Thick or Thin, Which do I Use?

thread-clip-artI taught a free motion quilting class yesterday and I was explaining the difference between the thread sizes. For some people, thread thickness can be very confusing. It’s hard to compute in our brains why the higher the number, the thinner the thread and the lower the number the thicker the thread. I am going to try to simplify  which is which.

Normal sewing thread is usually 50 weight thick.This is the standard in the industry.  This is the normal thread you buy at Joann’s or wherever you buy your everyday sewing or quilt piecing thread.

To sandwich my quilts together I like to use a 30 weight quilting thread. (use a 90-14 needle or higher)  It’s a little thicker and shows up nicely whether you are machine quilting or hand quilting. There are many good brands of thread but my personal preference is Sulky quilting thread solid or variegated, or King Tut solid or variegated. King Tut has nice large spools. Great if you are quilting a large quilt that will use a lot of thread. Continue reading “Thick or Thin, Which do I Use?”

To Hoop or Not To Hoop, That is the Question?

Hooping can be a mystery to a lot of “newbie” embroiderers and for some old timers who maybe don’t know some of the new techniques. It all really depends on what you are getting ready to embroider. The consensus is that hooping your product is always the best way to have a design turn out with little or no puckering. Sometimes you can’t.

Decisions are made depending on whether the product will get what they call Hoop Burn. (a ring left from the hoop crushing the nap down)

If you are going to embroider a  flat or waffle kitchen towel  hooping is your best bet. You can use a tearaway stabilizer with 505 spray or Floriani Perfect Stick. For a Red-work style design using Floriani Wet n Gone Tacky wash away type works nicely. Continue reading “To Hoop or Not To Hoop, That is the Question?”

Free is Fun!

Every body likes to get things free. In the quilting and embroidery world there are a lot of companies who every month give you a free quilting pattern or free embroidery designs. If you can’t afford to immediately buy “everything you love” then these free designs are a great way to build your stock of patterns and designs, try out their company and find they are always beautiful. Naturally, I will always buy a design or two along with my free designs.  Embroidery Library (see link) always have 2 designs free each month in multi sizes and formats. They also have amazing sales each month. $5 to $9  designs can be purchased for $1 to $1.25. You will need to register with them to get their emails. Trust me, the buys are worth it. Smart Needle designs always have cute freebies and Zundt Designs has several designs you can try free to see how you like their company. I can tell you Zundt designs are beautiful. They may be a little more expensive than some of the other companies, but they are worth it. Anita Goodesign is another company with exquisite designs.(see link) Up until now, you could only purchase their designs from a store like ours, Expert Sewing, but now you can purchase designs direct. Register with them and you will get word each week about a $5 or $10 “mini pack” that you can download immediately. Continue reading “Free is Fun!”

A Whole New Language

A Whole New Language

When I had my dance studio, correct terminology was very important. When I started quilting, I learned a whole new set of terminology. It was like learning a whole new language.  Sashing …. what’s that? Sandwiching …. Are we going to eat the quilt? It seems so confusing. When I start a beginning quilt class, I start by teaching the terminology of quilting. I’m going to try to explain it as best I can for those quilters who may not have access to a quilting class with a good instructor.

Piecing – The process of sewing different pieces of fabric together to make a block.

Block – The pieces of fabric put together into a square of desired size ie; 6″, 8″ 10″ etc.

Sashing – The narrow fabric stitched between the block to divide the  blocks and put  into a single row and again into multiple rows.

Pieced Top – The various blocks put together with or without sashing to make the completed pretty top of quilt.

Batting – The lining between the pieced top and the backing. Usually  all cotton or cotton polyester blends of various thickness depending on quilter’s preference.

Backing – The fabric used for the back of a quilt. Can be plain or print fabric to match or blend with fabric used for pieced top.

Sandwich – The process of putting the pieced top layered with the batting in between the pieced top and backing fabric to make 3 layers.

Quilting – The process of sewing the 3 layers together to make one quilt or blanket as some people call it. This can be done by hand as they did in the old days, by home sewing machine or by a long arm quilting machine.

Binding – This is the fabric strip that is used to finish off the raw edges of the quilt after the quilting process is finished and the quilt is “squared up”

Square up – The  process of making all sides even and perfectly square so that all blocks go together evenly. In the case of the finished quilt, squaring up takes off all the raw edges to make quilt smooth and even to prepare for binding.

There is more terminology that I could give you but these are the basics. I will give you more as we discuss individual styles of quilts. These are the most used.

Until the next time …. Happy sewing!


Embroidered Clothing

We talked about embroidery placement on tea/dish towels. Now let’s discuss embroidery on clothing. There’s a right and wrong way to do that.

  1. On T-Shirts the rule of thumb is to measure 3 inches down from the top of a Crewmolly-t-shirt-tm neck shirt to place the TOP of the design. If you have embroidery software, then print out your template, cut around the design and place on shirt where you want the design to be. If the top of design is 3″ down from top of crew neck then mark your center, top and side marking lines and position in your hoop.(For children’s shirts measure 2.5 inches down)
  2. For round scoop neck shirts it’s best to put shirt on and eye-ball placement that is pleasing to the eye. It depends on how low the scoop comes on the person’s chest. If design ends up too low, then consider a design on the right or left side of the scoop.
  3. For V neck shirts a design that can be put on one side of the V and down into the middle of shirt always looks pretty. You can also mirror imagine that design and place on opposite side near hip. A pretty open work or light stitching design always looks nice placed that way.
  4. One more thought. If you don’t have embroidery software you will need to know exact height and width of designs to find placement. You can cut out a piece of white paper the size of the design.

Continue reading “Embroidered Clothing”