Posts Tagged ‘notions’

New Pieces for New Pieces Blog

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Good things come in pieces!

The blog is back after a few months away!

A lot is happening at New Pieces * and in the local quilting world. We’d like to use the blog as another way to reinforce the New Pieces Quilt community. I will be looking for items to post about gadgets and techniques, to alternate with  stories about the quilts and quilters in our midst, and other stuff of interest to you all. You are invited to send  your ideas for blog entries to New Pieces, or to write something yourself and send it to me. Pictures are welcome too!

*Many of you will notice that this amazing 360 degree picture of the store is filled with quilts by staff emeritae. We are rebuilding our teaching program as you read this. Please ask about the changes underway, and feel free to suggest great teachers and classes to us!

Quilt Patis – A New Take on an Old Skill

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012


Confession: I didn’t expect to like these as much as I do.

Quilt Patis are little templates for English piecing — but made of flexible plastic instead of paper, so they can be used over and over again. The best part may be that they’re portable — you can stick a little kit (some  Patis, fabric scraps, two pins and a needle and thread) in your bag and play with them when you’re waiting out one of life’s little delays.

New Pieces currently has diamond and hexagon-shaped Patis, in two sizes each. The pincushion above was made by Mary Risard Burnett, from the smaller diamond Patis, and there are a few of the larger ones under it. Using the cutting board for scale, you can see how small they are. You can’t see that they’re easy to use. Look for them the next time you come in!


What’s the Difference? (Synthrapol vs. Retayne)

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

We decided to solve this question once and for all. After a diligent Google search, the answer is:

Retayne FIXES dye to fabric and should be used in cases where you are concerned that a fabric dye may bleed. Use Retayne as directed,  as a pre-wash or before putting suspect fabrics into a quilt.

Synthrapol is a special detergent that suspends dye particles so that they do not reattach to fabric. Dyers use Synthrapol as a pre-wash to REMOVE  sizing, oils, fingerprints and other impurities that would interfere with an even dying of fabric — and then they wash the dyed fabric with Synthrapol to remove any remaining unattached dye particles.

Here is one situation that requires further research; I’ll update when I can confirm or deny it:

It’s my understanding that you don’t use Retayne on a completed quilted, because of the possibility that dye might migrate and THEN affix to (the wrong) fabric. The proper procedure in that case would seem to be to wash the quilt with Synthrapol (to remove the extra dye), and THEN use Retayne to affix the dye that remains.

Both products are available at New Pieces, and we have directions on how to use either one. If you’re interested in the chemical reactions that each one employs, please contact Heather (who is interested is such things) at


Nifty Notions – Little House Pins

Sunday, March 20th, 2011


I opened a new box of Little House Pins this morning and was reminded what a wonderful, small luxury they really are.  Little House Pins are very thin, utterly smooth and really, really sharp.  They are handmade, with tiny glass pinheads that hold up to ironing without melting or scratching. They come from Tokyo, painstakingly sorted and counted into teeny-tiny boxes. Working with these beautiful little pins reminds me that there is true pride in doing a small thing very, very well. In a hectic world, it’s a thought I love to have as I sit down to my day’s projects.

– Heather