Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Monday, December 31, 2012

My Quilting Secret and a Giveaway!

Welcome to the Quilting Secrets Blog Hop! I had no problem deciding what my favorite secret is when Mrs. Pickles asked. It's glue.... glue sticks, school glue, and fabric glue.
I use glue sticks.....
1) ...when turning raw edges under to prepare pieces for applique. See the tutorial here.

2....when turning under hems before sewing. See tutorial here. You can find a tutorial here.

These table napkins have the hems turned under twice using a glue stick. The hems are pressed and they are ready to sew.
3.... to keep applique pieces in place before sewing them down. This eliminates pins getting in the way of your thread.

4.... to baste the quilt sandwich in place. This is easiest for small quilts and wall hangings. It also comes in handy if you run out of spray basting before you get to the end of the quilt!

5. ... to keep batting in place on the back when doing trapunto or any item you want padded.
A piece of batting larger than the area that was to be quilted was glued to the back. After quilting, the batting was trimmed right up to the edge of the quilting.

6.... to hold fabric in place for reverse applique.  

7. hold trim in place to keep it from creeping out of place when you sew. (In the case of the picture below, the trim needed to drop down just above the 1/4" seam line so that the very narrow lace would show and the glue stick held it in place beautifully!)

8. hold the beginning and ending of a section in place while you sew. 

9. ...hold a button in place so that it can be hand or machine sewn.

10. ...hold patches (such as those for scouting or military) in place so that you can sew them more easily.
11....hold hook and loop tape (such as Velcro brand) in place before sewing. Hook and loop tape that comes with an adhesive back will gum up your sewing machine needle very badly! hold the curled edge of a knit down smoothly for hemming.

13. ... to hold a zipper in place for easy sewing. No pins to sew over or remove. Just use glue in place of pins.
14. ... to match up stripes or plaids before sewing. (Use glue stick to hold the seam together in place.)

15. hold tags and labels in place before sewing.
Rick-rack and both hearts were all glued together and glued in place before sewing the label on. hold applique pieces in the correct position on clear vinyl so you can "audition" different background fabrics. The tutorial is here. turn the raw edges in on handles you are making for tote bags.


I use school glue.....
18. make perfect binding! There is a wonderful youTube tutorial by Sharon Schamber for making perfect binding for show quality quilts. Her secret tool? Elmer's School Glue and an iron! See it here.   
19. ...when I need a resist to make a design when dying fabric. You can see a tutorial here.

 I use fabric glue....
 20. permanently attach beads, silk flowers, or other trim to projects. (Tooth fairy pillow tutorial found here.)

  Glue sticks are basically the same whether you pay $5 or 50cents. The more expensive glue sticks are a wonderful slim size that makes them easier to apply and less messy. It might be worth the extra cost to you! Since I wash my projects when finished, I don't worry about "acid free". The glue washes out of the fabric, except in the case of fabric glue.
Thank you, Mrs. Pickles, for putting together this Blog Hop. What a great idea! Sharing our secrets!!!
Now for a giveaway! (Giveway is now closed.)
Today’s lovely prize was donated by Chelsey Kilzer from The Fat Quarter Shop. One very lucky commenter will win one $25 gift certificate to be used online at The Fat Quarter Shop! The winner will be announced tomorrow!(You must comment for a chance to win.)
The Fat Quarter Shop was started by Kimberly Jolly in 2003.An avid quilter, Kimberly began her shop as a side business while still working a corporate position; cutting, packing and shipping right out of her house during evenings and weekends. From the very beginning, she was committed to top-notch service for every single order and customer. As the Fat Quarter Shop's reputation grew, Kimberly decided to make it a full-time operation. Her husband, Kevin, joined her not long after, and with his help, lots of hard work, and a tireless commitment, the store began to grow. Over the past few years a few more people have joined the staff!
They say, "As a team, we continue to branch out with the best fabrics, exclusive kits, quilt clubs, BOMs, and more. And we will always be driven by the passion that Kimberly founded the store upon, which is always giving you the best products and service!"

             The Fat Quarter Shop

Tomorrow you will be visiting Barbara.
Linda @ Buzzing and Bumbling  January 1st - you are here!
Sue @ Quilt Times  January 5th
 Until then.... 

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Upcoming In Your Words Blog Hop!

Sew we quilt

It's just around the corner!  Be prepared to be inspired, wowed, blown away! The In Your Words Blog Hop starts on January 7 and runs through January 16. You will have lots of chances to win prizes and giveaways as well as to have tons of new ideas to file away for the year. Every day that you visit the participating bloggers and leave your comments are chances you have to win something. Even if you don't win, you will be given some great ideas for using words in your projects. 
 Here is the entire schedule for the hop:

Monday, January 7
Kwilty Pleasures  (Kathy G.)
Sew Darn Quilt  (Carolyn R.)
Traveling Quilter  (Debbie A.)
Just Let Me Quilt (Carol S.)
Vroomans Quilts (Sharon V.)
Cate's Linens (Catherine R.)
Nini and the Sea  (Denise)

Tuesday, January 8
Piece Peace (Patricia G.) 
A Stitch in Time (Patty D.)
krislovesfabric (Kris T.)
The Slow Quilter (Felicia F.)

Wednesday, January 9
Kathy's Quilts (Kathy W.)
Sunshine Quilting (Martina S.)
Grammie Q's (Charlotte M.)
Dancing Moon (Carla B.)

Thursday, January 10
Just Sew Sue (Sue B.)
Scrappy 'n Happy (Jess R.)
Sowing Stitches (Beulah aka. Carol)
Just Quilt It  (Kathy G.)

Friday, January 11
Jane's Fabrics (Jane R.)
Jane's Quilting (Jane C.)
Nuts 4 Redwork (Heide W.)
Bits and Pieces (Martha R.)
Life in Every Breath (Jennifer B.)
Quilting Lines (Patricia L.)
Meadowbrook  (Kristen K.)
Count It All Joy!  (Denise P.)
Sophie Junction (Sophie W.)

Monday, January 14
Clothes and Crafts (Maria K.)
Simple Sew (Shirley T.)
Woolie Mammoth (Anna B.)
RocknQuilts (Mary Ann)
Quiltsmiles (Jane E.)

Tuesday, January 15
BQuiltin Studio  (Beverly K.)
Hill Valley Quilter (Britt-Inger)
Bumbleberry Stitches  (Theresa K.)
Buzzing and Bumbling  (Linda W.)
Outback Crafter (Debra S.)
In Stitches and Seams  (Annette S.)
Englating  (Marica from Sweden)
Stitchin by the Lake  (Marlene B.)
Selina Quilts  (Selina)
Words & Stitches (Beth S.)

Read, Quilt, Cook, Pray (Aletta)
Sew We Quilt  (Mdm. Samm)
See you then!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishes For You.....

 I'm wishing for you a holiday as magical as when you were a child.....
as full of surprises and traditions as possible.....
all the way to the end!

I'll be back on January 1st with my quilting secret for the Quilting Secrets Blog Hop! Then on January 7 for the In Your Words Blog Hop! Be sure you come back and join us for both of those. I think you'll be surprised at all the inspiration and information.
Until then....
Bee Blessed!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Finding Your Fabric

Scraps from Kate Spain's Terrain

I was asked to review a service that I really think you will find very helpful! Its called Find My Fabric. This website helps you find fabric by theme, color, name, designer, or whatever you can search!  Lets pretend you are making a Dr. Suess themed baby blanket and you need fabric for it. All you have to do is go to  Find My Fabric and type "Dr. Suess" in the search engine. 



                              Filter by Price

                                               : to

                               Find by Photo


 I was given 14 results (different fabrics) and each has a link to the shop that sells it.  (Thank you so much, Daryl, for pointing out that I spelled Seuss wrong! If I had spelled it correctly I would have been given 412 results!!! And to think I taught school and read his books constantly. Oh, well, I'm blaming it on the holidays. I'm rushing around too much!)You are given thumbnails of the fabrics, so you can SEE them before even clicking on them.
What if you decide to make a quilt larger than you originally planned and you do not have enough of a fabric you were using? Just search for it by name and you will be given any shops selling it. For instance, how about Kate Spain's Terrain? I have a few scraps that are large enough for a very small quilt. My quilt shop no longer has that fabric. Can I find it somewhere online? When I typed in Kate Spain, Terrain, I was given 86 results! If you don't know the name or manufacturer, you can upload a photo of the fabric and search for it that way! (It gives you instructions on how to do this.)

I decided to do a search for Christmas Panels. I was surprised when 230 results popped up. One that caught my eye was Nancy Halverson's panel from 2011. It is available for $8 at the linked shop!
 I have temporarily put their linked logo on my sidebar. Give it a try and see how you like it! I think this can be a real help to so many of us!
Although I was asked to do this review in exchange for compensation, the opinions are still my own! I do honestly think this is a helpful site that many of you will use often! 
Let me know what you think of this. Is this a service you will use? 
Until next time......
Bee Blessed!  

Friday, December 14, 2012

One Of These Things is Not Like the Others

   My grandchildren decorated this tree for me when they were here for Thanksgiving, but there has been an addition. Its a puzzle, similar to Where's Waldo! Can you find the thing that doesn't belong? Hint: It's near the top. It's fluffy. It has two eyes. 
                                Do you see it now?  Someone abandoned this sweet tiny kitten near my house Monday morning, when the temperatures had dropped to 30. She was crying pitifully on my front porch at 5:00 in the morning. I went out to see what was going on and she ran to me shivering and hungry. She is so sweet and friendly, I can't imagine someone just abandoning her to die in the cold. We're in the country and this is not an uncommon thing, unfortunately.
I was looking for her this morning and heard only a little "mew". After searching the house, I heard a rustle in the Christmas tree and found her near the top of the 9 ft. tree.

                       I finally got her down for a nap!
                    Now maybe I can do some quilting!
                             Until next time.....
                             Bee Blessed!

Decorator Cookies

Are you looking for a very simple, delicious cookie for the holidays? This simple cookie can be quickly mixed, the dough stored in the refrigerator, and baked up between sewing machine sessions. I even used a sewing notion to press some of my cookies! This is a great cookie for tea or coffee. Its not overly sweet and is similar to a shortbread. Your kids or grandkids will enjoy pressing designs in them before baking. Actually, I enjoyed it myself!

                            Decorator Cookies
(from "Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cookie Book" , 1992.)
The recipe is actually called, "Lemon Decorator Cookies" and is found on page 94. I used almond extract instead of the lemon zest, but you can use whatever flavor you want!
1 cup butter, softened 
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
flavor of choice (they suggest 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel but I used 1 teaspoon almond extract)
2 cups all purpose flour   

 Mix butter and cream cheese in large bowl of your mixer. Cream it together well.
Add 1/2 cup sugar and your flavoring and cream the sugar in well.  

Add the flour gradually and mix it until all is blended. Overmixing at this point will make your cookies tough.  I mix until everything is blended, then stop the mixer and form it into a ball that goes in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to chill.

 When the dough is chilled, set your oven at 375 degrees. I like to cover my cookie sheet with parchment paper, but if you are not doing that, don't grease your pans.
Roll the dough into 1" balls. Use a cookie press dipped in sugar to flatten the cookie and leave a design in the top. The book gives instructions for using the sliced end of a carrot carved out into a design and dipped in sugar as a press. 
a cookie press
the end of an empty thread spool
the bottom of a punch cup

  Bake at 375 for 7 to 9 minutes and then cool cookies on a rack.  
Until next time...
Bee Blessed! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Free Log Cabin E-Book!

 Do you have scraps? How about a fabric that you've been keeping in your stash without a plan in mind?  Now you can get a free e-book from Fons and Porter that will inspire you to use those fabrics to make something!
  This morning I received a copy to review. The title is "Build Your Best Log Cabin". Although this block has been around since the 1860's, it has remained a popular choice over the years.

This book gives detailed instructions, a chart of strip widths and block sizes, and several stunning contemporary quilts made from this simple block. I think you'll be surprised at how "modern" this old block can look! Do you like chevrons? You'll find an easy way to make a chevron quilt here. Or, you can make something very traditional!
Many of us are trying to use up some of those scraps that are taking up valuable real estate in our sewing rooms. This block is perfect for that! The four blocks here were made just this afternoon using a bundle of fat quarters I won during a shop hop several years ago. 

The focus fabric, "Love Is" by Nancy Halvorsen, Benartex, had squares (actually rectangles) that I used for the center of my log cabin blocks. Although I haven't sewn them together yet, I am on my way to having a quilt that until this morning was just a stack of fabric and scraps on my shelf.

I made the traditional blocks using the directions in the ebook, which were easy to follow. (I cheated just a little and used a larger center square.) 

The book gives 6 very simple steps for making your blocks in a fool proof way!
There are some stunning examples in this book from Ricky Tims, Marti Michell, Shon McMain, and Lori Christianson. 
In true Fons and Porter style, there is a LOT packed into 24 pages. Among the pages are little boxes with tips and techniques that make your quilting easier. You'll find directions for binding with piping, joining your binding the "lump free" way, and sewing with heavy thread in your bobbin.  Projects range from easy to challenging.
You can get your book here!
Did I mention that it's free?
 Sew we quilt
Don't forget about the In Your Words blog hop coming up January 7 - 16th. It promises to be a lot of fun!
Until next time.....
Bee Blessed! 
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