Wednesday Giveaway

Kathleen is this week’s lucky winner. She will receive a Free Hugs coin purse—because who doesn’t love free hugs?! Congrats to Kathleen!

Click here if you would like find more of these very cute, very useful zippered pouches at


I’ll be back next Wednesday with another Giveaway. Happy stitching!

Tension is a tug-o-war…

I had the opportunity visit with Jean Impey at the Utah State Quilt Fest. I’m not sure how this came up, but she told me something that she learned from Libby Lehman back in the day. It relates to an article written by Bob Purcell at Superior Threads that you can find here:

Imagine a machine loaded with pink thread on top and blue thread on bottom having a tug-o-war match. The number of people on the pink ‘team’ is represented by the number on the tension dial.

When the tension is correct, all is well. But what if the pink thread is being pulled too much to the back of the stitch? You need more people on the pink team to pull that thread up. You can add them by moving your top tension to a higher number.

If you see blue thread pulling to the top of the stitch, it means that the pink team is pulling too hard… it has too many team members. Turn the tension to a lower number.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to remember which way to turn the tension dial. This helps a whole lot. Thank you Libby, and Jean, for sharing the perfect way to remember!


Image by Anna Samoylova, #535880, Unsplash


Show and Tell…

Barbara Whipple made this quilt from our book, the Best-Ever Applique Sampler. She spent nearly two years making it. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted an she said that she thoroughly enjoyed the process. I love the bright pops of color, especially the red!


Barbara entered her quilt in her guild’s annual quilt show recently and won second place against some very stiff competition. Way to go, Barbara!

Wednesday Giveaway

This week’s lucky winner is Judy Renfrow! She will receive a set of white General’s Charcoal Pencils. I use these to mark medium to dark fabrics more than any other pencil. Try them, I think you will love them!


I’ll be back next Wednesday with another Giveaway. Happy stitching!

You can always find this and more at!

She likes me!

I just found out that Barbara Brackman chose me to be her Quilter of the Month! I am so very honored! And I’m hearing Sally Field’s Oscar acceptance speech in my head 🙂 (video below for those who are too young to remember).

Barbara Brackman

This is a screenshot of the beginning of Barbara’s post.

Click here to find Barbara’s post.

Barbara Brackman is someone I admire a great deal and her opinion really does matter to me. I am going to be wearing a great big grin over this for quite a long time! Thank you, Barbara!

Wednesday Giveaway

Judi B. is this week’s lucky winner. She will receive a glue stick by In The Patch. This is the perfect glue stick for sticking wool applique in place for stitching. I like it better than other glue sticks with wool.

I’ll be back next Wednesday with another Giveaway. Happy stitching!


You can always find this and more at!

Polyester update…

I wrote a post about polyester thread on August 17 in which I said that the research I could find indicated that polyester thread probably doesn’t degrade any faster than cotton thread. There’s more to the story…


I still can’t find any research specific to thread longevity. My husband tells me that if absolutely no references to research show up in a google search, there probably are none to be found. Thread makers do post information about their own collections of thread but that’s not the same as academic research.

The one study I did find (click here to read it) compared the biodegradability of cotton vs. polyester fabric in a compost pile. Cotton fabric degraded quicker and more thoroughly than polyester fabric which indicates that polyester thread should last longer, right?

My husband, Steve, is a field biologist who teaches invertebrate biology. When I brought this study up at dinner recently he said that decomposers (the bugs and microbes that live in compost) would recognize cotton as food and happily eat it. They don’t necessarily recognize polyester, a petroleum product, as food. Of course cotton degrades faster in compost (he didn’t add ‘duh’, but I’m pretty sure he wanted to).


On August 28 the New York Times published an article entitled These Cultural Treasures Are Made of Plastic. Now They’re Falling Apart.” Click here to find the story. It’s definitely worth reading.

I read a similar story years ago in the Dallas Morning News but I didn’t save it and have not been able to find it. I was beginning to doubt my memory. It turns out that what I remember from that article is still true… Tupperware, spacesuits, and plastic artifacts of all kinds are degrading.


Now what?

There are all sorts of plastics and they degrade differently. Again, I can find no specific information on polyester or synthetic threads.

I don’t believe that polyester or synthetic threads are inherently bad, or that we shouldn’t use them. There are many times when a polyester thread is the best choice. That said, every time we choose thread for a project, we weigh a variety of factors… this is just one more thing to keep in mind.