Prewound Bobbins….yea or nay??

I HATE to wind bobbins, especially when I am in the middle of a project and have to stop and unthread everything.

I have recently been hearing people talking about pre-wound bobbins and my initial, frugal reaction was “why would I want to spend money on those?”

THEN, I started thinking about the fact that I would have been paying money for the thread anyway, and what I was saving was TIME, and we all know how valuable IT is!!

So, I relaxed my purse strings and purchased two sets of Pre-wound bobbins for Julio, my Juki Sit-Down long arm……

I loaded a cream-colored one into the bobbin casing and started quilting……

Okay….the top looks GREAT!!!

But the BIG test is how the back looks…..

WOW….even on this loose-weaved practice fabric, the tension looks amazing.

I think that I have found a keeper!!!

So where are you…..Prewound Bobbins………

Quilting tool with a story!!

Like most quilters, I cannot live without my rotary cutter!!

But even more than that, I love the story surrounding my first rotary cutter…….

Let me set the stage for you…..

It is December of 1985 and my husband and I have traveled from Canberra Australia and are visiting our parents in Abilene, Texas. And, more importantly to them, we have a 6-month old grandson in tow!!

My ever-resourceful Father bought us a Polaroid camera and said that he wanted to be a member of the “picture of the month club”!! The idea is that we would mail one photo each month so that he could see his grandson grow up. Remember, this was LONG before the digital age!!!

The day before we left to return to Canberra, Dad took me to a discount store to purchase more film for the camera. As we walked past the craft department, a package similar to this one caught my eye…..

….except that the rotary cutter was smaller, the mat was skinnier and there was a 4.5-inch plexiglass ruler included.

Needless to say, I was intrigued!!!!

Dad saw my interest and immediately picked it up and put it in our basket!!

I found a place to tuck it into the suitcase and happily carried it home.

It took another few years before I REALLY learned how to use it and, amazingly I still own the original cutter……

….although it is now designated for “paper use only”.

It was typical that my Dad saw my interest and jumped in to encourage me….that is just who he was!!!

Do you have a favorite quilting memory?

Baste it fast with fusible

Over the years, I have fallen in love with fusible batting. It is easier than pinning and doesn’t have the fumes and mess associated with a basting spray.

My favorite brand is Hobbes Heirloom fusible…..

There are a few things that you have to do differently than with non-fusible batting.

First of all, it comes in sheets that are slightly stuck together….

You need to be careful as you peel them apart …..

…but you will eventually get to the single layer…..

It is often fairly wrinkled…..

….and I would suggest that you hang it up or lay it out for a while. You can put it into the dryer, but don’t leave it in too long!!

I normally start with the batting on the bottom and iron the backing fabric on first….

If you accidentally iron a wrinkle into the backing, don’t sweat it!!! Instead, you can simply pull the fabric apart from the batting and re-iron it.

Often the batting isn’t completely wrinkle-free and sometimes ends up looking like this…..

Again, don’t worry about it. Once the quilting is completed, you will never notice the wrinkle!!

After the backing and batting are securely fused, I add the quilt top and iron it as well…….

It is easiest to start ironing in the center of the quilt and slowly work out to the edges.

I normally use a LOT of steam for this process and it seems to work well.

After the top is fused, I like to lay it out flat for 15-20 minutes to let it cool.

The final step is to trim the excess batting and backing fabric off (leaving at least 2 inches on each side). Sometimes I will add a few safety pins along the edge to just hold it in place a bit more.

I can baste a lap size quilt in about 15 minutes, just laying it out on my ironing board. I baste Queen size quilts on my garage floor but use this same 2-part process.

Do you have a favorite batting???

Do you like the quilt that I am using for this demonstration? If you do, you can download a FREE pattern for this quilt HERE


The other day I stopped to fill a bobbin and this is what I saw when I started to put it back in…..

Then I took the needle plate off and…..

I am normally SO good about keeping my machine cleaned and oiled and I don’t know what happened here!!!

Do you have a method to remind you to keep everything maintained? If so, PLEASE share it with me!!!

Did you know that many tools from your kitchen can move to your studio, making your quilting even more fun? To receive a free pdf featuring 5 such tools, please subscribe to my newsletter. You can sign-up in the top, right-hand column of this blog, or click HERE

“NO” to the new iron

Last month I put out a plea as I was looking for an iron that would get hotter than the one that I had.

I thought that getting a higher wattage iron would help and, after doing some research, I purchased this 1800 watt iron…..

It is a nice iron and it gets hot fast, but it really isn’t any hotter than my normal iron!!

Then it dawned on me that the wattage won’t make it hotter but the temperature setting WOULD!!

So, I returned to my favorite iron….

….and simply bumped it up one temperature setting!!!

And….voila….I had just what I was looking for!!

So the new iron went back to Amazon and I am enjoying my old iron even more!!

The second iron in my studio is a cordless Panasonic….

It doesn’t get nearly as hot, even on high, and it takes a while to warm up, but when I am ironing larger pieces of fabric, it is sweet to not have to worry about the cord!!!

So now I am happy with the iron situation in my studio, so let’s quit talking and get back to sewing!!