Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Some Quilting Vocabulary and New Video

   Hey guys! I decided to do a little video explaining some quilting and sewing vocabulary. I know that something like this would have helped me a lot when I was first learning how to sew.  So I hope it will help you learn some of the basic terms of the trade. I will be doing some videos showing what I can with some of these words. They will be follow ups to this video and each one will be very short, just showing the basics of the words I went over. Make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel so you don't miss out on any of these videos!!!
I'm going to do a quick run through of the vocabulary words in this post, just incase reading it will help you better than me talking through it.

The link to my video is right here I would love for you to check it out and subscribe to my channel while you are there!!!

These are in no specific order.

~Wrong Side of fabric (aka ugly side) This is the back side of the fabric, where the colors are less prominent
~Right Side of fabric (aka pretty side) This is the front of the fabric where the print is more predominant, the colors are usually more vibrant
~"RST" aka Right Sides Together- meaning the pretty sides of the fabric are facing each other
~Scant 1/4" seam- This means you are sewing a few threads short of a true 1/4" seam (which is the normal seam allowance used for quilting)
~Chain Piecing- It is the act of sewing different pieces in a continuous fashion, it helps with saving thread and also less time consuming
~Wonky- The term used when you sew fabrics at an angle instead of straight, used a lot for modern quilting
~Improv Sewing- The act of designing as you go, not specifically using a pattern, just picking different fabrics and sewing them together. Used a lot in Modern Quilting
~Scrap Fabric- Anything smaller than usually a fat quarter, I will be making a video on different fabric sizes and what I consider scraps very soon
~Machine Feet- Different feet that usually come with your machine, they are used for different projects...attachments used for different types of stitches
~Quilt Sandwich- when you layer the backing fabric, batting, and completed quilt top, the process used when getting ready to quilt the entire quilt.
~Feed Dogs- The mechanism in a sewing machine that feeds the material under the needle
~Batting- also called wadding- The material used to make a quilt sandwich, it goes between the quilt top and the quilt back, there are many different types to choose from, I prefer to use Warm and Natural or Warm and White it's 100% cotton.
~Pressing- The act of pressing your seams, this is different from "ironing" if you "iron" your work you run the risk of distorting the fabric, pressing lets the weight of the iron do the work.
~Basting- The act of combining quilt top, batting, and backing into one to make your quilt sandwich. There are a few different ways to baste a quilt, most commonly used is a safety pin method, my preference is to spray baste, I will be making a video on how to do each.
~Seam Allowance- The area between the stitching and the raw, cut area of the fabric.

There is a lot more vocabulary words that I will be covering, if you have any questions don't hesitate to leave them in the comments either on this blog post or the video.
I would love for you to follow me on social media if you don't already, I will include links to make it easier to find. (as far as my snap chat just search for me!)
Snap Chat: @craftnursequilt

I would love to have you guys follow me on my social media. And for those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, from time to time I have "pop up instasales" with some of my work!

Thank you all for your continued support, means soo much more than you realize!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

How To Starch Fabric

Hey y'all! I'm back and this week I'm going to be showing you all how I starch my fabrics. I'm sure there are plenty of different ways you can starch your fabrics, but I'm going to show you how I starch mine. The way I think about it is that it works for me and if it aint broken don't' fix it! lol!
   Make sure you check out my video where I'm showing you exactly what I do. I'm going to try to walk you through it in pictures as well, but the video shows you exactly what I do.

First I'm going to go over the different types of starch that I have came across, my video goes a little more in depth about them so I'm just going to give you a quick run through of them.

The first type of starch is Niagra, it can be found at almost any store for really cheap. I have used Niagra and it's not that bad, but now I just use the spray bottle it came in.

The 2nd type of starch is Mary Ellen's Best Press, this is the type that I use every day. I normally buy the refill bottles (the large bottle in the picture above) and pour it in the Niagra bottle and use it that way. If you just want to try it out you can get the smaller bottle (it's the orange in the picture) to see if you like it. I love the scents it comes in and I love the way it makes my fabrics feel.

The last type of starch (or starch alternative) that I'm going to talk about it Flatter by Soak. I really really love this product, the smells are absolutely amazing! My only problem with this type of starch is the price point. It is a lot more expensive then the other 2 I've talked about. And me being the penny pincher I am I can't afford to use it. I use a lot of starch and the size this type comes in would probably only last me for maybe 2 projects. It is an amazing product though.

Now, I'll go over how and why I starch my fabrics.

The reason I like to starch my fabrics before I even cut them is I feel that starched fabrics are easier to work with, the starch makes them feel almost paper like. I feel like I can cut the fabric more accurately and also piece more accurately when my fabrics are starched.

the first step is to lay out your fabric on your pressing surface. Pictured is a fat quarter but you can use this process with any cut you have.

Now spray your fabric lightly but thoroughly with starch.

Flip your fabric over to the opposite side from which you just sprayed.

Using a hot iron (I prefer to not use steam but if you prefer steam that is fine too!) press until the fabric is dry to touch. Be careful not to distort your fabric.

Once you have completed pressing your fabrics go ahead and spray again with starch. You will be spraying the side that you just pressed.

Flip over the fabric again and press until dry. The reason I spray one side and press from the opposite side is that the starch adheres to the fibers better this way. You will press this side until it is completely dry, again being careful not to distort your fabric.

Now you can repeat until you get the desired stiffness. I normally only do the process once, meaning the starch is sprayed on the front and back of the fabric. You will notice a big difference in the drape of your fabric once you have starched it. You don't need to worry, the starch will wash out.

When I'm working on a quilt block once I complete the block I will starch it as well as any completed quilt top too.

I hope you found this helpful and that you checked out my video! I would love if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel as well as follow me on my social media!!!

I will talk to y'all soon!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Basic Quilting and Sewing Supplies

      Hey everyone! I know I've been MIA for a long time now, but right now it's time to change that! Over the past few weeks I've been working on filming and editing a few different videos for my YouTube channel. Which also means I've been taking a lot of pictures for my blog too! With my videos I'm mainly focusing on beginner quilters. The reason for that is when I was learning how to sew I would try to find the answer to my questions on blogs, youtube, google everywhere! There was a lot of things I couldn't find online so I just had to guess the answer and learn through trial and error. I remember a lot of the things I would try to find online and I know if I had the question someone else will too. Not all of my videos are going to be focused on the beginner I've got some tutorials coming as well, the tutorials are for everyone, I'm going to break them down and make them as easy as I can that way a beginner can make the project too. My goal is to upload a new video at least once a week with a corresponding blog post, I may throw some random blog posts in during the week too, so make sure you subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel so you don't miss any of my videos or blog posts! I would greatly appreciate it!

    Now, my first video in over a year is what you need to get started sewing or quilting. Just your basic supplies and some optional things that I use. In the video I left out a few things, it's hard to remember everything sometimes! But I made sure to get pictures of everything for this blog post.
So, this is what anyone that wants to start sewing will need to have in order to do so.

To watch my new video just click here!

First thing you will need is a sewing machine! This is a picture of my Juki TL 2010Q. If you are just starting to sew I would not recommend getting this machine, you will just need a basic sewing machine, it doesn't have to be fancy or expensive either. My first machine was a Brother that I got at walmart on Black Friday for around $25.

You will need some thread, I use Gutermann mainly, I love Aurifil as well it's just harder for me to get in my area. I use white for most everything I sew, you can use whatever color you prefer, I just find white to be the easiest because it goes with everything!

You will need needles, using a fresh needle with every project is a good idea. (I will admit I'm terrible when it comes to changing out my needles though!) You will also need a pair of thread scissors, they are a lot easier to use to snip a thread than a large pair of fabric scissors. And you will need a seam ripper! As much as any quilter hates using them we all have to have them, everyone makes mistakes, my seam ripper was my very best friend when I was learning how to sew.

Every sewing machine comes with a bag of different items for your sewing machine. The picture below is what I received with my Juki. It includes different presser feet, oil, screwdriver (for changing presser feet and needles), and a seam ripper. Depending on the machine you have the items in your bag will probably be a bit different. Every machine I own has came with at least a few presser feet, screwdriver, and seam ripper.

You will need pins and some sort of pincushion. In the picture below I have 3 different examples of pincushions. The purple square is a magnetic pin holder, the larger pincushion is one that I made, and the smaller one is an amazing cushion that my friend Kari made for me. You can never have too many pincushions (I PROMISE!)

You will need a lint brush, this is used to help clean your machine and get all the lint out (you will probably get one of these with your sewing machine.) You will need extra bobbins that fit your machine so you don't have to stop and wind a bobbin every time one runs out, it saves a lot of time.
You will need some extra needles and pins as well.

This item is optional but I absolutely LOVE using them. They are called Wonder Clips by Clover. They are used as a replacement for pins. When you are first getting started I recommend using regular pins though.

Next you will need a basic iron. It doesn't have to be fancy it just needs to get hot! Some people prefer using steam while pressing, some don't...I'll leave that up to you.

You will need an ironing board or pressing board (I know mine is filthy, I need to recover it.) If you want to learn how to make your own pressing board I have a video on how to make one right here. It's really easy to do.

I use a lot of starch when I'm sewing, of course it is optional but I strongly recommend using it. I'll have a video coming soon on how I starch my fabrics. I use Mary Ellen's Best Press but there is a lot of different types of starch out there.

This is my mini trash can or thread catcher. You don't have to have one of these I just find it very useful to have it in my sewing area to throw my threads and trimming in, instead of having to go to the trash can every time I cut something.

You will need a rotary cutter,  a self healing rotary cutting mat, and some fresh blades for your rotary cutter. These are very very sharp so make sure you keep it out of reach of little hands and keep yours locked when not in use. In the picture are examples of different sizes of rotary cutters, I recommend starting with a 45mm, I use that size the majority of the time.

You will also need a pair of fabric scissors. Make sure not to use your fabric scissors on anything except fabric so they will stay really sharp!

Along with your rotary cutter and mat you will need an Acrylic Ruler. There are many different rulers to choose from and they come in all different shapes and sizes. I mainly use my 3" by 18" ruler.

This picture is another example of acrylic rulers.

Depending on what kind of project you are working on you will need a fabric safe marking tool. Pictured below is a Frixxon pen which is what I use but there are a lot of different types of marking tools you can get. Chalk is a common marking tool as well. I like the Frixxon pens because they are easy to see on most every fabric and the ink disappears with heat.

The last item I am mentioning is a washable glue stick. This is something most people already have in their house and if not it's super cheap to buy. This is an optional item, some people don't like using glue on their fabric, I find it very helpful when sewing zippers and with paper piecing.

So that's it! Your list of things you need to get started sewing along with a few optional items that I like. I hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions don't hesitate to leave me a comment, I will get back to you ASAP.

I would love it if you would subscribe to my blog as well as my YouTube channel, share my video with your friends and on social media!

You can also follow me on social media, I included a link to all my social media below to make it easy for you to find me!
Just click on any of the social media names and it will take you straight to my feed(s), I would love for you to "follow" me or subscribe to me on any or all of my social media!

Again, I hope you found this video and blog post helpful. If you have any ideas for future posts or videos I would love to hear them!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I'll talk to you again very soon!!!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I'm back

Wow, it's been a really long time, huh? 18 months to be exact. So where have I been and why did I just fall off the face of the earth? This post is to answer those questions. First, I would like to thank all of the people who sent me emails and messages checking on me and supporting me. It really meant a lot. This past year and a half has been the hardest time of my life. My life literally fell apart.
        So, what happened? Without getting into all the details of everything I'm going to try to explain as much as I can. I went from "happily married" to a single mom, lost my 2 step-children, my husband, my house, everything in a very short time period. I lost my spark. I didn't want to do anything anymore. I quit sewing all together.

        I've since moved and have tried to start my life over. It's not easy by any means. I keep telling myself that I got this, that I can do this. It's really hard to believe it, but no one can change the way things are going except for me. Which is one of the reasons I'm writing this post. I'm going to get back to my old self, I'm going to realize my dreams, and I'm going to do it with the support of this wonderful community I use to be part of. I know I still have many friends from the sewing/quilting community and their support has meant so much to me. Which is why I know I will have their support. It may take me some time to get back on track but I will get there.

     I'm planning on getting my YouTube channel back up and running, I have tons of ideas for it. What's the saying? "Aint nothing to it but to do it"? I keep telling myself that. So, I'm going to get my head back on and get stuff done. I miss sewing, I miss sharing my projects, I miss it all. One quote that has really stuck with me this year is by Mary Fons from her lecture at Quilt Con in 2013.

"When life falls apart it makes perfect sense to take a piece of fabric, tear it apart, and sew it back together again"

      That quote is so true. I've been sewing here and there, making little things, working on one quilt (which I'm almost done with). But I'm getting there, I'm getting back to me. I just need your support and friendship. When I feel like I'm all alone (which anymore is quite often) I find myself pulling up Instagram or the list of blogs that I follow and I see so much inspiration. I know I can do this.

     I know this post wasn't very interesting and doesn't have a lot of pictures but I'm going to get on a schedule, and the next post I write will have some of the things I've made over the past few months. I'm also working on a few video ideas that are going to be fairly simple to make. So please forgive me for this post, I will make up for it. I just had to let you all know where I've been and what has happened.

    Again, I thank each and every one of you for your support, your emails, your messages. It's part of what has kept me going. I hope you all are happy to see me back, I know I'm happy to be back. Any comments are more than welcome!

I love you all!!!!!

~See you soon!!!~