Best Wool Pressing Mat Review

Have you ever tried a wool pressing mat? I hadn’t, but decided it was time to give one a try. I received a wool pressing mat from Precision Quilting Tools to try out and I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first. How could this be any better or different from pressing on my regular pressing surface? Well, I found out that it is a lot better and I want to share this information with you.

A wool pressing mat is thick and is wool all the way through. Both sides are the same so it doesn’t matter which side you are pressing on – it’s like getting two pressing surfaces in one. The Wool Pressing Mat that I tried out was 17” x 17”, but there are various sizes available. This one is the perfect size to have next to your sewing machine or to take on retreats.

Because the Wool Pressing Mat is made of 100% New Zealand wool, it absorbs the heat from the iron and “reflects” it back to the fabric. It’s kind of hard to describe how this works, but the result is that you get a really crisp pressed finish to your fabric and seams without having to press over and over to get this type of finish.

I’ve heard complaints from quilters that a wool pressing mat smells when you use it and I was concerned that this would be the case with this pressing mat from Precision Quilting Tools, but was delighted to find out that this was not the case.

When I first started pressing my fabric on the Wool Pressing Mat, I had my iron set to “Cotton”, but found out that I really didn’t need to use this high of a setting. I turned my iron down to “Wool” and, using the Wool Pressing Mat, it worked just fine. I used both steam and Mary Ellen’s Best Press when pressing in my example. I liked that I could use a lower setting on my iron and still get excellent results – all with no damp wool smell. While I did use steam, this isn’t necessary when using the Wool Pressing Mat – I just wanted to see how it worked when trying out the mat.

One caution when using any type of wool pressing mat is the surface that you use it on. The bottom of the mat isn’t as hot as the top when you are pressing, but it can get quite warm if you are using steam with it (which you really don’t need to do), so I wouldn’t suggest that you use it atop your fine furniture. I would suggest that you just place it on top of your regular pressing surface to avoid any unpleasant and unexpected side effects.

I was very pleased with the results I got when using the Wool Pressing Mat and will now be using it in my quilt studio.

For more information on the Wool Pressing Mat by Precision Quilting Tools, click on the image below.

If you’d like your own Wool Pressing Mat, click here

OR

you can win one by leaving a comment below telling me what information you’d like to see in an upcoming blogpost. Enter your comment before June 7 at 11:59 pm MDT. I’ll be announcing the winner after that date.

*Canada and US entries only, please.

Creatively,

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P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

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P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Precision Fusing Mat Review

Raw edge appliqué, or as I call it, fusible web appliqué, is my favourite quilting technique. I’ve been creating projects using this technique for years and am always on the lookout for tools that will make this already easy appliqué method even easier, and I’ve found one: the Precision Fusing Mat from Precision Quilting Tools. This combination of fusing mat and overlay covers all the bases when it comes to creating a fusible web appliqué project. Let’s take a closer look at this amazing product.

When doing fusible web appliqué, you need to trace the appliqué pieces onto the paper side of the fusible web using a lightbox or a window. One of the challenges in doing this is that the fusible web sheet can slide around and make it difficult to get accurate tracing. Enter the Precision Fusing Mat!

One part of this product, the green-edged vinyl mat – I’ll call it “the mat” – goes over your pattern and is non-slip so your paper pattern stays firmly in place underneath it. You then place the fusible web, paper side up, on top of the mat and again, due to the non-slip nature of it, the fusible web doesn’t slide around. This makes for perfectly accurate tracing!

The other use for this is as a teflon overlay - I’ll call it “the sheet” - allows you to layer your appliqué design on top of the sheet. Place your appliqué placement pattern underneath the sheet and you’ll be able to perfectly place and fuse your appliqué pieces on top of the sheet. You can then peel off the fused appliqué shape and fuse it to the background fabric. If I’m working with a multi-piece appliqué design, I like to fuse the pieces together into one unit before placing it on the background. The Precision Fusing Mat allows me to do this easily.

I love the multi-function of the Precision Fusing Mat and know that it’s going to be one of my favourite tools in my quilt studio.

For more information on the Precision Fusing Mat, click on the image below. To get your own Precision Fusing Mat, click here.

Have you tried fusible web appliqué? Do you have any products that work well for you when doing this technique? Share them in the Comments below.

 Creatively,

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P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.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.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Book Review: Stitched So Sweet

I was excited to take a look at Stitched So Sweet by Tracy Souza as I’m a big fan of hand embroidery. I love sweet, whimsical designs and Stitched So Sweet is full of these types of designs.

 
Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

 

The projects in Stitched So Sweet are small, which makes them perfect for wall hangings or to put into frames to display in your quilt studio. As they aren’t large projects, they won’t take long to stitch up and their sizes make them perfect for those wanted to dip their toes (finger) into hand embroidery.

 
Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

 

The projects in Stitched So Sweet are seasonal and there are designs for spring, summer, fall and winter in each of the patterns in the book. Stitch one or all of them so you can rotate them throughout the year.

 
Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

 

It can sometimes be tricky to quilt hand embroidery projects, so Tracy provides you with instructions on how to put the finished project into a picture frame so you can avoid the whole “how do I quilt this?” dilemma.

 
Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

Photo courtesy of Martingale Publishing

 

For a more detailed look at Stitched So Sweet, click on the image below. 

Are you a fan of hand embroidery? Let me know in the Comments below.

Creatively,

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P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.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.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Pillowcase Method to Finishing a Quilt

Do you use the pillowcase method to finish your quilt projects? Do you know about the pillowcase method? If you don’t, I’m going to tell you all about it and you are going to love this easy way to finish smaller projects.

The pillowcase method is a way to finish your quilts without binding them. Yes, you know I hate binding, so this is one of my go-to techniques for avoiding it! You’ll need:

  1. Your quilt top

  2. Batting cut to the size of your quilt top

  3. Backing cut to the size of your quilt top

  4. No binding strips!

You are going to layer the 3 parts of your quilt as follows, from the bottom up: 

  • Batting

  • Quilt top, right side up

  • Backing, wrong side up

Pin these 3 layers together around the raw edges, leaving a gap so you can turn it right side out later on. The size of the gap depends on the size of your project: a 3” to 4” is okay for most small to medium size projects. Leave a larger unsewn area is you are working on a bigger project.

After pinning the 3 layers together, sew around the outside of the sandwich with a ¼” seam, remembering to leave that unsewn gap for turning. I like to use a walking foot to do this. Clip off the corners and turn the project right side out, pushing out the corners (I like to use That Purple Thang to do this). Hand sew the opening closed and your project is now ready for quilting.

For detailed instructions, click on the image below.

 
 

Have you ever used the pillowcase method before? If so, let me know your results in the Comments below.

Creatively,

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P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.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.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Create a Cute Ornament with the Circular Sewing Attachment on the Janome MC9450

I love to collect buttons, but then never seem to quite know what to do with them. I want to have them displayed so I can enjoy them, so I decided to create a little hanging ornament to do just that. I used the Circular Sewing Attachment on the Janome MC9450 to stitch several circles around the button to showcase it, added a hanging loop and it was done!

 
Circular Sewing Attachment 9450 YT.jpg
 

If you’d like to use your Circular Sewing Attachment to create a similar ornament, here’s what you’ll need:

Fabric for the top

Batting

Fabric for the backing

Ribbon or trim for the hanging loop

Fabric stabilizer (Click here for information on using this with decorative stitches)

Decorative button(s)

Circular Sewing Attachment and Janome MC9450 sewing machine

 
Remote control not required for project ;)

Remote control not required for project ;)

 

The Circular Sewing Attachment that fits the Janome MC9450 installs with a set screw that is included with this optional accessory. You just need to remove the bobbin cover, pop in the Circular Sewing Attachment and screw it down. Very quick and easy to do! The packaging for this accessory includes information on how to attach it and stitch with it, so be sure to keep it somewhere safe!

You’ll notice a black cap that is attached to the Circular Sewing Attachment. It covers the pin that you will use to attach your fabric to the accessory. Be sure to always replace this black cap as that pin is very sharp and you don’t want to injure yourself on it!

There is a locking mechanism on the Circular Sewing Attachment: you unlock this part, slide it along and then lock it before stitching your circle. The closer to the needle this part is, the smaller the stitched circle. I like to unlock the attachment and slide it away from the needle to attach the fabric with the pin. I can then move the attachment to the specific spot I want that will give me the stitch I want before locking it up.

I like to use an open toe foot (F2) when stitching with the Circular Sewing Attachment so I can see that everything is stitching along as it should.

Choose and practice your decorative stitches to ensure that they are the width and length you want before stitching them to your project. Click here for information on saving your adjusted stitches on the Janome MC9450. Put fabric stabilizer behind the fabric or sandwich to ensure that the decorative stitches won’t scrunch up.

I like to use a larger piece of fabric than I actually need and trim it up after all of the stitching is done. This way I don’t run off the fabric as I increase the size of my circles.

Start with smallest circle and work out from there. Leave space between each circle and check to ensure that there is enough fabric so the circles won’t stitch off it.

For this hanging ornament, I layered the top fabric, batting and fabric stabilizer before attaching this sandwich to the Circular Sewing Attachment. I stitched 3 circles, starting with the smallest one and working out. After I’d stitched the circles, I added the backing using the pillowcase method, ensuring that the hanging loop was inserted in the sandwich before stitching. While I could’ve hand stitched the opening closed, I chose to use a glue stick to seal this open seam and pressed it with the iron. Shhh, don’t tell the quilting police!

 
Circular Sewing Attachment 9450 - 5.jpg
 

I added my special button by using Button foot T on the Janome MC9450. For information on how to use the Janome MC9450 to sew on a button, click here.

For more information on creating an ornament with the Circular Sewing Attachment, click on the image below.

 
 

What other uses can you think of for the Janome Circular Sewing Attachment? Leave your ideas in the Comments below.

Creatively,

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P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.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.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!