Quilting Inspiration, Classes, Projects and More

Money Saving Tips For Sewing

Many people think that the fabric needed for sewing is really expensive.  With the exception of specialty fabrics, this doesn’t have to be true.  You can find fabric at very reasonable prices and it’s easier than you think.  Between sales, memberships, online shopping and more, you can save a lot of money.  Here are six tips to help you start saving now!

  1. Be creative.  You don’t always have to go to a fabric store to find your fabric.  Whether you’re looking for small or large pieces, think outside the box.  Thrift stores and dollar stores can be great places to find material.  As long as you like the fabric, buy it.  Buy a bunch of shirts and cut them into whatever shape you need to create a patchwork quilt.  Buy bedspreads to create shower curtains or use them as the backing for a quilt.  If you’re buying used clothes, make sure to examine them for stains or holes.  As well, make sure to first wash the fabric before you use it so that you know it is clean.
  2. Look for sales.  This is a classic that never changes and now it’s easier than ever.  Before you would actually have to go to a store or wait for a flyer to come in the mail in order to find out if there was a sale on.  But now you can go online.  First, go to the website for each store that you like to shop at and look for any announcements of sales.  While there, take a look for clearance or sales items that you can buy online.  Next, sign up for newsletters and promotional offers that are sent by e-mail.  Check your e-mail regularly so that you don’t miss out on any last minute sales. 
  3. Get the kids involved.  Want to create a unique look or an exciting print?  Buy some fabric paint and let the kids go wild.  Let them come up with their own designs.  Just be sure to cover the floor or table with newspaper or plastic if your kids are really messy.  Not only is it an easy clean up and you won’t have to worry about your furniture becoming damaged, but you’ll feel more relaxed and able to enjoy the experience a lot more.
  4. Join memberships.  A lot of stores offer memberships for a low yearly subscription price.  In return, you’ll receive extra discounts for members only, points that can be redeemed for merchandise and advance notice of sales.  If you do enough sewing or if you have a large project to do, the membership will pay for itself with the amount of money you save.
  5. Look for bargain shops.  Ask your friends if they know of any stores that sell fabric at great prices.  You can find bargain stores that carry only fabrics at a cheaper price than the big name stores.  Bargain stores are often cramped and may not offer the service you are use to, but the savings are worth it.  As well, you often have to search through the material to find what you are looking for, but you can find gems along the way.  I have a friend that will only buy fabric from these bargain stores because the deals are so great!
  6. Check the want ads or eBay.  Sometimes people buy material that they never use and will sell it cheap just to get rid of it.  If you are able, take a look at the fabric before you buy to ensure that it is clean and doesn’t have any large holes or tears in it.  Then enjoy the bargain you just found!

Source by Joanne Jones

Working From Home – Dealing With Friends and Relatives

One of the biggest hurdles that home business owners have to deal with is the misconception that just because they are home that they really aren’t working. Those of us that operate our own business form home know that is not the case at all. Your friend and relatives are probably the worst offenders of this.

When starting your business, send out an email, postcard or letter that announces your new business to everyone. Include everything that normal business owners would include, mailing address, phone number, email and web address and fax number. This will help your business seem more legitimate.

Make sure that you establish normal business hours and stick to them. This will help in keeping those friends or relatives from just stopping by unannounced. Another benefit is it should help you be more disciplined in getting your work down during these specified hours.

If that still doesn’t work, you will probably have to be a bit firm when you discuss this with them. Now, these are your loved ones so be polite but don’t back down. Explain to them that during your work hours that your clients or customers really do come first. This is usually a tough one for most people but it must get done if need be.

The sooner you stop the misconception that you aren’t really working for home the better you will be in the long run. Lay out the ground rules early on. It will only help established boundaries right away and help your business get off to a much faster start.

Source by Rich Magnanti

Selecting Fabric Color Using The Ives Color Wheel

Several years ago, I decided that I would explore the world of fabric dyeing. It was in dyeing fabric that I really learned about color, and the difference between yellow-green and blue-green.

By mixing the colors to make the dye, all of a sudden the resulting colors make more sense, and now, many yards of dyed fabric later, it is easier for me to pick out colors for a quilt.

By actually seeing what color results from mixing 1/4 yellow and 3/4 red versus 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red, it all makes more sense.

What is interesting is that when I took the class, the teacher provided the dye to make the colors you see in the fabric samples below. I did notice that the red was a magenta color, instead of what I normally view as red. (The teacher called it fuscia.)

And the blue was more of a turquoise rather than a traditional blue. But, since it was all new to me anyway, I didn’t really question the differences.

It was just today, as I was once again pondering color that I ran across somewhat of an explanation for the difference. Not that this is a complete explanation, but it does offer some insight.

It turns out that this guy named Dr. Herbert Ives led AT&T’s television research during the 1920s and 1930s. Herbert’s interest in color began at an early age since his father invented techniques for color photography and the half-tone process. Those techniques made printing pictures in newspapers and magazines possible.

And Herbert created a color wheel made up of three “pure” colors. The true significance of all of this is that fabric dyes use the Ives Color Wheel, as was made apparent when I took the fabric dyeing class.

The three pure colors are: magenta, turquoise and yellow. The vibrancy of these colors individually is notable, and when they are mixed with each other in specific formulas, they create the most powerful and beautiful colors around.

Quilts made primarily with these pure colors immediately attract attention, whether they are displayed in a quilt show or your home.

As you choose colors for a quilt, you may want to keep in mind that intense colors can affect the mood of people looking at them. If you are making a quilt for a child that already has a high level of activity, you may not want to make it using pure colors because they would stimulate the child even more.

However, if you have a dull and boring room, like the all-around brown I had in my living room many years ago, adding pure colors will brighten up the room. In my case, it probably would have taken a truckload of pure colors to overpower the brown.

These pure colors, and their variations, are found in nature, and it is interesting to note that whether the colors are tints or shades depends on the season. I know, that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.

But, it works this way. A tint includes all of the colors between white and the actual pure color. Pastels are good examples of tints, and pastels are the colors of Spring – robin’s egg blue, peach, apricot, mint green, etc.

When you add black to a pure color, you get a shade of the color. As you can imagine, shades are the colors of autumn. When you add black to red, you get a rust color – shades of autumn leaves getting ready to fall from trees.

A tone is what you get when you add grey (not black) to a pure color. These are the colors of winter, and are generally calming colors. These colors are great for bedrooms and quilts for small children.

The real question in my mind is “who created the more ‘traditional’ color wheel? And why?”

Source by Penny Halgren

Janome 6500 – Is It Making All Other Sewing Machines Obsolete?

The Janome 6500 sewing machine may possibly make all other sewing machines obsolete. I know that's a bold statement, but after using it myself, I am beginning to think that is really true.

I have to confess that even though quilting is my specialty, I started watching "Project Runway" last year and was hooked immediately. As a result I started wanting to sew clothes and other types of garments, which is partly why I decided to buy this advanced Janome.

I was a bit hesitant about buying it because it's more costly than other computerized Janomes, but I found an excellent Janome sale price, so I took the plunge and bought it. I also got free shipping, so that sealed the deal for me, since shipping costs can be high on larger items.

If you are also looking for the best Janome prices on the Janome 6500, you are certainly not the only one. Many sewists who know the value of this quality sewing machine are searching for a great Janome sale on this particular model, so that is why I wrote this.

Why is the Janome 6500 Sewing Machine So Popular?

Imagine the difference between riding a bicycle and driving a Cadillac. On the bike it takes you an hour to get where you're going, you have to fight the elements, dodge the traffic, and on top of that, it's a lot of work to peddle that bike for a whole hour!

But in the Cadillac, you're at your destination in 5 minutes, in relaxed comfort and ease and protected from the elements and the other drivers. That's pretty much what it's like to go from your old sewing machine to the Janome 6500.

Here are 3 major points you will notice when you read other people's reviews of the Janome 6500:

1) Speed – This sewing machine clocks speeds of 1000 stitches per minute! Imagine all the extra time you'll have to do other things or sew other things.

2) Advanced Features – This is a quilter's dream, as it's designed especially for the quilter, including specialty stitches and an advanced feed mechanism, and more features. But it's also for every type of sewist, from quilting to garments to home decorating!

3) Precision and Quality – The precision the Janome 6500 puts it light years ahead of the other computerized sewing machines. And after the first day, I couldn't believe what a difference it makes in my quality and the ease of sewing. It's easy to thread, and very easy to change the feet, even while you are 'mid stitch'. The extension table is a huge plus especially since I am a quilter.

If you're on the fence about buying the Janome 6500, I hope my article has convinced you what a great investment it is for the serious sewist. There are several stores that sell the Janome 6500 online. So how do you find the best Janome sale price? Your best bet is to find someone who knows all about shopping online for rock bottom prices, and then see what they have found.

Source by Joy Adams

Using Jacquard Fabric

Jacquard fabric is great for many things that you might want to make. You can use this fabric in many projects, and get great results from it every time. Because this fabric is not colorfast, you will want to wash all of the dye out of it before you try to use it in a quilt or even sewn next to another fabric in something that may be washed. When you do not wash your fabrics before they go into your projects, you are running a risk of the fabric dyes running out into your other colors, and you will have a big mess. However, by simply running cold water over the fabric until all of the dye is gone, you can get rid of the excess dye that is lurking in your fabric, and not have to worry about this issue.

When you use jacquard fabric in a quilt, you will find that many of the colors that it is available in are solids. While many quilters will use solids, some do not care for them at all. You can always find a coordinating print, and use the solid as the back drop or the other way around. You will get great effects from using this fabric in your projects whatever they might be. Another thing that you might want to consider is if you are planning on hand quilting your quilt made with this fabric. Jacquard fabric is tougher to needle than most, and you might find yourself struggling with that. However, it can be done, if you work at it, but it wont be easy.

Using jacquard fabric to make curtains from actually is a great idea. You will find that you can choose this fabric in many colors at any fabric store, and you are sure to be able to buy the color that you are wanting to use in your room. However, you will notice that one great thing about using this fabric to make your curtains is that when you take them down to wash them, you will not have to iron them much. This is a great plus, because most people do not care to iron anyways. The wrinkles more or less fall out of these curtains, and that is a great thing.

Pillowcases is another wonderful project that you can use jacquard fabric in. The solid colors are great for matching the printed sheets that you might have on your bed. The pillowcases that are made in this type of fabric hold up really well, and they are soft for your to actually use when you are sleeping as well.

Making a duvet cover for your bed is something else that this fabric is great for. You will find that the solid colors are great for matching your bedroom and covering your duvet. Many people will buy one duvet, and then just change out the cover when they get tired of it. This fabric is inexpensive enough that you will not go over your budget for your duvet cover, and you will find that you have no problem affording the amount of fabric that you might need.

As you can see, there are many things that you can use jacquard fabric in. Many people use it for many different projects, and they all love the way that their projects turn out as well. You will find this fabric in many fabric stores, in all colors of the rainbow, so matching it up to the project you are working on wont be a problem either.

Source by Mariette J. Wingeier

Comparing Affiliate Networks For Home Based Internet Marketing Businesses

Affiliate marketing is when you are promoting someone else's products and in return you get a percentage of the amount of the sale. This is one of the best way people with home based internet marketing businesses can start out.

There are various affiliate networks that help you hook up with the people who have products that you can sell. Some of these networks or services are better than others for what your particular list might want, so you may have to join more than one site to find the products you need to promote.

The biggest affiliate network sites are ClickBank, PayDotCom, Commission Junction and LinkShare. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

ClickBank

ClickBank has a wide variety of digital products … meaning they are like ebooks, courses, etc. But they have them in a big range of topics. You can look for products in health and fitness, pets or crafts, for example. So let's say your niche is quilting … you can start by searching for quilting products … maybe patterns or how to books for example.

But you don't have to just stick with quilting … there is a crafts section with tons of interesting products and maybe you know that the quilters on your list do or might be interested in other sewing type crafts, so you offer products on embroidery, sewing, crocheting, knitting, etc.

How cool is that? This same concept works for other niches, too. Just make sure that you are sticking with products that will make sense to your list! It shouldn't be too big of a stretch for them to understand why you would be recommending they buy a product.

ClickBank products have to be digital and they cap the sales price … but it is a great place to start because of the range they carry and good commission.

PayDotCom

PayDotCom.com is good for an Internet Marketing list, as most of the affililate opportunities at PayDotCom are about Internet Marketing, though the site is growing daily.

PayDotCom does carry both physical and digital products, and the price point of the product can be higher.

The downside is that there aren't as many products available.

Commission Junction and LinkShare

Commission Junction and LinkShare both deal with physical products. They have relationships with more big businesses including clients like eBay, Best Buy and Pfaltzgraf.

You can sign up to become an affiliate for one or many of these companies. When you do that, you aren't trying to build a Best Buy store … you just want to pick and choose products from that client (or many clients) that fits your list.

So say your list is built around gaming … then you could promote a specific hot new game or gaming system that is available at Best Buy. If you have a targeted list and you write your emails well, you can do really well this way. How well depends on how tightly that product relates to your list and the relationship that you have built with them.

There you have it, some affiliate networks, what makes each of them unique and great for home based internet marketing businesses. Go check out a couple, find a few products and start your affiliate marketing program-and start making money-right away.

Source by Tellman Knudson

Carhartt Outerwear Keeps You the Warmest This Winter

The snow has fallen in a lot of areas which means temperatures have been dropping and the sweatshirts or long-sleeves are cutting it anymore at the jobsite. Lucky for you, Carhartt has been preparing all summer long and ready to outfit you with work clothing that’ll keep you warm but also last. Carhartt has over 25 different jacket styles and over 15 insulated bottom styles to keep you warm on the jobsite. Let’s first take a look at jackets and coats.

Carhartt makes their jackets and coats in many different styles. Carhartt jackets are cut shorter covering you just past the belt line. Their coats are cut a few inches longer giving you coverage closer to a mid-thigh length. Carhartt sets their self apart from their competitors in offering many jackets into a 5XL and also in Tall sizes from Large Tall to 4XL-Tall. The tall versions of both the jackets and coats give you additional one to two inches in the sleeves and in the torso for enhanced coverage.

The J130 Sandstone Active Jac which is quilted-flannel lined is one of their most popular jackets. Being very warm and coming with an attached hood is definitely the characteristics that draw people to this jacket. The C55 Extremes Coat is the warmest coat that Carhartt offers in the coat style. With the longer cut and arctic-quilt lining this coat ensures wind won’t be able to get to you even when reaching for things above your head. The J141 also offers exceptional warmth but with an open bottom and hood is a common jacket chose for workers wearing bibs in addition. No matter the warmth you are looking for or characteristics most likely has a jacket or coat that will fit your needs on the jobsite.

Although keeping your upper body warm is important keeping your legs warm is just as important. Carhartt has many options in this department including insulated pants as well as insulated bib overalls. Both of these provide warmth to the worker but combined with the Carhartt quality ensure the pants will last. The R41 Duck Zip-to-Thigh Bib Overall which is quilt lined is a great option and gives you warmth at an affordable price point. If you are looking for the warmest bibs Carhartt offers the R33 Extremes Zip-to-Waist Biberall is the choice for you. This arctic-quilt lined biberall provides extraordinary warmth and nylon exterior provides water repellent attributes. This bib is the matching item to the C55, as mentioned before, or J133. They also offer the B172 Flannel-lined Jean or B111 Flannel-lined Work Dungaree if you believe the bibs would be too much. Lastly, they offer complete coveralls in the three weights Quilt Lined (X01), Arctic-Quilt Lined (X02), or Extremes Arctic-Quilt Lined (X06) if you prefer the one-piece warmth option.

Source by Chandra Nicolosi

Hand Stitching or Machine Stitching?

Hand stitching or machine stitching will be a personal choice. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Your arguments for either method will hold true. It is a matter of personal choice.

Seven advantages of hand stitching include:

  1. Portability – This advantage offers you the opportunity to take your cut pieces anywhere you wish. You can be stitching while sitting in a school parking lot waiting for your child to be taken home.We have all experienced long waits at the doctor’s office. Quite a bit of stitching can be done will waiting for our appointment.
  2. Hand quilting can be done while traveling by car, bus, or airplane. There are some of us that do not have patience with idle hands and stitching will keep our fingers and our minds occupied on these long trips.
  3. Do you enjoy the outdoors? Many of us enjoy sitting on the porch sipping our favorite drink and stitching while listening to the sounds of nature or enjoying time with our children or our pets. It is a great way to combine baby sitting and relaxing with our hobby.
  4. Hand stitching will also allow you the time to experiment with new patterns or to have better control and more accuracy for stitching seams, curves, and circles.
  5. Some of us feel guilty as we sit at a machine stitching squares in a room removed from our husband and other family members as they watch television. Hand stitching will give you the time to be sitting with family members sharing individual interests and enjoy quilting at the same time.
  6. Do you belong to a quilting club? Do you drag your sewing machine to the meeting? It is easier not to carry the heavy load.
  7. Hand stitching allows for social time with our friends while creating a master piece of beauty with conversation and jokes. There are many memories from these rewarding experiences. Both you and the group will take pride in a job well done.

As a hand quilter I have gotten in the habit of carrying my cut pieces in a plastic bag. Threads also do well in plastic bags as the thread slides easily through the sealer part of the bag while holding the other spools of thread.

If you are concerned about sharp scissors cutting through your plastic bags I recommend using an empty dental floss container. It cuts thread very well. Depending on the size of the dental floss container it is also a good place to store needles.

Learn how to make quilts. Visit the hobbies section of Tricia Deed at http://www.Infotrish.vpweb.com/ and review Quilting Gems. Do not forget your free quilting pattern.

Source by Tricia Deed

Mirror Embroidery Textiles From Jaipur and Jodhpur, India

The diversity of regions in India has led to a varied range of handicrafts which have become popular all over the world for their uniqueness. Mirror work with embroidery is a specialty craft from India.

Rajasthan is an Indian State with craftsmen of exemplary skill and talent. They are experts in working with various patterns, motifs and styles for textiles, with mirror work being one of the most popular of all embroidery crafts. Jaipur and Jodhpur are known for their finely embroidered quilts and garments, and mirrors are commonly used in their designs.

Mirror work seemingly originated in Persia in the thirteenth century and later spread to other places. Small pieces of mirrors are sewn on cloth using stitches like cross stitch, satin stitch and buttonhole stitch. Earlier, mica was used in place of mirrors to enhance the attractiveness of a garment. Now, with the help of modern machinery, mirror sheets are manufactured, which are then cut into different shapes and sizes. In Rajasthan, this craft has been popular since the time of the Rajput kings.

The craftsmen of Jaipur and Jodhpur have developed an enviable expertise in different patterns such as applique and tie-and-dye, which they embellish with mirrors, thereby turning ordinary cloth into an exquisite artform! Bikaner, Sikar and Jhunjhunu are other popular centers of this craft. Thus, it is not without reason that Rajasthan is often referred to as a ‘shopper’s delight’, with tourists often overwhelmed at the multitude of choices they get in embroidery styles.

Quilting or the stitching together of scraps of fabric which fit into a larger design is a unique offering of the state of Rajasthan. The making of quilts involves time, patience and skill. The lightweight, feather soft quilt from Jaipur will make you want no other. The warmth of these quilts will keep you cozy on the coldest winter night and the embroidery on the cover will add color to an otherwise gray season! Mirrors in various shapes – round, square and triangular – are used to enhance the pattern or design on these quilts. These mirrors are held onto the cloth with stitches. One quilt can hold up to a thousand mirrors! Such creative use of mirrors leaves a lasting impression and turns a simple quilt into a much coveted and exclusive possession.

Not only popular with the locals, garments with mirror work form a sizeable part of the exports made to European countries. It can truly be said that for the men and women of Rajasthan that their needle is a brush with which they create memorable art on cloth. Craftsmen and artists from different areas like Bikaner, Sikar and Jaisalmer contend for the top position in exquisite needle work and embroidery.

So gift yourself or your loved ones one of these traditional, exclusive items, handcrafted with meticulous care and skill!

Source by Chip Tolaney

Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine: Featherweight 118 Review

Whether you are an experienced sewer or a beginner, you have probably heard about the famous Singer Featherweight sewing machine. This tiny machine has many of the same features as its full-sized counterparts. Regardless of your skill level, you will enjoy using the Singer Featherweight. If you love to go to workshops and sewing classes or you don’t have a lot of storage space, this is the machine for you. It is the perfect portable machine for today’s quilting and sewing enthusiast.

The Singer Featherweight sewing machines come in different colors and models. The model 118 is a great portable machine with heavy-duty capacity. It weights about 11.5 pounds and packs a powerful punch with its four-step buttonhole, automatic needle threader, and 14 built-in stitch patterns. The Singer Featherweight 118 can be used either as a beginner’s sewing machine or a perfect companion to your existing full-sized machine.

This model is so lightweight that it can go with you almost anywhere. Packed with lots of great features, the Singer Featherweight 118 is practical and easy to use. The machine is covered by Singer’s 25-year warranty. Additional accessories include a presser that is used for piecing quilt blocks, an embroidery foot for quilting and creating free hand embroidery, and an even feed foot that you can use to sew velvet, velour, plaids and other napped fabrics.

The Singer Featherweight 118 is famous all over the world for its compact design and reduced size. It boasts a free arm with accessory storage, a top drop-in bobbin with clear cover plate, and handy utility and stretch stitches. Users can change presser feet in a snap, thread the needle in one easy step, and easily replace empty bobbin. The machine also includes a 1/4-inch foot for quilting.

Many sewers go to group quilting sessions and workshops, and they usually have to bring their regular full-size machines with them. If you want to avoid this unpleasant situation, consider buying the Singer Featherweight 118. This tiny machine has all of the features that most quilters need. You can even put it in a large suit case for travel. Most sewers believe that this model is not expensive considering its features.

This sewing machine is the best on a technical level and offers the largest range of options in its domain. It has a sturdy construction, which will last a long time before breaking down. Another advantage of buying the Singer Featherweight 118 is that it comes with lots of free accessories, including screwdrivers, needles, bobbins, foot control, overcasting foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, oil, and spool caps.

Source by Dominic H Milner