Monday, February 25, 2013

Sewing Machine Needles: Twin & Triple Part A

Looking to jazz up your sewing?  Try stitching with a Twin or Triple needle.  Twin needles are sometimes called Double needles.  Two like needles mounted on a single needle bar with a single shank.  Twin needles are available in Denim, Embroidery, Metallic, Stretch and Universal.   

A Triple needle is sometimes called a Drilling needle.  Three Universal needles mounted on a single needle bar with a single shank to create three rows of parallel stitches.  With the Twin and Triple needles, two or three rows, respectfully, of stitches are created.  Miss-stitch . . .  and you have a lot of ripping out to do.

With every rule there is an exception.  This time it is the Double Hemstitch (Wing) needle.  There is no way you could get the width of two Hemstitch needles past your needle plate, so a Hemstitch needle is married up with a Universal needle. 

Hmmm, this brings up an important point . . . make sure your needle plate can accommodate the width of your twin needle and your stitches.  Use two spools of thread - or three if using the Triple needle - with your single bobbin.  Have some fun and use different colors of thread.  Twin needles can be used with decorative stitches and certainly with straight stitches, but again make sure your needle plate is wide enough.  Otherwise, what's the result?  A broken needle.

Happy, happy creative stitching!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Friend of SCHMETZ: Sandra Benoit

I love meeting new people.  I especially love learning the stories of quilters and sewists.  While waiting for the 2013 QuiltCon exhibition doors to open in Austin, TX, I had a delightful encounter with Sandra Benoit.  Our conversation opened while admiring each others eye glasses.  Mine are Italian, but Sandra's glasses are not only French, she bought them in person . . .  in Paris.  Voila!  Sandra loves to quilt and as a former math teacher incorporates mathematics into her quilt designs.  In fact she designs quilts in Excel spreadsheets!

Sandra's iPad was loaded with pics of her quilts:  A soothing, reflective Japanese garden quilt, a biblical quilt with each block telling a bible verse or story and a wedding quilt for her Islamic friend.  In this video Sandra explains the thought process in the creation of her Islamic floor tile inspired quilt and develops an eight point star using flying geese.  Really!

Thanks Sandra for your inspiring conversation and quilts.  Next time I open my Excel spreadsheet to plug in numbers, I will think of you designing beautiful, thoughtful and mathematical quilts. 

PS:  Sandra's favorite needles are SCHMETZ Microtex/Sharp 70/10 and Universal 70/10.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sewing Machine Needles: Color Coding

If you work on a variety of sewing projects, most likely you are stitching with different types of needles.  Did you know that five SCHMETZ needle types are color coded for easier identification?

I know I can hear you now... you can't read the needle size on the shank.  Sorry to say, you are not alone.  Yes, dig out that magnifying glass.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Worldwide Quilting Day - Win Prizes!

National Quilting Day has expanded to Worldwide Quilting Day!  From the USA to Canada, UK, Australia and beyond.  Local quilt shops will celebrate everything quilty!

Worldwide Quilting Day

Here's a great way for you to celebrate.  Every day starting February 16th leading up to a big event on March 16th, great prizes of fabrics and sewing notions will be given away - including a fabulous SCHMETZ tote bag filled with a SCHMETZ Quilting Gift Box, Needle Disposal Box and a "I Love SCHMETZ Needles" button.  Yes, goodies that every quilter can use.  For the online sweepstakes visit and to find out how to win.

Worldwide Quilting Day

Quilters are invited into their local quilt shops to stitch strip quilts on March 16th in the 7 Summits Strip Quilt Challenge.  Shops are challenged to quilt to the top of Mount McKinley with 152 quilts or even 218 quilts to reach Mount Everest.  That's a lot of quilts to stitch in a day! 

Support your local quilt shop and join the fun!. . . .  And don't forget to change your needle!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sewing Machine Needle: The Eye

That's not just a little piece of steel making your machine stitches.  German engineering designs, calculates, tests and inspects the SCHMETZ needle.  Take for instance the eye, did you know that needles have different eye shapes?

The most popular needle, the Universal, has an eye that is 40% the width of the blade.  Really!  There are three other needles with larger eyes, the Embroidery and even more pronounced is the elongated eye of the Metallic and Topstitch needles. 

Now what does a larger eye mean?  There is less friction on the thread as it passes through the eye.  Ever sew with a thread that breaks or tends to shred?  Guess what, use a needle with a larger eye.  If you have old thread or maybe a poor quality thread, use a needle with a larger eye.  The thread and needle work hard and fast.  Help them out when you can with a larger eye.