I was staying with family in Tavistock and a visit to Quilt Direct and the Bernina Studio. I was given the opportunity to make something (anything I wanted), and the first thing I thought was of my friends newborn baby born 16th February at 27 weeks old. Tony and I had not yet found a gift to give to her and so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to make something special.
At first I wanted to make a quilted blanket, however with such a short time frame (a matter of hours), I was wisely advised maybe something a little quicker would be more suitable, and so a pillow was decided upon.
The first step was to design something to go on the pillow, and her mummy absolutely adores cats, so that was the focus. I also wanted something that would stand out for her. A design was chosen on the Bernina Designer software and personalised.
Next was to choose a fabric – PINK OBVIOUSLY! We then watched in awe as the Bernina 700 embroidery machine ……… created the stitches on my chosen fabric as if by magic. It took around 45 minutes to complete the design and I already knew the pillow was perfect (PS I have never picked up a needle never mind use a sewing machine).
So the next stage was to machine stitch the backing fabric on (which I chose a lovely rainbow design, almost like a rainbow sky). I also promise I am happy on the photo above, this is absolute concentration face. Katherine helped and guided me through the next steps of cutting the fabric to the right size, and setting up the Bernina 570 sewing machine to attach the back to the front. The next step was to get straight lines (and for someone who can’t even walk or drive straight this was a challenge), however Katherine attached a seam guide on the machine bed which helped to ensure the lines were straight giving a perfect finish.
The pillow then needed to be stuffed before being hand finished (waaa).
A coffee was needed at this stage, made by the lovely Ali. The pillow was stuffed and then hand sewn using a ladder stitch (demonstrated by Katherine first) and was fairly easy to follow.
We also decided to add a label, so Mia could always remember who made the pillow for her! The writing was stitched on machine… and the border was made using a pattern on the machine, giving these lovely little hearts!
And voila! The finished product. I can’t believe I actually managed to make something that was so lovely and I know will mean so much to my dear friend. I am certainly not saying it was easy, but was made far more doable thanks to the help of Quilt Direct! Thanks again, I am sure we will be visiting again soon (from Newcastle Upon Tyne).
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