These are a few of my favorite people, places and things...........
Lighthouse Quilts & Things-Local designer and friend Michelle McAnally has a talent for using beautiful fabric panels. She is designing before the fabric is even printed and fine tuning her patterns before she even has a sample finished. Along with being one of my best friends she also assists in editing and critiquing my patterns before they go to print. I am proud to carry a collections of her patterns and kits on my website. To contact Michelle, you can email her at Mmcanally63@gmail.com.
Robin Place Fabrics-My home base so to speak. Where I half live and work....Pat has an incredibly beautiful shop located in the heart of Soldotna. Her love of what she does keeps her shop a must stop for creative quilters! Visit Robin Place Fabrics on the web or stop by for a visit, you won't regret it!
Machine Quilting Studio-Sharon Hughes has been my longarm quilter for 15+ years now. I love the way she can read a quilt and find the perfect design. She truly takes my quilts from interesting to spectacular. Sadly she relocated from Alaska to Idaho several years ago....thankfully, the longarm went with!!! Her turn around time is alway fast, her skill with both edge to edge and custom, phenomenal and I just love her. To contact Sharon, you can email her at Sharonhughes@frontier.com. You won't regret it!
Island Batik-I started working with Island Batik in the fall of 2013 and have to say their family, 'team', is incredible. They are some of the nicest and encouraging people to work with. I build 1-2 projects for both the spring and fall quilt markets. These are quilt projects that help to display and show off the new fabric lines for quilt shops. At quilt market we all come together so shops can see what fabrics look like in completed quilts, runners, wall hangings, etc. They are some of best people to work with and I am honored to be one of their pattern designers. Visit Island Batik on the web and see their beautiful batik fabric collections.
I am always being ask by students and friends, which one do you like?, why do you use that one?, what is your top 10?, and so on. So here the are, not necessarily in order because several I consider 'MUST HAVES' in my quilting studio.
#1-Creative Grids Rulers by Checkers Distributors-I find these to be the best all around rulers and at this point I think I have over 35 in my collection. The numbers are easy to read and they have a built in slip resistance to the bottom edge of the rulers.
#2-Gingher Scissors-I have several sizes for multiple uses but my designer 4" snippers never leave the side of my sewing machine...except to go to the pressing board. Always sharp and cut to the tip, I have confirmed this through personal testing, just ask a few of my fingers.... It also makes me smile when I pick them up because the designer pattern, Leah (in purples), is beautiful and fun.
#3-Add-a-Quarter I & II by Quilter's Rule-I do a lot of star designs or angled seam line blocks and this tool is invaluable. It makes sure that the lines always come together for 'perfect' points.
#4-Sewline Pencils by United Notions- I have this pencil in multiple colors. It is a ceramic lead that always creates a sharp, visible line on any fabric.
#5-Oliso Pro Zone Smart Iron by Oliso-this iron really spoils you. It has the option for Auto Lift, so you do not have to set it up, just slide it over and and release the handle and it lifts itself off the ironing board. Reach over and touch and it settles down to work. Personally any iron you like that has good weight and a nice point can be one of your most important tools.
#6-White Handle Seam Ripper by Clover-Now most people would say a seam ripper is a seam ripper and I would challenge them to try this one. I like how it fits in my hand, always sharp and never it leaves my sewing machine's side....no really it doesn't because I have another for travel and remote unsewing projects.
#7-Patchwork Glassed Pin #30 by Clover- I work with a lot of batiks and these pins slide through the fabric like butter. With the glass heads, they are also heat resistant, so I can leave them in strategic places as I press.
#8-Ergonomic Rotary Cutter by Olfa-A MUST HAVE in my opinion. As a designer I cut A LOT. The ergonomic cutter in the 60mm will cut beautifully through multiple layers. I really like that because multiple layers means less time cutting and more time sewing.
#9-Best Press by Mary Ellen-This light starch is perfect for me. I have a fairly sensitive nose and light allergies. These scented starches are light enough not to cause me any discomfort. In fact the Peaches and Cream is divine....... It is perfect for getting nice flat seams and squared blocks without going to a heavy, stiff feeling starch.
#10-Sewing Machine-This is a biggie, I get a lot of questions concerning sewing machines. I have to admit I am quite spoiled and have 2 machines. I have a Pfaff Performance 5.0, her name is Teyla, and she is wonderful. The 1/4" foot is absolutely the best out there as far as I am concerned. I have had Pfaff's for over 20 years and they have alway been a great machine. However, my new love is a Bernina 770 named Timmi and she is a workhorse, ok, work pony, sounds cuter. I love the weight of this machine, more stable since my foot only knows one speed and that is petal to the metal...So for my studio set up, I mainly run Timmi and for classes and travel I go with Teyla. As I said, I am spoiled. I tell people you have to find a machine that meets your needs. Take the time to go to dealer and sit and sew. A good dealer is going to give you lots of time to 'test drive' a machine. I think the biggest mistake people make is going with the cheaper machine because they want it now or it is all the craze. Don't do it. A good machine is definitely an investment but the frustration level of poor thread balance, poor lighting, small work space and so much more outweigh the cost factor. A good machine will last years longer and sew 1000's of stitches more than a cheap machine. Also there is less throwing of fabric, cussing and mental breakdowns when you have a better quality machine, For clarification, better machine and quality DO NOT mean top of the line. Most top of the line machines incorporate the embroidery aspect. If you are not going to consistently use that portion of the machine then do not invest the extra. I have 2 machines that are strictly for straightline sewing. What is important to me is: speed, straight seamline performance, lighting, auto foot lift, ease of upkeep. Make sure to take these things into account when purchasing your forever friend.