In hand or machine appliqué, stems are one of the most consistent elements and make or break your design. Even and well placed stems and vines build a strong foundation for the rest of your design. Therefore it is important to give some attention to the skill.
The teachers of JQG collaborated as part of the National Quilters Day 2021 by making a short demonstration video. I chose to show how to cut and make bias strips. We are busy with the Fireworks Mystery quilt with a multitude of stems.
In hand or machine appliqué, stems are one of the most consistent elements and make or break your design. Firstly, even and well placed stems and vines build a strong foundation for the rest of your design. It is therefore important to give some attention to the skill.
If the stems you need are straight, you can cut the strips length wise on the grain of the fabric. If you have bends, scrolls or waves, it is better to cut your fabric on the bias. This can be a daunting task if the stems are 1/4″ wide.
In this video I show how to fold the fabric and and cut the strips for appliqué stems and vines. In conclusion, I then demonstrated how to thread the bias maker and iron the strips to the fabric.
A bias maker is a very useful tool. Cut your strips double the size of the bias maker. These are normally colour coded, for instance the green one for 6mm or 1/4″ and yellow for 12mm or 1/2″. Pin one end of the strip to the ironing board and iron carefully, in even motion.
If you are interested to meet me for a face to face class please contact me.
With hand stitching and boro making a comeback in the slow stitching movement, it is good to relook the tricks of the trade as they were used a couple of hundred years ago. One of these techniques is the Widow’s knot. The prime purpose of the widows knot is to keep the thread in the needle, once you start to work and therefore not worry about to keep the thread in the needle’s eye while you work.
To sew by hand can be one of the delights in our day. A simple frustration like to pull the thread from the needle while you sew, as a result can frustrate you and steal your peace.
The widow’s knot is used to when working with silk, as the thread can easily slip from the eye of the needle due to the jumpyness of the thread. I have for instance, taught it to children that learns to thread the needle, and to a couple of friends whose eyes have deteriorated where they too, battle to thread the needle. It also works beautifully with cotton thread as well.
How to make the widows’ knot
You now have needle with thread that won’t slip out. You can, as a result, fully concentrate to make beautiful stitches.
Contact me to book a class. I teach classes from beginner to advanced techniques.
This post is part of Lenad Quilting and was written by Danél Muller, Pretoria, South Africa, 2020
15 years ago, I didn’t think it possible but in 2006, I started my quilting journey. And what a journey! I jumped right into it! I didn’t know where to learn basic quilting skills.
In retrospect, I know that my quilting journey might have been a lot easier if I did a course in basic patchwork and quilt making to use as foundation for my artwork at that stage. This brings me a full circle since qualifying as an accredited quilt teacher of the South African Quilters Guild.
This quilt finishes in a quaint pictorial sampler called : “Through the Eyes of Cy”. When I developed the pattern, I used my 4 year old grandson, Cylus, to imagine how he looks at the world around him. Since he loves to draw in bright colors, these are the colors I design with.
True to my background, I designed my sampler in pictorial style, row by row with each row specializing in another technique.
Is this quilting course also for advanced quilters, you may ask. I bet that you will be challenged at some or other stage during the construction. You might also find some of the techniques you avoided previously, surprisingly stimulating. I mostly find people attracted to the mesmerizing addiction of hand piecing and needle turn applique.
“Through the eyes of Cy” is a happy, content rich quilt that will look lovely hanging in your home or cuddled by a little boy. There are also patterns available in larger sizes to cover a single bed (for a lucky boy). You also learn the basic quilting skills as you go!
Techniques included in this course include:
– Machine piecing – Hand Piecing – Machine Applique – Hand Applique – Paper Foundation Piecing – English Paper Piecing – Seminole braids – Y insert seams – Easy applications for Flying Geese – Star Blocks – Borders Bindings and Sleeves – Finishing off with a pretty label and many more…
Contact me for the starting date of the next course. I teach in the East of Pretoria.
Join me in making the “Through the eyes of Cy” pictorial quilt-techniques quilt-along sampler.
Every teacher needs a sampler quilt. Not strictly being a traditional quilter, I therefore vied away from the traditional sampler quilt and came up with this interesting pictorial version. This quilt finishes at 30″ x 42″ (67 cm x 102 cm) without borders.
The first block in “Through the eyes of Cy“ is Fishes in the deep blue sea. As you can see, I used the naive therefore bright drawings depicted in the artworks of my 4 year old grandson, Cylus, as design inspiration for this pattern.
Use the Quarter Inch Corner Marker to accurately mark a quarter inch from the corner. This quilting tool is small in size and easy to carry around. As a result you can use it to measure while hand piecing small patches and tricky intersections. It works equally well on bigger quilts and pieces where a high level of accuracy is of importance. I use it in blocks like the Eight pointed star , Le Moyne Star and Tumbling blocks. It is indispensable in patchwork that requires inset- or Y seams.
How to use the Quarter inch corner marker:
The carefully calibrated corners measure accurately. Therefore you can mark inner 30 and 45 deg corners and outer 90, 120 and 135 degree corners as a result. This marker is also indispensable to make perfect mitered borders.
A 0.5 mm clutch pencil, graphite or chalk, perfectly fits into the marking holes. As a result, the mark is precise and therefore gives you the perfect stitching line. No more eyeballing the seam allowance.
Lots of Cats is a happy quilt to share with a fellow cat lover—that is if you can bear to part with it! From a quilting point of view, it is a stash buster of note. With up to 50 cats on this pattern it makes a pretty cuddle on your bed or couch to snuggle into. The pattern is available here:
Beautiful things come together one stitch at a time
Quilting and patchwork is not a hobby, it’s a way of life. Over the last fifteen years, I have learnt many lessons and used many tools and gadgets. On this web site, I want to share the patterns, rulers and templates that have made my life a little easier.