Japanese Kanzashi are hair adornments for women used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. There are several types of kanzashi, each defined by the materials used to make the hair pieces. For example, Kushi are kanzashi made using hair combs, Ōgi are metal fan-shaped hair ornaments, and Tsumami Kanzashi are flowers made of folded fabric squares, usually silk.
In the western world, “kanzashi” has evolved into a term representing the Tsumami Kanzashi art form used to make folded cloth flowers. In addition to hair adornment, the kanzashi technique is utilized to make flowers for a three-dimensional effect on clothing, belt buckles, jewelry, home décor, craft projects, gifts, and more.
In fact, there are so many fun and creative ways to use Kanzashi that Clover has introduced Kanzashi Flower Makers – tools to make fabric flowers quickly and easily. There are currently 10 different Clover Kanzashi Flower Makers to make small and large round petals, pointed petals, gathered petals, Orchid petals and Daisies.
Need some help getting started? We are offering three FREE
To view all Kanzashi related items, please click here: Kanzashi .
To view a YouTube video on the Clover Kanzashi Flower Makers, please click here: Kanzashi Flower Maker Video .
Happy flower making.
Talk about American ingenuity! Since 1856 when Isaac Singer first introduced the sewing machine, there has been on-going search for the perfect sewing light.
Well we think we may have found it! With the technological advances in LED lighting, it is now possible to put a very bright light exactly where you want it. This was not previously possible because of the heat traditional light bulbs generate. TheEcolux LED lights use 1.3 watts of power compared to a 100 watt light bulb. Plus, there are 100,000 hours of life on the light!
The Ecolux Light puts super bright LED lights precisely where you need it — over your work! The Ecolux Light kits feature 3, 6, 9, 12, and even 15 LED lights on a strip that affixes to your sewing machine, so you get light exactly where you need it, with no bendable parts to move around or get in your way.
The 3 LED strip is 2 ½” long and is perfect for small machines, such as the Singer Featherweight. The 6 LED strip is 4 ¼” inches long and is the most popular style, as it is perfect for most standard sewing and home embroidery machines. The 9, 12, & 15 LED light strips are designed for longer arm quilting machines.
How do they work? The wafer thin LED strip mounts under the throat of your sewing machine with 3M adhesive. You attach an 8 foot power cord with switch to the back of your machine using the included adhesive clips. One end of the power cord plugs into the LED Strip and the other end plugs into a standard 110 volt outlet, same as your sewing machine. The power cord can easily be disconnected to move your machine and/or for travel. There is no need to remove the LED Strip from the machine
Do you have a second machine? The Ecolux lights are sold as a complete kit or light strip only. So, if you purchase one complete kit, you simply need to purchase the light strip for your second machine. No need for a second complete kit. The plug and switch were designed to be interchangeable with every Ecolux LED strip. Simply disconnect the plug from the light on one machine, and connect to a second machine.
To view all of the Ecolux LED lights and light kits, please click here: Ecolux Lighting .
Babyville Boutique is a Do-It-Yourself cloth diaper sewing line that has just about everything you need to make cute diaper covers, diapers, and accessories. It is the perfect choice for diaper-making moms and all those choosing to make adorable, unique, and eco-conscious coverings for baby’s bottom.
The waterproof diaper fabric comes in sets of 3 – two prints and one solid or three solid colored fabrics. The packages come in boy, girl, and non-gender specific choices. Fabric is machine washable and dryer safe. Coordinating elastic, snaps, buttons, and appliqués ensure adorable results.
Two Babyville books provide the tools for creating wonderful items for baby. Cloth Diapers Made Easy features a variety of diaper styles and accessory items; while Baby Essentials Made Easy has many cute projects including changing pads, bibs, diaper bag, toys and more, all using Babyville Boutique products.
Shoppers Rule offers a wide variety of Babyville Boutique items. To see our entire selection, please click here: Babyville Boutique
I know I’ve blogged about the Accu-Quilt Go! Cutter before, but this is such a popular item and AccuQuilt is introducing new dies for the cutter, once again.
The Accu-Quilt Go! Cutter is a reliable, lightweight (only 15 lbs) cutter that will jump start your quilting projects. Quickly and accurately cut blocks, strips, and shapes. Make those time-consuming appliqués or lengthy strips in seconds. The Go! Cutter can cut up to 6 layers of cotton fabric at once. To view more details about this fabric cutter, click on Go! Cutter.
There are now over 50 dies to choose from. Here are a few of the latest additions:
Sunbonnet Sue, Overall Sam, Rob Peter to Pay Paul, Winding Ways, Drunkards Path, Dresden Plate, and Double Wedding Ring.
Other new additions (not pictured) include a 1″, 2 1/4″ and a 4 1/2″ Strip Cutter.
To see all the dies currently available for the Go! Cutter, click on Go! Dies.
Shoppers Rule will continue to make all new dies available as quickly as possible, and I am sure that Accuquilt will continue to provide more and more dies to fulfull quilter’s desires.
Fabric Yo-Yo’s have been around forever. But this embellishment is way more than an old-fashioned has-been. This versatile little ring is popping up on quilts, table toppers, shirts, skirts, even shoes! They are great for three-dimensional cards, crafts and wall-art.
Making a yo-yo is fairly simple. You can start by either buying a pattern – Clover has a number of inexpensive templates – or by making your own using a compass or bowl to trace onto heavy cardstock.
The main advantage of a template is the consistency that it ensures. Not only do you need to consider the size/shape of the fabric, but also the stitch length. Shorter stitches create a larger, more open centered yo-yo. Longer stitches make for a tighter yo-yo center. The grooves on a template ensure consistent stitches, therefore consistent looking yo-yos.
Technique: Stitch a ¼” seam around the entire perimeter of the fabric circle. Then, gently pull the thread until the edges gather to the center. Make a couple of stitches to secure the gathers. Tie off and trim thread ends. Flatten. That’s all there is to it!
For ideas using yo-yos, try the Yo-Yo Fashions Book # 4590 or for seasonal ideas, try the Yuletide Yo-Yo’s pattern #9487 or ornament pattern #qri-93-2908.
Clover Yo-Yo Makers:
Back in June, I wrote about a compact fabric cutter for quilters called the Go! Cutter. This convenient tool can get your quilting projects off to a great start quickly with accurately cut blocks, strips, and shapes.
Make those time-consuming appliqués or lengthy strips in seconds.
The Go! Cutter can cut up to 6 layers of cotton fabric at once. It comes with 3 dies, a pattern for use with each die and a cutting mat. Six months ago, there were around 20 dies and 4 cutting mats. Now, there are nearly 40 dies available and more are in the works!
This may be just the Christmas present you want to see under your tree!
To see a video and learn more, click on item #55100-3 on the Shoppers Rule website. The Accuquilt Go! Cutter and the dies can be found in in the Shoppers Rule “Sewing Mall” under the Quilting category.
Better cuts make better quilts – happy quilting.
One of the reasons that we held our Blog contest this summer was to encourage feedback from our customers. We always want to hear your needs, wants, and opinions on things that can help make Shoppers Rule better.
One such request was for more information for beginning quilters. As a novice quilter myself, I understand how easily you can be overwhelmed with the plethora of so-called essential quilting tools on the market today.
I found a great top-ten list at about.com that contains truly essential quilting tools. The following is an abbreviated version of the article by quilter and author, Janet Wickell. And I’ve added brand name examples of the types of products that are on her list.
Rotary Cutter – Rotary cutting lets you quick-piece your quilts, or at least cut the patchwork shapes you need very quickly.
Rotary Mat & Rotary Ruler – For home sewing, buy a 24” x 36” mat if possible. A 6” x 24” ruler is essential. A 6 ½” or a 12 ½” square ruler make it easy to cut shapes and check blocks.
Sewing Machine – Unless you plan to hand sew, you need a sewing machine. It doesn’t have to be an expensive machine that sews tons of unusual stitches – most of your sewing will be a plain old straight stitch. Do look for a machine that helps you easily sew a ¼” seam allowance, the quilting standard. Many machines have a special presser foot for that. A sewing machine that accepts a walking foot–for straight machine quilting–is a big plus.
Cotton Quilting Fabrics – Save the velvets, satins and other fancy fabrics for later, after you’re accustomed to working with quilting cottons. Don’t skimp on fabrics, because quality, tightly woven cottons will extend the life of your quilts.
Iron and Ironing Board – Any iron and ironing board you already have will work just fine. If you don’t own an iron, find one that’s fairly heavy, because it’s the combination of weight and heat that presses your quilting components.
Fabric Scissors & Paper Scissors – You’ll need scissors for some quilting tasks. They don’t have to be expensive scissors, but one pair should be reserved for fabric and the other for cutting paper, plastic and other crafting materials you might use at some point.
Cotton Thread – Put away the polyester and cotton-wrapped polyester threads you use to make clothing, because they’re too abrasive for a cotton quilt. You don’t have to buy lots of different colors of thread — either medium gray or tan usually blend with most fabrics. The same cotton thread used for piecing works well for machine quilting. If you plan to hand quilt, buy cotton quilting thread, but don’t use hand quilting thread in your sewing machine.
Design Wall – Design wall is an expensive sounding name that describes a very simple tool–a place to tack your quilt blocks and other components up so that you can step back and look at them singly or together. One or two large pieces of white flannel work just fine. So does thin quilt batting. Blocks and other pieces stick nicely to both materials.
Seam Ripper – We all have to rip out seams once in awhile. Find a seam ripper with a very fine head. I like the Clover seam ripper, but there are many other excellent alternatives.
Pins and Needles – You’ll need long straight pins to hold components together. Choose very thin needles with large heads. You might also want to pick up betweens for hand quilting and regular sewing needles for your machine. Needles with a large eye are helpful for machine quilting.
I am so excited that Shoppers Rule now has Angelina Hot-Fix Fibers. This stuff is so cool! It is a polyester thread-like fiber that bonds only unto itself when you apply a combination of heat and pressure. Simply sandwich the fibers between paper towels or pressing sheets, and apply heat to create a non-woven type of fabric great for adding pizzazz to any project. It is luminescent and light reflective, too.
You can cut your “fabric” into shapes; stitch, stamp, or embellish it, then sew, glue or fuse it to almost any surface. You can fuse things like yarn or fabric scraps and beads in-between layers of Angelina. The fiber art possibilities are endless.
Use Angelina as an embellishment in landscape scenes and add a 3-D effect. Decorate notebook covers and fiber art postcards or wall hangings. Make appliqués out of it or embroider complete designs on top of it. It makes great doll hair. There are so many uses that several people have released books focusing specifically on Angelina.
You can bond it, then add more layers of Angelina and bond again. The more layers you add, the stiffer it will get. The more you iron it, the less shine. Color does change a little with each ironing as well. If you want a straight edge, iron it, then fold the sides in and fuse again. If you want a feathery edge, only fuse in the center. This is great with rubber stamps. You can ink the stamp, place the Angelina on top and iron it over the stamp. Remove the stamp and you will find the image on the Angelina and the fabric will be bonded only where the stamp and Angelina were touching. (pressure points) The edges of the fabric will still be fuzzy. Use it as is or re-press the fabric to get rid of the fuzzy edges.
Not enough color options? You can take 2 or more colors of Angelina, shred them and mix them together. Primary color principles hold true – if you mix blue and yellow, you will get green, etc.
We have Angelina in 3 forms: Straight Cut, Crimped Cut, and Film.
Film is a complete sheet of Angelina. It is cut at the factory to make the other two forms. The Straight Cut is the softest. The Crimped Cut looks shinier and 4 times wider than the straight cut.
1/10th oz of Angelina will cover and 18” square sheet with a single layer.
Since a dryer only uses heat, not heat and pressure, Angelina is washable, dryable, and dry-cleanable.
Anvil has taken a strong stand for the environment. They have come out with several lines of eco-friendly products – the anvilorganic, anvilsustainable, and anvilrecycled collections.
AnvilOrganic items are made of 100% organic cotton.
Per Anvil’s website, this means they buy cotton from certified organic cotton farmers, who use no pesticides, fertilizers or genetically engineered seeds, in accordance with the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). Anvil requires that the cotton gins and yarn spinners they use also be certified by independent third parties to NOP standards. And it means their organic fabric is always clearly identified and tracked through the cutting and sewing process. In other words when Anvil says “made with 100 percent organic,”…they mean it!
Step 1: textile waste or clippings are collected from several pre-consumer venues: new apparel cuttings, trim fabric, yarn waste and industrial fibers.
Step 2: clippings are sorted by color and chopped into a fine linty material called “shoddy”.
Step 3: Shoddy is then spun into a yarn that is used to produce AnvilRecycled Tees.
Anvilsustainable items use a combination of organic cotton and recycled polyester.
Anvil’s eco-friendly activewear and accessories are manufactured under strict environmentally and socially responsible standards, is good for you and the earth.
Shoppers Rule carries a variety of eco-friendly items from Anvil, Bella, Edun, Rabbit Skins, and more. For your convenience they can all be found in a new category called “Organic/Eco Clothing” in our “EmbroideryWear” section.
Maybe it’s my penchant for creating Christmas gifts or perhaps it’s too many episodes of “The Biggest Loser”, but either way, it leads me to t-shirts and how to give them new life and a little pizzazz. Let’s face it, we all have t-shirts that are now a little too snug and/or we are wearing over-sized t-shirts that are 2 sizes too big. Hence, an over-haul is in order!
Some fixes are quick and easy, like adding a small piece of elastic in the center back of a too-big tee to give the shirt some shape. Other techniques involve some serious cutting and reconstruction that turn your t-shirt into an amazing work of art.
There are numerous books, patterns, and DVD’s on the market to help in the process. Sometimes the title of a book says it all, like: 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim, and Tie Your T-shirt Into Something Special or the book simply entitled, Fashion T-shirts.
The Little Black Tee is a 30 minute video CD from the “Embroider it Yourself” series by Eileen Roche that shows you how to transform a simple black t-shirt or turtleneck into an elegant top using lace embroidery. The CD includes six large lace embroidery designs that can be used to create four fabulous and distinctive looks.
Eleanor Burns T-shirt Quilt book gives us yet another option. If your t-shirt concerns consist of a husband with a drawer full of concert t-shirts from the 80’s or your cedar chest is full of clothing that your children outgrew years ago. Revive these treasures! Turn your keepsakes or those of a loved one into a memory quilt or throw.