Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Liz Withers

Liz Withers of Lizzie's Quilting Palette and Floyd's Sewing Machines came as a special guest to our April guild meeting. What a treat! She taught us about the fine art of machine applique. She had a bunch of great tips for us and hopefully we all learned quite a bit.
She had the stitch numbers for different computerized machines that correlated with the stitch she likes to use when she machine appliques. If you don't have a computerized machine, you can use a blind hem stitch and "scrunch and shorten" that stitch to work. If possible, the best machine applique stitch is 2 running stitches then 1 jog stitch that catches the applique piece.

Liz also told us about a great product called 5 0 5 spray to use to tack your fabric down. Another thing Liz talked about is spray starch. She says she starches the background piece like crazy (10 times) so it is pretty rigid. She says she starches the applique piece 2 or 3 times also. She taught us that the trick to starching so much and not getting those little annoying white starch flakes everywhere is to rub the starch in as you spray it on. This little tip helps keep those white flakes from appearing.

Liz also told us about a great marking tool, the wonderful purple marker. It is an air erase marker that she loves and they sell at their store on Redwood Road.

This book by Harriet Hargrave is a favorite of Liz's. She loves this book and uses this book to teach applique classes at her store.

Liz talked quite a bit about thread. She said when machine appliqueing, use thread that matches your background fabric, since that is where your straight stitches are laid down. Liz said she loves Superior Threads mono poly for machine appliqueing. It comes in clear or smoke, so you can use either one depending on your background fabric color, light or dark. She said you should never use this kind of thread in your bobbin. It stretches, causes ridges in your bobbin, and messes up your bobbin tension. She doesn't like any clear nylon thread either, it melts and is too coarse. Liz suggests using a lightweight thread in your bobbin like Superior Threads Bottom Line or YLI's Bobbin Lingerie.

Liz told us that she uses a small and sharp needle in her machine while appliqueing. She likes a 60-8 sharp. She said the sharp is just enough sharper than the universal to make a nice little hole when appliqueing. She also said that you will probably need to adjust your upper tension when using this method of machine appliqueing. You will probably have to loosen your top tension and that means you need to move your tension to a lower number. If your tension is too tight, you will see dabs of your bobbin thread poking through on the top fabric.

What a great treat is was having Liz Withers come to our guild meeting. Thanks KayeDawn for arranging this meeting and thanks to Liz for coming and sharing her great ideas with us.

There are more tips she left us with, feel free to comment and leave the tips that you learned.

KayeDawn brought a quilt, Floral Rhapsody, that she made and won a few ribbons with using this technique that she learned from Liz. This gorgeous quilt won Sweepstakes at our very own Wastach County Fair last year and also won 2nd place at the Utah State Quilt Guild Festival in the Machine Applique division. KayeDawn took a 9 month class at Lizzie's Quilting Palette to learn all the fun techniques used to make this quilt. KayeDawn said that there may be another class offered this fall with a different quilt pattern at Liz's shop. Thanks for bringing this quilt for us to see KayeDawn, it is beautiful.

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