On point…

In the law, cases are “on point” when the facts of the case in the law books – already decided – exactly match the facts in your case so you can cite it as being the law.

So it follows that it kind of annoys me when folks use the phrase “case in point”… where does that come from?  It’s like “tough road to hoe” instead of “tough row to hoe”.  But then I get persnickety about silly stuff like that.  You’re shocked, I know.

But I digress – another big shock.

Oh – Happy Monday!

This is a Tip Jar post and it’s about those pointy things we use every time we stitch – needles.

Cutting-Table---Needles

Are you changing your sewing machine needles regularly?

You know you should, right?  Whew.  But here’s the problem – what is regularly?  And how do you remember when you changed it the last time?

I happily confess to thinking that you only changed sewing machine needles when they broke – usually by sewing over a pin or something silly like that.  When the sewing machine folks started saying they should be changed regularly, I thought it was a collaborative conspiracy – legal term: collusion – with the sewing machine needle manufacturers to get us to buy more needles.  Since I was still young and impressionable, I bowed to their pressure and – this pains me greatly – discovered that I could tell the difference.

I really don’t like when “the man” is right.

The reasoning is simple – that needle is traveling very fast and it is piercing fabric every one of the couple hundred times it passes through the fabric in a minute.  (If you have a Juki, it’s a thousand times per minute.)  It stands to reason that the constant hitting of the fabric will slowly dull the tip of the needle.  But how often should you change it?  Every four hours?  Every eight?  And even if there were a definitive, conclusive answer, how do I remember when that was?

I backed into a system that works for me.  That last part is the most important – it comes with no guarantees or factual evidence to support it’s reasoning.  Which probably explains why it works for me…

I change my needle every five bobbins.  It’s nothing more than a mile-marker.

Cutting-Table---Bobbin-Mile-marker

Side note – while those bobbin-buddies are cute, they also serve a really good purpose beyond keeping the thread from un-winding.  If you keep your extra wound bobbins on the top of your machine – which I sometimes do when I’m at a retreat – the thread from the bobbin can get caught up with the thread spool winding into the machine.  It doesn’t happen often but it’s a mess when it does, and I’m told that it can do harm to your machine.

When I’m winding my new bobbins and changing the needle, I also clean and oil my sewing machine.  Yes, I do that every single time.

Cutting-Table---Cleaning-Tools

Unless I have just a little bit more to finish the pieces, blocks, borders I need to finish before shutting it all down for the night… just saying.

Flashback – I was sixteen when my parents gave me a Bernina 830 for Christmas.  I wanted a car but my parents decided – correctly so – that I would be far better off operating a machine with a foot pedal/gas pedal if it didn’t have four wheels.  (My parents were pretty smart that way.)  When I took the guide classes for my machine, the very first thing I was taught was how to take apart, clean and oil my machine.  Maintenance before operation.  (It might be why I still have that machine… almost 13 years later… :::snort:::)

Cutting-Table---Lint

This is how much lint can accumulate after just four bobbins – I needed the picture.  (And yes, I still took the time to clean and oil the machine since it was open and I needed wound bobbins for the picture.  Compulsion, thy name is Carrie.)

Changing the needle and machine maintenance are about achieving the same goal – prolonging the life of your machine.  The harder it has to work, the sooner it will wear out.  All of our machines are different and many newer machines don’t require regular oiling.  If your machine doesn’t require that, I recommend that you find some kind of mile-marker to let you know when it’s time to change the needle.  A friend whose machine doesn’t need to be oiled regularly buys pre-wound bobbins and puts them in one of those donut-rounds – called a BobbinSaver – for bobbins.  Every sixth bobbin is empty to remind her that it’s time to change the needle and blow out the lint in her machine.

By the way… blowing the lint out.  Can we take a moment and talk about canned air?  The sewing machine repair folks will tell you it’s a bad, horrible, potentially disastrous idea.  I get that – really.  If I opened up my machine and didn’t take the time to brush out that big clump of lint, I can see that some might get blown into a crevice instead of out.  Got it.  But this I know for sure… I have been using canned air to clean my Bernina for more than 20 years – ever since you could start buying the canned air at camera shops.  Do I recommend it?  No.  Do I do it anyway?  Yes.

And that’s it for today.  This message has been brought to you by the fine people at Schmetz Needles.  I’m kidding!

I still there’s some kind of conspiracy at work… it’s the only reason for making the eyes smaller.

You know they’ve made them smaller, right?

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Five little letters…

Scant.

You’d think such a small word wouldn’t have such huge implications.  It ought to be insignificant.  How much difference could it make – really?  Yes, I’m referring to that thing we quilters call a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  It’s elusive.  It’s cursed… much-sought-after… and occasionally incomprehensible.

Does it really matter?  I wish I could give you a definitive answer but there are times when no, it doesn’t.

Half-Triangle-Squares-to-Trim-Down

When I’m piecing half-triangle squares that will be trimmed to size, my seam allowance isn’t an issue and having a slightly smaller seam allowance means I’ve got a little more skoosh room with trimming.

Tammy-V's-Midwinter-Reds-Quilt

This is when it matters.  This quilt has two different blocks – one with two seams on each size, the other with four seams.  It might not sound like a huge problem but when you start multiplying a number as small as 1/32″ or 1/16″, it can quickly add up to a more significant difference.  (This quilt was made by Tammy Vonderschmitt and it was in a 2013 issue of McCall’s Quilting.  The fabric is Minick & Simpson’s Midwinter Reds.)

The reason we use a 1/4″ seam allowance is simple – it’s easier than using a 3/8″ seam allowance, or the 5/8″ seam allowance some of us learned to use with garment sewing.  If you learned “professional” or “production” sewing techniques, you learned a 1/2″ seam allowance.  With garments, a sleeve was eased into the armhole, the measurement didn’t have to be exact.  Unless it was supposed to be… we’ll leave that discussion for another day, okay?

With quilting, we needed to be able to fit pieces together with precision.  And since most pieced quilt designs are based on geometric shapes, it naturally follows that it’s a math-thing.  Having a single, consistent seam allowance made drafting pieces easier, and it made cutting easier after rotary cutters were invented.  But how and why did a 1/4″ seam allowance become a scant seam allowance?

Because of thread, the space a line of stitching takes up, the thickness of fabric, the fold when it’s pressed and so on – it would be too easy if it were just one single reason why.  All of these things factor into the final measurement of your pieced unit.  But I’ll get to that in a moment.

I’ll bet your sewing machine has a 1/4″ foot, it might even be called a “quilter’s 1/4″ foot”.  Your machine might also have a marking on the plate for a 1/4″ seam allowance.  There’s just one teeny, tiny problem – it’s probably not accurate.  Have you checked it?

Seam-Allowance-Foot-Ruler-Machine-Mark

This is my Bernina Activa 240 with the quilter’s 1/4″ seam allowance.  Do you see the little vertical mark in front of the feed dog on the right side?  That’s the mark on the plate for the 1/4″ seam allowance.  The yellow ruler is the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide from Perkins Dry Goods – it’s the best way I know to find where your perfect scant 1/4″ seam line should be.  As you can see, Celine got it right.  Bernina didn’t.  They’re a true 1/4″, meaning that my piecing would come up just a little short of perfect.

I’ve used these guides for years and I still find them to be the best, fastest way to find where the perfect scant 1/4″ should be on any machine.  The needle is put through the hole in the guide and then the edge of the ruler can be used to mark your machine with masking tape, moleskin or some other marking tool like Q-Tools Sewing Edge.

To test your machine or markings, the best way is to cut some strips and sew them together.  1 1/2″, 2″ or 2 1/2″, it doesn’t matter, just cut more than two strips.  Two is easy, three or four is where you can start seeing just how accurate you are.

Sew two strips together.

Scant-1-4-Seam-Allowance

Look at the line of red stitching – that’s how a perfect scant 1/4″ should look when measured with a ruler.  The line of stitching should be next to the 1/4″ line on the ruler – not under it.  (That other line of stitching… double-stitching.  That’s what happened while I was trying to get the Sewing Edge strips lined up on the machine.)

Seam-Allowance-Final-Check

Three strips cut at 2″ wide should measure 5″ when joined together.  (Whew.  It worked.)

When I’m asked whether or not we should fret and obsess about achieving the perfect scant 1/4″ seam allowance, my answer is “maybe”.  Meaning, while a good scant 1/4″ seam is essential to truly accurate piecing, it isn’t the only thing to factor in.  First, both layers of fabric being stitched must be accurately cut, and then they have to be matched up evenly.  Then the lines of stitching have to be straight and even – consistently, start to finish.  If you do all of those things and you’re a thin thread’s width away from “perfect”, only you can decide if it’s worth worrying about getting it more perfect.

I describe myself this way – I pay attention to it, but I don’t measure every piece at every step of the way.  In 30-something years of quilting and working at it, I’m still one very thin thread’s width away most of the time.  I’ve learned how and why to make it work, and I know when I have to pull out the seam-guide, mark my machine and really work to get it right.  So if I want to make the sampler quilt on the cover of Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book – and I love that quilt – then an accurate seam allowance matters.

This quilt is another good example.  I love this quilt – it’s Jen Kingwell’s but I’m blatantly, shamelessly copying it.

Jen-Kingwell-Gardevale-Awesomeness

This quilt top has two reasons why accuracy is important, the most obvious being not wanting to chop off the points of those half-triangle squares.  Then there’s the block – it’s a 49-patch block, seven rows of seven squares.  Seven times 1/32″ is almost a 1/4″ difference in the size of the block.  I easily can cut my sashing strips smaller but what if the pieced block were being joined to another pieced block, something that can’t easily be re-sized?  That’s when you start having problems – problems that can be easily avoided with an accurate scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

So I keep an eye on my seam allowance with measuring.  There are two things that need to be measured – the seam and seam allowance, and the size of the “finished” piece.

Favorite-Rulers-for-Checking-Seam-Allowance

For measuring the seam itself, I love the three Omnigrid rulers at the top – the Marking Ruler Trio.  They’re easy to keep by the machine for a quick test – and they’re terrific for adding a 1/4″ seam allowance or drawing a line across a square for half-triangle squares, connector corners, etc.  And the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide.

The finished piece also has to be measured regularly and for that, I like any square ruler – small for small pieced units, bigger for bigger pieced units.  My most favorite ruler is a 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ ruler because it’s easy to keep by the machine and it’s easy to handle, especially when I’m doing smaller piecing.  And yes, I love the Olfa Frosted Rulers.

A few last things to mention because they do affect the finished seam allowance…

  • Thread.  If you’re piecing with a fine 50 wt. like Aurifil or a 60 wt. thread like Presencia, the line of stitching takes up less room than a thicker 50 wt. thread.  This doesn’t mean you need finer thread, it just means you need to factor this into where your stitching line is for a perfectly-pieced finished block.
  • Pressing.  Pressing seams open means there is less “roll” in the fold.
  • Fabric.  Flannel is thicker than a Bella Solid, and batiks and lawns are often more flat because of their higher thread count.  That will affect how they press, thereby factoring into the size of the finished piece.

Do you see why I pay attention to seam allowance but don’t obsess about it?

Worrying about all these things can take all the fun out of sitting down and making something pretty!  Unless you’re the kind of personality that enjoys the process of making something perfect or you’d like to someday enter a quilt in Paducah or Houston.  Then you’re probably already paying attention to these things.

But I’m not going to worry about them today.  It’s Friday and I’m hoping to sew this weekend.  I also have to pack for the retreat, I leave for that on Tuesday.  If you’ve never been to a quilt retreat, you should absolutely try to go.  It’s a lot of fun.

I’ll be “here” next week with a few more tips for our Tip Jar.  In the meantime, I’m sewing, finishing new patterns and trying to stay out of trouble.  Though really, with Market looming, I don’t have time for much beyond work, Market-sewing, eating and sleep.  And showers.

I hope you have a terrific weekend, and I hope you get to sew.

That’s what I’m planning… though after all this discussion about seam allowance, I think I’m in the mood for a little improv piecing.

Happy Friday!

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Featured Quilt Shop: Yoder Department Store

Shop outside-Front

Yoder Department Store is located in Yoder’s Shopping Center

Moda Fabrics has been in business for 40 years. And for well more than half of those years, Yoder Department Store in Shipshewana, Indiana, has been buying Moda fabrics to sell to their customers.

“We got started with Moda when our customers came in and asked about it,” says Nancy Troyer, a 38-year Yoder Department Store employee and the shop’s fabric buyer. “I wasn’t familiar with it and I had to get on the bandwagon to find out how to get it. Since then, it’s been an honor to buy the wonderful Moda fabric that comes out every season.”

Pre-CutBuffet

The display “Moda Mark” refers to as the Pre-cut Buffet

Yoder Department Store stands out for its longevity with Moda, but also for its years of operation as a family business. Ora and Grace Yoder founded it as a dry goods store 70 years ago: their grandson is general manager today. The store’s building—aka Yoder’s Shopping Center—originally housed the department store, a hardware store, and a grocery store. Today a café, where customers stop for coffee, ice cream, and lunch, has taken the place of the grocery store and the department store occupies half the space. About 20,000 of its 26,000 square feet is devoted to shoes, linens, and clothing. And, of course, fabric.

The Solid Fabric Source Since 1945

The rainbow color wall of fabrics at Yoder Department Store

Especially popular at Yoder Department Store are the designs created for Moda by Primitive Gatherings, Kansas Troubles, French General, Three Sisters, and Me and My Sister, among others. In addition to quilting cottons, Yoder’s Department Store carries duck, denim, nylon net, wool, fleece, flannel, oil cloth, and toweling. “Moda toweling is a favorite,” says Nancy. She notes that Bella solids are also especially popular. “We kind of focus on them, because many of our guests can’t find them in their local shops.” Amish customers who sew their own clothing also appreciate them. “We’ve noticed a trend of young Amish ladies purchasing 100% cotton for their little boys shirts,” says Candice Parker, the fabrics department manager. “In the past they were using blends.”

ModaHome-Products

Moda Home products are popular in the linen section of Yoder Department Store

Yoder Department Store’s customers extend far beyond the local community. Shipshewana is a tourist destination, with flea markets, a theater, more than 125 shops, and festivals and special events filling the calendar and drawing visitors from around the world. Of special note is the Shipshewana Quilt Festival, now in its seventh year—last year 5,000 quilters attended. Held in June, the festival includes a quilt show with cash awards, vendors, nationally known quilting teachers, a shop hop, and much more. (For more information on this year’s festival, visit http://www.shipshewanaquiltfest.com/index.html.) Moda is a sponsor of the event, and has produced exclusive fabric for it. “Last year Vanessa Christensen allowed us to recolor one of her fabrics in a more traditional color scheme, and our employees had a contest with it, which helped customers see a variety of options,” says Candice.

Display-Exclusive 2014 Moda Fabric with employee projects

Employee projects made using the 2014 exclusive fabric based on Vanessa Christensen’s lines

Going the extra mile for customers is what Yoder Department Store’s fabric department is all about. “We carry a lot of hard-to-find items and have loyal customers,” says Heidi McHugh, the store’s advertising and marketing manager. “My grandmother is one of them. She likes to come in and have Nancy help her. She’s worked with her for years.” Employees help customers choose fabrics, draft patterns, and calculate yardage. “We specialize in customer service and want to make sure our guests have a good experience,” says Heidi.

Display-Quilt kit, pattern, fabric with model made by employee

A quilt stitched by a Yoder Department Store employee using the Homestead Gatherings fabric line

Working with Moda has been a pleasure for Yoder Department Store employees, and Moda’s enjoyed the experience, as well. For the past 22 years, Mark Pytel has been the sales rep who visits the shop. “It’s a pleasure to stop and see them, as it is with all my shops,” says Mark. “Yoder Department Store keeps up with the times—they went to QuiltCon, use social media, and go to regional shows. They like to be on the cutting edge of new fabrics each season. They’re doing what they can to keep their business going and I’m doing what I can to help them.”

Candace+NancyShow

Candice and Nancy show off Moda fabrics

Nancy remembers the first time she bought fabric from “Moda Mark” as she calls him. “He was so excited to present Moda fabrics to someone new that he was bouncing off the walls,” says Nancy with a laugh. “He’s fun to work with and loves his product. It’s been exciting to see the quality and patterns and prints that Moda continues to produce.”

Shop outside-Side with Barn Quilts

Barn Quilt blocks adorn the side of the building. A working windmill is at left and the parking lot includes places to tie up buggies.

For more information about the Yoder Department Store, visit their website at http://www.yoderdepartmentstore.com.

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Spondulicks…

It means “money” or “cash”.  Dictionary.com.  (spon-doo-liks)

I love that website – that and Thesaurus.com – and I’m betting that learning that falls into the category of “incredibly obvious”.

So why did this come up?  Because I went to the website looking for a synonym for the word “retreat”, meaning a place of refuge.  I rather like the other words for it and when most of us think of a quilt retreat, we do think of it as being a hideaway, hideout, refuge, sanctuary.  Preserve?  Things can get a little wild at a quilt retreat… but I still think of a “preserve” as having to do with strawberries or wildebeests.

So again… why did this come up?

ModaRosie---Retreat-Quilts

Because I’m “retreating” next week – to Utah, with Amy McClellan and the ladies at American Quilting in Orem. Amy has been doing this retreat for several years and it sounds like it’s going to be a whole lot of fun.  I’ll be teaching three different quilts – Crop Circles, Radio Flyer/Little Red and Wee Hours.  Wee Hours will be a new pattern at Spring Market so the ladies in my class get to be the sacrificial lambs pattern-testers.  It’s a lot of nine-patches.

Do you go to quilt retreats?  Frequently… occasionally… someday?

In addition to teaching, I’m going to have the time to sew.  I’m looking forward to it but I have to tell you that sewing at retreat is usually a mixed bag for me.  I either get a lot done or very little, there is no middle ground.  I think it’s because there are so many distractions there – good ones!  My favorite thing is that most everybody there is there with a friend – or a big group of them.

So as much as I love being at-one with my own little workroom, I’m excited to go.  I’ve got plenty of pre-Market sewing to do so getting away for a few days to work on that will be nice.  I’m bringing my small machine – it fits in my carry-on – and two projects.  If I get everything done – hope springs eternal – then I can stitch down the binding for Wee Hours.  (It’ll be glue-basted until then.)

This is the fabric I’ll be bringing with me – <insert collection name here> by <insert name of designer here> and well… you get the idea.

The-best-I-can-do...

I was wearing a pair of the Sew Red Glasses when I took this picture – I needed to see the value level of these bundles.  Pretty cool, don’t you think?

Yeah, yeah… not only did I change the image to Black & White, I fiddled with the color levels.  I know it’s not fair but I think it’s safe to say that almost all of the fabric pictures on this blog for the next seven weeks will be going through a “color remover”.

But the pre-Market catalog should be out in another week or so, and as soon as the designers start showing you their collections, I’ll give you some peeks of what I’m working on.  Deal?

So as I pack for retreat, what should I remember to bring with me?

So far, my list includes:

Moda-Blog---Packing-for-Retreat

  • sewing machine
  • extension plate for machine, foot pedal and power cord for my sewing machine  (I put these on the list because I may or may not have forgotten to bring one or more of them once or twice in my life…
  • seam ripper
  • extra needles and bobbins – preferably already wound
  • extra foot for sewing machine – just in case… been there, needed this
  • extra thread – which usually means I’ll bring 6 or 7 spools  (I have a tendency to over-pack – and over-estimate how much I’ll actually get done.)
  • rulers – I always bring a 6″ x 6″ square and a 6″ x 12″ rectangle
  • rotary cutter and extra blades
  • small rotary cutting mat
  • seam ripper
  • snips and scissors
  • pins and a magnetic pinbowl
  • one or two pens and some scratch paper
  • seam ripper – yes, I know it’s already on the list but it’s really bad “sewing karma” to leave this behind
  • fuzzy socks – I don’t like to sew with my shoes on
  • extra pair of readers – so I can actually see what I’m doing
  • re-fillable water bottle
  • snacks – it’s right before Easter so I’ll take jelly beans

And one more thing I always take with me to a quilt retreat.  Back in 2005 or so, I taught at a retreat in Illinois for A Touch of Amish in Barrington and that’s where I met Deane Happ.  She’s a lovely woman and on the table next to her, she had a small metal “flying pig” that she used to keep pieces of fabric in place.  She’d bought it at a garden store many years before because she’d thought it was cute, though nobody had ever figured out what it’s purpose was.  Ever since then, she always took it to retreats as a good-luck charm of sorts, and because it made her smile.  As I would walk by Deane over the course of the weekend, I kept admiring it and okay, I probably picked it up a few times trying to figure out what it was for.  At the end of the retreat, Deane gave me the little pig.  I told her “no, I couldn’t… it was her keepsake.”  She insisted.  I insisted back – really.  She insisted more.

Favorite-Retreat-Item

It’s been in my sewing room every since and I take it with me to retreats.  It makes me think of Deane and her kind heart, and that always makes me smile.  But I’m usually not very good about putting it out because… well, I’m not ready to give it up.  Someday.  But not yet.

So what have I forgotten?

When you go on retreat, do you have a check-list?  Or do you just wing-it?  Is there one thing that you have to have with you – the sort of item that requires you to double-check that it’s packed before you leave your house?

Stretchy pants!  Also known as “yoga pants”.  Though really, they ought to be called “sewing pants” because most of the folks I know wearing them don’t do much yoga.

Maybe that ought to be in the dictionary.

I’ll get on that right after I go circumvolve some bobbins.  (Wind.)

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Make. Piece. Sew.

That was the phrase used in a Moda Fabrics ad several years ago and I always liked it.  It also fits the occasion – tomorrow is National Quilting Day!

I’m almost hoping for snow – I did say almost! – so that I won’t feel guilty if I stay in tomorrow and sew all day – just me and Bernie.

We have 764 half-triangles to make and after giving it a lot of thought – okay, about 1 minute’s worth – I decided that I was going to use triangle paper.  It was either that or trim them all to size… so I needed triangle paper.  Since I didn’t have any on hand, that meant a trip to the warehouse.  I know… it’s such a long, long walk over to the other building.

The truth is that it takes me forever – F O R E V E R – when I go over there.  It isn’t that it’s all that far, it’s that I can’t bring myself to walk quickly… that would mean rushing by a sight like this…

Moda-Warehouse

Moda Dotties – I knew you’d ask.

Then I get here… United Notions.  All these lovely notions, united in one place.

United-Notions

And I get lost.

Not in thought… not in discovery… lost.  (Reference:  needles, haystsacks.)  The lovely people who work here have been amazingly patient with me, and they’re bonafide brilliant!  I’ve yet to ask a single person where to find something without them knowing exactly where it is.  Even from 50 feet away, they can direct me to where I will find it – no, one more aisle over… on the left side… three shelves in… second shelf from the bottom.

No Carrie, your OTHER left.

Fortunately, I found the aisle with the triangle paper I was looking for – Primitive Gatherings – fairly easily.  (I am starting to learn my way around.)

Why this one?  While I like almost all of the papers I’ve tried, there is one feature that makes this one was perfect for this project.  I’m using Layer Cake squares for my fabric so I can make 18 – 2″ finished half-triangle squares from each square.  Thinking in terms of squares, I can fit a total of 9 squares in the layer cake, a 3 x 3 grid.  The Primitive Gathering paper is printed in a 3 x 5 grid.

Primitive-Gatherings-2-Triangle-Paper

So I just stacked the paper and cut it on the line to make my 3 x 3 grid – with a 2 x 3 grid left for something else.  I don’t have to draw any lines or grids and this paper fits my layer cake squares perfectly – how perfect is that?  But while I was nosing around looking for the correct paper, I found these…

Primitive-Gatherings-Charm-Triangle-Paper

Primitive Gatherings also makes triangle papers that are specifically sized for using with charm squares.  For someone whose made as many quilts with charm squares as I have, I want to know why I didn’t think of this.  (Don’t answer that… Lisa is… well, Lisa Bongean.)

Then I got really side-tracked… I think it was the bright, pretty colors.

Smartneedle-Tulip-Bobbin-Clamps-2

These are called Tulips.  They’re by a company called Smartneedle and they’re bobbin clamps.  I think I’m going to need these – doesn’t the orange clamp look good on my bobbin?  (And it doesn’t hurt that these clamps are a little bigger than the ones I use now.)  They come with a little chain if you want to keep them together for traveling, or doing some handwork.

The same company names these Bobbinis.  Bobbinis… you had me with that name.

Smartneedle-Bobbini

They kind of look like mini pacifiers, don’t they?  What I like – and what is making me think I’m going to need some of these – is that the bobbini is very secure.  The bobbin isn’t loose at all, and it’s very secure in the spool of thread.  Trust me, I was knocking them around to see if they’d come out or the bobbin would come off.

These were in the same aisle – also from Smartneedle.  The scissor and sewing machine USBs are very cute, as is the ladybug sewing caddy.  There is a suction cup on the underside that lets you stick it to the side of a machine, or whatever.  The little porcupine bobbin caddy also comes in green.  As with the bobbini, I was surprised that everything fits together securely and the tops or bobbins aren’t going to keep falling off.

Smartneedle-Collage

While trying to find my way out of the aisles – they look straight but with all the distractions, it might as well be a maze! – I was distracted by Maya Road.

Maya-Road-Pins-&-Buttons

The pins are purely decorative – they’re sharp but they’re a little thick to use for sewing.  But they’ll sure look really pretty in my pincushions.  I don’t know what I’d do with the buttons yet but they’d be cute on a pillow, a bag or even to embellish one of my pincushions.  Maybe I’ll make a pincushion to go with the buttons…  And the spools?  They’re just cute.

It isn’t like I really need to know what I would do with something before I bought it right?

From fabric to notions, thread to scissors… we like some of this stuff because it’s pretty.  And because seeing it makes us happy.

Or maybe that’s just me – I’m a little frivolous that way.  And I think that’s a good thing.

Have a terrific weekend!

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