Monday, November 25, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {Quilting}

So before we get started, is anyone interested in a giveaway? Leave a comment on this post and enter to win one of two Kona Bundles from Marmalade Fabrics. I don't know about you, but I have had a rough two weeks, and a giveaway is definitely necessary :)

So quilting. I am going to show you the method of quilting that I used on my original Hemispheres Quilt. This method uses concentric circles echoing out from a single point. I decided to use just some solid white in my tutorial so that the detail of what I was doing would show up better than on a print or than on my wall hanging. I should preface this by saying that this is not a tutorial on Free Motion Quilting. I am sure it can be done with free motion, but that is not a skill I yet possess. Plus, I want people who, like myself, cannot master FMQ to have some options other than straight line quilting. That said, lets do this.

So first, find any round object that is a good size for tracing your center circle. For me, the lid of a mason jar works perfectly. It is still small, but not too small that you have trouble getting a smooth curve with your machine.

Trace your object using a water soluble or heat removable marking pen (test it out first to make sure it diappears!) on your quilt where you want the center of your quilting to be. I generally toss mine off center somewhere.

Now, with your machine, line up on the circle you just drew. Before you make your way around the circle, take a couple stitches forward and a couple stitches backwards to lock your stitch in place. You want to do this at the beginning and end of every circle. Otherwise, your quilting will come out in the wash. 

Now, begin to sew along the circle you drew. Ease through the curve like you did when you were piecing, trying to start/stop as little as possible so that you don't end up with angles. If you are worried about not being able to get a smooth curve, trace something a little bigger. The bigger it is, the easier it will be to guide your machine through that circle. Since this circle will be our center, it will be the smallest and have the tightest curve. All the curves that follow will get easier as you echo out. 

Once you have completed your circle, make sure you backstitch at the end to lock it in place. 

To get exact spacing between your concentric circles, I use this tool that came with my machine. It is a guide bar that you can insert into the arm that holds your presser foot. If your machine didn't come with one, I am sure you can buy one that attaches similar to how they make walking feet that attach. (feet? foot? idk)

So using a ruler, I put my needle down on the spacing that I want. In this instance, I am using 1.5". Normally I use something much smaller like 0.75". This is just so that I can show the technique. With the needle down, I then insert the guide bar, line it up to the edge of my ruler, and screw it in. Now we are ready to sew!

Line up the guide bar on the first circle you sewed. While sewing, you will want to spend more time watching that guide bar and keeping it lined up than you will watching your needle. As long as that guide bar is in the right place, your stitches will follow. Again, backstitch as you begin your next circle. 


Once you get to a place where no more complete circles will fit on your quilt, you finish out the corners as arcs. You still line up on your previous circle, but you stitch from one edge of the quilt to the next. 

And here is the finished product! Again, you might want to do your lines much closer together. Mine always fall between 0.5" and 1". This 1.5" could be good on a really huge quilt, but for most, I would suggest keeping it in the same range as straight line quilting. 


Happy quilting! Can't wait to see how all of the Hemispheres turn out and how you decide to quilt them!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Around the Color Wheel: Teal

My first of many Around the Color Wheel bundle from Marmalade Fabrics arrived yesterday. I was sooo excited that I almost tore into it before taking a picture of the fantastic packaging. Luckily, I regained some self control. I love the time and effort she puts in to her packages. How cute?!

November was teal, and I love teal. I mean, I LOVE teal. Tammy did a great job picking these Kona Solids. 

If you haven't signed up for Around the Color Wheel, you should check it out. It really is a great deal and a great way to build your stash. I am currently signed up just for the solids because that is where I have a big hole in my stash. But if you need prints, there are monthly print Around the Color Wheel bundles as well! These are good, quality, modern, relevant prints. Definitely things I would pick for myself.

And! If there was a month that you particularly liked, you can go in to the shop at any time and buy both the solid bundles and the print bundles. The last 8 months of bundles are all listed! I must now go pet my new beauties. They are waiting to be folded. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {piecing curves freehand}

Ok everybody! Now it's time to learn to piece your curves with no pins and no glue. Embarrassingly enough, this is one technique I just cannot master. Mostly because I'm pretty wedded to my pins. So, for today's post, we will be visiting Alyssa at Pileofabric!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment or post them in the Flickr group! For our next post, we will be back here!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {Gluing Curves}

Ok, so if you weren't a huge fan of the idea of pinning all your curves, but you aren't sure that you can freehand them, gluing might be for you. You will need a washable glue that is safe for fabric, Elmers works great. It is also handy if you have a tip of any kind that will allow you to control the flow of the glue a little better than your standard top.

The steps for glue basting and pin basting a curve are essentially the same. First, you want to fold both you concave and convex pieces in half and finger press them so that you have a little crease along the center line. It is important to line your pieces up in the center so that you don't end up with too much bulk on one side or the other.

Next, rather than pin through these lines, put a small drop of glue on the center line of the convex piece.

Then, place the center line of the concave piece direction on top of this glue dot. You want to then set that glue using a hot dry iron.

Once you have your center set, you want to put a small dab of glue right on the left and right edges of the convex piece.

Then, just as you did with pinning, bring the edges of the concave piece up to meet right on top of those glue dots. Again, heat set your glue with a hot, dry iron.

Now, if you are comfortable with curves and your machine, you can stop here and align the rest of the edges as you sew. If you want your basting to give you a little less movement in your curve while you sew, you can add more dots between the ones that you have already heat set just as you did with pins. The number of glue dots you use is completely based on your comfort with your curve and how much control you want to have when sewing it.

So you have the instructions on how to trim the blocks in your pattern, but I wanted to go over it really quickly in case it doesn't make sense for everyone. Basically, you need to just make sure that you have only a quarter inch of background at the edges. That way, when you sew two hemispheres together, they touch.

So line up your ruler so that you have the quarter inch line laying on your seam ON BOTH EDGES. If you don't line both edges up, you will cut your background wonky. 

 Once you trim your background fabric, flip the block 180 and trim the other side.  And there you go!

Sorry this got up late! I was having some super huge technical difficulties. :( Thanks for the patience!!