This is where you will be able to navigate to subjects of interest! Information on any subject worth sharing if it is relative to sewing and/or quilting will be discussed. Be patient while I compose the information I have to share with you.
“Words and Initialism for Those Who Sew”
I compare it to the language of those who text and don’t/can’t spell out the words. You know what I’m talking about. I’ll give you your own short cuts to toss around!
Threads Are Not All Created Equal
Comparison of threads, thread weight, thread content, thread manufacturers, under what conditions each thread should be considered, and how thread should be stored for the best shelf-life will open your eyes how important thread is in choosing what is best for your purpose.
Needles Deserve Attention
If you are going to be choosing the best thread to use, you will need to know about needles. They come in a variety of: sizes; lengths; eyes; use by hand; machine needles for different thread, fabrics, look, and machines; and reasons why they bend and/or break. To make the best stitch possible, the needle plays a significant role.
They come in different sizes – each machine has one size and one size only. You will need to know what a well wound bobbin looks and feels like, how to adjust to get the best result, how to install a bobbin correctly, and what the bobbin case does. What to look for in pre-wound bobbins available on the market. Which thread – color, weight, affect – is best for the bobbin and what accommodations may be required.
What Sewing Machine Should I Buy?
With so many sewing machine manufacturers of antique machines to modern day, features from straight forward and reverse stitching only to highly computerized machines that include class time to learn how to use them, how does a person know which to buy? I will try to simplify the mystery with some very basic questions and how to include your answer into evaluating which machine will best fit your needs.
To keep a sewing machine running for many years, it requires a bit of easy maintenance. Between service check-ups by a professional, machines require your attention for cleaning lint, threads and buildup out of the moving parts easily accessible. Older machines with no computer components are much easier to clean yourself and keep oiled. I’ll do some posts on maintenance to help you correctly approach this necessary requirement to keep your machine running smoothly.
Tools Have Improved
Ever think about how the tools you use today make sewing more pleasurable than what your great-grandma or even your grandma had to use? Rotary cutting has cut down cutting time and accuracy over using scissors. Rulers and plastic templates are so superior to cardboard. New items are constantly being added.
Why do I need patterns? They are directions to start with fabric and end up with something a usable. There are no short cuts if you want to avoid wasted time, wasted fabric, and frustration.
Information on the back of the envelope of a garment pattern helps you determine the correct size, amount of fabric required, notions you will need, and suggested fabrics. All of this is important for a successful outcome. Markings on tissue pattern pieces are directions on how to place pattern pieces on the fabric. I can explain why and what all this means, but the one thing I can’t help you do is get the pattern pieces and instructions back in the envelope so it looks like when you bought it. The best I can do is give you some ideas on how to keep all the pieces together.
Quilt patterns have one thing in common – the first thing after choosing your fabric will be cutting all the pieces. I’ll go over cutting, the need for accurate cuts, labeling, and sewing a scant 1/4″ seam. The need for accuracy cutting and seaming cannot be stressed enough and is not difficult if you are doing both in the manner I will show you. We all have spent time ripping seams, but the method I teach should keep ripping to a minimum.
Locating Garment Patterns and Notions
Interfacing and stabilizers are generally near the sewing notions, zippers, buttons and trims. Patterns are located in file cabinets by a numerical system corresponding with pattern catalog reference number. Your pattern will suggest fabric type to use and what notions and interfacing will be needed.
Not All Fabric is Created Equal
Most quilters like to use 100% cotton in their quilts. Most fabric stores have specific sections for their quilt-worthy fabrics. Quilt-worthy fabrics are cotton fabric well constructed, made by reputable companies, and known to hold their color and stability. Sometimes, these fabrics can only be found in quilt stores who specialize in all things quilt related. Price cannot always be the predictor of quality, but I have found good quilt fabric is worth paying more for if it feels good to the touch and is from a company I’ve come to trust. Quilting notions and supplies can be found in both types of stores.
Where to shop depends on where you live and what stores are available to you. For those who are online shoppers for convenience or necessity, searching for fabric will bring up an amazing amount of sources. It is a learning curve to find out who on line you can trust to only carry quality merchandise and are fair in their pricing. I will share with you my take on how to assure I’m ordering the same fabric I saw in the fabric store, but getting it at a better or sale price online.
How to Pick Fabrics for a Quilt
Words such as value and tint, red lens, or how to use a color wheel frequently come up when you ask for advice on choosing fabrics that look good together. There is much more to consider than just color. There are large scale prints, small and medium prints, directional prints, non-directional prints, phrases like white on white, movement, solid, right side, wrong side, and ombre. Some people hate picking fabrics and are grateful for kits. Some people love choosing fabrics, even getting adventurous in the selection. And then you have the scrappy quilter who wants as many different fabrics as she/he can get to put into the quilt. As you can see, there is no easy answer, but I will try to help you at least feel confident when you go shopping for just the right fabric.
Batting – Content and Use
For quilters another question that arises is which batting you should use – cotton, wool, polyester, bamboo. The material determines the warmth it adds to a quilt and how puffy it will be. Scrim? No scrim? Does it matter? I sure hope I will be able to make purchasing batting less stressful and will give you the results you want.
This link will take you to a post written on the subject. Https://www.sewingwithstitcher/pick-the-right-batting/
The Pre-wash Controversy
To wash or not to wash fabric before you begin. This can be a question for garment and quilt makers. Usually it is because you are uncertain if the fabric will shrink and/or dyes in the fabric will bleed and ruin everything in the washing machine. I will address dyes of years ago versus the dyes now used in quality fabric; using dye catchers in the wash; and, how you can set the colors in the fabric so they will not dull with washings all with something found in most households.
I’d also like to take a look at what is making a comeback in the craft of sewing – hand embroidery! We have machines that do beautiful embroidery, but the relaxing art of embroidery by hand can be seen in quilts and clothing.
Applique can also be found on quilts and clothing, but there are new ways other than needle turn like once was done. I’ll explain all the techniques, pros and cons from my experience.
Unique Piecing Techniques
Two other piecing techniques in quilts I will write about are English Paper Piecing and Foundation Piecing.
Ways to Quilt
You have finished piecing the top and must decide how it will get quilted. What is next? Will you pay a long arm quilter to quilt it for you? Or, will you hand quilt it? Instead, you could free motion quilt it on your home machine. Whichever you decide, your quilt will only be one step away from completion. Adding the binding turns your quilt sandwich into a finished creation!
The next step to a completed quilt is binding the edges to cover the raw edges and batting and give it a finished look. Many ways to bind will be an interesting post to help you decide which method you prefer to have a completed project.