Miscellaneous

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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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.

 
Kim and pressing surface.jpg
 

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! 

 
Pressing Surface back.jpg
 

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,

Kim's signature small aqua.jpg
 

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. 

Spring has Sprung with Janome

Did you see my recent project in the Janome Life blog? I created a quick spring project using the Janome Artistic Edge digital cutter as well as the Janome Memory Craft 500E embroidery machine. 

 
 I kept the project really simple by popping it into an embroidery hoop.

I kept the project really simple by popping it into an embroidery hoop.

 

I wanted to keep this project simple and knew that the Artistic Edge would make cutting out the intricate appliqué shapes so easy and accurate - and I was right! While I could've spent lots of time drafting up a design on my own, I opted to use a design that was already available in the Simple Cut software that was bundled with the Artistic Edge. 

 
 Accurate cuts with the Janome Artistic Edge digital cutter

Accurate cuts with the Janome Artistic Edge digital cutter

 

Once I had refined my design I chose some decorative stitches to use with the Memory Craft 500E to finish off the appliqué edges. It is so much fun to choose from the hundreds of stitches available in the Simple Cut software. You can lengthen or widen these stitches to create your own version of them. I had to be careful not to play around too much with the stitches or I might never have completed the project!

 
 Just a few of the decorative stitches available with the Simple Cut software

Just a few of the decorative stitches available with the Simple Cut software

 

I wrote two articles for the Janome Life blog (one in February and the follow up in March). Click on the photos to read them.

 
 Ready to cut out appliqué shapes on the Janome Artistic Edge digital cutter

Ready to cut out appliqué shapes on the Janome Artistic Edge digital cutter

 
 
 Final project looks great on my fireplace mantle

Final project looks great on my fireplace mantle

 

If you have any questions about this project or how to create one that is similar, post them in the Comments below and I'll be happy to help you out.

Creatively,

 

P.S. Please join the private Chatterbox Quilts Facebook group where we carry on lively discussions on vintage sewing machines and quilting related topics. I'll see you there!

Telecast Thursday - Breaktime!

It's Telecast Thursday and the start of my summer vacation! Yay! It's been a busy June and July for me so I'm looking forward to some downtime with my family in Ontario. Besides hitting up a few quilt shops - I think I know where a few of them are - we'll be getting together with friends and family to celebrate my parents' 60th anniversary. Quite a milestone! Thank goodness my brother and I moved out or they might not have made it this far :) Just kididng, bro! 

I'll be back in a few weeks, but while I'm away, I've reached into the archives and am posting a few oldies, but goodies, that you may have missed. 

Let's start with a not so oldie: if you haven't already heard about it, I'm co-hosting the One World Quilt Along with Keith (Uncle Gravy) from QuiltFusion. The fun starts on September 15, but you can sign up now so you're all ready to go in September. To find out more about it, you can watch the video below.

And, if you're into the Pokémon Go craze, you might enjoy this humourous take on it.

Let's take a look back at some machine videos. I use a Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP and while it comes with lots of extra presser feet, I've also added a few more specialized feet/attachments to it. In one of my videos, I took a look at Janome's ruler foot which allows you to use rulers on your domestic sewing machine. It's really quite easy to do and opens up a lot of possibilities for free motion quilting.

Another attachment that I've been having lots of fun with is the Janome Circular Sewing Attachment. I have several videos on this little baby, but will include one of them here to give you a taste of what it can do when you combine its abilities with the decorative stitches on the Janome 8900. I think I'll be using this to add some extra embellishment to my One World quilt.

Now I want to share more than one video with you - I'm going to share a whole YouTube playlist. If you're wondering what a playlist is, it is a collection of videos with a common theme. The one I want to share with you is "Got 15 Minutes?".  We always think that we need hours to accomplish anything on our projects, but the truth is that you can accomplish a lot in just 15 minutes. Take a look at the ideas in these videos and give them a try. I'd love to hear your ideas on what you can accomplish in your 15 quilting minutes.

That's probably enough to keep you busy for a couple of weeks. I'll be back with a new blogpost and video on August 18. See you then!

Creatively,