Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thread Tuesday

Polyester embroidery thread -- Popular and economical, polyester thread provides an effect similar to rayon and comes in various colors. It won't shrink, fade, or bleed, so it's great for children's clothes. Rayon thread has a slightly higher sheen than polyester thread, but the two are interchangeable and perform similarly without breaking or fraying. When they're combined in a single design, it's hard to tell the difference.

Bobbin thread and Needles
Heavy weight. Usually Identified as quilting thread.
Bobbin; The same as the top thread. Or regular weight piecing thread.
Needle; Top stitching 100/16 or 120/18
Medium weight, all purpose polyester.
Bobbin; The same as the top thread. Or Machine embroidery thread.
Needle; Sharp or denim 80/12 or Quilting 75/11
Light weight, embroidery polyester thread
Bobbin; The same as the top thread. Or Machine embroidery thread.
Needle; Sharp 70/11, 80/12 or Quilting or embroidery 90/14.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quilts of Valor

Went to sew at Carol's last week to make blocks for the troops. My friends and I made lots of blocks!

Found out the real deal. Blocks need to be 12" finished. Red, white and blue, is preferred and can be red fabric, white fabric, blue fabric or any combination. If you want to make a quilt or even a top, they can be anything! She will even quilt them! Just make sure it is 55-72" x 65-90".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thread Tuesday

Stopping at a thread rack these days is like visiting a candy store -- there are so many delicious threads to choose from. All of these choices can be intimidating, even to the seasoned sewer. But experimenting with threads can expand your color and texture palettes and add new life to your designs, no matter what kind of stitching is you passion. For the next few Tuesdays I’ll look at the threads available to us and tips on how to use them successfully.

Thread, like fabric, is made from either synthetic or natural fibers, or both, and each has its own appeal.

Rayon thread -- This thread is very a popular choice overall because of its attractive high sheen, widespread availability, and consistent trouble-free performance, holding up to high-speed stitching without breaking or fraying. Rayon thread comes in a wide range of solid and variegated colors, as well as in a new "twist" thread composed of two or more solid colors twisted together to form a single strand, which adds automatic shading and dimension to flat designs. Most rayon threads are available in a standard 40 wt. and a thicker 30 wt. (in terms of thread sizing, the higher the number, the finer the thread).

Bobbin thread and Needles
Rayon#30 & #35
Bobbin; Machine embroidery or regular weight piecing thread.
Needle; Sharp, denim, embroidery or Quilting size 90/14.
Rayon #40
Bobbin; The same as the top thread. Or Machine embroidery thread.
Needle; Sharp 60/10, 70/11, 80/12, Denim 70/11, 80/12, or Quilting 75/11.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Guest Artist - Friends of Greenwood Public Library

Hi Melody,

Just wanted to let you know that we have finished our Star Bright quilt and are now selling raffle tickets on it and two other prizes. I have put all the information on our library's website.

We are offering tickets for sale by mail if anyone is interested--the info on how to do that is posted on the website also. If you were to mention it on your blog, we would really appreciate it!

We are getting lots of compliments on the quilt and the colors. It's quilted by machine in a design called Cowboy Stars, which nicely complements the pattern.

Judy Foucher
Greenwood Public Library
P.O. Box 279
Greenwood, BC V0H 1J0
Ph./FAX 250-445-6111

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fremont Fair

The Fremont Fair is one of Seattle’s most beloved neighborhood street festivals, featuring a weekend of eclectic activities that celebrate the quirky community of Fremont, the self-proclaimed “center of the universe.” Held annually in mid-June to coincide with the Summer Solstice, the event draws more than 100,000 people to shop, eat, drink, mingle, groove, and enjoy all manners of creative expression. Artistic highlights include craft and art booths, street performers, local bands, wacky decorated art cars.

It's always fun...even in the rain!
The street fair features nice art including glass Oberini Glass.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Guest Artist - Sherry Galloway

Sherry took a Simple Surfaces work shop recently, she sent me great pictures of a painted project. She says "I mostly finished a small project that I stenciled with the paint sticks. I’m very pleased with what it is so far. I have plans to add additional embellishments but wanted to get it to this stage for pictures. It is made out of salvage edges that were save by others for me.

I won’t be getting more as they (the donors) want to make one for them selves."

Sherry Galloway

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm in love with a new thread.

I am busy stitching on the quilts for my new book Stitching Through the Layers; The Art & Elegance of Straight Line Quilting. And I'm in love with a new thread. Deco Bob by Wonderfil Threads. It is a 80wt - 2 ply Polyester thread that creates high definition for any quilt stitch. It is easy to use, I threaded the top with it, but a cotton embroidery thread in the bobbin and off I went. No tension adjustment necessary! Great for bobbin thread for machine embroidery, top & bottom thread for quilting, digitized lace designs, and excellent for hidden stitching. And it's available in 36 colors.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Quilt Show


What is the color of Africa? The namaqualand daisy exemplifies Africa in color. Brilliant yellow-orange with contrasting black. Violet...glowing cerise blossoms. The mass of color is intense and almost blinding in the clear african sunlight.

Even the place names of Namaqualand are captivating; Nababeep, Liliefontein, Kanariesfontein, Tweerivier.

This quilt is machine pieced using commercial cotton fabrics. The machine quilting highlights the use of specialty threads.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thread - The Basics

There are so many standards of thread measurement that it’s difficult to keep them straight. The most common methods are weight, denier (DEN yeer) and Tex (weight in grams per 1000 meters of thread).

To simplify this thread confusion, think about thread as light, medium and heavy weight.

Heavy weight threads are Tex 40-90.
Medium weight threads are Tex 27-35.
Light weight threads are Tex 10-24.

When choosing thread, the best method is to use both your eyes and fingers. Look at the thread, feel it, and choose the type that will provide the results you want. Remember that one of the most overlooked properties when choosing thread is not the color. Often it’s the value, i.e., the lightness or darkness, of the thread that’s important. Do you want the thread to ‘pop’ or just to add texture? Trust your senses when you decide.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Last month was the best month ever for quilt donations (more than 300!), can you help AAQI make June the best SALE month?

Check out the great quilts for sale. Here are just two!
Audrey Arno
Tuttle, OK

Width: 7.75" Length: 7.75"

Materials/Techniques: Made from a variety of printed fabrics with a technique inspired by Maggie Ball's Bargello Quilts with a Twist article in American Quilter. The blocks were reduced in size considerably and needed a different ratio of patch widths; then 16 blocks were maneuvered into this design.

Artist's Statement: When I was quite young I decided that blue and green didn't go together and refused to wear clothes with that color combination. My thinking changed when a grade school art teacher whom I really liked said that green and blue were the most natural color scheme, since it was all around us, in the sky and the plants on earth. The green patches in this quilt reminded me of the fields showing through the clouds when looking out at the sky from an airplane window.

Susan Chambers
Belleville, Ontario Canada

Width: 8.25" Length: 10.75"

Materials/Techniques: Fabric, Batting, and Embroidery Floss, Wonder Under.

Artist's Statement: I had this idea in my head about making these flowers with wonder under. My sister and I go away for a weekend every spring for shopping, eating, crafts, and very little sleep. We usually bring a bottle of wine for the weekend and pour out what we don't finish (not big party animals!). This year while working on our little quilts, we polished off the whole bottle! We both had a lot of fun making working with this technique.

Dedication: I have been a seamstress my entire life and have been quilting for over 20 years. I work as a Personal Support Worker and have worked with many people affected by Alzheimer’s, including my husband's Aunt Norma.