TULIP NEEDLES! What They Are and Why We Love Them:
Tulip needles come from Hiroshima, Japan, where top-quality hand sewing needles have been produced for over 300 years. Available in many different styles for specific purposes, all Tulip needles share the following qualities:
They're flexible yet strong, highly resistant to bending and warping;
They undergo over 30 manufacturing steps and quality control inspections to guarantee superior performance;
They undergo both electroplating and vertical polishing to reduce contact with fabric, thus reducing drag;
The eyes are big for easy threading;
The tips are sharp, for easy piercing;
They are packaged beautifully.
Why You'll Love Them: There are times when we want to sew by hand, and the choice of needle can mean the difference between an angst-ridden struggle between fabric and thread and a calm, Zen-like stitching experience. We prefer to opt for the latter, and so we've switched to Tulip needles. They glide through all fabrics with ease, thereby reducing hand fatigue, and they make working with difficult fabrics (densely woven batiks or printables, textured polyesters, faux suedes, etc) a breeze. And the little glass tube they come in is so darn cute!
Learn more about Tulip needles by visiting their web site, then try them for yourself. Important note: When you dispose of all your current hand sewing needles, which you will want to do immediately, please discard them safely.
What It Is and Why We Love It:
Fusamat is an appliqué pressing sheet with a difference. Actually, with several differences: 1/ Made of industrial-grade silicone, it's constructed around a fibreglass screening which creates tiny dimples in the surface; 2/ It's transparent, allowing full visibility of placement lines and/or fabric underneath the mat; 3/ It can take punishing heat and resists all kinds of products like paint, hot glue, etc; 4/ It's tacky (in a good way) to keep your fabrics and patterns in place; 5/ It's fully washable.
Why You'll Love It: You'll get better results with your fusible appliqué. Fusamat's inventor, New Zealander Sharon Bradley, explained it to us this way when we met her at Market: Most appliqué pressing sheets are made of cooking-grade silicone and are smooth-surfaced (when you bake cookies, for example, you want them to spread). But that smoothness also allows heated fusibles to spread and leak out from under your fabric, messing up your iron, ironing board, and appliqué pressing sheet in the process! The dimpled surface of Fusamat prevents spreading and effectively sucks the fusible web down into your fabric, giving you more secure edges and no guck to clean up.
Fusamat's transparency allows you to clearly see pattern lines for perfect placement, and the tackiness makes sure your fabrics don't shift during ironing. It's easy to fuse small pieces together into larger, more manageable units without degrading your fusible web.
When your mat becomes "fuzzy" with migrating fabric fibres, just wipe it off (or throw it in the dishwasher!) to clean, then hang to dry. And don't worry about storage -- you can fold it or scrunch it however you like, without damage.
Fusamat is available in a variety of sizes (even one to fit your entire ironing board). We carry the 12" x 12" size, which is great for most quilt blocks, but we're happy to special order it in the size of your choice.
What It Is and Why We Love It:
Stripology Squared, designed by Gudrun Erla of GE Designs and manufactured by Creative Grids, will revolutionize the way you cut fabric! Made of a flexible yet heavyweight acrylic, the ruler has keyhole-ended slots every 1/2". These allow you to insert your rotary cutter to cleanly cut strips of widths up to 12-1/2". The weight of the ruler (and Creative Grids' exclusive gripper system) keeps your fabric in place, repositioning is greatly lessened, the slots guide your cutter, and accuracy is guaranteed.
Why You'll Love It: All markings are made in both white and black, for clear visibility on light and dark fabrics. Common cut sizes are identified by code -- stars for incremental cuts of 1-1/2", squares for incremental cuts of 2-1/2" -- eliminating the need for mathematical gymnastics. Markings are included for squaring up half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, and blocks up to 12-1/2". And, as with all Creative Grid rulers, directions are clear and complete, both in print with the ruler and on CGR web site. There's lots of pattern support, too.
Stripology Squared is no one-trick pony. It will speed up your cutting, reduce mis-cuts and fabric waste, and vastly improve your accuracy. Still not convinced? Let Gudrun show you herself with this video ~>
What It Is and Why We Love It:
Grippy is an aerosol spray that coats plastic, paper, wood, glass or fabric to create a non-slip surface. Perfect on rulers, templates, stencils, rugs, hangers – anything that needs to stay put without sliding. It can be applied again and again to the same surface, yet it’s completely removable with Odif DK5 Cleaner.
Why You’ll Love It: Rulers that slide around make measuring and cutting a risky business. Just spraying Grippy on the underside of rulers and templates renders them nice and stable, letting you cut more accurately. Even non-slide rulers that have lost their grip can be given an extended life. Grippy is slightly translucent, but doesn’t impede visibility, it’s acid free, and it does not stain your rulers or fabric. Net effect: you’ll waste less fabric and produce better blocks!
1. Shake well. 2. Spray a thin layer from 8 inches away. Grippy is slightly white and becomes translucent while drying. The thinner the layer, the more transparent the product.
3. After 1 minute of drying, the non-slip ruler is ready for use. 4. For a more non-slip effect, apply a second coat. 5. If desired, Grippy can be removed with Odif DK5 cleaner.
THE GYPSY QUILTER FELTED WOOL PRESSING MAT!
What It Is and Why We Love It:
100% wool, densely felted to ½” thickness, makes the ideal pressing surface for pieced quilt blocks, appliqués, and embroideries. Why? Because steam penetrates the wool, in effect pressing both sides at once. It also “absorbs” surface irregularities like seam allowances to achieve a perfect press with little effort.
Why You’ll Love It:
The texture of the wool grips the fabric, preventing shifting and distortion. If a knitted project or piece of needlework needs to be blocked, simply pin it to the wool before pressing. The 13½” square size is ideal for most blocks, and it’s handy for keeping by the sewing machine – use a mini-iron for quick pressings during block construction.
Tips: The Wool Pressing Mat can be safely used with a dry iron on any surface. However, when using steam, be sure to place the mat on a surface that won’t be damaged by heat or water (Formica, stone, Corian, ironing board) and avoid wood and painted surfaces. Never use the pressing mat on a cutting mat – the heat will warp it beyond repair. Hang the pressing mat to dry if it feels damp after use, and wash it occasionally in cold water, especially if using spray starch. Most of all, enjoy the ease, convenience, and accuracy that comes with this product!
As you may know, Steam-a-Seam-2-Lite was unavailable for a time because the manufacturer was left without a parchment paper supplier.
The good news is that this great product returned to our inventory and is even better than before!
New Improved Benefits:
A grid aids in tracing.
It's easy to see through and Write on and is now printer friendly.
DESIGNERS GUDRUN ERLA AND BRIGITTE HEITLAND
Gudrun, from Minnesota, and Brigitte, from Werther in the north of Germany, are great fabric and pattern designers who have displayed their talents while on visits to Quilty Pleasures! You can find pictures on our Scrap Bag page!
DESIGNER SUSAN CLEVELAND AND HER PIPING HOT BINDING!
Like Gudrun Erla, Susan Cleveland is based in Minnesota who brings a lot of fun on her visits. She is also featured on our Scrap Bag page!
Piping Hot Binding includes a detailed booklet of instructions, Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool and 5yds cording.
Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool
To create a perfect seam allowance on piping, simply lay the tool over sewn piping with the cording in the groove then cut along the tool's edge with a rotary cutter. Voila ... a perfect seam allowance. The tool is 11.5" in length so I'm able to trim 400" of piping in about 20 minutes! Two grooves are available offering 1/4" and 1/2" seam allowances
Use with cording up to 1/8" in diameter.
Turn the ruler for use left-handed.
Use any size rotary cutter: 28mm, 45m or 60mm.
CREATIVE GRIDS RULE!
When it comes to hydro, we'd all like to be off the grid, but when it comes to rulers, leave us on the Creative Grid! The markings are clear and easy to read, their exclusive turn-around feature eliminates confusion with full- and half-inch measurements, and the imbedded grippers are tremendous at preventing slippage.
Click on the fox logo to open their website in a new window, and see the huge variety of rulers, both basic and specialty, that are available for all of your projects.
Not sure which to choose or how to use? Check out the informative how-to videos for everything you need to know!
Have you tried our WonderFil threads yet? Konfetti (50-wt solids) and Tutti (50-wt variegateds) are fantastic for both piecing and quilting – made of high quality long-staple cottons in a yummy range of colours, they're smooth, strong, and practically lint-free. Spagetti, their 12-wt cotton quilting thread, comes in the yummiest solids imaginable and is perfect for dramatic quilting and thread painting. You'll love them all, guaranteed.
And be sure to try Invisifil, too, for proof that it's time to rethink the old rules about polyester and quilts. Available in amazing colours, this 100-wt thread carries more than its weight: used in the bobbin, it lasts almost forever; used for quilting and appliqué, it just melts into your fabric for texture without threadiness. Try it and become a convert.
SAVE A BOTTLE!
If you love Mary Ellen's Best Press starch but hate the idea of buying a new plastic bottle each time you run out, we have great news: for $9.99, we'll refill your old bottle, right up to the top. That's a saving of $3.00 and lots of plastic.