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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Steam A Seam 2 Review

I've always wondered what technique people used to keep their wool applique pieces in place while stitching. I've tried a couple of different techniques... first was regular straight pins... ouch... then smaller applique pins (for cotton fabric)... ouch... then quilters safety pins (the slight curve made for easy pinning, but the thread always got caught on them)... then I tried some fusible webbing. The first brand I tried simply would not fuse the wool pieces together no matter how long I held that iron on it. So, I gave up the idea of fusible webbing.

But, I kept on hearing about the Steam A Seam product line and how it had been getting rave reviews. So, I figured I'd give it a try. There are different varieties... so be careful which one you choose. I meant to buy the Steam A Seam Lite... but accidentally picked up the Steam A Seam 2 instead.

As we know... experimenting costs money. So, I figured I'd try this stuff out with a FREE wool applique kit. This Christmas Pinkeep is designed by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings. They gave these away to their customers during their Winter Open House in 2010. Lucky for me, they included the online customers too! :-)

To my amazement, the Steam A Seam 2 did a wonderful job of fusing the wool pieces together. This kept everything in place so that stitching was a breeze! The product was easy to use, did not mess up my iron, did not leave sticky residue on the needle and was pretty easy to sew through... The only drawback was that it did add some rigidity to the appliqued pieces. Hopefully you can see what I am referring to in the following picture...

This is fine (for me) with this pinkeep piece as I will most likely fill it with cotton and use more as a pillow tuck anyways. The Steam A Seam 2 would also be good if making small, unstuffed wool ornaments to hang from a tree or garland. But, for pieces that will be handled more (like a quilt or table runner) I think I would prefer not to use the fusible webbing... and just stick with the small applique pins and be more mindful that they are there.

Or, maybe I will try the Steam A Seam Lite one day...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Paranoia Is Very Time Consuming

I am so new to quilting it isn't even funny. All of the two quilts I have finished have been entirely made of simple squares. Never tried the "official" quilt blocks... until today... these are two pieced squares that are to be part of the Block 1 shipment to the Snow Days quilt.

First up was a "Cut The Corners" pieced square. As you can see... things are not exactly lining up the way they should... but it is a first try... and the overall size of the finished square measures as it should.

Next up is a "Churn Dash" pieced square. This was a bit easier as the pieces are a decent size.

Me and my sewing machine "ain't the best of friends" lol! I am sure any malfunctions are the responsibility of the operator rather than the machinery itself... ;-)

And, the final picture for this post is the completed embroidery block! Now, this is something I can get used to! It's very relaxing... and the thread... oooooh-la-la smooth to stitch with! :-)

The next update will be these pieces (plus another little one) all sewn together to complete the first official block. Wait until you see what happens with the embroidery... :-)

Click on any of the pictures to get a closer look. Any and all constructive criticism will be welcomed and appreciated. This is a HUGE learning process for me... maybe others are learning right along with me too?

Did you try something new today?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Spring!

Just a quick little update... I've been keeping pretty busy with all of these BOM's that I have signed on to! Trying to fit in stitching time with all the other life stuff's is getting to be difficult... but I am determined! lol! ;-)

As you may have remembered... the whole reasoning behind me signing on for BOM's is so I can try something new without going into total information overload. Well, it seems I'm still a bit too chicken to jump right in with a few of these new techniques... which is what is taking me awhile to get the ball rolling here... *blush*

The BOM I am specifically referring to is the "Snow Days" quilt from Crabapple Hill. I promised Jacque that I would enjoy the process of making this fabulously embroidery intensive quilt right along with her... ya' know... like a support group. Well, if you read Jacque's blog, you will know that she is way ahead of me... but, I will be catching up soon! ;-)

Here's the progress I have on Block #1. Since the entire amount of Kona (the background fabric) was included in the first block's shipment... I went ahead and cut all the squares to be embroidered. Also, cut the muslin, which is doubled up with the Kona on all of the embroidery blocks. Now, with the (fear of) cutting my fabric behind me, I went ahead and traced off the first design (using a brown Pigma Micron pen)... and then started stitching away! I have to tell you that this Cosmo Seasons thread is like a drug!!!! *grin* Once I started using it, I just simply could not stop! It glides through the fabric with ease (no knotting) and the coloring is simply dreamy!

I'm so very much looking forward to the next time I can sit down and stitch!

Gotta go now... gotta get ready to go to work... 'cuz I hafta makes more monies... to buys me more of that THREAD!!! lol!

Have a glorious day!
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