When I saw this set of quilters luggage at the quilt show, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I’ve had my current machine carrying case for over 15 years. It’s a little too small, and not made of the best stuff. So when I saw what was available from Tutto, I knew I had to give it a try.
I am happy to say that the luggage is exceeding my expectations. Not only is it sturdy and made very well, but it also collapses so that when I’m not using it, I can put it away in my studio without taking up so much room.
P.S. Tutto sent me these to try out and review. I only recommend products that I think are top quality and that I use myself. I am thrilled with the quality of these carriers and I know I will be using mine for a very long time.
One of the first blocks I learned was the Ohio Star. I absolutely fell in love with the pattern and made many. When I was younger, I made an Ohio Star quilt for a friend’s wedding. Except, when I finished it, I liked it so much, I had to keep it! I embroidered a pretty border on a sheet set instead for her.
Since then, I have fallen in love with many types of stars. I never get tired of them. Here are some I’ve found recently. I thought you would like to see them too, and some patterns are Free!
We’ve all had those days. You’re cutting strips of fabric for your next quilt. You cut a strip, remove the ruler, then see that the ruler slipped at the end of your cut. Now you’ve wasted a few inches of the strip.
These days will no longer happen to me because I have discovered a tool that solves this slippage problem. The Quilters Slidelock is now one of my most often used tools in quilting. When I started using it, it didn’t take long to get the hang of it. The Lighted Edge Quilters Slidelock allows me to cut more accurately and faster.
I also picked up the Lighted Edge Quilters Slidelock Ruler. This is a regular quilters ruler, the one you use for most of your cutting. However, the numbers and lines on this one glow and jump out at you because off the yellow color. I don’t know how they do it, but it actually looks like they are backlit. I’m loving this feature because my eyes aren’t what they used to be. I will take any vision help I can get!
P.S. You can find more quilt tools at The Quilted Turtle. These are my favorites and I like to share them with you.
For years I have been basting my quilts with the Quiltak Basting Gun. Before that, I used to use needle and thread, and baste a grid of thread through the layers. This would often take a couple hours per quilt. With the Quilt Basting Gun I can baste a quilt in about 30 minutes for a really big quilt, less time for a small quilt.
That’s why when I recently broke my basting gun, I panicked! I had this gun for so long, I wasn’t sure they still made them. I did not want to go back to thread basting or pinning because it takes so much longer to baste a quilt.
I was so relieved when I found the exact company, Quiltak, who makes the one I’ve been using. I’ve tried another company, but the gun broke the first time I used it. So now I know, look for Quiltak. I think I used my last gun for almost 20 years. I’m hoping the new one works for me just as long!
This quilt is a great quilt for beginners. In fact, if were teaching a beginner how to quilt, this is the one I would have them start on. The pattern takes one charm pack and one layer cake. I got mine from Green Fairy Quilts, a terrific online quilt shop that has lots of precuts, just like these, to choose from. I chose the Somerset Collection by Moda.
The pattern is a free pattern by Craftsy, called Large Granny Squares. I recommend you download the PDF and print it so you can have it next to you while you are sewing.
P.S. Green Fairy Quilts sent me the precuts so that I could use them and show you how wonderful they look in a quilt. They have tons of other fabric lines that are gorgeous! If you haven’t ordered from them before, you really should go take a look.
One of the things that can make or break good machine quilting is the regulation of stitches. If your tension is not right, you could have large nests of thread that are tangled on the back of your quilt. When I am machine quilting and the stitches are not as smooth as I would like, I don’t go straight to the tension to correct the problem. Instead I start with adding a Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washer to my machine.
These small Teflon washers sit inside your bobbin case and help your bobbin thread glide smoothly and evenly while you quilt. This helps eliminate backlash and bird’s nests on the back of your quilt. The Magic Bobbin Washers are very easy to use. Just drop a washer into your bobbin case and replace the bobbin and insert it into your machine just like normal. They say one washer can easily last over a year. My first one is going strong and I’ve been using it for months. Each pack comes with twelve washers–making them perfect to share with friends.
As I get older, I have trouble seeing things that are close up. Not an unusual condition, I know. What that means is that everywhere I go, I want more lighting. If the lighting is dim, I will have trouble seeing small things close. If the lighting is nice and bright, I have a better chance of seeing all the details clearly.
My partner, Steve, knows this about me. I go through the house turning on every light I can. I feel so much better once I can see well. The same thing is true for my sewing. I don’t want to strain to see when I’m sewing at my machine. The Mighty Bright LED Portable Light allows me to stop straining to see. I can see everything so much better when I use it! And I love the fact I can take it off when I’m traveling so my sewing machine still fits in its case.
I am always looking for ways to get more organized in my sewing room. I would rather quilt than clean my sewing room, so having good organization of my stuff helps me save time. Thread has been a problem for me. I have some thread on an organizer on the wall, some in a basket in my cabinet, other spools are in bags with the projects I intend to use them for. If I needed a certain color of blue, I would have to check three or four different places to see if I had what I needed. It was time to take my organization to the next level with a new way of organizing threads. And I’ve finally found the solution, the ArtBin Super Satchel Box with removable thread trays!
There are several reasons why I love this thread organizer. The lift-out trays are wonderful. I can now pull out a tray and see several of my threads all at once. When you lift the trays out, you can actually use the box for a project in a pinch. And when the trays are in the box, and the lid is closed, the threads stay in place, even if I drop the box! You might like to pick one of these up for your sewing room too!
When I finish a quilt top and it’s time to decide on a pattern for quilting, I get really excited! There are so many possibilities. My quilt top is pretty, but I know once I quilt it, the pattern and colors really pop. A good quilt top can turn into a great quilt once the quilting is added.
But before I mark my quilt, I want to try out the pattern to see if it fits the quilt. I’ve just discovered Quilters Preview Paper, which allows me to draw the pattern and try it out on the quilt before I ever sew a single stitch. I am loving this paper and know I will be using it again!
After I’ve been working on a couple projects for a while, my sewing room begins to get unruly. Tools I’ve used are still out and not in their proper place. They key to easily cleaning up my sewing room is that I have places close to my machine for all of those small notions and tools to go. In fact, by keeping my organizers near my machine, I can put tools away immediately after I use them. This has made a big difference in the organization of my sewing area!
I wanted to share with you these tools that are helping me stay more organized. When my sewing room is organized, I can think better and can be more creative. You might like to give these a try: