Tips & Tutorials



HAND PIECING A DEAR JANE BLOCK

I have found that the best way to piece a DJ block is to use the freezer paper method.

1.  Trace the block pattern directly onto freezer paper.
2.  Mark the freezer paper with grain line, piecing order, colour or background and any other useful information you may need, in each piece. These will be your templates.
3.  Cut out each piece of paper on the pencil line (this is like a jigsaw puzzle!)
4.  Dry Iron each piece of freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric leaving space between for seam allowances.
5.   Using a ruler draw the sewing line around each freezer paper template creating a cross at all the corners and points (useful when starting to sew)
6.    Cut out each piece with a seam allowance added (I eyeball this). Clip points.
7.    Store the cut pieces in a zippy bag till ready to sew. Remember to mark the block number on the bag.
8.    Remove the paper before sewing

I find this is the easiest way to mark the sewing lines on the fabric as some of these pieces are tiny and slip and stretch. The freezer paper keeps the fabric stable and the pieces are less likely to go missing when waiting to be pieced
                                           Good luck!



SCRAPS!

 I've also been tidying up my scrap bag after inspiration from the book 'Cutting the Scraps' which recommends cutting scraps into 2", 3&1/2" and 5" squares. At first glance this seemed a bit random but the logic is that two 2" squares sewn together can be joined to the 3 & 1/2" square and three 2" squares sewn together can make a 9 patch to join onto the 5" square. Clever!













NO SEW CUSHIONS

I had a pile of very large floor cushions in our TV room waiting to be covered and someone gave me a great idea for NO SEWING covers.
Take 2 squares of Polar Fleece fabric, cut approximately 4" larger than the cushion.
Lay the fleece wrong sides facing each other and the cushion sandwiched between.
Rotary cut slits along all the edges up to the cushion (aprox 1" apart)
Tie all the strips together to close the edge. Done!





LABELS

A quilt isn't finished till it's labelled!
Making a label can't be easier since I read somewhere recently that you can print onto ordinary fabric using a home printer (I always thought you needed that expensive printer fabric for photos).
You can only use the black printer ink as colours will run so I usually use coloured pens to fill in details or (as on this one) applique on top to give some colour.

Here's how..
Cut a piece of freezer paper to A4 size. Iron onto (without steam) a same size piece of fabric as you would do when doing freezer paper applique. This will give you a stiff sheet of fabric which you can load (carefully!) into your printer tray.
To make the design I use WordArt on my computer but a simple label can be made using any text programme. Clipart (black and white) is good for adding details and frames etc.
Then just print.....
I let it dry for a fewhours then iron with a very hot iron, soak in hot water to check it doesn't run and dry and iron again.
Note: using top quality ink is essential!






SEWING MACHINE ORGANISER
I saw a neat idea today for a sewing machine mat/organiser which is great for taking along to workshops and sewing sessions (I always forget my seam ripper or clippers at home).
So I just had to make one....

1. Take 2 fat quarters and batting the same size.
2. Quilt as desired
3. Bind the lower edge and then turn up 5-6 inches  to form the pockets.
4 Bind the remaining 3 edges.

I've had that fat quarter printed with a sewing tool

3 comments:

  1. Great tips here Phil! Love the freezer paper printer trick. Will have to try that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Use a plain fabric that has no raised pattern printed on it. That type doesn't take in the ink very well...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just trying to get in touch with you just moved to claremont and wanting a group. I am just a beginner. Love the DJ
    Susie.hollams@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete