Quilting and sewing tips and tutorials

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Cautionary (thread) Tail....

Besides being a quilt and pattern designer, I moonlight at a quilt shop....duh, where else would an avid quilter moonlight?
Anyway, the shop I work at also does sewing machine service and repair and I have seen a lot of incredible mishaps when it comes to sewing machines.
I will share these tidbits of insight with you to help prevent these little disasters from happening to you.
This one I was amazed at, I had never even thought this could happen, read on for the
cautionary tail.......

Does your machine have 2 spool pins? You know, a vertical one, and a horizontal one. 
When you have your machine threaded up using the horizontal spool pin, do you sometimes "park" a spare spool of thread on the vertical spool pin? 

Like this....

Well, I know I won't be doing that anymore and here's why.......

all wound up
Yikes! This came out of one woman's sewing machine. (No, it wasn't mine) The tail of thread that is loose and hanging down can get sucked up in the machine (via the hand wheel area) and gets all wound up inside on the main drive shaft thingy. Of course the machine stops working eventually, and that's why she brought it in for service.  You can see that it happened with more than one spool because there are abut 4 colors of thread that got all wound up inside.  Her machine was much happier once this was removed!

all wound up 2
What's even more amazing is, this was the second machine within a month that came in with this issue. The other one only had one color, but a whole bunch of it.

So.....think twice about "parking" your spare spools on your spare spool pin. 
Happy sewing! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

say it with color

Which color speaks to you?  Red, aqua, purple, brown, orange, pink, blue, yellow, green, etc. etc. etc.?

 Do you have a "go-to" color?

You know, the color that your closet or fabric stash has an abundance of. I find that I have more aqua blue, red and spring green in my closets and stash.

Do you tend to make quilts in the colors you usually wear?

Brandon Mably - waves

Do you get brave with color choices when you are making a quilt or bag? For instance you may favor blue for your home or wardrobe but you choose bright pinks or yellows for your projects.

Kaffe Fassett  - jungle paisley

Ever notice that your mood can affect your color choice when you get dressed in the morning or when shopping for new fabric or clothes?  One morning, this may be your color pick ......

Amy Butler - Gray Lacework

and the next day it may be this.......

Amy Butler - Tumble Roses
Are you easily influenced by trending colors, or have you stayed with your tried and true color choices?

I love color, all colors, and I love the current trend of the use of lots of color and the mix up of colors that weren't considered "right" in days gone by.
Just take a look at the fabrics by Kaffe Fasset's, Brandon Mably, Amy Butler, and other popular designers, and how color is used in their collections. When you look at you fabric stash, think how drab our world would be without color and without changing the way we see it.

 Brandon Mably - fish lips


Embrace color, be brave....go forth and say it with color!



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

time for a quickie....

I don't know about you, but every so often it's refreshing to make something that can be finished in minutes, instead of days ...or weeks....or months.
Much of my pattern design is a long multi-step process, as are the memory quilts I make for clients.
A lot of thought and stitching goes into them and it takes attention, concentration and commitment.
So, as a treat I really enjoy those quick, but darling, little projects that are done and done in a jiffy and don't create a large quiltnado in the process.

This is a little Christmas table runner I made for my Sister-in-law, don't worry she's already seen it.  I've already gifted it to her so she can put it out ahead of Christmas. It is the "ten minute table runner" that has been around for quite some time, but it is so fun to make. See the link below for PDF instructions if you need a quickie......

As you can see in this closeup, I added red  jumbo rick-rack to each end of the runner.

This pattern was written by LaRae Brunnell Clark and the pattern was shared by the Utah State University Weber County Extension. here is the link.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oh no, a Quiltnado

First there was Sharknado, and if that wasn't scary enough, now there's this ....

beware, this perilous phenomenon could be headed your way! 

It can strike without much warning and leave behind a massive trail of debris. 

 my recent category 2 quiltnado 



noun \'kwilt -'n ā - dō\

A very intense squall consisting of fabric, thread and sewing tools.
Known to strike suddenly, very often coming on the heels of a quilt related activity such as
a guild meeting, fabric shopping, or blog hopping.

"I was going to do some laundry, but before I knew it, a very intense quiltnado hit."

Intensity ranges:
category 1  - Mild, generally only lasts 1 hour or less and leaves behind a very small debris field.
category 2 - Moderate, can last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours and usually involves a combination of newly purchased and stash fabric. A moderate debris field that includes many fabric and pins.
category 3 - Severe,  a quiltnado in this category can easily last a day or longer. The debris field is very widespread and may include candy wrappers, coffee cups, ignored family members, backed up text messages, massive amounts of fabric, pins, empty spools and pizza boxes.


There is not much you can do to ward off a large quiltnado. The best course of action is to make sure you have plenty of supplies on hand,  (including chocolate) then hunker down behind your sewing machine and ride it out. WOO HOO!

When was the last time you've been hit by a quiltnado? What category was it ?