Tuesday Tip: Tuscany Silk Battings from Hobbs

Tuscany Silk batting is supple, soft and drapes like no other batting. The luxurious feel is ideal for both quilts and garments. Silk has the natural ability to breath, making it an excellent choice for airy, lightweight quilts and coverlets. It provides excellent warmth with very little weight. Perhaps you are making a really special quilt that needs a luxurious batting as you sandwich your top and backing. This could be the batting you are looking for!

Available Sizes:
45″ × 60″ Crib,                                                                                                                60″ × 60″ Throw,                                                                                                            72″ × 96″ Twin,                                                                                                                81″ × 96″ Full,                                                                                                                 96″ × 108″ Queen,                                                                                                         120″ × 120″ King,
96″ x 30 yds. Roll

This Tuscany batting is a blend of 90% very fine imported silk filaments and 10% fine polyester. It is carded and resin bonded to help retard bearding and fiber migration. Unlike other silk battings, it need not be handled with gloves or encased in cheesecloth. It quilts magnificently by hand or machine.

For best results, we suggest that you hand wash your quilts/garments in cool water and dry them flat. If you prefer to wash by machine, do so with caution. You may experience shrinkage of 3-5% and it may be quilted up to 4” apart.

We recommend that the quilt maker spend some time learning about this product before using it on a major project. Make samples using this batting to see how it launders and how it needles, both by hand and by machine, so that you can obtain the look you want in your final project.

Here’s a video from the folks at Hobbs explaining Tuscany Silk Batting:

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: Ombre Fabric; Seven Colours in One!

Vanessa Christiansen is a wife and mother to four “active” children. She is the designer for Moda and who has developed Ombre Confetti Metallic fabric that fades from dark to light over the width of fabric (from selvedge to selvedge). The colour in an ombre fabric is all the same hue, with shades and tints added. In one strip cut across the width of the bolt there are seven different shades of the colour. So much versatility with this fabric lineup! Think about all the possibilities of being able to use one fabric and have seven colours in that one fabric to work from. These Ombre Confetti Metallic fabrics are perfect for Bargello quilts as well as any quilt pattern that requires a variety of colours in the same shade. Here’s a video with Vanessa showing her lovely fabric.

We have now received Ombre Confetti Metallic on bolts here in our shop on the bolt as well as in precuts. This fabric presents a whole world of possibilities and some beautiful patterns have been developed.

These beautiful fabrics are in stock now, so don’t wait to get the colours you really want.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: How to Use a Moda Layer Cake

Layer Cakes… our store offers undoubtedly the largest selection of layer cakes a quilter might ever see. We aren’t just saying that, but we think that it’s really true, especially within Canada. Every 10″ packet that Moda Fabrics creates is available through Hamels Fabrics.

Moda creates all of their precuts ahead of the yardage that gets wrapped on bolts at the warehouse. They are highly collectable as they are usually only available for a very limited time and once the offering has sold out, they become scarce. Layer Cakes designed by Moda’s top designers such as “Kansas Troubles” and “Bonnie & Camille” are in extremely high demand items and remain popular each time they produce a fabric line. That being said, we have customers who love Layer Cakes from other Moda designers and collect Layer Cakes when they are in stock.

Did you know that we also have solid coloured Layer Cakes, such as white, cream, black and gray? Even though they are tricky to keep in stock, we would love to special order one of the solid Layer Cakes for you, if you make a special request. Many patterns ask for solid and print 10″ square to work together to form a pattern. Eg. Cake Mix Quilts

10 neat things about layer cakes:

  1. Each layer cake manufactured by Moda Fabrics consists of 42 accurately cut  10″ squares. (Note: Other manufacturers who produce packets of 10″ squares might have less pieces of fabric, but for this article we want to only talk about Moda brand.)
  2. Layer Cakes come in a variety of themes ranging from baby, children, reproduction, Civil War, florals, woven cotton and more. There’s a layer cake designed for every taste, even a few in batik!
  3. A layer cake comes with all the pieces from one Moda fabric collection. Sometimes pieces might be duplicated if the line has less that 42 different prints in it. A layer cake is like taking home a stack of fabric from the quilt store without having to stand at the cutting table and have 42 pieces cut. Viola!
  4. There’s no need to prewash these 10″ squares before you start cutting or sewing with them. Modern technology has pretty much eliminated any worries about colour fastness, etc. and we aren’t going to fret about shrinkage.
  5. Moda carefully cuts the layer cake squares with a high tech machine back in Asia (somewhere in Korea…) and when you open your package the fabric is ready to go. Use the outer points of the pinked edges as the edge of the seam and do that consistently throughout your project and your project will measure up just fine.
  6. The fabric designer of the layer cake has done the work for us, so that each piece in a layer cake mixes and matches together. There are some pieces that are lights, darks and mediums giving a balance for quilts to blend beautifully. A layer cake can also provide a scrappy look that is controlled and works together.
  7. How big of a quilt will a layer cake produce? Well, generally one cake will yield about a twin size if add additional fabric for a border and two layer cakes will produce a queen size. It’s like buying a bag of flour or sugar and making a cake, it depends on your recipe and any additional ingredients you add that sets the size of the cake.
  8. How much fabric is really in a layer cake? Estimates are that there are about three metres of fabric in a layer cake. More than they look, huh?
  9. Don’t layer cakes cost more than cutting my own squares? Not always! If there is a bit more than three metres in a packet and the packet costs $48.98 then the fabric per metre would need to be $16.50 or less per metre to equate. Now that’s an offer worth checking out!
  10. There are endless ideas for sewing with layer cakes. Not only are they the perfect precut for a bed quilt, but they also work for home decor, handbags, baskets, etc. Selecting a layer cake saves you hours of selecting, matching and cutting.

If you are searching the perfect collection of fabrics to sew your next quilt top with and are short on time, check out the Layer Cakes we have in the storefront or the website. If you want, we will give you a free pattern to use with the purchase of a Layer Cake.

Happy stitching!

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!