Wool pressing mats have come onto the market over the last while and although they are a bit of an investment, they really are a wonderful surface to press your patchwork on. This wool mat is heat resistant and won’t easily melt or burn with a cotton setting from your iron. After receiving one for Christmas a few weeks ago, I now understand the difference these mats can make when pressing fabrics. There are a few different sizes available and are produced by a few manufacturers to select from.
The wool pressing mat helps you press any pieced or embroidered block with ease. The density of this high-quality 100% felted wool mat absorbs seams and stitches, effectively pressing both sides at once. Block knitted projects as well by pinning them directly to the mat.
An added bonus? The texture of the wool stops fabrics from shifting so there is no distortion when pressing.
Here’s a quick video showing this mat in action!
Tips and Tricks
The pressing mat can be used with a dry iron on any surface. If using steam, place the mat on a protected surface since moisture does go through the mat and can harm the surface below.
Never place the mat on a rotary cutting mat when pressing. The heat could warp the cutting mat.
If mat feels damp after use, hang to air-dry before storing.
Wash the mat occasionally by rinsing it in cold water and hanging the mat until dry – especially if using a spray starch.
Safe surfaces include Formica, Corian, stone and metal (an ironing board). Wood and painted surfaces should be avoided.
A wool mat is a handy tool for quick pressing when kept next to your sewing machine. Enjoy!
The “Add a Quarter” ruler performs up to its name. This ruler is available in multiple sizes with the ruler measuring 1.5 x 12 inches being our store’s most popular seller. This ruler is a must have for completing Judy Niemeyer projects and/or paper-piecing. This is one of the few sewing notions that receives a five star rating from everyone who uses it!
The Add-A-Quarter combines the speed of rotary cutting quilt pieces with the accuracy of using templates. Once your templates are made, the Add-A-Quarter will automatically add the customary 1/4″ seam allowance to any straight angle and provide a straight edge for your rotary cutter.
Here’s video from Carolyn McCormick, the designer of this tool, showing a demonstration:
By the way, we have a “Luminosity” class coming up in April, 2019 that has a few spots left if you want to register and learn how to create this beautiful quilt using the add-a-quarter ruler.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hope this post inspires you to see what you can create for your pressing needs. Happy stitching!