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Poppies

Between daily life and pulling the new ihaveanotion.com web pages together I did do a little creative playtime. Not much… but some.

In March I shared my “Thread Talk” and some of the quilts I’ve made that have lots of thread on them with a guild in Indiana. They asked if I would come back and share a “Thread Workshop”. They chose a ‘threadpainting’ technique. Its a great class for beginning thread work and free motion work, especially if you have been afraid to do either. Most of the decisions are made for you…. and you only have to workout  a few color decisions and play.  The play date was in early July and there were 19 ladies waiting to play!!! We had a really fun day with thread and flowers!

Whenever I share a technique I try to have at least one new piece and one new sample to show how I work the stitching.

cr-daffodils-TW 

The new piece was these Daffodils.  Sorry I don’t have a detail shot of the stitching. I was really more interested in getting to the quilting part, because I wanted to play with an idea for another quilt.

The other new piece I started for the class was one that I left in mid stitching stage.

cr-Poppies-detail-TWTo illustrate how some thread decisions are made, demo the stitching and to show how I use the batting as a stabilizer.

cr-Poppies-TW





So I got busy after the class and completed the threadplay, backed it and finished the quilting. I cr-poppies-backalso got a label done for it.  About 20” square and the red quilting was done free motion with Glide 40 weight thread, the black quilting was done with a 50 weight 100% cotton. 

I was sent a picture (I always forget to take pictures) from the guild meeting after the workshop and 4 ladies finished their little piece. It is so rewarding to see finishes, but I also relate to the participants that finishing is not a requirement, sometimes in playing we make decisions… that don’t resonate… and compel a finish. I have several of those!!!

Dixies WCQG IN                             Pat Judd WCQG IN

WCQG Class results

Let me also thank everyone for the visits to the store, reading the blog and leaving comments. I really appreciate them…  without you there wouldn’t be any fun.

More Later….

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Mea Culpa

Some Things NEVER go as planned!

I don’t know why I try to plan things…. beyond the daily stuff…. and even that often doesn’t quite work out as planned. Like today… I have to go to the laundromat! Thought I was done with that… in my lifetime, but no the washer decided to have a breakdown… and it will need parts… and well it had a load in it when it went on a mental detour.

So the drawing from comments… dates were wrong… partly because we didn’t go live as planned… some glitches… and I had planned to use raffle copter, but when I got that all set up and ready to go I discovered that it doesn’t like to play with WordPress…. and now they say it does, so work around.

Go figure.

So all commenters (9) if I counted right…. on the opening blog will get a little something in the mail… and we will just have to try it again soon. Will be sending email to the nine in a bit.

In the meantime… I will leave you with a picture of a chicken.

pink-chic-wb

Do your carefully made plans often get scrambled?

More Later-Beth

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A “Needle” Question

A friend and I were driving to a meeting together earlier this week. One of our discussions was about the sewing machine needle.

She said, ‘I know you don’t like the regular chrome needles, but I don’t mind them”.

My response was, “it isn’t that I don’t like them, I just find them to be too expensive. I like titanium needles better because they last 5-8 times longer than chrome plated needle” and cost less.

WHO WOULDN’T want to use a needle that lasts longer and costs less?

The Difference Explained

A standard chrome plated needle (Universal, Sharp, Jeans, Topstitch, Stepp Nadel….. etc), that comes 5 to a package and sell for about $4.99- give or take a dollar, is only rated to last for approximately 8 hours of sewing time. That is about the number of hours it would take to make a blouse if you were garment sewing. If making a crib quilt it might be the number of sewing hours for a simple block baby quilt. But for another article explaining the Titanium Needle check out the Superior Threads Education article.

A Titanium Needle (Topstitch, Embroidery, Sharp…. etc) is a steel needle that is coated in titanium. The Titanium coating cuts down the friction, keeps the needle cooler when stitching and keeps the point from becoming dull as quickly and lasts 5 to 8 times longer. The needle is NOT made of titanium and will not damage your machine any more or less than the old fashioned chrome needle, so don’t let that fear make you spend more on needles than you must.

The Math

Of course your needle mileage will vary depending on the type of fabric you are stitching (density of the fabric weave, content and thicknesses) for the actual stitching time. If you can sew 8 hours with a chrome needle for approximately $1, how much more cost effective is that same dollar with a titanium needle that lasts from 40 to 64 hours of sewing time. ihaveanotion.com has Titanium Topstitch Needles here, Titanium Embroidery Needles here; and if you still prefer the Standard Chrome there are some here.

The Benefits of a Titanium Needle

What are some of the benefits of using the Titanium needles? I find these 3 to be the most significant… and some days the order of significance changes….

  1. not having to spend so much time changing needles
  2. saving money on one of the most important parts of the sewing machine
  3. achieving a nice neat stitch!

For my primary needle I use the Titanium Topstitch needle, whether I am piecing or quilting or playing with thread. On had in the needle box are some Titanium Embroidery or Large Eye needles  for those times when I need a larger eye or thread groove to accommodate a larger thread. I still have a lifetime supply of those old standby chrome over steel needles, but that is because I inherited them, so even for free -I like the titanium better.

Speaking of the lifetime of needles, how do you dispose your dull, bent or broken needles and pins?

More Later- Beth

PS …. if you haven’t yet left a comment on the Welcome post, please do….