I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I hope you have a lot to be thankful for. I won’t go into all I’m grateful for, because this blog would go on forever.
It’s not long before Christmas will be here and there are still gifts that need to be made. There are embroidered kitchen towels with matching pot holders, bathroom fingertip towels, monogrammed towel sets, decorated pillows, zippered gadget bags, lap quilts, place mats, embroidered napkins, decorated Christmas sweat shirts, and embroidered jackets. Don’t forget the Christmas stockings with embroidered holiday designs and your granddaughter’s (or grandson’s) name on the top. Why not make them for the whole family to use, year after year.Don’t forget towels and place-mats for our Jewish friends for Hanukkah. This list is only a sample of what you can do.
My goodness, I guess I’d better get cracking! …. (or better, sewing). For the last 4 or 5 years, all my gifts have been “hand made”. It’s these gift that are cherished by all who receive it..
I am thankful for the blessings in my life. For the people who are in my life, and now all of you, for reading my blog, and encouraging me to do more.
Continue to enjoy this holiday weekend, and the whole holiday season. It’s my favorite time of the year.
Until next time …. happy sewing.
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The weather is getting cooler, and those flannel PJ’s, quilts and throws are looking pretty cozy about now. Even in the south there are times when flannel feels awfully good. Flannel backing on a cotton top quilt makes your quilt feel so nice and snugly when curled up on a couch with hot chocolate and a good book.
Flannel needs special handling and if you don’t know these things, a beautiful quilt, that you put a lot of work, heart, and soul into, can end up looking awful over time. The most important part of working with Flannel is the prep work. It’s vital to not only pre-wash, but also machine dry and starch, because Flannel shrinks significantly. Continue reading “Flannel Plaid is “Rad””
If you are a sewer, whether it be on a regular sewing machine, an embroidery machine, a quilting machine, or the larger long arm quilter’s machine, or maybe a 10 needle professional embroidery machine, a pretty NEW machine is an excitement that only the sewer can appreciate.
I’ve owned just about every brand on the market over my lifetime of sewing and every one has been wonderful for it’s time. Times have changed. Machines are more sophisticated, AND more complicated to run. Oh, you can still buy an inexpensive sewing machine to hem skirts or pants, make a T-shirt or blouse, or even a pair of slacks. All of your better brands sell a “low end” machine that will work just fine. They will even have some nice special decorative stitches, will sew button holes, and even do blind hemming. These are great machines to give a young sewer who wants to learn to sew. I still own my first machine, a Singer Featherweight. Continue reading “The Ultimate Gift”
It’s that time of the year when we are scrambling to make gifts for Christmas that should have been made in July! Don’t fret. Here are some great ideas that can be made quickly and easily, but look like you spent a lot of time (or money) on them.
Kitchen dish towels machine embroidered with a pretty design, make a great useful gift. Make them fancy by putting on a bottom trim of fabric, rick rack or ribbon. Pot holders are always another useful gift. Why not make them to match your kitchen towel, and you have a lovely Christmas, house warming or party gift. Better than a bottle of wine. Better yet, wrap the towel around the wine and tie with a pretty bow. Sounds good to me. Pretty machine embroidered cloth napkins make every holiday dinner seem even more special. Especially when they come from you. Continue reading “Holiday Gift Ideas”
No, we are not going to look for needles in a haystack, but we do need to dig out all those needles in our sewing box and organize them. I teach an Embroidery 101 workshop, which covers the use of stabilizer, threads and needles. It still surprises me when my students ask me the difference in needles. I’m going to try to simplify this mystery and give you a place to go back to when you need to choose a needle for a certain sewing, quilting or embroidery project.I have worked with most of these needle types and when you use the correct needle, your project will always look the best.
You want to choose needle size according to thickness of your thread and needle type according to your fabric application. Continue reading “A Needle In A Haystack (Sewing Box)”
I 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?”
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?”