Reviews

Book Review: Pure & Simple

Pure & Simple by Maggie Bonanomi is full of 17 primitive projects inspired by the seasons. These include small decorative projects, including wall hangings, table runners, pin cushions, and similar items. All of the projects are wool appliqué and are simple designs that should intentionally look imperfect for that perfect primitive look.

 
 Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

The projects in Pure & Simple are good for beginners as the shapes are simple and not intricate, making for a quicker and more successful project.

The designs revolve around nature with flowers, branches, and vegetables in most of them.

 
 Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

The examples in the book are done in muted colours: beiges, browns, and soft earthen tones. You could certainly make these in more vibrant colours, if that was your preference. The limited number of fabrics means you don’t have to have a lot of different colours of wool to do these projects. This is helpful for beginning wool appliquérs as they don’t have to invest in large amounts of wool to do these projects.

 
 Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

There isn’t much information in the way of directions for working with wool for appliqué, so if you have never worked with wool before, you might want to research techniques for doing this to ensure you are successful when making the projects in Pure & Simple. Wool appliqué is easy and you don’t have to worry about the wool edges fraying, but if you are a complete beginner, you might want to have more directions than are included in this book.

Click on the image below for a more in-depth look at Pure & Simple.

 
 

If you'd like to add Pure & Simple to your quilt library, click here.

Creatively,

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P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.

Book Review: Visible Mending

I found just the book I need! I recently bought a black semi-sheer top and didn't notice that it had two small holes near the hemline in the front. It wasn't until I got it home that I noticed them and was so disappointed. I wasn't sure what to do: whether I should darn the holes or try another solution, so the top has just been hanging in my closet. Enter the book I'm reviewing today: Visible Mending by Jenny Wilding Cardon.

 
 

While no one ever relishes mending, you might actually be looking for garments on which to do this once you take a look at this book! In Visible Mending, Jenny shows you five different ways to fix your favourite garments that may have just a bit too much wear on them. Two of these techniques involve hand work while the remaining ones can be done on the sewing machine.

Boro stitching and hand embroidery are both easy techniques and Jenny shows you various easy stitches on how to use these to fix holes in a top, sweater or other pieces of clothing.

 
 

If you want to use your sewing machine to mend those holes, there are sections on patching, darning, and mending by machine. Whatever technique you choose, the stitching is meant to be seen. This makes it easier, in my opinion, to do these repairs as you don't have to try to hide the fix.

 
 

For a closer look at Visible Mending, click on the photo below to watch a video on my YouTube channel.

If you are looking for creative ways to fix holes in your favourite clothing, get your own copy of Visible Mending by Jenny Wilding Cardon.

Creatively,

Print
 

P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? 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!

P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.

Product Review: Huion L4S Light Pad

After years of tracing appliqué designs onto fusible web without the aid of a light table, I finally gave in and purchased a light pad to make it easier to do this. While I’ve been using a window, when required, this doesn’t work very well at night, so I thought that having a light pad would be a big help.

I hadn’t looked at light tables or pads for several years and was pleasantly surprised to find that there have been big improvements in this area. Previously light tables were thick and bulky and were rather pricey. In searching for a light pad, I discovered that there are now a variety of choices in different price points making it easy for you to find exactly the size you want at a price with which you can be comfortable.

 
 Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

 

I chose the Huion L4S light pad due to the price point and the size. While I do have to plug it into the USB port on my laptop to use it (I could’ve bought a battery option, which was quite a bit more expensive), I don’t find that this is an inconvenience.

 
 Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

 

Once I’ve plugged it into my laptop, I press the button to turn it on and hold my finger there until it reaches the desired brightness. The nice feature of this light pad is that the light on it is dimmable. By simply keeping my finger on the on/off button, the light on it will dim. A nice feature to have! The Huion L4S light pad is also surprisingly lightweight and thin. This makes it easy to transport and store as well.

 
 Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

 

I found that the light on the Huion L4S was bright enough, not only for me to trace through fusible web, but also to trace on freezer paper. I hadn’t expected that and was pleasantly surprised by this ability.

I’m happy with this purchase and look forward to putting it to use on my next fusible web appliqué project. If you are considering purchasing a light table, I can definitely recommend the Huion L4S light pad.

To see more features of the Huion L4S light pad, click on the image below to watch a video on my YouTube channel.

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!

P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if your purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.

Book Review: Scrappy & Happy Quilts

Looking for a book to help you clear out some of your fabric scraps? Scrappy & Happy Quilts by Kate Henderson will help you do this!

 
 Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

In Scrappy & Happy Quilts, Kate is creating modern, graphic designs using two or three colours with an additional background fabric, typically a light shade such as white or cream. While you might think that this would preclude using your fabric scraps, this isn't so: you will just be pulling from a specific colour of your scrap bins, not all of them. 

These designs are mostly pieced although there are a few paper pieced projects too. Lots of half-square triangles, which I love!

 
 Image courtesy of Martingale

Image courtesy of Martingale

 

The designs in this book have lots of opportunities to work with a controlled palette, even if you are using fabric scraps. The quilts are also perfect for practising your free motion or walking foot quilting skills.

To see more of Scrappy & Happy Quilts, please click on the image below to watch it on my YouTube channel.

If you'd like to get your own copy of Scrappy & Happy Quilts, just click here.

Creatively,

Print
 

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!

P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.

Product Review: Pilot Frixion Pen

Looking for the perfect pen to use on tracing appliqué or embroidery designs on fabric? Well, the truth is that there isn’t one perfect pen: there are air erasable, water erasable, chalk, etc. and each of them have their pros and cons. My favourite temporary marking pen to use is the Pilot Frixion pen. It creates an easy to see mark that can be erased later by the heat of an iron.

There is one possible problem: there are rumours that the marks might come back when exposed to cold. To see if this was true, I decided to put the Pilot Frixion pen to the test.

I could easily remove the marks made by the Frixion pen with my iron as the ink is removed with heat. Remember, these pens were originally designed to be used on paper and not for fabric (don’t use a Frixion pen to write a cheque!). While the marks came off easily using an iron, I wanted to see if they would come back when exposed to extreme cold.

After tracing a few designs onto cotton fabric, I put the sample in my freezer and left it overnight. I thought that this would probably be the coldest that my fabric might ever get – and hopefully it never gets this cold in my studio! The marks did come back on the fabric, but I could still easily remove them again with the heat of an iron.

There can be similar issues with other types of temporary fabric marking pens, so always be sure to do a test before you use a product on your fabric and find out that the marks come back and can’t be erased again.

To learn more about using Pilot Frixion pens on your fabric projects, click on the image below to watch a video on my YouTube channel.

If you haven’t tried out the Pilot Frixion pen, I would encourage you to do so. They are inexpensive and readily available in most office supply stores or you can click here to get some for your studio.

Creatively,

Print
 

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!

P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if your purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.