About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label necessary notions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label necessary notions. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

tools of the trade ~ prepping for classes


hey there ~ now is the time to prep for fall sewing and quilting classes!  i was highly motivated myself to do just that, because of a nice little presentation given for students {and teachers} at the open house at the sewing palace bernina, where i am excited to also be teaching this fall!

and in "other big news" {lol} i found a 'must-have' iron cleaner product, the "iron shine cleaning pen" by clover products.  it works people ~ it really does!  perfect cleaner when you're working with a fusible {alot} like me!
to begin cleaning, the iron must be completely cold.  the first thing i really appreciate the most is the non-odor that i have experienced with other iron cleaning products.  also, this one has a felt tip, that helps you "scrub" wherever you need to.  and it's a simple "wipe-off" the excess, and you're good to go.  or make that "sew!"
i admit... sometimes i'm a gadget freak.  and i was very intrigued by these unique rubberized type of notions... these are called "peels" and i have to say... they work well, too.  they are for wrapping thread spools, and flexible for use on any size spool:
and the sister product, the bobbin clamps!  now this is a great little invention, in my opinion.  they actually fit any size bobbin!
and so i tried this product, using the three sizes of bobbins i currently use; one of them for my bernina 830 and the jumbo bobbin it uses;  the more common 5.5 mm size bobbin, and then the bobbin for my new baby, the Q20 mid-arm by bernina:
easy on the fingers, and of course it helps that they are not only cute, but brightly colored.  and for organizing, the package actually comes with this chain, too.  you can actually pre-wind threads; join all your bobbins you're taking to class, toss them into your class case, and you're off and ready to go!

here's my little pictorial of how the 'peels' look on my freckled finger ~ just for a giggle or two?  well... maybe not!
and this is how the peels look on a couple different spools of thread:
they look like little snails {or slugs} but let's not think about that!  just look at the cool color!  

and i like using them more than the 'glueless wonder tape' i had been using.  although it's been a great product, because of it's clear nature, it does have a tendency of 'disappearing' into the wilds of my studio when i unwrap the thread!

and finally, here is a shot of my new class case i'm keepingl all of these essential supplies in, and at the ready!  of course it includes a color wheel, needles, pins, clips, a frixion pen, glue stick, quilting gloves, rotary cutter, chapstick, and a few small rulers.

 and at the last, as a teacher, i threw in my 'little blue' bag of bobbin cases and extra bobbins for teaching my new classes this fall; one of them "bobbin play"  i'm teaching at the sewing palace in helena on November 6th, 10 am to 4pm!
snap 'em up, and snap it shut!  it's a great little case for keeping organized and one i will turn to many times i know!

blessings upon your day,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Necessary Notions ~ Sewline Chalk Pens

There are SO many chalk pen accessories... supplies, types, forms and more, in the sewing and quilting world.  I've tried ALOT of them.  By FAR ~ the one I turn to the most in my sewing is the Sewline brand of chalk pencil.  It's my all-time favorite.
In part, this pen is my favorite because I can DRAW with it so freely.  Just like a pencil, so easy to just lightly sketch with it, or get very specific line placement.  And most importantly --- start over again - easily!  And the chalk line is easily removed with the wipe of a hand, or a little piece of leftover batting, or it's own eraser.
The eraser is quite handy. I bought some extras (go figure) and they are real easy to replace, too. It just twists up as you need more.
And I have needed it.  

A Lot.
And when you purchase the pen, it includes replacement 'chalk leads' too.  

I have three colors on hand.  But the one I use most often, is the white.
It's been such a valuable tool for me.  Tomorrow I'll show the little mug rug I made using this Chalk pen.

Sooo... how about you?  What's your fave chalk pen tool or accessory?

Be a blessing to someone today and have a great one!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Needle In A Haystack?

Do you have problems keeping track of your needles? 

I used to.  

Now a colorful Fons and Porter Flower Pincushion I bought several years ago at JoAnn Fabrics is a close ally next to my machine at all times.  Used my 40% coupon.  I suppose they are at least $10 bucks now, but I recall something like $7 or $8 when I purchased mine.  

You can use a tomato pincushion as well.  They are inexpensive, but ... well, boring!  I started out with one of those, and actually wore it out.  Also, I can't see the writing on the sections as well on the red color... now that I am 'older eyes' so to speak!  And I LIKE color.  And I like all the multiple sections ~ no limitations!

I even keep some of my hand sewing needles handy in the center. 
I've marked mine using a black Sharpie pen, writing on  each colored petal, which indicates a size of needle, or point or style of a needle. I have a petal section for 90/14 metallic, topstitch, sharp, & so on, as you can see from the pic above.  I use alot of titanium needles nowadays, but 'in the day' when I first began to do alot of quilting, this was my system.  And it works well for the titaniums as well.  They are easier to know what they are, because they are gold toned, instead of silver... but try reading their size, and without a magnifying glass, that can be a bit daunting! So they go into these same slots, by size.

If my needle is pretty 'fresh' - as in I've only used it for a few minutes, I will place it towards the outward part of the petal section... if it is brand new, I'll put it towards the center of the petal.
So what's that pearly pin for?  Well, as in 'x marks the spot,' this pin indicates what size/type of needle that is actually IN my machine.  Some days I can't remember what I left in my machine, and if I switch from piecing to free motion quilting, I probably need to change needles. So I look at my handy-dandy pin cushion to refresh my memory (as we say in the courtroom!)

Unless my snap trap mind happens to remember.  Now that's not a bet I'd take! This system really only works well, IF you remember to move the pearly, decorative pin into the section of the type of needle you've got in your machine...
Organization I love.  Forgetfulness, not so much.   I am some of those things some of the time... and most of them, most of the time!  But I love my flower petal needle system. And it travels to classes with me ~ READY TO GO.  Any size, type, or style of needle is going with me, and I keep it well stocked.  Love it!

This isn't the only way you can store needles... I've seen a few different types of 'needle storage systems'  out on the market.  

But this is my favorite.  We're good friends!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Necessary Notion --- Tear Away Stabilizer

This is about a stabilizer that I think is a great plus in anyone's sewing notion resources.  And I've played with more leaves!  More paintstiks.  A new colorway. 
Instead of a trapunto technique, I've used a tear-a-way stabilizer under each leaf motif, and then free motioned the quilting on top.
Careful!  Even tho this product is easy to tear away, you don't want to rip or weaken your stitches.  After stitching, gently tear, or cut the excess stabilizer away.  I cut it away from the leaf edge, because I don't want the stiffness of the stabilizer anywhere but under the leaf.  It really makes free motion quilting much easier, and way more fun, than without it!
And I'm stitching with Superior's "Rainbows" --- again.  My favorites:  Tri-lobal polyesters.

As I've mentioned in prior posts... the leaves were stenciled first; allowed to dry; heat set.  I then fused the fabric to a fusible web and cut on the leaves.  This time I'm trying Wonder Under, a Pellon product.  Next time, I'm going to try Misty Fuse. In the past, I've used alot of Steam-A-Seam 2 or Lite.  The fusible web will be washable, as will this quilted piece, and by adding both fusible web and stitching, the fabric is not going to fray.  Each leaf was then placed on the quilt top, fused down with a hot iron, and then I added a lighweight stabilizer underneath the leaf. 
I love to do free motion 'applique' style!  You can create your own 'buttonhole' or 'blanket' stype stitch.  I love the creative freedom this allows me!
Here's the OESD product I'm using: Lightweight Tear Away
I'm quite partial to using Superior's Masterpiece cotton (50 wt) in my bobbin.  It's a great success story with a tri-lobal poly on the top. Below, it is shown in lime green.
Tear or Cut!  Gently tho!
You can see that I had a bit of a top tension issue without the stabilizer, in the picture below.  Stabilizer --- whether it be batting, or the type of tear-away I used, makes alot of difference in how your stitches form on the top and bottom. 
Yup.  Save the leftover pieces!
I will be teaching a paintstiks class at Bernina Silver Thimble on Saturday at 11:00 am.  

I've already started the final quilting phase, and will share with you some color and design decisions I made for this piece next week.  So that's on my  'fun-to-do list' this weekend!  What's on yours?  

Whatever it may be, I hope you will EnJOY!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Necessary Notion PART 5 - "GLUELESS TAPE"

Simple.  Unobtrusive.  Reusable. Necessary..
AND... very, very handy to have on hand. It doesn't have glue; it's like those vinyl window clings.  This self-cling tape which comes on a sturdy plastic roll is a great little notion to have.  Just cut it off the roll in the length you need, and wrap it around a spool of thread, overlapping the ends, which will stick to each other.  I recently saw it at Bernina Silver Thimble in a slimmer version too.  Neat way to wrap up 'slick' threads like GLITTER, especially because they don't have a place where you can tuck in the thread end.  And when I toss my threads into a bag for class, they stay neat and tidy. I also use it to wrap up my thicker bobbin play threads too.  It helps to keep the dust off of the spools as well. 
I find it useful... and NECESSARY to a less chaotic studio or class!  Maybe you will, too!  And maybe you will find other great uses for it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Necessary Notions- PART 4 - 505 Spray HINTS and TIPS

Whatever type of temporary adhesive spray you may prefer, they all come in quite handy in the quilt and/or art studio setting you are working in!
My personal favorite is 505 Temporary Adhesive spray.

Now this may seem like a "done deal" to you... but lately, in several of my classes, a few people have NOT known anything about temporary adhesive sprays.  

This particular product happens to be something akin to my "BFF" -- to borrow the popular acronym these days!  LOL!  

I turn to this product to help me in layering quilt tops, batting, stabilizers-embroidery projects, paintstik rubbings and more.  From small projects like art quilts, fiber scarves and placemats to even setting a pocket (instead of pins!) on a slippery fabric surface.. .this is your 'go-to-gal' type of product!  (Assuming it's a girl, not a boy!)

SAFE for machines.  (Recommended by Bernina)  KEEP IN MIND THESE TIPS HOWEVER:
  • always spray away from your machine... in a separate room, or area whenever possible.
  • don't breathe the fumes, even though this product is labeled 'safe' or 'non-toxic' (which it is)
  • keep in mind, it's temporary - so if you put it on something and don't get back to your project within 2-3 days, it's likely going to dissipate before you can finish what you intended.
  • if you find you still have sticky residue on rulers, or rubbing plates (paintstiks), you can wash it off fairly easily with soap and water... or there is another product that will dissolve the sticky residue.  I personally haven't had to use this particular product (yet!).
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