The folks at OLFA invited me to participate in a Designer Spotlight, to make a project using a few of their products. The Olfa company invented the very first rotary cutter in 1979. My Olfa 60-mm cutter with the retractable blade is one of my very favorite tools in my sewing kit. You can read all about it here: OLFA-Designer-Spotlight-Deonn-Stott
I had a blast playing with these new toys to make a Crazy-Patch Quilted Tote. "Instant" crazy-patch blocks are a breeze to make using these new frosted rulers with 15-degree angle markings and a rotating mat. I usually make "Carpetbags" using the same pattern with upholstery fabrics, but I like the look of a quilted bag, and maybe you will too!
In a related note, I met up with Annie Unrein, a guest presenter at the recent USU Clothing & Textiles Seminar, who was there to demonstrate her interfacing product, Soft & Stable. She provided a kit for attendees to sew and gave some great tips on zippers as well. Tips and tricks that FCS (Home Ec) and 4-H teachers can pass along to students. Here's my little Quick Zip quilted case:
I love using Soft & Stable in all my bags, cotton or tapestry, quilted or not! It's soft, it's stable, it's easy to sew and quilt. And it keeps my bags from slouching! Annie is darling and we were lucky to have her stop at the conference on her travels between filming a series for Craftsy in Denver and heading to Amsterdam for a trade show! See her products, patterns, bag supplies and more at www.byAnnie.com.
Back to the Olfa Spotlight: I used Soft & Stable to quilt my Crazy-Patch Quilted Tote. I pinned this lovely, soft and stable "foam-like interfacing stabilizer" (that's what they call it in my tutorial) directly to the longarm quilt frame, laid the pieced fabric on top, and quilted it directly to the stabilizer with no backing. It worked beautifully.
I finished the bag shell, then added handles and a separate lining with a pocket.
Thank heaven for gadgets, tools and products that make quilting so fast and fun. I can just imagine my great-grandmother looking over my shoulder - she would have loved that rotary blade!! How about you? Have you discovered any new gadgets or products that you can't live without? Have you tried using Soft & Stable in a bag? What's your favorite or gotta-have tool in your sewing kit?