How do I store my fabric paints

Over the years I have accumulated quite a collection of fabric paints, from bottles, to squeeze tubes and everything in-between.

When I purchased the last set back in November, I looked at my big bag of STUFF and realized that something had to be done about them!!

BUT WHAT????

Then my eyes landed on these nice boxes that were in my office…….

They had once held Tax-Return client folders but I thought that this might be a much nicer use of them!!

My first task was to figure out which of the paint bottles were still viable and I ended up toss a good number with dried out contents.

Because I often purchased these in sets, I often had more than on in the same color so I marked thosee bottles with a line around the lid…..

…alerting me to the fact that I needed to use the older of the bottles.

Finally, I added a date to the lid of the new bottles that I was adding…..

They all fit perfectly in one of the boxes…..

The squeeze bottles (and a few specialty paints) fit perfectly in the second box…..

The final box contained all of the miscellaneous bits and pieces that I have picked up over the years…..

So, now I feel a little bit better about how my stuff is stored!!!

Do you have a special way to store your fabric paints??? I am ALWAYS open to suggestions!!!

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Perfecting Half-Square Triangles

At the retreat this past week, I spent some time working on a scrap quilt that I started last year.

The design has LOTS and LOTS of Half-Square triangles and I was looking for a way to make them quickly and accurately!!

My first decision was to use two squares of fabric, sew a line on the diagonal and then discard the other portion of the squares.

I know that technically this wastes fabric but it made use of the 2.5-inch squares that I had already cut and it meant that I didn’t have to do any trimming!!

I started out drawing a line on one of the squares and sewing along that line but that took WAY too long!!

To circumvent the process, I decided to mark the sewing line on my machine using painter’s tape……

I started out with the needle squarely in the corner of the squares…..

I then carefully stitched, making sure that the opposite point followed along the tape edge….

I normally use BOTH hands to guide the squares but one hand had to hold the camera steady!!

Note that I ended with the needle square in the corner!!

The next step was to iron the dark triangle over…..

Trim off the excess fabric…..

And then press it flat!!

Now, I know that there are tools designed for this very purpose…..

…..but it was nice to use something as simple as a piece of tape!!!

And, I LOVE how the quilt is looking now…..

Enjoy the process…

For many years I HATED the quilting process!! I know that is funny coming from me since I now LOVE to FMQ.

Back then, I would make patterns that had lots of piecing and would really enjoy putting the top together, but once I got the top finished, I was ready to move on to the next project.

Because of that attitude, I would rush thru the quilting and never consider how the quilting could enhance the design.

One fateful day, my husband Michael mentioned that he wondered if I would enjoy my hobby more if I learned to appreciate every aspect of it…..from ironing the fabric thru to putting on the binding!!

I still remember the first quilt where I took my time and enjoyed the quilting process….

For this quilt, I had printed photos of flowers and foliage from my garden and pieced them into a marvelous design…..

When I started quilting, I decided to add lots of straight lines around the photos but then go to town in the batik fabrics. The hilarious thing is that the quilting didn’t show up that much….

….but the texture that it added was fantastic!!

And the best part was that I enjoyed ALL of the quilting processes and was actually sad when it was finished!!

So…..I guess that means that my husband was right…..

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Recycle your practice

When I am machine quilting, I try to keep a practice piece next to me so that try out any new designs before I use them on an actual quilt. I am not worried about tension or stitch length….just about moving my hands to make the design.

As a consequence, the practice piece often ends up looking like this…..

….and although I just quilted a feather in pink, you really can’t see it among all of the other stuff!!

Instead of making a new sandwich, I chose to cut another piece of fabric the same size as this one…..

I simply pinned it in place at the corners, and…..

…l have a new practice piece where I can see EVERYTHING that I did wrong!!

Yes, the tension may be a bit wonky but it still works perfectly for me!!!

AND, if you want to keep that design, just take a photo of it and you will have it FOREVER!!

Are you in a rut with your machine quilting? Sure, you know HOW to do FMQ and you have 4 or 5 patterns that you do well. BUT, you are bored with those designs and need a push to try some new things. If so, please join “MOVE-IT…. a Free-Motion Quilting Boot Camp”!! I will take you on a FREE 10-week journey to learn new designs and become more comfortable with just MOVING IT!! You can sign up by clicking HERE

Why won’t this $%@#^ paper come off?

I love to use Wonder Under for my fusible applique projects, but sometimes the paper removal just doesn’t work. My normal progression is this….

Fuse the wonder-under on the back of the fabric…….

Cut out the design and use a seam ripper point to “scratch” a slit in the paper…..

and then run the seam ripper under the paper…..

BUT…..

every so often I end up with paper that SIMPLY….WON’T…..COME…..OFF!!!

I don’t know if this is caused by the fusible web being old or if it is caused by the type of fabric that I am using, but whatever the reason, it is SOOO frustrating!

Now I know the solution……

Go to the kitchen and stick the piece into the freezer…….no, I am not kidding!!

After a few seconds of visiting with ice cream and frozen corn……

…….you can pull it out, and the paper will fairly JUMP off of the fabric!!

You have to work fast and if the fabric warms up much at all, it has to be sent back to the freezer.

Why does this work??? I have NO idea but I love having this little trick in my back pocket!!

What favorite trick do you have in YOUR back pocket???

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**