Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Great Featherweight Cover-Up

Last year in Paducah, KY at the AQS Quilt Show, I bought a pattern for this Featherweight Cover-Up and Thread Catcher from Chris Moline. What a great idea to protect our precious antique vintage sewing machines while in storage or travel, and at the same time, keep our sewing area neat with a pocket to catch snippets and threads.

Note: This is not an advertisement, and I have no affiliation with Chris, but it is fun to share such great ideas! Isn’t this a great idea!?!

The instructions provided in the pattern are minimal, but as my Grandma used to say “How hard can it be?” It looks easy enough, and a simple pattern. The only real challenge (to me) was a little clip – how to sew around that little clip had me stumped – so the pattern sat around for a quite a while, cut out, but unsewn.

You know how sometimes when you can’t sleep, your mind wanders aimlessly? That’s when I realized, "Oh! Yes! I know how to do this!" I had some pre-quilted fabric and binding strips on hand; so if it didn’t work out, it would be an inexpensive trial run. At the clip, I stretched the edge way apart, pinned it well, and kept the needle down at the corners. For binding, one strip cut from selvage to selvage was plenty.

Maybe I will make another Cover-Up someday. Next time, my Cover-Up will be appliqued with a flower and bird from my Baltimore Garden Quilt pattern!

Fans of vintage Singer Featherweight sewing machines will want to know about this pattern, so I contacted Chris. (I don’t think she has a website.) Here is information directly from Chris:

"This pattern is $2.75 plus $1.00 in postage. Orders for the pattern only can be placed by mailing a check made out to Chris Moline, 1168 Hyde Park Lane, Naperville, IL 60565. If they desire additional featherweight items, I would suggest they call 630-357-8055. For orders over $10 they can use VISA, MasterCard or Discover. I am running a bit low on the pattern after this year's quilt show season, but am planning to go out today and get more printed, as it has been very popular." - Thanks Chris!

P.S. The light on the left of my sewing machine is a magnetic, battery operated barbeque grill light. Another great idea for sewing on the go!

Keep Stitching!
Barbara M. Burnham
Author of Baltimore Garden Quilt

(c) 2015 Barbara M. Burnham. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without prior written authorization.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Applique Stems and Vines - So Many Methods!

A valuable resource for your applique library, or gift for your applique friends.

This 22-page handbook explains 18 DIFFERENT METHODS to make applique stems and vines, basket weavers, and more. Try different methods for curved or straight stems, by hand or by machine, with or without special tools. Learn which methods work best for each situation, and when to use bias or straight grain fabric.

Photos and graphics show examples to ensure your applique success. Helpful tips and tricks are scattered throughout.
For example:  Here is an easy way to determine how long to make stems for your project:

"Measure the length of stem with a flexible measuring tape. Stand the tape on its edge against the pattern. Add 1/2 inch for overlap at each end." For lots of stems, keep holding the tape at that measurement, and continue along the tape to measure the next stem. As you measure, checkmark each stem on your pattern or write the length needed.

We all have our favorite method of making applique stems. My personal favorite is using bias bars. But what if I’m traveling with no sewing machine, no bias bars, rulers, rotary cutters or mat. What to do? Maybe you prefer Clover(R) Bias Tape Makers, but don’t have the right size, or forgot where you put them?

Find the best way to arrange stems onto your block. Achieve graceful curves or dimensional stems. Use modern tools and sewing machines, or sew by hand with minimal tools. Discover the value of a hera marker. Be inspired by methods found on antique and vintage applique quilts. Weave an applique basket. Try backbasting applique. Learn about Neverending Stems and Stained Glass Applique. Add new skills to your applique repertoire and have some fun.

PLUS – You will also receive “Which Method for Your Project?” rating each method as Good for Curves? Easy to Turn Stem Ends? Narrowest/Widest? Easy for Beginners? (These questions are explored in my Applique Stems and Vines workshop.)

Use Paypal to purchase the book at my website. Questions or need a shipping quote for additional copies? Contact me at my website: http://www.barbaramburnham.com

Keep Stitching!
Barbara M. Burnham
Author of Baltimore Garden Quilt

(c) 2015 Barbara M. Burnham. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without prior written authorization.