Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quilt Care Instructions

I'm off for Seattle tomorrow to visit my kids and then attend the Sewing Expo in Puyallup, Washington. If you're lucky enough to get to the Expo, please stop by the Superior Threads booth to say hello.

I'll have lots of patterns and samples of many of my products, including my newest Laptop Purse, Laptop Case, and Purse Organizers.

I got a telephone call today from a quilter wondering about how to launder the quilt she just made for her sister. Because I baste with water-soluble thread and mark my quilting designs with washout markers, I wash all of my quilts. I use Orvus soap and wash in cold water on a delicate cyle. I've posted the complete instructions on my website in a PDF format.

There are four "labels" on an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper so that you can print them onto fabric and attach them to your quilts. In addition to washing instructions, the labels also include recommendations for display and storage of quilts.

Happy quilting!

Annie

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fun with fusible thread

I just spent three very enjoyable days in the company of about 50 delightful ladies who attended the first-ever Superior Threads Seminar here in St. George. We learned about thread quality, weight, tensions, needles, working with decorative threads, and how to use different threads in design. A good balance of lectures and hands-on classes plus time for visiting and sharing ideas made the seminar especially fun. At the end of the seminar Bob and Heather held a graduation ceremony and presented each of us with a Post-Doctorate Degree in Threadology. You may now refer to me as "Dr. Annie."

A highlight of the week for me was being able to teach one of the seminar classes. Fun with Fusible Threads focused on using fusible thread for applique. We made little needle cases, using fusible thread to applique colorful circles and stars in place on the front of the cases. We used decorative threads (such as Highlights and Rainbows) to finish the raw edges on each piece.



Everyone seemed to really enjoy learning this quick and easy technique and many people told me that they appreciated going home with a finished project. If you are looking for a fun and easy class project, this is it. The pattern for the small needle cases can be found in my Gifts for Quilters or Needle Case & Wool Pincushions patterns.

In addition to using the fusible thread for applique, Julie Woods, whose guild in Australia awarded her a scholarship to attend the seminar, shared a great idea for using fusible threads with foil. All of you art quilters out there are sure to enjoy this technique!

You can either arrange the fusible thread on top of your fabric or use your sewing machine to stitch the thread in place. (Wind the thread on the bobbin and stitch from the back or use the thread through the eye of a 100/16 topstitch needle.)

Then place a piece of metallic foil paper (available at art supply stores) shiny side up on top of the fusible thread. Place an applique pressing sheet or piece of parchment paper over the foil paper. Press with a hot iron (no steam) so that the foil and thread will fuse to the fabric. Let everything cool; then pull the paper away from the design.

You'll have a beautiful shiny design to decorate your fabric. Here are pictures of some of the samples that Julie shared:



Try threading the fusible thread through your needle and making seed stitches on your art piece. Then apply the foil to the seed stitches -- beautiful! (Unfortunately my scanner doesn't pick up the colors in the sample. It's too dark.)

Susan Berbec also shared her technique for using the fusible thread to bind quilts. You can read more about this technique at the Superior Threads website:
http://www.superiorthreads.com
. Click on Education and then scroll down to Charlotte's Fusible Web/Using It For Speedy Bindings.

If you don't already get Bob's email newsletter, you can sign up for it at http://www.superiorthreads.com. It is full of great educational information. Be sure to watch for information about the next Superior Seminar. You won't want to miss it!

Friday, February 1, 2008

A great recipe -- and a terrific offer!

I found a wonderful recipe for Artisan Bread on the Spendid Table website and have made it numerous times over the past couple of months. It is absolutely the easiest bread you will ever make -- no kneading ever! -- and it is really, really good.

You can find the recipe here:

http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/accompaniments_fiveminute.shtml

I just use regular salt and that works well. We've tried it with part whole-wheat flour and some flax. That was good, too.

It's perfect with a nice bowl of soup on a cold winter day. My very favorite soup is Creamy White Chili. You can find the recipe (and several more) on my website: http://www.byannie.com/images/sample_recipes.pdf

Enjoy!

And, if you'd like to try some other great recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, From Halibut to Jalapenos. Having sold out of the first printing, I reordered the books and THIRTEEN boxes of cookbooks arrived today. Yikes!

I'm happy to offer my "friends and family" special to all of you:

Order by February 29, 2008, and receive 3 books for just $50 (plus shipping if applicable). That gives you one book FREE!

NOTE: Since I'm not sure how to put the "special" on my order forms, just add a note with your order. For every two books that you order by February 29, I'll be sure to send a third at no charge.

You can read more about the book here:
http://www.byannie.com/cookbooks.html