Showing posts with label how to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to. Show all posts

Monday, May 19, 2014

A productive day

Today was so beautiful in NC I decided to make a trellis for my climbing hydrangea.  I gathered dead limbs and built this.  It was finished in 2 hours.  If you can ignore the empty pots, ladder and the black garden trailer behind the trellis, please?  (sheepish grin)  I chose a climbing hydrangea because it's a flowering vine that can take some shade.  It will have lace cap flowers eventually.  I used 12' steel rebar for the bones of the trellis and then attached dead limbs.

What are you adding to your landscape this Spring?  I tend to add or change something around every year.  I had a rose garden in the back for 5 years, but this year I moved all the roses to the front yard, and placed a crepe myrtle in their place.

This is what it will look like in about 10 years.  Climbing hydrangea is a slow growing vine. (click the photo to see a larger view)  By the time it gets this big, I'll have built a larger, stronger trellis.

Monday, March 4, 2013

No need to be hoppin' mad

My new hopper foot didn't fit... :( or so I thought...
I bought a slew of new rulers and was sooo pumped to start using them when my ruler hopper foot arrived. So.... I posted this photo on the chat group for Tin Lizzie owners and someone told me you can rotate the needle bar.

VOILE! I'm back in business! Such an easy fix. If you found my page by googling the same problem, here's the solution.

And here's the link to a great chat group for long armers!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thread problem solved

Update: Once the humidity went up, the thread stopped falling off the cone.  How did I know this was a factor?  When you try threading the needle, and the thread is drawn away from the needle, landing on the metal hopping foot, then you know static is a problem.  Put humidity in the air, and this solves the problem!  And your nose will thank you as well!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tension problems?

I'm trying to use a new thread this weekend, a 50 wt So Fine variegated with luscious colors.  I'm having fits with it though... arrrrgh!  The thread is falling off the cone too fast, gets caught and 'snap', the thread breaks.  I have 2 variables that could be causing the problem.

I placed a thread sock on the cone, but the thread is still loose near the top of the cone.  With the thread sock, the thread doesn't fall off the cone, but the thread is loose as it unwinds near the top of the cone.  I also have high static electricity in the air, so that could be the problem as well.

I placed a pot of boiling water on the stove to put humidity in the air.  We will soon see if static is the problem.

While taking a break from the break, I found a great video on tension problems.  You don't need an expensive TOGO tension gauge, it's simple!  Take a look and let me know what you think?
Update: Feb. 6th Here's the url, for some reason over 700 of you visited my page today, and blogger is having a temper tantrum over it.  (smile)

He really knows tension!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

And now, back to the long arm!

I've had a few questions about quilting with a long arm.  So I thought I'd load some photos.  I think visuals might help the confusion among the non-quilters reading my blog.   

Long arm quilting is simply stitching the backing, batting and quilt top together, forming a quilt sandwich.  The first task is loading the backing fabric onto 12 foot long rollers.  The fabric in the photo above is a beautifully dyed batik from the island of Bali.  After the backing fabric is loaded and rolled taut, the batting is placed on top, you can see cotton batting lying on the fabric in the photo.

I have 2 choices as I proceed loading the batting and quilt top.  There are more 12 foot rollers, one set for each layer of a quilt.  I can load the batting and top on those if I want to.  The other choice is the one I always use, it's called floating.  I simply float the batting and quilt top on top of the backing fabric.  To start the long arming, I stitch along the top and sides to anchor the 3 layers together, and then the fun begins!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to lube your thread

I've been long-arming happily all day.  I finished one quilt, and will place another one on the frame tomorrow. I wish the holiday could be extended, I'm not ready for school to start!  For those who are new to the blog, I home school my son.  I'm also taxi-driver for my oldest in college (she has a disability and can't drive for now).

I thought I'd share a tip to help those who are tempted to oil your thread when you sew velcro or use metallic threads.  My method works for long arming, sewing, serging, upholstery  just about any type of sewing.  I've used this method for years and it works!

If you have continual thread breaks while sewing velcro or use metallic threads, try this!  Cut a tiny piece of stick-on velcro, use the fluffy side.  Place it under the thread path AFTER the tension disc.  Then place 1 or 2 drops of silicone (Sewer's Aid, etc.) on the velcro.   As the thread glides across the velcro it lubes your thread without ruining the entire cone, and without gumming up your tension dial.

Use velcro to sew velcro, brilliant! Let me know if you try my method?  I'd love to hear how it worked for you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quilt basting sprays are fabulous!

There is a great discussion on the quilting board today!  I've learned so much from this great group of women.  It's a wonderful place to visit with other quilters.  I've really enjoyed reading the thread about basting sprays.  I thought I'd add a blog post to recommend using the basting sprays according to the directions on the can.  It'll save you money this way.

The ladies on the quilting board were discussing Patsy Thompson's Basting Spray How-to Video  which explains her quilt basting spray method. You'll need to fast forward to the 6 minute mark for the spray tutorial.

Patsy's video is good, and the method she uses will work.  But it's important to note that she is using 505 incorrectly.  She calls it "505 basting spray", but if you're looking for it online it's called 505 Spray & Fix Temporary Adhesive.

1. In Patsy's video, she holds the can only 3-4 inches from the fabric surface. (The directions on the can state you should hold the can 10-12 inches from the fabric surface)

2. She states "you WILL get a glob on your needle", and she shows you what the glob looks like in the video. Yet, the can states you will NOT get a glob on your needle. The reason she gets globs is because she is holding the can 3-4" away from the fabric. When you hold the can this close, of course you get a thick, concentrated amount in a small area.  In fact, as you watch her spray the quilt in the video, you can see the adhesive turn white on top of the fabric, she really puts a lot on there.

3. Patsy says the sticky "will last up to 5 years". But the can states it is TEMPORARY. The reason she gets 4 to 5 years worth of sticky is because she's spraying a thick, concentrated amount on her fabric. When you spray a ton of adhesive on the fabric it WILL be permanent, not temporary.

In 1997, I used 505 spray on a Christmas ornament.  I used a heavy amount of 505 to hold an applique piece down.  You know when you put fabric in water it turns a darker shade?  And it lightens as the fabric dries?  The applique fabric turned darker, just like it was wet, only it was due to the 'liquid' sticky spray.  Today, 2012, the fabric piece is still dark, it never did lighten up, and the sticky adhesive is permanent.

My take on it is this: If you want the thicker sticky to last forever, spray the adhesive 3 or 4 inches from the fabric. You'll use the whole can up on a queen size quilt that way.  If you want the spray to be temporary follow the directions on the can.

Since 1999, I've used 505 for quilting and KK2000 and KK100 for machine embroidery.

When used as directed on it's label, 505 will stay around for roughly 2 months, but you can wash your fabric and it will disappear in the wash.

KK2000 and KK100 only lasts a few days.   Note: DO NOT under any circumstances wash fabric that has KK2000 or KK100 on it until it has dissipated. It WILL become permanent.

Monday, January 23, 2012

How to clean your iron using vinegar

It's just like using vinegar to clean a coffee maker or a steam humidifier. It softens the calcium deposits that can gunk up the vents or cause particles to break loose and cause leaks where once water was kept tight.

Step #1
Pour half water, half white vinegar into your iron. (Vinegar will not hurt your iron). Fill the iron, turn it on and let it sit for an hour. The auto-shut off will turn it off eventually, this is ok, just let it sit to soften the crud.

Afterwards, take the iron to the sink, hold it upright and shake it gently to loosen the crud. Then turn the iron upside down and pour the vinegar out of the iron.  Fill with water, shake and pour the water out.  If you've never cleaned your iron before repeat step #1 two more times.

Step #2
Add white vinegar to the iron, fill it to the top. Turn the iron on high, turn the steam to high and hold the iron horizontal over your sink, as if you're ironing.

Let the steam vent out until the iron is about half empty of vinegar. Then turn the iron upright, shake it gently as before and turn it upside down to pour the remaining vinegar out of the iron.

Fill with plain water, empty, fill with water again and repeat the process of venting steam until you're satisfied all the vinegar is out of the vents.  Now you've just added another few years of service to your iron! 

Note: This is the cutting board my husband made for me.  A tupperware colander fits perfectly.  I place a plastic cutting board on top of the colander and slide the veggies into the bowl of the colander as I go.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Did you know...

Right click, and choose "save image as"
This photo can be shared with others!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Make your own bug spray

Fill the bottle with  Jojoba and fractionated coconut oil, add the essential oils and shake lightly.