Finished Fulk Family Charity Quilt

Hello all, and Happy August! By now, I'm sure many of you have seen on either Facebook or Instagram that the Fulk Family Quilt is finished, so I wanted to hop on here and share some final images of the finished quilt with you all as well.

If you're just finding out about this charity quilt effort, you can read my original post here. I shared the hope of making a quilt for Helen Fulk after her husband unexpectedly passed away in June with people across social media and the response was overwhelming!


The finished quilt is 72" x 84" and made from 12" reverse sawtooth blocks (free tutorial by suzyquilts). I chose blue, green, and teal mixed with low volume fabrics when I put out a call for blocks. I think the final look is really cohesive considering they came from so many different quilters!

A big thank you to everyone involved in this process. From block making, to donating binding, backing, batting, quilting services, etc! It was a huge group effort that stretched from the U.S. to Canada. It would not have come together so quickly if it weren't for all of you.


Longarm quilting, batting, and binding services provided by Megan McCord. 

Blocks donated by 17 quilters from the U.S. and Canada. 

Binding donated by SimplyMackbeth on Etsy. Backing donated by Karen Denoya. 

Quilt top was pieced by me :)


The label was purchased from BorderCityQuilts on Etsy, where I get all of my printed quilt labels. She has so many designs to choose from and is very open to custom orders!


This quilt was gifted to Helen and her sons a couple days ago. She was very happy to receive it and wanted to make sure I passed on her thanks to everyone involved.

Thank you again!

Favorite EPP Tools + a Giveaway!



English paper piecing is one of my favorite rainy day projects to work on. I love to grab my favorite supplies, some EPP blocks and get to work while watching a movie or just relaxing. But, guess what? There was a time I couldn't sew a single stitch by hand. I knew nothing!

Over the years I've learned some great EPP stitches and I honestly feel like anyone else can too! Even if you're strictly a machine sewist by heart :) So, today I've partnered with a couple businesses to bring you this post to get you started on your EPP journey, and offer up an awesome Giveaway!


SPONSOR:

A big thank you to Sue Daley Designs for sending a very generous package for the giveaway as well as my very own personalized rotating cutting mat! Thanks so much Sue! And a big thank you to Kim of RobotMomSews for sending a thread gloss as well! The other items will be from me! <3 i="">Giveaway details are at the bottom of this post.

Keep reading to checkout my favorite tools, plus enter to win your very own EPP Kit!

EPP Checklist

First, we'll start out with a basic checklist of necessary supplies. I promise I won't go too overboard and everything is pretty easy on the wallet as well which is great! Im sticking to just the basics!

Must-haves:
  • Milliners needles, size 10 or 11
  • Binding clips
  • Needle minder (or Pincushion)
  • Thread conditioner / wax
  • 1" x 6" acrylic ruler
  • 18 MM rotary cutter
  • Glue pen + glue refills
  • Marking pen
  • Paper pieces
  • Quality thread
  • Sharp snips (small scissors)

Optional:
  • Silicone or leather finger tip protectors (or thimble)
  • Needle threader
  • Shaped Acrylic EPP templates
If you'd like to purchase some of these items, I have curated an Amazon list titled Favorite EPP Tools that has all of my recommendations on it for you! You can grab everything in one place :)


My Favorites

Once you master the basics and have your tools, you can move on to new shapes. Now, I want to talk about some more specific brands, primarily the ones that I know and love and use on a daily basis. You do not have to buy these brands, my Amazon recommendations list provides alternatives.

Aurifil Thread, $4.50+
My go-to thread for everything. Aurifil 50wt. thread is smooth and doesn't produce lint or have frequent knots and breakage. You can get it in hundreds of colors, large or small spools, cones, and multiple weights.

My #1 website for Aurifil purchases in the U.S. is Hawthorne Supply Co. They have EVERY shade, weight, and multiple spool sizes. I love to buy the small spools in a rainbow of colors, its affordable and perfect for traveling. As an Aurifil Artisan I admittedly use lots of Aurifil threads for all of my projects, but even before I became an Artisan for the company I had a strong love for Aurifil and used it daily. 

Sue Daley Designs Milliners Needles
By far my favorite. Ive tried so many brands but nothing compares to Sue Daley. The little tube the needles come in is beyond convenient and super travel friendly, the gold tipped needles make it easy to see when threading and the needles themselves are just superb. They're long and thin which I LOVE! If I don't use a long needle, my hands get so sore and start to cramp. 

I often use Milliners #10 and #11 size from Sue Daley for hand sewing of all sorts, but especially EPP. They glide through the fabric without leaving a large hole and it just makes everything so seamless.

RobotMomSews Thread Gloss, $4 to $7
Kim of @robotmomsews has a wonderful little shop where she sells lots of shapes and scents of beeswax thread gloss at a super affordable price. And yea... she even has UNICORN THREAD GLOSS!

TheTrendyLittleGeek Unicorn Horn Needle Minder, $4.00
Beyond CUTE! I am obsessed with the little unicorn horn needle minders from the TrendyLittleGeek on Etsy. They snap onto fabric so easily and needle minders are great for when you need a super quick place to put your needle down during sewing. When I'm not using this one, it sits smack dab in the middle of my pin bowl :)

Binding Clips, $10
I have to admit my all-time favorite binding clip brand was Jen's Favorites from FatQuarterShop. Don't know where those went or what happened to them but they are gone (insert second cry face). So any brand will do really! They're useful for EPP, quilting, and so many other things :)

Sue Daley Glue Pen + Refills, $7.24+
I have used this glue pen for YEARS, and I'll tell you a little secret: any brand of glue pen refills will fit in these. So you can buy Fons and Porter glue refills at JoAnn fabrics, or Sewline and Sue Daley glue refills online and at quilt shops and they ALL fit! I do every bit of my EPP basting with glue. If you haven't tried it yet, you're so missing out. It is much quicker and provides more secure basting.

Olfa 18 MM Rotary Cutter, $12
Small rotary cutters are extremely good at cutting EPP pieces, especially those with curves. Because of their size they're also very easy to travel with and pair perfectly with a small cutting mat.

Sewline Styla Water Erasing Marking Pen (Blue), $5.50
I am not shy about using marking pens anymore, I've overcome my fear of stained fabric disasters. I really love the Sewline Styla Water Erasing pen in blue. Its vibrant but still removes super quick and has a nice ceramic 0.8mm roller ball that doesn't snag or fray fabrics.

PaperPieces.com and Sue Daley EPP Papers
These brands are my go-to for all paper pieces in any size and shape. For the U.S. the price and speed of shipping is unmatched. I get my items so quickly and I'm never disappointed in anything I've ever purchased, including entire quilt kits. You can also purchase an acrylic cutting template for basically EVERY EPP shape and size that PaperPieces.com sells. Amazing!!

1" x 6" Acrylic Ruler, $2.50 to $9.00
I think it goes without saying any brand will do, but a good 1" x 6" acrylic ruler with clear ¼" marking is just about the only ruler you'll need for most EPP projects. Its so easy to travel with and just a really great size for marking and cutting seams. You can find the Moda brand Travel Ruler at FatQuarterShop, but Fiskars and Creative Grids also make one commonly sold at JoAnn Fabrics and Amazon.com

And now onto the giveaway...


Prizes provided by Amista Baker, Sue Daley Designs, and RobotMomSews


GIVEAWAY DETAILS! [CLOSED]

There will be TWO winners! You could win a great EPP Favorites Prize Pack that includes:

Starter Package:
  • RobotMomSews Thread Gloss in Raspberry Jam
  • Sue Daley 1" Acrylic Hexagon Template
  • 100 ct. Sue Daley 1" paper hexagons
  • Sue Daley Glue Pen and refill
  • Sue Daley #10 and #11 Milliners Needles
  • Aurifil Threads, large spool in #2845
  • 2 ct. MODA Fabric Mini Charms (2.5)

Expert Package:
  • Sue Daley's Round We Go EPP Quilt Kit (papers, templates, pattern)

If you're interested in entering the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter app below and follow the directions for ways you can earn multiple entries! Ends July 23rd, 2018. Winners will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Any Amazon lists are linked to my Amazon Affiliate account. A small percentage of purchases helps me stay in business doing what I love and allowing me to bring you content like this :)

Stitch & Sew Swap



Are you interested in an awesome swap and a chance to win prizes??

For the next few weeks I will be helping Aneela Hoey promote her latest book, Stitch & Sew, by hosting an Instagram swap. All participants will be sewing up projects from the book that feature beautiful hand embroidery patterns.

PLUS every one who participates will be eligible to win 5 PDF patterns of their choice from Aneela's shop courtesy of Aneela herself as well as some Aurifloss and Wool thread spools courtesy of Aurifil!

Currently closed: All details can be found by visiting the Swap Sign Up Form including dates for all check ins, shipping date, and more. I hope you'll join us!

Quilt Block Drive for Fulk Family


Hello and Happy July! I hope you're all having a wonderful Summer. I'm blogging today to ask a special favor of anyone who would be willing to help a dear friend of mine.

Helen lost her husband Joe unexpectedly the day before Father's Day this year. Joe served as a United States Marine during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served two tours overseas and returned to his family to work for Local Union 683 as a certified electrician, later teaching the same class he was a student in. As a 33 year old, he did not have insurance, a will, or any other means for his family to rely on after his sudden death and leaves three small children behind (ages 6 yrs, 3 yrs, and 4 months).

Helen and her three sons are devastated and could use all the help they can get. As one of her close friends, I would like to make a quilt for her and her children as a token of comfort in this hard time, but financially I cannot do it alone right now.

If you would like to read the obituary for Joseph, please click here. Below is information on what is needed for this quilt block drive. Thank you for your time!

Update 6/13/2018: We officially have everything needed. THANK YOU!!!

Helen and her children (ages 4 months, 3, and 7 yrs)

What do we need?

We are making a Reverse Sawtooth Quilt from the FREE pattern by Suzy Quilts using 12" blocks from the tutorial. There are great pictorials and instructions for creating the blocks (Thank you, Suzy!) and I believe a even beginner  can complete a couple blocks without issues. More details are below...


Update 6/13/2018: We officially have everything needed. THANK YOU!!!
  • We need at least 42 - 12 inch Reverse Sawtooh Blocks, in BLUE, GREEN, OR TEAL mixed with white or very low volume prints. Blocks can be scrappy.
  • 9 yards single fold quilt binding in BLUE, GREEN, OR TEAL
  • 5 yards quilt BACKING in BLUE, GREEN, OR TEAL
  • Monetary donations to pay for longarm quilting expenses and batting (OR A DONATION FOR THIS SERVICE), approx. $100 will be needed plus shipping costs. Send donations to https://www.paypal.me/amistabaker as Friends & Family payment please. *Excess funds will be given to Helen for other expenses (groceries, diapers, formula, etc)
  • I would like to get all blocks and supplies in by August 1st, 2018.

Any extra blocks, bindings, etc will be put towards pillow covers or smaller quilts for the children. I will use up every last donation, I promise!

We will be making the 12" block version as shown in this chart. Please visit SuzyQuilts blog for tutorial.


Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to seeing blocks that are sent my way! I will post progress photos and updates of the quilt on my Instagram account @amistabaker.

Kingfisher Quilt Progress



How many of you are participating in the Kingfisher Stitch-A-Long hosted by @talesofcloth and @stitchedincolor on Instagram?? It is a great way to use up 2.5" mini charms or fabric scraps and slow stitching projects are always good to have on hand for those lazy days.

I have all 46 blocks basted and approx. 20 of those blocks already sewn together. I thought I'd share some of my progress here on the blog for those of you who don't follow me on Instagram (@amistabaker).

Products I'm using...


  • Aurifil 50 wt. thread in various shades
  • Sue Daley Designs glue pens, 1" hexagon acrylic template, and #10 milliners needles
  • PaperPieces.com 1" hexagon papers
  • Thread Heaven thread conditioner
  • Assorted fabrics from my stash, and sharp snips 

Finished Blocks...











I've got a few more done that haven't been shared on Instagram yet, so I'll save those for now :) You can follow me @amistabker to keep up on my progress every day!

I'm a 2018 Aurifil Artisan!

A few months ago I signed up to be an Aurifil Artisan, in the hopes that out of likely hundreds of applicants, I would be chosen to work with my favorite thread brand for the next 12 months. Today I am happy to announce that I am officially a 2018 Aurifil Artisan!!



About Aurifil

Aurifil is a family oriented company based near Milano, Italy producing superior quality threads for both professional and domestic sewing enthusiasts. They use 100% cotton grown in the MAKO region of Egypt on the river Nile. As exotic as that all sounds, the thread itself is even more so! To learn more about Aurifil, head over to their website.

Hey, that's me!

About Me

If you're new here, my name is Amista (hi!). I am a stay-at-home mom of three living in central Ohio. My sewing journey began around 10 year ago after I had my first child. My sister-in-law wanted to get rid of her old Kenmore sewing machine that she had used in Home-Ec in Highschool and my husband graciously purchased it for me for $50.00. I had never operated a sewing machine, and I couldn't even hand stitch!

Fast forward a few years and now English paper piecing and hand binding a quilt are one of my all time favorite things to do! I use my machine for quilts, bag making, and so much more! I have opened myself up to learning anything and everything I can, and even took some online courses on embroidery. 

My skillset has improved ten fold over the years and I'm honored to have been selected as a 2018 Aurifil Artisan!


Some Interesting Facts...

  • I have been a pattern tester for Aneela Hoey since March 2017.
  • I own over 4 dozen Aurifil thread shades in different weights.
  • My favorite colors are purple and teal.
  • I've been hosting online sewing themed swaps for years.
  • I have a modest sewing space but I would love to expand!
  • We own 2 female guinea pigs, Sugar and Peaches.
  • I'm also obsessed with beauty products!
  • I love to watch Netflix and Hulu while I'm at my machine.
  • My husbands hobby is beekeeping.

Some of my favorite Aurifil 50 wt. shades!

Is there anything you'd like to see from me??

I'm more than happy to take some suggestions on projects you'd love to see me make during my time as an Aurifil Artisan. Just leave a comment below and I'll add it to my list :)

I hope you'll join me on my journey as an Artisan over the next 12 months. You can follow me here, on Facebook, or by searching for @amistabaker on Instagram and Twitter!

A look at my machine and a small part of my sewing area.


Smitten Quilt Update: Half Way!


If you've been following along on my Instagram feed (@amistabaker), you'll have noticed I'm picking up pace on trying to finish my English paper pieced Smitten quilt. I thought I'd pop by today and upload some photos of finished blocks since I've done so in the past.

Are you working on any EPP projects?? Id love to hear about them!

Here are a few pictures of recently finished blocks. You can see previous blocks my searching for "smitten" on my blog or browsing my IG feed :)













Pattern Review: Booklet Pouch by Aneela Hoey


Yay! I'm so happy I can finally share this awesome Booklet Pouch pattern with you. It was created by the amazing Aneela Hoey and I was so lucky that I once again got to test a pattern for her!

I chose Indie Folk fabrics by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics, and as always my zippers are from ZipIt on Etsy.



First of all - I feel like I always say this - it's easier than it looks! LOL. But really, it is! All of Aneela's patterns are super easy to follow and understand, especially thanks to her great illustrations throughout each step. This pattern comes in two sizes, I chose to make the small size.

Its so unique, and HELLO, it looks like a crafty Trapper Keeper, right???



If you're timid around vinyl or zippers, just give this pattern a try and it will change your mind! I used 100% machine binding for my pouch (although others did a bit of hand binding) and I feel like it make the process even that much more simple. It actually comes together very quickly with some prep work ahead of time. And as ALWAYS - read through each step BEFORE completing it! Make sure you know what you're about to do first!



PRO TIP: Purchase double sided fusible Peltax Ultra Firm (the stiff stuff) to make your pouch look even better. After inserting it in the exterior slots, give it a good press on each side and it'll adhere to your fabrics and make your bag look amazing! No wrinkles!

You can purchase the Booklet Pouch pattern here!

I'm obviously a fan of Aneela, I've been testing her patterns for a while now and I'm never disappointed. I hope you give this pouch pattern a try, and if you do I'd love to see it!

Granny Square Block Swap: Wrap Up



I have officially wrapped up my first ever block swap!

All but two packaged have labels and are ready to ships (no addresses sent for those two stragglers). They will be on their way to everyone very soon! :)

The Granny Square Block Swap was a lot of fun and I love looking through all of the blocks that were sent in. Below are a few pictures of some of the blocks that were sent in for the four groups (Bonnie & Camille, FigTree, Scrappy Brights, and Scrappy Low Volume).

Total Block Count: 322





I have already had lots and lots of requests for another swap since many people signed up but did not get their blocks done in time. I think a second round would bring in many more blocks but I'm not sure if I'll do Granny Square blocks again, or something else!

Have you entered a block swap before? What are your thoughts on them??

Seven Must-Have Sewing Notions

Today I'd like to share with you seven of my favorite sewing notions and tools - some of which are totally unexpected! I hope you'll have a look and let me know what your favorites are!



Over the years I have found some things most would not consider a sewing notion, but I definitely do! Some of these items work for bag making, EPP, and quilting / general sewing. Keep reading to find out how I use them!


Marshmallow Moisture Stick

I don't know about you but when I am doing hand sewing for long periods of time, wether it's EPP, appliqué or hand binding, my finger tips get dry and sore (yes, even with a thimble).

These Treat Beauty Jumbo Marshmallow Moisture Sticks are absolutely amazing! They can be used as lip balm, or put on fingertips, knuckles, elbows, under your eyes, etc. Anywhere that needs a bit of moisture can benefit from these sticks, and the best part is they are HUGE! You could even use them as thread conditioner!


Hot Ruler

Another notion I can't live without is this awesome Clover Hot Ruler! Instead of just marking lines and trying to fold and press a straight ¼" seam by myself which ALWAYS turns out a bit crooked, I now use the Hot Ruler 100% of the time and my folds are perfect every time.

These are useful for bag making, EPP, and more! Just mark your line, place the Hot Ruler along the edge, fold your fabric over the Hot Ruler and press! Ta-da! Perfect folds!


Seam Guide

This isn't your average seam guide. In fact... I never use it as a seam guide! These Quilter's Paradise Machine Seam Guides are perfect for aiding in getting perfect mitered binding corners!

Once you've stitched down a long straight edge of your binding and you're about to come to the corner, place the seam guide (angle pointing to the right) on the bottom edge of your quilt. The point should touch the corner where the two edges of the quilt meet. Mark the diagonal line. Once your stitching meets that line, follow it! It gives you the perfect mitered corner once the binding is folded over to the other side.

I love this little tool so much because its small (1" x 3" and less than $2.00) and easily fits under my lifted machine foot so I can mark as I sew.


Washi Tape

Grab yourself a cheap roll of wash tape, just trust me on this! You can use it for holding things in place during bag making, stitching on vinyl, and so much more. It's sticky but not too sticky and tears away easily, never leaving a residue. Perfect for all the times you need something to stay put but don't want to leave pin holes or glue residue.


Binding Clips

Alright, this one everyone knows about, but have you caught on to the craze yet? If you haven't, you definitely need to get some of Jen's Favorite Binding Clips ASAP! They have all but replaced pins for me. I use these clips for so many different things.

Why Jen's Favorite brand? I have found they hold up much better than Wonder Clips, which often break or fall apart for me. Jen's Favorite brand are much stronger and longer lasting.


Glue Stick

Even if you don't do glue basting for EPP, you still need one of these skinny glue sticks in your arsenal! I use it every single time I make pouches and bags.  I personally use a Fons & Porter brand, but I'll tell you a little secret - all of the glue cartridge refills on the market (Sewline included) will fit into these pens! I have the refills in pink, blue, and even yellow!

I run a thin line of glue along my zipper tape and press the fabrics onto it so they don't slip or bunch up while I'm sewing with zippers. It has improved my bag making game so much! No more wonky zipper tape! Plus it can be used for sticking down appliqué pieces, foundation paper piecing, and more!

Muffling Mat

This funky little padded wool Muffling Mat helps cut down on vibration, noise, and slippage from your sewing machine.  Just place it under your machine, that's it!

I often do a lot of my sewing at night when the rest of my family is sound asleep, so I need the extra noise reduction. However, I've found that I like this mat even more for reducing slippage of my machine on a super smooth surface.


That's it! Do you have any favorite sewing notions or tools that you use in unexpected ways? I'd love to hear about them!!