Friday, December 6, 2013

The Real Studio Tour -- Non-Traditional Tools


Vicki at Field Trips in Fiber is hosting a REAL Studio Tour, versus the beautiful and uncluttered studios that both fascinate and torment me in magazines.  Does anyone manage to keep their space in such pristine condition and still quilt?  If so, they certainly have my admiration.  At any rate, Vicki's tour sounded like fun, and I decided to play.  Today we are invited to post about non-traditional tools.

When I began quilting in earnest about six years ago, I never imagined that two of my favorite go-to tools would be a ceramic floor tile and a cuticle stick.  Here they are.  I was going to recover the tile for this post so it didn't look so icky, but this series is supposed to be about keeping it real!



My preferred method for turned edge applique uses starch and melt-resistant templates.  A workshop instructor suggested that a floor tile wrapped in a couple of layers of muslin made a good ironing surface for this technique.  It is small enough to rotate as I work my way around the piece and the extra hard surface seems to aid in the process as well.  The muslin is secured on the back with flat head pins.  

As I paint the edges of the fabric with starch, they stick to the ironing surface making it difficult to roll them over the template.  The cuticle stick is the best tool I've found for lifting the edges enough to begin the ironing process. 

Be sure to visit Vicki's blog to see the non-traditional tools other quilters use. 

9 comments:

Vicki W said...

I love this idea. I never thought about the floor tile as a pressing surface but it makes perfect sense.

Sarah said...

While I don't applique I understand the role of a firm surface - my ironing board is plywood covered in batting/reflective silver stuff and duck cloth. I'll never use a regular ironing board again.

elle said...

Another good idea! This is a great tour. I use a skewer but a cuticle stick would be shorter and better. The tile is giving me lots of ideas for holding stuff down as well as being a firm surface. thanks!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Brilliant! Both tools are ones I will be adding to my arsenal.

Beth said...

Oh MARY! This ia Christmas present of a tip! I have Erin Russeks' Jingle BOM all printed out and I am pulling fabric as I sort. This will be WONDERFUL for learning to prep pieces. Thank you thank you!

katie z. said...

Ooh!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

great idea - I will need to try this

Gene Black said...

This is a great idea. I am wondering if you could put a piece of silicon pressing sheet on top of the muslin and solve the sticking problem entirely. Just a thought.

Cathy said...

What a fabulous idea! I do a lot of the starch applique too, and doing it on the ironing board is a bit of a pain. I'm writing this one down so I don't forget it.