Friday, January 20, 2017

How to choose Aurifil thread weight and needle compatibility

The Quilter's Planner has been having a fun event on Instagram for January using their 2017 planner but you can play along using any planner!

Everyday has been a new prompt to help set goals, keep track of time and promote ways to balance family, professional and SEWING time!  We can all use more of that in our days 😉

Yesterday's prompt was Top Tip.  The tip I shared is one that I do believe is important for everyone that sews!

Thread and needle compatibility with the materials and thickness of the project being sewn. There are different weights ( thicknesses ) of threads and each has their recommended use(s).  the same applies to needles.  Some people have difficultly with their projects and look to their machine as the culprit. many times the issue is with not choosing the proper thread and needle weight/size.

Our machines are everything! If it is not happy, we are not happy!  Choosing the right thread and the correct needle size will eliminate many "machine" issues and will also help your machine sew better LONGER!

I wrote notes in my planner to help keep track of the Aurifil thread weights and needle weights.  I use Schmetz needles for my machine sewing.

Aurifil 12 wt, the red spools,  is the thickest thread.  It comes in both cotton ( mako) and wool ( lana).

This thread is a wonderful choice for
Machine quilting

When using on your domestic sewing machine:
Use 50wt for the bobbing thread
Reduce your sewing speed

Needle size:
100/16 machine embroidery
90/14 machine quilting

I have also used 12wt cotton for hand sewing buttons on my Cathedral Window Pincushions.

Aurifil 28 wt is the grey spool.  It is cotton (mako)

This is my favorite thread weight and is also perfect for
Higher impact quilting without the fussiness of 12wt

For a domestic home sewing machine:
Use 50wt for the bobbing thread ( although I have successfully used 28wt in top and bobbin)

Needle Size: 90/40

Aurifil 40wt is the green spool and is cotton (mako)

This is a wonderful All Purpose Thread!

This is a thread you will want to have on hand for a variety of uses, including

Piecing ( not the number one choice but many people do)
Garment sewing
Bag sewing

For a domestic home sewing machine:
You can use 40wt in top and bobbin with ease

Needle size: 70/10 or 80/12

Aurifil 50wt is the FAVORITE, the star of the show!  50wt is cotton (mako)

This is the number one piecing thread!  Other uses for this wt include:

Garment sewing
Quilting ( for when you want the quilting to melt into the fabric)

For a domestic home sewing machine:
You can use 50wt in the top and bobbin

Needle size:

Most importantly! BE ADVENTUROUS!  Make a 10x10 of what you want to try and give it a GO! I always make a sample to try out some old and new! 

There is also a wealth of information on the sticker on the bottom of the Aurifil spool!

Here is a short tip clip on how to read the information on a spool to tell you all you need to know before you sew!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What happened to Monday?

When Tuesday becomes your Monday you know it is a Holiday Week!  Then Wednesday is the new Tuesday and well, Thursday really feels like it *should* be Friday but is is lacking in that relief feeling of the soon to be had weekend.

It makes a mess of a week that otherwise was to be perfect.  At least that is what I tell myself 😉

I did not find out about the Monday holiday until Sunday.  My Monday was completely planned out until I found out that all of the people that live in the house were going to be home on Monday.

GAME CHANGER! Everything I HAD planned was completely changed.

In the future,I will be checking the school calendar and syncing it up with my planner from The Quilters Planner!

What I did manage to accomplish is adding to the WIP wall!

I keep forgetting that as SOON as I clear off the wall from other projects ( that I should be finishing) other projects MAGICALLY APPEAR!

Another thrifted, gifted or found up cycled log cabin quilt is in the works!

While making more strips today, I remembered about ripping the fabric instead of cutting.  DO you rip or cut fabric?

And even though ONE project was already started, my eye kept going to a pile of colorful fabrics and then...these beauties happened! 

Clearly I am out of control!  I am a WIP MONSTER with massive quilt block ADD!  COLOR...SQUIRREL! 

Hopefully I will be able to plan out the rest of my week to accommodate my lack of planning for the one day.

But, if not...I can make more blocks! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Something New Sunday!

Every now and again I get a surprise in my mail! It is usually something sewing related for me to review or just try. I could not wait to share this one on Something New Sunday!

Last week I received the new It's Sew Emma Orange Peel Templates! You can find them here.

There are four sizes in the pack. The 3 inch and 4 inch templates are charm pack friendly( always good to know). The templates also have a placement guide so if you are unsure, there is a handy tool right there to help!

I had never made an Orange Peel Block previously and now I am wondering what stopped me! This purple one took no time at all to appliqué using Aurifil 50wt on my Bernina!

There is a complete rainbow of Orange Peels in my future!

If you need patterns for the block, It's Sew Emma has a few excellent choices that are well written have everything you need to create the perfect quilt in two sizes, either crib or lap. 

The instructions also come complete with the Moda Bella Solid or Kona Cotton Solids used for the quilt on the cover and also the coordinating Aurifil thread, this takes all of the guess work out of making the perfect quilt!

It was pretty cool to be able to check another block off of my bucket list of blocks! 

Did you get to try sewing something new this week?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WIP Wednesday Economy Blocks

Living in Virginia, we get snow.  Not as much as some parts of the country but enough to shut normal life down for a few days.  It excites the kids for about a day, then it is cold and wet and turns into icy roads that closes schools.

With extra people home during Monday and Tuesday, my sewing slows down.  I do not mind too much but I also do not want to feel as though I am behind ( further than usual).

I started sewing economy blocks last year as a way to make use of tiny fussy cuts and my small stash of Liberty of London fabrics.  I am using Aurifil 50wt for my paper piecing. It lays super flat and the thin strands are perfect for the lightweight Liberty Cotton Lawn fabric.

With the newest block additions, this is how they look up on the wall in the Go-Go Studio ( with loads of snow outside but I did not look at that mess).

Here are just a few of the fun blocks I was able to complete.

There are some more but the lighting went all wrong this afternoon and so no all of them turned out. I will be working on even more tomorrow and also catching up with my Pat Sloan Challenge, The Splendid Sampler and a few other projects!  I need more coffee!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Motivation { Valentine's Day}

Welcome Back to Monday Motivation!  Now that the Christmas tree has officially been taken down and most of the Yule Tide holiday decorations put away, it is time to start making for Valentine's Day!

Hearts, my favorite combination of red and white and anything LOVE related! It is difficult not to be enamored with a day that is dedicated to love!

Monday Motivation is Valentine's Day!

Be still my heart! Hearts Afloat by Bev Getschel is a fun and free pattern for  Quiltmaker Magazine and can be found here.

This heart says "Merry Christmas" but love is year round!  This could be a sweet reminder for your love!  The pattern and tutorial for this Scandinavian hearts from quilt artist Charlotte Warr Anderson can be found at Bernina We All Sew here.

Short on time but big on love?  Make this mini heart quilt with a free pattern from Pink Door Fabrics found here.

Heart in Chains a gorgeous quilt by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts for Dear Stella Fabrics. The free pattern for this quilt can be found here.

The Love Quilt pattern from Happy Zombie was originally designed to make quilts of the victims of Pulse in Orlando. Monica is a wonderful and generous quilter. You can find the pattern for this quilt by visiting here.

The temperatures here are freezing! These sweet cross-stitched hand warmers are the perfect way to heat up the hands of the ones you love! This free tutorial is available by Wild Olive here.

Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew's Simple Heart Quilt is simply lovely! The tutorial for this quilt can be found here.

What could be more fun than a Valentine's Day Cootie Catcher? This Grandma is Fun has a free printable so we can all have a good time! This is available by visiting here

You can print up this 8.5 x 11 L💗VE to frame and give to a special person in your life! Visit Polka Dot Pixels here.

Pink Ombre Hearts is a free cross stitch pattern by Sew French and can is available on Craftsy here.

For your little sweetie pie is this adorable heart shaped backpack! The free pattern and tutorial is available from Sew Much Ado here.

Both lovely and useful are these heart potholders with a free pattern and tutorial by A Spoonful of Sugar. This pattern can be found here.

I hope you find inspiration in these tutorials and make some creative time for yourself! 

Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Snow Sew Day!

It snowed!  I am not a fan of snow or Winter, ice or cold.  Luckily it is Saturday, no one had to be to school or anywhere else.

I took this opportunity to move my sewing to the room in the house that has the most light and two heat vents to keep me warm. The light in this room saves me in the Winter. It is the best light in the house since three of the four walls have windows and I painted it white this past Summer ( with the exception of the part that I will need scaffolding) to allow it to be even brighter.

This is honest sewing time. No make-up, hair in a very messy French braid, at least four to five layers of warm clothing, wool L.L. Bean socks ( I cannot sew with shoes at all), my Bernina and a spool of Aurifil.

This past week, I started using my planner from The Quilter's Planner to help track my days, give me goals and to, fingers crossed, sew more! 

The Quilter's Planner is running a January challenge on Instagram to help you figure out how to successfully plan!  Everyday is a prompt to guide the planner in not only daily but overall achievable days!  I needed this help SO MUCH!  Join in the Instagram fun by visiting here

You can find out more about this really amazing planner that takes your New Year to a new level by visiting here.


I finished Block number TWO for Pat Sloan's 182 Day Solstice Challenge Blocks! These books are a nice 12 inch finished block and you can get these free patterns by visiting I Love to Make Quilts

I made mine with upcycled clothing and pieced using Aurifil 50wt thread. 

The red was a must! 

This week was also calling me back to my fussy cut Economy Blocks.  When walking through the sewing room, I spotted this tiny turtle and it just had to be made! I will be making more this upcoming week for sure. 

Looking forward to sharing what I made with these strips on my Saturday Snow Sew Day.  It is not finished, so I will be sharing later in the week!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WIP Wednesday and a quick video tip!

What quilter can start the New Year without a new project?

The kids are back in school, everyone else is back to work and it is time for me to get sewing!

After creating the Monday Motivation {Sew Along and Block of the Month}, I could not resist the lure of a new quilt!  On Pat Sloan's new website I Love to Make Quilts  there is the perfect project starter with The One Hundred Eighty-Two Day Solstice Challenge!  These are 12 in finished blocks very super fast and easy!

I made my first yesterday ( I am now only two behind 😂).  The best part is that I made it incorrectly!   It is supposed to be a Churn Dash but it is not...LOL!  The fussy cut Ralph Lauren Polo Guy does not seem to mind all that much!

You will be super shocked when I tell you that I am using used shirtings for these blocks.  Upcycled sewing is really so interesting! If you have not sewn with up cycled garments, check out my post from a few weeks ago on Upcycled Sewing here.

Also, I realized a cool trick with my pattern wheel this week! The kids had taken all of my marking tools and so I used the pattern wheel to mark my half square triangles!

While working on my number two block for the The One Hundred Eighty-Two Day Solstice Challenge but my sewing machine has decided to be naughty and play this trick again!  I will be changing the needle and rethreading with Aurifil 50wt to fix the problem! If that does not work, she will go in the corner and I will bring out a vintage machine until she can behave...LOL!

I have never been able to figure out WHY this randomly happens but it always fascinates me!

What have you been working on this year?
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