All posts by Meghan Williams

Sewing Tips For Beginning Quilters

Sewing by hand, or with a needle and thread is the traditional method used to piece together quilt blocks. Even if you own a sewing machine you should practice these stitches. Remember to choose the smallest size needle that you can comfortably work with. Be sure that you are using special quilting thread. Quilting thread is thicker, more durable and doesn’t tangle. Cut a piece of quilting thread about to feet long. Thread the needle and place a single knot in the end of the thread with a short tail to prevent unraveling. Do not double the thread. Sew with one single strand.

Place the two quilt pieces that you are connecting together, with right sides facing each other. Pin them using three pins. Place one pin in each of the top two corners, and the third pin in the middle of the piece. Begin at one corner and poke the needle through both layers of fabric then bring it up through the fabric about 1/8th of an inch down the seam line. Take one backstitch to keep your end secure, and then continue this in and out stitching. This is a running stitch, also called a piecing stitch. It takes practice to get a straight line. You may draw a line in pencil on the wrong side of the fabric if this helps. Once you have reached the other corner take a backstitch in reverse and make a 90-degree turn into the seam allowance. Make to stitches and cut the thread. Many quilters do not knot the ends of their thread, as they feel knots rub and wear out the material faster.

Another stitch that beginners should learn is the appliqué stitch. In appliqués blocks a fabric motif is cut out, layered and stitched onto the background of another fabric. This method of sewing the layers together needs to be almost invisible to the eye. The appliqué stitch should leave a small visible dot of a stitch. To begin, start with a quilting needle and knotted quilting thread in a color that blends with the appliqué motif. Prepare the design by basting the raw edges under. Pressing with the tip of an iron first will help. Next baste the fabric motif onto the background fabric in the desired position.

Now it’s finally time to appliqué. Start by placing the needle under the background fabric. Push the needle up through the background fabric and the edge of the appliqué motif. Pull the thread through both layers. Now position the needle right next to where the thread comes up, but only on the background fabric. Make an1/8th inch stitch through the background fabric and bring it up at the edge of the appliqué motif. Continue this stitch all around the fabric motif, ending underneath the background fabric on the wrong side. Knot and trim.

Hand sewing seems like a very time consuming process. Once you develop a rhythm, it proceeds much faster. Hand sewn quilts are often prized over machine-stitched creations.

Embroidery Tips and Techniques

Embroidery is a great way to enhance clothing or other items. Embroidery is long lasting and looks more elegant than the alternative of heat transfers or screen printing. Embroidery is embellishment you can feel and has been used throughout history to enhance the look of various fabrics. There are several classifications for embroidery depending on a few factors.

The first classification is determined by stitch placement and fabric type. Embroidery that is typically seen on garments is known as counted thread embroidery. With counted thread embroidery, a specific number of threads are sewn into a chosen fabric. Counted thread embroidery usually uses woven cotton fabrics and other even-woven fabrics like linens and canvas. The other type of embroidery is free embroidery which does not take into account the weave of the fabrics, as seen in traditional Asian inspired embroidery.

Embroidery is also classified into two different subgroups depending on if the stitches are placed on top of the foundation fabric, or through the foundation fabric. Surface embroidery is the type that is done on top of the fabric. Surface embroidery is typically the free embroidery type as opposed to counted thread embroidery. Most counted thread embroidery is done through the fabric, which is classified as canvas embroidery. In canvas embroidery, the stitches create a dense pattern that completely covers the entire foundation fabric.

Popular embroidery today is counted thread and canvas type. Embroidery is used on all types of items including clothing, bags, hats, and other accessories. Embroidery can be done on a number of fabrics as well, including cotton, denim, twill, fleece, pique, and silk. Embroidered Apparel ranging from outerwear to business casual can be embroidered in any style.

Embroidery has become an advanced procedure including the process of putting the embroidery pattern in digital form. The logo is then created by an advanced embroidery machine that can read this digital format. The result is an impressive piece of art that comes from the ancient art form of embroidery.

What You Ought To Know About Buying Your First Cross Stitch Kit

You will find that there is no shortage of options when it comes cross stitch kits. There are hundreds of businesses that sell DMC embroidery floss online as well as just about everything that you may need to get started with the craft. The simplest way to do the latter is to pick up what is known as a cross stitch kit which comes complete with all the materials you need to do your first project. However, how do you go about choosing one?

This article is an overview to assist you in picking out DMC cross stitch kits or any of the other brands available in the market. Lots of designers/companies produce cross stitch kits that are not good value for cash. Before making a purchase, you will have to inquire what is included in a package – if you are purchasing online, look for this information on their site.

When buying a kit, you should get:

  • Pattern

  • Aida fabric

  • Threads

  • Needle

The pattern has needed to be big and bright enough for you to follow with all the treads listed by numbers or any other markings.  Also, pay attention to the size and quality of the fabric — it must be large enough for you to frame it once you are finished with the project.

There are instructions included in a cross stitch kit that ought to be able to help you master the basics. Still, there are challenges that you can expect. For one thing, Most cross stitch kits feature the threads in bulks listed as colours. For instance dark red, light red, really bright red — most people would find it difficult to distinguish between them, and it is confusing which colour goes where. So you have to try to find packages that consist of threads in a card organiser filed by thread colour and number.

Also make sure you check the refund policy, in case you need to return the kit. You will be investing money and a great deal of time working on the cross stitch kit. Hence it is only reasonable that you get a good kit that would enable you to get the most out of the experience and get started with cross stitching even without any help.

“Knot With My Thread” – Stringing Choices For Beading & Jewelry Making.

Here are the major stringing materials along with how and when to use each of them.

SILK THREAD: Silk has a wondrous “hand” (a soft, flexible feel). This thread comes in many sizes and colors. It comes packaged on spools, and “carded” with an attached needle. This is a classic stringing material and forms beautiful knots between pearls and beads. But, silk tends to be relatively fragile. It can stretch, be cut by abrasive beads, rot when wet, and pearls strung on silk should be re strung every few years. It is best to use silk when stringing pearls and lightweight, smooth-holed beads, only. A needle is necessary.

NYLON THREAD: (Nymo): This thread also comes in many sizes and colors. It comes packaged on spools, on bobbins, and “carded” with a needle attached. Nylon can be used where-ever silk can and is not as fragile. This material knots beautifully and can be used for pearl stringing, in some strung jewelry, seed beadwork, loom weaving, for Peyote and other specialty stitches, and heishi. Nylon stretches much less than silk, and it won’t rot when wet. Like silk, you shouldn’t use beads with sharp edged holes or that are heavy. When you use nylon thread, I would recommend you coat your thread with bee’s wax or “Thread HeavenTM “ before use to prevent it from fraying. A needle is necessary.

BONDED NYLON: This is a much stronger form of nylon thread. The strands are physically bonded together for extra strength and abrasion protection. Although it knots well, it doesn’t have the “hand” of silk. Bonded nylon comes in a variety of colors and smaller spools. Because of its abrasion resistance, you can use it with “hard”, more abrasive gem beads; in fact this comes close to being a “Universal Thread”. Brand names include: “Stringth” or “Silkon”. A needle is necessary, although you can put “Super Glue” on the end to form a “Self-needle”. This is a favorite beading material of mine.

FISHING LINE: This material is a hard, semi-rigid, single strand of plastic. It doesn’t knot well, and in time sunlight or ultraviolet light can cause it to weaken and fall apart. Fishing line is purchased on small spools and is sold in sporting goods stores. Personally, I use fishing line for two purposes. I use it to do my preliminary stringing while I am designing a necklace (I transfer the beads to a better material for the final product), and to string together “raw” strands of beads. There is no needle necessary. I would never use this material for a final beaded piece.