This year for Christmas my mom got me a Handy Press Mini Iron from Joann's. It's really tiny and doesn't use steam. I liked it for ironing small seams open. It doesn't get overly hot, so for the larger seams I was working on it was a bit of a pain.
On the other hand, it was really light. That's a plus too. But I found due to it's small surface it took a bit longer. It also takes longer to heat up.
You may notice the John Deere flannel. I learned last year during the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt that ironing on flannels helps prevent fabric from stretching. I was at a friend's house yesterday and I forgot to take my flannel along. I could tell the difference.
Just look at how the flannel sticks to the pieces so they can't move.
In comparison, the regular ironing surface....not as straight, not as pulled flat.
The one thing that annoyed me on this iron? The cord is a bit clunky. It's okay for small things, but I think my larger mini iron is going to come back out at times too. My husband asked me, "How many mini irons do you have?" Well....there's still one more in the basement. LOL.
There's a cute bonus quilt this month! I posted earlier this week about my Island Batik Ambassador's Whimsical and Wonky challenge. But, I had another small block that seemed to fit this challenge perfectly. Let me tell you it's story.
It all started with this quilt from our blog hop. In making it I ended up with some fun leftover half square triangles. What to do with them? Sew them into something fun, of course!
So the scraps with the cute bits of orange created this block.
Then I got to have fun quilting it! I did a spray of feathers in the center.
Some match stick quilting in all the greens worked well too. I love lime green. And then I decided that was enough! Done.
You may notice that lots of my pictures have Legos in them. It comes from living with two elementary school age boys. What can I say? I'm not a perfect house cleaner by any means. If I did that I wouldn't have time to quilt and would be perennially grouchy!
This runner is about 18 inches wide by 60 inches long. It was made with leftover scraps from a project and some applique. I love the directional aspect of it.
It's been sitting ready to quilt for at least six months and I haven't gotten around to it. My mom grabbed it and put it on her longarm. She had fun. Check it out!
It still has some air erase marks, but they will fade. It's really dry here in the winter so it takes long than in the humid summers. I love what she did with the lines going into the points!
She used straight lines to connect the blue triangles and add movement.
This month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge was entitled Whimsical and Wonky. You could do one or the other (or both I suppose!). I decided on wonky. Specifically, wonky Christmas trees using my favorite Island Batik fabrics. I happened to have these three greens and a burgundy and red out for another project I was working on and I decided they would make fun Christmas trees. I wanted the red in them to pop out.
Where did my idea come from? Our school's first graders! Check out this awesome art project that was up in the hall. They used tissue paper to make these fun trees. I knew I had to try it. I later showed them my quilt in person and they were so excited they made me a thank you card. I love kids!
To make my trees I fused lots of small pieces in a big chunk and then cut them out like threes some of which are wonky at the bottom. I then started laying them out trying to decide how to put them down. Two rows of off set tress seemed the most pleasing to my eye. Next the piece was layered with Hobbs polyester batting. I wanted this piece to be fluffy!
To quilt the tress I used swirls. I love the texture it adds. I used my favorite Aurifil thread of course!
Then I had a really fun idea. What about using white yarn for snow under the trees? Fun! I had a Bernina ruler foot with a couching disk insert...this is what happened. What did I learn? You have to have enough loose yarn and remember to pull more out of the skein even when you're having a really fun time quilting or it won't turn out how you want it too. I was a bit excited. I also learned you can't stay in one spot too long or there are issues.
Here's what the foot looks like. I had white Aurifil thread in the top and the bottom.
I decided to use the same kind of swirl pattern between the trees too, but in just regular thread.
Then I added one more piece of fun. The kid had used silver glitter glue on their artwork. So I decided to pull out some fancy silver thread and try couching it. It worked great and added a little sparkle.
Such fun! I love how it turned out.
And the final quilt. It's going to be a gift for my Secret Santa on Friday! I hope she likes it.