Quilting, Open Toe Embroidery Foot and Easter Wreaths!

Easter week is upon us already and I haven’t even made my Easter runner yet. Four days left, better get cracking (sorry couldn’t resist that one!). The holidays are always an opportunity to get some sewing and crafting done with my own children, and ensures that I test run everything that I try with my students! So this is what we have been up to. Quilting, open toe embroidery/free sewing, discovering heat resistant wadding plus a little bit of Easter crafting too. I found a lovely fabric in IKEA which is only £5 per metre and is full of leaves. I thought it was nice and spring like and the large shapes make it ideal to practice sewing with an open toe foot on your machine.

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Typically this foot creates fear in some. It involves removing the shank on your machine to fit it and dropping the feed dog, but once you get it right it is good fun, even for kids. You can pick them up fairly cheaply on Amazon. So tips I have learnt along the way with some help from my Twitter friends…when sewing freely on fabric without wadding, your fabric must be stiff or stiffened with interfacing, otherwise it will look a mess. I tried using an embroidery hoop but it wouldn’t fit under the foot. Then ensure that your feed dog is down. Most machines have a knob at the back of the machine, sometimes you have to remove the arm of the machine to see it. This will drop the feed dog. Older machines or cheaper modern models will have a plastic or metal plate that you can clip on top of the feed dog instead.Thread as normal, leave tension as normal and away you go! If you have to change thread I found it affected the tension, so I had to lift the feed dog back up and drop it again to get it back to a nice tension.

Here is what we have made, we lined with heat resistant wadding and backed with curtain lining. Then used the veins in the leaves as our guides.  I did the middle one, the others were done by my children. 

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Another IKEA fabric seen here I used just to practice on but I bet that would make a nice quilting project too! 

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My grown up students have been quilting too! Here are some of Vicky’s creations and Nicky’s. Fabulous aren’t they? They tried out the walking foot for these creations.

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Lastly had to mention these as they are such a success, for less than £1 on Amazon you can buy wire florist’s wreaths. Cut all your scraps, or tear them to save time into 1 inch wide strips about 5 or 6 inches long. The tie with a single knot all around the wreath on both wires. It takes a lot of knots and about 1 1/2 hour of time, then fluff up and trim with scissors. These are the first ones my children made last week. They are beautiful and make a lovely Easter centre piece or on the door. I will be making some more as gifts and for Halloween and Christmas too!

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Have a wonderful Easter xxx

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