Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Power of Glue Basting - Back to School Blog Hop

Welcome! Today is my stop on the Back to School Blog Hop, organized by the wonderful Sam Hunter.

Today I'm going to give you a little "crash course" on glue basting - one of my favorite techniques for getting great results for many quilting and sewing projects.

What is glue basting, you ask? It's probably much like you imagine, but a lot less messy than you fear. Glue basting is a simple techinique that can be used in many many ways:

The tools are very simpe. All you need is a bottle of Washable Elmer's School Glue and a Micro Fine glue tip - easy peasy:

You can trim the tippy top of the tip in small increments until the glue flows at your preferred speed. I prefer a thin line of glue - a little bit really does go a long way.

Let's take a look at how to use glue basting to make scrappy Half Square Triangles:

1. Precut your HST squares. (Blossom Hearts Quilts has a great tutorial that includes formulas for you.) Mark your diagonal line with a fabric safe pencil:
2. Draw a fine line of glue along the diagonal of the second square:
 3. Place your squares with right sides together:
 4. Heat set the glue with a hot dry iron. Glue basting the squares together will prevent shifting when you sew, and you won't need a single pin! Plus, it helps stabilize the bias grain, which will prevent the stretching that can happen when you sew along the bias. It's a win-win!! When you prepare multiple HSTs block like this, you can chain piece quickly and easily, which I love.
 5. Sew a 1/4" from each side of the line.
 6. Cut along the diagonal line:
 7. Press to the side. I prefer to press the great majority of my seams to the side. (If you prefer to press your seam open, you can easily release the glue with a stiletto type tool.)
 8. Trim your HST to size.
This is a great way to give glue basting a try. Once you glue baste, you'll start to find more and more ways to use it in your sewing and quilting to help make creating what you love even easier, and with wonderful results!

Now, you might be wondering to yourself:

  • "But Cristy, doesn't the glue gum up my needle?" or 
  • "But Cristy, how will it ever wash out?" or 
  • "But Cristy, isn't this cheating?" 

I've been asked these questions many times over the years, and I understand the caution. Let me ease your worry:

  • No, the glue won't gum up your needle, as long as you do heat set with a hot dry iron. 
  • Washable Elmer's School Glue does wash out. I highly recommend washing your quilt with Synthrapol (a textile detergent) for best results. *Note: there are other glue basting products on the market. I only use and recommend Washable Elmer's School Glue. 
  • No, this isn't cheating!! Glue basting is a tool, just like using a rotary cutter and ruler instead of scissors. Using the right tools for the right jobs will give you better results that you'll be thrilled with.
Glue basting is a wonderful tool that can give you amazing results, and you won't accidentally sew over nearly as many pins. Here are more ways that you can use glue basting:

Piecing Rows:
Glue baste your rows of blocks together, then easily chain piece the rows.

Make joining and matching various types of blocks and intersections easy and accurate.

Binding and glue basting go hand-in-hand. After glue basting your binding to your quilt, it's prepared to be finished either by hand or by machine, with no pins or clips to get in the way. Check out this video by Sharon Schamber for more.

It's also wonderful for appliqué. After glue basting your applique pieces, their prepared for either machine or hand stitching. Take a peek at my applique videos here.

Glue basting is perfect for curves of all kinds. It also makes paper piecing and easier and more accurate.

We are craftswomen and men, and using tools that will help us each achieve the type of results we long for will empower us to continue making. Glue basting is one of those tools. I hope you give it a try and discover how it can work for you.

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hunter's Design Studio Back to School Blog Hop

Hello! I'm so happy that you stopped by!

My wonderful friend, Sam Hunter, is hosting a fabulous Back to School Blog Hop, which is kicking off today. As all of our kiddos, and grand-kiddos, are heading back to school, Sam thought it would be great fun for us to head back too and brush up on some of our quilting skills as well as learn some new tips and tricks. Sam has put together a pretty fabulous line up of sewing and quilting pros to share their favorite and most helpful techniques and methods to empower you keep creating what you love. I'll be a guest blogger on September 27th, when I'll share "The Power of Glue Basting" (one of my favorite topics). Between now and then, I'll be hopping around to brush up on my own skills.

Take a look at this amazing schedule:

 Sept 1: Peta Minerof-Bartos of PetaQuilts – So, Does that Diagonal Method for a Pieced Backing Really Work
Sept 2: Cheryl Sleboda of – The Quilter’s Knot
Sept 3: Teresa Coates of Crinkle Dreams – The Importance of Pressing
Sept 4: Cath Hall of Wombat Quilts – Color Coding for Paper-piecing
Sept 5: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio – How to Calculate and Cut Bias Binding
Sept 6: Melanie McNeil of Catbird Quilt Studio – Credit where Credit is Due
Sept 7: Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts – How to Keep a Perfect 1/4” Seam Between Different Machines
Sept 8: Rose Hughes of Rose Hughes – Fast Pieced Applique
Sept 9: Megan Dougherty of The Bitchy Stitcher – The Care and Feeding of the Domestic Sewing Machine
Sept 10: Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Design Studio – Make a Mobile Art Kit
Sept 11: Susan Beal of West Coast Crafty – Log Cabin 101
Sept 12: Sarah Lawson of Sew Sweetness – Zipper Tips
Sept 13: Jane Victoria of Jolly and Delilah – Matching Seams
Sept 14: Jemelia Hilfiger of Je’s Bend – Garment Making Tips and Tricks
Sept 15: Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios – Curved Piecing Without Pins
Sept 16: Misty Cole of Daily Design Wall – Types of Basting
Sept 17: Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams – Setting your Seams
Sept 18: Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps – Joining Quilted Pieces by Machine
Sept 19: Bill Volckening of WonkyWorld – The Importance of Labels
Sept 20: Jessica Darling of Jessica Darling – How to Make a Quilt Back
Sept 21: Debbie Kleve Birkebile of Mountain Trail Quilt Treasures – Perfectly Sized No-Wave Quilt Borders
Sept 22: Heather Kinion of Heather K is a Quilter – Baby Quilts for Baby Steps
Sept 23: Michelle Freedman of Design Camp PDX – TNT: Thread, Needle, Tension
Sept 24: Kathy Mathews of Chicago Now Quilting Sewing Creation – Button Holes
Sept 25: Jane Shallala Davidson of Quilt Jane – Corner Triangle Methods
Sept 27: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting – The Power of Glue Basting
Sept 28: Catherine Redford of Catherine Redford – Change the Needle!
Sept 29: Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz of Fun From A to Z – French Knots, – ooh la la!
Sept 30: Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts – How to Align Your Fabrics for Dog Ears
October 1: Tracy Mooney of 3LittleBrds – Teaching Kiddos to Sew on a Sewing Machine
October 2: Trish Frankland, guest posting on Persimon Dreams – The Straight Stitch Throat Plate
October 3: Flaun Cline of I Plead Quilty – Lining Strips Up
Which classes are you looking forward to? Me? I can always improve my zippers, button holes and garment making. I'm definitely going to find out how to better care for my machine, too. Whether you're learning something new, or brushing up on new skills, you'll find something interesting each day of the hop.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Iron Shoe: Free Pattern & Tutorial

 Iron Shoe by Sharon Schamber
Sharon Schamber's Iron Shoe Pattern & Tutorial are fianlly here! And they're free for you!

Have you ever pressed your precious fabrics with your iron only to discover that the metal base made a shiny spot on your fabric? Sharon designed the Iron Shoe to help keep your pressing sheet close at hand, as well as to protect your fabrics as you press.

Making your own Iron Shoe is quite simple and requires only a few supplies. The Hot Fix Helper by BoNash is our favorite pressing sheet to use for making an iron shoe. They are available in two sizes: 9"x6" and 12"x18". The tutorial will walk you through how to make your own Iron Shoe. The pattern comes in two sizes to accommodate medium and large sized irons.

To receive your Iron Shoe Pattern & Tutorial, simply add the item to your shopping cart and proceed to the check out. This item is free, so you won't be charged for anything. Of course, you're welcome to purchase other items along with the Iron Shoe Pattern & Tutorial. Once checkout is complete, the downlaodable file will be emailed to you automatically.

Enjoy and Happy Quilting!

(Perfect Pressing Board in Navy & White Clam Shells is pictured above)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tiny Geese Keychain Pattern Review


I'm so happy that you've found you're way here. Last month, I came across a fabulous pattern for a flying geese keychain and just had to make one. After making it, I couldn't wait to share it with you.
The Tiny Geese Keychain pattern is a simple and fun paper piecing pattern by Michael Ann Made. It's available in her pattern shop on Craftsy. Michael Ann includes a full tutorial with her pattern, as well. The tutorial is very well done, with step-by-step instructions and actual pictures of Michael Ann making a keychain right along with you. 

After reading through the instructions, I wanted to try out something a little different than traditional paper piecing. While I really do enjoy paper piecing, I don't enjoy ripping off the papers in the end. So, I decided to use the wonderful foundation paper that I carry in my shop, Sharon's Secret Foundation Paper. Typically, it's used for applique, but both my mom and I often use it for foundation piecing as well. When it's used for foundaiton piecing, there's no need to tear it away in the end. The foundation can stay in! Once quilted and washed, the foundation paper loosens up and becomes small fibers in the body of the quilt, adding softness. You can learn more about using the foundation for quilt blocks in my String Block tutorial

To use the foundation for the Tiny Geese Keychain, I cut the foundation to 8.5"x11" to make it easy to run through my printer and print the pattern. The foundation is really fabulous to print on! In the picture you'll see a piece of foundation cut to 8" for use in foundation piecing, as a reference. In addition to printing on the foundation, you can also draw on it with pencil. Another wonderful feature of the foundation paper is that it doesn't shrink as you sew on it. Often when foundation piecing with other foundations or muslin, you can experience some shrinkage as the stitching and pressing distorts and pulls in the fibers of the foundation. With Sharon's Secret Foundation you'll experience much more accuracy. In the end, the foundation can stay in and acutally replace the need for adding interfacing to the keychain.
After printing, you can follow Michael Ann's instructions for piecing together your own keychain. 

Here are a few of my own tips and tricks for foundation piecing with the foundation paper:
1. Apply a bit of a glue stick to anchor piece #1 in place. Heat set with your iron to secure it in place. 

2. To help achieve accurate placement of the pattern pieces, fold the piece along the first seam line to create a crease. 

 3. Draw a line of glue 1/8" (ish) below the crease. Keep in mind that the crease is your actual seam line.

 4. Place piece two in its place and heat set. This glue basting and heat setting will keep piece #2 from shifting around as you move to sew at your machine. Don't worry, you're not sewing through the glue. And even if you did, the heat setting dries the glue and removes any gumminess. It's safer for your needle and machine than any fusible webbing.

5. Sew along the first seam line. I prefer to backstitch at the beginning and end of my seam.

6. Trim the seam allowance. This pattern is pretty tiny, so I trimmed my seam allowance to less than 1/4" to help alleviate bulk.

7. Press piece #2 over. Repeat each step for piece #3.

8. Fold along the long seam for the "geese" piece to create a crease.

9. Again, draw a fine line of glue below the crease.

10. Place the "geese" piece in its place and heat set.

11. Sew, trim and press the piece in place.

12. Continue glue basting and sewing each piece in its place until the pattern is completely filled in. Once sewn, there are no papers to tear away. Isn't that wonderful!! Simply trim the keychain according to Michael Ann's instructions, then add the backing and finish the ends as you like. If you use the foundation paper, you won't need to add any interfacing or batting. The foundation will make the keychain stable, but not overly stiff. It will feel wonderful in your hand.

I'm in love with my new keychain. Honestly, I don't make things for myself often enough, and I'll definitely be keeping my new purple Tiny Geese Keychain. I gave away the first one that I made, but I like it so much that I may need to make a duplicate.

I always love to see what you're creating. If you're on Instagram, use the hashtag #purpledaisiesquilting when you post a picture of something you've made that's been inspired from a tutorial here, or a design by me.

Happy Quilting!!