Category Archives: Other

Stay Stitching the Edge of Quilt Top in Preparation for Quilting

Here’s a quick tip to apply after you’ve finished a quilt top and done the final pressing. Before you sandwich the top with batting and backing, it’s a really good idea to run a line of “stay stitching” around the outside edge of your quilt top.

What exactly is stay stitching? Definition: Stay stitching is a single line of stitching, through one layer of fabric, to stabilize the fabric, preventing it from becoming stretched or distorted. stay stitching yellow

Expert quilters always sew as a scant 1/4″ distance around the outside perimeter of a quilt top. The stay stitching helps to keep your quilt top to the intended shape as it is stretched and layered with batting and backing. This practice really helps to hold all of the construction of your blocks and borders together so that stitches don’t pop open along seams.pop seam

Here’s a video from Pat Sloan that demonstrates this practice.

The stay stitching does not have to be perfect by any means as it will eventually end up buried in the binding or be trimmed away once the quilt top is squared up after being quilted.

Sew your “stay stitching” along your quilt top from the wrong side so that you can see the seam allowances and prevent them from being twisted or bunched up. The stay stitching is sewn all the way around the perimeter of your quilt top. Just be mindful not to stretch your top during this process.

Even if you top is not going to be sandwiched and quilted right away, this step of stay stitching will keep your top secure and ready for the day you make it into a finished quilt.

Thrifty Thursday….Amish Traditions Quilt Books

Amish Traditions Books

Today’s *Thrifty Thursday item is “Amish Traditions Quilt and Other Projects” quilt books by Toni Phillips & Juanita Simonich.

**Books 2 through 4 of a four-part series designed by fabric expressions.  Each booklet contains a section of the quilt plus several other projects.

  • Book 2 of the four part series. Second quarter of quilt. Additional projects are diamond in a square wall quilt, star table runner, and Rabbits paw quilt.
  • Book 3 of the four part series.  Third quarter of quilt.  Additional projects are Tree of Life, The Old Farmhouse Quilt and Four Patch Baby Quilt.
  • Book 4 of the four part series.  Third quarter of quilt.  Additional projects are Amish Hour Glass Quilt, Amish Vines, Bear Paw Quilt and Schoolhouse Placemats.

Our regular price is $29.94.  Our Thrifty Thursday price is only $3.00 for ALL 3 books. Click Amish Traditions to order yours today!
**Book one is not included in the set

*Thrifty Thursday items are final sale and may not be returned or refunded.

Printable Fabric Sheets

In the Hamels Fabrics storefront, our staff is asked about specialty, novelty fabrics every day. We hear customers request fabric with green tractors, elephants, children’s TV characters, sports teams, etc. Many quilters increasingly want very specific fabrics but have difficulty in finding what they want and/or the design that’s not the right size or colour.

When Pauline, the shop owner, can secure stock on novelty fabric from our suppliers, she certainly does. Currently we have those Fairies, Marvel Superheroes and cats etc. printed on bolts of fabric in the store and displayed on the website.


However, most “licensed” images that are under copyright (eg. Disney, NHL) are difficult to find on the bolt. Often times licensed fabric is printed on a low quality grainy, fabric that is not going to perform very well in a quilted masterpiece.

Ok, so here’s the issue. We all want find quilting fabrics with a “specific” theme and these fabrics are not easy find as you browse the marketplace. Thus the search becomes frustrating and fruitless. No one wants to disappoint anyone wanting to have a quilt made with their favourite novelties.

printable fabric sheets

One solution that can alleviate some of this pain is EQ Printable Fabric Sheets. Now you can print your own photo, or image you find on the internet right onto a good quality fabric sheet that measures 8 1/2 x 11″.  Simply follow the steps in this video below and create fabric with “exactly what you want on it”.

Consider downloading that tractor image or photograph from the internet and print it onto a printable fabric sheet and incorporate that into your quilt. Add yellow and green tone on tone fabrics to match and you can customize your quilt as you wish.

EQ Printable Fabric Sheets each come with thread count: 200 – fabric for inkjet printers. The warm white fabric makes photo-complexions glow. Perfect for memory quilts, fabric scrapbooks and quilt labels.

Print sharp, photo-quality images from your computer onto these soft (never rubbery!) fabric sheets. You become a fabric designer as you scan in photos, flowers, love letters, or whatever. Then print, let dry, peel off the plastic backing and soak in cool water for 10 minutes. When the fabric dries, sew!


Stabilizing T-Shirts with Presto Interfacing

There seems to be a strong interest in t-shirt quilts these days and everyone seems to have a stash of favourite t-shirts chronicling their childhood, depicting a hobby or special interest. As time goes on, we all seem to have a drawerful of old t-shirts we can’t seem to part with or t-shirts we have been commissioned with to make a quilt for someone. At the store we have seen competitive runners gather all the t-shirts from all the races they’ve competed in, or t-shirts collected in a favourite theme (like Fido Dido character on t-shirts from the 1980’s).


Whatever your collection of special shirts is comprised of or the shopping bags you’ve been given to create a t-shirt quilt, how do you begin?

Well step one is to make sure the t-shirts are laundered and folded flat. The second step is to cut off the sleeves, cuffs and collars and get focused on the graphics you want to work with and set into blocks for your quilt. Consider incorporating the back of the t-shirts too that have significant wording or a crest.


Step three, the most transformative step, is to “stabilize” the wrong side of the t-shirts. Keeping the t-shirt piece larger than the block you think you will create is the key. (eg. cut t-shirt 16″ or so and resize it later to 12″ or whatever size you decide on) T-shirt fabric is, by nature, stretchy and without a lot of substance on its own if you want to make quilt blocks. We like to recommend “Presto Interfacing” to stabilize the back of all your t-shirts going into a quilt. Presto Interfacing is a 100% cotton pre-shrunk 22″ wide single-sided fusible interfacing available in white. For $6.98 per metre, this product is not going to add a lot of bulk to the t-shirts but will stabilize the t-shirt and transform the stretchy knit into a format you can square up or cut to size for blocks.

So fusing Presto Sheer onto the back of the t-shirt fabric before you sew you blocks together will make the t-shirts a breeze to sew with. Presto Sheer comes off the bolt here at Hamels by the metre and fusing a piece of this to the back of your t-shirts with a medium hot iron is going to set you on your way to a wonderful finish. Take your time pressing on the presto sheer interfacing to insure that the glue adhesive melts onto the back of the t-shirt. I found that cutting it down to block size after stabilizing it with Presto Sheer worked well. Once the t-shirts are “stabilized” you can proceed to laying out your blocks in whatever arrangement you decide.