Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fabric Stash

When I started working on quilts for a possible quilting book, I gave up on keeping track of my fabric stash in and out. I  have a feeling that in spite of making 13 quilts in the past couple months, that the "in" stash still outnumbers the "out" stash.

Here are my latest stash acquisitions. I'm eager to turn them into quilts!

Fuschia and Lime:

Pink and Gray:

Red and Aqua:

Yellow and Black (whatever quilt I make just might be called  "Big Yellow Taxi"):

And this darling fabric called "Early Bird" by Cosmo Cricket:

And guess what I happily discovered this week?  Collecting fabrics and sewing quilts are two separate hobbies!  Who knew?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fabric Basting Glue Tips

I just have to share my latest discoveries about fabric basting glue.

When I began appliqueing about 12 or so years ago, I discovered Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It. And I absolutely fell in love with the fast-drying glue for adhering applique pieces to my projects. They stuck no matter how rough I was on the project. However, I wasn't so in love with the glue tip that always seemed to be clogged.

Then when I took some classes from Kim Diehl, she shared the basting glue she was using -- Quilter's Choice. No problems with dispensing the glue -- but I found that if I didn't use the glue for a few months, it got really thick and started to dry out. Ugh!

This past January I learned that Jill Finley of Jillily Studio Quilting had repackaged the Glue-Baste-It as Appli-Glue and it had a much improved tip. In fact, when I first bought it it was in a very small little bottle (which I couldn't find in order to photograph). It worked great -- although a little on the expensive side. My only complaint was that the bottle didn't have a removeable tip -- so I couldn't re-fill  it with my two bottles of Glue-Baste-It with clogged tips. Jillily Studios now has Appli-Glue with what appears to be a much better tip (and a bigger bottle than what I bought in January). But I haven't used it because I'm now using something different.

Here's the great news! First, I've found the perfect tip and re-fillable bottle. The bottle is identical to the original Glue-Baste-It bottle. Plus, the metal tips screw on to the top of the plastic nozzle for precise, thin drops or lines of glue.  The lid fits perfectly on my Glue-Baste-It bottles that have perfectly good glue in them. Eureka! No more clogged tips.

But guess what else I just learned? You can use Elmer's Washable No-Run School Glue for fabric basting.

Note that the other Elmer's glues won't work. The School Glue is non-toxic and washes out, although it's not clear whether it is pH neutral. I did a fabric basting test comparing the Elmer's School Glue to Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It and the results were identical.  Considering it is less than $3 for 4 ounces, compared to nearly $10 for 2 ounces of the quilt-branded glue, I'll probably use the School Glue once my Glue-Baste-It runs out.

But even if you stick with the proven Glue-Baste-It, I highly recommend getting the metal tips. You'll need to get the plastic bottle too in order to have the lid that the tips fit on. Here's where I got mine online. (Unfortunately the shipping was outrageous -- but I figured it was worth it since I had about $20 worth of basting glue that was going to waste.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Most Useless Sewing Tool?

I’m a gadget junkie. I tend to buy cool tools that are supposed to help with quilting / sewing projects. Some of them actually live up to the hype.

But this is one gizmo that makes no sense – especially for $59.99! It is the Pintastic™ Automatic Pin Dispenser from June Tailor.

You can watch a video of how the Pintastic works here

Now I absolutely love some of the other June Tailor tools (such as my pressing board and Shape Cut ruler). What I’m wondering is whether this is something you would ever invest in? Or, if you have it, please share why it is a “must have” sewing tool!

I picked up the first retirement quilt from the quilter a few weeks ago.

I haven’t yet sent it to my boss who retired in January since I had received e-mail from him saying he was visiting Barcelona, Spain. But I’m going to assume he’s now home and I’ll be sending it to him this week.

Lastly, a quick update on how my efforts towards a quilting book are proceeding. I’ve completed eleven quilt tops since I began this project. I want to do a few more before finalizing my book proposal – although I’ve designed about 30 overall for the book.

Some of the blocks are traditional – but I’ve done them in a unique way, say with a different setting or pieced sashing or borders. Some of the blocks are a twist on a traditional block – where I switched up the values, making the block look very different. And even some of the blocks are original.

I’d love to show you what I’ve been working on, but alas, I think it’s best to keep them a secret for now.

Some of my quilts have been totally scrappy. Some have used fabrics from popular fabric lines. I’ve been challenging myself to go outside my comfort zone and use fabrics in colors and values that I love, but that aren’t what I naturally gravitate to.

For example, one of my favorite original quilt designs was a combination of piecing and simple applique using Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms fabric mixed with some of her solids and Full Moon polka dot fabrics from the Lotus line.

I’ve also done a quilt using Sandy Gervais’ Lollipop (Moda)

one using American Jane’s Breath of Avignon (Moda)

and one using French General’s Maison de Garance (Moda).

It has been great fun doing my own quilt designs rather than taking advantage of the creativity of others.

Bye for now – and thanks for stopping by.


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