Category Archives: Other

Steamfast Mini Iron


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The Steamfast mini iron has become very popular for quilters. We received a shipment of them here at the shop and have enjoyed testing it. This mighty little iron heats up super fast, in less than a minute, produces great steam when you need it and yet it fits into the palm of your hand.

One of our staff members purchased this iron for her young granddaughter to use when sewing patchwork. What a great idea to have a smaller iron like this to make it easier for young sewers who are learning to use an iron to press seams.

It is strong enough for everyday use at home, yet lightweight and compact for taking along with you. This time of year, many quilters are travelling and going to retreats and this iron fits into its own drawstring travel bag to tuck in with your quilting supplies. The non-stick soleplate glides over your patchwork as you put together your blocks. We found that there’s plenty of steam when you use the fill cup to put water into this mighty little iron.

The iron itself measures about 5 long x 3″ wide and comes with a nice long cord to reach the outlet. It weighs less than a pound. This iron comes with a heat up indicator. Check out this video below for some other information about this iron.

Note for left handed quilters:In closing, the only drawback to this iron is the location of the cord as it attaches to the iron. I found that the cord is in the way of where you want to iron as you use this appliance. The cord comes out of the back right side of the iron and if you hold the iron in your left hand, the cord is right there, kind of in the way. However, I still really liked the performance of this iron!

 

Easy Precision Piecing Products From A Dynamic Duo


 

If you haven’t heard of Bernie and Shelley Tobisch then you will now. Bernie’s expertise is servicing sewing machines while Shelley has been teaching people to quilt for over 30 years. Together they have been successfully teaching as a team and Shelley has recently developed new methods of piecing and organization called Easy Precision Piecing System.

What is the Easy Precision Piecing System? According to Bernie and Shelley “The System is a new way to gain better accuracy in piecing. It’s not about perfection. It’s meant to give you methods to make your corners more square, match your points and generally make things more pleasing to the eye. Your seams will lay flatter and your longarm quilter will love you! More accurate piecing makes for easier quilting!”
This System, not only uses new methods, but new and inexpensive tools and products to help you succeed!

Even quilt guru Alex Anderson has good things to say about the Acorn Precision Piecing Product.  Watch below as Shelley shows her how the Acorn Precision Piecing Products are used;

You can find Acorn Precision Piecing Products by clicking on the image below. Find written instructions on how to use the products when you click on a specific product on the website.

Acorn Products

And if that isn’t enough for you both Shelley and Bernie have published books. Easy Precision Piecing by Shelley…

Cut, piece, and press—the Precision way!

Say goodbye to your seam ripper, backwards blocks, and mismatched seams with Easy Precision Piecing—the pathway to flawless patchwork. This comprehensive system starts with picking the right tools and prepping your fabric for the best results. Learn to get organized so you can easily set aside projects without losing your place. Practice your cutting, sewing, and pressing with foolproof Quilt Block Builder blueprints, then use your newfound skills to make 6 stunning quilt projects.

• Discover an exciting new method to correctly cut and sew blocks for impeccable patchwork
• Use the best tools to prep and press fabric for seams that always match up and stay flat
• Get precision results when piecing and quilting, for quilt makers of all styles and skill levels

Easy Precision Piecing

And Bernie’s book also published with C&T Publishing is “You and Your Sewing Machine: A Sewist’s Guide to Troubleshooting, Maintenance, Tips & Techniques

From the sewing machine whisperer comes this in-depth, visual guide to how a sewing machine works, how to keep it in good working order, and how to solve common problems. Learn what questions to ask when buying a new sewing machine, what sewing machine foot to use for different projects, what regular maintenance you need to perform, and more. Perfect for sewists and quilters of all levels, this friendly approach to learning about and troubleshooting YOUR sewing machine gives you the tools you need to sew and quilt with less frustration and better results!

• For any brand of sewing machine
• Written by an expert sewing machine technician with over forty-two years of experience
• Learn how your sewing machine works, how to keep it happy, and how to troubleshoot common problems

You and Your Machine

Seminars

If you are interested in attending a wonderful seminar by Bernie and/or Bernie and Shelley please email us with your interest to info@hamelsfabrics.com

Build a Better Relationship with Your Sewing Machine Seminar
If you need relationship counselling with your machine, then this class is for you. Learn what your sewing machine is trying to tell you and also how to tell it what you want. Unravel the mystery of tension, learn light maintenance, understand the importance of the right foot. Get closer to your machine and spend more time focused on your sewing, less time frustrated!
~OR ~

Easy Precision Piecing Seminar
Learn to piece, from cutting to pressing to sewing, with more accuracy and ease than ever before. Turn your sewing machine into a precision piecing instrument. Discover how the right tools can make accuracy easy to achieve. Learn how to work with Quilt Block Builders, to create precision pieced blocks, with easy repeatable results!

Read more about Bernie and Shelley on their website Easy Precision Piecing.

French Farmhouse ~ Quilts with Rustic Simplicity


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Are you a lover of farmhouse or primitive style quilts and decor? If so, we have a wonderful new book to share with you. French Farmhouse ~ Quilts with Rustic Simplicity by Marie-Claude Picon is a beautifully photographed book with inspiring quilts.

Blend the beauty of antique quilts with the simplicity of primitive stitchery and what do you get? The French-farmhouse look! Designer Marie-Claude Picon from the south of France shares how you can combine prints, colors, and textures to capture an old-fashioned, comfy quality in your quilts.

Ten projects range from classic Nine Patch and medallion designs to quilts featuring tiny houses and stunning stars. As you sew along, you’ll learn how to get that perfectly aged feel with simple patchwork, fusible applique with flannel and wool, and easy embroidery. Gorgeous display ideas will inspire you to add a little French flair to your home.

This book is one that you will love to scroll through over and over again. Have a peek inside;

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Meet Marie-Claude Picon and hear what inspired this book in the video below.

Order a copy for yourself by clicking HERE.

Tuesday Tip….What’s Grunge?


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Grunge… a name that describes the fabric – that kind of smudged, painterly, drop-cloth kind of look.   Grunge… it’s so much better than that! Grunge is the creation of Rachel Benchley and it has been part of every Basic Grey collection since her first – Urban Couture –  in 2008.  It became a Moda Basic a few years ago with new colors being added every year. We have even more colours on order from Moda that are due to come to Hamels Fabrics in the next few months. We are always craving more basic blenders to have in the store to match other collections.

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Rachel Benchley launched BasicGrey over fourteen years ago as a surface design company. Inspired by her crazy, hectic and colorful life, her sweet husband and four fabulous children, Rachel loves to mix things up with unique color palettes applied to bold prints and patterns – eclectic representations of her eclectic world. She is the creator of all Grunge fabrics and we love all of the colours!

What does she think is the best part of her design work? Seeing her designs become YOUR amazing creations!

If you’re not familiar with Grunge, it’s a unique fabric that is dyed first, then printed on one side to create a unique, textured look.  While the printing is the same for all Grunge fabrics, the final look of them can vary widely depending on the number of colors applied, the subtlety or contrast of those colors, and so on.

Our store has not only classic Grunge Basics in dozens of colours, but also Grunge Hits the Spot and Grunge Seeing Stars and a few extra wide Grunge fabrics for quilt backings. These amazing collections offer a palette of colours to choose from. They are just perfect for bindings, borders, backgrounds, appliqué and so much more!

grunge spots

Grunge can also be used on the wrong-side as a solid – either on its own because it’s the perfect color or just to add a little variety to a Grunge project.

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grunge stars

We have all of the Grunge fabrics listed on our website and the fabrics come to us from our supply warehouse in Vancouver, British Columbia. Check out the Grunge fabrics either in our brick and mortar store or on the website as you look for fabric to compliment your next quilt!

Blanket Stitching by Hand for Wool Applique


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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!