Saturday, December 29, 2018

Setting your seams - or how to get those perfectly flat quilt blocks

I published a photo of a quilt block I'd sewn, and I got quite a few private messages on Instagram asking me how I get my seams so flat, so I made a little video to show the importance of setting your seams, and how to do it. This is the photo that I posted, a cute simple square in a square with fabric from Kate & Birdie and Kona Cotton.

I highly recommend clicking the "Watch on Youtube" link in the video as this low quality won't allow you to see what I'm talking about. Video is available here: Watch video.

When we sew quilt blocks, we usually do not sew with a dual feed presser foot, which causes a slight stretch/tension in the fabric on top compared to the fabric being fed at the bottom by the machines feeders; which is why the top piece usually comes out longer than the bottom one, despite being totally equal in length when the seam was started. This causes the fabric, when the seam is sewn to have a slight "waviness" to it, as the fabric has been stretched slightly. This can be made worse from improper thread tension. Adjusting your presser foot pressure (usually reducing it) so your seams come out as flat as possible, while still retaining enough pressure to make a nice seam will help this. However, a slight waviness is difficult to get rid of.  Starching your fabrics with spray starch before you cut it is a great way to reduce this issue too. However for baby quilts such as this one, where you don't wish to spray the fabric with a bunch of chemicals is not desirable. This is where setting your seams come into play.

Setting your seams is something the old school quilters amongst us will say is such a standard thing to do that it doesn't warrant a post, but I've found a lot of new quilters don't know to do this, and it makes such a difference!

Set your seams: 
Start with your block in the same position as when you lifted it from your machine, don't open up the fabrics, just lift it from the bed to the pressing table. Here you can see the little waves in the fabric.

Put your iron on the cotton setting. With or without steam is a personal preference, have you pre-shrunk your fabrics properly with a hot iron with steam, you can use steam here to without danger to distort your block. Set down your iron on the block and give it a good press. Here you can see how flat it becomes, the waviness is gone!

Next press your block like you normally would (I'm pressing the seams open here which I normally don't, as it's for a baby quilt so I want it as flat as possible).

And enjoy your perfectly flat, beautiful block!

In the video there's a comparison with a block with the seams not set. Leave your blocks to cool flat on the ironing board, preferably even under a heavy book or a quilt ruler to let the fibers set in place flat before moving them.

Hopefully this will help you to get your blocks properly flat and beautiful!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Periodic Table of the Elements fabric - now available for order!

After I showed my Periodic Table of the Elements quilt I made for my beloved sisters graduation 2012, I have received so, so many requests to have the fabric I designed for this made purchasable through Spoonflower. It was a very personal quilt this, so I was hesitant to do this for that reason, but now, 6 years later - I've finally edited, updated and uploaded the design! It's now available on Spoonflower for anyone who's interested:

The original has been corrected and all elements have been added (no more Uut, Uuq etc) and the slight design issues with the elements not lining up perfectly (especially in the Lanthanoid and Actinoid series) have been fixed. It's the perfect gift for the science interested in your life!

There's a 1/4" space between each element and they're ~5 5/8" x 4 3/4" big. How big your finished quilt will be will depend on your seam allowance and how you place the Lanthanoid and Actinoid series.

This is how your 3 yards will look when they arrive, you need to buy 3 yards to get the full design, the layout have been optimized for minimal yardage so you need to cut it up and sew it together to make the quilt (it's not a printed panel quilt).

This photo gives you a nice idea of the feel of the quilt I think, for more photos, see the original post.

If you order this fabric, I'd LOVE to see what you make, so make sure to tag me in social media!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Swedish quilters association Rikstäcket's annual meeting and 30th anniversary

I had the pleasure of being invited to release a special pattern especially for the swedish quilters association Rikstäcket's 30th anniversary and annual meeting a little over a week ago. The pattern was kept secret (except for to my amazing pattern testers whom tested and then hid their bags until the release, love you all!) up until the first day of the event and only then revealed to the attendees and the world, including those whom had signed up for the "Secret Bag Class" on the Sunday.

The Beijing Bag was revealed and a special Rikstäcket 30th Anniversary Edition of the paper pattern totally sold out during the event. Thanks everyone who bought it! And I'm so sorry to those whom wasn't able too, I totally hadn't anticipated how appreciated it would be.

We ended up being 17 (!!!) people sewing the Beijing Bag on the Sunday (a few more than I normally allow in my classes) but we still had an amazing time! Such amazing students!

My awesome mother was helping me the entire weekend with the classes, and as we had brought the store with us, dad was working one floor down selling fabrics. We had a great weekend all three of us!

All fabrics, hardware and interfacing is from my parents store: Borlänge Sycentrum

Here are the beautiful, finished Beijing Bags that I managed to photograph. Sadly some were in a bit of a hurry to get home so I didn't manage to take a photo before they had already packed their bags.

Look how great they look with their lovely bags!!

But we didn't just sew Beijing Bags this weekend, we also had a Loule Bag class! In this class we were 10 people, but sadly I didn't manage to photograph all the bags finished as a few had to run and a couple had a few seams left when we had to end the class. Here are their stunning bags!! 

Thanks everyone for an AMAZING weekend!! <3

Friday, October 19, 2018

Beijing Bag Pattern release!

This little bag has been secret for soooo long now and I've been DYING to show it off!

The Beijing Bag was made special for the Swedish Quilters Associations 30th anniversary event this year! It's a bag I designed especially with quilters in mind, however, it's just as great for the non quilting bag maker. The totally smooth front and back lends itself beautifully for orphan quilt blocks, machine/hand embroidery or other decoration. Or why not use that one statement print fat quarter you've been dying to find the perfect project for?

The Beijing Bag pattern has both INCH and CENTIMETER measurements and is available in both English and Swedish HERE

The bag has a lovely teardrop shape from the side which is sure to turn a few heads.

It's the perfect size for the essentials and a few extras at ~11” (28cm) wide, ~8” (20cm) high and ~2.5” (6cm) deep at the base.

The interior has a zipper pocket and slip pockets.

The first Beijing Bag I made was with Katrina Roccellas beautiful Blithe fabric. I'll try to make a separate post featuring this bag once I have my camera back up and running again as it very much deserves it.

Me and my awesome mother before the reveal of the pattern! So sorry for the potato quality of these two photos, my cellphone is not great with dark areas,  or long distances AND dark as in the second photo, but I really wanted to include them anyway =)

Me doing the presentation and grand reveal! 

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My amazing pattern testers has sewn a number of beautiful Beijing Bags naturally and here they all are! Thanks a million everyone, I couldn't do this without you! <3

Anja - whom you can find on instagram here made an absolutely beautiful one with a spare quilt block. That gorgeous butterfly is just the perfect eye catcher for this bag! It beautifully demonstrates how I meant for the smooth front to be used. And thank you Anja for letting me borrow your beautiful bag for the great reveal for this bag pattern!

Annette - Made this super clever (oh how my partner scratched his head before he realized the pun *lol*), machine embroidered, pieced and quilted Beijing bag! Again, this bag is another perfect example of how the front of the bag can be embellished!

Barbara Dörig - Whom can be found here on instagram made this awesome, statement print bag, that goldfish print is just to die for! She made adjustable crossbody straps and made beautiful, red edges and frames for her interior pockets!

Cheryl Wright Simmerman - of Adarra Handmade made this absolutely perfect, cattitude bag! I HAVE to get myself some of this print, that cat is sooo cool!  I love how she made the back in a matching fabric, giving her a totally different look should she choose to turn it around. And just look at that awesome bag bling!

Christine Davis - of Bags by Bags of Style whom can be found here on Facebook and here on Instagram made this STUNNING, freemotion quilted beauty! I just LOVE how the quilting designs just lifts the print and the bag to a whole new level! And that little tassel, lovely!

Eva Arthursson - made this lovely one with a single print, perfect for everyday wear! I love how the cool shoulder strap gives this rather sweet fabric choice a bit of attitude! Great combination!

Kristin - whom can be found here on Instagram made this gorgeous (even more stunning in person), quilted version, it doesn't show well in the photos but each shape is carefully outlined, giving the bag a BEAUTIFUL structure and look. Thank you Kristin for letting me borrow your lovely bag for the grand revel of this pattern!

Lori Peoples - whom can be found here on Instagram made this pretty, statement fabric Beijing! The lovely fabric is absolutely perfect in the beautiful greenery she chose to photograph this beauty in!

Noor Rats - Whom can be found here on instagram made this gorgeous Tula Pink version! This print is one of my favourites ever and just look how perfectly it fits the Beijing Bag! That aqua zipper is just perfection! Lovely!

Pia Jestin - can be found here on Instagram made this gorgeous version! I almost bought it off her! Those beautiful irregular curves matched with that beautiful quilting! The photos don't do it full justice, it's even more stunning in real life! And look at that adjustable, two sided strap, beautiful! Thank you Pia for allowing me to borrow this beauty for the weekends event!

Tania Chanroux - of Smart Made Designs on Instagram made this STUNNER! That little top panel, brilliant!  My mother have had that ombre, striped fabric in her store for a while, and I'd never dreamed of how gorgeous it could be in a bag! Look at that perfect combination with this quilted faux leather!  

Ann-Kristin Kristoffersen - of Kinnas Lappteknik made this breathtaking, machine embroidered one, with beautiful quilting! I wish you could see this live, the colors are amazing! Thank you Anki for letting me borrow your gorgeous bag for the grand reveal of this pattern! 

Eva Halvarsson - of Borlänge Sycentrum made this super cool jeans version! Upcycling is always in style and so is this awesome bag! Love the pant seam down the middle and that little "handmade" sign and that adorable tassel, lovely! Thank you mom for letting me borrow your pretty bag for the grand reveal of this pattern! 

Marita Tjulander - of Valsanhäxan Syr/Quiltar made this awesome faux leather version! It makes such a great visual impact with that simple division down the middle, and that beautiful charm, perfect! And look at the dual color shoulder strap, epic! Thank you too Marita for letting me bring your pretty bag for the grand reveal of this pattern!