Nesting and Spinning Seams Tutorial

Posted on August 08, 2016 by Cristy Fincher | 5 comments

Hi Everyone!!

August is here, which means it's back-to-school time for us in Arizona. My kiddos started school last week. They were really excited to start the new year and see all of their friends. Summer break was challenging and wonderful all at the same time. Running a business from home is hard when all three kids have FUN as their top priority. And we did have a lot of fun. I must be honest, though. I'm happy to have some uninterrupted work (and cleaning - because I have to do that, too) time back in my daily schedule. 

I think it's time for a tutorial! I really love sharing my love of quilting and sewing with all of you. It's so amazing that I can reach and teach so many quilters by just typing, adding pictures and clicking "Publish". I hope you enjoy learning! Well, here we go!

Nesting and spinning seams (which may be called something different by another quilter) is my absolute favorite way to reduce the bulk at the intersection of multiple seams. It's very useful, and pretty dang cool, too. It's one of those things that gives me such a sense of satisfaction. The process is quite simple, but will take a bit of practice and thought when you're just starting out. Bookmark, pin or share this post so that you always have it handy! Plus, I have a video on YouTube called Spinning Seams, if you prefer. 

Step 1:
I'm making a little 4-patch block to demo how to nest and spin and intersection of 4 seams. Layout your blocks and draw a fine line of glue on the inside of the seam allowance of your first block, about 1/8" from the edge. I'm using our MicroFine Glue Tips and Elmer's Washable School Glue as my basting glue.

Step 2:
Do the same for the second row of blocks. With right sides together, align the second block of each row on to the first. 


Heat-set with a hot, dry iron.

Step 3:
Optional - mark a dot at the 1/4" spot at the beginning and end of where your seam will be. 

Step 4:
Start sewing at that 1/4" mark. This is where sewing may not feel as speedy at your regular ol' chain piecing. I promise with all of my heart that this step is completely worth the extra few seconds it will take. (I'm sewing a scant 1/4" seam with 50wt cotton thread from DMC and Schmetz Machine Embroidery Needles, size 75/11.)

Take 1-2 stitches, then back-stitch. If your machine has a "lock-stitch" feature, feel free to use it at the start of the seam.

Step 5:
Stop sewing and back-stitch or lock-stitch at the 1/4" mark at the end of the seam. Do not sew off of the edge. Leaving this 1/4" opening will allow the seam to open when it's sewn to the next row.

Repeat for the second row of blocks. You can chain piece your rows by lifting up your needle and foot to sew the second row. 

Step 6:
Set your seam. Oh my quilting friends, I cannot tell you how important setting your seams is (maybe that needs its own blog post). Have you ever gotten those pesky little ripples at your seam after pressing to the side? Try setting your seam first! You may find that you have little to no ripples after pressing to the side. It's amazing!

Press to the dark side (or to the side that you prefer). Be sure that the seams of the top and bottom rows alternate directions, like right/left, etc.

Step 7:
Glue baste the rows together by drawing a fine line of glue along the edge of one row.

With right sides together, align the rows and nest the seams. Heat set (don't forget that part). Big tip here: ALWAYS align a row from the center and/or intersecting seam to the outside edges. By doing this, you'll ensure that your seams intersect, even if you end up a little short in the seam allowance. Shortages can be absorbed in the seam allowance, and from the front you'll never know, plus your points will match ;).

Step 8:
Start sewing at a 1/4" down from the top, especially if you might be adding on to your block. Back-stitch or lock-stitch just like before.

Sew straight through any intersections. Stopping is NOT necessary. Continue sewing to the 1/4" mark at the end of the seam. Back-stitch or lock-stitch.

Step 9:
Now it's time for the magic! Open the intersection of the seam by guiding the sections of the seam to go in opposite directions. One side will go up, and one will go down. All of the seams will spin like a pinwheel around the intersection. Isn't is fantastic?! 

If the intersection doesn't open easily, there might be a bit of glue holding it together. Simply release it by pulling the seams apart with your fingers and you'll be good to go.

Step 10:
Press your seams nice and flat with a bit of starch or steam. Just look at that intersection! I'm in love!

And here's what it looks like from the back - so pretty!!

I hope that you'll give this a try and practice it a few times. This method will make the backs of your quilts look fantastic, it makes your seams strong and it makes quilting your quilt (hello, stitch in the ditch!) so much easier. Plus, the satisfaction and pride that you'll have in your work will be so much greater (at least I hope).

Not every seam can be nested and spun. As you create blocks and quilts, you'll begin to discover when this method will come in handy for you. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

You have to take a look at this amazing quilt called Big Bang Quilt by Mister Domestic. He blogged about his process and how he used my Spinning Seams video on YouTube to help him piece his blocks together. His quilt is not to be missed!

Happy Quilting!
~Cristy

Posted in Spinning Seams, Tips & Tricks, Tutorial

May is for Makers

Posted on May 05, 2016 by Cristy Fincher | 0 comments

May is for Makers LRStitched

Quilting is not only my business, but it's my hobby. I crave it. I love cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again. I am a maker. I'm also a teacher, and I'm passionate about designing patterns and teaching all of you tips and tricks that keep you inspired to cut up fabric, sew it back together again, and just keep making.

I'm not alone in my passion. There are many makers like me that are passionate about teaching and sharing. Many of us love to share fun projects and free tutorials on our blogs, despite the time and preparation involved, because each of you appreciate and learn from them. Unfortunately, offering everything for free isn't sustainable for any of us. Over the years, bloggers have helped rejuvenate the quilting and sewing industry (in addition to many other crafts) with valuable content. Many of us have revived or discovered our love of quilting through amazing bloggers like Amy Smart, Lee Heinrich and Jeni Baker. Through the internet, we've also been able to learn from quilting masters like Sharon Schamber, Alex Anderson, Sue Nickels and Bonnie K Hunter, all from the comfort of our home. 

Somewhere along the way, we've gotten use to getting way too much for free. And now "the balance between what we expect for free and what we are willing to purchase" is a bit, well, unbalanced.  Free tutorials are great, but shouldn't they be a treat? Like the cherry on top? I think so. I strive to stay teachable. Learning new tips, tricks and techniques is so much fun for me, which is one reason why I love buying patterns from independent designers. I know how much time, effort, cost and heart goes into creating an independent pattern. Whether or not we sell a million, we put the same amount of love and passion into our designs - our only hope is that they inspire and motivate you to make.

Lindsey at LR Stitched created the May is for Makers campaign to support independent designers who infuse creativity, inspiration and institutional knowledge into our craft. Through the campaign, Lindsey is pledging to buy a new pattern from a different independent designer each week during the month of May. I'm joining in, and I hope you will too. With each purchase, we are collectively telling the designer that their work matters. We are also validating all of the time and effort that they put into their brand. No candle ever went out from lighting another. Let's share our light and love! As Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced says so perfectly, "Consider buying a pattern as a way of saying thank you for a free tutorial you learned from, or a free pattern that you especially loved—after all, that free tutorial or pattern was probably only made possible by that designer's paid patterns." (Thank you Lee!)

Each Friday I will purchase a new pattern from a different designer and will share it on social media with the hashtag #mayisformakers. I hope you'll join in and share the pattern that you chose by tagging your post on Instagram or Facebook with the same hashtag. 

Happy Quilting!!
~Cristy 

Posted in Patterns, Quilting Matters, Teaching, Tips & Tricks

Tips and Tricks for Fixing Quilting Mistakes

Posted on March 24, 2016 by Cristy Fincher | 3 comments

Hi Everyone!

A while back I was working on a mini quilt for the Alison Glass Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram (#alisonglassminiquiltswap) and as I was quilting the backing tucked under and I quilted right over it. Not once, but twice. Ugh! I know we've all made mistakes like this, but they don't always seem easy to fix. While I was fixing my little "boo-boo", I took some pictures so I could share a few of my tips and tricks for fixing quilting mistakes. 

Here is my first mistake in all of it's glory. If you look closely at the left hand side, you'll see that the backing folded and tucked twice. I did a really good job with this one, haha.


I had already done quite a bit of quilting, so I really didn't want to "unquilt" my quilt and have to quilt it again. I always make my backing 4"-6" bigger than my quilt top, which gave me some forgiveness and allowed me to cut the fabric away rather than pull out my stitches.

First, I cut the backing very close to the stitches. Be very careful not to cut your stitches. Using scissors with a short blade like {these} can help quite a lot. 

Cut the fabric away from each line of quilting.

Use your fingers to pull the fibers of the fabric away from the quilting. 

Snip your fabric as needed to release it from the stitches. Cutting the fabric close to the quilting will allow it to pull away quite easily.

In this picture, you can really see what a fantastic job I did making this mistake ;). Keep snipping the fabric away while being careful not to cut your stitches.

Almost there!! I kind of like pulling the fabric away from the quilting. It's satisfying like pulling weeds. I hate to get out there and pull the weeds, but when I pull one out, root and all, it feels so good!

Just a snip or two left!

YES!!!! 

Next, clean it up and pull away any fibers of the backing from the stitches.

It's all finished and looks so much better. The best part is that I didn't have to remove a single stitch of my quilting. 

I hope this helps you if you ever find yourself needing to fix a quilting mistake. 

I'll be back to share how I fixed my second mistake. It did require a seam ripper and some "unquilting". See you then!!

Happy Quilting,
~Cristy

Posted in Mistakes, Quilting, Straight Line Quilting, Teaching, Tips & Tricks, Tutorial

Thrive: My One Little Word for 2016

Posted on January 13, 2016 by Cristy Fincher | 6 comments

CristyFIncher_Thrive

At the start of 2014, I chose a word to help guide me and give me focus: Important (you can read more about it here). I had been doubting my work and the importance of my contributions to the quilting industry. Seeing myself, my choices and the world through the lens of "importance" was empowering. I began to truly see that what I do is important to others and that hiding my importance isn't a sign of modesty, but a sign of not believing in myself. I made small shifts in my perspective, and they began to add up. I had an article published in Machine Quilter's Unlimited (July 2014), I sought out and was presented with many new teaching opportunities, and I filmed my class with Craftsy. It was a wonderful year.

In 2015, I didn't choose a word. Instead, I created a Vision Board, with the kind guidance of Carrie Bloomston. My Vision Board is on my wall, above my computer where it provides daily inspiration and reminds me of who I am and what's most important in my world. It makes me smile too - how can you not smile with Mickey, Goofy and Minnie smiling right at you?

Last year was one of the hardest of my life. I'm looking forward to 2016 as a continuation of the work that I began doing in 2014 - discovering and uncovering who I am, and what empowers each aspect of my life to flourish. As a lot of us do, I was doing quite a bit of reflecting during the holidays. I began to think less of what happened and more of what I want to have happen. One word summed it up: Thrive.

When my friend Mandy told me about the One Little Word class by Ali Edwards, I was compelled to sign up. One Little Word is a year long project to explore, craft, invite and connect with your chosen word. I'm really excited to be a part of Ali's class, and even more excited to have it as a part of of my life. And I'm looking forward to sharing what I discover with you.

Since I've chosen thrive as my word, I've already begun to look at my world through the lens of "Thrive". I've been asking myself a lot of hard questions about what it means to me to thrive, and if what I'm choosing to do (or not to do) is supportive of me thriving. All of this led me to an "Ah-ha" moment. I was working on business "stuff" like emails, packing/shipping orders, and accounting all the while I was getting really down on myself about the state of my home. It was untidy and recovering from the holidays, with many new toys not put away, the sink was full of dishes, and loads of laundry to wash and fold. I began to get down on myself about everything that needed to be done which led me to feeling guilty about doing my work. Later that week, I was cleaning the house, and looked into my studio and immediately began to remind myself of all of the work I needed to finish, which led me to feel guilty about taking care of my home. Oh my gosh! There it was, like a slap in the face! I wasn't letting myself win. I wasn't allowing myself to thrive. I'm not quite sure how I will change this bad habit, but I know that I must. It's not helping me feel good about my work or home, and it's preventing me from being a good mom and wife. Have you ever felt this way? How did you overcome it? 

This journey will be interesting, and I'm welcoming it with open arms. I have some work to do. I'm sure there will be hard moments, but it will be worth it.

Have you ever chosen a word for the year? Do you have a word for this year? I'd love to hear what your word is and how you're making it a part of your world.

Lots of love and happy quilting!
~Cristy

 

 

Posted in Carrie Bloomston, Disney, One Little Word, Personal

Wanderlust Quilts Book Review + a Giveaway

Posted on November 15, 2015 by Cristy Fincher | 35 comments

Welcome to my stop on the Wanderlust Quilts blog hop! It is an honor to share this incredibly special book with you. I hope you enjoy my review. At the end, you'll have a chance to win your very own copy, courtesy of C&T and Stash Books.

Courtesy of Stash Books.  Photo by Nissa Brehmer

I am not a world traveller. I've had many dreams of jetsetting around the world and visiting places like Greece, Rome and France. In high school and college, I studied French and came quite close to taking a magical trip to Paris. In college, I filled general education requirements with as many non-western civilation classes that my schedule would allow. Classical art, architecture and literature inspired and intrigued me. I found myself always wanting to know more about the stories of those that created such works. For one semester, I even considered changing my major to anthropology or archeology. Even though I didn't change my magor, my deep love for classical art and architecture remain.

Wanderlust Quilts by Amanda Leins reignited my love for the beauty and ingenuity classic art and architecture and how design principles like proportion and balance influence us all today. Amanda (whom I lovingly call Mandy) is a classically trained archeologist turned artist and quilter. In her book, she expertly translates her work with classical designs into fresh and exciting designs for quilters to create and enjoy. Plus, she passes on her technical knowledge as she guides quilters through each beautiful project. As a quilter and teacher, I know you'll enjoy and appreciate Mandy's attention to detail in her clear and thoughtful instructions.

Wanderlust Quilts is a not-to-be-missed. Through any of Mandy's inspiring 10 projects, you'll learn techniques and tips that will help you uncover the depth of your own quilting skills. You'll find techniques for joining Y-seams, turned-edge applique, improv quilting and much more. Mandy also includes wonderful images of the art and architecture that inspired her designs and shows how she translated them into her designs. 

One of my favorite projects from Wanderlust Quilts is Aquaducts. The bright colors and the various scale of the arches bring this piece of ingenuity to life in a whole new way.

http://purpledaisiesquilting.com/collections/turned-edge-applique

While I haven't traveled to far off lands, I do find inspiration from places that are very special to me. There are many, and you might find me taking random pictures of the floors, walls or small details that inspire my quilting. One of my favorite places is Disneyland. Besides being The Happiest Place on Earth, it is inspiring and has clearly been inspired by patterns, art and architecture from our collective past. For Mandy's blog hop, she asked that we incorporate her book in a picture of a place or quilt that inspires us. It may be no surprise that I chose the center of the Disneyland, where each magial land awaits you. From the simple herringbone design in the bricks, to the details of Sleeping Beauty's castle, it's clear that classical design has and always will guide and inspire us all. (photo note: all photos of Disneyland were taken by me)

This image of Sleeping Beauty's castle is perfection to me. The colors (aqua, pink and gray) make my heart smile. The shapes in the brick, and the scrolling iron on the castle wall are inspiring. I see so many ways to use the patterns and designs to create unique quilts and quilting designs.

It's a Small World is full of inspiration from the simple patterns and shapes, to the incorporation of subtle and bright color. 

As I was looking for pictures to share with you, I found this one of Molly and Aaron as they prepare to battle Darth Vader in the Jedi Training Academy. The wall just beyond the sign for the Jedi Training Academy is a fabulous inspiration for a quilt! I think I need to pull out my graph paper and pencils and get to sketching! Plus that floor!! The floor is a quilt just waiting to happen.

I'd love to know what place, near or far, that inspires you. C&T and Stash Books, the publisher of Wanderlust Quilts, is giving away a copy to a lucky winner at each stop on the blog hop. To enter to win here, leave a comment telling me about a place that inspires you. I can't wait to hear about each one! Entries will end at midnight November 18th. I'll choose a winner on November 19th. 

Be sure to visit all of the stops. Each one is inspiring! 

November 2: Kickoff with Maddie Kertay at Bad Ass Quilters Society (official link available now!)
Mandy's podcast interview with Sandi of Crafty Planner (official link available now!)
November 3: Stephanie Palmer the Late Night Quilter
November 4: Christa Watson of Christa Quilts
November 5: Gen Q
November 6: Casey York Designs
November 7: Bill Volckening
November 8: Angela Walters
November 9: Kitty Wilkin, the Night Quilter
November 10: Lynn Harris of the Little Red Hen - you are here!
November 11: Latifah Saafir Studios
November 12: Rose Hughes
November 13: Rossie Hutchison of Rossie Crafts
November 14: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio
November 15: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting
November 16: Wrap-up with Mandy Leins

If you'd like to purchase your own copy of Wanderlust Quilts, you can find it in my shop. Remember, you can always use the code Inspiring for 15% off any order. Mandy has autographed copies available {here}. If you'd like to shop local, ask your local quilt shop about carrying Wanderlust Quilts in their shop.

Thank you for joining me!
Happy Quilting!!
~Cristy

 

Posted in Applique, Blog Hopping, Book Review, Disneyland, Piecing, Reviews

Paperless Paper Piecing + Celestial Star QAL

Posted on October 30, 2015 by Cristy Fincher | 3 comments


Hi! I'm really excited to be Diane's guest and to share Paperless Paper Piecing with you. It's one of my favorite techniques. I hope you'll give it a try!

I love the precision of traditional paper piecing, but like some of you, I really don't enjoy tearing off all of the papers at the end. Over 10 years ago, my mom, Sharon Schamber, developed Paperless Paper Piecing, an amazing technique that gives...

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Posted in Glue Basting, Paperless Paper Piecing

The Power of Glue Basting - Back to School Blog Hop

Posted on September 27, 2015 by Cristy Fincher | 4 comments

Welcome! Today is my stop on the Back to School Blog Hop, organized by the wonderful Sam Hunter.

Today I'm going to give you a little "crash course" on glue basting - one of my favorite techniques for getting great results for many quilting and sewing projects.

What is glue basting, you ask? It's probably much like you imagine, but a lot less messy than you fear. Glue basting is a simple techinique...

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Posted in Applique, Binding, Blog Hopping, Foundation Piecing, Glue Basting, Half Square Triangles, Piecing, Sewing, Tools & Supplies

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