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Thread: More questions.... thread & value kit

  1. #1
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Hi again! I just got back from JoAnn's - I was looking for things on my "list" of things I will need (that you provided :))
    I had an Olfa 45mm rotary cutter in my hands and was looking at the rulers when dh found an Olfa "value kit" with, what appears to be, the same rotary cutter, a 6x12 frosted ruler and a 12x18 mat - on clearance for $14.97! I'm sure the quality isn't quite the same, but I went ahead and got it anyway. Do you think it was a wise purchase?

    And I was looking at the Gutterman thread they have - it's all 100% polyester. If I prewash (preshrink) all the fabric first, would this thread be ok?

    (and I got a bunch of fat quarters at the quilt shop (on major sale) and the quilters dream batting..... I'm getting closer! ;))

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Hey Mama, I'm a beginner, too. I'm starting my 3rd quilt so I don't know much, but I bought the Joann's value pack starter set. So far so good. My only complaint is the mat could be bigger. Larger pieces of fabric are difficult to fold well enough to get precise cuts. If you keep your fabric pieces smaller, it is no problem.

    Lisa

  3. #3
    Senior Member sewhappy57's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good deal to me! :thumbup:

  4. #4
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    It sounds like you made wise purchases. When you can afford it you should get a large cutting mat tho, as it will be used often. I love mine, but they aren't cheap!

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    That's a good buy, but you will probably want to get a larger mat and a larger ruler. When you fold a yard of fabric in half twice, you need the 6X12 ruler to extend beyond the fabric and the next size mat allows more alignment flexibility.
    The square ruler will come in handy to square smaller blocks.

    Remember - don't expose your mat to heat/sunshine - it will warp. (ask me how I know)

  6. #6
    Junior Member Pam G's Avatar
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    I agree wise purchases. It took me a long time to get the bigger mat but you'll get there. Not sure if you have a hobby lobby near you but they periodically put quilt items on sale, try to get one on sale or use their coupon to get one at a better price. Stay on the net looking for free patterns.

    Remember to have fun with this!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam G
    Remember to have fun with this!!
    My soapmaking turned into a business, and while I still enjoy the creative end of it, it's become stressful. This will just be for "me" - so I sure hope it will remain fun!!!! :D

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Good buy!!! You can always get another mat like other's have said... I would invest in a bigger ruler first :wink:
    There are some here who piece with polyester thread, some only cotton and some who use both... Personal preferences... :D

  9. #9
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    heck yes that's a great buy!!! the ruler alone could cost more than that in some shops! same for the cutter ... come to think of it ... same for any of the individual pieces in the set!

    i also recommend you get a bigger mat as soon as you have the space and funds for it. BUT the smaller mat will still come in very handy very often, so it was also a wise buy. :wink:

    learning how to fold your fabric "just right" so you can cut with a smaller ruler is a valuable skill to develop. the shorter the cut, the less likely you are to make mistakes. the ruler is less likely to slip; you have a more accurate view of the entire length of the cut; you don't have to bend over as much or as far; so altogether it's more pleasant and less tiring.

    even if you don't prewash your fabric, it's a good idea to open it up and press it flat. then, refold it along the selvages carefully so it all lines up nice and straight. carefully fold it up again so that the first fold lines up with the selvages. IGNORE THE ENDS of the fabric. check to make sure the second fold lies flat once the first fold is aligned to the selvage. once it's all nicely straight and flat along the folds, square off the end from which you plan to cut. when you cut, make sure to line up your ruler on both the cutting edge and the bottom fold. check this every time you cut. if you need to re-square the cutting edge every once in a while, do so.

    practice, practice, practice. it's worth it. ;-)

    my personal preference for piecing and quilting has turned out to be 100% cotton thread. i prefer the price of polyester but i have decided that cotton is easier to work with (because it's much easier to pick out cotton stitching than polyester. and i do a LOT of picking out. :roll: :lol: )

    i use polyester for most machine embroidery. it's less expensive and more durable than rayon and shinier than cotton. (although i do sometimes use cotton thread to embroider when i want less shine.)

  10. #10
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    The "kit" will probably work for you, at least for a little while. As far as the thread, if you're using 100% cotton thread, I've read you should use 100% cotton thread. Connecting Threads has their Essentials Threads at a very good price, it's 100% cotton, $2.00 individually, 1200 yard spools and if you get the packages, it's even cheaper.

  11. #11
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    All I use is the thread from Conneting Threads and I won't use anything else. For some reason, my machine does not like poly thread. The thread at C.T. is a very good deal. I just got a spool of dark brown, and with shipping, it was less than what I got buy it for at JoAnn's.
    Just my 2cents worth.
    Bev

  12. #12
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    If it's Olfa it is going to be the same quality whether in a kit or not. As for the thread, I have no idea. Connecting Threads seems to have really good thread for amazingly low prices. It's worth a look for you.

    www.connectingthreads.com

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Since you are close to a Joanns see if you can get a coupon for a cutting mat. The closest Joann to me is over 100 miles. I got mine on line. I got the Olfa 24x36 (recommended by posters here) with a 40% off coupon and free shipping for less the $35.00. Best thing I bought. I love the fact you don't have to fold your fabric more then once. Much better cuts. Just make sure you get a 24" ruler. If you get more then 1 coupon take what you just bought and go back in and buy again. Posters are always putting coupons up for the members here.

    I'm new at quilting too. Have already bought tons off stuff I have no idea what I'm going to do with. All I have to say is enjoy the ride, the posters on this board are all enablers :lol:

  14. #14
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    I've had a 12x18 mat I've used for paper cutting - so possibly I could lay this one and my first one together.... but maybe it's the width I need more? Without having done this at all, it's hard to fully understand why you need what. Hopefully someday I'll be answering posts like this! ;)[i]

    And I'll check JoAnn's for the Connecting Threads brand.

    Thanks for all your comments!!

  15. #15
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good deal to me. It's a great way to start quilting. Have fun.

  16. #16
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama

    And I'll check JoAnn's for the Connecting Threads brand.
    Connecting Threads is a website and they have their own brand of thread everyone is referring to, called Essential Thread. You won't find it at Joanns or anywhere else. I just recently have gotten some and so far so good. Lots of people on the board recommend it. The spools are large and the prices good, and it is on sale right now.

    www.connectingthreads.com

  17. #17
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    I checked a different JoAnn's - actually a larger one than is near me, and neither have the Connecting threads thread. But the bigger one does have the all cotton Gutterman's, so next time I get a coupon, or it goes on sale, I will get some.

    Speaking of thread..... I hadn't thought about what color to get before - after doing a search I think I saw that most quilters use a neutral color - like grey?

  18. #18
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Connecting Threads is a website.

  19. #19
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    I have used the Gutterman's thread and sometimes it is good and sometimes I have a lot of breakage. Gray or Tan are good choices for color. I use my small cutting board when I am traveling or staying at a motel, I went on a run with my husband in the semi and used the small mat to cut out the baby quilt i made for my daughter. The small one makes turning the mat so much easier than walking around the table to cut from the opposite side. I always look for the clearance bargains. Olfa is a good brand- you made a good choice.

  20. #20
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    Connecting Threads is a website.

    I have a lot to learn, don't I?! Thanks for being so patient with all of my questions - I feel like a kid in a candy shop!

  21. #21
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama
    I've had a 12x18 mat I've used for paper cutting - so possibly I could lay this one and my first one together.... but maybe it's the width I need more? Without having done this at all, it's hard to fully understand why you need what. Hopefully someday I'll be answering posts like this! ;)[i]

    And I'll check JoAnn's for the Connecting Threads brand.

    Thanks for all your comments!!
    You could put the mats together if you are onlyusing them to cut on, but there is uaually a border around them so your measurements using them is going to be off. I usually measure with my ruler but I also double check on my mat too. Also, if you use both together, make sure your lines all line up. Also, you can always ask Santa for a bigger mat! Just be specific! :lol:

    As for the Connecting Threads, it isn't a brand that Joann's carries. You have to order it off their website, which I think somone included a link to. Their spools are really reasonable and even if your machine doesn't have a spool spot, you can make one using a jar and a hanger! That's what I did and it works great!

    You are gonna love it here!

  22. #22

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    Try checking out Hancocks of Paducha - I think they are the cheapest (or I should say least expensive) place for cutting mats. Also, JoAnn's has those 40% off coupons if you sign up for them.

  23. #23

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    I always forget something - Becareful when putting mats together - if you cut at the spot where the two mats meet you could have big problems with an accurate cut. Also, if your mat is warped in the least it will give you a bad cut. We have made the mistake of placing things that should not be on the cutting mats - such as a laptop computer - who gave off some heat and it did warp my mat.

  24. #24
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    Watch for Joann's 40% or 50% (better yet) to get that larger mat.

    Just be sure that the mat is not already on one of their weekly specials, otherwise the coupon will not be allowed.

    Happy cutting.

    MaryJane

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