Category Archives: Fabric Tools

Fabric Tools

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big | The Zen of Making

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big | The Zen of Making

Disclosure: AccuQuilt kindly provided the GO! Big electric fabric cutter and GO! Big circle die for this project.

Love the look of retro 1950s-inspired style? Be the belle of the sock hop with this fun and flirty DIY goldfish bowl “poodle” skirt!

It’s surprisingly easy to create your own custom version of the iconic poodle skirt, and, in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make my quirky aquatic variation. But, before we get to the tutorial, I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite toy, the AccuQuilt GO! Big electric fabric cutter. The GO! Big definitely saved me a ton of time on this project—I’m kind of a perfectionist, so circles are probably my least favorite shape to cut out—and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. I was already in love with my AccuQuilt GO! Baby, and, I have to admit, the GO! Big really blew my mind too!

** This post is part of the AccuQuilt GO! Big Blog Hop! Scroll down to the end of the post for 10 whole days of AccuQuilt-inspired fun!**

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Video Tutorial: Crocheted Metal Washer Pattern Weights

Video Tutorial: Crocheted Metal Washer Pattern Weights | The Zen of Making

As an especially neurotic sewer, when it comes to my studio, there’s no such thing as too many pattern weights. So, to satisfy my paper-wrangling needs—and to avoid spending ridiculous amounts of money on “real” sewing pattern weights from the fabric shop—I headed to the hardware store in search of a cheap solution. Then, once I’d plopped down a whopping $2.00 for a set of 8 fender washers, the next logical step was personalize them. And, what do huge hunks of metal need more than anything else in the world? Cozies. (Obviously.) Thus, my handy new tutorial for crocheted metal washer pattern weights was born!

Video Tutorial: Crocheted Metal Washer Pattern Weights | The Zen of Making

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t exactly a new idea—tons of sewers use giant washers (or soup cans, or coffee cups, or beanbags, or bottles of booze) in place of more traditional sand-filled pattern weights every day. But, I’ve found that, in addition to making them look cute, adding a crocheted border around the edges prevents my washers from getting lost and keeps them from magically vanishing from my worktable.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Please note that the links to supplies and tools that are provided below are affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you choose to make a purchase after clicking through.

Supplies:
* Large metal washers (I used ⅜" x 1½" fender washers.)
* Cotton yarn scraps, worsted weight

Tools:
* Scissors
* Darning needle
* Crochet hook, 5.5mm (US I-9)

Want to give it a try? You’ve got two tutorial choices:

Since crochet is a technique that translates really well to video, I decided to put together one of my rare (gasp!) video tutorials for this project:

(Make sure you listen for the bonus cat meows in the background!)

And, for those of you who prefer words and pictures to a how-to video (yeah, me too), here are the photo step-outs:

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Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Fact: AccuQuilt’s new English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies are currently my favorite tools in the craft studio. I mean, cutting perfectly matched fabric pieces AND paper templates at the same time? Goodness, yes!

Available in both a ½" size and a 1" size, the AccuQuilt English paper piecing dies basically take the ease of buying pre-cut packs of EPP templates and pre-cut packs of fabric shapes and applies that same simplicity and convenience to your own fabric stash. I love that, in one step, I can cut out as many or as few hexies and paper templates as I need for a project, and I never need to pull out my rotary cutter or ruler!

Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies | The Zen of Making

Continue reading Review: AccuQuilt English Paper Piecing Hexagon Dies

Sunday Video: My Iron! It Moves!

Sunday Video: My Iron! It Moves! | The Zen of Making

Guys, I’m desperately in love with the fancy new Oliso Pro iron that I won at this year’s Quilters Take Manhattan.

At first, I was skeptical that a high-end iron—even one that automatically raises the soleplate when I’m not touching it to avoid scorching—would really make that much of a difference in my sewing projects. Well, I can now assure you that it does. Also, that my Oliso Pro is clearly full of awesome and/or black magic.