Product Review: 28mm Rotary Cutter

Use 28mm rotary cutter
Use 28mm rotary cutter

One of the things that Latifah wanted us to use in class was a 28mm rotary cutter. This is used for the inset Clammy cuts, especially on the 8 inch Clammy, which are used to cut the arcs.

Of course, I have the Olfa version of the 28mm cutter**, but it has never been a favorite tool. since I took the Jen Carlson Bailly class, I have wanted to try the Clover 28mm rotary cutter. The handle is much more shaped than the Olfa version I have**. I see that Olfa has newer 28mm model with a much more shaped handle**.

I thought the class was a good opportunity to try a new cutter since I would be cutting a lot with the 28mm. The handle of the one I have isn’t comfortable so I shy away from it as much as possible. The new cutter came midway through class so I was able to try it out a little during class and a lot after class. I love the Clover 28mm cutter!**

Current rotary cutters of choice
Current rotary cutters of choice

The handle fits really well into my hand. It doesn’t have an automatic closing mechanism like my favorite 45mm rotary cutter**, but the closing mechanism is very easy and convenient to use. I am sure having a new, sharp blade didn’t hurt the experience either.

Clover has a 45mm rotary cutter** and I am tempted, but I like the curved shape of the Olfa 45mm. I’ll stick to what I have for now.

Big thumbs up to the Clover 28mm cutter**. Try it if you are in the market for a new 28mm cutter.










**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Sew Tites and EPP

Sew Tites
Sew Tites

The other day I got an email from Culcita saying they were raising the prices of Sew Tites.

Like a sucker I bought more.

Sew Tites from QuiltCon 2018
Sew Tites from QuiltCon 2018

OK, I am not really a sucker. I like this product. I got my first three free at QuiltCon last year and I found them to be incredibly useful for bags and sewing with vinyl. These fill in the gap where WonderClips won’t work. I bought a 15 pack thinking I would disperse them around my various bags so I would have them handy when I needed them.

Sew Tites are magnetic and fall somewhere between a pin and a clip. One half goes on the top of your piece and one half goes on the bottom. There is nothing pointy or sharp which is why they work for vinyl. I think they would also work for something thick like Soft & Stable. I can’t remember if I have tried that or not.

EPP: 1st two half hexie legs
EPP: 1st two half hexie legs

The other night I was, once again, fighting to line up my half hexie EPP project. The tips need to be in just the right place. I remembered I had received the Sew Tites. I went up and got a few and tried them out.

I was putting half hexies together to make stars. I use a ladder stitch (or an approximation thereof). The trick is to keep the two legs next to each other in the correct position long enough to sew them together. This is really tricky since I only have two hands. I have been using WonderClips. They work okay but not great, especially for the inside angle.

The Sew Tites aren’t perfect either. They are a little hard to maneuver to get the pieces to stay where you want them. Still, once you get the Sew Tites in place, they stay put. Thus, your pieces stay put. The Sew Tite are kind of large, so I am only able to hand sew half of my seam before I remove the magnet. Half is enough to ensure that I can keep the two half hexie legs together the rest of the time needed to sew the seam.

EPP: 3rd half hexie leg
EPP: 3rd half hexie leg

The magnetic Sew Tite can also straddle areas of piecing where there may be no fabric or paper to which to cling. Unlike a WonderClip, which needs something on which to clip, the Sew Tite sticks to itself. In the second EPP picture you can see that there is a space on the inside angle where there is no fabric or paper. The ends of the Sew Tite are on paper and fabric while the middle sticks to itself. There is no problem and they still hold the pieces together.

There is a benefit as well. The farther down I can place the Sew Tite and still have it hold, the more of the seam I am able to sew without moving or removing the Sew Tite.

EPP: 2 halves make a star
EPP: 2 halves make a star

I have also been struggling with getting the centers of the stars to line up. Sew Tites work for this problem as well. Again, once the pieces are lined up, the Sew Tites hold them in place.

I have been wanting to tell more people about them in the Crafty Gemini Facebook Group, but there is a prohibition against talking about other products. Oh well, I assume people will hear about them eventually.

Check out the Culcita/Sew Tites website for videos and more information.


Saral Transfer Paper

I recently decided to try my hand at a whole cloth quilt project. Yes, I know it means diverging from my single-minded attempt to complete or make progress on many of the projects on the 26 Projects list. In order not to completely lose my mind and have fun, I diverged on to this project, because it requires me to engage in the entire process of quiltmaking from idea through design to stitching and finishing.

One of the challenges I came upon very soon after starting was transferring my design on to the fabric. This is always a problem for me as I am pretty lazy when it comes to quilting and I have never found a completely satisfactory way to transfer original quilting designs.  I didn’t have a quilting stencil, because this was my own design. I didn’t want to do a free hand drawing on the fabric and I have never been comfortable with the wash away pens, so I was at a loss.

Saral Transfer Paper
Saral Transfer Paper

Quickly, though, a vague memory of Saral Transfer Paper leaped into my head. I think I learned about in the dark ages of my quilting career.

Saral Transfer Paper is described on the company products page as: “Saral® Transfer Paper is wax free transfer paper (also known as graphite paper or tracing paper) made for general and specialized use, which allows you to transfer your design from a sketch, pattern, template or free hand to any surface. It makes clean, crisp tracings that can be erased and painted over. It’s great for tole painting, fabric painting, fine arts and watercolor painting, quilting, dress making, commercial and graphic arts, architecture, wood working, ceramics, stained glass, metal working and it’s acid-free for scrapbooking.

The website goes on to describe the advantages and different uses: “ Saral Transfer Paper is wax free so it gives the advantage of erasing like pencil with no smear or smudge. It can be inked or painted over with no skipping or bleeding. The transfer lines can be sponged, washed out or brushed off of fabric, and a hot iron will not set them as will other tracing or transfer papers made for fabrics. Saral is economical and can be used again and again.

Saral Comes In 5 Colors

Graphite: The all-purpose tracing medium. Excellent for illustration board and all drawing papers, wood, fabrics, canvas and metal.

Red: Excellent for ceramics and china painting. The lines will fire out. Shows up equally well on light or dark surfaces and mixtures of the two, such as photographs and photostats. May be used on acetate overlays, plastics and enamel.

Blue: Non-photographic. It’s not necessary to clean off Saral blue when work goes before the platemaking camera. Ideal for key lines, mechanicals, paste-ups. For Tole Painters, it leaves a bright, easy to see transfer line.

Yellow and White: For tracings on dark surfaces. Excellent on dark fabrics, dark wood, metal, as well as dark painting surfaces. Tole painters find white especially useful. Yellow is best for work on clear or stained glass.

Saral is Certified Non-Toxic
All Saral transfer papers conform to ASTMD-4236 and are certified by The Art & Creative Materials Institute as non-toxic, so they are suitable for use by children, as well as adults.

I have used it before, so I went in hunt for it and was fortunate to find a flat pack of 5 8.5″x11″ sheets at Joann. I also ordered a roll, as is shown in the image, from Amazon. It is an old fashioned feeling product, but it works amazingly well.

My pattern is about 2.5″x3″ feet, so I stood at my cutting table and drew over my pattern through the Saral Yellow onto my fabric. I can easily sew over the lines and they brush off when I don’t need them any more. I use a Sewline pencil to darken any lines that may have gotten too light. I am really pleased with how this product works, because I was able to trace right over the original lines of my pattern.

Also, I only used one 8.5″x11″ sheet to transfer the entire pattern., so the website’s claims of economy seem to hold up to scrutiny.

Various & Sundry #9

I have re-enrolled with Amazon Associates. You should see the widget in the right sidebar towards the bottom. If you buy anything from Amazon, you can do so by clicking on the widget. This may be a duplicate of what you have heard on any number of other blogs.  It will give me a few pennies on whatever you buy at no cost to you.

I also have a Cafe Press Shop: Go buy stuff. Thanks.

What I am Reading: I am still working the Age of Innocence on my Kindle, but I am mostly playing Mahjong Solitaire on my Kindle and not reading! As I said before, I  think it might a better book to which to listen, which means I might jump to Creating Time: using creativity to reinvent the clock and reclaim your life by Marney Makridakis
Audiobook playing on my iPod: Beekeeping for Beginners, novella by Laurie R. King.
What I am Working On: Garden, and thinking about binding a table runner for my Grama. I may start putting the Infinity blocks together. I am also doing a lot of pressing and cutting of recently washed fabric

Fabric, Spools & Tools

I haven’t been using much DMC floss lately on the pieces that I embroider. I usually head over the Perl Cotton aisle. Mark Lipinski had a few things to say about a DMC floss color card he bought recently. Definitely Buyer Beware.

Weeks Ringle talked recently about elastic thread on her blog. She gives some tips and tricks for working with it. Quick skirt anyone?

I had iron drama again recently. I finally got fed up with my iron leaking and went looking for a new one. Target had drastically reduced their choices, which is where I usually buy my irons. Mark Lipinski suggested I get a Digital Velocity iron, so I went looking for one of those. Joann has them online only, but you can’t use their coupons, except for the free shipping coupon and $165 is a lot to pay for an iron. I saw the other day that Bed Bath and Beyond had them also. They are $140 online at BB&B, which is a discount. Again, you can’t use the coupon online and I don’t know if they have them in store. I ended up with a Sunbeam Turbo Steam Master. It feels cheap, but isn’t leaking and has good steam. I’ll keep looking for a good price ont he Digital Velocity.

Doing Good

Princeton Public Library Block
Princeton Public Library Block

Nancy Zieman had a guest blogger talking about The Quilt that Build a Library. One block +$5=a library. Do your part! I made a block and sent it off. Yes, I used the same fabric I bought for the QuiltCon block challenge. I had plenty and it was at hand. After I made the columns, I thought I should alternate, but then I realized I put the greens and greys in the wrong locations and if I alternated the squares and rectangles, some of the contrast would be lost, so I left them. I hope the group likes the block. The information for size, where to send, etc can be found directly on the Princeton, Wisconsin Public Library website. This project goes on through 2013. I may do more and I got a lovely comment on my blog from the director of the project filled with praise for my blog, the block and my writing. We’ll see how many more blocks I make.

Space, Studios & Workrooms

Did you see the new studio that Olabelhe created out of her (his??) dining room? It was being pinned all over Pinterest at the beginning of June, because it is fabulous. It is fresh, clean, uses wonderful colors. Love it.


You know I go on and on about developing a creative habit. Part of my solution is responding to the Creative Prompts I post on Fridays (most recent). I am not making this up. Creativity and developing a habit that allows you to call upon it at will is important. At work I get an emailed newsletter called HBR Management Tip of the Day. These are very short tips, literally taking 30 seconds or less to read. Normally, they are things I already do or know about. I was surprised to find one pop up about creativity. The tip was related to work, but I was reminded how a creative habit can help in various aspects of our lives. One of the tips within the tip (a subtip?) was “Let your mind wander. Studies show that day dreaming stimulates a unique mental state. You’ll connect dots in new ways when you allow your mind to roam.” Work or quiltmaking, it applies.

I finally went and watched an episode of The Quilt Show. I am so engrossed in audiobooks at the moment that I never seem to get to them. I would suggest that you watch episode #1013 with Susan Shie (pronounced shy). Yes, you will need a membership, or, perhaps, you can just buy that one episode. She talks about creativity and how to just do it, that your work is always good enough and to reclaim that 6 year old who wasn’t worried about what others would say. I really liked this episode and it gave me a creative shot in the arm. Susan does great work, which was an added bonus.

Other Artists

Lisa Call posted an interview about how she works. I love the reading these types of posts, because I like to compare them to what I do and think about the differences.

Lil Sissy is posting to her blog from Paris and I had to update some stuff for her. While I was nosing around, I noticed one of her links, Weekly Gratitude. The project was a one year project, but the closing post is really good. The author talks about how she will continue to practice gratitude and try to look at life from that angle rather than from the negative. I think that doing a project and then doing a “project wrapup” is a great idea. Many times work projects have this step built in, but we, as creative people, sigh with relief when a project is done and move on. This is a post that I might print as a reminder. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Have you seen Pam’s Pinwheels and Patches baby quilt? It is really pretty. Not in a sickly sweet baby kind of way, but in a sophisticated English Garden Party kind of way. Go take a look.

A librarian friend was laid off at the beginning of the year after 20+ years of service. Needless to say the library is going to hell in a handbasket and my friend is thriving. She is looking for a new job, but she has a bit of leisure because she got severance. She is really beefing up her knitting and dyeing. If you want to buy a gift, take a look at Marlowe’s Etsy Shop.

My sister put up A Day in the Life post on her blog. The post confirmed for me that we are actually related. Her day is like a lot of my days: crammed full of tasks that I just do one after another.

Linda M. Poole Quilt Kits Queen

Like many of you, I often scan through the photos on a blog and move on when I am in a rush. Linda has once again demonstrated her generosity with a recent post on her “Birth of a Quilt Class Kit” tutorial. Take the time to read her tutorial, especially if you are tasked with putting together a quilt kit for the first time. She does the job professionally and tells you how to do it thoroughly.
clipped from

Happy Spring,A Tutorial on Making a Quilt Class Kit and Color Fix

So, this kit should be perfect for you to take on your travels too. It has everything you will need. I hope you enjoyed the “birth” of a class quilt kit!
Every quilt instructors kit will be different. We all have our way of doing things and put a little piece of ourselves into the kit. If you can’ take a class from me, “The Dolphin Dance” is also a pattern that can be purchased at my website…(fabric not included).

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Hanging Quilts

I was glad I stopped by melody Johnson’s blog today as she is talking about how she hangs her quilts. Very interesting!

I hang my quilts from a system that uses a shelving standard screwed to the ceiling, and S hooks and fishing line looped over the ends of the rod. Or in this case, actual picture hangers.I have to have a way to hang many sizes of quilts, and I change them out often. This system is hardly noticeable since the eye usually sees the quilt first.
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Electric Quilt Freebies

If you haven’t gotten on the Electric Quilt bandwagon, I suggest that it is time. Aside from the software being really useful with tools for making templates, creating rotary cutting directions, working out visual problems, there is a vast block library and GREAT customer service. They also have a lot of freebies and downloads on their website. One of my faves is their fabric library downloads. Each month they put up another group of fabrics for download. These virtual fabrics add to your collection of fabrics in the program and keep you in the latest virtual fabrics for your project. You can use these files in any of your EQ6 (and some EQ5) projects.Check it out.

Download the Fabric Libraries

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