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 Muppin.com – 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!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sew Much Like Mom has a new home!

New home of Sew Much Like Mom

Hi Everyone,

Several months back, I updated my online store which has an integrated blog. I started posting over there, but so many things in life sucked all of my blogging time right out of me. I've resolved that life is never going to be less busy, but I cannot use that as an excuse to be an absent blogger. I love sharing my little world with you. And in the moments when I feel alone, and wonder if anyone is really paying attention, I know you're there. Thank you for that.

I bet you're wondering how to find me now. Here's my new home:

My new blog is built right into my shop and if you receive my newsletter, you'll also automatically receive my blog updates.

All of the content here will stay here. I'm hoping to figure out how to move all of my "furniture" from this home to the new one, but I still have to figure that part out.

Lots of love to you!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Paperless Paper Piecing + Celestial Star QAL

Hi! I'm really excited to be Diane's guest and to share Paperless Paper Piecing with you. It's one of my favorite techniques. I hope you'll give it a try!

I love the precision of traditional paper piecing, but like some of you, I really don't enjoy tearing off all of the papers at the end. Over 10 years ago, my mom, Sharon Schamber, developed Paperless Paper Piecing, an amazing technique that gives you the precision of paper piecing with the freedom's limited by foundations. And the best part is that there are no papers to tear off in the end. Paperless Paper Piecing can be used as an alternative to paper piecing with virtually any pattern. I use it whenever I have the chance.

If you're not familiar with Paperless Paper Piecing, don't worry! I'll walk you through it, step by step, and I have another great post that walks you through the basics. In Paperless Paper Piecing, the assembly of the block, or unit, is done in a similar layering fashion as paper piecing, but, instead of sewing one piece at a time, all of the pieces are layered and glue basted in place, then sewn together. It's amazing and wonderful! I know this information may seem very extensive, but very detailed instructions are important to me. I don't want to skip a single step. The technique is simple, but as with anything new, it takes giving it a try to really "get it". Are you ready? Let's get started.

Preparing for Paperless Paper Piecing:
Let's get our supplies together. You'll need:
  1. Fabric cutting templates from Diane's Celestial Star pattern.
  2. Templates of the block units for piecing: Center-Inner, Center-Outer, Left of Center-Outer, Right of Center-Outer
    1. You'll only need 2 copies of each, which is much different than with paper piecing. Print one copy of each on paper, and one copy onto freezer paper. (Additional copies are optional.)
  3. Your coloring page of your design plan
  4. Fabrics
  5. Washable Elmer's School Glue & Fine Tip
  6. Scissors, Rotary Cutter, Rotary Ruler
  7. Pencil, Fine Sharpie
  8. Spray Starch (not Sizing, or non-starch products, like Flatter), 1/2" stencil brush or dense paint brush
Preparing the Templates:

I printed, and rough cut, one each of the inner and outer piecing templates onto regular paper. You can do this on freezer paper as well. If you choose to use freezer paper, print enough so you have 2 copies of each type of template. You will not need 12 of each, as with paper piecing.

The cutting templates can be cut in any fashion you prefer. Paperless Paper Piecing is very forgiving, and doesn't require extremely precise fabric pieces. Although, I like templates, because they cut down on waste. Take a look at Diane's method; it is wonderful. The only difference for cutting the fabrics for PPP is to cut with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. This is most important if you are using prints and/or cutting rights and lefts.

Be sure to have your design plan handy, and your fabrics ready to go. Prior to cutting my fabric with my templates, I prefer to iron them with a light spraying of starch. I love how well starched fabric pieces together. (I'm not going to walk you through cutting the fabrics, because Diane's post covers it perfectly. Just make sure to cut the fabrics with the wrong side up.)

Converting to Paperless Paper Piecing:

Most of the Paperless Paper Piecing patterns I make are made for the technique, but almost any paper piecing pattern can be converted to Paperless Paper Piecing (I'll often refer to it as PPP in this post, too).

Diane's Celestial Star converts flawlessly to PPP. I'll walk you through how to convert the pattern. And please feel free to use my conversions. There's no need for you to reinvent the wheel ;).

PPP patterns are layered, glue basted and assembled BEFORE sewing. This is unique, but so crazy awesome. Since we won't be layering two pieces, then sewing, then trimming, then layering..., we have to change to order of the paper piecing template a bit.

First, we decide on our layering order. Generally, the PPP layering order for the fabrics is done in the opposite order of paper piecing. This is because we will be layering and assembling our units with the wrong side up. Essentially we are making the mirror image. You can see the edits I made to the Inner template in red, in the picture below. An essential component to PPP is turning the edges of our fabrics to create a seam line. If I've already lost you, please refer back to my previous post on PPP.

Cristy's Conversions:

  1. Reverse the farbic layering/placement order.
  2. Mark the turning lines (dashes) for each piece. 
    1. Piece 1: top edge, touching pieces 2, & 3, is turned
    2. Piece 2: the side edge, touching piece 4, is turned
    3. Piece 3: the side edge, touching piece 4, is turned
    4. Piece 4: no edges are turned, as it will lay on top of all the pieces
  3. Mark the sewing order. The sewing order is essentially the reverse order of the layering. I wrote the sewing order on the lines that indicate the seam. In most cases, the sewing order is almost the same as with paper piecing.
    1. Seam 1 joins pieces 3 & 4 (I marked #1 between 4 & 2 on this template, by mistake. This pattern is symmetrical, so my mistake isn't a huge deal. If it weren't symmetrical, I would be sure to fix it.)
    2. Seam 2 joins pieces 2 & 4.
    3. Seam 3 joins pieces 1, 2, 3 & 4
  4. Knowing your sewing order is very important. If you were to sew seam 3 first, you would sew over the ends of seams 1 & 2 before they were sewn, and have to do some unpicking. If you were to mistakenly sew the wrong seam first, it's okay. You can unpick it, and sew the proper one. With everything being glue basted, all of your pieces will stay in place.
  5. The conversions are the same for all 12 of the inner pieces.

Here is a picture of the conversions for the outer piece. Whether you're making the center, right of center or left of center, the conversions are the same.

Prepare the Turning Template:

We will need to make a template from freezer paper to help us turn the edges of our fabric pieces. If you've used freezer paper for appliqué, or other sewing uses before, this will probably be pretty self explanatory. We will be making the template out of two layers of freezer paper, for durability and reuse-ability.

  1. Cut two strips of freezer paper.
  2. Press them together with the shiny sides DOWN. 
  3. Trim one edge to get a nice straight edge.
  4. Draw a dashed line (or any other doodle you'd like) to remind you that it's the straight edge. Or cute both edges straight, giving you a double edged template.

The Paperless Paper Piecing Technique:
Layering and Glue Basting:

Now the fun begins!!!

Turn your iron on (cotton setting is perfect) and keep it dry (no steam, please). Have your spray starch, stencil brush and Elmer's Washable School Glue + Fine Tip at the ready.

Spray some starch into a small bowl or in the lid of the starch bottle, like I did here. It will foam up. After the foam settles, it will be liquidy.

Next we'll be turning the edges of our fabric pieces, according to the conversions we made on the templates.

Starting with piece #1, have your freezer paper turning template, starch and stencil brush nearby.

Place the freezer paper, shiny side down, onto the BACK of piece #1. Line up the straight edge about 1/4"-3/8" from the edge of piece #1. Press it in place with your hot, dry iron.

 Dip your brush into the starch.

Paint starch onto the edge of the fabric, from one end to the other. Be careful not to paint too much onto the freezer paper template, as we don't want soggy paper.

Next, pull the edge of the fabric over the edge of the freezer paper, and press with your hot, dry iron. This will make a nice, crisp crease. This crease will end up being your seam line. Then peel the template off, while it's still a tad warm. So cool!!

Repeat for each piece with a turned edge.

Here you can see all of the turned edges, nicely pressed. Remember, wrong side up! In these pictures, you can see how the turned edges of pieces 1, 2 & 3 match what we wrote on the template. Piece #4 doesn't get turned because it's last and will lay on top of all the pieces.

Now, let's get to the layering!

Lay piece #1 in it's place on your layout template, and anchor with a couple of straight pins. When laying it in place, the edge of the crease should be right on top of corresponding black line. The black line can peek out a tiny bit. If it's completely covered, or not covered at all, the actual seam will be inaccurate.  The outside edges of each piece should overlap the seam allowance edge, just like with paper piecing. (Here, I'm layering them on another template to show you how the layering is done, without covering up the converted template. Usually, I layer right on top of the conversions.)

 Draw a line of glue near the edge of the crease, where you'll be layering piece #2. This is the beginning of our use of glue basting. Glue basting is an amazing tool that helps us hold our pieces of fabric together, temporarily, while enabling us to achieve more accurate piecing. When you wash the final quilt, the glue will wash away. I have several blog posts and videos can teach you more about glue basting.

Heat set in place.

Draw a line of glue for piece #3.

Place piece #3 in place and heat-set.

Draw a line of glue on the edges of pieces 2 & 3.

Lay  piece #4 in place and heat set. The last piece is always my favorite!

Here's what it looks like after all the pieces are layered and glue basted.

Take the pins out and turn the unit over for the big reveal. Doesn't it look lovely?! Now it's ready to sew.

Speedy Shortcuts:

  1. Use mulitple layout templates, and assemble your units in an assembly line.
  2. Turn all edges before layering.
  3. Use a longer turning template and turn two pieces as the same time.

 Let's take a look at the assembly for one of the outer units:

Piece #1 is already on the template, as it's done the same way as piece #1 of the inner unit. I turned pieces #2 & #3 at the same time, on a longer turning template. This makes turning edges much quicker. Then I placed them on the layout template.

After turning piece #4, draw a small spot of glue on the edge of piece #2, where it will overlap. Then lay it in place and heat-set. Feel free to use an additional pin as an anchor.

Draw a spot of glue on the edge of pieces #3 & #4, where piece #5 will overlap.

Lay piece #5 in place and heat-set.

Draw glue on the edges of pieces #2 & #3, where piece #6 will overlap. Lay piece #6 in place and heat-set.

And last, but not least, draw a line of glue on the edges of pieces #4 & #5, where piece #7 will over lap. Place piece #7 in place and heat-set.

Release the unit from the layout template, and take a peek at how lovely and precise it is.

Sewing and Trimming the Units:

Open the crease for sewing line #1 on the inner unit. See that nice crease there? That's your sewing line, where you will be creating your seam. For each seam, you will sew right on the crease.

Beginning with your needle down, at the top of the seam, begin sewing directly on the crease. If you sew to the right of the crease, it will be too big. If you sew to the left, it will be too small.

See this little bump? That's where the seams of the other pieces are. When you get to this point, be sure to stay on the crease line, and be sure not to sew on top of the bump. Doing that will create a pucker. I've done this many many times. It's an easy fix. Just unpick that section of the seam and resew it. Having everything glue basted keeps your pieces in place when you need to fix little mistakes like a pucker.

Trim the seam to a nice 1/4". You can trim with scissors or a rotary. I generally use scissors and "eyeball" the 1/4" because it's a bit quicker for me.

After trimming, press the seam. Repeat, for each seam, one seam at a time. It's very important that you trim each seam before sewing the next, just as with paper piecing. 

Want to chain piece? Paperless Paper Piecing is perfect for chain piecing! After assembling each unit, you can chain piece each of the first seams, press, trim, then move on to the second seam. 

 Here are two inner units, sewn and trimmed.

And two outer units, sewn and trimmed.

Trimming the Units:

Trimming the units, to prepare them for the final assembly, is unique, easy and accurate.

First, print one copy of each piecing/layout template onto freezer paper. Remember, print onto the paper side. Here you can see the shiny side vs. the paper side. I highly recommend printing with an inkjet printer. If you print with a laser printer, the ink will smear when you press it with your iron.

Rough cut one of each inner, and outer templates. Lay each template, shiny side down onto a piece of blank freezer paper. Again, we'll be making a template with 2 layers of freezer paper. Press the templates in place. Be sure there are little to no bubbles.

Trim each template, cutting off the seam allowance. When you trim, cut right down the center of the black line. If you cut to the right, the template will be too big. If you cut to the right, it will be too small. This is a good rule of thumb for cutting any template for any type of use in quiting.

Trimming templates, all trimmed and ready to go!

Line up the black lines/seam lines of the trimming template with the actual seams of the unit. Press the template in place with your hot, dry iron.

Line up the edge of the trimming template with the 1/4" mark on your ruler. Trim with your rotary cutter. Repeat for each edge, and for each unit.

Next, mark at dot at the tip of the template. This indicates the stopping/starting point for sewing two, or more, full units together.

After trimming and marking the point, simply peel the trimming template off of the unit. Easy peasy! And the template is reusable!

Troubleshooting: If your seam lines don't match the template perfectly, get it as close as you can. Hold the template with your hand, and give the sewn unit a gentle tug to guide it into place. When you've got it as close as you can, press it in place. I think the most important line to match up is the one that intersects the other pieces.

Repeat for each inner and outer unit.

Joining the Inner & Outer Units:
Now, you're inner and outer units are ready to be joined. This is one of the easiest parts of the technique.

Draw a line of glue across the edge of the outer unit, clost to the edge (about 1/8" from the edge).

Center and line up the edges of the inner and outer unit. Heat-set in place.

Sew together.

Repeat for all units. (Yep, you can see where I messed up a seam, and had to restitch. Thankfully, I only made the seam to short. Making it wider was easy, and I didn't have to unpick anything.)

After sewing, press the seam toward piece #1 of the inner unit. Repeat to join each inner/outer unit according to your design plan.

Finally, you're ready to join full units to one another.

Draw a line of glue along the edge of one fully assembled unit. Again, about 1/8" away from the edge. Avoid putting glue past the point of that dot we drew at the tips, earlier. Remember, we aren't actually sewing through the glue. It's just holding our pieces together in order to help us achieve more accurate piecing. And when you wash the final quilt, the glue will wash away.

Match up the seams of your units, and heat set.

Sew your units together, starting at the dot we marked at the tip of the unit. Start with your needle down, right on the dot. Stitch 2-3 stitches then backstitch. This will secure the end, which will eventually become the center of the block, where all the seams intersect.

The backstitch.

This is what it will look like at the tip, after being sewn.

After sewing, press your seam to the side. I always recommend pressing to the side, especially when a seam is the strength of the block and quilt, as with these units of the Celestial Star. When you press your seams open, the strength of the block is only as strong as the thread holding it together. A seam that 's pressed open runs a high risk of popping once it's quilted or with washing, use and over time. A seam that's pressed to the side is easier to quilt, especially if you choose to "stitch in the ditch", and it's much stronger as it relies on the fabric AND the thread for its strength. (Miters and binding strips are two places where I do press my seams open. Otherwise, pressing to the side is my preference.)

Continue piecing the units together, according to Diane's instructions. At each tip of a unit, be sure to stop and backstitch at that dot we drew. Then, press to the side, in the same direction, each time.

When you have the two halves, of 6 units each, ready to sew together, sew straight across, without stopping at any dot. This will join the units, and allow the center seams to "spin", which relieves any bulk in the center of your block. If you were to press all of these seams open, you could end up with quilt a bit of bluk in the center, and the center may not match up as nicely.

This is the Celestial Star block I made, using Paperless Paper Piecing.

This is the center, after joining all units, pressing to the side, and spinning the center.

Thank you for joining me today! I hope you learned a bit in this post, and consider giving Paperless Paper Piecing a try, with this pattern or with any other paper piecing pattern. 

I really love Diane's Celestial Star, and can't wait to make many more. I also can't wait to see what you create. 

Happy Stitchin'!