3 Mar 2011

I need a bigger table!

I am currently working on a reversible quilt-as-you-go project and have already learned a few things I will do better next time.

But I find it really hard working on the machine on a fairly small table. Even though the quilt I am working on is small (only about 45"x 45") it keeps falling off the table while I am sewing and it is really irritating. I guess a trip to IKEA is in order. Will have to get a rental car and that will be the first time I drive a British car. I was driving my old continental car for the last ten years in the UK Scary! I will warn you in advance so you can stay off the roads that day.

And can I ask you experienced sewists a few questions:

1. How often do you change the needle in the machine? I have been avoiding that.

2. Do you buy generic needles?

3. What sort of interlining should I buy if I want to make bags?

4. Do you handsew your binding or do you ever use the machine?

5. Do you use binding makers?

6. Do you use fusible web and if yes what kind?

I will post about the finished quilt soon and show you what I am not so happy with. Can only get better, right?

Love, Nadine

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. I change the needle when I feel the machine is playing up, I've kind of got to know now if changing the needle will solve the problem - it usually does!! I do buy generic needles,size most used is 80/90.

    Most bag patterns tell you which interlining to use.

    I machine sew the binding onto right side of quilt and then when its flipped over to back I hand sew it down.

    Never used a binding maker, no need to some great tutorials for making binding out there. See Fat quaterly blog.

    Hope this helps!! Justine

  2. 1. I've read that you should change it for every new project but I never do. I just wait until it either breaks or bends or my free motion quilting goes funny. Changing the needle is normally the cure for that.
    2. Yep.
    3. It depends on the bag. Check out u-handbag.co.uk for lots of details.
    4. I machine sew my binding, front and back. I don't mind that you can see some of the stitches but others do.
    5. No.
    6. Only for practice, haven't really got into applique yet.

    cheers Shev

  3. Love your questions. I have asked (or am still asking) those many times myself!
    1. They say to change the needle each quilt, but I only do it when i think of it....Maybe 3 times this year??
    2. generic needles seem to work fine
    3.if you figure this one out, let me know. I have tried a few things, and find this the hardest thing to get right. Depends on the type of bag adn the body you want, I guess! I am usually never happy with mine.
    4. Usually hand sew, have just tried machine...I think both are good methods, bu prefer the look of handsewn myself.
    5. I have a binding maker and have never used it. Just dutand fold by hand, much quicker.
    6. I use heat n bond lite for fusing...it is pretty good, but i am not too big into applique as of yet.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Have you got an ironing board? If so you can lower it and position it to help support the quilt...till you can make better arrangements....just an idea.

    1. I never seem to change the needle until I switch from piecing to quilting...and sometimes if I am positive I have not used a needle very long, I will keep the one I take out and put it back in next time I switch back to that size.

    2. I use Schmetz....just cause they are what is available.

    3. All the bags I see made here just use a matching cotton fabric. However, will tell you something about myself. I will not buy a purse that has a dark lining. I have found with aging that I cannot find anything in one with a dark lining and just refuse to buy them. I will find the perfect purse and there it will have a dark lining...I used to go ahead and buy them but found I was wasting money.

    4. I usually sew the binding to the front of the quilt by machine, then flip to the back and sew down by hand..simply because I like to do it. Since my quilts are no where close to being a masterpiece, if I didn't like the hand sewing, I would do it all by machine.

    5. No, I don't use binding makers...

    6. I have used fusible web, but the only one I really, really liked is no longer available...

  5. 1. When I think about it, when it starts acting up, or when I'm starting machine quilting that needs to look really good.
    2. Yes. The cheaper the needles the less painful it is to change them often and not set yourself up for tension and other problems.
    3. Dunno - not a bag lady.
    4. ALWAYS Machine stitch to the front, hand stitch to the back. When I machine stitch, I always miss spots that have to be fixed by hand, and I think it looks more finished by hand.
    5. Nope
    6. Not unless held at gunpoint.

  6. 1. I probably change my needle every couple of weeks or sooner if my sewing looks odd -- I sew at least a couple of hours a day. I also always change to a fresh needle when I start machine quilting a quilt and throw out that needle when I'm done with that quilt (I use different needles for machine quilting than I do for regular sewing and piecing.)

    2. I buy Schmetz 80/12 needles for sewing/piecing and Schmetz 80/12 Jeans needles for machine quilting. They are brand name and a reputable brand but still only $3-$4 per pack of 5 needles.

    3. I don't make bags, so I'm no help here.

    4. I always hand sew (after attaching to the front with a machine.) I don't like it very much but I think it looks so much better and after spending that much in time and materials on a quilt I think that it's worth it to hand sew.

    5. Nope. Making binding is easy -- cut some strips, sew them together, fold them in half. I can do that without a special tool.

    6. Yes. My favourite is Heat n' Bond Lite. I've tried Lite Steam-a-Seam and hated it (the glue kept separating from the paper backing before I had a chance to iron it onto my fabric, especially on small pieces.)

  7. Ladies, you are absolutely awesome. thank you so much for your really helpful comments. I have now started binding by hand again as it just doesn't look right with the machine. I need to get some more needles so I'll try your suggestions and will try to replace the needle more often.
    Thanks again for your help. I'll keep you posted on my progress.


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