Miscellaneous

Stay Safe in Your Studio!

We don't often think of how to stay safe in our quilt studios, but we really should! In this video Kim shows you some of the possible dangers in your studio and how to stay safe.

Be sure that your iron is turned off before leaving your quilt studio.

We all use extension cords, but this can pose a tripping hazard. Keep safe by taping or rerouting the path of extension cords.

Keep your sewing machine safe by plugging it into a power bar with a surge protector.

Always keep your rotary cutter closed when not using it. 

It's a good idea to have a first aid kit or band-aids in your quilt studio for those cuts that often seem to happen.

Have your cell phone or another phone close by in case of an accident where you need to call for help.

For more information, click on the image below.

Do you have other suggestions for ways to stay safe in the quilt studio? Let me know in the comments below.

Creatively,

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Quilting Books for Autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving

It's that time of year again! Cooler temperatures and shorter days mean that fall is just around the corner.

 
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I love fall quilt projects, whether it is just for autumn or for Thanksgiving (in October for Canadians and November for Americans) or my favourite, Halloween. 

 
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I've gone through my personal quilt book library and pulled out a few favourite quilting books that have projects for either autumn, Thanksgiving, Halloween or all three! They are (in no particular order):

'Tis the Autumn Season by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks

Festive Fall Quilts by Kim Schaefer

A Harvest Melody by Nancy Halvorsen 

Easy Does it for Autumn by Nancy Halvorsen

Acorn Hollow by Nancy Halvorsen

Stitches from the Harvest by Kathy Schmitz

Critter Halloween by Brandywine Designs 

 
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Where possible, I have included links so you can take a closer look at these books - or get your own copy.

 
 

Click on the image below to get a sneak peek of each of these books.

 
 

Do you have a favourite book - or two - that have seasonal projects in them? Leave me a comment below to tell my the ones you like the best.

Creatively,

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How to Use Estate Sale Finds in Your Quilt Studio

I love going to estate sales and that's where I find vintage linens and where I've also picked up some of my vintage sewing machines. There are always a lot of cute trinkets and smaller kitchen items that can be helpful in the quilt studio.

I have a hard time saying no to anything cute, but I really need to think about what I'm going to do with these items if I do buy them. Thank goodness I've found a way to incorporate them in my quilt studio (and can thereby justify my purchases to my hubby).

I share my quilt studio with my two cats, Teeka and Victor, and this means that things have to be "cat proof" or unbreakable. This pretty much rules out lovely china dishes, but there are lots of silver-plated items at estate sales, so I'm usually able to find something that would be useful.

To see what types of items I buy at estate sales with the intention of putting them to use in my quilt studio, you can watch the video below or on my YouTube channel.

Do you repurpose vintage items that you buy to use in your quilt studio? Leave a comment below to let me know what types of items you use to help organize your quilt studio.

Creatively,

 

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P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive FREE emails full of quilting goodness? Just click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

Make Your Own Portable Pressing Surface

Every quilter needs some type of pressing surface. Some like to use their ironing boards, while others prefer a more rectangular surface. I used my ironing board for quite some time, until I decided that I needed a better type of pressing surface. So I decided to make one!

I actually have two different pressing surfaces, both of them portable: a large 24" x 48" one that is my main pressing surface and another smaller one that I take with me on retreats and that you've probably seen in my YouTube videos. Both are made the same way.

 
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To make your own pressing surface, you'll need:

  • MDF (medium-density fibreboard) for the base, cut to the size you want your pressing surface to be
  • 100% cotton batting, cut about 2" - 3" larger on all sides than the MDF
  • 100% cotton fabric to cover the top of your pressing surface, cut about 2" - 3" larger on all sides than the MDF (I love Ikea fabric for this as it is 100% cotton and quite thick)
  • Wood glue or staple gun

The process is fairly easy to do and my favourite part of this type of pressing surface is that if (when!) the top gets stained, you can take the fabric and batting off the MDF and recover it.

To make the pressing surface, just lay you batting out and centre the MDF on top of it. Fold in the sides of the batting and glue or staple them to the MDF on all four sides. Cut off some of the excess batting at the corners and mitre fold the corners in and glue them too.

 
 You probably won't get a perfectly mitered corner, but at least it will look neat

You probably won't get a perfectly mitered corner, but at least it will look neat

 

You'll repeat this process with the fabric and once you're done, that's it! Your pressing surface is already to go! 

 
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To see how I made a smaller pressing surface, just click on the image below to view a video on my YouTube channel that explains the entire process.

What do you use for a pressing surface: your ironing board or something else? Leave me a comment below to let me know.

Creatively,

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Did you know that you can sign up to receive FREE emails full of quilting goodness? Just click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

Vodka in the Quilt Studio

Vodka in the Quilt Studio

I'm sure you've heard the advice that a glass of wine can help relax you when you are free motion quilting: how about vodka? Not your usual quilt studio cocktail, but why not? Okay, while I'm using vodka in the quilt studio, it's not for drinking, it's for making an alternate version of the Multi-Purpose Quilt Spray.