New Products for Quilters – Select Appli-Stick and Select Appli-Web Plus & Giveaway

Alex Anderson

Hi Quilters, Crafters and Sewers!

When I recently heard that my friend, Alex Anderson had new products on the market I gave her a call and asked if I could give them a try. My hope was that I would like them enough to share my thoughts with all of you. I am happy to say I love them. Alex graciously sent me samples of three products: Select Appli-Stick, Select Appli-Web Plus and Select Print & Piece. The first two products are used for fusible appliqué and the Select Print & Piece is ideal for foundation piecing. I’ll share my thoughts on the Appliqué products today. Be sure to check back as I plan to write a review of the Select Print & Piece in my next post.

 

I’m always curious about the origin of new products so I asked Alex how these came to be. She shares that while she was on retreat with some friends and working on this beautiful pieced & appliquéd quilt, she was also searching for a new fusible web to replace one of her favorites that was removed from the market many years ago.

Designed and made by Alex Anderson. Machine quilted by Angela Walters.
Designed and made by Alex Anderson. Machine quilted by Angela Walters.

One of her friends suggested she try some products by Floriani that were being used for machine embroidery. Alex gave them a try and immediately loved the results.  She started working with Floriani to tweek and customize the products for the quilting world. The products were recently introduced at Spring Quilt Market. To read more about Alex’s story and watch a video, be sure to check out the Quilters Select Website. You will also find many other useful products by this company.

I was excited to receive my samples in the mail and test for myself how they worked. Here’s what I found.

1. Select Appli-Stick – Great for fusible raw edge appliqué. This product is available in rolls, printable sheets and narrow tape (perfect for quilt bindings or decorative trims).

Appli-Stick1

Like many other fusible webs, there is a paper side and web (glue) side. I especially like the weight of the paper side. It is slick, takes markings easily yet also any unwanted lines are easily erased without leaving any markings. The paper side peels away easily (think I’ve used easily too many times, but you catch my drift!) after pressing, leaving  the sticky web adhered to the wrong side of the fabric.

Shapes marked and then pressed onto the paper side of the Appli-Stick.
Shapes marked and then pressed onto the paper side of the Appli-Stick.

The prepared fabric is soft, not stiff and best of all, can be repositioned! That’s right, you can change your mind if you want to move pieces around before they are permanently stitched onto a background fabric. Pieces are secure until you are ready to add your favorite decorative stitches around the edges.

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2. Select Appli-Web Plus – A great product for your appliqué and other craft projects. Unlike the Select Appli-Stick, the bond on this product is permanent. The fusible webbing is very lightweight producing a softness to the finished shapes.

Appli-Web1

 

The paper backing on this product is not as heavy and slick as the Select Appli-Stick so I found it easier to use a pin to score the back side of the prepared shape in order to remove the paper. This prevents frayed edges from picking and pulling along the clean cut edges.

Appli-Web2

The prepared shapes are soft, lightweight and press well onto a background fabric. Since shapes are permanent, decorative edge stitching is optional.

Bird

 

I am really excited and pleased with these products and will definitely be using them for future appliqué projects. I’m also happy to learn from Alex that they will only be available at independent quilt shops, not large chains. Online sales are an option, but whenever possible, please remember to support your local shops. Click here to find retail locations: www.quiltersselect.com and to see the other useful products by Quilters Select.

WebAlex has graciously offered a roll of each of these two wonderful products to one of our lucky readers. If you are interested in having your name added to the hat, please leave a comment by Friday, July 3rd telling me why you would like to receive this gift. The winner will be announced in Pati’s post next week.

Speaking of giveaways, Pati and I are excited to have new followers on all of our our social media platforms! Thank you one and all. The 3 winners following our new Instagram account SeeHowWeSew, are rdarcene, merryheartbusyhands and mbelmer1. Congratulations to all of you! Please contact us at seehowwesew@gmail.com to give us your mailing address for your gift.

Please be sure to check back on my next post, as I share my thoughts on the new Quilters Select Print & Piece.

Until then,

Laura Signature

 

Quilting . . . with a little help from my friends!

With two weddings behind me, I am finally at a place where I feel I can begin working on some new projects of my own. My head is spinning with excitement and my heart is filled with so much inspiration around me. Let me just give you a little peek into my life last week.

On Tuesday, my student Mina shared these lovely hexagon placemats made from Liberty of London fabrics. Each one is made from a different combination of fabrics. This is such a wonderful use of scrap fabrics or even some leftover hexes!  I know the lucky recipient will be thrilled with this thoughtful gift.

Hexie placemats made by Mina Askari. Machine quilted by Kerry Reed.
Hexie placemats made by Mina Askari. Machine quilted by Kerry Reed.

On Thursday, I spent a few hours with several other quilters. We come together to work on projects, share ideas, get inspired and of course, enjoy some tasty treats! We generally start the gathering with a show and tell. Take a look at this beautiful creation by Diana McClun. She never ceases to amaze and inspire us! This beautiful art piece was made in a 5 day class at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar taught by Meri Henriques Vahl. Please forgive that the image is out of focus . . . I’m trying my hand at a new device and obviously need some lessons : )

Bouquet of Flowers by Diana McClun
Bouquet of Flowers by Diana McClun.

I shared this collection of fabrics and told the ladies that it was my plan to use them in a quilt using a new wedge ruler.

wedge fabrics

Before I was able to get the last piece pinned onto the design wall, I was getting lots of helpful input from my friends. Just take a peek at how this went. I just smiled and named it “how many quilters does it take to plan a quilt?”

First, Freddy Moran got involved and started moving pieces around. Then, Dale Fleming jumped in to see if a bit of green fabric was needed in the mix. Finally, Diana McClun pulled a few pieces out of her stash and contributed her expert advice. It was way too much fun!

Freddy Moran, Dale Fleming and Diana McClun oversee the fabric selection.
Freddy Moran, Dale Fleming and Diana McClun oversee the fabric selection.

Here are a few more projects taking place. It was such a happy, creative sewing day with so much variety. Nikki was working on her Memory Star blocks, Alethea Ballard machine quilting a new project and Dale Fleming working on her drawing skills.

Top: Nikki's Memory Star blocks. Middle: Alethea's machine quilting. Bottom: Dale's flower sketches.
Top: Nikki’s Memory Star blocks. Middle: Alethea’s machine quilting. Bottom: Dale’s flower sketches.

Before we called it a day, someone asked Freddy Moran to share with us the quilt she had folded up and sitting on a chair. Freddy pinned her quilt onto the wall and began telling us the story of the quilt. She tells it so much better than I ever could so I’ve added this sweet video and hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

Until next time, happy creating everyone!

Laura Signature

 

My New Craftsy Class – “Improve Your Quilts – 37 Trouble-Shooting Techniques”

I am so happy to announce today that my new Craftsy class, “Improve Your Quilts – 37 Troubleshooting Techniques” is live. I am grateful to everyone who has supported me on this journey but especially to my very talented production team for making this dream a reality.

Here they are, my Dream Team! This photo was taken at the end of three long days of filming. The are such fun loving and positive troopers. I truly loved working with them. We called this “the wrap” What better way to wrap up a class then with the sampler quilt made in 1988 for my first book, Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!?

My Craftsy Dream Team: Lori, Laffrey & Max.
My Craftsy Dream Team: Lori, Laffrey & Max.

From the moment I entered the studio and was given my own dressing room, and

I was in heaven . . . the walls were covered with fabric!
I was in heaven . . . the walls were covered with fabric!

a makeup artist, my experience was nothing but positive! Thank you sweet Danica, for making me look my best!

Danica

Appearing natural in front of a room full of cameras can be a bit intimidating, so my thoughtful producer, Lori put a photo of my “special students” onto the teleprompter to help keep me calm and focused. How sweet is this?

“My Girls”

During this class, you’ll discover an array of tips and tricks no quilter should be without. We’ll dive in with the first step for every quilt project: the fabric! I’ll share helpful strategies for selecting harmonious color palettes, incorporating value and contrast, and even fixing fabric that bleeds. You’ll also learn how to improvise if you run out of fabric, and how to include seam allowances when fussy cutting. Plus, I’ll reveal my go–to sources for inspiration — they’re sure to spark your imagination, too!

Each Craftsy class includes video lessons that you can access anytime, anywhere. They include close-up instruction and I am always there to answer any questions.

Without further ado, please enjoy this class trailer.

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Of course, a BIG thanks to all of you for your continued support of my work. The lucky winner of this class,  selected by Craftsy, has been notified. To all of my other readers, here is a link for my new class. In case you missed it the first round, my Craftsy 2013 Free Block of the Month class is still available. You can access it by simply clicking on the image in the sidebar.

Hope to see you in the classroom!

Laura Signature

A Month to Remember – a wedding, a new Craftsy class and a Giveaway!

ALL good things going on here . . . just super busy. So much so, that I really have not had time to share with you all the exciting details of this past month. Here’s a quick recap, hoping you enjoy!

Last week, my dear Diana McClun and her two daughters hosted a beautiful bridal shower for my daughter, Sara. Diana knew that last year Sara put in her request for a blue and white Double Wedding Ring Quilt. Diana also knew that although my heart wanted to make this quilt for Sara, I was over-the-top busy with a new Craftsy class (more later) and wedding prep, and as a result, I put the quilt project on the back burner. Diana stepped in and with a lot of help from her friends, this is what Diana surprised ALL of us with at the shower! Yes, even I didn’t know this was being made.

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Diana says they worked feverishly and completed the quilt in 15 hours!

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While Diana and friends were busy making the quilt, I was happily making 16 table runners and 144 cupcakes for the upcoming big event.

Getting ready for a full day of baking!
Getting ready for a full day of baking!

Vanilla, chocolate, carrot and lemon.  My girls and I had a full day of baking and decorating. Not only was it so much fun, they were a huge hit.

cupcakes

The wedding took place last weekend at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, CA. It was truly a magical day, with the ceremony at the gazebo in front of the beautiful Victorian Patterson House Mansion. The elaborate Victorian gardens provided the setting for the reception. Way too much delicious food and lots of dancing kept everyone warm and happy.  We could not have asked for a better day and most importantly, it was everything Sara had dreamed it would be.

collage

Now on to some more exciting news-

5159_300x250 My NEW Craftsy class will be available on May 22nd! I’m so excited about this one as it is packed with lots of helpful tips and hints for improving your quilt making skills. If you haven’t yet visited the Craftsy website, please be sure to do so. There are an abundance of classes for all levels and styles of quilt making. Once you have purchased a class, it is yours FOREVER . . . and you can access it anytime.

The Craftsy team is offering my class to one of our readers so please take a minute to follow this link for a chance to win my class for free! As soon as Craftsy selects the winner, I will announce it in a future post. Don’t miss this opportunity. I would love to have you join my classroom!

FYI – my first class on Craftsy is the 2013 FREE Block of the Month. It is still available if you missed it the first round.

That’s it for today everyone. Hoping this finds you all well and happy.

Laura Signature

A Yoyo Lei for Rosalie

Looks like it’s my turn to wax nostalgic. Last week, my Friday class of 10 students met for brunch to bid our farewells to one of our dear friends, Rosalie. After spending the first 84 years of her life in California, she is now moving to Hawaii to be with her only daughter and family. Although we are delighted that she will be close to her family, we are saddened to see her leave. Wanting to gift her with something meaningful from all of us, we came up with the idea of making a yoyo lei; so perfect for her new home on the big island.

When we arrived at the restaurant, the yo-yos were placed into a small basket. During brunch, the basket was passed around and one by one we strung the yo-yos. It was such a lovely gathering of friends, remembering . . . .

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the special moments we shared together over the past 10 years,

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the many friendships that were formed,

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Rosalie’s joyful spirit and contagious giggle,

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her love of quilting and sharing stories of her dear grand dog, Finnegan,

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and the day we named her our team captain. You see, we often took breaks during class to shoot baskets on the basketball court next door to our classroom. As hard as we tried, no one could complete with our Rosalie! Here’s a photo of her with her jersey. She says it’s time to pass the torch. However, we must come to Hawaii to claim the title and the jersey! I see a trip in my future.

 

Rosalie with her team jersey.
Rosalie with her team jersey.

When the final yoyo was attached, the ends were joined and then placed over the head of our special guest of honor. The expression on her face says it all.

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Aloha, Sweet Rosalie.  You will be missed.

Laura Signature

Drafting From Ceiling Inspiration

It never ceases to amaze and excite me when and where I find inspiration for quilt designs. Last week during the final Shivassana, resting pose of yoga class, I opened my eyes to look closely at the ceiling tiles in the new studio. I have probably looked at this ceiling more than a dozen times, so why today did I see it in a new light? I’ll probably never know the answer to this, but I didn’t waste a minute to pull out my phone and take this photo.

Ceiling tiles at Indigo Yoga.
Ceiling tiles at Indigo Yoga.

I like all three of the block designs but decided to start with the one on the left; with the melon shapes. Out came my pad of graph paper, ruler and pencil to draft the block.

drafted melon

It’s a pretty simple block and easy to construct. I could leave it as shown but the shadows in the photo inspired me to divide the shapes with more lines, allowing me to play with color and shading.

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I’m excited with the many possibilities and already starting to pull fabrics. I think I will work in neutrals. What do you think? The print in the foreground is the inspiration fabric I used for developing the color scheme. I may or may not use it in the quilt, we’ll see.

neutrals

I’ll share my new blocks later this week, or early next, so be sure to check back.

While I’m playing with fabrics and construction, please enjoy some photos of quilts from Quiltcon 2015, taken by our contributor, Carol van Zandt.

Piecing Category – Part 1 

Piecing Category – Part 2 

Would love to hear if you have recently “opened your eyes to any new and exciting quilt designs”. We always enjoy reading your stories.

Until next time, stay happy everyone!

Laura Signature

 

 

Inspiration from Denver

Hello dear readers. March was such a whirlwind of travel adventures. It began with a family trip to Omaha, NE, then on to teaching a workshop at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar, next to the Lakeview Quilters Guild in Texas and finally filming a new class for Craftsy in Denver. Whew! I am so very grateful for all the wonderful people I have met and worked with along the way but as Dorothy says, “there’s no place like home.”

While I was busy working, my husband was out enjoying the sites of Denver. There is a permanent quilt exhibit on display at the Denver Art Museum and when we returned home and I browsed through the many photos he took, I was delighted to see that he had taken some of the quilts. I must say I was a bit surprised but oh so happy that I can share them with you.

Here’s one I especially like.

"Silk Ties" by Sue Bulkeley, 1883-1970.
“Silk Ties” by Sue Bulkeley, 1883-1970.

The sign next to this quilt reads “Max M. Bulkeley (1883-1958), a lawyer in Wray, Colorado, served one term as U.S. Attorney and then lived in Denver. His wife, Sue, pieced together dozens of his neckties to create this kaleidoscopic pattern. Among the geometric designs in a nude woman wearing a floral lei – a risqué figure that would have been on the underside of the tie and only visible when the wearer picked up the end to reveal the island beauty beneath.”

Don’t you just love it when there are little surprises hidden with a quilt? Here’s a detail of the same quilt. Clearly it was tied but I’m wondering if it was foundation pieced?

Detail of Silk Ties by Sue Bulkeley.
Detail of Silk Ties by Sue Bulkeley.

Here’s another interesting quilt on display at the same exhibit.

'Labels" by Libbie Gottschalk.
‘Labels” by Libbie Gottschalk.

The sign next to this one reads “A mending project gone mad, Libbie Gottschalk’s label quilt started out as a way to preserve a beloved quilt that belonged to her grandfather. Over a thirty-year period she mended each new tear by applying labels from various articles of clothing and other possessions. Eventually, she decided to cover each side completely. This amazing assortment of logos and trademarks, many from Denver-area businesses, is a time capsule of retail-and produce-related graphic art.”

I wish I had been able to see this quilt in person, as there appears to be a real $1 bill stitched into the upper left-hand corner. Here’s a detail image of the same quilt.

Detail of Labels quilt by Libbie Gottschalk.
Detail of Labels quilt by Libbie Gottschalk.

We stayed at The Curtis Hotel, a uniquely fun downtown Denver Hotel. From the moment you walk through the front doors into the lobby you know you are in for a fun adventure, with cartoons playing and a five & dime offering treats from the past. Each of the guest room floors has a personality all its own. We stayed on the “Perfect Hair” floor where we were greeted with this wonderful carpeting. Please excuse the poor photo as the lighting in the hallway was terrible. Can’t you just imagine this as a quilt?

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I just may have to give this a try. I’m anxious to share with you more details of my new class with Craftsy. The editors are busy making final tweeks then it should be ready to go live around the end of May. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, as the recording in the hotel elevator says when you return to the first floor, “Stay Happy!”.

Laura Signature

 

 

 

 

New Wedge Project Revealed

I just returned from a quick overnight getaway to one of my favorite places, The Monterey Bay Aquarium. My wonderful husband purchased “Behind the Scenes Tour” tickets for us to get up close and personal with the sea otters. The tour was spectacular, complete with fluffy baby otters. The tour was almost as good as the previous one we took last year on the jellies. I must admit however, the highlight for me was seeing the Giant Pacific Octopus on display in the newly installed Tentacles exhibit. What a fascinating and magestic creature!

Giant Pacific Octopus on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo taken from the website at www.montereybayaquarium.org.
Giant Pacific Octopus on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo taken from the website at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Our final walk on the beach this morning gave me the perfect setting to photograph my new beach totebag. My vision for this project was to design a circular beach totebag that would double as a groundcloth.  I used the large 36 degree rulers to cut fabric wedges. I doubled alternate spaces creating pockets for holding some beach necessities, such as sunscreen, flip-flops, sunglasses and waterbottles. There would be enough space in the middle of the bag to carry your towel, beach coverup and bikini ; ).

Alternate wedges are doubled to create pockets for carrying necessary beach items.
Alternate wedges are doubled to create pockets for carrying necessary beach items.

I used Kim Andersson’s new Tidal Lace line by Windham Fabrics and our new Making Waves pattern as inspiration to create a beach ball design on one side of the tote. The opposite side is a solid piece of vinyl covered cotton fabric. Everything was running smoothly until I came to adding the casing to the outer edge of the circle. Notice the rippling in the casing? Ugh!

Here's a close up of my problem.
Here’s a close up of my problem.

I’m generally not one to encourage pointing out disappointments, but in this case, I think there are two valuable tips I can share here. First, since I was working on a circular design, the casing strips should have been cut on the bias to prevent rippling. I didn’t have enough of the backing fabric to cut bias strips, so thought I might get away with some wide straight-grain cut strips . . . WRONG! I know better than this ; ). Second, I didn’t have my teflon presser foot with me while sewing on the vinyl fabric. Stitching with my regular foot only contributed to the problem. In an effort to resolve the situation, I put some blue painters tape on the bottom of my regular presser foot. This works in a pinch but I highly recommend using a teflon foot for any serious  sewing with these fabrics.

Sooo, not being happy with the end result, I decided to cut off the wobbly casing and attach a new bias cut strip. Finally, I inserted some cording/rope through the opening to create a drawstring strap. Ready to insert all my gear and head off to the beach.

A calm grey overcast morning at the beach.
A calm grey overcast morning at the beach.

I found a comfortable spot, spread out the tote and began setting up with some goodies purchased in town . . . local wine and Ghirdadelli chocolates!

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While I was setting up, I noticed that one of the locals was keeping a close eye on me!

One of the locals on the beach this morning.
One of the locals on the beach this morning.

Goodbye Monterey, until next time!

Laura Signature

 

 

 

 

Playing with Wedge Rulers

It’s been a crazy, busy week here but just want to pop in and share an apron design I made using some new and very large wedge rulers from Quint Measuring Systems, Inc. It’s hard to tell in the photo but the skirt is so cute and swishy when worn. Since I’m a huge lover of all dotted fabrics, this black and white became the perfect choice when combined with the beautiful large scale floral print. It’s super simple and sews up fairly quickly.

Apron cropped sml

 

Dots and stripes on the backside make this a reversible design. Two in one . . . not bad.

Apron back sml

 

Ok, just one more shot since I couldn’t resist having the adorable Jamie Hirano of Wooden Gate Quilts model the finished product. Love the look on you, Jamie!

Apron Jamie sml

 

Here’s a sneak peek at another wedge project I am working on. Any guesses on what it will be? It was inspired by our new Making Waves quilt pattern.  It will be something that can be used along with the quilt. If all goes well, I’ll reveal the completed (not going to tell you) in my next post.

Hmmm, wonder what this will be?
Hmmm, wonder what this will be?

It’s been fun making these easy projects but I’m so anxious to design and make a new quilt. Feel like it’s been way too long.  I’ve just not been inspired, until this week when I came across this gorgeous print by M&S Textiles Australia. Yes, it is one piece, NOT pieced. Circles and stripes in jewel tones, oh my! I can hardly wait to get started. I’ll be away teaching at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar next week and hope to find a few minutes in the evening to play and work out some new designs. Fingers crossed.

I love EVERYTHING about this fabric!!
I love EVERYTHING about this fabric!!

That’s it for today. Hope wherever you live, you are staying warm and cozy. It’s such a perfect time to be inside working on projects. Take advantage.

Until next time, keep your eyes open for inspiration, it’s everywhere.

mug

Laura Signature