Daylight Company Slimline LED Table Lamp and Wafer Light Box Review


At Quilt Market last fall, I met the lovely folks from the Daylight Company.  I almost walked right past their booth, as I’ve had my trusty OttLight for over 10 years, and have been quite content with it. But I’m so glad I did not walk past. These products have been true game changers for me.  Read on to find out why! (And if these sound good to you, there’s a special discount code at the end of the post, just for you!)

Slimline LED Table Lamp

Since I bought my Janome Artistic SD, I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to light the space.  The incandescent light that comes with the machine is cheaply made, and installation requires splicing wires. I got little stick-on LED lights to light under the arm, but that’s not where I need the light. I’ve used an Ott Light floor lamp, positioned to the left of the needle, but it’s always in my way, and wobbles when the quilt knocks into it. So, not the best circumstances for quilt lighting.

All that changed with the Daylight table lamp.  I was able to set the light up in under five minutes, and it came simply packaged with easy-to-follow instructions.  At first, I worried about the clamp.  I thought it might eventually vibrate loose.  I’ve quilted five quilts with this lamp, and the clamp has not budged a bit, so it’s quite secure. On my first quilt, I intended to switch between the Ott Light and the new light with every bobbin change, to see if the light was really different. But I quickly abandoned that plan, as the Ott Light simply was not bright enough after using the Daylight.

Some features I love about the Daylight lamp:

-Very slim design, so it doesn’t interfere with my ability to see the quilt.

-Super bright light, making it easier for me to see the thread and subtle tension issues

-Comfortable light, even though it’s bright,my eyes don’t feel strained even after a couple of hours sewing.

I even started hand sewing at my quilting table because of that light.  I know, it looks silly to have hand piecing by a midarm quilting machine, but the light is simply THAT GOOD.

Wafer Light Box

Confession: I did not previously own a light box of any type.  My idea of using a light box was taping a paper to a bright window, holding fabric on top of the paper and tracing. Was it comfortable? No. Cheap? Yes. Frustrating? Absolutely. I have five kids. Let’s just say, that if I’m trying to trace something precisely  onto fabric for embroidery or applique, my chances of achieving that on a bright sunny day while the kids are around are nil. Most of the time, my opportunities for tracing something onto fabric were between 11 pm and 1 am.  And it’s kind of tough to find a sunny window at that time.

I LOVE the Wafer Light Box.  It’s thin, and lightweight, so it stores easily. Just like the LED lamp, the light is bright but easy on the eyes. I used it to trace lettering for a baby announcement quilt.  (At night, I might add!). It was super-easy to see the paper through the fabric, and tracing went quickly.  Last time I used the bright window method, I discovered the light was insufficient to trace onto saturated fabric, like the Moda Grunge  that I adore using.  However, I could see the lettering no problem through the same fabric using the Wafer. My kids love using the Wafer for their school projects too. It even has a dimming feature, so you can adjust the light to whatever intensity works best for you.

In the picture above, I have an applique layout under the fabric. Then I can lay the pieces out on the fabric exactly where they need to go.  I’m still learning on the applique, but this is SO much easier than trying to line up the patches any other way.

I’ve been using both this light and light box in my studio for several months now, and I’m absolutely thrilled with both of them. The folks at the Daylight Company gave me both of these products to try out. But if you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you know I don’t review products unless I use them myself. So, if you’re interested in trying out their products, you can go to the Daylight Company website.  Using the code TCQ0217 will give you a discount on the Wafer 1 lightbox, the Wafer 2 Lightbox and the Slimline S LED Table Lamp. (This is a little smaller than mine, the Slimline LED table lamp- but that one’s out of stock right now).

Now, back to work on that applique!

Happy Stitching!

A LOVERLY Valentine’s Day to You!

Today I would like to introduce you to Loverly, a sweet and simple table runner featured in my new book, Adventures in Hexagons!


Although this table runner appears at the beginning of the book, I designed it at the end of the book creating process.  When I started reviewing projects and instructions, I realized that I needed a simple project to introduce concepts before leaping straight in to larger quilts.

Here’s a picture from IG when I first started working on the project. Hard to imagine that was already more than a year ago!  Such a challenge to keep projects a secret!!

 

Multi-Size hexagon blocks

Loverly plays with two block sizes from the book: Singles and Triples. I love the ability to feature different sizes of design elements in a hexagon quilt.  No one-patch layouts here! The mini-quilts below illustrate the concept of varying sizes of hexagon motifs. I’ll introduce you to the other three motifs in later posts. Every quilt in my book draws from this concept of using fabric placement to convey the idea of multi-sized elements.

 

This fall, I hope to start teaching classes from my book.  I’m making two more color versions of Loverly: one patriotic, and one in harvest colors, to use as class samples.  I’m piecing mine by hand, because I love the simple rhythm of hand-sewing. However, you could just as easily make this runner with Inklingo, English Paper Piecing, or by machine.

What’s your favorite way to sew hexagons?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

 

 

Quilty Goals and Finishes for January

February is here already, and in my little corner of Texas, it feels more like April.  However, I’m certainly not complaining about sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s! Quite a bit has been happening behind the scenes here at the Caffeinated Quilter, and I wanted to catch you up on January’s adventures, and progress made on my quilty goals.

 

Quilt Finishes!

First, the fun!  January is always a bit quieter with the kids’ schedules, and I get a little time to catch up on projects.  I was super excited to finish this Spin! quilt I started last May.  All it needs now is a label and a ride to its new home.

Second, I finished this year’s kindergarten quilt project for the kids’ school.  Every year, the kindergarten classes bring in special squares of fabric from home. Then they make handprints in class. I get to take the fabric and handprints and turn them into baby quilts.  Our church’s Gabriel Project then delivers the quilts to expectant mommies in tough situations.  I know the babies will love the bright colors, and I hope the moms and dads will feel wrapped in the love and support of our community when they use the quilts.

Finally, I made some long-overdue progress on my sister’s double wedding ring quilt.  I am NEARLY halfway to having all of the blocks made.  Hey, it’s all about the degrees of doneness, right?

 

 

Business Goals Accomplished!

By now, I hope you’ve noticed some new changes to the website.  I’m working hard to really develop consistent branding between the website, my patterns, and upcoming book.  I’m certainly still learning, and would welcome your comments and suggestions for ways to improve the website. Next month, I’m planning to refresh the Japanese Quilting Study Group pages and make them easier to navigate. Then I hope to set up a more user-friendly means of accessing all the fun tutorials I’ve created over the years.  There’s a bunch of them, some even I had forgotten about!

I’m also really stoked about our new facebook group for Janome Artistic Quilter SD users.  If you haven’t yet, please sign up!  Even if you own a different sit-down longarm, I think the group will be beneficial as we all share tips and tricks to make using these machines simpler and more fun.

 

What’s on Tap for February?

If you’re following along with the 2017 UFO Challenge from All People Quilt, the number for February is 8.  I admit, I groaned at that one.  My #8 is quite literally the oldest UFO on my list.  I inherited this quilt top from grandmother. She started making it in the early ’80s for my aunt.  It’s all hand applique, and way out of my usual comfort zone.  However, I know both my aunt and I will be tickled pink to see this quilt complete.  This is the year, and I am determined to complete this quilty goal!

Along with my UFO progress in February, I will start sharing some sneak peeks of my book, Adventures in Hexagons, coming out in May.  I will also post about a couple of FANTASTIC products from the Daylight company. Finally, I’ll be releasing a new quilt pattern, and a mini-version of the pattern. Here’s a little sneak peek of the mini version:

 

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the blog, and follow along on social media so you don’t miss out on any of the fun stuff!

What are your quilty goals for February?

Happy Stitching!

New Page for Janome Artistic Quilter Information!

 

Just wanted to create a quick post to let you know about a new page on my website.  Midarm quilting continues to be one of the most popular categories here at the Caffeinated Quilter, so I’ve built a page to corral all the wonderful information about the Janome Artistic Sit Down machine in one easy-to-find place.  Please let me know if I’m missing important information. Y’all have chimed in with lots of great tips and tricks in the comments of blog posts, and I want to make sure those tips are accessible to others as well.

And if you’d like to be part of a new facebook group I’m starting for Janome Artistic SD Quilter owners, e-mail me and I’ll add you to the beta list!  It’s going to be a great place to share ideas, help each other troubleshoot problems, and share quilting pictures.

What do you think of the new page? And the overall website changes lately?

Happy Stitching!

 

Tiny Wildflowers Tutorial

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to clean up and improve my website, and this little tutorial needed to move from its own page to a simple post format.  So enjoy this little “throwback” tutorial from 2011! Here’s hoping I get the whole redirect link thing right!!

 Supplies needed

Using your Texas Wildflower Mix Set I directions, you can make these wonderful wildflower pins.  You will need:

  • 1/4″ precut hexagons
  • scraps of blue, white, yellow and brown fabric
  • coordinating all-purpose thread
  • basting glue (I recommend Roxanne basting glue for this)
  • 18 gauge cloth stem wire
  • 1/4″ wide ribbon
  • tacky glue
  • small pin back
  • Texas Wildflower Mix Set I pattern
  • hand sewing needle, thimble, scissors

Create the flowers

First, cut squares from your fabric scraps,  7/8″ on each side, in the quantities listed in the pattern.  I recommend using inexpensive fabric for this project. I love the quality of quilt store fabric, but it’s a little too thick for hexagons this small.  JoAnn’s fabric and batiks lend themselves well to these tiny hexagons.

Next, baste these squares to the paper hexagons (you will NOT be removing the hexagons) using basting glue.

Follow the directions for the Bluebonnet and Coreopsis in the Texas Wildflower Mix Set I pattern to sew the hexagons together.  You do not need to trim your thread between seams, just run your needle through the seam allowance to where you want to start the next seam.  Take tiny stitches, you only need about three or four on each side of the hexies.

Before joining the two sides of the bluebonnet together, sew a small pin back to the front of one of the bluebonnets.  Then try it on to make sure the pin opens and closes in a way that’s easy for you to attach to your garment.

Then, finish the flowers as described in the pattern, using a 3-4 inch single length of the cloth-wrapped wire for the stems.  After you’ve finished the flower, trim the wire to a suitable length and put a dot of glue on the end to keep the cloth from unraveling.

Tie the bluebonnet and Coreopsis together with ribbon.  Finally, put a dot of glue over the ribbon knot to keep it secure.

Enjoy!

Color Options for Texas Wildflower Mix Set I

Follow the bluebonnet pattern, but substitute four shades of burgundy for the four shades of blue to make an Aggie maroon bluebonnet.  Otherwise known as an Aggiebonnet.  No, I’m not making this up!  See Aggiebonnet  for a picture of the real thing.

Follow the primrose pattern, but subsitute yellow for the pink for a Beach Evening Primrose.  Or, you can substitute dark fuschia for the pink to make a Winecup.

Studio Organizing with Purpose

Over New Year’s weekend, I decided to start organizing my studio.  As you can see from the picture below, it was getting a little embarrassing, and the mess was completely killing my creativity.  What started with simply trying to put fabric away turned into a complete studio overhaul. Along the way, I discovered that the more I tried to turn my studio into my “private quilt store”, the better I was able to understand how to put things away in a manner that made sense for me.

before-picture

Organizing Fabric

I started out with seven 56-gallon tubs filled to OVERFLOWING with fabric. I did not sort all of it.  That would have taken me months, and I probably would have gotten discouraged along the way and quit.  To start, I dumped out three bins worth of fabric. One of those bins became my “warm” color bin, the second my “cool” color bin, and the third my “neutrals and prints” bin.  Then, my daughters and I started sorting the piles of dumped out fabric back into the bins.  I gave away some fabric that I knew I would never use.

As we came across large pieces of fabric (more than one yard), we folded it over magazine boards.  I got this idea from So Sew Easy. My husband was going to the comic book store anyway, and he got this pack of 100 boards for about $13.  I think about 50 folded bolts fit into this 56 gallon tub.

folded-fabric-minibolts

For smaller pieces of fabric, we used the folding video tutorials from In Color Order, and made a little display of fabric in a wire bin from the Container Store. Just like with the larger fabric folded bolts, I picked fabrics for the small bin that I wanted to use sooner than later.

small-folded-fabric

Over the years, I have accumulated a precious stash of Alison Glass fabrics, and I wanted to keep these together for an upcoming project.  So I arranged them all in a pretty basket, along with the EPP papers I’ll be using.  This looks much more inviting than the previous pile on the floor!

alison-glass-basket

Finally, I dealt with a bin of fabric for an ongoing baby quilt project. Each year, my kids’ school makes baby quilts for moms in crisis pregnancies. I make two quilts a year, and the kids bring in special fabrics for the quilts. They usually bring in much more than the recommended 8” square. After doing this for 10 years, I have a huge stash of baby quilt fabric.  I keep meaning to go through it and make additional baby quilts, but the magnitude of fabric overwhelms me.

In the spirit of making my own private quilt store, I pulled out my favorite quick-quilt pattern, Yellow Brick Road.  Then my girls and I chose fabrics from the donation bin and made six “quilt kits.” Each ziploc has enough fabric to make a baby quilt from the Yellow Brick Road pattern.  Now, whenever I need an easy, mindless afternoon of sewing, I can pull out one of these bags and make a quilt without having to worry about choosing and measuring fabrics.

homemade-quilt-kits

 

Now, my fabrics are “organized enough” to motivate me to start sewing.  And all of the bins close without sitting on them!  Once I go through some of the “featured fabrics” shown above, I’ll go back to the bins and fold and sort more to feature. I love how manageable this system feels, and how inspired I am everytime I see the pretty fabrics on my new shelves.

Organizing Projects

Confession: I have enough UFO’s to complete TWO APQ resolution pages. Yes, 24 UFO’s. That has to change, and I am bound and determined to whittle that list down this year. Again, I have to “see” what I’m working on to stay motivated.  So I made a couple of mini-design boards by pinning batting to artist canvases.  I also use leftover lids from broken plastic bins to store projects I’m working on.

project-boards

During the overhaul, my husband got me a set of sturdy wire shelves to store fabric. Now I can just pull out the bin I need (instead of unstacking boxes all the time). Even better, the shelves have just enough room to slide a project board on top of each box, so I can keep my UFO’s in sight, but not too cluttered.

Organizing Notions

Last but not least, I FINALLY found a way to organize my most-used rulers. These are usually out on my sewing counter, or propped up on the floor near my sewing counter.  Which means I’m always losing them, tripping over them, or worse, cutting my toes along the edges of them. (true story). I bought some inexpensive coffee cup hooks at World Market, and hung them from the sides of the new shelves.

hanging-rulers

Now they’re easy to find, and impossible to trip over. I also hung a roll of masking tape on one of the cup hooks, which I guesstimate will save about 20 minutes per quilt.  Everyone in the house uses masking tape, so I can never find it when I’m ready to baste a quilt. Now my roll is hung high enough that the kids will never snag it.

So that’s my studio makeover.  I estimate it cost me about $70 for the shelves, magazine boards, and cup hooks. Here’s how the studio looks now:

after-picture

 

Still far from perfect, but FAR more inviting and accessible than it has been. I love my new private quilt “store”, and spent the entire past weekend in it, sewing with my girls.  Now, to tackle those UFO lists. .  . .

What’s your favorite way to organize your quilting space?

Happy Stitching!

emily

 

Introducing: Adventures in Hexagons

I would like to introduce you to Adventures in Hexagons, my very first published book.

adventuresinhexagonscover

Yesterday I received the spring C&T catalog in the mail. Seeing the book images and marketing text was like holding my dream in my hands. It’s real. And in May 2017, it will be a reality in book stores and quilt stores too.

 

Adventures in HexagonsMy goal with this book was twofold- to help readers learn to sew hexagon in the manner best suited to them, and to help quilters design their own hexagon quilts. So the book essentially has three sections.  The first is devoted to explaining English paper piecing, hand sewing with templates, and machine sewing with templates. The second section includes 11 quilt patterns of varying sizes and skill levels.  Every one of them can be pieced by EPP, or by hand or machine with templates. If you’re an Inklingo fan, I’ve included finished shape sizes with all of the cutting instructions to make navigating the patterns simpler for you.

The final section of the book is a Design Primer. With it, you can take any of the blocks in the book, or your own hexagon block creations, and turn them into unique, fantastic quilts.

Here are a couple more pages from the C&T catalog where they show images of the quilts from the book.catalog-page2

catalog-page3 I can’t wait to share more about the book and the quilts in the coming months. I’ll also host a blog tour next summer, and a special quilt along for an entirely new quilt inspired by the book.

But before all of that, I want to extend a very, very heartfelt thank-you to you, dear readers. Throughout this adventure in hexagons, you have been my support and encouragement.  Your comments on the blog and interactions on social media, and your friendship made this book possible, and I am truly blessed to know you. Thank you.

 

 

Happy Stitching!

emily

 

Digital Patterns Now Available Through UpCraftClub!!

I am so excited to introduce a new option for purchasing my digital patterns, UpCraftClub!!  This company is filling a huge need in the quilting market- the option for quilt stores to sell patterns digitally.

 

For quilters

If you’re a quilter, you can buy digital patterns directly from their website and start sewing right away.  If you buy lots of digital patterns, you may want to look into their membership levels.  All of these come with the option to download a pattern of your choice free each month, plus savings on additional pattern purchases.

For shop owners

If you’re a quilt store owner, this company provides awesome tools for you to sell digital patterns in your shop with no upfront costs.  Customers can pick up UpCraftClub pattern cards from your shop, complete with fabric requirements.  You then help them pick out/purchase fabric, and then get a portion of the pattern cost when they use the code on the pattern card to purchase it.

For quilters in the EU

And if you are in the European Union, this is the only way to purchase my digital patterns. I had to quit selling to the EU through my Craftsy store last year due to all of the complications with EU VAT. Ever since then, I’ve been looking for a format to sell in those countries, and UpCraftClub is the answer!

 

So, as you’re supporting Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday this year, I hope you’ll consider picking up a couple of TCQ titles through the UpCraftClub! HINT: They’re all on SALE this weekend!!

And, I’ve got a new pattern (and mini-version) coming out very soon, so stay tuned for more news on that front!

 


Happy Stitching!!

emily

Quilt Market Fall 2016 Recap

I hope you enjoyed the IG and FB updates as I was at  Quilt Market last weekend, I’m so excited to finally have those accounts linked (Thank you, Cheryl Sleboda!!) And it’s taken me the rest of this week to mull over everything, and try to present the most pertinent highlights of Market in this blog post.  I know a bunch of amazing fabric lines came out, and lots of quilting rockstars attended the show.  Here, however, I wanted to share about things that are most relevant to me, and hopefully interesting for you as well.

Japanese Quilting

This sector of market is GROWING! I saw a Japanese bag vendor selling wonderfully unusual handles and bag hardware, spectacular new fabrics from Lecien, and an entire “Wa” exhibit in the special exhibits hall.  Of course, Japanese quilters were well represented in the juried competitions as well.  This quilt was my favorite.  I could stare at it for hours.

Japanese Quilt, Quilt Festival 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I picked up a copy of Scrap Valley, Yoko Saito’s newest book, from the delightful ladies at Quiltmania.  Speaking of staring at something for hours. . . . .this book is a treasure.

Yoko Saito Scrap Valley

Perhaps most exciting — Lecien and Stitch Publications announced that Yoko Saito will be attending Quilt Market AND Quilt Festival Fall 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She will have a special exhibit, and be teaching classes. I’ll pass along more details as soon as I have them, but how cool is that???  I’m hoping she has tons of attendees and folks stopping by her booth, so she knows exactly how much American quilters adore her.

Hand Piecing

Aurifil kicked off this year’s Quilt Market with an amazing Schoolhouse presentation, replete with video of how they make their threads.  It was absolutely fascinating.  They also announced a new line of 80 weight threads.  I was so excited to see “English paper piecing” and hand sewing listed as several of their recommended uses for the new threads.

While attending schoolhouse sessions and walking the Market floor, I saw no less than FIVE new methods of English paper piecing and sewing hexagons. FIVE.  I’m hoping to purchase some of the tools to test out these methods, look for blog posts coming soon!

hand-quilting-supplies

I also picked up a copy of Millifiori Quilts 2, which promises to be as lovely as the first book.  The little turquoise pouch is an organizer from Yazzii.  It’s filled with little clear zipper pouches.  I think it will hold at least two hand-piecing projects at a time.  No more losing my thimble when I’m out and about!

The thread cutter in the picture will get it’s own blog post soon.  It is AWESOME!!

Marti Michell templates and news

I always enjoy seeing what’s new in Marti’s booth, and this year I got to take some classes from her as well.  So fun!  Her new Starry Path templates look incredible.  As you can see, I’m already testing ideas with the coloring pages provided in the template instructions.  I can’t wait to get in my studio and bring that design to life.

starry-path-templates

In one of her classes, Marti talked about a fun new Hexie Club for quilt stores.  I know I will be talking to my local quilt store about running the program, and you should too!  It promises to be a terrific way to build up your hexagon piecing skills, and the accompanying pattern previews we got to see were beautiful!!

Other Quilt Market Highlights

I think the coolest booth we saw this year featured a technique of quilting on leather. Cathy Wiggins created the quilts, and Olde City Quilts has the supplies. Please check out Cathy’s website for more pictures.  It was spectacular.  My husband took a picture of this quilted dragon.  Her name is also Emily. How fun is that?

Quilt Market 2016

Sometimes, with social media, you become friends with people you’ve never met.  That’s what happened on IG with me and Wendy Sheppard.  I went to her schoolhouse presentation, and can attest that she is as sweet and vivacious in person as she is online. Then we got to visit over coffee, and my admiration for her grew even more!!  Can’t wait to share her new book with you next spring!

Finally, I took a class on social marketing with Cheryl Sleboda. I learned more in that one hour than in WEEKS of culling through internet tutorials and classes.  It was a fabulous, funny, understandable presentation.  I would highly recommend the webinar on her website, it’s worth every penny if you’re a store owner or designer looking to grow your online presence.

Whew.  Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this lengthy blog post!  If you went to Quilt Market, what were your favorite parts?  If not, what things would you like to learn about for next year’s markets?  (Yes, I am absolutely already planning that far ahead, and would love to know what kinds of information you’d like!!)

Happy Stitching!

emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS- There are a bunch of links in this post to provide you with additional information about the products referenced.  These ARE NOT affiliate links.   If you’d like to support my blog, please visit my Craftsy store. Thanks!

 

Three Little Birds QAL- a Finished Pouch!!

Welcome back to the Three Little Birds Quilt-a-Long! I have to confess, I stalled out  on this project. Adding the seam allowances confused me, and so the pieces got pushed aside to a corner of my studio.

The instructions specified cutting the front portions of each piece with a 1/4” seam allowance, and the backing and batting with slightly larger allowances. And the back inside lining piece was enormous compared to the rest of the pouch.

Three Little Birds pouch

Last night, however, I decided to just muddle through and see how it worked.  I figured, if all else fails, all I have wasted is a little time and fabric.  But it did work, and I’m so pleased with the results.

I promise, for next month’s installment of the quilt-a-long, I will have in-progress pictures as I work through a second pouch.  Part of getting over my hang-up with this pouch, though, was just sewing without worrying about setting up a photo shoot for each step.

If you’d like to join in on the Three Little Birds quilt-a-long, you can find the pattern at One World Fabrics.  They also have a gorgeous selection of Japanese homespun fabrics to make your pouch.

After finishing this pouch, I think I have a better understanding of WHY Japanese patterns don’t include seam allowances.  It’s kind of a personal preference, not a set rule.  On this project, I used a slightly larger seam allowance for the lining, because it made it easier for me to bind the inside seams.

What’s your preference– you prefer a pattern that gives exact finished measurements, or templates with seam allowances already included?

Happy Stitching!

emily