My Favorite Things

Those little hard case "cubbies."  Big enough to hold a rotary cutter which is what I believe they were designed for.  They hold several small cutters (18mm, 28mm), or one 45 mm.  The 60mm doesn't fit.  (But then who needs a 60mm cutter anyway?  No one I know of cuts 10 layers of cloth at once.)
   That cute little cubbie holds your snip-ez scissors and seam ripper, my crochet hooks, collection of marking pencils, that pair of magnifier glasses from the drugstore.  You can step on the hard case, or sit on it without crushing it and the glasses won't break!
   Use it to hold your car keys or money at the beach.  Or to put your car keys and remote opener into the cubbie and store in the freezer.  WHAT?  On the news the other day it was reported that thieves can steal your car by accessing the remote, even if the key/remote is hanging on a hook inside your house, however it doesn't work if the keys are in the freezer (their suggestion, not mine!)  So if you are going away on vacation, store the spare keys in the cubbie and pop into the freezer. 
  They come in many happy colors.
And speaking of cutters, I only use the 28mm size, designed to cut several layers of cloth, and easier to maneuver around curves, safer to use, easier on the hands.  No quilter who cuts small pieces really needs a 60mm or even a 45mm size.
  Prewound bobbins!  Love those bobbins with Sew Fine thread from Superior.  Plastic bobbins (class 15) loaded with #60 thread so they seem to last forever.  They fit every machine EXCEPT Bernina and Pfaff.  I started to use them in our sewing room which has a Baby Lock, Janome, Bernette, and Brother.  The prewounds with a cardboard side and those with just a core seem to get jammed up, but the plastic sided ones work just great.
  SEW FINE thread from Superior is different from Bottom Line bobbin thread.  It is not slick, so it "grips" itself and doesn't get tangled up creating a thread nest.  And you really need only 3 colors of thread when sewing:  White, Black, and Grey.  In many cases you can even skip the black because neutral grey blends in just fine.  This is for sewing and piecing, not applique.  And don't feel lazy using a prewound.  Tell yourself you need it because it is wound with a consistent tension and saves you many hours of tangled thread nests when piecing.  And those nests only happen when in a hurry and you really don't have time to disassemble the bobbin area and clean out the hook, somehow I always drop the screws...
   For embroidery, I use prewound bobbins with a thread weight of #70 or #90.  And all these prewound bobbins are synthetic thread, not cotton thread.  The other day I wanted to use up a bobbin in the box that was not polyester thread.  After that bobbin was finished, my machine had enough lint in the bobbin area to fill a pea shooter.
  These prewound bobbins work great in newer machines that operate with a higher tension.  My old Singer hates this thin thread.  My featherweight does not even like the 50# thread I routinely sew with on the top.  My old machines work best with 40# thread.
   Bobbin boxes with individual wells for each bobbin.  I have tried all on the market, those red and blue rubber rings, bobbin towers, divided bobbin boxes, magnetic strips, etc.  I thought the box with divider rows would work, but the bobbins fall down and the thread unwinds.  Finally found two holders that work, with a dent for each bobbin to sit upright individually without thread getting tangled.  One box has a lift off lid and another has an attached lid that opens.  Since I seem to drop everything, I prefer the lid that stays attached and just opens.
  We have collected these things into one place for your convenience.  And then there are those things that I can never seem to get to work the way they were intended:
   Automatic Needle Threaders?  I know some people love them and if they work, they are great.  When Sew Line came out with their new threader I thought this one will work just fine.  And it did for some time.  Then we discovered you need to buy two threaders, one for small needles (quilting) and one for larger needles (sewing).  If the right size isn't used, then that threader gadget gets damaged and you need to buy a "replacement cartridge."  There is another desk type that works for some people, carefully, guess I just don't have enough patience.  So there is nothing wrong with the old "wire" threader.  Avoid the wire breaking or coming out of the holder by putting a drop of nail polish at the point where the wire comes out of the plastic.  It will last forever.  Want to try an automatic threader?  They are all on 50% clearance at the shop! 
  Sew Line Click Marking Pencil?
   I really like this pencil for marking, comes in many colors, has pressed chalk 0.9 mm, seems to be priced right.  Until you realize there is only ONE lead in the pencil, cannot buy refills, and it took me THREE pencils just to mark one quilt top, queen size.  Unless they begin to sell refills, would not recommend this pencil for multiple markings.  And why can't someone invent a marking pencil that works for everything?  I have an arsenal of different markers in one of those mesh zipper bags just to get a quilt top marked.

   Once again we managed to get all the graduation quilts finished in good time.  Now working on Christmas orders.  Orders with deadlines are CLOSED.  We will take custom orders but can't handle a large quilt with a close deadline, puts too much stress on us old sewists!

   We will go back to regular shop hours so we can service those folks picking up our pattern and kit for the ROW by ROW shop hop.  I put instructions on the website.  Will talk more about it next newsletter.
   Our fabulous row was designed by local artists Janine and Sam Ward.  You can check it out at Florida Row by Row Facebook, where you can see all shops' rows and plan to collect the patterns.  All patterns are FREE. 
   See the rules on  click on "start here."  That will take you to a page of license plates.  click on the state's license plate to see all the shops participating in that state.  Then click on the state's FaceBook page to see all the rows.  Shops may not give out patterns or sell kits until June 21, and must stop on September 1.  After November 1 shops are permitted to distribute/sell the pattern and kits.
Two things:
  when on the florida FB page, click on "Like" to Like our row.  Help us to win the prize for shops by "liking" our row.  (You can also search for the Florida FB page to see the rows by typing in "florida row by row experience" into your FB search bar.
   You can pre-order or reserve our pattern and/or kit by calling 941-330-0993.
You must physically pick up your pattern/kit between June 22-September 1, OR let us ship it to you AFTER November 1.
   YES we have ordered license plates for our shop, they will arrive early in July.  

  We have two wonderful long arm operators and can once again accommodate quilts up to queen size.  Larger than that please check with us on the size to be sure it fits the table.  The lining MUST BE at least 4 inches larger than the top on all sides.  Oops, is it smaller?  It's an easy fix if you will sew muslin strips onto the quilt back.  That will allow us extra fabric to attach the quilt top to the table.  After it is quilted, then you can cut off the muslin strips and bind as usual.  And a reminder:  must use our batting.  Warm and Natural with scrim or adhesive will not work on our machines.

That's all for now...Ella at Alma Sue's