DIY Four Circle Table Topper with Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment

DIY Four Circle Table Topper with Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment

I’ve been eyeing a special attachment for my Bernina sewing machine for quite some time.  I was at Mill House Quilts in Waunakee this past week, where they have all the newest Bernina sewing machines along with a great assortment of attachments and feet.  Then I saw it, they had it in stock!, so I finally decided to buy it — the Circular Embroidery Attachment.  (cue the trumpets) Ta da!

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I have lots of ideas of how I  want to use the attachment (none of which included embroidery–hehe), so I got online to find a few YouTube videos to visually see how to attach it to my machine and how they used it.  Here are some great links if you’re interested:

The attachment comes with 2 screws and a nifty small screwdriver, and attaches to the bed of my machine with one screw in the hole on the right of my pressure foot.  One video suggested taping the other end near the pin to be sure it doesn’t wiggle (which I did—see blue painter’s tape in the second photo below).

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There’s a sharp pin under that plastic nob on the left of the tape (see above).  You carefully take off that plastic bit and poke the center of your fabric through the sharp pin and replace the plastic bit, and that’s all there is to it.  You place the fabric under the pressure foot and “step on the gas” and it glides around in a circular pattern all on its own with little help from you.  You do need to stabilize the fabric so it doesn’t wrinkle and bunch up, but if you’re doing the project I’m doing, it’s not necessary.  The directions recommend using a open embroidery type foot, but since I’ll be sewing through a few layers with batting I’m using my walking foot.

The pin is on a sliding mechanism so that you can adjust the size of the circle you want to sew.  The distance between the pin and your needle x 2 = the size of the diameter of the circle.  So for this particular project, I measured and slid the pin at a distance from the needle so the circles would measure around 8-1/2 to 9 inches.

So here’s my first project using the Circular Embroidery Attachment – A Four Circle Table Topper.

I went through my stash of unused layer cake squares and chose 8 coordinating fabrics (4 peach/pink and 4 mint green), and cut 4 squares of batting to match.

Then I layered them starting with the batting on the bottom, mint fabric face up, then peach/pink fabric face down (so the 2 fabrics are right sides together).

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Line them all up and use your ruler to find the center and mark a dot lightly with a water soluble marker (or other washable mark).  Then take it all over to your sewing machine and put the pin of the circular embroidery attachment through all the layers at that center mark and feed the right end (edge) of the fabric under the pressure foot.

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It’s so easy!  It walks (sews) itself around in a perfect circle and comes back to exactly where it was started.  LOVE IT!

Here’s my short (very short) YouTube video showing how it works on my machine…(my very first one)…

After trimming around the edges with a pinking shears (or pinking rotary cutter if you have one), you cut a small slit along an edge being sure to only cut the top fabric.  Be sure the cut slit is in a spot where the fabric will eventually be folded over (so the it will be hidden).  Then turn the circle inside-out, using a blunt ended tool (like a bamboo paper folder, purple-thang, or bamboo skewer) to be sure all the edges are nice and crisp, and press.  OH, you might want to use a tiny bit of water to get rid of the water soluble mark you made in the center…you don’t want to permanently heat set it into the fabric with your iron.

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Use a ruler and a water soluble marker or chalk, draw a square box within the finished circle (being sure that the cut slit falls beyond the square in the outer edge (see top of the photo below).  Each of the corners of the square should just touch the edge of the circle.  I was lucky enough that my square ruler was a perfect fit.

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After making four of these, place them on a flat surface and see what arrangement you like best, turning up two edges on each one to expose the fabric underneath… it’s important that the “flap” that has the cut (used to turn them right side out) is in one of the seams so it’s covered.  Then it’s similar to sewing a 4 patch together—Take the 2 upper circles and match them BACK to BACK using the drawn lines as a sewing guide, pin,  and sew them together edge to edge, do the same with the lower 2.  Then sew the top 2 with the bottom 2 and it will look something like this..

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Iron the flaps down and use your favorite decorative stitch around each edge of the flaps (petals) to finish.

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I chose a blanket stitch in green variegated thread, but you could opt to use a straight stitch, any decorative stitch, or just tack the flaps at each center point.  You could even hand sew them down if you wanted to.  You need to at least tack them down (or sew them) to be sure that the cut you made to turn the circles inside out is completely covered.

And here it is, all finished

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What’s nice about this pattern is the quilting is done as you go, and the back is as interesting as the front…

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So it’s completely reversible.

And no worries if you don’t have the attachment…you can create these table toppers by tracing a circle (using a platter or template) onto the fabric and carefully sewing on the line.  That will work, but I’ve found this is a time saver, I can make any size circle,  and just looks a bit better too.

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I think they make a wonderful gift—Mother’s Day is coming up.

So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and that you’ll try making a reversible 4-circle table topper.  I have them for sale in my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Shop if you’d like to purchase one instead, along with lots of other ideas for Mother’s Day.

I’ll be posting other ideas for using my Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment in the future…hope you’ll come back again! And be sure to post a comment below on how you use your circular attachment—any tips or ideas?

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

2 Minute No Sew Christmas Napkin Ring

2 Minute No Sew Christmas Napkin Ring

Want to add a festive touch to your holiday table but don’t have a lot of time?  Here’s an easy, no sew, way to make a colorful poinsettia napkin ring in 2 minutes flat.

It’s a technique my sister-in-law taught me over (well we won’t mention how many) years ago.  I’ve perfected the pattern, but the idea is the same.  There’s no sewing involved, and all you’ll need is some inexpensive red and green felt squares (available at JoAnne Fabrics, and lots of other stores — be sure to use your coupon).

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Click on the PDF pattern above and print it off (or create your own using mine as a guide) and cut out the three pieces.

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Pin them to your felt–pieces A & C on RED and B on the GREEN–and cut them out with a scissors.

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For the center hole in pattern B & C, simply fold in half & cut, refold in half the other way & cut so you have an X shape in the center like this…

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To assemble, fold the RED A in half..

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Pull the tips through the center hole of the GREEN felt B

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And then through the center hole of the RED FELT C

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and fluff by pulling the tips apart

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Roll up your napkin (or fold) and slip it through the “ring” created by the RED A and your table is instantly transformed.

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Now get creative—change the shapes of the outside leaves & petals…use different colors and you can make all sorts of flower napkin rings for every season of the year!

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday Season…And a very HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!

Until next time,

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Using “Skitch” for Machine Quilting Ideas

Using “Skitch” for Machine Quilting Ideas

You’ve finished the beautiful pieced quilt top, have the backing all ready, and then it hits you—how am I going to machine quilt this?  There are so many options.

I’ve found a way to “play” with different ideas by using my iPad and an app called “Skitch”.

Skitch is an app that allows you to snap something (a photo, etc.) and mark it up, then save it.

It’s available for the following platforms:

  • iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
  • Mac OSX
  • Android
  • Windows Desktop
  • Skitch Touch for Windows

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For more information on the Skitch app, click here  for a tutorial.

So…I simply snapped a photo of my quilt top with my iPad (or you could just take a photo of one block).  Then I opened the Skitch app on my iPad and imported the photo into the program, like this:

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I chose the thinnest  “pen” and white–there are several colors to choose from.  I found black or white were easy to see on this quilt.  And then I grabbed my stylus and just PLAYED with designs until I came up with one that I think will work! I sketch out lots of ideas that didn’t work, and just “deleted” them.

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How about a continuous curved line?  I can “map” it out on each block and sketch until I figure out a good place to start and stop the needle.  Here’s the design I finally decided on:

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…and here it is (below) on my long arm.

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I’m using my “rulers” to help me with the curves…

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I’m able to continuously machine quilt around one entire block, only having to stop/start when I move on to the next one.

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I think it’s working pretty well

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It was a lot of fun to be able to “play” with several ideas for designs by drawing with my stylus on my iPad with Skitch before actually committing to the design on the long arm.

So here’s the finished quilt top—completely quilted and ready to be trimmed and bound.

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And here’s a close-up of one of the sections (don’t look too closely!)…

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I hope this information was helpful, and that you’ll give Skitch a try the next time you’re pondering how to quilt your finished top.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Wine Coaster DIY

 

I wanted a little gift to send to a friend for her birthday—

I came across several tutorials on the internet and TV for making wine coasters, all with similar ideas—a little folding magic and voilà!  Easy-to-make and fun-to-enjoy coasters!

 

Ah hah!  The perfect gift…  easy to send with the card, and I can make it from my stash.

 

These coasters will fit perfectly over the bottom stems of the average size wine glass, but you can also use them as regular coasters…for any beverage.

 

Wanna make some?

Here’s how I did it…

First, grab 5 fabrics and cut a 4-1/2” circle out of each one.  I found that a nested set of circles I have for machine quilting worked perfectly as a rotary cutting guide for my circles…

Next, leave one circle alone (base circle) and press each of the other 4 circles in half.  I cut enough to make two…

Now the layering part.  Put your base circle right side up…then place each folded circle (with the folds toward the inside and the raw edges in line with the base circle) like this:

Be sure to tuck the last one under the first…it’ll make sense when you do it.

Now the sewing part:  sew a 1/4” seam around the entire perimeter through all layers…you might want to trim with a pinking shears (but you don’t’ have to)

Just turn it right side out through the center of the folded circles…give it a good pressing…and like magic…voilà…a lovely wine coaster…and my favorite wine from our local winery–Wollersheim Winery 🙂 A great place to visit BTY, if you’re coming to the Prairie du Sac area of Wisconsin!

Or a lovely coaster for any beverage!

Wish my coffee looked like this

hmmmm…Time for a coffee break!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

 

Sweet Serenade 9 Patch: Pt 1

I’ve  always loved the colors in the Moda Sweet Serenade collection by BasicGrey.

So I thought that would be a great jelly roll for my next project.

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It’s a simple 9-patch, surrounded with narrow and then larger sashing.

I chose 12 strips, and cut each into 9 2-1/2″ squares…

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Then simply cut the appropriate narrow strips out of grey fabric

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Sewed them into rows, and then sewed the rows into the 9-patch block

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I’ve got several more to piece before I arrange them on the design wall and add the thicker grey sashing

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It’s coming along–I’ll post when the top is completely pieced together…

Happy Quilting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

 

 

 

Charm Baby Quilt with Lattice and Cornerstones On Point

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I wanted to made another baby quilt out of Moda’s bright and cheerful “Bungle Jungle” fabrics, so I gathered the 5″ charms that I had left, and purchased more of their blue “oogle” and “polka-dot” from the same line, adding a white Moda Bella Solid for the lattice.

This quilt is so much fun to make, and ends up approx. 36 x 43″.  Here’s how I did it.

FABRIC NEEDED:

  • 18 charms (5×5″ squares) from one Bungle Jungle charm pack
  • 3/4 yard Ivory Polka-dot (for side triangles & outer border)
  • 1/4 yard white Bella Solid (for sashing)
  • 1/2 yard blue Oogle (for the cornerstones, inner border & binding)
  • 1-1/2 yard Turquoise Critters (for the backing)
  • batting

CUTTING:

  • Select 18 charms from your charm pack & set aside
  • From white Bella Solid:  Cut six 1-1/2″ strips width-of-fabric (wof) & subcut each strip into 5″ rectangles (1-1/2 x 5″ each)–you’ll need 48 in all.
  • From blue Ooogle:  Cut six 1-1/2″ strips wof–save 4 strips for the inner border, subcut 2 strips into 1-1/2″ squares (for cornerstones).  Cut four 2-1/2″ strips wof & save for binding.
  • From Ivory Polka-dot:  Cut four 4-1/2″ strips wof & save for outer border; cut two 7-1/4″ squares & cut each diagonally from corner to corner (4 corner triangles); and cut three 10-3/4″ squares & cut each diagonally twice to form side triangles.

SEWING INSTRUCTIONS:

Sew the long side of 18 white sashing rectangles to one side of the 18 charms.  Then arrange them on your design wall (or floor) until you like the color placement:

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Sew the diagonal rows, and add a white rectangle to the other side of each; press seams toward the charm square. (Hint: Leave space between the diagonal rows on your design wall for the sashing rows.)

To create the sashing rows, sew a blue cornerstone (C) to one end of each of the 24 remaining white rectangles (R) & press towards the cornerstone.  You’ll need to piece them as follows & place them on your design wall.

  • 2 (C+ R+ C)
  • 2 (C + R + C + R + C + R + C)
  • 2 (C + R + C + R + C + R + C + R + C + R + C)
  • 1 (C + R + C + R + C + R + C + R + C + R + C + R + C)

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To piece the top together, start sewing from a corner, add two of the side triangles to your first row, and then add the corner triangle.

Start at the corner

Start at the corner

Add the side triangles

Add the side triangles

Then add the corner triangle

Then add the corner triangle

Work your way down to the center of the quilt, adding the side triangles to each row and sewing diagonal rows together–matching the seams.  Press seams away from the white lattice.

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When you reach the center, go to the opposite corner and work your way to the center in the same manner.  Then sew the center seam and add the two corner triangles.

Using a large square & long rule, work your way around the outside of the quilt and trim it so there’s about 1″ of the Polka Dot fabric from the outside of each blue cornerstone.  (NOTE:  The triangles were over-sized, so you’ll have a nice margin–no matching seams!).

Add the blue inner border, and then add the larger outer border.

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And you’re ready to baste & mark for quilting!  On this quilt, I used my domestic machine for quilting straight lines following the sashing in-the-ditch, but extended the lines into the border using chalk & a ruler.

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I used a walking foot and cotton white thread for quilting…

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And here’s the finished product, after quilting & adding the binding!

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So much fun to make.  But if you don’t feel like making one, and want it, I have it for sale on my Etsy Shop.  🙂  …and a matching bib/burp cloth set.

Happy Quilting!