Saturday, October 13, 2012

I finished a little wall hanging today.  My friend, Sandy, had given me a cute linen tea towel this summer and I just didn't want to use it in the kitchen and glop it up with stains.  Instead, I cut it up and made a little wall hanging, 17" x 18".  The center, the white blocks in the corners, and the binding came from the tea towel.  I used most of the towel, with only a few strips of left over fabric.  I hope Sandy will like my use of her gift.  (You will be seeing more of the coffee print border in a November project.)

I wanted to give you a little tool recommendation too.  Have you used the Clover Wonder Clips yet?  At first, I thought they were just another gadget (I'm a gadget junkie) that would really not serve much of a purpose.  Instead, I've found several uses for them.  They are somewhat expensive (over $30 for 50 clips), but I bought them at JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon.  This made them worth trying without a huge expense.
Their main use is probably for attaching your binding (after machine sewing the front side) for hand sewing the backside.  I like them much better than the long, silver hair clips that many people use and they don't bend like regular pins.  These are short enough that they do not get in the way of sewing.  This picture shows the front side of my little hanging, all clipped and ready to sew.

Here's the backside of the hanging, folded over.  You can use these clips as a measuring tool too, making sure that your binding is folded over evenly, using the clips as your gauge.  The clear side of the clip actually has some manufacturing marks that can be used as a measuring gauge too, if you don't want to use the full clip length.  I love using them at the mitered corners.  When I reach the corner, I make sure my mitre is the way that I want it,  I clip it, and sew it down.  I can leave my clip in place as I sew, which means that my mitre doesn't slip and need re-adjusting.
I have also used these clips for sewing hems in jeans.  When you fold over that thick material, these clips hold the folded material very easily for sewing your hem.  Again, they don't bend like a pin does in heavy fabrics.  They stay put, although I still remove them as I sew.  One side is flat and is made to stay in place while sewing, but I still found it awkward to feed them though my machine.
They are great for holding paper pieced sections together for sewing.  Again.... I always bend my pins while trying to keep my paper pieced sections in the right position.  These clips hold tight while I sew the sections.  I thought they would slip since I was sandwiching paper to paper, but everything stayed in place quite well.
Lastly, I have used them when sewing clear vinyl.  In this case, you never want to use a pin because it leaves a permanent hole in the vinyl.  The clips are strong and sturdy and keep things together well. 
Bottom line is that they are a multi-use tool and I'm sure I'll find even more uses for them.
Have a great weekend!

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