Monday, July 4, 2011

Stitchin' and Stitchin'

When I first started Patchwork and Quilting I thought it was a matter of buying some perfectly good fabric, cutting it into little pieces and sewing it up again to make patterns.....

Little did I realise the amazing wide range of other mediums there are.... stitcheries, applique, free motion quilting to name a few.......  I love it....

Last week I showed you my Raggedy & Friends quilt which I learnt so much on and I also hosted a give-away for a Charm Pack of Grace.....  so I've just had a chat to Mr Random.....

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-07-04
and this is going to Tonya at Hillbilly Handiworks.......  I hope you can find something fun to make with this Tonya..... please send your postal address.......


I also asked people to send a Stitching Tip.... wow, what an amazing assortment.... and they were such great tips that I thought I'd share them with you....  thanks everyone - these are YOUR tips and they are so good that I will link these onto my Tutorials page.....

  • Weaveline is great to use as a stabiliser on stitcheries 
  • when you are doing redwork check your thread to see if it is colourfast
  • Use some spray starch particularly on those loose weave fabrics and they will hold their shape.  You can apply 2 or 3 light sprays (better than one heavy spray) until the fabric has enough body to hold its shape.
  • when doing big projects such as quilts make sure you have a few bobbins already wound in the colour you are using.
  • when you want to hand quilt straight lines use paper masking's inexpensive, comes in different widths, no tracing marks to get rid of and just peels off without residue when you're done.
  • stitch what you love and leave the rest to someone else.
  • a great tool when quilting is freezer paper , draw out the shape you want to quilt and iron it on and presto and instant template that will stay in place long enough to quilt around either by hand or machine and can be reused .
  • use iron on interfacing when doing stitcheries , it helps hide the threads well.
  • wearing a pair of the magnifying glasses. I can see the end of the previous stitch better when back stitching....
  • I used to make templates of all my pieces, drew around them on the fabric and cut them out....I love that now I can use the rotary cutter, it is so much better.
  • I like chain sewing when putting a bunch of the same pieces together.
  • One of the things I like to do with some stitcheries is to use a piece of batting under the stitching. That way the design shows up nicely and gives a bit more dimension.
  • I like to free motion quilt barefoot! I get a better control of the foot pedal without shoes on!
  • The best hand stitching tip I can give is (can I explain it in words???) Take a thread ( 40 cm long) bring ends together and thread needle. Take needle through fabric from back to front, then when making first stitch put needle through loop in the back. (Get it??) This prevents the need for a knot at the end of the thread!
  • be careful of your fingers!
  • I like to use an embroidery hoop,
  • make sure the needle is sharp and I 'strip' the threads by separating them and then put them together again before threading the needle. 
  • I think the trick is to take your time with something new or else it will end up in the sewing room in a box in the furtherest corner.
  • My tip for stitching is run your needle (carefully) through your hair every now and again. The natural oils in your hair make your needle glide through fabric. I used to do this with nappy pins when my kids were little and thought I'd try it when hand sewing. It really does work.
  • When starting a row of machine stitching, I wind the hand wheel so the needle goes into and out of my fabric. This way, when I then put my foot down, the thread doesn't come out of the needle, magic!
  • wind a few bobbins before you start to quilt...
  • My tip is be willing to try other tips and methods because you never know when you'll find something wonderful ... and if it's not for you then use what you're most comfortable with.
  • read the instructions properly.
  • A generous dose of spray starch will help with flimsy fabrics.
  • Spray starch outside, so that way I don't have to mop the floor afterwards!
  • Pop the blocks in a box first before you spray GLUE (or starch), if the day is windy that way you don't get it all over yourself
I'm sure as you read through this you will find at least one useful tip you can try ....

At the moment there are 3 blogs I read that have some fun Stitching (and other learning) activities going on - you may know them but just in case......

Tonya from Hillbilly Handiworks (yes - she of the won the Grace Charm pack fame) is doing a series:
Last week there was Paper Piecing and a lesson to make a heart, this week there is an introduction to English Paper Piecing ... and there is lots more planned..... even if you don't do them all I know there will be lots to learn....

Wendy at The Crafters Apprentice is hosting:

with a challenge for us to try and new technique/craft and link up with her.  Wendy has some links and tutorials for adding a button as her LANT.  You can read more about it HERE

My LANT this month is Needleturn...... HHHHEEEELLLLPPPPP
Then Helen from Hugs from Helen is hosting


with Step by Step instructions for different stitches... This week is some straight and running stitch... although I have done this before I am going to try to go through the lessons... I need the practice and I kindof taught myself so I know I will pick up a lot of better ways of doing things

and since we are talking Stitchin' I finished up my June Birdie Stitchery this weekend.... I thought I was up to date but the July one is out....
This is a free BOM from Little Miss Shabby....

I hope you can spend some time in your Happy Place this week


Anonymous said...

what a cute birdie block Fiona and congrats to Tonya for your lovely win.
What a great lot of hints Fiona

Miss Hillbilly said...

Thanks so much!! I will think up something fun and pretty to use this charm pack for!

I have not seen that other blog LANT, great idea!!! So that is why you are learning needle turn. I am nervous about it but I hope to learn that soon as well.

marina said...

Lots of hints to take on board there!
Thanks for putting them in a list.
Another gorgeous birdie block. They are going to make a very cute quilt.
Well done to Tonya!

Michelle Ridgway said...

ongrats to Tonya!! Thanks so much for sharing all the tips in the one spot. Great!

Kim B said...

Beautiful birdie block. Wow what a post, full of great tips and a couple of new blogs to check out. Congrats to the winner of the charm pack. Have a great Monday. Hugs, Kim

Melody said...

A brilliant post. Thanks for putting all those stitching tips in one place.

Wendy said...

Your birdie block is very cute and the stitching tips are very helpful! Thanks for sharing them.

Sheila said...

Congrats to Tonya !Thanks for posting all the great tips , we can all use help in these areas and a new tip or two is wonderful. Love the little stitchery ,great job!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the shout out - I didn't realise how bad the button looks, wonder what's wrong with it?!

I love those birdie stitcheries, so cute!

Karen said...

That's a great collection of stitching tips. Thanks.
Love the look of your Birdie stitches, too.

Allie said...

Yay congrats to Tonya!! Your birdie block is just darling. Needleturn? You're a brave woman!

Chrissie said...

Thanks for the hints and for leaving me a message too, think your birdie block is really sweet

rosie said...

A big congratulations to Tonya, wonder if she is excited as I was when I won!!! You are going to love needleturn, it's addictive when you get going...Thankyou for all the links and hints...

Kris Meares - Tag Along Teddies said...

Hey Fiona! Love your little birdie stitchery and ador the Rural Jardin fabrics you've used for the border ... it's my second fave fabric range ever ... Aviary is still number one! :0) And love all the sewing tips ... my fave would have to be the one that said "Watch out for your fingers!" Tee! Hee! Hee! That is good advice! :0) Hope you're keeping warm in our icky weather and enjoying some stitching time. Bear Hugs! KRIS

Joy McD said...

Cute birdie block and thanks for posting all those tips! Must print them out :)

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