Bunny backsideOne more quick time saver I finally realized...as soon as I am done cutting I draw diagonal lines with a frixion pen to the back of any squares that will need it in the steps ahead. Doing that step all at once saved a lot of fumbling between the sewing steps. You know, things like you have to get out the ruler, but where's the frixion pen, how did I lose the cover again, just hurry up and draw it I want to sew the seam, crud that was really crooked I should fix it, etc. Now, let's talk about precision. I'm getting better at this! I know a good chunk of it is that I'm focused and really trying to be precise, but the rest of it is all about having the right tools. The Olfa Rotating Cutting Mat is my new favorite gadget. One of our dear customers recommended it to me, and boy was she right! Cutting and sub-cutting strips that can be as small as one inch means a lot of picking up, moving, and smoothing out fabric on a traditional mat. These small steps can stretch and distort fabric and take a lot of time. The rotating mat means you never have to touch the fabric! Just rotate your mat for each cut. Here's a quick little video to show you how it works. I also love the 3-1/2 x 12-1/2" ruler from Creative Grids and the 28mm rotary cutter I used in the video. For some reason when cutting small things I feel more in control when I use smaller tools. Plus it's so darn cute!
Rotating Mat = New Favorite
Best Press = Old FavoriteBest Press before. While working on the Fancy Forest I've gotten in the habit of (become addicted to) using Best Press before and after every step. Seriously. Spray and press before I cut, sometimes spray and press after I cut, spray and press each seam open, and so on. It stabilizes the fabric and flattens out the open seams really well. Maybe you can see the difference in the photo below. The seam on the left was sprayed with Best Press is nice and flat and crisp. The seam on the right was just pressed with a hot iron. See how the seam allowance is flipping up. It may not seem like a big deal now, but once you starting merging those seam allowances together multiple times it can create a lot of unwanted bulk. Best Press all the way. In extra exciting news we now carry large refill bottles of Best Press - more for your pressing money! (And just try to type Best Press that many times and NOT call it Brest Press. I dare you.) So there you have it! An adorable bunny added to my growing forest. We also had our first Fancy Forest class last week! We made Fancy Foxes for hours last Saturday. This is the only photo I grabbed, but aren't they adorable?! I made another set of fox for class step-out purposes that are going to become a pillow I think. I'll be back to show those soon! The August class covers Hedgehogs, and then bunnies in September - I would love to have you join me! Happy Quilting! Roxanne