there’s an app for that…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

How many times has a tech savvy, usually younger, person said to you “you know, there’s an app for that”? Well here’s an app that you might find useful if you are one of those folks who collects apps like the rest of us collect fabric. It’s an app from Schmetz needles, that will tell you just about anything that you might need to know about sewing machine needles.

What size needle should I use with this fabric?  on the app

What kind of needle  for this project? on the app

What’s the difference between all these kinds of needles? on the app

I often get asked needle questions while making demonstrations or teaching classes and this app answers just about all of them. See what you think: click here.

I last wrote about the skirts I was making from the “Cute Skirts” pattern from Favorite Things. I have finished all three views of the skirt now and I love them all. I think I’ll be looking for some fabrics for other seasons of the year and I suppose that will mean tights or pantyhose (I just can’t do the bare legged thing with any shoes other than sandals!). I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve pulled on panty hose since I retired, and they weren’t happy occasions. I’m now working on visors to go with the summer outfits. My bosses found the pattern while they were at Quilt Market, and I’m trying it out. The first one was so easy, until I put the bias trim around the edge. Should have followed my hunches, instead of the pattern directions I think. I frogged stitched it while watching tv last evening (rip it, rip it!) and will be trying again shortly. I have made girly baseball caps for myself and my nieces in the past and used peltex for the brims. This pattern calls for Soft and Stable. It is light and firm and easy to work with. (This product reminds me of head liner like that used in a car’s ceiling. You can buy headliner by the yard at the big J store, but I have only seen Soft and Stable in specialty stores or online. I haven’t sewn with headliner in a really long time, so the next time I’m scrounging for something to use my 40% off coupon on, I’m going to re-visit the headliner and see how similar it is to the Soft and Stable, the color selections, price, etc. I’ll report back!) One clever thing about this visor pattern is the method the designer uses for closing the adjustable “tabs” at the back of your head. She uses curly shoelaces that don’t need to be tied. (I found them in black and white at Walmart, and in lots of colors at an online site.) I’m going to keep this clever closure idea in mind to use on other kinds of projects. So simple and easily adjustable. The designer is Annie Unrein, the same one behind the product called Texture Magic, that you might be familiar with. She has lots of free info at her website. Click here.

I’ve been attempting to catch up with the weeds in the garden, and fortunately (or not) Mother Nature has kept me from overdoing it by raining fairly regularly. I’m dividing perennials and using a limited (compared to my past history) number of annuals in the garden this year. I need to get some perennials that bloom later in the season. I think I buy the ones that are in bloom in the spring because they are so refreshing in the garden centers after a long winter that I can’t resist them. And I also seem to be a bit heavy on purple in the bloom colors. Gotta work on that too. Anyone want to trade plant divisions with me? I’ve got hosta varieties galore, sedums, perennial geraniums, lysimachias, astilbes, etc. Most of what I’d like to trade are plants for shade or part sun. I don’t really have any spots of full sun, other than where I stick the lettuce and tomato plants.

Heading off to the sewing room, TTFN!

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