Sunday, February 24, 2013

Twisting The Afternoon Away!

Moda Little Black Dress

This coming Friday, March 1st, I will be teaching a mini-class on how to use the Twister Tool.  We will be making a table runner and there are a couple things you can do at home to prepare for this class!

To make the table runner you will need either 1 charm pack (about $10.00) with 36-42  precut 5 x 5 inch pieces or you will need to cut yourself some 5 x 5 inch squares out of the fabric of your choice.  The advantage to a charm pack is you will have a color coordinated packet of precut fabrics normally containing the entire run for that designer.  No thinking like the colors and the fabrics in the packet, they WILL play nice together.   If you are cutting your own fabrics, I will suggest that you pick lights and darks and alternate them as you sew the blocks together.  Your end result will be a table runner that has pop and appeal.  Any scrap fabrics that you can cut 5 x 5 inches will work, so don't stress over this.  Just have fun with it!

You will need enough fabric for a border and backing along with some thin batting.  

BEFORE YOU COME TO CLASS:  Sew your blocks together.  Here is how I do mine, you can do yours any way you want, just get them together.

First I sort, light and dark from the packet.  Then I randomly sew the lights and darks together, one after another, I feed them into the machine without breaking the thread in between. Clip them apart, press to set the seams and then press them open.

 You will make two rows of equal length this way and then you will sew those two rows together.  Remember our trick of pressing the seams in opposite directions so they nest together when you are matching them up?  This would be a good time to use that trick.  DON'T stress if they are not perfect, it doesn't matter for this project, you will never see it.

When all the rows are sewn together it should look something like this.   Well, hey, that is pretty all on it's own...just wait till we are done with it!  Oh Boy!  Now we are ready to cut.  

If you are coming to class Friday...stop here and bring your blocks with you all sewn together.  If you are at home, or can't wait...well then, continue below.

This is the Twister Tool.  Kind of hard to see, it's clear.  But you will notice it's a square with an offset line in the center.  The tool is by Country Schoolhouse Designs and you can get it here:  Twister Tool  Now there are two sizes, get them both, you're gonna want them!  For this tutorial, we are using the Lil' Twister.  Below is a little video I created to show you how to place the tool on your fabric, once placed you will use your rotary cutter and carefully cut around the block.  You don't want to cut beyond the square tool.

Using your rotary cutter, carefully cut around the Twister Tool.  When finished remove your square of fabric and set it in a place where you can add your next piece to it without having to move your squares.  


Once you have cut about six pieces you will start to see your design coming together.  Sew in rows, careful not to move things around.  Check your design.  Add a border if you wish, batting and backing.  Quilt and have a lovely table runner.  Don't want to bother binding, add your batting and some muslin for the backing, quilt your top and then put a piece over it with the right side of your quilted piece and the right side of your backing together, stitch around all the edges leaving a 6 inch opening to turn and flip it right side out, stitch up your turning hole and you have a lovely table runner.

Borders - you can put them on before you trim your blocks or after, your choice, it will give you a different effect either way, both are lovely.  Save your extra bits that are left over, they can be used in other projects.  

Your finished piece for your table runner will be about 27" long.  You can decide how big you want your borders from there.

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