Several newsletter readers emailed to remind me (kindly) that I had forgotten two needle threading tricks in the last newsletter. Those of you who are


Several newsletter readers emailed to remind me (kindly) that I had forgotten two needle threading tricks in the last newsletter. Those of you who are now proud owners of new needle-threaders can skip down to the next section. But for everybody else:

Forgotten Trick #1: If the thread doesn't go through on the first try, turn the needle around and go at the eye from the other side. Needle holes are machine punched. One side may be microscopically smoother than the other. I use this trick frequently. Maybe my thread is extra sensitive. Or, maybe I just need a "do-over" to get the thread in. Obviously, this isn't something you can do with a sewing machine needle.

Forgotten Trick #2: Lick the needle instead of the thread. You can't use this tip on a sewing machine needle either. Truth be told, I purposely left this trick out. It never made sense to me. The argument is that licking the thread makes the thread swell, making it more difficult to pass through the eye. Licking the needle somehow attracts the thread. I never understood that and, possibly for that very reason, this trick never worked for me. But, hey, if it works for you, I'm all for it. Try it! Please note: you have to lick the part of the needle that has the eye. Licking the point of the needle won't help at all.


New Trick: This is a new one for me. Morgan48 shared that her "sewing machine guy" told her to hold her thread with both hands to thread her sewing machine needle. That puts the thread moving from the middle of your body towards the needle. Getting the thread situated between my two index fingers was a little awkward, but I could keep my head in front of the needle (to see better) and I didn't have to bend my wrist a lot as I normally do threading with one hand. Interesting. Unless I totally misunderstood the tip. It happens.

Every Trick In The Book

So what does all this mean? Quilters are an ingenious lot! And, the more tricks you have up your sleeve, the better. Use what works for you and pitch the rest.

Way back a million years ago I wrote a book called Every Trick in the Book. It's out of print now, but it's chock full of tricks like this. You can get one for a penny here. It's a very helpful book, especially if you have a table with one short leg.


Two More Hand Sewing Tricks

Tip #1: Sew with a pillow on your lap. It raises your work so you're not all hunched over. Your neck and back with thank you. A small "camper" pillow is best, but you can use a bed pillow in a pinch. Just make sure you use your husband's pillow so if you accidentally leave any pins behind they won't stick you in the head later.

Tip #2: One of my first "inventions" was the Quilters' Portable Workstation. We did a lot of car trips in the summers and I always sewed in the car. The "QPW" is basically a small cloth suitcase made out of recycled blue jeans with pockets and a pillow. It elevates your work surface, gives your elbows a place to rest, and has places for your project and all your tools. Plus, you can safely stick pins all over it if you want. When it's time to stand up, zip the lid shut and you're good to go. You can get the pattern here.

001Cover-Closed QPW

QPW closed.

001 Cover-Open

QPW open.

001 Cover Ami

Even if you love me, it's OK to laugh at this picture. It had to have been taken a good 20 years ago. My feet are still that big. I see parallels with the runners on the rocker. That's a skirt I'm wearing, your know, with nylons. Get a load of those shoulder pads! But all my patches are organized and I'm a happy sewer!

And, no matter how funny I look, the quilt I'm sewing in the photo is finished. Well, at least the top is.


Click the picture to watch the video.

Hooray! The NeckLITES Are In!

They arrived early! So, in happy celebration, Hang Nail Studios (my production company) made a video. Not really. That's only partially true. I don't have a production company. I have an iPhone, a greasy lens, and absolutely no shame. But I did make this video with my friend Debbie.

If you've already ordered a NeckLITE, your light will be shipping in a day or so. If you haven't ordered yet, don't wait. Get your order in before I sell out. Again. I can only keep them in stock for a day or two. This light is awesome!


Click me!

Scooter's Video Pick

Hi! It's me again. Scooter. I have another car video. Dogs love cars. When I was younger I used to jump into any cars that had their doors open. Mom met a lot of interesting people. Now I just bark.

In this video people taught rescue dogs to drive so they would be adopted. I'm sure this dog found a really good home.


Thank You!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

Have a wonderful quilty day!

AmiSimms Sig

PS: Click here in case you missed the last newsletter.

"Free Motion Quilting for the Totally Terrified" is Saturday in Flint. Register here.

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