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A Boost from a Friend!

Wanda of ExuberantColor.com

For I Have A Notion™! from Wanda of ExuberantColor.com. Wanda is a friend both online and in real life, and she is also a quilter. No surprise there I’m sure.

Meet Wanda

You may already know Wanda through her blog ExuberantColor.com, or her Colorwash 360 class and quilts. For the record Wanda blogs daily. Mostly about quilting, but she includes some birds, critters, food, plants, friends, and family are thrown into the mix too. However, most days it is about quilting. What she is working on, how she does it, sometimes her inspiration, and always fabric and color! I drop by nearly every day to see what she is working on.

Wanda of ExuberantColor.com at the opening of her one-woman show at the  Ciel Gallery in Charlotte NC
Wanda Hanson at the opening of her one-woman show at the  Ciel Gallery in Charlotte NC
Wanda of ExuberantColor.com teaching her Colorwash360 class
Wanda teaching her Colorwash360 class.

Recently, one of us posted a comment to the other, (I can’t remember which one), about the Richard Hemmings #10 Milliners needles and how it is our favorite needle for hand stitching down quilt bindings. I also know some hand stitchers that prefer this needle for ‘needle turn applique’ as well. Anyway, we also continued with a discussion about some other things we like for particular sewing tasks that are more difficult to find.

Richard Hemmings #10 Milliners Needles

Wanda mentioned in our conversation, that a couple of items she prefers are difficult to find, and is often asked by her readers where they can be found. Aside from the Milliners Needles, we talked about John James Long Darning Needles and Mettler White thread for basting.

What Makes Them Must Haves?

Wanda likes the John James Long Darning Needles for hand basting her quilts for quilting on the domestic machine. The long darning needles allow for making large stitches with less hand fatigue than with smaller shorter needles. Wand also uses a different stitch for her basting, which helps keep the sandwich from moving while quilting.

Wanda also likes the Mettler White Thread for basting because it breaks easily when pulled. A big benefit, if it was caught in the quilting stitches. Wanda has written several posts on hand basting a quilt; this post, and this post, and several more are listed under ‘Basting’ in the Labels on the right side of the page.

So THANK YOU, Wanda, for the boost and for all the quilters that have visited I Have A Notion from the link on Wanda’s post! If you have not visited Wanda before you are in for a treat at www.ExuberantColor.com

Beth

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A New Favorite Ruler

Rulers are a particular thing!

We all have a favorite ruler for each type of cut. Long and thin, small and square, colored lines, solid lines, dotted or dashed. Some for long cuts, the width of fabric or strips and some for cutting squares and/or triangles or for squaring up a block.

The Long Cut rulers in my collection

selection of long cut rulers

I havea favorite ruler for long straigh cuts and most of them are 6″ wide, by either 12″ or 24″. My favorite has been from Olfa. Best features, frosted with thin lines, (solid, dashed and hashed) and angles (15°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°) for measuring and cutting. Worst it slips when using across the width of fabric if you are not careful. The others are still around, because I have found non-cutting jobs for them.

Square rulers in my collection

selection of square rulers

Like most quilters, I have a favorite ruler in my collection of square rulers too. The collection of square rulers is considerably larger than the long ruler collection. I have sizes from 12 1/2″ down to 3 1/2″ and one of them I have 3 of the exact same ruler! I use most of them for cutting squares or squaring up. None of them give an angle other than a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner (45°) and all of them have a tendency to slip, again if not careful. If I had 3 in the same size, would that be the favorite? Nope, the favorite is the 8 1/2″ square. A good size for most smaller sizes and great for squaring up 4″-8″ blocks.

The *NEW* Favorite Ruler is

from Quilters Select. I borrowed a friends to try out and couldn’t wait to have my own. Why why why?

Quilters Select Long Cut Rulers
Quilters Select Long Cut Ruler
  • they don’t slip or move when cutting
  • frosted so the fabric print doesn’t get in the way of finding a line or a fabric edge
  • have very thin incremental lines (1/8, 1/4, 1/2 & 3/4), for more precision in sub cuts
  • can use any side for measuring or cutting, incremental inch lines have stacked numbers, can be read from right to left or left to right
  • the Long Cut rulers have 3 different angle degrees, 30°, 45° and 60° on the ruler and in 2 places on the Square rulers

Quilters Select Square Rulers

Of course the non-slip is the best feature and almost makes the rotating cutting mat obsolete! See how in this ‘the trick” video, at about the 50-second mark. Although all the information leading up to “the trick” is pretty good too and you don’t just have to take my word for it.

Interested? You can find a selection of the Long rulers in sizes 6×24 inch, 6×12 inch, 3×12inch, and 3x18 inch. The Square rulers in sizes 18×18 inch, 12.5×12.5 inch, 8.5×8.5 inch, and the 5×5 inch.

Do you have a favorite go-to ruler for cutting? Which one and why?

More later!!! Beth

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A Little Sticky, Some Blue and a TIP

the "chickens" on the longarm

Its been a little sticky and blue In the Creative Space. A picture of the ‘chickens’ loaded on the longarm was in the last post. So far that hasn’t changed, still no thread.

The Sticky

So what about the sticky and blue? I use a lot of fusible products and I try as many as I can find and afford. The favorite is paper backed, because I can draw my design and then transfer to fabric, with very little waste of either. I love Misty Fuse because it stays soft and retains a beautiful drape. Since Misty Fuse is just a web, getting the exact result is more difficult, because you need another way to transfer the marked lines/design to Misty Fuse, which can add another step to the process.

photo showing good stick with Barely There Fusible
Good Stick!

Last year I tried Barely There (the review) and in the store here. The few small things I tried it on worked out for the most part. Except for the occasion, where I forgot to use the correct heat setting on the iron. Oops! I used both Barely There and Misty Fuse on the ‘chicken’ quilt. Barely There for the construction of the chickens and egg flowers. While stitching down the chickens, I discovered some loose pieces. Not completely coming off, but enough that things could have shifted. So a bit more testing was in order.

I was afraid that I may have made an error when I decided that I liked Barely There! What could possibly make a fusible not stick well? The only thing, if all else was done correctly; the proper iron temperature and setting (made that mistake with the gecko) and/or the correct amount of pressing time would be the fabric. What could be wrong with the fabric? With fabric, the manufacturers finish or starch will keep a fusible from adhering well. So I prewashed the fabrics for this piece. Then I printed the pattern on to the Barely There, fused them to fabrics and proceeded. Verdict? Much better stick!

Stick was very important in this case because this piece is raw edge applique using regular quilting cotton, not batiks which have a finer thread and tighter weave. Regular ‘quilting’ cotton tend to have a thick thread and looser weave, making them susceptible to fraying. By prewashing the fabric good stick was achieved and with less fraying on all fabrics!

The Blue

the piece with the blue lines drawn

So what about the blue part of the sticky and blue? For the quilting, I drew a grid with a blue washout marker. Getting rid of the grid after quilting these days is the real problem, especially if you don’t always prewash your fabrics, (ask me how I know about this too). I have been sewing and quilting long enough that I remember the marks coming out fairly well with just a spritz if only one layer, and maybe a good wetting if more than one layer, (top, batting, backing). But here lately, you might actually have to submerge a project to get the blue out.

a corner with blue lines and lines erased with water

I have used just about every product made to remove the blue, and none of them seemed to work any better than water if they did anything at all. But while surfing, reading blogs and posts on the Internet, Facebook or Instagram, one day- I ran across a tip. Wish I could remember from where and give the kudos and credit and link directly to their page, but I can’t. (edit- I found it!) For the story from the tipper go to www.piecenquilt.blogspot.com I even tried a search and a look back through daily history. But no such luck. If you know who…please tell me, I’ll add it!

The Tip

Quilting done, blue lines gone

Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup cold water. Mix well and place in a spray bottle. And then proceed as normal. All the blue came out, no resprays or touch-ups. I left a corner and as you can see, it was a rather thickish line. I used the Mark-B-Gone from Dritz, it makes a thick line but marks fast and for a simple grid, it works great! Going to keep a spray bottle with soda water in it. I suppose a flat bottle , (as in no bubbles), of soda water would work too, now that I think about it!

Have you had difficulty getting the blue out? Do you have another method that works well? Please share in the comments if you do!!!

More later-Beth