The deadline for the Utah State Fair is rapidly approaching… I’ll share my challenge quilt when the Fair opens! Before the deadline on Thursday, I have to get my label made and sewn on. I also have to get the quilt ready for hanging. It’s almost there!
These are some projects that I’ve been working on as well…
This is a “Happy Chemo” quilt that is going to be turned in this week.
I got this one quilted for m partner in the Kaffe Mini Quilt Swap. The deadline for that is coming up as well!
This is another layout of the same quilt, with the blocks positioned differently.
(You may see something similar with my Fair Challenge Quilt, but shhhh…. Don’t tell!)
I have 2 more client quilts to get quilted, but both are relatively small. More coming soon! Thanks for stopping by…
From Central Washington to North Idaho, over thousands of firefighters are tackling more than dozens of wildfires that cover more than a thousand square miles. The fires, which cover an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, are expected to burn until the snow starts falling in mid-November.
In addition to the obvious risk to life and property, wildfires create smoke and ash, which can affect you even hundreds of miles away from the burn zone. Smoke contains fine particles, which easily and quickly penetrate the lungs even during short exposure. If you suffer from a heart condition, asthma or other respiratory issues, you’re at greater risk. The good news is, Blueair SmokeStop™ filters are specifically designed for environments with heavy gaseous pollutants, such as smoke, odors, and harmful VOCs.
According to a recent study conducted by Climate Central, “Wildfires burning within 50-100 miles of a city routinely caused air quality to be 5-15 times worse than normal, and often 2-3 times worse than the worst non-fire day of the year.” Large metro areas are also at risk of wildfire pollution.
If you’re in an area affected by wildfire smoke, it is a good idea to check your local Air Quality Index to get regular updates throughout the day. Websites like Airnow.gov will give you an up-to-date overview of your current air pollution.
When air quality is at an
• Stay indoors as much as you can
• Turn off your A/C to avoid pulling in outdoor smoke
• Change your home’s air filter regularly
• Look for an N95 or N100 mask with two straps to go around your head
• Be informed -paper dust and surgical masks do not protect against the fine particles in smoke
IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know are in an area affected by wildfire smoke, a Blueair purifier with added SmokeStop™ filter can help you breathe easier. Blueair SmokeStop Filters also remove dust, pollen, bacteria, pet dander, mold spores, and other airborne particles.
Thread weights are pretty confusing. There are many different ways manufacturers determine the weights and measurements of threads.
Most thread in U.S. stores print the thread weight on the spool. Some sources state that this system is actually a length system, i.e. how many meters equal one gram. However, all one needs to remember is the smaller the number the THICKER the thread. Commonly used are 12wt, 30wt, 40wt, 50wt, and 60wt. This system is not entirely dependable because one brand will have 50wt which could actually be different from another brand. We will go into greater details about these weights in the next section.
Denier relates to weight in grams of 9000m of thread. A larger number indicates a heavier thread. This is usually applied to the fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarns.
Thread Tex relates to weight in grams of 1000m of thread. Larger Tex numbers are heavier threads. This method is becoming more and more the new standard. Wiki Article
THREAD NUMBER STANDARD
Note: You may encounter thread that is only stamped with the number standard. This number system was developed in Japan and is known as the Gunze Count system. The number standard is used on many thinner threads and is written as No. 50 (or #50) or No. 100 (or #100). Many people confuse this with a weight measurement. The smaller the number, the heavier the thread. That part is the same as by weight. But a spool of thread stamped with No. 100 does not mean it is a 100 weight thread. One spool of thread may be stamped No. 100, another spool may be stamped 100 wt., and yet another spool of thread may be stamped 100/2. All three of these are measured using different standards and don’t assume they are similar in size.
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When comparing threads, make sure you use a consistent standard of measurement.
Generally, 40 wt =240 denier=Tex 25.
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There is no reason to talk about thread without considering needles. Generally, you match the type of needle to the fabric. Jeans needles for denim, etc. But the size of needle should correlate with your thread.
Schmetz, a leader in the sewing needle industry states that 40wt/240 denier/Tex 25 all work in a size 75/11 needle. Schmetz also advises that the diameter of the eye of the needle should be 40% larger than the diameter of the thread. A bit confusing? Yes. So in plain-talk, consider a larger needle when using threads heavier than 40wt/240denier/tex25. Consider using a smaller needle when using finer threads.
Yep you have seen it but what in the world does it mean!? We are not talking about toilet paper, but thread ply. When thread is made, the ply refers to how many strands are twisted around to make the thread. A 3-ply will be stronger then a 2-ply. You may see on a spool 50/2 or a 50/3. This means it is 50wt thread but one is 2 ply and the other is 3. This is why measuring by weight (although it is really length) is not accurate. A 50/2 will be lighter thread then a 50/3.
Threads, threads, and more threads! Why are there so many different kinds and types of thread?! Not all thread is created equal. There are more factors into selecting thread then just matching the thread color. Trying to sort out what is what can be overwhelming for anyone. Picking the right thread can make or break your project as well as your sanity.
So let us start with the basics. When it comes to thread there are a few rules to help guide you. However, as with all rules, they seem to be made just to be then broken! These rules are very general and there is always someone out there that does it differently.
MATCH YOUR THREAD TO YOUR FABRIC SHADE
In an act of breaking the first rule…I actually go one to two shades darker. It tends to blend in much more once it is sewn up. Something to remember is that colors will vary between brands. “Canary” color in one brand will not be the same in another brand or even a different dye lot of the same brand. When buying thread, buy enough to complete your project. Taking the chance of running out of thread and getting a different dye lot may ruin your project. This is especially true with machine embroidery. Not to mention that if you are like me and sew at 1:00 am while the kids are in bed is not convenient to run out of the thread at that time!
MATCH YOUR THREAD TO YOUR MATERIAL
Next is to match your thread with your material and use. For example, silk thread for silk fabric and cotton for quilting cotton woven, etc. This is where it can get murky. It is hard to know what your material consists of in this day of up-cycling.
If you are unsure, sticking with all-purpose polyester such as Mettler Metrosene Plus is probably your best bet. Generally, garment sewers like to also use all-purpose polyester like Metrosene Plus.
DO NOT USE CHEAP OR OLD THREAD
This next rule I never break. Don’t use cheap or old thread. As cute as it is to have grandmothers wooden spool of thread on your machine, it will break repeatedly, leave a ton of lint inside your machine which leads to more repairs. The money you save buying cheap thread will be sucked up in your purchase of Advil in order to be able to deal with all the thread dilemmas you have granted yourself. This I have learned from experience!
I love the online images of highly organized sewing and craft rooms. In reality, sewing rooms rarely look like that. We try to but it just doesn’t happen! It reminds me of when you see pictures of a beautiful newborn baby and there is mom…hair done, make-up flawless, no bags under the eyes, fully dressed and not in P.J.s. Yeah right! In real life, our sewing rooms are a mess and we invest just as much time trying to keep it organized (or at least entertaining the thought) then we do actually using the room. It is very pretty to see an entire wall decorated with a rainbow of threads. Pinterest is absolutely covered with awesome craft rooms like that.
DUST FREE THREAD AND FABRIC ARE A MUST
However pretty and convenient, sewing rooms are hard to keep clean and nothing will age your thread faster than dust! Dust on threads will be carried into your tension disks of your machine and lead to repairs. Although it is easy to see all your threads on the wall, keeping them in some kind of container dust free is best. Sulky as well as other thread manufactures make boxes to keep the threads organized, labeled, and dust free such as Sulky Slimline box.
As part of the Made Up Initiative, I thought it would be fun to dig out sewing-themed extracts from books I’ve enjoyed. I’m going to embrace the whole spectrum of books – from children’s novels (oh yes please!) to non fiction, high literature to beach reads. Clothes say a lot about us, and people’s observations of clothes say even more.
First, an essay written in 1919 by Dorothy Parker, the queen of satire:
Do you ever stop and wonder what has become of the old-fashioned girl, the heroine of the sweet romantic love-story? Surely you remember her, the before-the-war heroine. She wore checked gingham frocks that she made herself, and she used to go around the house all day long giving it little homemade touches. When evening fell, she put on a simple little white muslin dress, modestly, not to say uninterestingly, high of neck – this gown, too, was her…
A lot of quilters are intimidated by the idea of making a medallion. For many, borders are either difficult or boring, or sometimes both! Many quilt designs/patterns use borders that are just long pieces of fabric enclosing the center. And it can be a struggle to make borders fit, whether they are pieced or not. (I think the “modern” style de-emphasizing borders reflects both of these issues.) A medallion with several borders can seem too hard.
In fact, anyone with a little basic quilting experience can make a medallion. Consider that many quilters’ first class is in making a sampler with several different block styles. Most of those blocks are harder than the units I regularly use in medallion borders.
Early this year when I submitted one version of my book proposal, I mailed two quilts to the publisher. Both were quilts created as projects for the book. I…
THE RIGHT SEWING AND CRAFTING FURNITURE & CABINETRY
Choosing the right sewing, serging and crafting furniture is important. We’ve created a checklist of aspects and features to consider before shopping and investing in furniture that is likely to be a lifetime investment. ~ShopJoya
Ease of movement is critical for those who sew and craft. Choose furniture with center-of-the-needle sitting position, which increases visibility and decreases back strain. Also beneficial are commercial grade casters to make your cabinet easy to move, or remain securely in place.
Do your back, neck and shoulders a favor! Choose sewing cabinetry with the Rudersburg Lift. This lift will allow you to move your machine to the desired position and effortlessly raise your sewing machine or serger from the bottom closed position to the flat sewing position. See video about The Rudersburg Lift at the end of this post.
Visually beautiful finishes are important, but equally important in purchasing sewing furniture is to choose a unit that is durable, heat, scuff, scratch and stain resistant as well as cabinetry that is completely finished front to back, inside and out.
Sewing furniture and cabinetry best meets the changing needs of those who sew and craft by offering expandability. When shopping, choose a unit that you can configure to meet your needs, as well as offering the option of adding pieces, such as additional sections, cabinet doors, drawers, etc.
The purchase of sewing, serging and crafting furniture & cabinetry is truly a long-term