Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easy Steps to new skills from Sugar Bowl Crafts using Horizons by Kathy Doughty

Hello! Amanda and I (Mel) are thrilled to be sharing some fun beginner projects to build new skills for 2018. We love playing with FreeSpirit Fabrics because of the rich colours, the diversity of patterns and the amazing designers. We’re going to be showing you the way to build confidence using bold prints, fussy cutting, and some traditional skills creating Dresden plates and Yo-yos. So enjoy! These small beginnings will give you the basics to add elements to your designs.

Making a lampshade

Circles have been a big trend in the quilting world over the last few months but they seem daunting to many. They really needn’t be. There are wonderful templates available to make life easier, whether you are sewing a curve by machine or hand. We’ve chosen to show you how to create a wheel using the Dresden plate. We’re a big believer in taking bite size chunks when you start out, so using these skills we’re going to embellish a lampshade.

Fabric and Other Supplies
 Kathy Doughty’s Horizon collection: 9 fat quarters and a Fat quarter in ‘Blowing Away’

·        Lampshade Kits (We chose Need Craft Uk 30cm diameter kit)

·        Dresden plate template

·        15cm Metal Sewing Measuring Gauge Ruler (optional)

·        Scissors, rotary blade and mat

·        Plastic acrylic rule (optional)

·        Thread

·        fusible interlining (preferred but not essential)

·        white craft glue

·        Sewing Machine optional

Press! Iron your fabrics. I would keep steam off on this one. You want the fabrics as crease free as possible.
Step 2
Open the lampshade kit and familiarise yourself with the materials involved. You need to draw an outline on the fabric. Take the large sticky back plastic and place it onto your 50cm long strip of shot cotton fabric. We used our acrylic ruler to help hold the plastic in place and to measure out the extra needed on the ends. You will need to allow extra fabric than the kit suggests as it will shrink in size when you applique onto it. Use a pencil and sketch around the plastic to create an outline. On one end allow an extra 5 cms. Allow and extra 4 cm top and bottom. Place a pin to mark out the horizontals. Your plates must not exceed these pins.

Step 3
Measure and cut the Dresden Plates. Now you can cut your own template, but we use the EZ Quilt Dresden template. Acrylic templates make life so much easier and we use this little one all the time. On the template it clearly marks out different measurements to cut to. For the purposes of this project, we are using the 5” line. Place over your fat quarter and adjust so that you can highlight a particular image. Fussy cutting can be so much fun. From the detailed ‘Boab Plains’ pattern, we focused on the birds and the trees.

Top Tip: Use a blank piece of paper either side of the template to block out the outside fabric. This simple trick will help you to focus on what you want to cut.

Once you are happy, cut. We used 3 pieces each from 5 of the fabrics and 10 pieces from one main fabric – which in our case was the ‘Boab Plains’.

Top Tip: The larger the print the bigger variety of views you can create.

Step 4
Once cut, lay out the templates onto the background fabric within the outline you created earlier. Play with the order until you are satisfied with the colour placement.
Step 5
Time to sew! We use a quarter inch seam and sew 9 plates together. Make sure you back stitch at each end. Once sewn time to press. We chose to press the seams open to help the fabrics lie as flat as possible to the lampshade. Repeat the process two more times, but remove one of the Boab Plains templates so there is only 8 plates on each.

Note: To make the full wheel, just keep sewing more plates until you have the full circle. The process is the same.
Step 6
Pressing. Your lovely half moons need to be pressed. Use a ruler to mark out when you need to fold too. We love a measuring gauge ruler. Simply set to the quarter inch and use that as a guide. Using a pencil we’ve marked the back of the fabric on the seams where the quarter inch falls.  Use this pencil mark as a guide and press from seam to seam. Check again with ruler to check accuracy.

Step 7
Cut the centre circle. For the purpose of this project we are going to the use the brilliant pattern ‘Blowing Away’ because the pattern has larger circles that are the perfect fit. At this point you have a choice.
1 – You could cut 1cm extra around the large circle and press under and applique, or
2 – As this is a lampshade and never going to be washed, we chose to use fuseable interlining and a raw edge for the circle. We will use a decorative zig zag stitch to join the circle to the plates and to the background fabric.

So we need 3 of the larger circles for the centre pieces. Rough cut outside the outer line of the circles, approx a 1cm out from the last line. Place fabric onto the fuseable interlining. The back of the fabric and the glue side should face each other.

Tip: If you have never used the fuseable kind before, feel both sides. One side will feel slightly fuzzy and one side will feel a bit bobbly. Those little bumps are the glue.

Press with a hot iron. Make sure there is no steam. You will want to press the circle itself, the excess fabric will help give your iron a little room so that you are not gluing the interfacing onto your iron. When pressed, Allow to cool and cut out the perfect circle, using the pattern as a guide.
Step 8
Laying out and pinning time. Lay the three half moons out onto the background fabric. Ensure you leave at least 3 centimetre gap from the top and bottom. Pin onto the background fabric. We used about 14 pins on each one to really make sure it stayed put!

Top Tip: Place your pins through the fold. Pinning the corners flat and to the background will keep the seam as flat as possible.

When pinning the centre circle, a minimum quarter inch is advised. We used 1cm to make sure the top of the plates were secured under the circle.
Step 9
Sewing the plates onto the fabric. Thread choice is up to you depending if you would like it to disappear or become part of the detail. We chose a soft lilac which worked with the collection and disappeared slightly into the background colour. At this point you have a choice how to sew the plates onto the fabric. You could
a-     Hand sew using a stitch like a ‘slip stitch’. Stitching then disappears in the fabric and your plates will look like they float on the background or
b-     Machine sew. You can use a basic top stitch to secure it, or do as we did and choose a zig zag for a bit of detailing.

We chose to zig zag onto the plates itself and not cross over onto the background fabric. This helps keep the background fabric flat with no fear of any bunching underneath. We love the effect and when the light bulb is lit behind it, the light will show off the stitching.

Top Tip: Practice your stitching first. Moving from the regular cotton to the shot cotton, the texture is different, and it took a couple of go’s to be happy with the stitch length and effect.

Step 10
Now to fix the finished sewn item onto the plastic. Most kits will have instructions so familiarise yourself with the specific instructions. The best tip for this next process is to take it slow.

Now please remember we had extra fabric. You will use the extra on one end to turn and form a hem, thereby hiding any raw edge. Line up your pencil outline to the sticky backed plastic. Cut away excess fabric on the top and bottom and leave extra on one end. Stick one end to the plastic and slowly remove the paper backing. Brush out any creases as you go along. It will try to curl on you, so you may find your acrylic ruler may be of some help to flatten as you go along.

Fold the excess fabric on the one end and form a hem. Click the perferated edges of the plastic and remove the small strips. Do this slowly to minimise fraying of the fabric.

Fold the hem onto the back of the plastic (which will be the inside of the lampshade.Use the double sided tape provided to stick down. When the fabric has been fully placed onto the plastic it is fixed, no waiting required.

Layout the ‘shell’ of the lampshade. Use weights or a ruler to lie it flat as possible.

Use the double sided tape provided and stick onto the rings. Remove the backing of the tap from both rings. This is fiddly and sticky, but perservere! If you have some that can help you at this point great, but it’s the tape is so sticky you can do this on your own.

You are going to roll the rings across the plastic and the tape with stick and carry the plastic along as you go. Start on the end with the raw edge as this will be covered in the finished product. Both rings should stick on their own if you have them balanced right. Then slowly roll the rings forward and adjust both, keeping them close to the edge. When fully rolled. Use more tape on the vertical edge to secure the hemmed end for a neat finish.

You now have a nice taught drum. Take the lose fabric on the top and bottom and roll around the rings, tucking the fabric behind the metal ring. When in place and stuck, you may wish to use some PVA glue to permantly fix and keep any lose threads in place. A thin bead around the rim, and finger press away any fraying or lose strands. Leave to dry. 

For a video tutorial,  of the lampshade process,  the Need Craft instructions…

And you now have a lampshade! You’ll never want a store bought one again!

Best Blogger TipsShare/Bookmark

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It's a Mystery . . . . all of it!

Wow this title is so appropo . . .we are so happy to be back on our blog, spreading the joy and love of quilting with pretty FreeSpirit Fabrics.  First, a great big thank you to our soon-to-be owners Jaftex for keeping this brand alive and our artists and team together. For that we can all be eternally thankful!

Now onto the fun stuff . . . . if you have not heard, there is a mystery brewing.  It's sort of like the game of  Clue but instead of Professor Plum in the Library, it is none other than Kaffe Fassett with his beautiful Classic fabrics, in your local quilt shop.  

If you haven't already, visit our Kaffe Mystery Quilt Facebook Page and enter the Gallery where you can view the excitement of those participating as well as receive clues as to how this quilt will all come together.  If you are a Mystery-maker, post photos of your progress on our Kaffe Mystery Quilt Facebook page and hash tag it #KaffeMysteryQuilt. That # enters you to possibly win fabulous gifts and prizes each month!  You have to be in it to win it though, so post, post, post!

Exeter Sewing Machine Co. LTD. super excited to be a part of the Mystery!

Month One, March, is at your local retailers.  It's not too late to see if you can join in the fun. Until next time, they mystery is yours to solve!

Best Blogger TipsShare/Bookmark