Tag: Quilting Tools

Digital Quilting

For all of the handwork involved, quilting today also involves a lot of technology.

First, we can design our own patterns with software. Secondly, we check our phone apps for backing or binding requirements. Thirdly, you might use your phone camera to take pictures of fabric to match. (Learn how to audition BOTH beautiful sides of fabric using your phone*). Another option is to digitize your own embroidered labels or quilt blocks. We shop online and instantly download quilt patterns. As a result, all this technology can speed up our quilting experience.

Digital quilting technology gives you more options than ever before.

Pinterest, Etsy, designing software, and phone apps are just a few ways quilting technology helps us. With a click of a button you can add a border to that new quilt on EQ8. Add new stitches to your own embroidery design. Download your new favorite pattern online.

My current favorite phone apps are the Robert Kaufman Quilting Calculators, Missouri Star, Etsy, and even Monogram Lite. You can get apps for tablets and Ipads, too!

Digital quilting patterns give you immediate access. Just download and print on your own printer. It’s easy and instantly rewarding!

First, see a whole board of digital patterns from a variety of designers HERE.

In response to numerous requests for instant downloads, I’ve added digital versions of some titles. Many #usebothsides patterns include large paper templates. Therefore, I limit the downloadable versions to ones that fit a regular sheet of paper OR that won’t require monumental enlargements. See more about this at the VariLovable Star Digital Pattern post.

NEW digital quilting patterns added in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios are shown as follows. Click on the photo to link directly to the product.

Image of Grace Quilt Pattern
Grace https://www.etsy.com/listing/788780357/
Image of Use Both Beautiful Sides Quilt
VariLovable Starhttps://www.etsy.com/listing/778654147/
Image of Noelle Quilt
Noelle Quilt Patternhttps://www.etsy.com/listing/896174897/
Image of Mini Digital Quilting Pattern
Lil’ Susiehttps://www.etsy.com/listing/882268640/
Image of Digital Quilting Pattern
Tropical Sunset

Check back for new digital download quilt patterns!

Lastly, technology helps us find quilt gift ideas. The digital side of quilting also gives use the tools to create our own works of art. So think about how you use technology in your everyday quilting. Do you create your own designs? Do you get inspiration from Pinterest or shop websites?

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Quilt Retreat Checklists

It’s time to dust off those quilt retreat checklists! YAY!

Over the years I’ve compiled lists of items to take on retreats and some are more unusual than others! Compare your retreat checklists to mine and make sure you don’t leave home without a thing!

Image of Tool Holder for retreat checklist

Also, check out these previous blog posts in case you are wondering about some of these items: Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2019 AND Quilt Retreat Checklist 2018 AND Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2017

First, let’s hit the basics:

To begin, you want your sewing machine! Basic supplies also include your instruction manual, needles, thread, scissors, seam ripper, extra light bulb, and make-up applicator style Q-tips.

Next, double check that you have your foot pedal and electrical cord with your machine!

Now add some fun and creative stuff to make your work space just right!

You might consider extra lighting, electrical strips, and extension cords. Remember to bring charging cords for phones, tablets, fitness trackers, etc.

Don’t forget your design wall or make-do with a fleece blanket or flannel-backed table cloth. You’ll need painter’s tape or push pins to hang the fleece or tablecloth. Throw in your 1/4 inch seam guide and 3M removable tape, rotary mat and blades. Bring your portable iron and ironing surface. Add in cutting and specialty rulers, fabric spray, and various scissors (depending on your projects).

Toss your guild directory in your bag so you can get to know the new members at retreat!

Finally, remember to pack your personal items. These should include comfortable clothing, pajamas, walking shoes, pain reliever, and maybe a back massager. I personally also throw in DVDs, a book and book light, a personal heater, and my yoga workout, so I don’t leave retreat in pain!

Need an easy quilt project? SHOP Creative Bee Studios and use BOTH beautiful sides of your fabric!

Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs

Start your packing – it’s time to take your quilting on the road!

Below is my 2019 Quilt Retreat List. I have found that you can’t make a good list if you aren’t clear on your retreat objectives…sounds official, doesn’t it?

Is your retreat purely for productivity? Is it social? Do you spend time shopping? Going out to eat? Do you eat quick bites on location or carefully planned meals? Is your goal to relax? Did you answer, “All of the above?”

Image of Tool Holder

I think that’s why i take so many items on retreat – I want to pack (no pun intended) EVERYthing I can into a few days – high productivity, great fabric shopping, relaxation, yummy food, rest, movies, music, walks, and fun with friends…is that too much to ask?

I hope this “official” list helps you on your next quilt retreat – or even just a bit of quilting on the road…

*Sewing machine, electrical cord, pedal, extra light bulb, feet, manual, bobbins, Q-tips for cleaning.

*Sewing table, extra lighting.

*Fabric, patterns, projects, kits, felt-backed table cloth or other design wall with tacks, painters tape, or 3M strips for hanging.

*Seam ripper, scissors, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, mat, risers to raise cutting table.

*Iron, pressing spray, pressing surface.

*Extensions cords, electrical strips.

*Personal items which might include drinks, snacks, rice bag to heat for sore shoulders, comfortable clothing and walking shoes, pain relief, charger cords, overnight bag and products, chocolate, and popcorn.

NOW for the REST of the story: a reveal of everything that is actually in my spinning work station (I use it in my studio, plus it’s ready to hit the road on a moment’s notice. Note: I’ve never really cleaned it out before!)

Top left to bottom right: Fusible web (hmmm, not my favorite kind, so it must be for emergencies only), pressing spray, mini iron, chain-piecing cutter, very cute rice bag (for sore muscle, compliments of friend Donna), various rotary blades, The Purple Thang, a gripper tool, bandages, rotary cutter, two styles of Karen K. Buckley scissors (definitely a fave), Pre-cuts guide for fabric purchase emergencies, thumb tacks, pins, cord wrap, thread, Q-tips, battery, thread and button (?), needles, a plethora of markers and pencils, snipping scissors, Fabric Fuse (never used it), the back of something which apparently held batteries, calculator (fabric purchase emergency?) guild directory (what’s her name?), obsolete business cards, note pads, another gripper tool, clips (hmmm, for hanging table cloth design wall?), True Grips (truly a favorite), and last, but not least, Martelli cutters (I am an ambidextrous cutter, so I use both left and right-handed ones). Whew!

What have I missed? Tell me in the comment section below!

See more about retreats here at: One Sweet Retreat and Friendship, Laughter & Quilts, Oh My!  and Seven Projects from Quilt Retreat

#usebothsides of one focus fabric with these patterns – shop HERE!

Image of New Quilt Design
Belle Quilt Patternhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Favorite Binding Tool

As a new quilter (and even as a more experienced, but less prolific quilter), I would struggle with attaching binding to my quilts.

I’d refer to my Happy Endings book each time I came to that part of the quilt-making process and try to remember how to prepare and put on binding. Even after I understood the technique, there would be so much time in between bindings that I couldn’t remember how to do it. Image of Rule 'n Gauge Tool

While trying to get the end my stitching to the exact size of my seam allowance, I’d use a familiar tool, mostly used in garment construction.  One brand calls it a “Rule ‘n Gauge”. In addition to providing a precise measurement, I use the straight edge of this little tool to give me a perfectly square fold for my binding corners. While any straight edge will do, this is a thin and readily available tool that has passed the test of time for me. Image of Quilt Binding

Having made 14 patterns in nine months, stitching on binding is second nature to me, but I still use the Rule ‘n Gauge every time.

What’s your favorite binding tool?

Remember to add prairie points (Click here) for easy hanging options before you turn your binding!

Headed to Paducah for AQS Quilt Week? See you at Hancock’s of Paducah! Take a picture with any or all of the ten #usebothsides quilts and post on Facebook with the hashtag for a chance to win a pattern of your choice!

Image of Bee Quilt

Phoebee Quilt Pattern

Fabulous Quilting Tools

Anyone who quilts knows you gotta have tools…and the right tools can really make quilting fun!

I’ve been sharing  tips of the trade when it comes to working with value and auditioning fabrics for my latest patterns, which use both sides of one focus fabric.  Now I’m going to share the three top tools I’ve found and grew to love while making these patterns.

(drum roll)

Karen Kay Buckley Scissors

They cut like a dream. The edges are serrated which makes them seem to grab and hold on to the fabric as you cut, rather than pushing it away from you. I have made many of these #usebothsides quilts and cut many, many paper-fused appliques with them – and quickly, too. They cut today as well as the first day I bought them. I highly recommend them. They make cutting enjoyable, even under deadlines. I use the blue handled size.Image of Scissors

Soft Fuse Premium

A few years ago, I wandered upon Misty Fuse. I liked that it looked almost like a spider-web and, once fused, it felt like it wasn’t even there. It works great for projects where you use rulers or die cutters and you don’t need to trace patterns–because there’s no paper on which to draw.

Enter…Soft Fuse Premium , a paper-backed, but thin, web-like fusible which quilts like a dream. Soft Fuse  doesn’t make your applique stiff or hard to manage and it quilts like a dream (kinda like Karen’s scissors cut). I highly recommend it.Image of Logo

Roxanne Glue-Baste-It

Temporary Basting Glue

Last, but not least, Glue-Baste-It with this micro-applicator tip is the bomb–and life-saver when it comes to whipping out quilts! This has saved me many times! It gets into tiny places, dries clear (really, it does, except maybe on Lame – but how often do you applique with that?), and it  lasts forever! I still have a teeny, tiny bottle from 15 years ago (from the Sewing Basket) by my machine and it still works great (but doesn’t have this fancy applicator tip).  So, why do I need this product? When I’m cutting flowers for Colorful Petals or Colorful Wings, I don’t cover  my entire piece of fabric with fusible but I might see a flower I really want in my quilt. Rather than set it aside, I keep it in my pile and put a dot or two of Glue-Baste-It on it when I place it on my quilt. It holds the flower in place just as though it was fused, until I quilting it down. Likewise, if I’m quilting a long the edges  of my applique and find a spot not adhered fully, I don’t plug in the iron and wait for it to heat up to reheat the fused fabric -I just dab a dot of this glue and keep on stitching! It really is a great product to have on hand. Image of Glue Bottle

Do you NEED these products to make #USEBOTHSIDES quilts?

Image of Three Quilts

Colorful Petals Quilt Patterns

Image of Three Quilts

Patterns available at etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Image of Cauldron Wall Hanging

Nah, but having cool tools is part of the game of quilting, right? If nothing else, put them on your wish list for Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas…the countdown is on and a new pattern is coming SOON! Stay Tuned.

What’s your favorite quilting tool or product? Let me know!

Never miss a post or a new pattern reveal! Sign up below. Visit: www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios today!

Outtake:

Image of Cat

This is Mungojerrie (named after a cat in the musical, CATS), checking out the Roxanne’s.