I’m blogging from the passenger seat of our F-350 Dually on the way home from the coast so I’ll make this a quick post.
I was cutting pieces this weekend for Dexter the Dragon out of some glorious cuddle minky I got from ShinyHappyWorld.com. You know that stuff sheds like CRAZY! (Image courtesy of wearesewhappy.com.) No, Dexter isn’t pink, I just didn’t take any pics for this post. 😊
Of course I got it everywhere. I’ve recently jumped on the microfiber cloth bandwagon and if you haven’t yet, you definitely need to get on this ride! The trick to making these cloths work at their best is to use them when they are damp…not totally wet and they don’t work at all when they’re dry.
I used the microfiber cloth that is designed for screens on tablets or televisions, (it has a very smooth surface), because I figured that the ones that have the little loops on them like a washcloth would make the minky fiber embed in the loops. I got the cloth damp and then proceeded to wipe around and collect every bit of the minky that had shed all over my cutting mat, the table, and the floor. The shreds stuck to it like glue. Then I took it outside, gave it one shake and viola’! It was perfectly clean and all the minky was gone!
I love the other types of microfiber cloths for every other type of cleaning too but for minky the smooth one is the way to go.
Blogging for my Garment sewers! (Sorry quilters; next week I promise!) I have the most amazing find! Educational Swatch Packets from Fabric Mart. If you buy fabric online, then this post is for you.
Each of these fabulous swatch packets are just $4.99 each. They offer them in Silk – 18 swatches, Wool and Suiting – 19 swatches, and Stretch Knits – 20 swatches. Each swatch is a very generous 4″ x 5″ so you can really grab the fabric to feel the texture, weight, translucency, and hand (use your imagination here a bit). I always read the fabric descriptions but after awhile, they all sound the same. I bought these because it all sounded so abstract to me.
When I found these I really just wanted the one for knits. I’m mean honestly, who can tell the difference online between a Polyester Ponte Knit, a Hacchi Sweater Knit, and an ITY knit – all of which are made from Polyester and Lycra? Well, that might be an easy one for you pros, but if you’re like me and all you see is “knit” which means it’s anything but a woven, then these gems are invaluable. I do know enough about fabrics to know that the swatches are in the packets in the order described in the pages so that helps a bunch.
So that’s it! Best $15 I’ve spent in a long time. 🙂
I’m in a Block of the Month (BOM) put on by #LoneStarQuiltWorks and it’s a gorgeous Nancy Rink pattern called Getting To Know Hue. In addition to designing the pattern, she also designed the fabrics. All colors have the same hue and the same dots and weave prints even though they are all different colors. April’s BOM is Getting to Know Yellow Green.
This entire quilt is really pushing my piecing skills. It seems like everything is on the bias so I’m learning to starch all fabrics on the wrong side before cutting. My favorite is Faultless with the blue cap. No flakes. I learned that trick from Amy Gibson at StitcheryDickoryDock.com Love her! If you pop over to her site, she has a free Paper Piecing cheat sheet she is sharing if you’re interested.
When I know I’m going to be cutting bias cuts, I never push the iron over the fabric, rather I place it top to bottom and use plenty of steam.
When I turn it over (above) I run the iron over it by barely touching the fabric until all the iron marks are gone. That’s better.
As with any pattern, reading it first is key. This month, I nearly made a mistake and cut the fat eighth long-ways instead of side ways. Whew. It was a narrow miss!
I love seeing all the neat stacks ready to become something beautiful!
I swear by my painter’s tape. The edge is the sewing line and I mark 1/4″ in for making the HSTs (half-square triangles). However, after the first 4 of these, I gave up and went back and drew the actual sewing lines. With all this bias, I wasn’t taking any chances.
And a short 6 hours later? Ta-da!! Two pretty good looking blocks if I do say so myself. Please don’t look too closely at my wobbly seams. I’m hoping they won’t show after it’s all together and quilted. Getting those exact points on the bias…what a chore! But I’ll take wonky seams over tipping a triangle any day.
Here are the blocks from Jan (blue), Feb (teal), and March (magenta).
Here’s what it will look like when it’s finished. What are you working on? Please reply or post a link. I’d love to see!
Hi everyone! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my last blog post. But I have been very busy on a special secret project I’ll share very soon. I’m SO excited about it!
So what have I been up to? I know that has been at the top of everyone’s mind (ya right). 😉 I finished a Villa Rosa quilt top from a kit that I picked up at the Cedar Chest Quilt Shop in El Campo, Texas (SAH-LOOT!!) — a little HeeHaw humor for you U.S. readers of a certain age 🙂 — It was a stop on the Taste of Texas Shop Hop I did in Feb with one of my junior high besties, Lee Ann. It’s in the queue to go on my longarm.
Have ya’ll heard of Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World? She was a children’s book writer in a former life and now designs quilts. She has a Craftsy class for Woodland Friends that I’m enrolled in and I’ve made a total of um…one block. BUT THEN… She came out with this absolutely adorable Dinosaurs pattern and I had to have it! I purchased the Dots fat quarters and the pattern at the same time. Look how she includes a Thank You note in every order and she signs it!! On top of that, you get a coupon code for a future purchase. Sweet! Really, how stinkin’ cute is this quilt? It’s a quilt-as-you-go and she has a ton of videos on YouTube on how to make it all.
Unfortunately, she was out of the dinosaur skeleton sashing and the batiks for the earth and sky. So sad… Not really! That means a trip to my favorite local quilt shop, The Scrappy Quilter. Seriously, I’m in there so much I should have my own parking spot (hint, hint!) Look at my haul! I picked up three blues, three greens and I can’t wait to stitch up that pretty grassy batik. Wendi uses a lot of the Burlap Brights from Benartex in her quilts for the trees, leaves, and whatnot and Scrappy had a roll of 2.5″ strips with my name on it. I really didn’t find it but one of the sweet ladies who works there did. On my last trip to Scrappy, I had earned (another) $25 gift card for them so…why not? I had this dark gray grunge print in my stash I’ll use for the sashing and I’m thinking the backing will be either a gray or deep blue minky. I can’t wait to get started!
She recommends printing the applique pieces on pre-cut printable iron-on fusible web. Well, I don’t have any that’s pre-sized for the printer however I do have a bunch of Wonder Under on the bolt. So what’s a girl to do? Why cut out 8.5″x11″ pieces from the bolt of course! I got a total of 8 “pages” of printable iron-on from my bolt with 4″ leftover pieces from each cut.
So being ever-practical as I am, I took those leftover 4″ pieces and taped two of them to a piece of printer paper and ran it through the old HP. And viola! Four more pages! I still need more so there’s another trip to WalMart.
On another front – I follow a blogger called GoodByeValentino. Her name is Sarah and she used to buy very expensive RTW (ready to wear) and decided to begin buying designer fabrics to sew them herself. Her blog says she’s saved thousands. Ohhh kay??…Obviously, she and I don’t shop in the same locales. ha ha Thanks to China, and Kohls, I still can buy cheaper than I can make it most of the time. But I love her concept. Well Ms. Sarah put a book out called The Tunic Bible and I’ve always been intrigued because who doesn’t want to sew a top that covers the backside, amiright? One day I was surfing on FabricMartFabrics.com and you wouldn’t believe it, but I got 4.8 yards of an amazing knit navy blue paisley print for under $5…more than FOUR yards! That stuff just screamed Tunic! So I bought the fabric, and headed on over to Amazon to buy the book. I have enough fabric for a muslin and the final garment. Nice.
One of her posts was for an out of print Vogue pattern #9047. I love this dress! I looked on Etsy and I found it from LanetzLiving and it was just $6 with free shipping. The pattern arrived within a week and the vendor sent along a signed invoice a free little flip flop charm! Cute! Don’t you love freebies! This will go on a necklace I wear at the coast. I will definitely order from her again.
Back to quilting – Missouri Star Quilt Co had a Daily Deal (that’s how I built/build my stash for pennies on the dollar), and the other day they had a 10″ square pack of the Heritage line and while I didn’t sign up for the deal, I did pick up the coordinating panel, backing, binding, and the Placemats kit. Two more projects are now in the queue for a patriotic wall hanging and placemats. Perfect for The 4th of July!
So that’s it! Actually, that’s quite enough for now. Don’t these people know I’m away from my sewing machines for 10 hours a day while I’m at “work”?