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Friday, October 15, 2010

Perfect Mitered Binding

Do you want to know how to do a perfect mitered binding on your quilt.
         

Watch a video that explains step by step how to bind your quilt.


Click on this link to open a pdf file (30 pages) that explains step by step how to bind your quilt.
www.castillejacotton.com/Tips/Perfect_Mitered_Binding.pdf
Click on this link to open a pdf file that you can print (5 pages).
www.castillejacotton.com/Tips/Perfect_Mitered_Binding_print.pdf

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blanket Stitch Made Easy

·         We use the blanket stitch to secure the appliqué pieces to the quilt top in most of our patterns. 
·         The reason we prefer the blanket stitch is because it secures the edges of the appliqué pieces and prevents the pieces from fraying. 
·         The blanket stitch that works best is the one that zigzags into the piece and then takes two stitches along the side of the piece. The stitches along the side create the flexibility needed to secure the edge in the turn.  Actually, it gives you two chances to secure the edge in the turn. 
·         This stitch works best with the needle in the down setting (available on some sewing machines).  Stopping with the needle down in the corner makes it easy to turn the quilt.  The foot lifts when needle down is set. If you don’t have this setting then manually put the needle down into the quilt, lift the foot and turn the quilt.
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·         Moving from one piece to another without cutting the thread, makes it easier to start stitching again.
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·         Fix and stop functions on a machine are great for starting the stitch (use fix) and ending the stitch (use stop). 
·         We use invisible thread in the bobbin which means you don’t have to change the bobbin thread to match the top thread.  When using invisible thread, lower the top tension by one setting.  This allows the top thread to fully cover the applique piece edge. 
 ·         When the pieces are very small, you may choose to use a straight stitch, either free motion or with your regular foot.  Another option is to make the blanket stitch smaller by reducing the width of the stitch.
·         We blanket stitch through the quilt top and batting only.  This keeps the back of the quilt clean, as the blanket stitch can create a messy back with lots of threads.  You also have less bulk to work through without the backing.

Your Camera is your most valuable quilting tool

  • When you take a picture of a quilt or block it removes your emotion from it and allows you see what need to be changed
  • Great tool for checking value, most cameras allow you to take pictures in grayscale you just need to find out how your camera does it.  Take a picture of the block or quilt in grayscale and see if you need to change the values
  • Your camera is also a great tool for checking values in fabrics before you even buy the fabric.  Take it with you shopping and stack your fabrics then take a picture in grayscale to check the value.
  • Value does all the work, color gets all the credit.
 
  • You can also use your camera to help design a quilt with blocks.  Arrange the block on a design wall, take a picture.  View the picture then make changes to your quilt. 
  • Keep taking pictures and re-arranging the blocks until you are happy or too tired to move the block around any more.
  • Take a final picture and print the picture.  Use this when sewing the blocks together to make sure that you sew the blocks in the correct order.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Accurately Sewing Strip Sets

 
·        In order to keep track of the end you started, leave the threads long on the start end and cut them short on the finished end.
·        This technique works well in our Riding the Waves Quilt Pattern


·        Alternate the starting end when sewing strips together to get straight strips.  The bottom teeth gobble up more of the fabric.  If you always start from the same end then the strips will start to curve.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reduce background showing through the appliqué pieces

·        With some fabrics, the background will show through even after the fusible web has been added. For example in The Magic Hat pattern the background may show through the snow folk if the background fabric is dark and the snow folk fabric is light. 
·        One way to eliminate this is to use a light weight fusible interface.  Fuse the interface first to the appliqué piece and then add the fusible web.
·        Another way to prevent the background from showing is to fuse a second piece of the appliqué fabric to the first piece of the same fabric.  This will make the piece a little stiffer but it should eliminate the background fabric from showing through the piece/s.  
     The Magic Hat Quilt Pattern 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reduce appliqué stiffness

·        In some of our patterns, some appliqué pieces are fused on top of another appliqué piece.  To reduce the stiffness,  cut out the center of the template on the fusible web leaving ¼” seam allowance on both sides of the drawn line. Then follow the normal procedures for fusing to the fabric.
·        This will give a softer feel to the quilt.
·        Some patterns that this would work well for are most of the turtle pattern such as Heading Out quilt pattern.
 Heading Out Quilt Pattern

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Temporary Basting Spray

We use a temporary basting spray 505 Temporary Fabric Adhesive to secure the quilt top to the batting.  We also use the spray to secure the quilt top/batting to the backing.  The spray eliminates the need to pin the layers together and makes it easier to stitch around the appliqué pieces.  The following link has some more good information about this product.  You do need to place your quilt on a large piece of fabric to catch the overspray.  The oversprayed fabric can be washed to remove the spray.  However if you spray on a hard surface such as a cutting board or table you can use alcohol (rubbing not drinking).  However I have got the spray on walls as well and the alcohol didn't seem to remove the spray so I had to repainted the wall.  I am more careful now to spray on a very large piece of fabric such as muslin.