Inverted Star Cushions

Inverted Star Cushions

My latest creation .. inverted star cushions!

I love the way the cushions echo each other. I decided to stay with bright, bold colours for this to accentuate the pattern.

The overall mini quilt block size is 12″, with a 2″ border to create a 16″ cushion. The blocks to create the small centre star were as small as 1.5″. I had to take great care not to pull the blocks out of form whilst pressing, as I find it’s really easy to pull these blocks out of form when they’re so small.

Floral StitchThe back is a black and white floral fabric, and a black block to keep the back clean. I used one of the feature stitches on the black block for my top stitch, which looks like little leaves. I love this stitch – it’s so dainty, and it perfectly reflects the floral fabric that I used. The backs of both cushions are the same.

I just decided to stitch these as I love the double star / inverted look that I get from both cushions.

Enjoy your crafting adventures!

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Janome 3160QDC Sewing Machine Review

You might recall that a few months ago I was in the market for a new sewing machine, as mine was very basic and did not have a lot of features.

I spent SO much time researching, because the type of sewing machine I wanted was not cheap, and I’m not one to throw money around willy-nilly. So many weeks were spent reading reviews, watching Youtube videos, and generally trying to get as much information as possible before taking the plunge and buying my new machine.

My new sewing machine is a Janome 3160QDC. I ended up settling on this one after visiting a specialty sewing machine store and seeing it in action. I purchased in in December 2014 (so it’s still pretty new for me!), and thought I’d write a little review about it, because in all my researching, I found very few reviews / information about this machine. So here goes …

Janome 3160QDC Sewing Machine
Janome 3160QDC Sewing Machine

Janome 3160QDC Sewing Machine

Overview

  • Price – Approximately $999 AUD (I purchased on sale for $750, so I suggest doing some research before buying!)
  • Digital screen
  • 60 in built stitches
  • Needle Up / Down
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • Built in needle threader
  • Speed control slider

To begin, I would definitely recommend this sewing machine to any beginner or experienced quilter / sewer. Whilst I’d say this sewing machine is aimed at those who quilt and are a little more experienced, this sewing machine can definitely be used by anyone who is only just learning.

Here are some summary points of what I love about this sewing machine;

Extension Table

I know you can purchase after market ones for all kinds of machines, but I love the fact that the extension table is included when you get this machine out of the box. It makes sewing quilts and cushion covers so much easier – I’ll never go back to not having an extension table on my machine.

Pressure Foot Adjustment Dial

Pressure Foot Adjustment Dial

Presser Foot Adjustment

There is a dial to adjust the pressure foot on this machine which is so helpful to me whilst appliqueing. 6 is the highest, and 1 is the lowest. I have it set on about 3 when I’m appliqueing, which makes it a little easier to make minor curves whilst I’m sewing.

 
 
 
 
Speed Control Slider

This was one thing that was a non-negotiable for me on my new sewing machine. The speed control slider is great on this machine – the slow really is quite slow, and the fast is very very fast. I set mine to about mid usually (unless winding a bobbin and then it’s speed demon all the way!). The foot pedal is very well done, as it picks up on minor changes very easily.

Janome 3160QDC Controls

Janome 3160QDC Controls

Automatic Thread Cutter

The little scissor icon on the right is the thread cutter button. It’s not automatic in that it will cut a thread once you stop sewing, but when you press the button both threads are cut quite close to your piece. I think this is a great little feature, because I don’t have to go through and clip the thread later once I’ve finished piecing.

 
 
 
Needle Up / Down

A must for quilters in my mind, and another non-negotiable for me when I was researching sewing machines. A needle up / down function is so handy when turning corners for quilting, or appliqueing. You don’t lost your spot, and your fabric layers are kept together and supported. The function on this machine is remembered, so if you press it to down position, the needle will always finish down. One thing to remember is this function might mean you take an extra stitch – if you take your foot off the pedal and the needle would be up, it will automatically take another stitch.

Locking Stitch

The button on the left of the controls photo is the locking stitch, which is a great feature. It takes 3 small stitches in place of a backstitch to lock the stitches and ensure they don’t unravel – very helpful for any decorative stitches.

Janome 3160QDC Stitches

Janome 3160QDC Stitches

Stitches

There are 50 in-built stitches, with various widths and length options available. I particularly love stitch 17 which I use for appliqueing. The decorative stitches are great, and I’ve used stitched 36 for quilting before – it’s a very fun stitch for a baby or childrens quilt.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Janome 3160QDC Included Feet

Janome 3160QDC Included Feet

 Included Feet

I was really impressed by the feet that came with this sewing machine in the box, particularly the fact it came with a walking foot. A zipper foot, buttonhole, walking foot, overedge foot, 1/4″ foot are all included. For me, the 1/4″ and walking feet being included was awesome. I use these ones so often that it’s nice to know the ones I’m using a genuine Janome parts, that fit my machine. There’s no unnecessary bouncing around whilst I’m stitching which is great.

 
 

Janome 3160QDC Digital Display

Janome 3160QDC Digital Display

Digital Display

I find the digital display easy to read and use, which is perfect for me. It’s easy to change the stitch type, length and width with just a few button pushes.

 
 
 
 
 

Some aspects that I don’t like;

No Memory for Stitch Selection

I’d love if this machine would remember the last stitch picked. When I turn it off, it goes back to the default stitch which you can see in the digital display photo. I’ve been caught out a couple of time when I’ve taken a break, turned off my machine, gone to applique something with a blanket stitch and then realised it’s switch back to a straight stitch by default.

Location of Stop/ Start Button

This machine has a stop / start button which means you don’t need a presser foot. It takes a couple of slow stitches when starting, then goes to whatever speed you’ve selected with the slider, and then take slow stitches when stop is selected. I imagine this feature would be great for large amounts of quilting, but I find the button is in an awkward location. I’m constantly having to track where it’s located, so I take my eyes off my piece which has resulted in some wonky stitches right at the end. I’m also personally inclined to use the foot pedal, because I can regulate the speed really easily.


There’s a little overview of the Janome 3160QDC sewing machine – I hope it helps you if you’re considering buying one!

When I was researching, I came across some other reviews / guides. I’ve provided links below so you can do some more research before taking the plunge – it’s not a small amount of money by any means, but it’s so worth it I think.

I meant to do this little write up a few months ago, but I’m glad I waited. I’ve had 4 months to use it for all sorts of projects, so I know that I 100% love this machine.

Erin Says Sew – 3160QDC Review

Janome 3160QDC

Janome 3160QDC Review

Janome 3160QDC Review

 

Happy Easter, & a Completion!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you’ve had a lovely celebration with your friends and family, and if you don’t live close to them, I hope you’ve had a lovely celebration in creating wonderful things!

Mr A & I didn’t do Easter eggs this year. It’s the first time in a long while, but I feel good about it. We instead spent that money on fabric for the NICU outfits I posted about previously. More about that fabric later, because this post is about my recent completion .. More cushions!

This commission is for a couple who are soon to be wed – in about 2 weeks actually! Their friend requested something personal for their big day. After some research, I found out this couple’s house is decorated in red and gray, and the soon to be wife’s (Mrs Rockliff) favourite colours are pink, grey and black.

I decided to do 2 cushions, 1 for Mr Rockliff and 1 for Mrs Rockliff, with complimentary patterns but different colours, so that they weren’t too ‘matchy matchy.’

Mrs & Mrs Rockliff - Cushion Top

Starburst Cushion Tops

Here’s what the cushion tops look like. I did a starburst pattern with a thick border in each colour, as I really wanted to pattern to stand out and for the cushions to be easily recognisable as Mr Rockliff and Mrs Rockliff.

After hearing about the couple’s home décor, I thought a geometric, clean line cushion back would be best. My plan was to applique Mr Rockliff, and Mrs Rockliff into their respective cushions, in red and pink fabric to match the front of the cushion. I had fun making sure the words were centred and straight hehe! I decided to take a photo of the back of the applique for once, because I never focus on that part. You can see below the stitching, and my use of stabiliser whilst appliqueing.

Mrs & Mrs Rockliff - Cushion Back

Positioning Applique

Mrs & Mrs Rockliff - Applique Back

Back of Applique with Stabiliser

Mrs & Mrs Rockliff - Completed Applique

Completed Applique for both Cushions

 

I used a lapped zipper installation for this cushion cover, but I’m going to write a separate blog post for that, as there’s a fair bit I want to mention about it. Originally the plan was for all lines of the cushion cover to run vertically, but I had some issues with the lapped zipper part of this cushion cover, which meant that the back wasn’t going to fit the front anymore, because it wouldn’t have been long enough.

I’ll admit, I had a tiny little melt down because I had already finished the applique by this stage, and I thought I was going to have to start again. I took a day’s break from this commission to think it through, and decided the back would actually look much better with some horizontal lines in it. Now that this is completed, I’m actually really glad I went with a vertical block, and a horizontal block.

I’m happy with the cushions backs turned out on this completion, as I think the couple’s names really pop out.

The finished cushion size is 16″, and I put a 18″ cushion insert into them. I like how the cushions have more depth with a large cushion insert in them, not to mention they’re a little snugglier!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Serenity

Just a little photo update of my sewing space, ie. my serenity.

I love my peg board – it makes holding items and keep them off my desk space so much easier., because as you can see, my desk space is minimal.

When I’m quilting, I move to our dining room table as this is bigger and gives my room to spread my wings!

I love my ‘inspire’ word made by a friend .. It gives me little bursts of inspiration if I’m feeling a little low.

You can see the current commission I’m work on at the moment .. I’m super excited for this one!

I’d love to see your serenity space too : )

I hope you all have a safe and creative weekend   xx

Sewing Space

DIY Easy 10 Step Floral Bunting

My latest commission is for 6m of bunting .. For you folk with the imperial system, 6m = 6.56 yard, or 236 inches – yep, that is a lot of bunting!

My client requested such a large amount in a continuous length, as they’re setting up for a business stall and want bunting all across the roof. This bunting is double sided, so it’s pretty from all angles!

Business Bunting (1)My client supplied the fabric this time round, and I LOVE it! Amazing pinks and greens which make me think of glorious summer days :)

Here’s a photo of it cut and stitched together, with the edged pinked.

I thought I’d supply some steps for anyone wanting to make their own bunting.

 
 

DIY Floral Bunting

You’ll require fabric, stabiliser (if you fabrics are lightweight), bias binding, and coordinating thread.

1. Pick your fabrics, as many or as few as you’d like. My client gave me 5 fabrics for this bunting. Keep in  mind when selecting your bunting that light weight fabrics will require stabiliser to give it some weight.

2. Cut out a template for your bunting. There’s no right or wrong here. You can make it as large or as small as you want. I usually cut my fabric to 6.5″ (w) x 7.5″ (h).

3. With your fabric wrong side to wrong side (pretty side of fabric facing down  and up), cut your flags using your template. Remember that 1 flag requires 2 pieces of fabric, assuming you want it double sided. The amount of flags required will depend on what bunting length you require. When measuring, keep in mind whether you would like a gap between the flags. Once again, this is personal preference.

For this commission, I used 6 flag per 1m, with no gaps in between the flags.

4. Sew a seam allowance of 0.5″ around the left and right side of the flags – there is no need to stitch the top of the flag as this will be seam when we add the bias binding. Add the stabiliser to the middle of the 2 fabrics when sewing, if required.

5. Pink the edges. I like to leave a fair gap between the edge of the fabric and my stitch line, but you can decrease this gap if you want. If you do this, reduce your seam allowance to 0.25″.

6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 until you have the number of flags required.

7. Take your bias binding and iron it length ways, so there is a crisp mid section for the binding. I find this step really helpful, but it’s one that is really easy to overlook.  This mid section will be helpful when you place the bunting to be sewn.

8. Arrange your flags in whatever order you would like. For this commission, I kept the same pattern the whole way through. You could do whatever pattern you’d like though.

Binding9. Once arrange in your desired pattern, place the top of your flags right up into the mid section of your binding. Sew down, and place your next flag in the mid section. When placing your next flag, you can keep a gap, or you can overlap the corner of the bunting slightly. If you keep a gap, make sure it is consistent!

I personally like no gaps in my bunting, so I slightly overlap the corners.

10. Get rid of any small off cuts, and iron your bunting – now you’re all finished!

Here’s what the bunting looks like all finished.

Business Bunting (4)

Bunting

I just wanted to share how cute the packaging for this commission is. It’s like a pizza slice all nicely wrapped and tied with a bow hehe!!

Business Bunting (2)