Terrific Tip Tuesday: Thread Location

TerifficTip

Today’s tip is about where to put the thread on your machine. Most machines are designed with at least one vertical spool holder and one horizontal spool holder.

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Thread that is wound with a pattern (like Aurifil) works well on either spool holder.

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However, thread that is wound straight (like Sulky and YLI) needs to be on the vertical spool holder.

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This will make for much happier thread which means smoother tension and less breakage.
xo LC

Botanics Love

I’m totally in love with Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander! I had a little mini charm pack of it and stitched up this.
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I was plotting a tote, so I stitched up some straps. I bought some (p)leather straps from Mulberry Silks in Chapel Hill. And I’ve long been a hoarder of ribbon, so l lined the straps in ribbon. The ribbon was fairly thin so I did four lines of stitching with Sulky 12 wt.
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Luckily my Botanics yardage arrived so I had lining and fabric for a pocket! This line is fabulous!!

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I’m wanted a tote that was polished and neutral. You can never have too many totes.

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I quilted the pocket for a little extra stability! And actually remembered a label:)

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I did more straight line quilting on the outside. I used Robert Kaufman yarn dyed linen with the Botanics. This is the back.

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The straps turned out great! I’m going to need more of that (p)leather!

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Quilty close up! Quilted with aurifil 50 wt.

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I used lots of different feet on this project!

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I did piping up the side a la Carolyn’s Botanic tote. Love the pop of color!

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One more glamour shot from the top of the mountain!

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xo LC

Mod Tree Wall Hanging TUTORIAL

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Welcome back to Twelve MORE Weeks of Christmas! This tutorial is a fun wall hanging to help you deck the walls! I made a similar pillow last year for a swap and I’ve been wanting to make it a wall hanging for my house!

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Let’s get started!
1. Fabric & Supplies: You need 3/4 yard of white background fabric, five 6 1/2 x 12″ pieces of green, a 3 3/4 x 12″ piece of brown, 1/4 yard of red for border, 7/8 yard for backing and 1/4 yard of green for binding. Additionally, you’ll need 1 yard of Wonder Under or similar double sided fusible interfacing and a 30 x 30″ piece of white batting.

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2. Cutting & Fusing: Start by folding the white background in fourths (fold in half, then fold in half again). Press the folds.

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Cut the two raw edges 12 1/2″ from each folded edge. You are cutting a 25″ square with registration lines pressed in at 12 1/2″ in both directions.

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Fuse the Wonder Under to the BACK of the five green pieces and the brown piece. Trim any excess so that all green pieces measure 6 1/2 x 12″. Cut the brown piece into five pieces measuring 3/4 x 12″.

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3. Making the Trees: Mark the center lengthwise of the five green pieces.

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Cut from the center line to the corner on both sides to make a triangle. Repeat for all five green pieces.

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Trim off the bottom of four trees to make your trees different heights. Trim 1 1/2″, 2″, 2 1/2″ & 3″. Leave the fifth tree untrimmed.

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You should now have five different size trees!

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4. Attaching the Trees: Remove the paper backing from all five trees.

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Plan your layout with a pressing board beneath; this way you won’t have to transport it.

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Lay out your trees! Vary the height. The top tree should be about 2″ from the top and 6″ from the bottom. Leave 1 1/2″ on each side.

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Mark the sides of each tree using a frixion or similar erasable marking pen.

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Press the trees to the background.

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5. Attaching the Trunks: Fold up the bottom of the background fabric 3″ and press.

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Lay a trunk in the center of the bottom of a tree.

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Press just the top of the trunk, leaving the rest loose.

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Trim the bottom of the trunk even with the press line.

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Press the rest of the trunk.

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Repeat for all five trunks.

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6. Adding the Borders: Trim 1 1/2″ off each side and square up your piece to 22″ square.

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Cut your borders. They should be 2 1/2 x 22″ and 2 1/2 x 26 1/2″. You’ll need two of each.

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Attach the borders.

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Press neatly using starch. I recommend Best Press. Spray the starch on the back and press the front; this will help the starch penetrate the fabric.

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7. Quilting & Finishing: Make your quilt sandwich of backing, batting and your top. Press the layers together.

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Baste the quilt.

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Don’t pin through the trees or trunks. The holes in interfacing will not self heal as they do in fabric.

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The trees and trunks need to be stitched around the edge to secure. Use a heavier weight thread.

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Stitch around the trees using a blanket stitch (or another stitch you like!).

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Try another stitch for the trunks! I used #83 on my Bernina.

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Quilt. Free motion quilting or straight lines will look great! The stitching around the trees is enough if you prefer to skip this step.

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Attach the binding.

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And voila!

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I cannot wait to see what you make!! Please add pictures to my Made with May Chappell Flickr group! See you next week!
xo LC

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 3

Time for Part 3 of the Needles & Threads extravaganza!! Today, the amazing Kelly Wood is sharing her extensive knowledge of quilting threads! Kelly knows A LOT about fibers and was kind enough to share her knowledge with the Machine Quilting Bee last Saturday. And let me share it with you today!! Here’s Kelly!

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Kelly started with telling us about the make up of the fibers. There are two types of threads: natural and synthetic. Natural fibers include cotton, silk and wool. Synthetic includes polyester and rayon. Rayon is made from wood pulp (which is natural), but is man made.

The threads are formed with different processes in addition to being different fibers. Cotton fibers can be spun from long staple or short staple. Long staple means longer pieces of cotton fibers which means stronger thread and less lint! Typically, the longer staple means nicer thread, while shorter means less expensive and more breakage. Silk is a filament thread which is one long strand. Polyester can be spun or a filament. And because Rayon is weak when wet (and doesn’t recover strength), it should only be used for an art quilt that will not be washed.

The higher the thread weight, the finer the thread. Unfortunately, the weights are assigned by individual companies and not universal. Typically, a 50 wt cotton will be similar to a 40 wt polyester.

Kelly showcased her favorites! She used all neutrals so that we would not be sidetracked by bright colors:) And she showed different quilting patterns to showcase each thread.

Soft Touch Bobbin Thread Polyester 60 wt, YLI Silk 100 wt & Aurifil Cotton 50 wt

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Polyester 40 wt, YLI Cotton 40 wt & King Tut Cotton 40 wt

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Signature Cotton 40 wt & Sulky 12 wt

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Kelly also suggests Sewer’s Aid. She runs three stripes along the spool from top to bottom. She says this can prevent lint and help a thread run smoothly through the machine. I’ve never used it, but I’m looking forward to trying it!

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Thanks for sharing your samples and knowledge Kelly! It’s really nice to see what everything looks like quilted, especially since her quilting is so beautiful!!
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