Batiks Go Retro Blog Hop

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The Batiks Go Retro Blog hop is under way!  I was stop #3 Wednesday on my Quiltoni Blog so I wanted to share it here as well.

You can find the other hoppers joining in at the bottom of this post, so make sure you read them all!

I was asked by Tamarinis to create something pixelated for her first line of fabrics with Island Batiks.  Why pixelated?  Because I am a pixel quilter!  Even though I specialize in geeky quilts, I like a challenge.  First I had to think of a design.  Here are some of the amazing fabrics that I got to choose from.

That starburst pattern is pretty cool and has a few color options.  I decided to use those fabrics and create a pixelated design based on the design in the fabric.

After figuring out the pattern I decided to put the pastels together and the bold colors together.  I wanted to show the same pattern with different colorways so decided on a double sided quilt. After sewing strips together I cut out all of the pieces and laid them out.

 

Then it was time to assemble the rows.

After assembling rows, I added a border of fussy cut background fabric around to show the design of the fabric off as well as pull the rows together to allow for easier quilting.

Once the quilt was finished I quilted it with just regular straight lines to give it a more modern feel.  The binding choice was to give it a color pop completely different than the fabrics I chose, but is part of the collection.  I really like the finished product and it was a lot of fun making it!

  

Next on the Blog hop is Purple Moose Designs.  Make sure you visit them all!  And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom to win great prizes, including a wonderful Tamarinis pattern pack, fabric, thread and more from several of the designers in the blog hop!

Sept 11th: Island Batik, Aurifil Thread


A Cozy Needle is a Happy Needle

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today we are ensuring that we continue to take excellent care of the tool that arguably works the hardest for anyone that does any kind of sewing. Last time we covered needle cases which are great for trips and transporting odd sized or duller needles. This time we are going to give our needles a bit more care and store them in soft felted cloth, more specifically in a needle book. Most needle books are fairly simplistic: take several squares of felt and sew them together in the middle to form a spine, then fold in half. Some crafters and artisans have taken this to a whole new level. This first one from Mouse Garden uses the traditional and adds their own flair:

Simple, pretty, and ready to carry your needles!

Using all felt makes it easy to add simple embroidery or other designs. Like this second rather whimsical one from Crafty Cat Lady UK:

I love it’s cute whiskers!

Many of us that mix our different sewing projects can also relate to this third one  from Angelic Emporium that may help to clear up some of our quilting scraps to make something useful for hand sewing components:

Plus a skull and roses needle book is super cool!

Finally, if you want to be super fancy, I suggest treating yourself to one of these beautiful vegan leather needle books from Naeh St Design:

All the way from Germany, no less!

Keep your needles happy and they will always treat you right! The felt pages of needle books not only serve to prevent accidental stabbings while rummaging around in a project bag but also help absorb leftover oil from your skin! Next week we will look at a different type of needle case.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Classes, classes, and more Classes!

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This past Tuesday I had an amazing time with the Youth Sewing class at the Family Centre.  We made some pretty cool hair ties (that also double as skinny neck ties).

I LOVE teaching classes.  It really energizes me and makes me love sewing even more (if you can believe that).  We have a really cool idea in store for the next two adult classes, so if you live in the London, Ontario area, keep an eye on my social media.

Speaking of classes, I still have some openings for the GenCon classes I am teaching.  They are selling out fast, so if you want to learn English Paper Piecing, sign up soon!

English Paper Piecing Quilt Technique

 

 

 

Description: Learn to English Paper Piece, or get help with an existing project you are working on. In this class we will start with the basic hexagon flower using scraps of colorful and character fabrics (like Dr Who or Comic Books).

Class Length: 2 hours

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Thursday, August 17th/ 10:00am /SPA17103527
  2. Friday, August 18th/ 10:00am /SPA17103528
  3. Saturday, August 19th/ 9:00am /SPA17103529

Cost: $18

English Paper Piece a Catan Board Quilt

 

Description: Learn to English Paper Piece by creating a small version of the Catan board, 9″ wide to be exact. In this class we will start with the basic hexagon shape and add on triangles (for sand) around the edges.  Options for finishing your miniature quilt will be discussed.

Class Length: 2 hours

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Friday, August 18th/ 7:00pm /SPA17103534
  2. Sunday, August 20th/ 12:00pm /SPA17103535

Cost: $34

Nicole’s Scarf classes are all sold out, but don’t despair!  If you bring generic tickets with you and someone doesn’t show up, you can have their spot!

Now to make all of those kits for the classes.


Schmetz Monthly Needle Fact

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That’s not just a little piece of steel making your machine stitches. German engineering designs, calculates, tests and inspects the SCHMETZneedle. Take for instance the eye, did you know that needles have different eye shapes?

The most popular needle, the Universal, has an eye that is 40% the width of the blade. Really! There are three other needles with larger eyes, the Embroidery and even more pronounced is the elongated eye of the Metallic and Topstitch needles.

Now what does a larger eye mean? There is less friction on the thread as it passes through the eye. Ever sew with a thread that breaks or tends to shred? Guess what, use a needle with a larger eye. If you have old thread or maybe a poor quality thread, use a needle with a larger eye. The thread and needle work hard and fast. Help them out when you can with a larger eye.

Remember . . .

Change YOUR Needle!

– The needle is meant to be changed –

– The needle gets dull from use –

– The needle is NOT a permanent machine part –

-Toni


New Fabric Collections: Camelot Licensed

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I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Here is the spring collection of licensed fabrics by Camelot Fabrics.

Camelot is proud to partner with American Greetings Entertainment to bring you Care Bears™  licensed fabric. Our premiere collection features cuddly and colourful Care Bear friends, celebrating #35YearsOfCaring in 2017!

One of four new Disney license collections, Dumbo brings the sweet flying elephant to fabric perfect for little ones’ soothing bedrooms in the form of quilts, pillows and more.  Equally suited to darling itty-bitty apparel.

Previously featured in our Disney Princess collection, the Little Mermaid now has a collection of its own! Aquatic adventures abound with lively prints and the ‘Exploring Endless Wonders’ panel.

Disney’s most famous fairie is the star of the Tinker Bell Collection in tones of cotton candy pink and minty green. Patterns inspired by pixie dust and magic sew up into whimsical accessories.

Her dress-up box is filled with tulle dresses, pearls and tiaras. Decorate her room with a Sofia the First collection DIY triangle bunting banner in purple and pink. Regal, girly and enchanting. Just what the princess ordered!

Favourites from the Star Trek collection are back – this time with the addition of a new pop art style Spock panel and two skus in cotton spandex – ideal for something to wear to your next Star Trek themed event.

Next week starts three conventions in four weeks for me!  Look for the posts on Friday for where you can find us.

-Toni


Spring Quilt Market

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Today is the start of Spring Quilt Market!  What is Quilt Market?

It is a credentialed quilt trade show.  This means you need to be a quilt shop owner or industry professional (professional quilter, teacher, designer, or publisher).  The fabric manufacturers, wholesalers, and companies that we want to see will all be there.  This is the show where we get to see everything new coming out!  I have seen a few previews and am SUPER excited about the new fabrics I will be able to get.

I am also super excited to see new products from some of my favorite Companies, Arrow and Sew Steady.  They have both agreed to give away products!

I will be giving another chair away from Arrow!

If you watch my Twitch live stream, you know how much I LOVE my Arrow sewing chair.  It is comfortable the wheels are amazing.  you really want one of these for yourself.

Another super special giveaway will be from Sew Steady.  We will be giving away their Ruler Work Kit.

I will be holding the giveaways today and tomorrow as well as live streaming, sharing photos, and maybe an interview or two!  Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see all of the goodies.  I won’t be picking winners until Monday so make sure you find the giveaway videos on my Facebook page, watch the video, and comment to win!

-Toni


Let’s learn about needles – The life of a needle

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All of this information is courtesy of Schmetz.

1 Definition of Needle Life

During the sewing process different forces and influences are attacking the sewing machine needle. There might be

  • Abrasive forces
  • Penetration force
  • Influence of operator
  • Influence of sewing thread
  • Influence of sewing machine

Every one of these forces and influences are the enemies of needle life. They might destroy the point, abrase the needle surface or even break the needle. Some of these influences and forces and their effects are directly visible, e.g. if you get holes in your fabric something has happened to the needle point or if the thread breaks there might be damage to the eye of the sewing machine needle.

As a general definition of the end of needle life we can say

2 Parameters influencing Needle Life

In the previous paragraph we already named a few influencing factors on needle life. If we look closer we will find the following parameters

  • sewing good
  • operator
  • machine setting
  • machine speed
  • thread quality
  • thread size
  • needle size
  • needle point

besides other parameters being specific to every plant like climate, work environment and others. All these parameters are of influence to the needle life and are very individual to every sewing factory. The life of a sewing machine needle has come to an end when the needle looses its proper function.

If we just take the operator as one of the most influencing factors on needle performance we can see that the skills and work experience is a significant parameter. But also here the human factor comes in because not everyday the operator works the same depending on the physical and mental condition. If you put two operators side by side sewing the same workpiece under the same outer conditions like same machine, same speed etc. it can happen that the results are very different, especially when we look into the needle consumption.

From all these influencing parameters it becomes very clear now that they cannot be predetermined because they are individual to the specific sewing factory. Almost every factory has different conditions and setups even if they make the same product.

3 Examples

Broken needle points because the needle has touched some machine parts. The fabric never would cause this type of fault.

Abrasion on eye sidewall because the needle was deflected during sewing and was touching the sides of the needle hole in the throat plate

Total abrasion of eye sidewall. The eye is open. This happened with a very abrasive sewing good containing a flame-retardant chemical.

4 How to find your individual needle life

As the manufacturer of the sewing machine needle we are not able to give a prediction of needle life for the individual plant because it is impossible to know all your individual factors. But a lot of sewing factories have the data available or are able to find the data for every sewing line or even for every sewing machine. It just is a matter of about a month collecting data for every needle change, log the data and categorize by reason for the needle change.

This will give a good basis for quality improvement because if you have these data you will be able to implement a needle change policy in your factory as already a lot of the high quality manufacturers do. You will have the possibility now to change the needle before it starts to abrase or before the needle point gets damaged.

-Toni


Amazon Warrior Quilt Pattern

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The team of Nicole and Toni released a new Quilt Pattern this week, the Amazon Warrior.

 

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Use a Sewing Machine
  • Use a Rotary Cutter and Straight Edge
  • 1/4″ seam

Pattern Description: Created by the gods, the amazon warrior shows compassion but that doesn’t stop her from annihilating her enemies.

Learn how to sew strips, nest seams, and piece efficiently to save time.

Sizing / Finished Measurements: 36″ by 48″

Materials:

  • 1/2 Yard Tan Fabric
  • 1/4 Yard Blue Fabric
  • 1/2 Yard Yellow Fabric
  • 3/4 Yard Black Fabric
  • 1/4 Yard Red Fabric
  • 1 Yard Purple Fabric (or background of choice)

You Will Also Need: Sewing Machine & Preferred Thread Rotary Cutter & Straight Edge Pins Scissors Iron & Ironing Board

If you would like to see more information on the pattern, or purchase it, head over to Craftsy to take a look!

 


Let’s learn about needles – Troubleshooting and Changing

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Last week I talked about Needle Sizes,  this week we are going to talk about troubleshooting your needle problems..

All of this information is courtesy of Schmetz.

Important Points to Remember

  • Needles DO NOT last forever, they should be replaced approximately every 8 hours
  • The eye of the needle should be 40% larger than the diameter of the thread
  • When going to a larger size of thread, a larger needle should be used
  • Use the appropriate needle for the type of fabric being sewn
Problem Causes Solutions
Upper Thread Breaks Incorrect threading
Knots or twists in thread
Tension too tight
Damaged/old needle
Needle too small
Rethread machine properly
Replace thread
Reset bobbin and top thread tension
Replace needle
Use correct needle for thread and application
Bobbin Thread Breaks Bobbin case incorrectly threaded
Bobbin case incorrectly inserted
Bobbin does not turn smoothly in bobbin case
Lint in bobbin case
Bobbin tension too tight
Remove bobbin and re-thread with bobbin turning clockwise
Remove and re-insert bobbin case
Check that bobbin case and bobbin are in “round”; replace if necessary
Clean bobbin case and surrounding machine area
Check and reset bobbin tension
Skipped Stitches Thread tension too tight
Needle damaged
Needle wrong size
Sewing machine out of adjustment
Reset top and bobbin tension
Replace needle
Use correct needle size
Have sewing machine adjusted for timing; hook to needle clearance; needle bar height
Frayed Stitches Needle too small
Tension too tight
Damaged thread
Increase needle size
Reset tension
Replace thread
Thread Loops on Bottom Thread not in top tension
Machine incorrectly threaded
Top tension too loose
Burr on hook mechanism
Rethread machine with presser foot “up”
Rethread machine incorporating take up lever
Reset top tension
Remove burr
Irregular Stitches or Malformed Stitches Wrong needle size
Incorrect threading
Upper tension too loose
Operator pulling fabric
Bobbin wound unevenly
Ensure correct needle for fabric & thread
Un-thread machine and carefully rethread
Reset lower and upper thread tension
Check presser foot pressure
Rewind bobbin
Fabric Puckers Excessive stitch length
Needle point is blunt
Excessive thread tension
Fabric is too soft
Thread displacement — too much thread in a small area
Fabric not feeding
Decrease stitch length
Change needle often
Check bobbin and upper tension
Use stabilizer
Decrease field density; scale embroidery designs; increase stitch length
Check presser foot, needle plate, feed dogs

Tune in two weeks to learn about the life of your needle.  Or you can take a look at the Schmetz website and learn for yourself!  Why two weeks?  Because next Saturday is April Fool’s Day!  One of my favorite holidays of the year.  The post will be a little later in the day while I find some good pranks to share with you.

-Toni