Practical Thread Magic

When I come to teach to a group, there's always a frantic rush of questions and concerns. I don't play with the same toys other quilters do. Though I talk about that at length in class, I thought it would be helpful to have that information available in a blog. So here we're going to discuss the nuts and bolts of the kind of thread work I love and teach. We'll discuss products, choices, threads, fabrics, tools, stabilizers and all the things that make my work work for me, and will help your work work for you.

If you have an upcoming class with me, you should know I bring almost all of the things I use for your needs. If you want to try something you've got, absolutely bring it. But if you're having trouble finding it, please don't stress. I'll have it there for you.

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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Would You Like To Have A Class With Ellen?

Ellen would be delighted to have a class with you or your group! You can check out her classes at She also offers independent studio time in her studio in Indiana. Talk to Ellen about classes at 219-921-0885, or contact her scheduler Melida at 405-735-3703 .to set a date
Saturday, February 13, 2010

No-Tears Ripping

I really am tired of certain fantasies. My least favorite is that the world has some sort of perfect somewhere and the rest of us our just falling down somehow.

Please.  Real boats rock. Dip. Sometimes roll over. The question is not will it happen. It's what will you do when it does.

To that effort, I offer my favorite frog-stitch tools. (Rip it, rip it, rip it.) Everyone has a moment from time to time where they stitch down something in a way they wished they hadn't. For zigzag stitching, I recommend the Wahl Half Pint Mustache Trimmer. This little wonder works on a double AA battery. You turn it on, turn it over and shave across the stitch. Turn it off. Turn the piece over and use the blade head to brush off your stitching. That simple. Be still, my beating heart. There are several versions of this available at .

The small blue seam ripper is a surgical seam ripper. The flat blade slips right under straight stitching and lifts it right off. You'll find these at Nancy's Notions .
Of course there's lots of thread fluff after you rip. Take some masking or packing tape, tape the surface and the fluff comes off. You're ready to sew again. If you have big holes from your stitching, steam iron your piece and they should shrink right down.

If you have a local store that carries these, please support your local store. It's a treasure that deserves your support. They make your community. Make sure you support them, so they can be there for you.

Wrapping it up:
Remove zigzag stitching with a mustache trimmer.
Use a surgical seam ripper for straight stitching.
And don't let any one tell you it never happens to them.


Gloria said...

I'm very familiar with reverse sewing and didn't know about these little gadgets to make it easier. This post is great help to me. Thank you for sharing.


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