Author Archives: Heather

Variegated Cotton Thread


Have you ever wondered just what colour thread to machine quilt with? If your quilt has a few colours in it then perhaps you want to audition a cotton variegated thread to bring your project to the finale. Check out the option of using variegated cotton thread when fabrics are different ranges of the same colour, or when there are so many colours in your quilt top that your’e not sure what color thread to use.

signature green variegated

  • Choose either a variegated thread that will contrast with most of the top’s color(s) or will blend with all of them.
  • Choose quilting designs with as little backtracking as possible
  • Look for subtle tone on tone threads for a unifying effect.
  • Use a bobbin thread that matches the dominant colors of the thread, or the dominant color of the top’s fabric(s).
  • Install a “metallic” needle in your machine when using variegated thread as it will feed better.

 

Signature thread has several nice colours of variegated cotton thread available through our store. Signature 40wt Variegated Cotton Thread is a 3 ply 40wt 100% cotton thread with excellent sewability at high-speeds. Signature 40wt Cotton Thread performs well on both long arm and home quilting machines. Ideal for providing dimension, texture and visual interest. We also carry Mettler and YLI variegated threads to choose from for machine quilting.  Happy quilting!

8126EKjbEYL._SY717_

 

machine quilt variegated

Foam Soft and Stable or In-r-Form


soft and stable project pack pic

A couple of years ago, we began stocking this great product called Soft and Stable in packages here at Hamel’s. Soft and Stable is made by Annie’s. There is also an identical product from Bosal  called In-r-form. We can’t get enough of these two products! They work virtually the same way as you sew them into bags, placemats and table runners, etc. It gives really nice stability to your bag.

Here’s a video from Annie, herself, the creator of this wonderful product:

Use Soft and Stable or In-r-Form in place of batting in your project. You can quilt right through this stuff or just sew around the edges. There is so much flexibility with these foam products that you will be creating fabulous creations quickly and with ease. This firm resilient foam might seem like sewing through a yoga mat, when you first begin your project, but with a fresh quilting needle in your machine you can sail right through it!

Right now we have a kit called the “Denny Bag” which includes Soft and Stable. This kit is a great way to get you started with using this foam. This kit is comprised of warm fall colours from Kansas Troubles’ “Sweet Pea” collection.5304QK_z

These foam products don’t mind a gentle wash in cool, but we suggest hanging to dry. Go ahead and press after washing if you want to smooth your project out a bit.

If you prefer a larger piece off the bolt, we have Bosal In-R-Form in 58″ width in either black or white.

in-r-form

Happy stitching!

 

Blanket Stitching by Hand for Wool Applique


       sew many notions book

Recently we received copies of Debbie Busby’s new book:  “Sew Many Notions”. If you click on this link, you can purchase this book and add it to your stitching library. Immediately when these books arrived, we thought of our co-worker, Janet, who really enjoys stitching with wool. Don’t tell anyone, but word has it that our Janet has a large trunk stashed full of all kinds of wool for her creations! Already, Janet has stitched up three projects or more, plus a bunch of tomato pincushions, from this book and has plans for even more creations based on this book.8e43a0c84dbfbeb9d5e448ed83e972ed

If there’s anything you should know about wool appliqué, it’s this: it’s fun, easy, quick, and addicting! There are no edges to turn, no right or wrong sides, and no worries about fabric grainline. It’s one of the simplest and most forgiving forms of appliqué.

Wool appliqué is very portable, so you can work on it almost anywhere. It’s so easy and relaxing that you can visit with a friend and not lose your place while stitching. Small wool projects are fun to work on with a group around a table, and they don’t take up much room.tomato pincushion

The author of the book, Debbie Busby has come out with a quick video tutorial demonstrating how easy it is to do the blanket stitch by hand. Check out this video below:

 

debbie busby project

Happy stitching with wool!

Tuesday Tip: Bohin Machine Needle Threader


91356 Bohin needle threader

As we age, many of us find it more difficult to see the eye on the needles we are trying to thread. Have you ever been ready to work on a project only to try repeatedly to thread the eye of that needle in your sewing machine? Well there’s a little gadget called a “machine needle threader” from the folks at Bohin. For more than 184 years the Bohin company in France has strived to produce
quality products for artistic creations. We think they got it right on this particular gadget!

To order this item, click here  but check out this short video to see how it works:

Tuesday Tip….”That Purple Thang”!


purple thang

For years now, “That Purple Thang” has been a secret weapon that quilters and crafters alike love to use. Some of our instructors require this notion for their classes because it’s just so useful! I like to keep one beside my machine at all times. Such a great little “thang” to have close at hand.

Click here to purchase one of these hand gadgets. Here are just a few of the many things it’s good for:

1. Curved end to serve as a sewing stiletto.

2. Has 1/4″ square at the end. Good for checking that 1/4″ seam that quilter’s live by!

3. Has a slot for feeding up to 1/2″ elastic or ribbon through casings, etc.

4. Try it as you sew ruffles in lieu of a ruffling foot on your machine.

5. Point turner.

6. Finger press.

7 Smooths and aids stuffing dolls, pincushions, etc.that-purple-thang1

Check out the video below as Sue demonstrates all of these uses. Perhaps you have another purpose for this tool, please let us know.