Want to learn how to quilt swirls? Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what should go in the negative space of a quilt. I really like using swirls to quilt empty space because it gives texture and movement. It can also double as smoky swirls or wind looking swirls to create a darker look, or mimic the weather.
When I started out quilting on a domestic machine, my stitches didn’t look precise or smooth–it took a lot of practice and relaxing to get a consistent look and feel. I’ve heard a lot of people say that quilting on a longarm and domestic are completely different, but I feel like they’re very similar and require a similar skill set. If you’re willing to put in the time and practice, you WILL eventually see improvement. I know when I started out, I was easily discouraged at how awesome other quilters’ quilting looked and how crummy mine was in comparison. Over time, my quilting started to look a little better each week and I was satisfied with the quality of quilting I was doing. I doodled a lot to practice when I was away from my machine, and that really helped.
Video tutorial – how to quilt swirls
I made up a fun free motion quilting tutorial on how I quilt these swirls. These are hands down my favorite motif to use to look like wind or smoke on the background of a quilt. I recently quilted a quilt for one of my clients that had a Christmas theme with adorable little houses (Hi Debra!!) and used this motif in the background to look like a little snowstorm. It worked out perfectly and gave just the right feeling to the quilt.
I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the video tutorial. I’ve even put in a little time lapse preview at the beginning so you can see how it comes together quickly. I’ll walk you through how to quilt these swirls. I always recommend to start out with paper and pencil. Then doodle and draw until your swirls look smooth. Once you draw them enough, you don’t really have to think about where you’re going to put the next one. Then it makes quilting them a breeze! Pun intended ;).
So go watch the tutorial a few times. Practice drawing your own swirls. And whether you have a domestic or a longarm, you can quilt up some samples. I’d love to see your quilting if you give it a try!!! Feel free to give me a tag on IG @kustomkwilts if you post your progress :). And if you liked this tutorial, check out how to quilt feathers! Happy quilting!
Do you follow me on instagram? If you do, you might have seen I’ve been having a LOT of fun with videos lately. I’ve been doing some time lapse videos of some basic straight line quilting AAAAAND decided I’d do a real time video of how I bind mini quilts on my longarm. It’s seriously so easy that if you haven’t tried this yet, you’ll really kick yourself!
If you’ve ever quilted a mini quilt on the longarm, there’s a fun shortcut you can use to quickly attach binding to the front of the quilt after you quilt it. I did a short video tutorial showing how to attach binding on the longarm, and I hope you’ll go check it out! Now just a quick note…I am obviously not a professional videographer…or whatever that’s called, and I even treat you to a view of my gorgeous locks of hair that were quickly and haphazardly thrown up into a very unglamorous mom bun. That’s right. ENJOOOOOY 😉
When I bind my quilting samples on the longarm, I usually stick to pretty small sizes. You could definitely do this with a large quilt, just keep in mind that you’ll be doing some scrolling and advancing of the quilt to finish the job. It’s also a good idea to mark the large quilt so you have a good idea of where the squared portion of the quilt will be so you attach the binding straight. I only do this for quilts that are for myself–because for me this is something to do quickly as a shortcut and not great for accuracy, as I don’t spend a lot of time making sure I’m putting the binding on squarely.
To make the binding, I cut strips 2.5″ wide x the width of the fabric and then sew them together, end to end to create the length I need (I usually do the perimeter of the quilt + 12″ to make sure I have enough). The tutorial shows how to attach the binding to the front of the quilt. After quilting, you’ll need to trim away and square up, then flip the folded edge of the binding to the back and finish. I finish all mine by hand because I’m a weirdo and love hand binding!
Binding on the longarm details
I’m using an Innova 22″ longarm (hand guided) with a lightning stitch stitch regulator. The fabric panel I quilted was a custom panel I ordered from My Fabric Design, and the thread I used for the quilting was Glide by Hab+Dash (previously Fil-Tec). If you’d like to see a time lapse video of the quilting of this panel, you can check it out on instagram HERE.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful–and I’d love to hear your feedback! Are you up for trying this out soon? Let me know if you do and how it goes! Happy sewing 🙂
(2) 1.5″ x 4″ zipper ends cut from exterior fabric
(2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ lining for zip pouch
(2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ pieces of SF101 fusible interfacing for the lining
(1) 7.5″ x 12.5″ for Exterior back of pouch (cut this at 8.5″ x 13.5″ if you plan to quilt it, then trim down to 7.5″ x 12.5″. You may also want to alter your border pieces on the Total Eclipse Heart Block and cut them at (2″ x 5.5″ and 2″ x 13.5″) if you’re quilting the front exterior or the quilt block.)
If quilting, you’ll also need (2) 10″ x 15″ batting pieces.
If not quilting, cut (2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ pieces of SF101 fusible interfacing for the exterior.
14″ closed end nylon zipper
Erasable marking tool (I like to use Frixion pens)
Turning tool or chopstick
To begin, follow the instructions in the Total Eclipse Heart Block pattern to make the 7″ x 12″ block. You’ll need to decide if you want to quilt your zipper pouch or not.
If quilting – cut the border pieces at (2) 2″ x 5.5″ and (2) 2″ x 13.5″, instead of the 1.5″ width to give a little extra room for shrinkage. Then sew the pieces on as directed.
Make a quilt sandwich, using 2 pieces of scrap fabric (these won’t be seen in the finished pouch) measuring 10″ x 15″ as the back of your quilt sandwich. Place the scrap piece wrong side up, place the batting piece on top of that, then center the 8.5″ x 13.5″ block on top of that and baste the layers together using your favorite method. Make another quilt sandwich with the 8.5″ x 13.5″ Exterior back piece. Quilt as desired, then square up the quilted pieces to measure 7.5″ x 12.5″.
If not quilting – Follow the cutting/sewing instructions to make the block, then apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the 7.5″ x 12.5″ quilt block, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Do the same for the 7.5″ x 12.5″ Exterior back of pouch.
Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each lining piece.
Take the 1.5″ x 4″ zipper end pieces and fold the 1.5″ ends to meet in the center. Press. Fold them in once more to conceal all raw edges and press.
Take the 14″ zipper and move the zipper pull in away from the metal teeth a little. Trim your zipper down to measure exactly 12.5″, and make sure you trim the metal bits off when you trim it down. Be very careful to not pull your zipper head off.
Take the zipper end pieces and place one end of the zipper butted into the middle of the folded piece. Use clips or pin in place. Repeat for the other end of the zipper. Take to your sewing machine and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge to contain the zipper. Trim away the edges of the zipper pieces so they’re even with the zipper tape.
Measure and mark the center top 12.5″ edges of all 4 of your fabric pieces. Measure and mark the center of the zipper.
Assembling the Zipper pouch
Take the assembled quilt block (quilted or not) and place it right side up. Take the zipper and place it right side down, lining up the centers and the edge of the zipper tape to the top edge of the block. Use clips or pin to secure. Place one lining piece right side down on top of the zipper, sandwiching the zipper between the two layers and matching the centers again. Clip or pin in place. Use a zipper foot to sew through all three layers with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the fabrics wrong sides together away from the zipper and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge of the fabric.
Take the exterior 7.5″ x 12.5″ piece (quilted or not) and place it right side up. Take the zipper (now attached to the quilt block) and place it right side down, lining up the centers and the edge of the zipper tape to the top edge of the block. Use clips or pin to secure. Place the remaining lining piece right side down on top of the zipper, sandwiching the zipper between the two layers and matching the centers again. Clip or pin in place. Use a zipper foot to sew through all three layers with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the fabrics wrong sides together away from the zipper and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge of the fabric.
Open the zipper. Pull the exteriors and linings apart from eachother and pin the edges of the exterior RST. Do the same with the lining pieces. Pin or clip in place. Mark a 5″ opening centered on the bottom of the lining. This will be left open for turning. Start sewing with your regular pressing foot, and sew all the way around the zip pouch, leaving the opening unsewn.
Trim the corners away being careful not to clip the stitches. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining and push the corners out with a chopstick or turning tool.
Fold the raw edges of the opening in by 1/4″ and press. Clip the folded edges together and topstitch or whipstitch closed to close the opening. Push the lining down into the bag and you’re done! Fill that cute little zip pouch up with some goodies and it’s ready to be gifted.
I’ve been using the Build-A-Block system and Gemini die cutting machine for a few weeks now, and I’m so excited to be a brand partner with Crafter’s Companion! The dies that come with the Build-A-Block system make it so easy to cut out all the pieces you need for a project–with no trimming after the fact. I’m a super fan of half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles, and I use them in just about every pattern I make. The process is made so much easier by just layering your fabric and die, running it through the Gemini, and cutting it up fast! If you’d love to get your hands on your very own Gemini and Build-A-Block system, here are the details for the giveaway:
Giveaway Details – a Gemini Machine and Build-A-Block system
Giveaway is sponsored by Crafter’s Companion and opens September 1, 2018 and ends September 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM, PST
Winner will be notified via this blog post no later than Monday, September 17, 2018, and must provide a US shipping address once notified.
Giveaway prizes can only be shipped in the United States. Crafter’s Companion reserves up to 30 business days to distribute prize to giveaway winner.
So I’m really pumped to bring you a free tutorial for the Market Bag–it’s a simple carry all bag with a clean modern look that’s great for the farmer’s market, grocery shopping, gym bag, or whatever you’d love to use it for. I used Threaders™ Linen Look Cotton in White for the lining of my Market Tote–I like a clean white lining so I can easily spot the things I need in my bag, and the linen feel of the fabric is a little heavier duty than plain quilting cotton, so it will really stand up to the test of time!
Quilted Market Tote Tutorial
Finished bag dimensions: 16” tall x 13” wide x 6” deep
HST-Half-square triangle, RSO-Right side out, RST-Right sides together, RSD-Right Side Down, RSU-Right Side Up, all seam allowances are 1/4” unless otherwise specified. It is recommended to starch the fabrics for the HSTs prior to cutting them, as they will be sewn on the bias. This will help minimize distortion of the fabric.
Cut out and assemble the HST units
Use the 4.5” HST die for the Gemini Build-A-Block to cut the HST units. Follow the steps for layering the fabric in the cutting plates and shims per the Gemini and Build-A-Block instructions. Layer up to eight of the 5.5” squares of Fabric A at a time in the Gemini, with the 4.5” HST die cutting the fabric. Position the die so you are able to get two cuts from the square. Cut a total of 50 HST pieces from Fabric A and 50 HST pieces from Fabric B (see Fig. 1). Your HSTs will measure 4.5” when completed.
Take one HST piece of Fabric A and one HST piece of Fabric B (see Fig. 2). Place them RST, aligning the diagonal edges, and pin in place. Sew along the diagonal with a 1/4” seam allowance (see Fig. 3). Repeat to create a total of 50 half-square triangle blocks. Press seams.
Layout the 50 HST blocks created in step 2 into a 5 x 10 grid (see Fig. 4).
You can position the HSTs in any way you like, rotating them, etc. Sew each row of five blocks together by placing two blocks RST and sewing together with a 1/4” seam allowance (see Fig. 5).
Repeat and sew another block to those two until you have one row of five blocks. Press seams.
Repeat step 3 until you have used all 50 HST blocks and have ten completed rows.
Take two rows and place them RST and pin in place, being careful to match the seam intersections (see Fig. 6). Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Repeat until all ten rows are sewn together into one piece (see Fig. 7).
Make a quilt sandwich by taking the 25” x 45” piece of fabric for the back of the quilt sandwich and placing it RSD. Layer the Soft and Stable (or batting) on top of it. Then place the HST pieced top on top of the batting, with the right side up. Baste the layers together using your desired method. Quilt as desired.
Take the quilted piece to the cutting mat and use a ruler and rotary cutter to square up and trim away the excess batting and fabric (see Fig. 8). If you quilted the fabric very densely, measure the new dimensions of the quilted piece, as this will sometimes shrink up the fabric a little. You will use those new dimensions to measure and cut or trim down the lining for the tote bag (if different from 20” x 40”).
Assembling the market tote
Fold the quilted piece in half RST, matching the 20” ends and use binding clips or pin to secure the sides (see Fig. 9). Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance up each side, leaving the top of the bag unsewn (see Fig. 10). With the bag still wrong side out, use a ruler to measure and mark a 3” square in each lower corner of the bag (see Fig. 11). Flip the bag over and repeat on the opposite side.
Make a “tent” with one corner by pinching the bag together, and lining up the lines you just drew with each bottom corner, so the lines you drew give you one straight line to sew on. Pin in place or use binding clips to secure (see Fig. 12). Sew directly on the line you marked (see Fig. 13). Repeat for the remaining corner of the bag. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4” and discard the trimmings (see Fig. 14).
Repeat steps 8 and 9 to assemble the lining, with one exception. When sewing the sides of the lining together, leave a 6” opening in the middle of one side for turning the bag right side out at the end.
Turn the quilted exterior RSO and leave the lining wrong side out. Take the quilted exterior and lay it flat. Measure and mark 6” in from each side seam on one side of the bag. Place the outer edge of one end of the strap against the 6” mark, with about 1” hanging off the edge of the bag. Pin or clip in place. Fold the other edge of the strap over (make sure you’re not twisting the handle) and place its outer edge against the remaining 6” mark, again with about 1” hanging off the edge of the bag (see Fig. 15)
. Pin or clip this strap in place as well. Repeat with the remaining strap on the opposite side of the exterior.
Place the exterior (still RSO) inside the lining (still wrong side out), making sure the straps are neatly tucked between the exterior and the lining and still pinned in place (see Fig. 16).
Match the side seams and secure the tops together with binding clips. Sew the two layers together, catching the straps between the two layers, with a 1/4” seam allowance, backstitching at the start and stop. Sew all the way around the top of the bag (see Fig. 17).
Carefully turn the bag right side out through the 6” opening in the side of the lining. Prior to tucking the lining down inside of the bag, turn the raw edges of the 6” opening inwards then stitch closed by hand or machine. Push the lining down inside the bag.
Press the top of the bag so the lining and exterior sit neatly at the top of the bag, then topstitch around the top perimeter of the bag, about 1/8” from the edge (see Fig 18.).
Now you’re ready to fill your modern Market Tote up with all the goodies you can carry! I hope you’re as excited about the Build-A-Block system as I am–It has significantly cut down on the time I spend preparing my fabrics and eliminating the need to trim all my blocks down. Sew up this great tote in just a few hours, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Happy sewing 🙂
When summer arrives, I always get the itch to make a quilt. Nevermind the fact that I live in Texas and it is sweltering, to say the least. Also, disregard the fact that I have quilts coming out of my ears…what is that saying…you can’t swing a cat without hitting a quilt? (Surely that isn’t the saying, but I think you catch my drift!) So when I am thinking about making a new quilt…I need to have a reason for it, aside from just being functional to keep you warm. I also love to sew with materials that are a little unexpected. So I teamed up with Janome and American Quilter’s Society to bring you a free tutorial for a great summer picnic quilt. This pattern is great for many reasons. It’s layer cake friendly, which makes it a super quick sew. The blocks are large enough to feature those great prints you’ve been holding on to for a special quilt. The quilt is large enough to accommodate a family picnic at the park. The backing can be made from laminated cotton (or regular quilting cotton, if you choose), so it won’t pick up dirt as easily as standard quilting cotton. You can just as easily throw it in the wash as you can a regular quilt (line dry to be on the safe side). So grab two layer cake packs and your favorite sewing and quilting notions and get ready to sew your socks off! Follow the link to the American Quilter’s Society blog to get started on your picnic quilt. This is a great quilt to fold up and keep in the back of the car for unexpected outings (and if you have a little one in diapers, you can always use the laminated cotton side as a quick changing station on the go!). I quilted this with some large meandering loops on my Janome MC9400, and was done with the quilting in under two hours.
Since the back of my quilt uses laminated cotton, I slipped a Supreme Slider onto the bed of the sewing machine and it really helped glide the fabric easily under the needle. This isn’t something you have to do, but it certainly makes the task a little easier. I tend to use one anytime I’m quilting something larger than a mini quilt. Put on your favorite podcast/Netflix and get ready to sew up a storm! Happy sewing 🙂
Happy, happy 4th of July! I hope you’re able to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones and make some great memories. Today, I’m excited to share a free tutorial that I created with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 for an awesome project bag. I’m always scouring the house for bags to load up with notebooks, sketch pads, folders, or whatever I’m currently working on to squeeze in a few extra minutes of work on the go, and this bag has a little extra depth to really protect all those items. It’s also reversible, so you can make one side to go with the fall season and the other a little brighter to work with spring and summer!
Reversible Notebook Bag
Plus…we’ll take a look at quilting on a thicker fabric than your usual quilting cotton. I do a lot of quilting and embroidery on leather and faux leather fabrics, and there is a lot of hesitation when it comes to that from some. When I started sewing, I didn’t take a bunch of classes…rather, I just dove in and experimented to find what worked for me. I didn’t have anyone there to tell me I shouldn’t try something, or that it wouldn’t work, so I think that was a huge benefit. For this tutorial, break out that walking foot (or your free motion foot) and try your hand at some geometric quilting.
Janome Dual Feed Foot quilting geometric lines on faux leather
If you haven’t tried quilting on leather or faux leather before, I’d recommend getting a few scraps of some cheap faux leather–my local Joann’s has lots of remnants on clearance that I grab whenever I can–and do some quick samples. I usually do my best work on “trash” fabric when there’s no pressure to mess up expensive fabrics. I’ll make sure my pieces are big enough to make a little cosmetic bag or something with later on, because 9 times out of 10, I end up wishing I could save my sample! This really is a quick sew–and you can easily alter the bag measurements to make the bag any size you like, upgrade it to add some pockets on the interior and exterior, or whatever your needs are. Check out the full tutorial on the American Quilter’s Society Blog and have fun with it! Go and conquer your fears of quilting on some different fabrics, and happy sewing!
Good morning! Things have been a whirlwind in the last month! I have some really exciting things that I’ve been working on at Kustom Kwilts & Designs that I can’t wait to share with you in the very near future, and I’m so excited that I can finally share this free tutorial with you that I teamed up with Janome to bring you. Find the full tutorial HERE- at the AQS blog
There are some specific things I look for when creating a handmade gift for someone. I like a quick project that looks like it took a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time. This is one of those! The supply list is fairly short, so you can easily grab a few fat quarters from your stash and get this project going today, in time for Mother’s Day next week, or whip up several for those really awesome teachers in your child’s life. The tutorial allows for you to select from several sizes of tablets, so you should be able to select the size your person uses and get going right away!
I’ve been sewing on the newest Horizon Memory Craft 9400QCP, and this machine is a true workhorse. I love everything about it, and quilting on this machine has been a lifesaver. It creates absolutely beautiful stitches and really makes my projects look professional.
I hope you’ll take a minute to check out this free pattern–you’ll love the simple style and elegant finish you can achieve with basic or complex quilting. You can really make this your own and put your special touch on it to brighten someone’s day. I hope you enjoy your weekend! XO, Joanna
Yikes!! So I’m a little late on sharing this, but it will be here for future reference 😉
Do you love a fun (and quick) project for Valentine’s sewing? Check out this sweet tutorial I teamed up with Janome to create HERE . This is a great project to incorporate some low volumes with a great print that you’ve been saving (I used Liberty of London), but you might now have a lot of!
The oven mitt tutorial can also be customized–you can leave out the reverse applique option for a simpler finish and enjoy your new oven mitt quicker.
Happy New Year! Well, this post is a day late and a dollar short, but it’s here 🙂 I usually post on Tuesdays, but this one got away from me! Sometimes winter blues can get you down (although here, in Texas, it was nearly 80 degrees yesterday and looked WAY more like spring than winter!) and it helps to have some fun and easy projects to get you through the weather. I hope you’ll take a look at the free tutorial I teamed up with Janome to create. It’s listed on the APQS blog and is a great free pattern for a mini quilt–or– if you prefer not to quilt it, hang it in a window that gets lots of light for a stained glass effect. Either way, it’s a great way to add another technique to your arsenal of skills.
How many times have you been in the car, loaded up the kids to go to grandma’s house, and heard that horrible, awful question…(queue the Jaws music)…”Are we there yet?” or better yet…”I’m Boooooooored.”
I Spy Quilt loaded up and ready to go!
I know we’re all super busy in the summer, and it makes finding time to sew pretty difficult. But now you have a great reason to bust out the sewing machine–you’re going to cure the kids of their road trip boredom by making them an I Spy Quilt! All you really need are some random novelty prints or scraps–even seasonal fabrics are great for this. The great thing about this quilt is that NONE of the fabrics need to be cohesive for this to work. You have a print with elephants? Elves? Pirates? Cactus? Ballerinas? They’re all perfect! The more random the assortment of your fabrics, the longer the kids will be staring at this quilt, absolutely stumped.
Your layout can be totally random, too! I tried to lay my squares out from dark to light, but you can try grouping them by color, theme, etc.
I had the privilege of teaming up with Janome to write this tutorial for American Quilter’s Society. So follow this pretty little LINK and head over to get the skinny on how to put this awesome little lifesaver together!
I quilted mine with some sweet little swirls that were fast and easy!
Okay, so in all honesty, making this quilt won’t be the end of you ever hearing those two comments from the back seat again, but what the heck! It’s worth a shot isn’t it? 😉