Sewing Tips from Reva: Sometimes You Just Have to Let Things Slide

May 12th, 2015

Teflon Foot

Teflon Foot

Have you ever worked with vinyl, leather, oil cloth, microfiber, or any other type of material that had a surface that was difficult to feed through your machine? Did you know that the source of relief for this frustrating situation could be as simple as changing your sewing foot?

Try a teflon, or non-stick foot! This foot has a teflon sole (some styles may also be completely coated by or made of teflon). This teflon material works the same way for your fabric as it does for frying pans, letting what ever is in contact with it’s surface simply glide through.

Teflon has a slickness that greatly decreases the friction which occurs between a standard foot and the fabric being stitched. Makes sense, doesn’t it? These specialty fabrics may have a glossy and seemingly smoother surface but that is just what causes the issue. The smooth non-porous surface of the fabric makes a great bond with the smooth non-porous sole of a standard foot. Changing out your standard presser foot for one with a teflon sole is like adding a lubricant to help greatly reduce the friction and gripping between the foot and fabric (Note: a teflon foot does not actually contain or add any actual lubricant, only a theoretical lubricant).

There are teflon feet available for all makes and models of sewing machines and there is now even one for the serger, yeah!!! This is definitely a foot that you will want to make sure that you have at the ready. You never know when it will come in handy.

Happy Sewing,
Reva

Sewing Tips from Reva: The Easiest Way to Cut Appliques for Your Embroidery!

March 26th, 2015
Make Applique Cutting a Breeze!

Make Applique Cutting a Breeze with Your ScanNCut CM550DX!

Have you seen what the new update for the ScanNCut CM550DX can do? It’s simply amazing!! Let me show you how quickly you can take an applique that is from your machine and have your SNC cut it out automatically for you. This info works with any Brother embroidery machine that has a color touch screen.

1) Choose an applique design that came on your machine – or create one with the auto applique feature if your machine has that capability.

2) Save the built in applique design onto a memory stick. Do this by touching the USB icon.

3) Put the memory stick into your ScanNCut and touch “Pattern.”

4) Next touch the USB symbol to read the design from your USB stick.

5) Open up the design from the stick. The design will be in a folder with the name “Pocket” in it. Touch the design you want to use.

5) How cool!! Once chosen, you will see that the cut line is ready for you to work with.

This is such a great new capability, you are going to love working with it! Even better is that with just a couple more steps on your embroidery machine, you can save any brand of applique design so you can cut the pieces on your ScanNCut. Make sure to watch our video on how I did this with an Anita Goodesign applique embroidery design:

And if you need to know more about how to install the new update for your ScanNCut CM550DX be sure watch this quick video:

Happy Sewing!
~Reva

Ann’s “White and Black Binding”

March 12th, 2015

From Ann:

As I have been traveling around with Sew Fun I have had numerous requests for a copy of three demos I have done on Binding. I thought the easiest way would be to post them on the blog and then you could read and copy them. Here they are:

  1. Foolproof Binding Method
  2. Starting and Ending the Binding
  3. White and Black Binding

Enjoy!
-Ann

White and Black Binding

How often have you gotten to the binding and realized you were a few inches short? You can use muslin or other scrap fabric for the underside of your binding. Here’s how:
• For a 2 ¼” wide binding, cut your fashion fabric 1 ½” wide and a piece of muslin 1 ¼” wide
• For 2 ½” wide binding, cut your fashion fabric 1 5/8” wide and a piece of muslin 1 3/8” wide
• For a 2 ¾” wide binding, cut your fashion fabric 1 ¾” wide and a piece of muslin 1 ½” wide
• For a 3” wide binding, cut your fashion fabric 1 7/8” wide and a piece of muslin 1 5/8” wide

Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch binding and muslin RST. Press seam toward muslin and then press your binding strip in half WST as you normally would. Bind your quilt as usual.

Ann’s “Starting and Ending the Binding”

March 12th, 2015

From Ann:

As I have been traveling around with Sew Fun I have had numerous requests for a copy of three demos I have done on Binding. I thought the easiest way would be to post them on the blog and then you could read and copy them. Here they are:

  1. Foolproof Binding Method
  2. Starting and Ending the Binding
  3. White and Black Binding

Enjoy!
-Ann

Starting and Ending the Binding

Step 1.
Starting: I begin on the center bottom edge. Fold the end of the binding at a 45 degree angle and press. Cut on the diagonal leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Start sewing the binding to the quilt with the folded edge of the binding open. Sew through one binding thickness for about 3-4 inches, keeping the raw edge of the binding lined up with the raw edge of the quilt top. Backstitch and cut threads.

Starting and Ending the Binding 1

Step 2.
Fold the binding into the doubled position. Start sewing an inch or so forward from where you end in step 1. Now continue sewing around the quilt. Miter your corners as usual.

Starting and Ending the Binding 2

Step 3. Ending:
After you have sewn the binding around the whole quilt stop stitching 4”-5” from the starting point, leave the needle down. Bring the unstitched end of the binding and overlap to the pressed 45 degree angle. Measure past the pressed edge and cut off the excess length, leaving ½”-¾” past the pressed edge. Tuck the end of the binding into the pocket formed at the starting point. Continue to stitch through all thicknesses and making sure you stitch past the point of your first stitching. Backstitch and cut threads. Enjoy!

Starting and Ending the Binding 3

Ann’s “Foolproof Binding Method”

March 12th, 2015

From Ann:

As I have been traveling around with Sew Fun I have had numerous requests for a copy of three demos I have done on Binding. I thought the easiest way would be to post them on the blog and then you could read and copy them. Here they are:

  1. Foolproof Binding Method
  2. Starting and Ending the Binding
  3. White and Black Binding

Enjoy!
-Ann

Foolproof Binding Method

This is a binding method that I have used for years. It is a fast and foolproof way to bind your quilts. It will give you the result of having your binding stitched evenly on the front and back of your binding. You can miter your corners as usual. The binding is stitched to the wrong side of your quilt & wrapped to the right side of your quilt for topstitching the binding in place.

START: Cut your binding 3” wide. Press in half WST as you would normally do to create your binding. Stitch the binding to the wrong side of your quilt using a 3/8” seam allowance, starting and ending with your favorite method. Remember when mitering your corner, you will need to stop stitching 3/8” from the edge. This distance is determined by the width of your seam allowance.

Foolproof Binding 1

Foolproof Binding 1

PRESS: Once you have stitched and mitered your corners, press the binding toward the seam from the right side of the binding. Wrap the binding to the right side of the quilt.

Foolproof Binding 2

Foolproof Binding 2

KEY TO SUCCESS: When wrapping the binding to the right side of the quilt, look for the 3/8” seam allowance stitching (Look for the Line). Wrap the folded edge of the binding so that it just overlaps this stitching by a couple threads. Topstitch binding using a 1/8” seam allowance from the folded edge of the binding. Your binding will be stitched evenly on the front and back binding! Practice a couple times and you will be a binding pro. Enjoy!

Foolproof Binding 3

Foolproof Binding 3

Photos From the Quilts of Valor Sew Day at our Tukwila Creative Center!

February 17th, 2015

Q.O.V. Sew Day at the Creative Center.

The National Quilts of Valor Sew Day was on February 7th, and we were proud to host a session of it at our Tukwila Creative Center!

The mission of Quilts of Valor is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts. Participants in the Quilts of Valor Club donate their time and talent to make quilts for our service personnel.

Here are some photos of the great times we had and the great Quilts of Valor:

Quilting away

Creative Center Group

Bonnie

Bonnie

Dolores

Donated by Friday Morning Strippers

Elizabeth

Marj

Pete

Ray

Susan & Judy

The Quilts of Valor Club is free to attend, and meets once every month at the Tukwila Creative Center:
1203 Andover Park W, Tukwila, WA 98188 (map)
206-244-5555

Learn more and reserve a space for yourself here on our website. We hope to see you at a Quilts of Valor Club soon!

Sewing Tips from Reva: Perfect Design Placement with Embroidery Perfection Tape (AKA Pink Tape)

January 2nd, 2015

Do you want to make sure that your embroidery designs stitch right where you want them? Not to mention, easily? Well I have the answer for you, Pink Tape! Officially known as Floriani’s Embroidery Perfection Tape.

1. Start by marking your fabric with the horizontal and vertical center placement lines for your design. You will also want to make sure that you are using the proper stabilizer for your fabric and design.

2. Take a look a your inner hoop. At the top/bottom and left/right sides you will see raised marks (here on referred to by ‘my’ technical term “Nubbins”). These marks, while not necessarily in the center of your hoop do really reflect the center of the actual embroidery field.

3. Take a piece of Pink Tape long enough to reach from the top to the bottom of the hoop and then a bit more. Align your piece of tape from the center of the top nubbin to the center of the bottom nubbin. Now repeat with a new piece of tape from left to right. Stick it just to the nubbins and not to your work surface.

4. Now take the inner hoop, with the pink tape, and place it over the placement marks on your fabric ( I aligned the left edge of the tape to the vertical center line and the top of the tape to the horizontal line). Once in the proper place, gently secure the tape to the fabric.

5. Now carefully secure the fabric in the hoop and remove the pink tape (save it, you can reuse it for your next hooping). Put your hoop on the machine and embroider with confidence!

Happy Sewing,
Reva

Sewing Tips from Reva: Tips for Quilt Success

November 1st, 2014

1) When beginning a new project, piece a trial block to make sure that the finished block ends up the size that is intended. This also helps by giving you a good visualisation of how the colors will work together.

2) Use quilting and piecing feet that are made for your machine. This will increase the accuracy of the piecing and be much easier for you to work with. Nothing wrong with enjoying both the process and the end result.

3) Before quilting your project (stitching all three layers together) test and practice the stitching that you are planning. Use scraps of the same fabrics as are used in the project along with the thread you plan on using for the finished project. This will give you a fair assessment of the stitching and thread choices.

Happy Sewing,
Reva

We’ll Be on KBTC Saturday, Oct. 18th!

October 16th, 2014

KBTC

Be sure to watch KBTC this Saturday 10/18 from 8:00am to 12pm. You will see great sewing and quilting shows like Quilt in a Day and Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting. Plus you will see many Quality Sewing staff members answering the phones during the annual pledge drive. Before you say, “Pledge drive? I don’t want to sit through that!” listen to what we are doing to help support sewing programs in the Great Northwest:

In conjunction with our joint sponsor Brother, Quality Sewing & Vacuum is giving away a Brother ScanNCut CM550DX and a Brother 990D Sewing, Quilting and Embroidery Machine. Everyone who pledges on Saturday morning will be entered into the drawing to win one of these machines. The winner will be drawn Saturday about 12pm. The other machine will go to the individual who tenders the highest pledge on Saturday morning.

But that’s not all; to help support Public Television and keep sewing programs on the air, Quality Sewing & Vacuum will give everyone who pledges one ticket to the Northwest Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival that is held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds November 13-15. These tickets are a $10 value and are valid for all three days of the Festival. Plus if you pledge at the $100.00 amount or higher we will also donate a Quality Sewing 2015 Sew Fun Membership for Free!

Don’t miss this opportunity to support public television and keep the sewing shows that we love on the air.

Sincerely,
Carmen LaPonte & Reva Flood
Quality Sewing & Vacuum Centers

PS: If you’re not going to be home Saturday morning but still want to pledge, you can call  1-800-325-5877 or pledge online at kbtc.org beginning at 8am Saturday.

Sewing Tips from Reva: This is one cool tool!

October 1st, 2014

Have you ever needed a screwdriver that is easy to hold and just the right size for the job?

Even if you have one, each situation requires a different screwdriver. So you’d better not misplace the one that is perfect for removing the needle plate, or the other one that works for the ankle, or…

Well, now you have every screwdriver you need in one convenient tool! The new Multi-Purpose Screwdriver is what every sewist needs. There are three positions: inset for the hoop, extended for the ankle, and right-angle for removing the needle plate.

Hoop screwdriver - easily adjust the screw on your hoop with out it slipping off!

Hoop screwdriver - easily adjust the screw on your hoop with out it slipping off!

Removing the ankle - easily grasp this tool to loosen the ankle screw when removing and replacing the ankle, walking foot or embroidery foot.

Removing the ankle - easily grasp this tool to loosen the ankle screw when removing and replacing the ankle, walking foot or embroidery foot.

Removing the needle plate - the right angle of this position makes it easy to remove the needle plate for cleaning.

Removing the needle plate - the right angle of this position makes it easy to remove the needle plate for cleaning.

This tool is great for every sewing room and is a definite MUST for multi-needle and embroidery machine owners.

P.S. the tool also has a hole so that it can be kept on a lanyard so it is easier to find when you need it.

Happy Sewing,
Reva