my techniques I free motion quilted a simple allover floral design.

If this makes you uncomfortable then just use your favorite marking tool to mark your desired design prior to stitching. Remember… you can use your FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to color any type of design.

Store your pens flat between uses for longer lasting life. I’ve done a lot of coloring with mine and they’re still going strong. Of course you can color more than just the inside of the areas that you quilted. You can color the background too! I like to leave a little of the background showing through is spots to look like there is light shining through. You can color your designs completely for solid color if you prefer. Up to now, I have been showing you how to work with basic white fabric.

Animals, birds, buildings and more.

Simple uncolored floral design stitched with GÜTERMANN 50wt cotton Coffee & Cream

An improvisational free motion quilting design with leaves and flowers waiting for color

Yes, you can color the background too!

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Adding dimension to applique pieces using fabric markers I’ll use the FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to accent and add extra dimension to hand or machine applique. Here we go. I’m working on fabric from NORTHCOTT, the Black and White with a Dash of Color collection.

The line doesn’t need to be too neat as only a little will show. The edge is turned under for this technique so be sure to cut out the applique pieces far enough outside the drawn line. Turn the edge under using your favorite method. Do not turn the drawn line all the way to the back. You’ll want it to show just above the edge where your fabric turns under. The dark line looks like a shadow and gives the applique the appearance that it’s three dimensional.

Dark color on the edge makes the center come forward

like a cone as the center recedes and the edges appear to come forward. We have so many colors of FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers that sometimes I just

This method is usually reserved for hand applique as machine stitching would hide the edge. Our FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers will color just as beautifully on dyed or printed cotton fabric as they will on plain white.

Though black is traditionally used other colors can be used for a more modern look.

FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers work wonders for hand or machine applique! One of the most traditional and effective ways to use color with applique is to draw your applique shapes directly onto the right side of the fabric with black ink.

A dark color in the center visually recedes.

want to use them all.

Turn the edge part way so that the black line shows on the edge.

For this flower center I colored the dots on the yellow fabric with a variety of colors for a fun, playful appearance.

Color will instantly add dimension to our hand or machine applique pieces. Remember that dark colors visually recede while light ones come forward.

Draw the applique pieces with the thin or thick tip

A simple circle is the perfect shape for a flower center. When we add a dark edge to the circle it makes it look as though the center is dome shaped. Placing the dark color in the center of the circle makes it appear to be shaped

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Create a fun playful look by adding multicolored dots.

A more traditional flower center can be achieved by using a realistic color palette.


This flower petal is pretty but we can make it even better

A rolled over edge drawn on a petal

Amplify the three dimensional effect Looking at the photo of freshly bloomed crocuses several things happening to make it look three dimensional. 1. The center of the flowers is a different color than the flower petals. 2. The leaves in the background are crossing over and under one another. 3. The petals roll inward on the top and or sides. 4. The roll of the petals is a slightly different color than the rest of the petals and the veins on the petals accentuate the depth and direction of the petals. We can use the techniques that I went over these articles to mimic the way nature uses color.

Rolled over edges colored with bright colors to add light

Darker shadow added for more dimension

Texture lines added to petal center

The first oval shaped flower petal above is very pretty but we can make it even better.

I have had a wonderful time exploring the many uses of FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers for coloring on cotton fabric.

I drew a rolled edge on the petal using my UNIQUE air erase marker.

Though I have used a flower theme remember that these techniques can be used anywhere your imagination takes you!

Drawing the first step allows me to make changes if I’m not satisfied with the look of my petal. A pen that’s a brighter color than the fabric was used to color the sections that I want to look as if they’re rolling to the front. For the next step a darker pen was used to add a shadow to the underside of the visual rolled edge. This shadow will give the impression of depth. Texture lines were added to the center portion of the petal adding even more visual depth. Look at how wonderfully three dimensional our colored petal appears when laid out with the other uncolored petals. Just for fun I will make each petal a little different.

The flower will look three dimensional with the accents to the petals and center.

Julie Plotniko

juliesquiltclass.blogspot.ca

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The Dreamweaver XE arrives

The Dreamweaver XE

Unboxing the Dreamweaver XE from Brother Christine Baker

A few weeks ago, THE Dream Machine 2 left my house and the next day I received a text from my teenage son saying that I’d “gotten a small package”. Since I was expecting the Dreamweaver XE to arrive at any time, I knew that he was teasing me! Although this box was definitely NOT as big as the box THE Dream Machine had arrived in, it was still no “small package”. All of my studio renovations were complete (we’d pulled out all of the old carpet in the room, installed laminate flooring and I rearranged and purged the contents), so I was ready to open and set up the machine the next day. I decided to use the sewing functions of the machine first, so I kept the embroidery

The first thing I noticed when comparing this machine to THE Dream Machine 2 was that it comes with fewer accessories. Being someone who’d never done any machine embroidery, I was a little overwhelmed with all of the “do-dads” that came with THE Dream Machine 2 and actually did one of my QUILTsocial posts back in January 2018 about accessory storage. Since cleaning and purging my sewing room, I was a little worried about the number of accessories that would be arriving with this new machine, but I’m happy to report that almost everything fits either in the foot

Presser foot storage tray

The embroidery unit

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unit in its box and tucked it away under the table until I was ready to do some machine embroidery.

storage tray or in a small plastic storage bin. There are also 3 embroidery frames, but for the moment they are stored in the box with the embroidery unit. The sensor pen and holder are easily installed onto the side of the Dreamweaver XE. Just press the holder into the hole on the side of the machine and then slide the pen into the holder and plug it in.

Sensor pen and holder

Photos by Christine Baker

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At the moment I have the machine on a table that is a tad too high for normal sewing, so the knee lift that came with the machine isn’t going to get used. When I turned over the wide table that Brother sent with the machine, I realized that there is a little storage spot made just for the lift. I’ll store it in there until I move the machine to my regular table. Since I want to do more thread painting, free motion embroidery and free motion quilting with this machine, I asked Brother to send me the optional extension table along with the machine.

The knee lift

Just like the table that came with my NQ900, the folding legs of the extension table for the Dreamweaver XE make it easy to store away when not in use. I really love that I can actually slip my table into the retreat bag that I take to retreats and workshops!

Here’s a picture of my table placed on top of the Dreamweaver XE table. It is about 3” wider and longer than the table for my machine!! What an amazing amount of work space!

At first glance I thought that this table and my NQ900 table were about the same size, but boy was I wrong!!

Now we’re all set up and ready to roll! Keep reading, we’ll talk about some of the easy ways the Dreamweaver XE can be customized to make your sewing experience even more enjoyable!

The folding legs of the extension table

The optional wide extension table

5 basic ways to customize your sewing experience on the Dreamweaver XE Changing the language When I first plugged in the machine, I realized that the person who had it before me had been using it in French. Now, I can read and speak a little French, but not well enough to manage using a computerized sewing and embroidery machine. So first things first, let’s get it speaking my language! Now, if you bought this machine new, you wouldn’t have to do this step. When you turn the machine on for the very first time it asks you what language you would like to use and it sets it right then and there. But, let’s say your long lost cousin from Spain comes and wants to use your sewing machine…here’s how you would change the language for her. First, press the “machine setting mode key” at the bottom left of the screen. It looks like a little piece of paper.

The Home Page screen Select the settings screen button

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The settings screens open up. You can scroll through the screens using the arrow buttons at the bottom of each screen. When you reach screen 5, you can change the language by pressing the left and right arrows. There are many different languages available!

Changing the needle position You can set the default position for the needle on Screen 2. I personally like the needle to be in the center whenever I start sewing, but you can pick the position that works best for you by highlighting one of the selections. The blue color means that that option has been selected. Setting the light level

Setting needle position

Set the volume You can set the speaker level on the Dreamweaver XE from Brother on Screen 4. I like this volume to be fairly low, so I’ve selected 1.

Setting Eco Mode On page 5, you also have the option of selecting Eco mode or the “Shutoff Support Mode”. I like Eco mode to be set to “on” and I’ve set the timer to 10 minutes. This just means that if I’m away from the machine and don’t press any buttons the machine goes into a sleep mode to conserve energy. The lights go off and the screen is dimmed, but the green on/off button blinks to let you know that the machine is still powered on. Once you sit down at the machine and press any buttons or touch the screen everything comes right back on.

Settings screen 5

OK, now we’re in business!

Setting Eco Mode

Setting speaker level

Set the light level Brightness is set on Screen 6. My studio is not well lit, so I like the lights that illuminate the workspace on the machine to be bright. You also set the LCD screen brightness on the settings screen, so go ahead and change that at this time too if you want. The English Home Page screen

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For Shutoff Support Mode the same type of thing happens, but you have to actually turn the machine off and then back on again to continue sewing. I prefer the Eco mode so I can just get back to work with the touch of a finger. These 5 ways to customize your sewing are based solely on personal preference and none of them have to be made in order to start sewing (except perhaps the language LOL). If you take your Dreamweaver XE right out of the box, set your language and plug it in, you can start sewing right away. Once you’ve worked with the machine, you’ll know if you want more or less sound or light or if you need the Eco function to take over if you get taken away.


6 awesome features to love on the Dreamweaver XE To be honest, there are at least 30 other ways that the machine can be customized just in the settings screens alone, but I think maybe we should actually sew with it before we adjust anything else! I’m sharing some of the features of this machine that really stand out for me. As you know I was so impressed with the NQ900 that I blogged about last year that I bought it instead of returning it to Brother. THE Dream Machine 2 was over the top amazing to work with and I think I’ll probably love this machine just as much! But here are some of the great features that make these Brother machines so awesome! Great feature 1 – workspace The Dreamweaver XE has over 11” of space to the right of the needle making it a great machine for free motion quilting and embroidery. THE Dream Machine 2 had this exact same space and my NQ900, although a much smaller machine has 8.3“ – not too shabby!

Great feature 2 – upper thread shutter This must be a standard feature for all Brother machines because all three of the machines I’ve used have had this simple yet amazing feature. The upper thread shutter on the Dreamweaver XE opens when the presser foot is up and closes when the presser foot is down. This prevents the machine from being threaded if the presser foot is in the down position. This is VERY important for your thread tension. If you thread your machine when the foot is down, the thread may not pass between the tension discs and you will not be able to achieve correct upper thread tension. Believe me, I can’t understand why other machines don’t have this simple feature!

Great feature 3 – red/green stop/ start button Ok, this may be standard for most sewing machines, but coming from an old Bernina to these fancy Brother machines I was very impressed that the stop/start button could basically tell you if the machine was ready to sew or not. If the button is red, something is wrong! For example, perhaps the presser foot hasn’t been lowered. If you start free motion quilting with your presser foot up, you’ll have a HUGE rat’s nest of thread on the back of your quilt (I know because this has happened to me many, many times with my old machine and I’ve seen it happen to many of my students). If the machine won’t sew when the foot isn’t down, this is a GREAT feature!

Upper thread shutter The red stop/start button

The green stop/start button on the Dreamweaver XE from Brother shows that the machine is ready to start sewing.

11'' of throat space

The green stop/start button

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Great feature 4 – well lit work area The bright LED lights on the Dreamweaver XE illuminate the work surface wonderfully while you are sewing. THE Dream Machine 2 had great lighting as well, and although my NQ900 doesn’t have quite as many lights, it still has way more than comparable machines. The more light you have, the easier it is to achieve great results and as I just showed you, there is the option to dim these lights on the settings screen.

Great feature 5 – the guideline marker The guideline marker (laser pointer) on the Dreamweaver XE can be used for many different sewing functions. In next article, I’ll show you 3 different blocks that can be pieced with the help of this feature. THE Dream Machine 2 also has this guideline marker, and now that I’ve used one I wish my NQ900 did too!

Great feature 6 – the automatic threader OK, I think I’ll just let this one speak for itself. Press the automatic threader button on the Dreamweaver XE from Brother and prepare to be amazed!! And I thought the automatic threader on my NQ900 was spiffy! Check out this video – the Dreamweaver XE and THE Dream Machine 2 both have the same amazing automatic threader!

The automatic threader button

Bright LED lights

The guideline marker (laser pointer)

Well, there you have it! 6 awesome features on the Dreamweaver XE that I know you will fall in love with. Once you try them, you’ll find it hard going back to your old sewing machine. I took my old Bernina to a workshop last week and spent half of the day trying to find the thread cutting button (spoiler alert…it doesn’t have one). But now that I’m so used to sewing on these Brother machines, I’ve been a bit spoiled!

Help is always close at hand with the Dreamweaver XE The operation manual Now I know that operation manuals aren’t the most exciting things to read, but I really need to say that the manuals that come with the Brother sewing machines are excellent! I read through THE Dream Machine 2 manual so many times over the last 6 months that it was pretty ratty looking when I returned the machine. I had folded over corners of pages and had sticky notes in different places to mark a spot that had really great information.

When I get a new machine to review, this is my favorite page in the manual – the accessories page. Not only does it tell you what the heck that do-dad is for, it also gives you a glimpse into all of the things your machine is capable of!

I encourage you, if you have a new sewing machine of any make or model, to get your manual out and follow some of the exercises. You’ll be amazed at all the wonderful things your machine can do that you never knew about!

The sewing machine help screen on the Dreamweaver XE has a wealth of information for using the machine. From this screen, you can access the operation guide, sewing guide, and pattern explanation. Let’s select the operation guide to start.

The sewing machine help screen If you’d rather have more accessible information at the tip of your fingers, pressing the sewing machine help key – the “?” key at the bottom of the home page on the Dreamweaver XE – opens the help screen.

The operation manual

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The type of information in the main operation guide is divided up into 6 categories – principal parts, principal buttons, basic operation, embroidery basic operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance. The basic operation button on the Dreamweaver XE displays information about threading the machine, changing presser feet and more. Some of the functions are described in movies. Watch these movies for a better understanding of the functions.

The sewing machine help key

Make sure to look at the bobbin threading information as I know from teaching that MANY quilters inadvertently do the lower threading of their machine the wrong way. This can lead to issues with tension and poor stitch quality.

The main operation guide screen

Pressing the “maintenance button” on the Dreamweaver XE shows that there’s only one thing that you need to do on a regular basis to properly maintain the machine – clean the bobbin area! Isn’t that a great thing to hear? Take some time to look through all of the sections in the guide. You’ll find that it covers almost everything that you need to know, and if you can’t find something specific, there’s always the manual!

The sewing machine help screen

The maintenance button

The basic operation button

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3 ways to use a laser guide for piecing Let's use one of the great features I mentioned about before: the guideline marker (laser pointer) that is a standard feature on both the Dreamweaver XE and THE Dream Machine 2 from Brother. Here’s a video I found on the Brother Canada Youtube channel that shows how to use the guideline marker to make half-square triangles, flying geese units, and snowball blocks. Setting the guideline marker for ¼” In order to use the guideline marker to make half-square triangles and flying geese, we need to set it so that it’s ¼” away from the stitching line. I like to use the “J” foot for piecing and to get a ¼” seam I select stitch Q-02 in the utility stitches menu. This is a piecing stitch with the needle in the right position. Once that is selected, the laser pointer button is selected on the LCD screen of the Dreamweaver XE. Once this button is highlighted (dark orange) you set the position by pressing the “+” and “-” buttons. Press the “-” button until it says “0.0mm”. The laser is now ¼” away from the stitching line.

The laser pointer settings

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Half square triangles Most of the time your pattern will tell you what size to cut your squares in order to get the correct size of half square triangle units. But if you aren’t following a pattern, it’s pretty easy to determine what size squares you need to cut. All you need to know is what finished size you need – that is, what size you want them to be once they’re all sewn together. You take that measurement and add 7⁄8”. Personally, I like to add a whole inch which makes my half-square triangle units a bit big so they can be trimmed to the accurate size. For my example, I cut my squares 3” square, so that I can trim them to get my 2” finished size.

Sewing the half square triangle units

There are MANY resources on the internet that will help you with this math. Just google “half square triangle calculator” and you’ll find many sites that have a chart already made for you. How nice is that? Line up the laser Now, to stitch the squares together, line up the laser pointer with the diagonal of the squares (ie. corner to corner). Since you’ve already set the laser pointer to be ¼” away from the stitching line, just aim the laser at the far corner of the square and start stitching. Chain piece one set of squares after the other, and when you get to the end, don’t clip them apart, just flip them around and starting with the last pair, sew the opposite side of the diagonal. Once again, line the laser up with the opposite points of the square.

Sewing the second side


When both sides have been stitched, use a rotary cutter to cut between the stitched lines.

Layer the large square and two small squares as shown in the video. The two smaller squares overlap a tiny bit at the middle of the large square.

Press towards the smaller triangles and then align a third small black square on the point of the large triangle.

Press then align a third small square Cutting the halves

Next, the half square units are first pressed open and then trimmed to the desired size.

Ready for stitching

Using the Dreamweaver XE laser pointer as a guide, we sew ¼” away from the center diagonal along both sides.

Once again using the laser pointer we sew ¼” from the center on both sides of the square and then cut apart between the two lines of stitching. Press towards the small triangles and the flying geese units are finished. Wasn’t that easy?

Press then trim

No waste flying geese True Flying Geese are rectangular units, twice as wide as they are high. Quilt patterns should tell you the finished size of all geese that are used. But, like before, if you aren’t using a pattern, you follow this method to cut the correct sized squares. The main fabric: cut a square that’s 1¼” larger than the finished width of your flying geese. For example, if you want your flying geese units to finish at 3” x 6”, cut a square that measures 7¼” x 7¼” (6” + 1¼”).

Sew and then cut apart

Sew down both sides of center

The two sides are cut apart, using a rotary cutter, down the center between the two lines of stitching.

Side triangle fabric: cut four small squares that are 7⁄8” larger than the finished height of your flying geese. For example, for geese that finish at 3” x 6”, cut four squares that measure 37⁄8” x 37⁄8” (3” + 7⁄8”).

The fabric squares

Here are a couple different colors of flying geese units I made using the same technique.

Flying geese units

Cut the two sides apart

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Setting the guideline marker for center To make the snowball blocks you need to sew right along the diagonal of the small squares, so both, the needle position and the guideline marker need to be moved so they are aligned.

The laser pointer on the Dreamweaver XE is used to sew down the middle of each small fabric square on the diagonal to make the corner triangles of the snowball block, as in the photo below. The excess fabric from the corners of the block is cut away before pressing the seams. As you can see, I sewed a second line ½” away from the diagonal so that when the excess fabric was cut off I ended up with four small half-square triangle units – waste not, want not I always say!

Select stitch Q-01, which is the center stitch and then touch the “+” to move the guideline marker to 3.5mm. As you can see from the display along the left side of the screen, the red line (indicating the guideline marker) is directly on top of the blue stitching line.

Adjusting the laser and needle position

Snowball block To make a snowball block you need one large square and four small squares of fabric. To figure out the size you need to cut the fabric, take the desired size of the finished block, divide it by 3 and add ½”. This is the size to cut the four small corner squares. Cut your big square ½” bigger than your desired finished size. For my example I want a finished snowball block size of 6”, so I’ll cut my big square 6½” and my four small squares 2½” (6” divided by 3 plus ½”).

Cut away the excess fabric

Press towards the corner triangles and here’s the finished snowball block.

The snowball block

Now that you’re acquainted with the Dreamweaver XE from Brother, in the next issue, Issue 13, I’ll have a fun project to make. I think it will have something to do with either half-square triangles or snowball blocks – you’ll have to join me to find out.

Christine Baker Sewing the corner triangles

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FairfieldRoadDesigns.com


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Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe with optional extension table

Designer Ruby deLuxe

Elaine Theriault

NOT your grandmother’s sewing machine It’s so exciting to be back and I’ve got another great articles of super sewing tips and ideas to share with you. I’ll be using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe. Just a quick note, the most recent model of the Ruby family is the Designer Ruby Royale which has a few additional features. I’ve been using the Designer Ruby deLuxe for about five years (it’s probably longer than that). Not only is it a sewing machine, but it’s an embroidery machine as well. Do I love it? It’s never let me down and while I don’t do a lot of machine embroidery, I’d be lost without the ability to do embroidery. You can read my sewing machine review of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale, it’s a 5 day blog posts with lots of great stuff! This sewing machine resides in a small portable table with a cutout to give me a larger surface. I don’t need the extension table or the accessory box. However when I went to find the accessory box to take a picture, it was not to be found. What does that tell me? I’ve put it in a safe place which I haven’t found yet. But the picture above shows you how much of an added advantage the extension table is whether you’re piecing, quilting or doing applique. If I didn’t have a set-in table, I’d always have the extension table attached. I’ve had a feature-rich sewing machine for the past 20 years. I decided that if I was going to get serious about quilting/ sewing that I needed to get a serious

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sewing machine with some helpful features. It’s not that I take these features for granted, but I’ve become so used to them that they’re second nature to me. These features have definitely made my sewing life a whole lot easier. I certainly notice this when I teach a class of beginners with less feature-rich sewing machines. It’s a bit of an oxymoron actually – they’re struggling with things that would be so much easier on a different sewing machine, however, they haven’t made the commitment (yet) to want to upgrade their sewing machine.

Let’s dive right in and I’ll show you some of my favorite features. The Function Panel Many of the features and functions that I’m talking about are easy to access right on the Function Panel which is situated right above the needle. Lights will indicate whether that particular feature is activated (if necessary).

I was teaching a class and one of the students was working on her project and the bobbin ran out. She hadn’t noticed it immediately and lamented “wouldn’t it be nice to have a sewing machine that told you when the bobbin ran out?” The Function Panel on the Designer Ruby deLuxe

Matter of fact that feature exists! I provided a quick rundown of some of the features that are available on sewing machines today. As a result, I thought I would share some of what I think are the more helpful features built into the Designer Ruby deLuxe.

Needle Stop Up/Down This is one of my favorite features. When I bought my first sewing machine with this feature, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It’s like having a third hand to help you.

Are these features necessary to make a quilt or a garment? Are these features necessary to do a good job on your project? The answer to both is NO. However, I must say that these features will certainly make life a whole lot easier for you. Some of them help to control the sewing machine functions, some of them provide a helping hand to you the sewist, while others are time savers.

Essentially, when I stop sewing and this feature is engaged, the needle will stop in the fabric and prevent the project from moving. The the presser foot raises ever so slightly when you stop with the needle down and that’s definitely like having a third hand. If you want to pivot your work, insert the next pieces of fabric to sew, or whatever, it’s a MUST HAVE feature. Photos by Elaine Theriault


In the photo below, I’m sewing binding onto a quilt. If I need to stop to position the binding, the needle holds everything from slipping away from under the presser foot which could cause a large and rather ugly stitch.

This feature is essential to free-motion quilting. If you have the needle stop in the down position, you can take your hands off your project and the work won’t shift. This is critical if you’re working on a big quilt in a tight space. Just make sure you have your hands securely back on the quilt before you start to quilt. Using a quilter’s awl and the Needle Stop Up/ Down and Pivot features to turn the corner on a machine sewn binding

The needle down feature keeps things in place while sewing on a binding

Here I’m sewing the binding to the front of the quilt and the needle down again is preventing the quilt and binding from moving away from the needle (if I need to stop to position the binding) and creating a large stitch. If I need to temporarily leave the work for whatever reason, I make sure the needle is in my work so there’s no danger of the fabrics shifting under the needle.

Using the Needle Stop Up/Down and the Pivot feature when I’m piecing is fabulous. As I’m repositioning the flange and border in the sample below, the needle is holding everything in place to prevent that flange from shifting. If I’m chain piecing, the slight rise in the presser foot (when I stop with the needle down) makes it a breeze to slip the next set of fabrics right up to the needle and prevents any shifting for more accurate seams. Notice that I’ve used several different feet in these last pictures. It doesn’t matter what type of seam you’re sewing, the Needle Stop Up/Down and the Pivot work for all types of seams.

Using the Needle Stop Up/Down feature when quilting makes it easy to get perfect corners for stitch in the ditch quilting

For my students who are gasping with horror that I’m pivoting my work when I tell them not to, this piece I was quilting is small enough to pivot without any pushing and shoving (thanks to a nice large opening between the needle and the side of the sewing machine and the smaller sized wall hanging). If this were a large quilt, I would NOT be pivoting. This is also the border of the wallhanging so there wasn’t really much to the right of the needle that could cause pushing and shoving issues that you would experience on a large quilt.

The needle is in the down position when I stop to reposition the binding, preventing a large stitch caused by movement of the project

Having the Needle Stop Up/Down and Pivot features are essential at the corner when sewing on a binding. I’ll use my quilter’s awl to help hold the binding in place. Using the sewing machine features to assist in keeping the project where I want it to be, helps to ensure that I’m getting a nice clean corner. If I had to lift the presser foot manually and ensure the project (with all those extra layers) didn’t move at the corner, it’s much harder to deal with. It’s super easy to turn the corner on the binding with these features.

The Needle Stop Up/Down feature is very handy when piecing

Let’s not forget how handy this feature is when quilting. When I was ready to turn the corner when doing some stitch in the ditch quilting, I let the Designer Ruby deLuxe do the work of raising the foot. I simply pivoted the work to get the project lined up for the next line of stitching. No large stitches and as you’ll see later, those corners are perfectly formed thanks to this feature.

Yes, I realize that you could manually lower the needle on any machine and yes you could manually raise (and lower) the presser foot when it’s necessary. Or you may have a knee lift that you could use. What I like about the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe – these features are TOTALLY AUTOMATIC. Once the Needle Stop Up/Down function is set – the sewing machine does all the work for you leaving your hands completely free to guide your work. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

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Sensor Foot Down and Pivot/Sensor Foot Up and Extra Lift I’ve mentioned the Pivot function as it works in conjunction with the Needle Stop Up/Down, but here’s a couple of other points that I didn’t mention. This took me a bit of time to get used to, but once I got the hang of it, I was hooked. There’s NO presser foot lever on the Designer Ruby deLuxe. The Extra Lift allows the corner of the binding to easily slide under the presser foot

There’s no presser foot lever

Here’s another instance where the Extra Lift makes things much handier. I’m quilting along the edge of a quilt and the edge wants to flip back onto itself. I press the button to get the extra lift and now it’s easy to move the fabric back in place. Once the fabric is repositioned, I don’t have to manually lower the presser foot. It’s all automatic so I can focus on my project, not the functioning of the sewing machine. I LOVE that.

You can see on the back of the of the sewing machine where you would normally find the presser foot lever, that there isn’t one. Raising and lowering the foot is done using two function buttons (Sensor Foot Down and Pivot/Sensor Foot Up and Extra Lift) on the Function Panel. I love the Extra Lift function. If you need a wee bit more room to slide your project under the presser foot, touching the button will raise the foot that extra amount needed. For instance, if you’re turning the corner when applying a binding. There’s a lot of thicknesses at the corner and you’ll find yourself jamming the mess under the presser foot. It’s a simple matter to raise the foot to the highest point which makes it super easy to slip the project under the presser foot. This feature was also very helpful when using a thick clothesline cord to make a fabric bowl. Starting the coil for the center of the bowl is a bit messy and by using the Extra Lift, it gave me the space needed (without using my hands to raise and lower the presser foot) to get the center started. The list of places where these functions are amazing just goes on and on.

Advancing a half stitch at a time Let’s say that I’m doing some applique or I’m quilting and I want the needle to end up in a very specific position. It’s difficult to know the exact moment to stop stitching and there are times when the needle is on the left (when doing a zigzag) when I want it to be on the right and vice versa. Or I may stop stitching one stitch before I need to pivot. How do I advance the sewing machine to get the needle exactly where I want it to be? A quick tap on the foot pedal (which is large and hard to miss), will advance the stitch by half. If the needle is down and to the left, the tap will bring the needle up and to the right (when doing a zigzag). Another tap will bring the needle down (in the rightmost position). It’s super easy to advance that half stitch that you need, especially when doing applique or quilting. I’m not required to take my hands off the project, I don’t need to move my knee. A simple tap (or two) will position the needle exactly where I want it to go. A brilliant feature and I often forget to mention this as it’s so automatic for me to use this feature.

The extra lift feature comes in handy to lift the presser foot to allow the edge of the quilt to be repositioned

Foot pedal

There’s NO need to touch that handwheel on the side of the sewing machine! NONE!

Lifting the presser foot allowed the fabric to be easily put back into place.

It’s NOT necessary to touch the handwheel to move the needle

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The Needle Threader I was a big user of the needle threader when I got access to one on that first sewing machine that I bought years ago. I used the darn thing so much that I wore it out! So I got used to threading the needle by eye. When I got my hands on the Designer Ruby deLuxe, I was reluctant to use the needle threader. I could thread the needle as quick with my eye. Then I did a lot of machine embroidery and I needed to change thread colors often. I finally broke down and learned how to use the needle threader. It’s super easy and now I use it all the time. It works on pretty much any kind of thread, including invisible thread. Just remember that the needle threader will not work with the Size 8 (very small) needles as the eye of the needle is too small to allow the hook to enter and grab the thread.

The same for free motion quilting. If you can reduce the speed to something that you’re comfortable with, then you know that every time you floor the foot pedal that the sewing machine will go at the same, constant speed which will help you with your free motion. A very good feature to have. Can you control the speed manually? Yes, you can, but it’s a lot more work, more tiring on your body and hard to maintain a steady speed. Learn to use the built-in features of the sewing machine to help you work better, faster and smarter.

Low bobbin thread indicator When your bobbin gets to a certain level, you’ll receive a pop-up message letting you know that the bobbin is low. When you get this message, you know that you still have bobbin thread, but it’ll run out shortly. It’s now up to you to watch and stop sewing when the bobbin does in fact run out. A note – DON’T close that window. If you do, you’ll receive another pop-up message very quickly to tell you the bobbin is low. Just leave the window open. If you’re paying attention, you’ll be able to hear when the bobbin runs out. The sound of your machine sewing will change and sometimes you can hear the bobbin rattling in the bobbin case. It’s amazing how many people do not listen to their sewing machines when they are sewing. Next thing, they’ve sewn yards without realizing that the bobbin has run out.

As we age, this feature becomes very important.

Pop up menu shows five different speed settings

Using the Needle Thread is easy

Speed Control There are five different speed settings on the Designer Ruby deLuxe. Why would you need five speeds? If you’re doing decorative stitching and you want to use the START/STOP function instead of using the foot pedal, you’ll probably want to reduce the speed as this machine is made to go fast. I find that I’m not in control when the machine is stitching decorative stitches at top speed, so I’ll reduce the speed to about halfway.

Separate Bobbin Winder There’s a separate speed control for the bobbin winder. If you’re winding a specialty thread like an invisible thread, you do NOT want to wind that at full speed. Winding invisible thread at high speed is asking for trouble. The bobbins have been known to compress so much that they can’t be removed from the bobbin winder or the bobbin will crack and break from the pressure.

Pop up message indicating that the bobbin is almost empty

Separate controls and speed levels for winding the bobbin

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Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale with embroidery unit

Interactive Touch Screen There’s so much information on the Interactive Touch Screen, yet it’s all very nicely organized and easy to read. It’s easy to scroll through the stitch menus to find an appropriate stitch and once you’ve selected a stitch, you can see the stitch number in the top left corner. The recommended presser foot appears on the screen, as well a diagram of the actual stitch. Changing the width or length of the stitch is easy with the appropriate touch buttons. Other functions on the screen will indicate the tension, mirroring stitches, moving into free motion mode and a whole lot more. Although the screen looks intimidating, it’s not! It’s very easy to read and doesn’t take that long to figure out what does what. That’s where sitting down with the manual and doing a little bit of experimenting will make you a whole lot more comfortable with the sewing machine and all of its features.

Interactive Touch Screen

Sewing Advisor At the bottom of the Interactive Touch Screen is the Sewing Advisor. By indicating to the Designer Ruby deLuxe what type of fabric you’re using and what kind of technique you want to perform (simply by selecting the appropriate buttons), the sewing machine will set the tension, tell you what is the best presser foot and also the best stitch to use and will provide the optimal settings for that stitch. All those items can be over-ridden if you feel that you don’t like the settings. That’s like having the Home Economics teacher sitting at your side. A very useful tool if you’re relatively new to sewing or you’re doing a new technique. I use this a lot if I’m changing the type of fabric I’m using. In the few points mentioned here, you can see just how easy it is to use the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe sewing machine. While all those tasks could be performed manually, having the sewing machine take care of them means that you can focus on creating a better project. If you’re in the market for an amazing sewing machine that also does embroidery, I’d seriously check out the Designer Ruby Royale. It’s got everything you need to make great projects and it’s so easy to use. I love experimenting and I’ll show you some experiments with quilt binding that I think you’ll find very interesting.

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3 tattle tale experiments on binding a quilt So far, we looked at the several features of the Ruby Royale that make sewing/ quilting so much more fun and much easier. Quilting is our hobby after all. It’s supposed to be all about having fun. Last time I guest blogged on QUILTsocial it was March 2018, it was all about binding. While this seems like such a simple topic, there are lots of little tips and tricks. Although I shared a lot of what I know last time, there are still a few things that have been bothering me.

Then the bindings were attached to the pre-quilted fabric pieces. I used the Dual Feed Foot to attach the bindings to the backs of the quilts and I used my Clear Foot B to attach the bindings to the fronts of the quilts. I used a straight stitch for the seam on the front.

Binding made using strips cut on the lengthwise grain

I’ll be using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe to walk you through these binding experiments. I was at a recent guild meeting and the topic was bindings. As the presenter walked us through a number of different styles of binding, the topic of bias binding came up. There’s an urban myth (or should we call it a quilt police law?), that bias binding is better than cross grain binding. OK – I’m good with that, but WHY is the bias binding supposed to be superior to the cross grain binding? I like to know why. I had performed this experiment a number of years ago when seeking an answer to that same question. I thought it was time to revisit this issue (for the last time) to see if the results were the same or different.

Binding made using strips cut on the crosswise grain

And I made binding using bias strips. I used the continuous bias binding method I described in my 9 steps to continuous bias binding in March 2018 series of posts.

Binding made with strips cut on the lengthwise grain of fabric

Looks nice on the corner, but not all corners were this nice. It’s very hard to get the stripe to run parallel unless you fussy cut the strip which I did not.

Bias binding versus cross-grain binding and lengthwise grain binding For the samples, I used pre-quilted fabric for the “quilts”. I chose a striped fabric for the binding so it would be easy to see which grain was used on which sample. The stripe runs parallel to the selvage of the fabric. Then I got busy and made binding, cutting the binding fabric in three different directions. Binding made using strips cut on the bias

The pattern on the mitered corner may or may not end up matching. This one matched, but it was a fluke.

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Here are all three binding samples together so you can compare. All of them are fine – it all depends on the look that you want for your quilt.

Hmm – did we just displace an urban myth? I was told that the bias binding would wear significantly better because it was stronger and there would be less fraying than using the crosswise grain.

Binding made using strips cut on the crosswise grain

Again, nice corner, but they all didn’t look like that. I suppose I could have taken the time to fuss with each corner, but this was an experiment so I didn’t take the time.

The pattern matched up at the corner, but this just happened. I didn’t fuss with it.

Binding made with continuous bias binding strips.

All three of the samples had frayed edges after three washes. Interesting to note that the lengthwise grain seemed to be the worse. But that could be just the way the binding got nicked? What I notice is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference between the crosswise grain and the continuous bias binding.

Three different looks for the binding depending on which direction the binding strips were cut

Either way, it’s best to not damage the binding.

Then I took my seam ripper and poked holes in several spots along the edge of all three bindings. I also poked a couple of holes in the flat side of the binding.

This is the second time I’ve done this experiment and I got the same results both times. I’m taking this to the guild meeting to show my peers.

All three samples were then washed three times with loads of clothing for more agitation. I have a front load washing machine (does anyone have any other kind these days?)

Don’t you love experimenting?

Now, this wasn’t super scientific. Were those holes that I ripped the same size? Through one layer of the binding or two? I tried to be consistent, but it wasn’t easy. Let’s have a look at the results.

Comparison of the three damaged bindings

Repairing a wavy quilt edge This next situation is NOT for the fainthearted. I had made a wall hanging a couple of months ago. As per usual, I was in a hurry. I needed a picture of the finished project ASAP. Frayed edges around the damaged binding cut on the lengthwise grain

I put the sleeve on the quilt and hung it up. I was a bit disappointed. Can you see why?

Binding made with continuous bias binding strips

The corners gave a more consistent look than the other samples. Frayed edges around the damaged binding cut on the crosswise grain

The pattern at the corner will have a more consistent look than the other samples.

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Frayed edges around the damaged binding cut on the bias The quilt has wavy edges.


I felt the edges were just a tad too wavy for my liking. I did get my picture and it has served its purpose, but this wall hanging was hanging in my family room and every day I saw it, that wavy edge taunted me to fix it. I decided that for the sake of this article, I would remove the binding to see if I could make it less wavy. I’ve been procrastinating on this job because I knew it was going to be nasty. I could have cut the binding off – it wouldn’t have affected the quilt that much, but then I would have had to remove the sleeve at the top and I didn’t want to do that. Instead, I got out my seam ripper and proceeded to remove the binding. Did I mention that it was machine stitched down? Did I mention that it was a blanket stitch? Did I mention that it was a tight blanket stitch? Well, after listening to half an audiobook and spending an entire afternoon, removing the binding and picking out all the threads, the binding was off. I highly recommend that you do NOT do this. It was a very long and tedious process. Let’s learn how to do the binding correctly the first time! After the binding came off, I laid the wall hanging on the floor. The quilt was square and it was flat. The binding had to be the culprit for the waviness.

I should interject here that you need to have good tools to do any job. Doesn’t matter what profession you’re in. Having a good SHARP seam ripper is key. You should buy several of them – keep them everywhere and make sure you replace them from time to time. Yes – you need to replace Seam ripper your seam ripper. Did you know that they get dull? And what happens when we use dull tools? You either cut yourself or you cut your work. Neither of which is a good thing. The seam ripper I was using has seen better days and there were a few times when it wasn’t doing the job properly. And some of those blanket stitches were TIGHT! I was hoping to reuse the binding, but that wasn’t going to happen. I felt the edge was too fuzzy so I tossed this binding in the scrap pile and made a new binding. The leftover bit of fabric from the first binding has been sitting in my studio while I tried to find other more interesting things to do!!! But at least I knew where it was!

The quilt lies flat without the binding attached.

Then I reapplied the new binding using the Designer Ruby deLuxe. I was hoping to use the old binding so I could see how much extra binding had been sewn to the quilt, but it was too damaged to reuse. I used my walking foot (Dual Feed Foot) to stitch the binding to the quilt on the back and then used the Clear Foot B to stitch the binding to the front. This time I used a straight stitch to secure the binding to the front of the quilt.

The old binding was damaged when it was removed because of a dull seam ripper.

The quilt lies flat without the binding on.

Once the binding came off, I decided to hang the quilt back on the wall to see what it looked like. Just a teeny bit wavy hanging up, but overall – it’s pretty flat.

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Do you think it was the worth the effort?

The second reason was to help ensure that the binding was completely filled with the quilt. This actually surprised me a little bit because if you want a full binding, why wouldn’t you adjust the seam allowance to ensure that the binding was going to be full? I think the issue here is that many sets of instructions will have you cut 2½” strips for the binding and then have you sew the binding on with a ¼” seam. That will leave a large gap in the binding for sure. But if you use 2½” strips and sew with a GENEROUS ¼” seam allowance, there’s NO gap. It’s interesting how we learn to do things one way and it takes a big change in mindset to even realize that there are other possibilities. I was wanted to try the technique and I had a small quilted project that hadn’t yet been trimmed. However, when I got to thinking about sewing the binding on, I realized that I always sew my binding to the BACK of the quilt first and then machine stitch it to the front. I think you can see that this technique will not work with 100% machine binding.

The quilt now hangs flat. I’m happy.

While there’s still a touch of waviness on the left-hand side, the wall hanging looks significantly better. I’m glad I took the time. And now when I see the quilt hanging on the wall, I don’t hear it taunting me at all.

That means that all my quilts will be trimmed before the binding is sewn on. I’m glad I asked the question. I’ve had a chance to think through the process and I feel happy with my decision. That allows me to square up the corners and make sure the top is the same width as the bottom and that the two sides are equal. With all the batting and extra backing hanging off the quilt, that process just seems a whole lot harder.

So what did I do differently the second time around? While I used the Dual Feed Foot both times, the second time, I gently pulled the binding as I sew it. That helped to ensure there was NO extra binding being stitched to the quilt. I suppose if you wanted to get really scientific about the process, you could measure the sides of the quilt and ensure that the exact amount of binding gets stitched to each side of the quilt. I’m not sure I want to fuss with my quilts to that extent. I’m going to think about that process and see what I come up with. The binding is a very important part of the quilt and I don’t want the binding to distort my projects. Sewing the binding before you trim the quilt This last area is a bit of a gray area for me, but it’s been on my mind so I thought I would discuss it. Should you sew the binding on a quilt before you trim it? Hmm – I asked around to see why people did that. I wanted to find out if this process makes a better binding. I have a couple of questions about this method. How can you make sure the quilt is square or at least the corners are square? After asking around, there seems to be a couple of reasons that people would sew the binding on before trimming. One is to help secure the raw edges of the three layers together. Hm – I think that would be easy enough to zigzag around the edges to keep everything secure. I did touch on that technique in my posts, 7 essential tips on sewing on the binding on a quilt by machine.

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Prepping to sew the binding to the quilt BEFORE the quilt is trimmed.

Wow – don’t you love when we think outside the box? Try new things or at least think about new ways to do old things. Let’s not forget that we figured out how to fix wavy binding. But we don’t really want to fix it, we want to avoid it! All the of the projects here were bound or quilted using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe. I will be touching on some quilting tips and techniques for the remainder of the feature. I’ve discovered some pretty exciting stuff.


11 essential tips for machine quilting What I love about quilting is that there is NO right or wrong way to do anything. It really depends on the look that you want, what tools you have available to you, and what skills you have learned along the way. One thing about having good tools is they make you look great even if you don’t have all the skills. That’s the case with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe. I’m a good sewist, but with this machine, I’m a fabulous sewist! I was busy quilting up some small wallhangings and table runners the other day and I thought I would share my tips for machine quilting with you. I’ll confess that I don’t often sit down to machine quilt on a domestic sewing machine. My skills were a bit rusty when I started but by the end of the day, my muscle memories kicked in and I was doing great. Here’s the thing – I used to hate machine quilting on a domestic sewing machine (GASP!). Yes, there were two reasons. The first one was that my shoulders and neck would be in pain after 40 minutes or so. That would never do, so I tended to put quilting off. I’m happy to report that I quilted for a long time that day (after doing three projects) and I had no issues. When I realized that, I was doing a happy dance. Why didn’t I experience any pain? I checked my arms – they were BESIDE me, not flapping up in the air as they usually do. I think my chair was higher! The second reason that I was put off by quilting on a domestic sewing machine was the quality of the stitches that I was getting on my sewing machine. Skipped stitches was a big issue for me and although I tried many things to resolve the issue, I was never 100% happy. Well after three projects, there wasn’t a SINGLE SKIPPED stitch. You know – I might just like this machine quilting on a domestic after all!!! Now that I’ve shared that with you, let’s get down to those tips.

1. You need space around the sewing machine to support the quilt Whether you’re doing stitch in the ditch or free motion, you need some space around the sewing machine to support your work. Doesn’t matter if your project is big or small, you need space around the sewing machine to support your work. I love the optional extension table that you can get for the Designer Ruby deLuxe. You don’t need a lot of space, but you need space. The smooth, curved front of the extension table makes for easy movement of your quilting project. And it’s great for piecing as well.

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe with optional extension table

The bobbin thread has been pulled through the quilt layers to sit on the surface.

3. How to manage stops and starts with variegated thread Let’s say you’re quilting away and your bobbin runs out – hey it happens. Easy to pop in a new bobbin, but you’re using variegated thread. After you cut the top thread in order to get started again and you’ve popped in a new bobbin, you realize that the last bit of top thread was green and now you see blue. If you just started to quilt with those two different colors, the join will look nasty. Simply pull on the top thread until the same color appears that you ended with and you’re good to continue stitching.

The wallhanging is supported by the extension table during the quilting process.

2. Always bring the bobbin thread to the top of the project It’s easy to bring the bobbin thread to the top of your work. With your quilt positioned under the needle where you want to start, hold the top thread in your left hand, touch the Needle Stop Up/ Down function twice and a loop of the bobbin thread will come to the surface of your project. Pull the bobbin thread so the end tail is completely on top and then you can start. You’ll never get a thread nest on the back of your work if you use this technique.

Pull on the variegated thread until it matches the color found at the spot you had to stop.

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4. Do a sample stitch out, ALWAYS Before you start quilting your project, you should always do a sample stitch out, ALWAYS. This will let you know if the machine settings are correct. Do you have the right tension? Is the thread breaking or shredding? (incorrect needle/thread combination is usually the culprit there) Are there any other issues? This will prevent you from having to rip out stitches which is never fun. The sample stitch out can also be a place to practice the stitch that you’re about to do and the process can also alert you to the fact that today might not be the day that you want to machine quilt. I’ve had that happen.

6. Allow extra backing and batting whenever you’re quilting You absolutely must leave some extra backing and batting for all quilting projects. It doesn’t matter who or how the project is going to be quilted, you need extra backing and batting. Why? Well, you can see that as the Dual Feed foot approaches the edge of the quilt that without the extra backing and batting, I would have nothing to hold. That means I’m not in control when approaching the edge of the quilt. We all know what that means. The stitches are not going to look pretty.

Notice that I don’t use a fresh sandwich every time. If I’m using a different thread color and I can still see the new stitches, then I reuse those practice pieces several times.

Start and end your lines of quilting under the flange if you have one.

Extra backing and batting are crucial to nice quilting along the edge of the project

Sample stitch outs are critical.

5. Allow the sewing machine to complete the stitch when turning a corner In the sample below, you can see that the corner stitches are beautifully formed. They were stitched using the Dual Feed foot. I ensured that the stitch was complete and right into the corner rather than half turning or rounding the corner. This was aided with the Needle Stop Up/Down and using the foot pedal to tap through the stitch sequence to ensure the stitches were completely formed. Simple tools, but they make for great looking stitches on the back of the projects.

8. If your quilt has a flange, start your quilting under the flange No one wants to see the beginning and ending stitches of your quilting lines. If you have a flange on your quilt, gently pull back the flange and pull up your bobbin thread to start the line of quilting. You can end the same way. I don’t like to stitch the flange down in any way and if the edges are popping back because you had pulled them away, a gentle press, once the project is complete, will have the flange flat again.

7. Stitch the edge of the quilt to the batting and backing I’ll show you the steps I took to quilt this wall hanging. But when I had finished the stitch in the ditch quilting, I stitched around the entire edge of the quilt to help secure the edges. Having all three layers sewn together will make it easier to attach the binding. To prevent tucks and to help ease in any fullness, I’m using a quilter’s awl to keep the fabric under control.

9. Piecing thread is an EXCELLENT choice for quilting I’ve learned that the more variables you could eliminate when machine quilting a project, the less you have to think about when you actually sit down to quilt. The type of thread you use is one of those variables. If my sewing machine likes the thread that I’m piecing with, then it should like that same thread for quilting. Makes sense? Right? Don’t go crazy on different threads until you get the hang of your sewing machine and the quilting process. I love these spools of Gütermann thread. They’re inexpensive to purchase, they come in a huge range of colors and you can get them in 100% cotton or polyester. The thread comes in different sized spools as well so that is handy. I have a good story to tell you about that spool of yellow sitting in the front, but I’ll save it for the next article.

Use a quilter’s awl to prevent tucks and ease in fullness on the edge of the quilt.

Beautifully formed stitches the create a square corner.

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A few of the wide range of colors of Gütermann threads available for thread that is excellent for machine quilting.


Don’t forget to change your needles often. Every project or every five bobbins. You pick a system and stick to it. Don’t forget to clean the bobbin area as well when you change the needle.

Gütermann threads: the beige spools are 100% cotton and the white spools are polyester.

10. Use good quality needles These are my FAVORITE needles to use for any piecing and quilting. Matter of fact, if I could only have two kinds of needles, it would be the Micro-Tex Sharp and the Top Stitch needles. Size 12 works for piecing and quilting. While there are many options (needle types and sizes), I find that these two needle types in this size will work with almost anything you want to do.

11. Read the manual I can’t say this often enough. Read the manual. You’d be amazed at what you can learn. There are little things about the Designer Ruby deLuxe that I never knew about and I’ve had the sewing machine for a few years. When I read the manual, I was pleasantly surprised and now I’m that much smarter!

Good quality needles are a must for great looking projects

There you have it. Some great tips for machine quilting. Every little tip will make your life easier when you go to machine quilt. And having a great tool like the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe helps a whole lot as well.

The User’s Guide and the Sample book of the built-in embroidery motifs on the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe

9 key steps to machine quilting a machine embroidered wallhanging Step 1 Choose the design I really like the idea of quilting a grid behind the machine embroidery. However, this will require a lot of stopping and starting so I’m never keen to do it. As you can see in the photo on the next page, I drew a few sparse grid lines and each time the grid intersects with the embroidery motif, you have to work around the motif to the next line or stop and restart. A tighter grid would be that much worse.

I thought I’d focus on quilting a machine embroidered wallhanging. I embroidered this wallhanging in a previous QUILTsocial post. The embroidery design is one of the standard designs that comes with the Husqvarna Viking embroidery sewing machines. I added the borders to the machine embroidery piece in another QUILTsocial post and now it’s time to get the wallhanging completed. I get asked for suggestions on how to quilt around machine embroidery designs so I thought that would be a good topic to share with you.

I decided that I didn’t want to do that much work so I opted to fill the background with free motion quilting.

Wallhanging with machine embroidery motif

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I don’t like to start with the free motion. I like to work up to that. If I’m only going to do free motion quilting, then I have no choice but to start with that. My preference is to stabilize with as much stitch in the ditch or straight line quilting that I’m going to do on the piece. The first thing I did here was to stitch in the ditch where the flange meets the border. On a large quilt, I would NEVER pivot at the corners, but this piece was small enough that I could get away with pivoting. Notice that there is LOADS of room under the arm of the Designer Ruby deLuxe so there was no pushing or shoving required. The more you manipulate your quilt, the more you may have issues with the backing and tucks. Grid lines (of quilting) will intersect the embroidery motif

Step 2 Stabilize the quilt Because I’m lazy, I’m not a huge fan of basting smaller items before I start to quilt them. This quilt top measures 24’’ x 32’’ and I did not technically baste it. I did press the three layers (backing, batting and quilt top) together on both the front and the back. I’ll explain what other things I do to prevent shifting as I go through the quilting process. I’m not saying that you should do what I do, but I just find it a hassle to baste these small things and my method prevents tucks and mishaps from occurring. I did stick a few straight pins into the piece before I started to quilt for a little bit of security. Should you choose to give this method a try, you must iron both the front and the back and DO NOT FOLD the piece after you’ve done that. Folding can cause ripples on the front or the back. For this particular piece, I attached the Dual Feed foot to the Designer Ruby deLuxe. I used an invisible thread (clear) on top and a regular piecing thread that matched the quilt back (green) for the bobbin thread.

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Stitching in the ditch with invisible thread on top.

4. Continue with the stitch in the ditch I’ve now stitched around the flange and I’ve checked the back. No tucks, no ripples. I know that the fabric inside that center block on the front and back isn’t going to do anything as it’s now well stabilized on all four sides. And yes that block is big, almost 12’’ x 20’’! I like to get all the straight line quilting done first, so it was onto quilting the border. Again, I stitched in the ditch using invisible thread (clear) on the top and green piecing thread in the bobbin. I did not have to adjust the tension at all. I had to do three separate lines of quilting to complete the stitch in the ditch on the border. Since I was on the edge of the quilt, it was easy to pivot on those angles and no need for pushing and shoving under the arm of the sewing machine. If you have to push and shove that quilt under the arm, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Don’t do it! Notice in the picture below that I’m using quilter’s gloves to better manipulate the quilt. I also gently spread the seams apart when I’m stitching in the ditch. That helps to hide the thread into the valley (the opposite side from which the seam allowance was pressed).

3. CHECK the back This is absolutely critical to the success of the work whether you baste or not. CHECK the back. Check it often – check it after every step. If there’s an issue, you can fix it right then. If you don’t, you can be guaranteed that the back will be messed up. You may want to press the top and back again. Press gently so you don’t compress the batting (remember this is a wall hanging so a little flatter batting is OK). Press away from the center so any fullness is pushed to the outside edges. As mentioned, I did NOT baste this piece and I didn’t have to rip a single stitch out for any reason.

Using quilting gloves to help manipulate the quilt when stitching in the ditch.


Step 5 – CHECK the back I’m sounding like a broken record, but you MUST check the back of your work. I checked after each of the three lines of stitch in the ditch quilting. If I felt that the wallhanging needed a bit of a press, then I gave the piece a quick press (always pressing away from the center). This might seem like a lot of fussing but it’s these seemingly unnecessary little steps like constantly checking the back that are critical to not having a mess on the back. Even if you baste your quilt in any of the traditional methods, I would still check my back after every section of quilting. Chalk this up to experience – it takes a second to check the back and saves hours of ripping.

Checking the back after two rows of stitch in the ditch quilting have been completed.

In this next photo, you can see that I completed the stitch in the ditch around the center block, the three rows necessary to complete the stitching in the border and I’ve also stitched the outer edge of the quilt to the backing, as I mentioned in the previous article. I like to do that as it helps to keep everything from moving around and it certainly helps when it’s time to sew the binding on.

Here’s one of the features I love about the Designer Ruby deLuxe. See that button in the photo below with the squiggly lines on it? I just have to touch that button, the pop-up menu comes up asking me if I’m using the Free Motion Spring Action foot or the Free Motion Floating foot and then I let the Designer Ruby deLuxe do the rest of the setup. It drops the feed dogs, sets the tension or whatever else it feels necessary for free motion.

The stitch in the ditch quilting from the front of the quilt.

6. Set up the sewing machine for free motion It’s very easy to set up the Designer Ruby deLuxe for free motion quilting. There are many different styles of free motion feet. And I have most of them. But this one is my favorite. It’s metal (not sure why I like metal over plastic – they both work the same), but the best feature for me is that the front of the foot is open so I can see exactly where I’m stitching. Depending on what type of quilting I’m doing, I would choose one of the other feet if it were more appropriate. This is the open toe spring action free motion quilting foot.

The spring action free motion foot is attached to the sewing machine. The spring action free motion foot is attached to the sewing machine.

All the stitch in the ditch is done and the back looks great with beautifully formed stitches and no tucks.

That’s pretty much foolproof and I didn’t have to adjust the tension. I can override any of the automatic settings any time I feel the need. Something I rarely have to do.

Choosing the type of free motion that I installed on the sewing machine.

7. Choose the free motion design This is where most people have trouble. I covered this off in a post on QUILTsocial about practicing and figuring out what you want to do on paper before you tackle your piece. It’s also a good idea to figure out the density that you want the quilting to be and stick with that. I’ll show you something about density in a minute. You don’t need to know a lot of designs, but you should be willing to experiment with the size and shape and that’ll give you enough variety. I know what to do, but let’s look at the piece. It looks like a disaster. All the stitch in the ditch is done around the border and that center square which has caused the center to pucker up and it looks awful. Just wait – you know the saying – it’ll quilt out? Stick with me and you’ll see what happens. Remember – we know that front square is the same size (and amount of fabric) on the front and the back.

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8. Make sure you have enough thread You can see that I’ve plenty of room to work under the arm of the Designer Ruby deLuxe. I didn’t really do anything special in placing the quilt around the sewing machine other than I have the extension table attached. The piece is small and I bunched it up as I saw fit to make the job of quilting it that much easier.

The center block has puffed up because the outer borders are quilted and the center is not.

That center square almost looks worse as I start to quilt it with fairly dense quilting. But we’re not done yet. Don’t forget to periodically check the back to make sure things are going smoothly there.

However, I just about had a heart attack when I realized that even though I was close to finishing the stitching in the background of that block that I was going to run out of the thread. NO WAY! I checked my thread stash and no – I didn’t have any more of that color. Thankfully the shop was open and I was able to get more. Back home and when I was prepping for another project later in the day, I happened to check a small thread box that I keep for my machine quilting class and you guessed it – there was a spool of the EXACT same color! Well, now I have enough for another project. That’s one of the other things that’s nice about using the piecing thread for quilting. If you run out, it’s pretty easy to get a replacement. If you’re using a specialty thread and you run out, it may not be so quick to get another spool.

The finished back of the quilt

The center square is even more puffed now that I’ve started to quilt it.

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I should mention that I used a regular piecing thread on the top and a regular piecing thread (a completely different brand and color – green) for the bobbin. The tension was perfect.

Running out of the thread for the top of my project.

9. Check the back and admire! Once I had finished all the quilting on the center square, I changed the thread color on the front to a variegated green/ blue/purple for the borders. This was a polyester thread, but I kept the green piecing thread in the bobbin. Again, no need to change the tension. I did check the back as I went. Notice the back has NO tucks, that center block that looked so bad went completely flat. The center block is not distorted because I stabilized it before any free motion quilting had a chance to distort things as can sometimes happen. The stitch in the ditch quilting stabilized all the major lines in the quilt.


A note about density When you draw out your quilting designs, it’s not a bad idea to think about the density that you want when you quilt the piece. You can see in the picture below (bottom right) that I started off with an open density and very quickly made it tighter. I’m not going to fix it – this will become a good learning piece. The bottom line, that’s a very small space and not really noticeable. But if I had changed the density up in the quilting, it would be very visible. Something to keep in mind! Obviously, the sequence of quilting will vary depending on the type of project that you’re doing, but I try to stick to that method and I don’t have any issues with the quilting. One thing I want to remind everyone. I’m giving you my tried and true techniques that I’ve learned over the past 20 years. Some of what I do may not work for you – like NOT basting a quilt. What I hope is that each of you will take my ideas and mold them with your experiences to find a technique and style that works for you. I almost feel guilty to say that I quilted that piece because with the help of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe, the job was so easy and I basically did nothing but guide the fabric. It really doesn’t get any easier than that. I have another wallhanging to share with you. This time it’s a hand-embroidered wallhanging and I’ll show you how I quilted that one.

The wallhanging is completely quilted and it looks awesome!

In the photo above, you can see that all the fullness that we saw has been completely quilted out. That’s the beauty of quilting. But you must, must, must check the work back and front as you go. You must stabilize the quilt with basting or quilting and you can’t skip any of those steps or you’ll be in trouble. I’m very happy with the results. Now I must get the quilt trimmed and put the binding on. Since I haven’t made the binding, this one is going in the pile with the other quilts that are waiting for binding.

Notice the slightly larger density in the lower right corner.

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Quilting a hand embroidered piece and making doll clothes, is so much fun! Technically, you could quilt a hand embroidered piece similar to the machine embroidery piece that I just highlighted in the previous pages. The only problem is that hand embroidery tends to have more open spaces and to me, it seems more delicate and all that free motion can just muddy the design. Maybe that’s just me who feels that way. I’ll do things a bit different. Plus you’ll get another idea for quilting a wallhanging or hand embroidered quilt blocks.

I did change threads. This time, I have invisible on the top and I’ve got a matching thread (beige piecing thread) in the bobbin. Using the same techniques for holding the quilt while doing the stitch in the ditch with the Dual Feed foot, I quilted around the edges of that block. Yes – if I looked at the lines on the back, they might not be perfectly straight like they would be if the lines had been stitched using the Dual Feed foot, but you can’t see the lines because of the busy back that I put on this wallhanging and the stitches don’t show on either the front or the back so who is going to know?

Hand embroidered wallhanging ready to be quilted

Stitching in the ditch – FREE MOTION style

This piece is quite small measuring 15’’ square. There won’t be any issues to maneuver this quilt under the arm of the sewing machine. This is the type of project that people should learn to quilt on – small in size and the threads will completely blend into the background, so no one will know if your stitches were consistent or not.

I learned this technique a long, long time ago. I had some major stitch in the ditch to do and I wasn’t about to do a lot of shoving and pushing or stopping and starting. The quilting wasn’t perfect on that compass quilt, but the free motion stitch in the ditch sure saved a lot of time to quilt that quilt and I’ve been saving tons of time with this method ever since. A good skill to learn!

I’m stitching in the ditch around the outline of the block. Again, I used my iron only basting method. I don’t think I even stuck pins in this one. Instead of attaching the Dual Feed Foot for that one outline, I decided this was a good place to do free motion stitch in the ditch. I still had the Spring Action Free Motion foot attached to the Designer Ruby deLuxe.

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Then it was time to choose the style of quilting for the embroidery. Personally, I like to stitch just beside the embroidery lines. I may change that up depending on the design but in this case, I think it works well to stitch along the lines of embroidery.

I used invisible thread on the top and my beige piecing thread in the bobbin. I didn’t stitch on the lines of embroidery, but right beside them. In some cases, you can see the line of stitching wasn’t exactly beside the embroidery, but that’s OK. I did all the stitching without stopping and starting resulting in backtracking over some lines of stitching. However, the detail on the face of the pumpkin was done with separate lines of stitching.

Lines of embroidery are highlighted by “stitch in the ditch” quilting with invisible thread.

I didn’t go around some of the smaller details like the stars on the hat and the cat’s face. That’s OK. You could if you wanted, but it’s not necessary to keep the integrity of the piece. If I wanted to, I could have done some loose overall stitching in the background to make the image stand out a bit more, but you have to be careful with the density. If you quilt that background too tight, the pumpkin will puff up similar to my machine embroidered piece. This is a seasonal wallhanging and it looks just fine like this.


While I was on a roll and the Designer Ruby deLuxe was set up, I decided to quilt another small hand embroidered wall hanging that was sitting in the “to be quilted” pile.

A closer look at the quilting around the hand embroidered stitching

Here’s a close up of the stitching that I did in the border. Normally I would have done that with a darker thread – maybe grey or even black. But this is a glow in the dark thread so it looks neat when the lights are off. I wanted to do the entire pumpkin face with the glow in the dark, but it didn’t look great if I accidentally stitched the white thread on the black hand stitching. That got ripped out real quick. The stars were done fast and are by no means perfect. That’s OK. It’s a small seasonal wallhanging. No one should be losing sleep if the stars aren’t perfect. What I do like is that the Designer Ruby deLuxe made PERFECTLY formed stitches and I managed to do a pretty decent job with the stitch length. I’m happy! And now that one goes onto the binding pile along with the rest of the quilts waiting to be bound.

I basically followed the same method as for the Halloween project. I used invisible thread to outline all the lines of hand embroidery. I didn’t do the feathers on the owl body and wings. I stitched in the ditch using the free motion technique around the perimeter of the block and around all the stitching on the leaves, flowers, and the owl. I used a matching thread for the backing. It was a cream piecing thread. I used invisible for all the stitching on the top.

Stitching front to back on the borders using the free motion foot

Here’s the finished wallhanging. It needs to be trimmed and have the binding put on. Yep – this one is also going on the pile of quilts to be bound. I will have to break down and start doing one or two a day as the pile is getting rather large.

Stitching in the ditch beside the lines of hand embroidery stitches

I also decided to quilt all the border seams with stitch in the ditch using the Spring Action Free Motion foot. Note on the border that I could stitch in either a sideways motion or an up and down motion whichever worked best for me. It’s nice to have options and it’s nice to have a sewing machine that will make great stitches depending on what is easiest for me, not what is easiest for the sewing machine.

Hand embroidered wall hanging quilted and ready to be trimmed

A close up of the quilting with invisible thread

Back to my childhood sewing… I have to confess that for months, (OK – so it’s more like years), I’ve been wanting to make doll clothes. I’ve no one to give them to. I don’t even have a doll to put the clothes on, but I love little things and doll clothes are little and they’re cute.

Quilted stars in the border using glow in the dark thread.

Stitching side to side on the borders using the free motion foot

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Tools that will make the assembly of the doll clothes a breeze

I started by cutting the pattern pieces that I needed from the pattern tissue. Then I evaluated the tools that I needed to cut out the fabric pieces. I was certain that if I used flower head pins, that I’d be able to use my rotary cutters and a ruler to cut some parts of the pattern. I also dug out some of my threads that I can use to sew the clothes and I chose matching threads because some of the stitching is going to show. Here are some of the accessories that I will need. Elastic, velcro (sew-in velcro is my favorite), and look at those teeny tiny buttons. I wasn’t sure which size I would need for which application, so I got all sizes. They are so darn cute!! Doll clothes pattern for an 18" doll

I found some extra time in my schedule to get one outfit made. It’s a great use of the sewing machine and my quilting tools so I thought I would share my experience with you. It’s been a while, so I’m starting with something simple. A pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I went through my fabric stash and found some denim for the pants and a nice pink gingham for the shirt.

I used to sew doll clothes years ago and I used to do a lot of garment sewing years ago as well. Things have changed and when I went to cut out the pattern, I decided that the rotary cutter was probably a lot better, faster and easier than scissors. When I cut the pants out, I didn’t trim excess tissue paper away beyond the cutting line. That made it a wee bit challenging to keep the pattern tissue flat. When I cut the shirt out, I trimmed the excess tissue paper away prior to pinning the tissue pattern to the fabric and using the rotary cutter worked like a charm.

Fabrics for a shirt and a pair of pants for an 18" doll Items for finishing the doll clothes

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Cutting out the pattern using a rotary cutter

I used my ruler on all the straight edges of the pattern. This is why it’s important to use those flower head pins. They are flat and in no way impeded the ruler. I used the small rotary cutter on the curves and the medium cutter on the rest. The pants and the shirt were cut out in no time! Here’s something exciting. I can use my Quilter’s P foot (¼” piecing foot) to sew the doll clothes as the patterns are made with a ¼” seam allowance. Isn’t that exciting? It will be a snap to get these clothes sewn together. Here they are – my first shirt and pair of pants for my pretend doll. Yes – I know the pants aren’t finished, but I needed to get the picture taken and I was running out of time.

Using a ruler and rotary cutter to cut out a pattern piece for a doll shirt

Let’s just say that some of my garment skills are a tad rusty, but I was able to use a lot of my quilting skills. Insetting those sleeves was just like a curved quilt seam. My quilter’s awl came in darn handy and there are so many techniques and machine features that I used that I decided to save them for the next set of posts. I’ll take a day and walk you through what I did and what tools I used and where. It was loads of fun and I have a lot of ideas on how to improve the process. And there you have it. Some more great ways to use the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby deLuxe. The more I sew, the more I want to sew. The more features I uncover, the more I want to try them on different things which is why I decided to try the doll clothes. I really want to try some garment sewing again. The good thing about doll clothes – you don’t need to worry about fit! Now where to find an 18” doll who can model her new wardrobe? I hope you enjoyed these series of articles. I hope you found some tips or ideas that can apply to your sewing and quilting adventures!

Elaine Theriault

crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com

The Quilter’s ¼” foot is perfect for sewing the seam allowance on the doll clothes

Shirt and pants for an 18" doll

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Birds of Paradise quilt

skill level intermediate finished measurements 60” x 67” [152.4 x 170.18cm] materials fabric • 60” [1.5m] – Fabric A light grey background ™™ Cut 3 strips measuring 3” x wof - - Sub cut 32 squares measuring 3” square ™™ Cut 17 strips measuring 2½” x wof -- Sub cut 256 squares measuring 2½” square • 23” [60cm] – Fabric B yellow flower centers Block A ™™ Cut 2 strips measuring 3” x wof -- Sub cut 16 squares measuring 3” square ™™ Cut 4 strips measuring 2½” x wof -- Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x 4½” • 32” [80cm] – Fabric C orange outside Block A ™™ Cut 10 strips measuring 2½” x wof -- Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x 4½” -- Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x 6½” • 23” [60cm] – Fabric D pink flower centers Block B ™™ Cut 2 strips measuring 3” x wof - - Sub cut 16 squares measuring 3” square ™™ Cut 4 strips measuring 2½” x wof -- Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x 4½”

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• 32” [80cm] – Fabric E burgundy outside Block B ™™ Cut 10 strips measuring 2½” x wof -- Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x 4½” -- Sub cut 32 rectangles measuring 2½” x 6½” • 1yd [0.9m] – Fabric F green sashing and inner border ™™ Cut 9 strips measuring 1½” x wof -- Join end to end using a diagonal seam for the sashing ™™ Cut 6 strips measuring 2½” x wof -- Join end to end using a diagonal seam for the inner border • 15⁄8yd [1.4m] – Fabric G burgundy outer border ™™ Cut 7 strips measuring 4½” x wof -- Join end to end using a diagonal seam for the outer border ™™ Cut 7 strips measuring 2½” x wof -- Join end to end using a diagonal seam for the binding • 37⁄8yd [3.5m] – backing ™™ Pieced crosswise other • matching thread • rotary cutter • cutting mat • ruler • pins

A mixture of Northcott’s basic collections including Toscana, Stonehenge Gradations Brights and Artisan Spirit Shimmer. Joining the blocks into rows transforms this ordinary block in a garden bursting with color to brighten up any day. This quilt is also a great opportunity to try out a new quilting design and because the quilt is made in rows, it’s super easy to quilt.

Instructions Notes: ™™ Use ¼” Seam Allowance unless otherwise stated. Block A and Block B are identical except for the colouring. Half Square triangles 1. Using 16 3” squares, each of Fabric A and Fabric B, make 32 half square triangles. 2. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the lightest of the pair of squares for the HST. 3. Stitch a scant ¼” on either side of the diagonal line. 4. Cut apart on the diagonal line. 5. Press to the dark fabric. 6. Trim the units to 2½”. 7. Repeat using 16 3” squares of Fabric A and Fabric D. 8. Sew each half square triangle to a background square (2½”) using the diagram to get the correct orientation. Logs for the blocks 1. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the remaining background squares (2½”). Place a background square with right sides together onto a rectangle of Fabric B. Watch the orientation of the diagonal line. 2. Trim the excess away and press towards the background.


quilting

3. Using Fabric C rectangles (2½” x 4½” and 2½” x 6½”) and the background squares (2½”), complete the remainder of the logs in the same manner. Watch the orientation of the diagonal line as the angle on the background square is not the same for the three logs used in each block. Use the block diagram to see which way to place the diagonal line. 4. Repeat using Fabrics D and E. 5. Assemble the blocks. Unfinished block size = 6½”. 6. Alternate a Block A and B, sew the units together in rows as per the diagram. Notice that the odd rows start with Block A and the even rows start with Block B. Quilt Center 1. Measure several of the rows to get an average length. 2. Cut 7 strips of the sashing fabric to that measurement. Add a sashing strip to the bottom of seven rows. 3. Sew the rows together, pinning to prevent the edges of the quilt from going wonky. Inner Border Repeat the steps for the inner border using Fabric D, add the 2nd border. 1. Using Fabric F, cut 2 pieces of fabric that equal the vertical length of the quilt (take the measurement through the vertical center of the quilt). 2. Match the center of the inner border to the side center of the quilt and pin. 3. Match the ends of the inner border to both ends of the quilt and pin. You may have to ease the inner border or the quilt. 4. Sew the seams. Press toward the inner border. 5. Repeat this process for the top and bottom inner borders using the width (through the center) of the quilt as your measurement guide. Outer Border Repeat the steps for the inner border and using Fabric G, add the outer border.

Colouring for Block A

Note: It’s best to NOT prewash preprinted fabrics such as panels and border prints. The fabric goes through many processes to be delivered to the consumer and there may be some size variations. If you’re unable to cut the panels/border prints to the sizes mentioned above, cut the pieces to a size that works for your panels and adjust any other Elaine Theriault measurements accordingly. crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com

Block outline diagram

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TEXTILE TOUR

gujarat-kutch-rajasthan january 2019 workshops•demos•festivals remote desert villages

limited spaces! also morocco, uzbekistan, orissa

905-715-7725 www.thatsewingplace.ca

SPECIALIZING IN SEWING MACHINE SALES/SERVICE/CLASSES AUTHORIZED DEALER FOR

Kelly’s Creative Sewing Machines and More...

902-435-7380

www.kellyscreativesewing.ca 804 Main Street Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2W 3V1 kellyscreativesewing@gmail.com

Specialize in Sewing, Embroidery machines, Sergers and Long arm Quilting Systems

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www.sewwithvision.net

902-479-2227 480 Parkland Dr, Halifax, NS B3S 1P9, Canada Your Authorized Dealer for: Perfection starts here.™

Ottawa Valley Authorized Dealer Sewing, Knitting & Having a Good Time Arnprior Shopping Centre 375 Daniel St S, Arnprior, ON K7S 3K6 613-623-0500 www.sewinspired.ca info@sewinspired.ca


Ketan, pronounced “kay-tan,� is a colorful holiday rice from Indonesia that inspired this collection. Ketan Precuts come in six gorgeous color palettes, such as Pink Skies (shown here). Visit BanyanBatiks.com to see the full range of Ketan Precuts and use the Product Finder tool to locate a shop that carries this line.

Pink Skies fat quarter bundle and strip pack BY NORTHCOTT

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Q U I LTs o c i a l b l o g g e r s

Christine Baker

Elaine Theriault

Sarah Vanderburgh

Christine has been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 10 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. Her patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all her patterns on her website.

Elaine made her first quilt at the tender age of 13. The urge to quilt resur faced when her daughter moved from a crib. The rest is history – she now teaches several d ays a we ek , makes quilts on commission and quilts for others on the long-arm.

Sarah loves to play with color and quilts are her playground! A selftaught quilter, She's been designing her own quilts for almost 20 years. She's inspired by happy fabrics, selvages, traditional blocks and nature. She's also a wife, mother, and elementary school teacher, and enjoy drinking coffee on my front porch in northern Ontario.

FairfieldRoadDesigns.com

crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.ca

sewjoycreations.com

Julie Plotniko

juliesquiltclass.blogspot.com Julie Plotniko is a quilting teacher, blogger and designer from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Teaching for almost 40 years, recent credits include Quilt Canada 2016 and 2017, many quilt guilds and groups throughout Canada and CreativFestival Sewing and Craft Shows in Victoria, Abbotsford and Toronto. When not on the road Julie works and teaches at Snip & Stitch Sewing Center in Nanaimo, BC. Her favorite things include free motion quilting (standard bed and midarm machines), precision piecing, scrap quilting, machine embroidery, blogging, designing and of course teaching. Julie believes that to see a student go from tentative beginnings to having confidence in themselves and their abilities is one of the greatest rewards that life has to offer.

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Dual Duty XP® combines superior strength & durability with a smooth finish for trouble-free sewing. DUAL DUTY XP® The "Xtra Performance" All Purpose Thread.

World’s leading thread company for over 200 years. makeitcoats.com

15-020 © 2015 Coats & Clark. All rights reserved. Coats & Clark is a registered trademark.

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BUSINESS DIRECTORY

To list your business in this space please call 1.866.969.2678.

Brenda Franklin Designs 7570 Mapleton SR 18 RR 1, Alma, ON N0B 1A0  519.638.9958   bfdesigns.on.ca  help@bfdesigns.on.ca More than 500 charts available for counted needlework, latch hook rugs, beadwork, beaded knits and knitting patterns. Mail/fax order or ask for our products at your local shop. Contact us for custom designs or needle felted sculpture.

Impressions Embroidery & Engraving #8-449 Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3L8  403.942.3934   impressionslethbridge.ca  impressions22@shaw.ca Our shop does embroidery and laser engraving. Laser engraving is a beautiful process for fabric, as nothing cuts cleaner and more precisely than a laser. We now carry a nice array of fabric as well to compliment the abilities of the laser.

That Sewing Place 16610 Bayview Ave #10, Newmarket, ON L3X 1X3  905.715.7725   thatsewingplace.ca  jaret&liana@thatsewingplace.ca Introducing That Sewing Place as your sewing source and Authorized Dealers for Bernina and Brother machines. Jaret & Liana focus on placing your sewing needs first, providing outstanding support, service, and training.

Brampton Sew & Serge 289 Rutherford Rd S, Unit 7, Brampton, ON L6W 3R9  905.874.1564   sewnserge.com  monique@bramptonsewnserge.com Welcome to Your One Stop Sewing Centre! We are authorized dealers of Baby Lock, Husqvarna Viking, and Singer sewing machines and sergers. We also offer a full schedule of sewing classes for everyone.

Kelly's Creative Sewing 804 Main St, Dartmouth, NS B2W 3V1  902.435.7380   kellyscreativesewing.ca  kellyscreativesewing@gmail.com We offer sales and on-site service of high-end domestic embroidery, sewing machines and sergers, as well as a variety of educational programs.

The Quilt Store / Evelyn's Sewing Centre 17817 Leslie St, Unit 40, Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C6  905.853.7001 or toll-free 1.888.853.7001 The Quilt Store West 695 Plains Rd E, Unit 6, Burlington, ON L7T 2E8  905.631.0894 or toll-free 1.877.367.7070  thequiltstore.ca Now with 2 locations to serve you, we are your Quilt Store Destination! The staff here at The Quilt Store is always on hand to provide Quilt Wisdom, Quilt Inspiration and most of all we pride ourselves as the place to make... All Your Quilt Dreams Come True!

Needles & Knits 15040 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 1M4  905.713.2066   needlesandknits.com Fabulous selection of yarns. Extremely knowledgable and expert help. Cozy and friendly atmosphere. Classes. Guild night every first Tuesday The Stitcher's Muse of the month. Tea with Tove, the owner, every 99 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5G3 Thursday from 6-8pm.  250.591.6873    thestitchersmuse.com  info@thestitchersmuse.com Needleworker's Delight / Silkweaver Fabrics A divine little shop with supplies for all your hand Canadian National Fabric - Brampton, ON Plaza K 181 Route 1 South, Metuchen, NJ 08840 stitching needs! Friendly, knowledgeable, helpful  https://canadiannationalfabric.com/  732-388-4545   needleworkersdelight.com staff. Cross stitch, canvaswork, needlepoint,  info@needleworkersdelight.com  info@canadiannationalfabric.com embroidery, counted thread, lace making and Standard & specialty Zweigart Fabrics & canvas, We are an online fabric shoppe offering a wide more. Books, patterns, fabric, threads, tools. variety of fabrics, patterns, books and notions for all hand-dyed fabrics, floss, fibers, towels, tableware, The Yarn Guy your sewing needs. Flat rate Canada wide shipping leaflets/designs, painted canvases, notions, tools, baby items, home decor, and so much more! 15 Gower St, Toronto, ON M4B 1E3 of $5. Shop in person available by appointment!  416.752.1828 or toll-free 1.800.836.6536 Pine Ridge Knit & Sew Country Concessions  theyarnguy.com   info@sewknit.ca 17477 Hwy 2 PO Box 68, Trenton, ON K8V 5R1 1 Dufferin St, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0 See us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter!  705.458.4546 or toll-free 1.888.834.4407  613.392.1422  pineridgeknitsew.com Knitting machines, sewing machines, repairs, parts  countryconcessions.com  yvette@pineridgeknitsew.com for Passap, Studio, Singer, Silver Reed, Superba,  info@countryconcessions.com We have knitting machines by Artisan and Silver White. Sewing notions and supplies, books, ball Visit our lovely and unique quilt shop in the quaint Reed, embroidery machines by Husqvarna/Viking yarns, coned yarns, TAMM yarns, Paton's yarns, village of Cookstown. We have over 7000 bolts of & White. Sewing notions and supplies, books and Bernat yarns, Phentex yarns, Bernat kits & crafts. cotton fabrics plus a wide selection of patterns, books software. Hands-on lessons and classes. Wide variety & notions. You will be so glad you came for a visit. of yarns, threads, dress and pant zippers. Ultimate Sewing Centre 191 Bloor St East, Oshawa, ON L1H 3M3 Gitta's Serenity Knits  905.436.9193    ultimatesewing.com 271 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G8 525 Brooker Ridge #102, Newmarket, ON L3X 2M2  ultimatesewing@bellnet.ca  905.274.7198   gittas.com  905.710.3283   serenityknits.ca For all your sewing needs be sure to call Durham’s  questions@gittas.com  info@serenityknits.ca largest one stop shop: Janome and Elna Sewing Gitta's, named after owner Gitta Al-Basi, nestled in We offer a wide selection of high quality yarns as well Machines, Sergers, & Embroidery machines, the east village of Port Credit, is the place where as needles, hooks, patterns and notions. We also offer over 3000 bolts of first quality cottons, Floriani stitchers meet with their stitching friends, shop for a large variety of classes from beginner to the more Embroidery supplies, the latest notions, books, & stitching supplies and see the new stitching designs advanced. patterns, year round classes, and so much more! from Europe and the United States. Sew Fancy Inc. Upper Canada Quiltworks Hardanger House, designs by Betty Stokoe Guelph, ON PO Box 64, Brockville, ON K6V 5T7 PO Box 1223, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0  519.824.4127   sewfancy.com  613.345.3956 Fax: 613.342.3327  sales@sewfancy.com  403.742.2749  bettystokoe@gmail.com  uppercanadaquiltworks.com   tnplisting.com/hardanger-house.html Your Premier Canadian Source for Specialty Sewing Visit us online for a wide selection quilt patterns Hardanger embroidery charts and kits. Designs Supplies including Smocking, Heirloom Sewing, and books. Techniques include felted wool, fusible feature contemporary adaptations of this traditional Goldwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Needle Tatting, appliqué, punchneedle, rag quilting and printing cutwork embroidery from Norway. Shop online Swarovski Crystals, Sashiko, Quilting and more. Visit photos on fabric. at etsy.com/shop/HardangerHouse. Some digital the website for the latest in sewing supplies. downloads available. Sew Inspired Haus of Stitches 375 Daniel St S, Arnprior, ON K7S 3K6 626 Main Street, Humboldt, SK  S0K 2A0  613.623.0500   sewinspired.ca  info@sewinspired.ca  306.682.0772 or toll-free 1.800.344.6024  hausofstitches.ca Your Ottawa Valley PFAFF® Authorized Dealer. We Our one of a kind store offers everything you need have a large supply of quilting & sewing supplies, for sewing, quilting, knitting, rug hooking and knitting supplies, as well as in stock PFAFF® sewing needlework. Authorized dealers for Janome and Elna. machines. We also have a listing of sewing and quilting classes. Heartfelt Fibre Arts 42 Industrial St, Toronto, ON M4G 1Y9 Sew With Vision 480 Parkland Dr, Halifax, NS B3S 1P9  647.920.3616   heartfeltfibrearts.com  info@hearftfeltfibrearts.com  902.479.2227   sewwithvision.net Authorized PFAFF, HUSQVARNA VIKING, and SINGER Canadian Fibre Arts supply store specializing in dealer and service provider offering an extensive line high-quality, unique fibre and tools for all of your knitting, felting, rug hooking and stitching needs. of sewing, embroidery and serger machines, as well as long-arm quilting systems. Bytowne Threads - Ottawa, ON  1.888.831.4095   bytownethreads.com  mlj@bytownethreads.com Featuring Aurifil thread from Italy. Long staple Egyptian cotton threads - 270 colours in 12, 28, 40 and 50 wt; 88 colours in 80 wt. Polyester Aurilux 240 high sheen colours. Wool threads - 192 colours. Many kits available. Check our website!

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The Ultimate Accessory that Fits Virtually Anywhere Introducing THE Dream Fabric Frame that maximizes your workspace and unlocks the potential of your advanced Brother Sewing and Quilting machines. Paired up with select models, you’ll enjoy enhanced capabilities - all at your fingertips.

Small space, huge possibilities in just 3’ x 5’! MSRP $2999.99

SAQCF100S

Expand your horizons and take on the projects of your dreams! Includes the SureStitch stitch regulator for enhanced control during free motion sewing

Multi-function foot control brings enhanced features within reach

Adjustable legs let you work standing or sitting

Compatible with the following machines that are available separately: XV8550D, VM6200D, VM5100, VQ3000, VQ2400, PQ1500SL

Visit your Brother authorized dealer, or go to brother.ca to discover more.

INSPIRING CREATIVIT Y FOR GENERATIONS Photos are for illustration purposes only. Sewing machine not included. Brother and its logo are trademarks of Brother Industries, Ltd., Japan. All specifications are subject to change without notice. All registered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective companies. ©2018 Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. 1, rue Hôtel de Ville, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec, H9B 3H6. 07/2018 - 18_0213

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QUILTsocial Issue 12  

Welcome to another extraordinary QUILTsocial issue! Don't miss the 11 essential tips for quilting on a domestic machine. See which machine f...

QUILTsocial Issue 12  

Welcome to another extraordinary QUILTsocial issue! Don't miss the 11 essential tips for quilting on a domestic machine. See which machine f...