Threading a sewing machine needle
When you want to press a hem or facing evenly and cleanly, make a long strip of cardstock or heat-resistant template plastic. Fold up you hem along that straight edge and press for a clean crisp edge. Slide the guide along the fabric as needed.
Quickest Quilt Binding:
This method is, perhaps, not as sturdy as other binding techniques but it is fast fast fast and can work very well on quick and/or small projects. Iron a paper-backed fusible web to your binding fabric. Cut in 1&1/4" strips. Or cut 1 & 1/2" wide but use the wonderful wave blade on your rotary cutter. Remove paper and (if necessary) piece into lengths long enough for each side of the quilt.
Fuse 1/2 of one binding strip to one back side of quilt. Fold to front. Fuse from the front. Repeat with each side, trimming strip as needed. Edge stitch fused binding. Voila!
Obtaining an accurate 1/4" seam: maybe one of these methods will work for you!
Back to top
Sewing with Metallic Threads
If your thread is breaking when you are using metallics here are some tips for you:
Shadow work with a twin needle:
You'll be sewing brightly colored button hole twist, crochet cotton or a similar weight thread in the bobbin under a see-through lightweight batiste. *NOTE:* If you like to use thick threads in your bobbin you may want to invest in a second bobbin case which you can set to a loose tension. Now choose a twin needle. the size of the needle will be 70, 80 or 90 -the smaller the number the finer the needle. the distance between the 2 needles will range from 1.6 to 6.0 millimeters. For a delicate look try a 1.6mm twin needle. Choose a cording foot or pintucking foot. Try the 1.6mm needle for tiny pintucks. Try the 2.0mm for decorative stitches. Now, Choose a straight stitch or a decorative stitch that moves forward --actually, a multi-step zigzag works well. *Important* Make sure that you have set the stitch width narrow enough that your needle will not break as it moves through the stitch. Create a delicate band of color.
Back to top
Loosen your bobbin tension. This takes a little testing. Start with ˝ a turn and continue from there. You shouldn’t have to turn more than 2 revolutions. Be careful –that bobbin screw is very little! Bobbin thread should unwind when you gently pull on it, but there should be tension on the thread. [For sewing machines with a bobbin case, try suspending the bobbin in the case by holding the thread. (It should not unwind.) Give it a little jerk. If the thread drops just a turn that should work.] **NOTE: Most bobbin stitchers buy a second bobbin case: one for regular sewing and one which they adjust for thick threads.Thread your needle with regular sewing thread to match your bobbin thread or try YLI wonder thread or any other unfussy thread. Use a Schmetz 90/14 topstitching needle or embroidery or metafil needle. With thicker bobbin threads tighten your top tension to help bring the bobbin thread through the fabric (e.g. "6" if your usual tension is "4").
Place your fabric WRONG side up. Make sure your fabric is
well stabilized. Bring your Bobbin thread to the top. (If you can’t
do that, hold carefully onto the bobbin tail when you begin to sew.)
Back to top
GO!Hold both threads taut and begin to sew at a medium even speed. At the end of your stitching use a crewel needle and bring your thread tails to the back of your work and knot
Quilt block thread saver Fold over a 1 to
1 and ˝" square of fabric. Before starting to seam your quilt pieces
together. Sew onto this "starter square". Butt your first real
pieces up to your starter and sew off on to them. Butt your next pair of
pieces up to the first and "chain piece" away!. After stitching
your last pair of pieces, sew off onto your starter square and stop. No more
long thread tails!
Mexican Tucks: a fun embellishment technique which can be equally attractive on a delicate heirloom garment using batiste, or for a home dec or wearable art look using a wide variety of other fabrics. Try it with a wide striped fabric and make your tucks in line with the stripes. Or, try it with a plaid for another great look. How? Just mark your folds on your fabric with a water soluble pen, "Chaconer ", or other removable marker (test first!) Iron your pleats. Next sew a regular straight line across your folds about an inch away from the edge. Now mark a second line about 2 to 3 inches away from the first (depending on the thickness of the fabric and the look you want). If you have one, now is the time to attach your quilting guide and set it to sew repeated rows of equal distance without marking.) Turn your fabric and sew your second row in the opposite direction pushing your tucks to fold the opposite way as you go. Repeat turning and sewing across the width of your fabric. That’s all there is to it!
Loving your built in needle threader: Here are some tips to help you use your machine's built in needle threader successfully:
Keeping your needles straight: Sometimes it is hard to remember whether you last put a 90/14 or an 80/12 needle into your machine; or what kind of needle that is that you are holding in your hand (saved from a previous project) here are some ideas to avoid being needled by your needles:
Button hole marking: Cut a strip of water-soluable stabilizer the length of your buttonhole area. Pin to fabric. Using a pen that will not run, mark the placement of your button holes. After stitching -tear away excess stabilizer. Spritz any whiskers with water to make the stabilizer totally disappear.
Back to top
Expanding your vertical spool pin: If a spool of thread wobbles on your sewing machine's vertical spool pin this customer tip may help. -Slide a piece of narrow-diameter PVC pipe over the spool pin. Choose a diameter that slides easily over the spool pin but narrower than you thread spool opening.