Pink Castle Blog

How to Free Motion Quilt with the Janome 6700p

Posted by Katie Remski on Oct 3, 2017 3:18:27 PM
  

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

One of our most commonly asked questions is how to free motion quilt on their sewing machine at home. Free motion quilting (FMQ) is fun and simple with a little practice, and lets you really customize your quilt exactly the way you want. Today, I'll show you the basics on one of our favorite machines, the Janome 6700p! Even if you don't have this specific machine, the basic procedures still apply. free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

1. If your machine has an extension table, attach it to the machine. The 6700p is sold with the extention table, but if your machine does not have one, most have the option to purchase one separately. This makes it easier to quilt because the weight of the quilt will be displaced over the table and you can better see where you're going! 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

2. Drop the feed dogs. This is the single most important step in setting your machine up for FMQ, as the feed dogs "pull" your fabric in a straight path and do not allow for side to side movement. How to lower the feed dogs will vary by machine; check your manual first to see how. On the 6700p, all we have to do is flip the side lever to lower the feed dogs. 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

3. Attach the FMQ foot. The 6700p includes this as well, but again, you can also buy one for your machine. 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

4. Set your stitch length to 0. 

5. Once everything is set up and tension/speed is correct, use a fabric pen or pencil and practice drawing lines and squiggles and other designs on scrap quilt sandwiches. Practice FMQ, following the drawn lines and feeding the fabric smoothly through the machine. 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

When you're confident with your design, you can move on to quilting your quilt! 

See all Janome machines online!

Topics: Janome, Tutorial, machine quilting, Quilting, 6700p, free tutorial, free motion quilting

Scrappy Liberty Lanyard Tutorial

Posted by Katie Remski on Sep 22, 2017 4:53:44 PM
  

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

If you love Liberty of London Tana Lawn, you know how precious every little scrap is! This patchwork lanyard not only helps you use up small pieces of fabric, but it gives you an easy way to "wear" a piece of Liberty patchwork. Here's how to make one of your own! 

For fabric, I used prints from one Liberty Scrap Pack. If you don't have scraps left over from projects, this is a great way to get a variety of prints in small cuts. One lanyard certainly won't take up the whole pack, so you'll still have some fabric left over. You'll also need some lightweight interfacing and a swivel hook or lanyard clip + jump ring. If you don't want a scrappy piecded lanyard, just cut a 44" by 3" strip of fabric and start the instructions at step 4. 

Materials

Asorted Liberty of London Scraps

1/4 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing 

Swivel hook OR lanyard clip + jump ring

1. Cut

From fabric: the only rule is each piece needs to be AT LEAST 3" long and at least 1" wide. Don't worry about making the scraps all the same size, as long as the 3"+ sides are cut straight. 

From interfacing: Ultimately, you need a long strip that's 43" long and 2" wide, but since interfacing is typically only 20" wide you'll need to piece it (more on that later.)

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

2. Sew

Start sewing the scraps longest-sides together, using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

Keep going until you have a strip that's about 44" long. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

3. Iron

Press all seams open. It's important that they're pressed open to reduce bulk; pressing to one side would make a bumpy lanyard. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

4.Fuse Interfacing

Lay 2" wide interfacing strips in the middle of your Liberty strip, centered as well as you can. Press according to interfacing directions. To extend the full length of the Liberty piece, butt the next interfacing strip right up against the previous one. Repeat pressing and laying down interfacing until you reach the end of the Liberty strip. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
You'll end up with a piece that looks like this.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

5. Trim

Trim away irregular edges, leaving a 1/4" margin of fabric around the interfacing. Repeat on both sides. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

All neat and trimmed!

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

6. Fold

Fold the strip in half lengthwise and iron to crease. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Unfold strip and fold both sides in toward the center crease; press.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

Fold the whole strip in half and press.  

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Use WonderClips or pins to secure in place.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

7. Stitch

Sew down clipped size with a very small seam allowance-- try to get as close to the edge as you can while still catching all layers and sewing straight. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Turn and sew down the folded size, using the same small seam allowance you used on the other side.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
You now have a sewn strip of Liberty that's about 43" long. You're almost done! Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

8. Sew on hook

Slide swivel hook or jump ring onto one end of strip. Fold up end to make about a 1" loop. Take other end of strip (careful- don't twist it at all!) fold it under about 3/4". 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
clip or pin the folds on top of each other, raw edges and folds on the inside.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Stitch down folds, going through all 4 layers, sewing from one side of the lanyard to the other.   Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

Move up about 1" and sew across again. 

 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

If you would like, you can sew an "X" from corner to corner between the two lines of stitching for extra security. Clip threads. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

You're all done! Use lanyards for name badges, keys, tiny scissors and notions, glasses, or whatever you need to keep nearby! If you make a scrappy lanyard from this tutorial, use the hashtag #scrappylibertylanyard and #pinkcastlefabrics 

Buy Yourself Some Liberty Here!

Topics: Liberty of London, Tana Lawn, Glamp Stitchalot, Free Pattern, Tutorial, lanyard, free tutorial, glamp, liberty, technique, glamp 4

Free Pattern: 1 Yard Liberty Lawn Easy Kimono Top

Posted by Katie Remski on May 23, 2017 9:24:50 AM
  

 kimonotopfinished-1.jpg

"I have nothing to wear!"

Have you ever wished there was a garment you could make that would be fast, simple, and actually wearable in everyday life? Open-front kimono tops are definitely having a moment, with stores and designers at every price point jumping on the trend. This light throw-on layering piece couldn't be more simple to make, and will look just perfect over anything, from a sophisticated sheath dress to your favorite concert tee. With just 1 yard (36" by 54")  2 seams, and a little hemming, you can make this simple kimono-style top with our free apparel pattern! 

What is Tana Lawn fabric? 

I chose Liberty Tana Lawn for our free pattern because it has all the features of good cotton fabric: light and airy to catch those gentle summer breezes, and always cool against your skin. You can machine wash it with a cool, gentle cycle and a little detergent, and the crisp weave will keep looking fresh for years. Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabrics are perfect for apparel-- a 54" width makes for easy pattern placement and means you get a pretty decent amount of fabric for your money. 

sideviewkimono.jpg

With the body and sleeves cut as a single piece, the kimono has a gently angled front and flattering drape. One yard works perfectly with the PDF cutting diagram and will fit ladies' sizes small-XL as is (you'll just have more or less ease depending on body type.) If a longer length or larger size is desired, more than one yard can be used-- simply fold the fabric lengthwise instead of widthwise to accomodate cutting proportions.   We are so excited to see the tops you make with our free kimono pattern!

Free Easy Kimono Top Pattern

Materials:

Notes:

  • This pattern works best on non-directional prints (a print like the one featured that looks the same up, down, and across.) If your Liberty lawn is a directional print (such as brids or animals that you don't want to be upside down,) use 1.5 yards to get the 54" needed length. 
  • 5/8" seam allowances are used for side/underarm seams. 
  • Use a zizag stitch or overlocking stitch on a regular sewing machine to finish seams. A serger's blade may cut underarm corners too deeply as you pivot. If you would like to use a serger to finish seams, practice turning corners on a piece of scrap fabric first. 
  • A narrow rolled hem works best on the neck/front opening. Clip the 2 neckline corners as needed for ease. Alternatively, you can also bind the opening with premade or homemade bias tape.
  • For the sleeves and bottom of kimono top, I used a 1" hem. If you have a coverstitch machine, that would also make very nicely finished hems. 

  

Step 1: Fabric layout 

DSC01258.jpg

The folded edge is at the top, furthest away from you. The selvedge is at the bottom, closest to you. 

 

Step 2: Mark lines and cut fabric 

DSC01259.jpg

Using a fabric marking tool and ruler, mark all lines from diagram onto fabric exactly as shown. 

 

DSC01278.jpg
 

For cutting the front "V" shape, remember to cut ONLY the top layer! cut off top of "V" at the folded edge. 

DSC01296.jpg

 

Step 3: Sew!

kimono_pic.jpg

Sewing diagram 

Flip your piece over so right sides are together. Pin in place, then use a 5/8" seam allowance to stitch up the side seam, pivot, then sew down the sleeve. Repeat on other side. 

Hint: now is a good time to try your kimono top on and see how deep you want your sleeve and bottom hem to be-- I choose a 1" hem, with a 1/4" edge turned under first so there would be no raw edges. 

Hem front opening/neckline using a narrow rolled hem, clipping back neckline as needed for easing in seam. Don't worry if you have to clip corners in order to turn hem-- just backstitch over the a few times to prevent fraying. 

Turn sleeve hems under 1/4"  and press, then turn them under 1" and press. Pin in place, then stitch around. Repeat for second sleeve. 

Turn bottom hem up 1/4" and press, then turn hem up 1" and press. Pin in place, then stitch. 

Give your kimono top a final press, and you're all done!

Make sure to take a photo and tag us on Instagram!

#pinkcastlefabrics

#easykimonopattern

Want to see all the Liberty of London fabric we have in store for you? Check out this post to get some great quilt pattern ideas with Liberty!

Buy Yourself Some Liberty Here!


 

Topics: Liberty of London, garments, Free Pattern, Tutorial, Apparel Sewing, Techniques

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along - Week 2: Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Aug 5, 2015 10:49:00 PM
  

Hello! Welcome to the second week of our Ventana Quilt Along!

This week, as promised, I will take you through all the steps of paper piecing the blocks for the Ventana quilt! I've broken down this process and will take you through it little by little with TONS of photos along the way. Let's get started!

After last week's post, I hope you've chosen your fabric. I showed you my stack last week and I finally selected my background-- this Alison Glass text print. I wanted something that would read light and neutral and this does just that. Plus, I opted for the indigo on white as opposed to black so it wouldn't be too harsh and the indigo plays really well on the navy tones throughout many of my prints. Onward!

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Let's start the paper piecing. First off, it's always important to start with well pressed fabric. When I press mine, I use Flatter as a starch alternative to keep my fabrics pressed really well. Using a starch alternative to press your fabric also makes it a little easier to handle when you're piecing and it keeps things clean and precise. Plus, it smells so good. Yuzu is my favorite! Side note: the fabric I'm starting with as my main print is this one from Kim Kight's Cookie Book.

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

After you've either copied your printed version of the pattern or printed out templates from the PDF, trim down the paper to just template. Make sure you use paper scissors to this so you don't dull your fabric shears. Or, save your old, dull rotary blades and use them in a specially marked rotary cutter for paper! That's what I do-- much faster than cutting things out by hand!

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Next, cut out your fabric. The Ventana pattern suggests cutting your main print into a 5" x 11" piece and two 4" x 5" pieces and the background cut into 4" squares and 3" squares. Then, cut the 3" squares into half square triangles which will reduce waste!

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Now, take your 9" x 11" piece and place it wrong side against the back of the center pattern template.

To keep such a large piece from shifting while you sew the coming seams, glue or pin the fabric to the paper. I like to use one of these fabric glue pens. These are formulated specifically for acting as a temporary adhesive to fabric-- the glue is totally water soluble and is super low tack so it's strong enough just to hold things in place but is easily readjustable. (These are great if you do English paper piecing too!)

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Next, we'll start sewing! Beginning at the section marked 2, take one of your half square triangles of background fabric and place it right sides together with the main print fabric, lining up the raw edge with the sewing line and accommodating for a 1/4" seam allowance. This is most easily done by holding fabric up to the light and making sure your seam allowance reaches over the sewing line. This is kind of tricky to explain so photos best depict what you're looking for.

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along
Now stitch! Sew your seams with paper piecing at a super short stitch length (1.5 to 2, maximum) and preferably a slightly larger needle than you would normally use (Alison suggests 90/14). These larger holes placed closer together will perforate the paper more and make tearing paper out MUCH easier later down the line! Plus, a short stitch length keeps your seams strong when you're pulling against them to tear out papers.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Next, you'll need to trim away the excess fabric from the seam allowance. This is pretty simple but be careful here! It's easy to make a mistake. To do this, place your piece fabric side down and fold back the paper along your stitch line. Line up the 1/4" mark on your ruler and cut away the excess. Be careful to make sure that none of the necessary fabric is on the wrong side of your rotary blade. Tearing out seams and restitching on paper only holds up for one or two tries.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Now, fold the paper back into place and press your seam toward the raw edge! 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for sections 3, 4, 5. You'll cover all four corners like this. It's okay if it's a bit wonky! It will trim down just fine. Note: it is important for the fabric to overhang the paper a little bit. You want to make sure all the paper is 100% covered otherwise, those short spots will eat into your seam allowance, if not the actual design. If it doesn't cover the design, you'll have a hole in your block!
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Flip your whole piece to have the fabric side down and trim away all the excess fabric right up to the paper, being careful not to further trim the paper.
Ta-da! The center section is done! Let's move on to the top section. Take one of the 4" x 5" pieces you cut and center it in the paper template like you did for the center piece. Pin or glue into place.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Take one of your half square triangles and line it up to the 2 stitching line, just like you did with the corners of the center piece. Stitch in place.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Fold back the paper, as before, and trim excess down to 1/4".
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Press the triangle toward the raw edge. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for section 3: align, stitch, trim, press. Again, note that it looks wonky. And it's fine. Don't stress about it being totally perfect.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Next, take one of the 4" squares, place it right sides together with your main print fabric, and align with the vertical line on either side of the triangles, still accommodating for a 1/4" seam allowance by overhanging that stitching line. Stitch in place.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
As always, fold back the paper and trim excess down to 1/4", being careful not to cut pertinent fabric.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Fold paper back into place and press your new seam toward the raw edge and outer sides.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat on the other side. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Just like with the center piece, place the top section fabric side down and trim excess fabric all the way to the paper, without trimming the paper template. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for the bottom section. If you're using a print with directionality, keep things consistent. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Now, layout all three pieces! You're going to attach all these together next.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Take the bottom section and place it right sides together with the center piece, being careful to line up your paper templates, thus ensuring an even 1/4" allowance being taken from either piece. Stitch together.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Open up your sewn pieces. Wiggle your seam allowance back and forth a few times to loosen it up-- it'll make the paper easier to tear out later and in the mean time, it helps your seam allowance lay flatter.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Press your seam open!
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for the top section, give the block a good press and voilá! You have your very first foundation paper pieced block!
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Now only 29 more blocks to go! Piecing all the center sections, top sections, or bottom sections in a row (like you do with chain piecing) can help speed the process along. These blocks come together pretty quickly when you're not stopping every minute or two to take photos :)
 
Let me know how it goes!! I welcome comments and questions below! And again, be sure to share your progress on Instagram and Facebook! Tag @pinkcastlefabrics or #ventanaQAL so we can see your progress!
 

NEXT WEEK!

Once all of our blocks are successfully foundation pieced, we'll talk about laying them out-- color arrangements, sewing them together, and tearing those pesky papers out!
 
July 30 - Week 1: Fabric Selection 
August 6 - Week 2: Foundation Paper Piecing (we just did that!!)
August 13 - Week 3: Color Mapping & Block Assembly
August 20 - Week 4: Wrap Up

Topics: Tutorial, Paper Piecing, Alison Glass, Techniques, Quilting

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