So, I know there are a variety of needles on the market — different brands, different sizes, different uses. But, what are the basics when it comes to needles; what is the anatomy of a needle?
Butt: Beveled end allows easy insertion in the needle bar
Shank: Household neeldes have a flat shank and allow perfect positioning of the needle in the sewing machine needle bar
Shoulder: Sloping area transitioning between the shank and the blade.
Blade: Needle size is determined by the blade diameter
Groove: Cradles and guides thread to the eye; may vary according to needle type
Scarf: Indentation above the eye that allows the bobbin hook to smoothly grab the thread under the throat plate to create a stitch; varies based on size of the needle
Eye: Hole through which the thread passes; size and shape vary based on needle type
Point and Tip: Penetrates material; length, shape and size vary according to needle types
For additional needle information and our source for this information, visit Schmetz.
My friend and embroidery business owner, Jan Page, has this tip for selecting the right shade of thread for a project:
Even with the myriad of colors available today, it’s sometimes impossible to match your fabric with a thread. The Rule of Thumb in thread selection is to pick a shade darker than your fabric because threads sew in lighter than they look on the spool. This Rule of Thumb works every time!
Nicky Epstein has created a clasp collection that will knock your socks off! Check them out, you’ll want every one. Her innovative garment closures are the answer to your garment fastening issues.
Nicky has a background as a noted knitwear designer and has wrote several books. She brings her style and flair to this closure collection with six fun looks: Comedy & Tragedy, Fleru De Lis, Leaves, Lillies, Hearts and Bustier.
Do you know about Sewing & Craft Club? It’s a club with no dues that passes great savings to you, the sewing/quilting/embroidering enthusiast! You can the buy products you want (and those you need, too) at great prices! Check out some of these great offers:
Lady Bug 3-Piece Set — includes thread cutter that adheres to side of your machines, 4″ embroidery snip and 3-1/2″ tweezers — only $14.99!
What fun would embroidery be without our computers? I love all the editing and cataloging capabilities software allows me. I love knowing that I can open “My Designs” folder and see all the glorious categories of designs I’ve “hoarded” over the years. And, I would be completely devistated if something happened to my computer and I lost everything!
This brings me to my point — don’t forget to backup your design files! There are several ways you can do this (they’re all easy and pain-free). You could burn your design files to a CD-RW (if you have a large collection, you may need to burn them to several CD-RW).
Another option is purchasing an external harddrive and backing up the files on it. An external harddrive works like a thumb drive, all you have to do is plug it into your USB port and drag-and-drop the files. They come in all different sizes, shapes, colors and storage capacity and are easy to find at your local electronics store, big-box store, or office supply store. How easy is that?
Regardless of how you choose to backup you files, it is important to do so. You never know when you might spill a cup of coffee on your computer and zap everything. So, make a date of it (such as the first of the month) and backup your files reguarly!