Category Archives: sewing tips

Please vote!

I have entered a quilt in a weekly themed quilt contest at Quilting Gallery, and people may vote this weekend for up to 4 favorites in the running. Mine is called Family Tree, but there are two by that name. Of course, you can vote for both (and two others) , but mine is indicated by the blog name (Quilt in Progress) and my name, Donna.

I was so pleased with it when I finished it! In fact, in making the hanging tabs on the top, I had come up with a shortcut to more easily do rolled hems, which had frustrated me no end before that!

Please go vote here, and look at the lovely examples to fit the theme: Leaves, Trees & Flowers.


Confession time

One of the toughest parts of quilting for me has been the exact 1/4″ seam. I’ve tried different ways.

First there was the tape on the throat plate. Sticky mess if I had to move it, and it wasn’t something I could see at all times.

Then I got my new machine, Singer Professional 2010, and it has a 1/4″ foot. The only trouble is, when the fabric lines up to the outside edge, it’s more than 1/4″. If the fabric lines up to the inside edge of the “toe”, it’s more like 1/8″.

I found this one among my presser feet. I hadn’t had the motivation to learn about the presser feet I was unfamiliar with, but I realized the adjustable edge would make it perfect.

I put it on the machine, held a ruler to the needle and adjusted the edge marker to the right until the gap measured exactly 1/4″.

I have been using it on this, the latest baby quilt I am making for a grandchild, and it’s working absolutely wonderfully! This is the first time, as I’m sewing rows of blocks together, that the seams always line up just right.

This is a trial layout of the fabrics for the quilt. I don’t know what it’s called, as I have been calling it the “plus sign” quilt. I love it because I can use up scraps. There are only 3 sizes of fabric pieces: 2″x2″, 2″x3.5″, and 2″x5″. I had to lay out the pieces or I would hopelessly mess up the sewing order. This is for the youngest expected grandbaby, a girl due in March.

Side note, the friend I am making the circle quilt for has informed me that we won’t be trying to get them all done for Christmas, so I’ve been working on some other projects as well. I have the first circle quilt complete except for the 3 embroidered¬† blocks my friend has yet to stitch for me. We have a tentative completion date on them for next spring.

New home means new projects

our new home

My husband and I bought a new home in Michigan, where we will move next summer. We were fortunate enough to have time to stay in that house for a week and enjoy the lake and the cooler weather while here in Missouri the heat melted all our friends and family.

I had taken measurements, and wanted curtains over the windows in the sunny lakeside room. The previous owner had white walls and no window treatments. I’ve sewn before with sheer material, and I’ve sewn large pieces of fabric, but not large pieces of sheer fabric. It slips off the table so easily, I had to weigh it down with anything handy. I finally managed to get hems in the sides and bottoms of the panels, and they are fairly straight.

As a self-taught novice, I hadn’t known about drapery header. It is stiff like firm interfacing, the one I bought was 3 inches wide and comes on a roll. I used it at the top edge of the curtain panels so they wouldn’t droop between curtain rings. I do love the look of the room now!

windows before

windows after

The sheer fabric will allow plenty of light to come in. If they happen to be pulled across open windows, the slightest breeze will push them aside to allow for air movement. We plan to have them open mostly, and be a decorative element in the new house.

Found a shortcut

Have you ever wanted to sew a rolled hem, but couldn’t make it work?

I was making tabs to hang a wall quilt and decided to try one more time. As I was trying to feed the fabric into the rolled hem foot, I realized that an old trick I used with adding machine tape (how old is that?!) would work here.

First, put the rolled hem foot on your machine.

It has a curly doohickey where the fabric feeds into it.

Then, cut a diagonal at the right edge of the fabric, about 1/4 inch width, about 45 degrees. Just eyeball it.

Then start feeding your fabric into the foot. Make sure you hold about 3/8 inch of fabric folded over, so that it rolls twice and you get a ravel-free edge when you are finished.

Interesting note: doohickey is spelled correctly, and not “cky” on the end as I first tried. Who knew? Spell check knows the proper spelling.