If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Monday, February 3, 2014

Frugal February Day 3- thread spider

Update- my mom and Debbie both commented that they use this method and learned it quite a while ago. It is called Enders and Leaders.  They sent the names of websites that feature it with some especially good tutorials. Both of these are excellent quilt sites too!  Thank you Mom and Debbie
Quiltville
Lollyquiltz

This tip will save sewing thread. It also means the bobbin has to be filled less often, the seam ends are neater and there will be fewer threads to snip off when the the project is finished.

I think I learned this tip from an episode of Fons and Porter quilting show on PBS. I looked on their website to see if their was a tutorial and to link back to them but I could not find it on their site. 

Chain sewing is a great way to accomplish the same result but every project is not a candidate for chain sewing,  so here is how to sew with a thread spider. 

You just need a small scrap of fabric, folded to make a double layer.
When you start a new seam, first sew over the scrap of fabric, then put your fabric pieces right up to the scrap and just sew as usual. Clip off the scrap before you get to the end of your seam and then sew right back onto the scrap at the end of the seam,  you will still need to back stitch your project if your project requires it.
After the same scrap has been used for a few seam start and stops, it kind of looks a spider with all the lines of sewing on it.
Below are 2 doll legs, 
The one on the right is sewn the traditional way - see the long threads that will need to be clipped and how when you start sewing a narrow seam, sometimes it bunches up a bit.
With a thread spider, that bunching did not ever happen for me.
The leg on the left was started and stopped with the thread spider and I think the seams look neater the little bit of scrap thread  ended up on the spider. 

On my sewing machine, I must pull out a pretty long amount of top and bottom thread when I start a new seam or else when the machine starts, the top thread pulls out and I have to re thread the machine. Using the thread spider means I can spend more time sewing and less time threading my sewing machine too. 

This tip is new to me and I've been sewing, golly, 45 years or so! 
Do the rest of you seamstresses know this tip already? or is it kind of new?

16 comments:

  1. Very good tip! I don't remember seeing this before, but have seen the strip sewing that continues from piece to piece without stopping, and then clipping each section apart. I have always hated starting a narrow seam and having the beginning bunched up so I need to remember to do this next time. Why didn't they teach this in home ec and or 4-H??

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  2. Thanks for the tip. I am hoping to get some sewing done this week and will try this.

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  3. Rhonda, I think I knew this but I always forget to use that tip! Thanks for reminding me!

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  4. Wonderful tip! It's always good to learn something new. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I use a thread spider a lot. My old machine was always coming unthreaded and it was such a task for me to thread the needle again. My new machine doesn't do that and it's a good thing because I can't see well enough anymore to be threading a needle with every seam. I'm sure there will be lots of women using this information; so nice of you to share it.

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  6. What a neat tip! I'm going to try it! I have a few sewing projects waiting....

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  7. This saves a lot of thread! I use the leaders and enders system, where you sew quilt block pieces at the beginning and end of a seam. I just keep the little pieces on the right side of my machine. I learned this at Quiltville.com.

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  8. Once when I took a beginning quilt class (the whole rest of the class quilted for people and had long arms and quilted with the instructor at the hospital besides us 2) anyhoo I did learn that from her.

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  9. Thanks for this! I can see how it will be helpful. :-)

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  10. Rhonda, this is a wonderful tip. I am very new to sewing and have been frustrated by needing to leave such a long tail of thread. A thread spider will be very helpful.

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  11. Have been doing this for a good while. To take it further sew actual pieces for quilt blocks. Think Bonnie Hunter was the first quilter who uses the "leader/enders" technique and I have a pin from lollyquiltz doing this as well. Attempted to send you a couple of links on this subject. Tell me if you received...

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  12. I have never heard of this but I will certainly be using this tip in the future. Thanks!

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  13. LOL I sew but don't consider myself a seamstress...at all ...so this is new! I have so much to learn....Thank you! :)

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  14. I hadn't ever heard of this and was trying to visualize it when you talked about it. Thanks for the photos! I'll definitely use this tip next time I sew.

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  15. Dear Rhonda,
    I'm new to your blog and I just love this little tip! I've been sewing forever...and never came across it before. One of my machines is an older "white" and it is sometimes difficult to thread...this should work wonders!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    God bless,
    Laura

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I love to hear from you - thanks for telling me what you think.

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda