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social UILT Q Diagram 2

Visit to download a PDF version of this issue.

‌eat, sleep, quilt, repeat IS S U E


essential tips for * using decorative stitches * reducing bulk in the seams * Sashiko embroidery * perfect quarter square triangles * stenciling your fabric

3 sewing machine reviews

* PLUS * Spider Hanging by a Thread Autumn Harmony Banner Cosmic Fusion Baby Quilt Wool Applique Snap Bag Selvage Bag



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A princess for the Queen. Give her more than just another gift this Mother’s Day. The HUSQVARNA VIKING® DESIGNER RUBY Royale™ sewing and embroidery machine is our heir to the throne, a true princess for the queen. It makes it easy and rewarding to create anything your heart desires! ExclusivE fEaturEs: • Experience more beautiful embroidery than ever, even with challenging metallic threads thanks to the innovative deLuxe™ Stitch System. • Use the first in the industry Dimensional Stitches to add appliqué fabric. • The largest embroidery area in its class*, allowing you to stitch spectacular designs with just one hooping.

Find your nearest retailer at VIKING® and DESIGNER RUBY ROYALE are trademarks of Singer Sourcing Limited LLC. HUSQVARNA and the

Device are trademarks of Husqvarna AB. ©2017 Singer Sourcing Limited LLC. All rights reserved. 2“H” CrownQ UILTsocial | issue 8 .com

*Non-turnable; as compared to leading brands in similar price range.

editor's letter

Good quilting is in the details, and there's no greater feeling of accomplishment when points match or seams lay flat when making a quilt! There's an extra bounce in my step when this happens! Accuracy takes a little practice, and the application of every nugget of information discovered through tutorials, lessons, and friendships make a world of difference. What an extraordinary age to be living in, with an incredible amount of information at our fingertips and delivered in less than a second! Last fall, I was struggling with my quarter square triangles on a baby quilt I was making with mom, which led to my request to quilter Elaine Theriault to share with QUILTsocial the way to perfect quarter square triangles every time. Every tip, tutorial and project we learn from enhances our knowledge of quilting, giving us more freedom (and should I say power?) to make well-made quilts. I hope every issue of QUILTsocial quenches your thirst for knowlege about techniques, sewing tools and sewing machines. To be armed with these is to be able to do some serious good quilting. Cheerfully,

follow me on QUILTsocial


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Diagram 2



…eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

John De Fusco, Carla A. Canonico, Alessia De Fusco

BLOGGERS/CONTRIBUTORS Christine Baker Nancy Devine Jackie White Jean Boyd Liana Kirkey Sarah Vanderburgh GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGN Carla A. Canonico Sandra Armas WEB and IT Support Alejandro Araujo WEBSITE / BLOG : 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 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 EDITORIAL Designers and other contributors who would like to be considered for future issues please email with a brief description of your work and your proposed project for the magazine. ©2017 QUILTsocial. All rights reserved. Issue #8. ISSN 2368-5913. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

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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.

Advertiser Index 65 A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine 15 Brother 86 Business Directory 57 Coats 25 Gütermann Creativ 02 Husqvarna Viking 35 Northcott 04 QUILTsocial 88 UNIQUE Sewing and Quilting

QUILTsocial Diagram 2

…eat, sleep, quilt, repeat

.com issue 8

c o n t e n t s 06 Making a Cosmic Fusion Baby Quilt 12 Playing with the Brother NQ3500D's Built-in Decorative Stitches 21 Hooked on Books 22 Spiders Hanging by a Thread Banner 26 A Quilter's Review of the PFAFF creative 4.5 38 3 Creative Uses for WonderFil's Eleganza Thread 50 Reduce Bulk in the Seams of your Quilt Block 66 The Epic Features of the HV Designer Epic 70 Autumn Harmony a Log Cabin Quilted Sampler 78 A Calm Winter, a body pillow wrap 84 Quilted Hand Muff



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Making a Cosmic Fusion baby quilt!

Jean Boyd

I received this wonderful Cosmic Fusion fabric by Northcott! I have fabric from the green colorway, but there are also orange and purple colorways in this collection. You can have a look at all the fabric on the Northcott website. Watch for Cosmic Fusion! You can find out which quilt shops and online retailers carry Cosmic Fusion by using the Product Finder link at the top of the page on the Northcott website. Fabrics from the Cosmic Fusion collection by Northcott

The strips are cut on the lengthwise grain of the fabric.

I decided to make a modern-style baby quilt using 9 – 20” pieces from the collection. The quilt will be 38” x 48” when finished. If you would like to make this project with me, here’s how to get started. From each 20” pieces, cut 3 or 4 strips in varying widths from 2½” to 4” wide. Make sure you cut the strips so the longest side is on the lengthwise grain of the fabric (parallel to the selvedge edge). This will help prevent the strips from stretching as you sew them together. Sew 9 different fabric strips of varying widths together to make a strip set. Don’t worry if the top and bottom edges are uneven – they will be trimmed later. Press seams to one side. The strip set will be about 20” – 24” wide.

The first strip set is sewn together.

Sew 9 more strips of varying widths together to make another strip set. Make sure to sew the fabrics together in a different order than in the first set. Sew the 2 strips sets together, end to end, to make 1 long strip set. Make 3 more long strip sets like this. Follow along, I’ll show you how to put these strip sets together to make the quilt top. You’ll have your modern baby quilt made in no time. I’m sure you’ll agree that this Northcott Cosmic Fusion fabric is fun to work with.

The seams are pressed to one side.




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Photos by Jean Boyd

Lining up strips of fabric easily for a modern baby quilt

Use the lines on your ruler to help you straighten the edge of the strip set.

Cutting diagram for the strip sets A sneak peek at the Modern baby quilt made with Northcott’s Cosmic Fusion fabrics

Straighten one edge of the strip set. I like to use one or more of the lines on my ruler as additional guides to make sure the edge is really straight. Just align the line on your ruler with one of the seams before cutting. Use the diagram as a cutting guide to cut your strip sets into units. Pay careful attention to the orientation of the strips in each strip set. You may have to add 1 or 2 more strips if your strip sets aren’t long enough. Once the units are all cut out, it’s a good idea to put them on a design wall or on the floor, so you can check the overall design. Try to avoid having 2 identical fabrics next to each other. Sometimes you can just turn a strip, end for end, to avoid having this happen. Here are my units on the design wall, all ready to sew. I love working with this Cosmic Fusion fabric! Northcott fabric is always excellent quality and the width is usually a full 44”.

Here are my units on the design wall, all ready to sew.



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How to sew rickrack to your quilt like an expert

Stitch close to each edge of the rickrack.

This gives you a good idea about how your modern baby quilt will look.

Stitch down the rickrack over the part of the seam that is sewn. Leave the rest of it hanging loose or pin to the strip set.

Here are my units on the design wall, all ready to sew. The colors in this Northcott Cosmic Fusion collection blend together so well and the strip design looks very modern. You can go ahead and sew the units together just like this, or you might like to try my variation below using rickrack trim. The sewing method for joining the units will be the same whether you add the rickrack trim or not.

Before I sewed the units together, I pinned some rickrack trim over the seams on the design wall to see how it would look.




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As I was looking at the quilt pieces on the design wall, I wondered how it would look if I had some kind of accent or trim on the main seam lines. I had some 5⁄8” rickrack in my cupboard (it had been there for a very long time!) and I thought maybe I had finally found a use for it. Before I started sewing the units together, I pinned some rickrack on my quilt and decided I really liked it. It would go on top of the finished seams, but it would take some planning to figure out when to add the rickrack. You’ll need about 6½” yards of rickrack trim if you’d like to try this version.

This is the partial seam

Stitch down the rickrack over the part of the seam that is sewn. Leave the rest of it hanging loose or pin to the strip set.

So here’s how to sew it together! Note: If you’re using rickrack trim, press the joining seams open. If you’re not using the rickrack trim, press seams to one side. Using the diagram on the left as a guide, sew Unit 1 to Unit 2.

Cutting diagram for the strip sets

Cut an 8” piece of rickrack and pin it on top of the seam. With thread that matches the rickrack, stitch close to each edge, using a slightly longer stitch than normal. I felt it would be better to have this double line of stitching so the rickrack trim would stay flat. Trim excess rickrack. Sew Unit 5 to Unit 6. Sew a 31” piece of rickrack over the seam, using a double stitching line. Sew Unit 4 to Units 5⁄6 using a partial seam. Start sewing at the top and sew about half-way down the strip sets. Press the sewn part of the seam open.

Sew units 8 and 9 together and then sew rickrack over the seam.

Your modern baby quilt is ready to be quilted!

Cut a 40” piece of rickrack and sew over the completed part of the seam, leaving the excess rickrack hanging loose. Sew Unit 3 to the top of Units 4/5/6. Sew a piece of rickrack over this seam. Sew Unit 7 to the right hand side. Sew rickrack over the seam. Sew Units 8 and 9 together. Sew rickrack over the seam. Sew Units 8/9 to Units 5/6/7. Sew rickrack over the seam. Finish sewing the partial seam. Finish sewing the rickrack over the partial seam. Sew Units 1⁄2 to the top of the quilt. Sew rickrack over the seam.

Sew units 1⁄2 to the top of the quilt.



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Change up the way you make your quilt binding Here's an interesting way to make the binding. The finished size of the quilt is 38” x 48”. It’s sized so that you just need one width of fabric 54” long [1.4m]. You could also use the leftover Cosmic Fusion fabric to make a pieced backing.

Press under ¼” on one angled end of the binding. Cut all binding strips like this, using a 45 or 60 degree angle.

Layer backing fabric, batting and quilt top, making sure to center the quilt top on the backing. Baste the layers together. Quilt as desired. Trim excess backing and batting to square-up the quilt top. For the binding I decided to use the leftover dark blue and green fabrics. I like to use a ½” finishedsize binding, so I cut strips 3” wide x WOF (width of fabric). I cut enough strips so they would go all around the quilt with about 8” extra.

Start sewing on the binding using a scant ½” seam allowance.

Sewing binding on the first corner

Here’s how you can make this binding too.



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Fold binding up and then back down on itself to create a mitered corner. Sew from the edge of the quilt toward the next corner. Stop sewing ½” from the corner and back stitch to secure. Continue sewing the binding on the remaining sides in the same way. When you come to the last side, sew for a few inches and then stop.

Adjust the binding so it fits along the edge of the quilt. Trim off excess binding. Finish sewing binding.

Sew the 3” binding strips together, end to end, to make one strip long enough to go all around the quilt. Press seams open.


Starting about 10” from the corner and using a scant ½” seam allowance, start sewing the binding. Stop sewing ½” from the edge of the quilt and backstitch to secure. TIP Use a walking foot or even-feed foot.

Tuck the unfolded end of the binding inside the folded end.

Cut the ends of all binding strips on a 45° or 60° angle.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press.

Lay the binding on top of the quilt so the folded cut edge is approximately at the center of one side. Align the cut edge of the binding with the edge of the quilt.

Finishing the binding

Fold the binding over to the back and hand-stitch in place. At each corner, fold the binding to create a 45° mitered corner. This can be stitched down or not, as desired.

Colorway variations of the Modern Baby Quilt I have shown you how to make a modernstyle baby quilt using the green colorway of Northcott’s Cosmic Fusion fabric. This collection also comes in purple and orange colorways. Here’s how the quilt would look if you used the purple colorway and orange colorway. Just by using different colors, you get a completely different look. I hope you enjoy using this great Cosmic Fusion fabric collection by Northcott!

Jean Boyd

Modern baby quilt using the purple Cosmic Fusion fabric from Northcott

Modern baby quilt using the orange Cosmic Fusion fabric from Northcott



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Playing with the Brother NQ3500D built-in decorative stitches

Liana Kirkey

I’m having a blast playing with the Brother NQ3500D – it’s not often I get to just sit and play on the machines. I’m discovering, though, that reviewing a machine is comprised of equal parts poking buttons, trial and error, and (gasp!) reading the machine’s instruction book. While developing these articles I found most of the tools and buttons very intuitive. However, some tools were new to me and I had to look them up in the book. Brother actually produces really good user manuals, so that part isn’t a hardship… Brother NQ3500D’s

Machines these days boast so many built-in stitches, yet I so often hear, “I never use them.” Sewing and not using your decorative stitches is like cooking and never using any seasoning! Embellishing is my second-favorite sewing pursuit and I feel that small-scale samplers are a wonderful way to stashbust and experiment with all kinds of stitches, techniques, and threads without being overwhelming. And with samplers, less is not more – the more filled with stitching it is, the more beautiful the result. The book Stupendous Stitching by Carol Ann Waugh is a wonderful inspiration for this, and you’ll definitely see her influence in the final results of the sampler shown here. I’m going to turn my creation into a slim case for my reading glasses…

• applique scraps to coordinate,

backed with HeatnBond (I like their Light Weight) • an assortment of decorative threads and couching yarns • a bobbin filled with your regular sewing thread • flannel or soft cloth for lining (an eyeglass-cleaning microfiber would be even better), backed with HeatnBond NQ3500D exploration time I showed you the stitch panel under the machine’s top cover, here’s the home sewing screen where we can access all of those built-in stitches.

First up is to applique an edge down with a satin stitch. I chose and tested a zigzag from the first menu (1-10). I had to reduce my stitch length down to 0.1mm to get the coverage I wanted, and I’m not shy to tell you that I held my breath during the whole row thinking that it would jam with such a tight stitch. Nope – it fed beautifully and gave me perfect results! I then tried a randomwidth satin stitch (7-16) on another edge and discovered that the length and width settings were fixed – I couldn’t change them, but I really liked it as it was. The third stitch I tried was a feather stitch (6-4) straddling the edge.

Bust a small bit of your stash Here’s a quick list of materials if you’d like to follow along and create with me:

• cotton fabric backed with HeatnBond (Non-Woven Craft Weight Fusible Interfacing) to use as a base (I used a 6” x 7” square of a very subtle print to show off the stitching, but suit your style – everything from solids to wild prints can work beautifully!)




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On the NQ3500D’s sewing home screen, the blue stitch area hosts utility stitches, and the orange area is populated with decorative options.

I decided to start with applique. This way I can use some coordinating scraps of fabric to set the tone and colorway of my panel. I sliced a piece of my fusible webbacked applique fabric into a few random curves and fused them into place.

Three different applique finishes: satin stitch, random satin, and feather stitch.

Now here’s where it gets really cool – and I get to show you that L/R Shift feature I rave about.

Photos by Liana Kirkey

Touching the edit/stitch switching key from here gives you this screen:

Because stitch patterns execute in the center of a presser foot, aligning the applique edge to the obvious center guide isn’t practical – here you can see how the right stitch of the pattern is too far away from the edge instead of hugging it as it should (I used the opentoe embroidery foot to give you a clear view of the needle position). Traditional and contemporary quilter’s applique stitches: the nearly invisible blind applique, blanket stitch applique, and the angled blanket stitch

Keeping your most-needed tools at the ready, the NQ3500D’s stitch screen is clear and intuitively set up.

Now this screen holds the stitch toys, which are well-detailed in the manual:

• free motion mode: this sets the By default, stitches locate in the center of the presser foot, not always the optimal location for easy guiding.

Offsetting it would really make life easier – and that’s what the L/R Shift feature does: it lets you move a whole pattern left or right by 0.25mm increments!

• The stitch screen makes the most basic but useful stitch tools conveniently available.

Most of the icons on this screen are self-explanatory; along the bottom row, however, we have from left to right:

• auto-pivot: I love this one! It’s an

This is the manual adjustment screen on the NQ3500D – among other adjustments, here’s where you can shift your stitch left or right.

I chose three stitches: a blanket stitch (10-20), one of the hemstitches (3-05), and a blind applique (1-34). I played with stitch length, width and that awesome L/R Shift to achieve just the look I wanted – and that blind stitch is barely visible – so perfect! The precision that feature offers me for edge work is fantastic! For the next little while I’m just going to play with stitches and try out the tools in the stitch screen and the editing screen. These screens offer some neat options; so let me give you a quick primer on what they contain, starting with the stitch screen:

• • •

• •

automated substitute for the knee lifter. With it highlighted, whenever you stop sewing, the needle sinks, the foot rises, and you can adjust your fabric direction. It’s so helpful when navigating curves and corners! I’m keeping it turned on for this project! auto-reinforcement: I use this a lot, more on this later. auto-thread cutter: another favorite of mine that we’ll employ in the next article. save to memory: developed the perfect stitch settings or stitch combination? Save it to memory to use again and again… image: this key shows you an enlarged image of your selected pattern edit/stitch switching key (this one gets you in and out of the editing screen).

• •

presser foot height for free motion work (must lower feed dogs to use this correctly) mirror image: horizontally mirror image most stitches back to beginning: partway through a pattern and want to start over? Press this button! single/repeat mode: sew continuously or just a single pattern using this size selection: choose between preset L/S pattern sizes where available variable key: this one changes depending on the selected stitch; it can offer pattern elongation, density, or character spacing control step stitch keys: this key uses the sideways feed to shift patterns left or right

So now, after a couple of hours of playing with all of these goodies, I now have a nearly-complete sampler (I’ve left some room for next foray).



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Nearly done – with just enough space to add in some truly original stitch options.

Whenever I tested a stitch setting I liked, I added it to my panel, aligning the edge of the presser foot up to a previous row of stitching to keep my spacing even. I’ve discovered how much I like the open-toe embroidery foot for this – I can really see where I’m going! The scissors tool is also a real winner in my book. Trimming is neat and tidy, and it really keeps the thread tails under control. My sewing area isn’t nearly the mess of threads it usually is! Some observations made while playing

• some menus seem to repeat patterns found in other menus

• some stitches don’t let you adjust

the stitch length or width, and others have preset large and small options.

• the maximum speed seems to vary

with the stitch pattern – some seem distinctly slower. The stitch quality is impeccable, so perhaps that’s Brother’s way of optimizing “quality control”?

• I fared better when using the

foot control on some stitches – my steering was certainly more consistent when I could control the start, stop and speed with my foot and keep my hands on my fabric.

• a light touch on the fabric was all

that was needed to steer around the curves. The feed dogs and presser feet are elongated on the NQ series for better control, and that’s definitely evident in how responsive it is.




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• the extra-large, sideways motion

stitches are really cool, but trickier to steer. I did use one of them, but most were too large for this little sampler.

• combining stitches from the

decorative stitch menus is so very easy just select one stitch, then another. Can you find the combined patterns in the above picture?

• metallic thread posed no problem,

even at full speed, though I did have to lower the upper thread tension significantly. Of course, I was using the supplementary spool guide as recommended.

So… if you’ve been playing along with me, you’ll now have an embellished panel, too – I hope you’ve left some room for a few more stitches, because I’m going to show you how to create your own stitches in My Custom Stitch™. I might even have to add some couching, because I just love the look and texture of it. I have had so much fun exploring these tools, and really enjoyed sharing them with you. If you have indeed been playing along with me, I’m sure everyone would love to see your creations. Keep reading, I look forward to touring another exciting facet of the Brother NQ3500D with you all!

Get your game on! Bring your quilting and crafting to a whole new level. Create your own unique quilts, wall hangings, games, placemats and so much more with Brother’s Q-Series sewing and quilting machines, and ScanNCut home and hobby cutting machine. Brother’s ScanNCut comes fully loaded with an exciting collection of quilt block patterns so you can design your own one-of-a-kind creations with the push of a button! Now, cut your favourite material into any shape — no matter how intricate — without ever touching bulky design cartridges or even a pair of scissors. Brother’s ScanNCut and Q-Series sewing and quilting machines — the only thing limiting your creativity is your imagination.

Create your own magnetic, quilted tic-tac-toe board like the one featured here. See how at Visit to find your closet authorized Brother dealer. CM650W ScanNCut2 - cut incredible appliqué, fabric pieces and quilt blocks with ease

NQ900 Stylist - Q-Series sewing & quilting machine. Fall in love with the large workspace and wide table

INSPIRING CREATIVITY FOR GENERATIONS Brother and its logo are trademarks of Brother Industries Ltd., Japan. All specifications are subject to change without notice. © 2016 Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. 11/2016 83516



your own

decorative stitches with

My Custom Stitch™

Brother NQ3500D

We’ll explore something new. Well, kinda new: Brother machines have sported the My Custom Stitch™ feature for many, many years now, yet it’s such an underused tool (or should I say, ‘toy’?). I like to consider My Custom Stitch™ an advanced Etch-A-Sketch, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m dating myself by saying that!. With My Custom Stitch™, you can create your own stitch patterns by plotting points on a grid. The section devoted to it in the manual is quite small, but it really doesn’t need to be larger – it contains all the detail you need to begin designing your own stitch patterns. And among the accessories included with the NQ3500D is a set of paper grid sheets so you can sketch out your ideas with pencil and paper before teaching them to the machine. I was looking for a specific stitch, and I couldn’t find it among the built-ins. One was close, but not exactly what I wanted, so I hand-drew my idea on one of the grids to remind myself of the first one I wanted to create. And because I’m funny that way, I even dotted the points that I want to set…

My first sketch of a simple design, ready to transfer to My Custom Stitch™




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It’s playtime So, let’s check out this cool feature! If you have a Brother sewing machine, there’s a good chance that you have this hidden gem. Why not polish your stitch designing skills by following along with me? From the now-familiar sewing home screen, touch the pencil button along the bottom row to open up My Custom Stitch™. You’ll see this screen, or possibly a variation of it if you have a different model:

A simple stitch pattern already completed on My Custom Stitch™

I only needed to enter six stitch points for this pattern (some are top of each other, in the middle of the ‘y’) before it repeats itself. The Test button displays a preview of my creation.

This is what the My Custom Stitch™ screen looks like… but don’t let it intimidate you!

This screen looks more complex than it is – but most of it is taken up with arrows! So rather than diving into a sea of technical explanations, let’s just enter the first point. Referencing the drawing on paper, I think I want to work horizontally rather than vertically – the button in the top left takes care of that. Next, I’ll use the arrows surrounding the set button to move the pencil on the grid up 7 points to match my drawing. When it’s in the right place, touching set places the stitch. Still using the arrows, I’ll just keep moving the pencil and setting the stitches where I want them, continuing until I made one full repeat of my pattern. The top of the screen keeps track of how many stitches I set as well as the pencil’s current stitch point and its grid coordinate.

A preview of the My Custom Stitch™ stitch pattern shown as if continuously stitched.

My own creations from My Custom Stitch™ And here they’re tested out for real. Viewing from top to bottom, the first row is as I designed it, and the others are the result of making simple width and length adjustments. You can see that I’m really having fun with My Custom Stitch™!

The first of many My Custom Stitch™ creations to come!

I wanted to see what my first creation would look like with a heavier stitch, so I input the same stitch points again. This time, though, I used the triple stitch setting on all advancing stitches. You can’t see a difference on the editing screen except for the stitch count, but in my actual sew-out below, you can clearly see the weightier stitch version (5th row); it really shows off my pretty threads! And then I got carried away (who, me?) and created a few more. I tried a few of my own design, one from the machine manual, and a couple from the book My Custom Stitch™ by Barbara Skimin, published in 2002. That could be a toughie to find, but it’s still a great reference.

There’s no need to worry about messing up the originals; your edited versions are saved as copies. You can save up to 15 custom stitch patterns to the machine’s internal memory, or as many as you like on a USB stick. And for the tecchies who just need to know: stitch patterns save as numbered .pmv files, which you may rename at your computer. Your computer won’t be able to open these files, but if you set up a folder for them, it’s a great place to store a growing collection. Just pop ’em on a USB stick when you want to play with them on your machine. While we’re on the topic of saving stitches, of course I saved all my creations (okay, the ones I liked) so I could use them to finish off the sampler. They don’t look like much on screen, but they sure stitched out pretty!

Can you spot ‘my’ stitches in the final piece? Some of them are kinda tricky; I think I was over-exuberant and didn’t leave myself as much room as I thought!

Stitch panel, topped up with some My Custom Stitch™ creations

I really had fun playing with My Custom Stitch™, and I know I’ll be looking at anything patterned with new eyes. I might even take a second look at some of the hand embroidery stitches I’ve dismissed in the past because I don’t have the patience to hand sew. I hope that if you have a Brother machine, or plan on getting one, you’ve been inspired to check out My Custom Stitch™ and maybe design some stitch patterns of your own. It’s amazingly easy, and even a tiny bit addictive!

Saved patterns don’t look very exciting – a good reason to make a stitched “bible” of all your stitches. They look so different on fabric!

Getting carried away is easy with My Custom Stitch™. How many can you create?

Now, while My Custom Stitch™ isn’t new, though, I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty cool – Brother has added something new starting with the Q-Series: you can now edit existing built-in stitches as well as previous creations. So, of course I had to try it out. It’s very similar to creating your own stitch, without having to start from scratch. Again, I was impressed at how easy it really was to do.

Retrieving My Custom Stitch™ patterns from either your machine or the USB stick is as easy as selecting other stitches on the NQ3500D: from the sewing home screen, touch the drawing icon next to the pencil, choose the source (machine or USB stick) and folder (bPocket is the default but I renamed mine just to see if the machine would read it – it did), and choose your stitch. Touch ‘Set’ and you’re ready to sew, with all of the regular stitch editing options of the built-in decorative stitches. So now it’s time to fill in the last few blank spots on the sampler we began before.



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Top 10

practical sewing features of the Brother NQ3500D

One of these things is not like the other… can you tell the differences between the straight stitches?

Having explored a range of the fun features of the NQ3500D it’s a good time to knuckle down and investigate the core sewing basics. Incredibly easy threading I’m still marvelling at that now. I’ve never experienced anything easier to thread than this! Especially the needle – you’ve just got to watch the video. Here it is, we’ve SLOWED it down for you. Watch as real magic happens: Pre-set straight stitches for all sewing genres A straight-stitch is probably the single most important stitch on a sewing machine, and it should come as no surprise that the NQ3500D offers plenty of options. No matter your sewing pursuit, you’re sure to find a pre-set straight stitch that will become your “go-to”. You may remember Brother’s NQ3500D main sewing screen which included several straight stitches. Some may find that confusing, but it’s actually pretty cool. Take a closer look and see if you can spot the differences:




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Stitches 1 to 4 are each thoughtfully pre-set with a different combination of needle positions (left or center) and reinforcing style (traditional backstitch or in-place lockstitch). First, note the placement of each stitch in its display box on screen: a stitch shown on the left stitches on the left; stitches pictured in the middle stitch in the center. Handy, but it gets even better: simply by changing the stitch width setting, one can access all 15 straight stitch needle positions. That’s 7 places on either side of center! If that isn’t enough – you can adjust them further with the L/R Shift. Stitch 5 is a triple straight stitch, perfect for seams needing extra-strong stitching. But wait for it… there’s even more! Take a look at stitches 29, 30, and 31 from the stitch card, below. See the little “P” footnote? These are set up specifically for piecing (quilters, this means you!). They are shorter stitches, and are positioned respectively ¼” from the right edge of the standard sewing foot, in the center, and ¼” from the left edge of the standard sewing foot. Someone was really thinking!

NQ3500D stitch panel

Convenient automatic seam reinforcing and thread trimming Now, above, I also mentioned reinforcing styles; these correspond to the securing buttons near the needle. But again, someone really had their thinking cap on: use these stitches (or any others) with the tools along the screen’s bottom row and you have some really time-saving conveniences. Envision this in your mind as I do this: select stitch 101 and activate the Auto Reinforcement (the U-turn) and Auto Thread Cutter (the scissors) tools on screen. Begin stitching. The machine takes 3 stitches, backs up 3 stitches, then proceeds until you press the U-turn button near the needle. Then it immediately backs up 3 stitches, forwards 3, and trims the thread. I told you – it’s “automagic”! These functions work on all stitches, and each stitch secures itself appropriately to the stitch type. Here’s a few to show you – beautiful stitch quality, and clean, precise reinforcements. Don’t you just love it?

The NQ23500D does a lovely job of finishing. Shown here: auto-securing and auto-trim results

A great collection of presser feet to grow into!

Knee Lifter I’m a huge fan of the knee lifter. This handy tool is inserted into its port on the front of the machine, and offers hands-free control of the presser foot lifter. A nudge of the knee can raise or lower the presser foot, allowing you to keep your hands on your work for better control. It’s often found on industrial machines because when properly used, it’s a huge production-booster. A little bit of practice and its usage becomes second nature.

From top to bottom, left to right: zigzag foot (with levelling button), monogramming foot, blind hem foot, overcasting foot, zipper foot, open toe embroidery foot, stitch guide foot, opentoe quilting foot, non-stick foot, button sew-on foot, embroidery foot, adjustable zipper foot, and the buttonhole foot. These all store in the slide-on accessory tray surrounding the freearm, ready to be attached in a flash.

Pivot function The Pivot Function can do much the same thing as a knee lifter, only automatically. With it activated, every time you stop sewing, the needle sinks into the fabric and the presser foot rises, allowing you to rotate your fabric. So handy, especially if you can’t get the hang of the knee lifter! And, of course, there’s more (there’s always more!)… It does something else that I really like: when you have the auto secure and the auto trim turned on with it, it raises the presser foot for you after securing and trimming. How cool is that? A whopping 13 presser feet included All of the basic necessities are included with the NQ3500D to get you sewing in style. Many of these feet are ‘quickswitch’; they snap on and drop off with the touch of a lever. Several of them, meant for techniques requiring a more stable hold, screw securely on to the presser foot bar.

Hassle-free fabric feeding with the AHA® Feature No more struggling with varying fabric thicknesses… when the Automatic Fabric Sensor System is turned on, the NQ3500D automatically and continuously senses the fabric thickness and adjusts the presser foot pressure for you. Of course, you can override it, but why would you when it works so well? Automatic buttonholes Slip your button into the back bracket of the buttonhole foot and snug the holder in place – that’s all it takes to measure your button perfectly! Then choose your buttonhole and lower the sensor lever. Push the start/stop button and the machine does the rest. It really couldn’t be easier! There are buttonholes for all weights of fabric, even a stretch buttonhole, and a tracer for bound buttonholes.

Slip the button in the bracket on the foot, snug it in and you’re ready to sew.

Contents of the buttonhole menu

The button sew-on foot, just finished sewing on a button.

Hidden gems on the buttonhole menu Also on the buttonhole menu are a few related stitches that just beg to be mentioned, since I included them in the above stitch out: 2 mending stitches, a bar tack (I made two of those in different sizes), an eyelet, and a buttonsew-on program. They’ve really thought of everything! Built In sewing fonts The NQ3500D has 5 sewing fonts built in: block, script, double block, Cyrillic, and a Japanese font. I took a few minutes to play with the block font; it was easy to enter and quick to stitch, and I’m quite pleased with its clarity. I like this, and can see its usefulness for smaller labels and the like, but I’m glad that this machine also embroiders – I’m definitely partial to richly embroidered lettering. Still…

Getting carried away is easy with My Custom Stitch™. How many can you create?



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My bonus “faves” As I was stitching out the samples for the pictures above, of course I was using the very tools I was speaking of. But… there were other features I relied upon that really deserve their own special mention again. I wanted to use the NQ3500D at home while standing at a high counter. So I didn’t bother using the foot control this time – I exclusively used the start/stop button and the speed control slider. While I like the foot control for larger projects, the freedom of not needing it was great! Project time I’m going to turn the small panel I embellished over the last couple of articles into a fancy little case for my eyeglasses. If you missed the supply list, please go back to the article, Playing with the Brother NQ3500D’s built in decorative stitches. My glasses are only a slim pair of magnifiers, so I don’t need a large case. Follow along with these steps, using your own glasses to measure: 1. To make my pattern, I wrapped a piece of paper around my glasses to determine how wide I needed to cut my panel, factoring in about a ¼” seam allowance. I added some curve to the bottom and top for interest, like this:

2. I layered my stitched panel and fusible-backed flannel right sides together and cut them out according to my pattern, leaving the bottom curves uncut for now. 3. Matching the top curves, I stitched (using stitch 1-29 – the right-hand piecing stitch) around the top curve only. Since I sewed fusible side up, I used the non-stick foot. And I was so intent on sewing slowly and carefully around those tight curves, I forgot to change thread colors! At least this seam will be on the inside – unseen after this. And you won’t tell, will you? 4. I clipped the curves closely…

7. I cheated and used the overcasting (G) foot with left straight stitch 1-01 and stitched along the edge as shown, using the guide on the foot to stay an even distance from the edge. Of course, I turned the auto secure and auto trim on!

TIP Using the overcasting foot (G) and the left-most straight stitch will give you a lovely ¼” seam allowance.

8. Last chance to trim away any pokey threads, and then overcast the edges with 1-16 – I like this overcast – it’s quite pretty. So here’s the final little project (I hope the picture’s in focus, I took it with my glasses off!) Stitch along the top edge and clip the curves closely.

5. Then I turned it right-side out, smoothing the curves with my fingers and pressed it, fusing the flannel lining to the wrong side of the panel.

Stitched and stuffed (with glasses), this case is complete!

It’s now turned, and fused with right sides facing out.

6. N ext step was to fold it in half lengthwise and now cut the bottom curves.

It has certainly been a wonderful experience getting to play so intensely with the Brother NQ3500D; it’s certainly a machine with many fantastic, covetworthy features. It’s advanced enough to satisfy experienced sewists, yet intuitive and easy enough to learn and grow into. Definitely a winner! Cheers, and until next time: happy sewing!

Liana Kirkey

My pattern piece on top of my fabric; the ruler is for a size reference. Match the edges carefully, and then cut the bottom curves.




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hooked on books

Celebrate Canada

Nellie Holmes and Christine Baker

The newest book from Nellie and Christine features two quilts and smaller projects such as an apron, wall hanging and tote bag made using Northcott’s Oh Canada line of fabric. Full colour, easy to understand instructions! 24 Pages, ISBN 978-0-9735183-3-7 Upper Canada Quilt Works Publishing available at quilt shops or online at or as a ebook on Craftsy

Make Precut Quilts 10 Dazzling Projects to Sew

Make Table Runners 10 Delicious Quilts to Sew

Precut projects from favorite designs Quilting with precuts is easy, fast, and fun! Feature your favorite fabric collection in these 10 precutfriendly designs using charm packs, layers cakes, and jelly roll strips. The versatile patterns from top designers work with a variety of prints and solids, and beginner and intermediate quilters will love the bright and friendly designs. This value-packed booklet features 5 layer-cake patterns and 5 for charm squares and precut strips–perfect for anyone who wants to jump straight into sewing!

A runner for every table

42 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-488-2 Stashbooks

34 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-486-8 Stashbooks

Intentional Piecing

A New Spin on Drunkard's Path 12 Innovative Projects • Deceptively Simple Techniques

Favorite Designers

Make Baby Quilts 10 Adorable Projects to Sew

Amy Friend

The cutest baby quilts you'll ever see Jump right in and get sewing! With this valuepacked booklet of 10 baby quilt patterns from top designers, you’ll find a perfect style for every baby. Cute and fun appliqué patterns are mixed in with bright and cheerful patchwork, with designs ranging from traditional to modern. And with clear instructions, illustrations, and how-to photos, even beginner quilters will be whipping out these quilts in no time at all. Never wonder what to make for that new baby again!

Let's get fussy about fabric! Fabric choice can make or break a quilt design, and quilters are always looking for ways to spotlight their favorites. Fabric has an uncanny ability to transform a project, evoke a mood and deliver a whole, new level of satisfaction to today's quilter. Learn to focus on precise, mindful work and have fun with fussy cutting with Intentional Piecing: From Fussy Cutting to Foundation Piecing, by award-winning quilter Amy Friend. Amy establishes how to make the fabric the start of every quilt in spirited, modern projects you'll use every day.

42 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-490-5 Stashbooks

160 Pages, ISBN 978-1-940655-1-85 Lucky Spool

Favorite Designers

Favorite Designers

Dress up your table with 10 colorful table runners from top designers! Whether you prefer appliqué or patchwork, traditional or modern, fancy floral or geometric designs, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. And with table toppers quick enough to make in a weekend, you can switch up your decor any time you feel like it. This value-packed booklet is sure to become your new go-to for gifts, seasonal decoration, and quick, fun projects to use up your stash!

John Kubiniec

Think you’ve seen all you can make with the Drunkard’s Path block? Think again! Open your eyes to a new take on curved piecing with quilting teacher John Kubiniec. Go beyond the basics with 12 innovative projects based on a classic pattern. Discover how using pre-pieced units like rail fences, half-square triangles, and sixteen-patches can completely change up the Drunkard’s Path look. Take it a step further with creative sashings and add-ons to alter the finished layout. The end result looks complex but is actually easy to sew! 82 pages, ISBN 978-1-61745-301-4 Stashbooks



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Spiders Hanging b y a Th r e a d

Jackie White

It really doesn’t get much better than this when it comes to taking a quilted wall hanging right outside the box, or in this case off the web! This sweet spider quilt will mesmerize anyone when you see that last spider hanging on by a thread! Photos by Jackie White




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Gather all your tools and supplies you'll need for the quilted wall hanging.

Instructions Making the cobweb The first thing we need to do is make our cobweb template. You do this by measuring 4½" across and a center point 5" down, which is 2¼” in the middle. Cut out of cardboard ¼” up from the bottom point, cut off the little point. finished measurements 11" x 54" materials • 5 fat quarters • ½ yd black rick rack medium and small size • HeatnBond Feather Lite Iron-On Adhesive • Two ½ yard different pieces white/ black print fabric for background fabric • 1 fat quarter for binding • 1 yd batting • 1 yd backing • 10 fun buttons • 12 - 15” embroidery thread to match spider webs

Using your nice template, cut 4 patterns out from two different pieces of fabric each so you have a total of 8 fabric template pieces.

Sew the two halves of the cobweb together.

Alternating the fabric, sew four wedges together. Press. Laying each ½” circle on the cutting board, trim off any points on the flat edge so you get a nice clean straight line. Sew the 2 halves together matching the center point and press. Trim all the little end points. One cobweb done! Make 4 more cobwebs using your different pieces of fabric. Cut five 11½” squares from the background fabric. Cut ½” strips of HeatnBond Feather Lite Iron-On Adhesive and then subcut into 3½” strips and apply to the outer edge of each of the cobwebs following manufacturer’s instructions.

Apply strips of HeatnBond Iron-On Adhesive to border of cobweb.

Center the cobweb on each background square and press.

Template used to create spider web

Using your fancy template, cut out 4 cobweb shapes from 2 different fabric pieces for a total of 8 cobweb pieces.

Sew using black thread and create fun cobweb patterns in each of the cobweb blocks. You can do different quilting patterns or the same one for each cobweb. I chose the same linear pattern as my fabric is quite colorful and busy, so wanted something simple to offset the cobwebs.

Cut along the edge of cobweb to ensure you have a nice clean line.

Press the fused cobweb to the center of the background block.

Sew a fun pattern to attach the cobweb to your block.



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Making spiders for your quilt Let's finish things up by creating our black spiders!

On each spider add cute button eyes. I simply had to add polka dot buttons.

Cut five 4½” squares of black fabric. Iron on the HeatnBond Feather Lite Iron-On Adhesive.

On the last block stitch down a 10 - 12” piece of embroidery thread starting somewhere on the last cobweb and hanging down off the quilt, then attach to the back of the final spider. If you find it's too flimsy, take a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than your spider and glue to the back of the spider then tape the piece of embroidery floss to it.

Set one aside. Free hand draw an oval four different sizes. You can do it on paper first then cut out and trace onto the paper side of the adhesive, or draw directly onto that. These are going to be your spiders. Cut twenty four 3½” pieces of rick rack. These are going to be your spider legs. Taking one black spider, 6 pieces of rick rack and one cobweb block. Lay spider out on block and tuck 3 ends of rick rack under one side of spider and 3 on the other side. Press. Repeat for 3 more spiders. Stitch around the body of the spider securing the rick rack legs in place and attaching them to the block. Bend the rick rack as you stitch down each leg, creating bent spider legs.

Sew a sleeve to the back. Hang your spider quilted wall hanging and get ready for the compliments to roll in!

Add some fun buttons for eyes on your cute spiders!

One block won’t have a spider. Sew the blocks together in a vertical row with the last or bottom block not having a spider on it. Sew the spiders onto the blocks and sew the blocks together. Leave the last block with no spider on it.

For the fifth black fabric square, cut out the spider shape from that fused piece and cut the same shape out of another piece of black fabric not fused. Remove paper, sandwich together right sides out but do not press. Tuck legs into spider sandwich and then press creating a spider on its own. Stitch around outside of spider to secure legs. Kink the spider legs to cause a bend and stitch the fold in the rick rack to hold in place for each leg. Set this spider aside.

Stitch around body of spider and stitch bend in spider legs to hold shape.

Pin backing and batting to top and get ready to quilt. Using black thread, quilt fun patterns in each of the spiders. Quilt in the background as well. I quilted by echoing the shapes of the cobweb. Put on the binding as well.




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Attach embroidery thread to the cobweb and then to the spider so he's hanging off the quilt.

Jackie White

cr eativ

100% cotton thread A fine, strong, high quality sewing thread for hand or machine sewing, no matter the stitch type or fabric. Gütermann 50 wt. Cotton Quilting thread is made of long staple 100% Egyptian mercerized cotton; it’s versatile and gives seams a natural character. • Suitable for hand or machine sewing; the perfect thread for your quilting projects • Larger cone sizes are excellent for long arm quilting machines • Available in 100m, 250m, 400m, 800m, 3000m and 5000m spool lengths • 186 stunning solid and variegated shades • Ideal for ornamental stitches, decorative seams and embroidery • Soft and supple with tear and abrasion resistance • Colorfast: fade resistant to UV rays and multiple washings

Look for Gütermann threads at your favourite fabric, sewing and quilting store! 25

A Quilter’s Review of the PFAFF creative 4.5

Sarah Vanderburgh

This time I taught myself with the excellent PFAFF creative 4.5 manual!

PFAFF creative 4.5 sewing machine

This machine is a dream come true for machine embroiderers. No question it has a lot of features to let your creativity run wild. But what about for the intermediate quilter? How could I benefit from the PFAFF creative 4.5? Let's shine the light on some of the features that make quilting on this machine a joy.

Set up and Sew This machine doesn’t just stitch for you, it does all the little things to make quilting easier too. Threading the machine is easy and threading the needle is even easier as the built in needle threader actually works well. I haven’t manually thread my needle yet which is really saying something. When I got my first machine many years ago I went to the department store for a get to know your machine class. I was shown how to use the automatic needle threader and did it approximately three times at home before I forgot how and gave up.

Built-in Needle Threader in position

Needle threaded by built-in needle threader

The manual is truly your best friend as you start to explore this machine. The labelled diagrams and explanations make it easy to figure out how to do things on the machine you expect to do – and things you may never have thought of! The manual is also available in the machine – touch “i” in the bottom task bar on the Color Touch Screen and it brings up an information menu. Bobbin Winding is a Breeze There’s a bobbin winder built in to the top of the machine – you use it with the top thread you have on the vertical spool holder just like normal, but you can also wind a bobbin with a second spool on a horizontal pin and keep your machine threaded. This is especially handy when you’re using two different color threads.

Winding bobbin with second spool of thread

Photos by Sarah Vanderburgh




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Of course I had to take a photo when I got the official sound and digital warning that my bobbin was running low. And it wasn’t so low that I had to panic! This was one of the features I have heard quilters praise in quilt shops and guild meetings. Again PFAFF has come to the rescue of bobbin angst :)

I have been very impressed with my own experiences using it.

IDT System

IDT system engaged for stitching in the ditch

I really noticed the benefits of the IDT system when I was quilting in the ditch. I could feel that the machine had a stronger grip on my quilt than my regular machine and the results are visible too.

Bobbin winding pop up

Maybe it’s just me but prepping bobbins feels like a chore – something you wish would just be done for you so you wouldn’t have to think about it. Well this machine comes close! The machine actually winds the bobbin for you – this graphic comes up on the large display screen once you lock the bobbin in place in the winder. You can adjust how fast the machine winds the thread – then just press the go button! It stops when the bobbin’s full or you can stop it by touching the stop button.

IDT System waiting to be engaged

Another feature I’ve heard about that sets PFAFF machines apart is the Integrated Dual Feed System – the IDT for short. The manual describes how the system works: “As on industrial machines, the IDT System feeds the fabric from the top and bottom at the same time. The material is fed precisely, eliminating puckering on seams. . . the system prevents layers from shifting while sewing, keeping quilt layers aligned.”

Stitches on back of mini quilt

The stitching on the back of my quilt are just as even as on the front.

The pop-up warning to remedy bobbin angst



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When I used the IDT System to quilt on a larger quilt I noticed that the *bump* that tends to show up as you near the end of a row of quilting – didn’t! What did show would be hard to find and was probably a result of me not pinning close enough. Button Love

The presser foot has two buttons located in the same convenient place. The up one raises the foot the regular distance and touched one more time it lifts even more to put a quilt through the space without worrying about getting pins caught on it. The down one I engage while quilting because it automatically lifts just a little bit – with the needle down button engaged too – letting me keep both hands on the quilt to turn it to change directions. The manual calls this a pivot toggle.

Quilting is more enjoyable without the anxiety producing rolling and pushing of the quilt through a smaller space. I also don’t have sections of stitches that are too tight because I was shoving the quilt through a small space. The creative 4.5 lets you focus on progress and not process which also makes for a happier time quilting.

The button beside the presser foot buttons is to start/stop embroidery.

The buttons located front and center

The more I use this machine the harder I fall for the ease these buttons add to my quilting. The needle down button makes quilting so easy. It’s located the farthest to the right. Again, it lets me focus on the quilting and not operating the machine. When it’s engaged (it lights up!) the needle goes down and the presser foot lifts just a little off of the quilt so I can maneuver the quilt. The scissors is the thread snips button. When touched it cuts both the top and bottom threads and brings them to the bottom of the quilt. This one has changed how I machine blanket stitch as I don’t have to think about saving thread by moving from one section to another before I cut the thread. This feature has made my quilting more efficient.

Two buttons I haven’t used yet are the immediate tie-off – to the left of the snips – and the stitch restart – to the left of the needle down. Lots of Room for Quilting

The bright LED lights combine with the larger space to make it so easy to see and quilt!

The PFAFF creative 4.5 dwarfs my regular machine. That hard case is protecting a jewel of a machine!

I guess this could have been # 1! There’s double the throat space compared to my usual machine – notice the machine itself is almost twice the size!

Twin size quilt in the larger throat space




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LED lights improve quilting process

It might seem like I’m focusing on a lot of little details, but the result of all the little things is that I’m quilting more and tending to the machine less. Plus the machine does these things really well – which results in quilts that are crafted beautifully. As an intermediate quilter, I’m embracing the opportunities the PFAFF creative 4.5 is giving me to create accurately pieced quilts with my personal creative touches.

Using decorative stitches to make a selvage project There are so many stitches to explore on the PFAFF creative 4.5 that it’s hard to know where to start! My default *playground* is creating with selvages and then it’s pretty much follow my fancy. This article goes through my play process with the stitches and my selvages.

I used a fat quarter from my stash with the wrong side up as my foundation/ stabilizer. I chose selvages that are from fat quarters or longer yardage. I have my selvages sorted in a couple of different ways and chose to use the ones with no white strip, dots, or words for this project.

Next I picked a stitch - stitch 4.3.19 to be exact! You’ll notice that the screen has a green *plus sign* that shows where the needle will start in the stitch. I also made sure I had the correct presser foot ready on the machine, in this case foot 2A.

I wanted to try creating my own selvage designs with the stitches!

Stitch start position lined up under needle Stitches created with PFAFF creative 4.5. With so many stitches to choose from you may want to create selvage fabric with them all day!

Line up the bound edge of the selvage with the middle of the stitch to be sure that the stitching will actually go across both selvages. Next raw selvage edge tucked under preceding one’s finished edge

Stitch requires stabilizer.

Selecting Stitches I turned on the machine and opened the stitches file. I started selecting different ones to see what I liked. The manual also has all of them listed out with photos and the stitch numbers.

Stitching Selvages Together I started with a selvage with the raw edge at the right edge of the stabilizer and tucked the raw edge of the next selvage underneath the other edge. As you can see in the photo, I played with quite a few stitches before a plan started to formulate on how I could use this piece of stitched fabric! These selvages are close to the end of my piece. After the pink I added one more wide selvage to get to my desired length.

The Color Touch Screen on the PFAFF creative 4.5 gives icon details for every stitch selected – from what presser foot to use, if you need stabilizer and where the needle will start in the stitch. The screen showed me that most of them require using a stabilizer underneath – it’s the white rectangle icon above the stitch. I figured that the layer of cotton I use as a backing for the selvages could count as a stabilizer.

The machine will guide the stitch – you should guide the fabric with your hands but the machine may move the fabric back and forth to complete the stitch.

Pink selvage seam stitched

The PFAFF creative 4.5 makes it easy to play and create with stitches. With so many to choose from, it’s easy to add a personal touch to any project.

The green plus sign indicates needle start position.



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Perfect presser feet to make a zippered case It’s easier to keep your creativity flowing with all of the possibilities provided by the variety of presser feet included with the PFAFF creative 4.5. I’m going to turn my stitched selvage piece of fabric into a finished project using several of the feet. Assemble Project Pieces I kept adding selvages to my made fabric until it measured least 8” long. Then I cut two pieces 8” long x 7” wide. I have a piece of stitched selvage fabric left over for another project too.

Presser feet included with PFAFF creative 4.5. There’s one for almost every purpose!

Then I found a zipper in my stash that coordinates with my selvages and cut it to the same width. Now it’s time to click the zipper foot onto the creative 4.5. Zipper Foot The PFAFF zipper foot can be attached to the left or the right of the needle to help you sew zippers on a variety of projects. Here I have it attached to the left. The photo shows my project pivoted out from under the needle so I could close the zipper pull before continuing down the seam. The extra pivot lift provided by the presser foot button came in handy here too!

Fabrics and zipper ready for assembly

Zipper foot attached to the left of the needle

Stitched case with zipper




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Fancy Stitch Foot The IDT System engages with many of the presser feet provided with the PFAFF creative 4.5 to ensure even feeding of fabrics and smooth stitching. After unzipping the zipper about half way I used presser foot 1A to sew the side seams, then the bottom one closed. Blindhem Foot Next I switched to the blindhem foot with IDT System and used it to overlock the seams so they wouldn’t unravel with use. It’s the first time I’ve used this foot and found it interesting – usually I just keep going with a regular foot because it’s easier than switching. With the PFAFF creative 4.5 it’s easy to change feet – you simply push down on the foot to release it and push it up to attach it to the machine.

Presser Foot 1A – Fancy Stitch Foot with IDT System

The blindhem foot

No unwinding a screw and making sure it doesn’t roll away! I used stitch 1.2.7 Closed Overlock and the blindhem foot to overlock the side and bottom seams. You could also do the same to the two zipper seams, but I didn’t. Quick to Make Zippered Case All that’s left to do is turn the case right side out, close the zipper and it’s ready! The case is perfect for packing my cutting tools safely to take to a quilting workshop or retreat. The selection of presser feet with the PFAFF creative 4.5 helped me create this quick project in no time.

Stitch 1.2.7 the Closed Overlock Stitch

Quick zippered case project



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Embroidering a quilt label with the PFAFF creative 4.5 The PFAFF creative 4.5 is ultimately an embroidery machine. While it does all of the little things this quilter wants it to do amazingly well, it also led me to experiment with embroidery for the first time!

“Tapering increases or decreases the width of the stitch during sewing to create symmetrical or asymmetrical tapers.” (from the awesome included manual.)

Quick. As a quilter what’s the first thing you think of to make with an embroidery machine?! A *quilt label* of course!

Stitch conversion popup Taper angle choices popup Embroidery Unit on PFAFF creative 4.5

Creating stitches with Sewing Programs

You could spend a lot of time exploring the options in this machine!

When you select one of your designed stitches in embroidery mode it gets converted to a single embroidery stitch. Now you can move it around the screen and duplicate it too.

PFAFF stylus

Personal Stitches File A tapered, repeated stitch

There are several sewing programs in the PFAFF creative 4.5 to help you create unique stitches. You use these programs in the sewing mode. I used the tapering program and the single stitch program to create the design for the border of my quilt label.




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Once you’ve created stitches you like, you can save them into personal files to use again. You can add any stitch to these files which makes it conveniently quick to continue work on a project without spending a lot of time recreating stitches.

I found using the included stylus made moving the design around on the Color Touch Screen easier than trying to use my finger. The stylus came in handy when selecting letters too.

Adding Words

Embroidery fonts

In the embroidery mode you can see all of the fonts available on the creative 4.5. The first three in the left column and the first two in the right are available as stitches in the sewing mode too.

This photo shows the progress of the machine on the embroidery. I’m a little ahead of myself here but I wanted to show you the detailed screen information. The large cross shows where the needle is in the design. The numbers in the highlighted green box let you know the position and color of thread being used. Yes, you can program the thread colors for each section – each letter even! The little green half circle is the speed control for the embroidery. Let’s just say that full speed intimidated this quilter! I had to slow down the machine a bit so I could watch it in action :)

The embroidery unit came in its own box which included this travel bag. I store the unit in it when not in use – you can see how big it is!

Okay. So that’s making the design. A few more photos to show getting the machine and fabric ready!

Some of the packing material from the box gets transferred into the bag to store the hoops as well. This unit comes with three sizes of embroidery hoops.

Embroidery Unit

Hoops stored in bottom of bag

You can design a variety of quilt labels with all of these different fonts!

The embroidery unit bag Dynamic Spring Foot

Design to Stitch Out



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Dynamic Spring Foot Select the embroidery stitch out option in the task bar menu and the machine will tell you to attach the embroidery unit. It will also tell you to put on the Dynamic Spring Foot. Again, the trusty manual is your best friend here! Hooping the Fabric It’s easy to click open the hoop and put in the fabric with stabilizer underneath. One more click to clip in the top part of the hoop. The Color Touch Screen shows to use the 120 x 120 hoop for my design. Of course I couldn’t use ordinary white fabric to play – I chose pink instead!

Fabric and stabilizer in hoop

Hoop attached to embroidery unit

Design being stitched out

Design finished

Now it’s time to use the Start Stitch button – the one beside the presser feet buttons on the front panel. I will divulge that it took me longer than necessary to figure this out – what a newbie! Remember, manual = bff! The machine creates the design in the order it was created. Threads are automatically snipped on the long stitches. The design is finished! You can see that the threads weren’t snipped between the letters so I’ll carefully cut them with some small scissors. Then I’ll cut the label to my desired size. My first embroidered quilt label is a success! Not too bad for my first time using the PFAFF creative 4.5 embroidery machine. I already started planning to use different designs to make labels that coordinate with my quilts – Halloween, Christmas, hearts, tulips! The options are limitless, too bad my quilting time isn’t!




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Add charm to fabric with the Basic Shape Creator I’m going to share one more of the embroidery features in the PFAFF creative 4.5. The quilter in me thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Basic Shape Creator to design my own charm square.

If you’ve been reading along then you’ve heard me refer to the manual more than once! This machine comes with two – one is the owner’s manual and the second features beautiful photos of the available embroidery stitches with stitch numbers and color thread details.

Next select the shape you want to create with your stitch. The arrow on the image shows which direction the needle will go around the shape as it embroiders.

Using the Basic Shape Creator is explained with step by step instructions in the owner’s manual. I followed the directions once, then changed out the stitch and shape to create my own.

Select a shape

See the calculator icon?

Designed 5” charm square

Select a stitch

In embroidery mode, select a stitch to design the shape with Basic Shape Creator – the button to touch to get into the Shape Creator is the one with butterflies in a curve in the right side menu.

The machine and embroidery stitches manuals




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calculator popup

The calculator popup lets you touch the number of times you want the stitch repeated in the shape. Don’t worry if you get it wrong the first time – there’s a plus and minus sign for you to change the number and see the results to make sure you like it before you stitch it out.

Now it’s time to stitch it out! When the design was finished I cut the joining threads between the stitches and trimmed the fabric to a 5” charm. Then I decided to use the charm and make a placemat! I used my free Charmed placemat pattern and cut stash pieces to the sizes I need. Notice I used up the rest of the selvage fabric I created earlier this week? I love projects that let me try out new techniques and use up my stash!

Stitching out the design

Designing my own charms with the embroidery stitches available with the PFAFF creative 4.5 has opened my mind to the creative possibilities of combining quilting and embroidery. I hope you have been inspired to create new things! Basic shape created

This is how the shape that I created looked on the Color Touch Screen. The design needed to be in the space between the black square guides. The machine will let you know if your design won’t fit.

Embroidered charm in placemat

Sarah Vanderburgh



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3 great uses for Eleganza thread TM

The thread is offered in 100 different colors ranging from saturated solids to subtle tone-on-tone and random dyed contrasting variegates. According to the website, it’s perfect for hand work or embellishment projects, it’s especially good for wool applique, hand embroidery and sashiko. My interest has been piqued!! WonderFil Threads – Eleganza Available in 100 colors in the WonderFil color line and 90 colors in the Sue Spargo color line, Eleganza™ is a perfect match for your next hand work or embellishment project. A couple weeks ago WonderFil sent me a selection of their Eleganza thread and I can’t wait to try it out. According to the WonderFil website Eleganza is a 2-ply 100% long staple Egyptian cotton thread, double-gassed and mercerized. WonderFil’s website says that the process of double gassing involves burning off the lint from the thread two times, resulting in a much softer and cleaner finish.The result is a wonderfully smooth and lustrous surface that allows the thread to glide beautifully through all types of fabrics and fibers. The thread’s tight twist creates beautifully firm stitches while its surface sheen produces a luxurious finish to embellishment stitchery.

The Sue Spargo collection When I was at Quilt Market in Houston in October I met Sue Spargo in her booth. I’ve always loved her heavily embroidered wool applique projects and patterns and we bought a couple copies of her book to bring home with us. CREATIVE STITCHING BOOK by Sue Spargo Sue’s book Creative Stitching includes step by step concise written instructions, along with clear illustrations, for 50 of Sue’s favorite stitches. Included are close up, color, photographic examples of each of the stitches used. The beginning of Creative Stitching gives you a detailed look into the needles and threads Sue uses, and throughout the book are never before seen color photographs of Sue’s work. ‘Creative Stitching’ is spiral bound'.

Christine Baker

I’ve been reading through the book and trying out some of her stitches, so I was especially excited to see that WonderFil has a whole line of Eleganza threads that Sue has designed. WonderFil Sue Spargo Collection WonderFil™ has teamed up with Sue Spargo, author, teacher, embroidery expert and artist, to bring you a new line of colors in our Eleganza™, Razzle™, and Dazzle™ thread lines! These colors have been selected by Sue Spargo to offer an array of beautiful and inspirational choices, including variegated colors that are only available in her line. Wool applique I LOVE wool applique and had lots of fun a couple years ago using WonderFil’s Razzle and Dazzle threads to make projects such as this little table runner that I made for Valentine’s this year as well as the table runner that I made for my first blogging week on QUILTsocial back in June 2014. The Razzle and Dazzle threads looked AMAZING on the wools but I did have some trouble with the threads fraying as I kept stitching with them. A little thread conditioner worked wonders to fix that problem, but I have a feeling that I’m not going to have issues like that with the Eleganza threads.

Photos by Christine Baker




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Hand Embroidery I did a lot of hand embroidery back when I was a kid, but never really got back to it until recently. The WonderFil threads enticed me to try my hand at some basic embroidery stitches, mostly on my wool applique pieces. A few years ago my husband and I took the train to Halifax and since I was going to have lots of relaxation time I decided to take along some wool and to try my hand at learning some new embroidery stitches. I pinned a bunch of references on Pinterest and brought along some pieces of wool and my Razzle and Dazzle threads and ended up with quite a few different embroidery samples. One of the several samples that I liked the most was this little piece that I ended up making into a little zippered bag. Ladybug Parade wool applique banner

Now that I have my new Sue Spargo embroidery stitches book I’m going to experiment a bit more using my new yummy Eleganza threads. Sashiko Although I’ve often admired Sashiko embroideries I’ve never actually tried it myself. Sashiko is a form of Japanese embroidery which is usually worked on indigo fabric with white thread. It can range anywhere from a simple gridwork to ornate designs depicting scenes from nature. Just Google “Sashiko images” and you’ll be amazed at the different designs that are available. I’m going to do a bit more research and later this week I’m going to try my hand at this lovely technique.

The Slow Stitching Movement Usually for a week of blogging on QUILTsocial, I design and complete a fairly large project and break it down into manageable steps that we can complete each day for the week. It’s usually a pretty fast paced project, but it’s always fun to see the entire project through to its completion. For the purpose of this article we’re going to take it a bit slower! In starting a new year, I, for one, am looking for some quiet, reflective time. The Slow Stitching Movement was launched by international quilting personality Mark Lipinski to help creative people like us to slow down, enjoy the process, and create fiber art that we’re really proud of. Because Eleganza thread is so suited to handwork I feel inspired to take it a bit slower and to make a few smaller projects that showcase the 3 great uses for WonderFil’s Eleganza thread.

Different examples of Sashiko patterns

Embroidery stitches made with WonderFil’s Razzle and Dazzle threads



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4 ways

to transfer embroidery designs to fabric

Christine Baker

Transferring designs to fabric I talked about 3 great uses for WonderFil’s Eleganza thread – Sashiko, hand embroidery and wool applique. All of these techniques lend themselves to quiet hand stitching time which is especially nice in a busy lifestyle. But in order to do some of these techniques you have to be able to follow a pattern that is marked on fabric. For quilting, stitching and embroidery there are MANY, MANY different ways to mark your fabric. Here are about 4 ways to transfer embroidery designs to fabric. Marking quilt tops for machine or hand quilting When I’m machine quilting I almost NEVER mark the quilt top. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1. I’m always in a hurry and don’t want to take the time to do it and 2. Sometimes it’s really hard to follow that marked line LOL. But, I do know that lots of people like to mark their tops before they quilt them so when I’m teaching my machine quilting class at our local quilt shop I do take a bit of time to go over the different types of fabric marking products and their benefits and drawbacks. Here’s the list of products I handout to my class: Pounce: This is chalk in a bag. Pounce or pat the bag on a stencil, leaving a chalk design on the fabric. The chalk disappears easily, so mark as you go with a pounce. Mechanical pencil: Use hard lead (0.5mm) and mark lightly so that stitching or quilting will cover it. They mark very lightly, don’t have to be sharpened all the time and they don’t smudge. Only mark them as dark as you need to see the mark when you’re quilting, as darker lines may never entirely disappear after washing. These are good only on light fabrics.




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A hand embroidered quilt label by Carla Canonico from her QUILTsocial blog post on June 26, 2016

A free hand embroidery pattern from

Colored pencils: There are many quilters’ pencils on the market usually in white, silver, and yellow, the choice depending on the color of the fabric being marked. These work just fine with two significant drawbacks. They have to be sharpened constantly and they break inside when tapped or dropped making it impossible to keep them sharpened. Clover makes a mechanical pencil with yellow or silver lead that works like the mechanical pencils mentioned above.

Soapstone marker: If kept sharp, these markers will show up on light and dark fabrics. These make a nice line and come out easily. They’re available in quilt shops and need to be sharpened in a hand cranked pencil sharpener. They leave a pale gray line. Soap sliver: Sharpen the edges of leftover soap for a marker that washes out easily.

Chalk pencil: The chalk tends to brush away, so it’s best to mark as you go with these pencils.

Watch this video to learn how to use a light box or window to transfer a design to cloth.

Wash-out pen, pencil or graphite marker: These markers maintain a point and are easy to see. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the markings and test them first on the fabric scraps to make sure the marks will wash out. Note: Humidity may make the marks disappear, and applying heat to them may make them permanent.

Tracing Paper To use tracing paper or transfer paper, you place a piece of the paper, colorside down on your fabric and place the pattern on top of the paper. Transfer the design to the fabric by tracing the pattern using a stylus or empty ball-point pen. Many times the papers come in yellow to use with dark fabrics and blue to use on light-colored fabrics. This technique can be used for any fabrics that are too thick to see through such as wool or denim. Tracing Paper “Chacopy” – 5 Sheets For use with tracer pen (#7843500) to copy work onto craft & sewing projects. Includes 5 pages in blue, green, red, white and yellow.

Chalk roller and chalk wheel: Powdered chalk in this wheel makes a simple, fine line. These work fine if you’re going to quilt the object right away. The chalk is easy to see, comes in different colors, and brushes right off. Hera markers: Use a Hera marker on black quilts that have simple quilting patterns. You don’t have to wash the quilt when finished. They work very well if you’re going to quilt immediately. Frixion pens: come in a variety of colors and leave a nice sharp line. The lines are removed by applying friction or heat BUT the lines may reappear in extreme cold. Marking embroidery lines on fabric Oftentimes the best technique to transfer a design onto fabric depends on the color and thickness or weight of the fabric. Many of the marking tools that I mentioned above can be used with the following techniques. Tracing To transfer a design on paper to a light weight, and light-colored fabric you can place the design under the fabric and using your preferred marking tool copy the design by tracing it directly onto the fabric. If you have problems seeing the design through the fabric you can use a light box or tape the paper and fabric onto a sunny window. Here’s a little video that I found on YouTube that explains how to do this. If I decide to use a white fabric to do some sashiko embroidery with my Eleganza threads, I’ll probably use this method to trace my design.

Iron-on Designs Paperbacked iron-on transfer designs are available in a variety of colors and styles. Be sure to follow the manufacturers directions before using. Keep in mind Reindeer Games – that heat transfer Hot Iron transfers methods usually create a permanent image that must be completely covered by stitching to be invisible. This type of product has been available for YEARS!! I’m pretty sure that the embroidered pillowcases that my grandmother made were done using this type of transfer product. If I can find some at my local craft store it would be fun to do a couple using my Eleganza threads.

Stencils Stencils are great for repeat patterns and for mixing and matching for a unique style. You can also use just parts Blue Birds 4” – The of a stencil to create Stencil Company a unique design. Can be used for Tracing stencils embroidery or quilting. works best on medium-weight fabrics such as cotton, lightweight denim, silk, linen, rayon and various synthetic blends. To use a stencil, position it on the right side of fabric and secure in place using tape. Use your preferred marking tool to trace the design following the cut-out areas of the stencil. If the fabric has any stretch to it, you may find it easier to make small dots with the along the cutout lines, rather than drawing a solid line. There are also many other techniques that have been developed using computer printers, special papers and other interesting tools. There’s always something new being developed so the next time you’re in your local quilt or craft shop ask them what’s new! Many times when I’m doing hand embroidery I just make the pattern up as I go, but for my Sashiko project in a couple days I’m definitely going to be using one of these 4 ways to transfer embroidery designs to fabric.



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Using Eleganza thread for Sashiko embroidery Christine Baker

We talked about 4 ways to transfer embroidery designs to fabric. When I’m doing punchneedle embroidery I often just place my design under the fabric and trace it using a fine marker since the weaver’s cloth that I use is fairly easy to see through. I’m going to use Eleganza thread for Sashiko embroidery on a darker fabric, so I’ll have to use one a different technique such as one of the four that we discussed before. What is Sashiko? Sashiko is a traditional form of embroidery from Japan. Most of the samples in existence today are from the late 19th century but some records show that similar techniques were used for garments in the 17th century. This form of embroidery, which is also popular in quilting, uses straight or curved geometric designs stitched in a repeating pattern. The Japanese word sashiko means little stabs and refers to the small stitches used in this form of needlework. Originally Sashiko provided the practical purpose of strengthening and giving warmth to homespun fabrics in clothes worn by the lower social class citizens of Japan. The simple running stitch was used to conserve and repair garments at a time when cloth was not widely available to farmers and fishermen. The skill was passed down from generation to generation and was learned at a young age. Later on, the skill would also be used to judge a young woman’s suitability for marriage.

Getting Started Stitching Sashiko – YouTube Here are various ways to start stitching using the Sashiko style. Options are discussed as well as the tools required.

Picking the Eleganza thread One of the WonderFil Eleganza threads was a pale gray, so I picked it and threaded my needle with a section about 20” long. I didn’t have an actual Sashiko needle, so I selected one that was fairly long with a large eye so that I could easily thread it. After tying a knot in the one end I brought my needle up from the back of the fabric and started to stack some stitches on the needle.

Sashiko: Traditional Japanese Sashiko Design & Instruction

Practising my Sashiko I decided to practise my Sashiko first using a fairly simple grid design. Instead of tracing this design from paper, I just used my rotary cutting ruler and my Frixion pen to draw diagonal lines across my fabric. I had some of the Northcott ColorWorks leftover fabrics, so I picked one of the turquoise fabrics and cut a rectangle approximately 8” x 10”. I drew one line on an angle across the fabric and then used my ruler to draw parallel lines 1½” apart. I then drew one line at a right angle to these and other lines parallel to it 1½” apart.

Stacking the stitches on the needle

As mentioned in the video above, the Sashiko stitches are supposed to be consistent in size and the space between the stitches is supposed to be slightly smaller than the stitch itself. No two stitches are to cross or meet. When I pulled my thread through, my stitches looked okay, but I can tell that I need a bit more practice!

Nowadays Sashiko is used to embellish garments and quilts and the designs can range anywhere from simple grids, to ornate nature scenes.

A Frixion pen works well for marking the stitching lines




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Closeup of the Sashiko stitches

Sashiko is meant to be stitched in continuous lines acoss the fabric so you don’t have to knot off at the back of the fabric very often. When I got to the end of my first line, I turned and continued stitching on one of the lines that met it at the end. I’ll continue stitching in this manner until all of the lines have been done.

The Sashiko stitches are worked in continuous lines

The Eleganza thread is lovely to stitch with! It pulls through the fabric nicely, doesn’t fray or get into knots. Once I got the hang of the Sashiko stitching I found it to be nice and relaxing and could see how this type of embroidery would be great for a novice stitcher. It works up quite quickly and is easy to do. It also has a modern look to it. I think a quilt made with Sashiko panels would be lovely!! Making a more complex Sashiko design After a bit of practice, I wanted to try my hand at a design that was a bit more complex. As I said before, if you google “Sashiko” designs or patterns you’ll see hundreds of pattern ideas that you can download or buy. You can print them on your printer and then use one of the methods I talked about in the previous article to mark them onto your fabric. I have a bunch of quilting templates that I use for machine quilting on my Gammill, so I picked one of them and used it to trace stitching lines onto a second rectangle of the solid fabric.

I used the same color of Eleganza thread to stitch the lines on this sample. Once all of my stitching was finished, I just used my iron to apply heat to the fabric and the marking lines disappeared.

A machine quilting arc template was used to draw the stitching lines on the fabric

Making a snap bag using Sashiko I’m going to use the Eleganza threads to do some wool applique and embroidery and then we’re going to use both of these samples to make really cute little snap bags. I’ve really enjoyed using WonderFil’s Eleganza thread for Sashiko embroidery and I plan on doing more Sashiko in the future – I hope you enjoyed it too!

Closeup of the Sashiko panel



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Using Eleganza thread to enhance wool applique TM

Christine Baker

Felted wool embroidered circle ornaments by fairfieldroaddesigns

Picking a wool applique motif Some of the Eleganza threads that WonderFil sent me were in cool colors that reminded me of winter. The teals, purple, blue and gray made me think of snowflakes, so I dug through my wools and found some pieces that I thought would work well with the threads. I used my Accuquilt Studio cutter to cut a snowflake shape out of teal and a large circle out of a blue/purple plaid.

Wool applique I absolutely LOVE doing wool applique. I’ve designed and made many, many projects with wool many of which I have published as patterns or have been featured in magazines. I dyed my own wool and I made wool kits and items to sell in my Etsy shop. The only problem with wool is that it can be expensive to buy, so one of my favorite things to do is to applique wool onto cotton backgrounds as this makes the wool project a bit more economical.

I cut a rectangle of cream colored wool that was 10” x 20” and then folded it in half to make a 10” square. I used 505 Spray to stick my shapes to this wool square. I use this spray all the time when I’m doing wool applique as it holds the shapes in place very well and doesn’t gum up your needle as you sew. For more information about using 505 Spray check out my blog post where I make felted wool table runners.

I then used my marker to mark an “x” where each of the buttons was placed so that I could remember where to sew them when all of my stitching was done.

Using an erasable marker, mark an x for each button placement.

I picked two of the Sue Spargo Eleganza threads to use for my project. The colors in these threads are just beautiful!!

I have a large button collection, so I found 12 purple buttons ranging in size from ½” to 1” and arranged them in a circle around the applique shapes.

Eleganza Hints & Tips WonderFil’s website has so much great information! For all of their threads there are Hints & Tips charts available such as this one for their Eleganza thread:

This photo shows how the wool applique shapes and buttons are arranged on the wool background

The Sue Spargo Eleganza thread looks like it will be beautiful with the buttons and wool

Usually I do my wool applique with hand dyed embroidery floss, but I have used WonderFil threads before and found them to be just lovely for wool applique and embroidery. Check out these wool applique ornaments that I made using Razzle and Dazzle threads from WonderFil.




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Embroidery stitches I got to stitching by first securing my snowflake with a running stitch down the middle of all of the parts. Next I used a blanket stitch to secure the circle to the wool background. I sewed all of the buttons to the background using the marks that I had made as a placement guide. Next came my embellishments using french knots in between each button and the circle and some lazy daisy stitches on the opposite side of each button. Now that the wool applique and embroidery is finished, this piece and the Sashiko sample are ready to sew into snap bags. Keep reading as I show a fun technique involving lengths of metal tape measure to make a bag that snaps closed. For now though, I’ve really enjoyed using WonderFil’s Eleganza thread for wool applique and I can’t wait to stitch up a couple of the Sue Spargo patterns that I purchased at quilt market – the other Eleganza threads look like they’ll be perfect for them!

Sue Spargo patterns to use with the rest of the Eleganza Thread

Stitching diagrams

Closeup of the embroidery stitches



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2 easy ways

to make an embroidered snap bag We talked about using WonderFil’s Eleganza thread for wool applique. I found the Eleganza threads to be lovely to work with and the colors of the Sue Spargo threads were amazing!! We used the Eleganza thread for Sashiko embroidery. So now that we have these two embroidery samples finished, now I’m going to show you 2 easy ways to make an embroidered snap bag. What is a snap bag you ask? I first saw the snap bag technique at one of our guild meetings where a fellow guild member was showing how to use an old metal tape measure to make a bag with a rigid opening that would “snap” back into position when closed. These bags are great for gifts, craft shows and for storing anything from rotary cutters to make-up!

The finished shashiko snap bag

Adding the borders The first step for the Sashiko bag is to sew borders onto the Sashiko panel. I trimmed the panel to 8” x 10”. Next I picked the fabrics that I wanted to use for the borders, back and lining of the bag. Since the panel was made with one of Northcott’s ColorWorks solids, I auditioned a few of the ColorWorks Concepts fabrics to use for the borders. I cut two side borders that were each 2” x 8” and sewed them to the two sides of the panel. Next I cut two borders that were 3” x 13” and sewed them to the top and bottom of the panel. I cut one piece on fabric for the back of the bag that measured 11” x 13” and sewed it to the bottom border.

Auditioning border fabrics




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The borders and back of the bag are sewn onto the sashiko panel

Making a snap bag I made the following video to show the basic steps of making a snap bag. Please watch the video before you follow along with the rest of the steps. I cut a piece of batting 13” x 21½” and layered it with the outside of the bag. As I mentioned in the video if you are making small bags you don’t need to do any quilting to secure the layers, but since the bags we are making are going to be quite a bit bigger, I used one of my WonderFil Konfetti threads to do a bit of topstitching around the Sashiko panel and across the back of the bag.

Quilting through the outside of the bag and the batting

Then I cut the lining of the bag from the white ColorWorks fabric 13” x 25” and centered the outside of the bag on the lining with wrong sides together. As shown in the video, I folded and pressed the excess fabric from the ends of the lining over the ends of the bag front.

The edge of the lining fabric is double folded over the edge of the outside fabric

As I showed in the video the two edges of the folded lining is top-stitched to make the channel for the tape measure to slide into. I bought a dollar store metal tape measure and cut two lengths that were each 12¼” long and rounded the edges as shown in the video. Always use OLD SCISSORS to cut the tape measure – NOT your good quilting scissors! If you are concerned with the sharpness of the ends of the tape measure, wrap each end with some duct tape to protect your fabric. When you cut your tape measure, make sure that you reattach the metal end using some scotch tape to make sure that the rest of your tape measure doesn’t retract back into the case – never to be seen again!!

Make sure to tape the end of the tape measure back on to prevent the tape from going all the way into the case

Following the directions in the video, the bag is folded in half with right sides together and stitched about ¼” from the edge. I trimmed the edge and then zigzagged the raw edge to make the seam neat. The next step was to insert the tape measure lengths into the two channels with the unmarked side towards the outside of the bag.

The tape measure section is inserted into the channel with the unmarked side towards the outside of the bag



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A seam is sewn across the point of the bag bottom

The point is trimmed off and then the raw edge is zig-zagged

Cut the lining fabric 3½” longer than the outside of the bag

The second side of the bag is stitched closed, trimmed and zigzagged like the first side. If you want your bag to have a squared bottom, you line up the centre line of the bottom with one of the sides of the bag and then sew a line across that point. You then sew a second line across the other bottom corner. If the bag is tiny, you can just leave the excess triangle of fabric on the inside of the bag. Since my bag is fairly big, I decided to trim the excess fabric and zigzag the raw edge like I did for the sides of the bag. The bag is turned right side out and voila!! The cutest Sashiko bag ever!! You can see that I sewed a fabric label into the side of my bag when I sewed the side seam. I ordered these great labels from a website called It’s Mine Labels for Life. They have a bunch of different sizes and designs and you just enter all of your info online, proof the finished image and then order them. Before you know it your labels arrive and you can start sewing them into your handmade creations!

The finished wool applique snap bag

Christine Baker

No batting needed For the wool applique bag I decided that I really didn’t need to add any batting as the wool background gave the bag body enough substance. Since my wool background was 10” x 20” I cut my lining 10” x 23½”. My tape measure was about ¾” wide so if you have a wider tape measure, you may need to add more than 3½” to the length of your lining. From there I followed the exact same steps as with the Sashiko bag. And here’s the finished wool applique snap bag – I just LOVE it!!




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Stitcher, Quilter, Embroiderer, or Crafter. Because we’ve got you covered. We offer 25 different novelty thread lines ranging from 100wt to 3wt in cotton, rayon, polyester, and metallic. 50 wt

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12 wt

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Find a store near you TM


Reduce bulk in the seams of your quilt blocks Elaine Theriault

No bounce!

I had forgotten to mention this. Let’s face it, the Designer EPIC is a large sewing machine and it’s heavy. It weighs 35 lbs. While I do have a very solid sewing table, I don’t have an insert for the Designer EPIC so I had to place it on my folding banquet tables and I was afraid that the bouncing would be a challenge for sewing. I noticed right from the beginning that there wasn’t the amount of vibrations that I would have anticipated. Now if I were sewing at a very high rate, then I would get more bouncing, but who sews flat out anyway? You’re just asking for inaccuracies when you do that.

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC sewing machine

As we explore more exciting features of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC, I'll be happy to share some useful sewing tips like how to reduce bulk in the seams of your quilt blocks. I’m going to spend some time on a couple of cool features that I discovered by spending some serious time with the Designer EPIC. I have to mentioned how wide the bed of this sewing machine is! It’s a full 121⁄4” from the needle to the end of the work space. The reason for this large size is to accommodate a larger hoop when you’re doing machine embroidery. Since this is also a sewing machine, this extra space will be extremely beneficial when machine quilting as there’s a lot of room to handle a larger project. But where I found that extra space extremely useful was in ordinary sewing. I usually sew with an ender and leader project (small bits that get sewn in between my main project so I can chain piece without breaking the thread). There was loads of room on the bed of the Designer EPIC to place my bits so they didn’t fall on the floor or I had to keep them in front of the machine on the table. I LOVE this as it made it very handy to have those pieces handy. Notice how much extra space I still had. Keeping those bits in no way cut down on my sewing space.




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Then as I was browsing through some literature on the Designer EPIC, I came across an explanation. The sewing machine was designed to lessen the vibrations! How cool is that!

A very large throat space allowed me to keep small project bits handy.

Even when I placed larger blocks (waiting to be sewn) on the bed of the Designer EPIC, I still had a lot of space and still not hindering my sewing area.

Very little bouncing, even on a folding table

Room for larger blocks on the work space

At some point, over the last couple of weeks, I was sewing on my own sewing machine and immediately noticed how cramped the sewing area was on my machine. There was definitely no room to keep those bits handy!

There are times when I think the engineers for the Designer EPIC were reading my mind about what I like and dislike about a sewing machine. What little details like this show me is that someone with a very thorough knowledge of sewing has had input to how the Designer EPIC was put together. That’s very important to me as a quilter!

Photos by Elaine Theriault

Well problem solved. Have a look at this screwdriver – it’s just the best and I need about three of them!

Brilliantly designed screwdriver

The best screwdriver – EVER!

Speaking of thoughtful designs, this next tool is fabulous and again, extremely well thought out. We’ve all been in this position – you need to change the needle or you need to remove the presser foot ankle and those little screws are so small and so far under the head of the sewing machine that you just can’t get a good grasp on them. Right?

Easy to get to the screw to change the needle

What happens with a normal screwdriver is that it’s hard to keep the tip in the slot of the screw and it slides all over the place. Not so with this brilliantly designed screwdriver. There’s a opening that fits over the head of the screw so that it won’t slip. And it’s stubby so you can get a good grasp on it. It doesn’t get any better than this.

When I flip over the two pieces, you can see there’s a half square triangle on the reverse side of that seam and that extra thickness at the beginning of the seam can cause some issues.

Perfecting those scant ¼” seams

Let’s face it – it would be nice to sit down at the sewing machine and get that perfect SCANT ¼” seam allowance every time. It just doesn’t happen, no matter how good you are! But I’ve got some tips on how you can improve your chances of getting that perfect scant ¼” seam allowance.

I’ve said this many times before, and I’ll say it again, the Quilter’s 1⁄4” Piecing Foot P is just fabulous. I use it all the time, on all my sewing machines and I get the same seam allowance no matter what I’m sewing or which machine I’m sewing on. It’s a fabulous time saver, takes the thought process out of getting started and well worth buying one for each of my sewing machines. Let’s get started with some advice. Below it looks like I’m just going to be seaming two regular pieces of fabric together.

A half square triangle on the reverse side of that seam and that extra thickness at the beginning of the seam can cause some issues

The Designer EPIC does have several options including the Needle Up/ Down feature which helps to solve the problems when you’re sewing something like this. Two things can happen – if you don’t have the Needle Up/Down feature, then you’ll have to lift the presser foot up manually to allow space for that extra thickness to fit under the presser foot. If you don’t, the pieces are going to be pushed and shoved and you won’t have a nice match at the beginning of the seam. Other times, there’s a lot of bunching at the top and the piece won’t press flat. The Needle Up/Down feature raises the presser foot ever so slightly when I stop. I can then put this thicker seam (or any seam) right up to the needle. The presser foot doesn’t have a chance to push the fabric.

Easy to get to the screw to remove the presser foot ankle

Getting ready to sew what looks like a straight forward seam



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Now even with this feature, I still have to be careful. I start the seam SLOWLY to ensure the sewing machine starts to stitch properly and I sometimes will assist it with my quilter’s awl or stiletto by giving it a bit of a push.

I know that many people feel the need to pin these intersections, however if you’re using ONE pin at each intersection, those pins will shift and cause the seams to not match. If you think about it, we’ve been taught to not stitch over pins which is a good thing. So the moment you take that pin out (close to the needle, but not under it), guess what happens? Yep – your fabric shifts and all that care of pinning was for nothing! When I use the quilter’s awl, I keep control of the intersection right up to the needle (I’ve only broken one needle in 20 years of sewing with the quilter’s awl) and I get pretty good matches on my intersections.

Starting the bulky seam with the assistance of a quilter’s awl

Once I get over that bulky seam and have stitched about one inch, then I match up my next intersection. There’s plenty of room in front of the needle on the Designer EPIC to line up that seam intersection. I use my finger to feel that the seams are nested together and once they’re aligned to my satisfaction, I use my quilter’s awl to keep them from shifting.

Lining up the next intersection and holding it in place with the quilter’s awl




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Seam allowance is caught on the presser foot and will turn over unless tamed with the quilter’s awl.

Once I get near the end of the seam, I match the end as well and keep it in check using the quilter’s awl. I like the amount of room in front of the needle on the Designer EPIC. There’s plenty of room to match up seams. If my seam happened to be longer than the space in front of the needle, I would match the seam up (more or less) and hold it with my hand until the intersection comes in contact with the sewing machine. Then I would “pin” it with the quilter’s awl and finish the seam as shown below.

Keeping that intersection “pinned” until it’s stitched

Not only is it a good practice to pin those intersections with the quilter’s awl, but look what can happen with the seam allowances. See how the seam allowance of the diagonal seam is caught on the edge of the presser foot in the picture below? If we allow that to happen, you won’t be able to get a nice pressed end of that seam. That in turn can cause issues with matching of the seams on the next intersection.

Matching and “pinning” the end of the seam

Here’s another important aspect of that seam. You want a consistent scant ¼” seam allowance for the entire length of the seam, including the start and the finish.

Yes – there’s a lot of stopping and starting when you’re piecing. I’d rather be stopping and starting to position fabric and line up seams, than sew like crazy and then have to rip out. The width of the seam allowance at the end of the seam is consistent with the width of the seam allowance in the middle

Check out the sample below. See what happened at the end? It’s not a scant ¼” seam allowance and this can cause some major inaccuracy issues, especially if it happens a lot.

None of the seams in the pictures below were pinned or measured in anyway and you can see how beautiful the intersections are. I know where my scant ¼” seam allowance is by using my Quilter’s ¼” Piecing Foot P, I pin on the fly, using the quilter’s awl and I take control of my seams and match things up as I go. This process saves a lot of time and yet I get pretty accurate results.

The width at the end of the seam allowance is NOT consistent with the width in the middle

Why does this happen? Most times, it occurs because we take our hands off of our pieces as the seam nears the end. We’re in that much of a hurry to grab the next pieces and the sewing machine takes control and let’s the pieces do whatever. This frequently occurs if there’s a diagonal seam on the reverse side (which there is). The bulk of that seam, will push the fabric to the left or right and you end up with this inaccuracy.

Twirled seams that are pressed flat

Intersection is absolutely flat with the twirled seam

Perfect intersection

I do twirl my seams on the reverse side (it’s an old habit that I can’t shake, but I like the way it looks on the front) and reduces bulk in the seam allowances particularly with diagonal seams. In a post on QUILTsocial, I touch on how to reduce bulk in the seam allowances.

I love surprises and each time I discovered something on the Designer EPIC, well it was exciting. There are some absolutely amazing design features on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC. I hope you enjoyed reading about those features and the little tips on achieving those scant ¼” seams. I’ve got a tutorial on making the perfect Quarter Square Triangle. Read on.

It’s very important that you stay in control of those pieces and “man handle” them with your quilter’s awl until the absolute end of your seam. Stop sewing and then pick up your next piece.



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2 critical tips to perfect Quarter Square Triangles I remember my first project with half square triangles. I sewed the squares together on the diagonal, cut them in half, pressed and then trimmed. What did I know about trimming and using the diagonal line as a reference? Nope – I just laid the ruler on my half square triangle and cut out the size I needed! There wasn’t a SINGLE point on that quilt. I’ve since learned how to trim half square triangles and it’s now one of my favorite units. The quarter square triangle used to give me grief until recently. Yes, I’m still learning; the day I stop – I’ll be dead! And yes – I still get frustrated and I still make mistakes, but I’m enjoying the learning process. If everything I sewed was perfect, that means I’m not challenging myself.

The first thing is to cut squares. Just how big should those squares be? Start by determining the FINISHED size of the units you need. Let’s say you need 3½” finished quarter square triangles, then add 1¼” to the FINISHED size. That means you will cut squares that measure 4¾”. When you sew the quarter square triangles with this method, you’ll get two identical quarter square triangles. Start by cutting two identical sized squares. They should have contrast to each other either in value or color. I happened to have some 5” squares handy so I used those.

So – I would make quarter square triangles and they would be wonky. Why? I spent some time one afternoon evaluating the problem and I found the solution which I’ll share with you.

Draw a diagonal line and stitch a scant ¼” on either side.

Cut on the diagonal drawn line. Technically it doesn’t matter which way you press the seams, but be consistent. If you press one seam to the dark, then press both to the dark. If you press one seam to the light, then press both to the light. You should now have two half square triangles. DO NOT TRIM.

I’ll be using the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC to show you how to make perfect quarter square triangles.

Two squares will yield two quarter square triangles.

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC

Tutorial for Quarter Square Triangles There are different methods for making quarter square triangles. This tutorial uses half square triangles. As I work through the process, I’ll identify the pitfalls so you too can have perfect quarter square triangles.




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Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of the squares. Place the two squares right sides together and stitch a scant ¼” on both sides of the diagonal line. Try to keep those stitching lines as straight as possible.

Two half square triangles

A potential pitfall is that the seams of the half square triangles are not pressed well. My seams are nice and flat. Always press these units from the RIGHT side. Never the wrong side. Why? You want to ensure that there are no tucks or folds in those seam lines, in particular at the corners. You can control that from the front, but you can’t see those potential tucks if you press from the back.

Another pitfall – be careful that you don’t stretch the seams. In the photo below, the arrows are pointing to the corners – this area is usually not pressed well and can cause issue with your points in the final units. Again, straight seams will give you a nicer finished unit.

WAIT – don’t just lay the ruler on and draw a line and don’t line the ruler up with the corners of that block. NO – you want to place the ruler so it’s more or less lined up with the corners, but more importantly, the line you are about to draw should be 90 degrees to the first seam line. This is critical to the success of your quarter square triangles. Place the two half square triangles right sides together

Carefully stitch a scant ¼” on both sides of that new diagonal line. Notice that I haven’t used pins. Again, the straighter these lines of stitching are, the better results you’ll have with your quarter square triangles.

Press well right to the end of the seam.

Now we’re going to draw another diagonal line on the reverse of ONE of the units.

Second line MUST be 90 degrees to the first seam.

Draw another diagonal line.

Place the two half square triangle units right sides together alternating the colors. So the pink is on the blue and the blue is on the pink as shown below. Nest those two center seams up to each other. If you recall, I would not consider pinning these units. They’re small enough that they won’t distort or shift. But very important that those two seams be nested to each other. That’s why it’s important that the seams be pressed to the same fabric. In this case, the seams were pressed to the blue fabric and this allows the seams allowances to nest against each other. This in turn helps to get a perfect intersection in the middle of the unit.

Stitch a scant ¼” on both sides of the diagonal line.

A scant ¼” stitched on both sides of the diagonal line.



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Now it may be not be exactly perfect, so you may have to jiggle the ruler around or you may have to jiggle your block underneath the ruler. Once it’s lined up to the best of your ability – then trim along the right hand side and the top side of the ruler.

If you want to check how accurate your centers are before you cut the units apart, pull back one of the loose corners. A perfect match – no pins!

Two untrimmed quarter square triangles

Pull back the corner to check the intersection

Cut the units apart on the diagonal line.

The last step is to trim the units. It’s a whole lot easier, if you use a SQUARE ruler to do your squaring up. I’m right handed, so I position the ruler with the 1” and 1” markings in the top right hand corner. If I were left handed, those markings would be in the top left hand corner. I now need to know the UNFINISHED size of my quarter square units. I want units that are 3½” FINISHED so to get the unfinished size, I now add ½” for the seam allowances. That means, I’m going to trim these units down to 4” UNFINISHED.

Rotate the block 180 degrees. Line up the clean cut edges with the 4” (in this instance) lines on the ruler and again, trim along the right and top edges of the ruler.

Five reference points for trimming the quarter square triangles

And there’s the perfect quarter square triangle!

Units are cut apart on the diagonal line

Press the seams. Confession time again – I did twirl those seams on the back. As I mentioned, old habits die hard. Plus I really like the look of the seam being distributed in all four directions, rather than have that final seam across the center of the block.

Preparing to square up the quarter square triangle unit

Like the half square triangle, there’s a better way to trim these units, which in itself becomes a critical step in making the perfect quarter square triangles. In the photo below, you can see that I have 5 reference points. Since I’m trimming my blocks to 4”, I can use the intersection of the 2” lines on the ruler to find the center of the block. Then I can place the intersection of the 4” on the bottom left of the block. You can see the other three reference points below.

Twirled seams on the back




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Trimmed quarter square triangle

Hopefully this tutorial takes the mystery out of making perfect quarter square triangles. With the help of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC to get those nice straight seams and that scant ¼” seam allowance, making these units was a breeze. Don’t forget to lower that stitch length to 2 as you’ll be slicing through some seams. Let's continue this review of the Designer EPIC with some of its embroidery features.


for the details. Featuring Dual Duty Plus® Hand Quilting Thread.

For more information visit: Pattern “Modern Traditional” courtesy of Cheryl A. Adam 15-023 © 2015 Coats. Coats is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.

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Easy to embroider on the

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC While the Designer EPIC is a fabulous sewing machine, it’s embroidery capabilities are spectacular. I remember my first embroidery sewing machine. The design work was done on a computer and then transferred to the sewing machine via a 3½” floppy disk. Does everyone even remember floppy disks? Probably not and you don’t want to go there. Let’s get started and see what the Designer EPIC has to offer.

Designer EPIC with the embroidery unit attached

Wow – that looks exciting. That’s a LOT of space to play with. Wait until you see the size of the hoops. You’re probably thinking that machine embroidery is going to be complicated, however, it’s much easier than you think. Don’t forget that the Designer EPIC has the JoyOS advisor and the User’s Guide built in. There’s a lot of information right at your finger tips and I’m going to show you just how easy it is to learn.

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC

Should I want to do a sewing technique that I’m not sure of, I can choose from one of the options shown above. If I want to learn about an embroidery technique, then I select Embroidery and if I want to learn some other things (which I’ll show you next), I’d choose the Knowledge Center. And the entire User’s Guide is right there as well if I need to find out something specific. No searching for misplaced papers or manuals. I love this feature! I started off by choosing the Embroidery section of the JoyOS advisor so I can learn a different embroidery technique. I can change the background color in the hoop area that will appear on the screen. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it’s a big deal. Depending on the color of the stitches on the screen, you may need to change the background color so you can see the stitches properly. A very useful feature indeed! Then you have various embroidery techniques that you can do. There’s a selection menu and within each menu, there are sub categories – each explaining an embroidery technique.

The first thing you have to do is to remove the accessory tray. That’s easy, it just slides off leaving the machine in the free arm position.

Accessory tray is removed to allow free arm sewing

Now slide the embroidery unit onto the Designer EPIC. The unit is very long so you want to make sure that you have plenty of space around the machine. The hoop will need space to move as well behind the sewing machine.




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The JoyOS advisor is the start-up screen when you turn on the Designer EPIC

This screen may look intimidating when you first turn on the Designer EPIC, but in fact, it’s very easy considering all the available options. If I’m going to sew, I hit “Start New” to take me to the sewing mode. If the embroidery unit is attached, when I hit “Start New”, I’ll be taken to the screen where I edit my embroidery design.

First page of the embroidery tab in the JoyOS advisor

In the photo below, I’ve chosen Specialty Hoop techniques (these are nonstandard hoops that are necessary to perform various techniques). Within this category, you can see there are four separate topics that I can select.

In the burgundy area below the designs, are the other design menus. Within each menu there are numerous designs. You can also see that my hoop area is blue which is the default.

Step by Step Instructions for Basic Embroidery

Available topics in the Specialty Hoop technique section

Here’s another category called Surfaced Embroidery. Don’t know what this means? There’s an explanation right below the grey boxes. Surfaced Embroidery is all about dimensional effects. Again, there’s information on the three techniques.

If you turn the Designer EPIC on and the embroidery unit is attached, this is the pop-up message you’re going to get. It’s a reminder to move everything out of the way of the arm so it doesn’t get damaged when it starts up. I love these reminders. We think we know how to operate the machine, but then we forget about the simple things, like moving stuff out of the way, which can cause a lot of damage. And there’s no time to have a machine in the repair shop!

One of the embroidery design menus

Remember that this screen is similar to a tablet. I can swipe up and down to scroll through the designs in one menu. Very useful and so easy to use.

Surfaced Embroidery categories

The next picture of the STEP BY STEP and very detailed instructions on how to do basic embroidery. You get the list of materials/equipment required and how to set up the Designer EPIC. This is the first page of the instructions. You have to scroll down to get the rest. It really doesn’t get any easier than this. The hardest thing now is to choose a design! Note these detailed instructions are included for any of the embroidery techniques that you choose!

Pop up message to clear the area around the embroidery unit

There are many built-in embroidery designs that come with the Designer EPIC. In addition you can incorporate the fonts and the decorative stitches. The possibilities without ever buying any other designs is mind-boggling.

Scrolling up and down through one menu of embroidery designs



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In this photo, I’m scrolling side to side. Scrolling side to side will allow me to scroll through the various menus. An easy way to find the category of embroidery designs you’re looking for.

Something else that’s very important is selecting the correct hoop size. The Designer EPIC will NOT start a stitchout if an appropriate hoop size is not selected. This is a safety feature and a very important one. No danger of starting a design and realizing the hoop isn’t big enough. You can see that there are lots of options for hoops. I like to select the smallest hoop possible for the design that I’m working on. My biggest issue with hoops? The sizes are metric. There are many things that I can deal with in metric, the temperature outside, driving a car, but for some reason, inches and centimeters just don’t translate for me. I must make this a “must learn” item for this year. It would save me a lot of time, not just for hoops, but in general.

Lots of options to bring files/designs into the Designer EPIC Scrolling side to side through the various embroidery design menus

In the next photo, you can see that the pink tab opens up the embroidery design menus. I can also load a stitch (blue tab), load a font (green tab) or bring a saved file in from the file manager (red tab). The brown tab is the JoyOS advisor project tab. YES – there are designs available depending on the specialty embroidery technique you’ve chosen in the JoyOS advisor. This is so awesome! The bottom tab is the thread color edit tab.

Once I choose a design (in this case, Number 1 from the L Heart and Butterfly Designs menu), then information about that design appears at the bottom of the screen. I get the file name, the size, the number of stitches and how many thread colors there are in the design. All of this is very useful information when you want to stitch something out.

Wide variety of hoop sizes and types available

Remember that the Designer EPIC has internet capabilities. That means files can be downloaded directly to the Designer EPIC. I can upload saved files to the mySewNet cloud. These capabilities are totally amazing. Remember I said that on my old embroidery machine that all of the design work was done on the computer and then loaded via a floppy disk? There’s just no comparison between the two machines. What was once a very laborious and technical task, is so easy that anyone can do machine embroidery. Using MANY different techniques. Information about the selected design




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Three hoops come standard with the Designer EPIC. I’m going to talk a bit more about the hoops and how to hoop your fabric later this week.

Three hoops come standard

The three sizes are: 360 x 260 260 x 200 120 x 120 In case you’re like me and those numbers mean nothing to you, the equivalents are: 14” x 10” 10” x 7½” 4½” x 4½” There’s a very large hoop that you can purchase separately. It’s called the Majestic Hoop and measures 360 x 350 or for the metric challenged among us – that’s 14” x 13¾”. Now that’s huge!

And if you forget a step, you can simply follow along on the handy built-in instructions on the tablet like screen!

Here’s a design that I selected to stitch out. Yes, there are loads of buttons and options on the screen. The good news is you don’t have to touch any of them in order to stitch out a design. Simply go through the menus, select a design, thread the embrodiery machine, hoop your fabric and select GO. But once you get the hang of those basics, they will go along much quicker and you’re going to want to do a whole lot more!

One of the many built-in embroidery designs

Oh – the possibilities are endless. I’ll be doing some embroidery later this week but I wanted to give you a peek under the hood just in case you thought it was complicated. There are loads of options and once you get comfortable, then you can start to use those options. There’s plenty of stuff to keep you busy while you learn. Keep reading as we delve a bit more into the mystery of machine embroidery with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC.



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Inspira stabilizers

save your machine embroidery work Stabilizers are critical to the success of your machine embroidery. Without a stabilizer, your work will pull, warp and pucker, making a very unattractive and hard to work with design. There are many stabilizers on the market. Not only different brands, but many different types and while you might be able to substitute one type for another in a pinch, it’s very important to use the correct stabilizer for the job at hand. Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble. The Inspira brand of stabilizers is excellent and comes with a wide variety of types.

Wait! Before you say that this is going to get complicated – it’s not! Remember, I mentioned the Knowledge Center on the JoyOS advisor – that’s the first screen you see when you turn on the Designer EPIC? Instead of hitting Start New, or the User’s Guide, or the Embroidery Techniques, I’m going to the Knowledge Center. Guess what’s in there? Yep – all kinds of information about stabilizers. I told you this entire process is so easy. No hunting on the internet, no trying to find a lost manual – it’s all built into the Designer EPIC.

Small selection of Inspira stabilizers

Stabilizer guide selected in the Knowledge Center

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC with embroidery unit attached

There are different categories of stabilizers. The one selected above is the specialty category. The one below is the Tear A Way products. Don’t know what a tearaway stabilizer is? The description is shown below the row of gray boxes.




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List of water soluble stabilizers

OK – it’s time to get to work. I want to get out of the Knowledge Center and into the work area. I simply hit the START NEW button on the bottom right of the screen. Tear A Way stabilizer menu

Did you notice that the labels on the screen are the same as the actual product? That makes it super easy to know you have the correct stabilizer. And if you need more detailed information about the stabilizer, just click on the icon for that particular one and you get all the information you could possibly want. You get an in-depth description of the stabilizer, when to use iit, and detailed instructions on how to use it. I told you – it doesn’t get any easier!

Choose the stitch and the appropriate settings

I would be careful of the size of project that I work on. While I could work on something fairly large, I wouldn’t want my project catching on the embroidery arm. Press Start New to get to work

But wait! I need to sew something before I start my embroidery project. No worries. I can sew WITH the embroidery unit attached. I simply toggle from embroidery to sewing mode in the top right hand corner. Sewing with the embroidery unit attached

Toggle switch between embroidery and sewing mode

Now that the sewing mode screen is up, I can choose the stitch and the appropriate settings that I want.

Information on Tear-A-Way Stabilizers

And yes – I can SEW with the embroidery unit attached. This is fabulous. It saves having to remove the embroidery unit, find a safe place to store it and then put it back on when done stitching.

I’m not going to have a chance to hoop anything, but wanted to show you that on all the hoops, there are four notches that assist you in lining up your design on your fabric. It takes a bit of practice to get that right. While I’m doing an okay job with hooping, I do try to hoop a big piece of fabric and then cut my image after. That’s the cheating way to do it, but it works!! I’ll have more on hooping.



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The hoop has a spring lock on it and a screw to help keep that fabric and stabilizer tight in the hoop. The last thing you want is to have ripples or movement during the machine embroidery process. In addition, there are clips that help stabilize the larger hoops. While it sounds like there are a lot of steps to do machine embroidery, don’t forget that they’re all documented in the JoyOS advisor. Step by step!

Four guides to help position your item when hooping

Let’s not forget that if you don’t want to sit at the sewing machine to browse the User’s Guide, you can download it to your tablet and read it at your leisure. I wasn’t a fan of e-books until recently. Now I think they’re great. Very handy, very useful and easy to use. That’s important to me, especially since I can be very technically challenged sometimes!

Clips are used to help stabilize the larger hoops

Spring and a screw to tighten the embroidery hoop

User’s Guide on a tablet




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Get more quilting fun in
























Visit to order



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The EPIC embroidery features of the HV Designer EPIC I'm going to explore stitch-outs on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC. And I’ll only be scratching the surface of what amazing embroidery techniques are available.

How to hoop your fabric You want to start by cutting a piece of stabilizer that is slightly larger than your hoop. Layer your fabric (right side up) on top of the stabilizer. I don’t bother to cut my fabric down to smaller sizes, but you don’t want the piece to be too big either as it’ll be moving around as the hoop moves.

Designer EPIC with embroidery unit attached

Here’s a quick tip about those stabilizers. Once you remove the plastic, that label is going to get misplaced and you want to keep it with the stabilizer. Simply tuck the label inside the center of the tube and you’ll always know what kind of stabilizers you have.

Layer the fabric over the stabilizer

Built in step by step instructions for machine embroidery

Next up, you’re going to open the quick release (the spring) on the outer part of the hoop and place it underneath the fabric/stabilizer combination.

Here’s the design I chose. I’m doing a very simple embroidery, but there are a lot of color changes.

Place the outer hoop underneath the fabric/stabilizer combination

Place the inner hoop on top of the fabric, making sure that the arrow at the bottom of the outer hoop is matching up with the arrow at the bottom of the inner hoop. Essentially, you don’t want that inner hoop to be upside down.

Insert the stabilizer label inside the roll of stabilizer

Remember, if you’ve never done machine embroidery before, all the steps are built into the Embroidery Section of the JoyOS advisor. Just follow the step by step instructions. Simple!

Press the inner hoop inside the outer hoop. I start at the bottom left and work my way around the hoop until I end up at the bottom right corner which is where the quick release and the screw are located. Design to stitch out




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Place the inner hoop over the outer hoop with the fabric and stabilizer sandwiched in between

Once the inner hoop is secured inside the outer hoop, close the quick release and tighten up the screw. There’s no need to go crazy on tightening that screw – you want it secure, not break it!

Centering lines for hooping

If I’m using a larger hoop, then I can further stabilize the hoop by using clips at various points around the perimeter of the hoop. They’re easy to put on and easy to take off and I’ve never had one pop out during the stitch out process.

Reminder of settings for machine embroidery

The inner hoop is secured inside the outer hoop

Clips to help stabilize the larger hoops

The outer hoop has a tendency to move around and if that is causing you problems, you can purchase a hoop grip that you can slide the hoop connector into, in order to stabilize the outer hoop. I must get one of these as I think it would solve a lot of my hooping issues.

I’ve changed the foot to one that is appropriate for machine embroidery.

If you’re going to do your embroidery on a garment or need the design in a specific location, then find the center of the desired design position and mark two intersecting lines across it. Those two lines will be used to line up with the guide markings on the hoop. In the next sample, I just drew those lines on with a chalk pencil, while it was already hooped. I know – a big cheat, but you get the idea. And note that the center of the design is NOT the center of the hoop. There’s a reason why the top half is bigger than the bottom half. That doesn’t matter, the centering lines are what matters. Don’t eyeball it – you’ll be disappointed.

Remember I told you that the Designer EPIC wouldn’t let you stitch if you didn’t have the correct hoop? The design I’m stitching out recommends a 200 x 200 hoop. That’s the minimum size required to stitch the design. I don’t have a 200 x 200 hoop, so I choose the next largest one that I had. That was the 200 x 260. I can always go larger, but never smaller. However, I didn’t advise the Designer EPIC that I was using a different hoop and so I got a gentle reminder.

Sensor Q-Foot for machine embroidery

My design is ready to be stitched out. I can now proceed to the Embroidery Stitch Out mode. I get a screen reminding me how I need to set up the Designer EPIC for the stitching. Easy to follow instructions, easy to select the options and now I’m ready!

Gentle reminder to attach the correct hoop



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Notice that it wasn’t just reminding me to attach the hoop, but it was looking for the 200 x 200 hoop. AHA – now I understand. Once I changed the settings in the Embroidery Edit Mode to the 200 x 260 hoop, which matched the physical hoop I was using, I was good to go. The list of thread colors now appears on the screen. The size of the color block is relative to the number of stitches in the design. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, you can see the total number of stitches in the design and beneath that number is the number of stitches for that color.

I started the stitch out and went upstairs to edit some pictures while the Designer EPIC was stitching. WAIT! I forgot a very very important step to this embroidery stitch out process. I grabbed my smart phone and downloaded an app – mySewMonitor App. I very quickly created an account with mySewnet. No machine on-line. Shoot – I’ve already started the embroidery. Can I connect the Designer EPIC while it’s stitching? The answer is YES. I brought the sewing machine online and connected to my account on mySewnet.

And notice on the bottom left, the hoop size is now 200 x 260.

YES – the app on my cell phone now shows me the status of the stitch out. Isn’t that just the most awesome feature? I see the status of the entire design, I see the status of that particular thread color. Basically, the same information that is on the screen. It means that I don’t have to be in the same room as the Designer EPIC, nor do I have to periodically hang my head over the staircase to hear if the machine is still stitching. I got a nice gentle reminder on the phone every time the thread needed to be changed. I think at one point, the thread broke and I was reminded of that as well. Even when I took a run to the local coffee shop and my phone was temporarily off my home network, the moment I arrived in my driveway, I got a reminder to change the thread. I LOVE this feature!!!

Setting up mySewnet account while the Designer EPIC is stitching out a design

There’s my account on mySewnet. Since I’ve just opened the account, there are no files to sync. BUT – look what happened next.

The thread color changes are represented on the right

Starting the stitch out




mySewnet account is synced

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Status update on the phone app

The plan now is to make something with those coorindating fabrics. I more or less chose the colors from those two fabrics.

Fabric to make a zippered tote with my embroidery design

My plan is to make a zippered tote. Notification to change the thread

I love that the “thread” on the spool in the forefront “emptied” to show the progress of that color in the stitch out. You have to remember that it doesn’t take much to amuse me.


The stitch out is complete! The finished stitch out. He’s pretty cute. Notice that I didn’t follow the colors suggested in the thread color chart. Since it’s my stitch out, I can do what I want!

I barely scratched the surface of what I want to show you with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC. There are many more exciting things we can do with this sewing/embroidery machine. I hope you enjoyed this little adventure and that you learned some tips along the way. The capabilities of the Designer EPIC and the attention to detail has my head spinning. If you’re into serious machine embroidery, the Designer EPIC is your machine. I don’t think there’s anything that this machine can’t do.

The color on the thread spool shows the progress of that color

Elaine Theriault Close to finishing the stitch out

Pretty cute design!



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Autumn Harmony

within a Log Cabin quilted sampler Nancy Devine

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

I love autumn, that season of color. As quilters, we appreciate the vivid hues of changing leaves, set against the intense cyan skies. These postcard-pretty days are often bathed in the pure sunshine. It’s like a big finale before the greys and icy whites of winter. That saturation of colors is the inspiration behind my Autumn Harmony wall quilt. Made up of four large log cabin blocks in low volume creams and neutrals, the fanciful batik foliage dances across the surface. And it all starts with scraps and strings. This is the ultimate frugal art piece. I’ve begged batik scraps from quilting friends, and prepared some lightweight quilting muslin flat in preparation for some string pieced foliage. Let’s get this color party started by creating a cozy quilted canvas to showcase our wild autumnal colors.

Photos by Nancy Devine




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finished measurements 31” x 31” materials

•• Various quilting fabric remnants in •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

neutrals (creams, beiges, very light yellow) Green batik scraps and pieces Yellow, red, gold, pink batiks Bias binding in brown batik Binding strips Bias binding maker Tailor’s awl Finger pressing tool Batting 505 basting spray Template plastic Spray Starch Freezer paper Small paint brush Clever Clips (large and small) Marking pen Flatter pressing spray Quilting muslin Gütermann silk thread Size 10 hand quilting needles 24” quilting hoop Thimble Birch branch Curtain rings

We’re going to make four 14½” log cabin blocks. The log cabin is a beginner block that requires a lot of cutting. It’s a perfect use for jelly roll pre-cuts, since they are 2½” wide strips. Unfortunately, you might not have a jelly roll bundle of neutral fabrics. No worries. Let’s whip out our rulers and rotary cutters and make some 2½” strips. I cut seven strips from eight different neutrals. It helps to have some Clever Clips around to clip the strips together as you go. It just keeps everything tidy. After you’ve cut your strips, you then cut them (which is called sub-cutting in quilting lingo) into varying lengths, but the width stays the same.

Start piecing by joining the two 2½” squares, followed by the 4½” strip, all around the block, pressing with each addition. Try to get the strips to lay as flat as possible after piecing them. I’ll make for easier time later when you’re quilting the sandwich. Make four 14½” blocks. (Please see the layout diagram above). Join these two blocks together, then join the resulting half square to form a 28” x 28” quilt top.

Cut out 2½” strips from a variety of cream, beige and low volume neutral fabrics to create a log cabin canvas.

Make a quilt sandwich spray baste layers together, using safely pins to secure the corners. Free motion quilt in wavy vertical lines. I added leafy squiggles along the lines. Set aside.

Spray baste the quilt sandwich to prepare it for free motion quilting, pinning the corners to prevent shifting.

Log Cabin block diagram

For one block, cut:

Two 2½” squares Two 4½” strips Two 6½” strips Two 8½” strips Two 8½” strips Two 10½” strips Two 12½” strips Two 14½” strips

Completed blocks are pressed flat before being joined together to create a large quilt top.

Use Flatter pressing spray and a finger pressing tool to make the Log Cabin blocks as flat as possible.



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How to coordinate color-soaked batiks

to make fanciful fall foliage Next… creating the fabulous leaves that will be a focal point on our Autumn Harmony quilted sampler. Begin by cutting 2” wide strips from various green batik scraps. These should be at least 10” long.

Stacks of green strips come together in a string piecing symphony of color.

I cut about 80 strips from the scraps I’d scrounged from my quilting buddies. You can take a more design-oriented approach, but I kind of enjoyed the randomness of it all. There was some order to it, honest. When I cut strips from one fabric, I grouped them all together in the same pile. I found it easier to have the scraps grouped when I began putting the leaves together. String-piecing method for each leaf: Cut eight pieces of thin quilter’s muslin, 9” wide by 13” long.

Group the strips together to make it easier to mix up the colors when string piecing the leaves.

Start at the center of the muslin rectangle, placing a scrap right side up and a slight angle. Pin into place. Place a the next strip on top of the pinned one, right sides together, making the raw edges align as best you can. Use a short stitch length and sew through the fabric and muslin, using a ¼” seam. Finger press the seam allowance, using the handy finger presser. Add the next strip, continuing until the muslin is covered.

Start by placing one green strip at a bit of an angle in the center of a muslin rectangle.

You’ll be doing eight stringpieced rectangles. Press the finished rectangles on the top (right side) of the fabric with a generous spray of Flatter. It smells heavenly, and will provide a smooth surface for next project – the fabulous fall foliage on the Autumn Harmony quilted sampler.

Sew another strip onto the first one, and use a finger pressing tool to make it as flat as possible.




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don't miss these projects & tutorials online!


5 tips for sewing with jelly rolls

.com 1 simple trick for perfect curved piecing every time




Making a Fidget Quilt with the Brother NQ900 machine

Fussy cutting printed fabric using Sew Easy templates

and there's so much more!



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How to make needle turn applique easier This part is about is about preparing leaves for needle turn applique and making bias strips for tree branches.

The plastic will allow you see the green striped fabric underneath. I decided to cut out the leaves a a bit of an angle to create some visual interest. I added a ¼” seam allowance, and then traced around the template. Cut out the shapes on the fabric. Preparing for needle turn applique seems like a daunting process, and it’s time consuming, but I prefer to have a firmly pressed edge before I begin, rather than trying to turn under the raw edge as I applique the pieces to the main quilt. This is particularly important in this project, since the leaves are made up of two layers of fabric. To do this, I create a very strong freezer paper foundation.

Let’s get this color party started with the leaves for the Autumn Harmony wall quilt.

Let’s get started on the leaves. Trace the templates provided onto quilting template plastic and cut out.

This step will take a bit of time, but take your time and you’ll be rewarded with applique-ready shapes.

Iron four layers of freezer paper together. Ironing the shiny side down onto fabric is a way to create a reusable template. Ironing the paper together creates a tough but flexible iron table surface that doesn’t pull apart. Clip the edges of the leaf shape. Spray a generous amount of spray starch into a small container. (I use an egg cup.) Use a small paint brush to soak the edges of the leaf shape with starch, then turn the edges onto the freezer paper template. Press the edges into the shape. I found working with the top points of the leaves first helped the other edges to form more easily around the rest of the shape.

Download the templates and trace them onto quilting template plastic.

For the berries, trace the circle templates on the plastic and then create it also onto the bonded freezer paper. Trace each circle shape onto fabric. Knot a double length of thread and sew a running stitch close to the edge of the fabric circle. Pull the thread tight around the freezer paper circle. Paint some starch around the inside edge of the circle and press. When the circle has cooled, clip the knot and remove the gathering thread and then the paper template. Give the circle a final press. Repeat for all the berries.

Repeat for all the leaves.

Fabric tape cut on the bias is fed through a bias tape maker to create branches that will gentle curve.

For the bias binding branches –say that five times fast – you’re going to cut out three 1¾” strips of brown batik cut along the bias. To do this, fold down one corner of the brown batik diagonally to the opposite edge. Cut the strip to the width on the diagonal. Feed the resulting strip through the wide edge of the bias tape maker, pushing it through to the starting point with the point of the tailor’s awl. Pull the fabric through the bias tape maker, pressing with the iron. Go slowly and steadily to create a single fold bias strip. When the strips have cooled, wind them in around some flat card, securing with a Clever Clip, for safe keeping.

Create a crisp edge for the needle turn applique by painting the fabric edges with starch before pressing around a freezer paper template.




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Gather and press the berry appliques, using spray starch to create crisp curves for applique.


finished measurements leaf 10” berries 4”, 3”, 2”




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How Unique fabric glue stick can help your applique work As we continue our sewing work on the Autumn Harmony wall quilt. We’ve created all the elements for the quilt – four branches, eight leaves and 19 berries. Now it’s time to put it all together. This quilt began life as a doodle on a scrap of paper. I find it easier to draw on a small scale. I enlarged the doodle on a photocopier until it was almost to scale and then I colored with pencil crayons. I used this drawing to guide my layout. You can use my layout or use one that is more pleasing to you. Start by adding the bias branches. These can be encouraged to bend because they’re cut on the bias. Use Unique fabric glue stick to temporarily position the branches into a curve. I turned the raw edges under and use a glue stick to secure this tiny hem. Pin the branches into place.

Unique fabric glue stick and several well-placed pins will ensure the bias branches curve properly.

Once they’re in place, pin the leaves and the berries in place. Using one strand of thread in a contrasting color, baste all the elements to the quilted base. Since the hand stitching will take several days, and much movement in and out of a quilting hoop, thread basting seemed a better option than spray basting. If you prefer to machine applique the elements, spray basting will work just fine. When stitching the appliques, use a tiny applique stitch and try to keep an even tension. This will help avoid puckers in the finished product. You’ll also notice that the applique stitches show on the back of the wall quilt. Don’t fret. No one will ever see them. It will be on a wall. The colors are so vibrant, who cares what’s on the back? We’ll walk through finishing up our fanciful fall wall hanging. Continue reading.




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Stitch the appliques to the quilted base using a tiny applique stitch in coordinating silk thread colors.

How to create an embroidered quilt label using your sewing machine We laid out and appliqued all the elements of our Autumn Harmony wall quilt and now we’re going to bind the finished piece, as well as create a label and a hanging system for it.

Press the quilt on the top side with lot of steam. Don’t iron it. Press with the iron up and then down, move the iron off the quilt and then down to the next area. Ironing could create a crease exactly where you don’t want one. It’s been my experience that these surprise creases stay stubbornly in place, so I do my best to avoid them. Trim the borders so that everything is straight and even. Create six 2½” binding strips, or use the strips left over from those cut for the log cabin blocks. Bind the wall quilt using this excellent and straight forward method by QUILTsocial’s own Elaine Theriault. I like to slip stitch the binding onto the back of the quilt by hand, and pressing the binding well once it is all stitched in place.

A few years back, a winter ice storm gifted us with several white birch branches. It was sad for the tree, but good for me. I salvaged the branches and used them for some landscaping projects. There was one that was fairly straight, so I decided to use it as a rustic hanging rod for my quilt. I found some coordinating clip curtain rings at my local fabric store. I attached eight of them to the top of the quilt, and threaded them onto the birch branch. I’m going to put up two curtain rod wall brackets so I can Autumn Harmony it in my living room, where I’ll enjoy the colors of fall – ALL year 'round Until we meet again, remember to make a mess and create some fun!

A fabulous fall finale for our Autumn Harmony wall quilt

Press the quilt on the top side with lot of steam. Don’t iron it. Press with the iron up and then down, move the iron off the quilt and then down to the next area. Ironing could create a crease exactly where you don’t want one. It’s been my experience that these surprise creases stay stubbornly in place, so I do my best to avoid them. Trim the borders so that everything is straight and even.

Set up your machine for free motion quilting, and then stitch on the drawn lines to create an embroidered quilt label.

This label is finished, and like the rest of the quilt, colorful and fun.

I created the label using a bit of fabric from a previous project. See this post for how I created a lined paper label. I wrote my details using UNIQUE SEWING Air Erasable Fabric Marker. Then, I threaded my machine with brown thread, dropped the machine’s feed dogs, switched to my embroidery foot, and traced over the ink lines with the machine, going over the lines to create a sketchy bold pen and ink look. I cut out mini replicas of the leaves and berries and stitched them down in the same way. It’s a fun technique that takes some practice, but I love the look. Use HeatnBond Lite to adhere the label to the back of the wall quilt.

Nancy Devine Trim the quilt so that the edges are straight and even.

Just hanging out!



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A Calm Winter

a body pillow wrap

An adventure in stenciling & machine embroidery 78



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In this article, we explore embroidery stenciling technique

The reason this is considered embroidery stenciling,

using fabric dye to create your one of a kind wrap for your

is because the stencil is created using machine

favourite body pillow. These pillows are generally larger

embroidery, with a special stabilizer on the surface.

than most standard pillows. These can be used for an

When the stabilizer is removed in different areas it

existing pillow you already have, or you can sew your own

creates a dye specific area. Essentially the embroidery

body pillow to co-ordinate with your pillow wrap. For this

combined with the removal of the special stabilizer in

issue our focus is everything about slopes, snow, wintery

different areas is creating an embroidery stencil.

highlights. And this was achieved by selecting embroidery

Like many forms of stencils on plastic materials, the

of that nature, with snowflakes, trees, and decorative

embroidery itself becomes the stitch out pattern for the

snowflake like stitches.

stencil. And the stabilizer with its repellency during the

Imagine this pillow displayed in an entrance to a

dye process prevents the dye from penetrating specific

kitchen, a mudroom, in any room of the house on the

areas of the embroidery.

longer bench style chairs.

As you’ll see later in the steps, of creating these blocks,

Also visualize colour and room variations and beds,

the sky really is the limit to endless possibilities.

rattan or wicker furniture. Make seasonal versions.

If you wanted to experiment with rubber bands and tie

Choose embroideries which are open and with lighter stitch counts, trace outlines, sketch-like embroideries, all of which can also be found or created in the Premier+™ embroidery software. The idea is to experiment. The techniques can be applied to any project for home decorating, fashion or quilting. Another creative idea is to explore dyeing process with an assortment of methods. There’s a multitude of ways to use the embroidered blocks, to include wall hangings stretched over canvas, quilts, handbags, pillows, home decorating accessories. This pillow wrap can be pieced and then quilted. You may choose to line it or make it reversible. Or it can be left as just pieced and no quilt batting. There are so many possibilities. Fabric dyes can be used for this stenciling technique, or bleach dyeing using bleach and water, or tie dye, or dip dyeing or even tea dyeing. Fabric dyes come in a

specific areas of the embroidery, or background fabric, or fade areas using bleach and water method, the effects are very interesting. The theme of this project is fabric dyeing. Different fabric types are affected in the dye process. Depending on the composition of the animal, plant or synthetic fibres, each one reacts differently. Some fabrics have to be saturated longer than others, or additional applications of spray or soaking may be necessary. It’s very important when selecting the dye to read and follow all manufacturer’s instructions. As mentioned in previous articles, it’s important to remember that a mix of assorted fabrics gives surface interest, and in this case cotton is used, but silks, linens, wools, or synthetics, can all be dyed. Embroider a lace piece to co-ordinate and dye it to co-ordinate or contrast with your artistic piece.

multitude of variations as well. The one selected for this project was a dye using hot water.



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PFAFF ® provided the following sewing machine and products to make the sample: PFAFF® creative sensation™ pro II sewing and embroidery machine PREMIER+™ ULTRA Embroidery Software Design by PFAFF® Holiday Line Art Collection #477 INSPIRA® Stabilizers INSPIRA® Machine Needles INSPIRA® Scissors Robison-Anton® Embroidery Threads Sulky Threads® Hoops Photo courtesy of PFAFF

skill level expert finished measurements 19” x 33” [48.5 x 84cm] materials fabric • 2 jelly roll strips solid cotton • 2 jelly roll batik cotton print to coordinate with theme • 2 batik and 3 solid cotton fat quarters for dye process • 20” x 34” [51x 86.5cm] cotton batik backing piece cut to size of completed front sewing feet used • embroidery foot • perfect ¼” foot with guide • bi-level topstitching foot • general sewing foot • adjustable guide foot for IDT™ system cutting tools • rotary cutter • cutting mat • INSPIRA® Scissors embroidery requirements PFAFF® Embroidery Collection Holiday Line Art #477 needles • New INSPIRA® microtex needle size 90 • New INSPIRA® embroidery needle size 80 or 90




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threads • 40wt Robison-Anton® rayon thread for machine embroidery and decorative sewing • Sulky ®cotton blendables 30wt for construction • All-purpose thread for construction stabilizers • 1 piece of Stabilizer Fast & Easy Tear Away for decorative stitches and embroidery • INSPIRA® Aqua Magic stabilizer for embroidery • INSPIRA® Clear N’ Melt stabilizer for embroidery stenciling other • creative™ Quilters Hoop 200 x 200 • extension table for your machine • assorted trims ¼” wide • marking tools • SINGER® Steam Press • Hot Touch tool and mini iron with assorted accessory ends • assorted buttons, hot touch crystals • grosgrain ribbon wide for ribbon technique background and 1⁄8” ribbon for technique in assorted colours • 1pkg. Dylon Fabric Dye for hot water dyeing • rubber gloves • spray bottle • newspapers or cardboard



Front piece: down arrows indicate folded 6” and 4” cotton printed squares, 6 in total. Side arrows indicate solid and batik strips as in diagram.










Preparation steps It’s also important to measure the intended body pillow, or create a size that can be used for a multitude of pillow sizes to include standard sizes. 1. Prewash and dry your fabrics if desired. 2. Creating your pattern using INSPIRA® Tear N’ Wash stabilizer with graph is always great if you need a pattern guide. Adjust your pattern according to the size of your body pillow. 3. The front and back of this pillow wrap are different. The front is using an assortment of cotton blocks exploring fabric dye techniques. The back is one large batik piece to co-ordinate with front. Cutting Pillow Wrap Front 16” x 16” from each 3 solid white cotton fat quarters for machine embroidery (4 – 6” x 6”) and (2 – 4” x 4”) from 2 printed cotton fat quarters 3 – 16” x 16” INSPIRA® Aqua Magic pieces 3 – 16” x 16” INSPIRA® Clear N’ Melt pieces Borders 4 – 2” x 11” cotton strips for sashing 2 – 2½” x 34” batik for outside border 2 – 2½” x 34” solid for inside border Back Piece Cut to the size of the pillow front when complete.

Front Piece Note: Technique blocks are cut to size after the techniques have been completed. Machine Embroidery 1. Layer the INSPIRA® Aqua Magic stabilizer, and 16” x 16” Cotton on top of that layer. Then add a layer of INSPIRA® Clear N’ Melt on the top of the cotton and hoop. Load the desired embroidery design. In this case it’s PFAFF® Holiday Line Art Collection #477. You may choose to pick a built in embroidery design. 2. Always look at your embroideries and decide which suits the theme. 3. Thread the machine with white cotton 30wt thread and 60 wt bobbin thread. The cotton thread will easily dye with the cotton fabric. 4. Explore the placement of the embroidery. 5. Placement of the embroidery onto the white cotton fabric is a personal choice. 6. Embroider the snowflakes or trees or design of choice on each block. There will be 3 blocks. 7. This block measures 16” x 16” at the start, but will be cut to 14” x 14” after embroidery and dyeing. The embroidered block was cut larger originally to have more area to explore the preferred dyed surface area.

Embroidery using Clear N Melt

Embroidery with Clear N Melt

Instruction photos this page by Cheryl Stranges



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Details of the quilt blocks

Embroidery Stencil Preparation 1. When embroidery is complete remove the embroidered fabric from the hoop. Decide which areas on the embroidered piece you would like to dye. Tear away the INSPIRA® Clear N’ Melt from those areas. It can also be trimmed away or melting away with the hot touch tool in intricate areas. If you have a choice of tips for your hot touch tool, choose a tip that is closest in size to the design area for stabilizer you’re melting away. Stilettos are great for pulling it up out of small areas. This stabilizer tears away quite easily. Just hold the fabric on the stitches to support them and then tear upwards quickly. When finished the stabilizer should only be left on areas, that you don’t want the dye to penetrate. 2. On this specific project, the outer boundaries of the embroidery design were removed for the dyeing process and any areas where light colour is visible is essentially where the Clear N’ Melt was left behind. There are hot touch tools available crystal applications and embellishment and mini irons for appliqué. Either of these tools work for the melt away stabilizer. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for using them. Dye Preparation 1. Using the dye packet instructions, follow the water temperature information. Wear Rubber gloves for all of dye procedure and rinsing procedure. 2. Boil water in kettle and mixed it in an open container with dye and manufacturer’s recommendations of adding salt. Use water amount in relation to size of project. 3. Work in an area that’s totally covered with newspaper or aany absorbent material that will take on the extra dye as it’s sprayed. Use multiple layers of newspaper to prevent any dye from bleeding through onto the work surface. 4. Let the dye cool. And then add it to the spray bottle. This project was done outdoors but can easily be done indoors as well. Have a test sample piece to test the spray bottle and dye application on the fabric.




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Let the dye sit for about 10 minutes. Spray again if needed in areas. When happy with the result of the test piece proceed to spray the dye onto your embroidered fabric blocks using the same method. Note: The dye application will be lighter than it appears once the block is rinsed and dry. 5. It’s possible that the dye does not completely penetrate the embroidered area with the stabilizer on top. There may be muted colour in these areas, which adds interest, and the cotton thread colour that was used for embroidery has absorbed the colour of the dye. 6. Rinse each block until the water turns clear. At this point the INSPIRA® Aqua Magic Stabilizer washes away. The reason we use INSPIRA® Aqua Magic water soluble stabilizer is to not only stabilize the embroidery, but it doesn’t trap the dye between the layers. It rinses away and so does the excess dye. 7. Let each block dry. The blocks can be hung to dry or laid on a surface that has something to protect the surface. Maybe an old towel that you no longer plan to use. Assembling the blocks 1. When the blocks are completely dry, press the embroidered fabric blocks according to stabilizer instructions and the stabilizer will melt away. Simply brush away the stabilizer off of the surface. This also helps set the colour. 2. Wash the blocks with mild detergent and dry flat or hang dry. 3. Cut the blocks to 14” x 14” or desired size. 4. Fold each of the 6” cotton print blocks in half diagonally to form triangles and place them into desired corners of each embroidered block with the fabric fold facing the embroidery. Pin into position. Some blocks were cut smaller at 4” x 4” and folded to accommodate the large snowflake shape. However this depends entirely on the size of the chosen embroidery. Cut them to the desired size. 5. Add the sashing pieces between the blocks, right side of sashing to

right side of block and using ¼” seam allowance, and the perfect quarter inch foot with guide stitch each sashing to block. The PFAFF® IDT™ feeding system works tremendous well for piecing. Decorative Stitches 1. Cut desired length strips of the trim, and on this project ¼” Battenberg lace tape was used to decoratively stitch the small snowflake stitches onto the lace. You will find many beautiful decorative stitches that work well with this technique. 2. Tear away stabilizer was also used underneath the lace tape. Choose the desired stitch. Adjust the length and width of the stitches to accommodate the width of the lace. 40wt rayon thread was used to decoratively stitch each strip with a 60wt bobbin thread. 3. When the stitches are complete, tear away the excess stabilizer. Using a fusible tape, place strips into the desired areas of the projects, in this case the sashings. 4. Press and fuse them into position, and follow this with a straight stitch. Another choice may be to fuse the lace first to the project and then stitch the decorative stitch. Both applications work well. It’s always wonderful to create your own trim and add it to any desired project. 5. This trim was added to the outer border, and the sashing in the middle of the project. This trim can also be dyed to desired colours as it is cotton and absorbs dye very well. 6. Continue sewing all pieces together, to include borders. Use your perfect ¼” foot with guide if you choose straight stitching. 7. Use a grass-like decorative stitch and a stabilizer backing stitch black borders for embellishment. 8. If you’re stitching decorative stitches change to a decorative stitching foot. The opening in the foot is much larger and the foot has been designed specifically for decorative stitching on the underside.

9. Stitch free motion on pieces with quilt batting in areas of interest using decorative thread. There are a number of free motion feet available to do this step. Or choose to use channel quilting, decorative stitches sporadically or leave the wrap as it is. 10. Clean up and trim all edges of the pillow wrap front using cutting tools. Ribbon Stitches 1. Single and double ribbon stitches are a beautiful addition to any project. A double ribbon stitch was used with two different colours of narrow ribbons, and stitched on a wide piece of grosgrain ribbon, and a tear away stabilizer was used behind the ribbon. 2. When this ribbon stitching is complete, tear away the stabilizer, and then add the additional Battenberg lace trim all around the edges to frame the ribbon stitches. This is in turn stitched to the border of the wrap. 3. Choose a single or double ribbon stitched across the entire border directly onto the fabric as well. Using a tear away or cut away stabilizer yields great results. 4. Embellish the wrap with buttons and hot touch crystals. 5. When the front of the Embroidery Stenciled pillow wrap is complete, proceed to cut the back fabric the same size. 6. Place them right sides together and stitch a seam down each long edge. 7. Press and fold under each short end twice approximately ½” with each fold. 8. Stitch using a straight stitch along each side and a Bi-level topstitching foot. 9. Choose to stitch on the right side or the wrong side of this hem. 10. Turn right side out. Basically it’s a large tubular piece. 11. Insert the body pillow inside the wrap.

Auditioning corner pieces

Decorative stitches on trim

Decorative grass like stitch on border

Cheryl Stranges

Product & Event Specialist, Husqvarna Viking Decorative stitches around ribbon stitches

Instruction photos this page by Cheryl Stranges



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Quilted Hand Muff Hand muffs are a vintage item. But if you think about it, there could be times when you’re sitting in a chilly arena, outdoor skating rink, watching people skiing down the hills or maybe you enjoy the outdoors, sitting admiring the winter view? Then, the hand muff could be useful again. This hand muff has sewn-in Therm Fleece and pockets to accommodate hand warmer products like Grabber Warmers®, for extra warmth, to keep your hands toasty warm. Another benefit of making this project is that it's an easy pattern with straight seams giving the opportunity to learn how to sew using Therm Fleece and Stitch-NSteam products. These products can be used on other sewing projects, like a tea cozy or anything that needs insulating. Furthermore, the Stitch-N-Steam can be used on quilted items as well as fibre art projects for an easy textured effect.

Donna Housley & Cathy McClean




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skill level Intermediate finished measurements 13” x 16½” (circumference) [33 x 42cm] materials • Fabric 1 – 29½” [75cm] cotton • Fabric 2 – 20” [50cm] cotton for pockets • 19” x 22” [48 x 56cm] Stitch-N-Steam • 14” x 16” [35.5 x 40.5cm] Therm Fleece • 14” x 16” [35.5 x 40.5cm] quilt batting • 10” x 16” [25.5 x 40.5cm] quilt batting • Dress It Up Snow Flake buttons • 19mm slide for strap suggested notions • Gütermann Sew All polyester thread • Sulky Sliver Metallic color 8040 • 30 wt Sulky Cotton Blendables thread for topstitching • Quilting Ruler 6” x 24” • Komfort 45mm cutter • Heirloom Air-erasable marker • Kai Scissors 4½” • Glass Head Pins • Universal needle size 80/12 • Topstitch needle size 90/14 • 505 Temporary Adhesive or Sulky KK2000 • Clever Clips


Cutting Fabric 1 Cut 1 – 19” x 22” (outer layer) Cut 1 – 14” x 16” (lining) Cut 1 – 2” x WOF (strap) Cut 1 – 2” x 8” (strap) Fabric 2 Cut 1 – 16” x 20” (inner pocket)

Creating Textured Fabric A textured fabric gives a special touch to many projects. Add depth and richness to the project by using specialized thread. Machine set up Sewing Foot: Regular Sewing foot Thread: Metallic or decorative thread on top, polyester invisible or bobbin thread in bobbin (such as Sulky) Needle: Topstitch size 90/14 1. Pin Stitch-N-Steam to back of 19” x 22” outside fabric. Using approximately a 3mm stitch length randomly sew lines all over fabric. Lower the top tension to ensure a smooth stitch. Sew as many or as few lines as desired. The closer the lines are to each other the finer the texture of the finished fabric. Photo 1

Photo 1

Note: When using metallic thread remember that it is flat and needs to come straight off the spool to avoid twisting. Use a vertical spool pin or feed the thread up through a thread tree. 2. Place the finished fabric right side down on an ironing surface. Using steam, steam the entire area of StitchN-Steam without touching the iron to the fabric. Let the steam do the work of shrinking the Stitch-N-Steam. 3. Trim textured fabric to 14” x 16”.

Inner Pocket Machine set up Sewing Foot: Regular Sewing foot or ¼” foot Thread: Gütermann Sew All thread top and bobbin Needle: Universal size 80/12 1. Fold 16”x 20” fabric in half right sides together to get a 10” x 16” rectangle. Place 10” x 16” piece of batting on top of pocket fabric. Use a small amount of basting spray to hold layers together if necessary. With a ¼” seam stitch the long side. 2. Turn right side out and press. 3. Top stitch both 16” sides. Strap 1. Fold each strap in half lengthwise right sides together and sew long edge to create a long tube. Turn right side out and press. 2. Turn under raw edges at one end of the long strap and topstitch.

Assembly Make a sandwich 1. Lay lining and pocket right side up. 2. Place 14” x 16” textured fabric on top right side down. 3. Place Therm Fleece shiny side up on top of textured fabric. 4. Pin and sew one 16” side through all layers. 5. Lay muff open with right sides facing up. The textured fabric and Therm Fleece will be on one side and the

Photo 2

Lining Machine set up Sewing Foot: Regular Sewing foot Thread: Sulky 30 wt Blendable Cotton top and bobbin Needle: Topstitch size 90/12 1. Lay 14” x 16” quilt batting on table. Place 14” x 16” lining right side up on top of batting. Use basting spray to hold layers together. 2. Center pocket on top of lining. Use an air erasable marking pen to draw lines down the center both horizontally and vertically. Topstitch on these lines. 3. Insert short strap through slider. Fold strap in half lengthwise matching raw edges. 4. Position straps: Using the lines drawn in step 2 place the raw edges of straps on the line drawn on one of the 16” sides. Baste in place. Place the raw edge of long strap in the center of the opposite side of the lining. Baste in place. The straps will now be laying across the pockets. Roll up excess strap and pin or clip to ensure it doesn’t get caught up when sewing the muff together.

Photo 3

lining and pocket on the other side. Fold in half; right sides together matching textured fabric to textured fabric and lining/pocket to lining/ pocket. The piece is 28” long and 8” wide. Pin the long edge and stitch with a ¼” seam backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam. Photos 2 and 3 6. Fold the textured fabric back and over the lining and pocket, creating the muff. Turn under raw edges ½” (making sure that the strap isn’t caught inside) and clip the edges together. TIP With all of the batting and Therm Fleece it's much easier to use clips instead of pins. 7. Topstitch around edge making sure all layers are sewn. Topstitch the other end of the muff to match. 8. Embellish muff with Snowflake Dress It Up buttons. Thread long strap through slider and adjust the length. Insert 2 or 4 heat packs into the interior pockets and enjoy the warmth after a cold day on the slopes.

Instruction photos courtesy of Donna Housley



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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    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    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.

Brampton Sew & Serge 289 Rutherford Rd S, Unit 7, Brampton, ON L6W 3R9  905.874.1564    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.

Joyce's Sewing Shop 325 Wortley Rd, London, ON N6C 3R8  519.433.5344   Our mission is to make sewing fun by providing professional training to teach the benefits of sewing, to provide excellent service and quality products to make your sewing easier and to provide friendly customer service to make you a happy sewer.

Bytowne Threads - Ottawa, ON

 1.888.831.4095  

 Featuring AURIfil® thread from Italy. Extra-long staple Egyptian cotton threads: 12wt, 28wt, 40wt & 50wt - 252 colours. Bobbin threads, black & white: 60 and 80wt. Polyester threads 240 high-sheen colours. Wool threads 180 colours.

Country Concessions 1 Dufferin St, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0  705.458.4546 or toll-free 1.888.834.4407   Visit our lovely and unique quilt shop in the quaint village of Cookstown. We have over 7000 bolts of cotton fabrics plus a wide selection of patterns, books & notions. You will be so glad you came for a visit. Evelyn's Sewing Centre / The Quilt Store 17817 Leslie St, Unit 40, Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C6  905.853.7001 or toll-free 1.888.853.7001  Evelyn's Sewing Centre in Newmarket is your Quilt Store Destination! The staff here at Evelyn's 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! Gitta's 271 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G8  905.274.7198    Gitta's, named after owner Gitta Al-Basi, nestled in the east village of Port Credit, is the place where stitchers meet with their stitching friends, shop for stitching supplies and see the new stitching designs from Europe and the United States. Hardanger House 4708 52 St, PO Box 1223, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0  403.742.2749 or toll-free 1.866.742.2749  Patterns from Canadian, American and European designers, linen and evenweave fabrics from Zweigart, DMC pearl Cottons, Caron Collection threads, and all the related stitching accessories are kept in stock. Many additional items can be special ordered. Haus of Stitches 626 Main Street, Humboldt, SK  S0K 2A0  306.682.0772 or toll-free 1.800.344.6024  Our one of a kind store offers everything you need for sewing, quilting, knitting, rug hooking and needlework. Authorized dealers for Janome and Elna.




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My Sewing Room 148-8228 MacLeod Trl SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2B8  403.252.3711    Canada's Largest Independently Owned Quilting Store with fabric, patterns, kits, notions, sewing machines and more! My Sewing Room boasts over 10,000 bolts of 100% cotton fabric from designers and manufacturers from around the world. Needles & Knits 15040 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 1M4  905.713.2066   Fabulous selection of yarns. Extremely knowledgable and expert help. Cozy and friendly atmosphere. Classes. Guild night every first Tuesday of the month. Tea with Tove, the owner, every Thursday from 6-8pm. Pine Ridge Knit & Sew 17477 Hwy 2 PO Box 68, Trenton, ON K8V 5R1  613.392.1422   We have knitting machines by Artisan and Silver Reed, embroidery machines by Husqvarna/Viking & White. Sewing notions and supplies, books and software. Hands-on lessons and classes. Wide variety of yarns, threads, dress and pant zippers. Rosalie I. Tennison, Quilt Appraiser Certified by American Quilters’ Society 2005 Newmarket, ON  905.953.1441   What if something happens to your treasured quilt? Do you have written proof of its value for your insurance company? Get an appraisal now. Ruby Pearl Quilts 500 King St W, Suite 8, Oshawa, ON L1J 2K9  905.436.3535    We are your full service source of professional quilting equipment, products, & courses. Led by 44 years of sewing experience & more than 20 years of quilting experience, we have the experience necessary to help you push your hobby to the next level! Ruti's Needlebed 10 Thomas St, Mississauga, ON L5M 1Y5  905.821.9370   Mississauga's Finest Quilting and Knitting Store!! Come see our huge selection of yarn, fabric, supplies, sewing machines and knitting machines…a local store for all your quilting, sewing, knitting needs! We offer a wide variety of classes.

The Yarn Guy 15 Gower St, Toronto, ON M4B 1E3  416.752.1828 or toll-free 1.800.836.6536    See us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter! Knitting machines, sewing machines, repairs, parts for Passap, Studio, Singer, Silver Reed, Superba, White. Sewing notions and supplies, books, ball yarns, coned yarns, TAMM yarns, Paton's yarns, Bernat yarns, Phentex yarns, Bernat kits & crafts. Sew Fancy Inc. Guelph, ON  519.824.4127    Your Premier Canadian Source for Specialty Sewing Supplies including Smocking, Heirloom Sewing, Goldwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Needle Tatting, Swarovski Crystals, Sashiko, Quilting and more. Visit the website for the latest in sewing supplies. Stitch-It Central 189 Thames Street S, Ingersoll, ON N5C 2T6  519.303.1563    Stitch-It Central is a store to satisfy all your cross stitching needs. We have everything such as notions, books & magazines, project kits, charts, gift collections & certificates, papers & accessories, fabrics and linens, and so much more. That Sewing Place 16610 Bayview Ave #10, Newmarket, ON L3X 1X3  905.715.7725    jaret& 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. The Stitching Corner #2, 185 First St E, Cochrane, AB T4C 2E9  403.932.3390    Your Needlework Shop in Cochrane. The Stitcher's Muse 99 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5G3  250.591.6873     A divine little shop with supplies for all your hand stitching needs! Friendly, knowledgeable, helpful staff. Cross stitch, canvaswork, needlepoint, embroidery, counted thread, lace making and more. Books, patterns, fabric, threads, tools. Ultimate Sewing Centre 191 Bloor St East, Oshawa, ON L1H 3M3  905.436.9193     For all your sewing needs be sure to call Durham’s largest one stop shop: Janome and Elna Sewing Machines, Sergers, & Embroidery machines, over 3000 bolts of first quality cottons, Floriani Embroidery supplies, the latest notions, books, & patterns, year round classes, and so much more! Upper Canada Quiltworks PO Box 64, Brockville, ON K6V 5T7  613.345.3956 Fax: 613.342.3327  Visit us online for a wide selection quilt patterns and books. Techniques include felted wool, fusible appliqué, punchneedle, rag quilting and printing photos on fabric.

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

Christine Baker

Christine has been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 10 years under the business n ame Fair f ield Road Desi g ns . Her patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all her patterns on her website.

Elaine Theriault

Nancy Devine

Jean Boyd

Je a n h a s b e e n d e s i g n i n g a n d publishing patterns since 1997. Her work has been published in several magazines across North America. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.

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

Sarah Vanderburgh

Jackie White

Liana Kirkey Liana Kirkey is an educator and self-professed gadget-girl with 35 years experience in the retail sewing industr y. Her favor ite sewing playground includes embroidery machines, digitizing software, machine accessories and presser feet. She currently works full-time at That Sewing Place in Newmarket, Ontario.

Nancy Devine is a devoted user and collector of remnants, scraps, and vintage buttons. She lives in Aurora, Ontario, and can often be found working on her latest project, and playing around with her v i nt a ge (a nd muc h loved) Bernina machine. Find more of her work and musings on her blog.

Jackie is a quilter who loves quilting outside the box especially when it comes to 3D and embellishments. Her work has been published in books and magazines and she cur rently sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Quilters’ Association. When she's not in her studio, she's working as a Social Media Manager.

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.



| issue 8


Canada’s most trusted notions brand

is getting a makeover! Our new UNIQUE® brand packaging

is as beautiful and practical as our ne products!

Find all of your favourite UNIQUE® Sewing and Quilting products in more alluring and informative packaging. With lifestyle images showing application suggestions and detailed instructional diagrams, it has never been easier to nd and use the products you need to make your very best work.




| issue 8

Look for UNIQUE® Sewing and Quilting products at your favourite fabric, sewing and quilting store!

QUILTsocial | Issue 8  

Here it is, the new issue of QUILTsocial Magazine! We're extremely excited to release this FREE issue featuring a full 88 pages packed with...

QUILTsocial | Issue 8  

Here it is, the new issue of QUILTsocial Magazine! We're extremely excited to release this FREE issue featuring a full 88 pages packed with...