Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Toby the Tech, Bringing Your Weekly Tip :)

Toby the Tech, bringing you tips and techniques to prevent tantrums by helping with thread tangles, triangles, and all your sewing trials and tribulations!

This week Toby continues his series on thread by sharing his knowledge of proper thread storage. Much care and thought is often put into picking the perfect place to store our fabric and rightly so, however thread storage is just as important but where we store our thread is often given little to no thought.
 Toby would like to change that, here are his top tips on thread storage:
  

1) Stay away from the freezer! Somehow, the rumor that the best place to store thread is in the freezer became quite popular. Unfortunately it couldn't be more wrong! Freezers dehydrate everything that is put in them, and while this is good for food because it helps preserve it, it is very bad for your thread. Freezing thread causes it to become quite brittle and greatly weakens the fibers. Remember, thread doesn't spoil so it has no reason to be in your freezer.

2) Keep it out of the sun! The windowsill may seem like a good place for your thread, after all its an empty space that allows you to easily see all of the lovely colors that you have, but in fact this is the worst place for your thread. Long-term exposure to direct sunlight is horrible for thread. Not only does it fade the colors but it also weakens the fibers. Plus leaving your thread sitting out on a windowsill exposes it to dust, which brings us to tip number 3.

3) Keep it away from dust! While dust isn't inherently bad for thread, it is bad for your sewing machine. A dusty spool of thread is very likely to clog your machine. The best place to store your thread is somewhere dark, dry and protected, like a drawer or storage bin.

4) How do you know if your thread is still good? If your thread is polyester then it is good to go, no matter how long it has been in storage. Natural fiber thread, like cotton, on the other hand does degrade over time and can become too weak to use. Most modern cotton threads are made in such a way that they resist rot and will stay strong for many years, some brands even claim that their thread can stay strong for many decades. However, cotton thread that was produced 15 or more years ago does not have anywhere near the shelf life that modern thread does. The best way to test whether your old thread is still good to sew with, is grab both ends of a foot long piece of thread and pull as hard as you can. If it breaks cleanly with a nice snap then it is still strong, but if it pulls apart easily then it is no good.



That's all Toby has for this week. Be sure to check back next Tuesday for the next installment of Toby the Tech's thread tip series! If you are having any problems that you think Toby can help with, please let him know in the comments (you can even do it anonymously without a creating a Google account), or stop by the shop and tell Shelby as she is Toby's secretary and does all of his typing for him (it can be very hard to type with fuzzy little paws).

 P.S. Toby would love to hear feedback from you. Let him know if you think he is doing a good job, or if he has things which he could improve on. Just leave him a comment :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

We Just Love These Crazy Wall Hangings :)

The crazy quilting ladies depicted on these wall hangings are perfect to decorate your sewing room or to give as a gift to a crazy quilter you may know :) Both of these are sure to be plenty of fun for someone who enjoys applique and are a good way to use up some scraps.

This pattern comes with a "Quilt Diva" pin that can either be pinned to the finished wall hanging or worn. We are selling this pattern for $10.00.


We are selling this pattern for $12.00.




Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Prints from Blank!

We thought these were just so pretty that we had to get them. They would look excellent in a kaleidoscope quilt or as four-patch posy blocks. We think they would makes some pretty awesome totes and purses too. All of these we are selling for $8.50 per yard.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Patchwork Pigs at Play Wall Hanging Kits Now Available!

This wall hanging was designed to hang in a nursery or children's room but would also make a great gift for anyone who likes pigs.The kits include the pictured sky and grass fabrics, pre-cut/pre-fused sunflower and fence pieces, the patchwork pigs patterns, and extra fusible for your patchwork pigs. No fabric is included for the pigs or the border (batting, backing, and binding are also not included) allowing you to make this wall hanging truly your own, and scraps are absolutely perfect for the pigs. These Lavender Cottage exclusive kits are priced at $19.95 each.

a Lavender Cottage exclusive: "Patchwork Pigs at Play" wall hanging, designed by Shelby Townley

Stormy Coast Wall Hanging Kits Now Available!

Everyone loved  the Stormy Coast wall hanging that Shelby designed so much, that we decided to kit it up :) The kits include everything to make the center panel of the wall hanging (borders, batting, backing, and binding not included) and we are charging $29.95 for them. There is limited availability on these, as we no longer have in stock the lightning fabric we used, so get them while they last!

a Lavender Cottage exclusive: "Stormy Coast" wall hanging, designed by Shelby Townley

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

More Ombre Dots!

We just got in the rest of our ombre dot fabric :)
Pink, Aqua, and Lime Ombre Dots

Like the previous ones, we are selling these dots for $8.50 per yard. Our other ombre dot colors can be viewed here. If you are wondering what to pair these with, take a look at our hand-dyed ombres. They look beautiful together.

Toby the Tech, Bringing Your Weekly Tip

Toby the Tech, bringing you tips and techniques to prevent tantrums by helping with thread tangles, triangles, and all your sewing trials and tribulations!

This week begins our series on one of the most overlooked but extremely important part of sewing: Thread! Over the next few weeks we will discuss all things thread, from proper storage to common thread myths, and everything in between. Today Toby would like to share his knowledge on the different types of thread.

Polyester Thread: This is the strongest and most colorfast thread there is. It also produces very little lint. Polyester thread can be used in most projects and it won't rot over time like cotton will. For years polyester thread has been considered inferior to cotton but modern poly threads are softer and feel cotton-like, so it is gaining in popularity.
Cotton Thread: This is the second strongest thread. It also produces the most lint, however long staple Egyptian cotton threads produce very little lint and are even stronger than regular cotton thread. Examples of long staple Egyptian cotton threads are Aurifil, Signature, and Superior Threads. Cotton thread can be used in any project.
Rayon Thread: This is the weakest of the thread types and is really only used in embroidery. Rayon does have a lovely sheen which is why it is favored for decorative use.
Silk Thread: This is another very strong, durable, colorfast thread. It is also lint free. Different types of silk threads are used in different types of projects, so care must be taken when selecting an appropriate silk thread. Common uses for silk threads are applique, quilting, embroidery, and embellishment. One benefit of silk thread is that it is dye-able allowing you to create your own unique colors.
Nylon Thread: This is used in upholstery, heavy-duty stitching and as a fusible thread (a type of thread that can be melted for use in temporarily adhering applique pieces onto the background fabric). Most invisible mono-filament threads are made from nylon. The reasons for not using nylon thread in everyday projects are numerous with the biggest being that it has a very low melting temperature so it cannot be used in any project that requires ironing or one that may be placed in a dryer, it will yellow or discolor over time, and it becomes very brittle with age. 

That's all Toby has for this week, while he is quite knowledgeable about thread he prefers a good old ball of yarn as much more fun can be had with it ;) Be sure to check back next Tuesday for the next installment of Toby the Tech's thread tip series! If you are having any problems that you think Toby can help with, please let him know in the comments (you can even do it anonymously without a creating a Google account), or stop by the shop and tell Shelby as she is Toby's secretary and does all of his typing for him (it can be very hard to type with fuzzy little paws).

 P.S. Toby would love to hear feedback from you. Let him know if you think he is doing a good job, or if he has things which he could improve on. Just leave him a comment :)