Matching Border Strips or “Cagney Did It! “

If for some reason, you cut your border too short, you can piece it to make it the length you need. I did this with my Mystery Quilt border. What happened? Combination of working on it when I was too tired, not paying attention, and having feline help, I guess.  Anyway, I cut it too short.

So I got out my Wonder Tape. (A16848)A16848 It’s a double-sided tape that will dissolve with the first washing. It has a paper protecting strip on one side. I had cut my border strips at a 45 degree angle so they would fit together.

I put a strip of Wonder Tape on the edge of the piece I’m adding, on the right side. You can see the white paper on top of the strip in this photo.20140726_154332

I turned under that edge, and since it’s ¼” tape, it’s easy to use as a guide. I first removed the paper from the part that’s most critical, as you see here, 20140726_154844 reversedand laid it on top of the other piece, matching up the stripes and leaving ¼” seam allowance on both pieces. 20140726 reversed

Once that part was done, I could remove the rest of the tape and smooth out the seam. Turning it over, the fold is visible, and that’s where the stitching goes to make the actual seam.     20140726_195552

If it isn’t clearly visible, I use my Frixion Pen (it disappears with the heat of an iron) A20672 and/or my Sewline Ceramic Fabric Pencil 40605 (removable with its eraser or a damp cloth).A20672b 40605b

Stitch on the line and you have a beautiful join and no one knows the better.Cagney rotatedDoes Cagney look guilty?

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F.  Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Stitch by Number

A27074Happy Hollow has made foundation piecing easier than ever!

Their new “Stitch by Number” kits will have you creating wonderful whimsical wall hangings in no time.

 

 

“Foundation Piecing” involves sewing fabrics to a foundation ~ either paper or muslin ~ in a certain order. The fabric pieces are roughly cut to fit the shape, then trimmed after they’re sewn in place.

These kits have foundation sheets as well as fusible pattern pieces. You won’t need to trim as you sew because your pieces are cut into shape. Simply choose fabrics and you’re ready to begin!

pattern piecesPattern pieces are printed in groups, depending on the fabrics they use. Fuse the pattern pieces to the wrong side of the appropriate fabric, then cut out the shapes following the lines. The pieces are labeled so that you know which section they belong to and in what order to sew.

First, sew the number “one” pieces to each section (A, B, C, for example), then sew the number “two” pieces to each section and so on. Soon, you’ll have completed sections.

Combine the sections as shown in the instructions and add borders.     section There are even basic instructions included for layering, quilting, and binding your project. Embellishments, such as buttons, are in the kits.

A27073A27072A27075Everything comes in a heavy weight plastic storage bag, and each kit includes the foundation, the fusible pattern pieces, a non-stick ironing sheet, any embellishments, and step-by-step instructions.  “Stitch by Number” kits make foundation piecing fun and easy!  Why don’t you give it a try?  Or have you already?  Tell us about it!

This blog post is by Cathy Mark

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F.  Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Lots going on!

11-12

One more day for our summer Sidewalk Sale!  If it rains tomorrow, we’ll be inside, in the classroom.  

We’ve got lots of fabric, models and other merchandise on sale! If you’re nearby, be sure to stop in, Saturday 8:30 – 2:30.  If you don’t live near us, or can’t make it tomorrow, you can find all the bargains on our website as well.

We have cmas in JulyChristmas in July with Husqvarna Viking sewing machines, in the store only.

We invite our embroiderers to join us monthly for our Anita Goodesign Workshops.  The one this month is also Christmas in July.  This session of our classes starts soon, so get signed up before something passes you by!  You can see all this and more in the local section of our lbq-logonewsletter.

Lunch Box Quilts comes to Erica’s on August  22nd and 23rd.   Angie will present a wonderful trunk Angie head shotshow on Friday evening and on Saturday, you can work on any of her embroidered quilts, with the designer herself getting you started.

Of course my favorite of her collections is the one I talked her closeup colorjpginto – CATS! This is “Kitten Erica,” to give me a little credit for getting her to do her Cat’s Meow, (A22604) which became her best selling collection.

If you haven’t seen our July-September Newsletter, we’d love to have you take a look.

We hope you’re having a wonderful summer, and thank you for sharing a bit of it with us!

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F.  Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Quick Tip from Cathy on Laminates

 

We love laminates20140610_080639 !  But there are a few things to know about when working with them.

Cut laminate fabric with the wrong side up.  If you don’t, the rotary cutter won’t cut smoothly.  It will drag.

 

 

 

Place pins on the inside of the seam allowance.  Pin holes don’t go away.  So if you put the pins in the seam allowance, you won’t have to worry about that.20140610_080542

Use a Teflon foot.  If you don’t, the fabric won’t move along while you 20140610_080600sew because of the drag.  The Teflon foot makes it so easy.  The fabric moves as if you were sewing on regular fabric.

Don’t be nervous about sewing on laminates!  Try it; you’ll like it!

Thanks to Cathy Young, (my daughter!)

The Good and the Bad of It…

The best thing about using monofilament thread is that you can’t see it!1The worst thing about using monofilament thread is that you can’t see it!

So that makes it hard to thread, especially if you have a machine without a built-in needle threader, or a longarm quilting machine.

The first thing to do is to use a black marker and color a few inches at the cut end.. 2Next, put a white piece of paper or batting, under or behind the needle.3

If you have good eyesight and aim, you may be able to thread it after these steps.

If not, tweezers will help. I love my Clover Thread Tweezers.   (77760) 77760

4I first used these tweezers to remove machine embroideries gone wrong, like when my kitten thought the moving hoop on my sewing machine was an amusement park ride! (To see how it works for that purpose, go to our Product Video page and go all the way to the bottom.)

Failing the tweezers solution, we have a terrific needle threader! (50507) 50507The Needle Threader and Inserter (50507) has a threader at one end (shown in use below) and an inserter for flat backed needles at the other end. 6

6See the blob on my threader near my thumb? It’s Blu-Tack that you can get at an office supply store to put posters on your wall. I keep my threader stuck to my machine with it, to keep it handy.

Sewing and quilting machines have different personalities, but mine likes Monopoly, both clear (84629) and smoke (88027). I find that smoke seems to blend with more of my fabrics than clear, but I use both.DSC01885

Sue Hausmann was here a few weeks ago and presented a fantastic program.  So, as Sue says…  Happy Sewing!

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F.  Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Sewing room Organization

I’m an organizer by nature, and I’m in the middle of cleaning my sewing room. It’s so easy for sewing rooms to become an enormous mess, isn’t it? Mine is still messy, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I have a few things that really help me clean up quickly, so I thought I’d share them.

My favorite space-saver and organizer is my “design wall.” I put it in quotes because all it really is, is a piece of batting tacked to the wall. I tacked Warm & Natural Cotton Batting on a small wall and put my quilt squares up on it as I make them. It’s a big space-saver because I don’t have to find a clear surface to stack my blocks on. And it keeps my room just a bit neater, and allows me to see how the quilt will look as I make it. And yes, one of my blocks is falling off. That’s the way it goes sometimes!sewingroom1Warm & Natural Cotton Batting

I also put my ruler (with Gypsy Gripper attached,) on top of my Quilter’s Cut N Press (15842) with any fabric that I’m working on. That way, when I have time to work on something, it’s stacked and ready to go.

sewingroom2Fabric shown here is High Street by Lily Ashbury for Moda.
Dark Pink Flower Circles (905286)
Sage Star Print (905290)

And my favorite organizational tool is another one I made myself. I took an embroidery hoop and used small pieces of scrap fabric to make a pocket. You can make this as simple or as elegant as you want. I didn’t sew anything together – I just put the two fabrics in the hoop, tightened it, and pinned the fabric to the back. But if you had more time, you could add pockets or even use embroidery work. I like to change out the fabrics to match the season but you could also use a colored embroidery hoop to add more color. You can see all of Erica’s needlework hoops on our Hand Embroidery Hoops and Frames page.

sewingroom3This fabric is from an older French General line from Moda, but you could do something very similar with French General Favorites Pearl and Rouenneries Deux by French General.

In my organizer, I keep my Olfa 45mm Rotary Cutter, floral embroidery scissors (52850), TrueGrips (60954), Marking Tool, and a 96″ tape measure (73605). And whatever else I might want to stash there!

And then there are baskets! I love baskets. You can clean up so quickly by stacking fabric in them, and your room instantly feels cleaner. I have a bunch of baskets but my favorites are my charm pack basket (with some fat quarters in it, too) and my project basket. I love to use large baggies to keep my fabrics for certain projects together.

sewingroom4

sewingroom5So those are my favorite organization tools for my sewing room. I’m always looking for more organizational ideas so feel free to share yours in our comments section below!

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F.  Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Happy Organizing!
~Stephanie

Quick Tip!

I got a knot in my thread the other day and it reminded me of something I was taught years ago.  Maybe you know about it, or knew about it and forgot about it, or might like to know about it!

I tried to take photos, but no matter what I did, the photos weren’t any good. I’m not an accomplished photographer, and so many of the things I want to show, I need to use two hands for, and who holds the camera?? Besides that, there was a shadow along the thread, so I finally decided to quit fooling around with Photoshop and draw it!  So here goes!

Let’s say your knot looks like this:

Before you quickly jump in and it gets tight, notice that the loop slants to the left.knot

All you need to do, is pull the loop in the other direction. (This is where the third hand would come in handy for a photo!) knot 2

Any way, pull it that direction, and the knot comes out!doneHappy Mother’s Day! I hope you have time to rest and relax.

Just be sure your box is big enough to stretch out! Lacy in boxDSC00553