The reason I named this post what I did is that no matter how much I looked and researched I could not find a word that referred to sewing. But then I was thinking that this phrase X marks the spot is really appropriate to the sewing and quilting world.
When snaps, buttons, etc. are added to clothing the fabric is marked for placement. When cutting out patterns a notch is placed in the fabric to mark the place where the pieces are joined.
When altering clothing, markings are placed where to let the garment in or out.
Hems are marked for length.
I know that the markings are not X’s, but they are marking on the garments map. That’s where the phrase came from. From Pirate’s maps.
In the world of quilting, X’s are used in patterns. Some X’s are appliquêd to a background fabric. Some quilt tops are arranged in the pattern of an X. It is actually an old pattern that quilters have used for years even if they aren’t called X’s.
Weave describes the interlacing of fibrous threads to create fabric. A very simple concept. The fabric used for the construction of clothing and quilts is graded according to the thread count or weave it contains. The higher the the thread content or threads in the weave the better and stronger the fabric. Quilters for the most part use 100% cotton fabric with a tight weave which gives stability, durability, and softness to their quilts.
Linens are also graded this way. Sheets especially note the number of threads used in their construction. The more threads used in the weave, the softer and stronger they are.
Wonder Under is a product made by Pellon. It is a fusible foundation used for machine appliquê. It is ironed to the wrong side of the shape to be sewn onto the background fabric. The paper backing is then removed and the shape is pressed with an iron onto the background fabric for stability. Then the edges of the shape are stitched by a sewing machine. For those of us who are not fans of hand appliquê, this product has allowed us to create beautiful pieces.
The appliquê remains soft and flexible after application. This product has quickly become one of my favorite oh hand supplies.
I first learned how to machine appliquê several years ago when I took a class from Pat Sloan.
This is the project I made in the class.
This wall hanging remains one of my favorite projects. I learned so much from Pat and have used her method of machine applique often.
“Swiss electrical engineer invented his one-touch fastener (velcro) after taking a walk in the woods and wondering why Burdock seeds clung to his coat and dog in 1941. He patented it in 1955 and further developed it until its commercial introduction in the 1950’s.” Wikipedia
Velcro is a fastener for clothes or other items, consisting of two strips of a thin plastic strip, one covered with tiny loops and the other with tiny flexible hooks, which adhere when pressed together can be pulled apart.
What an invention velcro is! It has revolutionized the way things are fastened. From sneakers to picture hanging to jacket closures to purse closures to electric wire organizing its use is found in just about every area of our lives.
Velcro is the name of the company that makes the original hook and loop product, but any hook and loop fastener is referred to as velcro.
It is available in many colors and sizes which is wonderful for those of us who sew for kids and for charity. It has become a very popular notion. Velcro makes it easy to attach just about anything to anything by having both sew in and stick on available.
I have only one slight objection to the use of velcro and that is with the application of velcro on children’s shoes, many kids have a delay in learning how to tie their shoes. But, the time-saving edge it gives their moms makes it worth the delay in learning this task.
I just the other day purchased an LED light switch that I installed in my laundry room with small pieces of velcro. The switch is also the light. For reasons beyond my comprehension, the light switch for that room was placed on the outside wall of the room instead of on the hallway side. It has been a lifesaver for me because now I can see when I walk into the room. 🙂
Yes, you read the title right. Now, what have UFO’s to do with quilting and sewing you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. In the world of quilting for sure and possibly in the sewers world it stands for UnFinished Projects. I know that the word projects begins with a P and not an O, but that is what we call our unfinished projects.
UFO’s seem to slowly take over our world because we may take a class and not like what ended up with. The thing is, we hate to get rid of anything fabric related. So we put that project on the shelf and tell ourselves we will tackle it at a later date. It becomes buried on that shelf and forgotten.
Then in the middle of a large quilt, someone has a new baby so we put that project on the shelf and put together a baby quilt as a gift. By the time we have done that, something else catches our eye and we are onto another project. It just happens. Sometimes I think it is a bit of a sickness. Just like going into every quilt shop you see. Just so you can revel in the colors and textures of its contents.
My mentor when I began quilting once said to me that Hancocks of Paducah’s Catalog was porn for the quilter. I laughed so hard at that comment. Hancock’s is a wonderful fabric store that carries just about any kind of fabric and if you sign up they send you a catalog. Fabric envy is also a contributing factor to accumulating UFO’s. You see a fabric you can’t live without and have to get it so you can make that perfect quilt.
I am in awe of those quilters who continuously finish what they start right away. I don’t seem to be able to do it. I am not alone in my inability to complete what I start when it comes to quilting. There is always something coming up that interests me and I get lost in the new ideas.
If you look at the top of my blog, you will see a link to my UFO’s. I placed it there to see if it would encourage me to work on those quilts. So far, it hasn’t helped at all.
Just a few of my UFO’s. You can just about see the boxes above the shelves, they are full of them too. 😦
If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
If I could have an endless supply of any food it would be chocolate ice cream. It is my all time favorite snack. I have been known to have it for my supper. I know, not exactly nutritious, but hey, it makes me happy. 🙂
List at least five movies or books that cheer you up.
It would be easier for me to name a genre or author than the actual titles of either. I have never been able to remember titles of books or movies let alone names of movie stars. I can also start watching a movie in the middle of it and still enjoy it. So, all that being said there are a couple of titles I do know.
The Bells of St. Mary’s is my all-time favorite movie. It is a great reminder of my childhood and my elementary school days. I watch it at least twice a year.
I loved the movie MASH. I can’t say that it made me happy exactly, I just liked it. I was dating a Corpsman in the navy at the time.
Then, there’s McLintock with John Wayne and Maureen Ohara. I laugh every time I see it. It makes me think of my dad. I went to see it with my dad and he laughed so loudly that the whole theatre was laughing because he was laughing.
As for books that make me happy, well any book that I am reading while sitting on the beach with my feet in the surf. 🙂 But I loved the Silver Chalice, all of the Harry Potter books, and the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton.
If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?
If I were a mouse in my house in the evening, I would see me either sewing, crocheting or watching TV with Gracie at my feet or snuggled up next to me on the couch.
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?
This past Thursday my number came up to have an accident. I was driving along minding my own business when I saw something dart into the road. I swerved and hit a very high concrete curb. Needless to say, I killed my tire.
I was very appreciative that if I was destined to have an accident, it was one as minor as this. So although I had to drive on the flat for two miles I had a big smile on my face because no one was hurt. I had Gracie in the car with me as I was bringing her home from her vet appointment. She had gotten vaccinated and about a mile into the drive on the dead tire, she began to throw up. I could definitely have done without that added to the drama, but I was still smiling. 🙂
It had been years since I was back to my hometown. After college, I had taken a job on the west coast, met my husband and that’s where we made our home. Over the years we had come back to visit my family so the kids could get to know their grandparents, but only once or twice a year. My parents had died fifteen years ago which is when my last visit to my hometown was.
I couldn’t believe that my boss had given me this client. I had thought my traveling days were over. After all, there have to be some perks when you stay with a firm for as long as I had been at mine. But, he did and here I was sitting on a plane on my way back to my roots.
I couldn’t resist the urge to drive by our old house. It still looked the same, but different somehow too. I had a vague feeling of longing as I sat in my car looking at the kids playing in the yard. I was remembering all the fun I had had playing there with my friends so many years ago. As I drove off to meet my client, I began wondering if any of them were left in town.
After my meeting, I checked into my hotel, changed and went to dinner. As I was eating I looked across the room and saw a woman looking at me. She seemed familiar, but I wasn’t sure. I walked over to her and realized that it was Janet, my best friend from my childhood. We hugged and filled each other in on all the years we had spent apart. It was just a wonderful surprise to my trip.
We decided to meet the next day for a late lunch before I had to catch my flight back home. As we sat together at lunch those vague feelings came back to me. The kind of feelings that let you know you always have a special tie to the home where you grew up. That there is something special about where you were raised and the friendships that came and went in your childhood that are like wearing a comfortable sweater that keeps you safe and warm.
We said goodbye with promises to keep in touch this time. As my plane took off I was a little sad to be leaving where I had grown up but was happy to be getting back to my husband and our home.
In the world of sewing Tack is a long stitch used to fasten fabrics together temporarily, prior to permanent sewing. This is often done when making clothes so that a fitting can be done. It is also used in other forms of sewing and quilting
A Tailor is a person whose occupation is making fitted clothes such as suits, pants, and jackets to fit individual customers. Most tailors are men since most customers for fitted suits are men. There is a great article about tailoring here.
I have mentioned Tape Measures before. They are simply a thin length of flexible material with marked intervals for measuring. This is the type used for in sewing and quilting.
Tat or Tatting is a way of making lace as a decorative mat or edging. The process of tying knots in thread and using a small shuttle to form lace. I have never done tatting.
This is a beautiful doily. I would love to learn how to make such a beautiful piece. This is what the shuttle looks like.
A Thimble is a metal, leather, or plastic cap with a closed end. It is worn to protect the finger when pushing the needle through the fabric in sewing and quilting. There is a vast variety of thimbles on the market. Here is a just a sample.
Thread is a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibers used in sewing or weaving. It comes on spools of various sizes. The colors it is available in are numerous. The size of the thread used depends on what type of sewing you are doing. For instance, hand quilting thread cannot be used in a sewing machine because it is specially prepared for hand use. Thread of one kind or another is used in crocheting, tatting, sewing, quilting, and embroidery.
Thread for sewing and quilting is available in invisible, metallic, cotton, polyester, silk, and a blend of cotton and polyester.
Some thread comes in wound balls like pearl cotton. Embroidery thread comes in skeins. Crochet cotton for tatting and crochet comes in a larger ball wrapped around a cardboard tube.
Topstitching is a finishing stitch to your project. It is accomplished by making a row of continuous stitches on the top or right side of a garment or other article as a decorative feature. Sometimes it is just a straight stitch and sometimes embellishing stitches are used. It just depends on how intricate you want your stitches to look. Topstitching can be done by hand or machine.
Trim includes a plethora of beads, ribbons, buttons, rhinestones, lace, rick rack, yarn, the list goes on and on. A fancy stitch can also be used as Trim. A project is finished by adding a trim to an area that will enhance the look of it. I love trimming my granddaughter’s clothes. You can add trim to anything.
Don’t you just love the trim available to embellish your projects? There are so many other things you can add as trim. The key is to be imaginative and go for it. 🙂
I recently thought about a long-lasting outcome of a decision I made when I was a teen that still impacts my life today.
I was never much of a joiner when I was younger. I never liked being told that I had to do something by someone else. I was a chubby little girl so my mother sent me to dance classes hoping it would get me more active. Needless to say, it failed miserably. I was uncoordinated, I hated the repetition of the dance steps. I hated wearing a leotard. So I quit.
The next thing my mother put me in was Girl Scouts. We met around the corner from our house in a church basement. At first, I thought it was fun. But it wasn’t long before I realized that it took a lot of dedication to earn the coveted badges for my sash. I earned a few, but then I lost interest. It wasn’t long before I gave that up too. Maybe I lost my taste for girl scouts because my little brother had to come with me because my parents were at work. You know how little brothers can be.
So I went along with my life of playing with barbies, going to school, and just being with my friends. I ice skated in the winter, roller skated, rode my bike, and spent many hours in the pool swimming. No matter what I did, I never joined any other clubs or groups.
As a teen, I finally decided to partake in a drum corps. A friend from school talked me into joining. It was the first time that I ever joined a group where I felt welcomed and at home. I made many long-lasting friendships during my years there one of whom, Pat is my son’s godmother.
So when I moved here to North Carolina, I joined a quilt guild. It has been the best thing I have ever done. I never would have joined had I not given the drum corps a try. It’s amazing how a decision in my teens made such an impact on my life now. We are always told growing up that what we do as teens can impact the rest of our lives; usually when we have gotten into trouble of some sort. I am happy that my decision impacted my life positively.