Red Thread Shop

Cross Stitch Patterns, Beads and Threads in Australia

Sewing Supplies and Fabrics

If you love thrift stores and garage sales, this is the column for you. There’s gold in them thar hills—sewing gold! Change your perspective a little and look at the world as one big fabric store and you’ll find all kinds of treasures to add to your stash.

– Have a closet full of old bridesmaid or prom dresses? Use them to make a quilt or a patchwork pillow. Give the bride a memento from her wedding by printing her wedding details on a piece of printable fabric. Then, use fabrics, trims, and even petticoat tulle from the bridesmaid dresses (or even the bride’s dress if you have scraps from alterations) to artfully dress a pillow she can keep always. Give your daughter a memento of her high-school dances with a quilt made with fabric from her dresses. Create an appliqué of a dress to put in each square using the fabric from her gowns.

– Handkerchiefs, gloves, scarves, bandanas, lace & linens. When I was a child, we had to have a new embroidered handkerchief and a pair of white gloves every Easter. Sew these mementos into projects to create an artistic memoir. Trims can often be pricey when new, so take them off of old garments or lingerie and re-use them. Make a dress from a vintage pillow case or from a bandana.

– Used Clothing & Thrift Items. Find tablecloths with embroidery or lace to transform—many vintage linens were made with handmade lace. Use old straw hats as forms to create fancy dress-up bonnets. Use old jeans to make trendy handbags. Find old craft or knitting kits and use the threads and yarns to create decorative trims for your projects. Remove the back and insides of an old stuffed fabric doll or toy, and use the front or profile for a cute appliqué on jeans. Silk or lace from wedding gowns can be removed and used for other sewing projects, and the tulle from underskirts can be re-made into pettiskirts. Take a blouse from your closet that you haven’t worn (but can’t bear to give away) and use it to create a camisole or a fabric belt.

– Robes & Terrycloth. Cut worn parts from old robes or towels and sew them together to make a fun shower curtain (use with a liner). Vintage chenille is fun to use for stuffed toys.

– Buttons, Beads & Jewelry. If you have an old jacket with great buttons, consider taking the buttons off to re-use them. Find beaded sweaters or jackets, old jewelry—even shoes– and disassemble to reclaim the beads and findings. Remove belts from cool belt buckles and attach a new fabric belt. Re-use hardware from old purses to make new ones. Frequently, hardware is expensive to buy new but remains undamaged on used pieces.

– Scraps. Be sure to use those scraps of fabric for small projects like appliqué, scrapbooking, patchwork, hair clips, stuffed toys, and embellishments.

How To Master Knitting Instructions The Easy Way

I wanted to set out some basic knitting instructions as a refresher so here it is. All knitting instructions use basically two stitches, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. Once you know these two knitting essentials you will be able to follow most knitting instructions which are just combinations or variations of these two stitches.

Knitting Instructions for the Knit Stitch

Once you have cast on, hold the knitting needle with the cast on stitches in your left hand. Push the point of the right knitting needle in between the front of the first and second stitches, pointing the knitting needle to the right to feed the point through the first stitch keeping it under the left needle. The knitting yarn should be at the back of the work. Loop the knitting yarn around the right knitting needle from back to front, letting the knitting yarn rest between the needles. Catch the knitting yarn on the end on the right knitting needle and pull it through the first stitch to the front of the work. Slip the old stitch off the left needle. The new stitch is now on the right needle. Now you are getting the hang of the knitting instructions. It is a good idea to keep the knitting yarn draped over the right forefinger, this keeps it to the back of the work too. Repeat this process until all stitches are on the right knitting needle. Now count the stitches, if they are all there, turn the right knitting needle around and put it in the left hand. This is the first row from your knitting instructions. The knitting yarn will look like it is at the front and you will now take it to the back and start the second row of transferring stitches to the empty right needle.

Knitting Instructions for the Purl Stitch

The Purl stitch will also be in any knitting instructions. Start with the knitting needle with the cast on stitches in your left hand. Your knitting yarn will be hanging in front. Push point of right knitting needle into the front of the first stitch from right to left. Wrap the knitting yarn around the tip of the right knitting needle, crossing over the two needles and hanging once again in front. Slide the right knitting needle down and back taking the new loop of knitting yarn from front to back, through the old stitch. Slip the old stitch off the left knitting needle. If you have followed the knitting instructions you now have a stitch in purl on the right knitting needle and the yarn is hanging, once again, in the front. Repeat this process until all stitches are on the right knitting needle. Now count the stitches to make sure you haven’t dropped any and turn the work around putting the knitting needle with the stitches on in your left hand to start the next row.

I hope you could follow my basic knitting instructions. I have a lot more information about knitting on my Knitting Instructions blog so please join me there to learn more.How

How To Choose Craft Threads

Threads are important when crafting quilts. You will need certain threads that match your fabric, as well as suitable supplies and needles. Yet, when you consider matching threads to your fabric, you will also need to consider a few other details.

Types of threads:
You have choices of thread, including rayon, buttonhole-twists, silk, all-purpose, cotton, nylon wool, monofilament, metallic, exceptionally fine, mercerized cotton and so on. To consider threads, first you must ask if you are intending to create your quilt by hand, or machine? Do you prefer to darn or to bast?

If you are sewing fabric piece onto fabric, using shaped pieces to form your pattern, you may want to choose the monofilament nylon thread. On the other hand, if you are sewing your fabric by hand, sewing the pieces to form a pattern then the silky threads, or the all-purpose threads may be a good option.

If you are hand crafting you may want to consider other threads than the all-purpose. For instance, you may get more from the threads with polyester cores and wrapped in cotton. The polished 100$ finished cotton is also available. If you use the thread with finished polish, it will reduce wearing if you are sewing by hand. The thread will help you stitch smoothly without worrying about tangles, creases, etc.

TIP: Buy beeswax cake to minimize tangles.

Once you finish choosing your threads, you will need to create a craft basket. The basket will include thimbles, scissors both for cutting paper and fabric, (a few pairs) threader, hand needles, pencils, tailor chalk, seam ripper, and a measuring device. You will also need straight quilter pins, pincushion, glue stick, and a few safety pins. (Large)

Once you gather your basket, you may want to add supplies, such as rotary cutters, iron/board, masking tape, press cloth, spray bottle, graphing/tracing paper, hoops and frames, colored pencils, plastic sheet, ruler, cutting mat, and so on. You may even want to toss in a few band-aids to cover those pokes and sticks you will get from hand sewing your quilt.

When you purchase your needles choose the “household assortment” kits to sum up your sewing needs. Otherwise, needle sizes are opposite, i.e. if you purchase the larger numbers, you get a smaller needle.

If you are hand, sewing you may want to consider “sharp” needles. The needles make it easy to stitch through heavy-duty material. In stores you might look for sharps, or “household needles.” To shorten your field trip on the mind tangler, just purchase a couple of 8’s and 9’s, as well as the variety packages. The needles with slotted eyes are called the “easy-threader,” which you can use also if you have problems using other needles.

You will need the seam ripper to correct your mistakes. The rippers will cut your thread, yet you should practice before you use them on the actual quilt, especially if you are new at making quilts.

You will need markers as well as a ruler to measure seams, patterns, fabric, etc. The needle threader will make it easy to thread. Remember the tips of some needles are small, making it difficult to get the thread pulled through the eye. Thimbles are designed to reduce the need for band-aids. You will need to test a few thimbles to fit them to your fingers.

In all, each item in your basket will help you complete your quilt. If you are new at quilting, visit your library, or go online to learn more steps to help you create a fashionable design, or a traditional style if you choose.

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