Angels on the Tree, Easy Christmas Decoration

easy christmas decoration

Making an easy Christmas decoration is a great way to get the kids involved in decorating the house for the holidays.  One of my most happy Christmas memories is sitting down with my kids to make some decorations.  Of course, I would have already done the stitching and some of the more complicated steps and left them to draw faces on the angels or glue parts of the bodies.  As they grew older, they were happy to take more interesting tasks, like using the glue gun.. I have so many memories of all those years, sitting in the corner we had designated to doing crafting in the house.  So here’s one of my favorites because it is so easy to make.  When you’re finished, the kids will hang it on the tree and they’ll feel so proud.  Mine certainly did. Materials you will … Continue reading

Learn Some Quilting Traditions Passed On For Generations

quilting traditions

Family quilting traditions have been passed on for generations since the 1600’s or even earlier. In those days, the women (sometimes the men too!) in the family created a quilt as present for a family member who is about to get married or was expecting a child. Quilts were considered as heirlooms and were treasured by the family. As a result, quilting traditions were also cherished and passed on for many generations. I have collected some hand quilting practices for this article and perhaps these cherished traditions could get you started on your own family quilting practice too! The African-American Quilting Traditions Less popular than African music and dance, the African-American quilting and textile tradition is influenced by four notable African civilizations. When African slaves were heavily trafficked in Southern United States, Central America and the Caribbean, the textile and … Continue reading

How to make a double welt pocket using the 5 lines method

double welt pocket

I am going to show you how to make a double welt pocket using the traditional, but simplified, tailoring method called “five lines”.  There are a few ways to make a double welt pockets, this is just one of them.  Before we get started, let’s make sure to define our terms.  So what is a “welt” anyway?  According to the dictionary, a welt is: Our double welt pocket has “welts” on both sides of the opening.  You’ll be very familiar with this style of pocket since it is commonly used on men’s and women’s tailored jackets, light weight hoodies, light coats, slacks back pockets or the inside of pockets in the lining of jackets.  Unfortunately, this technique isn’t suitable for very heavy fabrics or situations where you have to match a design such as stripes. There are a few ways to make … Continue reading

Beginner Quilting : How To Start

Beginner Quilting

We’ve done many articles over the years about quilting.  Our readers have a lot of interest in quilting and many people have asked if we could summarize the best way to start beginner quilting for newbies. Quilting is a branch of sewing that some of us love to get stuck into from time to time (or, for others, all the time), for the sheer love of sewing and getting totally lost to the world in finicky little details…and there’s no greater thrill than a finished product that looks and feels like loving time was spent on it. It’s one of the most thoughtful and generous gifts you can give and tales can be told in the stitches. For those of you who have been eyeing your scrappy bags full of little bits of beautiful fabrics: what better way to collect … Continue reading

Which Sewing Machine Needle? + bonus download

sewing machine needle

Ok, so you’ve taken up sewing but you’re still learning the ropes, as they say.  When talking about sewing machine needles, people in your sewing circle keep spouting off numbers like 90/14 and 75/11, which makes little to no sense to you…the problem is, you’re just a tad too shy to ask. Well, that’s why we’re here: so you can arrive at that next sew-along date spouting off some useful info of your own, maybe teach the old experts some stuff that even they didn’t know (we won’t tell them, if you won’t). Before we get to those blasted numbers though…what about needle types, why the different shapes and when are they appropriate? When it comes to sewing machine needles you’ll have a few needle types from which to choose, namely quilting, topstitch, embroidery, denim, metallic and universal. Your rounded tips are … Continue reading

Tips on sewing with fur every beginner should know

sewing with fur

Sewing with fur is relatively easy (and fun!), but every beginner should know these tips before starting a project.  Bear in mind we will be talking about faux fur and not the real thing..  Working with this special material does require patience, however. You can make many fun and interesting things with faux fur.  While it’s very inexpensive, it can add beautiful accents to garments or bags you may make.  We’ll be using it in a few projects in the future so it is worth having a look through these tips now. Faux fur is also known as fake fur, synthetic fur or fun fur.  Whatever the name given, today sometimes is very difficult to know the diference between fake or real.  Looking at the back of the fur is the only way to distinguish between the two. Real fur is … Continue reading

Computerized Sewing Machines: Here to Stay

computerized sewing machines

If your reaction to the words “Computerized Sewing Machine” is something more like what you’d expect if I just yelled “Plague!!!!” …then this article is meant for you. What you need to do is calm yourself, open your mind, take a deep breath and be prepared to learn something new! Computerised sewing machines are here to stay and chances are you’ll be seeing more and more of them, so before the times completely run away with you…let’s get to grips with them. It’s not as daunting as you might expect and trust me, computerized sewing machines are around for a reason. Some of the nifty little things you can do are definitely worth the time time it takes for you to learn the ropes. Besides, the computerizing is, in essence, a time saving function so you will benefit in the long run! … Continue reading

Common sewing machine problems and how to fix them

sewing machine problems

Whether you are a beginner in the sewing world or an expert who has completed innumerable projects, there is always a chance that your sewing machine might create some trouble for you.  Sometimes it can be that annoying sound or as bad as the machine refusing to work at all.  Here are 5 common sewing machine problems encountered by most of the sewing enthusiasts and ways to fix them that don’t involve seeking outside help. Machine not sewing: This is one of the most common sewing machine problems faced by all. This could be because either the thread or the needle is not properly set up. Read the user manual carefully while threading and inserting the needle. While threading, make sure that the presser foot is up and once threaded the presser foot should be brought down. Similarly, make sure that … Continue reading

Salvage your Selvages!

salvage your selvages

Now any seamstress or hobby sewist will undoubtedly have discarded that little white strip along the fabric edge without a second thought, probably a few hundred times or more. You know that “useless” strip where the manufacturer’s branding is printed…along with a few strange coloured circles? Well, there’s more to it than just branding! That printing along the fabric edge is known as the fabric selvage marking and, together with keeping the fabric from fraying or unravelling, it actually contains more useful info than you’d previously imagined. What’s in a name? Before you learn the secrets of the strip: how about that weird name?! Well, the name selvage or selvedge originated form the term self-edge, meaning a self finished edge of fabric. You will find that the specific weave in the selvage strip stops it from fraying entirely. It is … Continue reading

Quilting Hacks Every Beginner Should Learn

quilting hacks

Imagine relaxing in a log cabin listening to a crackling fireplace, covered by a patchwork quilt that you recently made yourself.  Fantastic!  Indeed, quilt making is a very rewarding art project and it makes for a very precious gift for your friends and family too.  In a recent article, we also described the Many Amazing Benefits of Quilting for your health and mental well-being. From the careful choice and preparation of fabrics to the placement of the last stitch, quilt makers give a lot of love and attention to details.  As such, some home-made quilts are passed on from one generation to another and are highly cherished as family heirlooms. Making your own quilt is a time consuming process but the result is almost always worth all your efforts.  We’ve had a lot of readers express interest in learning how … Continue reading

The Many Amazing Benefits of Quilting

benefits of quilting

A lot has been written about the many benefits of quilting, but it is only in the last couple of years that scientists and scholars really started to study this claim. A long time ago, quilting was done for a very practical reason –to keep the family warm especially during the cold winter months. This is not really required as much anymore because of advances in technology and with women working more outside the home, there has been less time.  Surprisingly and thankfully however, this did not cause the demise of quilting which is still alive and popular as a form of hobby and expression of creativity. A few months ago we did an article about How Sewing Fights Depression.  If you missed it, please check it out.  We were delighted that this article was widely shared and reprinted by several … Continue reading