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Creative Spaces Blog Hop: Week 2 Favorite Tools

It's a beautiful week in the Sonoran Desert

and my torch cactus are making lovely

summer blossoms in the yard to delight me

when I take breaks from the studio and my


I hope you've been enjoying the Favorite Tools week with Creative Spaces as much as I have! So many ideas and new products I want to try.

I've been thinking about what tools I want to share with you and I came up with a list of the 5 tools I use every week, most of them every day. These are the tools I absolutely can't do without. These tools are so fabulous, I feel like you deserve a chance to have some of them for your very own! Take note of the giveaways and coupons included in this blog, so you can scoop up some of the best tools for your own quilting!

Must Have's for Piecing:

1. I don't piece a single quilt without the use of The Ideal Seam Guide and The Ideal Seam Gauge from Sew Very Smooth. This seam guide makes for perfect seams every time with very little attention required. I never worry that my blocks will be perfect when I have this beauty attached to my machine.

Just take a look at these perfect seams!

Before I started using these guides I frequently said I wasn't a good piecer and I constantly struggled to get corners to line up perfectly.

Now I know my points will be perfect every time.

I called the fabulous Luann and Steve at Sew Very Smooth as I was preparing this blog and they generously offered 2 Student Kits valued at $30 and 2 of their Perfect Piecing Packages valued at $70 to my blog readers!

I know you'll want to be in the running for one of these incredibly helpful sets.

Watch Steve (Coach Tip) explain how to use the Ideal Seam Guide on this video from the

last Houston Quilt Festival

Follow this link to my Facebook page, like

my page, and make a comment about the

Ideal Seam Guide on the post linking this

blog. I'll draw 4 lucky winners on Friday before next week's blog.

2. I also start every piecing project by plugging the iron. We all need one right? 10 years ago, I switched from using light

weight, inexpensive irons to buying my iron's from Oliso and I am a complete convert.

The Oliso iron uses itouch technology, which means that you will never pick up an iron again. When you touch the handle of the iron, the little feet underneath drop into the iron and the iron descends to be flush with the pressing surface. When you're done pressing a block or a piece of fabric and release the handle of the iron, the feet lift the iron off the pressing surface, preventing any potential burning of your pressing space. I find that not having to lift an iron to do my work, saves my wrists so much effort over the course of the day. This iron is invaluable.

Necessities for Applique and Paper Piecing:

1. I obsess about applique. It's my absolute

true quilty love. To help with layout and design, there is nothing better than a good light box.

For years, I made due with the living room window and then I discovered the Wafer 2 from The Daylight Company! What a change. This light box has it all. It is thin, lightweight, and big enough to easily accommodate an 11" x 17" pattern. The light is also powerful enough for you to see most patterns through a piece of black fabric, which is amazing!

The Wafer 2 had already won me over and then last year the creative minds at The Daylight Company made it even better, when they introduced the transparent cutting mat that allows you to cut right on top of your light box and get maximum accuracy with paper piecing.

This light box has been the best addition to my applique and paper piecing tools in the

last two years.

The lovely team at The Daylight Company have graciously offered you a 20% off coupon code that is good from now until the end of August for anything you want on their website! Just enter the code Swanhop18 when you check out to receive the 20% off. Thank you Daylight Team!

2. The second tool I can't do without when I create my applique pieces is a Trolley Needle. I use the freezer paper and starch

method when I prepare my applique pieces.

If you want to avoid burned fingers and

easily manipulate your fabric, this tool is


Check out how useful it is in action in one of my YouTube demos Applique with Swan.

Visit my tools page to pick one up for yourself!

Free-motion Quilting:

I love, LOVE, free motion quilting. I use my regular Juki machine to do all of my free motion and it has become a passion.

A year ago I introduced my very own quilting glove design, made to be padded, supportive, soft, breathable, and touch screen sensitive. The Amity Glove has a padded palm to support your hands, fully adjustable and supportive wrist band, and a breathable mesh back to keep your hands comfortable while you work. I also wanted you to be able to make adjustments to your machine without having to take your gloves off, so my gloves are fully touch screen sensitive so you can use your touch screen, answer your phone, or watch instructional videos while working. I'm working on a sizing guide for my gloves right now, but if you can't find them at your local shop, feel free to send me an email or a Facebook message and I will help you find your size.

To win your own pair of Amity Gloves absolutely free, follow my Instagram SwanAmity and comment on the Creative Spaces badge for Week 2! I'll draw two winning names on Friday July 27th.

I hope you'll be back to join me and the rest of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop Designers next week for some great tips to keep you organized. Happy Quilting my friends!


(Be sure to visit Cherry's blog to find out how to enter the prize drawings!)







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