CrazyQuilt Embellishment FAQ

Written by the members of CrazyQuilt and compiled by Dawn Smith.

The FAQ now consists of five pages.

CrazyQuilt FAQ
CrazyQuilt Wearables FAQ
CrazyQuilt Vest FAQ
CrazyQuilt Book FAQ
CrazyQuilt Embellishment FAQ

Index of Questions


What methods can you use to transfer picture designs onto fabric?
What are some favorite stitches and stitch combinations?
What type threads are available for hand embroidery, and what weights are best?
What are some sources for threads?
What are some embellishment techniques?
How do you pick embellishment colors?
What methods can you use to transfer photos onto fabric?
What methods can you use to transfer embroidery motifs?
How do I use up thread and silk ribbon ends?
Should silk ribbon be ironed before use?
How do you store your silk ribbon and floss?
What kind of needles do you use for SRE?
How many needles do you have threaded at once for SRE?
How do you thread small needles?
What are some methods for making spiders and webs?
How do you make other bugs?
How do you do lettering?
How do you attach charms?
How do you attach coins?
How do you use tatting on CQ?

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What methods can you use to transfer picture designs onto fabric?
As to designs to embroider. If you have Corel Printhouse, Print Artist or several others you can choose the view or print options to print the graphics "coloringbook" which means just the outlines. You can shrink or stretch them so they're the final size you want...experiment on the paper till it's the size you want on fabric. You can either trace the printout on the paper (eg. with iron on transfer pencil or washout marker) or you can print directly on the fabric. Ink jet printers can print on fabric ironed onto 8 1/2 x/11 freezer paper. My HP 682 ink is good through 3 washings in the machine for black, but the color washes out about 90% the first time it gets wet. There are papers on the market to print in color on the coated paper and then iron on the color transfer to your fabric, but it has to be very hot and comes out too stiff to embellish with much embroidery. (Eabergles@aol.com)

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I do a lot of embroidery and almost always use a picture I like from a book. I trace the design onto lightweight, almost transparent interfacing. Then I baste this interfacing to the wrong side of my fabric. You have to be careful about the orientation of your design, so it faces the right way, especially if it includes lettering. If this is the case, then turn the interfacing over before basting it to your fabric (and hold it up to the light to check). Since the interfacing is lightweight, you can see the traced lines from either side of it. I use Pigma micron permanent pens to transfer the design. I use the design lines on the back to guide me in doing the embroidery.

If my fabric is light and I just need a basic shape, I will use a disappearing purple pen and a sunny window to trace this shape onto the front, embroider it before the pen fades, and then continue. I have found that if I put my fabric with the purple ink on it in a zip lock bag, it won't fade so fast. (Lynne Redderson)

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I just purchased what's called a transfer pen.(made by EZ International Crafts. Cost around $5 Can.)It can be used for fabric as well as wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, etc. Anyhow, it's a special marker, with which you trace a design onto special transfer paper. which comes with the pen. You then put the paper, design down, onto your fabric and rub the design onto the material using the back of a spoon, your fingernail or some such thing.The pen has a little thicker tip than I would like but other than that, with my limited experimentation so far, it seems to have worked pretty well. Apparently the ink washes out easily though I haven't tried that yet. I bought it particularly with the anniversary quilt in mind. (Phyllis)

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What are some favorite stitches and stitch combinations?
I don't know about others, but the stitches I use most often are: fly stitch, feather stitch, lazy daisy, french knot, button hole, creten stitch, and chevron stitch. I use various combinations of these. I also use some chain stitch, couching for spider webs and I occasionally try out lots of other stitches. (Dawn Smith)

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I like to use a fine chain stitch to write on sayings, or to do spirals that have a crystal or fancy bead in the centre. (Phyllis)

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My favorite stitch is to make a spoke of 5 stitches...sort of like a star out of 2 strands of embroidery floss. Next take silk ribbon..begin in the center and alternate the SR under and over the spokes until they are all filled up. Finally make a french knot in the center. This works well with textured yarns also or whatever you want, but whatever you use should be fairly thick. Makes a pretty rose. (Kathi in Tempe, Az.)

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One of my faves.. Do a zig-zag chain stitch. In between each 'up and down' part, put 3 straight stitches, and a little french knot at the end of them. I also like to do a chain stitch, and put lazy daisies on each side in different colors. (Lib)

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One of my favourite stitches is groups of detached chain (lazy daisy) stitches, made five to a group, sometimes seven, which all radiate out from the same point to form a fan or half-circle, with the stitch in the centre being slightly longer. I add seed beads or french knots or a contrasting smaller chain stitch inside the loops, or seed beads at the points of the stitches that form the clusters, along the outer edge of the 'fan'. I like them in rows to hold a seam down, with about 1/4" space between 'fans', and sometimes alternate the direction of the clusters, so that one faces right, the next to the left, or add french knots or beads between the 'fan' clusters right on the seam line. (Carolyn)

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I like to do feather stitch in a green silk buttonhole twist, then add bullion stitch rosebuds at the ends of the feather stitch in an overdyed floss. Sometimes, I will alternate the rosebuds with a pearl. Very elegant! (Betty P.)

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This could be done with your favorite vine/flowers. I like to meander a vine across a seam like a little creek, winding back a forth with an occasional loop. Then I add leaves just where the hump of the wind is starting up so the leaf is always on the outside of the vine. Just on the other side of the vine at the base of the leaf I add a flower, or three, normally an odd number of flowers and buds. Next on some of the vines but not all I add a bug. Dragonflies on roses are great! I'm not sure of the book I think by West had some great bugs. several lady bugs marching up a pumpkin vine, with ripe and unripe pumpkins and flowers looks yummie...These aren't stitch combos but I'm not very good at describing the stitches used for this affect. Luckily there are great books out!! (Mary-Ruth L. Flores)

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I have several favorite stitches. One is a feather stitch, usually in green of some kind, with flowers done in rosette stitch and a bead in the center of each. Another is a small chain stitch waving back and forth over the seam line, then a pistol stitch fan in each depression. I like to do a cretan stitch and add a detached chain fan at the end of each point.

I like to try all kinds of different threads, just to see the effects. I love various couching type threads, kind of meandering them over the fabric, then adding beads. And I like to try something I have never done before on every block I do, especially the trading blocks. (Priscilla)

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Stitch combo: Work a chevron stitch over a seam. In a different thread work 3 laizy daisy stitches (fan like) over the flat part of the chevron stitch, top and bottom. \|/ (Leslie in NY)

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O.K. this isn't actually my favorite stitch, it is just one I made up recently and thought I'd share it. I had just finished a tree on a patch and still had to do the seam near the base of the tree so I thought of making a fence. this is how I did it. I made a row of buttonhole stitches by putting 2 close together and then skipping a space and 2 together etc... across the seam, using a brown thread. That made the posts. Then I used a black thread and made a long straight stitch in the long space between the sets of stitches for the wire, and went back putting a small cross stitch to anchor down the wire, and make the barbs. A few little green straight stitches at the base of the posts for grass and its done.

Thats really all there is to it, except for the suggestion of a little bird sitting on the wire (french knot head and a few straight stitches) --- and a couple of fly stitches for the birds in flight.(tree)

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Work cretan stitch down the middle of a patch or on a seam. On the end of each "leg" work a leaf done in cretan stitch. At the end of each "leg" on the leaf, sew a single seed bead. (Leslie)

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One of my latest favorites starts with a row of creten stitching. Over the top of that I put a row of chevron stitches. Every other stitch of the chevron goes under the creten stitches so that they are woven together. Then I put two or three lazy daisy stitches at the end of each "leg" of the creten stitches. Finally on the bar of each chevron stitch I put a seed bead or seed pearl.

I use three different colors of thread for the combination. The last one I made uses #5 perle cotton in peach for the creten, YLI silk buttonhole twist in mint green for the chevron, a pastel varigated hand-dyed perle cotton from Aus for the lazy daisy stitches and seed pearls.

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I like making 'fans' with the lazy daisy stitch too. I also like them with straight stitches. When you alternate clusters, have you also alternated the colors, picking up the color on the opposite side in each 'fan'? Do you know what I mean? So if you have red on one side and black on the other, you stitch black fans on the red side and red fans on the black. I saw this in the book by Penny McMorris on an old crazy quilt and really liked it. I also sometimes make the end stitch of the lazy daisy longer than usual ( can't remember which book pointed this out) like long fingernails on a hand (not that I have them!) (Janet in MI)

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I'm just a beginner, but one stitch-combo I came up with that worked nicely is this. I worked two rows of herringbone stitch, one on top of the other so they made diamonds. Where the long stitches crossed in the center, I worked a long straight stitch across them and a shorter straight stitch across that, then short straight stitches across the x's on the outside part of the herringbone stitches. Then I stitched a cluster of three little pearls in the middle of the diamonds. Four pearls would also look nice and more symmetrical. (Pat)

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I'm enjoying the thread on favourite combinations. I've got lots to add if the disccussion continues over time. But meanwhile I'll just mention one stitch (not a combination) that I recently became aware of . It's the Maidenhair stitch, which basically is a featherstitch where you work three featherstitches on one side graduating the length of the stitches, but aligning them vertically. You then do the same on the opposite side. The stitch has a very graphic , fern-like quality to it, and looks quite dramatic in #5 pearl cotton.

I noticed it first recently in JBM's Elegant Stitches. (pg. 55.) Because it's not a fancy combination like many of us use with abandon, it's sort of unassuming. But I assure you it really adds to a piece. And of course one can then jazz it up to with lazy daisies, French knots, beads, or whatever hits your fancy. (Phyllis)

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My newest favorite stitch is to do a bullion in #12 overdyed pearl, in the manner of a stem stitch. In other words, the individual bullion stitches overlap the way that a stem stitch does. It creates a beautiful texture. (Note to beginners: the bullion stitch requires patience, trial and error. don't pull the coils so tightly that the needle won't pass through. keep an even tension. hold the coils while you pull the needle through and make sure they lay in order before finishing the stitch) (Leslie)

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What type threads are available for hand embroidery, and what weights are best?
There are so many threads available for embroidery that I'm sure it will take all of us to create a full list. Here's a beginning. Strandable: cotton, silk and rayon floss, Persian wool, Waterlilies(Caron), art silk, Watercolours(Caron), Marlett, floss overdyed Perle cottons (3,5, 8), silk buttonhole twist, Wildflowers(Caron), Cotton a Broder, braided rayon ribbon, silk ribbon (2,4,7mm),decorative threads(Chenille, Charleston, Rachel), metallics, crewel yarns, tapestry wool.

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I like a thread that is easy to thread, does not have to be separated and preferably comes on a spool instead of card. All kinds of threads, I am always looking for new threads. The most choice find recently is the new Anchor metallic that is in a skein. I found it in of all places, Guernsey, England. Kreinick makes some spooled silk embroidery threads as well as skeined. DMC metallic embroidery thread is very handy and I have used many spools and easy to find. Guitterman makes a great silk twist. So does Zwicky, but both are hard to find. These are thicker than sewing machine thread.

Sulky is difficult to use by hand, because it was made for sewing machines. To use it you will need to use short lengths because it will start ravelling off the polyester core and makes little knots. Sulky size 30 is better, since it is a little thicker. Madeira sewing machine thread is superior for hand sewing. Sewing machine threads are also light weight and don't show up very well. All that work for stitches that hardly show. Guitterman has a wonderful sparkling thread out for sewing machines that works well for hand stitching once you get it threaded. I use all kinds of threads. Mostly, I like silk ones that have some weight to them so that the stitches show. YLI, Kreinik, Guitterman, Zwicky are some brand names. There is a company Nordic Needle that has an especially good selection of threads for hand sewing. They have an 800 number. I'm sure they would help you choose some proper threads.

A standby is DMC metallic embroidery thread. It is 3-ply and comes in 2 or 3 shades of metallic gold and 2 or 3 of silver. Also red and green. There is a wonderful opalescent which is wonderful on pastels. Also there is variegated color that is good on any thing. Wal Mart sells it as well as Ben Franklin. It is easy to find in the needlework section.

Each company seems to have their own version of button hole twist. I've already talked a little about YLI. Personally, I don't like the cards that YLI comes on. There are corners left in your threads and it makes the thread hard to manage. so I go for the spooled threads although they are not as tight as YLI, and the colors are much more limited. YLI has about 180 colors, while the other companies have almost as many as 30 or 40 colors. YLI offers their cards at $3.74 to $4.00 each. Building a pallet is kind of expensive. Kreinik has spools at $1.50 or less, but not as many colors. (Orinda Spence)

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Pearl cotton #5 is a nice weight. You might look at Flower Thread also, the colors are very muted and one strand is equal to 6 strands of regular embroidery floss - it does tangle easily though. I haven't tried any yet, but I hear good things about the rayon embroidery thread used for 3-dimensional Brazilian embroidery. Nordic Needle is a good source for this stuff (1-800-433-4321). (Beth)

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I have a whole (growing) collection of the DMC metallics. There is a wonderful variety, and can be used alone or as a blending filament. I just thought I'd comment on a feature of DMC's newest standed metallics in gold and silver. They are much more pliable than their others...it almost feels like regular fiber. I have been using a single strand and getting wonderful results doing buttonhole stitching and other stitches that usually don't look good with their other metallics. I found that the only problem I had was that the metallic part would seperate and shred from the nylon fiber it is wound around at the eye of the needle. Cutting shorter lengths and running the part of the fiber that will be at the eye thru beeswax solved that problem. I've had no trouble with knotting or other kinds of fraying. I'm very happy with this new product and hope that they will come out with other colors soon! Oh, as a post script.....I've found that I prefer to use one of the braids to get a thicker effect, rather than multiple strands of the new fiber. It's simply easier to work with than trying to keep multiple fibers together. (dee)

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For embroidery over seams, I enjoy using Caron Fibers, especially Wildflowers weight, which is a single strand cotton, similar to flower thread or #8-#12 pearl cotton. It comes in a number of variegated colors, and the effect of the changing colors over the length of the stitching is lovely. Sometimes for a heavier look, I'll use Caron's Watercolours, which is similar in wirght to #5 pearl cotton. It also comes in hand-dyed variegated colors.

Caron also makes "Impressions" which is a silk wool blend fiber, equivalent to #8 pearl cotton. It comes in the same variegated colors. Cross stitch shops or needlepoint shops carry these threads, or they can be mail ordered from Evening Star (1-800-666-3562) or Nordic Needle (1-800-433-4321) Nordic Needle also carries a Caron color card for $5.75 (Julie Hocking)

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I prefer to use Silk buttonhole twist or # 5 or #8 perle cotton. I also will use just about anything else that I can thread into a needle, yarns, threads, whatever. another favorite is ribbon floss, goes thru the fabrics easily (much easier than you would think for the thickness), stands out on most fabrics. I also like to use the Kreinick metallics & braids. I collect any thread that catches my eye - cottons, wools, silks, rayons, metallics...(Lori Melberg )

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I rarely use just regular embroidery floss. I really like buttonhole twist. I have a lot of those small wooden spools of Belding Corticelli. I don't think you can get them anymore. But the nearest equivalent is the Kanagawa buttonhole twist (silk) on cards. I'm pretty sure this is available through Very Victorian Notions (previously owned by J. Montano). It is in the Evening Star Catalog.

I second the recommendation for DMC metallic embroidery thread. It comes on a traditional plastic spool in plastic on cardboard. There are several shades of gold - one bright, some more subdued, one mixed with black for an antique look and my favorite: pink, blue and gold strands twisted together.

I like the shine and twist of pearl cotton. I have some narrow plastic spools of Kreinik's Trebizond pearl silk - it is thick to show up well on seams and has a visible twist like pearl cotton. This ia available through Hedgehog Handworks (P.O. Box 45384 Westchester CA 90045). I was introduced to this fiber at a Crazy Quilting class through the Embroidery Guild of America (EGA).

Madiera has some new metallics called Jewel - they are thin, though, so I double or triple the strands. These come in lots of beautiful metallic colors - I just wish they came in a thicker version. (These are available from Liz Turner Diehl, Inc. P. O. Box 50355, Eugene OR 97405)

YLI has a thread intended for the serger - it comes on 100 yard spools and is called Pearl Crown Rayon. It is a shiny, twisted thread, the perfect thickness for embellishing. I think it's about $3.25 per spool. It's in the Evening Star Catalog.

Oops, I forgot to include ribbon floss. Rainbow Gallery makes a fiber called Neon Rays that is very similar to ribbon floss, and they have a million colors. I have used this a lot and like the look and shine of it.

I noticed that Deborah Brunner used Fleur de Paris velour thread for the stems of her ribbon embroidered tulips in Crazy Rags. If you're not familiar with this, it is a cord-like velour (round, not flat) that comes in 2 sizes, fine and fat. It's fuzzy and doesn't stretch and looks great the way she used it. I think it's used a lot for needlepoint.

Also, there's the fabulous chenille (100% rayon by Quilter's Resource). It comes in the most beautiful variegated colors. It's only about $1.50 for a 10 yard pack. I have a lot of this, but haven't used this yet in my CQ, but I noticed that Evening Star carries it in their catalog. (Lynne)

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I just discovered some exciting new fibers by Quilters' Resource Inc. This is the same company that makes those luscious variegated chenille threads that are in the Evening Star catalog. I wonder if Evening Star will carry them in their next catalog. (Does anyone know if Quilters' Resource is a wholesale company?)

One of the fibers is called Marabout. I'm not sure I can do it justice with a description, but I will try. It looks like a flat chenille, with a center thread of black and little black shiny threads interspersed with the dyed fibers that make up the chenille. There's Mustard Seed, made up of variegated autumn colors of rust, olive green, and a muted orange. Purple Splash is wonderful - turquoise, dark grey, purple and red-violet. 10 yards are $2 where I bought it.

Another fiber is called Eyelash - it is a skinny central thread with a quarter inch of dyed threads sticking out of it sideways every half inch or so. On the sample I am looking at, the first pink bunch of threads sticks out to the left, the next pink bunch sticks out to the right. It only sticks out a quarter of an inch.

Then there's my favorite - Plumetes. It is a central thread with bunches of fibers sticking out from it every inch or so. The fibers stick out in both directions from the center. They have wonderful colors. (Lynne)

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These are in the Web of Thread catalog too...in a supplement that came with it. They are $2.00 for 10 yards, and look really interesting.

Another thing that caught my eye in this catalog are the Gift Boxes of Madeira fibers. *Very* reasonable prices, and it looks like a wonderful way to get an assortment of colors to try.(dee)

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Threads are just one of my passions. There is a story about buying thread. We go to the store shopping, when we get home DH asks us what we bought. We say "just some thread". Never mind that the thread cost $13.00 a spool or something like that.

I consider two threads basic to survival. DMC metallics, which comes on a spool and YLI silk buttonhole twist. Kreinik also makes some wonderful silk threads, but the colors are limited. I like the looks of unstranded threads for crazy quilting. That is why I like silk buttonhole twist.

Always buy colors that you like. Sooner or later everything will go with everything else. At least that works for me.

(Orinda)

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Ohh, threads, my favorite topic!! I do surface embroidery as well as needlepoint and other goodies, so I have a good stash of threads. Some of my favorites are: Soie Gobelin and Soie Perlee (these are thicker silk threads), #4 very fine metallic braid from Kreinik - this is very stichable and is a new weight that they carry. Fyreworks is a thick, flat, transparent (sometimes) metallic that works wonders for tied herringbone. Marlitt adds a nice sheen. Empress silk is a flat silk that is so lovely, but can catch and snag easily. Rayon Brazilian threads can be used for embroidery stitches other than brazilian. Flower threads (DMC or Danish Flower thread) gives a matte finish and is thicker than floss. I also love overdyed floss from Needle Necessities and their overdyed #8 perle cotton. I also use Madeira #40 metallic machine sewing thread. It won't snap and break like blending filament. (Betty Pilsbury)

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Oooh the magic question! Threads, threads, threads! Magic on a spool or in a skein. I've been using a lot of perle cotton lately. If you like overdyed threads (and who doesn't?) look for the Caron Collection http://www.caron-net.com/) or Weeks Dye Works. I just love those! Sometimes I buy them just because... Chenille knitting yarn is fun! And then there is silk ribbon. Which is a whole 'nother obsession...(Beth Barter)

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I find myself returning again and again to Pearl Cottons (and they come in such lovely colors!). If I want a matte effect I like the DMC Flower Threads, although they can be difficult at times (they love to tangle).

If the piece is very small and can benefit from small stitches and fibers, I have been thoroughly addicted to silks....Caron's Waterlilies, especially with all the wonderful colors. (dee)

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About YLI silk buttonhole twist. I like that thread and use it often, but since I have found J.L. Walsh's silk buttonhole twist, ohh, heaven. It doesn't kink near as much as the other.

YLI also has a silk floss. I believe it retails for around .99 a package. Really nice to work with. (Betty P.)

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What are some sources for threads?
Accessory Resource Corp. 1-800-877-4272

Ask for a catalog, they are very pleasant over the phone and are more than willing to deal with the small home consumer, even though their main business seems to be supplying thread, etc. to commercial embroiderers Orders can be placed over the phone on a credit card or shipped C.O.D. and can be paid by personal check when the order arrives. There are 220 Isacord colors available. A 1,000 meter They also carry a full line of stabilizers and Schmetz needles. (Barbara Lawn)

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You get Kanagowa from YLI. YLI has the tightest twist. They have an 800 number and also have retail as well as wholesale. I got Zwicky in Lethbridge, Alberta. Viking Sewing machines is the USA supplier. The Guitterman silk twist, I got in England. (Orinda)

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Evening Star (1-800-666-3562)

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Nordic Needle (1-800-433-4321)

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Solo (1-800-343-9670) They carry a wide assortment of thread, are extremely helpful, and ship immediately. no affiliation, just a happy customer. (pat in maryland)

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Web of Thread (1-800-955-8185) 1410 Broadway Paducah, KY 42001 Fax (502) 575-0904 A great catalogue, not just for buttonhole twist, but for every other thread (hand and machine), silk ribbons, yarns, etc. Gorgeous colour photos. (Hilary Metcalf)

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Thank you to whoever recommended the catalog, it was a good investment for $3. (dee)

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YLI
1-800-854-1932

They sent two flyers, but said I would have to call back to get prices on what I was interested in. The flyer lists 1000 Denier on 20 meter cards, 380 Denier on 80 meter cards, Silk Stitch on 50 meter spools, Silk Sewing Thread, 6 strand silk floss, and various widths of silk ribbon. The threads are all silk. There is a color chart as well. (Dawn)

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Madeira
888-623-3472 and 800-547-8025
http://www.madeirathreads.com/scs
email: sce@madeirathreads.com
Free catalog

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What are some embellishment techniques?
I like to tie bows out of anything leaving large tails which I wind around and through things then tack it all down with beads and bead tassels.

Take a string of beads, restring them on nymo, and tack the string on going across patches and seam lines. (Orinda Spence)

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1).For people who don't like to glue down to the fabric, cabochons can be glued to a metal finding and the finding can then be stitched down.

2). For flatter objects, such as flattish cabochons, shiny coins, pailletes, etc., shi-sha stitch techniques can be used to hold them down. You can also remove the shanks from shank buttons and attach this way.

3) Don't overlook other things than buttons for a raised look. You can stitch down bead caps like sequins. Rounded rubber washers, curtain rings, and corn pads (!) can all be wrapped with beads, embroidered, etc. semi-rounded wooden shapes with flat bottoms can be covered like buttons, with embroidered fabric and stitched on.

4). Matte and shiny beads can be painted or spray-painted before or after stitching.

5). Paper beads can be covered with envirotex for a permanent, waterproof finish

6). Plastic AB (aurora borealis) beads, or plastic crystal beads can be melted in the oven @ 350 for a minute or two, flattened with a spatula while still hot, and used like shi-sha. Be sure you have good ventilation and only do it for a little while. I have not had a problem with fumes.

7) Lames made of acetate can be ironed quickly, with a too-hot iron and they will pucker up attractively.

8) Paillettes can also be painted with transparent paints. Do not be afraid to experiment with unconventional fabrics and embellishments. Use what appeals to you. The foregoing methods are especially useful when you run out of a supply or a color that you need.

Postscript: Do not try ironing the tricot lame with a hot iron. The tissue lame with the scrim backing is the kind I"m talking about. Don't forget you can paint your brass charms, too, with transparent paint. Acrylic glass stain works well.(Jeannine)

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How do you pick embellishment colors?
It's depended on the overall effect I wanted to achieve, but I find myself tending towards picking out colors in the fabrics, and using those to tie it together visually. (dee)

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Depends on the project - some are the same colors as the fabrics, ie - cream and gold stocking embelished with gold and cream threads, or contrasting colors, black fabrics with "jewel tone" threads and trims. My choices vary depending on my mood, what the project is, how obvious I want the embelishemts to be... (Lori Melberg )

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What methods can you use to transfer photos onto fabric?
I use Judith Montano's gum turpentine technique. It is in Crazy Quilt Odyssey. The finished product has a lovely old look about it and you can add water color before or after. (Orinda Spence)

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Regarding the Photo Transfer method I just saw on Simply Quilts: She took a bunch of photos, some B & W and some color; she bought from a quilt store a "Photo Transfer sheet" she said it cost about 3 bucks, but you can get about 8 small pictures on one sheet. You then go to a color copy place... and have them copy the pictures onto the transfer sheet. Nothing happens to the photographs and you place them right up against each other to get as many on as possible.

Then you go home and cut the photocopy apart, i.e. separating the pictures. You take a piece of plain white 100% cotton and put it on ironing board, put the color copy face down ...oh she suggested that you use only pictures that are the size of the width of the bottom of your iron. If you have big pictures it is better to let a professional do it. anyway, put the color copy face down and using a hot iron on cotton setting, no steam, simply press with only a little movement but a lot of pressure, for 30 seconds.

Then peel off the transfer paper (photo copy) and it leaves a perfect picture on the cloth. You then cut around it leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance. This makes it easy to sew sashings between the pictures.

The Lady's name is Ami Simms and she has a book telling about this method and shows quilts she has done. the name is "Creating Scrap Book Quilts" I think it might also say "with photo transfer" It is really easy, as I saw it, and you don't even pre wash the fabric! no mess no fuss. I am going to try it when I find the photo transfer sheet. (Rose Petersen)

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The Keepsake Quilting catalog that I received yesterday has the Photo Transfer Paper. There are six 8 1/2"x11" sheets for $14.99. Says all you need is a color copier and hot iron. (Debbie Bacallao)

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You can color copy a photo onto transfer paper with good results -- the only drawback is that the transfer can be a little stiff or plastic-feeling. You can also (if you have the equipment, or have access to it) scan in a photo and print it onto transfer paper using a color printer. I'm told that the transfer paper most copy places use is better than the paper Canon makes for color printers, and color copiers also have better resolution (the copy of the picture looks more like a photo) so getting it done at a copy place is probably better. I haven't used a transfer made on a color copier myself, but I have used transfers I made on my color inkjet printer.

I've also experimented some with transferring black and white photocopies to fabric, using what I learned from Marjorie Croner's book called _Fabric Photos_. I think the transfers that worked the best were the ones I did of some old photos onto ecru satin -- the hint of color gave the photo more warmth. I plan to use transfers like this in a crazy quilt, although I'm also going to try using a brown copier (my local Kinko's has one that will copy using brown toner) to give the photo a sepia-tone look, and I also want to try some other pale colors of satin, to see if ecru looks best. I thought blush or a very pale gold might also work well.

The color transfer paper is something copy stores stock, or you can buy it in small packages (10 sheets, I think) -- Canon packages it for use with their color printers, but you can use it with any inkjet printer. (I'ts pretty expensive -- when I bought it, the best price I could find was $16-17 for the package of 10 8-1/2"x 11" sheets!) The Canon paper has pretty good directions inside the package for using it.

But the Marjorie Croner book was written before that option was available. I tried several of the methods from her book, and the one that worked the best for me was using mending fabric -- which is like iron-on patches to mend jeans, except that it's made of lighter-weight fabric in bigger pieces.

What you do is make a photocopy of the picture you want to transfer -- while you can do this with color photos, sometimes there's not enough contrast in the picture to get a good transfer when it's copied in black and white, so I usually start with a black and white photo. (Sepia-tone works well, too -- there's one particularly good one of my grandmother when she's in her early twenties that transferred really well.) Actually, you should make several copies, so you have some extras to work with, and make them really dark -- you could "bracket" like photographers do, if the copier has several darkness settings. Start with the darkest possible copy, and work your way down to the just- darker-than-normal setting. (You'll probably find that the darkest or almost darkest works best -- even though it's dark enough that you don't think you can see detail, all that ink will transfer onto the fabric in the right quantity to work really well.)

You iron the front of the photocopy onto the side of the mending fabric with the glue on it, and then peel it off. Depending on the photocopy ink, it might work best to peel it off when it's hot from the iron, or when it's cooled off a little or a lot. You really don't know ahead of time -- so experiment with a piece of photocopy that you don't need -- iron it onto a strip of mending fabric. Peel 1/3 off when it's hot, peel the next 1/3 off when it's still warm, and peel the rest of it off when it's completely cool. You'll be able to see what stage provided the best ink transfer.

Then you just iron the photo that was transferred onto the mending fabric onto your target" fabric -- again, you can experiment to be sure you remove the mending fabric at the right temperature so you get the best ink transfer. Basically, what you're doing is using the mending fabric as a printing plate -- it just transfers the copier ink from the paper to the fabric. The result, by the way, isn't plastic at all -- I was really surprised. Like I said, I really like how it transferred to ecru satin -- it was really pretty. In fact, the smoother the "target" fabric is, the better -- you get more detail in the transfer.

By the way, you can find mending fabric at fabric stores in the notions section -- I even found it at WalMart. And pick white or a light color -- makes it easier to see the photocopier ink transfer. I also didn't need to use a really hot iron -- when I transferred onto satin, I used a setting for permanent press (the satin was polyester) and that was hot enough.

If you don't get a good enough transfer using this process, either you haven't found the optimum temperature to pull the ink away, or you don't have a dark enough photocopy to work with. But one thing that might help is always putting the iron on the side you want the ink to go *to*. In other words, iron the mending fabric instead of the original photocopy in the first step, and iron your target fabric instead of the medning fabric in the second step. The photocopy ink will migrate toward the heat.

I've heard of ironing a photocopied image directly onto the fabric, but I didn't have much luck with that. I think the glue on the mending fabric makes the transfer process a lot more even. And besides, you don't have to worry about flipping the image when you copy it when you use the mending fabric. It may not matter most of the time, but there will be times you don't want that picture transferred backwards. I hope this explains it a little bit -- Croner does a much better job in her book. (Terri Carl)

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Re: using a lazer printer to transfer photos to material. I have heard somewhere, ?, that the material does get jammed and it doesn't work as well as using some sort of chemical kit that is designed to transfer photographs to material. I have a friend who used this stuff (I'm sorry I don't know its name or anything about it) and it worked beautifully. She did several pictures of her daughter as a child in a crazy quilt that she made for daughter and sent it to her. It was super. This lady is not wonderfully handy and if she can do it... (Rose Petersen)

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There is a product called "Picture This" available at most craft stores that does a pretty good job. Personally, I prefer to take my photos to a place that makes tee shirt transfers and have them do mine on the fabric that I take in. They always turn out perfectly. (Sharyn Pellegrin)

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I have another method for transferring photos to fabric. I learned it at a sewing workshop. You make a photocopy of the picture- color or b&w- and then using a transfer media- which is really a special kind of glue- you transfer it to the fabric. The media is spread onto the photocopy and then placed on the fabric and the two are pressed together using a rolling tool. after it dries thoroughly you wash away the paper from the photocopy and the picture is transferred. Then end result is thicker and stiffer than the original fabric, can be washed gently if necessary, sewed on or through- but cannot be directly ironed- it will alter the colors. (Kirsten) When I transferred photos to fabric, I used watercolors to gently wash over the transfers and change the tone. I used my kid's cheap-o water colors set. I put a little bit of water on the fabric first, before applying the color. I did use lots of water to keep the colors somewhat washed out in appearance. I used a couple of colors (purple and brown or purpIe and red or blue and green). I had transferred my photos to a fine silk fabric that I had cut from a blouse that I found at the thrift store. (Which by the way is a good source of plain off white silk). This method worked well for me to change the appearance of the photos. (Julie Hocking, In San Diego, CA)

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Hi. I've done this (running fabric through your printer). I haven't done it a LOT, but I made some lables for some garments I had for sale, and just ironed muslin to a piece of freezer paper then trimmed it down to 8.5 x 11, put it in the top manual feed tray of my laser printer (I've got a HP LaserJet 4 Plus--just prints black and white) and it went through and printed just fine. Nothing jammed, no problems with the printer after either. (Cathi)

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I have been running my fabric through the printer. I first iron on freezer paper (the kind with wax on the back) to give the fabric stability. I use a good quality of white or off white cotton fabric. I then cut it down to an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet to fit into the printer. Sharp and clean edges will keep it from causing any problems in the printer.Black and white photos come out the best. I don't care for the way my printer handles the color photos. We don't have a laser printer but rather an inkjet printer.It seems to work fine. I have noticed a very slight distortion of the photo. The photo of my parents that I transfered made them look ever so slightly heavier in the face. Not so much that it would make a difference in the quality of the picture. But I noticed it. I think I will be continuing to transfer my photos this way,( We have already put alot of money into this project and DH would not be too happy about changing directions at this point. :) (Joyce)

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Someone asked me about the photo transfers with an inkjet printer and if the ink runs. Yes it does. I am now in the process of figuring out how to overcome this problem. In an article from Patchwork Quilts, Penny McMorris gives directions on how to heat set the printed fabric image.

Here are her directions:

1. Put a piece of plain white copy paper on your ironing board. Layer your fabric printout wiht plain copy paper underneath and on top.

2. Spray the top with water; iron with medium heat.

3.Keep changing the top sheet of paper to a clean sheet as long as you see the printed image transferring through to the top of the paper.

4. When the top sheet remains clean, your fabric should be heat-set. Let it cool before using. (Joyce) (Bojo20@erols.com)

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Some years ago (before transfer paper) I saw a segment on the old Home Show where they took a Xerox copy, covered it with Alene's Fabric Glue, put it on the (in this case) t-shirt and rolled it with a rolling pin to get all the bubbles out and make sure the glue was consistent over the entire paper. After the glue had dried thoroughly, they soaked the whole thing in water until the paper began to disolve. Some paper had to be scraped off -- using a fingernail or the edge of a plastic card. It worked -- I tried it.

Recently a man on another list told me about a method of making transfers from a laser printer. Never, never put fabric or transfer paper in a laser printer -- the heat is too high and you can ruin the laser. He said to save the backing sheets from labels (like Avery mailing labels), remove all paper and use the waxy paper in the printer. After you have made your picture (or poster, or whatever), put it face down on the fabric and iron. The plastic pellets release from the waxy finish and cling to the fabric, the heat sets them on (melts them a little). (Joanne in Reno)

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After much experimenting I have found the following:

Acetone works better as a solvent than the mineral turrpentine (sorry I can't quite remember what you guys call that - its the stuff you clean paintbrushes with).

If having a mirror image of the original photo bothers you, have the b&w copy taken on a colour copier - that isn't as silly as it sounds, as the colour copier has a built in mirror image capability - just ask the operator.

The smoother the surface of the fabric the better the results. Pure silk satin is the best, of course, but pretty expensive - unless you have a sister who lives in Hong Kong and gets you silk scraps from the silk merchant there - but that is another story and I'll send you that into another time. Polyester satin works just fine. If using acetone as a solvent DON'T use acetate, as it will dissolve.

I prefer acetone as it doesn't have that oily residue that the turps has. However it is incredibly drying on the skin, so wear those thin disposable gloves you can get at the drug store - essential if you wear nail polish like I do!

Colour photocopies of colour photos don't look so good in my opinion, but colour copies of pictures, such as on greeting cards, seed catalogues, etc work wonderfully. You will have to ask the operator to increase all the colours to maximum. This will produce a rather lurid copy (oh and don't forget to ask for mirror image too), however, not all the toner transfers and you will end up with a transfer very close to the original. You get a slightly soft focus effect which works well if you are starting wiith a watercolour picture.

Well, I think thats all I can tell you - I do teach a class in this, called HEIRLOOM MEMORIES where people transfer their favourite photos and we crazy patchwork them into a collage and add embroidery. I have a class on Sunday and one lady is doing a memory quilt for her husband who is in the army. We transferred all the photos onto a slightly khaki green satin - sounds awful I know, but it turned out very well, and then we started adding fabrics in tan, olive. etc. She even had some camouflage fabric she was going to include. Believe me, it is looking fantastic and I can't wait to see it all together on Sunday, when we are going to start adding embellishments. No grub roses obviously! But it will be fun.

Don't despair if your first photocopies don't transfer well. Providing you are using the right solvent and fabriic the problem will be with the photocopier. In general, the newer and more sophisticated the machine the worse results it gives! The copier at the local Seven Eleven or the library will probably give better results.

I put this down to the fact that 3M, Canon, etc, probably spend millions in R & D trying to develop a toner that stays on the paper. Remember the old days when if you picked up a fresh photocopy the ink smudged? Well that doesn't happen anymore as it has been improved. Trouble is if they improve it to the point where nothing will shift the toner off the paper, that will be the end of the Aussie method of photo transfer! So stick with the older machines, and when you find one that works for you, keep using it! (Hilary Metcalf)

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What methods can you use to transfer embroidery motifs?

The blue pens are terrible for quilting lines, where you want the lines to disappear, but I don't really see any problem using them to mark embroidery designs--with almost any transfer method, including the ones in the Dover books, you need to be sure to cover the lines with stitches, and NEVER count on the marks coming out.

Here's one method that works for me, especially on dark fabrics-- use a light (white, silver, light gray, whatever) colored pencil--a good quality one, like Prismacolor, that has lots of wax, to trace your design from whatever source your using onto tracing paper or any white paper. Then iron the colored pencil lines onto your patch. These lines show up very well, and sometimes (but don't rely on this--stitch over all your lines) they will disappear when you iron the fabric again when you're done with your embroidery. There are also commercial transfer pencils that you can buy--the yellow works well on dark fabrics, but I had the colored pencils so I thought I'd try it, and it worked.

Good Luck!!

(Mel Waite)

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The method I have used with good success is to take netting (like for the little girl's in ballet) 'trace' over the transfer with a wide black permenant marker then pin this netting to the piece I want to transfer to and mark *that* with a chalk square (like taylors use) and that transfers to the material ... it even works on material with a nap or texture.

If I need a *finer* line I sometimes use a piece of veil netting but for the most part I nearly always use the netting and it works fine.

I've never had a problem with getting it out .. it is usually gone by the time I've stitched what I'm doing ... but when I've made a placing error and need to 'erase' it I just use a bit of terry or some nappy material to brush it away. (Mary)

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How do I use up thread and silk ribbon ends?
When there isn't enough left in the needle to stitch with, cut out the remnant and keep in a jar, along with any bits of metallic thread, etc.

When your jar is full, tip it onto some silk, top with organza or tulle and do some free machine embroidery in metallic threads to hold it all together. You can use the resulting piece in your next crazy patchwork project. Waste not, want not! (Hilary Metcalf)

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Should silk ribbon be ironed before use?

I nuke my silk ribbon, it gets very hot. Ironing makes it shimmer. I use Static Guard to tame it. (Orinda)

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How do you store your silk ribbon and floss?

After experimenting with every known way to store floss I have finally settled on the little plastic bags made for the purpose (Floss Away is one brand).

These bags have several advantages over all the other methods.

There is no tedious winding of threads onto cards If you use only two or three strands from a six strand skein the unused strands can go straight back in the bag for use another time, instead of ending up in a tangled pile on the arm of your chair You can write on the outside of the bag the thread type, colour number Threads stay clean and tangle free You can select just the bags you want for a particular project and put them on one ring holder to carry around This system works very well for silk ribbon too, and little spools of blending filament, etc.

A word from the wise here, don't buy the bags with the hole in the centre, you can't get the thread in and out without removing it from the ring - get the ones with the hole in one corner just below the zip lock seal.

Happy stitching, from Canberra, where it is still sunny and cold (Hilary Metcalf)

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I have a great way to store silk ribbon. I use film canisters! I go to Fox Photo or some other place that would just throw them out or recycle them anyway, so they are free. I wind the ribbon around them, then tuck the end into the lid just before I snap it down. Of course, I kind of wash them out first, so the chemical smell isn't so strong. Also, if I need to know the brand or color number, I just tuck a piece of paper inside telling me the info I need. Then I put all my pinks in a ZipLock veggie bag (the ones with the holes), so the silk can breath. Another bag is for the blues, greens, etc. I wound all my 2mm ribbons (which I don't have as many of) onto white film canisters (the others are all black), so that I can easily find the 2mm baggie.

When I start running real low on a particular color, I just leave a 2" tail of ribbon sticking out of the canister. That way when I'm making a shopping trip to replenish my stash, it's easy for me to see what I am out of.

I use this method for the organdy and other embroidery ribbons also.(Lynne)

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What kind of needles do you use for SRE?

I always use Chenille needles for SRE. Use number 18 for 7mm; 22 for 4mm; and 24 for 2mm. Becuause of the way the ribbon is 'locked' into the eye of the needle, the needle stays threaded until all the ribbon is used, so you need several packets if you are working on a project with many colours. Parking the loaded needle in a pillow is a good idea. Sometimes I just look at what is left in the needles and use it up to add fill in french knots, little flowers etc. (Hilary Metcalf)

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I use John James chenille needles, many different sizes. However I don't pay much attention to size unless I am using a great big needle, like an 18, on a dainty piece of work. Sometimes I use a Darner #7 on dolls for SRE. Sometimes I get a hold of an embroidery needle and just use it. Tapestry needles do not work well unless you are working on even weave that has holes. Even then, if you are making ribbons stitches and who isn't, the tapestry needle won't work. . The wider the ribbon and tighter the fabric the bigger needle you need. If you embroider with 13mm and actually go through the fabric, you need a big needle and a pliers or needle grabber and maybe an awl, unless the fabric is loosely woven.

I do not take the ribbon out of a needle until there is only about 4 inches of ribbon left. Everytime I thread and knot it uses 1.5 inches of ribbon and so I don't unthread until I am down to nothing. So my pin cushion has as many threaded needles as colors I have not used up. Sometimes, I imagine there are as many as 50 and usually 30, then sometimes only 10. Sometimes I just go through and start using what is there. I use dyed ribbon about 99.9% of the time. Most brands of needles are pretty good, but John James has packs of 25 that I order and sell. Dritz has the bad needles. They really should do something about them. OUt of a pack of 5 or 6 needles, one will have a hook in the eye or on the end of something. That is the only bad brand I have found. In Canada and England I was able to get Milward, They are wonderful. I notice that there is Coats mark on them. (Orinda Spence)

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I use Piecemaker Chenille needles, size 18-22. I use shoulder pads that I have removed from garments I have taken apart to use for CQ. They make handy little needle holders. I use acouple of them, one for needles with 2mm and 4mm ribbons another for needles with 7mm and 13mm ribbon.(Miriam from Vancouver, Wa.)

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How many needles do you have threaded at once for SRE?

The number of needles I have threaded, depends on what I am working on. Sometimes I have to even use a third shoulder pad, but most of the time two works fine, I am guessing, but I would say I have between 20 and thirty needles threaded most of the time. I also have several beading and embroidery needles threaded and stored in shoulderpads. All of this fits in a plastic shoe box and fits nicely on the table next to my chair. I keep my beads in bottles or little zip loc bags and in one of those divided floss boxes. My floss I transrfer to the cards that come in the floss box and write the brand and number on each card. My Sulky threads, I have in the plastic shoe box. This works for me.(Miriam from Vancouver, Wa.)

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How do you thread small needles?

Threading Milliners Needles

This is a reply to Jan Thompson re: threading #12 Milliner's needles, but i'm sure there are a few others who might like my tips. I do not have good eyesight at the moment - am waiting for cataract surgery- but I have found from other sites info about threading these and other small eyed needles that I thought I'd pass on. Some may be old hat to many of you!

1. Always cut quilting thread at an angle - in fact I cut most of my threads at an angle with SHARP scissors.
2. Thread needle to thread.
3. If you like to "wet" then wet the needle not the thread.
4. When needles are made they are stamped out and one side is concave, so if you are having trouble turn the eye around. How many times have you had troubles threading a needle, dropped it,picked it up and it threaded easily. learned this from another list!!!(Jean in Winnipeg)

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What are some methods for making spiders and webs?

My version of a spider web and spider.

The web spokes were a gold thread radiating spokes from the corner, and couched down for the cross webs. Then, at the bottom of a long (gold) stitch down from the web, make a large X of same gold thread. Add two more "legs" to bottom of X; put a short straight stitch at end of each leg to make a "knee." I sewed a round shiny black bead (3/8") (got it in the embellishment swap, and I still have one left!!) smack in the middle of all the legs, and it looks like a spider hanging from the web. I never was too good at Biology, so this might have the wrong number of legs and no head, but it's cute. (Barbara in East Marion, NY)

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I've made smaller spiders by using an oval shaped bead as the body, a small round bead as the head, and then embroidering legs off of that. You can do the same idea using buttons. I've also embroidered them using a bullion stitch for the body. Like so much in CQ, whatever works for you is fine.(Susan Wells )

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Spiders: french knot cluster for the head, padded satin for the body, seed beads for eyes, straight stitches- 3 per leg and bend them. Or try a black glass dome button for the body. (jmm in beautiful autumnal Maine)

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I did one that turned out kinda cute ... very Halloween'ish and fun ... made a loop bullion in black satiny thread, tacked down the around end for his little butt and then filled it with Turkey Stitch ... that fuzzy stuff and then satin stitched a circle head with two beads for eyes and then bullioned out with a thinner thread for the legs. In stead of doing a loop or curved type bullion I just made it long and let it curve above the fabric ... does this make *any* sense ? (Mary - TheWanderers)

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I go to great lengths to get my spiders looking as real as possible. I use beads for the bodies. Some of my favorites are, a small faceted bead for the body, and matching seed bead for the head, or small striped beads, brown or black, found mine at JoAnn Fabrics, I use 2 one of each color, and lastly if you have a bead shop nearby, get one of the dark oblong fresh water pearls. I do the legs with the coral stitch, using thin, metallic thread. This stitch gives those little legs knees. Have fun, thats the important step! (Gerry)

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How do you make other bugs?

A bug? Here's one: make two bullion stitches side by side for the back end. Then attach to one end of this a "pile" of satin stitches perhaps three-eighths inch long for the center of the bug, then two or three french knots for the head. Now make two pistil stitches for the antenae, and two straight stitches at the other end. For wings, make two or three lazy daisy stitches at each side of the satin-stitch part. Add straight stitch legs if you want. Make this in Soie Perlee, it will come out fairly small. I'll try to remember to draw this out for the next swatch club issue. (---jmm)

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How do you do lettering?

As for lettering...Iíve printed stuff on my computer and then gone over in black pigma pen or, for hollow fonts, filled in the middle of the letters with different colors. Much better than my REAL handwriting.

Iíve got to do a ransom note! I think Iíll print letters in different fonts on my computer, on white and off white fabrics. Iíll use the old fabric on freezer paper trick and my HP 682C black ink is quite permanent enough for this silliness. My Mom would appreciate a pillow with ďGive me all your buttons and no one will get hurt". She already gave me a her bag of embroidered and crochetted (how does one spell that?) table linens she collected at swap meets 15 years ago, but the there are still all those buttons from Grandma's button box...... (Anne near LA)

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I''ve been struggling with getting the lettering even also and then I remembered all the neat fonts on my computer. I played around in the word processor until I got the lettering the size and font that I wanted and printed it out. I put a piece of fabric tracing paper under it and pinned it to the fabric. After I traced over the computer print out then I just stem stitched over the lettering and it looked nice and even. Lots better than my scratchy handwriting! (Sandy Pardo)

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I like to use waste canvas. This is a product that you baste down, (usually) crossstitch over, then remove, leaving only the stitching. I use 18 count to sign my name (comes out very small and fun). For the progressive vest, I used 18 count, but used more squares for each letter, so the names of my groups stitchers were about 1/2 inch high. I use a back stitch rather than a cross stitch. (Julie Hocking)

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Regarding waste canvas removal - because the lettering I use is so small and/or sparse over the waste canvas, I just trim close to the stitching and gently pull it out dry. Ordinarily, you need to dampen the waste canvas to dissolve the glue holding it together. Then the threads pull out quite easily.(Julie Hocking)

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I also like to incorporate lots of words and letters on my cq. I, too, have used stem, chain, satin, padded satin. Have you ever used a Pigma micro pen? These are permanent fine line pens. They come in a wide range of colors and some even have calligraphy points. They do not bleed like some other pens. Then, you can write quite fancily, or plainly, as the mood hits. How about satin stitching an initial with silk ribbon? You could couch down a thicker thread in the shape of letters. You could also look for fabric with "alphabet" and applique letters down. For a truly odd technique, how about appliqueing them down "ransom note" style? (Betty P.)

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How do you attach charms?

A good way to attach charms or items on a CQ if you don't want to use glue (I don't) is to use nylon thread, it wraps around without showing on the top. I just used it to attach a turtle and a old fashioned watch hand that was part of a pair of earrings that one got lost :(

TIP: when knotting the nylon thread use a small piece of regular sewing thread (about 3 or 4 inches) to put with the nylon thread so you are knotting both together. then cut off the reg. thread. works great and the knot is much more secure. (Rose)

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Hello everyone. In the past two months that I have been on this list, people have been so helpful with hints and how-to's and I have learned a lot. I'd like to mention my favorite mailorder source for brass charms and embellishments.The address is

Fancifuls
P.O. Box 76
Killawog, NY 13794
Phone and fax (607) 849-6870

They only sell brass, not silver or pewter, but they have thousands of charms and things to choose from. The catalog is $3.50, and when you place your first order, they deduct that from your bill. I got my first order in under a week, since I live in the same state. No affiliation, just one happy customer. Their prices are wholesale for eveyone, with no minimum order. Hope this helps CQers like me who were frustrated by the limited selection in the craft stores.
We're all in this together,
(Genevieve)

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How do you attach coins?

Phyliss has one answer to attach as you would a SHI-SHA mirroe. You could also 2-part epoxy the coins on as Jan suggested tho' judges in quilt shows would not accept this method and dissqualify your quilt. Another was would be to use tacky glue to hold the coin in place. Then take a fairly fine netting and cover the coin, hiding the edges with embroidery or couching of a thick thread. You could also make a YO-YO type bag from the net (or another transparent fabric) using the gathered side down. Then stitch the coin-enclosed YO-YO onto the quilt. Still another way would be to glue coins on paper. Take the paper to the local copy store and have them do a laser copy. Then do the photo transfer method on paper. This way the quilt would weigh less. Actually it might be cool to use all methods on your quilt just for a bit of variety. (Roxanne)

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How do you use tatting on CQ?

I buy tatting, bobbin lace, etc at yard sales and rummage sales. When I get complete pieces in really good shape, I wash and press them, and put them on pillowcases we use at home, but often there are week spots, or the lace has already been cut. Many of the runs I find are less than 1 foot long. In those cases, crazy quilting is a truly wonderful way to preserve beautiful handwork.

Now, how. I try to plan for using lace as I lay down my patches; tucking the ends of the lace under another patch and sewing over it is undoubtedly the best way to secure the embellishment (be sure to leave at least 1" handles on each end), but when I don't know that I'm going to use lace, I roll the end slightly, cover with Fray-Check, and let dry, then sew them on. Plenty of opportunities to use buttons or ribbon flowers to cover these ends! (Susan Arenhold)

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Last updated April 9,1998.

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