Catching Up with Rob Appell

You may recognize this month’s spotlight from “Michael Miller Fabrics Making It Fun” or “Man Sewing,” we’re so excited to spotlight our JUKI Ambassador, Rob Appell, during National Sewing and Quilting month! In today’s blog, we get to speak with Rob about his journey in quilting, his passion for the craft, and how he came to be where he is today.

Robs journey in quilting began when he moved back home from college, spending his free time outside and snowboarding. His mother, the manager and eventual owner of the local quilt shop brought Rob into the business, where he started as a clerk. When his mother began bringing in machines to sell, Rob eventually shifted to machine repairs, and here is where he started falling in love with sewing!

Creating fun Hawaiian shirts as his uniform for the quilt shop, he found himself having fun making them and eventually began looking into patchwork quilting. A fun and easy way to pick up quilting, he began testing his skills in free motion quilting his projects. Again, finding himself loving the hobby. The rest, as they say, is history!

Since he began to quilt, Rob has accomplished a published quilt book, starred in and hosted multiple quilting YouTube shows, created a community for his teachings, and so much more! His videos encourage new quilters to be creative and enjoy their projects! With a focus on basic techniques, his hope when he’s creating for viewers is that they find something they can take away from his lessons and learn how to make their versions.

Recently starring in ‘Michael Miller Fabrics’ Making it Fun,’ you can follow along with his high-energy videos and view the different patterns and free motion quilting techniques Rob uses. While he offers some design patterns and templates for quilters, his work mainly focuses on organic creation. Going with the flow, his work often doesn’t follow design patterns; the finished design patterns he has sold usually come from these organic works he’s completed after the fact!

“The Free Motion Quilting, I prefer to go freestyle, no pattern, sometimes a plan, but usually pretty random and free.”

Quilting didn’t take him away from the outdoors he loved. Combing two of his favorite things, Rob is known for his landscape quilts. These beautiful pieces focus on nature and showcase views in bright colors. In fact, in 2009, Rob created 12 different quilts that featured faces of endangered species. Using the patterns from his work, he was able to fundraise and advocate for these species through sales that went toward endangered species charities.

He also authored a pattern book, “Making Waves … Adventures of a Surf Quilter,” a self-published print book featuring his landscape and seascape quilts. Early in his quilting journey, Rob was known for his scenic creations. Then, using free motion quilting and applique, he would add fun designs like fish, coral, rocks, lighthouses, ships, and more! Then, bringing in his love for surfing, he created a piece that intertwined surf terms with quilting terms, going above the average and setting himself apart.

Now, as someone who’s been quilting and creating those quilting videos we love for years, we asked Rob what keeps him going. “Videos are free and can be viewed over and over again if you’re learning from them. I love to present my passion for quilting.” Rob likes to focus on basic quilting techniques because he’s often reminded of how many new quilters have emerged in the community over the years. Thanks to video cameras and social sites like YouTube, where Rob hosts, he can teach how to construct quilts and the basic skills all quilters want to know. Keeping himself motivated with fun fabrics and the creative process has pushed him to bring that energy into each episode’s studio. Thankful for the following he’s gained on YouTube that keeps him going!

Rob at his studio with the J-350QVP & J-150QVP

He recently created a new quilt, the “Synergy Remix,” designed by Kristie J. Smith in her pattern book, “Splice Magic,” that he loved! Always excited to try out new and different quilting techniques, like he encourages his viewers, Rob locked himself in the quilt shop, Stitchin’ Heaven, his latest collaboration where he’ll be hosting new quilting episodes, and went to work! In one night, he created a quilt and video, maligning the entire project and finishing it. Yet, this project places a smile on his face when he thinks about it.

While Rob has gone on to try other ventures, like his work in textile design with Free Spirit Fabrics, he vouches for his love of quilting. Sharing his love of fabric and free motion quilting, he focuses on his desire to quilt the top to push him through the construction process. Recently, he’s begun focusing on improving his precision in his patchwork! By creating little half-square triangles and trimming them up, he’s found joy in practicing his skills.

Always learning and growing, Rob has begun a new journey in his quilting career with Stitchin’ Heaven! As their new YouTube manager and Content presenter, he’ll be able to create a team of quilt lovers like himself who can share their passion for the craft while teaching others worldwide. Stepping back from handling all processes by himself, he’ll now have quilting friends who will help him create new and exciting projects for viewers like you. We’re excited to see the different techniques and quilting styles that will emerge from this new partnership!

“The thing I love most about the quilting industry is that there is so much for everyone.”

With the quilting community constantly growing as new members find their passion for the hobby, we asked Rob what advice he has for JUKI Quilters. “Get to know your machine, spend 7me learning the nuances, understand what the different feet do and when to use them. Then, remember – this is a hobby, not a race. Please slow down to enjoy the process.” When you enjoy the steps to what you’re creating and take a moment to appreciate each technique you’ve picked up, you’ll truly enjoy the finished project. As Rob mentions, so many people need something positive in their lives. Take the time to find your passion, teach and work with others in your quilting community, and enjoy the process.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Rob with us, and we hope this inspires you to join him on an online video one day and check out quilting! A hobby for everyone, we hope everyone enjoys National Sewing and Quilting month with a fun new project!

Quilting Basics with JUKI

Today we’ll go over some essential tools and presser feet you’ll need to create a quilt from start to finish. When we start a hobby, we might want to grab every item we see at the shops, so follow along as we share the important ones you should grab first!

Tools to Have in Your Kit

Rotary Cutter: Shaped like a pizza cutter, the rotary cutter is perfect for cutting out your fabric pieces. If you’re using patterns for your work, using a rotary cutter is an easy and quick way to correctly cut the fabric piece to the size and shape you need. These come in different sizes, ranging from small cutters that are great for tight cuts and a large one for big projects! For quilting, we recommend purchasing a medium-sized one.

Scissors: Besides your rotary cutter, ensure scissors are designated for cutting fabric. You want to keep these separate, so they stay sharp for cutting thread and fabric cleanly. So often, when we mix our scissors and cut items like paper, cardboard, or more, this dulls the blade, fraying your material in the long run when you use them.

Seam Ripper: Make sure to keep a seam ripper on hand for those mistakes! Advanced and beginner quilters benefit from this in their tool kits since it is perfect for fixing those little mess-ups.

Self-Healing Cutting Mat: Keep your workspace safe from scratches and find yourself a self-healing cutting mat! This will allow you to use your rotary cutter safely and can be found in many different sizes.

Fabric: Sewing isn’t complete without fabric! There are many options out there for quilters to choose from. You can choose to buy fabric by the yard or purchase bundles! We recommend sticking to 100% cotton. Choose from mini charm packs, jelly rolls, jolly bars, and more, depending on the size of the quilt you want to create and what form of designs you envision.

Thread: Like your fabric, look for a thread that suits your project, like 100% cotton for quilting. Look for options that are durable and not too cheap. Here you’ll want to find a thread that won’t birds nest on you in the creative process while sticking to your budget. For quilters, we recommend Aurifil! Like we use in our JUKI Studio when creating, Aurifil is 100% Egyptian cotton and comes in many colors, perfect for your project needs. We recommend purchasing neutral colors when you begin, like tan, white and black; this way, you can easily bind most of your projects without worrying about the thread color.

Pins and Pattern weights: When you want to keep your fabric in place, using quilting pins and pattern weights is a great solution! Use quilting pins when piecing your quilts to keep the fabric from moving, and use pattern weights when cutting out the fabric with your rotary cutter! These two accessories will make your cutting and sewing experience easy and help you create a professional finished product.

For pins, try and look for longer options, as this will help you hold the fabric better when sewing through those thick pieces, and they are also much easier to grab! You can also purchase safety pins, which come straight and curved for the finishing stages of your quilt process.

Rulers: Clear-gridded rulers are important in quilting because measuring correctly matters! Helping you quickly and accurately cut fabric for your project, rulers come in an array of size options suited for your needs.

Presser Feet for the Average Quilter

While your machines will come with presser feet, let’s go over some basic presser feet you should have on hand when quilting and what they’re for!

1/4″ Presser Foot

Essential for piecing your quilts together, the 1/4″ Presser Foot allows you accurately piece your quilts together quickly and efficiently. This accessory is perfect for when you’re piecing and don’t have time consistently mind the bottom measurements on your plate.

Walking Foot

A Walking Foot is basically used for putting a set of feed dogs on top of the quilt sandwich, working in conjunction with the bottom feed dogs, and evenly helping you pull your quilt through the sewing machine. Quilting with a standard presser foot on thick fabric or hard-to-feed material like the ¼” Presser Foot, for example, could lead to tucks and uneven stitches; this is why we use a Walking Foot!

Free Motion Quilting Foot

Want to add designs and texture to your quilts? You’re going to want a Free Motion Quilting Foot! With a Free Motion Quilting Foot, you will drop, or lower, your feed dogs and begin moving your quilt under the foot, free motioning the design yourself! While it takes practice using free motion quilting and controlling the quilt yourself, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding skill to learn!

We recommend checking out an Open Toe Foot when looking for your Free Motion Quilting Foot. With a small space left open on the presser foot, you’ll have a better eye on the needle and be able to easily create your designs!

Get To Quilting!

As you begin your quilting journey, research what tools you’ll need when creating! These listed are perfect for setting up your workspace and machine, so keep these in mind while you’re at the shop. If you’re an experienced quilter, what presser feet and tools do you think quilters should keep on hand? Let us know down below!

Are You Ready To Upgrade Your Sewing Machine?

As we grow our sewing and quilting skills, we sometimes wish we had more features, feet accessory options, stitch options, and more. It can be hard to decide when it’s time to upgrade our beloved sewing machines, but an upgrade may be needed if you face issues like needle breakage, your machine stalling on large products, or not having enough space to create.

Today we’re going to cover upgrades in JUKI. From our beginner machines to more advanced options, we recommend the best upgrade options depending on your current JUKI. Whether you’re a quilter, garment creator, or focus on home décor, creating is best done when your machine is ready to handle your projects.

Things to Consider Before Upgrading

Before you search for a new machine, sit down and think about what features, presser feet, stitches, and more you’ll want to use on your sewing machine. Keeping these notes in mind, you’ll be able to begin your search with a clear idea of what you need, and then you can focus on the more bell and whistle options that you want.

Workspace

Do you have a dedicated space for your sewing and quilting? Or are you commonly moving your machine around to create? An important thing to remember when shopping is your machine’s size and weight. For example, if you’re a quilter with a designated room, you can plan for stand-up or sit-down machine options with large workspace areas. However, if your workspace is your dining table on the weekends, consider a machine that can be easily moved and put away.

Features and Accessories

If you’ve been working on a simple beginner machine, chances are you’re working with a small number of stitch options and a few features. However, sewing machines are now equipped with many features and capabilities that can make your sewing experience fun and easy!

Depending on the type of projects you want, features like button sewing, zig-zag stitch, and more can help you build your skills and create professionally finished projects. If you enjoy quilting, finding a machine with a dual feed function can be extremely useful when creating, helping you enjoy the process better. If you’re a common user of heavy fabrics, you’d want to find a machine that offers durability and semi-industrial strength.

Completing a Test-Run

Don’t forget to try it out before your buy! If you can test-drive your dream machine options, you can see if you like the features, power, and size of a machine before purchasing. When we upgrade our sewing machine, we’re looking for one that will be durable and long-lasting, which means this can be an investment. Before purchasing, you want to ensure that the machine can handle your current and future project ideas while allowing you to learn new skills and techniques easily.

5 Features to Keep In Mind

Finally, before purchasing your sewing machine, we want to share five features we believe sewists shouldn’t live without! Making your experience easier, these features were created to help you create your projects easier and faster while teaching you new techniques.

  1. Needle Down/Up

If you’re creating quilts, home décor, or even garments having needle up/down features can be essential in creating clean finished projects. By setting the machine, so it stops with the needle down in the fabric, you now have greater control and can turn or pivot the fabric you’re working on.

2. Automatic Buttonhole

Any project requiring a button can be completed faster and more efficiently with an automatic buttonhole. Machines that offer this feature usually come with a small variety of buttonhole options, allowing you to create pieces for garments, quilts, or decorations. Test-drive the machine before purchasing, test out the button holes to ensure you like the options available, and check out how easy this feature is to work.

3. Needle Position

While some sewists may overlook this feature, being able to change the needle position can help you achieve particular looks on your projects. For example, you can change the needle position from left to right if your machine has a zig-zag stitch. In addition, some machines come with multiple options for needle positions, like our DX-4000QVP, which allows you to quickly move the needle to the ¼ position with a tap of a button.

4. Automatic Tension

If you’re quilting or creating a garment piece, you know that changing tension between your project pieces can be a hassle and time-consuming when you first begin. A feature sewists appreciate is the Automatic Tension. Allowing you to switch between fabrics with ease, the machine will automatically pick up the tension it needs to be at for you to create your projects and lower the amount of work you need to do!

5. Dual Feed

Lastly, a Dual Feed feature is perfect for you if you’re a quilter. By allowing the fabric to feed from both top and bottom evenly, this feature can easily handle fabrics that shift or are bulky. So now, when you’re creating your family quilts, you’ll have less stress in dealing with shifty fabric or those thick seams.

Upgrade Recommendations

If you’re planning to upgrade your sewing machine, we’ve created a list below of machine recommendations depending on your current model. Whether creating quilts, apparel, or handbags, having the right features as you grow your skills will help you make those professionally finished projects you’re aiming for.

Quilting:

Suppose you’ve found more room to create and a designated space for your machine to fill, look into a sit-down or stand-up quilting machine! While a table-top quilting machine is perfect for many quilters, upgrading to a sit-down quilting machine will allow your projects to grow and flourish.

A sit-down machine like the J-150QVP offers straight-stitch and quilting like your TL-18QVP. This way, you can create your quilt pieces while working on other projects like your garment pieces and home décor. The throat space is larger on this machine as well! Now you’ll have a 12-inch spacious throat space and a 30″ x 30″ table where you can open optional leaves for even more room and easily create larger quilts!

For an even larger workspace, we recommend the J-350QVP! Like the J-150QVP, you’ll have a 12″ throat space for creating. However, your quilt space has just expanded immensely! You now have the option to convert your machine to a 5′, 7′, 10′, and 12′ frame. This frame will allow you to create quilts as large as king size.

If your focus is quilting, and you have a designated space in your home for your machine, we recommend checking out the J-350QVP Stand-Up! Upgrading from the J-150QVP to the J-350QVP will allow you to upgrade your quilt size and use new features like the Quilt Creative Touch 5.

The J-350QVP Stand Up offers options in 5′, 7′, 10′, and 12′ feet frames. From twin-sized quilts to king-sized, you’ll easily be able to free-motion quilt designs onto your quilts and enjoy the new digital aspect of quilting. Thanks to the QTC5 program that you can get as an add-on to your machine, you can now free-motion quilt with the tap of a finger.

The Quilter’s Creative Touch 5 is a user-friendly add-on that allows you to easily design and layout your projects using a Windows tablet or PC. Powered by quilt motion, the system will stitch designs onto your quilt with over 220 options. You can also master creating your designs and personalizing your quilts!

Sewing:

Creating apparel is fun and exciting, but it’s best when you have the right machine! If you’ve been working on clothing projects and notice you wish you had more stitch options.

Compared to the 70-HW, which holds 80 stitch patterns and five buttonhole patterns, the F Series begins with 106 stitches, including 16 professional buttonholes and three lettering fonts! Decorative stitches are a fun and easy way to add personality and texture to your garment pieces. Line your skirts, add them to your handbags or use them in home décors like table runners and pillows. The lettering options let you go the extra mile and personalize your projects!

Another bonus of upgrading your machine to the HZL-F or DX Series is the accessories available to you. Now you can use presser feet like the 1/4″ Guide Foot, Invisible Zipper Foot, Smooth Presser Foot, and more. These accessories will help your skills in garment sewing grow and allow you to test new techniques you couldn’t do on your other model machine before.

If you’re looking for a machine upgrade that goes the extra mile, we recommend the DX Series! Using a touchscreen, you can easily master the stitches and feature options on your machine. Beginners and sewists can enjoy the large selection of options available for decorative stitches, letter stitching, buttonhole options, and other features like needle positions and automatic tension.

The HZL-G Series is an excellent machine for a beginner sewist. Still, if you find your project skills outgrowing the capabilities of your sewing machine, we recommend upgrading to the DX series. While both sewing machines are computerized, the DX-4000QVP offers a 7″ touch screen that goes the extra mile for sewists testing new techniques.

While the G series offers excellent features like the automatic needle threader, free motion quilting, and powerful feeding for heavy projects, the DX offers these features and more that can ease the creation process. Now, with the DX series, you’ll be able to adjust stitch length easily, presser foot pressure, combine decorative stitching, and much more.

Designed to help you create everything under the sun, the DX series is perfect for the sewist ready to dive into their sewing journey! With the ability to make home décor, quilt, and sew garment projects, you’ll be able to excel in new techniques and project types while enjoying the ease of sewing due to the intelligent technology used in the DX machines. With features like a bobbin thread sensor and the visualization of stitches on the DX-4000QVP, you now have a concrete idea of your stitches and designs before creating.

Whether upgrading to a computerized or a stand-up quilting machine, finding the right one that can grow with you is crucial! It can be exciting to test our skills and create projects we’ve been dreaming of, so make sure to have the suitable machine and tools on hand when you need them. If you were upgrading your machine today, which one would you choose? Let us know down below!

To find a JUKI dealer near you, visit us here today!

JUKI Spotlight: Quilting with the Fat Quarter Shop!

In this month’s spotlight, we’re focusing on Kimberly and The Fat Quarter Shop! If you’re a quilter, you’ve most likely heard about the Fat Quarter Shop for their variety of fabric bundles, sew-along streams, quilt patterns, and more. Dive into the Fat Quarter Shop journey with us as we discuss how Kimberly, with the help of her husband Kevin and team, started the business right from home and how it grew into the shop it is today.

Scrappiness is Happiness Lori Holt book

Starting in 2003, Kimberly would return home after working as an accountant during the day and begin buying and cutting fabric, preparing fat quarter bundles for her new sales. Fat quarter bundles weren’t common to find 20 years ago. They were one of the few precut bundles you could purchase, so with only a desk, a computer, and a shelf full of fabric, she began creating and selling her own fat quarter bundles directly to customers. It was a niche many had missed, and Kimberly took it upon herself to remedy this issue.

“I wanted more access to more bundles for myself, and if opening a store would let me have that, then that’s what I was going to do!”

Kimberly loved the idea of packaging a collection of precut fabrics and started seeing an increase in shoppers. So, as the business began to grow, Kimberly’s husband, Kevin, jumped on board and joined the team! After only a few months of getting married, Kevin and Kimberly were also business partners! With Kevin handling IT and operations, and Kimberly running the creative side, they could go full-time and upgrade their shop to a warehouse.

Upgrading to a warehouse came with more than just extra space, but the opportunities to grow their inventory and build a team! As they began hiring and expanding their product range, the Fat Quarter Shop became known for having everything a quilter may need. With over 35,000 products, they’ve been able to offer over 18,000 different fabrics plus notions, precuts, kits, thread, floss, patterns, books, and charts. As a one-stop shop, beginners and advanced quilters can enjoy their different clubs and promotions.

Designer Mystery quilt 2020

With so many clubs to choose from, the Fat Quarter Shop offers a multitude of monthly subscriptions for fabric bundles, quilt block pattern kits, and more. Currently, their most popular club is Designer Mystery Box of the Month! Now going for 15 years, the Designer Mystery BOM includes months 1-12 with designer mystery quilt block patterns, perfect for trying something new. They also offer clubs where you can receive a bundle of your favorite kind each month and quarterly Fat Quarter sets. One of their favorite ventures, the Fat Quarter Shop, will always try to go above and beyond in their kits, a unique program they have had fun creating.

With the help of their team, they’ve been able to expand their shop and keep a focus on customer service. Elva, their customer service team leader, started many years ago filling orders in their warehouse. In addition, Jocelyn was the first person they ever hired to do marketing, becoming the leader for most of their marketing team. With so many others joining, they attest their growth to a team effort all around! 

With Jocelyn and Elva on the team, they’ve expanded their reach on social media and created a customer service experience that quilters and cross-stitch creators can depend on. Going above assistance with sales, you can reach out to their team and receive guidance on fabric choices, notions, and more. With a wealth of knowledge on their team, they help customers find what they need.

A great way the Fat Quarter Shop team has shared their knowledge over the years is through their social media platforms. By connecting with quilters, stitchers, and other crafters on channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, they’ve been able to provide live-stream lessons and answer questions directly from customers. You can find tips and lessons on quilting techniques, machine tips, and more on these socials.

Halloween Mystery Cross Stitch 2022

Kimberly’s favorite social media aspect is their weekly live streams on Fridays! Allowing her to chat with customers live while creating and enjoying her hobby, she’s been able to connect with the community and build her shop product list based on their requests and recommendations. Through marketing like this, she’s been able to create programs like their free Christmas and Halloween mystery quilt that customers love and come back for.

“- I get to hear firsthand what they want to see in the store. If something doesn’t exist, we try to create it.”

Don’t worry if you miss a Livestream! You can always visit the Fat Quarter Shop’s YouTube page and find videos on Quilt Alongs, tips and tricks, and other projects. In addition, their quilting video page offers tutorials that all skill sets can enjoy. From beginner to advanced techniques, Kimberly and her team have provided their audience with what they want! For example, if you’re interested in learning how to quilt, they offer an outstanding Ultimate Beginner Series. But, if you’re an advanced quilter, you can learn and try your hand at classic & vintage quilts.

Aside from their fabric, quilter’s kits, and notions, you can also find pattern books! Starting 10 years ago, Kimberly, and her husband Kevin, opened up the publishing side of the business, ‘It’s Sew Emma.’ Named after their oldest daughter, Emma, the publishing aspect of their business has published hundreds of quilt and cross stitch patterns, books, and notions. While their most popular designer is Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet Co., they also offer Fat Quarter and Half Yard books, perfect for those bundles you love to buy!

Make A Wish fundraising quilt 2022

With everything the Fat Quarter Shop has been able to accomplish in 20 years, we asked Kimberly what the experience was like seeing the rise in popularity. “It’s hard to describe. I never expected it to grow as it has. It’s been difficult, stressful, and a lot of fun all at the same time.” Focusing on doing their best daily, they attribute their success to the team’s continuous hard work, never giving up, and offering customers the best quality service and products. They, of course, also attest to their success to their loyal customers, who keep coming back for their new products, videos, and inspiration.

Kimberly and the teams’ advice for those starting their own business is this, find your niches! When you can create an image and branding that you’re proud of and shows off your style, you’ll be one step closer to seeing success. Be passionate about your hobby and shop, engage your audience, and you’ll begin seeing the trademarks of something starting.

While Kimberly and Kevin admit there are things they could’ve done differently, they recognize all these decisions led them to where they are today. Constantly giving a hundred percent to the shop, they focus on looking forward to opportunities that allow them to be creative and have fun in the future.

“I try to only look forward, and I still have more goals to reach. I don’t see limits to what we can do, so I’m ready for anything.”

We’re so excited to share more about the Fat Quarter Shop and its team with you! So whether you’re starting your quilting journey or an advanced quilter looking for something new, check out the Fat Quarter Shop today and meet Kimberly and the team!

To follow along on the Fat Quarter Teams Journey, and learn more about their shop, visit their links below!

Fat Quarter Shop – YouTube
Fat Quarter Shop FlossTube – YouTube

Instagram: Fat Quarter Shop – Quilting
Fat Quarter Shop – Cross Stitch

Facebook: Fat Quarter Shop – Quilting
Fat Quarter Shop – Cross Stitch

Pinterest: Fat Quarter Shop

Fat Quarter Shop Blog

From Summer to Fall, We Love These Accessories!

As we celebrate the summer coming to a close, let’s go over some great and fun projects you can create that will follow you into the fall! Whether you’re going to the beach or back to school, these projects will always be handy.

Glasses Case

Whether they’re protecting your eyes from the sun or helping you see, keep those glasses covered with a glasses case! With the ability to be versatile in your case designs, this project is perfect for letting your creative side shine. You can create using cotton, leather, canvas, and more fabrics and decorate with applique, quilting, or embroidery.

What we recommend keeping on hand for this project are notions, fasteners, or closures! These are best for keeping your glasses secured in their case and resistant to falling out; possibly getting scratched. Another fun add-on is a bag snap-clip! Use this when you’re on the move, and want to keep your glasses in easy reach or for a child’s glasses case to keep attached to their backpack.

For the inside of your glasses case, make sure to use a material that won’t affect the glass! We recommend sticking to cotton or a material that has a lovely soft touch to it, like velvet.

Lastly, we recommend keeping a Smooth Presser Foot nearby! This machine accessory is perfect for sewing those protective fabrics you love like vinyl or leather, as these materials can commonly cause issues when sewn with a standard presser foot that it might stick to.

Bucket Hats

A bucket hat is a perfect accessory to fight off those UV rays from hiking, the playground, or the waterpark! Fun and simple to create, a bucket hat pattern is an excellent choice for your wardrobe. We recommend using medium to the heavy-duty fabric. The material you use should be stiff to hold the shape of the hat.

We recommend fabric options like tweed, denim, or canvas. If you want to create with a thin fabric, you’ll need to use fusible interfacing. Fusible interfacing will help your fabric hold its shape and firmness while preventing fraying on your fabrics.

Some notions to keep in mind that you will want to purchase for that finished look are eyelets and a drawstring cord. Adding a cord to your bucket hat now allows you to adjust the sizing, making this a great gift! Also, the eyelets will help improve ventilation and makes wearing hats more comfortable, especially on those hot summer days!

Don’t forget to have your machine accessories on hand and ready! Since bucket hats have lining around the brim and top area, we recommend using a ¼” Guide Foot! This is a perfect tool for achieving those even spirals around the bucket hat brim and sides, allowing you to create something beautiful while securing the hat has that professionally finished look.

Scrunchies

Fun to personalize and easy to create, you can never go wrong with making some scrunchies! Whether you’re using them to accessorize or simply pull your hair back, this project is fast, easy, and perfect for beginners.

Inexpensive, this project can be completed with scrap fabrics or upcycled from old clothes! As a fashion and functional piece, this project only requires straight stitching, fabric, and elastic. We recommend using elastic size ¼ for basic scrunchies and moving up if you’d like to create jumbo ones.

Keep in mind fabric size and elastic size before being created. We recommend 8 to 9 inches of elastic and using a 3″ x 22″ fabric piece for best outcomes!

Table Runner and Mats

Re-vamp your home in time for the new season! Great project quilters can create matching table runners and mat sets, perfect for decorating your home and creating a quick and easy project. So whether you’re decorating for the holidays or looking to freshen up the living room with new colors and patterns, these accessories can bring a room together.

Some fabric recommendations we have for this cotton! Easy to wash and create with, this fabric is available in a multitude of options and allows you to use it with comfort, knowing you can throw it in the washer when those accidents happen. For fusing, there are a few main qualities you want to look for since this project will be washed often. Find interfacing with a low or no percentage of shrinkage, low thickness, and whether it’s fusible. Fusible interfacing will create a better project experience and is easy to use.

A great way to design your table runner and mats is by using free motion quilting! Whether you’re working on a compact machine or a long-arm quilt, adding in designs can genuinely bring your fabric to life and add texture. Keep in mind accessories for your machine like a Quilt Presser Foot (for ruler) and Quilting Rulers when you want to create intricate shapes and designs and need a little help!

Travel Bags

Whether we’re going to the beach, or after-school activities, having a travel bag fitted for your needs is a must! Travel bags allow you to add storage spots, secured or hidden pockets for valuables, adjustable straps, embroidered names, and so much more.

For bags you’re going to use often, we recommend finding durable fabrics and ones that can hold weight well. Some options to keep in mind are canvas, nylon, mid-weight woven, tweed, or leather. Depending on what perks you’re looking for, like using nylon fabric that can handle water for a gym bag, make sure to find a fabric that can withstand your lifestyle!

Notions to keep on hand when you build a travel bag are closure notions like zippers and spring snaps, snap hooks for attaching accessories like your keys or holding your scrunchies, and strap adjusters for weight changes. These pieces will help your bag have that professional finished look you’re going for, and create a longer-lasting project.

Other fun pieces you can add to your bags are applique, embroidery, or printed fabric to bring out your personality. Add-ons like mesh pockets or water bottle holders to personalize the bag for your needs are also excellent choices when wanting to expand on your skills.

Don’t forget to have the right accessories on hand! Using a foot accessory like the Decorative Stitch Presser Foot is perfect for adding in those personal touches like your name and decorative designs. Add your name to the inside of your child’s bag or your gym bag, and enjoy seeing your finished product!

Whether you’re creating on a computerized machine like our HZL series or quilting on your TL machine, these projects can be made easily. Want some inspiration on other projects you can create? Join us on our JUKI Home Sewing page on YouTube today for future and past projects!