Episode 433: Common Needle + Thread Combos (Are You Pairing Them Right?)
Decode these common supplies for your best sewing yet! Plus, we play a fun game with the staff of WOOD magazine -- can they guess what common quilting terms mean?
Listen to the show in the player at the end of this post.
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Common Needle + Thread Combos (Are You Pairing Them Right?)
Alison Gamm, the designer of Quilts & More, breaks down the basics so you can confidently select the right needle and thread pairing for your sewing proejcts. She decodes the labels and gives tips for how you can tell you're using the wrong needle for your project. Then she shares the most common needle and thread pairing, including those for general sewing, hand sewing like EPP, hand quilting, and domestic machine quilting.
Quilting Changes Everything with Alison
On this segment, where we share stories of quilters making a difference in their communities, Alison tells the story of Haley Carroll, a 10-year-old girl who's sewing scunchies to raise money to help those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Her grandmother died from the disease four years before Haley was born. People can purchase a scrunchie by emailing Haley directly at scrunchies4ALS@gmail.com, or calling the ALS Association Iowa Chapter office at 515-369-2572. (See the original story here.)
Next, Alison shares the story of James Matthews, a documentary artist bringing to life the story of homelessness in Little Rock, Arkansas. After noticing many items on the curb after evictions in the neighborhood, he had an idea: Matthews picked up clothing and items at an eviction site and used it to make quilts that are now on display at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas through September 28, 2019. He hopes these quilts start a conversation about how evictions threaten families.
Ask Us Anything
Lindsay does Ask Us Anything, a segment where we answer your most pressing quilting questions. We have a great question here today from Nancy Dodson. She asks: "I'm about to make my first twin-sized quilt and I want to use wool batting, because it's going to be used on my daughter's bed and I want to make sure it keeps her warm. I've been hearing about "bearding" that can happen when you wash a quilt with wool batting. How can I avoid this?"
For those who don't know, bearding happens when batting comes through your quilt's fabric and looks like small wisps of batting all over your quilt. But it's not inevitable when using wool batting (or any batting). Here's what you can do:
- The primary culprit of bearding is using low quality or loosely woven fabrics in your quilt. So, if you plan to use wool batting, make sure you're using quality fabric.
- Another cause of bearding is how you're quilting. If you use a dull needle that punches larger holes while quilting or your tension is set too high, it can leave gaps in your quilt where it's quilted that batting will work its way through. So start off quilting with a new, sharp needle.
- If you're a fan of pressing your seams open on your quilt, you may have a higher risk of bearding, because there's open space between your stitches. Pressing your seams to one side will help keep the batting secure.
- Some battings have a right and wrong side. If your batting is needle-punched, the right side of the batting has little pin holes while the wrong side has little dots of batting like a sweater that has pills. Those little batting dots can get caught on the needle while quilting and cause bearding if not placed in the right direction. The right side should go toward your quilt top, while the wrong side should go toward the backing.
- When washing your quilt, wash on a gentle cycle using cold water and a cool dryer to prevent bearding. Static also can be a cause of bearding, so throw in some wool dryer balls or dryer sheet while drying.
Reader Tips with Lindsay
For Reader Tips, a segment where we share your best advice to common quilting struggles, Lindsay explores a few options for keeping your workspace clean. She shares reader ideas for picking up threads and needles, keeping your iron and floor clean, and cleaning your machine.
If you're interested in submitting your own tip for feature in our magazines or on the podcast, send an email of your tip to APQTips@meredith.com.
Getting Sewcial with WOOD Magazine
We have a fun segment we're doing today. For those of you who don't know, the company that owns American Patchwork & Quilting owns a lot of other magazines, like Better Homes & Gardens, AllRecipes, and Magnolia Journal. They also own WOOD Magazine, which is a magazine similar to our quilting magazines -- they publish woodworking plans, do product reviews, and share how-tos and tips. We've invited a few members of the WOOD magazine staff to the podcast today to play a little game. We're going to say some common quilting terms and they're going to guess what they mean.
Can they guess what fat quarter, strip piecing, dog ears, and more mean?
If you have a woodworker in your life, consider buying them a subscription to WOOD magazine.