Looking Back 2018

Looking Back At 2018

We started 2018 with our January Pop Up Sale being held at a new bigger venue Cogges Church Hall, the move was reasonably successful but sadly the Church committee decided the hall was not to be used for commercial ventures, therefore
this became a one off venue. We returned to the Methodist hall in March and were quite pleased to be back, best part having Huffkins over the road for our sandwich lunch!


We have had our ups and downs this year but it has been an exciting year where we have seen many new ideas come to fruition. Our quilting club held on Monday evenings has been the biggest success with lots of beautiful quilts being made and new techniques learnt, this has lead us to design and sell our own range of quilting kits and introduce a new course on paper piecing to be held in February.

Dressmaking has once again proved popular and I am always surprised how much our sewers achieve in just 8 weeks – Well done to them all

Another big surprise was the success of our childrens clothes Saturday workshop, we had a full house with some staying all day whilst others did half a session, this lead to more Saturday


workshops which included make a dress in a day, sewers made a paper dress in the morning to get size right followed by the real thing in the afternoon, lucky my husband was out as there were often women in a state of undress! Our introduction to sewing course is held over 5 nights, by popular demand we added a new slightly shorter


course to our Saturday workshops spreading it over two Saturdays rather than 5 evenings, this proved successful and we will be planning some more. However my favourite Saturday was Llama pyjamas, two friends who had not sew before but wanted to do something together came along and made pyjamas out of knit fabric, I thought this was a lovely way to spend time with a friend.

 

We have to thank everyone for being patient during the year when first Claire’s Husband was ill for a couple of months followed by several weeks of her being ill and unable to function properly. We had to juggle the classes and orders were delayed, so we thank you all for your patience. They are both very  well now and hope their health we continue to improve in 2019. Lastly one of our immediate family members passed away suddenly in November, this left us in turmoil, having to cancel the planned Pop Up Shop in and once again we had to apologise our lovely customers to bear with us and change dates of classes. Everyone was very kind and we have now caught up!

My favourite challenges this year  were the border challenge and the Princess and the Pea soft toy for my Grandaughter



 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we did lots more things far too many to talk about here, I have just selected a few of my favourites. We are really looking forward to 2019 to meeting lots of new people and helping them to love sewing and fabric the way we do, we will also be moving to a new website that we hope will be more user friendly. As a result we are asking for your help to clear some of our stash by taking a look at our Biggest Clearance sale yet starting on line on the 29th December, with a  Pop Up Shop on the 5th of January. We really want to reduce the amount of stock to transfer to the new site, this will then give us more time for sewing and watching the Sewing Bee when it starts in January.

All that is left for us to do now before starting on the Mince Pies is to say……………


 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank you all for your custom

Diana and Claire

 

 

 

 

 

Our Guide to Two Stitches Sewing Patterns – Modern Patterns for Children’s Clothes With a Vintage Twist




Great news all our favourite tested Two stitches patterns are back in stock, so I thought I would take time to review them as to their ease, areas to look out for and hints and tips.

 

NEW Pattern Zoe Dress


A traditional A-line dress with a gently curved bottom panel where the pockets are concealed, and a fully buttoned back. Whether you choose the short sleeve or sleeveless option, use contrasting fabric for the front panel or not, this is a fun pattern to add your own touch to.

The most difficult part of this dress is the buttonholes, sewing the curve and putting in the sleeves.

The pattern is rated with a difficulty level of 2.  My opinion is that anyone with a little experience should be able to make this.


If you cannot manage buttonholes then I would suggest using snap fasteners.                 (there really is no excuse for not giving it a try!)

The sleeves are not difficult just fiddly, but if you are going to make children’s clothes then you need to get used to fiddly!!!!!!

There is always the sleeveless option if you really don’t want to try the sleeves.

Most Popular Pattern Frida Dress and Swing Top


A classic dress with a twist, this simple A-line dress with a lined bodice has a pleated front which creates body and swing. The pattern includes a shorter version for a swing top.

It is really easy to make and looks very professional when complete.

This pattern is rated with a difficulty level of 1 and is really easy for a beginner. We have made this many times in an evenings class with complete beginners in an evening 🙂

Possible Pitfalls

Make sure you follow steps 1-4 carefully as this will create the pleats. Once pleats are sewn the neck of dress should be the same size as the neck of the lining.

 

Cute Charlie Hoodie


A modern version of the classic hoodie, this unisex pattern has a geometric twist with a triangular front panel, hidden pockets and a funnel neck hood to give a more contemporary feel. The pattern includes a longer A-line version for a tunic dress.

The pattern is rated with a difficulty level 2. I would say 2+ particularly if you are new to sewing with knit/jersey, I think anyone with a little experience should be able to make this.

The first hurdle I hit is pattern matching the front, the front of the hoodie looks like an upside down Y shape, sounds easy but it is really important if using a patterned fabric to have the front middle pattern matched as it is so prominent,
I decided to try again, this time altering the pattern to get rid of the join down the middle of the front – avoiding that tricky pattern matching!

I folded over the right edge of the front pattern piece (the side that becomes the middle of the front) by my seam allowance.  Then I folded the front fabric in half, right sides facing each other, and placed the amended pattern piece on top, with the folded over edge on the fold of the fabric. This meant I did not have to sew the two front pieces together and the end result was perfect!

Conclusion cut on fold method is best for patterned fabric, whereas Y shape detail is nice on a solid fabric so best not cut on the fold.

I do hope you enjoy making up this hoodie as much as I did.

 

 

 

 

 

Adorable Babygro


A baby basic – using fun jersey prints, or classic solids with a contrast trim, this sweet onesie includes snap fasteners on the gusset that open completely and a soft neckline for quick and easy access and comfortable wear. The pattern is rated with a difficulty level of 2 if you are new to sewing with knit/jersey and then I would classify as a 3. The most difficult part for me was topstitching the bindings and ensure I did get there, but it took a little practice with the knit fabric.

However, I did enjoy the challenge and the outcome was beautiful.

 

Classic Freddie Dungarees/Dress


A unisex dungaree pattern for babies and toddlers, with contrast facing for straps, bibs, pockets and turn-ups. Keeping practicality in mind the pattern features snap fasteners on the inner leg, an elasticated back waist and side buttons. A dress version is also included.

There is also a version for 2 years plus that does not have the snap fasteners on the inner leg.

The pattern is rated as a difficulty level of 3 and I would say that it is really suitable for the more experienced sewer , There are lots of steps involved in making both the dress and the dungarees but they are worth taking! I made both patterns in baby cord and my automatic buttonhole foot struggled with this fabric so I used snap fasteners in place of buttons on the dress. (except for the bib as there were no buttonholes here).

 

Versatile Eddie Blouse and Shirt Dress


A classic shaped blouse with a front yoke and gathered front panel. The choice of two different collars, lengths and sleeves makes this is a versatile pattern and a perfect addition to any girls wardrobe!
The most difficult part of this dress is the buttonholes, the collar and putting in the sleeves.


The pattern is rated with a difficulty level of 2, but I think anyone with a little experience should be able to make this. In fact we have made in class with beginners as with the Zoe dress snap fasteners could be used instead of buttons to avoid buttonholes. All this really takes to make is a little patience and to follow the pattern carefully.

 

 

Bonus Knot Tie Hat available as PDF only

A cute and quick make for any and all babies in your life. This hat is sweet and stretchy and can be made from small offcuts of jersey.

All you need is half an hour a sewing machine a half a fat qtr of fabric! So get sorting through those off cuts in your stash.

 

 

 

Patterns can be found at http://www.printstopolkadots.co.uk/gb/sewing-patterns/by-designer/two-stitches-0

Fabric Border Print Challenge


Border Prints were first in line, what to make to showcase the 4 border print fabrics Claire had given me??

Decision made – I will make a couple of girls dresses, a Christmas apron and a cushion.

I will start with the cushion, Michael Miller’s Foxwood border print fits a 45cm cushion perfectly.


The Foxwood Fabric made a lovely cushion – I chose an envelope style cover with buttons perfect for the beginner

 

Follow the link below for instructions on how to make an envelope cushion without buttonholes.

http://blog.printstopolkadots.co.uk/?p=134416

 

 

 

 

 

After looking at Michael Miller’s Holly Jolly Gnome fabric I decided to make a Christmas apron, I worked with the free retro apron pattern on our blog changing it slightly to a reversible apron with a frill, as I wanted to avoid bias binding ( making this easier for beginners}.

I just cut out two main pieces as per the pattern plus a long strip of the contrast fabric (about 1 5 times measurement of outside edge of apron x 2.5 inches wide) folded the long strip in half pressed and gathered on a long stitch, pulling gathers through so that it fitted around edge of apron. Then placed 1 main piece on table with right side facing up and matched raw edges of frill with raw edges around main piece of fabric, then placed the second main piece on top with right side facing down. (the frill should be sandwiched between the two main pieces and all raw edges should be together. Pin and sew round raw edges leaving top of apron open to enable you to turn apron through. Turn the apron right sides out continue following pattern for waistband and straps.


Follow the link below for the Original Free Retro Apron Pattern

http://blog.printstopolkadots.co.uk/?p=132966

 

 

 

 

There is no place like gnome for Christmas Lunch 🙂

As soon as I saw Michael Miller’s Swan Lake fabric I had a picture in my mind of the dress I wanted to make

I browsed the pattern websites and found just what I was looking for, the dress was called vintage Kate and it was designed and sold by The Freckled Pear on Etsy as a PDF. Perfect I purchased, downloaded and then cut and sellotaped pieces together.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/thefreckledpear

 

nnnnnn

Vintage Kate Dress in Michael Miller Swan lake Fabric

Really pleased with the result, the dress was not difficult to make, but I did spend time fussy cutting the fabric to make the best of the border, the finishing touch was the addition of white piping around the waist.

Fancy having a go at making it?  Then join us at our Intermediate childrens clothes workshop in December

http://www.printstopolkadots.co.uk/gb/sewing-school-witney-pop-up-fabric-shops/witney-sewing-school/sewing-courses-available-now/sewing-school—dressmaking—intermediate-childrens-clothes-

 

Nova Meadow Main Fabric Border Print

 


Just Perfect

Last Fabric was an Art Gallery Print, I wanted to bring a second fabric into the next dress so decided on a Lily Bird design which has a small panel in 2nd fabric.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/211151246/lily-bird-studio-pdf-sewing-pattern?ref=shop_home_active_18

This dress is a beauty and reasonably easy for an intermediate sewer, the only tricky part was putting in the invisible zip.

This will also be available as a choice at our Intermediate childrens clothes sewing workshop here in Ducklington, just outside Witney in Oxfordshire, in December in any fabric you choose


That’s all four items made but I do have a remnant of Holly Jolly Gnome fabric so I have made a bonus skirt. The pattern is available free on our blog

http://blog.printstopolkadots.co.uk/?p=134972

 

 

 

All fabric now sewn, so its time to see what lands next to my sewing machine next!

I have enjoyed working with borders, they do make you think out of the box which is great at my age as I need to keep those grey cells working!

Diana

Cool For Cats!

Dashwood Studio’s Cool for Cats fabric collection is now available online – it is already proving very popular and it is easy to see why – which one is your favourite?


Leaping Cats on Grey…


Playful Cats on White


Funky Cats on Blue


Bohemian Cats on Mustard


Geo Cats on White

Having trouble choosing?  Why not go for a fat quarter bundle!

 

Its Playtime!

Introducing Dashwood Studio’s Playtime fabric collection – perfect for so many projects – from curtains and home furnishing to bunting, bags, tops, trousers and dresses 🙂


The collection includes robots…


Super girls!


Dinosaurs in Blue and Green…


and in orange and pink…

Monsters…

and of course unicorns!



Order online at www.printstopolkadots.co.uk – click on any of the images above to jump straight to the right page!

Interfacing Guide – Crafts, Home Décor Projects, Soft Toys and Bags!


Welcome to part 2 of our guide to interfacing, if you missed part one – click here.

Part 2 deals with core craft, home decor, soft toy and bag interfacings.  These all build on the core interfacings (light, medium and heavy-weight) covered in Part 1.

Fusible Fleeces

H630 – Is a low loft fusible fleece, less about adding obvious padding and more about adding a cuddle factor to bags, purses and soft toy parts, such as ears as well as zipper pouches and small projects that need to defy gravity to hold their shape!

H640 – Is a high loft fusible fleece for situations where you want the finished project to have a noticeably padded feel to it or where you want the structure to be stiffer (hold its own shape better) than H630 would allow- bags, some clothing, fabric boxes, tablet covers etc.. are great examples of places where you would find H640.

H650 – Is a double sided fusible fleece – simply iron you chosen fabrics onto each side of the interfacing and you have created your own quilted fabric!  Perfect for lightweight quilts and picnic blankets and for any projects where you want a combination of external fabric, wadding and lining.  Just bear in mind, it is best used where the raw edges can be finished with binding or bias tape rather than where you will be sewing pieces together in the usual way (in this situation you will still be able to see the raw edges inside your project and the wadding will add bulk).

Quilters Grid (Also Known as Pellon 820)

Whether you are making a whole quilt out of squares and strips, a panel for a bag or purse, quilting blocks to use in mix and match quilt design or other crafty make, Quilters Grid will make your life easier.

  • There is no need to pin your pieces together as they are fused to the interfacing.
  • Once you have plotted your design you iron it into place on the Quilters Grid – ensuring you don’t get bits mixed up between the table and the sewing machine.
  • Because the design is fused onto the interfacing it doesn’t get pulled out of shape during sewing and ironing processes.
  • You sew your patchwork together in lines, rather than pairs, speeding up the sewing time.

Click here to view our step by step guide to this product.


Heat n Bond Adhesives

We currently stock two types of Heat n Bond Adhesive and a third is on its way!

Heat n Bond is glue on a sheet, you can draw or print an image on the sheet, cut it out and iron it onto the back of your fabric.  You then peel the paper off the back and iron your shape onto your project.

Heat n Bond Ultra is a no-sew option, once it is ironed on you are done – your item can be washed and it won’t fall off!

Heat n Bond Lite is the option to pick if you want to stitch around the outside of the applique, the glue is designed to NOT rub off onto your needle so is better for your sewing machine.

Heat n Bond Soft Stretch is the version to use when adding your applique to stretchy fabrics – this one will help your applique stretch with the garment!


Flexi-Firm

Flexi-firm will make your fabrics behave more like paper or card.  It was originally designed for use in those stiff flat pelmets you find above certain types of curtains, and in tie backs.

S320 is the lighter version,  loved by sewers of baskets, hats and bags, this interfacing adds shape to your projects without bulk.  Soft and flexible enough to easily ‘turn out’ of double sided project and to manipulate when sewing.

 S520 is the daddy of stiff interfacings!  Used across the world in bands, belts, bags, boxes and other creative handicrafts. This interfacing adds defined shape to your projects – we use it to create stiff bag bottoms that can still be washed!


Stickvlies

Also known as stitch and tear, Stickvlies is the perfect embroidery and applique backing and is great for transferring and making topstitch work and patchwork.

Tack onto the reverse of your fabric to hold in place, sew or applique your motif and tear away the excess interfacing – it’s as simple as that!

Great for achieving accurate embroidery and snag free appliqué using the sewing machine.

Also suitable for transferring and sewing quilting motifs.

A Couple Of Extras!

Not sure these are technically interfacings but they behave like interfacings so we are including them in our guide:-)

ODIF 505 Basting Spray

Basting spray is a dream product for quilters!

I have to admit, if I am using traditional wadding, I always use this to glue my quilt sandwich together!

I find fabrics move too much when I pin and I don’t have the patience to hand tack the layers together.  I simply spray the basting spray onto my wadding, add my quilt top, then flip over and do the same thing with the backing fabric.  The glue is repositionable and stays good for a few months, so plenty of time to finish the quilting off!


Heat n Press Batting Tape

Batting tape is a super strong but very thin tape that you iron over joins in wadding/batting for quilts.  It is designed to be easy to sew through and won’t fall apart.  It allows you to make the most of your batting scraps, joining small pieces together to make larger, quilt size pieces of batting.

Visit our store to see a short video demonstration.


Waist-Shaper – Great for Bag Straps!

Available is a range of widths and designed with dressmakers and waistbands in mind, waist shaper is actually really great for bag straps.  It adds a lot of strength to your straps, stopping them sag and making your bag looking tired, but most of all it allows you to very quickly and accurately makes straps for your bags – with less fabric!

You simply iron it on to the back of your fabric, then fold along the perforated edges and sew shut.

 

Combining Interfacings

Did you know you can combine interfacings, just keep adding layers and ironing them into place!

We often combine interfacings when making bags and zipper pouches, our zipper pouch tutorial uses a medium weight interfacing on the outside fabric and H630 on the lining.

Our lined tote uses both medium weight interfacing, and flexi-firm for the bag’s base – no one likes a soggy bottom!

Many sewing bloggers often combine Vilene’s woven interfacing with H630, the woven interfacing gives a super smooth finish on the outside of a clutch or purse and the H630 fleece gives a luxury soft touch feel.

Sewer’s Guide to Interfacing – The Basics and Dressmaking


If you have ever walked into a fabric store and walked over to the interfacing section only to turn on your heels and walk the other way – you are not alone!

Interfacing can be baffling – rows and rows of rolls and boxes that all seem the same but promise to do different things for you.

Over the next couple of blog posts we aim to demystify the world of interfacing, in particular, the world of fusible interfacing – who has time to sew interfacing in when you can iron it on!

Today we are going to focus on the basics and dressmaking interfacing, tomorrow we will look at craft interfacings – perfect for bags, baskets quilts are more!

The Science Bit!

Fabrics are made by weaving cotton threads together in a criss-cross pattern. The way each fabric is woven, the type and weight of the threads used, and the way you cut the fabric affects each fabric’s drape and stretchiness.

Interfacing disrupts drape. By understanding the different types of interfacing and their impact on your fabric, you can use this disruption to your advantage.

Fusible Versus Sew In

Interfacing can be sew-in or fusible, woven or non-woven. We recommend using fusible interfacing as it saves you a step in the sewing process, but if you want to retain the true drape of your fabric you will need to use sew-in interfacing.

Woven v Non-Woven

When you fuse non-woven interfacings on to your fabric all the little holes between the woven threads are filled in, the fabric becomes stiffer and the fabric’s natural drape is lost.

If you are only working on a small section of fabric, such as around buttonholes or on a collar, the loss of drape can be unnoticeable, or is the desired effect – no one wants a cuff that drapes, you want it to stand stiffly at the end of the sleeve, and the same is often true when making cushion covers, purses and bags, you use interfacing because you want your project to look smoother and stiffer.

In situations such as these, if the interfacing is going to end up between layers of fabric, or inside a cushion cover, there is no need to pay more for woven interfacing.

Woven interfacing comes into its own when you:

  • want to retain the drape of your fabric,
  • will not be covering the interfacing up with more fabric (non-woven interfacing can be damaged more easily and is less attractive),
  • need to add a high level of strength through your interfacing – in a book bag for example.

Woven interfacings are created in the same way as fabric and so have their own natural drape. When you fuse these to your main fabric you retain that drape.

They are stronger than non-woven interfacings, are harder to damage, and are pleasing to the eye.

How to tell the difference in store? Woven interfacings are more expensive and so will have the word woven in their title. They have the appearance of very fine fabric with the pattern of the weave visible to the naked eye.

Getting the Weight Right

Non-woven interfacing is sold in three weights, lightweight, medium weight and heavy weight.

There are two factors to consider when choosing the right one for your project:

  1. The weight of your fabric – lighter weight fabrics such as silk, should be used with lightweight interfacing, regular cottons should be used with medium weight interfacing, home decor weight fabrics need heavyweight interfacings.
  2. How much control you need – although you should stick to the right weight for your fabric, you can move up the interfacing weights in order to increase the level of stiffness you want to add to your fabric, or down the range to minimise the impact of the interfacing.

Specialist Dressmaking Interfacings

The core interfacings for dressmaking remain light, medium and heavy weight interfacing, woven or non-woven.  Whether you are strengthening a buttonhole or stiffening a cuff, these are the interfacings you will be directed to use.

However, there are a few newer interfacings that can take some of the hard work out of dressmaking that are well worth knowing about…


Fix-a-Band / Waist Shaper

Waist shaper does what it says on the tin!

This fab interfacing comes in a number of widths.  Simply iron it onto the back of your fabric and then fold the fabric along the perforated edges in the interfacing.

You will end up with a very crisp waistband, perfectly sized, and strengthened by the interfacing – we also use this one for bag straps!


Edge Tape – For Non-Stretchy/Woven Fabrics

Edge tape can be applied to any cut edges to stablize them, given them strength and stability during the sewing process and beyond.

It is very soft and low-stretch and is easily ironed into shape. It stabilises front edges, armholes and lapels on jackets and coats. Other application areas include pocket openings, vents, hems and other edges. Washable and dry cleanable.

Edge tape is designed for use on non-stretchy or woven fabrics NOT stretchy fabric and NOT around curves, for tapes for these fabrics and situations read on…


Seam Tape – For Stretchy Fabrics

If you iron regular interfacings onto stretch fabrics they will most likely break and fall off in use.  If you sew regular interfacing onto stretchy fabrics you may not find it breaks, but it will stop your fabrics from stretchy the way they are designed to.

This interfacing will stabilize your fabric’s structure whilst still breathing with the fabric as it moves.

Vilene’s Seam Tape is designed for use with stretchy fabrics, from velvet at one end of the spectrum through jersey and knit fabrics and all the way over to the Lycras at the other end.

Simply iron this tape onto the back of your fabrics around areas that will be subject to the greatest amount of stretch in daily life – around pockets, buttons and buttonholes etc..  and on areas of your garment that could become permanently stretched out of shape during the sewing process – typically around any curves, hems, and necklines.


Bias Tape – Not Your Regular Bias Tape (Stay Stitching on a Roll)!

Whilst I get why Vilene called this one bias tape, it is made from interfacing cut on the bias, I really wish they would come up with a better name as it can be off-putting and confusing!

Think of Vilene’s Bias Tape as a seam tape for curves or stay stitching on a roll!

You will often find patterns instruct you to ‘stay stitch’ areas of the pattern pieces.  You do this because when the fabric is cut but not sewn it is prone to stretching, you may not even notice this stretch until you have finished your garment, but it can have devastating consequences, a neckline can be floppy or other parts fo the garment appear limp or out of shape, and there is nothing you can do at this point to rescue the garment.

Carefully stay stitching – sewing around the edges of the pattern pieces using a large stitch, close to the edge, will stabilise your fabrics and this is why it is recommended, but even the action of staystitching can result in stretching if you are guilty of pulling your fabrics through the sewing machine 🙂

Vilene’s Bias Tape is a heaven-sent little tape that does the job of stay-stitching for you.  The tape is just 12mm wide and has a stay stitch running down one side.  Iron the tape into place and your fabric will be stabilised and you will be ready to start dressmaking.

Everything You Need to Know About Bias Tape!

This week is all about haberdashery and sewing equipment here at Prints to Polka Dots and today’s focus is on bias tape – choosing and using ready-made tape and making your own!


Ready-made versus homemade

Sewers are often discouraged from making their own bias tape, it seems like a lot of work and you can buy ready-made tape in a wide range of colours cheaply and easily.  So why would you bother?

We love ready-made bias tape when it is used properly and in the right context,  When your bias tape is going to end up hidden on the back of your make the ready-made tape really is hard to beat, it is cheap and more importantly, thin, so doesn’t add bulk to your makes.

We sell bias tape by the meter and by the roll in a wide range of colours for this purpose – click here to view in store.

BUT we do not recommend using bias tape for either hanging bunting (our bunting tape is so much better for that) or where the bias tape will be seen in the finished make.  Ready-made bias tape tends to be quite see-through so you will see your main fabric through it, and if you don’t line the main fabric right up into the crease, you will also see the wobbly raw edge of the fabric trapped inside your bias tape.

There is of course always an exception to the rule, we have seen some premium ready-made bias tapes that are made from thicker fabric which is not see-through, so you could decide to search these out if you don’t want to make your own, but these are not the standard bias tapes, which are thinner for a reason!

Making your own bias tape is really very easy and the folding and pressing of the creases into the tape is made into a fun activity with the addition of a bias tape maker – click here to view in store.

To find out more about bias tape download one or more parts of our Comprehensive Guide to Bias Tape:

Bias Tape Guide

Part 1 – What is bias tape? Which type should you use in which situation.  Homemade versus shop bought.
Part 2 – Sewing with single fold tape and how to turn single fold tape into double fold.
Part 3 – Sewing with double fold tape.
Part 4- Making your own bias tape – both strip and continuous methods.

Quick Quilting – Making an I Spy Quilt With Quilter’s Grid


Pellon the quick way to Quilt

I decided to make an I spy quilt for the grandchildren, it was great fun gathering the different fabrics, but when it came to sewing squares together I panicked. Would I be  patient enough  to sew 63 squares together and keep them perfectly  square ?.

I spoke to Claire about my concerns and she introduced me to Pellon a new grid paper she had started stocking to enable easy square quilting (also known as Vilene Quilter’s Grid).

http://www.printstopolkadots.co.uk/gb/index.php?route=product/search&search=pellon

Perfect just what I needed, now everyone thinks I can sew perfect squares!!

I have detailed the steps I took to make my I spy Panel below.

Step 1
Cut Pellon to the size required for your completed Quilt


 

Step 2

Lay Pellon sticky side up and lay your squares right sides up raw edges together

 


Step 3

When happy with design Iron squares onto Pellon

Step 4

Fold and pin across Horizontal lines

Note lines should be the size of your square apart
Example 5” squares line should be 5” apart

 


Step 5

Sew each line with a 1/4” seam allowance


Repeat step 4 to 5 with vertical lines

You will now have a piece of fabric made from different fabric squares. This can be used to make many things. I turned mine into an I Spy quilt.


I used 3 inch strips to make a border

I then cut piece of fusible fleece the same size as the backing fabric to go in between the panel and backing fabric. (I used Vilene – Fusible Fleece 3 Fusible on Both Sides H650 as this does not have to be stitched through to hold in place).

I then cut a piece of backing fabric the same size as the quilt front (including border)

This was all sandwiched together with fusible fleece in the middle of the sandwich

Next step to iron both sides of quilt to ensure wadding is stuck to both sides

The final step was to bind the edges and hey presto I had my I Spy quilt

No further sewing required as the fusible fleece does not break up like wadding.



Here I have made a drawstring bag using a small section of patchwork made with Pellon mixed with normal fabric – if you are local you can join us for a fun evening making one of these – click here.

This is a quick efficient way to make a squared  patchwork panel for those of you (like me) do not enjoy the challenge of Pure quilting.

Good Luck and Enjoy

Diana