Tuesday Tip: Choosing Low Volume Fabrics

Low volume (or low value) fabrics add a lot of character to a quilt, especially when a variety of them are mixed into a background on a quilt. Fabrics with white, off white, or gray backgrounds, with small gray, black, or taupe prints can be classified as low volume prints.  Putting a variety of them into a quilt makes your whole top look far more interesting than only a single solid background! Also, don’t pass by the polka dots, text prints, stripes, graphic prints, music and Grunge. Low volume fabrics are designed with details in them such as old maps, handwriting, architectural drawings, text, newspaper graphics and more. Every quilter should have a variety of these prints to use, so we create fat quarter bundles with some of each print.

Here at Hamels, we continue to stock basic tone on tone prints such as our beloved tone-on-tone bundles as well yardage and bundles of Zen Chic’s “backgrounds” because they are very interesting and full of detail. In this quilt shown below, there are a variety of “low volume” prints mixed with the bright coloured solids.

I think this tone on tone bundle shown below is an all-time favourite! We are constantly producing this one. Once we finish making a batch of these bundles, we start cutting and folding more of them.

Fire up your next quilt top by incorporating a variety of low volume fabrics. They are extremely popular for both modern quilters and scrap quilters alike. Low volume fabrics are also awesome as a background to your appliqué.

Zen Chic, who designs fabrics for Moda, now has a standard collection of low volume prints and we are quite fond of their Modern Background-Paper collection.

This is a picture of our Modern Backgrounds bundle which is currently in stock. These fabrics are also standing on bolts in our store and on the website waiting to used as the  foundation for your next project.

As always, we strive to be available to help you in store and online if you need assistance in choosing the right fabrics for your next project.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: Moda Candy (aka Mini Charms) and How to Use Them

Moda Candy or Mini Charms is one of our favourite precut formats both here in our store and via our website. These delightful packets of fabric are not only cute, but can be sewn into all kinds of projects.

So what exactly is Moda Candy? What in the world do quilters do with all those little squares? Well, we get asked this every day at the store (it seems like). First and foremost,  we receive all of the Moda precuts that are created and Moda makes a lot of them! They are constantly developing collections of fabrics to inspire us as we plan our sewing projects.

Moda Candy (referred to as MC in this post) are the smallest of the Moda precuts which include fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm packs to name a few. Each packet of MC is comprised of 42 squares of fabric that are 2.5″ each. These squares measure 2.5″ across from one outer pinked edge to the other. Moda cuts them with a pinked edge to help prevent fraying. Each packet contains all the pieces in a collection; you get some lights, some darks and some medium coloured fabrics. Each of the 42 pieces in a packet of candy is meant to be sewn together with the other pieces in the collection and the designer has coordinated the fabrics for us. No stress of choosing the fabrics or having to cut them into small 2.5″ pieces!

So what can you do with these sweet little bits of fabric all packed in a collection? Well, the possibilities are endless! Here’s our 10 list for Moda Candy:

1. Take and arrange two packets of MC (84 squares in total) by setting them into five rows of 16 squares. This makes a super fast table runner that you can not only sew together in an evening, but the runner can be quilted and bound very easily in an afternoon or a bit of time on the weekend!

2. Sew pieces from one packet of MC by setting them 6 rows of 7 squares and you have a placemat for your table. Voila!

3. How about English paper piecing? These little 2.5″ squares are the perfect size for 1″ hexagon papers. You can hand stitch these togetherwhen you need a fun project to work at whilst away for the weekend, at a ballgame with the kids or whenever you are away from your sewing machine.

4. Purchase MC as a quick gift to delight your sewing buddies. What a neat way to appreciate a friend and what quilter wouldn’t welcome a little packet of delightful fabric.


5. Sew ingredients from two MC packets (84 squares) into four patch units and add a bit of background fabric and you have a table topper for the centre of your table.

6. With about three packets, you can create the outside of a Mondo bag.

7. Check out the book Pin Pals.  Full of  pincushions projects and available via our website. Carrie Nelson features a delightful array of pincushions you can make beginning with MC pieces.

8. Sew three little squares from your MC packet together in a strip and and other strip of three squares; fuse them together and you have created a little bookmark for yourself or to give as a gift.

9. Check out ModaBakeShop.com for even more ideas. Moda is continually adding project ideas and posting them to their website. Also if you “like” Moda fabrics on Facebook, they post new ideas as they come available, so you are always up to date for new ideas for MC.

10. One packet makes another table topper quilt design as demonstrated in this video. Laura is so good at showing you! Check out this video below:

We hope that you will check out MC packets the next time you visit our store or investigate all the various MC displayed on our website. It would be great if you send us a picture of your project(s) created with MC. Browse our selection of Mini Charms in the shop or online here.

Happy stitching!


Creative Grid Top Sellers

With so many rulers available to quilter’s today it can be overwhelming mentally to build a practical library of pieces you will love and use.
We’ve compiled a list of our top selling basic rulers.  If you only have a few rulers in your inventory or are looking to add to your collection make sure these rulers are on the list.

Creative Grids rulers feature fine black & white markings, 1″ grid markings, non-slip embedded gripper, turn-a-round feature, centering lines, 30°, 45°, 60° angles.

So if you are just starting out or or looking to add one or more to your collection these first five are excellent choices.

First up of the ‘basics’ and ‘must haves’ is the 6-1/2″ square ruler. Great for small blocks and mini quilts and is availble HERE>

2) The 12-1/2″ Square is excellent for cutting larger pieces or squaring the most common larger block sizes. Order the 12-1/2″ square HERE> 

3) Perfect for cutting strips is the 6-1/2 inch x 24 1/2 inch ruler available HERE>

4) Ideal for cutting half square triangles and charm squares is the 4-1/2 inch x 8-1/2 inch ruler HERE>

5) The 6-1/2 inch by 12-1/2 inch ruler is convenient for portability to classes and retreats.  Order the 6-1/2 inch by 12-1/2 inch ruler HERE>

The next four on the list are specialty rulers and tools. We’ve included videos so you can see how they work.

6) 60 Degree Diamond Ruler – Increase your diamond design possibilities with the 60 degree Diamond Ruler. Cut 60 degree diamonds up to 8 1/2 inches; hexies up to 8-1/2 inches; and 60 degree triangles up to 8-1/2 inches. Maximize the design potential by cutting them from strip sets. There are even markings included to cut 120 degree side setting triangles. Find it HERE>

7) Pineapple Trim Tool for 6″, 8″ or 10″ blocks. Create perfect 6; 8; or 10 inch finished Pineapple blocks by squaring up each round of strips as they are sewn. Since each round of strips is squared up before the next set is added, the blocks are perfectly square. The cutting requirements for the center square and the strips are printed right on the ruler. Find it HERE>

8) Slim Machine Quilting Tool. Want to master machine quilting with rulers but not sure where to start? It’s time for you to meet Slim, your new home machine quilting best friend. Angela Walters, machine quilting author and teacher, designed slim with you in mind! This versatile ruler is the perfect way to finally get comfortable using rulers while machine quilting. Find it HERE>

9) Squiggy Machine Quilting Tool. Squiggy may look different that your normal machine quilting ruler, but trust us, it’s your go-to ruler for machine quilting serpentine lines and wavy designs. The serpentine line is a curvy design that’s perfect for quilt borders and sashings. It adds beautiful texture and depth to your quilts, but can be difficult to free-motion quilt.
Find it HERE>

Hopefully this list helps 🙂