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A Few of My Favorite Things

February 26, 2015

A few of my favorite things...

There’s been fairly regular conversation over on the Project of Doom Facebook group about favorite tools for different aspects of quilting and paper piecing.

I thought I’d take that idea and share a list of some of my personal favorites.

Disclaimer: These are my favorites.  I personally use and recommend every single one of things. This is not a paid ad, though there are some affiliate links.  If you have a tool that you like better, or one I didn’t include, I’d love to hear about it!

I love my rotary mat, rulers, etc., which are all fairly basic quilting supplies, so I’m not including those here. I have a variety of different ruler brands and I enjoy them all. These are my special favorites, the things that I wouldn’t want to live without in the sewing room!

  • Add-A-Quarter 6″ Ruler &  12″ Ruler  (the 12″ is by far my most used ruler) – for trimming seams to 1/4″ as you go. These are ideal for paper piecing and make quick work of trimming as you go! More about paper piecing here.
  • Add-An-Eighth Ruler – also great for paper piecing, especially when there are lots of overlapping seams that need to be graded to avoid bulk.
  • Olfa 45mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter – great for constant cutting and for anyone that forgets to close the blade on their standard rotary cutter. My first rotary cutter was not ergonomic, which I found harder to deal with as I began using it more and more (and let’s be honest, as I got older!). The Olfa is easy to use and has a squeeze grip that closes the blade when not in use.
  • Mary Ellen’s Best Press – Excellent starch alternative to get out stubborn wrinkles and to give fabric body without flakes or stickiness. Use sparingly when paper piecing if the paper is still attached to your block or you will end up with a soggy mess. I love the lavender, it smells just lovely!
  • Superior Top Stitch Needles – THE BEST. I can’t give these enough praise. Smooth stitching, especially when free-motion quilting and easy to thread. Best yet, they last longer for me, especially with paper piecing, which tends to dull needles faster.
  • Havel’s Ultra Pro Seam Ripper – ideal for serged seams, but it also cuts like butter through seams that need to be “unsewn,” including the small stitches that are best for paper piecing. Do be very careful with this, though. It’s a super sharp blade that will pierce your fabric (or you!) if you’re not careful! Refillable blade, which is a bonus!
  • Fiskar 5″ Softgrip Scissors – I keep these handy little guys hanging on a 3M Command Wire Hook right on the side of my sewing machine. I always know where they are and they are useful for everything from trimming threads to snipping corners.
  • Black & Decker Classic Iron – my favorite iron of all that I’ve used, including the different places I’ve worked, taught and other places besides home where I’ve had the opportunity to try different irons. The Black & Decker has a nice heft to it, which I find I really prefer to lightweight irons when pressing. I use it without steam to press when piecing. It has a safety feature that will turn the iron off when it hasn’t been picked up after about 10 minutes, but turns on and heats up quickly once it’s moved again. That’s a great safety feature if you, like me, tend to get distracted and forget that the iron is on! I also like the Hamilton Beach Retro Iron. It’s nice and simple and gets the job done.
  • Variera Iron Holder from IKEA – keeps the iron off the ironing board and safe from jumping and grabbing critters like cats and kids. I have had my iron holder for years and I couldn’t live without it. My iron stays safely mounted and out of the way when not being used and is a safe place to keep the iron even when it’s on.
  • Recycled Printer Paper – The number one supply question I’m asked is what kind of paper I use for paper piecing. There are a number of products out there specifically for paper piecing, and if those work for you, that’s absolutely brilliant. My personal favorite is recycled printer paper. It comes in reams, is reasonably priced, it runs easily and smoothly through my printer, it’s easier to remove than regular printer paper, but it has enough body that it stays in tact while you sew (and occasionally rip!) seams. After paper piecing, I recycle it again, making the circle complete!

Is your favorite tool not listed? I’d love to hear about it!

My Kitchen Window

In honor of my mother-in-law’s memory, I will be giving away one free copy of My Kitchen Window to a Sewhooked Flickr Member that shares photos of projects made from my patterns during February 2015. This wall hanging pattern was inspired by a stained glass piece made by Carol and gifted to my family many years ago.

My patterns can be found on Craftsysewhooked.comfandominstitches.com,  & various Quiltmaker Magazines. Photos must be shared with the Sewhooked flickr group to be entered to win the monthly giveaway.

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The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

TTMT # 298 – Catching Up

February 24, 2015

In this video:

My Kitchen Window

In honor of my mother-in-law’s memory, I will be giving away one free copy of My Kitchen Window to a Sewhooked Flickr Member that shares photos of projects made from my patterns during February 2015. This wall hanging pattern was inspired by a stained glass piece made by Carol and gifted to my family many years ago.

My patterns can be found on Craftsysewhooked.comfandominstitches.com,  & various Quiltmaker Magazines. Photos must be shared with the Sewhooked flickr group to be entered to win the monthly giveaway.

Photobucket

Craftsy | Etsy

Facebook | Sewhooked FB | Sewhooked Facebook Group

Instagram | Flickr | Twitter | PinterestBloglovin

The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

TTMT #297 – The Swing of Things

February 17, 2015

In this video:

My Kitchen Window

In honor of my mother-in-law’s memory, I will be giving away one free copy of My Kitchen Window to a Sewhooked Flickr Member that shares photos of projects made from my patterns during February 2015. This wall hanging pattern was inspired by a stained glass piece made by Carol and gifted to my family many years ago.

My patterns can be found on Craftsysewhooked.comfandominstitches.com,  & various Quiltmaker Magazines. Photos must be shared with the Sewhooked flickr group to be entered to win the monthly giveaway.

Photobucket

Craftsy | Etsy

Facebook | Sewhooked FB | Sewhooked Facebook Group

Instagram | Flickr | Twitter | PinterestBloglovin

The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

No TTMT Today…Remembering with Stained Glass

February 10, 2015

Stained Glass by Carol

Hey all, I want to leave a quick note for my friends and readers and let you know that there will be no Talk To Me Tuesday today.

We’ve had another death in the family and I just can’t face recording a video right now. You may remember, that we lost my grandmother almost three weeks ago.

My wonderful, amazing, kick ass mother-in-law, Carol, passed away yesterday and aside from telling you this, I’m pretty much speechless.

Instead of sharing stories or thoughts or a lot of words, I want to share some of her stained glass. It was one of the many things that she mastered and she was amazing at it. This is just a tiny sampling from my own photos. I hope you enjoy them.

stained glass by my mil, Carol

Stained Glass by Carol, design by Archie

Stained Glass by Carol

Stained Glass by Carol

Stained Glass by Carol

Stained Glass by Carol

Stained Glass by Carol

Stained Glass by Carol

Stained Glass by Carol

My Kitchen Window

This final photo is a quilt that I made based on the piece shown at the very top of this post, which hangs in my kitchen window.Before I started sharing my patterns online, I made a version of this for Carol. With her permission, I then shared the pattern with the world. It makes me happy to think there are more versions of this floating around out there.

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The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

TTMT #296 – That’s Doomable… and a Flickr Winner!

February 3, 2015

  • Smart Sassy Stitches (aka Satin Stitches of Danville PA) for the awesome embroidered shirt I’m wearing!

Cross My Hearts  Cupid's Arrow, paper pieced block

I’m thrilled to share this month’s Sewhooked flickr photos and to announce the winner of the January prize! The January winner receives copies of Cross My Hearts and Cupid’s Arrow!

The January Sewhooked Flickr Winner is Rachel Hanson!

Rachel, check your flickr messages to find out how to collect your prize. :)

Be sure to share photos of projects made from my patterns with the Sewhooked flickr group for a chance to win the monthly Sewhooked prize.

My patterns can be found on Craftsysewhooked.comfandominstitches.com,  & various Quiltmaker Magazines. Photos must be shared with the Sewhooked flickr group to be entered to win the monthly giveaway.

Phoenix Week 4 Week 3 Week 2 Week 1
by Rachel Hanson

Harry Potter Project of Doom Block 1 POD block 2

Project of Doom block 4 Project of Doom block 3 with Deathly Hallows
by Terry

pawn king rook bishop
by Kim DJ

For a secret project For a secret project

PPV-BOM - October block PPV-BOM September block

PPV-BOM - December blocks

POD-2015-2    POD-2015-1
by TweLoQ

Block 2 Block 1 2015
by joanmansfield

Block 2 Block 1
by Tereza Kulovaná

Miss P's PoD Block 1
by Julia Murtha

All winners chosen using Random.org.

Paper Piecing Vintage with bonus pieced borders

Get the ENTIRE Paper Piecing Vintage block of the month in one file for just $12 on Craftsy!

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 Craftsy | Etsy

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The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

Dooming Along, 2015 Style

February 2, 2015

The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

We’re over a month into The Harry Potter Quilt Along featuring my very own Project of Doom patterns over on Fandom in Stitches, and I have to say, it’s been a Harry Potter EXPLOSION over there!

I’ve been busy updating all of my original patterns to include new options, a pattern scale and other useful information not included in the 2011 versions. My fabulous friend and pattern tester, The Great Princess Amber, has tested each and every pattern for me, too. (She’s just awesome like that!).

For those of you that want to play along, you can start fresh with the newly updated 2015 versions, or pull out your unfinished Project of Doom and get it done! There is a newly updated pattern every week on Fandom In Stitches and the 2011 versions of the patterns will continue to be available.

You can find all of my (entirely free!) Harry Potter patterns archived right here on Sewhooked.

In addition to all this, I’ll be making not one, but two, Project of Doom quilts this year! My 2011 quilt turned into an accidental show piece and I love to show it off, but I don’t use it.

These are my first four blocks, to be included in the quilt I’m making for myself. These are made entirely out of Northcott fabrics. The background is Artisan Shimmer and all of my books, objects, etc. are made out of Stonehenge. Yum!

Click on any of the images below to open the pattern in a new tab.

Project of Doom 2015 Block 1

Week One included an updated version of the original pattern, as well as this slightly more complex base for the Crystal Ball.

2015 Block 1 - update

Updated simple version of block one.Project of Doom 2015 Block 2

Week 2 was very minimally changed. It’s what I think of as a “filler” block, intended to add books to the shelf and not overwhelm the design with too many objects.

PoD 2015 - Block 3 Variation

Week 3 includes two new options, a Dark Mark bookcover (see below) and the Deathly Hallows symbol substituted for the original potion bottle. I couldn’t resist making the new version for my new PoD!

2015 Block 32015 Block 3 Dark Arts Alt

Week 3, original (updated!) version on the Left, Dark Mark book cover version on the right.

PoD 2015 - Block 4Week 4 has changed very little, but includes two new variations (see below). The primary change in this block are the way the glasses are incorporated in the block. They are now a 5″ (finished) square so that another 5″ design can be substituted if desired. I still love the original head-one version of Harry’s Glasses, so made it for my own quilt.

2015 Block 4 with glasses from a different perspective 2015 Block 4 with Hand of Glory

Week 4 Variations, Harry’s Glasses, side perspective on the Left, The Hand of Glory on the Right.

The Project of Doom at the AAQG's QuiltFest 2012

New to Sewhooked? The Project of Doom is a quilt I designed and shared as a mystery quilt in 2011. Here it is at the Austin Area Quilt Guild’s Show in 2012!

In 2010, I spent hundreds of hours in my then-newly acquired EQ7 lovingly designing and arranging the blocks before ever releasing a single pattern so that the quilt would have flow, negative space and have lots of books without having too many.

The original quilt along ran from January – August, 2011 on Harry Potter Paper Piecing.

Read the story of the Original Project of Doom here.

See (and hear!) me talk about The Project of Doom!

HP Closet MuralMy inspiration was a mural I painted for my daughter. I drew the original design in chalk and then painted entirely free-hand (you can tell I didn’t even use a ruler on the shelves…oops!). This mural has been part of  my daughter’s bedroom since 2003! While I didn’t copy it exactly for The Project of Doom, I did use it for my inspiration and you can see elements in the quilt that are identical to the original!

I hope you’ll stop by Fandom In Stitches and join us for the Harry Potter Quilt Along featuring The Project of Doom. Week 5’s updated pattern posts this coming Wednesday…and we’ll have the entire first row complete!

Cross My Hearts  Cupid's Arrow, paper pieced block

Be sure to share photos of projects made from my patterns with the Sewhooked flickr group for a chance to win the monthly Sewhooked prize. The January winner will receive free copies of two of my block patterns, Cross My Hearts and Cupid’s Arrow! WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW!

My patterns can be found on Craftsysewhooked.comfandominstitches.com,  & various Quiltmaker Magazines. Photos must be shared with the Sewhooked flickr group to be entered to win the monthly giveaway.

Happy stitching!

Photobucket

 Craftsy | Etsy

Facebook | Sewhooked FB | Sewhooked Facebook Group

Instagram | Flickr | Twitter | PinterestBloglovin

The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

TTMT #295 – The Old & The New

January 27, 2015

Cross My Hearts  Cupid's Arrow, paper pieced block

Be sure to share photos of projects made from my patterns with the Sewhooked flickr group for a chance to win the monthly Sewhooked prize. The January winner will receive free copies of two of my block patterns, Cross My Hearts and Cupid’s Arrow!

My patterns can be found on Craftsysewhooked.comfandominstitches.com,  & Quiltmaker. Photos must be shared with the Sewhooked flickr group to be entered to win the monthly giveaway.

Happy stitching!

Photobucket

 Craftsy | Etsy

Facebook | Sewhooked FB | Sewhooked Facebook Group

Instagram | Flickr | Twitter | PinterestBloglovin

The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

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