SCHMETZ Specialty Packs

By | 01/19/2022

SCHMETZ Specialty Packs

Sewing with Knits

#1853C
Knit & Stretch

#1857
Fleece

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Home Dec

#1855C
Upholstery & Home Decor

#4505C
Vinyl

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Costume & General Sewing

#1850C
9 Needle Pack

#1851
10 Needle Pack

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Crafting

#1854
Felt & Craft

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Quilting

#1856C
Piecing & Quilting

 

Legacy Sewing Companies

By | 01/12/2022

(Originally published in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #94, October 2021. Written by Rita Farro.)

Legacy Sewing Companies: Coats, Singer, SCHMETZ

There are many famous trios: The Three Musketeers; Peter, Paul, and Mary; the Three Stooges; Destiny’s Child. And if you’re a fan of Creole cooking, you are familiar with that culinary holy trinity:  onions, bell peppers, and celery.

But no place in history or pop culture has a more powerful, essential trinity, than the world of sewing. If you love to sew, your beloved trinity is sewing machine, needle, and thread. The truth is, if you don’t have ALL THREE elements, you cannot sew even a single stitch. They rely on each other.

The shocking thing is that for over 100 years, three legacy companies have been producing sewing machines, thread, and needles. Although each company operates completely independent from one another, all three companies are completely reliant on each other’s product.

Click HERE to read the full story about three sewing legacy companies: Coats, Singer, and SCHMETZ.

Do You Have Any Secrets for Using a Twin Needle? Can I Use It On My Serger? Can I Use It On an Industrial Machine?

By | 01/05/2022

SCHMETZ Twin Needle

Double or Twin Needles are not suitable for sergers or industrial machines! Please use them only in home sewing machines. When using a Twin Needle, always use the zigzag needle plate with the elongated aperture. When using decorative stitches, the stitch width must NOT exceed the aperture because, otherwise, the needles will touch the needle plate and break. Try this out by doing the first stitches by moving the hand wheel manually. Additionally, the needle thread tension should be loosened when using Twin Needles.

SCHMETZ Twin Needle Sizes

Click HERE for more information.

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Sewing Machine Needles Don’t Last Forever!!!

By | 12/29/2021

 

Damaged Needle - Closeup

Image magnified 1000x.

 

The needle is not a permanent machine part.

Needles get dull from use.
Needles are meant to be changed.

 

Clues to Changing the Needle
– Shredding or broken threads –
– Skipped stitches –
– Puckered or damaged fabrics –
– Wiggly squiggly seams –
– Popping, clicking or clunking sound –

 

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Susanne M. Jones – Fly Me to the Moon

By | 12/22/2021

(Originally published in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #45, September, 2017. Written by Rita Farro.)

Susanne M. Jones - Fly Me to the Moon

SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW is always seeking insight into that moment of inspiration . . . when a woman (or a man) is compelled to create using needle and thread. Everybody takes a different path — and sewing means different things to different people. No two stories are the same. This month, we introduce you to Susanne M. Jones. After teaching elementary school in Maryland and Virginia for 25 years, she launched into a new career as a curator of museum quality quilt exhibits — and nobody could be more surprised than Susanne herself. We’ll let her tell her story . . . .

While I was looking forward to retirement and being free of the demands of full-time work, I knew I would miss my colleagues. My friend, Lisa Ellis, suggested that I consider quilting and join a guild where I would find like-minded, kind people. Since I always had some sort of needle and thread in my hands, it seemed a natural fit. So I started taking classes about a year before retirement. I totally intended to make very traditional baby quilts and lap quilts.

Susanne M. Jones - Seeing Our Stories Clearly with 20/20 Hindsight Quilt

Seeing Our Stories Clearly
with 20/20 Hindsight

In 2012 I joined the Sacred Threads Committee and helped plan the 2013 show. Sacred Threads conveys the spirituality, healing, and inspirational message that transcends all people. All of the committee members were art quilters except me. I never considered myself an artist, although looking back I can see that color, texture, and composition have always been important to me and have given me pleasure, even during my teaching career. I loved doing bulletin boards and making educational games for the kids.

I joined Quilters Unlimited in Northern Virginia and became very involved in the Reston Chapter. I served as Program Chair, Vice President, and President. I became involved in the Quilt Alliance (again at Lisa’s suggestion) and made a piece for their TWENTY contest in 2013. It was my first art quilt, Seeing Our Stories Clearly with 20/20 Hindsight. I really had fun making it, and I was floored when it won a Judge’s Choice from Marianne Fons!

As we neared the start of the 2013 Sacred Threads Exhibition, the committee members were asked to make a small piece to hang in the gathering area outside of the exhibit. I made That’s Life, my second art quilt in a game format and it focused on the life transitions that I had gone through in the past 18 months: Retirement, the death of my mom and father-in-law, becoming empty nesters, moving to a condo, and two joint replacement surgeries. It was created using a jigsaw appliqué technique that I learned from Cheryl Almgren Taylor.

During Sacred Threads, I met Donna DeSoto, author, and curator of Inspired by the Beatles. She had a Beatles song that needed an artist, so I took on the challenge. My quilt was Rain, and it was published in Donna’s book and was part of the special exhibit at the 2014 Houston International Quilt Festival.

I was hooked.

CLICK HERE to read the full article at issuu.com.

 

Determine Needle Size with Rhonda’s 80/40 Rule

By | 12/15/2021

Matching Needle Size to Thread Weight

Rhonda's 80/40 Rule

 

The most popular thread used for all types of sewing, quilting, and crafting is a 40 weight thread. When using a 40 weight thread, use a size 80/12 needle.

If using a thread finer than a 40 weight, such as a 50 weight, use a smaller needle size such as 70/10.

Micro threads use needle size 65/9 or 60/8.

Again, using a 40 weight thread with a 80/12 needle as a benchmark, if using a heavier thread, move up at least one needle size.

If using a 30 weight thread, use a needle size 90/14 or larger.

 

 

 

 

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Evolution of Learning

By | 12/08/2021

(Originally published in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #93, September, 2021. Written by Rita Farro.)

The heartbeat and lifeblood of the sewing business has always been classes. When the COVID pandemic hit, sewing machine dealers, fabric stores, and quilt shops across the country were forced to close their doors. Whether or not a business survived COVID was often a matter of whether or not they were able to transfer their classroom/customer experience to the internet.

Video Conferencing

Now, the big question is what do all the changes of the last year and a half mean? Will our beloved, tried-and-true model of in-person classes ever come back? The truth is that you can never un-ring a bell. And in the history of the world, once technology makes an advance, it never goes back. Nobody is making black-and-white televisions, and you can’t remember the last time you rode in a car with no air-conditioning. That was then and this is now.

The advancements in digital/virtual technology have forever changed the way we deliver sewing education and information. The question is, is that a good thing?

Debbie Byrne’s family has been in the fabric business for generations. In 1944, her great-great-great grandfather had a mercantile store in Philadelphia. In 1980, Debbie and her husband, Mike, opened their first fabric store, Byrne’s Sewing Connection, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and she has witnessed many changes over the years.

In 1980, a snail mail newsletter was the main way for a store to communicate with their customers. The newsletter would announce sales, special events, and classes. Debbie says, When we started out, the cost of sending our newsletter was $1,000. Twenty years later, sending our newsletter cost $10,000. So, yes, we were eager to embrace the internet.

It’s no wonder snail mail newsletters became extinct faster than you can say, Where’s my VCR?

Click HERE to read the full article at issuu.com.

 

SCHMETZ NonStick Needles

By | 12/01/2021

SCHMETZ NonStick Needles

Features:
Non-stick coating of NIT (Nickel-Phosphor-PTFE).
Extra-large eye.
Distinctive scarf with special eye prevents skipped stitches.
Slightly rounded point provides trouble-free sewing.
Strong conical blade reinforcement easily handles thick fabrics.

Applications:
• Multi Media Quilts • Machine Appliqué & Embroidery •
• Hook and Loop Tape • Vinyl • Oil Cloth •

Available Sizes:
70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16

Click HERE for more information.

 

Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA)

By | 11/24/2021

(Originally published in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #92, August 2021. Written by Rita Farro.)

 

Yvonne Porcella, Mother of the Art Quilt Movement

Yvonne Porcella,
Mother of the Art Quilt Movement

 

There Will be a Springtime Artist: Genevieve Attinger

There Will be a Springtime
Artist: Genevieve Attinger

Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt: a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.

In their first 30 years, SAQA has grown into a dynamic and active community of 4,000 artists, curators, collectors, and art professionals all over the world. Their vision is that the art quilt is universally respected as a fine art medium.

Their website, Studio Art Quilt Associates, is astonishing. If you click on Events, you’ll find page after page listing scores of exhibitions and calls for entry. One of the most impressive features on the website is their online collection of over 3,500 pieces of artwork that showcase the beauty and diversity of the art quilt medium. They have also put together a curated selection of online galleries.

So, how did this dynamic international organization get its start?

There is no question that California quilt artist Yvonne Porcella is the Mother of the Art Quilt movement. In 1989, Porcella launched Studio Art Quilt Associates from her kitchen table. She sent letters to 50 artists and friends to rally them to her cause. Her goal was to establish a place for art quilts in the world of contemporary art.

The vision was to create an organization to:

  •  Promote art quilts to major art publications, museums, and galleries.
  • Educate the public about art quilts
  • Serve as a forum for the professional development of quilt artists.
  • Act as a resource for curators, dealers, consultants, teachers, students, and collectors.

Those initial 50 members were mostly Yvonne’s friends and fellow teachers. Members within driving distance of Modesto, California helped her put out a mimeograph newsletter to attract new members. Their membership slowly grew. Porcella served as president for the first 11 years.

The current President, Deborah Boschert, says, Yvonne really had such a vision and clarity about our work being elevated as fine art. I think she knew it was going to take all of us working together, valuing our work, teaching others, welcoming others.

When Martha Sielman became the Executive Director in 2004, SAQA had 804 members. With the help of the internet, their membership has grown to over 4,000 members all over the world.

 

Click HERE to read the full story.

My Needle Eye Has a Slit in It!

By | 11/17/2021

SCHMETZ Quick Threading Needle closeup of point/slit

This blog was originally posted on June 23, 2021. Considering the number of emails we have received since then from customers complaining about defective needles with slits in them, we felt it was prudent to rerun the blog. Please be aware that the Universal Needles and Quick Threading Needles are two different needles.

 

Quick Threading NeedleQuick Threading Needle – System 705 HDK

No, your needle is not broken. The slit in the eye is there by design. The Quick Threading Needle is designed for sewing enthusiasts with diminished eyesight (or who just have trouble threading the needle).

The close-up image on the card illustrates the concept behind the Quick Threading Needle. The Quick Threading Needle is the same as the Universal Needle except for the small threading slot in the eye. This threading slot supports quick and easy threading of the needle. The needle is threaded by drawing the needle thread over the surface of the right side of the needle until it slides into the eye by itself. It is not necessary to change the thread tension. Like the Universal Needle, it can be used for many fabrics.

Please do not use the Quick Threading Needle for sensitive fabrics (i.e., silk, microfibre, etc.) as the slot might create pulled threads. It should also not be used for quilting as fibers of the batting might be pulled out.

The thickness of the sewing thread being used should be adapted to the needle size. If the sewing thread is too fine (thin), it might slip out of the needle eye. If the sewing thread is too heavy (thick), it might break frequently.

Available in sizes 80/12 and 90/14.

Click HERE for information.