Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Love my Haka Cutting Table

Haka Model 400

My most recent sewing furniture purchase was a cutting table from Haka Sewing Furniture. This is a Canadian company based in Mississauga, Ontario, and operated by a very nice couple, Laurie and Pamela. They used to make kitchen cabinetry so they are very familiar with construction techniques and durability. They are also know a lot about the ergonomics of sewing.

My previous cutting table, whose manufacturer will remain unnamed (definitely not a Haka), was never perfectly flat always sloping from the middle even when it was brand new. It had an allen key for tightening the bolts which were forever coming loose. One of the plastic grips that were to hold the legs in place broke after one or two uses. It finally collapsed under the weight of a few bolts of fabric. Well, it was only a couple hundred dollars to buy so I didn't expect it to last forever. But I didn't expect to have so many problems with it during it's lifetime.

When the old cutting table gave out, I emailed Pamela right away and said I was coming in to purchase a cutting table from them. It's best to make an appointment as they may be out making deliveries. There is a showroom where you can see and try out the various models of furniture. With cutting tables, the proper height is critical to saving your back. At first I thought I would go with the tallest, but after speaking with Pamela about how I work, I realized that I should go with a lower cutting table. I use my rotary cutter a lot and if your table is too high, you won't have the leverage and reach required. The table comes in three standard heights but if you need it customized to your needs they can do that as well.

I also looked at the table top area and went with the largest since I am often cutting 152cm fabrics. And the final major choice is the drawers. I decided on the maximum number of drawers and the top drawer just under the middle of the table. The reason is that you can never have too much storage space and secondly, I am forever misplacing my rulers, cutters, scissors and pins. Now they are always in the easy to reach drawers saving a lot of time, but mostly my sanity.

Quality is the hallmark of Haka sewing furniture. They use state-of-the-art computerized equipment and top quality materials. If you are in the market for some new sewing furniture, I recommend you check them out.

Copyright Revisited

The American Quilter's Society has posted an excellent article on copyright as it pertains to quilts that are entered in contests or will be on public display. To protect yourself and the artists who inspire you, it is worth a read. It also provides a link to a chart of copyright expiry dates. Although this is a U.S. site, much of it applies to other jurisdictions.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More than Just a Yardage Sale - Textile Museum of Canada

Have fun while supporting the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto, Ontario.

Friday May 27, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm and Saturday May 28, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Rain or shine plan to attend this annual fundraising sale of fine fabrics, beads, buttons, patterns and more! Held in the parking lot adjacent to the Textile Museum of Canada, More than Just a Yardage Sale is your opportunity to find incredible textiles at unbeatable prices.

Be sure to bring cash, your own shopping bag or bags and your patience.

Visit for directions. There is no admission fee for this event.

I wish I could go but I'll be hosting a booth at the St. Jacobs Merchant Mall. Maybe you can visit both!

Shop Vintage at the St. Jacobs Merchant Mall

If you love vintage fabric, patterns, linen, laces and buttons, then you will enjoy visiting the Langill's booth at the upcoming St. Jacobs Merchant Mall. It is held at the Woolwich Centre:
Thursday May 26 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday May 27: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday May 28: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A variety of vendors for all your quilting needs. Enjoy lunch at the Quilter's Cafe on site. Free Admission.

For information about the St. Jacobs Merchant Mall and the Fibre Arts & Quilt Festival visit

Canadian Designers Inspire

Yorkville's Eleven boutique sells collections from great Canadian designers. These upscale garments provide inspiration for anyone who likes to sew garments themselves. I find the Lundstrom collection to be very smart and wearable, avoiding trendiness for style. Visit their website and see what I mean:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stitches Across Time

1980s Embroidered Corset
The beauty of belonging to a sewing group is that you find out so much more about what is going on in the world of textiles. A member of the Oakville Sewers Forum brought some brochures to our May meeting for an event called Stitches across Time that is hosted by the Dufferin County Museum & Archives. There are exhibits, events, workshops, lectures, shows and raffles. Visit and find out more.

New Look

The new look of my blog is very closely modelled on the new website that I am currently working on. So this is your sneak preview.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What Not to Wear Gets it Right

If you have followed this blog, you know I like to comment on this very popular show from time to time because, like many reality shows, it  doesn't always sit well with me. Fashion and creating fashion (i.e. sewing garments ) are so closely related subjects that I often treat them  as one. But I will admit when I think they have made a good point. And that point is: "Fleece is not your friend."

Fleece looks good on babies, dogs, athletes and teenagers. For the rest of us fleece is a fashion cop-out. It says to the world, "I've stopped caring about how I look." And if you attend sewing shows in North America, you will see a significant portion of the population in fleece suits. They sometimes spend lots of money on beautiful quilt fabrics, but they have given up on sewing for themselves. It is a shame really when there are so many resources available to these talented people to make themselves comfortable, flattering garments in which they will look and feel good.
Some designers have come up with lots of patterns on how to make a sweatshirt into a jacket and how to make quilted clothing, but with very few exceptions, they still look like what they are--sweatshirts and quilts. If Stacy and Clinton can convince women all over America to dress better, then maybe someone can convince those who can sew to give up their sweats and sew practical garments that flatter and fit.

What Not to Say on What Not to Wear

I caught the TLC's Royal Wedding coverage and was taken by the striking contrast between the elegance and simplicity of the ceremony and the over exuberance and at times outright silliness of the commentators. It was as if they all lost several IQ points in the excitement of the moment. Well, that can happen to anyone, especially on (inter)national television in front of millions of viewers. The pinnacle came with the announcement by Clinton Kelly of TLC's What Not to Wear of the titles of the newly wedded couple as the "Dutch and Duchess of Cambridge". Shutup!