Category Archives: Sewing Tools

New Sewing Machine Table

This quilter is so lucky to have a hubby who is not only very handy, but very willing to improve my creative space! I recently got a new Jazz machine that I blogged about here. My Bernina is set into my big sewing desk and I love it.  We talked about the possibility of doing something similar for the Jazz with the craft table I had. It proved to be easier and much better to just make a whole new one.  Hubby sketched it out and went to work.  Amazing – he had it built within two weeks! I had the chore of sanding and painting.  Not my favorite chores, but not to complain when the end result was a great table complete with bookshelves!

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Hours after the paint dried we carried it to the table’s new home. It took me about two seconds to begin rearranging things and filling up the shelves!  I have even quilted one Hospice quilt on it and am prepping another.

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There’s a back shelf for the Jazz’s parts and bobbins, and my empty project containers.  The front shelf has my books, small dies for the Big Kick and photos that I plan to get to (someday). I recently mightily downsized my book collection and have found that I now enjoy them more. The top of the desk is also home to my Scan n’ cut.  Hmmm…now I’m thinking it may be fitting to recover my chair…

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Sew Many Goodies!

The Spring Quilt & Sew-In is this week and many goodies have arrived from several generous sponsors. I can’t thank these companies enough for their generosity which lends to the fun and creativity of the retreats.

A HUGE thank you again to Island Batik. How generous to have sent several “Fifi and Fido stamps” (five inch squares) and City Culture II fat eighth stacks. The colors and designs of these beautiful fabrics will make some quilters very happy!

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Once again Dritz has sent an amazing prize – this beautiful sewing basket and a pile of sewing notions – such goodness!

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Pineapple Fabrics is a faithful supporter of the Quilt & Sew-Ins.  The box of fabric they donated is especially useful for the charity blocks that are constructed at retreat. The blocks are then pieced and made into quilts donated to Hospice. Thank you Pineapple for a wonderful assortment!

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Colonial Needle is back again with their Turn Sharp rotary blade sharpener and their beautiful Presencia Thread which is virtually lint free!

Clothworks Textiles sent these beautiful fat quarters. Fun prints and solids to compliment them – how wonderful!

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And where would our quilting be without Olfa mats and rotary cutters – in two fabulous sizes!

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Martelli has also returned this year with one of their ergonomic rotary cutters. Truly, these are life changing in the quilt studio! And, a pack of rotary blades is greatly appreciated.

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Quilters Dream has added to the retreat goodies with wonderful battings for our precious quilt projects.

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Inch Worm Fabrics sent these lovely fabrics. Soft and rich colors will truly delight a lucky quilter.

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June Tailor donated these cute mug rug quotation panels. These will definitely make some cute and thoughtful gifts.

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Hobbs donated a wonderful batting – a must product for quilters.

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Thank you doesn’t even begin to communicate how grateful I am – these prizes add so much fun to the Quilt & Sew-In and certainly enhance each quilter’s supply of goodies.

There are still openings in the Fall Retreat! November 4 thru 8.  More info and registration form are here.

 

 

 

New Machine & Feb Wrap-Up

February? Really? I’m quite a bit behind as everyday life took a turn recently. A loved one was in the hospital for several days. The good news is that all is now well but it does take me a while these days to get back to normal – whatever normal is!

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Now for my good news! A new machine – the Bablock Jazz! I will be using this primarily for free-motion quilting. Look at all that room! It even has 27 stitches and does 1,000 stitches a minute. That’s fast! It’s also very smooth. (Please note: I am in no way connected to Babylock; this is just a personal review.) The LED lighting is also quite wonderful.

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I’ve played on it, but haven’t yet tackled a quilt. I’ve got some smaller must do’s first. There are ten charity quilt tops waiting to be quilted, so I’ll definitely have lots of opportunity!

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Here is my February project listing. Some progress is definitely better than none!

Feb listing

 

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.

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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.

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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!