So…….. Welcome to our first blog post about learning to quilt. I am Charlie, one of three members from Quilt Direct who are keen to learn about all things quilting and the tools we pack into parcels for our customers everyday.
Our early sessions have been about ‘half square triangles’. Having tried out different methods of creating half square triangles over several sessions, we all agree that using triangles-on-a-roll is a favourite with us all and we chose it to work on our first project.
This product has easy follow instructions printed on the roll (so no losing them). The complex series of dashed lines were quite scary to begin with but Katherine led us through pinning our fabrics to the paper (right sides together) and we were soon away.
Everyone was able to follow the lines and within a short time we unbelievably all had 16 completed (& perfect) half square triangle units!
We then had to decide on a layout for the block, as none of us had ever done this before it was quite baffling.
We had great fun deciding upon a layout for our own block. In order to finish our project in time for Valentine’s Day 2019, we had help from Katherine to turn the blocks into a quilt and then quilt it using the Bernina Q20, see our video above.
Here’s the finished item ! We hope that you like our first team effort.
Using this method we learnt:
- Do not pin over the sewing/cutting lines.
- Use a shorter stitch length to (about 1.6mm) to perforate the paper so that it may be easily removed.
- When removing paper hold the narrow side of the seam, start the rip, remove large section first.
- When squares are complete pile them all the same way. Stay organised!!!!
- Set all your seams and press to the dark side.
Products we learnt more about during this project:
Best Press Spray
Piece beautiful quilts, just like a pro! Our video tutorial shows you how to achieve expert results and precise, straight lines in no time at all with the BERNINA patchwork feet no 97 and 97D. The patchwork feet 97 and 97D are designed for BERNINA machines with 9 mm stitch width. They can be used to sew with seam allowances of ¼ inch, 1/8 inch or 7.5mm (as used in Europe). In this video, you will find out how to attach the patchwork foot and the seam guide, which stitch plate and settings to use, and how to sew with the desired seam allowance. The video also includes detailed step-by-step instructions on how to precisely sew a mitered corner. You can thus implement your creative ideas for perfectly pieced quilts and have your work under control at all times thanks to the high quality of this BERNINA presser foot.
Buy a Bernina Patchwork Foot 97 or 97D
Another nifty little tool that makes a pefect gift is the Binding Tool designed by Susan Brown.
This amazing tool is designed to bring together the last two pieces of binding in a perfect mitered seam. No measuring and cutting, and then trying to figure out how to join those last pieces! When you finish the last seam of the binding only an angle seam will work to reduce the bulk of this last step. The Binding Tool makes a perfect ending every time. 2 measurements and 2 cuts and you’re on your way to a great finish! Follow the easy instructions printed on the tool and you will have a perfect ending every time
The Binding Tool – a must have tool for every quilter.
Here’s an easy to understand video of how to use the binding tool
The BindingTool and Mini Binding Tool are back in stock after a long 4 month wait. These are perfect Christmas stockings fillers and every quilter needs one. Order a Binding Tool or Mini Binding Tool from Quilt Direct while stocks last.
Ever wanted to make your own Christmas decorations, but not been confident enough? Well, Quilt Direct can help.
These fabulous Christmas ornament kits mean even the most timid sewers can create a little bit of hand-made Christmas magic.
Rachel Pellman designs and produces exquisite kits that include all the fabrics, embellishments, floss, precise patterns and illustrated instructions. These kits are easy to use, for quilting experts and novices alike, and they also make great gifts!
Quilt Direct has the following kits in stock:
These warm woolly mittens keep hearts happy on cold wintry days. Make them for the tree, or fill them (they are perfectly sized for gift cards or other treasures) and give them as special gifts to family and friends. Design motifs include a spicy gingerbread, star-shaped snowman, holly with berries, a jolly Santa, star-topped tree, and an ice skate. Red and green cuffs with embroidery embellishment add charm. Each mitten is approximately 4” x 4 1/2”. Kit includes felt, embroidery floss, gold string plus precise patterns and illustrated instructions to make 6 mittens. Colours are sandstone, red, green, gold, brown, and white.
A collection of six mittens, each with a lovely embroidered design to celebrate the holidays! Mittens open at the top and can be filled with candy canes, money, or tiny treasures. Design motifs include a plump snowman, jaunty Santa, stately pine tree, pine cone, holly sprig, and delicate snowflake. Suitable for trimming the tree, decorating packages, and gift giving. Ornaments are approx. 4 1/4″ high. Kit includes felt for front and back of ornaments, embroidery floss, star buttons and beads for embellishment, gold string for hanging, iron-on transfer patterns for embroidery, and complete illustrated instructions. Colours are antique white, red, and green.
Snow Folk Kit
A whole family of Snow Folk, each dressed in their holiday finest! Even the dog and cat are included in this collection of six easily constructed felt ornaments. Each one wears a backpack for carrying candy canes, money gifts, or tiny Christmas treasures. Suitable for trimming the tree, decorating packages, and gift giving. Ornaments range from 2 1/2″ to 4″ high. Kit includes felt, embroidery floss, buttons for eyes, and gold string for hanging plus precise patterns and complete illustrated instructions. Colours are antique white, barnyard red, navy, denim, green, brown, stone, and gold.
Christmas Woollens Kit
A charming collection of warm woollen mittens and stockings to celebrate the Christmas season. Easily constructed, these charming ornaments are suitable for trimming the tree or decorating packages. Tiny surprises can be tucked inside each one. Designs include Santa, snowman, cat, sheep, holly and a Christmas Tree. Kit includes felt, embroidery floss and gold string plus precise patterns and complete instructions to make 3 stockings and 3 mittens. Colours are cobblestone, red, green, black, white, and gold.
Gift Bag Ornaments Kit
Gift giving has never been easier! Delightful ornament bags are just the right size for gift cards or other treasures of your choice. Each envelope-style ornament bag has a different decoration on the front and fastens on the back with an old-fashioned figure-eight closure. Design motifs are a snowman, Santa, sheep, tree, pair of mittens, and a kitten in a stocking. Completely charming! Finished size of bags is approximately 3″ x 4″. Kit includes felt, embroidery floss, and gold string plus precise patterns and complete instructions to make 6 gift bags. Colours are cobblestone, red, green, white, gold, and blue.
These kits are all available from Quilt Direct. Quilt Direct also stock Rachel Pellman Quilt Kits which make great Christmas gifts for quilters.
If you’re looking for a gift for the quilter in your life, have a look at our Gingher Scissors Collection
Use the Bernina 3V Manual Buttonhole Foot whenever manual buttonholes are indicated such as for extra long or extra small buttonholes, or in difficult areas with uneven thicknesses of fabrics such as narrow collar stands. Use this foot to sew buttonholes with or without gimp. The sole of the foot has two grooves, which allow the fabric to move freely even as thread builds up to form the beads of the buttonhole. The guide between the grooves helps keep the beads of the buttonhole parallel, even when long buttonholes are sewn. The slight indentation in the front of the foot allows the free passage of the thread as the stitching reverses to complete the buttonhole. The center “toe” (prong) in the front of the foot can be used to hook gimp or cord. It is used for corded buttonholes, gathering with cord or sewing shirring elastic. This foot can also be used for whip-and-roll edges in fine fabrics like batiste (Swiss edge).
The buttonhole foot lets you sew individual buttonholes with or without cording and in any desired length. This presser foot is also suitable for gathering, corded or elastic-corded smocking, inserting mini-piping and other decorative applications. The grooves on the sole provide sufficient space to accommodate the sewn beads, enabling smooth forward and reverse feeding when sewing buttonholes.
The lovely people at Schmetz have put together some great videos explaining sewing machine needles
There are 6 videos in the series:
How to Read the Needle Package
Changing the Needle
Needle Q&A session
Don’t forget we’ve also got our useful Understanding Sewing Machine Needles guide for you.
Quilt Direct stocks Schmetz needles and Bernina needles – buy online
The Bernina 2V Overlock Presser is suitable for overlock seams and machine-hemming. It can also be used to sew decorative hems, ribbing and satin stitching on most knits. The stitches are formed over the pin on the inside edge, giving extra thread to each stitch thus producing flexible, flat seams. The overlock pattern foot no. 2 fits the Bernina machine models with CB hook system and a maximum stitch width of 5.5mm. On models with rotary hook system and a maximum stitch width of 9mm presser foot no. 2A must be used.The stitches are formed over the pin, giving more thread to each stitch. The edge will not pucker.
The Bernina 1V reverse-pattern foot is an all-purpose foot for straightstitching and ‘open’ decorative stitch patterns. This is a versatile foot, suitable for heavyweight fabrics like denim, wool and corduroy. It is also ideal for various utility and decorative stitch patterns, ribbing and hems. There is an indentation in front of and at the back of the needle opening to facilitate forward and reverse stitching. The reverse pattern foot no. 1 fits the Bernina machine models with CB hook system and a maximum stitch width of 5.5mm. On models with rotary hook system and a maximum stitch width of 9mm presser foot no. 1C must be used. The indentation in front and behind the needle opening allows for forward and reverse stitching.
The Bernina Zig Zag Presser Foot 0V is an all-purpose presser foot suitable for various utility and decorative stitch patterns, particularly for straight or zig zag stitching. It can be used together with all needle types and for embroidery and leather projects.
This presser foot is great for sewing with straight stitch, zig zag and all forward feed stiches. The sole of the foot is flat in front of the needle, providing additional fabric control. This zig zag presser foot is especially useful to reduce flagging in fine fabrics, promoting perfect stitch formation. This zig zag foot is also suitable for gathering, shell-hemming and sewing-on stretchable fabrics.
Seeing something being done is often so much more useful that just reading about it – especially if you’re a quilter.
There are so many fantastic quilting videos out there – instructions, handy hints, patterns, advice on machines – just about everything you could ever want to know. The tricky bit is finding them!
Quilt Direct have decided to catalogue all the videos we find into helpful groupings that will, hopefully, make things easier for you to find the quilting help you need.
We’ve added a Bernina Sewing Machine playlist to our youtube page.
A list of useful videos ranging from simply how to clean your Bernina, comprehensive guides on using the variety of sewing machine feet and other great features in Bernina machines, and even a few to help you when things go wrong.