2.5" clear Not-A-Ruler
|Yes, it IS hard to see. I lose it on the cutting mat all the time. This has been photoshopped to make it show up!|
Then America had a national bicentennial (that was in 1976 for those of you from other places). Suddenly all things colonial were hot and trendy, although the words "hot" and "trendy" were not yet heard of, and "colonial" was not yet a synonym for evil (at least not in the US). A quilting revival was born, and I was there for the birth.
Barbara Schaeffer (at the time a mother of schoolchildren, NOT a little old lady) taught quilting to a small class of interested women at the community room in her church. From that tiny beginning a guild* was born. One of the women in the group volunteered to have her husband cut long pieces of clear rigid plastic into sizes useful for quilt blocks. I used them to mark fabric with a pencil, which I then cut with scissors. Nothing like this was available on the market. There WAS no market!
|Pre-cut 2.5" strips. This photo was taken a while ago and these jars are full now.|
I still have the whole set, but it is the 2.5" one that I use all the time. I do my own pre-cuts of fabrics I buy at the thrift shops. And I love remembering the days when we were quilting pioneers. Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to spend money on awesome fabrics and the latest tools (you should see my collection of specialty rulers). But I also get disgusted at the crass commercialism of the quilting industry today. Yes, this is quite hypocritical.
*ps: After 25 years away from Maryland, I still love and miss you, Eternal Quilters of Glen Burnie.
Imagine that your iron was 25 inches long, 11 inches wide, and exerted umpty pounds of pressure (one of the ads says 100 pounds). That's what this is/does. I could not live without it.
The upper surface gets hot, the lower surface is like an ironing board. The official name of this awesome device is "steam press" because you can put water into it to generate steam. I have learned my lesson with steam irons and NEVER do this. A spray bottle of water does the trick and the device will last years longer.
Pressing fabric. Pressing blocks. Fusing. That's what I use it for. And when I say "fusing", I don't mean fusing one wimpy little piece of quilting cotton to another, although it will do that. I mean fusing rag rugs to canvas backing. Xena Warrior Princess fusing.
The first one I had was "digital" and had an electronic display. It burned out quickly and I was lucky enough to find this older, pre-digital model.
|Break a bamboo skewer in half. Keep the pointy end, throw the other half away.|
And life is all about the enjoyment of the simple things, like bamboo skewers. Did you know that they come in all sorts of diameters and lengths? I buy them all and they are useful for all sorts of things.
Feel free to share your own bamboo skewer stories or tips below.