Thread Catcher: Show Me How
Linda Augsburg demonstrates how easy it is to sew a handy accessory for your serger that will catch threads and other trimmings. Follow along to make this project. Instructions can be downloaded at AllPeopleQuilt.com/ShowMeHowThreadCatcher.
Hi, I'm Linda Augsburg, executive editor of American Patchwork and Quilting. This Show Me How video is brought to you by Baby Lock and the Baby Lock Imagine Serger, and we're going to use that serger today to make a serger thread catcher. Now this is a little mat that's going to sit under your serger, and we've added non-slip grippy fabric to the back. In addition, then there's a little bag or a pouch that will catch all the things you trim off with that serger blade. And we've even lined it with something slippery, so that it's easier for those threads and scraps to slide right into that bag and easier to remove them when you're cleaning up. You need two 8" squares of your cotton fabric, two 8" squares of ripstop nylon or a flannel-backed satin--something that's slippery but still holds its shape really well. And those are two 8" squares. In addition to the nylon or satin you'll cut a 5x3" rectangle, and that's going to be your connector. Then for your mat, now my serger is a smaller serger like this one, so I needed a 10 inch square of both the print and the non-slip backing. If your serger is larger you might want to cut that square a little bit larger because you want the feet of the serger to sit comfortably on the mat. It'll just keep things from moving around and wiggling. For the outside of the bag, if you've got a directional print you want to make sure you've got your direction correct, because this is going to be the top of the bag and it's going to stay unsewn for now. You're going to sew all three sides of the bag itself on the serger. For the lining you're going to sew leaving again the top open, you're going to sew down this side and a couple inches in, maybe 3" in. Then you're going to sew on this side and again about 3" on the bottom. You want to leave that opening in on the bottom so that you can turn the whole bag right side out when it's ready and finished with the tab inside of it. In addition we're going to serge across the two short ends of the ripstop nylon. We've lined up our 5" end, folded it in half. If you had a flannel-backed satin or something like that, you want to make sure this was also right sides together. For the bag itself, in these steps all your fabrics will be right sides together. So I'm just going to serge across the short ends. I want to make sure that I'm lined up in a way that I'm not trimming off any of the fabric, and then I'm going to turn it right side out. And like I said for my lining I'm going to serge down the side, and you can see here where I talk about my pins. They're way over here and my presser foot and blade are way over here, so there's not going to be a problem of me hitting any of those. You're going to sew off the end, again bringing that fabric around. And this is the side I'm just going to sew a little ways on, so I'm going to sew a couple of inches, probably 2" or so, and then ease off. And then really I can pick up again and sew that final side. Now to give this bag it's more square shape or it's depth, we're going to box the corners. So what you want to do is flatten your bag. You can see we were like this. I'm just going to push those two seam allowances together basically and line them up, and that's going to give me that arrow shape. I'm going to put a pin or two well outside of my sewing area just to hold the shape in place. Then I'm going to measure an inch and half down from my corner and make a mark, and then I'm going to make a line. So let's box that corner. Now that I know where my center point is, when I come in here to the machine there are two little marks on my presser foot, and you can see they line up with the needles. The left needle is over here, and the right needle is over here. I want to make sure that wherever I'm going to try to have that seam is lined up with my left needle bar. So in this case, I'm going to trim this off. My blade's right over here. I'm just going to line up and I know again this is my one and half inch, so I'm just going to flip that through, serge that edge, and you've got a boxed corner. Now you can see when I turn that right side out what that looks like. So it's going to be a nice way to give me some depth to that bag. I'm going to do the same thing, as I said, to the other corner of the lining. And I'm going to do the same thing to the two corners of the cotton fabric, as well. To construct the bag, I've folded this piece in half and made a little crease there. I'm going to turn my lining right side out, and again we've got that opening in the bottom. Don't let that scare you. We're going to need that later. We're going to turn that right side out and then we're going to leave the bag wrong side out. And now I'm going to make sure I know where the center of one side is, so I'm just going to make a little fold there, as well. I'm going to slip the lining inside the bag. Then when I go to my fold in the back (you can see these two layers), I'm going to slip that tab in between, lining up my two folds, and then bringing that lining fabric in and just putting a pin in there temporarily to hold it in place. Now you're going to sew the top edge. And now you can see why we left that opening. So I'm going to turn everything out through that opening and I've got a finished bag with the tab in the back. And that'll be ready to insert into the mat. For the mat you're going to place your non-skid fabric and print fabric right sides together, and you're going to sew on three sides, being sure to start and finish on that fourth side. So you're going to sew this corner, up and around, and then come back and finish this corner. Your opening for turning is going to be right here. And when you turn it right side out, so there's our opening for turning. I'm just going to slip that little tab from the bag inside, and you can either hand-stitch or machine-stitch that opening closed, and your thread catcher is complete. That's all there is to it. Just place it under your machine and it's ready to catch those threads, keeping your work station nice and tidy. Again if you need those instructions, go to allpeplequilt.com/showmehowthreadcatcher.