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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Newsy applique

Today is the big day for football lovers. Me? Not so much, but it's nice to spend it with hubby: he watches the game and I sew and watch the commercials. Our chili was made yesterday and is heating up nicely for dinner later tonight. This afternoon, we'll take in a bit of culture by attending a Mozart and Smetna symphony as a belated birthday present for Hubby.
Our 13" snow waves
Thanks to all of you who sent emails wishing us well while we were at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. We were able to get everything taken care of nicely, and Hubby is doing ever so much better now. We have a short term and a long term plan in place to keep him going, and he is already feeling tons better. We went up a day earlier than necessary to miss a storm that moved in, and then we came home the Friday before the big storm hit Monday night and Tuesday. Even with the bad weather, Hubby's meds arrived via UPS air, and we were grateful for that. We'll get a shipment each week, as this new plan is being administered out of Mendota Heights, MN. What a wonder the age of technology is!
Mayo the Wonder Dog testing how deep it might be!
While we were on the road, I found two products that I have absolutely fallen in love with. When I travel, I like to pack light and then do laundry if I need to. The only problem with that is taking laundry soap can be a real problem. I generally use liquid soap at home, so that's out of the question. This is what I found at the store in Rochester, and not only is it convenient to travel with, but it's also a great product.  
Purex 3-in-1
The second product I just happened to find when I was looking for a small bottle of dish soap to use in the hotel suite. These are soap impregnated sheets that suds up when you wet them. We were there one week, and I only used one. I kept it in a plastic baggie between uses. Now, of course, all I washed was my popcorn bowl, a knife and fork, my drinking glass and Mayo's food bowl. But, I think I would like to have these on hand for all my travels!
If you stayed with me this long, NOW we can talk about my applique. In my last post, I showed you the different ways I like to do applique. Since then, I've had a few emails asking me what kind of thread do I like to use. Now, this subject can be as touchy as whether to pre-wash your fabric or not (I don't). Let me first say that I have no affiliation to any product or brand of anything I talk about on my blog. If I ever do, I will be sure to tell you about it. Wouldn't it be nice if some thread company wanted to give me free thread so I could talk about it? LOL! So back to business. I say use what works for you, just as you should use whatever applique technique works for you, and this is only my opinion.
My version of a folk art design (18/5" square) with Karen Kay Buckley circles, freezer paper birds and back basted pot.
My favorite thread for hand applique is DMC machine embroidery thread. It comes in luscious colors, and I can always find one that is just right for my work. I actually like the special DMC packs that I can only find one time a year, which happens to be now. Otherwise, I use the smaller, shorter spools. The flash makes it look shiny, but it really has a matte finish.

Two version of DMC machine embroidery thread

So you might be asking, "Why don't you use silk thread?" About 10 years ago, I happened onto the silk thread for applique thread (no pun intended) on-line and promptly bought some and started using it. I didn't like how slippery it was, but I have to tell you that I DID love how it melted into the fabric. AND, everyone seemed to be saying that it WAS the applique thread to use! About a year later, I took several classes with Nancy Pearson and she showed us how silk thread stretches, and then breaks. She said she would never use it for that reason. Made sense to me, so I gave away my silk thread and started using Mettler cotton thread. That was nice, but I happened across the DMC and have been a fan ever since. In a pinch, though, I will use Coats and Clark and Auriful.

And of course, the most important thing to help you applique is a 17 lb. cat named Clyde.  All you have to do is sit down, and there he will be, giving you hugs while Mayo the Wonder Dog supervises!


Cathy Buel said...

Sharon, love your applique block. I'm going to try the embroidery thread for my applique. I like silk but it is to slippery, It comes out of the neddle to easily. Stay warm.

Annie Jones said...

Just wanted to say that I was very pleased to meet Mayo this morning. She's a real cutie!

Bonnie K Hunter said...

We love the 3-in-1 detergents too! I always carry a few in a ziploc in my suitcase for doing laundry on the road! When they come out of the dryer, Jeff asked if I wanted to sew them together into a quilt batting..LOL. NO. THANKS!!


Quilts And Pieces said...

Well I was glad to see that you liked the same applique thread I did. I found the mettler 60 wt works well. I tried silk thread and hated it. Gave mine all away right away. I just hated it. I love DMC when I can find it as well as aurafill.

Kathie said...

I am with you I love DMC thread for hand applique.
using cotton thread is important to me, cotton with cotton! I have seen a few quilts where the silk thread cut the applique pieces, I can't imagine doing all that work and a few years later starting to have holes in my quilt..sad.
Glad everything is working out for your DH.

Teresa said...

I use those purex sheets all the time, and just love them.

I am going to look for some of the DMC embroidery thread and give it a try.