Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cross-Wound Thread

Aurifil thread (my favorite kind of thread!) is cross-wound on the spool, which means that the threads overlap in an 'X'. Cross-wound thread is meant to be pulled off of the top of the spool and the spool is supposed to stay in place. Because of this, you will want to put cross-wound spools on your horizontal spool pin on your machine.

If you don't have a horizontal spool pin (many older machines don't), take a cup and drop the thread in it, place it at the back of your machine and thread your machine normally. The thread will pull off the top of the spool like it's supposed to.

A straight-wound spool means that the thread is just wound straight onto to the spool (no 'X').  These spools are meant to sit on the upright spool pin. The actual spool is supposed to spin when the thread comes off.



Now you know the difference between straight-wound and cross-wound and you can put your thread on the correct spool pin!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cotton vs. Wool Batting

Last week, I took out a few of my quilts to take some photos, and there were creases where they had been folded. This usually happens when I open a quilt that has been folded for a while, but I usually use wool batting for most of my quilts, which means the creases fall out quickly. With this one quilt I'd unfolded, the crease wouldn't come out! Then I remembered that it was a rare occurrence where my quilter used cotton batting.

Cotton batting will hold a crease longer than a wool batting will, because the wool has more spring to it so it bounces back. I much prefer the wool to the cotton because I think quilts drape nicer with wool and it shows off quilting much better. It's also pretty breathable! It is more expensive than cotton, but for me it's worth it to not get hard creases in my quilts every time I unfold them.

It can be hard to see in a photo,  but see that crease right through the middle flowers?

Watch my little tutorial on cotton vs. wool batting:



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Home Tour


I'm back and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. We spent the time with kids and grandbabies playing, baking, and enjoy each other's company.
 
A couple of weeks ago I did a Facebook Live event; a Christmas Home Tour! I kind of wanted to do low-key decorating and didn't want to pull out all of my decorations this year, but once I got going, I got in the Christmas spirit and went all out.
 
 It was so fun to get to show you my home and some of my favorite Christmas traditions. If you missed the live event, you can watch the video on my Facebook Page: Jill's Christmas Home Tour
I'll be doing more live events in the future, so make sure to follow me on Facebook!
 
 
Many of you have asked about my snowflake tutorial. I posted this many years ago, but here are step-by-step instructions on my blog: SNOWFLAKE TUTORIAL.
 
Enjoy making your own snowflakes!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Choosing Fabric

When I'm choosing fabric for a new quilt, I like to try a bunch of different fabrics next to each other to see if they work together. Instead of only using fabrics from one line, I like to grab different fabrics in varying shades of the same color to add dimension. It also helps use up fabric I already have in my scrap bin!
I use dark and light colors within the same color family (example: yellow-greens instead of blue-greens) to give my quilts a bit of a scrappy look. If all of your fabrics that are too much alike, it seems like there isn't any reason to change fabrics.
If you want to add in a darker (or lighter) fabric than the main prints you're using, make sure you pick a few of those pieces so that that particular shade doesn't stand out.

The main thing to do when choosing fabrics is putting them all together to see how they look together. With some practice, it'll soon become second nature!  Good luck choosing your fabrics for your next quilt!



Friday, December 16, 2016

Featured on the Aurifil Blog!

I gave you a little tutorial about Aurifil Thread a couple of posts back, and today I'm featured on the Aurifil Blog! Head on over to see my interview and the Meadow Sweets collection:

https://auribuzz.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/meadow-sweets-by-jill-finley/

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Sweet Shops Program for Quilt Shops

If you're a quilt shop who carries my fabric or notions, then you are considered a Sweet Shop! 
Jillily Studio's Sweet Shop program has been re-vamped and is EASY! Quilters will come to you to get their Jillily Studio products. 

If you want your shop contact information featured on Jillily Studio's website and a Sweet Shops sticker for your store window, send us your contact info here:



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How to Make a Yo-Yo

As most of you know, I do a lot of applique, and sometimes instead of a just a plain old circle, I like to add a little dimension to my quilt top, which is why I like to use a Yo-Yo. 
A Yo-Yo starts as a circle of fabric and ends in a bunched, 3D circle:


Watch my tutorial on making a Yo-Yo:




Step-by-Step instructions to make a Yo-Yo:

1. Cut a circle out of fabric. It doesn't matter what size, but the finished yo-yo will end up being a little less than half the size that you start with. So if you start with a 2"circle, you'll end up with about a 3/4" yo-yo. 

2. Thread a needle with a similar thread color to your fabric. I use a 28 weight thread, but if you're using a lighter weight thread, use 2 strands. Don't tie a knot in the end. 

3. With the wrong side of the fabric up, fold the edge of the fabric in about 1/4" and start stitching around the entire circle. Take stitches about 1/4" as well. At this point, your yo-you should look like this:


4. Pull on both ends of the thread to gather the fabric and then tie the ends in a knot. This will create sort of a pouch, and it's not pretty...yet.

5. Take your pouch and push the center down and pull the sides out until it lays flat. Arrange the gathers so they look even. 

6. With the needle still threaded, poke straight through the center of the gathers and out the back end. Thread other thread and repeat so both strands are sticking out of the back. 

7. Tie the two threads in a knot at the back of the yo-yo, and you're ready to applique on your quilt!


One of the quilts I've used yo-yos on recently is my Meadow Weaver Quilt. I used blue and yellow yo-yos as little flowers in the center medallion and yellow along the border. 


Thanks for following along and let us know what fun things you do with Yo-Yos!