Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Coats & Clark Present a Slipper Tutorial!

CQA/ACC is thrilled to have Coats & Clark guest blogging for us! They are one of our amazing sponsors that is participating in Quilt Canada 2016 and boy did they go all out for you! 7 huge boxes of thread is waiting to be distributed to quilters attending the conference!

Coats & Clark Thread – Hints, History & Spa Slippers Project

Annette Millard is passionate about sewing and has worked in the sewing industry for many, many years and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. She currently enjoys supporting the Coats & Clark community writing blog posts about products and projects for the Coats Sewing Secrets Blog.

Dreary weather makes me want to stay inside and sew. You will love the Spa Slipper Project we have to share with you below! First, I have a bit of info about the over 250 year history of Coats & Clark threads. I always wonder how products began and who invented them, don’t you?

The Clark brothers were weavers in Paisley, Scotland in the 1750’s and in the early 1800’s, silk, the primary thread used in weaving at that time, became quite scarce due to Britain’s war with France. To keep the industry going, the inventive Clark brothers came up with a method for twisting cotton to make thread that was strong enough to replace silk and linen for weaving and hand sewing. They soon opened their first mill and invented a process for winding thread onto wooden spools. Remember those?

Impressed by the Clarks’ success, the nearby Coats family also began producing cotton threads. Both brands became popular in America when threads arrived with British sailors. Coats and Clark brands were exported from Britain to North America until war once again changed how business was conducted. In the 1860’s, US Civil War tariffs made exporting costs prohibitive, so both brands began manufacturing in the US. By the late 1800’s, the Coats and Clark families merged operations and birthed the tradition of thread excellence that we still trust and enjoy today. To read more Coats & Clark history, click here.

Our Spa Slipper project calls for two colors of Dual Duty XP General Purpose Thread. Due to Coats’ continued inventiveness, innovation and dedication to quality, Dual Duty XP thread is core-spun using modern technology for consistent tension and fabulous stitches. This means that smooth, long, multi-filament fibers are tightly spun as a “core”, then wrapped and twisted again with spun polyester to create a single strand. Two or more of these core-spun strands are then twisted together to make the high-strength, beautifully fray-resistant Coats thread you count on. The General Purpose weight is exactly what you need while you’re zigzagging and sewing through several layers. But, you’re not always sewing Spa Slippers, so let’s take a look at all three weights of Coats Dual Duty XP.
Coats Dual Duty XP General Purpose Thread . . . the thread you’ll use most for machine and hand sewing.
·        Available in 114, 229 or 457 meter spools.
·        Easily find just the right color for your project - General Purpose 114m has the widest color range available, including Fashion Brights, Color Tints and Multi-Colors.
·        Perfect for all fibers and fabrics – quilting cottons, knits and wovens.
·        Use a size 70 to 80 needle.
Coats Dual Duty XP Fine Thread . . . the thread you’ll use for sewing sheer magic.
·        Solves your longing for pucker-free seams in light-weight fabrics.
·        Strong, yet the perfect weight for lingerie, bridal, silks, organza and sheers.
·        Excellent for Machine Embroidery.
·        Use a size 60 to 70 needle.
Coats Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread . . . the thread that makes bold, heavy stitching fabulous.
·        Heavier and stronger than General Purpose or Fine.
·        Great for creating bold accent Buttonholes, Cording and Topstitching.
·        The right choice for interior and exterior upholstery fabrics.
·        Use a size 100 to 110 needle.

And here’s my secret favorite thing about Coats thread – the trap spool! On the end of each spool, you’ll find a little slotted “trap” to lock the end of your thread in before you store the spool or you can lift up the trap, wind the thread inside and snap it closed to secure the thread. You know that exasperating, knotted, wild mess that you call your thread box? Gone!

A thread hint story: One day, while I was working in a sewing store, a customer came in steaming mad because the thread kept breaking on her brand new machine. Since thread choice is key to successful sewing, I asked what kind of thread she used. Her answer? “I don’t know. It was in a box of sewing stuff my husband’s ex-wife stored in the attic years ago”. When I explained that old thread may not be good thread and cheap thread is the worst, she cursed the ex-wife a little, but bought new thread and came back later to thank me. Thread can last for years if it’s stored properly, but exposure to direct or sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures can compromise its integrity.
Pamper yourself this month and go through your thread box with the following in mind.
·        Test your “old” threads. Take a 38 – 45cm piece of thread, hold one end in each hand and pull on it until it breaks. If you feel some resistance, it’s probably okay, but if it breaks easily, it’s time to say goodbye.
·        Look at the color of a few meters of your old threads. Do they start out light, then get darker? This is thread that has been discolored by light exposure and it’s probably time for it to go, too.
·        Consider tossing thread with just a few meters left on the spool. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually have enough to use on a project when you need that color, so its really just clutter.
·        Banish any “5/$1.00 bargain” or thrifted threads and replenish your supply with fabulous new Coats threads.
·        Click here to download a PDF of the Dual Duty XP 114 meter spool color choices so you can pre-shop. Print and stash this in your thread box for future reference!

Click here for the free pattern for these wonderful Spa Slippers. They were featured along with several other Spa Projects on the Coats Sewing Secrets Blog recently and you’ll love the other projects, too. You can have an all day Spa Sewing session! Click here to read the Spa Projects post. For more information about Coats brands and products, click here to visit Make It Coats.

Enjoy your sewing and make good thread choices – you deserve it!

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