Tools for the Aging Quilter – Part Two

Threading needles becomes a problem but there are several solutions. For those who love handwork, try the Tulip self-threading needles. They come in a package of assorted sizes.

 

 

 

 

Or invest in a quality needle threader such as my favorite – this Clover version.  The mechanism is enclosed so breakage is not a problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider the scissors as well. Some of them look cute but do they really meet your needs? Larger handholds and cushioned grip make everyone’s life easier.  Throw in serrated edges that stop the fabric from slipping and you have a winner.  Karen Kay Buckley’s scissors are the most popular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of us prefer to hand stitch our bindings. But using your thumb to hold that fabric in place to create a nice, full binding edge can cause aches and pains. Clover Wonder Clips are the perfect solution. Move them as you sew or buy a large package that will hold the edges of an entire quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have trouble threading your sewing machine? Try Jeans needles. They have a larger eye because jeans threads are thicker and the points are very sharp to penetrate the thicker fabric. These same characteristics are great for all quilters as well.

 

 

 

 

 

What is causing you frustration when quilting?  Why not ask your shop owner on possible solutions?

Industrial Quality Needles just for You

Everyone loves Schmetz needles – and their new chrome needle line has been incredibly successful.  To keep it simple, these are the highest quality needles made – and are only available in quilt shops!

This new display includes 16 best selling SCHMETZ Chrome Professional Grade Needles. The display holds 10 cards – 1 box per peg.  Give your customers the variety they need.  The display includes two sizes of embroidery; microtex; topstitch; quilting; and stretch as well as denim and three different sizes of universal.

These displays are due this month.  Why not switch your needles to the best quality needle on the market and stop competing with the chains!

How to Make Needles your Friend with a Little Help from our Friends

Schmetz needles will be your new best friend.  They are incorporating a new color coding on their needles.  By the beginning of next year, their entire selection of needles will have a color code for type AND, when applicable, size.

 

Color_Coding_Chart_Press_Release

It is the perfect time to incorporate some needle education into your classes – and Schmetz will even provide you with the information!

This informational hand-out gives a brief description of each needle with helpful hints and tips.  Why not order a supply and have them on hand for your customers.

D-87

Item #D-87

Schmetz also provided the following information – which is a great cheat sheet for everyone to keep with their sewing machine!  I am not a needle person, so this is priceless!

Upper Thread Breaks

 Causes:

  • Incorrect threading
  • Knots or twists in thread
  • Tension too tight
  • Damaged/old needle
  • Needle too small

Solutions:

  • Rethread machine properly
  • Replace thread
  • Reset bobbin and top thread tension
  • Replace needle
  • Use correct needle for thread and application

Bobbin Thread Breaks

 Causes:

  • Bobbin case incorrectly threaded
  • Bobbin case incorrectly inserted
  • Bobbin does not turn smoothly in bobbin case
  • Lint in bobbin case
  • Bobbin tension too tight

Solutions:

  • Remove bobbin and re-thread with bobbin turning clockwise
  • Remove and re-insert bobbin case
  • Check that bobbin case and bobbin are in “round”; replace if necessary
  • Clean bobbin case and surrounding machine area
  • Check and reset bobbin tension

Skipped Stitches

 Causes:

  • Thread tension too tight
  • Needle damaged
  • Needle wrong size
  • Sewing machine out of adjustment

Solutions:

  • Reset top and bobbin tension
  • Replace needle
  • Use correct needle size
  • Have sewing machine adjusted for timing; hook to needle clearance; needle bar height

Frayed Stitches

 Causes:

  • Increase needle size
  • Reset tension
  • Replace thread

Solutions:

  • Needle too small
  • Tension too tight
  • Damaged thread

Thread Loops on Bottom

Causes:

  • Thread not in top tension
  • Machine incorrectly threaded
  • Top tension too loose
  • Burr on hook mechanism

Solutions:

  • Rethread machine with presser foot “up”
  • Rethread machine incorporating take up lever
  • Reset top tension
  • Remove burr

Irregular Stitches or Malformed Stitches

Causes:

  • Wrong needle size
  • Incorrect threading
  • Upper tension too loose
  • Operator pulling fabric
  • Bobbin wound unevenly

Solutions:

  • Ensure correct needle for fabric & thread
  • Un-thread machine and carefully rethread
  • Reset lower and upper thread tension
  • Check presser foot pressure
  • Rewind bobbin

Fabric Puckers

Causes:

  • Excessive stitch length
  • Needle point is blunt
  • Excessive thread tension
  • Fabric is too soft
  • Thread displacement — too much thread in a small area
  • Fabric not feeding

Solutions:

  • Decrease stitch length
  • Change needle often
  • Check bobbin and upper tension
  • Use stabilizer
  • Decrease field density; scale embroidery designs; increase stitch length
  • Check presser foot, needle plate, feed dogs

Remember!  The value added service that you can offer is education!  Incorporate hints from this list in your classes to add that value added service that keeps them coming back for more.