Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clever Tools Discs -- a review!

Remember back when we met the Clever Tools folks during the Pet Show this year?

Here's my story.
 . . . It sneaked up on me. Slowly. Stealthily. The pain kept increasing.  But I hate doctors. No offense, guys and gals, but I just don't like to visit y'all.  (Grin)  I finally had to admit; it was time to go and have my hands x-rayed.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, no? At least that is what the doc said, as he placed the film on the viewer.  It was so obvious that even I could see it -- my bones had failed me! There, beside the carpometacarpal joint, was a fragment of bone . . . it wasn't supposed to be there. It was supposed to be attached to the larger bone near it. But there it was, grinning at me, as if to say, "Yep, it's me, causing your problem!"

I couldn't find an image that was just like mine, so I settled for one that showed you the area where the problem is.
Well, enough of this; I don't want to bore you. Long story short, these bones are degenerating, and I have the same issue in my other hand now.  And they probably are going to continue doing this, my friendly doctor said.  Oy vey.

Raising my now-braced wrist in the air, I shouted, "But I will NOT give up my quilting!" And I haven't. But it ain't been pretty, and sometimes it ain't fun.

But then along came Ellen, from Clever Tools.
Ellen, you are my hero!

Here is what the discs look like -- the light blue part is supposed to face up, and the darker part lies on your fabric.

See the large surface area? That is the magical stuff that grips the fabric! Instead of your ten little fingers moving the quilt sandwich, these big boys do the job!

Alright, back to our story  . . .

The Grip and Stitch discs are Ellen's baby, and BOY HOWDY am I happy to have a set! Ellen graciously sent me a set to try, and I gave them a whirl. I wasn't sure how it would go -- lately I'd been trying to free motion quilt with my fancy-schmancy gloves on, and it just plain hurt. It even ached for a good while after I stopped.

But Ellen said it might work, so I gathered up some orphan blocks and pieced together a project. I guess you would say this is a pretty large placemat, as far as the size goes:

Sometimes I have trouble when the project needs to roll up under the throat of the machine. That pushing around of the quilt sandwich is tiring and I get some severe twinges.

I placed the smaller of the two discs there, and pushing the project was effortless! I was really amazed.

Ah, this picture is showing a situation that really bothers my hands when I use gloves. On a corner or an edge of the project, you know how you need to apply some pressure to small areas of fabric, to keep it where you want it?  Ouch! (Usually.)  This time I used the disc and it kind of "grabbed" the fabric for me, and I was able to move it around easily!

Here's a shot of how I used both discs; I placed the larger one on the left -- other folks may want to try it on the right. It's just a matter of personal preference, I think.

Just to give you an idea of how gently my fingers were resting on the discs -- very little need for pressure with these tools.

Here is a picture of the back . . . I had two little blocks left over, so I appliqued them onto the back of the project for a little extra interest, and a pop of color.

I came up with this little dogwood blossom motif (don't yell at me if someone else has thought this up before me) and repeated it around the small blocks on the outer edge of the mat:

Just keepin' it real, folks, and showing you that I am NOT an accomplished free motion quilter; I have lots of places where I don't go back in the lines that I wanted to!

Aaaack! I must have been distracted by my studio kitty on this one! (Grin)

This swirl is on one of the large pinwheel blocks in the center; lookin' a lil better here!

Here is the front side; I actually kinda like that fact that these lines are not perfectly on top of one another; after all, I am not perfect, either! (Wink)

Anyway, just to keep you from having to scroll back up to the top, here is a picture of the quilted mat, ready for binding -- and my hands feel great!

I am so grateful to Ellen for letting me try the Grip and Stitch discs!

I hope that this review will encourage some of you that may have problems similar to mine, to hop over to her site and purchase a set -- I truly believe in her product, and I love how much easier it made my quilting!
I was able to complete my project without the pain that I usually experience, both during and after the free motion quilting process!

(Waving) Thank you, Ellen!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity Block One!

Today is the day!

We are starting the Block of the Month from Jacquelynne Steves! If you haven't signed up yet, you need to hop over and get started, OK?

Here is my completed block:

I chose thirties repro fabrics in the same color families as Jacquelynne's block, and I decided to embroider the cute butterfly.

I must apologize for the pictures -- the sun was setting and my doggie was inquisitive, so I had to hurry! (grin)

This was a fun block to make, and her pattern and instructions made everything easy peasy! Especially her tip on how to make flying geese units (mine are usually pretty wonky!).

I love how these fabrics play together!

I hope you will join us and make these blocks, too! Be sure to click on the link and sign up!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity kickoff winner!!

Everyone (and I am included!) is so excited about the upcoming free Block of the Month from Jacquelynne Steves. It is called the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM and it promises to be lots of fun!

Mr. Random picked our winner for the prize package of over $40 of darling patterns from Jacquelynne . . .

And the winner is . . .  (drum roll, please!) . . .

Denise!  Congratulations!

This is just the start of the fun with this pattern; there will be more giveaways to come!

Stay tuned!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Quilt Kit Market sale!

One of our fabulous sponsors is the Quilt Kit Market:

We lurve the lovely fabrics and kits that are in stock, and we were over the moon excited to hear news of a great sale!

Before Michele scampers off to Quilt Market (don't ya wish you could go, sometime? so much fun!) she needs to clear off some of their shelves  . . .

She'll be bringing home lots of pretty things to show us, from the Market.

So hop on over to Quilt Kit Market and enjoy 25% off your entire order!! Just use the coupon code QUILTS and you will get your discount!  (Sale ends Sunday night! Hurry!)


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gearing up -- with a giveaway! (Giveaway closed now!)

UPDATE! This giveaway is closed now, but thank you for your interest!

Here at the Lilypad we are gearing up and getting ready for Jacquelynne Steves' upcoming Block of the Month fun! Jacquelynne had a neat idea -- introducing all of us bloggers that are helping out with the PR and also making blocks in our own chosen fabrics!

So, if you hopped over here from her site, here's a great big friendly Lilypadquilting "WELCOME!" for you! (Grin)

If you've not met us before, our crew has a special brand of merriment and mayhem that is all our own . . . our mascots here are Padsworth and DragonDrop. Padsworth has been here the longest (except for Snoodles and Moses the Studio Cat) and he has his own web site that provides virtual design walls for quilters to show their projects, like this:

DragonDrop dropped in, literally, with his own lil parachute (wink) all the way from our sweet friend Mhairi's house in Australia, and he has been having a blast here ever since.

The boyz enjoy scrap-diving to help me plan projects, and also are allowed free rein to use tools and supplies for their own purposes:

The actual human blogger?  Well, some of you peeps know me, but I prefer a small amount of anonymity here in my corner of the interwebs, so I go by my pen name, Snoodles. I adore having the opportunity to unleash my creativity and I enjoy designing and making quilted projects. I also love to review products and let you know when I've found a stellar one!

I especially love to create 3D quilted projects!
We sometimes have adventures with ducklings and rescue pups!

My favorite fabrics are the ones in my stash. (Grin) Seriously, I love thirties reproductions, Asian and batiks, novelties and contemporary. It's all good, and playing with scraps is even more fun!

For this Block of the Month, I have gathered up some of my thirties reproduction scraps, and I think I will have a similar colorway going on, compared to Jacquelynne's sample. Check out these pictures:

I'm really looking forward to all the fun with this Block of the Month starting on October 27, and I'm excited to announce a new giveaway to kick things off!

The first thing you want to do is go to this link and sign up for the party! We'll wait right here till you get back! (Humming . . . )

Wow! You are quick! Now, here is the fun part for this week:

Our lucky winner will receive a PDF pattern bundle, retail value $40! The giveaway is open to anyone who resides on planet earth, so if you are an international follower, you are welcome to enter the giveaway!
Whoops! Almost forgot to tell you -- be sure to hop over to Jacquelynne's and she will have linkies so you can visit all the other bloggers! You might win over at one of their blogs!
We will leave our giveaway open for one week -- enter a comment here on this blog, and if you are a follower, you can have a second entry!

(Waving) Thanks, Jacquelynne, for the opportunity to participate in the fun! Let the commenting and winning begin!