Quilter's World Newsletter
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Letters From Our Readers
"With regard to sewing on vinyl -- I picked up a trick on one site or another, tried it, and it works like a charm! Put a piece of tape (I used a low-tack masking tape) under your presser foot. Stick it right on whatever pieces (sometimes two) will touch the vinyl. It is truly amazing! You just glide right over as if on fabric." -- Pat G.
"Re sewing vinyl ... I've only worked with clear vinyl, but I used a size 14 needle, 8-10 stitches per inch and heavier cotton thread for sewing (similar to Superior Threads King Tut #40 Cotton). I'm not sure why or how the writer wants to use vinyl or what kind it is (clear, to make, say, a jar or aquarium block with print fabric behind it, or a sentimental flannel-backed tablecloth or ...?). Is the project cotton with vinyl patches or all vinyl? Whatever the case, here are a few hints:
- Where the vinyl will be in direct contact with your sewing machine, cover the vinyl with a piece of tissue paper before sewing. The vinyl can stick to or drag on the bed of your sewing machine.
- Remove the paper after you sew the seam. You may also find a roller foot or walking foot helpful if you have those for your machine.
- Plan your seams and sew carefully -- any removed stitches will leave holes in the vinyl.
- Pin only in the seam allowances; otherwise, quilter's glue or Clover Brand Wonder clips work well to place and hold your pieces. For applique, I would use raw-edge techniques like gluing the pieces together with just enough glue to hold (I like the Sewline Glue Pen, but there are a lot of good glue sticks on the market) and then sewing them together with a buttonhole stitch.
- If the vinyl is thin enough, it may be possible to turn under the edges, but that could create a thick or raised area in the quilt and be difficult to work with since there is no bias or other grain line in vinyl.
- Never touch the vinyl directly with a hot iron. Use a press cloth, even if it's just a scrap of fabric. Start with a low heat to see if that does the job and gradually increase heat if needed. Never crank the iron up to meltdown range!
I hope this helps you, Roberta W.! -- Carolyn
"You mentioned that you have a list of ideas and things to do. I was told, not too long ago, that a 'quilter's stash' is a sure way to live a long life as we're not allowed to die before we've used up all our fabric. (That makes DD Janine laugh as she's not caught the quilting bug YET. I'm still working on her!) Maybe another sign that you're a 'REAL QUILTER' is when, like me, you won't go on a vacation unless you get to bring a quilt block or two, and your sewing machine." -- Sue C.
"Pay it forward. That is what I did last year. Every quilt I completed (seven to be exact) was given to a charity organization for a raffle or to use as they needed. The toughest one to give away was a Jacob's Ladder pattern. My dad helped me pick out the very simple color combination. I worked so hard on the quilt, wanting to get it done so I could show my dad. Unfortunately, cancer took him away before I could finish it. Who would have known that I only had five weeks to complete it? He was gone so quickly. I did finish the quilt, and as hard as it was to give that one away, I gave it to Relay for Life. They raffled the quilt off, and I am proud to say they made a good amount of money from it. 'And the angels ascended and descended from the heavens and earth, and upon Jacob's ladder they sat ...'" -- Cathy F.
Cathy, I know just how hard that must have been. Thank you. -- Carolyn
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