Monday, January 28, 2019

2019 Quilts of Valor National Sew Day Saturday February 2

Whether you're sewing at home, or with a group of online or in-person friends, you are welcome to join the Quilts of Valor National Sew Day.

Register to win before Friday, Feb. 1 at 11:45 EST to qualify for prize drawings throughout Feb. 2 including:

  • Basket of Patriotic Fabrics
  • Batting from The Warm Company
  • Books on WWI and WWII Quilts, donated by Sue Reich, author and QOVF Board President
  • Quiltfolk magazines from Quiltfolk
Sponsors include:

Membership is not required to win. Connect with others on Facebook of on IG by tagging your posts #QOVFNationalSewDay.

Make a pattern or blocks of your choice. There are many ideas on the QOVF website, or make blocks for the QOVF Block Drive and report the number you made to

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Clover Sew-Safe Presser Foot

It's a joy that my 9 year old son has taken an interest in sewing. Now I finally stand a fighting chance at getting my scraps consumed. 😉 The speed adjusts on my machine, so I always crank it to turtle pace. However, I still get nervous that he'll put his skinny little finger under the needle. Perhaps it's because I managed to do that once. You may be thinking, "Why, that sounds pretty dumb. Who could possibly manage that?" At least, that's what I used to think when people said they did such a thing. That was...until I poked my finger under and didn't realize my foot was on the pedal. Fortunately, my pride was hurt more than my finger. Anyhow, now that I've really built up my credibility as someone with great wisdom and attentiveness (sarcastic font needed here), I'll share my thoughts on the Sew-Safe Presser Foot.

The Clover Sew-Safe Presser Foot comes in the packaging shown above. It features a center needle marking, 1/4" seam allowance, tall sides and top needle shield to deter fingers away from the needle area, and a low shank adapter. Instructions for attaching and removing the low shank adapter are inside the folded paper.

Now, if you are the kind of brilliant mind that has ever pondered complex quandaries such as, "How do I remove this needle from my finger?" you may also find a way to manage to put the low shank adapter on backwards. Never fear! In both scenarios, just remove it. Bear in mind that the front of this foot is thicker than your typical foot to give it protective properties.

Since I have a Bernina, I needed to use an adapter foot (#75 if you attach the low shank adapter, or #78), which I had from when I acquired a Westalee ruler foot

I did find it a little more challenging to see right where my needle was entering the fabric, but the center line indicates where your line of stitching will be located.

Since I had someone else in mind for this product, I'm having the young mister demonstrate. The Sew-Safe Presser Foot makes me much less stressed that an incident is imminent.

I'll end with a sample of his work, which is much more Minecraft oriented than my own. The blocks are connected with hook & loop fasteners from Dollar Tree.

Do you ever sew with littles? How do you adjust for your youngster?

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Guess The Gadget: Gadgets Revealed & Winners

I'll not keep you in suspense any longer. Today the mystery gadgets and their winners shall be revealed.

Guess the Gadget #1: Sewing Gauge
The Sewing Gauge is perfect for checking small measurements in sewing and quilting projects. It is double-sided with 14 functional measurements.
Winner: Lisa Long

Guess the Gadget #2Finger Presser
The Multi-Function Finger Presser is excellent for marking and creasing. It is ideal for appliqué, patchwork and paper craft projects. The ergonomic, anti-slip handle provides increased comfort when holding. It is suitable for folding or reversing seams.
Winner: Sharon A.

Guess the Gadget #3Sewing & Quilting Tweezer
This durable, pointed tweezer is easy to clean and has a soft-touch coating, non-slip grip, stainless steel tips, and polka-dot pattern.
Winner: Linda W.

Guess the Gadget #4Template Ruler Holder
Grip or lift your favorite template or ruler without damaging your fingernails. The suction cup can be released by slightly lifting up the small tab.
Winner: Leah K.

Guess the Gadget #5Lighted Tweezers
The 6.5" black anodized Lighted Tweezers feature bent tips, a serrated jaw, and on/off click. Batteries are included.
Winner: Jayne W.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Figo Perfect Treats Quilt Along

It may be mid-winter around here, but in my sewing studio, things are really heating up! I've been embracing my summertime side by making frozen confections from fabric. Join me for a weekly quilt block tutorial, and when we pull everything together into a top, it'll really be summer in the US. The Perfect Treats Quilt Along commences! Gather your fabrics. I'll be using Figo Fabrics' Perfect Day collection plus prints from a few other Figo collections.

Here's what you'll need to make the 72" x 79" quilt (66" x 73" before borders):

 3 yards (for background) Perfect Day Dogs Blue (A)
1/8 yard (does not include borders) (E)
1/8 yard Lucky Charms Peach Wishbone (H)
1/4 yard Tropical Jammin' Confetti in Gold (K)
1/4 yard Lucky Charms Umber Acorns (L)
1/4 yard Lucky Charms Coral Clovers (B)
1/4 yard Perfect Day Flowers Grey Multi (G)
3/8 yard Perfect Day Trees Beige Multi (O)
1/2 yard Perfect Day food Toss Ochre Multi (F)
1/8 yard Perfect Day Terazzo Grey Multi (J)
 1/4 yard Perfect Day Terazzo White/Multi (I)
1/2 yard Perfect Day Dancers Orange/Multi (D)
1/8 yard Perfect Day Food Toss Pink Multi (N)
1/2 yard Eloise's Garden Gray Gingham (C)

1/2 yard Dancers White/ Multi (M)

Border: 1 yard
Backing: 5 yards
Binding: 1/2 yard for 2 1/4" binding, 3/4 yard for 2 1/2" binding

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Friday, January 4, 2019

Guess the Gadget #5

It's Day 5 of Guess the Gadget. In case you've missed the previous gadgets to guess, click through to the previous posts for your chance to win. Here's how it all works:
Check out the photo clue below. Ponder what you think the item is and how you would use it to improve your sewing experience. Leave a comment telling me your idea, whether you're certain or not. Either way, you have a chance of winning the item. International winners (outside the US) will need to pay their own shipping. Today's sponsor is Tooltron, so checking out their website may give you a better idea of what the mystery notion happens to be. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Tool Thursday: Vivilux Rechargeable Laser System

This Thursday, I'm bringing you a neat notion that can be a huge time-saver. I've been lusting after those machines with built-in lasers, but with a price point around $20,000 this momma of four can't foresee that in my sewing budget. However, the clever folks at Vivilux, makers of the Super Bright, Super Flexible Craft Light, have an add-on gadget that lets me have the convenience of a laser added to the machine I already know and love.

Upon my request, Vivilux provided me with a Vivilux Rechargeable Laser System to review. My main objective was to avoid marking lines for binding, HSTs, and stitch and flip triangles. It's amazing how much time I spend doing this, so skipping the marking step altogether is a major efficiency booster.

In addition to the line lens, which serves as a guide for stitching in the aforementioned scenarios, the laser has 2 other interchangeable lenses. Vivilux has created YouTube videos to demonstrate how each of these makes life a whole lot easier.

I slipped the Vivilux 3-in-1 Rechargeable Laser System out of the package and took stock of my inventory, which includes a USB recharging cable and plug, plentiful alignment stickers, the laser, a strip of Velcro, instructions, and three screw-on lenses (dot, line, and cross-hair).

The 3-in-1 Rechargeable Laser attaches with a Velcro strip. It's a fairly compact unit, and can be placed wherever works best on your machine. First I tried the top of the machine, but found it interfered less with threading the machine when placed on the left-hand side. A small switch is used to turn the unit on and off, which you will want to be easily accessible. When recharging, the unit can be removed, leaving one half of the Velcro strip attached, and easily put back in place after charging. If you have a power strip nearby, you can even charge the unit without removing it from your machine.

I discovered that while the black portion of the light was very flexible, it wasn't particularly twistable. This was rectified simply enough by unscrewing the metal head slightly to fine tune my alignment.

I made sure the laser line was centered on both my needle hole and a point directly in front of that which was marked on my tray table.

While I previously had to make do with a cheap laser marker intended for the hardware industry, I've found some clear benefits to the Vivilux model.
  • The Vivilux model is charged using the provided USB cable and plug. It doesn't require you to frequently replace expensive, teeny batteries. (Since I have a one-year-old, the fewer terrifying choking hazards I have in the house, the better.) The custom-developed LiPo battery is tested for 100,000 charge cycles.
  • As indicated by the name, you get 3 lasers (dot, crosshairs, and line) in one.
  • Attaching the unit is as easy as placing Velcro stickers on the laser unit and your machine. If you change your mind on positioning, just pull off the Velcro sticker and attach it to a different spot on your machine. Hardware lasers are meant to attach with magnets, and do not have a flush surface to attach to your machine. This means making a contraption to clumsily affix it, or at least needing to purchase a Pop Socket and Mount.
  • The laser is focused for sewing machine throat height, which yields a fine 1mm line, dot, or crosshair.
  • The laser is made in FL, USA and is guaranteed from manufacturing defects.

So do you have a "laser"? If not, it's time to consider this serious time-saver. Besides, everything is better with a laser...or chocolate. Your sewing room can have both!

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