Category Archives: Tuesday’s Tip

Tuesday Tip….Wrap n’ Zap

Now that we are into the month of October, many sewers and quilters are working on projects to sell at craft fairs and it’s not too early to consider gift ideas for all the special people on our Christmas lists. One gift idea that you could sew for anyone on your list (eg. teachers, hair stylist, neighbour,  co-workers, etc.) is the currently popular “microwave bowl cozies” made with a product we have at the store called Wrap n’ Zap. The pattern uses 10″ squares from a precut layer cake or squares you cut yourself. Why not make up a batch of these cozies and get a head start on your holiday sewing!


Here’s the link to the tutorial to made these “soup bowl cozies” which are great to use in the microwave to warm up soup, chili, oatmeal, leftovers, etc.WZ-45

Pellon®’s Wrap-N-Zap® is a microwave safe product is made of 100% Natural Cotton Batting. When used in the microwave, it will trap the moisture inside to produce a perfect baked potato or a well steamed ear of corn. It can even be used for warming rolls and tortillas.

  • Natural
  • 100% Natural Cotton Batting
  • Packaged Size: 45″ x 1yd
  • Cotton battings can shrink up to 3-5%.   To avoid shrinkage prior to use, we suggest you soak the batting in hot water for 20 minutes.  DO NOT AGITATE WHEN WET.  Gently wring out water and dry in dryer on low setting or lay flat to dry.  After your quilt is complete, you can machine wash cold on a  gentle cycle and dry in dryer on low setting for best results.

NOTE:  When working with products intended for use in a microwave, certain precautions should be taken.  Use only 100% Cotton batting, thread and fabric.  Do not use more than two layers of the batting, even at the seams.  Wrap-N-Zap® is made of 100% Cotton fibers without any additives. It is not fire retardant or flame proof. For this reason, we suggest cooking in 2 minute intervals for a maximum of 8 minutes. Never leave the microwave unattended.  Do not use in a Convection/Microwave oven. 

As microwave ovens use radio waves to cook and heat organic molecules such as fat and water, and the natural fibers in Wrap-N-Zap® can contain small amounts of fat and water, we do not recommend putting it in your microwave without an additional food item.

Projects made with Wrap-N-Zap®, such as a potato zapper, are especially great for cooking potatoes or corn on the cob and heating bread and tortillas. The Cotton batting helps to insulate, which cooks or heats the food evenly.

Please keep in mind that all microwaves can vary based on the manufacturer and wattage.  It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and may also be helpful to have a better understanding of how a microwave works. Microwave ovens use radio waves that are absorbed by fats, sugar and water to cook food.  The radio waves use the molecules in these natural substances to heat the foods evenly and more quickly than in conventional ovens. While Pellon®’s Wrap-N-Zap® is made from natural fibers and contains a limited amount of fat and water molecules, the radio waves may, after prolonged exposure, eventually find the small molecules in the batting. This may cause the project to scorch and possibly flame which is why it is important to follow all safety precautions.

Misty Fuse – Fuse with Advantage

For a long time now, we have had “Misty Fuse” available here at Hamels. Rolls and packages of this  ultra-fine fusible web have languished on the shelf and not too many quilters have discovered it. I took some home last week and started working with it and my, my, what a great fusible web it is!

Misty Fuse is an environmentally friendly product and the ultra-fine web stays soft and pliable in appliqués on quilting projects without adding bulk. It’s easy to handle, solvent-free and does not gum up your needle as you sew with it.

Although there is no paper attached to Misty Fuse when you purchase it, the Goddess sheet makes application a breeze and you can barely feel it on the backside of your appliqué pieces.

Here’s a video from the folks at Misty Fuse demonstrating how it works.

To order Misty Fuse and the Goddess Sheet  please look for them on the Hamels website, or come visit us in the store.

Sewing Machine Needles – What Size Do you Need?

Now that we are well into September, many sewers and quilters are excited about sewing their projects. Having the correct machine needle for your project is SO important and we want to share a short video with you about sewing machine needles.



At the store, we feature Schmetz sewing machine needles. Here are three quick things to remember when considering machine needles:

1. Match the size of the needle to the thread you are sewing with for best results.

2. The larger number, the larger the needle.

3. A new needle is the easiest and cheapest way to improve stitches.

Click HERE to watch the video.


Tuesday Tip….Pineapple Tool

Have you noticed lately, that the “pineapple block” is making a comeback? This block is a great scrap or stash buster and there are so many colour combinations. Since Colonial times, the pineapple has been known as a symbol of hospitality.


In the video below, the lovely Jean Ann Wright demonstrates how to use the Creative Grids pineapple trim tool. Create perfect 6; 8; or 10 inch finished Pineapple blocks by squaring up each round of strips as they are sewn. Since each round of strips is squared up before the next set is added, the blocks are perfectly square. The cutting requirements for the center square and the strips are printed right on the ruler.

The template slides easily over the fabric until pressure is applied. This ruler features an exclusive gripper to hold the fabric in place while cutting, eliminating slipping and miss-cuts!

The Pineapple Trim tool is available to order from our website or check with a staff member to order this ruler when you come into the store on your next visit.

Also, there is a a “mini” pineapple trim tool available to create perfect 4″, 5″ or 6″ finished Pineapple blocks.

We would love to see your pineapple quilts. Feel free to send us a picture of your quilt using this beloved classic pattern.




Tip: Use Glow-Line Tape to Easily Find Measurements

glo tapeHere’s a tip recommended by the ladies here at the shop.

Have you ever had to cut lots of pieces of fabric for your project that are an unusual width; like 2 3/8″ for instance? Sometimes it can be confusing to to keep track of that 2 3/8″ line marking on your ruler as you cut the required pieces. What a pain it can be to count the marks on your ruler each time you are ready to make a cut. Mistakes happen easily without the onslaught of distractions coming at us constantly or perhaps you can’t complete all your cutting in one session, but instead over several days for instance.

Well… here’s a quick product that will make it easy to identify where your ruler marking is for that pesky 2 3/8″ that you may have to cut a lot of for your project. Omnigrid has a product called “Glow-Line Tape” which is easy to use. The package includes three colours (pink, orange and yellow) to select from and when you are finished using it, the tape comes right off because it is not uber sticky which means no residue on your ruler. Each roll of tape in the pack is 1/4in x 7yds. Total package contains 21yds of tape. You can use Glow-Line either underneath or on top of Invisi-Grip. Select the colour you prefer and apply tape over the desired marking on the back of the ruler, then trim even with the ruler’s edge. When cutting strips, automatically look for the highlighted line or area, preventing the common mistake of cutting the wrong size. Voila!

Glow-Line Tape 1/4in x 21yds

Check out this video to see how easy it is to use this tape.