Havel’s Sewing & Shruti Dandekar Team Up for a Giveway!

Havels Fabric & Quilt Ruler Cutter : Product Review, Tutorial and a Giveaway

by Shruti Dandekar October 04, 2017

I love a few of my quilting tools and I would love to share them with you. My favorite cutting tool is the Havels Fabric and Quilt Ruler Cutter.

I love all the new tools that I see in the market. So after becoming the Brand Ambassador for Havels Sewing, the first thing I ordered was their fabulous cutting system aka the Havels Fabric and Quilt Ruler Cutter.
This is how Havels website describes it:
A revolutionary new product from Havel’s Sewing, our Fabric and Quilt Ruler Cutter will save you a ton of time with any project! It’s easy to use, and the “no-slip-grip-strip” keeps it stable for better control and more precise cutting. Made for use with our extra sharp, replaceable 45mm alloy steel rotary blade.

● Drastically reduces your cutting time!
● 27 1/2” long, 6” wide – great for a wide variety
of projects
● Saves wear and tear on hands and wrists
(easy on carpal tunnel!)
● Clear, easy to read measurements on ruler
● Magnetic wand included

And here are my views about it :
1. When I held it in my hand the first thing I noticed was that it was not as heavy as I thought it would be. There is a large channel that runs on your dominant hand side (both lefties and righties can use this) where the blade is mounted. It makes it look heavy, but it isn’t. Of course I would not compare the weight with a regular ruler.
2. The ruler is LONG! At 27.5″ it is the longest ruler I have and makes cutting larger pieces of fabric a breeze. It is actually longer than my cutting mat!
3. The ruler needs a little getting used to. ONE inch of the ruler goes under the channel. So it needs a little bit of time to get used to the measurements. Its super simple, just follow the markings on the ruler rather than making your own calculations.
4. Cutting pieces less than 1″ is tricky. Not impossible. Just read my small tutorial on how to cut strips smaller than 1″ using this cutter at the end of this post.
5. The rotary cutting blade is NEVER exposed to your hands! That means it can be very safe to use! A few years back, Aadi had cut his fingers with a rotary cutter and needed 11 stitches (his left thumb nail still grows in two pieces). It was every quilter’s nightmare. Since then, I have never really been comfortable letting him use the rotary cutter. I have hovered over him each time he uses one. But with this cutting system, I can see myself letting him use it without me loosing a few heartbeats.
6. It uses the regular 45 mm Rotary Cutter blades. They recommend using Havel’s blades. But I tried using my Fiskars titanium blade and it works just fine.
7. Changing the blade is easier than my Olfa Ergonomic Cutter. The best part is that I do not have to remember the sequence of the parts as I remove them!
8. At $59.99, it is a bit steeply priced, as compared to an Olfa Ergonomic Rotary Cutter PLUS an Omnigrid 6 x 24 ruler (on Amazon) – $32.91, but the convenience of using the product is totally worth it.
9. Overall, I love the product. I have already switched to it instead of my routine ruler-cutter combo without even realizing it.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to cut pieces smaller than 1″ using the cutting system.

• Lay your fabric on the cutting mat aligning the grain of the fabric with the grid on the mat.


• First cut the left edge of the fabric. Just use your palm to press down firmly on the cutter and slide it away from your body. Remove the piece of fabric on the extreme left.


• Now align the lines on the ruler with the lines on the mat to measure desired width. In my case it was 3/4″. And cut again.


• You’re done!


The super fun guys at Havels have offered a fabulous chance to win this awesome cutting system. Head over to my Instagrampost and follow me to know more about it.

Posted in Cutting Mat, Fabric, Fabric Cutter, How To, Quilting, Reviews, Sewing Supplies, Shruti Dandekar | Leave a comment

Meet Homemade Emily Jane!

Hey, I’m Emily!

I am a young quilter who is passionate about teaching people to quilt and sew. My journey with sewing began when I was in middle school making costumes for plays. My mom has been garment sewing my whole life and she volunteered me for that task. In high school while all my friends were taking AP Physics I took classes like “Fashion Design” and “Fabrics and Fibers”. These classes helped me learn many new techniques and art forms. When I was 16 my parents gave me my first sewing machine, and my life was drastically changed for the better.

Emily Jane 3

At 19 years old, my grandmother taught me how to quilt. I showed up at her house one day with some fabric and a photo from Pinterest and said “You can help me make this, right?!” Luckily she’s brilliant and we didn’t even need a pattern! The relationship that my grandmother and I built through quilting has inspired me to want to teach others. Because of this experience, one of my main goals is to build relationships and community through the art, and to help bridge the gap between generations.

Emily Jane 2

Now I’m 23, and about to finish my MBA (see I didn’t need silly physics class anyway). When I’m not quilting, I’m probably at my day job, house hunting, planning my wedding, or encouraging my golden retrievers to compete for my love. I’ve found that sewing every day helps me keep my sanity in a way no other action can do, and I’m lucky to have found my people who think the same way! My favorite work involves using bright, modern fabrics and I usually try to find shortcuts to traditional ways of doing things. I always try to share these tips and tricks whenever possible.

Emily Jane 1

Please check out my work on Instagram or my website.




Posted in Emily Jane, Guest Writers, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Easy And Fun To Make Hair Bows

by Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety,

Hi everyone and welcome to Modern Sewciety and our stop on the Back to School Blog Hop. I really tried to overthink this assignment but when it came down to what I wanted to do I thought about my kids. What is something I could make that would be used a lot and needed for that matter. I happen to be lucky enough to have two beautiful girls with a head full of beautiful hair. So hair bows seemed like the perfect project. Easy and useful.

Hair Bows 1

My kids wear uniforms and are limited to certain colors for their bows. I love the new fabric line by Another Point of View called “Uncorked” which looks like cork with a beautiful shimmery gold metallic. It is the perfect glammed up basic for your fabric collection.

Hair Bows 2

As most of you know we just went through hurricane Irma. Time was limited on this project because for a week we were anticipating this storm and trying to get ready. Goodness I am so glad that it is over. We are all okay and had minimal damage which is a miracle. I haven’t stopped thanking the trees in our yard for being so good to us.
I happen to be terrible at keeping on track with projects when life gets hectic. So this project is super simple and we happened to wait until nighttime to take pictures. Thank goodness I have my SlimLine LED table lamp from Daylight Lighting. So the lighting could be better but, hey, we got them done and my kids love them so so much. I mean bows with flecks of metallic gold seems like a win for us.

Hair Bows 3

1. I grabbed a fat quarter and ripped 2″ strips of fabric.
2. I cut the long strip in half to make two smaller strips.
3. Fold the strip in half to mark your center
4. turn strip to wrong side and fold raw edges in toward center crease. You want to overlap those raw edges a little.
5. Pinch your middle together to cinch the center
6. Sew several passes to secure the middle.
Below:: I then took a scrap of fabric and hid the stitches with a little knot. You could use ribbon or lace here. The possibilities are endless. My girls are already planning out their next batch. I ripped my fabric to save time and make them easier for the kids to help me make them but you could easily make the edges crisp and neat.

Hair Bows 4

We had some extra clips around the house which was so handy. Yea for hoarding craft supplies I guess. We just snuggled one side of the clip under the back of the bow on the knot. It worked perfectly. You could also use some hot glue here to secure it. We didn’t have time and this worked just fine for what we needed.

Hair Bows 5

My daughter loves the bows and she has already started pulling more fat quarters to make more. I often get asked projects to make with kids and this is the perfect project. I think this would even be fun to make as gifts for friend’s birthdays as well. It is something that she can make herself and be proud of.

Hair Bows 6


Posted in craft, Craft to make, Crafting, Fabric, Free Sewing Project, How To, School, Stephanie Kendron, Stephanie Kendron, Tutorials | Leave a comment

DIY Halloween T-shirt – from our friends at Sulky Thread!

DIY Halloween T-shirt Glows in the Dark! (And you can make it in less than an hour)

by Kelly Nagel


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas – Fall! I love Fall. The colors are beautiful, the weather is perfect; there is football every weekend and Halloween! We love Halloween at my house. This year, to kick off the season, I made this adorable skull t-shirt.
Halloween T-Shirt 2

And by ‘made’ I mean I purchased the actual shirt and just put the skull on the front.

Halloween T-Shirt 3

It is quick and easy to do and took me less than an hour.
Here’s how I did it…

Halloween T-Shirt 4

I found a cute skull online, and printed it onto Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer. (Just go to Pinterest and search “skulls”; you will have plenty to choose from.)

Halloween T-Shirt 5

I pulled off the release sheet, and stuck the skull to the front of the shirt; placing it where I wanted the skull to be stitched.

Halloween T-Shirt 6

I grabbed my spool of Sulky Glowy™ Thread in pink (because I have daughters and they want pink skulls. Glowy also comes in yellow, orange, blue, purple, green and white)

Halloween T-Shirt 7

I put a white Sulky Prewound Bobbin on the bottom, and used the Glowy on top. I just used a regular straight stitch and my presser foot to do the outline of the skull. The beauty of Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch is that it is water soluble, so it stabilizes as I am sewing, gives me a pattern to follow, but will wash away when I am finished!

Halloween T-Shirt 8

You can see in this close up that I went off the pattern lines a couple times. It doesn’t matter! The pattern is just going to wash away when I am finished! Plus, I think those wonky stitches give this skull some extra character.

Halloween T-Shirt 9
For the eyes and nose, I switched over to free-motion. I lowered the feed dogs on my machine, and put on the free-motion foot.

Halloween T-Shirt 10

After stitching the first couple stitches slowly back and forth (like a back-stitch of sorts), I just kept going in circles and filling in the area until I was happy with it.

Halloween T-Shirt 11

When the stitching was complete, I just washed away the Stick n Stitch.

Halloween T-Shirt 12

And it’s done!
I completed this shirt, including washing the Stick ‘n Stitch away and ironing the shirt dry, in about an hour.

Halloween T-Shirt 13

BONUS! It glows in the dark. How cool is that!?!?!
Happy Fall and Happy Sewing!


Posted in art ideas, craft, Craft to make, Crafting, Cutting Mat, Free Craft Projects, Free Sewing Project, Fun Stuff, Halloween, Holiday Projects, Seasonal, Tutorials | Leave a comment

Tips For New Quilters!

Tips for fabric, cutting & more!

By Kathy Mathews

bernette sewing machine

I can clearly remember signing up for my first quilting class. I had been sewing since I was twelve but as I was about to turn the big THREE – O I felt the need for something new in my life. I had seen a handmade quilt on a bed of a friend of mine and knew that I had to make one. I was pretty set for basic sewing notions but the class list of what I needed to start quilting had some items that were new to me. The list was a bit anxiety producing, thrilling and a tad expensive.

I was self-motivated because we had family quilts. My grandmother and her two sisters had been quilters and exposed me to it. They planted a seed which was dormant for about 20 years but when it blossomed, it grew big time.

I was so lucky to have had someone who exposed me to quilting. I wish everyone did. I havestarted the wonder that is quilting for me, my step daughter and now my granddaughter. My step daughter was 20 and my granddaughter is only 2 so my approach was and is quite a bit different.

My step daughter lived with us when she was in middle school. It seemed like grades 5 through 8 involved quite a bit of sewing. I made her play costumes, quilts, pillowcases and favors for her birthday parties. She and I get along really well now but then, there were some definite non Brady bunch moments. Sewing was our first and enduring bond.

She became interested in sewing by seeing the things around the house and the handmade items I gave her. I signed her up for lessons, just like I had Shelby and Emily. She made a little quilt in a Mother daughter class and we were all thrilled with it. After she left, she missed the sewing on demand that was available around here. A seed had been planted for her. This kind of exposure is what I am doing with Zara now also, she plays in my sewing room, she adores quilts and sewing is just a part of everyday life.

For Olivia’s 20th birthday, she wanted a sewing machine. Her sister and Mom got her one at Target and I begged to help and by help I meant completely control this present. They all agreed to let me, even took the machine back. I was in heaven! The early exposure had taken root and I was about to “water”the sprout completely!

I got Olivia a Bernettesewing machine, a necessity for all new quilters. I am all about avoiding play sewing machines or tricky antique ones for young sewists. (I made that mistake with my oldest and I have never heard the end of it.) Buy a lower level mechanical sewing machine of the brand you adore.

After that I put together a quilting sewing kit for her, with some attention paid to a quilt class list. She was not living with me so I wanted her to be completely prepared. She was the only child interested in sewing so far, I didn’t want to blow this!

First: cutting. I got her a decent sized cutting mat, quality rotary cutter and replacement blades. I wanted her to have really good scissors so I got my first pair sharpened and passed them on to her. I think being able to cut well is the most important start for a new quilter. And what’s the secret to being able to cut well and accurately? Quality tools that cut consistently and last for decades, a bargain in the long run.
Second: measuring. When you cut, you have to be able to measure. There are so many fabulous rulers out there. I chose a simple 18” plastic ruler and a really good 12.5” acrylic square. It’s important to cut but it has to be accurate.

Third: sewing. By golly, sewing a quilt does involve sewing. She would have well cut, accurate pieces but she needed a quarter inch foot for that machine and a walking foot for the quilting. Luckily, these are not that expensive for a Bernette. And when you sew, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s just part of sewing and quilting. I did not get her as quality a seam ripper as I have, some holiday I will have to upgrade her.

Fourth: Pins and thread. Almost done but sewing involves thread and pins. I have fabulous pins and magnetic “pin cushions” for them. I had hundreds of standard pins and a pin cushion. Before a year was up, I got her a magnetic one. I also got her a big spool of off white Aurifil thread. She has never bought herself a replacement spool of Aurifil but having one luxurious spool is at least amongst her stash.

Fifth: Fabric. Oh yeah, she needed to have some fabric and I think this is where most people start when they sew. We got her a gift certificate to the quilting store for lessons and fabric.

Finally: some fun. Once you have a machine with the proper feet, you can cut, measure, pin and sew that fabric butit’s fun to have some extras. I had a sewing basket I had barely used, a measuring tape and some duplicate books. Olivia loved them!

Keeping it going: I have given her gift certificates for more fabric, dual duty thread I no longer want and fabric I can’t see myself using. We got her extra bobbins because really, can you ever have too many?

Olivia made a quilt in her class and was enthralled. She is a Pinterest nut and finds all kinds of cool projects. She makes purses, bags, Halloween costumes and presents. She’s very inventive and creative.

I can’t wait to do this all again with my granddaughter. She’ll start out sewing with me in my sewing room so do I really need to buy anything for her? Probably not but that hasn’t stopped me. She has her own sewing table and chair where now she just colors. I got her a pink and white Bernette for Christmas and birthday which are 9 months away. Yes, it is fairly insane.

I couldn’t control myself because as quilters and sewists, I think we have to first expose, then encourage and finally launch the next generation. I’ve been successful with one and I am hoping I am with my granddaughter.

If not, I may have a cute little pink and white machine for sale in a couple of years!

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FREE eBOOK INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BEGINNING QUILTERebook cover part2(a)_quilt instructions for beginner

Posted in Crafting, Cutting Mat, Fabric, Fabric Cutter, Fabric Rotary Cutters, Fabric Scissors, Fabric Selection, For Beginners in Sewing, How To, How to Choose Fabric Scissors, How to Make a Quilt, How to Quilt, Kathleen Mathews, Quilting, Quilting, Quilting & Embroidery, Quilting Tools, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Leave a comment