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Inquisitive. It sounds so much better than nosy. It's all about perspective. If I want to know what cool new products and tools have arrived in the warehouse the past few weeks... I go looking. And "inquisitive" means "given to inquiry, research, or asking questions; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious."
That's us, right? Of course it also means "
I'd heard about this company, even read about a few of their products but I hadn't actually seen them in person. IRL. So I wanted to know more about the Wooly Felted Wonders - pincushions, dryer balls and ironing mats. The Dryer Balls were the first product. Made with 100% wool, the natural, energy efficient, reusable dryer balls take the place of dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Add 4 to 6 balls to the dryer and reduce static and drying time while fluffing quilts, towels, sheets and laundry. Add a couple of drops of a favorite essential oil to add a scent... lavender?
The Ironing Mats have been a hot topic with quilters since they were first shown at Market - no pun intended.
The ironing mats are also made with 100% felted wool - made in the U.S. The wool is dense - the mat measures 1/2" thick - and the wool absorbs the heat so it's akin to pressing your blocks from both sides. Because the mat is so thick the heat won't transfer through to the surface underneath, making them perfect to take to class, retreat or wherever you go to sew. There are four sizes - 8.5" square, 13.5" square, 17" square and 17" x 24".
It all sounds good but... I will confess to having been skeptical about whether I really needed one. Would I really use this? Color me convinced. My pressed blocks looked crisp and flat - with or without steam. I also experimented with "blocking" a small wool appliqué block I stitched years ago and never finished because it wasn't straight. Because the mat is so thick and dense, I could pin the block to the mat, making it square. Then it was pressed with steam and allowed to cool. Presto! It worked beautifully.
You had to know I'd love this big 100% wool pincushion, right? I've used felted wool pincushions for years and love them... these are bigger and better! White, Gray and Dark Brown - they're 4.5" across and about 2.5" tall. Ribbon included.
Wooly Wonders. I would say so!
Pins and needles... or at least the needles. Have you stitched with fusible interfacing, stabilizer or other sticky products and felt like the needle wasn't going smoothly through the fabric after a while? For me, it isn't that I notice it's not sliding smoothly so much as the stitches aren't always as straight and even as they should be if the needle was sliding through the fabric easily. So when Schmetz announced a non-stick needle, I was inquisitive enough to try them.
These are Super Nonstick Universal Needles - they come in four sizes: 70/10, 80/12, 90/14 and 100/16. I tried the 80/12 to machine-stitch around scraps fused to a background, and for machine-quilting the panels of a zipper bag backed with fusible fleece. The big test was then stitching something without a fusible - regular, plain fabric. The stitches were as they should be, even with a 40wt. thread.
The bigger, better test will be a project like this one - it's on my list for after-Market.
Swell Christmas - Big Santa! The outside edge uses a fusible web to "stick" the Santa to the background.
Needles need thread and I found a couple of new thread assortments that I had to pick up and admire.
Harmony Collection by Sweetwater - there are five colors to coordinate with the Harmony fabric collection, each color comes in spools of 50wt. thread and Aurifloss - Aurifil's 6-strand, 100% cotton embroidery floss.
Friends have asked me if I really buy these collections and my answer is "yes". Not all of them. But quite a few. For most colors, I'm never going to use more than a little bit so these smaller spools are perfect. I use them for machine-quilting on zipper bags, decorative stitching and... ack!... garment sewing! (I know! Don't ask.) The collections are a nice way to sample colors without committing to a big spool... and I get more colors for the price of a couple of spools. (But it is hard taking them out of the box and removing the plastic.)
Embroidery! Do you do much embroidery? How adorable are these embroidery kits from CozyBlue!
The finished embroidery piece is approximately 6" - it fits entirely in a 6" embroidery hoop. It can be incorporated into a pillow, tote or zipper bag, or framed for wall art. And everything I need to complete the embroidery comes in the box.
The kit includes:
- Pre-printed design on 100% cotton fabric
- 6" wood embroidery hoop
- All of the necessary six-strand embroidery floss
- A needle - that's the small black and white package at the top of the stitchery
- Stitching notes and instructions
CozyBlue kits are made in "a cozy blue house" in Asheville, North Carolina by Liz, an artist, designer and stitcher.
For the 3 Sisters' Holly Woods collection, the Blaze quilt was written to include the Simple Folded Corners ruler but we'll be switching that to the Mini because the finished square-in-a-square units are small.
This is the "official" Blaze quilt - it's made with the reds and creams in the collection. But just for fun, we played around on the computer and created a version that included the beautiful blue prints in Holly Woods.
That Mini ruler is going to get a workout making these quilts.
So what looks interesting to you?
That's it for today... but I'll be back. There were several large pallets of as-yet-unpacked boxes in the warehouse that I'm sure need investigating.