Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day 4 - the "Holiday Hostess Table Topper" tutorial!

So far this week we have -
* prepared our block : Day 1 tutorial (here)
* hand embroidered our block : Day 2 tutorial (here)
* fussy cut our fabric, made snowball blocks, pieced our table topper : Day 3 tutorial (here)

Today we're going to look at both machine quilting, and hand quilting!

Whether you have kept to the four snowball blocks we made yesterday, or added more blocks to lengthen the table topper, the quilting of it will follow the same instructions.

Cut a piece of cotton quilt wadding (batting) a few inches larger than your table topper flimsy.
(a flimsy is a quilt top that has been pieced but not yet sandwiched and quilted) 

NOTE: you may prefer to use fusible Pellon, which is a polyester wadding and is ironed on to the back of the flimsy. If you use this method you will not need to follow the basting spray section below until the addition of the backing fabric.

I *love* basting spray, especially for small projects. You only need to spray a very light film behind your flimsy before laying it down onto the wadding. Press the flimsy to the wadding with a warm, dry iron to 'seal' the two together...

Cut a piece of backing fabric, about the same size as your wadding. The backing fabric should be spray basted behind the wadding...

Attach your walking foot to the sewing machine. It helps feed the sandwiched table topper through the machine without 'puckering' the backing fabric. My walking foot looks like this...

 NOTE: If you do not have a walking foot please read your sewing machine manual for the correct settings to quilt an item. They will be different to sewing thin fabrics together.

I chose to outline quilt around all the seams of my table topper...

To accurately achieve the lovely point inside the triangles simply lift the sewing foot whilst keeping your needle in the fabric and pivot your fabric around. Use the seam line as your turning guide...

Here's my table topper when I completed the quilting. As you can see I have machine quilted down the length of the double snowball blocks on both sides, but not across the top and bottom...

That's the end of our machine quilting!

Now let's look at how I have hand quilted the Holiday Hostess wall hanging, my alternate project using the same embroidery feature...

After bordering the block with double rows of 2½" squares, then sandwiching with wadding and backing (the same way I did with the table topper)  I prepared to hand quilt a diagonal cross-hatch design across all the border blocks.

I chose one of the variegated threads featured in the embroidery for the quilting, using just a single strand and my regular size 9 embroidery needle...

I personally do not like to mark the fabric when I hand quilt, so for this project I have simply used some masking tape, laying it along the line I want to quilt...

Masking tape is paper that has fine adhesive behind it, but does not 'stick' permanently to the fabric, nor does it leave a residue. You can re-use the same strip of tape over and over as you hand quilt your rows!
(mine is the hardware store version but you can purchase a roll of quilter's adhesive tape here from Fee, or ask at your local quilt store) 

 Sew lines of running stitch alongside the tape...

When the row is finished, peel off the tape and move it to the next line you want to quilt. Isn't it a lovely effect?!

Make sure you are stitching through all three layers of the wall hanging. 
Here is a look at the back of mine...

Before I put this aside to prepare the binding I decided to add a little quilting around my tree, under the garlands of ribbon, and inside the trunk...

You might like to add a bit of hand quilting around the tree in the machine quilted table topper as well. Do what you think will bring *your* project to life!

Tomorrow:  we'll finish the Holiday Hostess projects by making quilt binding, then sewing it around the table topper and the wall hanging before finally stitching it down at the back.
We're also add a hanging sleeve to the wall hanging.

And then?
 Your project will be complete and you can give yourself a jolly good pat on the back (and even a little chocky treat if you like!)...

See you then,


  1. Hi Jenny - this has been an amazing tutorial - thank you and well done! Haven't been able to take part as we are renovating and all my fabrics are packed away....but certainly read with interest your process - love, love, love the masking tape tip! xoxo

  2. Hi Jenny, I have thoroughly enjoyed following this tutorial. I did not know the tip about using the masking tape for hand quilting - thanks so much, gosh that will make my lines alot straighter.

  3. Beautiful Jenny, I'm loving these projects - I need to find my quilter's tape, although it's so old it might not stick anymore, lol. It's fabulous to work with!

  4. Both are wonderful! I love how straight each line of quilting is, both hand and machine. Just FYI, YOU would probably never leave the masking tape on there for an indefinite length of time, BUT I know from foolishly doing so that it will leave a residue if you leave it for more than a week or so. Like months. LOL I'm very excited about both of these versions and am definitely going to look at that Christmas fabric I have back there and make some choices tomorrow for the piecing parts.

  5. Coolio about the masking tape - didn't think of that at all. Sometimes I have drawn a line sometimes winged it. They look great quilted.

  6. Hi Jenny. Your table topper is looking absolutely gorgeous. Love the Tilda wall hanging too. I've been out all day today at the craft show and now I'm off to work... but I will catch up tomorrow. Thanks for the brilliant tutorials xx

  7. Ohhhh.....still loving this Jenny! I'll probably hand quilt when I get stuck into this.....thanks for the tip about the masking tape! Would never have thought about that!

  8. These are so beautiful....Love the quilting. Love the green thread you hand quilted with

  9. Me encantan las dos composiciones!!!!

  10. I adore the Holiday Hostess fabric and I love what you've done with it. So charming. Thank you for the inspirational messages and the tutorial.


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