Monday, February 6, 2017

Cone Thread Hack & Reality Check On WIP's

Simplest Hack Ever

I sew everywhere. I have little stations for different projects, and sometimes I need quick, mobile fixes. This one popped up when I needed a large cone holder, and had none. I was trying out a new thread, Prescencia, 60/3, for piecing. I'd been reading that a thinner 3-ply thread was stronger and more accurate for piecing than a 50/2 ply thread (my Aurifil). Going from the large spool to a cone meant the thread should be coming off vertically instead of horizontally. 

Are you wondering why thread should be unwound according to its spool type? It's because the thread will develop twists in it as it unwinds if you use the wrong method. The twisting causes tension in the thread as you sew. You don't want that. Think of twisting yarn again and again. Superior Threads has very informative videos about the process, and explanations why thread delivery is important.

I tried the dowel in the flower pot trick, but my dowel was too long causing the thread to wrap around it. That's why the spool is on a pot. But a simple bulldog clip on the edge of my lampshade gave me a vertical loop to run the thread through, and allowed it to travel to the machine correctly as well as come off the cone correctly. The cone can now just sit on my work table, and run up through the clip, and over to the machine. It works, and most of us sew with a lamp nearby anyhow.

And without bashing Aurifil--as I love the thread, the Prescencia did a beautiful job creating accurate, strong seams in my 150 Canadian Women blocks. There are lots of pieces to deal with, and keeping the block at 6.5" is not always easy. I believe it's my new piecing thread.

Yesterday I had a moment. I was returning email and replying to comments, and wanted to email a link to someone to compare some art quilt backgrounds.  I was trying to find pictures of a quilt I finished last May, and could not find the post in which it was finished. Darn! Where was that? I went into the studio to dig it out and snap another picture, and <gasp>, it wasn't done. It was still lying in the pile awaiting a binding along with nearly another dozen quilts. I was stunned!

What in the world had I been doing for 9 months? Well, honestly, a lot, but that was still no excuse for not taking care of things. I buckled down immediately.

Off the Frame and Done

One customer quilt that has been on the frame for about a week is done. It's a beauty, isn't it? Now the frame is free to move through some of my own projects. 

Pieced Back with Some of My Hand Dyed Fabric

Second Quilt Longarm Finish of the Day

And while Axel (the name of my Avante by Handiquilter) was still warmed up, I tossed on the next quilt that was in line, and polished that one off, too. Today will be binding, binding, binding, I think. Look for a month of finishes as I get my house in order. This should be interesting.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's finish some WIP's!


Rose Prairie Quilts and Farm said...

Great hack. I use aurifil but I'll have to try the 60/3.

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

Your art quilt is gorgeous. Congratulations on making so much progress on so many quilts.

Tish Stemple said...

I am just staring at the picture of the flower pot, lamp shade and binder clip and I have come to the conclusion you are a genius! It's amazing the things one can come up with in a pinch :) Wonder what David would say if I used our chandelier that hangs above our machines to achieve the same thing?

Angie in SoCal said...

You're steam rolling along. Lots of progress there.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Thanks for the thread review. I like Aurifil but it's too expensive around here.

Kate said...

Love your thread hack, very practical and it works! Congrats on all the quilting. You definitely made a lot of progress.

Marly said...

Thanks for the tip. I recently bought a cone of thread and had no idea it needed to be guided vertically to the machine. I love such DIY solutions; they mean there's more money left for fabric!

PaulaB quilts said...

Thank you so much for the info about thread winding. I watched the Superior thread video, which answered all my questions. I have noticed some threads coming out all curled up off the spool, a,nuisance. I'm going to use this info for sure.