Joining Pat and me for another Splendid sewing experience are 80 designers from all parts of the globe – Australia, Europe, Canada, and US.
We have selected a few designer tips, tricks and wise words of wisdom to introduce you to some of the design team.
Designer Tips, tricks and wise words of wisdom, Splendid Sampler II starts June 14, 2018
Tip: “Leave foundation papers in your block until you have sewn the block into the quilt top. This will prevent the block from becoming misshapen and will keep it nice and square. Paper pieced blocks tend to have a lot of bias cuts and that’s why this is so important.”
TIP- Using starch and freezer paper to prepare shapes that are appliqued or hand pieced as in English Paper Piecing. The points will be sharp and join together very nicely using this tip!
Tip: I like to use a shorter stitch length, 1.5 – 2.0, when I press seams open.
Favorite saying: “Don’t let your highs get too high and your lows get too low.”
A tip: I use my rotary cutting rulers to measure the placement of the applique pieces, one coming from the side and one coming from the top.
“Measure twice, cut once!”
For precise placement of your applique pieces, place your pattern over a lightbox. Place your background fabric over your pattern. You will now be able to see your pattern clearly – and glue or pin your applique pieces exactly where they need to be.
Set a 5 minute timer and do a quick sewing and cutting surface cleanup before you begin the next step or project. It makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.
My tip is for tracing an embroidery design. My favorite 2 products for tracing an embroidery design on to cotton are the Sewline Fabric Pencil with black lead or the Pigma Micron 01 archival ink pen with brown ink. I tend to use the pencil when doing short projects because the ceramic lead can wipe off with repeated handling. The Pigma pen is a must with an embroidery project that is complicated and will require lots of handling.
A tip for help with the block would be:
“if you are finding the curve piecing difficult try cutting the pattern pieces slightly bigger than the pattern on the square sides. Then start sewing from the centre of the curve to one edge. Flip over and sew the remaining half from the centre out again. Trim to a 3″ square.”
“learn to embrace those slight handmade imperfections in your work, after all it was made by a human not a robot!”
In order to sew accurate half square triangles and flying geese, it’s important to start with a well marked square. I place my pen in the corner and align the ruler next to it. This puts the ruler in the right spot, so that the line goes to the corner and not next to it. Also I draw the line starting in the middle and going out. This keeps the fabric from bunching. Draw slowly and carefully.
When foundation paper piecing, shorten your stitch length to 1.5 (or 1.2 if you are really confident!) so that paper removal is a breeze!
Tip: When paper piecing, when to remove the paper from the back of the units/block is a personal preference. I like to leave the paper attached until the entire block is pieced as it helps provide stability and prevent fabric shifting while piecing.
Favorite Tip- To prevent mistakes, measure carefully before you cut. It sounds so simple, but so important- No one wants to waste fabric.
Favorite Quote – I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
In this symmetrical block ensure that the layout of your units is the opposite on the right side to the left side before sewing them together.
A tip for making my block: When stitching around the applique, stitch slowly and pivot often.
A general quote: Never be afraid to try something new!
A tip: It’s okay to turn the fabric over and use the wrong side to get the color you want. I used the wrong side of a cream print for the top of my camper to add an interesting texture without adding another print.
Saying: anything is possible, just one stitch at a time…
‘you will never be good at stitching if you don’t start and keep going… Practice is always what makes you better.’
‘Don’t unpick your first attempts as one day, when you are teaching someone else how to get started, seeing your first attempts will give them faith and hope.’
‘Always use the best needles and threads you can afford… they really do make a huge difference to your enjoyment and your end result.’
‘Enjoy what you do, as stitching is a journey and a legacy, not a race or a competition’…
Tip: when pressing long bias strips or binding strips, lay them across the narrow width of your ironing board, perpendicular to your body and press small lengths at a time. This will help to keep the strips straight and prevent distortion.
“One of my tips for piecing small quilt blocks such as these 6″ Splendid Sampler blocks, is to use starch. I starch the fabric a bit before I cut all of the tiny pieces, then I also starch the blocks when they’re done. Tiny piecing can be such a fun challenge!”
My tried and true tips are to press well sew and create things that make you happy!
“To improve my piecing accuracy, I love to cut half square triangles a little big and use the extra room to square them up after sewing. It helps my blocks come together more smoothly.”
My tip is : For smooth curves in applique, make sure to only turn under a couple of stitches at a time. If you turn under the seam allowance too far ahead you won’t get as smooth a curve. Also, a toothpick is a great tool for turning under the seam allowance without raveling the fabric edge.
“A quilt is a gift to give someone you love to keep them wrapped in hugs”
“A quilt without personality is just a blanket!”
“ Can you believe that until the year 2000 I had never even heard the word “quilt” in my life?
While nowadays I’m totally absorbed by the Quilt World. I speak quilt, I eat quilt, I breath quilt! “
Pre-order your copy of The Splendid Sampler 2 here.