Category: Articles

How To Fix Sewing Machines

Your sewing machine can be one of the most useful tools you own, allowing you to fix your clothes and design unique fashion items. However, when you’re just starting, it’s common to have a lot of questions about how the machine works. For example, you’ll need to learn how to thread it properly. Often, the best way to make sure that you’re doing everything correctly is by choosing the right equipment. This is an excellent guide to help you find the right beginner friendly sewing machine for you. However, even if you get an excellent machine, you might find that it stops working unexpectedly. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this might be happening and how you can solve these problems....

winged sun disk quilt « Ann Champion’s Blog

For the past couple of months I’ve set aside the Roseville Album applique so I could work on a surprise gift for my Daughter in Law.
She’s very fond of Egyptian art and has been since she was a child.  She remembers reading mythology, her first introduction at a very young age, and in the third grade did a project where she interpreted hyroglyphs.
I recall being interested in Egyptian antiquities myself at a young age, because our Art Museum here had an Egyptian display, including two Mummies…pretty exotic stuff!
From the time we first met I knew that some day I’d like to make her an Egyptian themed quilt to let her know what a valued addition to the family she was…I just didn’t know where to start or what the design would be.  My search for “Egyptain quilt” turned up no commercial patterns available.
I found a little...

Roof Top in brights « Ann Champion’s Blog

Today I’m pulling a a top from the quilt top cupboard with a Roof Top design.
It’s made up of long strips of fabrics and  cheater panels of squares.  Very simple construction, with not many pieces. 
The top is recent dating to 2006.  I bought it from a lady that made it and sold it on ebay. 
Please forgive my sloppy wordpress program isn’t letting me crop. 
I thought some machine quilting would make this a nice durable picnic/utility quilt? It measures 82″ x 89″.
The Roof Top pattern isn’t usd a lot, but makes a nice utility style quilt.
The Gee’s Bend quilters used the pattern.
Here you can see how the printed squares of the “cheater” fabric give a bit of extra interest to the piecing.  This might be a fun design to use with the large scale modern prints that are available now?  The ones that are so pretty you...

Ann Champion’s Blog

I know I’m supposed to be pulling items from the quilt top cupboard, but this is another one that wasn’t in the cupboard. It was in the box it came in.
It’s a wool fan “quilt in progress”.  There are 33 blocks done, with embroidery embellishments like would have been applied on a crazy quilt.
I laid the blocks out on the bed so you could see them.  I see I got a couple turned the wrong way (doh!) but you can get the general idea of how it should look?
There are 33 blocks that are finished and a lot of the wool fabrics to make more blocks.
The wool has been recycled from clothing and other sewing projects.
I’m pretty sure I can get at least 9 more blocks made with the  dark grey suiting background that was included, and if I want more it wouldn’t be hard to find a similar fabric?
Some of the pieces for additional blocks...

Ann Champion’s Blog

I started a last minute project for Christmas.
A couple of times recently my husband mentioned that I had never made him a quilt. I guess I hadn’t thought to? I don’t recall ever seeing him reach for and use the throws that are in the family room…but they are certainly there for his use.
He’s very supportive of my quilting and if it makes him feel slighted that he doesn’t have a quilt of his own I need to set that right!
He enjoys fly fishing so I thought I’d look online to see what patterns were available out there. Well, he doesn’t like aquas and greens. I’ve made two quilts with those colors and he doesn’t like either one. Those colors seemed the most logical for a fishing themed quilt? AND I didn’t see any patterns that I loved.
I could just get some fishing themed fabric and do a pieced quilt…but that just didn’t...

Ann Champion’s Blog

Today the quilt I’m showing hasn’t made it to the quilt top cupboard yet.  I bought it at a town wide sale in Metamora Michigan this past Saturday.
The quilt is a wholecloth tied quilt, meaning it’s made from large whole pieces of fabric which isn’t pieced into a quilt pattern.  The print on the cloth looks like a pieced quilt pattern though.
The quilt has the same fabric on both front and back, contains a thin cotton batting, and the layers have been tied together using a variegated crochet cotton.

The quilt has a piece of fabric applied at the top on both sides stitched down with the same variegated crochet cotton.  It appears to have been added at about the same time the quilt was made?

I have read that women used to add beard protectors to the top edges of their quilts, and I’m assuming that’s why the fabric was...

Ann Champion’s Blog

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Today the quilt top I’m pulling from the quilt top cupboard is an antique Sunbonnet Sue.
The quilt top dates to 1930-1940′s. It’s hand appliqued with a running stitch in black embroidery floss. I posted another top done in this method last month. These two projects were done by the same quilter and came from an estate sale.
The top has some discoloration which was probably caused by the top being folded and placed in a cedar chest, or stored on a bare wood shelf. A lot of people think it’s OK to store linens in cedar chests for safe keeping, but the wood has acid in it and can cause stains to fabrics. Linens should never touch bare wood.
This discoloration may come out with a soak in Oxyclean? I would never throw an unquilted top in a washing machine, but a soak in the sink would be OK. I...

Ann Champion’s Blog

Today the quilt I’m pulling from the cupboard is an old string quilt. It’s a utility quilt. It was made to be functional and keep someone warm. Scraps of whatever fabrics the maker could find were put into this quilt. It has had hard use.
This quilt dates to 1930′s-1940′s and contains a wide variety of fabrics from that era.

As you can see the borders aren’t even. There is damage to the edges. It appears that at some point someone trimmed the quilt down because the edges were worn to shreds. After the quilt was cut down, the backing was brought around to the front and stitched down to form a binding. There is further wear to the quilt so apparently it was needed and put to use after the repairs?
This quilt has a thick cotton batting and as a result tiny quilting stitches weren’t possible. The maker probably didn’t...

Ann Champion’s Blog

Today I’m pulling a quilt in progress from the quilt top cupboard.
The pattern is an Amish style Square in a Square.  It’s been pin basted and partially marked.  The quilting has been started…but not by me.  This is just how the quilt was when I bought it in August of this year.

I bought this quilt from the same lady I bought the Eagle quilt from.
Here’s the sad part…I’m going to have to take the pins out, and remove the quilting, and redo it.
The marking wasn’t done very well, and a true Amish quilt normally has very precise markings and the quilting is the “star of the show”.

When you look at the quilting that’s been done, you can see that it’s not evenly spaced and the lines aren’t straight.  I wonder if that’s why the quilter stopped working on this quilt?
This quilt will finish at 40″ square.
The other quilt I...

Ann Champion’s Blog

My little Cheddar and Crackers quilt is finished!
I wasn’t crazy about the shirting I chose. It was too blue/cold looking. I decided to give my blocks a dip in a tea bath. I like the way the tea toned down the shirting, but it muddied the cheddar. It does look like an antique quilt that has been played with though, and I’m happy with it.
For the batting I used two pieces of cotton batting I had trimmed away from a larger project. I just butted them up against each other side by side. Thrifty right? I knew I would be machine quilting this and I wanted the shrinkage I’d get with cotton to hide the stitches a bit.

I cheated and pieced my top before the third installment of instructions was posted on Lori’s blog. I couldn’t wait..I got too anxious to see how the 16 patch blocks would look once in place.
I really liked the...