Today I’m continuing the TOP FIVE lists with my favorite sewing machine needles!
Microtex: Microtex are also sometimes called sharps. They’re perfect for neat piecing because they are sharp. I typically piece with a 70 or occasionally an 80. I also sometimes quilt with a Microtex 90.
Quilting: I use these for quilting (shocking I know!). They’re designed to go through multiple layers. I find the tension is usually magically perfect when I use these. I prefer the smaller size 75 because I use a relatively thin batting.
Jeans: I use these almost anytime I have something with interfacing. They’re designed to prevent breaking when sewing through difficult substrates like denim. I love that they rarely break! I use all the various sizes depending on how thick the interfacing and thread I’m using is.
Leather: If you’re stitching through leather, these are the best. The needle pierces a hole in the leather for smoother stitching. Because of the piercing nature, these needles aren’t always perfect for synthetic leather because it can cause ripping. I always do a test.
Ball Point: This is mostly when I’m in garment sewing land. It can also be called Jersey. These are perfect for stitching with knits. I use assorted sizes depending on the thickness of the knits.
One needle that I get a lot of questions on that is notably missing from my list is the Universal. Universal needles are part ball point and part sharp. I find they don’t do either job particularly well. Would I use one if that’s all I had? Absolutely. Do I buy them regularly? No. They’re universally not that great because they’re trying to do two jobs. I prefer to use a Ball Point when I need it or a Microtex when I need it.
As part of my Blogoversary celebration, I’m spending five days sharing top five lists. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on this post! Today, I’m sharing my top five sewing tools. These are more specialty tools but everyone of them I use on a weekly, if not daily, basis!
The Kwik Klip: If you baste with safety pins, you need this tool! It saves your fingers and fingernails. There’s more here including a video of the Klip in action!
Clover Wonderclips: These clips are lifesavers in the sewing studio. You can use them to clip down your binding, keep your pieces or blocks in order and even clip up your hair in a pinch! More here.
Sunflower Thread Cutter: This thing is a must when you’re a chain piecing fool! You can clip apart your pieces in half the time. There’s more info here.
The Purple Thang: It has so many uses! You can poke out corners and check your quarter inch seam. You’ll reach for it over and over and keep finding new uses! More here.
Perfect Seam Guide: Everyone should check their 1/4″ seam! Even if you’re using a 1/4″ foot, it helps to visually see the 1/4″. More here.
What are your favorites?
I woke up this morning to my calendar telling me it’s my Blogoversary! This was news on a few fronts: A. I definitely did not remember the date. B. I definitely had no idea that I had a calendar alert set for such a thing! C. How would I celebrate?! Here’s what I decided…it’s all about FIVES!
There will be FIVE WINNERS who will choose FIVE PATTERNS each. All you have to do to enter is tell me your TOP FIVE in sewing! Top five what you might ask…whatever you want! You can name your top FIVE FABRIC DESIGNERS or your top FIVE SEWING TOOLS or your top FIVE PLACES for sewing inspiration! Plus you get FIVE BONUS entries if your list is something that no one else has listed! Creativity counts my friends:) Just leave your TOP FIVE in the comment section.
My trusty sidekick is napping now but he’s excited to read your entries and randomly draw FIVE WINNERS! Entries open for FIVE DAYS until June 21! I’ll be sharing some fun things during those five days. Get ready!
Entries are open internationally. One entry per person:) The winner will get to choose whichever FIVE May Chappell patterns that their heart desires!
Sometimes, once I am finished quilting with a bright color, I have just a bit left on the bobbin. I go ahead and use this in the bobbin while piecing bright fabrics.
This is less wasteful and gets the bobbin empty and ready for its next color. I use Aurifil 50 weight for all my quilt piecing and a lot of my quilting, so I am not mixing weights, only mixing colors!
Do you follow Timna Tarr? She is the maker of many award winning quilts, including one of my favorites, the egg quilt!
I met Timna at my first market and have enjoyed ogling her stunning quilts ever since. Her sense of color is spot on! This is one of her map quilts in progress.
And she’s coming to North Carolina to teach her map quilt workshop and do a lecture/trunk show with the Triad MQG.
Here are the details:
Tuesday, July 25, 6:30: Lecture/Trunk Show $5 fee at the door
Wednesday, July 26, 10-4: Map Workshop $75 for TMQG members & $85 for nonmembers
Both events will be at South Fork Community Center on Country Club. We meet in the main large building in the back behind Cricket’s Nest.
For the workshop, Timna will start out by showing her techniques. Then we will all start our maps. Each person gets to choose their own location! I’m considering doing the neighborhood I grew up in! Or maybe where I lived in DC… So, I haven’t totally decided yet. If you’re interested in signing up, you can pay via paypal here or email triadmqg at gmail dot com to pay with cash or check.
There’s a cool new series on Cheryl Lynch’s blog called Stitchography. She’s interviewing all types of folks in the quilting and sewing industry to give insights and ideas for those looking to start out. You can read my interview here.
Plus you’ll want to check out all the others!
There’s nothing more frustrating when you’re hand stitching than thread that keeps knotting up and tangling. If you thread the end that comes off the spool first, you’ll have less issues. The thread will travel through the fabric in the more natural direction.
Wishing you tangle free stitching!
UPDATE: Great comment over on Instagram to help remember this!
I am an owner of many rulers, mostly Creative Grids. My “go-to” is the 6 1/2 x 12 1/2″, but today I’m sharing its little baby. It’s 6 1/2 x 2 1/2″. You’ve probably seen it in shops with a custom logo.
I use it when I’m working on binding, to cut HSTs apart or for a quickmeasurement. I have one stashed on every sewing pouch! I love that Creative Grids don’t slip and have both 1/2″ and full inch marked prominently.
When I make a quilt with lots of appliqué that I plan on densely quilting, I skip the actual appliqué. This quilt is dresdens that I glued down. Instead of stitching them down, either by hand or machine, I just started quilting.
You’ll want to carefully stitch over each point and cross the edges frequently. This is a great trick to speed up a quilt full of appliqué!
Thanks to everyone who entered the No Scrap Left Behind Giveaway! There were lots of great ideas for sorting and using scraps. I enjoyed reading all of them and tried to reply to everyone:)
Mack was napping so I chose a winner. He’s not always reliable. The winner is number 150 of 472.