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July 2017

Starting to Quilt my Circle of Stars Runner

Last week I made a new table runner, Circle of Stars


Circle of Stars

I used traditional Christmas fabrics, but I can't wait to see what other colours people will pick for their own runners.

I am busy working on the pattern and will release it soon, as well as teaching the class on August 18th. For now I am getting started on quilting my sample, so I thought I would share the process with you.

I am using fusible cotton batting from Hobbs. This batting is perfect for smaller projects as you can iron it in place, eliminating the need to spend ages pinning.


Use plenty of heat and maybe some steam to make sure it stays in place. I also put a few pins just around the outside. The fusible is not permanent, so if you get any wrinkles you can pull it apart and iron it down flat again.


I put all the layers together and then gave it a good iron - being careful not to twist.

The next step was to choose a thread. I love variegated thread so I picked this cotton one from Gutermann that highlights the gold tones in the fabrics. When picking thread, pull a little out and lay it down to see what it will look like. This is something we always do when helping customers in the shop.


For the back, I am using my favourite Aurifil thread. I usually recommend the same type of thread top and bottom and these two are both cotton - mixing cotton and polyester often ends in tears!


Next I set up my machine with a 3.5mm stitch length and the walking foot. A walking foot helps feed all the layers through at once and avoids creating wrinkles and pleats.


Notice I have set the needle position at 0. That's because I am going to use the seams as a guide and with this machine I can run the edge of the foot along the seams to keep my lines straight.

Before starting, I test my setup on a scrap piece of fabric at the edge of the project.

IMG_6545Looking good, so let's get ready.

I am marking the runner with two different markers - a Sewline  ceramic marker for the dark fabrics and a Frixion iron-off pen for the light ones.


I decided to quilt 1/4" away from the seams of the star shapes. Afterwards I will decide where to fill in the spaces and what pattern to use.

To get started, I position the needle where I want to begin and draw up the bobbin thread by holding the top thread and turning the manual wheel of the machine.


This will stop the bottom thread forming a nest on the back of the work. I will tie these ends in after I have finished.

Now it's time to follow the lines, not too fast, and making sure to keep the weight of the work on the table, not my lap. When I get to an outside star point, I am using the lock button to do a few stitches in one place, this helps keep my points nice and sharp.


More when I get this one completed ....


If you would like to make this runner, I will be releasing the pattern soon so look out for an announcement..



Charity Quilt Blog Hop

The quilting world is full of people with great ideas, and I love the way quilters work together to make them happen.

As you may know, I am working with Kim at Cotton Cuts to offer my Mystery Quilt designs in the USA. Kim is  running two of these Mysteries this year, with the next one starting in August. Kim has such great ideas and she has decided to make one of the quilts up and auction it off for charity, raising funds for the sheltered workshop where all the cutting for the US quilts is done.

Each of the clues will be made by different bloggers, and Kim is going to finish the quilt.

This is the colourway that Kim has chosen, featuring Carolyn Friedlander's fabrics:


This colourway is called Aster, and Kim has given each of the colourways a team name - so the bloggers will become part of #teamaster .

One of the bloggers making clues is Yvonne @quiltingjetgirl. There is a lovely article on her blog today about her taking part in this charity quilt. Go to www.quiltingjetgirl.com to read more, and do follow along with the blog hop.


Fussy Cutting Hexagons with 2 cuts!

This week I have been fussy cutting hexagons for the new triangle blocks I designed. I wanted to share with you the really easy technique I came up with. I'm sure this must have been done before but I haven't seen it around.

For the new blocks I released last week I have decided to use Tula Pink fabrics. There are so many wonderful motifs just perfect for fussy cutting and I wanted to explore this for the triangle based pieces in my quilt.

Here's the hexagon I cut out with just two cuts:


Isn't it cute?

So here is how I did it:

Step 1:

My hexagon needs to have a finished height in the quilt of 4". I cut a 4 1/2" strip, fitting in the pattern I wanted:

Cut strip

Step 2:

Fold the strip of fabric in half - note, the fold is at the bottom of the photo.

Fold in half

Step 3:

Place your 60 degree ruler on top of the strip. Line up the centre line of the ruler with the centre of the pattern you want to fussy cut.

If you have a ruler with a tip like the C&T ruler here, put the 4 1/2" line on the fold.

Put on ct ruler

If you are using a Creative Grids ruler which has a cut-off tip, place the 4 1/4" line on the fold:

Put on cg ruler

Step 4:

Cut on both sides

Cut both sides

Open out, and voila!

I measure my hexagons from flat edge to flat edge, so this one is 4 1/2" from top to bottom.



I used my hexagons in this block I called 'Balance'. Its one of the new add-on blocks available for my Modern Triangle Sampler pattern.

Balance block

You can get the pattern for this and all the other blocks in the Modern Triangle Sampler in my Craftsy store. All the blocks are cut with a triangle ruler and the piecing is easy by machine (no y-seams!)