Sunday Sewing is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do…….I get to sew something and tell you what’s under my needle. YAY! Or in this case, perhaps it is more accurate to say: “what’s under our needles ” as I did not make all the blocks shown in this post.
We have had a big project in the works with our Janome Canada Education team for many months – actually since the late Fall last year.
- First we asked Tania at our Oakville office to do some artwork for us that we could get digitized into embroideries. We settled on a peacock and a lotus flower – inspired by a print fabric and Tania’s creativity.
- Next up, Celine, a Janome Canada Educator + Editor of our French blog Vie Janome, digitized these 2 designs: a peacock and a lotus flower.
- Then these designs were given to the entire Education team: we all made 2x embroidered blocks using each of these designs as well as 2x AcuFil quilted blocks (our fabulous Janome quilting-in-the-hoop system). We all used the same “base” fabrics for the blocks so that even if we used our own colour choices and embellishments, they would all “hang together” nicely. Some substituted fabric for parts of the stitch fill so turned some of the embroideries into part Applique. I think it was a real fun exercise for us all.
- When I got all the blocks in from the Ed team last month, I have been auditioning them into different layouts, trimming where necessary and now finally have them all sewed together like jigsaw puzzles.
- Next up was to sew the blocks together. I thought about this long and hard as there were different options I could have used to pull this this quilt-as-you-go project together. Each block has been quilted with batting and a backing fabric and has been trimmed to fit together like a puzzle with other trimmed blocks. There were enough blocks to make 3 quilts – which is great as it means we can be showing them in different parts of the country (when we eventually get let out of “house arrest”). I decided on a very similar joining technique to what was shown in our Saturday Sewing post (with video) yesterday.
- These peacock quilts were to have their debut at Quilt Canada in June together with Tamara’s lovely Stand Tall quilt which we featured previously here – and which is on our website (full Project Notes you can download to make this quilt). Not sure when the Peacock and Lotus quilts will now have their debut but ……eventually. Perhaps we will do a virtual quilt show? Pondering on this seeing as Quilt Canada 2020 has been cancelled.
- I decided in the end that I would simply zig-zag the blocks together with a fairly wide zig-zag (SW6, SL2) using the Janome Continental M7 which literally cruised effortlessly through the stitching – and then sew sashing strips over these zig-zag joins. As I wanted to sew these sashing strips on the front and the back at the same time, I could not really pin in place as it would not have been an easy task to do remove pins from the back of the quilt. And I wanted to be a good girl and not sew over the pins! So I fused strips of fusible web to the sashing strips and fused them in place back & front of the quilt. No pins needed.
- But first I needed to prep these sashing strips: Mrs Dilemma dropped by to pay me a visit: I do not have a bias tape maker. Thought I did and spent far too mch time looking for something I may never have owned. How silly to have so much sewing stuff that you can’t remember what you own? Oh well, I gave up and starting calling local stores to see if they maybe had one. No luck with that. Guess the mask makers had bought them all? It needed to be pretty wide as I wanted the sashing strips to be no narrower than 1 inch. I started with 2 inch wide strips to have the long raw edges pressed under 1/4 or so. Finger burning was going to happen! Well, my sincere thanks go to some of my Facebook friends who said “forget the bias tape maker”…use the pinning method instead: You may have smiled if you had seen me watching TV in the evening with hubby, pressing board balanced on my lap, hubby “having a bird” that I would drop the hot iron perched on the edge of the pressing board as I tried out what FB friends had suggested. Quite comical really (and fortunately I did not drop the iron) but BINGO it worked! So with my strips prepped and fused back & front of the quilts, next up was to sew these down in place over the zig-zag seams – basically to disguise the joins as well as form a separation between the blocks and “tie” it all together.
- I know you want to know what trick my FB friends suggested AND also what Amanda coincidentally showed in our Janome Canada Instagram Live earlier this week – the video is now uploaded to our Janome Life You Tube channel. Here is the link. The whole video is, in my opinion, very useful but the pin trick is around the 10 minute 40 second mark if you want to go straight to that. Amanda shows how to use pins to get a very similar result to what a bias tape maker does. I will add that my strips were not cut on the bias as they do not have to navigate a curved edge of any sort. Our Peacock and Lotus flower blocks/quilts are rectangular. My strips were just cut on the cross or straight grain – whatever fabric pieces I had left of the teal/turquoise blue fabric. I actually found it worked better to have two sets of pins about 6 inches apart and I then put my iron between the 2 pin “bridges” and continued to pull gently on the fabric as I pressed with my iron. Man alive, I was impressed! It worked so well and pretty quickly and I was reminded that “where there is a will, there is a way”. My determination won out.
- Next up will be the borders (not yet had the time to do). The plan is to add a border with the same fabric as the sashing….but probably unlikely as there is very little left so it may have to be the yellow backgound of the embroidered blocks or a plan C? But seeing as I’m not there yet, this will have to come later. I will share how to add a quilted border to an already trimmed quilt, ie, make your already trimmed and quilted project bigger – a useful thing to know if, for example, you want to turn a baby quilt into a twin bed quilt or a lap quilt into a bed quilt? Or the dog eats the corner of a quilt and you are forced to do quilt “surgery”. Coming…..
I know you may be wanting to see the 3 quilts but , alas, sorry, they are not ready yet so you will need to wait a bit. What’s under my needle today is finishing the stitching down of the sashing strips with Serpentine stitch…… Patience.
What’s under your Sunday sewing needle? Please post pic’s to Instagram and #JanomeCanada….that way we can see what’s under your needle.