Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tools you can live "WITHOUT" in Quilting

Madame Samm invited me to do a guest post even though  I do not have a blog. Love that about her. We were sipping some coffee at her home a couple of weeks ago, she made me these homemade buttermilk biscuits with fresh blackberry preserves, (she is one heck of a baker and hostess, did you know that?) Well, this one day we got talking about all the tools that I (we) have purchased , that I thought I had to have and simply put = are useless. She thought this would make for a light topic for me to share with all of you. My name is Alex, ( short for Alexandra) and I have been quilting for ------ this many years. I hate to admit how long, since you would think I would know better. So work with me, and let's just say decades. Ok, here goes, are you ready?

Show of hands. How many have purchased this? They call it the Gypsy Gripper. I think back when it first came out it was over $25.00 and let's not forget shipping , let me add that too, total cost almost $35.00- way too much. You put this on your ruler to stop it from moving. Yep, I had to have it only to find out that little dabs of glue on the back of my ruler will do the same thing, cost for dabs of glue, oh I don't know pennies, if that. M.Samm shared with me that tidbit! (after I bought it, thanks Samm)

Next on my list was-again had to have it was this 
bobbin winder. How many purchased this? Don't be shy?

Oh dear, I  had to have this, it takes a lot of batteries, and yes it has an adapter, but by
the time I find it in my sewing room, (and the adapter, lost it)  in a box somewhere covered with piles of must have patterns and books, I had to have. ( more on that later) here it is a bobbin winder. And yes my machine ( new one) has a terrific bobbin winder, and I don't have to dig around to wind my bobbin. I think I paid $ 32.95 for this and shipping. let's not forget that I used it once! and that was years ago, I think it was the PINK packaging that got me. mmm, I am noting something here..."STAY away from  everything PINK

And  now yes the bias tape maker with all the tips.
Had to have this too!

Oh this was a doozy, you thread your fabric strips through these tips, ( which cost $10.00 for each size bias tape you want to make. Yep, I bought all 5 of them, so that was $50.00 just in tips.) The same tips in a sewing store, $2.00, are you hearing me, I sometimes don't do my homework till after. And-did I mention the machine cost me $109.00, why I know this is because I taped it to the inside of the cover? As soon as it arrived I knew this was another brilliant purchase I would regret. I did and I do and what do you know..it is not Pink but it is Orange...isn't that YOUR favorie color Samm? ( Oh, btw she has one of these too) 
( editors note, NO I don't) 

I conclude that my iron, does a better job because it gets hotter, AND I find I can do this in less time than this machine can do it. Are you hearing me ladies, you can buy 3 cheap irons for the cost of this blunder. Did I just say that? I am really talking about silly old me, for falling for these commercials. So yes, another had to have purchase- and tell me I am not the only one who purchased this?  ( besides Samm)
 editors note: I sold mine! and no not to Alex.
I am waiting. Ah, show of hands!

the tips you need to use this machine, those were all extra. !
Yep, have them all. 


Oh yes some of my magazines, and btw all of them are quilting ones. And this is just some of them. Quick calculation, each pile has around 94, (I counted them) there are 5 piles ( I am showing you) Average cost per magazine, I am rounding it off to $7.00 dollars, some are higher, and a few under that. But on average 
$ 7.00 ea. I have my calculator so the total cost per pile that I spent, because I just had to have them all is, are you ready?. $658.oo for one pile x 5. Oh just shoot me dead now! I could have purchased completed finished quilts for the cost of all these magazines- or at least kits to make one or two or three...Madame Samm said to me this would make me feel good, I am not feeling it. Ha. Ha.

Can you take some more? How about this Quilters Fabric Calculator. Again one of those gotta have me one of those. Still have no idea how to use it. Never have used it, probably will never use it. But had to have it. Cost $39.00 (no shipping with this one) NOW ask me why? go ahead and ask me?  I actually purchased it in a brick and mortar store and the owner told me, she uses it all the time.( been there on many occasions, never seen her use it)Are you listening to  this ladies, I have never even seen it on her counter, on her table, oh, but I have seen them on her display in the package!. 

So again I am not sure if I feel any better, to be perfectly honest with you-I am feeling a bit like a dope.
 Please don't ever ask me to any  market for quilters, on second hand
it would certainly give me a pass to come back again and entertain you
because you know I would be making purchases on must have tools
that I will never use. (especially if they are pink)

 Madame Samm, is this where I thank you?
I think I will feel better if I know I am not the only 
one who has any of these in their homes! Show of HANDS?

What have you purchased that you just had to have but never used?
I won't tell! Listen ladies, I won't even tell- you know?

Love Alex xx

( editors note..) Alex sent me  this and asked me to post it for her..
( thanks for your kindness to my dear friend) 

You know that song, there are miracles.? Well I am having one this morning. Just last night I was talking to Samm, told her I will be glad to get a couple of comments. She said for me not to put it out there, they will love you, she said. Maybe love is a stretch, but I like to say, you made me smile a lot. I like to bring you all together and just squeeze you. I hate to say she was right, so I won't she is already too smart for her own good. And I love her. Thank you for making this silly old fool-laugh at herself. Thank you !

Monday, February 7, 2011

Colour Impact Quilt

Hi! I'm Jane from Sew Create It and I'm thrilled that Madame Samm has asked me to guest post on Stash Manicure again.  Stash Manicure is such a great blog that shares so many ideas on how to manage your stash and I hope the idea I have for you today will do just that.

There are lots of great blocks that allow you to use up all those strings and crumbs that are in your scrap bin, but my favourite is the Chaos Crumb block.  I first saw the idea of chaos crumb blocks on Patti’s blog back in 2007 and it is by far my most favourite way to use up the little scraps that are too odd or too small to be used in a more traditional way. I’ve made these blocks multicoloured in the past, but my preferred method is to group them by colour.  Here is a pattern for a quilt using these blocks which I think has a rather modern take on the traditional scrap quilt.

This quilt finishes at 44” x47” but could easily be made bigger by adding more blocks and/or more rows.

Cutting instructions:
42 - scrap chaos crumb blocks squared up to 6”. 

If you plan on using bans of colour then each row uses 7 chaos blocks.

Using a fabric that reads as a solid cut
6 - 6” squares
7 - 2½” by 44½” strips

Assembly is really straight forward.
Sew the chaos crumb blocks into rows.
7 blocks to each row.
Then sew a plain 6” square to the end of each row.
Sew the 2½” by 44½” strips between each row.
Remember to rotate each row as you go so your solid squares alternate down the quilt.
Here is a link to a printer-friendly-version of these instructions.

Incidentally if you change the background fabric you get a different effect ...check out these three versions I’ve made.

There is a lot you can do with these colour blocks...just check out Amanda Jean’s version and Caroline’s version!
Thanks again Madame Samm for the opportunity to post...as always it’s been great fun to share with your readers!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Sunday...Ready, Camera, Action...REST!

 It is Sunday... I know..what is this? Remember me saying our Sundays were going to change..this is the change.... We will  be resting, I know personally  I will be.....Putting up a video takes me ahhhh 2 secs lol...
Sew let's keep our Sundays, just that--- one of REST....

I have been listening, and trust me, we all need a day of rest, but many of you still come by on Sunday's and were looking for more guests ( our guests need rest too) .Well, I have good news...Every other Sunday, Missouri Quilt company, Natalie and Sarah have agreed to supply us with videos for beginnings, intermediate and advanced sewers... ( ps. their videos are not live lol....they are resting on their Sundays too) 

The other Sundays,  Lee from Accuquilt has agreed to supply us with videos on how you use a GO Cutter.
(soon we will be giving a Baby Go away..stay tuned for that) 

As we branch out into embroidery- experts  will be coming forward, designers and quilters alike..our Sundays, will now be filled with something for each and everyone of you...

A very big thank you and appreciation to Natalie, Sarah and Lee, for believing in Sew We Quilt @ Stash Manicure to embrace us all with open arms....

I am resting...trust me I am ....ok, I am trying too...

Friday, February 4, 2011

A trunk show and tutorial from Lena...

Hi, I'm so happy to be here at Stash Manicure for the
very first time! I'm Lena Karen from LeKaQuilt,
and I love to make quilts.
Here is some of my quilts and an tutorial - how to make
a small purse..

This is the Love Letter i made 2010,
pattern from the Blackbird Design.

Dancing bears.

Mug Rug, fabrics from Sweetwater

Pink Mug Rug.

Mug Rug fabric Iced Mocha from Buggy Barn.

And I had to made some X-mas Mug Rug........

Here are two greate tip:

1) Use your sewing glove even when you sew smal pieces.
Try, and you will know why...... :o)

2) Always start and stop sewing with an smal pice off fabric (scrap).

The first few stiches can be swallowed into the machine's throat plate,
sins there are little fabric for the machine's feed dogs to grab onto.

And as an bonus, you save thread from your bobbin.

Sweet small purse tutorial:

This is the presser foot I use when I'm sewing
the zipper unto the purse.
Phaff nr 3 or the Bernina nr 5.

3 - 2,5 x 10 inch strips for the front.
1 - 7,5 x 11 inch Backing
1 - 7,5 x 11 inch Batting
2 - 1 1/4 x 7,5 inch strips for Binding
1 - 7,5 inch Zipper

Sew together the three strips.

Make an sandwich and
quilt as desire.

Use an plate to cut an nice curve at both side and trim.

At both side sew the binding with your needle position
two-tree step at the left.

Press the binding like this........

Change the presser foot, this is the nr. 5 - Bernina.
And sew the zipper on at both sides.

Remember to move your needle position.

Cut of the binding behind the Zipper.

Make an sesecond seam at the binding......

...... make sure that the second seam meet the zipper
at the wrong side :o)

You can now close the zipper.

Sew the sides togheter, first the 1/4 seam allowance
and then zic zac edge like this:

Now its time to make Box corner......

Remember to count in the seam allowance.

......and cut.......
Sew an 1/4 inch seam allowance and zic zac edge like this:

And......... Vola!!

Now back  to the quilt show:
The Nanny Sharon Quilt, made in 2010.

String quilt from 2009.
(I love this quilt)

String quilt made 2010.


My first quilt witch was quilted by machine.

Wall quilt pattern from Quilt Blocks Galore!

Hand appliqué and hand quilted, pattern from
American Pathwork and Quilting - my favorite magazine.

Log Cabin Bear, hand appliqué and hand quilted.

Tablecloth hand appliquè and hand quilted.

Quilt made in 2009.

Old tablecloth with appliqué.

Jacob's Ladder, made in 2010.

Where to find great patterns for free?
Take a look at these sites:

Thanks so much for having me Madame Samm, I
feel very honored to write here.
Hugs LeKa :o)

* editors note..Lena 1st language is not English
( it is Norwegian)
and I think she did a marvelous job here..
I raise my cup to you my dear...
thank you !