Friday, June 25, 2010

2010 SCHMETZ Portfolio Designer - Rebecca Kemp Brent

Rebecca's Favorite Needle - Hemstitch, sometimes known as a Wing needle

Rebecca says, "I love heirloom sewing with laces and sheer batiste, but have also found that decorative stitches sewn with a hemstitch needle enhance everyday sewing projects. Try stitching vertical rows on the front of a shirt or blouse for a grown-up version of heirloom stitchery. Use a hemstitch needle and decorative stitch to quilt fabric and batting for a really unexpected touch. My favorite technique of all may be using a hemstitch needle for programmed machine embroidery; the digitized design mimics hand-sewn fil tire and other drawn or pulled thread techniques."

Rebecca is a freelance writer, editor, educator and designer specializing in creative ways to use computerized sewing and embroidery machines and software. Her newest book is Redwork from the Workbasket.  Check your local store for a copy.  You find Rebecca's articles in many popular sewing magazine.  In fact since 2001 she has published over 150 articles in such national publications as Creative Machine Embroidery, Sew News, Sewing Savvy and Quilting & Embroidery as well as on the internet. She is experienced in theatrical costuming and apparel manufacturing and works behind the scenes as a technical editor for Stitch magazine and other creative titles.
Samples of Rebecca's work are frequently seen in consumer and trade show displays for Creative DRAWings® software and Coats & Clark products. She has been a featured artist on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, and is the designer of the 2-4-6-8 Pocket Bag Collection pattern.
Learn more about Rebecca at and

What's YOUR favorite Needle?

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

RECYCLED DENIM DAY! 2010 Sewing & Stitchery Expo

Don't you just love denim! The more you wear denim the more comfy it becomes. Denim is almost like a security blankie except you wear it... accessorize it with embroidery, bling and rips... dress your denim up or down.

No one does denim better than The Denim Diva - Luveta Nickels. Check out her stash! ... and this is only a small corner of her denim stash. Luveta and I partnered up and designated Friday, February 26th, 2010 Recycled Denim Day. We challenged Sewing and Stitchery Expo participants to recycle their denim and wear their creations on Friday then pose with the SCHMETZ "Super" Needle. What fun! We saw a very creative range of projects - totes, beautiful suits, dresses, jackets, quilts and . . . . . a doggie diaper! Yes, we saw a very creative range of projects!

At the end of the day about 200 Recycled Denim Divas gathered for drawings and a group picture. If you missed my earlier posts, go to March 16 to April 21 to see all the denim ingenuity from the Puyallup show. Plus there are even more show pictures taken with the SCHMETZ "Super" Needle from other show days.

How do YOU recycle denim?


Monday, June 14, 2010

2010 SCHMETZ Portfolio Designer - Sandra Betzina

Sandra's Favorite SCHMETZ Needle - Jeans 70/10

The Jeans needle is Sandra's favorite "all purpose" needle, especially for sewing on fine silks, light-weight cottons and rayons.  Plus Sandra finds the Jeans needle works beautifully when making buttonholes.

Sandra Betzina is the author of my favorite sewing reference book More Fabric Savvy. No longer do you need to remember all those little sewing details - fabric preparations, best seams & hems for specific fabrics and of course, what needle and assorted notions to use with specific fabrics. All your sewing details are laid out in this wonderfully easy to use reference book. Who can remember all those details any way?

Besides designing a full line of patterns for Vogue under "Today's Fit" tab, Sandra has authored Fast Fit, Power Sewing Step-by-Step, Sandra Sews for the Home and No Time to Sew and produced a skill series of 11 DVDs. Sandra now hosts a new Web-TV show called The Power Sewing WebTV Show. With co-host Ron Collins, they show techniques that make every sewing project a success.
Finally a terrific show about garment sewing!
View for free shows and to enroll.

Sandra is the "power" behind "Power Sewing"!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Mystery of the Little Red Dots!

Although I consider myself a quilter, I have returned to sewing garments. What fun it is to shop & sew with so many different fabric types, textures and colors. I consider myself to be pretty good at sewing, but fit - well you know how fit can foil even the most precisely executed garment. So, I've been sewing outside my comfort zone and trying new patterns. My current sewing project is a Fashion in Harmony Magic Bias dress. What fun! The fabric is a jersey knit with overlapping quarter size circles of white, beige, black & midnight blue. This pattern has been so very fun to sew with excellent instructions. The dress seam swirls around my body, while the sleeve seams swirl around my arms. 

While sewing I noticed a series of tiny red dots all in an even row running parallel to the raw edges of my seams. These little red dots almost looked like minuscule mites, except they didn't move. What in the world could these dots be? Where are they coming from? I was sewing at the end of a work day and my lipstick was still somewhat fresh. Imagine… I was using my super thin Swiss Iris pins and holding them between my pursed lips before securing my fabric pieces together. Each pin had just a hint of Fire & Ice lipstick!

What needle did I sew with? SCHMETZ, of course. A SCHMETZ Stretch 75!  What's YOUR Favorite SCHMETZ needle? 


Friday, June 4, 2010

2010 SCHMETZ Portfolio Designer: Carol Ahles

Carol's Favorite SCHMETZ Needle - Twin

For Carol Ahles' stitching with twin needles opens many practical as well as creative possibilities: Stitch two perfectly even rows of topstitching or decorative stitching simultaneously; Stitch both sides of a narrow ribbon or trim at the same time; Add texture and/or color, especially when the stitching is corded; Creatively hem a garment or disguise the crease line when letting down a hem; Create pintucks on light-to-medium-weight fabrics for a classic heirloom look; Embellish sheer fabrics with a shadow-work effect.

Carol is known for her many years of contributing to Threads and Creative Needle magazines and her best-selling book, Fine Machine Sewing. She is a lifelong sewer and former fabric store owner and sewing machine dealer. She has taught thousands of students in North America and Australia how to use any sewing machine to its fullest potential. Carol is now the distributor of heirloom sewing tools that are made using the best traditional English finishing methods. Check out Carol's website for her teaching schedule and beautiful sewing tools -

   What's YOUR favorite SCHMETZ needle?