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
Monday, January 10, 2011

In Praise of Pockets!

Ellen, Birdy and Ivy
"What has it got in it's pocketses?"
Golum's riddle to Bilbo the Hobbit

I'm from a story telling family. My mother was Irish. She had many shortfalls, but she could embroider a story until it glowed silver and gold. My father, being of English blood almost never spoke at all.But he read constantly. And when  I was a child they both read constantly to me.

One of my mother's favorites was Katie No-Pocket.This child's delight is about a kangaroo who has no pockets and a very tired out baby who she can't always hold when she's traveling. She discovers aprons in her travels and has so many pockets she carries all the other neighbor animals as well.

I think the stories we tell are cement that could fix the world. The stories we tell ourselves can change our fears and our expectations of ourselves and of the world. The stories we tell our children meld theirs. We should always tell stories, but I think we need to understand that they are powerful and wildly unexpected forces. Certainly they teach us how to turn our daily woes into wows.

I know there are somewhere, neat little girls who grow up to be neat adults. I never was one. I made mud pies. I still kind of do. So aprons are a huge part of my life. I don't need an apron to cover my waist or my front. Preferably the 360 degree cover all is what's required. I love aprons for that reason.

But best of all, THEY HAVE POCKETS!

I can lose almost anything. I lose things in front of me as a specialty. So anything I need all day goes into my pocket. My phone, my daily do list, my pen, dog cookies, a rotary cutter, a snack, a book, a flash drive, my camera,the TV remote. But it's all there, somewhere. I have my scissors clipped on at my neck. If it's on my body, it's not lost.

Does that sound like a big pocket? Well, yes. And it does clank.
Here's my favorite apron pattern. I make 6 of these every six months and have them hanging in my kitchen. When they get tattered, I take them to the kitchen and garden. I do make the pockets bigger ( imagine that!)

The only downside to this pattern is that it takes 6 yards of bias. I cut mine from a bias tube (in whatever yummy fabric I want) and put it on with a serger with fusible thread in the lower looper.
You'll find several great kinds of fusible thread at The Cotton Club

You'll find instructions for no-hand-stitch bias on a serger in my booklet, Machine Binding Techniques. 

You'll find my favorite apron pattern here or at your local pattern store.  My Favorite Apron Pattern
You'll find other apron patterns here.
Search for apron patterns for women

You'll also find Katy No-Pocket (Sandpiper) at Read it for yourself or share it with your babes. It's a story that changes worlds.

Get ready to get messy and not lose anything. How good is that? The book should fit in your pocket.


Essential Embroidery Stitches

Essential Embroidery Stitches
Get this free book from Quilting Arts. It has a series of articles I wrote called Defining the Line

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