Friday, June 17, 2016

Stitch-in-the-ditch foot = Magic!

I finished a wallhanging for the shop this week.  Wanna see it?  Of course you do!

Coffee Rocks! an adaptation by me
It's a bit ironic, actually, because I don't drink coffee.  So I thought I might explain the genesis of this piece.

Here is our shop's entry for 2016 Row by Row Experience, which starts June 21.  Each year Row by Row has a theme; this year's theme is Home Sweet Home.  Our block is titled "Earth Rocks!" and it was designed by shop employee Janet McDonald.  Being in Berkeley, California, we often conceive of home in a more global, earth-embracing way.  Plus, being in the Bay Area, we live on a major earthquake fault zone.  Thus, the fractured Earth nature of the block.

Look at those steam-y swirls!

I saw the fabrics that Janet had used in her sample--swirling Stonehenge patterns from Artisan Spirit--and thought of swirling fabrics I had in my stash

Specifically, fabrics from the Have a Latte line, that I used in making a coffee-themed wallhanging when I participated in a latte blog hop in 2015.  (See?  Precedence for sewing items that declare my secret nonexistent love of coffee.)

 Janet's pattern was for a 9" tall row; but the four individual blocks could be joined into a circle.  A circle?  Yes!  An entire planet of coffee beans and steamy swirls: how else to show off the Love of Java that these fabrics and this pattern evokes?

Embroidery anyone?

FMQ coffee cup
A little embroidery embellishment, a little quilting: big stitch (love me some Finca Perle cotton #8), straight-line-with-walking-foot, and the tiniest FMQ scribbles in the center.

And something new for me: MF&B!
MF&B is the shorthand we use at the shop when a customer wants to use our quilting services to attach binding to their quilt and finish it by machine, rather than handstitching (machine front and back).  Can't believe that I had never bound a quilt this way: always, always I have blindstitched by hand.  (Or had Ginger-the-Binding-Angel or Linda-the-Marvelous-Mama do it for me.)

And to help me with this MF&B adventure?  A stitch-in-the-ditch sewing machine foot!  What IS that, you say?  Why, a feat of modern engineering that will absolutely change my life.

Behold, the extra piece of metal nestled up against the binding seam, right where it attaches to the quilt top.  And the needle follows that piece of metal so very smoothly; the stitching becomes lost in the ditch where the two fabrics come together.  Invisible from the quilt front.  Magic, I tell you!

Okay, so I've never stitched down my binding by machine before.  Like, ever.  Even the nobody cares what it looks like bindings on all the Sew Together Bags I have made.  (Even Oakie's luggage bag.)  But this is a game-changer.  You can bet that this sewing machine foot and I will be making beautiful music together many times in the future.

Are there sewing machine accessories you can't live without?  Brag to me about your fave!

I haven't linked up a finished project in awhile.  Might as well show off a bit with TGIFF and Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Stash report: used 1/2 yard of coffee-themed fabrics from my stash for the front & back; the background fabric on the front was a new purchase (but it was from the sale table!)


  1. Hi Alla! I enjoyed reading your story today, and thankyou for sharing about your favourite quilting foot over at ttif x

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I just love a friendly wave and hello.

  2. Your row by row block is great, I love the unexpected! Is that the #10 edgestitch foot you are using? I've always used the walking foot.