Steamfast Mini Iron

steamfast2

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.

Foam Soft and Stable or In-r-Form

soft and stable project pack pic

A couple of years ago, we began stocking this great product called Soft and Stable in packages here at Hamel’s. Soft and Stable is made by Annie’s. There is also an identical product from Bosal  called In-r-form. We can’t get enough of these two products! They work virtually the same way as you sew them into bags, placemats and table runners, etc. It gives really nice stability to your bag.

Here’s a video from Annie, herself, the creator of this wonderful product:

Use Soft and Stable or In-r-Form in place of batting in your project. You can quilt right through this stuff or just sew around the edges. There is so much flexibility with these foam products that you will be creating fabulous creations quickly and with ease. This firm resilient foam might seem like sewing through a yoga mat, when you first begin your project, but with a fresh quilting needle in your machine you can sail right through it!

Right now we have a kit called the “Denny Bag” which includes Soft and Stable. This kit is a great way to get you started with using this foam. This kit is comprised of warm fall colours from Kansas Troubles’ “Sweet Pea” collection.5304QK_z

These foam products don’t mind a gentle wash in cool, but we suggest hanging to dry. Go ahead and press after washing if you want to smooth your project out a bit.

If you prefer a larger piece off the bolt, we have Bosal In-R-Form in 58″ width in either black or white.

in-r-form

Happy stitching!

 

Tuesday Tip….”That Purple Thang”!

purple thang

For years now, “That Purple Thang” has been a secret weapon that quilters and crafters alike love to use. Some of our instructors require this notion for their classes because it’s just so useful! I like to keep one beside my machine at all times. Such a great little “thang” to have close at hand.

Click here to purchase one of these hand gadgets. Here are just a few of the many things it’s good for:

1. Curved end to serve as a sewing stiletto.

2. Has 1/4″ square at the end. Good for checking that 1/4″ seam that quilter’s live by!

3. Has a slot for feeding up to 1/2″ elastic or ribbon through casings, etc.

4. Try it as you sew ruffles in lieu of a ruffling foot on your machine.

5. Point turner.

6. Finger press.

7 Smooths and aids stuffing dolls, pincushions, etc.that-purple-thang1

Check out the video below as Sue demonstrates all of these uses. Perhaps you have another purpose for this tool, please let us know.

Moda Cake Mix Recipe Quilt

Heathers Pondicherry 2

Heather just finished up this 53″ x 71″  Moda Cake Mix Recipe Quilt. There had been a lot of buzz about Moda Cake Mix Recipes. If you haven’t heard about them, or you have seen them but didn’t know what their purpose was here is an explanation from Moda;

What is a Moda Cake Mix?  It’s a recipe for block parts that makes baking a Layer Cake quilt easier than ever.  This unique triangle paper is designed to work in conjunction with Moda’s 10″ square Layer Cakes. Each tablet has 42 sheets – one for each layer in a Layer Cake – and a couple of extras for practice.  Each pad also includes a few simple block and layout ideas – just add 1 or 2 Moda Layer Cakes and you’re ready to start stitching.

Heather used all 44 sheets in the Cake Mix Recipe #2 pad which made 88 blocks in all. This  required one Pondicherry Layer Cakes by French General…Heather’s favourite. As well she used a Layer Cake equivalent of 10″ squares of tone on tones cut from her stash. She then layed her blocks out in an eight by eleven grid. Have a look.Heathers Pondicherry Heathers Pondicherry 4 Heathers Pondicherry 3

The quilting is displayed nicely in the sunshine

Heather’s free motion quilting is displayed nicely in the sunshine

There are currently eight Cake Mix Recipes available. These is a smaller version available as well called Cupcake Mix Recipes. Cupcake Mix Recipes use Charm Packs instead of Layer Cakes and their are currently four recipes available.

Watch the video below to see how a Moda Cake Mix Recipe is baked;