I have been getting LOTS of e-mails about sewing on card, which machine I use and what type of thread I use... also for you HECKLERS out there that commented on my obsessive thread buying... I will be providing some more "material" for you, so read on! *wink*
Question: What sewing machine do you use?
Answer: I use the Janome sew mini. I bought it at Hancock Fabrics online store on sale for $39.99 with free shipping. It is the best $40 I have ever spent on stamp supplies. I LOVE stitching on cards and if you are looking for a justification statement: it will save you money on adhesive. I say that jokingly, but it really will. LOL
Here is my Baby Janome:
Question: What tension do you set your machine on? What do I do if my tension leaves my stitches loose?
Answer: I never set my tension. It came set "around" 3 and I have never touched it. I am afraid to. It has always worked for me. Once, I had a problem with loose stitches, but I had just changed my bobbin. I took the bobbin out, switched it around and my stitches were fine. Not sure what that all about, but check your bobbin if you are having problems. ALSO, use ONLY Janome bobbins. I think I read that in the manual somewhere.
My tension level:
Question: What stitches do you usually use?
Answer: I use the D straight stitch, and the G zig zag stitch. I occasionally use the H zig zag stitch. All the other stitches are too tight and can perforate your paper. You MIGHT be able to use the next size down, but I prefer the longer stitch. Also, with smaller stitches, you have to keep your paper SUPER still while sewing or you'll look like you were drunk sewing and that is NOT a good look... unless it's crazy on purpose stitches... then THAT is ok. :)
My preferred stitches:
Question: What kind of thread do you use?
Answer: I use Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy thread. It comes on spools of 125 yards (114 m.) and is 100% Polyester covered Polyester (whatever that means LOL).
After I got my sewing machine, I went out and bought a bunch of different colored threads from Walmart and used that until I came across the thread mentioned above. I was looking for a different color at Hobby Lobby and came across this thread. It looked SO thick and rich and I HAD to get it. While I was satisfied before, I didn't know this thread existed. It looks way different on my cards than the cheaper stuff. Sometimes with thinner thread, you can actually see the bobbin thread hooking into the top thread on the surface of your card. I didn't like that. While the actual difference in thickness can't be THAT substantial... it sure seems like it when I am using it. One negative about using the thicker thread is, it seems to pull at my card stock a bit when I am stitching. You need to keep your hands on the card stock and gently guide it as it goes along. With the thinner thread, I didn't have to be as diligent about guiding the paper. I will liken it to pulling a piece of fishing line and then pulling a length of chain. It definitely has a different feel. LOL That being said, I now ONLY use the C & C Heavy thread.
Here is the thread I use:
Now, for all you "hecklers" in the audience... you'll notice I have white thread again. Well... my order of 14 spools has not arrived yet! I went to Hobby Lobby a couple days ago and decided that I wasn't patient enough and wanted some NOW, so I bought 4 spools of white, 4 kraft, 1 natural and 1 cream. LOL You know what drove me crazy? It was 40% off! So, I just ordered 14 spools for $25, and I COULD HAVE gotten more than that at Hobby Lobby for the same amount of money.... *sigh*... a bargain lost! Good thing I have a large stash now and won't be needing to deal with this again anytime soon huh? LOL
Number of total spools I'll have once my order arrives from Joanns.com: 36 (18 of which are white). Excessive? Maybe... but, I LOVE it and that makes it ok. LOL How long will it last? Not long enough I am sure. LOL I like to be WELL STOCKED!
Please note that the price of this thread is pretty excessive when compared to other threads available.
Coats & Clark, 125 yards per spool, $1.89, $.01512 per yard
Coats & Clark "regular" thread, 300 yards per spool, $2.05, $.00683 per yard
Wal Mart thread, 500 yards per spool, $.50, $.001 per yard
For me, the added cost is worth it and $1.89 per spool won't break the bank.
Here are some online sources for the Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy thread I use:
- Joanns.com (google for a coupon code, I found one for free shipping with a $25 purchase, but that one is expired already)
- Threading your machine and a few set-up basics
- Zig Zag stitching in a straight line and how to make the front of your card look nice and neat with NO stray threads!
- Zig Zag stitches comparison
- Sewing around a layer, zig zag with squared corners
- Sewing around a layer, zig zag with V-shaped corners