{sewing} some favorite tools and some goals

Over the past year I have had the pleasure of being introduced to some new tools for sewing that have quickly become some of “my cannot do withouts”

For Embroidery:

Sulky Stick n’Stitch – I saw this stuff all over instagram for a long time and couldn’t bring myself to use it. There was something that just made me think it was the lazy way out to transfer patterns – and honestly I didn’t love the feeling of stitching through a second layer. There are some things that I just can’t use this for (like custom portraits), but for pretty much everything else I’ve become a total convert. The ability to just design a pattern, print it out and then slap it onto a piece of fabric and get stitching has completely won me over. I highly recommend it.

Thread Heaven – the original Thread Heaven went out of business a couple years ago and I bought up a bunch of those little blue boxes before and man I am so glad I did. Originally I used this with my wool threads to smooth them out while sewing, but as I’ve started using more of the Stick n’Stitch it’s been the one thing that has made using it a must have. It changes the feel completely and I almost forget I’m sewing through two layers.

Sulky Cotton Petites – these were also new to me and I don’t know what I would do without them now. They come in a wide array of colors and their variegated colors are really awesome. They are a single strand thread which makes them super quick to go through when pulling threads for a project. They are about the thickness of 2-3 strands of divisible floss. I haven’t had any trouble yet with them bleeding onto projects, which has happened more than once with DMC threads.

For Quilting

Sulky Quilting Cotton Threads – I’ve long been a Gutermann girl when it comes to sewing threads and my understanding of different thread weights was pretty much nonexistent. I’ve learned this year that thread weight is a huge deal. Sulky’s 50 weight cotton thread has become my favorite thread especially when it comes to english paper piecing. I’ve used it for some simple hand quilting, for various paper piecing projects and machine quilting.

Aurifil Threads – For my latest quilting project, I decided I wanted to try Aurifil thread. I see it all the time on social media and I had never tried it out. Like the Sulky threads, I’m totally in love. I see many more spools of this in my future.

Add a Quarter Ruler – This is one of the first tools I bought when I was getting ready to take on my Fancy Forest Quilt and it has been a Godsend. I absolutely love it and I need to get my hands on the Add an Eighth one so I can work on some smaller projects I’ve seen out there. It has been completely necessary for the paper piecing projects I’ve done.

Quarter-inch foot for my sewing machine – I pieced probably half of that Fancy Forest Quilt without this and finally broke down and found one online. This is totally another tool I couldn’t quilt without. I have a Juke sewing machine, but found an after market generic one on Amazon that has worked perfectly.

Other things –

In 2019 I decided to be brave and join my local Modern Quilt Guild. I am so happy that I have. I’ve seen so many different things and met so many different people and it’s been such fun. I’m excited for all the charity projects that they do and look forward to becoming more involved with this group in 2020. If you are even remotely interested in quilting I would strongly encourage you to see if you have a Modern Quilt Guild where you live and have some courage and try it out.

Seasons – I’ve long felt my embroidery life dwindling down the past couple of years. As I’ve gotten older my eyes have finally started getting worse and honestly so have my hands. After almost 5-6 years of constantly hand embroidering, I think it’s really caught up with me and I cannot do the detail work that I used to. I’m excited that I’ve taken up quilting, as the paper piecing work gives me something to do with my hands without the precision and detail that hand embroidery demands. I’m not sure where this will leave my Etsy shop. I do love designing patterns, but I’m not sure that I am going to continue to custom work.

2020 Goals

This for sure is going to be the year of quilting. There are a few garments that I’ve got on the docket for this year, but my list of quilting projects is way longer.

I’m always hopeful that this is going to be the year I take up weaving, but I keep telling myself as much as I want that loom, I don’t want it until I know that I can actually make space to learn and use it.

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