Tuesday Tip: Don’t Throw out Broken Rulers

Have you ever experienced a mishap with a quilting ruler only to have it break and become damaged? Maybe now you have a chunk broken out. So what should you do next? Here are two directions:

  1. Take that broken ruler and throw it into the garbage headed to the landfill. Not cool! You spent good money to purchase that ruler and now you face the cost of replacing that ruler.
  2. Carefully transport your broken ruler to your local glass shop. (eg. Speedy Auto Glass) Ask the folks there to cut and reshape your broken tool into a ruler that you can continue to use. For a nominal charge they can cut off the broken corner and re-invent your tool. Voila! Now you have a new ruler that you can use in your sewing room.

We all love tips that save us money and are reduce waste, etc. Please let us know if you have a tip to share with other quilters that is helpful.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: Cotton Batiste

Cotton Batiste: this light weight fine fabric is very useful behind the scenes. It can be basted to the back of fabric you are using for stitchery (eg. muslin or Kona – Snow) when you are working on a Crabapple Hill embroidery pattern. Attaching it to the back of the muslin you are stitching through not only stabilizes the fabric, but more importantly, it hides floss tails, knots, and crossovers so they won’t shadow through to the front of the embroidery.

We equate Cotton Batiste to the slip under your little black dress. Just like that slip prevents viewing of bits better unseen, Cotton Batiste prevents seeing any messy bits of floss from showing through to the front of your stitchery.

Note: If you’re making tea towels, tablecloths, etc… where the back will show, you just have to skip the muslin step and be more careful and neat with your stitching.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: Cleaning your Iron

Is the soleplate on your iron looking a bit yucky? After a while, any iron will begin to show residue and brown patches. Gunk builds up from working with fusible products, accidental scorching and residue from fabrics. A thorough cleaning will help your iron glide more smoothly and prevent any of that gunk from transferring onto your good quilting fabrics.

Dritz Iron-Off Hot Iron Cleaner removes built-up starch, fusible webbing and detergent from your iron. It’s non-flammable, non-toxic and non-abrasive. Iron-Off will not remove discoloration in metal finish.

To clean your iron properly, you need Dritz Iron-Off Hot Iron Cleaner, a terry cloth to apply and wipe. Then follow up with a soft flannel type rag to polish up. The cleaner is applied to your iron when it is hot and then wiped off with a rag.

Caution: Your iron will be very hot for this cleaning process and you want to apply iron cleaner with a terry cloth folded in several thick layers being careful not to burn yourself.  

Check out this video below to see how it’s done:

A bit of housekeeping like this will make your iron sparkle in a jiffy and you might be surprised to see the gunk that comes off.  Find Dritz Iron-Off in store or online HERE.

Happy stitching!

Heather

Tuesday Tip: Re-Using Batting Scraps

Do you have various pieces of batting left over from projects and/or strips you’ve collected after trimming up your finished quilt? Well, don’t throw out those scraps because there are ways to join them together and make use of them.

Take those smaller pieces of batting and sew them together to make a useable piece. I have used joined up batting in several quilts. It may take some time, but if you get sick of throwing away quilt trimmings, this is the use for you! There are a few ways to make this, but here’s my favorite:

  1. Start by gathering your odd pieces of batting. Get them out of those cupboards and drawers and use them for your next quilt project!
  2. Trim down the largest edges so they are straight. This is SUPER important to make sure that your batting doesn’t get wonky and bumpy later. It does not matter much if your batting pieces are the same length (or width). Just work with what you have and build it up to be big enough for your current quilt needs.
  3. Sew two pieces together using a wide zig zag stitch. You do not want to overlap the batting. Just butt the pieces up next to each other and sew. Keep following this process until you have built up enough batting for project.

I have never had any issues with any quilts in which I have used pieces of batting cobbled together to make a usable piece. You cannot tell once it’s quilted. It’s a great way to use up something that otherwise would be trash and save yourself a few bucks.

Bonus Tip:  Even skinny pieces of batting are also usable if you trim them to a 2 1/2″ width and join pieces up end to end. I am currently joining up pieces to make a length of batting approx. 50 yards in length to become the filling for a Jelly Roll Rug.

If this all seems a little too tedious for you, then join up your batting scraps using Marti Michell’s fusible batting tape. It comes on a roll and makes quick work of joining up batting pieces. You can’t even feel where the join is later once your quilt is sandwiched.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: Organizing Unruly Thread and Bobbins

Is organizing your space in your plans for the New Year? Here is a great product to get you started.

Have you ever had thread become unruly and tangled? Do you have a drawer or a basket in your sewing room with a jumble? Here are two of our favourite things to help you out. These really work well and make a great gift for yourself or to give to friends who sew.

A company called Gypsy Quilter has developed “thread peels” to keep your thread spools from unwinding. Thread peels adjust to any spool diameter. They really are great for all sorts of threads and fit around any spool and even most cone threads. They come in four different colours (if that matters to you), but any colour will suit! Look at this video to see what we mean:

The other little invention that we are really enjoying from Gypsy Quilter is the “Bobbini”. This gizmo keeps your bobbins and matching thread together; saving you time looking for the matching bobbin. These also come in four colours.

So for a toonie a piece you can purchase either of these items to keep your threads and bobbins organized better!