Thursday, October 13, 2016

Polar Notions Fabric Storage for Throwback Thursday

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

One thing that Mom and I have both started doing over the past five years is purchasing slightly larger cuts of fabric so that we have more options for patterns that need more yardage. And by slightly larger we're usually talking one yard cuts, as compared to a fat quarter.

A couple of years ago at the AQS Paducah Show we discovered Polar Notions in the expo hall and have been hooked on them ever since. We typically purchase several boxes of them each year at the Paducah Show and make it a point get our fabric organized as soon as we get it home.

The Polar Notions are sturdy plastic storage sheets with notches cut in to help secure the fabric. You're basically creating mini bolts; each large sheet can hold up to ten yards of fabric! You just fold the fabric in half length-wise, tuck the ends into the notches, and evenly wind the fabric onto the new bolt.

We like them because it makes your pieces the same size and shape and thus easy to store in a bookshelf or cupboard. Mom likes to to use a cupboard with doors just to help keep the sunlight off the fabric to prevent fading.

They also make smaller sheets for storing fat quarters, but we typically get the large ones as that's the fabric size that we seem to struggle with storing the most. Sometimes we'll use the sheet to fold the fabric and then slip it off and stand it upright in the cupboard. Both sizes can also be used to store ribbons and trim, too. Biggest problem we have now is running out of shelf space!

Polar Notions have no idea who we are, we just love their storage sheets!! 

This content was originally published on Prairie Sewn Studios on December 3, 2013, and is being reproduced here for Throwback Thursday. #TBT

How do you store your yardage? 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Folding Block Station and Pin Cushion - The Splendid Sampler

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

The Splendid Sampler Folding Block

At the beginning of The Splendid Sampler project, two projects were suggested for use throughout the coming year:  the Folding Block Station and the Cathedral Window Pincushion.

The Splendid Sampler Folding Block

I sewed both projects and have found the Folding Block Station invaluable for the original layout of the cut pieces of the block, for transporting back and forth from the sewing machine to the ironing mat, and for keeping the pieces in the correct format for sewing throughout the creation of the block. I'm sure this design could easily be modified to any size you might want!

The Splendid Sampler Folding Block

The design for the pincushion was different and created a functional place for pins. It also coordinated with my folding block station!

The Splendid Sampler Pincushion

Check out The Splendid Sampler Bonus Projects section to find the instructions for making these projects!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fat Quarters - Storing the Stash for Throwback Thursday

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

Storing Fat Quarters

As any quilter or seamstress could tell you, building your fabric stash is one of the best parts of quilting and sewing! Some might call it hoarding, but I prefer to think of it as "collecting." Of course, building the stash also means it's important to find a way to store the stash. Here's one idea for fat quarters.

Anyone who knows me (and Mom!) shouldn't be surprised that many of our stash storage containers originate from one of the best home decor and storage stores on the planet:

This was one of our random finds when wandering through the housewares section of the store. I'm really not sure what it's really supposed to be used for, but it's the perfect size for holding four small stacks of fat quarters, or even half-yard cuts. And yes, those are sparkly pink flamingos wearing Santa hats. Don't judge. 

It has a nifty little handle in the center, so I could see loading it up with fabric for a class and taking it along with me. It was only about $4 (I think), so I'm going to grab a few more next time I'm at Ikea. Who am I kidding, I'll take this as an EXCUSE to take another trip to Ikea!

Ikea, I'm not sure what a "Samla" is, exactly, but I like it!

This content was originally published on Prairie Sewn Studios on November 19, 2013, and is being reproduced here for Throwback Thursday. #TBT

What are some of your creative storage solutions?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Heart Wallhanging - The Splendid Sampler

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

Heart Block

It's amazing how much you learn by venturing to other quilter's blogs. I found this free heart block pattern from Diary of a Quilter by Amy Smart when I explored the designer introductions on The Splendid Sampler.

I enjoyed the simplicity of this heart block and decided to make a small wall-hanging using three blocks and three different fabrics rotated in the block to create the hearts. It's a great way to learn how fabrics interact with each other to give different visual effects. It still needs to be quilted, but that's work for another day.

Heart Block

Check out all of The Splendid Sampler designers to find new-to-you designers and blocks!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sewing Machine Needles - Quilter's Tool Chest for Throwback Thursday

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

Sewing Machine Needles

This post is part of our Quilter's Tool Chest where we share our favorite quilting notions, tools and gadgets.

Last week we talked about the value of a reliable sewing machine that can do (at least) both zig-zag and straight stitches. In addition to the machine itself, it's also important to use good quality sewing machine needles.

Although small, sewing machine needles are one of the mightiest parts of the sewing machine. Using a good quality needle that's the right type for the project your working on can make the difference between a joyful sewing experience and wanting to gouge your eyes out with the needle in question.

For quilting with cotton quilting fabrics you'll want to use a Universal needle. If you're sewing a specialty fabric, you'll want to use the needles that corresponds with that fabric type. Examples include Denim (shown above), Stretch, Jersey, Quilting and Suede. It's also important to use a reliable needle that works with your individual sewing machine. You can often find needles made specifically for your machine type (as the Bernina ones above), but Schmetz is another solid brand.

Needles are one of the cheapest and yet most important sewing notions out there. They generally have a lifespan of 6-8 hours of sewing time, but that could change depending on your fabric and stitching type. Whenever my machine is acting cranky, the very first thing I do is change the needle and completely rethread my machine. Many times that clears up whatever the problem is and I can keep on stitching.

All product links are Amazon affiliate links which help support Prairie Sewn Studios. No additional compensation was provided for this post, just sharing some products we love to use to sew, craft and quilt! 

This content was originally published on Prairie Sewn Studios on March 16, 2015, and is being reproduced here for Throwback Thursday. #TBT