Category Archives: Sewing Tools

A Southern Quilt Shop

 

 

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The “Reading Room”

 

Two weeks ago a friend and I visited Charleston, SC with a side trip to Summerville, SC which is just outside Charleston. It is a charming little town with shops and restaurants and best of all, a great quilt shop. People, Places and Quilts is in a fine old building. It is such a treasure hunt as you go from room to room, each filled with fabrics, tools, threads and so much more.

Diane, the owner is a delight as was the other staff members there. They are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Above is Diane the worker bee, Diane the Owner and Diane my traveling companion. Then there is me and my cousin who lives in Summerville.

There are quilts on display everywhere – such inspiration! Some on display were also class samples.

Lots and lots of fabrics. Prints, batiks, solids and many scrumptious flannels.

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This antique cash register was not only a joy to look at – it works and is used for all the shop sales! Do you embroider? Applique? Work with wool felt? There was a whole section devoted to all of those!

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I strongly suggest you stop by to see this wonderful shop if you are ever any where near Summerville. I’ve checked out their class list and might just have to “visit” my cousin soon!!

A New Toy & a Gadget!

scan-n-cut-largeAfter over a year of questioning and procrastinating, I bought a Brother Scan N’ Cut! What a cool machine. No, I haven’t used it very much yet, but did play a little before Christmas. I made some sewing related Christmas ornaments and Yoga related ornaments using sticky back vinyl. I also made Christmas gift tags. There is a learning curve, and I have a way to go, but I don’t think it will be difficult.

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Sorry for the camera reflection. Couldn’t take another pic – I no longer have the ornament!

There are a couple of fabric/quilting projects I plan to cut out on this nifty machine. I will use it for both fusible applique and hand applique cut-outs. I can see this saving me a LOT of time! I had to rearrange a few things in the studio to make the Scan N’ Cut easily accessible – it just wouldn’t get used if it were put away in a closet. “No more toys” – if I say that over and over again every day will I stick to it? Probably, at least until the next nifty gadget or tool comes along!

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Santa brought me a great gadget that I’m keeping on my coffee table for when I do hand stitching in the evening. The “Sew Darn Handy” holds a spool of thread, a pair of scissors, a thimble and has a side pin cushion.  Best yet is that I really use it! I’ve linked to their website contact page if you’re interested. No, this is not any kind of affiliate link, I just like to give other crafters a helping hand.

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Hmmm. Wonder what other nifty inventions other crafters are coming up with for the quilters and sewers of this world?!

Organization – Fun labels!

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Just got back from a week at beautiful Jekyll Island, Georgia, so no sewing to show for this past week. I did a little applique work and knitting while there, but mostly bicycling and enjoying the ocean. I have, however, labeled all my bins and project boxes in my studio. Do you know about chalkboard labels and chalk pens?  I didn’t until my daughter suggested I use them in my sewing studio. I was like a kid in a toy shop when they arrived. I purchased a pack of 45 – plenty, right? Wrong! I’ll be needing a few more to complete the process.

Now all my supply/fabric bins are clearly labeled. For the few wire bins I have, I just cut a strip to fit across the top of the bin. The liquid chalk pen is so easy to write with.

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The project boxes are now not only clearly labeled, but they look nice too! When a project is complete, I can just erase and write a new project name.

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I know, I know, lots of projects!!

 

Admittedly, I am a bit organization obsessive, but like it even better when it’s easy and looks good!

Mountain Trip & Quilt Shop

Quilt & Sew-InLast week the heat in the Piedmont of NC was rather oppressive. We headed up to the mountains for a little escape. First, we checked out the Daniel Boone Gardens in Boone, NC. It’s a small natural garden maintained by volunteers. It was sweet, with the most amazing ferns ever, and glad we stopped.

And then the must stop – The Quilt Shop, Hwy 105 ext. in Boone. This shop is pure eye candy and fabric fun house!

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When you walk in, you are greeted by the friendliest, happiest gals ever. Todd, the owner and Pam are always ready to help in any way they can. This shop’s specialty:  fabrics by Kaffe Fassett, Philip Jacobs and Brandon Mabry –  my absolute faves! All their current fabrics in all colorways are together and an amazing array of shot cottons, both striped and solids are also available.

wall of Kaffe (Large)more fabrics (Large)

There is also a wonderful selection of bright and beautiful batiks in all colorways and there are many selections of other designers, high quality quilting fabric in the shop. Absolutely something for everyone. The fabric organization makes it so easy to shop and everything is so neat and tidy.

Fabrics to cutmy selection (Large)

I REALLY behaved – picked up just a few greens to help a project in progress. Lots of fat quarters are available for sale. Don’t see one precut that you want? They’ll gladly cut one or however many you need from whatever fabrics you choose! I’ve noticed that fewer and fewer quilt shops do that anymore, so it is a real treat to have that option here.

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There is also a collection of patterns, tools and books available. A display of quilts hang around the shop and classes are offered for most of the quilts displayed. The shop also offers long arm services.

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Thankfully the shop was a very comfortable temperature and there was a handy bench for hubby to (cheerfully) wait it out! I’ll be back along with the others attending the Quilt & Sew-In in November (they offer a nice discount to us!) If you are heading to the Boone area, this quilt shop is a definite must!

A New Machine!

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This makes number 4!  I have my Bernina that I do most of my sewing with, and it never leaves home. Then there is the Singer Featherweight.  It is a collectible and sews like a little dream, especially if I have straight sewing that I can chain piece, it is now my go-to machine. I have a Pfaff Passport – weighs only 17 pounds and travels to retreats and sew-ins. It doesn’t even live in my studio – it goes from the hall closet to the car and back. And the newest addition to my sewing family – the Babylock Sashiko! I have been eyeing this specialty machine for some time now. Basically, it’s stitches look like hand sewing. If you’ve ever seen hand Sashiko stitching, it’s quite lovely and can now be done by machine.

Sashiko quilting (Large)

I’ve been getting the feel of it and learning how to thread it. It uses a bobbin thread only and is very different from standard sewing machines. I Sashiko quilted this table runner. It’s a lot of straight lines because I wanted to get the feel of the machine. I have more projects lined up and will next try curve stitching . I am not a collector of sewing machines, so this is my last addition. Pretty sure…

Works in Progress – I have decided to only keep track of actual WIPs, not projects in boxes that have not actually been started. The list is a now a little easier to swallow and not quite so daunting. (green highlite depicts progress made)

Project List (Large)

 

 

 

Scrapbuster – A Finish! & Binding How-To

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Finally – I quilted and bound my leader-ender green scrappy quilt, “Meadow.” I wanted to practice using my BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) so I quilted this one myself. I began by quilting it rather close and continued that pattern – it was a lot of quilting! I’m not giving any close-up shots of this one. Doesn’t matter really – it served its purpose.

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I put a lot of hours into it and am ready to move on to something else with my quilting. I prefer to keep it small though. No matter what I do to the surface of my sewing surface, it does not slide nicely. And, I don’t really want to quilt big quilts. I love the soothing green of this quilt. It will be my “travel” quilt – cozy in the car and extra warmth when going to weekend sew-ins.

BINDING HOW-TO – I’m taking this opportunity to share how I have been doing my bindings. I am no longer able to hand stitch the second sides of my bindings unless it is a small wall hanging or art quilt. Unfortunately, my hand cramps.  I’ve taken tips and pieces from several other quilters and have come up with my method. I prepare my binding but do not fold it in half. I put it on a handy roll that my hubby and I came up with. It goes around my neck and the binding never tangles or gets in the way. I love this gadget! I have several of the tubes, so as soon as I complete a quilt top, I prepare the binding and roll it onto the tube.

Binding on Roll (Large)Sew the binding onto the right side of the quilt, mitering the corners and joining the ends.

On the front of the quilt, press the binding open, flat.

Turn the quilt over. Doing one side at a time, first turn the binding over to the back side of the quilt and press down. Then apply a very thin line of Elmer’s White School Glue (have never tried another glue and I understand this is the only one to use!).

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Press the binding down. On the right side of the quilt, stitch in the ditch at the binding and quilt edge. It will catch on the back.

stitch in ditch (Large)Back side of binding (Large)

Repeat for the other 3 sides.Take a couple of hand stitches on each turned corner.

You’re done! A quilt binding done in a fraction of the time it takes to hand sew. The added benefit is that it will last forever – especially good for baby and kid quilts!

None of my other projects are even close to being complete. This is the first time in a long time this has been the case. Guess I need to get busy!!

Quilting Hack – Thread Tip

Do you use the large cones of thread? Do you have a fancy thread holder or need to purchase one? Here’s a great tip!

 Turn your cone over, find a small spool of thread that fits snugly inside – Voila! Your cone of thread can now fit on your spindle. Save your next empty spool and always have it on hand. No more need to have an extra piece of paraphernalia on your sewing table. This makes it easier for traveling to classes, sew-ins and retreats. And, it costs nothing extra!

Large cone on sewing machine spindle!

Large cone on sewing machine spindle!

Curly Q

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