Happy Blogoversary! GIVEAWAY

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year!! I’ve really loved sharing my sewing & teaching adventures with you!! It is always interesting to me to see which posts people react to. The most popular post is my O’ Christmas Tree Tutorial!

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Rounding out the Top Five are Happy 100! GIVEAWAY, Giveaway Day GIVEAWAY, North Carolina Bound: Day 8 & Twelve Weeks of Christmas
It’s not surprising that GIVEAWAYS are the most popular! And I always say, GIVE the people what they want!!
Sooooo, I’m having a giveaway of a few of my favorite things to celebrate my first blogoversary!! One lucky winner will receive:
– One package of Pellon Fusible Fleece
– Four spools of Aurifil
– Three spools of washi tape
– Three Collage fat quarters
– Two Echino fat quarters
– Three B&W fat quarters
– Two Melody Miller stickers
– A Needle Threader
– An Artnest pincushion ring
– A Designer Star pattern with 2 1/2 yards of Tula, Denyse, Amy & Joel to make it!

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I’m also giving away a few patterns! Five lucky winners will get to choose one of my PDF patterns!
It’s easy to enter!
1. Tell me your favorite post! My favorite is What’s in a Name?.
2. Follow my blog with Bloglovin or RSS feed.
3. Like me on Facebook.
4. Follow me on twitter.
5. Follow me on Instagram.
6. Follow me on Pinterest.
7. Subscribe to my blog via email.
8. Post, tweet or blog about the giveaway for extra entries. (One for each time you do it!)
Please post a separate comment for each entry! This giveaway is open to everyone, international welcome. Entries open until next Sunday, June 23!
I have to give a shout out to my Dad since it is Fathers’ Day!! I have my Dad to thank for my sense of humor, taste in music and more than just a bit of my creativity! He’s the best:) And he was the subject of my second blog post. Thanks for supporting me in everything I do! (This picture amuses me because I caught him wearing his 47 year old college sweatshirt! The man throws NOTHING away.)

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Thanks to everyone for joining me in this journey!
xo LC

Needles & Threads! Oh My! Part 2

It’s time for Part 2 of the Needles & Threads series! I hope you found yesterday’s post about needles to be helpful. We are back with Shirley Bailey of Sew Original for today’s post on threads. This is a four part series, so check back tomorrow for Quilting Threads with Kelly Wood and Friday will be a recap and post of my personal favorites! Let’s get started!

COTTON & OTHER NATURAL FIBERS

Silk (100 wt): 100% silk (shocker!). It is one continuous piece, not woven. It is great for hand appliqué. It also is great for hand basting as it is very easy to remove; it will glide out. Do NOT construct a silk garment with silk as the thread is so strong that it will cut the silk fabric.

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Mettler Fine Embroidery (60 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 60 needle. 2-ply thread. This is great for voile, batiste, lawn and other lightweight fabrics.

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Mettler Silk Finish (50 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 70-90 needle. 3-ply thread. This thread is great for construction as well as piecing.

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Aurifil (50 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 70-80 needle. 2-ply thread. This thread is great for piecing. Because it is 2-ply, it is great for precision piecing. If you construct with it, shorten your stitch length.

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Mettler Machine Quilting (40 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 90-100 needle. 3-ply thread. This thread is great for machine quilting and top stitching. It comes in a huge variety of colors.

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YLI Machine Quilting (40 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 90-110 needle. 3-ply thread. This thread is great for machine quilting and top stitching. It comes in both solid and variegated.

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Superior Threads King Tut (40 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 90-110 needle. 3-ply thread. This thread is great for machine quilting and top stitching. It comes in only in variegated. The color changes are more frequent on the King Tut at 1″ intervals.

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Premium Sulky (30 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 90-110 needle. 3-ply thread. This thread is great for machine quilting and top stitching. It comes in both solid and variegated.

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Premium Sulky (12 wt): 100% cotton. Use a 110-120 needle. 3-ply thread. This thread is great for machine appliqué and top stitching. It comes in both solid and variegated.

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SYNTHETICS

Embroidery Threads

Use embroidery needles.

Isacord (40 wt): 100% polyester. Available in a wide variety of colors and variegated. These are colorfast and will not bleed or fade.

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YLI Variations (35 wt): 100% polyester. Available in a wide variety of ombre colors. These are colorfast and will not bleed or fade.

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Yenmet Metallic: Available in a wide variety of metallics. This is a wiry thread.

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Bottom Line by Libby Lehman (60 wt): 100% polyester. Use in the bobbin for embroidery. Available in a wide variety of colors.

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Bobbin Cones: 100% polyester. Use in the bobbin for embroidery. Available in black and white.

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Bobbin Play & Serger Threads

These threads will all be put in the bobbin if you want to use them on your domestic machine. You will sew upside down. They are too thick to feed through the top of the machine, but work great in the bobbin! You will need the tension of your bobbin to be set differently; Shirley recommends having a second bobbin case. Some can also be used in your serger.

Pearl Cotton Rayon (left): 100% rayon. Use in the bobbin for decorative stitching. Mimics the look of pearl cotton. Designer 6 Sheen (middle): 100% rayon. Use in the bobbin for decorative stitching. Shiny and thick thread. Metallic (right): Use in the bobbin for decorative stitching. Metallic finish.

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Wooly Nylon: 100% nylon. Great for edging napkins and costumes. This thread stretches out to sew as normal thread, but retracts to fill in the gaps.

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Jeans Stitch: 100% polyester. Use 110-120 jeans needle. This thread is used to hem jeans and is available in a variety of colors, including jeans gold.

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Monofilament: 100% nylon (left) & 100% polyester (right). This thread is available in clear and smoke. For machine quilting or any time you need clear thread.

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Wash Away: It does what it says! It washes away with water. A great basting thread. Make sure you keep it labeled and stored away from your other thread. Nothing worse than piecing with this!

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Fusible: This thread fuses when heat set with an iron. It’s a great temporary fix for a hem!

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This concludes Shirley’s guide to threads! Thank you so much!! All of these are available at Sew Original. Obviously, there are tons of other threads out there, but this is a pretty inclusive guide to most thread types!
xo LC

Needles & Threads! Oh My! Part 1

As long as I’ve been sewing, the guru has told me that most problems (in the sewing studio, we’re not solving world peace here!) can be fixed with this checklist:
1. Rethread the machine. Are you using the correct thread?
2. Check your bobbin. Take it out, put it in again. Are you using the correct thread?
3. Change your needle. Are you using the correct needle?
4. Clean & Oil your machine! There’s usually an errant thread causing the problem. (I clean and oil my machine EVERY TIME I run a new bobbin. And it purrs:)

Common denominator in all of these? Needles and threads! Most of my knowledge about needles and threads can be traced back to one person, Shirley Bailey, co-owner of Sew Original in Winston-Salem & Boone. She teaches a class to all her new Bernina owners about this very topic. And she’s been gracious enough to let me interview her for my blog and share with you!

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Isn’t she cute?! Shirley is a real blessing to the sewing and quilting community. Her knowledge is incredible; she knows everything about sewing. And is forever willing to share her knowledge! I’ve asked her thousands of questions in the years I’ve known her and she still takes my calls! She’s so amazing that she actually wrote the directions for the YKK zipper package. So next time you’re putting in a zipper, think of her:)
Back to the Needles & Threads! This will be a four part series FULL of information!
Part 1: Needles with Shirley Bailey
Part 2: Threads with Shirley Bailey
Part 3: Quilting Threads with Kelly Wood
Part 4: Application (aka What I Use)
Lets get started!
Choosing the right needle is critical to your project’s success! You’ll take into account what the material is (quilters’ cotton, voile, knit, leather, heirloom, etc) and what you’re doing (piecing, top stitching, quilting, decorative, embroidery, etc).
Needles also come in different sizes: the smaller the number, the thinner the needle and smaller the eye.
General Needle Size:
60: very fine batiste
70: voile
80: quilters’ cotton
90: denim and twill
100-120: canvas
Needles should be changed every 4-6 hours of sewing. Not just when they break!

Universal: These needles come in sizes 60-120. This needle is in between a ballpoint and a sharp. It’s a general purpose needle for woven and knit. Not for knits with Lycra or Spandex.

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Microtex/Sharp: These needles come in sizes 60-90. This needle has a sharp point with a thin shaft. It works well on microfiber, silk and artificial leather. Perfect for precision piecing!

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Stretch/Ballpoint: These needles come in sizes 60-100. This needle has a slightly rounded point for sewing knits. Use a 70 for lingerie, nylon, jersey. Use a 80 for t-shirt weight and 90 for sweatshirt weight.

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Quilting: These needles come in sizes 75 & 90. These needles are for machine quilting. They are designed to go though all the layers and prevent skipped stitches.

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Topstitch/Cordonnet: These needles come in sizes 70-100. This needle has a sharp point with a large eye and deeper groove to accommodate larger threads. Use with heavier fabrics. Great to top stitch on totes with lots of interfacing.

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Leather: These needles come in sizes 80-100. This needle’s point is a sharp cutting wedge. Use with leather only, not synthetic or vinyl.

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Jeans: These needles come in sizes 70-110. They penetrate extra thick woven fabrics like denim. Built for minimal needle breakage because the shaft is less prone to flex.

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Metallic: These needles come in sizes 70-100. Use for metallic and specialty threads. An elongated eye helps to prevent breakage and thread shredding.

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Double Eye: These needles come in size 80. There are two eyes on one shank. Use to blend two threads.

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Twin Needles: These needles come in sizes 1.6/70-8.0/100. This is actually two needles attached to one shank. Use for pintucks, hems and decorative work. Available in Universal, Stretch, Jeans, Metallic & Embroidery.

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Triple Needles: These needles come in sizes 2.5/80-3.0/80. This is actually three needles attached to one shank. Use to create mock smocking and decorative work. Available in Universal.

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Wing/Hemstitch: These needles come in sizes 100 & 110. This needle has a non-cutting metal wedge on each side of the shaft that creates a hole without cutting threads. Use for heirloom sewing.

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Double Hemstitch: These needles come in size 100. This is a double needle with one Wing needle and one Universal attached to one shank. Use for heirloom sewing.

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Embroidery: These needles come in size 75 & 80 and in Sharp & Ballpoint. The titanium coated version lasts five times longer. Use for machine embroidery.

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Some (Schmetz) needles have a colored stripe on the shaft for easier identification.
Stretch: Yellow
Jeans: Blue
Sharp: Purple
Quilting: Green
Embroidery: Red
I also have this handy guide from Schmetz. I keep it in my needle case and use it often. Thanks to Linderella’s, I have a few extras, so let me know if you need one:)

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I jot down notes on certain threads that work well (or don’t work well)!

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Come back tomorrow for Part 2: Threads with Shirley Bailey!
xo LC