Sew Easy Refresh: Fons & Porter’s Quilting Techniques and Tutorials

New and improved!

We’ve taken our most popular, tried-and-true techniques, and given them a thorough review and an updated look. These new Sew Easy™ lessons are bright and fresh, in addition to being so wonderfully useful.

These techniques are incredibly popular. Over the years, we’ve heard many times how quilters collect them in binders or folders to reference.

We didn’t delete our ‘classic’ Sew Easy™ lessons (so don’t worry! They’re still there!), but we did add freshened up versions of the most commonly used ones. And even introduced a few new lessons that hadn’t existed previously, such as Turned Edge Appliqué.

We tried to make every step as clear as possible, using a contrasting fuchsia thread to make the stitching show (Aurifil’s 40 weight thread, which I’d never used, and now love; it sewed like a dream) and made sure that our videos included extra tips and advice.

Even better, we’ve bundled these refreshed techniques into a free eBooklet!

You can download the entire eBooklet, or you can visit the individual landing pages to watch the video, follow the tutorial, and even download individual PDFs.

The best part of our Sew Easy™ lessons—what makes them worth collecting—is the knowledge you gain from using them. With the skills you acquire from working through a pattern featuring our 8-at-a-Time Triangle-Squares, for example, you gain the ability to adapt other patterns, re-sizing your quilt blocks using the math and technique provided. Or maybe the striped fabric you selected for a border is just crying out for a perfect join, so you try Mitering Corners. Every technique you attempt makes you a better quilter because you’ll learn skills that will let you troubleshoot problems that arise elsewhere, or customize designs as you please.

Because of the skills I’ve acquired through using them, there are three Sew Easy™ techniques—right now, at least—that are my favorites.

First is the Binding with Faux Piping.

Faux piping adds a perfect pop of color to your binding.

Faux piping adds a perfect pop of color to your binding.

I initially encountered this technique with Kris Peterson’s Throw Caution to the Winds (below, left), and was surprised and delighted by it. How simple it was to introduce that thin pop of color! And it just made the quilt. We featured that technique on the 3012 episode of Love of Quilting TV, in Deb Finan’s quilt called Dublin Town (below, right), too.

Throw Caution to the Winds (left) and Dublin Town (right) feature faux piping in the binding.

Throw Caution to the Winds (left) and Dublin Town (right) feature faux piping in the binding.

Since then, I’ve added that perfect little pop of color to three of my quilts, and haven’t tired of it yet! And I don’t think you all have tired of it either! In our Sew & Tell feature in the July/August 2019 issue of Love of Quilting (the issue in which we introduce our refreshed Sew Easy™ lessons), two of our readers shared quilts in which they’ve used that technique.

Two readers submit quilts with faux-piped binding to our Sew & Tell department!

Two readers submit quilts with faux-piped binding to our Sew & Tell department!

Barbara Harris of Magnolia, Texas, made Dublin Town (above, left), and says she enjoyed trying out the faux piping for the binding, and Helen Bailey, of Talbott, Tennessee, changed up United in Gratitude (above, right) by adding faux-piped binding, introducing that touch of white.

My second favorite technique, developed with Eileen Fowler, the editor of Easy Quilts and Pre-Cut Patchwork, is Quick-Pieced Split-Point Units.

Quick-Pieced Split Point Units help you avoid unstable bias edges.

Quick-Pieced Split Point Units help you avoid unstable bias edges.

This technique is the result of Jennifer Schifano Thomas’ lovely pattern, Winds of Autumn. That quilt features quite a bit of piecing. In order to simplify the construction and eliminate some of the unstable bias edges of those triangles, Eileen and I tackled the Missouri Star quilt blocks. We realized that, using the same theory behind Quick-Pieced Flying Geese Units, we could achieve split point units with no exposed bias!

We simplified the Missouri Star quilt blocks in Winds of Autumn using the split-point technique.

We simplified the Missouri Star quilt blocks in Winds of Autumn using the split-point technique.

Eileen and I get very excited whenever we get to use this technique!

The third technique that is a current personal favorite is Cutting 45-Degree Bands.

Using the secrets of your ruler will result in easy-to-use diamond strips.

Using the secrets of your ruler will result in easy-to-use diamond strips.

Rather than cutting individual diamonds for a Lone Star design (again, all that unstable bias!), sewing strip sets and then cutting them using that 45-degree angle on your ruler will result in accurate, far more stable diamond strips.

In addition to the cleverness of this approach, I adore learning another way to maximize my ruler. Those degree markings on our rotary cutting rulers serve a useful purpose, and learning how to work with them makes me a better quilter. We also have Sew Easy™ lessons that teach you to use your ruler for Cutting 30-Degree Triangles and Cutting 60-Degree Triangles. Learning to use these angled lines on a rotary cutting ruler unlocks all kinds of new knowledge!

May whichever quilting techniques you use to give your patchwork wings! Enjoy!

Vanessa

New quilts and new skills await!

 

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