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Tutorial Cut Your Own Diamond Templates For Quilting

In this tutorial, I will teach you how to cut your own diamond templates for quilting. Many templates are too difficult to make yourself, but diamonds are a breeze. This is an easy free tutorial to enable you to make templates quickly and without too much expense.

For this tutorial you will need
1. Paper, card or mylar (these are in order of how long they last. If you want throw away templates, you can use paper, thin card can be used several times, mylar is long-lasting
2. Either a quilting ruler that has a 60° angle or a cutting mat that has a 60° angle
3. A rotary cutter or failing that scissors

For accuracy I use a cutting mat and a rotary cutter, with a solid steel ruler. My ruler is non-slip and perfect for the job. I usually use thin card.

Tutorial instructions:
1. Place your card on the cutting mat, lining it up so that it is straight.
2. Place your ruler along the 60° angle line.
3. Cut the width of the ruler. This ruler is 5cm (2″) wide. It produces a 9-patch diamond that is 15cm (6″) across when stitched together with the quarter inch seams added. You can use a narrower ruler for a smaller diamond.
4. Take your card strip and place the ruler aligned with the straight edge. Cut the width of your ruler. You have one diamond. Repeat to make more, using as much of the card as you can.
5. Place the card face down on the reverse of the fabric.
6. Allowing a quarter inch seam, cut around the card.
7. Although your card template needs to be accurate, when cutting fabric, you can cheat a little, as long as there is enough fabric to fold over and you can secure your seam.
8. Whip stitch diamonds together with right sides facing.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt. This tutorial is for your own personal use ONLY and is not to be copied nor distributed by any means without written permission from the author.

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Textiles Update Hand Knitting and Quilting

My current textiles work in progress and finished work. Just a quick pictorial update on what I have been making so far this month. I have knitted the back and half a sleeve of a wool sweater I have designed. It is my signature textured style. I am undoubtedly in love with cables. The knitting pattern will be available shortly.

The rest of my textiles work was all quilting. I made a crazy quilted picture. I have decided I like it the other way round, but it was designed this way to fit a frame, so this way it will stay! I added embellishments and it will have a narrow ribbon border so that it fits the mount. Easy enough to do – draw the mount size on paper or fusible wadding/interfacing/web and add half inch all round. This is your design space. Add fabrics as desired and stitch in place.For this piece I worked without any kind of interfacing and added fabrics one by one.

I am also working on a new oranges and lemons quilt, but have not photographed yet. Just finished the cutting stage. Today I started making fabric decisions for a new quilt to be mounted onto a canvas box frame. I was going for blue but changed my mind and I know just what fabric is missing now. Thank heavens for stash.

In the evenings, I continue to work on my hand stitched calico quilt. One border is finished and the quilt is now sashed. Plenty of sore fingers there.

These finished textiles quilt designs and more will be on my Festival of Quilts Stand C5 8-12 August 2018. See you there.

Yes, textiles design often looks as messy as that pile of fabric 🙂 I do stash neatly, honest!

Happy making.

Designs, photos and words copyright Karen Platt 2018

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Quilting With Photos Transferring Images to Fabric

Quilting With Photos is not a difficult process if you know how. Like many things it looks complicated, but if you follow these simple steps, you will have success with printing your own photos for quilting.

First of all you need to understand the basics.
1. Printer
2. Ink
3. Fabric

If you get the combination wrong, then you will have problems.

1. Printer. Look at the printers available and ask the seller if it is the right printer for you. Most people would choose a Canon or Epsom. Things to ask include – does it print on fabric – do I need to do anything special? Will it take fabric on a roll or just sheets? Think about the size – will you be happy printing just A4 or do you need an A3 printer. Ask if you can see print outs.

2. Ink. You need an inkjet printer not a laser printer. There are two types of inkjet – some use pigment based and others use dye based. This is a very confusing area or printing on fabric, especially because most applications are for paper. On paper pigment ink is much preferred because it is fade resist. Dye based are usually brighter colours. The latter cause problems on fabric because the colour washes out or bleeds (runs), which is not what you want on fabric. You cannot switch inks in your printer, if you have bought a dye-based printer, you must use dye-based inks. If using these on fabric, you need to prepare fabric beforehand and after to help the dye fix. If using pigment-based inks, use pre-treated fabric for best results. Either way printing on fabric is more suitable for projects that do not need washing regularly, they will fade. Always use the inks recommended for your printer by the manufacturer and not cheap substitutes.

3. You can cut fabric, attach it to freezer paper and run it through your printer. You can be lucky with this many times, but sooner or later it usually jams your printer and hey ho, you wish you had not. Computer fabric is not excessively expensive and saves you the problem of sorting out a jammed printer and also saves you time. You can buy different fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk.

If you want to know more about what to print on fabric and how to create your own designs, then see our ecourse or why not have a go at designing your own fabric and printing it, here in our ecourse.

In an ideal world, we would use a large-format printer to print out quilting fabric, but these come at a cost and the average person would never get their money back. For the past ten years, bureaus have been springing up offering to print your fabric. You can even order fat quarters from some of them as well as metres. They produce fabric digitally and you can sell your own designs.

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Knitting Book Review Rainbow Knits by Nicki Trench

Knitting Book Review Rainbow Knits by Nicki TrenchRainbow Knits by Nicki Trench, softback published by Cico Books. ISBN 9781782495642, price 12.99 available from makeetc.com

Just what the doctor ordered – colourful knits – a joy to wear and a pleasure to knit. Combine colour to make your life a happier place. This book includes projects for the the home and accessories to wear. There are 20 projects including bags, hat, cardigan, sweater, tank top, shawl, cowl (front cover image) and scarf. The clothes are basic designs. For babies and children there is a cardigan, sweater, two blankets, a rabbit and hat. Under home and gifts you’ll find gorgeous mittens, cushion, passport cover (could be adapted to a phone cover), a fair-isle bag knitted using a chart, a tie, leg warmers, and sweet embroidered purse that could double as a pencil holder. At the back of the book is a useful, illustrated techniques and finishing section covering the basics. Try your knitting skills working in stripes, or use ombre or variegated yarns.

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Quilting For Beginners Making A Start

You have by now, if you are following the blog, read the quilting guide, bought your basic tool kit, got a little sewing machine and some fabric and you are ready to start. Yet you keep putting it off.
You are not sure you understand the instructions, have chosen the right fabric or even the right pattern.

Let me help. Last week we looked at simplifying quilting for beginners so that you can complete a quilt. Once you do so, you will gain confidence. I know how difficult it is to start, it took me years of indecision.

1. Find a quiet time to begin.
2. Ensure you will not be disturbed
3. Make sure you have a comfortable chair and that it is the right height.
4. Have everything to hand that you need.
4. Breathe deep and relax.

Try to set a time to quilt each day even if it is only 30 minutes. Anything to get started. Even if you are just sewing one seam, it is a start. Once you start, your confidence will grow.

Only you know your ability. Aim for something simple such as strips, squares or geometric shapes such as squares and oblongs. Leave the triangles for now. English paper piecing if you prefer hand stitching, is also amazingly easy and very accurate.

Start with a small project to gain confidence and you’ll soon be on the road to full-size quilting if that is your aim. Build with each project you make. Practising on small projects means that you will finish them quickly and once you have finished projects your confidence just blooms. When you are confident of one step, move onto the next.

If you need practice with straight stitch and quarter inch seams, then practice. Make strips into small bags or journal covers. What it is best not to do is to start a quilt above your skill level and be unable to finish it. So forget that dream quilt for now, and concentrate on finishing simple projects. Your time will come to make the quilts of your dreams.

Made a mistake – get out your unpicking tool and start again. Or try again the next day if you are out of patience. Practice and finished projects equals progress.

Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2018

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Quilting Book Review Patchwork & Quilting

Quilting Book Review Patchwork & QuiltingVisual Guide To Patchwork & Quilting, softback published by Stash Books (C&T Publishing). ISBN 9781617455612, price 20.99 in the U.K. available from www.searchpress.com

Everything you need to know about patchwork and quilting in one handy volume. If you need visual guidance to quilt – here it is. The book has a nice feel to the cover and is visually appealing with all the bright, detailed photos. Everything is laid out in 8 comprehensive chapters. Tools & Supplies, Fabrics, Piecing, Applique, Quilting by Hand or Machine, Finishing, Beyond the Basics and Reference. Jam-packed full of useful tips and information. A complete handbook to know how to quilt plus projects and 25 block patterns. The blocks get you going with thinking about design and the projects hone your skills. This book will make you a better quilter. Slight niggles are some of the pics are too small. Overall I believe this is a book every quilter should have.

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Pre-cuts Easy Quilting Tips Anyone Can Master

Foolproof Quilting For Beginners

Quilt the Easy Way with my top tips for pre-cuts. Afraid your quilting skills are basic but want to make a quilt that looks good? Follow these tips for simple quilting ideas that anyone can do.

1. Pre-cuts provide ready-cut fabrics that anyone can use. One of the obvious mistakes beginners make is to not cut fabric accurately. In fact some quilters never master cutting fabrics. Sometimes even pre-cuts can vary but they are relatively accurate.

2. Use a good quality wadding. Some wadding can show through when stitching.

3. Use the same type of fabric throughout the quilt.

What can you make with pre-cuts?

Strip quilts are a favourite. They are not just easy but also quick to do. Simply cut your jelly roll (fabric cut into strips) to the required length for your project. Depending on the size of the quilt you are making, measure across, allow for the seam allowances and borders and start joining strips. You can join the strips vertically, horizontally or even diagonally. Just make sure you alternate which end you start joining another strip, otherwise the strips have a tendency to start going out of shape.

You can use strips as they are. You can slice the strips once sown together into smaller pieces. You can also make blocks. They are very versatile. You can also add more fabrics if you think the jelly roll does not have enough contrast.

If you are confident at cutting, you can buy a special strip ruler to cut strips of an equal width. There are many book available for strip or jelly roll quilting.

Strip quilts are great for beginners since they will give you the confidence you need. If you have joined your strips horizontally, try quilting the sandwich diagonally to add variety. Mark your quilt from corner to corner, then quilt at regular intervals. Or go for free-motion quilting if you can. Circles make a good contrast to the lines of the strip quilt.

Once you have mastered a basic strip quilt, try out some of the other ideas for using a strip. I combined strips and applique to make my Four Seasons Wall Hangings. The kits are available in the online shop

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Quilting Book Review Free Motion Meandering by Angela Walters

Quilting Book Review Free Motion Meandering by Angela WaltersFree Motion Meandering by Angela Walters, softback published by Stash Books (C&T Publishing). ISBN 9781617455209, price 18.99 in the U.K. about from www.searchpress.com

Angela’s name has become synonymous with free-motion machine quilting. Find the basics about machine quilting and the tools that make it easier. Start with simple meandering and build your skills with every exercise or pattern. Master and practice – that is the key. This book provides you with all you need to know and learn the craft. Free-motion is a craft that needs (for most of us at least) hours of practice. This book is like a quilting course, it provides the challenge you need to keep practising and keep going. Colourful samples and line drawings with quilting directional arrows help you finish each square. Gosh this girl is he mean in meander – you’ve got swirly ons, paisley, feather and many other designs plus design tips. Brilliant.

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Book Review Modern Stencils by Nicolette Tabram

Book Review Modern Stencils by Nicolette TabramModern Stencils by Nicolette Tabram, softback published by Cico Books. ISBN 9781782495499, price 12.99.

Fresh-looking, inspired designs that can transform your home. 8 re-usable stencils, including paisley and floral designs enable even beginners at stencilling to produce professional-looking results. There are 35 projects for textiles, furniture, floors and walls to make your house a home. 11 projects concentrate on textiles, such as stencilling bags, tea towels, napkins, cushions, curtains, a jacket or apron and more. You could stencil your own fabric. Learn all about this craft – tools, basic techniques and inspiration. Instructions are easy to follow and the photographs are excellent.

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Foolproof Quilting For Beginners

Where do you start with quilting? If it all looks so difficult and you are having difficulty getting started in quilting, there is help at hand. For years I would stare at quilting books and magazines totally bewildered. Quilts can look so complicated. Most of them are not. The trick is to break them down into bite-sized pieces. Even better there are foolproof ways to quilt for beginners.

It is important to recognise your sewing skills and to work on something you can finish. Build your sewing and quilting skills and improve as you learn. Concentrate on your strengths. If you are confident with one aspect of quilting – make that shine. Get one quilt finished and you’ll be hooked.

1. Work with plain fabrics if you find it easier to begin with Kona have a wonderful range of plain fabrics. I know I would love to have a fat quarter or more of every one. There are plenty of outlets in the U.K. for these fabrics and new colours are introduced regularly.
2. Introduce pattern with easy-to-use pre-cuts. You have lots of choice from strips to squares and if you are not so hot on cutting, this is a good way to start that first quilt.
3. Keep the design and colour choice simple at first.
4. Decide whether the design or the quilting is most important. This will depend on your own individual skills. Consider taking the design course.
5. Look for simple ways to cut your fabrics that have a magic complicated effect.
6. Work on small projects that you can finish in a day or a weekend.
7. Try quilt as you go – it’s an easier way to complete a quilt. There is a tutorial coming up soon.
8. Short of time but still want to quilt? Try number 7 or try hand quilting that can be done in short bursts like EPP. See our guide to different types of quilting.
9. Build your skills – once you can piece in straight strips or squares, try dividing the squares and piecing triangles.
10. If piecing is not your thing, try a multi- coloured background and applique.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018