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Tag Archives | Quilting

Review | Clover Wonder Clips

Reported by Cassandra Darwin

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I would describe myself as a lazy seamstress (less lazy for quilting, but still looking for shortcuts). So if there is something that can make sewing easier and have less projects end with the seam ripper and frustration…then I am all ears! Enter the Clover Wonder Clips.

These little wonders are a sewing notion offered by Clover as an alternative for pins when you need to hold fabric together.  The clips are small, but open wide for working with lots of layers and thicker fabrics.

Clover Wonder Clips

The clips are strong and stay in place really well – exactly like they are supposed to. So I pulled out some minky fabric that had been giving me trouble. It kept puckering when I pinned it.

Clover Wonder Clips

I clipped the sides and got ready to sew a straight seam. The bottom of the clips are flat to easily slide up to the presser foot.

Clover Wonder Clips

Here is where I will reiterate the fact that I am no expert when it comes to sewing. Because I have trouble keeping my two pieces perfectly aligned, I always kept my pins in the fabric until the very last second. But with the clips, because they are so wide, you have to remove them sooner than I usually like to do.

Clover Wonder Clips

I also had a few instances where the clips caught a bit on the edge of my sewing machine as they were feeding up towards the presser foot.

Clover Wonder Clips

So the clips were not the perfect solution for this experiment, but I could see the benefits for lots of other projects.  Sometimes you are working with delicate fabrics that you don’t want to add extra pin holes to if you don’t have to, like leather or delicate silks. And when you have a lot of thick layers (including batting for quilts) these clips would do a great job of holding everything together.  I have heard lots of quilters saying that they only use these clips when doing their quilt bindings now. As far as capacity, these little red clips easily held 8 layers of minky fabric.

Clover Wonder Clips

I have a quilt that I have been planning and these clips will be on my agenda as I get ready to do the binding. As far as my normal everyday sewing projects, I will probably stick with pins because they let me keep the fabric pinned right up to the presser foot.

PROS:

  • Strong clips with a wide opening for lots of layers and thick fabric (or batting)
  • No pin holes and less puckering
  • Would also be great for organizing small fabric pieces when quilting

CONS:

  • Clip shape requires it to be removed well before the presser foot
  • Clips may get caught on the edge of your sewing machine

Clover Wonder Clips can be found in craft and fabric stores, and are also currently available on Amazon.com in a package of 50 clips. If anyone has used these clips and has some tips I would love to hear them!

Vendor Spotlight: Silicone Release Paper by C&T Publishing

Reported by Heather Strenzwilk


Silicone Release Paper from C & T Publishing was inspired by fusible applique artist Laura Wasilowski. The double-sided, coated paper comes in a package of ten- 8.5″ x 11″ inch sheets plus two- 17″ x 22″ inch sheets for larger projects. This versatile paper can be used for transfers, appliques and as a non-stick work surface for craft projects.

Pouch with heart appliques

Because I am not a very accomplished sewer (I still refer to the instruction book to thread my sewing machine properly) I decided to make a very simple applique pouch. I began by ironing some Steam-A-Seam2 double-stick fusible webbing onto the back of the fabric and then removing the backing to expose the adhesive. I used a black Sharpie marker to trace the heart shape onto the silicone release paper. Then I put the design (Sharpie side down) onto the fusible web and I ironed the silicone release paper to transfer the Sharpie ink to the fabric.

The Sharpie marker ink transfers to the fabric when ironed

I could tell when the transfer had occurred because the silicone release paper is nearly transparent. After removing the silicone release paper I was able to cut out my applique and adhere it to the pouch using my iron. This was a pretty easy process and it worked for me the first time. Although some of the Sharpie ink remained on the silicone release sheet, I think you could re-use it if you were careful.

Silicone release paper is perfect for creating hot glue or school glue embellishments

After the success with my pouch, I decided to test some other craft media. I used my hot glue gun to create some embellishments. When the glue cooled, they easily popped off the silicone release paper. The paper could definitely be re-used, which was a plus. Later I wrote the word “Elmer” with some white school glue. Because school glue is very wet, the paper warped and curled badly as it dried but the letters popped right off the release paper.

The more liquid the acrylic paint, the more warping as the paint dries

Next, I decided to make some acrylic paint skins, which I had never heard of before researching this article. For one set, I used Anita’s acrylic paint which is very liquidy. The paper warped as it dried but the dried acrylic pieces (which are very flexible) came off the page easily. For the second batch, I used some old Lumiere paint which had definitely thickened with age, with a touch of blue Anita acrylic paint. This batch had more body and didn’t warp the paper as badly, but the paper is definitely “single use” for this type of project.

Notice the warping after the acrylic paint skin is peeled

Finally, I decided to make some encaustic art with Crayola Crayons. I sprinkled fine crayon shavings on a piece of cardboard sandwiched between two pieces of silicone release paper. After briefly ironing to melt the crayon, I pulled off the top paper. The wax didn’t stick to the release paper but it did sort of bead up and leave a waxy residue. I put the sheet, residue side down on some white matte cardstock to try to remove the residue but some of it remained. I could use the sheet again but I would be concerned about muddying the next batch of wax.


My impression of the product is that it is a thinner, disposable version of a non-stick craft mat, a product I use constantly in my craft room. The texture of the paper reminds me of a cross between parchment paper and the release paper used to iron Perler Beads. Silicone release paper would be good to take to a crop or for kids to use because there is no messy clean up. I was a little disappointed by how much the silicone release paper warped when it got wet, but it is more of a one-time use product. The larger 17″ x 22″ inch size sheets are great for larger projects or for enlarging patterns. Since the sheets are nearly transparent, it is easy to trace and there is no need to reverse your letters because you’ll flip the sheet to do the transfer onto the fabric.

Mini book featuring an encaustic tree

Pros:

  • Package has ten regular size plus two 17″ x 22″ sheets for large projects
  • Nothing sticks to it
  • Versatile- can be used with multiple media

Cons:

  • Silicone release paper warps if it gets very wet
  • Not as durable as a standard, reusable non-stick craft mat

Have you tried Silicone Release Paper? What products do you use to create appliques? Please share your thoughts with our readers.

CHA Summer 2011 | Sizzix Quilts

Reported by Susie Ziegler

People are starting to catch on to the technique of using die cutting with fabric to make quilts. At CHA, we saw these marvelous examples of die cut quilts at the Sizzix booth.

Die cutting fabrics is an amazing innovation for quilting.
Sewing quilt blocks is really easy when all the cuts are accurate. Nothing cuts more accurately than a die cutting machine!
We were really excited to hear that Sizzix plans to expand their collection of Bigz Dies designed especially for quilting.

With more dies, the Big Shot will be an indispensable quilting tool, just like the rotary cutter!