Lisa Schumacher | Staff Blog - Part 3

Lisa Schumacher

14 posts.

Join our Pillowcase Challenge

American Patchwork & Quilting is teaming up with Etsy to sew pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. Join editors Jill Mead and Lisa Schumacher in Etsy’s interactive Virtual Lab Monday July 26 at noon (CST). Watch a live webcast of step-by-step instructions for sewing a pillowcase using the roll it up method (also known as hot dog, burrito, sausage, or tube). Create a free username on Etsy, and join the editors in the Virtual Lab! If you have extra time before the lab starts, read the blog on If you can’t join us in the lab today, check out our how-to video and step-by-step instructions and watch our Facebook page for updates on upcoming events!


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Sewing Pillowcases with Visitors

Last week, staff members from American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilts and More, and our sister publication Scrapbooks etc., hosted a visit from Christina and Nizzi of On Thursday, the staff members hosted an early morning sewing session for so we could show our visitors how to sew pillowcases using the tube method. Everyone had so much fun! Check out the video and photos below.

Video: Jennifer and Christina unveiling their pillowcases.

Jill Mead, editor of Quilts and More, shows Nizzi from how to pull the pillowcase body from the tube band.

Nizzi Renaud (left) and Christina Batch-Lee (right) from, show off their pillowcases.

Have you participated in the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge yet? Get free pillowcase patterns and details about the challenge at Our online counter shows that readers have made and donated more than 97,000 pillowcases. Keep up the good work!

PS: If you haven’t seen the tube method, (also know as the burrito, hot dog, or sausage method) check out this step-by-step video for making pillowcases.

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Kid’s Appliqué T-Shirts

Both of my nephews (3 years old and 16 months old) love animals, especially lions and monkeys. Recently, I fused animal shapes on t-shirts and gave them to my nephews (as late Christmas gifts). Download the free lion appliqué pattern from, and purchase the Spring 2010 issue of Quilts and More for the monkey appliqué pattern. (If you can’t find the issue at your local quilt shop or newsstand, you can purchase Quilts and More online.)

lion tshirtmonkey tshirt

I had so much fun cutting, fusing, and stitching that I plan to embellish one of my t-shirts using a bird appliqué pattern. If you’re planning a machine appliqué project, check out this slide show for machine appliqué tips.

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Quilting Thread and Needle Sources

You’ll find a wealth of info at the Needle Education Center from Schmetz Needles. Learn the basic anatomy of a needle, download one of multiple guides for choosing needles and pairing them with appropriate fabrics, or browse a troubleshooting guide for common sewing machine problems.

Read the informative blog post from Sew, Mama, Sew! on choosing needles for your sewing machine. Then check out the rest of their tons of tutorials on other topics, from inserting a grommet to making kids’ clothes and fun stuff for your home.

Read Coats & Clark’s recommendations for fabric/thread/needle combinations in their downloadable Thread Advisor. Also check out the Quilting Advisor on the Star Threads site (and see all the yummy color combos of Star multicolor quilting threads!).

Take free online classes and download free hand embroidery designs for a variety of hand stitching techniques from Caron, makers of Wildflowers, Waterlilies, and other gorgeous hand-dyed decorative threads.

Read info about Superior Threads products, including King Tut and Bottom Line machine-quilting threads, plus see their new titanium-coated needles. An extensive education section has lots of downloadable guides. And check out the School of Threadology in St. George, Utah, where you can take classes to trouble-shoot problems with threads and experiment with multiple specialty threads.
General site:

YLI, makers of threads for sewing, quilting, embellishment and more, including gorgeous collections by Laura Heine, Diane Gaudynski, Luana Rubin, and McKenna Ryan. Scroll down to download the Thread of Truth brochure, a comprehensive guide to thread, including a history and glossary.


Visit these other thread company sites to learn about their threads and download available thread colors.

American & Efird
U.S. importer of Mettler threads and makers of Robison-Anton and Signature Machine Quilting.

Aurifil USA
Italian makers of thread, including the ultra-fine Cotton Mako’ 50, a fine but strong thread that won’t take up extra room in your seams.

Visit their Creative Corner to download info about Gütermann threads and free projects that have a funky European style.

Kreinik Manufacturing
Metallic, silk, and iron-on threads.


Sew Art International
Try their invisible nylon quilting thread.

Sue Spargo Folk-Art Quilts
Source of wool, cotton, and silk threads in Sue’s signature folk-art colors.

Info about their products plus an Ask Sulky section that has some machine quilting tips and troubleshooting advice on needle breakage.

Valdani Threads
Beautiful hand-dyed threads for hand and machine sewing.

Weeks Dye Works
Hand-dyed perle cotton, floss, and sewing thread (not to mention their wonderful hand-dyed wool!). The No. 3 perle cotton is thicker than usual so it really stands out on your hand-stitched projects.

WonderFil Specialty Threads

More notions company sites to visit:
Hand- and machine sewing needles.

Clover Needlecraft
Among their wide variety of notions are hand sewing needles.

Colonial Needle
Hand- and machine sewing needles, needle organizers, and more.

A guide for choosing Singer sewing machine needles.

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