Ironing Tips with Cathy

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Ironing is a very useful tool when quilting.  Use a cotton setting on the iron.  Dry iron means less distortion but some fabrics work better with steam depending on what finishes have been added at the factory.  When you say spray the fabric do you mean with water or starch.  We recommend Mary Ellen’s Best Press.  Having said that, if the fabric is going to be used with freezer paper applications or fusible web the Mary Ellen product can affect how they fuse.

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Ironing is really for fabric or clothes.  Quilter’s press their seams, blocks, and quilt top.  Before ironing though, make sure to trim any lose threads. 

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Follow these 3 steps for professional results:

  1. Press the seam as sewn.  This embeds the stitches and flattens out any ripples
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  2. Use the tip of the iron to press so that the seam allowances are in the direction you want OR press the seam allowances open
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  3. Use an up and down motion to press the whole piece flat.  No rubbing and scrubbing here.
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When you have a complete block you can also use a ruler and pins to pin the block to the ironing surface at the exact size, spray with starch, iron, let cool, and the block will stay flat and ready to be sewn into the quilt. 

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Stay tuned for my Quilting Tips and Tricks in the next blog! 

Happy quilting,

Cathy

Choosing the Right Sashing Fabric

Choosing sashing fabric can be incredibly difficult and time-consuming.  As hard as it is, choosing the right sashing fabric is essential to create a stunning, visually appealing quilt.  Decide on the look you are going for and the sashing techniques you plan on using. This will make the process of choosing fabrics a little easier.

Choosing fabrics of similar values will separate blocks for a blended look.  Fabrics that are high contrast will frame the blocks.

Low Contrast

Low Contrast

High Contrast

High Contrast

Stripes can be used parallel or perpendicular to the blocks.

    

Here is a great example of pieced sashing.

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Two colours can be used if you add cornerstones in with the sashings.
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When choosing a sashing fabric for a quilt, unroll a bit of the bolt of fabric you think might complete your vision.  Then place a few of the fabric squares you will be using on top of this fabric.   It’s not just this easy though! Sometimes you can be lucky and get the look you are going for with the first bolt of fabric, but that isn’t always the case.  Go through many bolts of fabric prior to choosing the fabric that will allow your sashing to bring out the important features in the quilt.

Happy Quilting,

Cathy M.

Choosing The Right Print for a Stunning Quilt

Types of Prints

There is an incredible amount of prints to choose from in the quilting industry.  Listed below are a few different prints that you will find at Snip and Stitch.  This list does not even begin to cover the array of prints available to you.

A solid fabric is a single colour fabric, with no patterns.  The choice of a solid fabric also offers different looks and textures in creating your design. Stonehenge basics, moda’s marbles, kona cotton solids, shadow play basics are a few of the great solid fabrics Snip and Stitch carries.

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Mini print fabric is when the fabric has prints but they are on a tiny scale. These tiny print fabrics are ideal for beginners that do not have a lot of experience working with prints.  These prints are forgiving and do not show mismatches as boldly as other prints. Jo Morton and Kim Diehl are famous for designing around these prints and using them in traditional heritage quilting. These are sometimes looked to as the modern calico prints in warm tones.

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Dot fabrics have one design feature reprinted to appear like polka dots at even spaces. It might be dots, flowers, geometric shapes etc. The modern quilting movement has made this a popular print choice!

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Large scale fabrics have large designs across all of the fabric, making it not an ideal fabric for smaller quilts as some of the design may be removed.

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 Stripe fabrics can contain small to large stripes.

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Tone on tone fabrics are a print in one colour and show various shades of that colour.  Some tone on tone fabrics also offer great texture because they are printed onto the weft and warp yarns of the fibers during the printing process.

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Which Print to Choose

Now that you know about many of the different prints you will find when searching for fabrics for you quilts, it is important to understand which fabric will work best for your project.

For the largest part of the quilt choose a quality fabric. Make sure that the colour of this fabric fits with the quilt you are inspired to make. The thread count in fabrics varies and the higher the quality thread count should be chosen depending on the project.

If you are designing a quilt where the print is not the most important part of your quilt, choose solid fabrics to accent the print. Solid fabrics tend to show imperfections easier so beginners may want to use prints for the feature part of their quilt.  Large prints are great for borders and to highlight a main part of the quilt and are also greatly used for various special techniques where you take a large scale print and cut it up and create another totally different look such as One block Wonder or Stack n Wack.  Small prints however are great for small blocks and also binding, backing and sashing.

Before purchasing the fabrics for your quilt, put the swatches of the fabric together to make sure you are creating the look that you desire. Don’t be afraid to make a quilt with a variety of prints.  Check out this cuddly and bright quilt for my grandson using large scale print on the back and a number of print types on the front.

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Choosing colours and prints to make a stunning quilt is a challenging process. The knowledgeable staff at Snip and Stitch is here to help these tough decisions easier.  If you bring in your imagination, we can inspire your to create a beautiful quilt!

Happy quilting,

Kathy

Colour Combinations to Make a Stunning Quilt

Colour is as strong as the impression it creates – Ivan Albright

Have you ever stood in front of a shelf of fabrics and felt confused, overwhelmed and discouraged? At Snip and Stitch we are here to help inspire your fabric selection and make it seamless. Choosing fabrics is an incredibly difficult and tasking process.  The choice of fabrics is essential in creating the inspiration and appearance that you are attempting to achieve.  This is the first of two blogs on choosing the best fabric for your quilt.  This blog will focus on choosing the right colours to create a bold and impressive quilt!

The Ives Colour Wheel
The Ives colour wheel is significantly different from a traditional colour wheel. This colour wheel will make choosing your fabric colours easy to help you create a modern and stunning quilt.  Joen Wolfrom features this wheel in The Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool.  Joen Wolfrom explains that “most of us learned that the primary colors are yellow, red and blue. A color wheel using these three primary colors results in blends not nearly as beautiful or dynamic as the yellow-magenta-turquoise combination used in the Ives Color wheel. If you used the 24-step color wheel we grew up with, with red, yellow and blue for your complements, you’re two steps off. That doesn’t make an ugly quilt, but you could use the right color wheel and it would be stunning rather than okay.” The Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool is fantastic read and can be purchased at Snip and Stitch.

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Complementary Colours
Using complementary colours create a dynamic quilt.  Complementary colours is a combination of two colours that sit across from each other in the colour wheel.  These colours create a bold and bright quilt.

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Monochromatic Colours
Monochromatic colours create a more peaceful feel to the quilt. Choosing monochromatic colours is when you choose a single colour and mix in several different shades of that colour.

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Analogous Colours
Analogous colours are neighbours on the colour wheel.  This colour scheme can create a warm feel to your quilt or an powerful feel, depending on which colours you decide to feature in your quilt.

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Triadic Colours
Triadic colours will create a balanced colour scheme on your quilt.  Triadic colours use 3 colours that are evenly spaced apart on the colour wheel.  The differences in brightness and light/dark will make your quilt eye-catching.

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Have fun with trying out different colours in your fabrics. Be brave and let inspiration take over and you may surprise yourself with the result.

Stay tuned for the next blog on choosing fabrics that will focus on prints.

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