I learned a new thing about polyester thread!

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Sew Fine! thread from Superior.

What do you do when you find out that something you thought was true, really isn’t? If you are me, you write a blog post for all the world to see :-).

NOTE: I did, in fact, find out a little more and the updated information is in this post (https://wordpress.com/post/pieceocakeblog.com/12789).

If you have ever been in my class, you know that I use cotton thread with cotton fabric. That’s not going to change because cotton thread has many characteristics that I like. However, one of the main reasons I have not recommended using polyester thread is that I believed that it might degrade faster than cotton over time. This was based on old information that may have true back in the day but is no longer relevant.

I have been doing quite a bit of research on thread and I ran across this academic study  that looked at the biodegradability of polyester vs. cotton. You can read the whole paper, or skim it, but here’s the very short story:

The researchers took cotton and polyester jersey fabrics and subjected them to the same treatment. All fabrics were laundered 30 times with various washing products to simulate garments at the end of their useful lives prior to testing. They were then buried and composted for 3 months.

“The polyester fabric showed a slight initial degradation, but the fabric was still intact after testing under both laboratory conditions and the compost environment. In soil and compost testing, which included multiple organisms and enzymes, the cotton fabric with softener had an accelerated degradation rate, while the cotton fabric with resin showed a relatively slow degradation rate.

All cotton samples were more significantly degraded in the compost environment than under the laboratory conditions and confirmed to be ‘compostable’.”

I’ve been wrong about this aspect of polyester thread. I still don’t love it for the kind of sewing that I do. Polyester thread doesn’t tolerate high heat from an iron, it is slippery, and it is shinier than cotton. But there is nothing suspect about the fiber itself. If you have a place where it makes sense to use polyester, go for it. Who knows… it’s possible I might find myself using it in some future project.

Lastly, it is true that polyester is basically a plastic. Many of us, me included, are trying to cut back on the amount of plastic we use. However, until we manage to cut out much bigger sources of plastic in our lives, I think it’s safe not to obsess about the plastic in polyester thread.

When your ironing board needs a facelift…

I’ve had this ironing board from Reliable for many years and I love it, except for one minor thing. Well, two minor things. #1: The piece that slides onto the end of the board to square it up wants to come off when I fold it up and carry it to the closet (which rarely happens). I have trained myself not to grab it by it’s end. #2: The covers that go with the board do not want to stay on and they get dirty. (The getting dirty part is my fault.)

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Yesterday I decided that I would re-cover the board in the easiest way I could think of. I left the old cover in place and cut 2 yards of a more neutral fabric and trimmed it about 8-10″ bigger than the board on all sides. (I didn’t measure, sigh.) I pressed a 3″ hem on each side and ran a length of nylon cord inside the hem, thinking that it was easier to sew it in place than it would be to insert it later. I made a cut in the casing at one narrow end for the cord ends to go through.

Once sewn, I ran the ends of the cord through a toggle, placed the fabric right side up on the ironing board, and cinched it down. I stood the board up on it’s end for easier access. As I looked at the bottom of the board, it occurred to me that I could wire the two parts of the ironing board together. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?

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It turns out that I started with way too much fabric, but it works, but it did not fit the board tightly. The old cover has elastic bands that hold it tight and I borrowed that idea. I cut more elastic and used safety pins to hold it in place. Seriously, who besides me (and you) is going to know that I did it the easy way?

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I had not realized until I made this change how distracting the blue cover was. This quieter color is much, much better.

And, in case you are wondering, I have made serious progress on the Kauai Road quilt, seen on the wall in the first photo. Here’s a snippet, quilted. I love this quilt!

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Christmas pillows…

My DIL, Celia, always puts the cutest Christmas pillows on her sofa and bed. I admit to being inspired! I often buy pillows but you know what? We can sew and pillows are EASY! I made these 2 blocks when I was teaching Pick-Up Sticks (from The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color) with the idea in mind that they would make a good pillow.

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The four 8″ x 8″ blocks in each of the larger blocks are the same, they are just turned differently. I sewed the blocks together, being careful to leave an opening for stuffing. You could insert a zipper on one side and insert a pillow form if that suits you better.

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I turned the pillow right sides out and pressed with steam, using my new Laura Star iron. (More on that in a future post.) It did not take long to stuff it with polyfil and sew the opening closed.

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I love a fast project! I’m not sure which side I like the best.

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The Santa pillow came from Hobby Lobby. It didn’t look nearly as good in the store as it does on my sofa :-).

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What is Yazzii?

If you get my newsletter, you know what a Yazzii is. If you don’t get my newsletter, a Yazzii is a kind of organizer that is perfect for quilters. Here’s a video showing the Petite Mini Organizer.

Click here if you don’t see the video.

If you are interested in a petite organizer, click here. If I’ve sold out of the color you want, email me. I don’t know when my supplier will have more in stock but I’ll start a list and let you know when they come in.

And (you heard it here first!) after I sent the newsletter, I got requests for the Large Mini Organizer that is about 4″ wider than the petite organizer. You’ll find the large mini organizers on the same page. If I run out, I’ll order more.

And, it gets even better! You can personalize your Yazzii with a wool applique block! Susan Buntz was kind enough to share this photo of her very own Yazzii organizer. Isn’t it cute!

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I leave town tomorrow to visit the Quilt Crossing quilt shop and the Boise Basin Quilters in Boise, ID. If you are in the area, I look forward to seeing you!

I gotta get me one of these!

I have managed to ignore 3D printing so far but over the weekend my friend, Ted, sent me a link to this video about the Glowforge 3D laser printer. Deep sigh. I have lust in my heart for one of these. If only I had a spare $2000 hanging around!

I am going to hope that, as demand grows, the price will come down.