Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hands2Help - Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things!!

Hi, all!

Welcome to one of my favorite weeks of the Hands2Help season!  This week is designed for us to share those things that make our lives easier - the sewing room tips, the great tutorials we've written or found on-line, and the wonderful food or snacks that we like to make to help keeping our home lives running smoothly (or to pacify us when we make a major sewing boo-boo and have to do some "frog-stitching" (i.e. ripping out - rippit rippit!).  I hope you'll share your favorites - you can do this by linking to a new post, an old post, even someone else's post (for example, a tutorial or recipe you love)!  So let's get started!!

This is a Hera marker, for those of you who don't have one yet.  And it may be the greatest tool in my quilt-y workbox!  It has made it so much easier to mark straight-line quilting lines on t-shirt quilts, which was always a problem before because chalk doesn't stay on very well, and what color do you use when your shirts are all different colors?  But I recently saw a very smart idea on Instagram, posted by Christa Watson...

She used hers to mark the center line of her squares before stitching her HSTs!  That. is. brilliant!!

And speaking of HSTs, here's a link to a great tutorial - Blossom Heart Quilts has charts that say how big to cut your fabric for different HST sizes, and there are two different methods for making HSTs - one that makes two at a time, and one that makes them four at a time.  And just for fun, here's a link to another of her tutorials that shows how to make HSTs eight at a time!  I have both of these posts bookmarked so I don't have to calculate my own measurements every time - very useful!

And now for the tasty thing!  This year for Christmas, I received an Instant Pot, and it has opened up a whole new world of cooking!  Look at all that yumminess - super simple and healthy too!  I found this recipe on the No. 2 Pencil blog, and it's amazing!  It's called Instant Pot ChickenNoodle Soup.  Definitely easy and a great way to cook a fabulous pot of soup totally from scratch (I mean, you start with a whole chicken!)  It's easy to cook the chicken ahead of time, then pull it together as soup shortly before dinner time.  I highly recommend it.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.

So now you have MY tips, tutes and tasty things for this year - what are yours?  Link up below and share them with us!  Anything that can make our lives easier as we make our H2H quilts is fair game - so let's see 'em!

And be sure to come back next Sunday, when we'll find out who our fabulous sponsors are this year!  You won't want to miss it!



PS If you are just now finding out about the Hands2Help Challenge, you can read more about it and sign up here!  There's still time!!


  1. That chicken soup sounds pretty good :-)
    I'm a big zero for this week's contribution. My cooking is more like "fixing"...sandwiches, salads, noodles and pre-cooked entrees :-0 And my new favorite notion is my Roomba keeping the floor clean so I can sew instead. Ha! It's actually working out pretty well for me. Now if I could only find a machine to get the dogs walked at least for one of their trips out, I could have another couple of hours to sew :-)

  2. Hi Sarah! I love the tip about using the Hera marker for HST piecing, I saw that from Christa too and have used it ever since :-) I added a link to a paper piecing video that I found very helpful when I first stated. The trick of using a tracing wheel to mark the lines really makes a difference when folding the paper back and when removing it later ;-)

  3. I wrote a blog post this weekend on how I organize my craft studio that includes a great link on how to fold yardage using your ruler and some bobby pins! The post is a little long a picture heavy, but maybe some of the things I do will help someone else.

  4. I need to learn more about the instant pot. I've read so many blogs where people have great success with them. Thanks for all the links.

  5. How timely! My new InstaPot is sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for me to try it out. I'm an avid user of my small pressure cooker for quick meals, but somehow this new device has me feeling apprehensive. I know it will make life easier so this is the week to try. Thanks for the links, and the round of encouragement.

  6. great tips I have a hera and use it for quilting lines will now be jsing it for HSTs too. Love the 8 method of making HSTs but not the 4 as struggle with the bias on them, if I need 6 or more I use the 8 method and the spares go into the scraps ready to be used in scrap quilts

  7. I rediscovered my hera marker after Quilter Kathy wrote about it on her blog. I've used it since then to mark lines for quilting and to create segments to keep free motion quilting motifs evenly spaced on sashing and borders.
    Can someone explain the difference between an InstaPot and a crock pot?

  8. Hi Sarah, quick question about the Hera marker: Do they wear out? I've had one for years, used it off and on, but more recently have used it more and the sharp, precise edge seems to be getting flat. Does that sound familiar? Guess it's time to get a new Thanks for all the inspiration!

  9. I saw this, and since I tend to do as much seam ripping as sewing, I had to share...


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