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Susan's Blog – June 2009 Archive (19)

Quilts of Love


"Wounded warriors around the country are being wrapped in love and prayers, thanks to a ministry stitched together by Circle Sewing Studios in Woodbridge and the Protestant Parish of the Quantico Chapel.

The Wounded Warrior Quilt Ministry has donated and distributed nearly 50 quilts to injured service members since it began its work last year. Retired Air Force Reserve Major Carol Westin and her husband, retired Air Force Master Sergeant Alan…

Added by Susan on June 30, 2009 at 6:56pm — No Comments

Stitch, in time

Mastering art of sewing own clothes takes practice, patience – and a pal

Emma Downs - The Journal Gazette

Somewhere around my 25th attempt to sew my own skirt, I started to cry.

This was a last resort, as I’d already tried throwing things, sighing loudly at fabric stores, tearing apart garments with a pair of gardening shears and drinking shots of tequila...

[… Continue

Added by Susan on June 30, 2009 at 6:52pm — 3 Comments

Where Is Your Side Seam?

By Marian Lewis That may seem like a dumb question, but it really isn't. You may answer, "At my side, of course!" But, "where" at your side? Do you know where your side seam should be? Most folks believe that their side seams are halfway between their front and their back. That's because ready-to-wear and sewing pattern companies make their products for evenly balanced bodies. How many people do you know who are evenly balanced front to back? Most of us have larger tummies that offset that… Continue

Added by Susan on June 24, 2009 at 6:39am — 3 Comments

Turning your Quilting Hobby Into A Business

Are you a hobbyist quilter or a part-time quilter looking to

make money from your quilting passion? Are you having a difficult time selling your work? If the answer is yes, then check this out.

Study the market before you begin If you are serious about turning your quilts into money, it's very important that you research the market before you begin trying to sell. Studying the market helps you find what types… Continue

Added by Susan on June 21, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

Are You Sure You Know Where You Are Stitching When You Sew?

By Marian Lewis Are you really sewing 5/8" seams or is it slightly more or less? If you are following the markings on your sewing machine throat plate, I hate to tell you, but they aren't 5/8", etc. The toes of your regular presser foot are not a good guide for 1/4" seams either. Check them out and you will see that they are generally more than 1/4". There is one exception to this that I know of and that is the "little foot" that was made especially for quilters to do 1/4" wide straight… Continue

Added by Susan on June 21, 2009 at 8:50am — 3 Comments

Stop Backstitching When You Sew! Eliminate That "Homemade" Look

By Marian Lewis When you sew, why do you backstitch when you begin and end a seam? Most of you backstitch because someone on your sewing learning path said you should do that to keep your seams from coming apart. Well, now, I want you to forget that reverse button and listen to some common sense stuff! When you backstitch, you go forward, back and forward again, right? That puts 3 layers of stitching at the beginning and end of every seam. Even if you back up straight, which is almost… Continue

Added by Susan on June 21, 2009 at 8:42am — 13 Comments

Are Your Kids Saying, "I'm Bored?" Teach Them Some Sewing Skills This Summer

By Carol Boles I’ve been sewing since I was a teenager and still do. Over the years I’ve made everything from curtains to quilts - even the purses I carry. Summer has barely begun, even so you’ve probably already heard, “I’m bored.” So, why not introduce your older children to

sewing while

teaching them a skill they will use the rest of their lives.… Continue

Added by Susan on June 20, 2009 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

How Much Bias Binding Can You Cut From A Square Of Fabric

By Marian Lewis If you have been frustrated in the past trying to figure out how much bias you need and how much fabric you need for it, here is a simple formula to help you determine just how much bias you can cut from a square of fabric no matter what width of bias you want. Keep this handy in your sewing notebook for future reference. Bias Formula To Determine How Much Bias You Can Cut From A Square Of Fabric

1. Multiply the length by the width of the fabric square.… Continue

Added by Susan on June 16, 2009 at 6:01am — 11 Comments

Sewing Tip - Pre-shape Zippers Before Sewing In Curved Seams

By Marian Lewis Here is a sewing tip to help you when you are sewing a zipper in a curved seam. Zippers are straight and your fitted garment has curved or shaped seams. You need to pre-shape your zippers before you insert them into curved seams. By pre-shaping the zipper tape, you remove the stiffness of the zipper, make it work easily into a shaped seam and allow it to conform to the body curves without buckling.

Follow this process: Remove the zipper from the… Continue

Added by Susan on June 15, 2009 at 1:00am — 4 Comments

Sewing Tip: How To Sew A Flat Zigzag On An Edge

By Marian Lewis Here is a sewing tip to help all zigzag sewing machine owners learn how to sew. Did you know that you can eliminate rolled up looking edges when you use a zigzag stitch to finish your seams in your sewing? Here is how to sew a zigzag stitch over an edge and keep it laying flat. Cut a piece of button and carpet thread or heavy string about 3 inches longer than the length of the seam you want to finish with a zigzag edge. Then, set your sewing machine for the longest and widest… Continue

Added by Susan on June 14, 2009 at 1:00am — 8 Comments

Sewing Tips - How To Sew An Easy Centered Zipper

By Marian Lewis

There are a number of sewing techniques on how to sew a centered zipper. But, this is probably the simplest way to save you from the frustration of having to rip it out and sew it over.

Here are some sewing tips to help you:

First of all, purchase a zipper longer than you actually need to avoid stitching near the bulk of the pull tab. You can use any of your longer zippers in your stash, too.

Preshrink the zipper.… Continue

Added by Susan on June 13, 2009 at 2:00am — 7 Comments

Sewing Tips - How To Sew More Professional Looking Top-Stitching

By Marian Lewis

Here is a sewing tip to add to your sewing techniques book.

Learn how to sew more professional looking top-stitching at the sewing machine using your regular sewing thread.

Use the same…


Added by Susan on June 12, 2009 at 1:30am — 14 Comments

Sewing Tips - Sewing Non-Ripply Buttonholes In Knits

By Marian Lewis The sewing machine buttonhole stitches stretch the crosswise threads in a knit when it makes the buttonhole and you end up with ugly, wavy or rippled looking buttonhole lips. That shouts "homemade" really loud and clear! Avoid the homemade look and end sewing frustration of sewing buttonholes in knits. Here is a little sewing tip to help prevent those "warped lips" when machine sewing buttonholes down the front of your knit shirt. In fact, this sewing tip is good for sewing… Continue

Added by Susan on June 11, 2009 at 1:40pm — No Comments

Sewing Tip: Raise Your Table Legs

To help prevent back aches, raise your cutting table up higher by placing tall cans like juice cans under each leg. This helps tremendously. If you want to permanently raise the legs of your table and the legs are tubular, you might try PVC pipe. Put caps on the ends of the pipe or use casters to keep the legs from marking the floor.

©2009 Marian Lewis - All Rights Reserved 1st Step To Sewing Success… Continue

Added by Susan on June 11, 2009 at 1:01pm — No Comments

Sewing Tip: Steady Your Sewing and Overlock Machines


Use a square of cork sheeting under your overlock-serger or sewing machine to keep it from moving around when you sew. This is also good on the floor to keep your foot pedal from sliding around.

©2009 Marian Lewis - All Rights Reserved 1st Step To Sewing Success Marian Lewis is a sewing instructor and the creator of an amazing new fitting method for hard-to-fit sewing folks.… Continue

Added by Susan on June 11, 2009 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

Sewing Tip: Create A Cork Top Table

By Marian Lewis When you are sewing, rotary cutting mats are great for cutting with a rotary cutter. However, when you are cutting slippery fabrics, it is difficult to keep the fabric where you want it. Here is a sewing tip on how you can make your own non-slip cutting mat. Use cork sheeting as a non-slip cutting mat when you are sewing and cutting silky, slippery fabrics or anytime you are cutting with dressmaker shears. The fabric doesn't move around like it does on the rotary mat. Poke your… Continue

Added by Susan on June 11, 2009 at 12:56pm — 8 Comments

Sewing Tips - Can I Mix And Match Sewing Pattern Pieces

By Marian Lewis When you sew, many times you want to change the design and have a different collar or sleeve on your garment. Most often, you will look for another sewing pattern that has all the features you are looking for and start the fitting, trial and error process all over again. You don't have to do that. You can mix and match sewing pattern pieces to create your own designs. When you know how to sew, you can have whatever you want on any garment. You are the designer. You can create… Continue

Added by Susan on June 11, 2009 at 12:30pm — 9 Comments

African American Quilting History 101

By Laurel Harper

The history of African American quilting is a fascinating study. Quilting itself is believed to have been practiced as long ago as Ancient Egypt. Also somewhere in our past, quilted armor-type garments were worn by soldiers as they went to war. The form of quilting with which we are most familiar appeared perhaps sometime in the 15th century. It is quite possibly because of the need to keep warm in pre-electric, pre-gas homes that people began to take two layers of… Continue

Added by Susan on June 11, 2009 at 12:24pm — No Comments

How to Make Tassels

By Jeff A Hardy A tassel, simply defined, is a dangling ornament made by laying parallel a bunch of cords or threads of even length and fastening them at one end. They can be seen everywhere- on handbags, belts, shoes, bracelets. They are, in fact, one of many significant arts and craft supplies used for decoration and style. Here is the simple technique for making basic tassel.

Materials Required Yarn: Approximately 32 yards is needed to create a 6 inch tassel. Thick yarns like… Continue

Added by Susan on June 3, 2009 at 6:00am — 5 Comments

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