The quilt along is free provided by our sponsor, Havel’s Sewing. It’ll take place over on their blog. That is where you’ll find the main post and all the patterns throughout the quilt along. You can sign up for the quilt along and in doing so receive an email each time a pattern releases pointing you to the right place. I’ll also have a post up here each time pointing you to the right place as well.
This is my second year hosting a quilt along for Havel’s Sewing and my second year as one of their ambassadors. I’m pretty smitten with them. Their products are top of the line quality and they are so very kind and supportive of our quilting community which is something that’s very important to me.
Hi, Shelly! We got to know you and Havel’s a little better in our interview last year when we were just about to start the I am Enough quilt along. It’s a year later and we are now about to get stitching on the Little Miss quilt along. What’s been going on in the last year at Havel’s? Things at Havel’s Sewing have been moving right along. We are continuing to push our brand and become more familiar to the general quilting community. We have grown our social media following immensely and that is thanks to all of our wonderful ambassadors. We have started exhibiting at the AQS shows twice a year and that has been very successful as well. We have come out with 2 new rulers and are always looking for new product needs.
You sent me the new aqua colored 60mm rotary cutter. I am so in love with it and have started using it almost exclusively. I get to stack my fabric a little higher and cut a little more. Is this okay and its use? It is perfectly okay to use several layers of fabric with the 60mm cutter. The blades are as durable as ever and are made to cut more layers at a time.
Speaking of cutting fabric, I kind of wing it when it comes time to change my blades on my rotary cutter. I’ll use and use the blades and then notice I’m starting to struggle with it and then change it and then it’ll cut like butter again. Are there any hard rules on the correct time to change blades? What’s the best thing to do with old blades? Do you recycle them? There are no hard and fast rules for changing the blades, we just recommend that you change them when you feel like you are working too hard to cut through layers of fabric. Good question about old blades and we have several people who do recycle and others just wrap them carefully and toss them. It really is whatever works best for you. (ADD ON FROM Melanie – I recycle my old blades with my tin and aluminum)
Havel’s recently added some new rulers to their collection. Are there any other new products that you are working on? We are not currently working on anything but we are always open to ideas and are always looking for what might be the next big and popular thing.
My Trippy Quilt pattern is coming out late this year and it involves a lot of seam ripping, I’ve been LOVING that I have the Snip-a-Stitch scissors to use for it. I’ve noticed that this pair of scissors is not listed under the category of “seam rippers” though. Is there another purpose to it that I’m unaware of? Would I be better off with one of your pro seam rippers? The Snip-a-Stitch scissors are absolutely perfect for that use and probably should be included under seam rippers as well. Our Ultra-Pro seam rippers are also excellent tools for that and it is another one of those things that comes down to personal preference.
I love my pink cutting mats! Do you have any advice for keeping them in tip top shape? The cutting mats are of the highest quality and having the 5 layers of double sided material makes them extremely durable. We recommend storing them flat of course and also to keep them out of direct sunlight or heat. Other than that, cut away and use them as often as needed. We try to keep our costs on them reasonable so when you need to replace them you feel as if you got your money’s worth!! (ADD ON FROM Melanie – I keep a spray bottle of Mr. Clean and water mixed up and spray a dry cloth and give my mats a good scrub once a month or so)
The Little Miss Sawtooth Star quilt along begins in just over a week. Are you as excited as me? I honestly could not be more excited about the upcoming quilt along. If it is anything like the I Am Enough quilt along it will be incredible. I could not be more grateful for you giving us the opportunity to work with you once again on such an amazing project.
Most of us are on budgets and have to be careful with how we spend our money. And then when we do have money to spend, we want to use it for fabric. I’ve heard this so many times from other quilters and I have had these feelings too from time to time. I’ve come to find though that many products will make me feel less frustrated (this is especially true of rulers), so I’ve very slowly built up a room of good quilting supplies besides just my fabric stash.
Once I went on a road trip and forgot my thimble (one of those cheap rubber ones). We ended up finding a quilt shop along the way and I ran in to buy a thimble. They offered one single thimble and the price tag was $9. I must be cheap down deep inside because I was exasperated at that price tag. I bought the thimble anyway (had to have it), but grumbled all the way back to the car. SINGLE BEST THIMBLE EVER. I now have three of them in three different places where I do hand sewing. It completely spoiled me, and if I had to go back to the rubber one there would definitely be some grumbling. I have my favorite thimble in my own shop now here.
I also like to get my knowledge from other quilters. A garment sewist might tell you her favorite machine, but that might not do a quilter a whole lotta good. I used to use a sewing machine that I was unhappy with and then another quilter told me to get a Juki 2000. That was another decision that made my experience with this hobby so much less frustrating.
With this in mind and to help you make informed decisions I’ve composed a list of my favorite products at Havel’s Sewing. The products I’ve listed below I think you’ll find above and beyond better than anything you can get at a big box store in my opinion. I’m also going to explain my reasonings for loving them so much.
If you decide you can’t live without something I’ve listed or just have to have what I’m talking about, use my coupon code “southerncharm7”. It’s good at anything at Havel’s Sewing and you’ll receive $7 off any order of $25 or more.
The cutting mats – This is one of their products that I think stands out way above your average cutting mat. Most cutting mats have almost a gritty surface, their a bit flimsy and you could even roll them up if you like. The Havel’s cutting mat has a smooth surface. It’s thick and you couldn’t roll it if you tried. It’s also double sided, so it’s like you are getting two mats in one. The next time you have to buy a cutting mat, try Havel’s. I don’t think you’ll regret it. They have two different sizes. The bigger size I use for cutting fabric from fat quarters and yardage. The smaller size I use for trimming. It’s small enough to be able to spin it and trim a block unit (kind of like what you’d use a rotating mat for) so that you don’t have to reposition your ruler when trimming.
The rotary cutters – I think most of us can agree that a rotary cutter is a rotary cutter and you could probably get by with one rotary cutter your whole life. I’ve never heard of anyone breaking one. Still I can’t not mention the one’s at Havel’s. They have good ones! It fits my hand nicely and has more comfort to it than you get from just a hard plastic one. It must be in the shape. It’s also very pleasing on the eyes. I will say that I’ve been using the 60mm more and more. I particularly like it for trimming my quilt tops better than a 45mm. I don’t have to work as hard, though the refill blades cost a bit more than a 45mm would. Speaking of refills, Havel’s also has blade packs here if you just need new blades. I’ll be taking a class in Paducah in a few weeks working with curves and my supply list for the class told me to bring a 28mm cutter. I didn’t have one, but I’m getting the one from Havel’s this week. I’m looking forward to learning the benefits of the small one and when I know about it I’ll share more. Havel’s advertises their 28mm as a chenille cutter, but Shelly told me I could just remove the chenille guide without any problems and use it for all my small cutting needs.
The snip-a-stitch scissors – I’ve singled this pair of scissors out. I’ve been impressed with it since I got it last year. Massively impressed. I make a lot of mistakes and I unpick a lot of work. i can be particular about my points lining up, so my need for a good seam ripper is high on my list. The thing about these though is you actually don’t do any ripping. You snip a few stitches (I usually snip around every four or fifth stitch and then just give it a little pull. I’ve got a video tutorial of these in action here. I mentioned above about my Trippy quilt (I’m working on my third version) and in any Trip Around The World quilt there is quite a bit of seam ripping involved (it’s just how their made), but the snip-a-stitch scissors made this part of the work SO MUCH EASIER.
Thanks for reading along today! If you can, I’d love it if you showed your support to Havel’s and thanked them for making this a free quilt along. They’ve got some great prizes to be given away throughout the quilt along that I’m excited for you to receive. Shelly is also always so encouraging during these events. Don’t forget to say hi to her!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and purchase an item I may earn a tiny commission. You will not pay any extra by doing so. This is just a means for me to bring you free content. If you do purchase something I have linked to, THANK YOU for supporting me and my writing on the Quilt Making blog. Big hugs!