The Design Studio Blog

Archive for the ‘How To’s Day’ Category

A few fabrics from the Bright Side collection by Alisse Courter, and the Bright Side Quilt – available as a kit.


Have you pinned a million quilt inspiration images? Or maybe you’re dreaming of making a quilt for someone you love, but aren’t sure where to start? Creating a quilt might seem a little overwhelming if you’ve never done it before.  Today I sat down with Camelot’s in-house quilting expert, Cinzia, to ask her for some tips for beginner quilters.  She had these six tips to make the process less daunting:

1-START SMALL. If you are new to quilting, Cinzia suggests choosing a small project to start.  By choosing a small project, you are able to work through all the steps of creating a quilt, but without a huge time or cost commitment.  If it doesn’t work out as well as you’d hoped, you haven’t lost much time or money, but you’ve gained experience.  A small project also helps you feel the reward of completion.  And as a bonus, it generates a quick feedback loop, helping you understand what works and what doesn’t more quickly (therefore improving your skill).

2- CUT WITH A SPIDER HAND.  One challenge for beginning quilters is learning how to use an acrylic quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut fabric precisely. Quilting rulers are notoriously slippery when you apply pressure with a flat hand, palm pressed against the ruler.  Instead try using a ‘spider hand’, where only the tips of your fingers and thumb press firmly on the ruler to hold it in place.  Slipping is greatly reduced with this method.

3- STITCH ACCURATE SEAMS WITH POST-IT NOTES.  To accurately sew all of your seams at a scant ¼” you can create a simple seam allowance guide with a block of post it notes about 1/8” high.  Measure ¼” to the left of the sewing machine needle and affix the block of post-it notes at this exact mark.  When you sew, you can simply align the edge of your fabric to this guide to get accurate seams every time.  The height of the Post-It note block helps you do this by feel as well as by sight.  And finally, because the Post-It’s are sticky on one side, they will hold in place without leaving a sticky residue behind.

4- USE MASKING TAPE FOR A WRINKLE-FREE QUILT BACK.  Once your quilt top and back are complete, you’ll need to make your quilt sandwich (the layering of quilt back, batting, and quilt top).  The quilt back goes down first, wrong side up. When you build your quilt sandwich, you can use masking tape to keep the back wrinkle free and facilitate the process. To tape the back in place:
1- Lay the back down on your work surface, wrong side up.  2- Tape the back to the table in the middle of the top edge.  Gently pull the back at on the opposite side (middle bottom edge).  There should be enough tension that there are no wrinkles, but not so much tension that if you were to let go, the back would spring back more than about a ½ an inch. 3- Tape the middle bottom edge.  4- Repeat this process with the sides, taping first at the middle of one side, and then the next.  5-Tape the corners by gently pulling one corner just taut enough to remove the wrinkles, and tape. 6- Proceed to tape all corners, always working diagonally opposite to the previous corner. When you are done you can easily lay down your batting, smooth it out to remove any wrinkles, and then lay down your quilt top (seams down), once again smoothing out any wrinkles and ensuring the top is centered on the batting and quilt back.

5- HIDE QUILTING IMPERFECTIONS.  Quilting your project is a skill that is developed over time, and by working on different kinds of projects. When starting out, there are a few tricks to get the best results.  Choosing a busy pattern for the backing fabric and choosing a thread colour that matches or disappears into your quilt top and bottom hides imperfections in quilting. Straight line quilting or outlining the piecing pattern are probably the easiest quilting patterns to use for your first projects. Using a walking foot for quilting  prevents pulling of the fabric.

6-WALKING FOOT BINDING.  Use your walking foot to attach the binding to the quilt.  The walking motion of the foot helps prevent any pulling of the multiple layers you are stitching through.  Don’t forget to start attaching your binding away from a corner.  And to get neat and clean corners, there are many tutorials on the web to help.  Try a few of them to see what you like.

One final tip for beginning quilters:  If you find the process of choosing fabric and coordinating colours and prints overwhelming, or you like to have an idea of what your project will look like before you start, a kit, like the Bright Side Quilt Kit, is a great way to solve those challenges.  And sometimes you just happen upon a kit that you really love, so why not?

We’d love to hear about your first quilting project in the comments, or any questions you have as a beginner quilter.
Happy sewing!

01 March

I have always added a placemat in my kid’s lunch box because I know they can be messy eaters. Over the years I have noticed that it has become a trend and most schools are now asking for one.  I have always used a Camelot Fabrics print that would represent my child’s favorite character and I decided to share with you the fun I had making this year’s placemat for my little monkey!

03 September

I hope you’ve enjoyed last week’s post showing how to make a pencil case for your kids.  This week I want to show you how to make a place mat by making just a few changes to one of our table runner patterns.


I’m sure you’ve seen our great pattern  “The Sky is Falling” Table Runner by Melissa Stramel of Lilac Lane Patterns.  I really love that pattern so I decided to re-work it into a place mat.  This can be so much fun with any one of our fabric collection.  Can you imagine fussy cutting from one of our licensed brand that your kid loves?  In this How-To, I chose to feature our Happy Thoughts collection.

25 August

If you’ve read my Moody Monday blog featuring our Disney•Pixar Cars Collection last June than you know how much I love the movies.  Now you were probably wondering why it wasn’t followed by a How To Tuesday right?  That’s simply because I had to make it!  It’s now ready and the timing couldn’t be more perfect since we have to get these kids ready for back to school!  So without further ado, here is a cute pencil case!


16 August

August is probably my favorite month out of the year.  First of all it’s the month that has the most birthdays in my agenda!  Not only was I born in August, but as time goes by I realize that a lot of people I know are also from that month.   Within two weeks, I celebrate over 12 birthdays!  And would you believe me if I’d say that I share my very own birthday with three other friends!  So my birthday has never been about me but more about friends and family rejoicing that we survived yet another year!

But I digress…

14 August