Here goes with the hints & tips for making the Counting Sheep embroidered baby quilt featured in my previous blog post:
When using soft fabrics that have been pre-washed or soft flannel, I like to spray with starch to stiffen a little. This makes it easier to cut the fabric accurately as well as sew accurate seams, etc. Best Press is a very light and fragranced spray so is perfect for this task. Ask your local Janome or Elna dealer about Best Press.
Once you have cut your embroidered blocks and strips of sashing & borders to size, use your JANOME OR ELNA 1/4 inch foot to sew accurate 1/4 inch seams. I find a stiletto or sharp pointed "stick" works very well to guide the fabric under the foot. This is my rather special "stiletto" that my friend, Karen, brought back from a recent trip to Cuba as a gift for me. It is actually carved from a cow's horn. She thinks it was supposed to be a hair ornament but, of course, us sewing girls had other ideas!! It worked PERFECTLY to guide my soft flannel baby quilt.
Notice how that stiletto really helps feed seams under the foot so they lie the way I had intended.
I chose to quilt in the ditch around all the blocks. I then used the quilting arm with my Acufeed built-in walking foot to sew mutiple rows of straight stitching on my quite wide borders ( This acufeed feeding system is available on selected JANOME & ELNA sewing machines - please ask your local JANOME or ELNA DEALER for details on what is the best sewing machine for your sewing and quilting needs)
When it came to finishing the edges, I had decided ahead of time that I would cut my fleece backing a little larger than my quilt top and then just wrap it over to the front and sew down. As fleece does not fray, it works well for this technique. Notice that I used the new Clover Clips instead of pins - oh my goodness - you need to ask your local JANOME OR ELNA dealer to sell you a box of these: I love them. No more leaving DNA on my projects from nasty pin pricks. Try them out.
Clover clips in action!
- Decision time: what stitch to use to sew down the binding? I settled on the “serpentine” or elastic stitch. Always test sew until you have the stitch settings as you require. I changed mine to SW 6.0 and SL3.5
- Once again, use that stiletto to assist you with sewing from clip to clip
My fancy new stiletto points to the guide on the JANOME or ELNA DITCH QUILTING FOOT for Acufeed machines. This foot is invaluable for doing things like this: sewing down binding and getting the stitching in just the right place.
Ho w to deal with corners? As the fleece is quite thick & puffy, I chose not to fold mitered corners. I trimmed away some of the bulk and then just folded a corner as in the pic. Then sticthed over & through each corner as I sewed the binding down.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL JANOME OR ELNA DEALER FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXCLUSIVE ACUFEED QUILTING SYSTEM as well as feet such as the JANOME OR ELNA DITCH QUILTING FOOT. See the DEALER LOCATOR top right corner of our website for a dealer near you.