Quick Tip!

I wanted to reuse this purple elastic with a new clasp. 1b The first one broke and the new one came with white elastic.  I couldn’t use that!  Anyway, I learned some time ago that I’d been using my seam ripper wrong, ever since I learned to use it in grade school!  I saw a video by Pam Damour, the Decorating Diva, and it changed my ripping life!

First you need to be sure you have a good, sharp seam ripper.  My favorite has always been this one (29273)5b 

I have one at my sewing machine, one at my Handi Quilter, and one at my computer desk.  That makes it sound like I’m ripping all the time, but I just like to know one’s handy whenever I might need it.

Take out a few 2bstitches first, and put the small end with the red ball inside the seam.   Then slowly move forward.

The inside leaves cut threads, and the other side has just a single thread.

The red ball keeps the ripper from making a hole in the fabric.  If you’ve been using your seam ripper backwards, too, try it a few times with some scraps, and you’ll get the hang of it.    It’s amazing!  Let me know how you like it by commenting below.

Erica

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

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.

Consider the Gadget Cushion!

My Gadget Cushions909270

This little inexpensive project is a really quick idea for bazaars and gifts.  I use it when I’m lying in bed to play Spider Solitaire and fall asleep!  It works for my Kindle, too.  I wrote a sheet of extra information about it for our Creative Sewing Club and I’ll share it with you here.   You’ll need the Gadget Cushion Interfacing, (909270) and a 10″x 10″ piece of fabric.  You can make two from a fat quarter!  There are instructions right on the interfacing, so no additional pattern required.  I used  Poly-Pellets, (A23347), as my filling to give it weight.  Then download my Hints Sheet and follow instructions and you’ll quickly have this helpful little Gadget Cushion!20161013_202353

And for my fellow cat lovers, here’s a photo of one of my sewing cats, Puccini, (“pooch” for short) supervising the filling of my Gadget Cushion.

Until next time, Erica

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

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.

NOTE:  If you signed up for our blog posts long ago, or you don’t get “WordPress” emails, please sign up again on this one.  It doesn’t split sentences or put photos in the wrong place.  Add your email address above.  These emails are so much better!

 

We’re Back!

It’s been a long time since we’ve written here!  You know how you sometimes really have good intentions, but you just don’t make it happen?  I have the same situation with exercising.  I was never lucky enough to find any exercise I enjoyed.  Several years ago, I discovered I could watch Sue Hausmann in my netbook while I walked on the treadmill, and I even went longer than my target time, to see the end of her show,  America Sews!

Unfortunately, my best laid plans to continue with exercising went by the wayside.

As did posts on this blog!

So now I’m walking on the treadmill again, (still watching sewing and quilting shows on my iPad as I go,) and getting back to our blog posts!  I’ve been promised help, which is good anyway, because that way we have more of a variety of topics.  Look for us about every two weeks.

This one is a short one, brought about by forgetting my own tip!  I wanted to pre-wash something I was working on for Quilts of Valor.  (We have QoV Sew Days at the shop on second Thursdays of the month starting at 10am- everyone welcome!)  Anyway, I just threw the fabric in the washer and dryer, and this is what I got!20160725_134143

Please read my tip in a previous post on how to prevent this from happening!

Agadget-cushionnd for my fellow cat lovers, here’s a phone photo of my beautiful Cagney, sister to Lacy.  The phone’s propped up on my Gadget Cushion, 909270.  More about that next time I write.

Erica

(To find an item or event 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.)

Did you know that you can see what’s new at Erica’s almost every day??  Karen does a great job of updating that page every time she adds something.  Sometimes it’s brand new fabric, books, tools, accessories or yarn, and sometimes it’s what just went up on our Rummage Page or Bargain Ends of Bolts.  Sometimes it’s something that we expect in soon that you can pre-order.   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!  Many people have told us they bookmark that page, so they’re always up to date!

Quick Tip ~ Green Pin, Red Pin

My daughter, Cathy, showed me the quilt top she had just finished.  She does great machine applique blanket stitch and finds it really relaxing.  The quilt is “Andrew” from the book Fat Quarter Baby (A31813).  It’s so cute!  A31813 book

When I looked at it, I immediately thought it needed “Piping Hot Binding,” (23940) my23940b.jpg favorite way of finishing a quilt.  It puts just a touch of extra color at the inside edge of the binding, and brings the quilt to life.  It’s ingenious, and the tool that’s included with the booklet is the key.

Below is what the piping looks like on our quilt.

Here’s our Andrew quilt.  Isn’t it adorable?  Unfortunately the piping didn’t show up in the photo, but you can see it in the close-ups above.whale quilt

20160509_112719As I worked on the quilt, I thought I could share a few tips.  When you put the binding on with the Piping Hot Binding method, you’re actually working on the back.  I wanted to be sure I stopped sewing with enough tail to join the binding.  So I put the red pin in. Stop!

I also wrote about using colored Flower Head Pins when adding borders.  Find it by clicking here.

Something that makes joining binding tails easier is to fold the quilt at the beginning and end of the part you left unsewn, and pin.  That way the tails are closer together and you have more to work with.

quilt folded

(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. Some of the images on this post are also links!)

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.

I Glue it and Sew it!

I remember years ago hearing Aleene of Aleene’s Glue fame say, “if you can’t glue it, don’t do it!”  A dear sewing friend (well known in the sewing industry,) retorted with “if you don’t sew it, they’re going to know it.”

Well, with time gone by, we sew-ers both glue and sew!

For example, here I needed to fold my fabric under ¼” for a project I was working on. The easiest way I’ve discovered to do that is to draw a line at ½” in, press the fabric to that line, then lay glue inside it, and press it dry. I use my Frixion Pen (A20672) to make the line. It disappears with the heat of the iron. The glue I use is “Glue Baste It.” (44929) I like the fine tip because not too much glue comes out.combined rotated

I needed to add a zipper to my project, so again I used Glue Baste It. I pinned the zipper to my ironing board to keep it from moving around. Then I laid a line of glue, laid my folded fabric on the zipper, lined it up straight, and pressed it dry.  ( Then I sew to permanently attach the zipper.)Zipper 1 rotated20151022_145113Of course I add the other side using “Glue Baste It,” too.second side

BTW, this is the finished project. It’s one of three sizes of Hunter Design Studio’s Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches. (A30186)  The pattern doesn’t use glue, but these are techniques I use all the time and they can be applied to most patterns.Finished pouchIf you didn’t know about this, I hope it’ll be of help to you in some of your next projects.  Posted by me, Erica

(To find an item or event 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.)

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 “What’s New” in purple, and click to find out.

If you signed up for our blog posts long ago, or you don’t get “WordPress” emails, please sign up again on this one.  It doesn’t split sentences or put photos in the wrong place.
Add your email address above.  These emails are so much better.

Here’s a Quick Tip About Washing Cotton Fabric!

I’m going to make a new purse, and I prewash my fabrics for clothing or purses. I happened to think that some of you out there may not know about this method of preparation.  I don’t remember who told me about it, but it changed my quilting life!

The tip is about avoiding bird’s nests in the drier. I wish I had a picture of that bird’s nest.  Well, I really don’t, but I’ve been there.

Before putting cotton yardage in the washer, cut off all four corners. Just an inch or so will work.1 with arrows

This is what the raw edge of one of my fabrics looked like when I took it out of the drier!  No bird’s nests at all!  What a relief not to have to try to undo the threads and clip them from those twisted fabrics! . (I try to take fabric out before it’s completely dry, and then spray with it with Best Press to press it.)edgePlease comment below if you do this already or have another way of solving the problem.

(To find an item or event 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.)

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 “What’s New” in purple, and click to find out.

Bad Border! Bad Border!

This probably hasn’t happened to you.  But just in case it ever does, I’ll show you how I dealt with it.

I had finished all the borders of my Mystery Quilt, and as I started to press, I saw this on one of my long borders! The seam allowance was on the right side of the quilt!! I hate when this happens!Seam on outsideThe room suddenly got hot and I loosened my collar. (That seems to happen when I discover that something’s really wrong in my project.) I really didn’t want to take off the whole long border. Or I should say, I would not take off the long border!

So I removed the stitches from the area, an inch or so on either side of the border. (Actually it would be easier had I removed another few inches.) Then I pressed the seam allowances flat again.2

I’m dealing with a bias seam here, so I removed the stitches very gently.  (My favorite seam ripper  for short distances is the one you see here, 29273.)3

I put Glue-Baste-It, 44929, in a very thin line of dots on the folded seam allowance, close to the fold, and lined up the other seam allowance on top of it , this time on the back of the quilt!  When I got the second seam allowance positioned correctly, I pressed it with the iron to immediately dry the glue. (Here you see one of my quilting assistants, Puccini, holding the quilt down.)4

With the seam allowances now on the wrong side of the quilt, I took it to the sewing machine. Using one of my Wonder Clips, A12996, to hold the quilt top away so I could sew the border seam more easily I finished it up. I love the new Wonder Clips Wrist Cushion to hold the Wonder Clips. A28353  It’s so handy.  (Both these items are shown here.)

My seam is right now, and no one will know the difference. I don’t think Puccini (“Pooch” for short) will tell anyone, because he slept through the whole thing!6

(To find an item or event 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.)

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 “What’s New” in purple, and click to find out.

Tell us about one of those sewing mistakes that made the room hot* for you! Please comment below. If you’re reading this in an email, click on the title of the post to get to the online post where you can comment.  (Continental US only, please.)

For those who comment, we’ll have a random drawing for a free set of Wonder Clips and a Wonder Clip Wrist CushionPlease add your comment by August 9.  The winner will be announced by August 15th right here.