Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Machine Neeldes

I like to learn new things, sometimes 'new' is new to me, sometimes it is something I forgot. I recently ran into some needle info I thought I would share with you.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Colonial English Needles

I like nice tools. They just make sewing so much more fun. One of the things I have learned along the way is; all needles are not created equal. Years ago I found the perfect needle in my stash of stuff. It cut threads, was impossible to thread. For a while I thought it was me, maybe I was just having a bad day? Then I realize the it was one I inherited from my mother. Now I must confess, my Mom died over 30 years ago, so the needle was old! 
I now use Colonial Needles Their needles are sold under the Colonial, John James, Richard Hemming, S. Thomas and Roxanne brands. Be sure to check out their web site for some great information.
Ask for them at your local quilt shop!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All About Hand Sewing Needles

Selecting a suitable needle can make the difference between an easy job well done and a hard one that lacks finesse. The needle chosen should be compatible with the thread you wish to use. Hand sewing needles are classified by type and size, each designed for a specific use. Choose the type of needle according to the job it will be doing, and the size of the needle according to the thread it will be pulling through the fabric. The finer the fabric, the sharper and more slender the needle should be.

Melody's TIP: The smaller the size number, the longer and thicker the needle.

There are many types of needles to choose from;

·        Betweens or quilting needles are very short, round-eyed needles. Use them to make fine, short, sturdy stitches.

·        Sharps are all-purpose medium length needles with small rounded eyes used for applique and general sewing.

·        Straw and milliner needles are long and slender with small, rounded eyes. These slender needles are used for applique.

·        Chenille needles are short, thick needles with long, oval eyes and sharp points. The longer eye allows multiple strands of embroidery floss, pearl cotton & silk ribbon to be threaded easily. For silk ribbon embroidery these needles are used to make stitches that pierce the fabric.

·        Tapestry needles are short and thick with large eyes and blunt points. The long oval eye carries silk ribbon and other bulkier threads easily. These blunt needles are often used for wrapped stitches seen in silk ribbon embroidery.

·        Embroidery needles are medium length with long oval eyes. They have two advantages; a long eye for easy threading and a very sharp point that will pierce close-woven fabrics.

·        Beading needles are extremely long and fine with a small round eye; generally used for beading due to their flexibility.





hand quilting

cotton sewing size 50 (standard)
general sewing
(large eye)
#8 pearl cotton

size B or D nymo
cotton sewing size 30 (machine embroidery)

cotton sewing size 50 (standard)
general sewing
cotton sewing size 30 (machine embroidery)
six strands of floss
embroidery or tying
and Tapestry
4 mm silk ribbon
silk ribbon embroidery

#3 pearl cotton
embroidery or tying

7 mm silk ribbon
silk ribbon embroidery
two strands of floss

#8 pearl cotton

#5 pearl cotton
size B nymo
Threading that small eye can be frustrating. Here are some helpful pointers:

·        Wet the eye of the needle not the thread.

·        The eye of the needle is made by a stamping process that leaves the opening on one side of the eye larger that the other side. Thread from the ‘larger’ side.

·        Thread a supply of needles in the morning while your eyes are fresh.

·        Have someone else thread a supply of needles for you.

·        When all else fails buy a good needle threader.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Some how I missed posting these great purses started at Quilt Festival in Houston.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Parisienne Rose

My creation, Parisienne Rose, captures the romance and excitement you would expect to see at a glittering ball in one of Europe’s capital cities, or perhaps gracing a shop window along the Champs d’Elise, enticing delighted passers-by to take a closer look.See it along with other BERNINA garments in this retrospective.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

veterans dayVeterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day–a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stitching Thread - Two at a Time

Stitching with a double needle can have some really wonderful effects. Double needles sit two on a crossbar and are designed to be inserted into the machine at one time and sew the corresponding number of rows simultaneously. Double needles are sized both according to the millimeters between the needles and by the size of the needles. Keep in mind that when you use a double needle the stitching on the back is a zigzag because you have only the one bobbin catching both top threads.
Not very interesting - but there is 12 wt cotton on top &  poly in the bobbin - 4.0/100 needle
WAY better,Yellow 12 wt, 30 wt orange, yellow embroidery thread in the bobbin, 4.0/100 needle, tension @2.0.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Redwork encompasses any type of embroidery worked in red thread on white or natural-colored fabric (usually muslin). This style of embroidery is most commonly worked in basic surface stitches. Redwork has been commonly used in folk embroidery since stable dyes were developed in Turkey (hence the old name of Turkey Work), and was very popular from 1880 through the early 1900's.

Seams to me that it is very popular now too. I've been playing around with it too. I have adjusted colors and styles to suit my needs.
Three strands of embroidery floss, with Dream Poly batt on the back, this was fun to stitch no need for a hoop with the batting.

Bobbin quilting - regular tension -75 quilting needle, hand dyed rayon in the bobbin, filament poly on top. The flower is hand guided but the wavy line is a programmed stitch.

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Find in Houston from Karen Kay Buckley

This ingenious ruler is four rulers in one package.  The five piece ruler easily snaps together to form a 6 inch, 12 inch, 18 inch or 24 inch length depending on your needs.  It has clear and accurate grid markings along with 30, 45 and 60 degree markings.  This ruler will become your perfect travel campion as it stores easily in a handy felt bag.  It is great when you are at home or on the go. Check it out!

Ask for it at you local quilt shop!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Use an Edgestitch Foot

An Edge Stitch or Top Stitch Foot have a guide running down the middle of the foot, which can be lined up against the edge of a piece of fabric or in a seam for perfect stitch placement.

With the Edge Stitch foot, you can Topstitch (stitch to the side of a seam) by adjusting the needle position to the left or right. Topstitching prevents seams from rolling and gives your project a finished and more professional look. Great for collars, pockets, and tops of purses, bags, and totes! We love it for finishing the edges of bag handles. Position both the blade and needle in the center of the seam, and have fun stitching perfectly placed decorative stitches on crazy patch blocks. When using this foot, follow these steps for success.
Top stitching, with the needle adjusted to the left.