There are many choices for backing quilts these days. From regular quilting cottons, to wide backings in both flannel and cotton. Many quilters are going with less traditional options these days and lots of us have moved on to cozy synthetics such as “Fireside” which comes out of our Vancouver, BC warehouse. Fireside is a 150cm (60”) wide 100% polyester fabric with a soft, velvety hand; kind of a velour, making it the perfect width for large lap or single size quilts and can be pieced for larger quilts. It’s less slippery than Minkee, so it’s a little easier to work with with less drama dealing with nap. If you’re thinking about trying one of the 46 different colours of Fireside, here are some tips to consider as you sandwich your next quilt top:
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.
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
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.