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Fold-N-Go Pocket Placemats {a tutorial}

2017 July 27

Picnics spark all kinds of good summer memories. And what better to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday than with a whole look book of picnic ideas – including a brand new Fold-N-Go Placemat tutorial I wrote for the project!

Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided the materials for this look book project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. Michael Miller Fabrics also provided the Cotton Couture solids. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. Thanks for reading! (P.S. Working with Janome is a dream-come-true for me, it never gets old! Plus, they are amazing and fun to work with, and I love their machines, which doesn’t hurt either!)

Earlier this year, Janome asked their artisans to contribute picnic-related projects for their latest look book – Cross Country Picnic – and the result is chock-full of great ideas, tutorials, and patterns. (You can read the previous look book full of projects too!)

These Fold-N-Go Placemats combine my love of impromptu picnics with the desire for a cute (and clean!) space to have them on – plus a little Maple Leaf Canadian pride.

Our set is going to live in our car so we can grab it and picnic whenever we want! This quilted project includes a matching napkin and divided utensil section. Plus it folds and buttons to keep everything tidy. I used vintage leather buttons and added a customizable leather (or vinyl) label to give it a more professional look.

Materials: (makes 1 placemat with included napkin)

  • Placemat: 2 pieces pre-washed 12″ x 18″ Essex Linen in Flax (Found at my sponsor Fabric Spark)
  • Napkin: 1 piece pre-washed 16″ x 16″ piece of linen or linen blend
  • Binding/Applique/Pocket: 1/2 yard/metre pre-washed Michael Miller Cotton Couture (I used Violet, Raspberry, Cornflower and Lime)
  • Quilt Batting: 1 piece 12″x18″
  • Fusible Web: 1 piece 8 1/2″ x 11″ (I love Steam-A-Seam 2!)
  • Matching Thread
  • One Button
  • Scrap of Vinyl or Leather for the Optional Label
  • Basting Spray or Pins
  • Removable Fabric Marker
  • Janome Skyline S9 sewing machine with these included machine feet/accessories: ZigZag Foot A, Satin Stitch Foot F, Quilting Guide Bar, AcuFeed Dual Feed Holder and Foot AD (quilting), Automatic Buttonhole Foot R and Stabilizer plate, Knee Lifter

DOWNLOAD the FREE Fold-N-Go PATTERN PIECES ~ CLICK HERE.

Before you begin:

  • Print out all 12 pages of the Design Diva Apron Pattern Pieces pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size.
  • Once you have printed the first page, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • Cut the pattern pieces on the outer gray lines and tape them together if needed, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.

Cutting the Binding/Applique/Pocket:

Important: These pieces are carefully placed to fit in 1/2 yard/meter of fabric. Please follow the cutting layout carefully! 

  • Applique: Use the Applique pattern piece to cut 1 Maple Leaf in the solid accent colour. Be sure to place it as indicated in the layout above. Also cut 1 Maple Leaf from the Fusible Web.
  • Pocket: Cut 2 Pocket pieces, mirrored and placed as indicated in the layout above.
  • Binding: Cut 3 full 2 1/2″ strips along the width of the fabric and one 1/2 strip as indicated in the layout above.

Prepare:

1) Thread your machine. The Janome Skyline S9 includes Large and Small Spool holders to fit the size of your thread spool.

2) Binding: Sew the 2 1/2″ strips together to create a 147″ length (approx.) of binding using your preferred method. This will be used for the napkin and placemat.

3) Pocket:

  1. Place Pocket pieces right-sides-together matching diagonal raw edge. Pin and stitch the diagonal edge with a 1/4″ seam. 
  2. Press seam allowance open. Fold pocket wrong-sides-together along the seam, matching remaining raw edges. Press.
  3. Match and baste all raw edges with a scant 1/4″ seam. I used the Auto Basting setting on my Skyline S9.  Top-stitch the finished edge.
  4. Press the pocket in half width-wise, matching the two side edges.
  5. To create utensil pocket divisions: With the short diagonal pocket facing up (See Pic), mark the binding area with a 3/8″ seam allowance along the left and bottom raw edges. Mark another line 1 5/8″ from the left binding mark (not the raw edge), and another from the right fold. The center section will be about 1 3/4″ wide. Pin and stitch along each marked dividing line (but not the binding markings) to finish the pocket.

Let’s Sew!

1) Match the maple leaf shape to the right side of the placemat, 3/4″ up from the bottom edge. Fuse according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

2) Switch to the Satin Stitch foot F and choose an Applique stitch. I used stitch #6 with a width and length of 3. Stitch carefully around your applique to secure the edges.

 

3) Sandwich the front and back of your placemat wrong sides together with the batting between them and baste using basting spray or pins.

4) Switch to your AcuFeed Dual Feed Holder and Foot AD (or walking foot) and choose a straight stitch to prepare to quilt the placemat. I used the automatic Quilt Setting Straight Stitch option. (Note: If you do not have a machine with automatic or computerized tension, test your stitches on a scrap quilt “sandwich” before quilting.)

5) Stitch around the applique 1/4″ from the edge. Use the clear inside edge of the Dual Feed foot as a guide.

6) Mark your remaining quilt lines with a removable marker. I stitched 2 rows of 1″ wide and 4 rows of 2″ wide straight lines, following the leaf outline. Alternatively, use the Quilting Guide Bar to evenly stitch the around your applique.

7) Quilt along each marked line. Attach the Knee Lifter to easily lift and replace the presser foot. (Side note: It was so nice not to use my hands to pivot at each corner!) My favorite Thread Cutter button made trimming the threads at each edge quick and easy.

8) Place the pocket in the bottom left-hand corner of the placemat matching the raw edges. Pin and baste with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

9) Bind the placemat. I like to use Cluck Cluck Sew’s machine binding tutorial and the AcuFeed Dual Feed system. ** Don’t forget to insert your leather label! See the Janome Cross Canada Picnic look book for instructions. Place it along the back edge of the binding about 3 1/2″ up from the bottom as you sew.

10) Choose and set up your machine to make a buttonhole that will fit your button. The Skyline S9 has an automatic buttonhole system with lots of options. The buttonhole should be centered on the back edge of the placemat (sSee pics for reference). Mark a 2″ center point 1/2″ away from the binding, make a test buttonhole and mark its beginning and end points on the placemat.

11) Attach the Automatic Buttonhole foot R and included Stabilizer Plate. Sandwich your project between the Buttonhole foot and Stabilizer Plate to secure it and hold it in place. Stitch and finish your buttonhole.

12) Fold the placemat in thirds; left side first, then the appliqued side with the buttonhole. Mark your button placemat using the buttonhole as a guide. Stitch your button on securely at the marked point.

Matching Napkin:

  • Machine bind the 4 raw edges of the napkin as you did for the placemat. I used a decorative applique stitch to further secure the longer edge of the binding. Fold the napkin in quarters and then in half again to fit it into the pocket.

Insert your utensils and napkin and Fold-N-Go. Enjoy your picnic!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please email or message me anytime with questions or leave a comment below.

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I’d love to see your project! You can share your placemats on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links below) using the hashtags #alongforthreadride and/or #threadridinghood. Be sure to tag me @sherrisylvester so I can see it! Thank you!

Flamingo Throw Pillow

2017 July 21

I love the precision of paper piecing, once I remember how to do it again. (Every Time!) It allows for crazy things to be pieced, like the eye on this flamingo – that is only 3 or 4 stitches across each side. I have so much respect for quilters who “regular-piece” mini things!

This pillow started with the backing fabric a couple of years ago. I found it while on vacation in Florida at Byrd’s Nest Quilt Shop. My parents’ saw some flamingos on their honeymoon (I think!) and it has become “their animal”. Since their 40th wedding anniversary was this January I decided they needed a flamingo throw pillow.

The pattern is from Quiet Play – my go-to for paper piecing as she has made so many patterns, and lots of them are free! I picked this one up as part of a monthly zoo animal block blog post. She was giving away one free block per month and I happened to get in for the Flamingo. (If you want to get it now you can purchase her Zoo Animal Bundle. Or you could purchase this Geometric Flamingo on its own.)

To get the flamingos to face each other, I printed the pattern once correctly and a second time using the mirror-image setting on my printer. Then, I made them and sewed them together down the center.

The front is pieced from my solids stash, most of which is from my sponsor Sew Sister’s Quilt Shop, purchased while I was part of their Kona and Colour Wheel Club. The quilting is simple, straight lines in blue. I took my time deciding the quilting colour and I think it turned out ok! Though I should not have quilted right through the black of the eye. Next time I’ll plan differently.

As I sew more of them,  I am realizing that throw pillows are super fast, good scrap destashers and fun to sew. They make great gifts, especially for kids’ birthdays. They can be personalized to someone’s favorite colour and even include their initial. Plus it’s a fun “quilty-break” between other projects. My pillow forms are from IKEA, pretty inexpensively, which works out to an “almost free” project most times!

Hope your summer is sew-ing well. :)

See you next time! Sherri

Nova: A New Shirt

2017 July 10

What do you get when you mix my favorite unicorn fabric from the Sarah Jane, Magic collection, some hand smocking, and vintage (probably) hand-tatted lace? This shirt!

I broke with my better sense and designed this blouse without asking the girls what they would pick. It just seemed too perfect a match. My oldest has snatched it up, and for good reason, I think.

StraightGrain provided the Nova pdf blouse/dress pattern for this blog tour. My opinions are always my own. Thank you for reading!

Today is my stop on the Nova pattern tour with StraightGrain patterns. I am going to go right out there and date myself by saying I’ve been following them around since the Bubble Dress debuted in 2012… eep! I love the simple, European style of their patterns and the Nova is no different.

The Pattern:

Since I haven’t made a StraightGrain pattern before I was interested to see what they were like. Also, the many options could make the pattern very confusing! I was so impressed, the details were clear and easy to follow. There are many notes on the pattern pieces and instructions to help you through the steps for each option. It also comes in a pdf version, or a paper pattern from the StraightGrain shop.

I was happy to see the finished garment measurements included along with the regular measurements. These are not common on indie patterns and it helps a lot when I’m merging sizes. For this blouse, I made a size 6 with an 8 length for my small 9-year-old. Had I made a muslin, I would have adjusted it to have slightly wider shoulders – but this is me skipping steps, not the fault of the pattern. The tie back allows room for her to fit and grow.

The Style:

I love how swingy the blouse is. Plus, having many options for pleating, smocking, dress/blouse, button, zip or tie back and sleeves or none give it tons of potential for the future. The pattern also covers a wide range of sizes from 3 months to 12 years! This means it is a great option for an older child or tween especially.

As my oldest grows up, I am finding the need for more grown-up styling and the Nova is perfect to grow with her. It’s comfortable, but looks stylish and includes long sleeves for winter. Though, I admit, this is not the most “grown up” looking fabric!

Sewing the Shirt:

I squeezed this blouse out of 1 yard of fabric, there was “just” enough room to make the sleeveless version without the cap sleeve.  I breathed a sigh of relief as I only had 1 yard of the unicorns and really, really wanted it to fit!

Smocking! Crazy, never would have thought I’d sit down to hand-sew smocking. But it was relaxing, and I perched on a chair in the sun and just sat and sewed. Very calming! I have to admit that the pleating process was a bit more time-consuming. I didn’t mark them as precisely as I should have and had to redo them all a bit smaller to make them fit. Next time! A new process usually has a learning curve.

The rest of the steps followed without trouble and I love the included bodice lining. It’s simple and finishes all the edges nicely. Since I didn’t make the sleeves I’m not sure about those steps, but can imagine they are clear as well.

Materials:

  • Sarah Jane, Unicorn Forest from the Magic collection for Michael Miller.
  • Vintage (probably Hand-Tatted) lace! My friend’s mother had a box from someone she knew and gave it to me a few years ago. It’s gorgeous. This shirt will be washed carefully!
  • Gold Ribbon for the tie
  • Pink Broadcloth lining

Photoshoot

We picked the kids up from their first week at sleep-away camp and my daughter has so many mosquito bites! Despite that, she was enjoying being home after a week and did an awesome job thinking up poses with her sunglasses. She cracks me up! As she gets older her sense of humour is kicking in and it’s so much fun. Can’t believe she will be 10 later this year!

Conclusion?

Wow, this post is sounding super formal, LOL! Anyhow. It’s a great pattern with lots of options and a large size range. Definitely worth buying as it will last a long time. If you’re not sure there’s lots of inspiration in the rest of the tour, with links you can find below.

Check out the other participants in the Nova tour:

Sisko by MiekeBel’EtoileZowiewo - Petrol & Mintsewpony - Fairies, Bubbles & Co
Elizabeth LittleMaker Mountain FabricsBetter Dressed Child - Just Add FabricMy Petite Sophie
Frances SuzanneI Sew BlancheLily & WoodyMy Minnie Mie
I Love You SewThread Riding HoodAriane Blog

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Thanks for reading, Sherri

Tamara Kate: Frolic Fabric Collection

2017 June 6

Sometimes I wonder if my girls realize how lucky they are to have so many amazing clothes hanging in their closets. Amazing artists and designers design fabric and I get to sew with it and then they get to walk around wearing the gorgeous artwork-turned-creation!

Case-in-point, Tamara Kate’s latest collection for Michael Miller Fabrics ~ Frolic. I was able to feature the knit fabrics in this collection a few weeks ago, and now am fortunate to be able to work with the wovens. Everything Tamara designs is beautiful, and I am loving the last few collections especially. The bright springy colourways, the watercoloury designs. Did I mention the colour? I LOVE colour!

Michael Miller Fabrics provided these woven Tamara Kate “Frolic” prints for me to play with. My opinions are always my own. Thank you for reading!

This time I sewed up two Sally dresses. This pattern is easy to sew, has no closures for easy dressing and has HUGE pockets! This time I rounded the corners of the square neckline. I found that the squared off corners tended to fray over time – but maybe it was just me? Anyhow, it was an easy fix. and it keeps the original intent of the pattern in tact.

The girls love the contrasting pockets. (And I’m waiting to find the youngest’s rock collection in my washing machine, LOL.) Plus it gave me a chance to show off more of Tamara’s fabric. I also added an inset into the bodice in the same fabric to tie the whole dress together. It was fun fussy cutting the inset to match each fabric print!

I also played around with a fun heirloom-style stitch that comes with my on-loan Janome S9. I have used the cross-stitch looking X’s on so many projects – they are simple and add a nice touch without being overly decorative.

The girls surprised me again and picked the opposite favorite colours for their dresses! My blue-loving youngest girl chose (my favorite) On the Wind in Spring with contrasting pink Big Love in Candy. The pink-loving oldest chose On the Wind in Blue with pockets and inset in Maggie Jean in Sky. Fun Fact: The Maggie Jean print is named for Tamara’s grandmother – how cool is that?! This print is my absolute favorite and I’ll be hoarding the scraps for until I find the perfect project for it.

The Tamara Kate Frolic collection will be shipping to stores on June 15th, 2017. Ask for it at your local shop! To find more Frolic inspiration visit Tamara Kate to find all of the Frolic Fabric Tour posts as they are released.

Thanks for visiting, see you again soon! ~ Sherri

Canada 150 – It’s in the Bag Tour

2017 June 5

Happy Monday to you! Thought I’d drop in today to let you know about a fun tour making the rounds right now. As you might know, it’s Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1st – and some amazing bag-makin’ ladies decided to make a tour out of the occasion.

You probably know by now how much I love featuring Canadian content – so I’m pleased to say this tour features all Canadian pattern designers, bloggers, sewists and even some Canadian tartans! (Which I just found out actually exist – so cool!)

Visit Emmaline Bags for all the details, tour stops and to enter to win some great prizes. Each tour stop has a giveaway of its own – plus there’s a huge Grand Prize to be won!

Today’s tour stops include Sew Far North, and she was kind enough to make my Forest Glen Satchel pattern as part of the tour! In fact, she even made a test version first – so now she’s made two! #bonus Her tester version (above and below) is impeccably sewn with lovely rose fabrics and photographed on a Canadian-appropriate snowy background. LOL

I can’t wait to see her final bag – she sent me the moose photo above as a teaser on Saturday and I thought I’d share it with you! Head over to her blog to see more hear her take on the pattern and enter for your chance to win it too!

Happy Birthday CanadaSherri

Octo-bundle

2017 June 3

Little did I know, when I was oohing and awing over Heather Bailey’s ‘Hello Love’ collection last fall, that I’d get to put together a bundle based on it. Woohoo! Watch out folks – it’s a bright, summery one…

Fabric Spark provided me with this fat quarter bundle and sponsors this blog. My opinions are always my own. Thank you for reading!

Fabric Spark and I go waaaaaay back, lol. They were the first sponsor of this blog and the first to ask me to curate a bundle as well! #bonuspoints

This time they asked if I would choose this month’s Monthly Sparks subscription bundle. These bundles are put together by bloggers and sewists from around the web – and lots of my favorite bloggers are on the list! #fangirl

You can find five unique Monthly Subscriptions at Fabric Spark! It’s so fun to get fabric in your mailbox every month – You can choose to receive any (or all!) of the following options:

It’s always fun to peruse an entire shop’s collection and choose a few fabrics that might go together. But, how do you ever decide?! Usually, I end up finding a fun print to start with and go from there. This time around it was Heather Bailey’s ‘Octopus’s Garden’ in coral. It’s great because it has lots of pinks, reds, purples and a lovely mustard yellow. These inspired filling the bundle with blenders to match.

I tend to make a quilt from each Fabric Spark bundle I’ve curated. So far I’ve started an Hourglass Quilt, am using one for my Sewcial Bee Sampler and recently finished this Trip around the World inspired quilt.

Do you have a favorite quilt pattern that uses roughly 12 fat quarters? I can’t choose between all the one’s I’ve pinned on my (apltly named“Quilts I Might Make” inspiration board!

Speaking of quilts – Fabric Spark will be at Quilt Canada, coming up June 14-17 in Toronto. Come meet them up close and in person – and pick up a few fabrics you need too. #buyallthethings I’m hoping to be able to get there on the 17th, cross your fingers I can bring the girls with me!

Thanks for visiting. See you again soon ~ Sherri

P.S. About halfway through photographing this bundle I realized it matched my kids’ colouring bucket and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to photograph both it and the bundle. And yes, the kids do keep them in rainbow order!

Katarina Roccella: inBlue Fabric Tour

2017 June 1

Enter stage right – Monday – full of after school swimming lessons and general busy-ness, newly finished dresses and previous days of unpredictable rain. Enter stage left – Me – with a rushed plan to fit a photoshoot right smack in the center of it all (before it rained again!). Any guesses to how it went? Lol. Thankfully, after a bit of a rough start (followed by a few minutes of silly selfies), we all got our act together. Whew!

Today is my turn on the Art Gallery Fabrics tour for Katarina Roccella‘s recent collection – inBlue. Aside from my excitement at being asked to show off this beautiful fabric, I’m so pleased that you get a chance to win the Pollywoggles Pattern I used and lots more in the giveaway at the end of this post!

Art Gallery Fabrics provided these Katarina Roccella fabrics and sponsored this post. Pollywoggles Patterns also provided their Primrose Anne pdf dress pattern. My opinions are always my own. Thank you for reading!


First, I have to say my girls and I LOVE these dresses so much! The sweet florals and thoughtful design – I love Katarina Roccella’s design style and my girls do too.

The Bloesem Sweet floral was an instant hit with my oldest and suits her dress well as the main fabric. We used the Bloesem Royal and Chinoiserie Kobalt in the ruffles to highlight and offset it. The little one loves blue, and as we mused over (the many!) she wanted, came back to the light blue backed hot air balloons from Fly Away Laat. Two tiny florals, Weide in Blue and Rose finished it well pulling the corally-pink colour out. I had such a hard time deciding which balloons to feature on her bodice front – did you see the swan balloon?! There were fun surprises hiding throughout this print.

Fabric Quality: I am also glad to write a glowing review of these woven Art Gallery Fabrics. They provide, hands-down, the best quilting cotton to use for sewing apparel. (And I already knew this!) Lately, the trend has been to use apparel fabrics for garment sewing and leave quilting cotton for quilts and other projects. No need here – AGF woven cotton has great drape, feels amazing and behaves beautifully in garment projects.

Sewing Pattern: This is the Primrose Anne pdf pattern from Candian pattern designer Pollywoggles Patterns. I sewed her kids’ robe pattern earlier this year and was so impressed with the instructions that I asked to use this pattern when AGF emailed about their tour. (Thankfully Heidi said yes!)

I think my favorite part of the dress is the back bow and clever strap construction. Close second, though, are the tiered bottom ruffles – which I think match the spirit of Katarina Roccella’s fabric – and look so pretty on the girls. The minute they put the dresses on you could see they felt great in them. Lots of twirling to be had! And speaking of ruffles, I was super grateful for the rolled hemming foot (included with my on-loan Janome Skyline S9) when I needed to hem the 7 yards of ruffles per dress!

In fairness to Heidi’s original pattern, I did alter one dress from the intended tea length. My youngest is going through a “maxi dress please mommy, so they can’t see my shoes” phase! The elastic back bodice makes this dress really easy to fit and should allow it to fit the girls longer as well.

I’m getting long-winded, so I’ll end with the giveaway and ask you for your thoughts. (Plus, take a look through the tour links below – so much great inspiration and options for boys as well!)

What your thoughts are on the fabrics and dresses? How do you approach your garment projects? And have you ever been in a hot air balloon?

Tour Schedule

Monday

I Married Superman

Tuesday

Coffee and ThreadHandmade Frenzy

Wednesday

Sunflower SeamsHandmade Boy

Thursday

Thread Riding HoodPear Berry Lane

Friday

Ammon LaneSew and Tell Project

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tamara Kate: Frolic Fabric Collection

2017 May 25

This past Monday was a lovely warm Canadian holiday, perfect for a trip to the park. The girls and I explored a new area nearby and had a great time taking photos of Frolic – Tamara Kate’s brand new collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. (Best fabric line name ever! Love it!)

Michael Miller Fabrics provided these knit Tamara Kate “Frolic” prints for me to play with. My opinions are always my own. Thank you for reading!

I am fortunate to know Tamara personally. (She’s Canadian too!) I’ve enjoyed meeting and working with her several times. Her fabric collections are filled with bright gorgeous designs, on-trend animals and pretty water-coloury florals. She’s a fantastic quilter and lovely and fun to hang out with in real life too!

Michael Miller Fabrics produced 8 knits along with the quilting cottons for this new collection. (Apparel fabrics, woot-woot!)  Great for easy summer sewing, and a first for Tamara’s designs. My favorite kids’ handkerchief-hem Banyan tunic always turns out great. It’s comfortable and looks stylish too. The girls chose the “Frolicking” print in Berry and Royal Blue knits.

By way of a recommendation, if you ever get the chance to work with Michael Miller knits – they are my favorite! I found them when I started sewing knits a few years ago and can’t say enough good. The stretch and recovery are fantastic, they are simple to sew (without many of the usual issues you can get with knits) and they wear really well.

I was curious and did a test to see if they shrink during pre-wash and dry. My 4″ test square was only about 1/8″ shorter afterward. And I love that there wasn’t a need to press the fabric before cutting out my pattern pieces. These shirts are truly wash-and-wear.

The Tamara Kate Frolic collection will be shipping to stores on June 15th, 2017. Ask for it at your local shop! To find more Frolic inspiration visit Tamara Kate to find all of the Frolic Fabric Tour posts as they are released.

I’ve got another Frolic project to share with you soon. If you’d like, follow along to get sneak peeks on Instagram.

What is your favorite knit sewing pattern?

P.S. I love finding great scrappy knit projects and the girls’ headbands were easy to make with my offcuts. I used this knot headband tutorial from girl.inspired. They literally took about 10 minutes each with my serger!

P.P.S. Did you see the cute sizing tags? I made them with my on-loan Janome Skyline S9 - the little clothesline is perfect!

Thanks for visiting, see you again soon! ~ Sherri

A Finished Quilt!

2017 May 11

Hey there! It’s been so long, how are you doing? I’m ok, still doing my best to recover from whatever it is that’s got me down. In the meantime, I’ve got a long-finished project to show you. Thankfully there are tons of these in the wings – just gotta get the energy to write about them!

I finished this quilt top almost exactly two years ago, June 2015. Backed, quilted and bound it early this year and photographed it in February. Sounds like May is a good time to write about it then?!

You can read about the process I took to make the top in this post entitled “How Not to Make a Quilt” – for realz – that’s the truth! Back when I wasn’t a quilter, it seemed daunting. After my 2 years more experience it took very little time to finish it up and now it’s a kids cuddly lap size at about 44″ square.

It is quilted using the dual feed foot on my on-loan Janome Skyline S9 with diagonal lines in robbins egg blue with navy thread in the bobbin. I just aimed the machine at the next corner in line and went for it. Each square is about 3 1/2″ square finished, so it was a nice easy finish. I also used basting spray for the first time, love it!

The backing fabric is a gorgeous border print from Sarah Watson’s collection with Cloud 9 Fabrics called “Biology”. The quilt top is made from a generous amount of Cotton and Steel fabrics (from when they first took over the fabric world, lol) with a few other gorgeous prints sprinkled in.

There’s actually a label this time! Stitched in shaky blanket stitches that I was too lazy to redo, or maybe just felt like leaving it to show that I don’t fix everything before it’s posted. Found in a Missouri Star Quilt Company post lately…

Finished is better than perfect!

The colours in this are so bright and cheery. It gets used a lot even if it does clash with my red living room furniture. Quilt top fabrics are a Monthly Sparks bundle I put together for Fabric Spark two years ago, the backing was ordered from them as well. Binding is from a Solids Club subscription with Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. Both are lovely sponsors of this blog and Canadian online shops.

As an aside, I just realized that I’ve replaced photos of “quilt on a barn” with photos of “quilt on an abandoned building”. #citygirl #lol

How to Quilt on an Embroidery Machine

2017 April 11

Turns out there are four ways to quilt something – by hand, on your home machine, with a long arm machine or on your embroidery machine. Guess which one I’m going to talk about today?! (#spoileralert Check the title!)

When I was loaned the Janome Skyline S9 combination sewing and embroidery machine last year, I was excited to see a page in the embroidery designs called “Quilting Designs”. Fast forward to now, and I’ve finally managed to use them!

Here’s a little tutorial so you can do it too!

I’m quilting an Easter throw pillow for this project. You can find the instructions for the traditionally pieced 12″ block here: Spring Bunny quilt block.

This post is sponsored by Janome Canada. The Skyline S9, AcuDesign app and iPad Mini have been loaned to me as part of their Artisan program.

1) Prep your project as you would normally for quilting, with batting and backing. Since the backing won’t show on this throw pillow, I used some inexpensive broadcloth in place of a better quality fabric.

2) Use a removable fabric pen to mark the areas to be quilted. I chose to mark out four equal 6″ squares for my throw pillow.

3) Choose a hoop and a design to embroider. I chose the first design in the Quilting Designs folder – the center reminds me of a kite – perfect for spring! There are 12 quilting designs included with the Skyline S9 machine. You will also need to choose a hoop size that will accommodate your quilting. In my case, the largest RE20a hoop worked well.

4) Set up the machine. You will need to thread the machine, attach Embroidery Foot P and choose a needle. I used a blue tipped Janome needle and regular Gutermann thread in both the needle and bobbin.

5) Size the design. You can do this on the machine, or send it over wi-fi or USB key to the AcuDesign app – available for purchase and downloadable to Apple devices. Use the sizing feature to re-size the file as needed. I wanted the quilting to be square, and just smaller than 6″. When finished, send the file back directly to the embroidery machine.

6) Hoop your project. I found that the thin batting I used fit in the hoop along with the pillow front and backing. Be careful not to overstress the hoop.

7) Position the file. I used the free Acusetter app (downloadable to Apple devices) to position my file. First, receive the file to the Acusetter app. It will lead you to photograph and line up the hoop. Then position, angle and scale your file as needed and send it back to the machine.

8) Place your hoop in the machine and start quilting! (Here’s a fun Instagram video of the machine working.)

9) Repeat the steps to embroider the other areas of your project. I took time to mirror the image for each of the 3 remaining corners of my pillow using the Skyline S9 embroidery editing mode. This way they look like one cohesive quilt design.

Finish your project as desired!

I love this feature on the Skyline S9 machine, it makes quilting very quick and easy. Plus, my pillows look super professional, and it only took about 37 minutes of total embroidery time!

This week, I’ll also be posting a tutorial including how I used the quilt bar and dual feed feet to finish the front and how to turn any 12″ quilt block into a throw pillow. See you again soon!

Let me know what you thought of this tutorial. Was it helpful? How do you usually quilt your projects?

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