Cupcake Quilts News http://www.cupcakequilts.com Thu, 07 Dec 2023 12:49:17 +0100 FeedCreator 1.7.2 Best Gifts for Quilters at Cupcake Quilts http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>As we approach the season of giving, we're thinking of those talented individuals who turn scraps of fabric into works of art&mdash;the quilters in our lives. Whether you're shopping for a quilting aficionado or someone who has recently discovered the joy of stitching and piecing, finding the perfect gift can be as rewarding as completing a quilt. We've curated a collection of thoughtful and practical gift ideas that are sure to delight quilters of all levels.</span></p> <div> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Wafer 1 Lightbox</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>One of our favorite but not so obvious tools is a lightbox. With a lightbox, you can skip the tedious process of holding patterns up to windows or using other makeshift methods to trace designs. The lightbox streamlines the tracing process, saving time and effort in preparing quilt pieces. If you applique, embroider, or do any detail work with thread and fabric, this is a must-have. The&nbsp;<a href="">Wafer 1 Lightbox</a> with its slim and lightweight design, makes it easy to transport and store.<br /><img src="" alt="" align="" width="425" height="425" class="img-responsive" /><br /><span></span></span></p> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Quilt Kit</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>We love quilt kits! Kits are a great way to learn new skills or act as a palate cleanser after a tough project. They&rsquo;re convenient and eliminate the need to spend hours cutting fabric pieces, especially for intricate or complex designs. This&nbsp;<a href="">Isabella Kit</a> is great for a beginner or advanced sewist. Each block is different, providing a variety of styles and keeps your interest while also teaching you some new techniques!<br /><br /><img src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" width="800" height="800" /><br /></span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Kai Patchwork Scissors</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>Kai scissors are essential to any quilter&rsquo;s toolbox!&nbsp;<a href="">Kai scissors</a> offer a combination of sharpness, precision, comfort, and durability. Known for producing scissors with exceptionally sharp blades, Kai scissors allow for more precise and clean cuts, especially when working with multiple layers of fabric. The ergonomic handles provide a comfortable grip for extended periods of use. The handles are often contoured to fit the hand, reducing strain and fatigue.</span></p> <div><span><span><img src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" width="500" height="209" /><br /><span></span></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>BERNINA The Big Book of Machine Quilting</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>While there is always video and your phone nearby, nothing beats pulling out a book the moment you have a question or need a refresher on a technique. <a href="">BERNINA&rsquo;s Big Book of Machine Quilting</a>&nbsp;is a favorite in our library because of its detailed images and step-by-step instructions. It&rsquo;s easy to flip through and find what you need quickly.<br /><br /><img src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" width="252" height="300" /><br /><br /><br /><span></span></span></p> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Aurifil Thread Sets</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>Spoil yourself or the quilter in your life with <a href="">Aurifil thread</a>. Known for exceptional quality, low lint production, consistent thickness, extensive color range, and suitability for various sewing and quilting applications. Consider a full color card for precise color matching or a box set to add to your quilter&rsquo;s stash!<br /><br /><img src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" width="345" height="345" /><br /><span><br /></span></span></p> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Elna elnita EF1<br /><br /><span></span></span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>The Elna elnita EF1 is high on our wish list! Not only is the dreamy seafoam green color the perfect complement to any sewing room, it is a true workhorse. As a straight-stitch only machine, what it lacks in versatility and variety of stitches, it more than makes up for in precision and stitch quality. If you&rsquo;re looking for the best machine for piecing, this is it! It is designed specifically to make consistent straight stitches. And for those of us who like to drive or sew fast, you can&rsquo;t beat the speed on the elnita EF1! It&rsquo;s a sturdy machine with an all metal interface. It can handle the weight of quilt or heavier projects like bags.&nbsp;</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr"><span><span>&nbsp;</span></span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>Still not sure what to get? A gift certificate is always an excellent option and can be applied to a variety of purchases at the shop! Call us at 281-528-2929 to order your gift certificate. From sewing machines, sergers, classes, and service to fabric, patterns, and notions, the choice is yours!</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Don&rsquo;t forget to create or update your gift registry to make gifting even easier. It&rsquo;s simple and free! Sign up at the bottom of this page: </span><a href=""><span></span></a><span>.</span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> <h3 dir="ltr"><span><span id="docs-internal-guid-50217f1c-7fff-daac-c0cd-b3706299e5da"></span><br /></span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span><span id="docs-internal-guid-fbefdc58-7fff-87a2-f531-9ea5414850e6"><br /></span><br /></span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> <span><span id="docs-internal-guid-d8eec1d2-7fff-6530-f6bd-f7340c7a5e23"></span><br /></span></div> <p dir="ltr"><span><span id="docs-internal-guid-211b1641-7fff-93eb-dd8f-d43fd15c502b"><span id="docs-internal-guid-feab0daa-7fff-acfc-5167-2be97b34d759"></span></span><br /></span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> <span><span id="docs-internal-guid-4771aed9-7fff-7066-bd19-914cbf9bc57d"></span><br /></span></div> We're Going to Houston Quilt Festival http://www.cupcakequilts.com In a few weeks, Cupcake Quilts is headed to the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">International Quilt Festival</a> in Houston, Texas as a vendor. Every year, this anticipated event occurs at the end of October with quilters flocking to George R. Brown Convention Center to see beautiful quilts and shop the newest products. We wanted to share a brief history and its importance to quilting culture! <br /> <h2>When did Quilt Festival start?</h2> International Quilt Festival dates back to 1975, when Karey Bresenhan and her mother, Jewel Patterson, decided to create an event, then known as the &ldquo;International Quilt Market&rdquo; as a marketplace for quilting-related businesses to network and sell. Additionally, it featured a small quilt show. The modest beginnings of the International Quilt Market would soon become the largest and the most important event for quilting businesses and consumers alike. <br /> <h2>What is Quilt Festival today?</h2> Today, the event spans two weeks and is split into two parts. The first week is for businesses only and is called &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">International Quilt Market.</a>&rdquo; It is a wholesale tradeshow and not open to the public. Once Quilt Market closes, the same space is transformed into a marketplace for vendors selling to the public and becomes &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">International Quilt Festival</a>.&rdquo; <br /> <h2>Why should a quilter attend Quilt Festival?</h2> Festival has extended beyond celebrating quilts and showcasing businesses. It has also evolved into an educational platform: workshops, lectures, and classes have always been integral to the festival, allowing attendees to learn from some of the most accomplished quilters and artists in the world. The International Quilt Festival is also known for its competitive exhibitions, where quilters from around the globe submit their work for consideration. Winning an award at the festival is a prestigious achievement. <br /> <h2>How many people attend Quilt Festival?</h2> Festival regularly attracts 55,000 people from over 35 countries all around the world. Usually, there are more than 1,000 booths for quilts, fabric, supplies, and crafts, along with 550 classes and lectures for all experience levels. Festival features more than 1,600 quilts and unique works of textile art on display. <br /><br />If you&rsquo;re attending Quilt Festival, you can find us at Booth 1447. You can also find us at the Bernina Accessory Booth and the Elna Booth. We hope to see you there! Celebrate National Jelly Roll Day at Cupcake Quilts http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr">In our colorful and cozy world of quilting, one September day stands out: <strong>National Jelly Roll Day</strong>! It takes place every year on the third Saturday in September. It&rsquo;s a day dedicated to fabric, creativity, and community, but for&nbsp;<a href="">Cupcake Quilts'</a> customers, that&rsquo;s every day of the week! So what makes National Jelly Roll Day different? Let&rsquo;s start with the basics.</p> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>What is a Jelly Roll, Anyway?</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>For those who don&rsquo;t know or haven&rsquo;t taken one home yet, a jelly roll isn&rsquo;t just a tasty dessert. If you are a quilter, a jelly roll is a bundle of fabric strips, each 2.5&rdquo; wide by about 42&rdquo; (width of fabric) long and all neatly rolled together. A jelly roll is most often prints from one line of fabric, so the strips are coordinating patterns and colors. Jelly rolls&rsquo; coordination make it simpler for quilters to get started on a new project without the need to hunt down matching fabrics, and since they&rsquo;re pre-cut strips quilters spend less time at the cutting table and more time stitching.</span></p> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Why have a National Jelly Roll Day?</span></h2> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Jelly Rolls bring inspiration.</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>Jelly rolls are like little packages of inspiration. With pre-coordinated colors and patterns, they offer a canvas for quilters to express themselves, allowing for a myriad of designs ranging from simple and classic to intricate and avant-garde. National Jelly Roll Day is a great way for quilters everywhere to come together, whether online or in-person, to learn and stitch with each other. Quilting shops, workshops, and social media all buzz with activity as quilters share their jelly roll creations and swap ideas.</span></p> <br /> <h3>Jelly Rolls make quilting easier.</h3> <p>For those just dipping their toes into quilting, jelly rolls are a great tool. They simplify the initial stages of quilting, making the craft more approachable and less overwhelming. You can try out new techniques and patterns and focus on your skills.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><br /><span>How can you celebrate National Jelly Roll Day?</span></h3> Start a new project, of course! Cupcake Quilts has plenty for you to choose from. <a href=";showSearchResults=1&amp;search_keyword=jelly+roll&amp;image=Search"><span>Check out our favorite jelly rolls and projects</span></a><span> to get ready for the day. Try hosting a quilting party with friends, joining a local workshop, or even participating in a jelly roll race, where quilters compete to see who can create a quilt the fastest.&nbsp;</span><br /> <p dir="ltr"><span>So, unroll that bundle, put the (sewing machine) pedal to the metal, and find your new favorite jelly roll!</span></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-7f995d55-7fff-6d0c-947c-dac378e1743d"><br /><br /></span></p> Back to School with Cupcake Quilts http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>Ah, the fresh scent of sharpened pencils, the rustling of new books, and the familiar hum of sewing machines ready to start the new school year! Back-to-school season is upon us and we know that teachers and educators everywhere are diligently preparing to cultivate creativity within their classrooms. Among the tools they rely on? <a href="">Cupcake Quilts</a>, of course!<br /><span></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Cupcake Quilts takes strides every year to ensure that schools have seamless access to top-tier sewing machines and products including getting certified as an approved vendor by the Texas Ethics Commission. This distinction isn&rsquo;t just a badge of honor; it&rsquo;s a testament to our commitment to transparency, integrity, and quality for our community. And in Texas, a school can&rsquo;t buy from a vendor without it.</span></p> <div></div> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Stretching Grants Further with Cupcake Quilts</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>We understand the immense responsibility educators shoulder when deciding how to allocate their grants. With competing needs and limited funds, making every dollar count is crucial. Whether they need brand-new sewing machines or to replace parts to keep beloved classroom equipment running smoothly, Cupcake Quilts is there every stitch of the way. Our selection ensures that educators have access to the best, allowing them to focus on what they do best.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Yearly Maintenance with the Cupcake Quilts Assurance</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>The partnership doesn&rsquo;t end with a purchase. At Cupcake Quilts, we want to support our educators and community to make sure they are successful. To ensure that every sewing machine remains in impeccable working condition, we provide dedicated yearly service. Our skilled technicians work diligently to maintain, repair, and optimize, ensuring that classroom machines stand the test of time.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Giving Back with Special School Discounts</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>We deeply value our relationship with local schools, and we believe in giving back so Cupcake Quilts is thrilled to offer exclusive school discounts. It's our way of expressing gratitude for the incredible work educators do and ensuring that sewing and quilting as creative outlets remain accessible to the next generation.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>As the school bells ring again and classrooms fill with eager learners, we're reminded of the critical role educators play in shaping futures. At Cupcake Quilts, we're honored to play a part in this journey, ensuring that schools in Texas have the tools they need to weave creativity into their curriculum.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Here's to another year of learning, growth, and endless stitches!</span></p> Trust Cupcake Quilts for Sewing Machine Service http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>As a quilter and an avid stitcher, you know that a well-maintained machine is key when creating flawless projects. Regular maintenance ensures that your machine runs smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to focus on your creative escape without any frustrating interruptions.&nbsp;<br /><br />When it comes to getting your sewing machine serviced, there's no better place to trust than Cupcake Quilts. We specialize in servicing all your beloved BERNINA, Juki, Elna, and Janome sewing machines. Our expertise and dedication makes us the top choice for sewers across the state.<br /></span></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Our machine technicians are experts.&nbsp;</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>Cupcake Quilts takes pride in having a team of highly skilled and trained technicians who possess extensive knowledge of sewing machines from quilters&rsquo; favorite brands including BERNINA, Juki, Elna, and Janome. They understand the intricate mechanics of each machine, ensuring that your most important sewing investment receives the precise care and attention it deserves.&nbsp;</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Customers love Cupcake Quilts.&nbsp;</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span><a href="">Cupcake Quilts</a>&nbsp;has consistently garnered praise for our outstanding customer service. We understand that your sewing machine is an essential tool in your creative journey and treat it with the utmost care. From the moment you walk in, our friendly and attentive staff are eager to answer your questions and address your concerns. We want to ensure that you leave Cupcake Quilts with a sewing machine that runs like new.</span></p> <p dir="ltr">Mary says:</p> <blockquote> <p dir="ltr">If you have a Bernina machine - this is the place to go.&nbsp; Not only did I purchase my second Bernina from this location, but I've been in multiple times for service on my old (30+ year old) machine as well as my new one.&nbsp;<br /><br />My latest trip was kind of funny, too, as the stitching wasn't correct and even and I was flipping out - my new machine!&nbsp; I knew something was wrong, so I packed it up.&nbsp; When I got to Cupcake Quilts, I was warmly greeted by name and Brad was retrieved to help me out.&nbsp; Within about 15 or 20 minutes, he had my machine back up and functioning as it should.&nbsp; When I asked how much I owed for his services, I was told, "Oh, nothing."&nbsp; <br />Well, that sealed it for me (as if it wasn't already) -- this is a business that truly takes care of its customers.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>A serviced machine lasts longer and works better.</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>Regular servicing not only keeps your sewing machine in top working condition but also extends its lifespan. Bringing your machine in to Cupcake Quilts' for yearly maintenance helps you to avoid potential problems, keeping your machine running smoothly for years to come. Whether you're a beginner or an accomplished quilter, no one wants to sit and wait on a broken sewing machine. A well-serviced sewing machine means more time spent on your passion and less on repairs and frustration.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>When&rsquo;s the last time your machine made it in to Cupcake Quilts?&nbsp;<a href="">Bring your machine</a> to Cupcake Quilts in Spring, Texas and let's make sure you're ready for a season of sewing.&nbsp;</span></p> Top 5 Serger Projects for Quilters http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>Congratulation on adding a serger to your quilting arsenal! A serger can be a game-changer when it comes to adding a bit of polish to your projects. However, if&nbsp; you&rsquo;re new to sergers then the thought of diving into learning a new sewing machine may be a bit overwhelming. Don&rsquo;t worry! We&rsquo;re here to guide you through the early stages of your serger journey with some free projects to help you build your skills and your confidence.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Here are our top five projects for quilters getting to learn their new serger.</span></h2> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>How to Make a Flatlock Throw Blanket</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><img src="" alt="" align="" width="600" height="600" class="img-responsive" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>A&nbsp;<a href="">Flatlock Throw Blanket</a> is a&nbsp;great project inspired by quilting but made with a serger. It uses log cabin construction with a flatlock stitch to create a reversible throw. Use fabrics without a clear right or wrong side like a woven cotton flannel, solid flanked, yarn dyed wovens, or shot cottons.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Quilt As You Go Table Runner</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><img width="510" height="638" src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Are you a fan of quilt as you go projects? Did you know you could do them with your serger? Give it a try with this tutorial for a stripey <a href="">quilt as you go table runner</a>. It&rsquo;s easily customizable to make how ever long you need to brighten up your table.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Speedy Binding with an Overlocker</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><img src="" alt="" align="" width="600" height="600" class="img-responsive" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Use your serger with a 3-thread overlock stitch to&nbsp;<a href="">quickly attach your binding</a> to your quilt. Since the threads encapsulate the edge as the binding is stitched on, you don&rsquo;t have to fuss with fraying fabric and loose threads getting in the way when you sew your binding to the back.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>T-Shirt Quilt</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><img src="" alt="" align="" width="600" height="400" class="img-responsive" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Sergers are great machines for sewing knits, aka <a href="">t-shirts</a>, and make it go together in a flash. Use flatlock seams and contrasting thread to add a fun decorative element to the top as you patchwork the t-shirt pieces together.&nbsp;</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Sew A Patchwork Table Runner on an Overlocker</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><img src="" alt="" align="" width="561" height="800" class="img-responsive" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Use a high contrast thread to create a decorative element between&nbsp;<a href="">patchwork squares on a table runner</a> with your serger. Make it minimalist with one fabric, or go for a more bohemian look with a scrappy fabric selection.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>Have fun with your new serger! And if you&rsquo;re ever stuck,&nbsp;<a href="">Cupcake Quilts</a> is always here to help you make the most of your new machine!</span></p> 5 Reasons why you should own a longarm quilting machine http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>We&rsquo;ve all thought about it. Finishing up a quilt top then gleefully running over to our very own longarm machine to load it up and get straight to quilting. But for whatever reason, the longarm of our dreams stays in our heads instead of in our home. <em><strong>No more!</strong></em> We&rsquo;re here to give you the top reasons why you need to make your dreams a reality and bring a longarm home today.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Complete Creative Freedom</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>Why should your creativity stop when you finish the quilt top? Owning a longarm gives you complete artistic control over your quilt projects. No longer will you have to rely on others to interpret and execute your design ideas. With a longarm in your arsenal, you&rsquo;re able to create quilts that truly reflect your style and creativity.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Tackle the Large Projects with Ease</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>One of the biggest challenges in using a domestic sewing machine for your quilts is wrangling the quilt and its weight to create your quilting design. This is where a longarm truly shines. Say goodbye to the frustration of struggling with limited workspace and awkward fabric positioning. Longarms are called such because of their extended throat space which means you can roll a bigger quilt underneath with less tugging and pulling.&nbsp;</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Save Time and Money&nbsp;</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>If you make a high volume of quilts, owning a longarm quilting machine can save you both time and money in the long run. You no longer have to wait for months to get your quilt back from the longarmer, and you don&rsquo;t have to pay for their time to quilt it. With a longarm machine at your disposal, you can complete quilts at your own pace, allowing you to tackle more projects and meet even the tightest deadlines, no rush fees involved.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Better Control</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>Longarms have come a long way in the past few years. Features such as stitch regulators, which ensure precise and consistent stitches, used to be upgrades and came with increased price tags. But no more. Modern longarms come equipped with these and other innovative technologies to help flatten the learning curve and eliminate frustration. Whether you prefer to go for free-motion quilting or follow a pantograph, modern longarms make it easier to achieve polished results.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Turn Your Passion into Profit</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>If you&rsquo;ve thought about turning your quilting passion into a business, a longarm quilting machine is a sure-fire way to do it. With the ability to efficiently quilt larger projects and produce high-quality results, you can take on commissions, offer professional quilting services, or even start your own quilting business.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>Owning a longarm quilting machine gives you so many opportunities. With its ability to unleash your creativity, effortlessly handle large projects, save time and money, and achieve precise and consistent results, a longarm machine opens up a world of possibilities in the quilting realm. So why wait? Come to&nbsp;<a href="">Cupcake Quilts</a> and take home your new favorite machine.</span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> Top Reasons You Should Have a Serger http://www.cupcakequilts.com <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Happy National Serger Month!</span></h2> <p>What&rsquo;s that? You don&rsquo;t have a serger?! Well, we need to fix that. A serger, also known as an overlock machine, is a sewing machine that can sew, trim, and finish seams all in one pass. It uses multiple threads to create a strong, neat, and professional-looking finish. We&rsquo;ve put together a guide for our top reasons you should have one in your sewing room.</p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Saves You Time and Money&nbsp;</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>A serger can save you time by finishing seams quickly, eliminating the need to sew a seam and then finish it with a separate stitch. It also saves money by preventing fabric fraying, which means you won't need to purchase as much fabric or spend time hemming. If you prewash your fabric, you may notice that the ends ravel and fray especially if it&rsquo;s a yarn-dyed piece. But if you serge the edges before you wash it, you&rsquo;ll save inches of fabric from disappearing into a tangled mess of thread.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Professional Appearance and Durability&nbsp;</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>Sergers create a clean, professional-looking finish that really give your projects a polished appearance. A serged seam is more durable than a traditionally stitched seam; serged seam is stronger than a traditional sewn seam because it uses multiple threads and stitches to secure the fabric. This means your garments and other projects will last longer.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Versatility</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>A serger is better suited to some projects (such as sewing knits, creating decorative edges, and gathering fabric) than your domestic sewing machine. A serger can expand your skill set and open up the range of projects that are possible for you to make at home.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Convenience</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>A serger can make sewing faster and more efficient because it can sew, trim, and finish seams all in one pass. It can also simplify certain sewing tasks, such as creating rolled hems, which can be time-consuming and tricky to do with a domestic sewing machine.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Bonus: it&rsquo;s fun!</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>Ok this may just be us, but the satisfaction when you serge a seam and you see such neat and tidy results is so fun! And you can get creative with experimenting with different types of thread, using decorative stitches, and unique finishes that just aren&rsquo;t possible with your regular domestic sewing machine.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>If you&rsquo;re looking to expand your creative horizons and create high-quality projects, a serger is a must-have. What are your favorite projects to make with your serger?&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> Lighting Your Sewing Space http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>Lighting is one of the most important, yet underappreciated, aspects of your sewing space.&nbsp;<a href="">Proper lighting</a> can help reduce eye strain, improve color accuracy, and increase productivity. And you don&rsquo;t have to be a professional electrician to get the results and benefits of good lighting.&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>The first thing to consider is the type of lighting you'll need; the two main types of lighting are ambient lighting and task lighting. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination for a space, while task lighting is designed to illuminate specific areas for detailed work. When it comes to ambient lighting, natural light is the best option. Try to position your most used space (whether that&rsquo;s your sewing machine, cutting area, or ironing board) near a window that receives plenty of natural light throughout the day. If you&rsquo;re more of a nighttime stitcher or natural light isn't an option for your space, consider installing overhead lighting to provide even, diffuse light.<br /><br /> For task lighting, it's important to choose lighting that's bright, focused, and adjustable. Desk lamps with adjustable arms or&nbsp;<a href="">gooseneck lamps</a> are great options for illuminating specific areas, such as your sewing machine or cutting mat. Depending on your setup, LED strip lights or under-cabinet lights can also be used to light places a desk lamp can&rsquo;t reach. You may have to test out different placements of your task lighting so that you&rsquo;re not working in shadow. Also avoid placing your task lighting directly above your work area as the focused beam can cause a glare and make it difficult to see your work.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Lighting will also affect the color accuracy of your projects. Different types of lighting have different color temperatures, which can affect the way colors appear. For quilting, you want to choose lighting with a color temperature that accurately represents colors. Lighting temperature is measured in Kelvins, abbreviated as K. The lower the number, the warmer the light. The higher the number, the more blue the light becomes. Generally, a color temperature of 5000K is ideal for crafting, as it provides a neutral, daylight-like illumination that accurately represents colors. This is also an easy fix because changing your lighting color in an existing fixture can be as simple as going to the home improvement store and picking up a different lightbulb.&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>And now for the fun part, don't forget about the aesthetics of your lighting! While functionality is important, you also want your lighting to look good and complement the overall design of your crafting space. As much as you&rsquo;re able, choose lighting fixtures that are both functional and stylish. Or go the other route; choose lighting that does not draw attention itself. Recessed can lights overhead or under-cabinet lighting can give illumination without distracting from your overall aesthetic.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Lighting is an essential aspect of any sewing space. By considering the type of lighting you'll need, color temperature, and aesthetics, you can create a well-lit sewing area that's functional and enhances your overall sewing experience. If you have questions or are looking for recommendations, come by either&nbsp;<a href="">Cupcake Quilts location</a> and let's chat about lighting!&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> How to Care for Your Quilt to Make It Last http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>When you&rsquo;ve spent so long making your quilt perfect, the last thing you want to do is to damage it. But sometimes the way we care for our quilts is the very thing that makes them not last as long as they should. Here are our best practices to keep your quilts looking their best.&nbsp;</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr"><span><br />Washing</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>The most gentle way to wash your quilts is in the tub. You can let them soak with a mild detergent like Synthrapol or Mary Ellen&rsquo;s Best Wash and then rinse them until the water runs clear. Lay it out on a line to dry, or over a couple of dining room chairs with towels over the top.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>If you don&rsquo;t have time for that, and a lot of us don&rsquo;t, don&rsquo;t be afraid to wash your quilts in your regular washing machine with your standard detergent. If you&rsquo;re going for that crinkle factor, use hot water on the first wash but wash using cold water after that. The thing that really wears out a quilt is heat, so the dryer isn&rsquo;t our friend. Instead of loading your quilt in the dryer and drying it completely, stick with only drying it half way then letting it air dry the rest of the way.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Folding</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>We all get into the habit of folding our quilts the same way every time. Half this way, then half that way, over and over again. Those folds over time become creases in your quilt, and a crease can easily become a weak spot or a spot for dirt to collect and discolor your quilt. So the next time you put a quilt away, try and fold it differently than it was when you pulled it out. You could fold in thirds, or not match the edges and fold it, or get wild and crazy and fold on the diagonal.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h3 dir="ltr"><span>Storage</span></h3> <p dir="ltr"><span>Storing your quilt is simpler than you think. Sure, you could get fancy and store them in archival quality boxes with acid free tissue paper, and for a really special heirloom that&rsquo;s a great plan, but it&rsquo;s probably overkill for most of your quilts. Avoid things like cedar chests; yes the cedar smell will keep pests away, but the cedar oil could damage and discolor your quilt. Also stay away from plastic bags and plastic tubs; plastics break down over time and can let off gasses into your quilts and leave them smelling funky. So where do you store them? Stick to a dry place without direct sunlight like a linen cupboard or somewhere with good ventilation.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>Have you been using any of these tips for keeping your quilts in top shape?</span></p> Playing Defense Against Sewing Room Clutter http://www.cupcakequilts.com <p dir="ltr"><span>We&rsquo;ve cleared away the holiday decor, swept the glitter out the door, and we&rsquo;re ready to unclutter the next part of the house - our sewing spaces! So in the fight against clutter, to borrow a football strategy, we have to decide whether we&rsquo;re going to play Man-to-Man or Zone Defense.</span></p> <span><span><br /></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Man-to-Man Defense</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>Man-to-man defense, or man defense, in football means that a player on defense follows the movements of a single player on offense. In sewing room decluttering, that means tackling (pun intended) similar projects and tasks all at once. Get all your projects together and take notes of where they are, all at once. Organize your scraps and leftovers, all at once. Take care of your iron and the dust bunnies in your machine, all at once.</span></p> <div><span><span><img width="438" height="438" src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" /><br /><span></span></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>Start by making a general list of tasks you need to complete to get your sewing room back on track. Then break that down into smaller steps or goals.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span>Man-to-man defense style decluttering and organization is a great fit for all you list makers out there. You can really get in a groove for a particular task and make real headway. Initially, you&rsquo;ll need a good chunk of time to get everything sorted and take stock of where you are, but after that it&rsquo;s easy to handle smaller steps in the process without any prep.</span></p> <span><span><span><br /></span></span></span> <h2 dir="ltr"><span>Zone Defense</span></h2> <p dir="ltr"><span>Now let&rsquo;s talk about zone defense. In zone defense, a player guards an assigned area rather than a specific person. So for your sewing room, that means working on one designated area. Clean off and under that cutting table. Organize the shelves of fabric. Get that ironing board and iron looking new again.</span></p> <div><span><span><img width="500" height="500" src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" /><br /><span></span></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>If you have a big space or if your main method of organization is making a pile or three, zone defense is great for decluttering your sewing room. You can take on a smaller area at a time and not get overwhelmed by the whole task. It&rsquo;s also good if you don&rsquo;t have a large chunk of time to devote to organization; the space you declutter can be as big or as large as you wish. And you&rsquo;re not left with a bigger mess than you started sorting through everything all at once.</span></p> <span><span><span><br /></span></span></span> <p dir="ltr"><span>Which defense works best for you and your sewing space?</span></p> <div><span>&nbsp;</span></div> <span><span id="docs-internal-guid-0c130d3d-7fff-5e8c-c8ba-d39b404a9877"></span><img width="500" height="500" src="" alt="" align="" class="img-responsive" /><br /></span></div> <span><span id="docs-internal-guid-7b35dfcc-7fff-ac40-2df3-1ab2b9ddb23e"></span><br /></span></div>