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Clover Needle Threader

Linda Roberts (V) Linda notes, “in one of my classes the instructor gave lessons on how to thread needles using the Clover needles threader. She said most of them break because we held the needle and pull the needle threader. She recommended holding the needle threader and pulling the needle off. Mine last a lot longer now using her method.”

This article originally appeared in the August 1998 issues of Threads, our newsletter.

Respecting an artist’s copyright is not only legal and ethical, it can save you and your guild money. In the below case, a large check had to be written to satisfy the designer. Please be vigilant about how you treat copyrighted material!

Dear Cotton Patch Quilters,

I was very disappointed to learn that your group has photocopied my copyrighted pattern and distributed it to all of your members as a Block of the Month pattern. This was done without my permission, which I would not have granted, because “Bonny Button Basket” is a commercial pattern which I sell to stores, catalogs and individuals.

Block of the Month patterns sent out by quilt guilds should be traditional patterns in the public domain and/or patterns developed by the individual who is sending them out, not copyrighted, commercial patterns. The copyright symbol © with the year means a pattern or design is not to be photocopied or copied for any reason, whether or not money exchanges hands, without my permission. That symbol indicates that it is my property.

There is an in-depth, three-part article in Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts on copyright rules and regulations. Part 2 is in the April 1998, Issue 123, pp. 70-74. Another article is in Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, June 1998, pp. 46-47. I suggest you read both articles for further enlightenment on this subject matter.

The Southern California Quilt Council, of which your group is a member, did a major story on copyright infringement in the Winter issue of their newsletter. Your group has chosen to ignore this information by copying and distributing my pattern.

The money I make selling this pattern allows me to continue designing and publishing other patterns. If this source of income is removed, it is no longer feasible to do business and I will stop publishing patterns. This same concept applies to all publishers of all patterns and books of every kind.

So that you will understand the hours of work time and money that go into the development of a pattern, here are some of the steps involved:

Developing the idea, making sketches means many hours of work. Making the sample takes days and weeks of cutting, sewing and stitching. Writing the instructions means more days of work. Photography means money spent on film and development. Printing the pattern means driving to and spending money on transportation and at the printer. Qriting to shops and catalogs to carry the pattern, means money spent on postage and more time. I am sending a copy of this letter to each of your board members and to the president of the Southern California Quilt Council. You owe me the price of the pattern for every copy you sent out to your members. I will discount the pattern price, which normally sells at retail for $6.75, to the price of $5.00. That is how much I charge the students for the pattern when I teach a workshop.

I expect an apology and a check.

Barbara Dieges bdieges designs

“Easy Tear” for Foundation Piecing

Jane Gessaman (C) has been using a product called “Easy Tear” for foundation piecing and highly recommends it. She started out doing samples for a vendor and got hooked on it! You can even tape it to an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper and feed it through a computer printer, or single-feed it in a copy machine. She says it’s easy to tear out and does not slide around while sewing on the machine like paper. You can e-mail Jane for more details at Gessaman@Searnet.com.

Fabric Stretching Prevention

Jo and Jos Hindriks (B) use sizing (available in spray cans in the supermarket) to prevent fabric from stretching before they cut and sew. Since our discovery our points look great! After completing the quilt top gently wash out the sizing with lukewarm water and just a little bit of detergent. Starch is not recommended, since it leaves scorch stains when ironed and those are hard to remove.

Jeanne Coglianese (C) suggests some cheap substitutes for having a light box. Of course, the old standby is to tape your pattern to the window during the daytime and lay a sheet over it to trace the pattern.

Another way to do this requires a glass top table and a small lamp. I lay the lamp (without the shade) on its side under the coffee table, propping it up so that the bulb does not touch the floor. Then I can trace in comfort on the table top.

Recently I had one small pattern to trace and did not want to bother setting up my lamp at the coffee table. It was night time so I couldn’t use the window trick either. I came up with what I think is an ingenious subsitute…my wall oven door! I turned on my oven light and was able to trace my pattern against the oven door. This worked great, the surface was just the right size and there was no setup time. Hope someone else will enjoy these tips.

Make Time Count

Susan Fisher (B) notes, “Too often we think that we need great blocks of time to make a quilt! While this might be the ideal, too often it is not the reality. If life hands you scraps, make a quilt. If life hands you minutes, make a quilt block.”

Organizing Quilt Projects

Dori Nanry (V) writes, “while making a block for my quilt, I put them away, nice and flat in a new pizza box. I have several and list the color or style of the quilt block on the outside.

“I spray paint the outside of the box so that I can clearly see the list that I have created on the front! When I stack these up, I can easily grab the project that I am working on and it is nice and neat.”

Paper Piecing Trick

Betty Ladd (V) got this tip at G Street and would like to pass along. To make a bunch of identical paper piecing patterns when you don’t have a Xerox in your house, staple a stack of pieces of paper together with the original pattern on the top. Then with a large stitch length and NO thread in the machine, “sew” on the patterns lines.

Paper Hexagons

Anne Littleton (B) had a quilting tip printed in the August issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. “One afternoon when I was unable to locate my paper hexagons for making Grandmother’s Flower Garden blocks, I placed my hexagon template on a small pad of self-stick (Post-It®) notes and used my rotary cutter to cut around it. Not only is it easy to cut a whole pile at once, the papers stick slightly to the back of the fabric pieces, preventing shifting.”

Quilt Layout Assistant

Pepper Dittinger (from QU’s former Falls Church chapter) suggests using a lap Cross stitch frame – the one where you roll the fabric onto rollers to hold it tight and can wind it up as you move along – and attach flannel to it. It stands on a shelf by her sewing machine and as she cuts out blocks, she arranges them on the flannel. The flannel keeps the pieces from shifting and it makes it very easy to sew the block in the correct order, allowing her the flexibilty to sew in “snippets” when time is short.

Sewing Machine Repair Prevention

Marilyn Hunter (B) recently had her machine repaired (see below), and wants to pass along a tip she learned from the repairman. He suggested running her sewing machine through all its stitches every month or two. She said, “no one ever told me this…and that was the problem with my Bernina. When I tried to use the long/basting stitch, the needle went up and got stuck and wouldn’t come down. The lubricant had gotten sticky from not using that stitch in quite a while. It was easy to fix, but would have been easy to prevent if I had known!”

SINGER Phone Number

Ann Hoehn (A) said she got good help from Singer recently in trying to identify her treadle machine. She said Singer was very helpful and will even send papers on parts and directions. They can also tell you the date your machine was “born” if you give them the identification number (especially the Featherweights). Call them at 1-800-877-7762 if you need help.

Sorting Thread

Jan Krentz (former QU Member, S)  During the springtime, the QU Digest listed a tip from Jan recommending the purchase of a Hot Wheels (yes, the toy cars) Jammer’s Garage Car Storage Case from Wal-Mart or a toy store. She said they are “super” for sorting thread – the box is clear plastic, open on both sides, with a carrying handle. You can sort thread by color families, decorative, topstitching, machine embroidery, metallics, etc. Jan notes that it helps you see what you own so you don’t keep buying duplicates. When you go to a workshop, you grab the handle and go! At the time the tip was published, the price was under $10 for two.

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