Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Tidbit - Needle Sizes

I was asked the other day to explain the sizing of needles to a customer.  As I began rattling off information off the top of my head, I realized how confusing sizing can be....hand needle sizing is the EXACT OPPOSITE of sewing machine needle sizing!

Hand Needles
The LARGER the number (size), the SMALLER the needle.

Sewing Machine Needles
The LARGER the number (size), the LARGER the needle.

Confused yet?  I found a couple of great charts created by the Sewing and Craft Alliance in PDF form, ready for you to download and or print out.  Each chart describes types of needles and their respective uses.

For Hand Needles, click here.
For Sewing Machine Needles, click here.

Hope this helps!

Monday, June 25, 2012

One Week, One Thing - June 25

The countdown to Market Review continues!  The party is this coming Sunday, July 1 at 2pm.  Are you coming?

I quilted and bound one more quilt this week.

I also made the new Bridget's Bagettes pattern by Terry Atkinson.

I still have a few more things to finish before Sunday, and then I may take a rest!  Hope to see you all this weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Tidbit - My Favorite New Fabric Marker

There are all kinds of fabric marking pens, pencils, and tools out there in the marketplace, and I have used many of them over the years.  But I've discovered a new one lately and it is currently my favorite!

I wanted to mark the hand quilting lines on this new mini quilt in the shop.

I knew I needed a marker that I could remove the lines fairly easily when I was finished.  The Sewline Duo Marker  + Eraser Set was just the ticket!
This is a 2 pen set.  The first one you use is the pink one.  It does the actual marking.  It has a tip like a felt-tip pen.
After marking my test lines, I practiced my big stitch quilting.
After quilting for a bit, I then used the white eraser pen.  It has a chiseled tip and you just drag it over the marker lines and they disappear!!  I know it's hard to see in these pics, but if you click on them, you should be able to get a closer look.

This is a great tool if you make a marking mistake.  Just erase it and try again.  I have tested it on several threads (including floss) and the color of the thread remained the same and didn't run.  My daughter found this set and has used it for marking embroidery as well as rough sketching on T-shirts prior to design painting.  I think it's awesome!

Monday, June 18, 2012

One Week, One Thing - June 18

I'm still riding the crazy train getting ready for our Market Review party!

This week I made an entire quilt out of a Summersville layer cake and quilted and bound 2 others.
 And if that wasn't enough, I just had to try out the folded triangle coasters....

This week will be more of the same...  I won't stop sewing until June 30!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday Tidbit - Twirling 4-Patch Seams

Have you ever made a 4-patch or pinwheel block that was lumpy in the middle?  You know what I mean...  You pressed to the dark side on the two halves so that the seams nested in the center, but when you sew that center seam and then press it to one side or the other, there's a big lump in the center of the block?

Of course, you can always press the center seam open to distribute the bulk, but you can also do a little magic trick to "swirl" the center seam.
Do you notice how the center seam on the left side of the block is pressed down, and the center seam on the right side is pressed up?  (The vertical seam is automatically divided to the left and right due to the nested seam prior to sewing the two horizontal halves together.)  This technique opens up the bulk in the center, and distributes the seams evenly to minimize the "lump" in the middle.

I intended to do an entire photo essay on the technique, but Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company did such an amazing job on this topic on her blog, that I decided not to re-create the wheel!

 Here's the link to her blog post on the subject.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Week, One Thing - June 11

It's a brand new week, but the Market Review sewing continues! 

This week, I finished this cute Bundle Bed using pillows.  Great for the little ones to lounge on at home, or to take to a sleepover.

I started on this quilt using a Summerville layer cake.

On top of Market Review things, I'm now in charge of the Marti Michell club.  My sample and step-outs for the June club is all done, too.

This coming week will continue the MR sewing - including finishing the layer cake quilt and quilting a couple of other sample tops.  There's not enough daylight!!!!  I just need to take a deep breath and know that it's gonna be alright...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Tidbit - Fusible Interfacings

We make and have lots of patterns for bags here in TQAville.  There are many companies making all kinds of interfacings, and sometimes it's hard to figure out what type of interfacing is being called for in the pattern requirements.

Sara over at Sew Sweetness just did a fabulous blog post with everything you'd ever want to know about Pellon interfaces for bags.  We carry most of them here in the shop.
Photo from Sara's Sew Sweetness blog

Check it out!  You might learn something new!  I know I did.....

Monday, June 4, 2012

One Week, One Thing - June 4

It's June already!  How did that happen?  Is anybody still working with me on this project?  Remember, the goal is not to finish something each week; it's to become DELIBERATE about how we spend our time and to FOCUS on accomplishing ONE thing during the week.

I did manage to finish the batik sample I was working on.  The pattern and the whole quilt will be revealed on July 1 at our Quilt Market Review Party.  I think this was one of the FASTEST quilts I've ever made!  The pattern was so fun that I would definitely make another one.
This weekend I sampled another pattern we got at Quilt Market.  It's a little time-consuming, but sort of addicting in a weird way.  Oh, another big bonus - Stash Buster!
This week I'll continue to work on samples for Market Review.  I wonder what I'll get into next?