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What is a Fat Quarter Bundle?

Not sure what you’re getting when you buy a Fat Quarter Bundle? Let’s start with what a fat quarter is, it’s a one quarter metre (yard) of fabric, but cut to be more usable for quilters, it measures approximately 20” x 22” (CDN) or 18” x 22” (US). When you buy a bundle you get anywhere from 8-40 different fabrics. Some are made in the quilt shop and some are made by the manufacturer. They can include any colour combination, a small selection of coordinating fabrics, even every fabric found in an entire collection. You can also find these bundles called  “stacks” or “towers”.

Benefits of a Fat Quarter Bundle

  • Each fat quarter can be cut down into a variety of piecing shapes including; different sized squares (10″, 5″ and 2 1/2″ for example) triangles and strips of all sizes.
  • Being one of the most common and versatile pre-cuts there are so many options of patterns and projects; small stuffed animals, zippered bags, table runners and placemats.
  • You have a wide variety of fabric to choose from.

There are other pre-cuts you can buy, and you can read more about them here.

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What is a Fat Eighth Bundle?

What is a fat-eighth you ask? A traditional 1⁄8-metre cut and a fat-eighth cut contain the same amount of fabric, however they differ in shape.  A traditional 1⁄8-metre cut is 5 × 44″ cut from the bolt. A fat eighth is cut crosswise from a 1⁄4-metre piece of fabric—a 10″ × 44″ rectangle cut in half to make a 10″ × 22″ hence a “fat” 1⁄8-metre piece. You can also find a fat eighth cut as 20″ × 11″.

And because Canada uses the metric and the United States uses the imperial system here are the options for the US fat-eighth cuts 18” x 11” (US) or 9″ x 22″ (US).

Benefits of Fat Eighth Bundle ~

  • Allow for cutting many different quilt shapes such as half square triangles and smaller strips and are ideal for smaller shapes such as 5″ and 2.5″ squares.
  • Great size for making small items like make-up bags, coasters or pin cushions.
  • You have a wide variety of fabric to choose from.

There are other pre-cuts you can buy, and you can read more about them here.

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DIY Table Top Ironing Board

If you’ve seen my sewing space than you know there isn’t much of it… My work space is also my business space. It’s not practical to leave my large ironing board set up all the time, and it’s a pain to haul it out and put it away daily when I’m using it for setting seams while I piece a quilt top together.

I needed a more condensed version. I looked at the Ikea table top ones; too long (again very limited space). I looked at a fold-able ironing pad; not gonna work as my work surface isn’t perfectly flat. I had to come up with something. A few more frustrating days later I had an epiphany, I could make my own table top ironing board! Read on for instructions.

Time needed: 20 – 40 mins

Supplies:
1 board (dimensions of your choosing)
4 feet (I used wooden drawer knobs)
1 fabric top (I used an iron pad from Walmart)

Tools required:
Drill
Tape measure
Pencil
Staple gun

Determine the size of board you need. Cut wood accordingly. I went with, 11 1/4” x 15” based on my available table top surface. Be sure to sand the edges and top if necessary.

Measure where your feet will go. You want to make sure that your board will be stable, and you have enough space to secure your fabric. I inset my feet 1 ½”.  They could have been placed inside slightly more and still worked well.

Pre-drill your holes.
I used a countersink bit to make my holes. You want to make sure that the top of the screw is inset so there are no bumps on your ironing surface.

Attach your table feet.

Attach the fabric.  Lay out your fabric good side down. Lay board upside down on fabric. Make sure it’s centered with enough fabric on all sides to wrap over the edge and secure it.
Start with the four corners and fold them up and secure with a staple, then go around the sides, pulling your fabric tight as you staple it down.

 

Voila you have a tabletop ironing board!

 

What have you made out of necessity to make your life easier? I’d love to see them! Post your pics in the comments or share them in our Facebook group, Skunk Hollow Social.

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So my wife wanted a quilt shop…

I was on a business trip in China when I received the phone call.

“So hun, how would you feel if we opened a quilt shop?”

I was between meetings, busy as all heck, my jaw dropped, and I made a noise… kind of a “uhhhhhhhh…” as my brain froze like some old desktop computer, a “James is not responding… force quit?” kind of noise.

She then began to outline her plans for world domination.  I was, of course, a little skeptical.  I had started a business a few years prior that was still needing a lot of time.  I have two kids, a dog, a wife that worked three to four days a week at a big box store, a house requiring renovations and two elderly parents.  Yeah, let’s throw ANOTHER demand onto our time and finances.

She was determined, I told her I supported her, but this had to not take ove… ahh, who was I kidding?  Of course this took over.   My home office was quickly converted to house fabrics, notions, thread, and other unrecognizable sewing paraphernalia.  Things got real, real quick.

Aside from the obvious disruptions to the very “fabric” of our lives, I saw my wife begin to take charge over her life, and managing her time to ensure things were getting done.  Our communication became better, and even how we worked as a team shifted.

So here we are.  Nine months later and her baby is here doing what babies do; eating money, dominating our time, and adding a new type of joy to our family.  Guild meetings, trade shows, pop ups, not to mention the constant stops and diversions on our family road trips for “research” that generally included the purchase of several fat quarters while I tried to keep our rather active four year old entertained.

I’m truly proud of my wife, in fact, she recently had an article written about her and her little shop in our local Squamish newspaper,  “The Chief”.  Read it here.  Proud, proud, proud.

As this business operates out of our home, and I work from home, you may catch occasional glimpses of some bearded dude wandering around in sweat pants and a Superman shirt.  Don’t worry, I’m harmless.  The most I’ll do is offer you some premium coffee or one of the kick ass green teas that I get on my trips to China.  You may also get accosted by a four year old asking your name or if you want to pet the kitty.  A big part of a family business is family.  Please feel welcome when you come into our home, and know that we appreciate that you have have chosen us for your local quilting needs.

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What is a Hexagon pre-cut?

I don’t know about you but I’m a little bit scared to cut hexies on my own, and am not sure how to go about folding them from square. This looks like an ideal pre-cut to try!

As the name implies, hexagon pre-cuts are different sized hexagons cut by manufacturers. They are found under a variety of names such as Hexie, Hexagon and Honeycomb. Robert Kaufman Fabrics introduced them to the market in 2012, Kaufman’s “Hexie” is 4.75″ point-to-point and available in a variety of 42-piece Kona Solid Cottons.  Moda has called theirs Honeycombs, which measure 6″ from point to point, 5¼” measured horizontally, and they include a plastic template with dots in each corner to use as a seam allowance guide. Pre cut hexies are usually sold in packs of 40 that include all fabrics found in a collection, or that compliment each other.

Benefits of Hexagon Pre-cuts ~

  • Time saver for busy quilters, your cutting is done. No need to fold or paper piece.
  • Economical because there is very little waste.
  • There are many patterns new and old that use hexagons
  • They match. They include one of every fabric in a collection, or a group of coordinating fabrics.

There are other pre-cuts you can buy, and you can read more about them here.

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What is a Honey Bun?

Honey Buns are sweet sticky rolls made with honey similar to a cinnamon bun, or are they? I never would have thought to call strips of fabric that measure 1 ½” x width of fabric, a ‘honey bun’ but that is exactly what Moda has done. I guess that’s why I sell and quilt with the fabric and not design it 😉  They are usually sold in packs of 40 that include one of every fabric in a collection, or a group of coordinating fabrics. You can also find them called Skinny Strips.

Benefits of Honey Buns ~

  • Ideal for borders, binding, and sashing.
  • You can provide the small details to larger projects.
  • Ideal for new quilters because it doesn’t require additional cutting supplies.
  • Time saver for busy quilters, your cutting is done.
  • Economical because there is very little waste.

There are other pre-cuts you can buy, and you can read more about them here.

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What are Pre-cuts?

I was so confused when I started looking at different fabric cuts and pre-cuts. How much fabric is in that charm pack? How many strips are in a jelly roll? What can I make with these pre-cut sets?

Pre-cuts are a pre-measured cut of fabric, such as a Fat Quarter or Charm sampler, usually sold in packs that include one of every fabric in a collection, or a group of coordinating fabrics. Generally, every fabric in a pre-cut pack is the same cut.

Benefits of Pre-cuts ~

  • One of the biggest benefits of pre-cuts is there is very little fabric wasted when using them. Many pattern makers today utilize most of a pre-cut set when designing a pattern, leaving you with few scraps to store.
  • Their small footprint is ideal for storage. Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs, and Layer Cakes all fit neatly into a container or drawer.
  • Many times sellers do not purchase every fabric in a particular line, with pre-cuts you get an entire collection to work with.
  • The fabrics all match. They are colour coordinated and blend seamlessly with the entire collection.
  • You have more time to sew! Pre-cuts save you time by not needing to cut fabric.

Read more about the different pre-cuts here:

Honey Buns
Hexagons