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Category: Useful Information

  1. All About Needles

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    When I first bought my wonderful Janome sewing machine I went to a 'Getting to Know Your Machine' session.  Before we even took the covers off our machines we were given a Schmetz Needle Guide.   I hadn't really given a great deal of thought to needles, other than that I knew it was good practice to change needles regularly in order to maintain good stitch quality.  From the needle Guide I learnt all about the anatomy of a needle.  How can something so small have so many different parts?  As the Needle Guide is so informative you can view it by clicking here

    So it's worth remembering that in addition to using good quality thread on your projects your needles ought to be changed regularly as well.  Happy quilting!

  2. Some useful information about pre-cut fabric

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    The names given to pre-cut fabric can be a little confusing particularly as different names are sometimes given to the same size of pre-cut fabric.  In addition, not all pre-cut packs contain the same number of pieces, so care needs to be taken to make sure you have enough fabric to complete your project.  The size of a full bolt of fabric can vary in size but are usually 44" wide.  The list of names of pre-cut bundles below is not comprehensive as new names are being created all the time:-

    Charm Packs also known as 5” Stackers, Charm Squares, Freedom Charms

    These are packs of 5” x 5” squares. 

    The number of squares in each pack varies depending on the manufacturer and is generally 40, 42 or 45 pieces per pack and will often contain at least one of each print in a collection.  This does mean that there may be some duplicates or even triplicates of some prints.

    Mini Charm Packs/Mini Charms

    These are packs of 2.5” x 2.5” squares.  Like most Charm Packs they usually contain 40, 42 or 45 pieces.  Mini Charm Packs are particularly useful for using to create a centre point in a patchwork project and can be used very easily with a 2.5” Jelly Roll.

    3.5” Bitty Stacker

    These are 3.5” x 3.5” squares.  The number of pieces in each pack varies depending on the fabric collection.

    7” Stacker

    These are 7” x 7” squares.  The number of pieces in each pack varies depending on the fabric collection.

    Dessert Rolls/Charm Rolls

    Dessert Rolls come in 5” x 44” strips, which makes them particularly useful for cutting into squares or rectangles.

    Fat Quarters

    Each Fat Quarter is 18” x 22”.

    Fat Quarter Bundles

    A FQ Bundle has a selection of Fat Quarters, usually containing prints from a particular collection.  The number of pieces in each bundle can vary.

    Fat Quarters are very popular with quilters.

    Fat Eighths

    Each Fat Eighth (or F8) measures 9” x 22”.

    Skinny Quarter

    Each Skinny Quarter is 9" x 44".

    Honey Buns® also known as 1.5” Rolie Polies, Skinny Strips

    These are 1.5” x 44” strips.

    The number of strips in each pack may vary depending on the manufacturer.  Generally there 40 strips in each roll.

    Honeycomb, Hexagons, Hexie

    These packs generally contain 40 laser cut 6” hexagonal pieces.  The number in each pack may vary.

    Jelly Rolls® also known as 2.5” Rolie Polie, Rolls, Freedom Strippers, Strippers/Roll Ups

    These are 2.5” strips which usually measure 44” in length.  The number of strips in each pack is generally between 40 and 45, depending on the manufacturer.

    These versatile strips can be sliced into different sizes, or used to create a sashing,  flange border or  binding.  Jelly Rolls are a joy to work with.

    Junior Jelly Roll®, Junior Freedom Strippers/Half Rolls

    These are 2.5" strips, which usually measure 44" in length and the number of strips in each pack is generally 20 but varies depending on the manufacturer.

    3.5” Rolie Polie

    Riley Blake has a range of 3.5” strips.  The number in each pack varies depending on the fabric collection. 

    Layer Cakes® also known as 10” Squares, 10” Stacker, Freedom Square, Ten Squares

    These packs contain 10” x 10” pieces of fabric and generally contain between 40 and 44 pieces of fabric depending on the manufacturer.

    The versatility of Layer Cakes means they can be sliced into all manner of shapes and sizes.  Layer Cakes are good if you are making a large quilt or want to use a larger print to create a particular effect.

    Turnovers/HST or Half Square Triangle

    These are relatively new and are becoming popular in the American market.

    These are usually packs of 6” triangles although some are 6.5".  The number in each pack varies depending on the manufacturer.

    Half Yard and One Yard Bundles

    These are bundles of coordinating fabric and are usually a selection from a particular fabric collection.

    We hope you've found this information useful.  If you are new to quilting, you are probably wondering why the names of many of the pre-cut bundles sound like something you might buy from a confectioners or cake shop.  Don't ask us!  We've no idea why.