Heidi Pridemore is partner and lead designer of The Whimsical Workshop based in Chandler Arizona. She has been designing for the craft industry since 1995. She has designed hundreds of quilt patterns, written five books, designed fabric for Blank Quilting and Fabri-Quilt. Her patterns are published in many popular quilting magazines such as McCalls Quick Quilts, Quiltmaker, Quilt and The Quilter. See her designs at www.TheWhimsicalWorkshop.com.
We are also excited to do our first FREE give-away this month. P&B Textiles was so kind to make us a fabric kit for this project and one lucky reader will win! Just leave a comment about your favorite holiday decoration (any holiday) on our blog, making sure in include your email address and I will draw the winner on 11/1/15.
This month’s featured dies are the Go! Reindeer (55353) and Go! Sleigh and Snowflakes (55322) . The applique dies makes this project so quick and easy, perfect if you are a last minute sewer like me. The elegant designs of these applique dies worked so well with the Urban Scandinavian Collection from P&B Textiles to make a modern and elegant runner.
I also used the Half-Square Triangles (55063) to cut the pieced inner border. See our free pattern for other optional dies for cutting the outer borders.
The pattern for T’was the Night runner is now available at our website for download here. The pattern will have all instructions to make this lovely quilt. We also have included the instructions for quilters who do not have a GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter yet.
This month’s Blog is about finishing the applique shapes with a blanket stitch or Machine Applique.
First, following the free pattern, prepare, cut and press the shapes onto the listed backgrounds. Since the dies on this project have complex edges, I thought that this would be a good time to go over finishing the raw edges of each shape. So I made a video on how to finish the edges that you can check out here . I also included some tips below for you to check out.
First I highly recommend using an open toe foot on your machine whenever you are doing a decorative stitch on an edge of fabric. This allows you to see what you are doing while stitching. I cannot stress how much this will help you when you are doing a blanket stitch on a piece. I have done 100’s of quilts and I still struggle with this stitch when I have to use someone else’s machine and they do not have an open toe foot for it. Here is what the foot should look like along with an example of the stitching with it.
My second tip is to adjust the stitch length and width to fit the shape you are stitching. Most of the time, I use the stitch setting that are preprogramed in the machine but if I am doing a small piece such as the snowflake on this project, I adjust the stitch to fit the shape. I also will do this throughout the project. I keep the stitch size the same on each shape but if the project dictates it, I will vary the stitch sizes throughout the project. On this project I used a smaller stitch on the snowflakes and regular stitch for the sled and reindeer.
For my last tip, is practice. Unless you are like me and have to do this stitch every week, you will need to warm up and practice before doing it on your final project. I recommend using scrap material to make up some sample pieces to work on first. The best shapes to use are stars and hearts. They have points and curves to practice on. Machine applique is a lot like machine quilting. You will need to warm up before starting and remember to relax while stitching.
Please make sure to check out our video on this finishing stitch for more tips on Machine Applqiue.
By using theGo! Dies to make this runner, I saved time and the shapes came out perfectly. Oh how I loved not having to cut each shape for the project and it allowed me to move on to the fun part of the project, sewing of course.
I hope you have fun making our runner for the upcoming holidays. As always I would love to see photos of your finished projects. Also remember to leave you comments on our Blog post http://heidipridemore.blogspot.com/ to be entered into our giveaway.
Make sure to visit my blog each month where I will share with you some tips and tricks on cutting and assembling of the project of the month along with posting the free pattern on our website www.TheWhimsicalWorkshop.com You can also see our pattern and post at www.pbtex.com and www.accuquilt.com