Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Tomorrow is a Blank Page....

I love this!  Let's make it 365 days of creative fun! 

#nextproject #becreative #letsdothistogether!

Monday, December 30, 2019

What is Thread Sketchinq?

Thread sketched female cardinal from my quilt, "Cardinal Fan"

One of my favorite techniques to encourage quilters to try is thread sketching.  While it may seem like a difficult technique, it is easy to learn using my training wheels to help you get started.

Thread sketched bib made for my granddaughter, Brinley.

Thread sketching is very similar to thread painting.  In fact the same techniques are used in both.

Thread sketching commercial fabric by Linda Bratten

While many use the terms interchangeable, thread sketching uses free motion quilting to enhance motifs on the quilt.  

Thread Painted Tree pattern from a book by Sulky

While thread painting is creating elements for a project purely out of thread.  

Thread Painted Swallowtail Butterfly, original design

While I enjoy both techniques, thread sketching is very similar to coloring with your sewing machine. It doesn't take as much thread or time as thread painting does.

Thread sketched and photo transferred quilt, Water Color Rose by Linda Bratten

Are you interested in finding out how I like to teach thread sketching?  Check out my video below!

I recommend practicing your thread sketching/painting by coloring fabric elements.  This way you can practice with out investing the creating time!

Thread sketching commercial fabrics using metallic threads by Linda Bratten

Thread sketching commercial fabric by Linda Bratten

If this is something you would like to try, be sure to check out my available thread sketching/painting patterns available in my online store. Click here to start shopping.

Daisy Delights available at www.LindaBrattenCreations.com
A block from the pattern, Falling in Love with Thread Sketching and Painting, available at www.LindaBrattenCreations.com

I am currently working on an online class to teach others how to thread sketch my pattern, Bronze Iris to create this fun wall hanging.

Bronze Iris by Linda Bratten

Close up of thread sketching of Bronze Iris by Linda Bratten

If you are interested in this opportunity, be sure to subscribe to my blog, Linda B Creative, where I will let you know when it is up and running.

 Planning my next post, 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019

What is a 1/4" Quilting Foot?

The 1/4" quilting or patchwork presser foot is one of my most used presser foot.  There are several variations to this foot depending on your brand of sewing machine, but here are some of the basic features that makes me love this foot.  

One of the obvious features of this foot is that the width of the foot assists you to stitch a 1/4" seam allowance. In most cases, if the raw edges of the fabric follow the outer edge of the presser foot, you will get a 1/4" seam allowance.

Some feet even have a metal support to assist you in maintaining the 1/4" seam allowance and producing a consistent product. This is a great feature for beginning quilters and quilters who like to piece fast.

Another feature that the 1/4" quilting presser foot has is notches that helps you gauge distances from your needle.  The notch in the front of the foot is 1/4" away from the needle.  This is helpful when you need to stop a 1/4" away from an edge like when sewing on a binding.

Likewise the notch in the back is 1/4" behind the needle.  This mark is helpful when sewing on bindings or sewing "Y" seams in your blocks.

Some feet may have additional notches that mark 1/8" so be sure to check the notches with a ruler.

Another thing to be mindful of is that many of the 1/4" patchwork foot allow only for a center needle justification.  So if you change your stitch to a zig zag or a left needle justification, you will break you needle on your presser foot.  This may damage your foot or worse your machine.

Also if you are not a quilter you can still find many uses for the 1/4" quilting presser foot.  It is great to top stitch 1/4" away from your seams.  I use it  when inserting zippers and when creating handles and straps for bags.  It is also great to create belt loops for pants and skirts.

Do you use a 1/4" quilting or patchwork presser foot?  If so what projects do you use it on?  

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

My Quilt Fabric Scraps

December is my month to prep for next year's classes.  This year I am creating classes that are intended to reinforce basic quilt making skills.  I have created lessons that look at traditional piecing techniques in a variety of ways.  

So my fabric scraps  come from my Basic Skill Builder sampler quilt.  As you can see there will be a variety of topics that we will cover in each session.  It is not a block of the month, since some sessions we will be creating two (or more) blocks for the sampler.  

Are you ready to grow as a quilterLooking to improve your skills?  I would love to have you in my class.  Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, Linda B Creative, where I share when and where I will be teaching next! Use this link to subscribe.

Off to create more classes!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Should Quilt Fabric Be Prewashed?

Today's prompt for the 31 Day Blog Post Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com asks the question, Do you prewash your fabrics?

Tints of the Past by Linda Bratten

When I first started quilting, it was never a question.  Only the brave never prewashed.  It was a time when not all dyes were colorfast.  Given the amount of time I have been quilting, technology has improved the colorfastness of many dyes.  This means that you may not need to prewash your fabrics.

Terrific Triangles by Linda Bratten

I am still in the habit of prewashing my fabrics.  I guess that means that I am not terribly brave or I don't like surprises after I have worked so hard on a quilt.  I don't judge the quilters who don't prewash.  I do recommend testing the fabric for colorfastness if you are not prewashing.
Basic Skill Builder Blocks by Linda Bratten

Testing for Colorfastness

To do this, take a white piece of fabric and dampen it.  Rub it on the fabric you want to test, then examine the area.  Did color come off on the white fabric?  Did it create a halo of colors around the fabric you are testing?  If so I would recommend prewashing. 

Some quilters will even cut a piece of the fabric off and place it in a white bowl with water and check the color of the water after it has set a while to look for dye particles that are free.

My Fantasy Garden 2 enhanced with textile paint

When You Should Prewash Your Fabric

There are a few time when I believe that you should prewash your fabric. This may be done by hand or in the washing machine. Choose the technique that the fabric can endure, and that is the same way the quilt will be laundered in the future.

Here are my recommendations:

1. If the quilt is for a young child that may put the quilt in his/her mouth.  Many fabrics have sizing and even insect repellants on them.  It would be important to remove those with a prewash.

2. If the quilt is going to someone who is chemical sensitive.  See reason #1.

3. If you are using hand dyed fabrics made from a non-commercial producer or from an unknown fabric producer .  Some may or may not wash the fabrics when they are done with the dyeing process. I highly recommend this if the fabric has red dye in it.

4. Any fabric that you have purchased second hand from a thrift store, garage sale, etc.  You never know how it was stored, and it may contain insect eggs that you do not want to introduce to your stash.  This is just a recommendation and not intended to offend a fellow quilter.

5. Any fabric that I have used a mixed media technique on that may be washed in the future.  I want to be sure it is colorfast before I sell or give the item away.

6. If the quilt is going to be used and laundered frequently.  This will insure that the fabric is pre-shrunk and color safe. Those much loved quilts can really take a beating.

My Fabulous Feathers enhanced with Inktense Pencils

I am curious as to what you prefer to do?  Let me know in the comments below!

Also don't forget to check out what the other participants are blogging about today.  Click here to find out!

Off to prewash some new found treasures, 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

On My Design Wall

Today's prompt for the 31 Day Blog Post Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com is on the design wall. 

December is when I do my class and workshop planning for the next year.  One project that I am currently working on is a Skill Builder class that takes a look at some basic blocks and the variety of construction techniques available to quilters. 

 It is an opportunity for beginners to advanced quilters to discover hints and tips to constructing pieced and applique blocks. 

Check out what other participants in the 31 Day Blog Post Challenge are working on by going here.

Off to finish my planning!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Quilt Pattern Testers for Designers

Pattern designed by Gosia Pawlowska of Quilts My Way

This year I was able to test a fun foundation paper piecing pattern designed by Gosia Pawlowska of Quilts My Way.  You can read about my start of the process here:https://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/2019/11/testing-quilt-pattern.html

As a pattern designer, I understand the importance of testing and creating a pattern that is easily understood and executed.  By having a variety of testers with various skills, I can create a pattern that a quilter can be successful with.

As a pattern designer some things that I look for in a quilt pattern tester are:

  1.  Possessing the skills needed to create the pattern.
  2. Able to test the pattern within the time allowed. I may be on a deadline with my printers and distributors so this is very important.
  3.  The ability to give constructive feedback. This means being able to explain why the process didn't work as directed, or what could improve the process.
  4. The ability to used required fabric/products as directed (exactly) in the pattern. If you use an alternate construction practice, I won't know if my instructions are correct.
  5. The skills needed to photograph the finished product and steps in the creation process. I may at times use my testers photos on social media and printed publications.  Also, this helps me identify issues in the creation of the pattern.

As a pattern designer I desire my patterns to have clear and concise directions, and to be accurate and complete. Using quilt pattern testers is one way I can offer a great product.

If you are interested in becoming a pattern tester, fill out the contact information on my website describing your skills in the comment sections. and I will add you to my growing list. Click Here to register.

Off to create something wonderful,

Friday, December 13, 2019

My Favorite Color is....

Yesterday's prompt was my favorite color.  And today's prompt is my least favorite color.  Since I missed yesterday's post, I will cover both today

To be truthful, I haven't met a color that I don't like.  But overall, I really love cobalt blue.  It just really worked for me. I love the bold hue, especially in glass and in the Blue Willow dishes that I love.

So it is no surprise that I adore the colors found in peacock feathers.

What is your favorite color?  Looking for color inspiration?  Be sure to check out my Pinterest Boards dedicated to different colors at Linda Bratten Creations.  Click here to go to my Pinterest Boards.

They are great ways to find color schemes to use in your projects and quilts.