Category Archives: Reviews

Abakhan Sponsors: Klona Cotton Solids & Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern Review

I mentioned in Tuesday’s post that I’d do a review of the Klona solid cotton fabric that I used to make my Tula Pink LOVE quilt.
ABAKHAN (2) 300px wide

The fabric was provided by Abakhan Fabrics, where it’s available for £7.25 per metre. It’s a full 135 cm wide instead of the usual 114 cm, so it’s a very good deal.

It’s a bit stiffer than, say, Kona solids, which means (for me, anyway) that it doesn’t really need to be starched before you can work with it. It’s also a bit ‘rougher’, not quite as silky. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means that it ‘sticks’ to other fabrics easily. So if you like to press your pieces together so they are completely flat before sewing, Klona solids will ‘stick’ and stay there until you can pin. Indeed, if you’re working with smaller pieces, you don’t need to pin as long as you’re careful.

I was a bit worried that it would still feel stiff after washing and drying my LOVE quilt, but it hasn’t – the motion of the machines seems to have softened it up considerably.

I had a bit of the Klona red left over, and today I decided to make myself a posh knitting project bag from a pattern I bought from Jeni of In Color Order. You don’t have to have the pattern to make one – there’s a tutorial for a slightly smaller version of it on her website. If you do want larger or smaller bags, you’ll have to get the pattern. It only costs $6.50 and is fantastic. There are 8 bag sizes and full instructions, including the formula if you want to make one to your own dimensions. It’s very clearly written, and I’m so pleased with how mine turned out that I’ve decided to make them as Christmas gifts. It was really quick to make, and the finished product is superb. They look quite professional, and if you wanted you could make the interior out of plastic so it could be a wash bag or makeup bag (my students use a cheap shower curtain to make wash bags).

I used the Klona for the interior, and again it was a breeze to cut and sew. I definitely will use the Klona again, and I really recommend it. It comes in many, many colours so you’ll be able to find one to match, and it’s SUCH a good value considering how wide it is. If you’ve never used Klona solids before, I recommend giving them a try – you may discover a new (cheaper!) favourite!

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Finished Products, Reviews, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged | 4 Comments

Ebook Review: Suzy’s Majestic Peacock Pattern

Suzy of Suzy’s Sitcom sent me a free copy of her new ebook, Suzy’s Majestic Peacock Pattern. I meant to review it over a month ago, but what with the limited internet in Texas and me injuring myself and all, I’m just now getting to it. (Sorry, Suzy!!)

I’ll tell you what I really like about this ebook – both projects are meticulously explained, in super easy steps that even I could follow. And I’ve never actually tried to make faux stained glass or my own batik fabric. Suzy is a SUPER talented gal whose drawing and crafting skills are really impressive, so the peacock template is absolutely fantastic. You get both patterns and the template for only $10, which is a great deal considering you can use the peacock techniques for other crafts – she’s even included suggestions!

The Faux Stained Glass Peacock is laid out in simple, well written steps. Best of all, she’s even got instructions in there for what to do when your hand is a bit shaky and your lines don’t come out completely perfect. I don’t know about you, but I’m not good at drawing of any kind, so I really appreciate the extra help. Once you’ve drawn your ‘leaded’ part and it’s dried, painting it in is a cinch! And again, if you mess up she’s got instructions for how to touch it up.

Once you’re finished you’ll be very impressed with the results – there’s really no way to mess this up with all the helpful tips for dealing with any boo-boos. Plus everyone who spots it in your house will be all like, ‘You made that?! WOW!’ which is the whole point of crafting, right? ;)

The batik panel is just as easy to make – you just use melted crayons! All you do is trace the outline in pencil and off you go. And her piecing instructions are suitable for someone who’s relatively new to quilting. And even if you’re new to piecing and quilting, she includes really useful links for tutorials to help you.

Each step is well photographed and really, you just cannot go wrong unless you spilled the crayon paint everywhere. It’s kinda like a paint by numbers except you get to choose the colours and where they go. The applique technique is well explained and easy to follow, and even the binding is explained thoroughly with extra tutorial links if you need them.

You’ll be very pleased with the ebook and the projects – they’re not incredibly complicated, especially the Faux Stained Glass, and you’ll make items that you’ll be very proud of. They’d make excellent gifts, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to hang onto them yourself.

Suzy’s Majestic Peacock Pattern is available on her website for immediate download for $10.

All images courtesy of Suzy Myers of Suzy’s Sitcom.

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Reviews, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment