Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oliso Iron Review

Hey there.  If you're following me on Instagram (username: @gigis_thimble) you may remember I got a new iron about a month ago and was excited to try it out.  Now that I've been using it for a while I thought I'd share my thoughts with you!


So first off, it's cute right?  Us quilters like cute stuff...so why aren't all irons cute? The Oliso irons come in several fun colors and range in price from $99-$170.


Also, it's a "Smart Iron" (which had me all googly eyed, I'm not gonna lie).  It's got a patented "Itouch Technology".  Let me tell you how that works...  So, you're always supposed to keep the iron in the down (flat) position - with the soleplate against the ironing board.  (That took some getting use to.  I'm so used to other kinds of irons that you have to automatically put in the upright position or you're going to scorch the heck out of your fabric!  It's pretty nice though 'cause it does save time!)  When you take your hands off the handle, the scorchgaurds lower - which lifts the iron about 1/2" off the ironing board.  So it hovers!  It's pretty cool.  When you put your hand around the handle there's a sensor that will make the scorchguards raise and then the iron lowers down and it's ready to use. 


A couple other nice features I've discovered in the last few weeks... first, the extra long cord has come in handy a few times!  I'm working on a new quilt pattern for Fall Market right now and pulled my ironing board over to my sewing table so I don't have to keep getting up and down to press my blocks (anything to save time, right?)  The Oliso's cord is a good 4' longer than my Rowenta cord.  So big thumbs up there!  And second, it stays on for 30 minutes before automatically shutting off.  Isn't it annoying when you're in the middle of a project and the automatic shut-off shuts off every 5 minutes!?!  I haven't had that problem with the Oliso and when it does shut off you simply have to touch the handle!

So the only "con" about the Oliso that I've found so far, is this:
When pressing a block with several seams, the scorchguards got caught on some of the seams or the edge of the block and kind of pushed them in the wrong direction (causing me more work because I had to then press new wrinkles out).  I wanted to compare my old Rowenta with my new Oliso to see if the Rowenta also got caught up on the seams.  Nope, it was definitely a smoother ride.  

  
So I can see that the scorchguards are (on one hand) a really nice feature and on the other hand, a bit of a problem.  I will keep trying to see if I can get used to them when pressing my block.  Maybe I will get better as I get more practice.

Aside from that I like the Oliso a lot.  
Do you have an Oliso and if so, what do you think about it?  
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

Happy quilting!
~ Amber 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Gigi's Thimble Spring 2016 Patterns (Vintage Collection)

Hey there!  I've missed you!  Seriously!
It's been way too long.  I've been itching to get back to my blogging roots for a while now and I'm happy to finally be doing it.  But first, a few highlights from the last few months:

 - Exhibiting at the Spring 2016 International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City


 - Summer, well, Summer completely kicked my butt
- Trip to the Pacific Northwest for my 20-year High School Reunion
- Hiked Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon with friends 

 
- And finally, this isn't so much of a "highlight" but it is a big deal to me: I recently put in my resignation notice at my local quilt shop.  I worked at Just Sew in Highland, UT. for 8 years and I am bummed to say good-bye.  I am, however, looking forward to finding new focus and new opportunities. 

Which brings me back to blogging!

Today I want to finally and officially introduce you to my 6 new patterns, which I call my "Vintage Collection" as they are all based off of vintage quilts.  I love the good ol' classic quilt blocks and vintage-inspired quilts and I hope you do too!

First up is Ruby.


Ruby is not for the faint of heart.  
She's made up of a bazillion half-square triangles 
(which will make you either love her or hate her by the time you're finished!)
My friend, Aniva (on Instagram as @aniva_rose) made about half of the blocks on this as I was going crazy with Market prep when I designed it!  She's amazing and I'm so thankful for sweet friends like Aniva!!!


Ruby was made up with scrappy fabrics from my stash and comes with instructions for 4 size options (throw, twin, queen and king).

Next up is Jack.

Jack combines two of my loves: 9-Patches (a classic for sure) and neutrals.  Black and white never goes out of style but I think it would be wonderful in any colorway.  There's lots of room to get creative with color on this one!  And wait, it also has straight-line quilting on it (which is another favorite of mine) so that's three!  This quilt has found a home in my family room on my husbands recliner.


Jack comes in 3 size options (throw, twin and queen) and was made with scrappy low-volume and black fabrics from my stash.

The third pattern is a little different from the rest.  
It's my Scrappy Strip Block Paper Piecing Patterns.


Each package of Scrappy Strip Block Paper Piecing Patterns comes with 5 copies of 5 different blocks (which make a nice lap size quilt when sewn together).  The size to cut your strips is printed on each strip so you can cut as you go and they were designed so you won't have any itty-bitty triangles in the corners of your blocks.  They can be used on their own to make a scrappy string quilt OR with the companion pattern, Ava (which is the 4th pattern in my Vintage Collection).

Meet Ava:


Ava was quilted by Denae Hansen who lives in American Fork, UT.  I've used Denae a couple of other times since then and she does absolutely beautiful work!  She does both hand-guided and computerized quilting.  This was hand-guided.


Ava comes in 3 size options (crib, twin and queen) and was made with mostly Katie Jump Rope fabrics by Denyse Schmidt plus a few from my stash.  The awesome check fabric on the back is by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery.  It was just sitting around it my stash (being awesome) and I knew it was the back for Ava.

Fifth up is Lulu.


Lulu is Jelly Roll friendly and one of the easiest patterns you'll ever make.  She comes in 2 size options (lap and twin).  My friend, Christine Cook (on Instagram as @stitchingrevival) put this together for me.  She did an awesome job and completely saved the day in all my Market prep mayhem!


And last, but not least, is Pearl.  I love Pearl.  


 One of the true classic blocks.  
She's paper pieced and curved pieced 
but really isn't as hard as it looks.


The quilting was again, done by Denae Hansen in this simple, yet beautiful cross-hatching.  I have never had this kind of cross-hatching done before but it is a new favorite for sure!  

Also, I collected some beautiful Liberty of London fabrics for this project and they were a dream to work with!


Oh, and don't worry if you've never done curved or paper piecing before, Pearl comes with 4 size options (mini, crib, twin and queen) and the mini is the perfect place to start!


 It may even add a little sunshine to your life!

Well, that's it for the Vintage Collection!  
Thanks for sticking around through the worlds longest blog post!  
I plan to be around more often so please feel free to leave a comment.  I'd love to hear what you think about my new patterns.  Also, I'm taking ideas on future blog post ideas too!

See you soon!
~ Amber

P.S.  All patterns are available in my Etsy shop! Click HERE.
Use coupon code "VINTAGECOLLECTION" for 20% of
all items through Sunday (9-18-16).