Tuesday Tip….Squaring Up Fabric Panels

Let’s start off by wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We hope that everyone had a lovely holiday season and is ready to get back to sewing!

Right now in the shop and in our online store, we have several digital panels featuring wildlife and nature scenes. We also receive other panels regularly in the store that can be used in baby quilts, Christmas projects or with themes like coffee, bees, etc.

Fun Fact:  Most printed panels are approximately .60 metres or 23 1/2 inches before they repeat on the bolt. So for less than the price of a full metre of fabric you can have a beautiful piece of fabric to sew into your next project!

Although we all seem to love a beautifully printed panel, they can be intimidating to work with as you create your quilt top featuring a large panel or several motifs contained within a panel.

So how do you square up that panel after you get home from the quilt shop? They seem so crooked when they are printed! Well here’s a video by Stephanie from Hoffman Fabrics (creators of the “Call of the Wild” panels we have in the store right now.

Watch this video and see how easy it can be to square up your next panel.

Happy stitching!

PS -Hoffman Fabrics has free quilt patterns on their website for their fabrics including these beautiful panels! Here’s the link: http://hoffmancaliforniafabrics.net/php/catalog/fabricshop.php?a=pat

 

Tuesday Tip….What is Thermore?

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Thermore® was originally designed for clothing and miniatures. It is exceptionally versatile and can be used successfully wherever low loft and stability is needed or preferred.

Thermore® is made with 100% polyester and is surface treated with a unique process by the makers at Hobbs. This polyester batting is guaranteed not to beard or migrate. This batting is excellent for hand or machine quilting and works well with light and dark fabrics. You can confidently machine, hand wash or dry clean your project. It may be quilted up to 9” apart and will not shrink.

Here at Hamels’ Fabrics, we especially like using Thermore for placemats and table runners because stemware (wine glasses, etc.) or that favourite vase from Granny will not rock or tip over easily if placed on a quilted project that has Thermore inside as batting.

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Also, we all know that some recipients of our quilted items like to launder their items through a regular wash cycle and throw the quilted item into the dryer! Relax, because if you have Thermore inside as batting, there will be not be any shrinking or bunching–that’s the beauty of it. We have Thermore at the store in either packages or straight off the bolt (45″ wide).

Try this batting the next time you have a table runner that you want to complete with a thin, low loft stable batting.

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Tuesday Tip: Make a Portable Pressing Mat

As you attend various classes to learn new techniques and skills for your quilting projects, a portable pressing mat can come in very handy to have close to you as you take a class. They are easy to take along to class each week, guild meetings, retreats or a sewing date with a friend.

A portable pressing mat does not have to be large, thus “portable” is the concept here. You just need a surface large enough to press blocks or to lay out a fat quarter, precut Layer Cake square (10 x 10″) or spread out a small amount of fabric on top for a quick pressing. Make it whatever size you want!

How do you make your own portable pressing mat? Well, my own came from a cast-off small portable ironing board I found at a garage sale. I ended up recovering it by first pulling off the previous covering and then layering up batting and insulation before recovering with a cotton denim-like fabric.

Other ideas are to make your own mat with layers of flannel, batting and a product called Solari which we sell at Hamels. Solari is a 100% polyester batting used primarily for lining the insides of oven mitts and hot pads or any item needing a protective heat layer. The outside of the product is silver coated with a heat resistant surface. It is 60″ wide. Layer Solari with batting and a layer or two of flannel and you have a pressing surface fit for your next quilt piecing project. An old towel is another suggested item for “padding” underneath your pretty fabric covering your pressing mat. You basically want to built up enough thickness so that your hot iron won’t damage anything you press against.

You can create your mat to be just to sit on a table top and roll up afterwards or you can go a bit more elaborate. Recently, I have heard of quilters converting old “TV trays” also know as portable folding tables into a pressing station. What a great idea! Take a look at these pictures.

Final Process Tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Portable Ironing Board

Hope this post inspires you to see what you can create for your pressing needs. Happy stitching!

 

TUESDAY TIP: Self-threading Needles

Image result for 2006CV clover needles

Recently, I came across a “stash” of Clover Self-Threading Needles here at the store and though it was time to share their secrets. These needles are very interesting, indeed! The needles from Clover, have a convenient built-in threader (a notch at the top allows a sewist to “click” the thread into the eye versus threading through a regular needle eye. The Clover Self-Threading Needle where you place your thread, then proceed to pull it down gently for it to go into the top eye. Voila, you have threaded your needle without much effort! The package comes with five different sizes for use on normal cloth to thick fabrics.

Here’s a quick video demonstrating these unique needles in action. These self-threading needles work great for burying threads in your quilt. Check this out!

Happy stitching!