Monday, September 26, 2016

Scrappy Pouches - The Splendid Sampler

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

I'm always looking for smaller zippered bags to store my take-along projects and was excited when a bonus project appeared for making zippered pouches on The Splendid Sampler.

Zippered Pouch


As usual, I couldn't just follow the pattern. Instead I used clear vinyl for the backing so that I could easily see what was in the pouch. I also found I could use regular zippers to give the same finished edge.

Zippered Bee Pouch


In honor of my daughter, who loves hexies, I decided to make a couple of hexagon shaped pouches. The same basic technique was used to create the pouches, and they also have a clear vinyl back.

Hexagon Pouches

These pouches are quick to make and fun to use. Check out other projects at The Splendid Sampler!

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Splendid Sampler - Butterflies

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

The Splendid Sampler Butterflies

I continue to master paper piecing and found this site quite useful to make the butterfly blocks. The three different butterfly blocks intrigued me, so it was off to the scrap pile to find fabrics for these three blocks. 

The Splendid Sampler Butterflies


The most difficult part for me was to align the fabric so that it would cover the area properly after stitching. I found that pinning the fabric in place and folding it back before stitching was very useful and eliminated quite a bit of UNSEWING (a skill I've also mastered!). 

The Splendid Sampler Butterflies


Now, how do I sew the three blocks together and quilt it?? Any suggestions?

The Splendid Sampler Butterflies



Check out The Splendid Sampler for other blocks and creative projects!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sewing Machine - Quilter's Tool Chest for Throwback Thursday

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter


This post is part of our Quilter's Tool Chest where we share our favorite quilting notions, tools and gadgets.

Today we're talking about one of the basic items that every new quilter or sewer needs in a tool chest: a reliable sewing machine. Let me start by saying that a sewing machine is definitely not a required tool to sew or quilt. Much of the work done in our book is with hand sewing based on an English paper-piecing technique. That being said, I still use my sewing machine and love its fast, even, and reliable stitches.

Both Mom and I use Bernina sewing machines. Mom started out with a Bernina 930 and then gave that machine to me for Christmas when I was a junior in college (Dad conveniently gave her a new Bernina that year as well). The Bernina 930 is the perfect workhorse machine. It has all of the basics that I need to sew and quilt (including free motion quilting), but none of the extras that I probably wouldn't make use of. Mom actually missed her 930 so much that she went onto Ebay to buy herself a replacement for the one she gave to me!

Bernina 930 Sewing Machine


For a new quilter or sewer a machine needs to be reliable (meaning it doesn't constantly jam or need repair) and can sew two basic stitch types: straight line and zig-zag. The top dial selects the stitch type on my machine.

Bernina 930 Sewing Machine


Straight line stitching is definitely what I use the most and my machine also allows me to change the stitch length to adjust for the fabric, thread and desired result. Zig-zag stitching is not only a great supportive stitch (like on the edge of a knit fabric to keep from it unraveling), but also useful for attaching applique pieces and serving as a basic decorative stitch. My machine allows me to adjust the width of the zig-zag (in addition to the stitch length) so that I can choose exactly the right stitch for the project I'm working on.

Although the 930 isn't computerized, it does have a great selection of decorative stitches that I can use. I don't use these a ton (it's something I should probably work on using more), but they are great for adding that little something extra to whatever you're working on. They also can be a fun way to make your machine quilting look fancy and complicated even when it's easy.

Bernina 930 Sewing Machine

There are lots of great sewing machines out there. I've sewn on some of the computerized and fancier machines and they're lots of fun, but not what I need with where I am in my everyday sewing. Right now the ability straight stitch and zig-zag stitch on a machine that I trust is the most important thing to me. Perhaps some day I'll start collecting other machines to do different things, as so many advanced quilters and sewers do.

All product links are Amazon affiliate links which help support Prairie Sewn Studios. No additional compensation was provided for this post, just sharing some products we love to use to sew, craft and quilt! 

This content was originally published on Prairie Sewn Studios on March 9, 2015, and is being reproduced here for Throwback Thursday. #TBT

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Splendid Sampler - Bonus Blocks

Written by Linda Chaney, Mother


Sewing just two blocks a week for The Splendid Sampler may seem a bit daunting, but I have found that patience is rewarded by continuing to work on the variety of blocks over a period of time. Some blocks whip up very quickly; others require more work. In addition to these blocks, bonus blocks are also posted occasionally that celebrate a special event or an addition to the designer's original block for the sampler . I have stitched a few of these because I liked them, I could embellish them,  or I had an opportunity to hone my skills on a new technique.

 

Bonus Blocks Group #1

National Quilt Day
Inside-Out
Derby Day
Earth Day





Bonus Blocks Group #2

Children's Day - Matthew's Block
Stitching Fashion Pattern with Aurifil Spool 
Button Lover's Bee
Summer Flip Floppin'

A few highlights from these bonus blocks


I couldn't resist adding some tatted button flowers to my derby hat. Needle tatting is another skill I continue to improve and these button flowers were modified from another tatted pattern.

Derby Hat


Matthew's Block for Children's Day was one of my favorites to stitch. Yes, there were quite a few small fabric pieces and seams, but I loved the way this block looked in the end.

Matthew's Block


Another favorite was Button Lover's Bee that was originally designed for a scrappy pouch. I modified the bee pattern by reducing its size to fit nicely onto a 6" x 6" finished block. Will I add some buttons? Not sure.

Bee Block


Be sure to check out the Bonus Projects for The Splendid Sampler! You might just find something you like.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Iron with Steam - Quilter's Tool Chest for Throwback Thursday

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter



Iron with Steam


This post is part of our Quilter's Tool Chest where we share our favorite quilting notions, tools and gadgets. Our first ten posts will focus our top recommended notions, tools and gadgets for new quilters. These are the perfect items to help a new quilter start building her quilty tool chest. If you're already a crafter these could be great tools to add to your arsenal to crossover and try a new craft.

Today we're talking about the importance of having an iron with steam. In an earlier post I shared how I use my Rowenta travel iron to set up a portable pressing station and iron small items with ease (and without burning my fingers!)


There are lots of different kinds of irons out there including cordless ones. You might need different irons for different purposes or different stages of your creating. I tend to use irons for three different purposes.

1. Prepping fabric for cutting and sewing. Ironing helps get all of the little wrinkles out so that you're cutting and sewing your fabric at its true size and shape.

2. Fusing fabric together with fusibles. This is where having an iron WITH steam is super important since many fusibles require steam to adhere. Mom and I tend to do a lot of work with quarter inch fusible tape for our containers from Contain It!.


3. Getting fabric into the shape we want by folding and steaming. The most common example of this is when we make binding for our quilts. Mom and I make our binding by cutting our strips at 2-1/2", folding and pressing it wrong sides together so that we end up with a 1-1/4" piece to attach to our quilts.

Here are a few links to irons (with steam!) on Amazon. What are some other ways that you use an iron to help you sewing and crafting?



All product links are Amazon affiliate links which help support Prairie Sewn Studios. No additional compensation was provided for this post, just sharing some products we love to use to sew, craft and quilt! 

This content was originally published on Prairie Sewn Studios on March 2, 2015, and is being reproduced here for Throwback Thursday. #TBT