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Easy Way To Transfer Embroidery Design Pattern Items needed: Design you wish to embroider by hand. I googled images to select one and printed it out in the size I desired) Fabric of choice (I tend to use fine muslin, or linen fabrics) Embroidery...

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Make Easy Grip Sewing Washer Weights Sewing weights are wonderful tools for arranging and holding your patterns on fabric.  They allow making adjustments easy, since pins are not used to secure the pattern to the fabric. There are...

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Mark With Ink And Remove With Heat I was introduced to this pen at a Quilt Show.  Marking fabric is always something I am interested in, so I had to own a few of these pens     Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable Gel Pens,...

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Latch Hoop Fabric Tube/Strap Turner There are a number of fabric turners and methods.  I was just at a quilt show where one was being sold upwards of $50. Yes, people have used little safety pins and cord to turn fabric tubes, but this...

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Seam Rippers, YES there are different kinds and they... Robert Kaufman Fabric   Seam rippers are a new sewers handy dandy tool.  The seam ripper does just what the name says, it rips out the mistaken sewing stitches.  Over the years methods...

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Look Mom! “No Feet”

Category : featured, Sewing Tools

Sewing machines have morphed over time, becoming more user friendly. Machines have gone from the hand crank, which made fabric control difficult, limiting a sewer to one helping hand.

Treadle machines gave both hands back to sewers and also gave them a good work out, vigorously pumping with the feet to power the machine. Treadle machines still allow one to sew without electricity. (Janome makes a more current model of one of these “exercise” machines http://janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Specialty/712T).

With electricity came the knee lever.  The sewer pushed a lever, secured at knee height onto a sewing machine cabinet.  This was not great for bad knees and it forced the sewing machine to stay in a stationary location.

The foot accelerator/peddle seemed like a natural since more people were driving cars. Today most home sewing machines use this method. These foot controls have allowed for portable sewing machines.

With quilting arts being done on home sewing machines, many of the new multi-use sewing/quilting machines have the “no feet” ability.  (Note: I am not talking about the presser foot that a sewing needle goes through). These machines have the ability to start and stop the machine sewing with the tap of a finger. I feel like a race car driver who taps the button when the race call “start your engine” is heard!   This feature allows for sustained consistent machine sewing as one quilts for long periods of time.  Many of these machines also have a thread cutting option that snips the thread next to the project when finished sewing. This is the machine I most recently used when a student brought it to class, I was impressed! (http://janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Sewing-Quilting/3160QDC).

This machine is a Godsend for people who quilt for long periods of time, but also for people with bad legs, hips or  knees who love to sew, or for those who no longer have use of part of their lower bodies

Sewing machines have come a long way.  Just like I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have thought of email, I wonder what the early sewing machine inventors would think of these machines today!

These inventions are to keep us happy, productive sewers!

Those funny dots on fabric edges!

Category : featured, Sewing Tips

Have you ever marveled at those dots on the edge of decorator or home sewing fabric?  Well here is a clue to what they mean!

When selecting fabric for a project, you may find printed information on the selvage edge of fabric.  (Selvage:  The self-finished edge caused by the weaving of the fabric.  A raw cut edge, cut at a fabric store, goes across this selvage on both sides of yardage)

This printing tells several things.

Often the name of design, year it was put into the marketplace, who manufactured the fabric, and then the “color dots” (color ways).  Designers who work with fabrics use these color clues.  Each of these dots will tell you the exact colors used in this fabric.

Decorators will use these colors to help with color selections for a project.  Sewers can use these colors for selection of other fabrics and notions needed to complete a project.  The selection of commercial bias tapes colors was huge with lots  of greens and yellows to select from, this required I have the color “dots” which were the key to selecting the exact color of trim needed.

Oh, and what in the world am I making from broccoli print fabric?

I am going to draft a vintage apron and attempt to make it!

To see it, check back later.

Happy Stitching – – – – – –

Easy To Thread Sewing Machine Needles

Category : My Sewing Room, Sewing Tips, Sewing Tools

Helping us sew

As a sewing instructor I have a large spectrum of ages and abilities of sewing students.  There are sewing aids to help with some of the basic physical problems for sewing machine users.

– – – – – – – -Easier to thread sewing machine needles – – – – – – – – –

This type of needle is great for:

  • Low vision sewers
  • Hands that have limited mobility or feeling
  • Sewers without machine with built in needle threaders

Schmetz makes a sewing machine needle to assist with threading a machine needle.  The needle is “universal” in function, and comes 5 to a pack and in two sizes:  12/80 and 14/90.

Here is how this needle is threaded.  Instead of passing the sewing thread through the eye of needle from front to back, which is like attempting to hit a bull’s eye on a tiny target, this needle has a small opening/slit on the right side of the needle.  The sewer can simply pull the thread down the side of the needle and it will snap into the eye of the needle.

When using this needle  be aware the thread can come out of the same opening.  When completing a seam never pull the fabric to the RIGHT to cut the thread, it will UNthread.   ALWAYS pull the thread to the LEFT and BACK before cutting.  Once this habit is learned this needle is wonderful sewing assist!