We kicked off Season 8 with no live audience and very little hoop-la (the exact opposite of Season 7’s kick-off at Cali Quilt Co!) but it worked out perfectly with the uptick in COVID cases and our RV going belly up on the first day back on the road. Sigh…
The International Quilt Festival is back after a long hiatus and I’m excited to get the chance to get back out on the road and chat with quilters and sewists in-person again. (I’ll be teaching the Ellie Elephant–join me?) Because the event inside and the coronavirus has done a doozy on Texas over the last couple months, they are instituting a mask mandate. I’ve been using my masks for a while now, so I figured this was just the excuse I needed to make a few new ones.
I came up with this pattern about a year ago, incorporating the different features of other masks that I appreciated. Since I’ll be wearing it lots, I wanted it to fit comfortably over my nose, scooping down below my eyes and fitting snug around the chin. Since it works so well for me, I figured I might as well share it!
If you are new to sewing with minky fabrics, I know they can be a bit intimidating. Minky is completely different than quilting cotton, requiring different techniques and tools.
I’ve found that lots of quilters have wanted to use minky, but when they’ve tried it with their quilter techniques, it’s been a frustration. Cuddle® is the Shannon Fabrics brand of minky fabric and I work with it exclusively (obviously, since I’m their National Educator!) and along the way I’ve learned a lot that can help learn to tackle this fabric in a way that makes is successful and not stressful.
For Sew Together Tuesday, we visited Red Roxy Quilt Co. in Decorah, Iowa and filmed this updated version of the 10 Tips:
Sometimes I shouldn’t be talking while using a rotary cutter and this was the result recently. I was making a sample for an upcoming Sew Together Tuesday and instead of cutting the square, I kept on cutting into the fabric. Oops! Considering this was nearly two yards of Cuddle® fabric, I wasn’t about to just throw it away and start over. I had to figure out a way to fix it.
Truthfully, I always prefer a hand-sewn binding, but sometimes deadlines get the best of me and I have to take the faster route. I was able to finish four of the six quilt in the American Travels series by hand before I shipped them off to Accuquilt (they’ll be on display through March and April!), there were two more than had to get stitched on by machines. I thought I’d share my method with you since it works pretty well for being second best.
There are lots of things that intimidate sewists about working with Cuddle® minky, but I think the task that freaks people out the most is using it for quilt binding. It seems like a crazy idea at first, then you do it and see how great it looks and feels. Sorta like using it for quilt backings; once you try it, you’ll want to do with most of your quilts.
A few weeks ago, we tackled Cuddle® binding for our Sew Together Tuesday and if you’re thinking about doing it yourself, this is a good place to start. I show different Luxe Cuddle® fabrics and which work best for bindings, which stitches you might want to try and give some tool tips that can be helpful.
You know the good ol’ Poly-Fil stuffing, I’m sure, but did you know there’s a whole lot that Fairfield makes, beyond this basic stuffing?!
One of my favorite products is their Poly-Fil Royal Silk, a softer, silkier version of the standard Poly-Fil. I’ve used it in a variety of projects and I love how soft it makes stuffed animals without getting clumpy. Stuffing seems like something so basic that there can’t be much variety in the quality, but I’m here to tell you there is and it is totally worth the extra cost.
This week we did a whole series of patterns (rather than just one project for the week) and focused on Quilt Cadets patterns, an offshoot of Latifah Saafir Studios. They are super cute patterns written with kids in mind, so there’s no fancy lexicon and easy step-by-steps to help kids of all ages complete these projects.
Whether you’re new to sewing or new to sewing with Cuddle, these are fab patterns to add your collection. Plus she offers some super cute little badges that you’ll earn as you progress through the patterns.
The first day, we made the Enchanted Travel Pillow, a pattern designed in conjunction with Little Pincushion Studio. Who doesn’t love unicorns? Okay, some don’t, but for them they can take off the horn and make a horse or just do the dragon version. Any way you do it, it was super simple and ridiculously cute.
This week’s Sew Together Tuesday class we finally got to do a sleep mask. This is one of those ‘duh’ projects–of course you’d use Cuddle® minky for it–but I just hadn’t gotten around to designing one yet.
I drew up the pattern and made a second version where I added some cute eyelash appliqués, though that isn’t required to be effective. I just like adding a touch of cute when I can.