Friday, March 29, 2013

My Favorite Things: The Giveaway CLOSED

It's Friday and time to wrap up "My Favorite Things"! I have five prizes to give away today.

Prize #1 

Prize #2

Prize #3

Prize #4

Image Source: I Don't Do Dishes

Prize #5

Giveaway Details: (CLOSED)

  • Please leave one comment on this post sharing your favorite sewing tool or fabric.
  • An email address must be available in your linked profile or left as part of the comment.
  • Winners will be randomly selected.
  • Prizes will be awarded in order of winners drawn.
  • Giveaway ends Wednesday, April 3. Winners will be announced on that date.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Favorite Things: Fabric

The best part about quilting is creating something fun with great fabric. For my last "My Favorite Things" post, I wanted to share just a few of my favorite fabrics. I admit I have lots of favorites.

My Favorite Solids: Pure Elements by Art Gallery

This is no surprise. I love these solids. I have made multiple projects with Pure Elements and have enjoyed working with them every time. I even have two new projects in the works using Pure Elements. I love the feel of the fabric. I also love the colors, even though the selection is still limited. The saturation is beautiful. I've never had a problem with bleeding or fading. So many of the colors just feel like "my colors". 

I have probably made too many project with Pure Elements, but when it works for you, it works.
Crooked Cabins

Thangles Mini

Broken Diamonds

Modern Grandmother's Flower Garden
Heather Ross Snapshots Quilt

Broken Diamonds Quilt Back

Dresden Challenge Quilt

Intrepid Thread is generously donating 10 fat quarters (including most of the colors shown above) for our Friday Giveaway. Julie carries all the Pure Elements colors in her shop!

My Favorite Neutral: Essex Yard-Dyed Linen in Flax

Essex in flax is my perfect neutral. I love this fabric. It has just a bit of texture, washes up nicely, and matches perfectly with so many different fabrics. I used it most recently in my Valentine's Day pillow and am currently using a large amount in my pixel quilt (more to be shared soon).

Reverse Applique Heart Pillow

Westwood Acres is generously donating two yards of Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen in Flax for Friday!

My Current Favorite Fabric Line: Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry

This one probably isn't a surprise either. I've been sewing with a lot of Notting Hill recently. I love the colors, designs and the fabric. I love both the home dec fabric as well as the quilting cotton. 
Messenger Bag Tutorial Series
Jumbo Star Quilt Top
Notting Hill Hexagons (In Progress)

My Favorite Line of Blenders: Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House

I use all sorts of blender fabrics in my quilts, but my favorite full line of blenders is Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House. I was so excited when she came out with so many colors all together last fall at Market. It's a beautiful stack all together, but it's a great stash builder. I find myself using at least one color from my bracelets stack each time I make a scrappy quilt.

Christa Quilts is donating six Pearl Bracelets Fat Quarters in some of my favorite colors to our Friday giveaway.

My Favorite Newly-Released Fabric Line: Textures by Angela Walters

I was able to see these fabrics at Market last fall. I fell in love with them. I don't even have my hands on them yet, but I'm hoping to. Mostly, I love the colors, but the simple designs are fun as well. Most of these fabrics could easily be mixed in with lots of other lines and fabrics. They would make a great addition to the stash. 

I Don't Do Dishes is generously donating a fat quarter bundle and one fabric panel from Textures for our giveaway. 

That concludes the "My Favorite Things" posts for the week. I had a lot of fun sharing my favorites. Come back tomorrow to share your favorite sewing tool/fabric and enter the giveaway for several fun prizes!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Favorite Things: Pins, Clips and Quilting Gloves

Clover Flower Head Pinds Fine (.45):

I'm pretty particular about my pins for quilting. I only use these:

These are super fine. They are perfect for holding two pieces of quilting cotton together when piecing a quilt, but they do not work well for anything heavy. Don't try using these on a denim quilt, but next time you're sewing hexagons together for a quilt, these are great. Because they are so fine, there is minimal distortion in the pinned fabric. I find my piecing is more accurate when I use them.

Just a couple warnings on these: They hurt when you get poked. They will draw blood. Don't sew over them because your needle can bend or even break them. Sew carefully!

I'll be throwing in a package of these on Friday!

Clover Wonder Clips:

These great clips have been making the rounds on blogs lately. I joined the wonder clip club about eight months ago when I bought a box of 50, and I love them. I use them in place of pins a lot, particularly with heavy projects that are hard to pin.
The only con I've found with these is that they tend to slip just a bit on extra-thick projects like my messenger bag. Watch out for that while sewing projects like this.
They work great for binding. They are also perfect for keeping seams together when pins could be painful (literally).

I'm throwing in a 10 pack Friday!

Quilting Gloves:

I love my quilting gloves. I realized I own four different pairs. They all look pretty worn. I always wear gloves while quilting my quilts. My hands are naturally quite dry and slip while I'm quilting unless I wear gloves.

My two favorite pairs are the purple and pink ones. The navy pair is from Fons and Porter. The white pair is actually a pair of fruit picking gloves. The packaging was in Japanese I believe so I don't have any more info that that. The pink pair happens to be leather gardening gloves from Target. They are perfect for large quilts and give me really good traction while trying to wrestle with quilts as large as a queen. They are big and bulky and don't work well for smaller quilts. One of the reasons I have so many pairs of gloves for quilting is that some seem to work better than others for certain quilt sizes and even certain fabrics.

The purple gloves are from Grab-A-Roos. These are perfect for smaller quilts. They fit snugly to my hands and don't add extra bulk. The grippers on the fingers give just the right amount of traction. As you can tell, my pair has been used many times. The kind people at Grab-A-Roos threw in a couple pairs for Friday! Also, Christa Quilts carries Machingers Quilting Gloves in her notions section if you'd like to give that brand a try.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Favorite Things: Marking Tools

Washi Tape:

Washi tape is one of my favorite things, but not for the same reason as some people. I love it for marking my machine, particularly for hexagons. I also used it to mark the 1/2 seam line when making my messenger bags recently. I love that it's not super sticky. It won't leave a residue on your machine. Fabric will slide right over top when sewing. It comes in bright colors, and is easy to see. Plus, it's just pretty.

How to sew hexagons without marking.

I'll be throwing in several rolls of washi tape on Friday for the giveaways!

Clover Hera Marker:

I love this little tool. I can't even remember how many projects I've used it on. Rather than mark a quilt with a fabric pen or marker, this handy little guy just leaves a crease in the fabric. I admit that marking my fabric (particularly the tops of quilts) with anything, even fabric approved, gives me heartburn. I just worry that it might not wash out. I mostly use this tool to mark quilting lines when straight-line quilting, but it's perfect for marking seam lines as well.

Here are a few quilts I've used it on:

Crooked Cabins

NY Beauty Mini

Thangles Mini

Trimmed Lattice
I'm throwing in a Hera Marker for our Friday giveaway as well!

My Favorite Things: Rulers

I am a ruler junkie. I love buying new rulers for specific projects, especially ones that make cutting easier and more precise. These are just a couple of my favorites.

Omnigrip 20 1/2" Square Ruler

This is a very larger ruler and works perfectly for squaring up larger blocks. I've also used it when cutting large pieces of fabric. I find it far easier to use this on big projects than trying to use the grid on my cutting mat. This is also a "grip" ruler so it doesn't slid around on the fabric much. It's one of the first specialty rulers I purchased when I started quilting, and I don't regret it. 

Here are just a few projects I've used it on:
Print Gallery Quilt

Wonky Square Bee Quilt
World of Goo Quilt

Add-A-Quarter Ruler:

I always use my Add-A-Quarter ruler when paper-piecing. It is definitely one of my favorite things. It has a little ridge that helps keep it in place when trimming away excess fabric from the seam. I just have the small 6" ruler, but it's perfectly adequate for any paper piecing project I've done. Here are just a couple examples from projects I've made.

Jumbo Star Piecing Tutorial
New York Beauty Block Tutorial
Christa Quilts has the Add-A-Quarter ruler in stock and has kindly donated two for our giveaway on Friday! Check out her notions section for lots of supplies.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Favorite Things: Olfa 45mm Quick-Change Rotary Cutter

A while ago my sister told me about a "My Favorite Things" party she attended with some friends. Each person shares a favorite item in the price range of $5 - $7, and they each bring five of that item. Everyone swaps and goes home with five new things to try out. I thought the idea sounded really fun and decided to translate this into a blog feature this week. Throughout the week I will share a number of my favorite sewing items, both tools and fabrics, and why I love them. Make sure to come back here on Friday. I will be giving away many of these items at the end of the week with the help of some of my wonderful sponsors as well as a couple generous companies!

I have been through several rotary cutters since I started quilting. A couple wore out and a couple just didn't feel right in my hand. Almost two years ago I got this cutter and love it. It's still going strong. This is the Olfa 45mm Quick-Change Rotary Cutter.

I can use a rotary cutter equally well in both my right and left hands. This makes it super handy when cutting fabric for a project, but all my old rotary cutters were set up to be used in just one hand. This one has separate blade covers for the right and left side which means you can cut with either hand by just sliding down the correct blade cover. I take this to every Sewing Saturday our guild hosts because I don't like using any other rotary cutter. I realized I've become quite particular. It's definitely my favorite. When it wears out, I'll be buying another one. I'll write my name on that one as well, because I'm not about to lose it.

The kind people at Olfa donated one rotary cutter and a replacement blade for our giveaway on Friday! Details in a few days.