Sunday, March 24, 2019

Hands2Help 2019 - Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things!

Hi, all!

Welcome to one of my favorite weeks of each year's Hands2Help Challenge - Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things!  I always enjoy seeing what you guys share, and I've picked up some great ideas each year.  It's a great way to get to know the folks who are participating in this year's challenge, too, and make new friends.  Just link up a post (or two or three, or more!) below to share your ideas.  It doesn't have to be a new post, or even one of your own if you want to share a great tutorial, tip or recipe someone else wrote.  But it's a great reason to write a post that lets people know a little more about you, too.

I've been saving a few tips just for this week, so let's get started!


Best tip first...

Wonder what this is?  It's a miracle worker!!

This is what my design wall looked like - and because it looked like that, my blocks wouldn't stick very well.  Sound familiar?  Well, I had just bought some of these silicone scrubbers for my kitchen, and it occurred to me that they might be useful other places too.....

...and lo and behold, I was right!  A few swipes across my design wall and look at all it gathered up!

And after a few minutes of work, look at all the stuff that came off! I tell you, this is one of the best things I've come across.  They're relatively cheap, and they work great.  Plus they have a little hanging tab so they're easy to keep track of...

And then I discovered this little trick...

Did you know that the end of a Gutermann thread spool comes off, and you can keep needles inside (if you haven't taken the label off the other end, anyway!)  It was a really handy way to travel with needles for hand-sewing!  The end of the spool just pops right back in, sealing it up and keeping it safe.

And next, my favorite tool in the sewing room...

If you don't have a Hera marker (made by Clover), you NEED one!    It marks fabric by making a crease on the fabric, much like a bone folder if you make cards or scrapbook.  I use this clever tool to mark my squares when making half-square triangles (so much easier than pencil, and you can mark up to three at a time by stacking them up!)  I also use it to mark my quilting lines on t-shirt quilts (for straight line quilting).  The crease is easy to follow and you can see it on any color - something that isn't so easy when you are using chalk or water soluble markers.  And you can also use the blunt end to "finger press" your seams open in a pinch.  I'm sure there are other uses, too - and I'd love to hear them!

And speaking of other uses, I found that quilting tools also work great when you are putting up a tile backsplash!  I used all of these - plus my Hera marker, which didn't make it into the picture - when I was working on this project.  My husband thought I was nuts, but hey, it worked!  So remember to think outside the box.

And while you're in the kitchen...

If you want some truly decadent comfort food, try this recipe for shortbread cookies.  (FYI, the recipe says to put them in a press but you can also roll the dough and cut them out - about 1/4" thick is just about perfect!) And they get better as they age, so yes, eat some right after they come out of the oven, but put most of them in a well sealed container or tin for a day or two - you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!  This is definitely the cure for those "rip-it" days....

Since I've overloaded you guys with tutorials already this year, I'll leave that to the rest of you.  Can't wait to see what you share!


Be sure to come back next week to "meet the sponsors"!  I'm busily sorting giveaway goodies and lining up sponsors who want to help say "thank you" to all of you fabulous, generous quilters. It's going to be a great year!  (Oh, and don't forget to link up your own tips, tutes, and tasty things below!)



PS It's not too late to sign up for this year's Challenge!  Click on the Hands2Help 2019 Page (right under my blog header picture) and scroll down to find the signup form.  Join in the fun!


  1. Ha ha... I am glad to see that I am not the only one using quilting rulers for other purposes.

  2. I like the idea of the lint/thread removal! I'm going to try that this week!

  3. the end of the spools on other brands come off to not just Gutermann - I don't know if they all do but I know Aurifil #50 does

  4. All great tips. I really want, need, one of those Hera markers. 'Never even knew they exist.

  5. Thanks so much for your tips and your tutorials, love Rockin Rectangle! I will now look forward to my leftovers as i can't wait to make this quilt!

  6. Good Morning! Well, isn't this tip just the perfect timing?! I was just looking at my design wall, wondering how I was going to get all those bits and strings off of it easily. I'll have to check out the silicone scrubber for sure - for the kitchen, too. ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. I need to remember to use the Hera marker more. I used it to subdivide sections of sashing to evenly space free motion quilt motifs and it worked like a charm. I'll try it for marking HST, but my aging eyes may need more guidance than the Hera marker line provides.

  8. Working on some tips, etc. One question, is it ever too late to sign up? Just want to be clear when I am promoting this!

  9. The silicone scrubber idea is brilliant. I’ve been frustrated with the threads on my design wall, and this is a cheap and easy solution. Katie Z.

  10. Now why has it never occurred to me to use my Hera to mark HST sewing lines?? Thanks for the tip!

  11. I Love this post --- the tips are great! I really need that silicone scrubber. LOL, my tip came from a post I did in 2010 and I have been using it all week.

  12. I tried my Hera marker a couple of times to mark quilting lines and had little luck; now I think I wasn't pressing hard enough. I'm going to try it for HSTs as you suggest. I use mine mostly to press open seams prior to pressing. I'm saving the link to the scrubbers. I use a lint roller but it fills up so fast!
    Thanks for hosting this event!

  13. I love all of your tips. I didn't know spools can open on top or the hera marker. Thank you!


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