Coast & Country Crafts and Quilts Newsletter

Coast & Country Logo

Satisfaction of Finishing a UFO

It’s so lovely to connect with you again. I do love writing the newsletter each week knowing that it’s bringing a little ray of sunshine to our customers. Thank you for all the emails and in person comments regarding the newsletter, it makes the job so much much easier and worthwhile.

So, a quick question for you. How many UFOs do you have hanging around at home? I don’t, of course, mean shiny futuristic space ships filled with beings from another star system but Unfinished Objects. You know what I mean. The beautiful quilt tops or bags or wall hangings that we have lovingly spent time, energy and money on creating but we get stuck at the last hurdle ie layering up and quilting the layers together! I’d be lying if I said I had none at home. The samples promised for the shop. New projects started in a flurry of excitement to be overtaken by the next new idea. The trouble with being surrounded by gorgeous things every day at work means we get very easily distracted by all that we see!

To spur everyone on to get things finished we have 10% off all waddings this week until midnight 4th February. Available at the checkout online by clicking on the voucher or by reminding us at the till in the shop or over the phone. When we open up our workshop space we will once again offer a batting up service. It is so much easier to have a big tablespace to lay everything out and have a few able hands to help too. Soon there will be no excuses not to get things finished!

We send our sewing love and look forward to seeing what you make and finish!
Best wishes
Sally & the girls

Wonderful Wadding

The world of quilting can get confusing with different names for the same products. In the UK we tend to call the layer in the middle of a quilt 'sandwich' wadding. In the US and Australia it is more often called batting or even by a brand name to add even more confusion to the mix. We have a wide selection of waddings now, most sold by the metre online or we can cut part metres if requested in the shop or over the phone. We also have a few products that are ready cut to size like Birdie Batting.

We have 100% cotton waddings in 90", 96" and 120" widths, plus in 96" widths a popular 80/20 mix of cotton and polyester plus a fusible wadding of the same blend. We also have a 108" wide washable 100% wool wadding and a 90" wide 50/50 bamboo/cotton blend and many more including insulfleece that has insulating properties making it perfect for placemats and oven gloves etc.

For this week we have 10% off across all of our waddings. Just click on the coupon at the online checkout or remind us at the till in the shop.

Quilting Essentials

To make quilting a project easier we have several tools and handy items to help you. Thread Magic Suitable for conditioning hand sewing threads & machine threads
Quilters Roll Clips A useful tool for machine quilting which allows the quilt to be rolled up on the right hand side thus reducing the bulk which interferes with the sewing.
Quilting Gloves Premium high quality quilting gloves, available in two size options with a slimline, comfortable fit. With rubberised grip dots on both sides of the fingertips for added control, less movement and friction and reduced strain on the hands.
Seam Tape Easily and neatly join two pieces of wadding together
Quilters Tape A really useful 1/4" low tack tape that serves as a 1/4 inch guide for evenly spaced stitching for quilting. Will not leave residue on fabric.

Needles, Pins and Thimbles

Whether you prefer to hand or machine quilt we have all the needles and pins you need. Curved Basting pins are especially useful as they go through multiple layers easily and sewn basting or tacking stitches are not needed. Wonder Clips are a brilliant way to hold binding in place while stitching. Easier than pins and less painful! Thimbles seem so old school but I expect every one of us has had sore fingers from sewing by hand. We have rubber and metal thimbles plus the reusable Thimble Pads and Thimble It that stick onto your finger, which are both less cumbersome and worth trying.

We have needles for both hand and machine quilting. Some prefer a shorter needle for hand quilting to get the rocking action going well and to allow faster stitching.
Quilting needles are very sharp and fine to pierce tight cotton weaves. Quilting needles for the machine are made especially for piecing and machine quilting. The special tapered design allows easier fabric penetration and helps eliminate skipped stitches.

Quilting Stencils

For those who prefer to have a more elaborate quilting design on their quilt but no access to a long arm quilter, we have a varied selection of acrylic quilting stencils. They are used to trace a quilting design on to your project ready to follow with your machine. or by hand. Tracing can be done with marking pencils or pens and we have different ones to suit your style of working. Water, air or heat erasable pens, or pencils that rub out.

Quilting Hoops

A quilting hoop is similar to an embroidery hoop, but much bigger. It is in two parts; a solid ring and a slightly larger split ring which can be expanded around the thick layers, and tightened with a screw and a wing nut. Hoops come in different sizes. A smaller hoop is lighter, and easier to manipulate, but will need to be moved along more frequently. Ideally, the whole of the motif that you are working on should fit within the hoop – remembering that you will not be able to stitch within 1 – 2″ of the hoop.
Gutermann 12 weight cotton thread
available in 62 colours
Gutermann 30 weight cotton thread
available in 124 colours

Quilting Threads

We have a large range of threads suitable for both hand and machine quilting.
Which thread you use depends on the finish you are looking for. The lower the number the thicker and heavier the thread and therefore the more it sits on top of the fabric rather than disappears in to it. For example a 50 weight is ideal as an all round thread. It produces a good flat neat seam and also can be used when you don't want your quilting design to be too prominent but still visible. Aurifil are beautiful threads made in Italy & can be purchased individually, or as 50 weight boxed sets in colourways to match your quilt.

If, however, you prefer to see your design feature more prominently then it is preferable to use a thicker thread. Gutermann have a huge array of threads in plains and variegated tones that are ideal for quilting. The 12 and 30 weight threads are beautiful. The 12 will stand out more than the 30 and both are perfect for either machine or hand quilting. Gutermann also produce a hand quilting thread that is waxed and glides easily through layers but is for hand quilting only.

Some hand quilters prefer to use a cotton perle thread. We have these available from both Anchor and DMC in plains and variegated shades and in both 12 weight and the heavier 8 weight. The 12 is easier to use for quilting but the 8 is great for heavier definition on certain projects.

Hand Quilting Thread
Fine but strong with a waxed finish which gives Gutermann quilting thread added strength and ensures that is never tangles. Available in 24 colours.
Cotton Perle Thread
Available in size 8 or 12 in a variety of plain colours and variegated.

Extra Wide Fabrics

A lot of our customers like to piece a backing so that it uses up any left over fabrics from the top but sometimes a quilt calls for a more simple backing and our extra wide fabrics are ideal for this. We have extra wide fabrics ranging from the woven Nordso checks and stripes at 64" wide, to traditional florals from 3 sisters and cheerful and 3 delicious Liberty prints all at 108" wide.