Saturday, April 29, 2017

Made With Love

Like many quilters, I gift a lot of my quilts. It truly brings me joy to give a handmade quilt someone I care about. I especially like making baby quilts to welcome little ones. Babies need snuggles!

Recipients of my quilts commonly ask me about washing instructions. I know some people write this information right on the quilt label, but I am not much of a labeler (I know, I know! I need to work on this!). I recently printed a bunch of business cards with washing instructions to tuck into the quilts I gift. Easy and inexpensive! You can easily print your own using a business card template available on any number of printing sites.

I ordered a lot of these cards, more than I need! I'd love to send ten cards to two different readers. Simply follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below. Happy sewing, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Charm School: Book Review

I love charm packs. I’ll often pick up one or two of these yummy fabric treats as a little indulgence for myself. Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique is one of my favorite fabric designers, and I have more than a couple charm packs by this talented woman in my stash! Her new book, Charm School—18 Quilts from 5” Squares: A Beginner’s Guide, features projects using charm squares. The quilts are luscious and beautifully photographed and I wanted to dive right into a few of them!

The book is geared towards beginners and would be a great way for someone new to quilting to progress from sewing squares to more complex shapes. Though none of the projects are overly complicated, several are far from simple and would appeal to more advanced quilters. My favorite is Lunch Box with its controlled wonkiness. Madame Butterfly is another standout that will certainly appeal to quilters of all levels.

Though the patterns are designed to be used with charm packs, I love that Goertzen gave instructions for using other cuts of fabric, allowing readers to make the best use of their stashes. The instructions clearly explain how many cuts you need so you could even mix and match charm packs with other sizes of fabric.

My only critique is that I would have liked to see one or two projects that require just one charm pack. I don’t always buy multiples of charm packs, and a wall hanging or mini-quilt that used a single charm pack would have been a good addition, as most projects in the book require three or four charm packs.

Charm School would make a great addition to any quilter’s library, especially if you love precuts as much as I do!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pressing Matters

I invested in a Rowenta iron for my quilting about a year or two ago and was more than a little annoyed to see that my iron was occasionally spitting out brown spots. Well, dear reader, I am embarrassed to admit that the problem was with me, not the iron. I was not properly maintaining my iron. Bad quilter! I am owning up to my mistakes in the hopes I can prevent others from finding those yucky brown spots on their fabric!

My research (that is, finally reading the manual and Googling iron maintenance) turned up three important actions that I was not taking and likely caused the rust build-up inside my iron. (Hangs head in shame.)

1-If your iron has a self-cleaning function, use it every two to four weeks.
2-When starching, spray the starch on one side and iron on the other.
3-Empty the reservoir before storing the iron.

After running the self-cleaning function several times (once with a vinegar-water mixture—check if this is recommended for your iron before trying), I am happy to report my iron is working well! I am embarrassed that I was not doing a better job taking care of my iron, but promise to be better in the future!

And, as if it was a reward for promising to take better care of my iron in the future, I picked up this beauty for a steal at my local Habitat ReStore! Practically a twin of the one I have! 

Happy pressing, everyone!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Stitching in Portofino

I recently discovered the awesomeness that is Aurifil thread. It just glides over projects! The wonderful folks at Aurifil and Whole Circle Studios even created a fun little wall hanging to celebrate the yumminess of this thread. I played along, creating a version in my favorite palette of blues and greens. I named this mini-quilt Stitching in Portofino, a nod to Aurifil’s Italian home. The Italian coast is especially beautiful and I have wonderful memories of a day spent exploring the seaside town of Portofino. There are so many blues to be seen there, from the vibrant blue of the sky to the dark blue of the deep water by the rocky shore to the blue-green of the tide pools. Such beauty!

I entered my mini-quilt in a contest and I would so appreciate it if you would vote for my project. You can see all the fabulous entries here. Mine is the second one, Stitching in Portofino. You can vote by clicking on the heart in the upper right of the picture. Easy peasy! Thank you!