Monday, January 30, 2017

10 Sewing Notions You Need to Know About: 6-in-1 Stick 'n Stitch Guide

For the past few weeks I've been giving you a tour of time-saving, useful notions you may not have heard about previously. There's been an Iron Shine Cleaning PenHot RulerPatchwork PinsWedge Iron, Self-Threading Needles, Wonder Clips, and the Natural Fit Leather Thimble. What could I have possibly missed?

In quilting, an accurate 1/4" seam allowance has a huge impact on the final outcome. Having a seam allowance that's not quite 1/4" adds up to inches lost over the course of the many, many seams within a pieced top.
It's also important to make sure sewn units measure as expected. For example, two 2 1/2" unfinished squares sewn together with a 1/4" seam should measure 4 1/2". If your unit is still shy, fabric bulk and thread thickness taken up in the fold could be responsible, and you may need to use a scant (slightly less than) 1/4" seam allowance.
While I have a pretty good handle on my 1/4" seam at this point, my consistency becomes questionable with other measurements, and bulky or curved seams.
The time had come for me to turn my purchased raw materials into a tote for my first grade son's super hero-loving teacher. This occasion was a perfect opportunity to put my Clover 6-in-1 Stick n' Stitch Guide to use.

If you're like me, you wonder just what the six things (of the 6-in-1 title) happen to be. 
Here goes: 
1. Straight Stitching
2. Quilt Strips
3. Outer Curves
4. Inner Curves
5. Left Side Topstitching
6. Right Side Topstitching
First, put your needle through the hole in the positioning template for whichever size seam allowance you desire. Clean off your machine bed. Peel the protective plastic cover off the sticky base of the gauge (but save it for later). Stick the guide in position, as illustrated in the instructions, before lifting the needle and removing the template.
I used the the free Market Tote Trio Pattern to create the bag. 
After giving this pattern a whirl, I have a few recommendations: 
1. Use the Clover Hot Ruler instead of the Hot Hemmer. It probably wasn't mentioned in the tutorial because it was recently released, but it's an even better fit for this purpose.
2. Where the pattern says, "Pin a length of piping to the top curved edge of each pocket piece," only add piping to 2 of the 4.
Not satisfied to stop while some remnants of super hero fabric remained, I decided to make a Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch. I liked how the 2-piece guide allowed for a variety of placements.
My 1/8" straight stitch to seal up the hole for turning was so much neater using the guide.
The guide is designed to be reused and repositioned. If the base loses its stickiness, you can clean it off with soapy water, and it'll be as good as new. To see more about use of the guide, check out Clover's YouTube video tutorial.
As a former elementary school teacher, I'm a proponent of recognizing all the hard work teachers do. I hope I have a very happy recipient.
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  1. How many times have we wondered if our 1/4" seams are accurate! I've never see this 6-in-1 guide before. It's pretting interesting! Does is stick and stay? I would be worried it would pop off! Thanks again for sharing another new to me notion!

  2. I have been struggling to find the sweet spot on my new Juki for a 1/4" seam, so I am definitely interested in this tool! I'm off to go learn more about it. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I think I need this in my life...