Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sewing Test Lab

Just as I suspected--a bazillion checker board blocks are needed to finish the ThimbleCreek mystery. Well, not quite that many, but if you don't hear from me until sometime in December it will be because I'm sewing checkerboard blocks!
I have a couple new additions to my sewing supplies.
This is the new Clover Wedge. It has a very slim and pointy tip--perfect for pressing back applique edges.

Although I love the Rowenta travel iron, I am so over the constant need to replace them when they die. I've also stopped adding water to all of my irons, so I'm not bothered that this little iron doesn't steam. vents!!

It has three heat settings, an indicator light and a side cord that doesn't get in the way (unless you are left handed, maybe?). It also stays on until you turn it off!

One drawback--the spray bottle that comes with the iron is about the size of a bottle of nail polish!

This is what I use to mist my fabrics--a re-purposed Best Press bottle.
 It's a lot more practical and saves lots of trips to the sink.

I showed these Primitive Gatherings triangle papers last week.
 I really didn't need them since I have a Triangulations CD, but I needed to use up some credit I had accumulated  at the quilt shop by the end of this year.
 I decided to compare the two versions and printed out the 3/4" size Triangulations on Carol Doak paper. 

The Primitive Gatherings package says the papers are specially designed for charm squares. You can see they barely fit on a 5"charm--in fact, since I starched the charms and they were slightly shrunken, I had to turn the fabric because it was too short in one direction.
The Triangulations has room to spare around the edges of the charms as the triangles are set next to each other rather than stacked as the PG triangles are.  

This is the back of the charms after sewing--Triangulations on the left, PG on the right.
The Triangulations are sewn in a criss cross fashion and the PG triangles are sewn in rows with a space between them. The instructions along the edge of the PG papers say to follow the arrows to stitch, but I was unable to find any arrows on my papers. There are little scissors the show the cutting lines.

I would say the ease of removing the papers is about equal if you use the Carol Doak paper for the Triangulaions.
My real concern is the seam allowance. The PG papers allow for an eighth inch seam. The Triangulations has a 3/16" allowance--not a huge difference, but if you have a fabric that ravels easily, an eighth inch could be a problem when you remove the papers.

Both of the papers created perfect little 3/4" half square triangles and this little basket went together like a breeze!
So...draw your own conclusions. 
The Primitive Gatherings papers do have that cute factor!

This isn't a new tool, but I had to give it a little love!
I'm so glad I remembered I had this Flip-n-Set tool to make setting triangles for one of my exchange block quilts. I didn't have yardage of this fabric--just strips left over from a quilt back. Instead of cutting my setting triangles from large squares, all of the math is worked out on this tool to be able to cut them from strips. 

It folds in half for easy storage. I guess it's a tool that isn't needed that often, but it's a life saver when you need it! I was able to get all my triangles cut from the two strips I had and it helped me use up some of that stash!!
Okay--back to those checkerboard blocks!


  1. I saw the setting for the mystery quilt and thought it would be a lot of work creating the blocks.
    I purchased one of Rowenta travel irons at a thrift store. I don't think it ever had much use. I know it heats up but have never really had a use for it. I will keep in mind about not use the water in it.

  2. I think the little extra seam allowance would be the deciding factor for me. Thanks for the comparison.

  3. Appreciated all of your product reviews today. It's always nice to hear what other Quilter's think. You were right about the checkerboard borders for the mystery quilt. Guess what I was working on all day!

  4. Irons--ugh! I have purchased many and each has had its issues. The steam ones always leak. I use triangle papers and find my quilting to be much more accurate.

  5. I really like the comparison you did here, and the info on the little iron. Both very helpful. I have Triangulations, too, so I have never felt the need to purchase Lisa's Triangle Papers. I have purchased Carol Doak's paper, but have since switched to Sax white newsprint--500 sheets for a fraction of the cost of Carol's 100 sheets. Found it on Amazon. It used to qualify for free shipping, but last I checked, it no longer did.

  6. Good luck with the checkerboards Karen! Love your new tools.... the flip and set one looks really useful! Have a lovely weekend! Christine x

  7. Great post Karen, thanks for all the tips. Love the look of that iron and the PG papers look similar to Thangles which I have found work well.