Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Favorite Tools

Last night I had the privilege of traveling down to Dickinson for the Clearlake Longarm Bee meeting at Pinwheels and Posies.  This group of longarmers are so very welcoming and ready to learn from and teach each other everything there is to know about longarm quilting.  It's such a pleasure going to this group meeting as I have fun and learn something every time I go.

The topic for the meeting this month was "Your favorite tool". Many of the ladies brought and spoke about which tool they used and enjoyed the most.  Templates and rulers were the popular tool of the night with some things like DeLoa Jones' Appliguide, or the small six inch ruler guide that fits perfectly in your hand while you do straightline ruler work on your quilting. 

I chose to bring a tool that I find I can't live without.  It is Quilters View Film which is a roll of see through cellophane made by Dritz Longarm.  I use this film by laying it across an unquilted area and then using a dry erase marker I draw patterns to preview them on the quilt.  Once i have an idea of what i would like to quilt on the top, I can erase it with a small piece of batting.  It's not like I have enough betting around to do this with.  Hehe. 

Most often I will take a picture of my preview drawings to remember what I drew.  I tend to be super forgetful so having a reference to look back at is very helpful.  

Here is a sample of how I would use the quilters film.


I have drawn a feather in red inside the setting triangle to show how that element could work there.  The film has a black mark on both edges to give you a warning that you are about to mark on the quilt.  Something like this is needed in my case since I can get carried away and then, opps, you're feeling horrible for marking on the quilt (unfortunately speaking from experience).  So, I always pay very close attention to that little warning.  

Now I could probably go to Walmart at buy a cheaper version of this but let me tell you the problems with that from my experiences.

1.  It's cheap and flimsy and after one or two uses can tear easily.  Yes, I've accidentally marked on a quilt because the cellophane has torn a hole and yes, I will never ever buy that stuff again because of it.  I have enough stress in my life so I'd rather not have to worry with how do I get marker out of this beautiful quilt someone has worked so long and hard to finish.
2.  There is only one side that you will be able to draw on and erase it later.  The Quilters View Film is erasable on both sides.  
3.  Its wrapped on a tube that's long and cumbersome.  The Quilters View Film is 20 inches wide which fits perfectly across the quilt while its on my quilt frame.  No wielding the tube like a sword like you did with wrapping paper when you were a kid.  
4. And did I mention it was cheap and flimsy?  With only one or two uses I was ready to throw it away. With the Quilters View Film, I've had a roll for over a year and have never cut any of it off. It still looks and works great.  

So go grab you some at your local quilt shop and start designing away.  If your LQS does not carry it, ask them to. It's well worth it.  

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