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Inspire & Create

 

By Steve Butler

What is it?

It’s always your new sweater, coat, blouse or pants. The dreaded snag. An unruly thread pulled free and right there for everyone to see. You can pat it down but you know it’ll come back. Cut it off and you leave a hole in its place. That’s no answer either. How can we make it better? Come to think of it, are there other occasions when we face the same dilemma? A loose thread that doesn’t belong? Yup, sewing in general.

Sewing is full of circumstances where we have loose thread ends to deal with. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. Plain English please. The details of any project are usually the most problematic. Whether dealing with a troublesome thread pull from a snag or just loose thread ends naturally occurring from some sewing operation, we have to make them go away like they were never there. That’s the detail part.

And sometimes we have a devil of a time making that happen. Do not despair though. There’s help. Clover’s Snag Repair Needles are designed for the details of what we do, both unintentional and intentional.

 

     Snag Repair Needle
           Art. No 2512

 

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What does it do?

Clover’s Snag Repair Needles are designed for the detail side of snag repair or finishing stitches off cleanly. Two sizes of needles are provided. The thicker size is ideal for loosely woven or knit fabrics. The finer size is perfect for densely woven or finer fabrics. Each needle sports a fine ball point that allows us to manipulate our fabric without having to worry about splitting fibers. This is especially important when repairing snags on fine fabrics. Additionally, Snag Repair Needles are the new “go to” tool for hiding loose thread ends associated with machine quilting, embroidery, punch needle, needlepoint, Sashico or tapestries. Here’s how it works.

Snags

Unsightly snags ruin the feel of anything. Fix it or forget it, right? Fixing is better. Simply select the snag repair needle size for the fabric being repaired. Remember, always use the finest needle possible. Insert the point into the exact spot from where our errant thread was pulled. Attach those loose fibers or threads to the “grippy” edges on the end of the needle by wrapping them around the shaft while simultaneously twisting the needle. Once the connection is made, just pull the needle with the attached fibers through the fabric to the wrong side and remove the needle. Problem solved.

  

Loose Thread Ends

Machine quilting, for example, leaves us with loose ends to deal with. Top thread and bobbin thread ends. The first step in the hiding process is to get both threads on the same side of the quilt. Simply pull the top thread upwards which reveals a bobbin thread loop. Use the point of the needle to pull the now exposed bobbin thread loop through to the top of the quilt. Tie the two threads together with an overhand knot. Now insert the Snag Repair Needle into the fabric where the bobbin thread came through. Move it horizontally between the quilt layers for about an inch and then back through the quilt top.

Always check to make sure your needle didn’t exit the back of the quilt at any point. Remember, we want to hide the thread ends between quilt layers. Now attach the loose thread in the same manner you would for a snag repair and pull it through the quilt to the exit point on the top fabric.

Clip the thread close to the top fabric and the loose end will pull back inside the quilt and out of sight forever. The same technique can be used when we run out of bobbin thread. Just hide the ends as described, insert a full bobbin and continue stitching. Seamless stops and starts. How cool is that? And this general principle applies to everything we do in sewing that leaves us with loose thread ends to deal with.

  

 

 

What is it?

Whether we’re into knitting or crochet we’re always making something, something made of individual pieces. And that something usually means putting those component pieces together. We all know there are several techniques for joining our knitted or crocheted pieces and that those techniques vary depending on our creative inspiration. Do we want the seams to be invisible or not? Perhaps we want them to be very visible and part of our decorative design as in, really standout. Regardless there is one constant. At some point we’ll need to attach the sleeves to the dress, baste the pocket to the vest or join a sweater at the shoulders. But once we’ve positioned our knitted or crocheted pieces just where we want them, how can we hold them securely and precisely in place while the joining stitches are applied? The answer is simple, Clover’s knitting marking pins in either bamboo or steel.

 

Marking Pins for Knitting

    

Art No. 3143 Bamboo Marking Pins

 

 

Art No. 325 Marking Pins for knitting

 

What does it do?

Depending on the gauge of our yarn the requirements for our marking pins varies. To accommodate this Clover produces both bamboo and steel marking pins. For heavier yarns Clover’s Bamboo Marking Pins are the fastest, least invasive way to hold our knitted or crocheted pieces together while we apply joining stitches to the seams. The naturally smooth bamboo finish assures that they are easy to place but are not so slick that they fall out. They are also long enough to stick through heavy knitted fabrics and the rounded point protects yarns from splitting. They’re also great for fashion closers, you know, in place of buttons. For finer yarns and more detailed work, Clover provides steel marking pins. Smooth and with a blunt tip it slides easily between the finer yarns without damaging the fibers. The flat head makes manipulation easy and precise. Bamboo or steel? Just remember to always use the right tool for the right job. In either case, Clover has you covered.

By Steve Butler

 

 

What is it?

Quilting, fashion, home decor and all of the accessories relating to each – all of us do some of it and some of us do all of it. At the end of the day, though, we’re all doing the same thing. We’re creating. Our pallet is an inexhaustible array of designer fabrics and our canvas is an equally extensive selection of patterns. But how about the accents? You know, those things that add the personality to our project. They may provide either color or form or function or all three. In many cases they center around the application of fabric tubes most often cut on the bias so they can take any shape we want to impose. Flower stems, Stained Glass or Celtic designs appliquéd on quilts. Bindings for quilts (can’t do the binding on a Double Wedding Ring without bias binding tape), fashion and home decor. Straps for fashion and lingerie. Button loops for bags and dress making and fashion accessories. And the best part is we can make these bias fabric tubes with the complimenting fabric we chose and in the size and quantities we want. This ability takes us from creative anxiety to anxious creativity. We just can’t wait to test the bounds of our imagination. And there may be none. But how hard is it to make these bias strips? You know, to really make them well so we’re proud of them. Easy peasy. Trust me. To help us achieve this level of creative potential, Clover has produced a set of Loop Pressing Bars (Art. No 4052). With these little gems we can produce bias fabric tubes in any color and length we desire. And it’s easy, truly.

 

      

                            Art No. 4052 Loop Pressing Bars

 

What does it do?

Simply put Clover’s Loop Pressing Bars allow us to create more than professional looking bias fabric tubes using any fabric we desire and we can do it in different sizes to meet our differing needs. Here’s how.

Process

Clover’s Loop Pressing Bars are provided in a set of five sizes, 6mm (1/4″), 9mm (5/16″), 12mm (1/2″), 15mm (9/16″), 18mm (11/16). Select the size fabric loop desired and then cut your fabric on the bias in a size twice the width of the Pressing Bar plus two 7mm seam allowances. For example, if we wanted a 14mm fabric tube we’d cut our fabric 28mm plus 14mm for the two seam allowances. We can then proceed to our sewing machine and, with the wrong sides together (I know, it’s weird and counter intuitive) sew our 7mm seam allowance. Now we simply insert our Loop Pressing Bar into the tube, trim the seam allowance and manipulate the seam to the center of the bar and iron the tube smooth. This can be done on the bar or, if we have a particularly long tube, on a separate pressing surface as we pull it off the bar. In the process the pressing bars may become warm but will not be too hot to touch. Now we’ve produced the perfect fabric bias tube for our project. All that’s left to do is attach it to your project and prepare to accept compliments for your amazing artistry.

Tip #1

We want our 7mm seam is perfectly straight. To ensure this use Clover’s Stitch Guide (Art.No 7708) on the needle plate of your sewing machine. We can either set it 6mm over and sew the seam measured from the edges of our fabric or we can set the seam guide at the width of our bar/tube width and sew with the fold against the Stitch Guide. Either way, we’re getting a perfectly smooth and even seam that will ensure a perfect bias tape width along its entire length. No unintended and unwanted waves.

     

                                  Art No. 7708 Stitch Guide

 

Tip #2

All of these bias fabric tubes require close work to press. Clover’s Mini Iron II™ “The Adapter” (Art. No 8003EU, 8004GB, or 8005) is extremely easy to manipulate and has a very precise point that makes it perfect for detail work. In any case, always make sure you’ve secured the steam function of any iron you intend to use. Don’t want any steam burns on fingers held necessarily close to the action.

     

          

Mini Iron II™ “The Adapter”

Art No. 8003EU (EU Version) / Art No. 8004GB (UK Version) / Art No 8005 (AUS NZ Version)

 

Tip #3

The end of each Loop Pressing Bar (Art. No 4052) is designed with a feature that allows you to use it much like an enlarged bodkin. If you’re looking for a more “filled” or trapunto decorative appearance to your appliqué, simply attach your cording/stuffing material to that end and pull through.

By Steve Butler

CLOVER will be exhibiting at h+h cologne 2019 – Cologne, Germany from 29th to 31st March, 2019. 

We will be at Booth No. D-30, Hall 3.2.

We are pleased to welcome you to visit our booth in order to know more about our product lines and to see our newest products.

For more information, please visit: http://www.hh-cologne.com/

 

We hope to see you all there!
 

 -CLOVER booth in 2018-

 

 

 

 

 

What is it?

Stranded colowork is the technique. Fair Isle knitting with its beautiful symmetrical geometric motifs in muted colors or Scandinavian knitting with its striking large asymmetrical motifs in bright contrasting colors or even your own dramatic multi-color creative invention is the result.

Each a piece of art. Using two or more strands of yarn simultaneously allows us to create amazing designs in knitted fabric. With a full pallet of colors, wide range of fibers and a limitless assortment of patterns available to us, the creative potential is unlimited. Unfortunately, however, there is a catch to it. There always is, right? But this catch is serious and determines the difference between blissful creativity and something much more nightmarish. The catch? Yarn management. Sounds simple enough, almost utilitarian, but don’t be too dismissive. When we start to use more than one color of yarn, and therefore two or more strands of yarn, on the same project at the same time there’s always potential for trouble. Keeping track of two or more colors and keeping them in close proximity for quick access presents its own set of problems. Keeping our colors organized and finding a way to hold the yarn strands so that they don’t get twisted and tangled or adversely influence our stitch tension is the key to working with multiple colors. Actually the real key to working with multiple strands of yarn is Clover’s Yarn Guide. It does it all for us with ease eliminating twists an tangles. And the more simple and consistent our technique, the more satisfied we will be with our knitting experience and the more enjoyable will be our creative process. And there’s a bonus. If you’re into crochet, it’s a great tool for regulating yarn tension. You’re welcome.

Art No. 348 Yarn Guide

   

 

What does it do?

The challenges of organizing and controlling the multiple strands of yarn when doing creative colorwork are easily accomplished with Clover’s Yarn Guide. The Yarn Guide itself is made of a soft, lightweight but durable plastic. It fits comfortably on your index finger and is applicable to both English and Continental Knitting. Simply lift the hinged lid to reveal channels for four yarn strands. Place the active strands you intend to use in the channels that best suit your style and close the lid which snaps into place. The now slotted strands of yarn are held both apart and in close proximity making color selection convenient and preventing twisting, tangling and unwanted tension influence. The desired result is more knitting and less untangling. If we’re doing a crochet piece that requires extra yarn tension, simply open the lid, wrap the single strand of yarn around the Yarn Guide and close the lid. The more times the yarn is wrapped around the guide the more tension is applied. Adjust as necessary to suit the tightness of your desired stitches. You get the tension without the fatigue of holding the yarn and applying it by hand. No muss, no fuss.

 

By Steve Butler

 

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