December 31, 2014 06:36 by Ruth
Growing up, whenever I used my mother's White sewing machine to mend a seam or sew an outfit for myself, I was always running out of bobbin thread in the middle of a project. Or discovering that three or more colors of thread were wound on the same bobbin since we only had eight that would work well in her machine.
So when I got my own machine, I vowed not to run out of bobbins. Stocking up on additional bobbins was also shared by other quilters who have suggested the idea of rolling three to four bobbins of the same color thread before getting started. That way, reaching for a full bobbin to fit your Viking, Phaff and Bernina machines (available at the store) is quick and easy and keeping your project on target.
Storing any collection of bobbins for easy retrieval is now possible with the Grabbit BobbinSaver by Blue Feather Products. The Grabbit Sewing Tools were founded in 1980 by John and Feather King in response to frustrations Feather had as a sewer. After starting with the Magnetic Pincushion, they've gone on to design the BobbinSaver which holds up to 20 metal or plastic bobbins in one place. Shaped like the half of a bagel, the hollowed out flexible plastic round expands to receive each bobbin. The rubbery form then snugs up around each bobbin holding it securely in place so threads won't unwind or get tangled. Get even more organized by sorting your bobbin collection by thread colors or types--cotton, blends, metallic or variegated.
December 31, 2014 06:34 by Ruth
Instead of watching the 'geese a layin', let's try some 'geese a flyin'--at least via of variety of rulers available today. Eleanor Burns provides a combination of different choices to meet your needs. You can make your own geese with the Quilt-in-a-Day options: Small Flying Geese ruler for 1 1/2 inch x 3 inch and 3 inch x 6 inch blocks, Large Flying Geese ruler for 2 inch x 4 inch and 4 inch x 8 inch blocks or Mini Flying Geese Ruler set for 3/4 inch x 1 1/2 inch, 1 inch x 2 inch, 1 1/2 inch x 3 inch and 2 inch x 4 inch blocks.
Each ruler features a 'quick and accurate block every time with no measuring needed.' Just line up the triangle lines on the ruler with 45 degrees sewing line and trim the patch that matches the size of the ruler.
Or if you prefer a ruler with all the sizes in one, try the Flying Geese Ruler by Marti Michell. It was designed in response to frequent requests for a larger triangle that could include options for five different sizes: 2 1/2 inch x 5 inch, 3 inch 6 inch, 3 1/2 inch x 7 inch, 4 inch x 8 inch, and 4 1/2 inch x 9 inch.
Whichever one(s) you choose, remember to pick up a roll of Crafters Easy See Tape. This reusable tape is invaluable for color coding, editing or changing your patterns as well as marking your rulers when completing multiple cuts of fabric. It comes in 1/2 inch by 720 inch rolls in a handy tape dispenser that can be ready to use when you need it.
December 31, 2014 06:22 by Ruth
These rings may not be made of gold, but having some of them around can prove to be beneficial for your next purse or bag project. EZ Metal D-Rings can make adjustable ties, and straps for your next purse or wallet. Available in 3/4 inch, 1 inch and 1 1/4 inch sizes allow you the versatility you need in the size and finish you require.
Atkinson D-Ring with the Swivel Clip can become a valued addition for any purse or tote project that you have in mind. Using a fabric loop to fit the 3/4 inch ring, attach the swivel clip inside your bag along a seam line. There you can secure car or house keys but make them accessible when you need them--saving time and energy.
No bag or purse would be complete without a strap--wrist, hand or shoulder size--so the Fasturn Fabric Tube System is a 'must have item' in your notions inventory. Handmade in Medford, Oregon since 1985, the Fasturn Fabric Tube features hollow cylinder with specially designed wire hook that makes turning fabric tubes fun. Available in single tubes--1/8 inch, 3/16 inch, 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch--or in a six tube set, the Fasturn can also fill the fabric tube with cording or wire at the same time they are turned thereby making piping, and narrow, fabric covered wire simple and easy.
Last, but not least, add the Bohin snap hook to your list. The sew-in snap set is encased in sturdy yet pliable plastic that allows you to sew over it with your machine. While it is invisible on the outside of your wallet, purse or tote bag, the hidden magnetic snap provides a secure closure that you are looking for that won't shift or come undone with repeated use.
December 29, 2014 01:42 by Ruth
While we are all awaiting the arrival of the "Olaf" quilt panel, take a look over the Olfa collection of cutting tools and blades. In 1979, Olfa was the first to introduce rotary cutters the the quilting and crafting worlds. Since then, they have specialized in cutting tools that consistently provide a superior solution for precision cutting. You can choose from 28 mm, 45 mm or 60 mm rotary cutters and blades to meet all your sewing needs.
Just for fun, treat yourself to an Olfa 45 mm circular rotary pinking blade to achieve a new look for all your projects this new year. This blade has been designed to place 'teeth' on the side of each fabric cut to help reduce raveling while helping to create a unique edge. It is especially helpful when working with Polar Fleece. Look for Olfa--a name you can trust in rotary cutters.
As you look forward to tackling your stash of fabric remnants this year, consider investing in the Tri-Sharp 45 mm Rotary Blade Sharpener to provide an easy way to sharpen your rotary cutter blades. Just insert the blade in place to facilitate sharpening. Within a few minutes, the blade has been restored to the razor-sharp edge you need to 'slash your stash' with ease!
No sewing equipment list review would be complete without checking out our your scissor needs. Established in 1649 as an iron works company in a small Finnish village of the same name, Fiskar has risen to be a global supplier of fine consumer products. The Fiskar name has long been associated with quality and innovation in the industry.
For example, the Fiskar Microtip Soft Touch Scissors utilize a spring action design to greatly reduce hand fatigue. The two inch blades make it easier to trim close to seam allowances in appliqué work. The companion Multi Purpose Soft Touch Scissors feature the same spring action design. The scissors have a sliding orange safety button that lock the eight inch blades together when not in use. Selecting quality cutting tools, blades and scissors is an investment that is well worth making for yourself.
December 29, 2014 01:26 by Ruth
On the Third Day of Christmas, we are trading the three French hens for three fine ways to solve the search for a 'nimble thimble'. Many of us grew up being exposed to the metal thimble designed to fit one finger on our sewing hand. Or decorative thimbles of porcelain made to commemorate an important event. Fortunately, we have come a long way from the metal thimble and are now able to select from three different options to solve this dilemma.
Leather Thimbles by Clover are designed so that the seams or stitches used in the thimbles' construction will not get in the way. This clear 'sweet spot' is generated from a smooth curve of leather--extending from the edge of the finger tip to the middle joint of the finger--that provides a cozy, natural fit to the wearer. These leather thimbles are available in small, medium and large sizes.
The Comfort Thimble can put the joy back into hand sewing a hem, finishing a binding or complete an appliqué project. The soft, flexible material virtually hugs your finger while the broad, angular tip does all of the work. If you prefer a 'softer option', check out Jelly Thimbles. These soft and flexible alternatives to other thimbles are available in three sizes and a variety of color choices that will mold to the finger tip that you choose.
The least restrictive option yet devised is the Thimble Pad. These adhesive pads provide both ease and comfort at the same time. Just apply one of these reusable pads securely to the finger tips and enjoy hand sewing in comfort.
December 26, 2014 08:06 by Ruth
According to the traditional carol, you'd be expecting the gift of two turtle doves--right? However, checking on our list, let's take a look at our collection of needles. Whether for hand sewing or machine stitching, after all the projects that were completed this season, it's time to get some new needles.
For hand sewing, treat yourself to the fine quality of English needles. John James needles offer a smooth, gently taper from eye to point. Featuring a highly polished eye, you should have no fear of the thread fraying or breaking prematurely. Whether using silk, embroidery or crewel threads, you'll be pleased with your choice of John James needles.
Roxanne Needles, also made in England, provide a variety of needles to meet your hand sewing needs. Basting Needles help to meet the needs of basting quilts or hand appliqué. Its flexibility aids in maneuvering through your quilt piecing. The needle eye is large enough to accommodate any thread that you choose to use. Ten needles are packaged in a glass tube for easy storage and use. The Between Needle collection features the largest eye being made that can make a difference with hand quilters while the Sharps set are made for general, all purpose use. Fifty needles are included in each glass tube package.
If you need any assistance threading your needles, try the Easy Needle Threader by Bohin. This French company has designed one of the essential tools for ALL sewers. Equipped with a magnet for ease in picking up an errant needle, the Easy Needle Threader threads all needles from size one to eleven! Do something special for yourself by keeping this threader handy!
When you want the best, choose Klasse for your machine quilting needs. Choose the needle size according to the thread thickness and the fabric application that you have in mind. The Sharps Needle provides a great general purpose needs for most woven fabrics. The Top Stitch Needle has an extra large eye and large grooves to facilitate top stitching so that you achieve straight lines and even stitches. For thicker fabrics--like jean or denim--select the Jeans Needle that is designed for piercing multiple layers of fabric to prevent damage to fabrics. When you have a special needs--metallic or embroidery threads--look no further than Klasse for your best needle selection.
December 25, 2014 13:16 by Ruth
Merry Christmas to all! The packages have been unwrapped, the holiday dinner served, and the family members are getting ready to return to their homes. It's time to look forward to a little peace and quiet now that all of the festivities are done. Looking over the sewing room, craft area or package wrapping station, it is time to reorganize and a good time to look over your supplies that need to be replenished.
On this the 'first day of Christmas', add a bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press to your shopping list. This clear starch alternative with soil guard and a wrinkle resister, makes all your ironing easier. You can choose from a variety of scents--cherry blossom, citrus, lavender fields, linen fresh, peaches 'n cream and tea rose garden to name a few. It gives your material a crisp, new finish with minimal effort. Available in 16 ounce bottle with a clog-free spray pump, 32-ounce and we will special order 1 gallon size. You'll want to choose your favorite or try a new scent to liven up your senses! Ho, Ho, Ho to all!