Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Free Redwork of the Month Design

Hello friends.  I hope you all know how much I love that you read my blog.  I am not sure why you do, but it makes me happy that you do.  Okay now on to the info on the redwork:

My cute friend Debbie has an equally cute blog.  Honestly everything she does is cute.  Some days I want to be as cute as she is, and then I have to lie down and rest because that much cuteness must be tiring.
So this adorable tea towel in redwork is a free pattern she will email you, and she will email more to you in the months to come.  I have seen two other towels she made and they are just as fun as this one, but different.  I am having redwork love at the moment.  But do stop me because I really cannot take on another project right now!

Instead, head on over to Debbie's blog and sign up for her to email you and you too can have this fun redwork pattern.  Tell her I sent you, then maybe she will have her husband embroider this towel for me!  (his embroidery work is to die for-- and you would never know it by looking at him!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Giveaway winners announced

The winners of  the Cutting Edge Rulers are:

and Dayna  both of whom I will contact this evening!

The winner of the Swing Dance kit and Pattern is Ann Marie I will be contacting her as well.  Congrats ladies!

Thanks so much everyone for participating in this giveaway!  It was fun reading through all the comments and it sounds like a lot of quilters out there need to invest in new blades and new rulers!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Cutting Edge-- A Review--and Giveaway!

The Cutting Edge rulers are a new product designed by my friend Pat Sloan and the good people at Sullivan's.  Pat is a very well known pattern and fabric designer, and has written countless books for Leisure Arts.  She is amazing and I have no idea how she can do it all, but seriously she does.  On top of all of that, she is really fun and a great lady.  When she asked me to do a blog review on her new rulers, of course I agreed.  Then I met Mark from Sullivan's and he and I got along famously, so I knew this would be a fun product to try out.  Sullivan's is known for their sewing furniture and cutting tables, but they are really moving forward into the spotlight with some of their revolutionary new products like the Cutting Edge Rulers.  Did you know that Sullivan's makes embroidery floss?  I didn't.  They have a great embroidery floss that comes in 454 colorfast, tangle free, colors and is made from Egyptian cotton.  They also make needles, pins, cutting implements, mats and other great sewing and quilting items.

The Cutting edge Ruler is an acrylic ruler that has a 650 grit Diamond Carbide edge that is bonded to the ruler.  What you really want to know is will the sharpener edge come off at some point?  The answer is no, that is highly unlikely even for the most used ruler.  I asked Mark about that. I got a very technical answer, but no it won't come off.  The sharpener edge is there for good.

To answer a few more questions:

  1. Is the edge of the ruler sharp?  No it is actually very smooth. 
  2. Does the edge of the ruler stick out a lot to make it awkward to cut with? No.  
  3. Does it really sharpen your blade?   Yes!  The cutting edge literally sharpens your rotary blade as you cut fabric.  
  4. Will it remove the nicks in my blade from running over pins with my rotary cutter?  The answer to that is, maybe.  That will depend more on the depth of the nick in your blade.  If it is really deep, it may not completely fix the nick, but it will definitely help make it less pronounced and smooth it some.  If it is just a tiny nick, it probably will smooth it out like it did for some of mine.
  5. Will the sharpener become less effective over time?  No.  Because of the extremely tough substance that makes the Diamond Carbide edge, it should always be as effective in sharpening and cutting as the day you brought it home.
  6. Do they carry my favorite size of ruler?  For the most part, YES!  They have 10 of the most popular sizes of rulers in the edge.  They have the following sizes:  4.5" square, 6.5" square, 9.5" square, 12.5" square, 16.5" square, 6.5" x 24.5" rectangle, 6.5" x 18" rectangle, and the "Yardstick" 4.5" x 37".
  7. Why is the ruler frosted?  This is to help keep it from slipping.  When you press down on the ruler and the frosted side is on your fabric, it won't slide around like the shiny acrylic rulers do. This means no more sandpaper dots, or double stick tape on your rulers. Yay!
  8. What's with the dots?  The dots are registration marks to make it easier to see what measurement you are cutting at.  I found this very helpful.
  9. Why is it in red and black and white?  This makes the rulers actually very easy to read and to find the correct cutting line.  It is so much easier than just black, or black and yellow is to see on other rulers. 
Why should I buy another ruler?  Read on my friends and I hope you will find that answer.  (but also your regular acrylic rulers edge does wear down and can get a curvy edge in the middle if you use it a lot- this one won't, and you will always have straight cut fabric and sharp blades.)  Yay!

So now your main questions have been answered.  I was a little skeptical because it just didn't seem possible that a ruler could sharpen my blades while I cut fabric.  Talk about a time saver!  Two birds, one stone.  You get the idea.  My true opinion is that I really found this ruler to everything it claims to be.  

The Pros---It sharpened my blades (all of which were terribly dull on purpose), it helps you get a straight, crisp cut easily and effectively, and it was easy to use.  I would even venture to say it saved me time overall in cutting because it was so easy to see the large numbers and registration dots on the ruler.  The lines are easy to see and to read, which kept me from searching for the right place to cut.  The way the rulers are designed was perfect for me.  You can see that the inch lines in red on the square easily, so squaring up a block is such a breeze.  On the long ruler, the black lines from the sharpener edge are the one inch mark, and the red lines are the half inch mark.  So simple. The frosting makes it slip less.  It pulled some of the small nicks out of my blades, which was unexpected.  Not all, but the tiny ones are gone.  It was easy to use right from the start- there is no learning curve or lip to line up, or strange markings to get used to.   I also found that if I sharpen one side of the blade, then turn the blade over in the cutter and sharpen the opposite side, it makes the blade almost brand new.

The Cons----The overall cost of these rulers is a little more (about $25 for the 6.5" x 24.5" size and $18 for the 12.5" square) than the acrylic rulers that most quilters use.  However; keep in mind the cost in savings by not purchasing new blades as frequently, and the rotary blade sharpeners on the market now cost more than one of these rulers.  I have seen some rotary blade sharpeners run anywhere from $30-$65.  I'm no expert, but at least with the Cutting Edge you get a ruler too!  Another downside is that the frosting on the ruler is a bit heavy.  If your cutting mat is dark green it can be hard to see darker fabrics through the ruler.  I found that the fabric and green cutting mat blended together through the frosting making it hard to see where to line up the fabric. I did try the ruler on several cutting mats, and the dark green is the only color that was challenging.  Blue, grey, pink, yellow, white were all fine to see the fabric.   There is a sort of gritty sound when you are first cutting with a dull blade.  After about five passes, it is about the same as any other ruler.  I got used to it really fast.

Bottom Line-- The good definitely outweighs the bad.  This ruler is a winner.  Even though I could change back to my standard ruler that I normally use, I haven't.  I think that says a lot.  I always go back to my stand-by's if I don't love a product.  I think this one is my new love.  

The giveaway rules:  Leave a comment about why you need a Cutting Edge Ruler. There will be two winners each of whom will get their choice of size of one Cutting Edge Ruler from Sullivan's.  Cool huh! That's it easy!  But if you love this review, post about it on your blog, Tweet about it, Facebook about it and then come back here and let me know in a comment.  The kids who do that extra bit will be entered to win a separate prize for a quilt kit for my Swing Dance pattern.  Three winners total-- one winner for the kit, two winners for the rulers.  (the kit is in black and white and pink, not in the colors shown on the cover)
Giveaway ends on President's Day Monday Feb 21st at 9 PM MST.  

Be sure to leave your email address if your Blogger account is not enabled with your email address showing in your profile.  Otherwise I can't reach you and will have to choose someone else.   

Can't wait for a giveaway?  You can get your rulers HERE  or at Pat's site HERE  or at my friend Kelly's site HERE

Friday, February 11, 2011

Check this out....

I have been interviewed by Ryan Walsh (i'm just a dad who quilts), and the interview is up on his blog.  Also, I am sponsoring the giveaway on his blog.   Soooo.....

I would love it if you would go and check it out and enter the giveaway!  Giveaway ends Feb 18th so you have a little time.

Ryan and his wife were at Market and I had a chance to chat with them.  They are both really fun and are both wonderful quilters-- I wonder if they share their stashes, and who has the bigger stash???

I will be at a book signing and Trunk Show tomorrow at Floyd and Lizzies in West Jordan Utah from 10-2, stop by and say hello if you are in the area!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cheater Binding with Rick Rack Tutorial

Ever have a project that you need done quickly and you either don't have the right fabric to bind it with, or you just have the time to go to the trouble of hand sewing the binding?
Me too.  So yesterday I wanted to get this little doll quilt done.  The strips were leftover from another project and I had sewn them together at the time.  The doll quilt is for my little girl who is 8.  She squeals in delight at this type of thing because it pleases her so.  Listening to her and watching her squeal in delight pleases me.
I also needed to test out this new sample of batting called Fusi-Boo by Fairfield.  I got the sample at Market last fall and it was a little bigger than a fat quarter-perfect size for a doll quilt. Fusi-Boo is a bamboo blend batt and with high steam and a little heat from the iron it bastes your quilt layers together.  Cool right?  I thought so too.
So I layered the doll quilt and batt and backing, then followed the instructions for the Fusi-Boo.  It worked really well.  All the layers were nicely basted together in just a couple of minutes.  As a note, I love that the Fusi-Boo is more "green" than the aerosol basting sprays, there is no smell, no over-spray, it's not sticky, and no I am not being asked to say this.  Just my opinion on a product I felt was worth talking about.  I needed to test it on something small because I have a big quilt to quilt this weekend.  Quilting it was simple fast and there was no wrinkles on the back-- that is so annoying when that happens.  Best part is that everything stayed together until it was quilted. Fusi-Boo can be found at Joanns, Hancock Fabrics and I hope many small retailers as well.

Want a FREE sample of Fusi-Boo to try out?  Click on this link Fusi-Boo Sample  once there click on the Sheep at the bottom of the picture and it will take you to a form to fill out for a free sample.

 Okay new product review done. On to the tutorial....

Once your project is quilted, turn under and press the raw edges of the quilt.  If you want the rick rack on the back, turn the edge to the back.  If you want the rick rack to show on the top of the project, turn the edge to the top.

Be sure to press with a very hot iron and steam because this edge really wants to lay flat.

You will need the big jumbo rick rack that is about 1 1/2" wide.  Fold under the raw end of the rick rack to hide the fraying and prevent further fraying.

Lay the rick rack on top of the folded edge of the doll quilt.  Be sure when you place it on top that the raw edges are covered up and hidden.  Pin through the folded edge of the quilt and the rick rack.   Pin about every two inches.  I pinned the whole project at one time, but you may want to pin one side at a time if your project is a little bigger.  When you get to the end, match up the rick rack and fold under the raw edge of the rick rack at the end.  The rick rack should meet  up so there is not a big gap between the end and the beginning.

Once pinned, turn over the project to the opposite side.  Begin to topstitch 1/8" away from the folded edge.

 Closeup shot to show the folded edge.

Once it is all topstitched it is all done.  Voila!  So fast, cute and very painless!

And yes she squealed in delight and promptly went to take care of tucking in her dollies!
Stay posted- I am going to try and post new tutorials weekly.
I have a review and giveaway planned for next week--  Think cool new rulers!!!