valentine card finished card

January is coming to a close and it's time to get a jump on Valentine's Day.

I've always believed that taking the time to make a sweet gift for someone, makes me feel like I'm getting the gift too! 

How about YOU?

When I first saw this adorable Stick Couple embroidery design a while back...

my first thought was...

“That's gonna make a Fabulous Card for my special Valentine"! 

How about making a set of 4...using each of the designs in the set!

Now...that's a plan!

Let's get started...

Cut the following pieces for EACH card you want to make...

-6.5” wide x 6” tall cotton fabric (a lighter colored solid works best!)

-Heat and Bond Lite (cut slightly smaller than the fabric)

-6.5” wide x 6” tall Buckram Stabilizer

I am using the 4x4 design size (Stick Couple Love 1 version)...

which is just perfect for my card front, and leaves me just the right amount of room to add some “LOVE”...

using the 1” Quirky Girl Font in all Capital Letters!

First...let's prep our Fast Frame and Fabric...

Fuse the Heat and Bond Lite (per the package instructions) to the backside of the cotton fabric. 

Remove the paper release from the Heat and Bond and fuse the Buckram stabilizer

to the Heat and Bond side of the prepped fabric.

You essentially have a 3 layered piece that is now the base for your card front. 

This layering process gives you the proper stabilization you will need to make the embroidered card base.

I used the 5x7 Fast Frame...prepped with a sticky stabilizer

(use whatever frame for your machine that will accommodate the prepped layered base that you just made).

Find the center of your prepped piece and mark it with a water soluble pen. 

Stick the prepped base piece to the sticky stabilizer...

centering it the best you can on the frame. 

Here's what my frame looks like all set up...

prepped frame

***TIP...we are making the card front larger and then will cut it down after the design has stitched out...

so don't worry about “perfect placement” at this point.


valentine card on the machine

The sticky stabilizer does ALL the work, keeping the card base panel in it's place. 

No worries about removing all the sticky from the backside of the card base...

it won't show when we put the card together later.

As you can see...

I did NOT use WSS stabilizer on top of the design...

it's just not necessary! 

***Keep in mind that the use of a lighter colored cotton fabric for the main card base

will help this “Sketch” design pop right off the background.

Once the design has finished stitching out...

which takes no time at all with only 3,783 stitches for this approximately 3” wide x 4.75” tall design...

you will remove it from the sticky stabilizer on your frame. 

Do not worry about removing every little piece of sticky stabilizer...

we're going to cover that right up in the next few steps.

Before I cut down the card base panel...

I went ahead and removed the center mark I made with my water soluble pen. 

No need to soak the whole base panel...

just use a wet Q-Tip to add the “right amount” of moisture to remove the mark. 

Easy Peasy...Lemon Squeezy!


cut the base panel down to 4” wide x 5.25” tall

(this size is slightly smaller than the card stock you will be adhering it to). 

Set this aside.

Cut a piece of Card Stock in half...

so it now measures 5.5” tall x 8.5” wide.  Then fold the card stock in half...

making a card that will measure 4.25” tall x 5.5” wide...

Now you can see that your base panel piece is slightly smaller than the actual card itself.

Adhere the embroidered base panel to the card stock...

using one of the two following methods (which ever one you fancy BEST).

-You can simply glue (using a glue stick) the embroidered card base panel right to the front of the card or use double face tape.


-You can fuse a piece of Heat and Bond to the backside of the embroidered base panel and then fuse the whole panel to the front of your card stock. 

Are you surprise you can iron on a piece of card stock? 

YES...you can! 

Just be careful not to use steam or hold you iron onto it for a long period of time...

as you might scorch it. 

You just heat set it enough to melt the Heat and Bond Lite, so it will adhere to the card stock. 

This will hold it in it's place when you take it over to your regular sewing machine

and sew closely to the edge of the embroidered base panel with a top stitch...

sewing through the base panel AND the card stock all at the same time.

valentine card sewing the card

Are you almost as surprised you can SEW through card stock too?

OH...YES, you can!

Don't you just LOVE it when a plan comes together...

No pun intended there!


 valentine card finished card

Make one for your SPECIAL Valentine this year...

or perhaps a set of 4 to give as a gift to your favorite person!




-Stick Couple Love 1 Design (I used the 4x4 size)(https://babykaysappliques.com/product/stick-couple-love-set-of-4-designs-4x4-5x7-6x10-8x8/)

-Quirky Girl Font (1” size for the LOVE word in all Capital Letters)(https://babykaysappliques.com/product/quirky-girl-font-5-1-1-5-2-2-5-bx/)

-Fast Frames (I used the 5x7 inch size)

-Perfect Stick Stabilizer (I used Floriani Brand)

-Buckram Stabilizer (Hobby Lobby...available on the bolt in the stabilizer section)

-Heat and Bond Lite Fusible (Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Walmart and On Line)

-Fabric...Light Gray (Hello World by Abi Hall for Moda-Stock #35305)

-Thread-Exquisite Brand...Black #020-Red #3015

-Card Stock (I used a Heavy Weight from Staples)

-Water Soluble Pen for Marking Center of design


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Last Updated on Monday, 20 January 2020 09:35

finished hot cocoa bar pedestal sign

The weather is getting colder here in South Carolina...

the trees are bare...


Let me clarify the actual picture...

When I say colder...

I really mean high of 55-60 degrees...

which in South Carolina...

is like a serious artic freeze of magnitude proportions!

Just keepin' it real!

Because the Christmas Holiday is moving quickly towards us...

I decided that my Hot Cocoa Bar needed it's own little official SIGN!

Let's get started...

I found this sweet Hot Cocoa Mug Applique, complete with a whipped cream topping

and added this Cute text to the side of it...

merging it in my Embrillance Essentials Software.  

I ventured out and Coffee/Tea Dyed a piece of Jobelan Evenweave Cross Stitch fabric...

and layered it, using my usual Christmas Ornament process of Warm and White Cotton batting...

before loading it onto my frame and then into the machine.

As you can see here...

I like to add a few Flat Head Flower Pins to securely attach my prepped piece to the

"Sticky Stabilizer" that is on my actual Fast Frame.

hot cocoa bar ready set go

Don't you just LOVE the mottled look I got when I Coffee/Tea Dyed the Jobelan?

Not to mention the coffee smell that permiates the room...


Gracious BE...it's stitching out just PERFECT...

hot cocoa bar on the machine

 YES...in the above picture you can see that I slapped a piece of WSS on top after all the Applique pieces 

were placed and trimmed around...


that's how I ROLL!

After I finished stitching this fabulous design I mounted it first on a piece of Sticky Board...

and then mounted that onto a slightly larger second Sticky Board that I covered with a fabulous Christmas Plaid Fabric

that had all the same colors in it as the threads I used for the stitch out!

I then mounted the whole thing onto this super cute Easel Chalkboard Stand that I got at my local Michaels Store...

and it is FABULOUS!

YEP...I used a Red Mirror Glitter Vinyl for the Cup and a White Mirror Glitter Vinyl for the Whipped Cream on top!


I added a cute simple Metallic Ribbon Bow with a Glittery Wooden Snowflake glued onto the center of it!

It was the PERFECT amount of BLING!

finished hot cocoa bar pedestal sign

And when a serious PLAN comes together...

it looks like this...

finished hot cocoa bar on counter

And just because I can...

Here's a Close Up on the Counter of my Hot Cocoa Bar...


finished hot cocoa bar close up on counter


-Hot Cocoa Applique (https://www.embroidery-boutique.com/products/hot-chocolate-applique?_pos=1&_sid=c4c9768c2&_ss=r)

-Words "Hot Cocoa Bar" (https://www.theitch2stitch.com/Cutie-Patootie-Embroidery-Font.html)

-Jobelan Cross Stitch Fabric (that I Coffee/Tea Dyed)

-Glitter Mirror Vinyl for the Cup and for the Whipped Cream (www.mikriworld.com)

-100% Warm and White Cotton Batting (available at Fat Quarter Shop-Joann's-Hobby Lobby)

-Red Metallic Wire Ribbon (Hobby Lobby)

-White Glittery Wooden Snowflake (Hobby Lobby)

-Sticky Board (https://www.fatquartershop.com/16-inch-x-20-inch-pres-on-mounting-board)

-Stitchery Tape (https://www.fatquartershop.com/double-sided-stitchery-tape-60-foot-roll

-Wooden Chalkboard Easel (Michaels Craft Store)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 January 2020 10:54

santa placemat finished photo shoot

Guess who's coming to dinner...

NO...it's NOT Aunt Bethany!

It's Santa...

you know...the Big Jolly Fella, who brings presents to all the good little boys and girls!

Just in case you aren't one of those on the “NICE” list...you still have plenty of time to make a set of these Super Cute Santa Face Placemats for yourself!

After I had gotten all of my decorations up and pulled out my Christmas Placemats...that I had made over 15 years ago...I realized just how “rough” they were starting to look! 

So...Today, we are going to remedy that, real quick and in a hurry!

Let's get started...

If you haven't already purchased a “Santa Applique” design...be sure to check this one out!

I used the 5x7 size of the Santa Applique and I am going to place it on the bottom left corner of my Placemat so it will be off to the side and easily visible...even when I have a plate on it! 

The Stats...

5 1/8” wide X 6 1/8” tall

Approximately 8,937 stitches

Here she goes...

santa placemat on the machine 2

As you can see in the above picture...I used my 8x8 FULL Fast Frame, even though I didn't quite need that big of a frame.  This way I could use the left hand side and the bottom of the frame as a “straight” edge to line the placemat up with.  You can always be certain that your frame edge is straight...so using this method will always give you perfect placement, and you can be sure that all of your placemats will have the Santa Appliqued design in the exact same spot! 

Now...how's that for Fabulous?

I prepared my fast frame with sticky stabilizer and fused a piece of no show mesh cutaway to the backside of my placemat...because I want a permanent hold on the placemats during the laundering process.  And you know, that's gonna happen! 

Be sure to mark the center of your design, using a water soluble pen.  After the fabric panel tack downs are all done...I slapped a piece of WSS on top and let the pretty satin work RUN!

The sticky stabilizer holds the placemat pretty well...but I want to be SURE it doesn't shift...


So I added a couple Flower Head pins on the left side and bottom of my frame and on the right hand side of the frame, where the placemat hangs “over”...I used a couple of my little red clippies from Clover.  I have also used a couple red clippies to hold my WSS on top and in place.

Gracious Alive...I LOVE those red clippies!

Almost as much as I LOVE the way my Placemat turned out...

 santa placemat best finished

And here's a close up of this adorable Santa Applique...

santa placemat close up finished

And before you ask...

YES...I use the White Glitter Mirror Canvas for the brim and ball of Santa's Hat!

I LOVE how it sparkles!

I certainly could NOT stop at just ONE...so I made a Fabulous set of FOUR!

santa placemats best grouping

It's official...

I'm all set for Santa's visit...

Just in case I can manage to get put on his “NICE” list!

I can't promise...

But...I'll try!

Happy Holidays!



-Santa Applique Design (I used the 5x7 inch size) (www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Fast Frame (I used the Full 8x8 inch size)

-Fusible No Show Mesh Cutaway Stabilizer (I used Floriani Brand)

-Perfect Stick Stabilizer (I used Floriani Brand)

-WSS (off Brand)

-Heat and Bond Lite Fusible (Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Walmart and On Line)

-Clover Wonder Clips (Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Amazon and Quilt Shops)

-Flower Head Pins (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Cotton Canvas weight Placemats (I got mine at “Old Time Pottery” Store)

-Fabric...White Swirls (Essentials by Wilmington Prints...Red with Lime Green dots (Christmas Countdown by Deb Strain for Moda)...Cream (solid color-unknown source)...Red Batik (for nose-unknown source)...White Glitter Mirror Canvas for the Hat Brim and Ball (Mikriworld.com)

-Thread-Exquisite Brand...Red #3015-Black #020-Gray #588-Cream #812-White #010

-Water Soluble Pen for Marking Center of design

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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 January 2020 10:47

finished best toilet paper

Are you at the point in your Christmas Shopping where you need the PERFECT gift for that ONE person who has...


Maybe you just want to bring a little something for the Hostess at the next Christmas Party you are attending.

Today, we'll take a simple roll of Toilet Paper and slap a little bling on it...

Christmas Holiday Style!

Let's get started...

I am using the ever Fabulous Vine Monogram in the 4 inch size (the MIDDLE letter only)...

you simple cannot go wrong with this Beautiful Monogram Font.

Simple and Classic!

I am gonna shake it up a bit and stray from my usual Fast Frames for hooping today...simply because using the 5x7 hoop that came with my PR655 is the BEST way to go for this particular project!

frame ready toilet paper

In the above picture I have loaded a piece of Heavy Weight Cut Away in my 5x7 hoop...making sure it is tight.  I went ahead and sent the Middle Letter M in the 4 inch size to my machine via the USB Stick. 

Design Stats...

3 5/8” wide X 4” tall

5,274 stitches

Let's load the Toilet Paper! 


That sounded FUNNY!

***Insert laughing uncontrollably!

Who says Monogramming isn't a HOOT!

I used the Costco Brand Toilet Paper...

however, any Toilet Paper will work...just pay attention to the HEIGHT of the roll...

because some are taller than others and that will determine which size Letter you will use. 

Now because my roll of Toilet Paper is what they call a “double” roll...

it is bigger in diameter too...so I used the #5 squares rule of thumb...

Let me explain...

Unroll the Toilet Paper...five squares wide, overlapping it to make it 3 layers deep...(basically back and forth on top of each other).

on machine set up toilet paper

Lay the 3 layers of Toilet Paper on top of the stabilizer...centering it, the best you can. 

Try marking a line on your stabilizer that you will use to line up the bottom edge of the Toilet Paper to keep it straight if need be. 

I just eyeballed it!  I did make sure the center of my design would be “centered” in the MIDDLE of the actual Toilet Paper square. 

I used flat head flower pins to hold it to the stabilizer...but making sure it will CLEAR my needles!

****TIP...as you can see here...you will LEAVE the excess of the Toilet Paper hooked onto the main roll....do not break it off.  Just set it on a table near by so it doesn't get tangled up during the stitching process!

Here is a close up of my work area...

on the machne 2 toilet paper

Believe it or not...she embroiders this fabulous Vine Monogram Font with PERFECTION...

And with NO WSS on top either!

Can you believe it?

stitching toilet paper

Now...how's that for Super Fabulous?

When your embroidery work is done...

be very careful when you take it off the machine and out of the frame and remove the pins...so you DON'T tear the Toilet Paper!

Ask me how I know!

I trim the Stabilizer EVEN with the height of the Toilet Paper...

as that will stay in place as a backer when you roll the Toilet Paper back in place. 

I used a couple pieces of clear tape to hold it in place (overlapped) in the back.

Throw it in a clear plastic bag (the plain clear food storage bags that have twisty ties

with them are PERFECT for this!)

and then add some pretty curly ribbon to the top for some added sparkly BLING...

finished best toilet paper


Reese Witherspoon would be so PROUD!

“If it's not MOVING...


Happy Holidays!



-Vine Monogram Font...MIDDLE letter ONLY (I used the 4” size) (www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Regular Hoop that came with my Machine (I used the 5x7 inch size)

-Heavy Weight Cut Away Stabilizer (I used and Off Brand)

-Thread (Exquisite Brand) RED#3015

-Toilet Paper Roll (Mine is Costco Brand)

-Flower Head Pins (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Clear Storage Bag  (Grocery Stores)

-Curly Ribbon (Hobby Lobby)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 January 2020 10:28

cheers bag finished

Christmas is just around the corner and that means Holiday parties and family gatherings too! And since my Momma taught me NEVER to show up to someone's home “empty handed”...we're gonna make something super nice for the Host and Hostess!

Today, I am making a pretty gift bag for a nice bottle of wine, spirits or even sparkling water...it's the PERFECT hostess gift!

Before I begin...I want to warn you...this Blog Post has what I call “picture overload”! I am hoping with more detailed step by step pictures...more of you faithful Quilted Story followers will try out this super fun project! Let me know what you all think!

Let's get started...

Cut out your pieces parts...

-2 pieces of cotton fabric (7” wide X 14.5” tall)...choose something that will allow your wording to show up nicely on.

-2 pieces of thin cotton batting (7” wide X 14.5” tall...I like Warm and Natural 100% Cotton Batting)

fabric and batting

Now let's PREP the panels BEFORE we load them onto the frame...

Layer the WRONG side of the fabric to the piece of cotton batting first...for both panels (one is for the front of the bag and one is for the back).  Pin well!

As shown in the picture below...cut a 1.25” square out of the bottom of both corners on BOTH front and back panels.

cut out corners

Sew a basting line on each of the long sides of the panels (to hold the two layers of the fabric and the batting together and in place)...be sure to do this for both the front and back panel..you will be GLAD you did!

My white "Digit Saver” is pointing directly where the baste stitching goes...

corners and sides prepped

NOW...let's find the center for the design!

I am using the Aaron Font in the 3” size for the word “Cheers” and I am going to place it on the ONE panel (which will be my FRONT panel) for my wine bag...going up the middle of it, starting from the bottom. For this particular wine bag, using all the same dimensions mentioned above...I have placed my center reference dot at 5.5 inches from the top of the notch that I cut out earlier.   I marked it with a water soluble pen.

on the frame

I have loaded my Full 8x12 Fast Frame with a piece of sticky stabilizer and then used my frame edge to line up the side panel edge evenly so that I am sure to be straight!  As you can see in the picture above...I have the notched out bottom of the front bag panel on the LEFT side...as I will be stitching the word “Cheers” from the bottom notched area up the front of the bag.  I used a few Flat Head Flower pins to help keep it secure along the top and bottom where I am unable to  use my little red clippies.  I added a few red clippies to the sides where the front panel hangs over a bit.  It is secure for SURE now! 

Design Stats...

3” tall X 9 5/8” wide

9,571 stitches

Here she goes...

cheers bag on the machine


to a piece of WSS! (on top)


TIP...The cotton batting is used in this project to serve TWO purposes...to stabilize the embroidery work permanently and also to give the bag some body and padding for your bottle of wine or spirits.  It's a WIN WIN situation!

When she is all done stitching her Beautiful Aaron Font from Baby Kay's...remove it from the frame...it is here that you will be glad that you basted the side edges FIRST! 

Let's put the bag together...

right sides together

Right sides together...the front and back panels, as shown in the picture above.  I have pinned the long sides and across the bottom well!

Now...using a ¼ inch seam allowance...stitch the two long sides first...be sure to back tack too!

sewing front to back

Then stitch across the bottom...using a 1/4” seam allowance once again.

 bottom seam




ONLY stitch along the sides and across the bottom!

You will thank me later!

Let's Box Pleat the bottom...

With your bag still right sides together pinch the two seams together...from the bottom of the bag and the side of the bag and match those seams.  Pin in place.

You will be doing this to BOTH sides...

box pleat bottom

As you can see in the above picture...I have already sewn across (using a 1/4” seam allowance...be sure to back tack at the beginning and at the end) on one side and have the other side pinned and ready to stitch!

The above stitching of the notched out bottom will give you a “Box Pleated” bottom to your wine bag and it will be flat on the bottom!

Turn your bag right sides out...

Now...simply turn down the top edge to form a hem...about a 1/2” and pin it in place.

Using your FREE arm on your sewing machine...top stitch close to the edge...

 top stitch 1

Then...just for “pretty” sake...

Top stitch again about ¼” from the first stitching!

top stitch 2

Simply add a nice bottle of wine or spirits (this bag fits a 750ml sized bottle) and add a cute ribbon to tie it closed. 

So simple...


cheers bag finished

Merry Christmas...

Happy Holidays...

and all that JAZZ!



-Aaron Font (I used the 3” size) for the word “Cheers” (www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Fast Frame (I used the FULL 8x12 inch size)

-Perfect Stick Stabilizer (I used Floriani Brand)

-Thread (Exquisite Brand) RED#3015

-Fabric (Light Gray and White Stripe from Hobby Lobby...no name on it)

-Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Santa Ribbon (Hobby Lobby)

-Clover Red Clips (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Flower Head Pins (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Water Soluble Pen for Marking Center of design

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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 January 2020 10:50

finished 2

 Here we are...just two weeks before Thanksgiving Day and all I can think of is Christmas...Christmas...CHRISTMAS!

The simple truth about working in the world of Embroidery and Applique is that no matter what time of the year it is...it's totally acceptable to be working ahead of the actual Holiday!  We do this because all the FUN ideas we see in this platform are pulling us to squeeze in just ONE more fabulous project before that Holiday officially gets here!

This is WHY, at The Quilted Story, I plan to get these ideas out to you a little head of schedule...so you can do just that...


Today, I wanted to take a simple covered pillow and dress her up with a special Christmas Wrap...

You can make a pillow wrap for just about any size covered pillow.  Mine is an 18” square pillow cover I found at my local Hobby Lobby...be sure to check them out...they are located in the curtain supplies section, near the fabric and they have a lot of different colors to choose from! 

PS...I also like the fact that these particular pillow covers have zipper closures in them...and that makes it so EASY to add your pillow form and remove it later for washing.

I used a 20” square pillow form...so it would fill it just PERFECT!  I tend to use the rule of thumb of using pillow forms that are roughly 2” LARGER than the pillow cover itself.  I really like the presentation it makes!

PS...don't forget that at the bottom of all my tutorial type blog posts there will be a "Tools of the Trade" which will include the details of what I used to make the project!

Let's get started...

I am using the Aaron Font from Baby Kay's Appliques in the 3” size for the word “Believe” and added the Christmas Bells with Bow Applique (in the 4x4 inch size)...slightly tilted to the right.

I cut a piece of cotton linen blend fabric 8” wide (selvage to selvage) and a piece of 100% cotton batting 7” wide (and as long as the fabric is).  The batting will not only be used as a stabilizer...but it will also give the wrap “body” when you put it around the pillow.

prep for pillow wrap

                           I prepped my 8x12 Full Fast Frame with sticky stabilizer and then put the

batting onto the sticky first, and then layered the fabric on top of the batting...centering it, so that there would be “excess” fabric (top and bottom) to make a hem out of over the batting...when you finish your embroidery work.  

frame ready

 I also added a few of my flat head pins around the edge to secure the top fabric layer and the batting to the frame.  You will notice that I used the straight edge of the bottom of my fabric to match up with the straight edge of the frame itself...and this assures me that I am loading it evenly across the frame.  I also have my center marked with a water soluble pen for a reference point.

Here she goes, stitching away...

on the machine

 The red clips are only being used to hold the WSS to the frame, my flat head pins are the actual anchor to the frame. 

I just LOVE the way this Aaron Font stitches out...it is so pretty and just perfect for this project!

The Letter “B”...makes my Heart Sing!

Once I removed the finished work from the frame...I press the top edge over the top and the bottom and hemmed it...as you see in this picture below...

hem work at the machine

 After I hemmed both the top and bottom with a nice top stitch, I put it on the pillow I planned to use and trimmed the length of it to fit with a slight overlap.  I secured it onto the pillow using velcro at the overlap. 

I just LOVE it when a plan comes together...

How about YOU?


finished 2


-Aaron Font (I used the 3” size...www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Christmas Bells with Bow Applique (I used the 4x4 inch size...www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Fast Frame (I used the Full 8x12 inch size)

-Perfect Stick Stabilizer (I used Floriani Brand)

-WSS (off Brand)

-Cotton Linen Blend Fabric in Stone color (Fabric.com)

-100% Cotton Warm and White Batting

-Flat Head Pins (Hobby Lobby)

-Clover Wonder Clips (Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Amazon and Quilt Shops)

-Red and White Geometric Pillow Cover (18”square-Hobby Lobby)

-20” square Pillow Form (Joann's)

-Velcro (to hold the wrap closed on the pillow)

-Fabric...Red and Silver Glitter Mirror Canvas (Mikriworld.com)

-Thread-Exquisite Brand...Red #3015-Light Gray #1707

-Water Soluble Pen for Marking Center of design

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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 January 2020 10:55
QUILT AS YOU GO...for Ms. Jean
This tutorial was written after my Mini Quilt Group decided to make this Quilt as You Go in honor of our Quilty Friend who passed away recently...Ms. Jean.  This was one of her favorite travel projects...so grab a Cup of Joe and learn how to make a Ms. Jean Quilt Project of your very own!
First...I chose my fabrics!  Depending on how large you want your Quilt as you Go Project to be will determine how much fabric you will need.  I happened to have this fabric line called Sentimental Journey by Robin Pandolf for SSI Fabrics. You can even go completely SCRAPPY...so pull out that huge bin of leftovers scraps you have hidden in the back of the Studio Closet and get cutting!
Cut your fabrics into 3 1/2" wide strips and then subcut each of those strips into 3 1/2" squares.  I did this with ALL of my fabrics from the line I showed.  My plan is to make a 15 X 19 block set...so I will be making a total of 285 blocks and each block will finish at 4 1/4" square.  My Large Lap Size Quilt should be approximately 64" X 86"...give or take.  Check back on my progress as I work on My Ms. Jean Quilt Project...she may turn into a placemat...LOL!
Now choose your Background Fabric...mine is White Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman.  I LOVE this solid fabric!  Cut your Background Fabric the same way as your colored fabrics...3 1/2" wide strips and then subcut the strips into 3 1/2" squares.
Be sure to compulsively organize and stack your 3 1/2' squares in color coordinating piles...like I do!  Ok...you really don't HAVE to do this step...I'll forgive you if you don't!  Gotta keep it REAL here!
Making a Four Patch is Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy...layout your two color fabric squares with your two background fabric squares in this fashion.  Set up your sewing machine with cotton thread and set it to sew an accurate 1/4" seam allowance.
Here I have joined the top two pieces together...with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance and then press to set the seam and then press the seams toward the colored fabric.  Next you will join the two sections together...and because you have pressed the seams towards the colored fabric...the seams will nestle together easily with "opposing" seams.
Lookey how pretty your little Four Patch is...now wasn't that Easy?
Now take the bottom of your Four Patch and match it right sides together to the top half of your four patch and sew down each side with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance.  Click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see that I sewed both sides...from top to bottom.  DO NOT SEW ACROSS THE TOP!
This is how your little unit appears as you look down the top...that I just told you NOT to sew across!  Now...join the the opposing seams you see (the seam on the top and the seam on the bottom...at the palm of my hand).  Match the opposing seams and pin.
I pinned it all the way across the top.
You will need to leave a small opening where you are sewing across the top...for turning the right sides out.  I back tacked it at this section...for strength.  When you turn it right sides out those areas will become high stress points.  Be sure to click on the picture to enlarge it enough to see the detail of this section that my seam ripper is pointing to.
Be sure to clip ALL four corners!  I know...it's those THUMBS...again!
Turn your Hour Glass shape block right sides out through the "hole" you left open when you sewed across the top.  Be sure to push out the four corners so they are squared off nice...use something that has a rounded point...so you do NOT make a hole in your fabric.  Press it well on both sides.
Measure your Hour Glass Block...it will be around 4 1/4" square.  Cut your batting piece (I used leftover scraps of my Warm and White 100% cotton batting...as it is flatter and works really well for this project) slightly SMALLER than your Hour Glass Block...about 1/8" smaller.
Fold your batting in half to help get it through the hole and then smooth it out flat inside the block.  I have done this in many different ways...using a safety pin to hold it in place while I smoothed it out (Thank You Fannie!).  Simply try a few things to see which procedure works best for you.  You just want to make sure that it is laying flat inside the block and that it fills out the block into the corners.
See how pretty it looks...the batting is inside there!  Now you need to hand sew the hole shut!  Use a blind stitch so you don't see too much of the "threads".
Quilt the white triangle sections of your Hour Glass Block...any fashion your little heart desires.  I used my Walking Foot Even Feed System on my Ruby Jane to quilt it with White thread in a continuous sew sequence.  I started on the outside corner and continued in the triangle shape until I reached the center.  LOVE!  I only quilted in the white (Background Fabric) sections...but you can do what suits you best.  With your blocks quilted as you go...they are as pretty on the front as they are on the back.
Start laying out your blocks in the order you would like the blocks to come together.  I decide that I wanted the Hour Glass Shapes to butt up against each other in an opposite fashion...by having the background part of the block side by side with the color part of the next block...as in this picture.  However...once again, you can do whatever you like.
I joined the blocks together using a "ladder stitch" by hand...instead of the "whip stitch".  It was my personal preference, simply because I liked the way the ladder stitch allowed my blocks to lay "FLAT" when they were joined together and not have that "bumpy" edge you get when you join them using a small whip stitch.  This is up to you...do whatever method you like best, so you can achieve the look you want.  The Quilt Police will NOT visit your studio...I promise!

See how nice and FLAT your blocks lay on the cutting mat?  Now join as may blocks you desire to make the width you want in your quilt...or heck you can make table mats, placemats, table runners or a wallhanging if you so desire.  And then when you have rows made...you join the rows together in the same manner you chose for joining your blocks together into rows.  I plan to "bind" my lap size quilt when I am finished...but I have been told that it is not necessary!  However the OCD in me says to bind it!

I will blog and photograph my progress on my Ms.Jean Project as I go...so stay tuned and check back soon!


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:56

This Tutorial is a step by step of how I put my Block B-9 called Tinker Toy from the Dear Jane Quilt.  Please remember that the sizes I included in this Tutorial are for blocks that finish at 6" square...so if you plan to use any of this tutorial for your own Dear Jane Block, please plan accordingly.  Any questions please feel free to contact me!


Begin by cutting an 8" square block from your background fabric.  If you double click on the picture above you will see that the right edge of this particular piece of fabric is a bit "rough", but that's OK...as I will be trimming the block later to the desired size.


Now, using your rotary cutter and ruler cut the block corner to corner...in both directions.


Right sides together the top piece to the left side piece and the right side piece to the bottom piece.  Sew, using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance.  Press to set your seams, and then break the rule of pressing and PRESS all your seams OPEN.  You will thank me later!


After you have pressed the seams open...this is what the two halves look like.  Now, right sides together these two sections, making sure you match the center seam...pin if necessary. Sew, using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance...press to set the seam and then press that seam OPEN too.



This is what the "pieced" background looks like now... BEFORE I trimmed it down.


Now trim the block down to 6.5" square...be sure to use the cross hairs on your ruler and line them up on the seam lines to give you an accurate block cut.


Here's the backside of the pieced background block...YES, I really did press all the seams OPEN!


Let's do a little Modern Piecing and Machine Applique the pieces onto the background instead of hand piecing it all!  Here is a chunk of my light cream fabric already prepped with the Heat and Bond Lite adhered to the backside.  I know you are all JEALOUS of my big thumb...that looks like a big TOE!  Lol!


From my prepped fabric piece (with the Heat and Bond) I cut two 1 5/8" squares and one 1" square.


Cut your two larger squares from corner to corner to make four adorable triangles...just the RIGHT size.  No worries...I did the Math for YOU!


Using your seam lines as a reference...place your square in the center, and press in place with NO steam.  Once again, you use the seam lines as reference as you place the corner triangles...you will also need to be sure that all tips of your triangles are 1/4" from the outside edges of the background block itself.  Once you have press all of the Applique pieces in place from the top, be sure to turn your block over and press it well from the back side too...this insures the BEST adheasion.

See how pretty it is...all ready to start Machine Applique!

Prep your applique work by placing a piece of mid weight tear away stabilizer on the backside.  Once again...my Big Thumb makes her debut!


Sorry...this picture is a bit blurry.  I need to work on my handling of the camera with one hand and taking a picture with the other!  None the less...here are the needles I use for Machine Applique.  Schmetz Microtex Sharp Needles size 70/10.  I use this size needle because the shaft of the needle is thinner and it helps prevent fraying on the edge of your applique when your needle pierces the fabric.  Try them!  LOVE!


I have set up my Ruby Jane (The Janome Horizon 7700) with a buttonhole applique stitch and then set my width at 2.0 and stitch length at 1.5.  I also lessened the pressure of my foot to 2.  This enables you a little more "freedom" in movement while you applique.  Play with the different applique stitches that YOUR machine has first and decide which one you like best...then write it down on your Dear Jane printout for reference later.


I am all set up and ready to start appliqueing the pieces in place.  My Machine is threaded with a Rayon (or you can use cotton or polyester) embroidery thread on top and a cotton bobbin has been installed.  Be sure to do some practice stitches first to get your tension right.  Machine Applique is a "practiced art" and this is why I teach it per your machine in the classroom setting.  There is NO sense in learning it on a Janome if you sew on a Bernina at home.  Your skill improves greatly when you have been taught how to Machine Applique on your brand of machine!  Also...Good lighting is essential in your work area...so turn on the extra lights or use a "task" light near the bed of your machine!


I like to use the OPEN toe foot on my Ruby Jane while I am Machine Appliqueing...it gives you complete visibility while you work and you can easily control your stitching to the edge of the applique piece.  Once again...please excuse my blurry picture, I will work on that... promise!


After all my applique work is complete...I remove as much of the tear away stabilizer as possible...do NOT worry about what is "underneath" the stitching itself.


Here is the block from the backside, after the stabilizer has been removed...it is almost as pretty as the front!


Here she is folks...be sure to double click on the picture to see the pieced reference lines up close.  Any one interested in more Dear Jane Tutorials?

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 10:38