Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Cleaning A Closet?

Yesterday afternoon I had an unexpected burst of energy.  Ever lingering on my "To Do" list was clean the guest room closet.  This is where I keep my clothes that don't quite fit at the moment - but I'm certain they will next season, and a cadre of sewing supplies in pretty red plaid boxes, patterns, fabrics and other mysteries.  I just dug right in and started cleaning and organizing.  Surprisingly I found a lovely white on white cotton fabric that originally I bought for a quilt backing, but it was a little short. 

One of 20 Stippled Janome Motifs
 I love sewing and have been using a Janome 11000.  This machine is also an embroidery machine and has 24 built-in 4" x 4" motifs on a stippled background.  For some reason multi-tasking was the mode of my day.  If I have to clean I should reward myself with embroidery.  Right!  I cut up the white-on-white fabric and sandwiched in light weight batting.  Luckily I had enough fabric and white thread to embroider 20 lovely designs.  I used a SCHMETZ 80/12 Microtex.  This little project became addictive!  Pretty soon the clock struck midnight and I had only 6 more designs... finally at 2:00 AM the embroidery was complete and my closet was finished!  This was such fun!  Now I have to decide how to join the blocks.

Last Year's Apron from Mom
During my cleaning spree I also found an apron that my Mom made for me last Christmas.  The apron is made of fabric from a college sewing project - Mom hung on to that fabric for quite a while!  Maybe she found it while cleaning her own stash?  That got me to thinking about what I read on Rita Farro's November 21st blog about National Tie One On Day.  That's tie on an apron!  I don't think the pattern Mom used is a Mary Mulari Church Basement Ladies Apron pattern, but the apron sure is special to me.

Cleaning my closet has really come full circle in the last 24 hours.  That dreaded chore lead me to a wonderful embroidery project and uncovering Mom's apron in this season of Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for family and friends and the wonderful world of sewing.  Let each day be a day of thanksgiving . . .  and sewing.
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Rita Farro's blog
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 SCHMETZ Portfolio Designer - Kaye Wood

Kaye's Favorite Needle - Universal 70/10 and 80/12
Kaye Wood

"Most of my machine time is spent piecing quilts using cotton or poly cotton thread.  SCHMETZ is the needle that provides consistent stitch quality.  The Universal is my favorite needle type."

Kaye describes herself as a "Quilt Engineer".  She simplifies the quilt making process resulting in easier and more accurate techniques - while breaking a few "rules". 

Kaye began teaching the machine arts, especially free motion embroidery  in 1973.  Then one of her students asked how to do some of that "quilting stuff".  We know and love Kaye for teaching original techniques throughout the world in classes, lectures, books, patterns and through her PBS program now in its 40th season. 

DALCO Dimensions
Kaye Wood Stained Glass Diamond Iris

Being an original, Kaye developed her own line of quilting tools, the Starmaker(R) Master Templates and the View & Do Shapes.  If you are getting short on making a few last minute Christmas gifts, Kaye will show you how to quickly make Starmaker potholders.  These are stars without the hassle of matching points!  Check this link - - chock full of "how to" videos.  And guess what, viewing is FREE!
View and Do Shapes

Kaye loves cruises.  She's taken quilters on 25 cruises!  Sounds like great fun to me - quilting, friends & food!  In June 2011 she will be cruising with the Round Bobbin Sew Fun Cruise. 

Pinwheel Hearts

Kaye is also well know for her charity quilt project, The LoveQuilt Connection.  At consumer shows around the country, you will find volunteers stitching LoveQuilt projects for donation to local charities. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --

Thursday, November 11, 2010

2010 SCHMETZ Portfolio Designer - Janet Pray

Janet's Favorite Needle:  Jeans 90/14
"When constructing my Double Green Shopping Bags made from recycled blue jeans this needle works wonderfully sewing through crossed or flat felled seams like a dream.  I have used SCHMETZ needles exclusively for over 25 years!"
Janet Pray
Janet is a fiber artist, fiber arts teacher, sewing instructor and business woman.  She began her sewing industry career by creating a unique line of artistic women's clothing.  Her specialties were coats and scarves sold at fine art fairs and boutiques.  Her career has greatly expanded by developing the largest independent sewing expo - The American Sewing Expo held annually in Novi, Michigan.
The American Sewing Expo
The Largest Independent Sewing Expo in the World!
Janet teaches industrial sewing techniques developed by her aunt, Margaret Islander.  Janet now owns Islander Sewing Systems Company which publishes Janet's clothing patterns.  Her pattern directions are easy to follow and I love the time saving industrial sewing shortcuts.
Irish Coat
This is My Favorite Islander Sewing Systems Pattern
Between writing books and developing DVDs, Janet has found time to share her love of sewing with even more people by creating the National Sewing Council, a non-profit organization focused on encouraging more people to experience the joy of sewing.  Janet serves at the Executive Director.

The Sew Creative Lounge hosted by the National Sewing Council
in Chicago at the CHA Craft Super Show, July 2010
Brenda Rogerson shares her love of sewing with a free Make & Take project
 Janet's work never ends.  Find out more about her shows, patterns and publications at these websites:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, November 4, 2010

International Quilt Market in Houston

My annual ritual is to visit International Quilt Market in Houston.  New products are presented.  Orders are written.  Events are planned.  Business is done.  Between conversations with vendors, designers and all the eye candy of new fabrics and notions, it is easy to "overload". . .  but I'm not complaining.  Here are a few friends of SCHMETZ:

Karin Hellalby
UK Teacher, Author & Quilters Haven Shop Owner
Delighted to Show Her 7 Book Covers on Her iPad

Barbara Weiland Talbert
Signing Her Latest Book The Sewing Answer Book

Betsey & Margaret
MorninGlory Designs
Modelling their Newest Jacket Designs

Donna, Indygo Junction
Modeling Midtown Trench

Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions by Indygo Junction
Delves into the life of Mary Brooks Picken.  What an inspiration!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 SCHMETZ Portfolio Designer - Luveta Nickels

Luveta's Favorite Needles:

"Jean Queen" and the "Denim Diva"
 Jeans 80/12, 90/14 and Topstitch 90/14
Luveta says "Jeans needles are a must for recycling jeans.  Penetration is greater with less stress on the sewing machine.  I find the smaller the point the better.  The Topstitch needle is a must in every aspect of sewing or embellishing.  It performs like none other when trying to match previous jean flat-felled seams.  I like to use two threads of my favorite color through the same eye of a Topstitch needle.  This allows a more pronounced stitch without threads fraying.

Frequently nicknamed the "Jean Queen" and the "Denim Diva", Luveta has been recycling jeans for 20 years.  Frequently seen at the American Sewing Expo, the Sewing and Stitchery Expo and State Fairs, Luveta's popular seminars are jam-packed with finished samples of her easy, but professional techniques.  Luveta has written books, designed patterns and invented many notions specific to sewing on recycled jeans. 

When sewing on jeans have you found sewing through the flat-felled seams difficult?  The answer is Luveta's very own invention!  The Jean-A-Ma-Jig to help move over the seam without skipped stitches.


Pink Thrill of the Drill
Use bleach in a controlled, splatter-free manner
And for something thrilling.... try the Pink Thrill of the Drill!  for adding bleach in a controlled manner to decorate your jeans.

French Grommets embellish Junk Jean Jackets
Luveta imports special Grommets from France to embellish her Gone Wild jackets. Finely finished, they add a special touch - a special sparkle to jean and non-denim jackets.

Luveta is a rancher from South Dakota.  She is passionate about recycling blue jeans!  Her website is

- - - - - - - - --- - - - - - -