Thursday, February 25, 2010

On Pins and Needles...well, needles anyway

Just when I think I finally understand how to pick the right size sewing machine needle, I forget what those dang numbers stand for! But Julie at Thimble Pleasures has made it much easier to understand...and remember. Low = fine, High = heavy-duty. Here's more from their latest newsletter:
General Needle Information
Needles range in size from very fine 60/8 to a heavy duty needle 120/19. Most needles use the two number measuring system. The higher number relates to the metric system used in foreign counties and the lower number relates to the system in the U.S. Both indicate needle shaft diameter.

For Standard Needles (Universal) - Used for woven synthetic and natural fibers
60/08 Very, very fine: for sheers, chiffon, silks
70/10 Fine : for blouse weight polyesters, silks, batiste
80/12 Most used: for cotton, rayon, blends
90/14 Mid-heavy: for bottom weight fabrics, wool, raw silks, corduroy
100/16 Heavy: for denim, duck cloth
110/18 Very heavy: for canvas, tapestry
120/19 Extremely heavy: for boat canvas, luggage handles
And, if that's not enough, there are:
  • Sharp Needles - light weight needles, great for "microfibers" and silk-type fabric
  • Ballpoint Needles - Used for knit fabrics
  • Stretch Needles - This needle is a super ballpoint needle. It is coated blue with Teflon and is used for more difficult knit fabrics.
  • Denim Needles - This needle has an extra fine, sharp point that pierces dense fabrics more easily. Also, the lighter sizes are used to achieve the "perfect" straight stitch. Teflon coated.
  • Embroidery Needles - This needle is for use with metallic and Sulky threads. It minimizes the shredding of these fragile threads.
  • Quilting Needles - This needle will not pull your batting through your quilt top, eliminating "pulling".
  • Handicap Needles - This self-threading needle is great for teaching kids to sew and for the "visually challenged".
  • Leather Needles - This needle has a special cutting point that makes it great for leather, vinyl, and plastics.
  • Topstitch Needles - This needle is great for topstitching with heavier threads.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Nice!

What a nice way to start my day: a note from Emma letting me know that she has featured me on her blog, Please check her Etsy shop out, too - what fun feathery and oragami-inspired accessories she's made...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Prayers for Melyssa

(Click to enlarge any image)
This little number is my version of "prayer flags". I was inspired by the photos of prayer flags that my step-daughter showed me after her trip to Nepal and by the fun garlands that Debra Cooper over at littleblackkittyart makes. But my biggest reason for making this is that one of my very best friends (and college roommates) recently found out that she has lung cancer.
So I set about doing just about the only thing I could think of doing to give her something cheerful to look at in her already quite cheerful home. I came up with as many prayers and quotes and words as I could and scattered them across some happy fabric swatches (of which I have many!).
Now she can stand under these and let them rain down on her.One of Melyssa's passions is birds. So what more appropriate holder of the prayer flag chain than some wire birds with curly streamers flying behind them?
If any of you out there pray, would you please send a prayer up for her? I know she'll feel them...and smile.