Well, believe it or not, summer is always a very hectic time here at A Great Notion – in fact, I always look forward to the first week of September because that is when I get to take a break, even though that is when the stores start to get busy again and the phones start ringing! The end of July is our year end, which means that in our warehouse and in both stores, everyone is gearing up for our annual stock-taking – an exhausting annual ritual. I’m also just back from Quilt Market, where I’ve always found so many new items to add to our product line that I want to get our fall catalogue completed RIGHT AWAY so that everyone else can share in the excitement of new products. The next catalogue won’t be ready until the end of August though, but this year, you’ll be finding that gradually new things will be added to our web site over the next few weeks as we slowly have time to fit everything in. I’m not quite sure though how Irene and Dolores in our shipping and warehouse department are going to like this though as they are already complaining that we are straining at the seams and can’t fit anything else in!
Since we won’t have a new catalogue out until Fall though, we are putting together a Summer flyer featuring some of the best, most exciting new things on the market. Sign up for our email newsletter if you’d like to receive a copy of this – it will be in electronic format only so we won’t be mailing anything out. We’re working diligently to try and have this ready within the next week – I want it done soon as I’m actually taking a week off later this month to go and visit my two daughters who are living in Ontario. We’re very proud of my older daughter and her husband who are just graduating from the University of Western Ontario in London with their Masters in Music, so we’re off to their graduation ceremonies. After a few days in London, we’ll be off to North Bay to see our younger daughter’s new home and meet our new grand puppy for the first time. It should be a fun and exciting week.
Back to some of the new additions to our product line, very shortly we should have the GO! AccuQuilt Die Cutter in stock. This is the most revolutionary way to cut fabric ever offered. The GO! Fabric cutter is safe, easy-to-use, accurate, and up to 90% faster than rotary cutting or cutting with scissors. Not only is it fast and easy to cut, it’s lots of fun too so you might find out that your scraps will all disappear as you cut them into useable quilt pieces! I’m including a couple of links here for some YouTube videos explaining how the works. Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson are both spokespeople for the GO! Cutting system and I think you’ll enjoy watching them demo it!
We’ve had lots of discussions lately about mitreing techniques for quilt borders and bindings, so I thought I’d write about a couple of my favourite products for making perfect mitred bindings. The first tool, the Perfect Binding Miter Tool, we’ve sold for quite a while now – it’s a small, inexpensive little tool that really does what it says – gives perfect mitered bindings every time you use it. The second tool, a brand new one to us, The Binding Tool, isn’t used for mitreing the corners of your binding, but what it does is solve a problem that I’ve always had when sewing on quilt binding – when you get to the end and have to join the beginning end to the end of the binding, how to figure out just how long to cut it, which way to align the ends for a mitred seam and getting it just right to that there are no gathers or puckers in the binding. I know this has been a problem for many others as well so I was really excited to see this.
The photos here are thanks to Glenna of Quilts ‘n Stuff, the inventor of the Perfect Binding Miter Tool. Here goes:
1. Start sewing your binding on in the middle of one edge of your quilt project with a ¼” seam allowance leaving about a 10” tail of binding. When you approach the 1st corner, position the Perfect Binding Miter as shown and mark the diagonal line.
2. Finish sewing to the start of this diagonal line and then stitch along the diagonal line to the outside corner of the seam allowances.
3. Fold the binding along the diagonal stitching line as shown.
4. Fold binding back, aligning the binding with both edges of the project.
5. Stitch from the edge and repeat for all the remaining corners, stopping your stitching 12” from where you started, leaving another 10” tail of binding.
6. When you fold your bindings around, you’ll have perfect corners!
Now it’s time to use the Binding Tool. The tool itself has markings on it, but the best way to explain how to use it is for you to watch this YouTube video where Susan Brown, the inventor of the tool explains its use. It’s so easy, it’s almost like magic! When you’re done, you’ll have a quilted project that is bound with perfect mitred corners, and the final seam will be mitred so perfectly that you won’t be able to tell which seam was the final one! I love it and I hope you do too.
Time to go now – we have Diana Cedolia of Palm Beach FL coming on the 11th of June to teach a 4D Embroidery Software Boot Camp for us and I have to start getting ready for her!