Friday, 20 February 2015

Getting what you pay for

Value for money! 

In today's uncertain economy, value for money is more important than ever. 

Essentially, a quilting frame is a tool designed to accomplish a purpose. A good tool is worth every penny! 

If you're thinking about getting a quilting frame, these are the features to look for:
  • A good quilting frame will be simple to set up and easy to use.
  • A good quilting frame will enable you to machine quilt your
    own tops for a fraction of the cost it would take to pay someone else.
  • A good frame enables your sewing machine to glide effortlessly over the top of your quilt instead of wrestling your quilt under the arm of your sewing machine. This transforms machine quilting from a pain in the neck to something truly enjoyable.
  • A good frame perfectly tensions the layers of your quilt so you'll never have to baste, pin, glue or tack a quilt again! I think it's worth every penny just for that.
  • A good frame is made to measure. This means that it fits you! It's designed for your height, and the length of quilt that you want to make.
  • A good frame comes with good, easy to understand, well illustrated instructions.
  • A good frame comes with ongoing support, helping you to to get started and become a fluent machine quilter.

A good frame does some of these things, a great frame does them all. There are many frames on the market. While you are shopping around the show ask yourself, "Am I getting value for money?"

Image result for New English quilterOur New English Quilter frames give you many of the features of a long-arm for a fraction of the cost. Made from the finest materials, our frames are designed to last a lifetime. And because they're so easy to set up and take down they fit beautifully in our homes. Best of all we give lots of after sales support and tuition. We want to make sure that you have all the help you need to become a fluent machine quilter!

The New English Quilter gives you value for your money. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Sometime you get a lot more!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Little Quilts on the Go

stitching pretty fabrics together on the JUKI HZL Exceed 600
I love to make Valentine postcard quilts. Most postcard tutorials show how to make the postcards one-by-one, but this post will show how to use a machine quilting frame to create lots of postcards at the same time. First, I go through my stash and pick out reds, pinks and heart fabrics and stitch them together.

Machine quilting hearts and loops on the 6 foot New English Quilter with the JUKI TL98P
Then I load the pieced top on my New English Quilter frame with some fleece underneath to serve as backing and wadding.

scalloped machine quilting detail stitched with the JUKI TL98P on the New English Quilter frame
Then I choose pretty pink and red threads from the Superior Threads range and 'draw' scallops around the hearts or doodle loops and hearts over the pieced top to create texture.

Notice the gorgeous machine quilting threads, from Superior Threads in the background.  I'm using Fantastico.
Creating the line designs with thread on the fabric 'canvas' is the fun part!

machine quilting hearts and loops detail with Fantastico #5031
This is a fun way to try out lots of different designs and play with lots of different threads.

hearts and loops machine quilting detail with variegated Rainbows thread from Superior Threads
Next, make the postcard backing. There are postcard templates that can be downloaded, scaled to various sizes and then printed on your home printer. Use an old dull blade and your ruler and mat to rotary cut the postcards for a professional look.

cutting out the postcard backings with the rotary cutter, ruler and mat
  • Now take your postcard backings and find some nice parts of your quilted top. 
  • Use them as templates and cut up your quilted top to fit lots of little postcards. 
  • I use scissors to snip round the first time. 
  • Then I straight stitch round the postcard, 
  • Then use the sharp rotary cutter blade to tidy the edges. 
  • Then finally go back to the machine and zig-zag around the edges.
Zig-zaging round the edges with the JUKI Exceed 600 using variegated Fantastico thread
the fabric front and the postcard backing are all stitched together
Now they're all ready to write your notes and pop in the post. My postmistress was so impressed. Posting costs just the same as an ordinary postcard or letter and they travel all over the world!

machine quilted postcards all stitched and ready to go
If you want to hand-deliver the postcards you can find and print your own stamps.

Fabric postcards with a heart stamp for hand delivery
I probably spent more time writing this blog post than making the postcards! The NEQ quilting frame makes it possible to make lots of cards quickly and beautifully. What fun to make little quilts that get to travel all over the world! Once you've made some you'll think of all sort of other themes and occasions to make and send machine quilted postcards. For other postcard ideas visit my 'Going Places' pinterest board.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Hugs and Kisses

'Hugs and Kisses' table runner on the 6 foot New English Quilter frame

 I love all things hearts! So I take a broad view of Valentine's Day and send my love to friends and family everywhere. More about that later. Meanwhile, here's a fun 'hugs and kisses' table runner that's just perfect for Valentine' Day. It's the pumpkin seed appliqué pattern pictured in the previous post. In a different colour way,  it works as X's and O's too.

The machine quilting began with simply scalloping around the appliquéd shapes. 

Scalloping is so much easier than stitch-in-the-ditch! 

Then added some echoed hearts and scallops to fill out the design.

I went for white on white to get a lacy doily look.

A fast and fun Valentine table runner made with love!
Hug & Kisses made with love from my JUKI TL98P and the 6 foot New English Quilter frame

Monday, 2 February 2015

Under Arm Problems

most sewing machines are too small for machine quilting
At some point, it happens. We find that the arm of our sewing machine is just too small!

We get fed up with trying to wrestle our quilts under the arm of the sewing machine. The process is a pain in the neck. And the results are often less than ideal.

It's time to give up, 
pay someone else to quilt it for you 
or look for something bigger.

Long arm machines can be too big

But the long arm alternative has it's own problems. For many quilters professional long arm quilting machines are

too big
too expensive,
 take up 
too much space 
and to be honest, 
just a bit
too scary! 

They're great for someone who wants to set up a quilting business but really too big and too much of an investment for people who just want to finish their own quilts.

Our Machine Quilter frames are just right!
 Our Machine Quilter frames are just right.
Our frames come in sizes that easily fit into your home and prices that fit your pocket too.
  • 4 feet for the textile artist £699
  • 6 feet for smaller projects like baby quilts up to twins  £999
  • 8 feet for doubles or queens £1399
  • 10 feet 7 inches for the bigger king sized quilts £1499
a frame that clamps to a table is easy to set up and take down

Our Machine Quilter frames are designed to fit easily in your home. They set up and take down in minutes. So you can set them up when you need to and take them down when you're finished.

The Juki TL98P Straight Stitch machine is longer and TALLER
 The arm of the JUKI TL98P lockstitch machine is longer and taller that most domestic sewing machines. That gives you the space under the arm that you need for machine quilting on a frame. UPDATE: The NEW TLQVP Mini has all the features of the TL98P plus better LED lighting and an extra tension dial to keep your threads on the thread path.

The New English Quilter frame perfectly tensions each layer of your quilt - like a long arm
 Our frame perfectly tensions all the layers of your quilt so you'll never need to baste, pin or tack again. Ever! It's worth every penny just for that.

a long arm look for a fraction of the price

Our frame allows you to glide your sewing machine every-which-way across the top of your quilt just like a long arm!

Emily's feathers
Our Machine Quilter frames give you the
advantages of a long arm  
without the fuss!
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • No more basting, pinning, tacking or glueing
  • Free moving just like a long arm
  • Affordable
  • Just the right size for your home
  • Made here in the UK
  • Great service, tutorials, workshops and retreats
finish your quilts quickly and beautifully
Our Machine Quilter frames are just right!

Come and see. 
Call or email Martha to arrange a FREE demo.
01526 553366