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 thread spools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thread spools. Show all posts

Thursday, April 17, 2014

HINTS & TIPS Threading n' Needles ~ a repost

hello ~

i dearly love teaching my students in the bernina "mastery" classes... and because quite a few of my students have asked, i am posting again, just for y'all! 

i have found that the most overlooked feature of sewing machines, is the lack of knowing the basics! 

with that being said, here are some of the most common basics that are either overlooked, forgotten, underused, and unapplied!  although these tips and hints are focused particularly on bernina ownership... they are still great tips for any sewing enthusiast!

❤    Use the correct size end caps based on the size of your thread spool.  There are usually three sizes included with your Bernina machine; small, medium and large.
In the picture below, they are shown as they should be placed onto your thread, once the spool is loaded onto your machine...  these spools are shown with the flat side of the end cap fitting flush with the end of the thread spool.  The reason they should be placed like this is to prevent threads from wrapping around the end of the spool, and if that happens, your thread will CERTAINLY break very soon, or will pull so violently tight, it will break your needle; especially at higher speeds. 
An Iscacord spool of thread is pictured below, with the smallest end cap in place, and the spool has been loaded onto the machine.  Notice in this pic there is also a gray sponge-like foam pad on the back side of the spool; placed so that the thread spool is held tight.  This is commonly overlooked by many Bernina owners.  and if you place your spool on the vertical spool holder, your thread spool should sit on top of this 'spongee' and the spool of threads spins easily, thread flows much... much... smoother through your machine.
a "cross-wound" spool of thread, placed on the horizontal spindle of the sewing machine
❤    Choose either horizontal or vertical thread spindles based on the way your thread is wound.  Cross wound thread spools (like Isacord thread in the picture above) are wound like a figure 8, are (normally) placed on the horizontal position. (Laying down). A stacked spool has the threads wound one thread on top of the other vertically, and should be placed on the vertical position (standing straight up). If the thread spool is stacked, no end cap is needed as the spool sits upright on the vertical spindle.
    Note: (generally) you can place a cross wound thread on either vertical or horizontal spools... the key is that these types of spools are wound so that the thread comes off the spool from the top of the thread cone.  Stacked threads are wound so the thread releases from the side of the spool.  From the front side or the back side of the spool, it does not matter how a stacked thread releases.  If you have a thread stand, then you can use either type of cone in the vertical position (standing up).

❤    Always begin the threading of your machine with tension disks open! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! This means your presser foot is in the ‘up’ position, which enables the thread to be placed inside the tension disk area.  If it isn't... you will know very quickly (within 2-3 stitches) that something... isn't... right!!

❤    Ensuring the ‘take-up’ lever is in it’s highest position makes it easier  for most needle threaders to secure the thread through the eye of the needle.

❤    Have your needle at it’s highest point to help ensure success with the needle threader

❤    Once your machine is threaded, and before using the needle threader, put your presser foot in the ‘down’ position. This will allow the tension disks to close, and “clamp” your top thread in place, making it a bit easier to use the needle threader.

❤    Be sure to completely press down on the needle threader until the threader is able to completely surround the needle.  There are two little “snaggers” that must come through the eye of the needle in order to snag the thread and pull it through the eye of the needle.

❤    While letting go of the needle threader, remember not to hang onto the thread so tight that you end up pulling the thread back through the eye of the needle! I see many students who think they  should let it go quickly too, and that's not true either.  You can successfully thread the needle 'slow-motion' too!

❤    90% of all stitching issues are needle related!  THIS IS SO TRUE!
    ❀ Change your needle often!  This is the single most important and least expensive thing you can do!  Change it approximately every 2-3 bobbins, (really!) or every hour, depending on the type of sewing, fabric and thread play you're doing!  Fusings...free motion couching, & sewing through thick fabrics  will dull a needle much more quickly... I promise!
  • Learn to check your needle and its tip... it's easy to see the difference when you hold up a new needle to the older one against the lights... if that tip is even slightly flat, or has a burr on it, you can either FEEL  it... or SEE it!  AND... get rid of it!  The question I ask my students is simply this: "do you want to have fun... or do you want to struggle?" 
  • {knowledge=fun!}  it's as simple as that!
    ❀ Use the correct size of needle based on the thread you are using, and the type of fabric in your project. An 80/12 is good for piecing; a 90/14 is a must for free motion or decorative stitching {when you are using 40 wt threads}! otherwise, a smaller needle{s} like 80/10 and 70/12, will work fine if you have a smaller weight thread {like a 50 or 60 wt thread, respectively} 
❀ If you experience stitching issues, re-thread your machine from the top first.  If the problem persists, re-thread your bobbin case. If that doesn’t help... change your needle!  Try one thing at a time... that way you GAIN KNOWLEDGE in ... TROUBLESHOOTING!  That's a good thing!

    ❀ a size 90/14 needle in ***top stitch, metallic, denim/jeans, as well as the Bernina “Cordonnet” styled needle are nearly  identical in that they have a sharp tip, elongated eye, and deeper groove which work best with 40 weight cottons, 40 weight tri-lobal polyester threads and metallic threads; AND... especially in free motion!

***these days, I am completely sold on Superior's Titanium coated, Topstitch needles in sizes 70,80,90. and 100. they last twice as long as regular needles, and they are so worth it!

use your machine's potential to it's fullest... and then sew and enJOY!

and... i'm working at gettings pics for the "kitchen towel tutorial" ... so i hope you'll "stay tuned" and come on back, ya hear?!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Les is More ~ Thead Spools!

How lovely these decorated spools are...

The "Les is More" option, if you will.  

That is, if you would be so kind as to laugh at my bad pun!

Once again, here's a beautiful option for decorating thread spools.

Courtesy of Amy Barickman, as I subscribe to her newsletter and posts...

Of course, decorated thread spools are definitely in the category of  'what is old is new again'.  

If you'd like, click here to see Amy's post about these little vintage darlings, and ... more!
I love the texture and contrast of the jewels on the wrapped crochet-type base.  Reminds me of The Donny and Marie Show -- you know --- they used to say:  'she's a little bit country, and he's a little bit rock n roll!'  LOL.

And then, buttons to finish it off, especially the two buttons doubled up at the top.  When more is... well, more!  And Very, Very Cool.  (And I was country when country wasn't cool --- that from The Barbara Mandrell Show) .  

Yes, I date myself.  

Quite often.  

It's one of the advantages of growing older.


(L=Les  and M=more (or McNeil) take your pick!)

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Beaded Garland and Blog Love!

Ah. Yes!  A Beaded Garland!  And I'm thinking these adorable little garlands are the perfect compliment to the little antique, decorated, beaded and wrapped thread spool ornaments I've SEW enjoyed making (and still am!) #32... and counting! 
The little antique spool ornaments will go out a bit early as my December BLOG LOVE to:   
LYNN G.-Nebraska, 
DARCEY P.-Canada 
 JAN B.-Oregon
My pictures aren't so great... and I've had no time to really decorate the tree, as this had to be dismantled to take to the show... maybe I can get some light that will be more inspiring when the tree is all done.

But I am loving how the garland looks with the spools.  I hope you do too!

And special thanks to my sweet southern friend -- (my SFF you know)--- Linda Sue for the cool package of.... (drumroll)  of THREAD SPOOLS I received today.  Yay! 
Be Merry and Bright!  God Bless.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thread Spools!

Such a cool idea. Nothing like playing 'dress-up' with thread spools!

I first saw these charming little darlings shown here, posted by Kelli Nina Perkins. 

And so began a journey in patience, for first I had to bid on these adorable little antique spools, which I found on ebay.

and when they arrived, the Friday after Thanksgiving, I was very excited to get out all my yarns, ribbons, and shiny, sparkly threads ...and start playing...
and start wrapping.  College football anyone?!  (Go Oregon Ducks!)
So many pretties... so little time!

and then I added...BEADS!

Aren't they sooooo pretty? And fun to photograph, too!
 So now what do I do with them?  I didn't really want to string them all... although that is quite tempting as they would be a LOVELY garland hanging from the tree, or a window, wouldn't they?  (Which was shown by Kelli on her blog site).

 I think I need to get more spools... because I am seriously hooked now!  And I'd love to make a Christmas garland with these!
But time is running out, and Christmas will be here way too soon.  And they do take a goodly amount of time; keeping in mind that by the time you drop, roll and crawl... as that's what I ended up doing half the time as I wound, dropped the thread spool, or the needle, or the bead... well you know.  But  oh...so fun!  And by the way, I used a beading needle, and Nymo (beading) thread.
 I decided to make them into ornaments, and came up with an idea using some lovely organza from my stash! This is how I incorporated it into the ornament.

 I cut a width of perhaps 2-3 inches (no measuring!!) and stuffed it into the spool center hole using the skewers I just happened to see in my drawer while looking for the big carving knife-sharpener on Thanksgiving. 
 The top loop of fabric is ideal for the metal hanger you can attach or I could add a cord, too, but I think it's more elegant with just the organza. I also played with trimming  the bottom... and I kind of like the idea of a fluffy little skirt on this little beauty. I may cut it straight off... or not!  What do you think? 
 Does this project appeal to you?  Maybe you have a great stash of old antique spools somewhere.  And happily, I have pink, lime green, aqua, white (and more!) colors of organza handy.  Love it when I do not have to go out shopping for anything!
And a very big, happy, satisfied sigh.

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