Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wonderfil Threads are Wonderful!

Blog Post by Liz Holpin, The Cotton Patch

Debby Brown, all round amazing quilting teacher and Handi Quilter Educator visited The Cotton Patch in the summer of 2014 and it really gave us the opportunity to play with Wonderfil Threads. 

Debby Brown at our Handi Quilter Retreat in June 2014

They work well on domestic and longarm machines. So here are some examples of Wonderfil Threads where I've used them recently.

"Bang Head Here" Workshop

This is Debby's Quilt - 

In this one-day workshop we picked a word or phrase that had meaning for each of us. These words would go onto our wholecloth quilt and we would then use thread and quilting designs to quilt that phrase. The world was our oyster!

The phrase I decided on was "Gone Sailing".  

I love sailing. This is also a great excuse for me to look at my holiday pics when it's raining outside!

Relaxing sailing in nice warm Turkey!

Anyway, back to reality....

First we drew our words onto tear away paper such as Golden Threads paper and then laid it over our wadding sandwich.

We stitched through the outline of the words and then tore it away. 
I recommend tearing it away as early as possible because otherwise you get left with itty bitty pieces of paper between the stitches. Depending on your stitch length and tension, if you pile up the stitches, it is Soooo much harder to remove the paper when there are dozens of stitches laid on top of the paper. Plus sometimes the stitches get pulled out and it doesn't look so good.

If you do leave small pieces between the stitches you may need these tweezers to remove the little bits - I find these easy to use even with weak thumbs.

We used three different colours of  50wt 3 ply Wonderfil Threads called Konfetti (solid colours) and Tutti (variegated) to embroider the words with filler.

In the bobbin for all the sewing in the workshop we used Decobob an 80wt cottonised polyester which works really really well with lots of different threads on the top. For a project like this where you're changing the thread on the top many times you can set your bobbin tension using the "drop test"  and then adjust the top tension each time you change your thread and check it stitches out OK on a spare piece of quilt sandwich before stitching it out on your work of art. 

Decobob comes in lots of colours either on a large spool or in packs of Prewound bobbins which fit either 15K or L (Domestic Machines) or Prewound for Class  M bobbins - you have to select the right one for your machine.  For example, for the Janome 1600PQC select the "L" bobbins. For the Elna 730, Janome Horizon 7700 and many other top loading machines select the 15K bobbin. The M bobbins are the big ones for industrial or longarm machines.

To sew with three threads on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen we used the Big Bertha of needles - a size 20 Groz Beckert Needle. You would need to adjust to use a size of needle appropriate for your machine.

Finished quilts of "gone sailing"
Initially we used the top layer of fabric and one layer of wadding. When we'd finished doing the three threads section we added another layer of wadding and a backing. You can see later in the photos below that the words do not show on the back of the quilt. Because you're using three threads inevitably you get pokies (thread going through to the back) so to make it look nice and neat we cover it up. 

Shush!  No one else will know.  


Nice tip Debby.

Then we did some ruler work to get the straight lines and other shapes.  The Sweet 16 has a ruler foot as standard but with some machines such as the Janome 1600P you can also get Ruler Feet .  The ruler foot allows you to fit the ruler up to the edge of the foot and then by guiding the material and ruler simultaneously you can much harder to explain in words so here's a video!  Video for Free Motion Quilting using Rulers on a Domestic Machine.

The foot on the left (below) is the Ruler Foot which is what you need for this job - the one on the right is an open toe foot designed for using with Frames. It's called the Frame Foot Set. They come as a set of two so unless you have a frame you won't need the one on the right. (Unless you buy a Grace frame of course in which case it will be very useful!)

We sell the Janome Ruler Feet (Ref 10452) so if you have a Convertible Free Motion quilting foot such as this one below (Ref 10451) - you can change the bottom part of the foot for different purposes.
The Convertible Free Motion Quilting Foot (Ref 10451) is sold with many new Janomes and Elnas but note that there are specific ones for High Shank, Low Shank, Memorycraft, etc so  you do need to check which one you need if your machine didn't come with one. You can then add the Ruler Foot to your machine and use the special 1/4" thick rulers that we supply to do straight lines, curves, etc.

Back to the quilt...

So once we had our structure we did free motion filler designs using 50 wt Tutti, 50 wt Konfetti and Mirage - all threads from Wonderfil.

For the sun I used the couching foot on the Sweet Sixteen and some bit of wool I had in the "to be used someday but have no idea when" box which seems to have  alot of such bits in it...a very useful box.  A bit like my husband's boxes of screws, washers, nails and widgets.

Upside down closeup of the sun rays

the back of "gone sailing" quilt.
So there we go - a roundup of my "gone sailing" quilt.

Now it serves as a reminder when I'm miles from the ocean of the wonderful times I've had sailing and windsurfing.

Happy times! OK I''m just showing off now - going over 25 knots!

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Walkabout fabrics by Beth Studley

One of our latest fabric ranges is Walkabout and features fabrics by the very talented Beth Studley. Called Walkabout it features lines, dots and spots at a variety of scales. Beth provides an insight into her design process with the fabric range:“Walkabout is a play with some of the elements I love in aboriginal art. Imperfection and simple lines and dots are features within the designs. The fabrics blend the earthy tones of the outback with more vibrant colours to lift the collection. Apart from the main prints which are bold and great for use larger projects, I have designed much of the collection with calm, supporting prints in mind using greys, creams and black.”

As well as fabrics by the metre we also have two fat quarter packs, and on the Makower website you can find a download for the quilt featured below.

Walkabout fabrics by the metre

Walkabout Fat Quarter Packs

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Cotton Patch Patchwork Newsletter 113

New Plain Fabrics
We have greatly increased the size of our plains and solids range by adding 70 new Free Spirit Modern Solid fabrics to our range. From Asparagus to Petunia and Chamois to Velvet there is now even greater choice for the perfect plain match.

We have split them into four colour groups as well, so we have Neutrals which features whites through creams to browns as well as blacks through greys. Then we have reds through oranges to yellowsgreens through aquas to blues and finally we have a range of purples through to pinks. Or browse all of them at once!
Plain patchwork fabric

2015 Calendars
Our patchwork & quilting themed calendars for 2015 are now in stock. We have four wall calenders and one spiral bound engagement calendar. Showing inspirational quilts on each month. The Better Homes & Gardens, That Patchwork Place and Piecemakers Calendars include pattern books so that you can recreate the quilts shown.

Patchwork calendars 2015

Quilt Kits from Rachel's of Greenfield
Rachel's of Greenfield make a lovely range of quilt kits and many of them have a Christmas theme. So we have little Christmas tree ornaments, through to stockings and wall quilts. Below you can see some of the kits plus other designs such as the houses and ultra cute owls.

Rachels of Greenfield Kits

Latest Fabrics
Below you can see some of the latest fabric ranges added to our collections. Fabrics from Lewis & Irene, Makower, Riley Blake, Dashwood, Free Spirit and Andover.

Honey Meadow               Cool Britannia               Fly Away               Downton Abbey Fabrics               Pretty Potent               Hyakka Ryoran               Walkabout             

Filtec Bobbins

Added to our comprehensive range of threads we have two new M size pre-filled bobbin ranges from Fil-tec. Magna Glide Delights and Magna Soft have an amazing little magnetic core to help the bobbin flow smoother. Each pack contains 10 bobbins and is for the Handi Quilter Longarm Machines (not domestics currently although we may add to the range).

Magna Glide Delights               
Monthly Prize Draw

Remember all Subscribers to our email-newsletter are entered into our monthly prize draw for over £100 worth of patchwork and quilting goodies.

Christmas Fabrics
The latest Christmas fabrics to arrive was Flaky Snow Pals with some very jolly snowmen. The Christmas fabric bolts are selling fast so don't delay if you are planning achristmas project.

Christmas fabric
Sizzix Starter Bundles
Looking to add something to your Christmas list or fancy a treat, then we have four great starter bundles for Sizzix. Each kit includes the Sizzix Big Shot, Sizzix Dies and Quilt Kit and instructions so you can start your first project right out of the box.

 Sizzix Starter Bundle
Metallic Thread
Set off you Christmas projects with our wide selection of Metallic threads. Just right for that extra sparkle and glitter we have metallic threads from Gutermann Sulky, Wonderfil              and Superior in lots of different colours and reels.

Metallic Thread
Latest Fabrics and Fabric Packs
Remember you can now see all of the latest fabric on our website by following this link.

Happy Quilting
Cotton Patch Newsletter 113

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