Friday Funday: Quitling Accessories

Although I could have hundreds of quilting accessories filling up my sewing room, I find that the most basic ones are all that I need.  There is no race, that I know of, to see who has the most gadgets and accessories…it’s just me and my sewing room with fabric, pins, an iron and my sewing machine.  Most of the other STUFF that quilt shops sell is just that – STUFF.  I already have a one-butt sewing room, so why fill it up with anything more than the basic accessories and then lots of fabric?  🙂

Bobbin holders are one of the necessities I need in my sewing room.  When starting a quilt, I take the thread that I have chosen to use for the quilt and fill two or three bobbins (depending on the size of the quilt project) full of that thread – the extras go into one of the bobbin keepers below…and it saves me tons of time when I run out of thread in one bobbin and can just pop a filled bobbin into my sewing machine.


And when I speak of filling up my sewing room with fabric, I couldn’t resist purchasing another roll-up of Kona solids.  hmmm, that’s some yummy solid fabrics, for sure!  And if you read this blog regularly, you can see that I still haven’t unrolled the previous Kona roll-up that I purchased in November 2013!


Unfortunately for Kona, I may be forced to stop purchasing their fabrics and talking about them in my social media.  I have asked them to sponsor a few things and they refuse to respond to me.  That’s not playing nice…and I want to play nice with my quilting products!

What essential quilting accessories do YOU have in your sewing room/studio?  Inquiring minds want to know!

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    Temporary Spray Adhesive

    I make a number of raw edge applique quilts.  Although the ‘raw edge’ concept is not for everyone, I prefer it and LOVE how a raw edged quilt looks after a few washings.  A few years ago, I went to my local quilt store and found a well-known and trusted brand of temporary spray adhesive to use, to help keep the applique template pieces in place so I could sew them to the background blocks.  Since I had never used this type of product before, I suppose I was happy to have found it.

    Last year’s “Pendleton Inspired” quilt was also a raw edge applique quilt (although the instructions and templates could have used different applique techniques).  Just as I was finishing up the final blocks, I ran out of spray adhesive.  And since we live 45 minutes from a quilt shop, I had to do without or find something else.  And of course, all of this happened during the Christmas holiday, when I had a million other things that needed to be done!

    On one of my Christmas buying adventures (I do NOT shop, I do my research online and then go and BUY), I had to go to a craft store to buy something I needed.  Since I was there, I asked about a spray on adhesive.  They only had one brand of adhesive and it was not the brand I had purchased at the quilt shop.  But since I physically was done with the holiday crowds, I picked it up and bought it…figuring it would either work or not and that it was better than nothing.

    This is what I purchased:


    I have absolutely no clue whether it is a good brand or not, but I do have to tell you it was TEN times better than the higher priced (and smaller can) that I had previously purchased.  And when I was done, my hands were not sticky, as they were from the previous adhesive.

    Sometimes, taking a leap of faith on a product turns out to be a great thing!

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      Trying to Find Quilted Happiness in Products that I am Not Allergic To

      As I may have mentioned a few dozen times (see here), I have very bad skin allergies, since the age of 19.  When I was tested by a dermatologist at least 20 years after the allergies started, we found out EXACTLY what I was allergic to.  And it truly made sense!  I was allergic to a preservative that is found in nearly all over-the-counter body products…I am allergic to a different preservative that is found in nearly all cleaning products…and I am allergic to formaldehyde.

      Once we (my husband and I) knew what I was allergic to, our lives changed.  I hired someone to clean our house, my husband took over dish washing duties and I tried to stay away from anything with formaldehyde in it.

      I was very successful with the first two items listed above.  But, it was near-impossible to stay away from formaldehyde.  It’s in the gas you put in your auto, it’s in the toner used in newspapers and books.  It’s even found in baby wipes and diapers!  AND, it’s found in the sizing used on fabrics.

      Regardless, I was not going to stop piecing quilt tops just because of a little formaldehyde.  NOT.  GOING.  TO.  HAPPEN!  So, we figured out a way to calm some of the allergic reactions.  First, I agreed to only making one quilt or quilt project a month.  We agreed I would not use starch (another product with formaldehyde in it) on my quilts and we agreed I would work hard to not get close to formaldehyde from other sources.

      Throughout the years, my skin has continued to have blisters upon blisters but I have continued to quilt and have just put prescription steroid cream on my hands at night, when I went to bed.  I do not always have good days but I can sure tell when I need to stay out of my sewing room and doctor my hands to give the allergic reactions a break.

      I have also spend YEARS trying to find products that I can use in my quilting that I am not allergic to.  This starch is the first one EVER to not blister my skin – once I found that out, I bought a gallon of it the next time I stopped at the quilt store:


      Let me say here, though, that since the ingredient list in this product is highly secret, I did a few online searches and found one website who has a recipe for a very simple starch alternative that I am going to try after I use up this gallon.

      And over the last 20 years, I have found this leather thimble to be the ONLY one I can wear that doesn’t cause an allergic reaction:


      My mother-in-law is wonderful about giving me these thimbles for a little birthday gift and for a Christmas stocking gift.  I have found brand new ones in places where I was trying to find something else – it’s become a joke that I have thimbles hidden everywhere, because I *do*!  I do not believe I have had to purchase any of these in the past 10 years.

      Does anyone else have skin allergies?  If so, share with me some of the quilted products you find that you are not allergic to, please!

      Share and Enjoy!

        Flashback Tuesday: Prayer Shawl

        In 2009, we lost a very special lady.  But, our loss is His gain!

        She was a nun earlier in life, and left the order to marry a pastor.  Pastor Jim and Ms. Stone were very special people to us.  My husband attended a men’s Bible study that Pastor Stone led for a few years.  Ms. Stone was battling dementia.

        I still recall the Easter that they joined with our family.  Those memories are cherished.

        But, this flashback is about the prayer shawl I made for Pastor Stone when his wife passed away.  I have not put the instructions to it up.  But, it is very simple to make with three cross blocks and two Jacob’s Ladder blocks.


        Since Mrs. Stone was cremated, Pastor Stone wanted me to put the shawl in the narthex of our church with Mrs. Stone’s photos so folks attending the service would notice the photos because of the bright Texas Hill Country fabrics.


        I have made a number of these prayer shawls and they are special to everyone who has received one.  I am just grateful that folks enjoy my quilted gifts to them.

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          UFO DONE: Very Special Quilt Momento

          A few years ago, I asked a local friend if she would like me to make a quilt out of her dearly departed Mom’s clothes.  She did, and after a month or so, she sent me a box of her mom’s things.

          But, doggone it, my MS got in the way of doing anything quilt-related.  I felt guilty about not being able to get to her quilt but there was just no way I could handle it – I was an MS mess and didn’t sew ANY quilts for about two years.

          Nearly all of the clothes in the box from my friend were pajamas her mom had worn for at least the past five (or more) years…as her mother battled dementia.

          A few weeks ago, I *finally* felt like I could tackle that quilt, and took the squares I had already cut out, pressing them to a stabilizer and cut them to size.

          Last weekend, I was able to put the rows together:



          This weekend, I was able to sew the rows together and add the borders:


          And while I was at it, I also got the binding ready to go, once the quilt is quilted by my friend Meloney!


          Always feels good to get a project done that has been waiting on me.  Have YOU found and finished a UFO lately?

          Share and Enjoy!