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Showing posts with label Best Press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best Press. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lake House Retreat Feb. 2012 Second Chapter

Chapter Two the Lake House

 Lois brought this wall hanging for a show and tell.  I think it was her guild who had a make a tree quilt that reflects yourself.  I thought it was a neat idea.  Lois said the autumn colors represents that she is in the autumn of her life.  She quilted leaves throughout and on the back....
 she wrote things she likes and things that represent her....isn't that a great idea? 
Lois and Eleanor working in front of the beautiful windows and some real characters in the background...LOL.
 I brought my featherweight and realized it didn't come with a 1/4 inch foot.  Then my girlfriend sure your 1/4 inch is the same if you started the quilt on another machine.  OH BOY am I glad she said that!!!  I just changed back to my newer machine to avoid any potential problems...the last thing I want is a varation in my seam allowances.

Eleanor had read that if you put 1/4 cup of cheap vodka into 2 cups of water it is as good as Best Press.  So...she went to work with a blind study of her own.  She cut three squares and on one she put nothing, on 2 she put Best Press and on 3 she sprayed the vodka and water.  After pressing each piece she went around and had each of us feel the fabrics and vote on which one we thought was on the fabric....sort of like a Pepsi/Coke taste test sort of thing.
 The results?  Most folks picked out the Best Press but it was clean it was very difficult to tell the difference.  I think I was the only one who said there was something on a piece of fabric with nothing on you know I'm not reliable when it comes to the blind if she had let me lick the fabric...I would have known for sure!!!  I guess if one is uses the water and least if you screw up your stitches you can just take off the sprayer and begin drinking to relieve your frustrations.

I got a big bang out of this one.  Brenda had discovered you can buy Valentine candy corn.  Personally I don't care for candy corn but apparently there is a sincere appreciation for these tri-colored little triangles.  You may note....this is breakfast...YES...first thing in the morning...

 Bonnie and Brenda proudly showing off the candy corn ...all at breakfast....perhaps it provides just the right amount of fuel necessary to spend the day sewing....because that is what they both did :)
 This Marj's quilt that she was working on last year at retreat.  She paper pieced this one and I know she must be really glad it is finished....I know I would be!

 Another on of Marj's quilts.  This is her Baltimore Album quilt finished.  The Tuesday Applique Group (all of these gals and a few more) meet every Tuesday.  Last year they decided they would each make a needle turn Baltimore Album quilt....several have finished them.  I was told my MJ that I probably shouldn't consider starting one....even through I wish I had made one....she was and is right about me not starting one because I'd just feel bad that they other gals had theirs done and I'd still be on my first block.  Perhaps another time in my life.....I'm looking forward to doing one....someday :)
Marj's Pennsylvania Block quilt....they all came out so nice.....
 and one of Marj's UFO's completed. 
 Donna made this quilt from the book, Birds of a Feather.  She brought fabric to pre-view for the border....
 I think she found one she liked and will probably have this one finished the next time I see her.  I can't wait.
This is a charity quilt made by the girls....these are just flip and sew squares....
 you take strips of fabric and sew them to a piece of flanel or muslin and just sew and flip....and then they cut them and re-pieced them.  This is a great way to use up a ton of scraps.  It seems no matter what the fabric looks like it always looks good on these quilts.
 Chris brought some hand applique ...I think it is one of her Baltimore Album quilt blocks...but I can't remember for sure.
 Here it doesn't look like much...but when Chris gets the fabric cut away and stitched this will be one stunning block. 
 Bonnie brought a little treat for everyone....and we found them on our machines....soooo sweet!

Bonnie also introduced me to a new tool...the Clover Ball Point Awl.  Lets just say some un-named President of our guild had a few blocks that needed to be un-assembled...LOL.  Bonnie and I offered to assist in the process to make it less painful for the sewer...(giggling).   Bonnie pulled out her Clover Ball Point Awl.  I had never seen one before so you know I was curious.
 I wondered what made this Awl different from the one's I have and I'm telling you this is one nifty tool....leave it to Clover to have another wonderful tool.
 Check out the is rounded so it won't poke into your fabric and Bonnie just slipped it under the stitches and pulled them out.  She said she loves it when she does her machine quilting....Brilliant!!
A retreat wouldn't be complete without June the massuse.  June gives the best massage I've ever had in my life...and I've had quite a few.  I don't go to PA without a visit to see June.  Her idea of a full body massage is 2 kidding.  Joyce called June and scheduled her to come on Saturday afternoon....anyone who wanted one got a chair massage.  All I can say is the girls on the list after me were really lucky I ever got out of that chair....I'm talking bliss....all muscles relaxed afterwards.

More soon....

ps...I clicked on spell check...nothing came up...I bet it is just down right now so if you see something spelled in an intersting fashion...I ment to do that!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 12 Giveaway #2 Mary Ellen's Best Press

IHAN's 30 Days of Giveaways
Anniversary Celebration
Day 12 Giveaway # 2
The Clear Starch Alternative

I learned about Mary Ellen's Best Press from my quilting friends in Pennsylvania.  I have not used any other starch since buying my first bottle of Best Press.  What I like about Best Press is that it is clear, doesn't flake, and it has a stain shield.  I remember when I introduced Best Press to Rick (my Mr. McSteamy).  He could not believe that it did not leave flakes and that it starched his work shirts so nicely.  I'm not kidding when I say we have a bottle at each ironing board and a backup gallon upstairs at Rick's ironing board and another gallon for refills at my ironing board.

Quoting Mary Ellen :

There wasn't any new product for ironing in years - then I got sick and tired of using aerosol starch! So now, I've introduced a clear crisp starch with a lovely scent that makes ironing more enjoyable. It's in a non-aerosol can, so it's environmentally-friendly and you can see how much is left, too. There's no flaking, clogging, or white residue on dark fabrics. A special stain shield protects fabrics, and the product helps resist wrinkles. Best of all, it's more effective than any starch you've ever used. 

Here are some quotes from other Best Press users:
"My quilting ladies love Mary Ellen's Best Press. We put a sample out for them to use during classes and once they have tried it, they have got to have it!

*the scents are lovely, not over-powering
*there is no residue left on the fabric
*it provides a little extra stability when working with bias edges
*it aids pressing curved piecing like on the double wedding ring pattern
*seams press flatter and crisper for precision piecing
Many of my quilter's buy it by the gallon.
We have only good things to say about Mary Ellen's Best Press. Thank you for making a quality product that is a joy to use, Kathy Rutherford, owner of Calla Lily Quilt Shop"

"I am a new consumer of Mary Ellen Products. As sick as it may sound, I like to iron, and have been a frequent user of Niagara Spray starch for many years. I had the opportunity to try "Best Pressed". Can't say enough good things about Best Pressed. Product lasts longer than Niagara, does not flake or leave any type residue on clothing after ironing. Also leaves a nice fragrance on clothing. Yuo should try it." -Lynda, Texas                          (taken from Mary Ellen's Product website)

Aren't these the cutest little bottles?  Best Press now has a gift bag with six 2 oz bottles of each of their scents.  These would make a wonderful Easter Basket surprise or a fun  way to say Happy Birthday or Thank You to a quilting friend.
Mary Ellen's Best Press is acid free and made in the USA!!!
I know you are going to be thrilled that Mary Ellen Products have sent six bottles of Mary Ellen's Best Press (16 oz), to be given away to six very lucky IHAN blog readers.  The Tea Rose Garden scent will be put into the Grand Prize Drawing.  To win one of the other five bottles of Mary Ellen's Best Press leave a comment here on this post telling us what you like about Best Press if you have used it.  You've not tried Best Press?  Please tell us why you would like to win a bottle.  We will draw 5 names for this drawing. (The sixth one goes into the Grand Prize Drawing:)

Monday, June 22, 2009

"MJ's Bag Tag" Tutorial by Kelly Jackson

I remember promising some readers that I would post a tutorial about making Bag Tags. That was months ago. Well....I finally did it. Being a visual learner I probably took way too many pictures. For those of you who only require a few, hang in there! :)

The pattern was designed by my dear friend Mary Jane.

You will need:
- Timtex
-Fabric 3 1/2 x 12 inches
-Fabric Strip 14 inches by 1 7/8 (if you are using the binding machine otherwise use the width you prefer)
-Clear Plastic 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches - you can get this at Wal Mart (if they have fabric) or JoAnn's.

Timtex cut 2 1/2 x 11 inches

Fold Timtex  in half

Cut the tips off I used the Olfa Ruler

Tips cut off

Fabric 3 1/2 x 12 inches (Amy Butler Fabric)

I use Best Press and iron my fabric. I like my fabric to be wrinkle free.

Then I cut a piece of MistyFuse just larger than my Timtex (I eyeball the measurement). It might be difficult to see in this picture but if you look closely you can see it is about 1/4 inch larger all the way around.

Then I lay my wrinkle free fabric down, put a layer of MistyFuse and then my Timtex.
I trim the corners of the fabric off - freehand-does not need to be exact.

I'm using "The Applique Pressing Sheet" because the MistyFuse does not stick to it. I flipped the fabric sandwich(fabric, MistyFuse, Timtex) over and pressed. I used "Hot Stuff Harriet" because she does not steam :) I love her....heavy and cheap ($3.00)

Now I flip it over and press the sides in first. Next, I press down the ends. The extra MistyFuse is not visible here (it is wonderfully thin and leaves you fabric soft not stiff) but that is what holds the fabric in place. No need to use more or cut more it is already there.
Then I press in the "ears"

I fold it in half and press again.

This is how I make my straps. You can use fabric to match, coordinate or clash :) You can also use ric rac or ribbon (anything your heart desires:)

I use my new Bias Tape Maker to make the straps. I cut my fabric 14 x 1 7/8 inches. You can do it the old fashion way and fold your fabric in half, then fold the edges in and press. You can use the Bias Tape tools by Clover too. What ever works for you. This is just how I do it.

I feed it around the roller (I usually make 4 or more at the same time so I make lots of bias tape and I don't cut it on the bias because it is only being used for tag straps)

Just lay the fabric over the roller.

I cut it on an angle so it fits through the tip easier.

I use my Awl aka "Pokey Tool" to get my fabric through evenly. You don't have to...I just do...

As soon as it is fed through I remove the top of the Bias Tape Maker

Top Removed....fabric comes across the plate and over the end roller.

Note: you need to get the fabric over the end roller.

Replace the top, turn it on-it heats up very quickly. (this picture was taken out of order. I take mine off first before feeding it but I also turn mine on and do it carefully. If you follow my can get burned....YIKES. Danger Will Robinson!!!!

Waaaahhhhhh have bias tape :)

Subliminal message: Do not see the mess in the not see the mess in the not see the mess in the background.....

I fold it in half and stitch down both sides.

The stitches should be even....often my boys are playing next to me and I'm talking to them and not watching what I'm doing exactly. Then you get a wobbly line....I'm not thinking the bag handlers will you?

I tuck my strap in half and edge the tips down into the Bag Tag about 1/2 inch.

The next few pictures relate to the cutting of the plastic. This is just how they got uploaded....You can cut your plastic at the same time you cut your fabric.

Because I had such a hard time seeing the edge of my plastic when I cut it I use these Q Tools Cutting Edge Strips on the edge. You can see here that I place it on the edge of my roll of plastic.

Now I can see where I'm cutting. This just makes it easier for my. You might not have a hard time seeing the plastic. I have these strips for my rulers and they are re-usable so I use them on my plastic too.

Back to the Bag Tag Sewing

First I stitch right along the edge of the strap securing it in place. I usually go forward and backward and forward again. This secures the strap into the Bag Tag.

Just as I turn to come down the side I place my plastic on top of the Bag Tag. It is a little difficult to see here but that is what I've done. I use my walking foot because it glides over the plastic and does not get stuck. I've used my 1/4 inch foot and it sticks to the plastic.

I continue stitching all the way around and then clip my threads. Then I put a business size card behind the plastic.

You can make an assembly line to make several tags at once. They make really great gifts. Everyone I've ever given them to has told me how much they appreciate them. I put them on my boy's back packs for school, lunch boxes, gym bags and my luggage. I have made them in smaller sizes for gift tags and then they can use them for their bags afterwards.

This tutorial took quite a bit of time to do the pictures, upload them, write out the tutorial etc etc etc. I did not share the pattern (which took MJE time to create) without her permission. I ask that you not copy my instructions without my permission. The pattern and instructions are being shared freely and not intended for sale or profit.

If you get stuck or need more information feel free to e-mail me at If you need any of the items used to make Bag Tags check out

I would love to see your Bag Tags. If you make some please, please, please send me pix to share.


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