Thursday, September 5, 2013

SUPERIOR THREAD - Inventory your thread STASH!!

On the Page called "Patterns & Instructions" I have listed the link for Superior's inventory lists in both PDF and XLS for the insanely anal thread collector. I hope you take a look at it. 

Attached is the link to Superior's downloadable inventory lists for all your SUPERIOR THREADS!!
These are obviously for the truly anal thread lovers...and guess what? I have friends who sit and inventory every spool of thread they have! Sheez...I just go to my cabinet and hope and pray I haven't given the one I want away!  I hope the overly obsessive of you enjoy these spreadsheets and inventory lists! Personally, I want to have a WALL OF THREAD, don't you? I would like to sit down and sew and not have to worry about not having the right thread. Buy one or two spools a month I always say. No one can have too much thread! 

I highly recommend the new Magnifico, Fantastico, and Twist threads. Our class has been using them with wonderful success on many different machines, even one old Singer (but don't worry, she finally bought a new Pfaff! She said now she feels like she has been sewing on a covered wagon. What a difference a new machine makes.)

I also recommend the So Fine #40 variegated. It is a polyester that has many of the same colors as King Tut. If you are ever doubtful about what color thread to use on a particular quilt, So Fine #40 makes a great piecing thread. It is a 40 wt., but not too fat to piece with. 

You can use our inventory list to keep track of your personal thread supply, business inventory, or to plan for your next order.
In order to open the files, you will need software to open Microsoft Excel files or Adobe PDF files.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Next Class is how to use FEET!

Our next class is going to  be how to use sewing feet. We are going to do a sampler using all the regular feet that come with a machine. We will also use a few specialty feet. This is going to be a great class because I have learned so much about these feet I can hardly wait to share with the class.

One of the most important things about sewing a SAMPLER with many different stitches and decorative stitches is what THREAD to use for each. When going to our decorative stitches, we often just leave the thread we were sewing with in the machine and then complain if the machine's stitches weren't as pretty as we thought they should's the thread you are using that makes or breaks the beauty of all our decorative stitches!!

If you are going to use a "pictograph," or a heavily filled-in stitch, you want to adjust your thread accordingly. Remember, all decorative stitches are EMBROIDERY stitches just like the big fancy embroidery machines! Think about the size and the type of thread you want for a decorative stitch and then remember to stitch it out on a Thread Journal first. The thing you need to think about on the Thread Journal (please read my page entitled THREAD JOURNALING) is that is backed with Pellon stabilizer. We forget when pushing the button to use a decorative stitch that we have to remember to stabilize it. There are many ways to do this, and I will put some of these techniques in my THREAD JOURNAL page.

So, I will let you know how the  FEET CLASS goes. Just remember to adjust the type and size of thread to the decorative stitch being used and don't forget to stabilize it! The machine embroidery sewer wouldn't think of NOT using stabilizer, yet us quilters forget it all the time. Give it a try and let me know what you think of using a #50, #40, or even a #30 thread on certain decorative stitches. Often we use decorative stitches on bindings and children's quilts, go to your thread stash! Play with the threads you have and pick the decorative stitch that seems to go with that quilt. 

TaTaForNow - Shawnee

My First Quilt - Every Quilt Tells a Story!

My first quilt was made in 1973 with my Gramma. Gramma was a seamstress from England who taught me to sew when I was a very little (can’t remember how old I was, she gave me a needle, thread, some scraps, and taught me to make doll clothes.). Since I was too young to use her Featherweight, she taught me to hand sew everything. To this day, I still know how to hand stitch in many different styles with perfect hand stitching. I always wanted to please my Gramma, so I worked hard and ripped a lot of unsatisfactory stitches out. 

In 1973, after making my clothes for Jr. High and High School Gramma said I was ready for my FIRST quilt! Since Gramma grew up in England, and then raised her family during the Depression, Gramma taught me how to use all my scraps. She never wanted any fabric (or thread) to go to waste. It was not a quilt from a pattern, just blocks sewed into rows and hand-tied. Each block was either from one of my dresses, or Gramma’s. It is not beautiful, nor perfect, but it stays in my bedroom reminding me of all the visits that turned into sewing lessons with my Gramma. 

We would sit and stitch by hand or on her Featherweight while she told me all the stories about life as a little girl in England and what a pain in the neck my mother was when she was little. Her patience, her dumb cat named “Butter” (who wouldn’t stay off whatever we were working on), coupled with tea, biscuits (they were cookies to me), and stories are my precious memories of quilting and sewing with Gramma. That ugly little quilt is a treasure of memories that makes it a priceless work of art, albeit not perfect. 

I learned to sew first, then to quilt, and I haven’t stopped quilting since! I am now a quilt teacher and lecturer and I always give credit to Gramma when I teach students how to hand-stitch a binding with perfect stitches. My ugly first quilt reminds me constantly of Gramma's abundant knowledge and even more abundant patience. She always encouraged me to keep sewing (even though I only had boys). She never criticized my work, but always found something positive to say about it while telling me how to make my next project better. To this day I encourage my students to finish their project, even if it's not perfect - just try to make the next one a little better. My ugly first quilt keeps Gramma close, she, who taught me to love sewing, quilting, thread, stories, cookies, and tea!  But, oh, how I really LOVE THREAD!!!