These tips have been collected from the members of the Southern Cross Crazies discussion group while at the First National Crazy Quilt Retreat
When working with beads. Using a small round takeaway container, cut away the top leaving the base about one inch high. Cut a circle slightly larger than the base out of corded material. Glue this into the base.
easy to pick up beads off the cord. I keep my beads in small plastic bags,
so very easy to bend the base and return the beads into the bag.
Do not wear charm bracelets whilst sewing or embroidering.
Store those used needles in an empty film canister. Dispose of when full.
Hint for Crazy Patchwork. Each block will be embroidered with variations
of one stitch. Saves time deciding which stitch to be used.
When doing long bullions or cast-on petals instead of counting the number
of twists or cast-ons cut all your pieces of thread the same length and forget
Remember when using Lola Brazilian cotton stretch to stop thread twisting.
To keep fancy threads or silk ribbons etc. from unravelling use a self-clinging
reusable PVC vinyl tape. It has many uses. I purchased mine from Echidna
about $9 per roll. “Easy Thread Tape” 10m rolls x25mm wide www.echidnasewing.com.au
Cut a piece of clear contact and attach upside down “so sticky side
faces up” to a piece of cardboard. Embellishments, beads, buttons,
decorations all sit arranged ready to be sewn on.
Always use beading thread when attaching beads and buttons. It is way stronger
than sewing machine or embroidery thread and saves those little thread breakages
that tend to happen in transit during Round Robins.
Use an empty tissue box for your thread ends and other rubbish when you
are sewing (hand or machine). They are always available and nothing falls
out if you accidentally knock them over.
Sometimes it’s difficult to sew blocks together when beads are close
to the sewing line. It helps if you finish beading one centimetre in from
the sewing line and add the extra beads on a loop of thread tied to the block
for later attachment.
Always dampen Rahjamal Thread to stop it tangling; then you should be able
to use it with ease.
When you haven’t the right colour of shaded thread to give light and
shade to your embroidery, use two or three threads of different subtle changes
in the needle. Bullion lavender looks great worked in two different coloured
Always buy your husband thick-soled slippers so he won’t complain
when he steps on a pin!
Little tiny specialty glass jam bottles make wonderful bead containers or
small pin containers.
If you have a wood heater or open fire and it looks like it is out but is
still warm, put some kindling on it and turn your hair dryer on towards the
fire and soon you will find the fire going again.
When you buy fabric, if, instead of buying 10cm or 20 cm you buy 15cm or
30cm, it divides up easier for Baggies.
Save long cotton reels on which to wind stranded or perle cottons.
Long cotton reels provide a holder for fine embroidery scissors; they protect their points.
When using silky or slippery fabrics use weight Vilene (iron –on)
on the back. It makes it easier to use and is still okay to stitch through.
(Can’t remember who, but you did get a raffle ticket.)
Make up - 1 cup dye mixture ( I use RIT or DYLON) and put into a microwave
safe container. (Baggie/Ziplock will do). Add more dye or water to make stronger
or weaker colours. Most colours take instantly. Reds may be a problem.
Tired of turning your work from side to side when doing Cretan Stitch?
Take all your stitches in the same direction (R to L for right hander). But every alternate stitch have your thread ABOVE the needle, NOT under. Then pull it taut before doing a normal stitch on the other side. It will look just like normal cretan stitch.
Keep beads in clear containers so you can see what is in them before you
open it and spill them.
Lids from boxes of photocopy paper make very good trays for organising bits for a project.(Local school a good source for photocopy lids).
Hint for aircraft travellers: Carry a small prepaid post bag –adderessed!
And if security catches you out carrying scissors, needles etc. – Post
Punch needle embroidery. If the fabric needs stabilising because weave is too loose or a knit fabric, use WOVEN iron-on fabric on back – then draw/ transfer your pattern.
Use an address book to list patterns found in magazines e.g. Grub Rose Cushion,
Quilting Arts Vol. ?, p.56. This entry would be filed under ‘g’.
That way you have patterns, ideas etc. listed in one place and easy to find.
‘Tweed’ threads for different colouring effects by joining 2 or 3 different shades of one colour together to use.
Keep a small jar in your handbag that ‘small finds’ such as odd buttons, charms found in op shops can be added to and not ‘lost’ in your bag on the way home.
2mm. of silk ribbon may be wound on bobbin, loosen bobbin tension and stitch
on back of work. It will give a lovely bubbly effect.
After making your block backed with calico or homespun try sandwiching the
block with iron-on pellon and another piece of plain fabric (homespun or
calico). Simply tack the three pieces together and embellish to your heart’s