Wednesday, August 27, 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!

Toby and his secretary apologize for the delay in posting, college is back in session and Shelby (the secretary) has been very busy with this first week back!

This week continues the thread series with Toby busting some common thread myths. Proving that you can't always believe what you hear (no matter how many times you hear it!), Toby shares his knowledge and sheds some light on these common thread myths.
  
Myth #1: Polyester thread will tear cotton fabric. The Truth: This is completely false. If a thread ever appears to tear your quilted project it is because it won the strength contest. If a quilt is subjected to a lot of heavy use and stress (like if your kids are playing tug of war with it on a regular basis) eventually something will give and it will be whatever the weakest component is (it could be the thread or the fabric). Many modern threads can stand up to more abuse than our fabrics, so if you abuse your quilt the fabric could tear while the thread remains no matter if your thread used was cotton, polyester, silk, etc. The lesson here is to not use your quilts roughly.

Myth #2: Black thread is weaker than other colored threads. The Truth: This is one of those that is sometimes true. Occasionally black thread is created by dyeing over an incorrectly dyed thread as a way to reduce waste. This is called over-dyeing and when it happens it can weaken the thread. Most companies that sell high-quality thread do not practice over-dyeing but less reputable companies might. This is just another reason to buy only high quality thread.

Myth #3: Your machine is only programmed to use a certain brand/type of thread. The Truth: This is completely false. Sewing machines are designed to use almost any kind of thread, you just need to make sure you are using the proper needle type and that your tension is set correctly for the type of thread you are using. If a dealer, repair-person, or shop owner ever tells you that your machine only works with a certain brand/type of thread it is probably because they are paid to endorse a particular company's thread (this is a fairly common practice).

Myth #4: Using pre-wound bobbins will void your machines warranty. The Truth: This one is also completely false. Not only will using a pre-wound bobbin not void your warranty but many sewing machine companies also sell pre-wound bobbins! To avoid any mishaps with your projects, just make sure the pre-wound bobbin you are using contains a high quality thread and is designed to fit your machine.


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 :) 

More Backings!!!

Our backing collection keeps on growing :) These new additions are 110" wide and we are selling them for $12.50 per yard.

Charcoal, Plum, and Slate-Blue


Sand, Burgundy, and Pink


Lime-Green and Aqua

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Purse Patterns

We just got in two new purse patterns. Both of them are from Whistle Pig Creek Productions, who are the makers of the very popular "Pockets A Plenty" purse pattern (which we now have back in stock).

This pattern is designed to be used with Jelly Rolls, one Jelly Roll will make all three bags pictured. These bags can also be made with scraps, the fabric requirements for each of the bags is listed on the back. We are selling this pattern for $7.50.


This pattern contains instructions to make two different bags. The first bag measures 12"h x 13"w x 4 1/2"d and the second bag measures 13"h x 13 1/2"w x 4 1/2"d. We are selling this patter for $7.50.

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