Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tips & Hints and Outside Box Thinking

I promised a few that I would show a different version of my new design, "Valentine Flowers" .  Sometimes when drawing up the design, I get different ideas for color schemes.  I knew that I wanted to make the design red & white, but I couldn't stop thinking about how pretty it would look with a black & red color scheme.
So I made this ....
 It's changed up from the original design, as you can see.  I made some of the flowers smaller and I scattered french knots throughout the hearts.  From a distance, the heart shapes aren't as evident but close up, the heart shapes appear!  I really love the black/red contrasts on this and unlike the red/white one, this one doesn't so much look like Valentines Day hearts.  It's an all year round candle mat.
So if you've purchased the "Valentine Flowers" pattern , think outside the box for different color schemes!

My email is always open for questions and problems from my customers and surprisingly, from non-customers too.  I'm always willing to help when I can.
Some of the most common questions I get, I try to respond by posting the tips and ideas on my blog.  Since these seem to get asked over and over, instead of repeatedly answering the same questions, I send them a link and it saves me a lot of time.
So here's the next bunch of help for commonly asked questions ....


I mostly use DMC size 8 pearle cotton threads for my stitching.  I have a storage bin full of assorted colors ...
The problem with storing this many balls of pearl cotton is that it gets messy because the threads love to unroll and twist and tangle with the other unrolled threads. I got so frustrated with all the tangling and the mess so now....
I just put a little piece of tape over the end of the thread to hold it securely. So that it doesn't leave a tape residue, I stick the tape on the back of my hand first to get off some of the stickiness.  This keep all of my threads neat and untangled.  When I use the thread, I save the tape by sticking it on the white plastic and then reattach the tape when I'm done.  Now, there are cute little plastic containers (bubbles)that are sold specifically for holding each ball of pearle cotton.  They have holes drilled in the tops to feed the thread through. With the amount of thread that I have though, the bubbles just aren't price feasible for me and besides, the bubbles take up even more space.

Another problem with these threads is that the little paper discs that are on the tops of each ball always comes off after the thread is used.  This is a problem because the discs have the color # on them so if you loose that paper disc, and you need to purchase another of the same color, you won't know what color to buy.
As soon as I start using the thread, I use a black sharpie to write the thread color number on the inside white plastic.

One last hint/tip about threads is basically a cat problem.
We have two cats.  They are sisters, so they tend to do exactly the same thing when it comes to getting into mischief.  Their favorite thing to do is to play with any of my sewing things that I have sitting out, especially those cute round balls of thread.  I can't ever leave the thread unguarded.
My solution:
I took one empty Parmesan cheese container....
I put 5 of my most often used thread colors in the container...
I fed the thread through the holes on the lid and no more balls of thread under the couch or under the fridge!
I imagine some day I'll make a nice wool cover for this container, but for now, it works perfect.
I have Ecru, Black, red, gold and green in there.  5 balls fit nicely without crowded.  Because they have room to move, the threads don't tangle.  If more than 5 balls are in there, it's too tight and they'll tangle.

My Work Surface

I know I've mentioned this before in another blog posting a few years back but it's worth retelling.
I do most of my stitching on the dining room table.  So many times, I'd find myself accidently stitching my wool to the tablecloth.  To prevent that, now I use a thin board for my stitching surface.
It's also handy because when I need to use the dining room table for say ...EATING DINNER...all I have to do is move the board with all my sewing work on it.  It's also nice to use when sewing while watching tv on the couch.  I put a pillow on my lap, put the board on the pillow and there's my nice solid sewing surface.
I have different sizes that I use but the main size is this one which measures about 15" x 18".  They can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes .  I don't know what they're called but they're located in with pegboards and come in sheets.  I imagine they'd cut them to size there for you, but my hubby has always cut them to size for me.  Both sides have a smooth surface so make sure to look for that as opposed to a one side smooth, the other side rough.

That's all for now.  
For even more tips, ideas and tutorials, visit my website HERE

Happy Day everyone!

1 comment:

Sweet Sue said...

Great storage tip. Still lovin' your designs Cath. Happy New Year!