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  • Six Summer Sewing Projects You Can Make In Minutes

    Six-Simple-Summer-DIYs-You-Can-Make-In-Minutes

    While there is something to love about every season, summer just has something special, doesn't it? It's a time of year where everything feels a little more magical. Days are longer, the sun shines brighter and creativity is in the air - along with the smell of the sea, sunscreen, and frozen sweet treats. We don't know about you but summer makes us feel inspired to sew (although, let's face it, when don't we all want to sew?). Even if you are a busy bee this August, we have rounded up a list of six sewing projects that require little more than an hour to complete (at most). So dust off that sewing machine, pour yourself a refreshing glass of lemonade and get to stitchin'!


    quilted-strawberry-coastersquilted-strawberry-coastersquilted-strawberry-coasters

    Photos via Diary Of A Quilter

    1. QUILTED STRAWBERRY COASTERS

    These sweet little berries add a fresh and juicy pop of colour to a table setting. How can you not smile when looking at these adorable coasters?

    Things You'll Need


    diy-shark-clothespin-bagdiy-shark-clothespin-bagdiy-shark-clothespin-bag

    Photos via Hey Let's Make Stuff

    2. SHARK CLOTHESPIN BAG

    Unlike the fearsome great white in JAWS, this is one shark you'll want to keep close by! Although it's convenient to toss all of your clothes in the dryer, line drying is a lot better for fabric. Keep this toothy friend on your clothesline to make laundry day much more fun!

    Things You'll Need


    DIY-watermelon-pillowDIY-watermelon-pillowDIY-watermelon-pillow

    Photos via Crafts Unleashed

    3. WATERMELON SLICE PILLOW

    There are few more comforting pleasures then biting into a juicy slice of freshly cut watermelon. Capture this summer moment that everyone can relate to and keep it all year long in the form of a soft, squishy pillow!

    Things You'll Need


    mermaid-tail-backpack-sewing-diymermaid-tail-backpack-sewing-diymermaid-tail-backpack-sewing-diy

    Photos via Polka Dot Chair

    4. MERMAID TAIL BACKPACK

    Little mermaids will fall head over fin for this beachy backpack! Make one (or several) in soothing azure hues reminiscent of the sea.

    Things You'll Need


    pineapple-zipper-pouchpineapple-zipper-pouchpineapple-zipper-pouch

    Photos via Simple As That

    5. PINEAPPLE ZIPPER POUCH

    Keep this tropical tote on hand to stash away all of the bits and bobs you need. Whether you're at the beach or on a patio enjoying a meal, this playful pouch adds a punch of summer style to any outfit.

    Things You'll Need


    colourful-outdoor-pillowscolourful-outdoor-pillowscolourful-outdoor-pillows

    Photos via A Beautiful Mess

    6. COLOURFUL OUTDOOR PILLOWS

    When it comes to decorating, we often think that we need to make drastic changes, but sometimes the addition of a group of punchy pillows is all it takes to make things feel fresh! These water-resistant pillows add a bold shot of colour that makes an otherwise washed out space look beautiful and balanced.

    Thing You'll Need

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • 5 Simple Spring Cleaning Tips To Refresh Your Sewing Space

    spring-cleaning-for-your-sewing-space

    It's the time of year when everyone starts talking about spring cleaning. After all, spring is the season of rebirth and so cleaning up just feels right. Why not take this month as an opportunity to organize your creative space? An organized sewing room makes it easier to find creative inspiration and helps clear the mind. Simply put, mess equals stress! It may seem daunting (believe me, we understand), but with a little bit of patience and these five simple steps, you can clear the clutter with ease. So take a deep breath, read on and then get started!


    storage-for-sewing-quilting-crafting

    1. USE STORAGE CONTAINERS FOR DIFFERENT SUPPLIES

    If you're working on multiple projects all the time, it's easy to let bits and bobs pile up on top of every available surface. Take a little bit of time and separate your supplies into different categories (for example scissors, needles, bobbins, miscellaneous notions) and place them into their own container. We offer a number of great sewing boxes. They come in a variety of stylish designs and so they add a bit of flare to your decor as well!


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    2. KEEP QUALITY, CLEAR OUT THE REST

    Sewing can be a very sentimental endeavor. Memories are stitched into everything - figuratively and literally! It can be hard to toss out items you have had for a long time, but your sewing space will benefit from a strategic clear out. Sure, it's perfectly fine to keep a few things for sentimental reasons, but that questionable fabric with patches of mildew and moth holes? Time to toss it. Ask yourself - is this high-quality? Would a customer want to buy something that was made with this? Is it even fixable and, if so, will I actually fix it? If the answer is no to any of those questions, it's time to go.


    cleaning-cutting-mat

    3. WIPE DOWN YOUR CUTTING MATS 

    Cutting mats are wonderful for so many reasons but they get covered in all kinds of gum and residue. Not to mention the fabric fibres and lint that coat them over time. Take a few minutes and wipe down all of your mats with a mat cleaner. Not only will it function better, but your mats will look much better as well!


    grabbit-magnetic-bobbin-holder

    4. MAGNETS ARE YOUR FRIEND

    If we had to list the notions that get lost the most, they would be pins, needles and bobbins. It's as if they sprout legs and run off when you're not looking. Enter, the Mini Magnetic Pin Cushions from Grabbit. They take up very little space and can easily store all of the notions we mentioned. They can also organize your paper clips, metal snaps and even nails and bolts! Because they are magnetic, you can rest easy knowing that they will stay put. No more scattered needles or painful moments of stepping on push pins!


    njl-blog-sewing-room-spring-cleaning

    5. REFRESH YOUR FABRIC

    When fabric sits for a long time, it can get pretty musty. Household odours (from pets, moisture and dust) eventually seep into the fibers of the fabric, leaving it smelly and unappealing. And no customer wants a quilt made from fabric that smells like eau de wet dog! Go through your fabric and wash it with Eucalan (which comes in an array of spa-like scents such as jasmine, lavender and grapefruit). Or, if you're in a pinch for time, spritz it with Fabric Smell Away, a non-toxic formula that removes odours on all kinds of fabric instantly!

    These are just a few spring cleaning tips to make your creative space more enjoyable and functional! We hope you enjoyed them and found them to be helpful.

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • What Every New Knitter Should Know

    knitting-header-photo

    Over the past several years, knitting has become something of a trend and has been touted as being a favourite past-time of celebrities, models and busy professionals. And for good reason! Not only does knitting come with a slew of health benefits, it is also a beautiful art form that can be used to make clothing, accessories, toys - essentially anything one can think of! Knitting is fairly simple to learn, but there are a handful of tricks new knitters should keep in mind when embarking on their first project. Without further ado, here are the eight tips every knitter should know.


    chunky-yarn-knitting

    1. START SIMPLE WITH CHUNKY YARN

    For those who are brand new to yarn, using fiddly, delicate yarn can be somewhat disheartening. It tangles and breaks easily. It also will show off even the slightest flaw, whether it is poor tension or a skipped stitch. That's not to say that new knitters should only use thick yarn, but it is definitely a more forgiving way to begin. There are a ton of tutorials online that demonstrate how to create an ultra-cozy chunky blanket in no-time. Creating simple patterns using thick yarn is a great way to learn and results in pieces that are incredibly simple but look professional.


    circular-needle-knitting

    2. CIRCULAR NEEDLES CAN BE  USED FOR FLAT PROJECTS TOO

    Think that circular needles can't be used to knit flat pieces? Think again! Straight knitting needles are natural escape artists. You put them down for a second and before you know it they have somehow made it into the island of lost knitting needles. Circular needles stay together and so this pesky problem is eliminated. Simply knit back and forth the way you would with regular needles instead of joining your knitted rows onto the circle.


    knitting-video-classes-tutorials

    3. FREE MINI CLASSES ARE AT YOUR FINGER TIPS

    Don't have time to take a knitting class? Why not learn in your own home by watching online tutorials by expert knitters? There are tons of talented people out there who can teach you every stitch, binding technique and pattern you've ever wanted to learn.  YouTube is a treasure trove of tutorials and, unlike with a traditional class, you can learn these skills according to your own schedule!


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    4. TRY DIFFERENT TYPES OF NEEDLES TO FIND YOUR FAVOURITE

    Much in the same way that everyone has a favourite colour or ice-cream flavour,  different knitters prefer different knitting needle materials. Each has their merits (plastic is inexpensive making it a good choice for a new knitter while wood is light and flexible and glides effortlessly through yarn), but preferences are entirely subjective. For a quick run-through of knitting needle materials, check out this helpful guide.


    knitting-try-new-projects-patterns

    5. DON'T BE AFRAID TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF

    Okay, so you are a new knitter and you successfully made your first few projects. Don't feel like you have to only knit scarves, wash cloths and socks for the rest of your days! As you learn a new skill, push yourself to learn the next one. After all, if you make a mistake, you can try again until you master it. The most talented knitters aren't afraid to step out of the box, so play with stitches and try different patterns!


    knitting-tips-needles

    6. TERRIFIC TENSION COMES WITH TIME 

    It's very, very rare that anyone is able to master any new skill the first time that they try it. Knitting with flawless tension takes time and it's very normal for stitches and rows to look uneven in the beginning. Whether your stitches are too tight or loose, just know that practice will make perfect and, before long, your tension will be instinctive and will look fabulous. In the meantime, watch this quick tutorial on tension.


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    7. MASTER CASTING ON AND CASTING OFF

    Just like the saying 'you can't run until you can walk', you can't knit until you can cast on! Learn how to cast on properly, whether you use the knit cast-on or the long-tail cast-on method.  Once you've learned them you will remember them forever and will be able to start a new project at a moment's notice. It's also crucial to learn how to properly cast off. There are several different techniques, but it's important to be able to finish your project successfully. There is nothing more annoying than spending ages on a pattern, only to have it unravel when you mess up your cast off.  Learn these basic skills and learn 'em well. You will save time, frustration and yarn!


    knitting-tips-join-a-knitting-club

    8. JOIN A KNITTING CLUB

    This one is a no-brainer - after all, isn't everything more fun with friends? Joining a group of like-minded individuals is a great way to expand your social circle and it will motivate you to learn more and more about knitting. You can trade tips and patterns while laughing and sharing great conversation. What could possibly be better?


    OUR TOP NEW KNITTING PICKS

    knitting-top-picks

    Here are a few of our latest and greatest knitting arrivals! We are constantly getting new items, so it is a good idea to periodically check our website for our newest products.

     

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • Embroidery Tips & Must-Have Needlework Supplies

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    Embroidery is such a beautiful art and can lend a ornate touch of beauty to  everything from fashion to home decor. Like anything worth doing, it takes time and patience to master. The key to perfect embroidery? Read on for these six tips that will help any stitcher, new or experienced, take their embroidery to the next level!


    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    1. You Are Only As Good As Your Needle

    It can be tempting for those who are new to embroidery to just pick up any hand sewing needle and just get started. That being said, your embroidery will always look more polished and beautiful when using the right size and type of needle for your fabric and design! Stitchers will benefit greatly from taking time to pick the right needle and asking their local shop owner for their opinion on the best needle for their project.

    Product Picks

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    2. Keep It Conditioned

    There is nothing worse than when embroidery floss bunches up and doesn't pass easily through the fabric. Dabbing on a bit of conditioner beforehand helps to ensure that it glides effortlessly through your fabric while maintaining its vivid colour and glossy appearance!

    Product Picks

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    3. Don't Be Afraid To Create Your Own Designs

    Go ahead and go rogue! While there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a template or pre-made design, it is liberating to freely stitch, allowing your vision to be translated into beautiful, utterly unique embroidery. It's also a good way for those who are new to embroidery to test out new techniques!

    Product Picks

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    4. Experiment With Different Mediums

    Leather, denim, woven straw, paper, plastic - the possibilities are only as limited as your imagination! One way to take one's embroidery skills to the next level is to play with unexpected materials for a finished piece that really pops. Need a bit of inspiration? Take a look at what these 19 artists are doing with a needle and thread!

    Product Picks

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    5. Keep Your Thread Short To Avoid Tangles

    Tangled, unruly thread is a common woe that all embroiderers deal with. A simply way to avoid having to redo a design because of knotted floss, is by keeping your thread relatively short when creating your stitches! Make sure that it is no more than a foot long when you thread your needle. You can always add more thread and having a shorter thread, really prevents those pesky tangles!

    Product Picks

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop-needlework-products

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop

    6. Try New Stitches & Keep Practicing

    While it may seem obvious, the key to excelling at embroidery is PRACTICE! Like with any new skill, very few knock it out of the park with their first attempt. It takes time and patience to be able to create those beautifully intricate embroidered pieces we all admire, but it is worth the effort! Don't be afraid to expand your skills by trying new stitches and practicing them until they are perfect! There are a ton of resources available online - such as this list of 20 simple but stunning embroidery stitches!

    Product Picks

    thread-embroidery-DIY-hoop-needlework-products

     

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • Five Fall Favourites - Style & Décor DIYS

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    What's your favourite thing about fall? Is it the perfect combination of sunshine and cool temperatures? The vibrant beauty of russet, gold, and garnet coloured leaves? Or how about the knowledge that Halloween and the holiday season are right around the corner? While there are a million and one reasons to adore autumn, above all, it's the absolute best time to get crafty! After all, when it gets chilly outside, there's nothing better than being curled up inside under a chunky blanket with your needlework, knitting, or sewing! It's also the perfect time to get a head start on making those holiday presents. Just in case your creative juices haven't already started flowing, we have put together a short but sweet list of five fall DIYs that have us utterly inspired! Check them out below.


    Fall-Embroidery-Hoop-Wreath-2

    Fall-Embroidery-Hoop-Wreath-2

    Fall-Embroidery-Hoop-Wreath-2

    Photos & DIY via 2 Bees in a Pod

    1. Fall Embroidery Hoop Wreath

    Pretty and elegant, this wreath references the fiery colours of fall without being garish. It's the kind of wreath that will put you in the mood for fall without being cheesy - no ghouls, pumpkins, or neon orange here!

    Supplies & Notions You'll Need

    flannel-throw-easy-diy-fringed-fringe-blanket-handmade-gift-idea-christmas-holidays-how-to-make-5

    flannel-throw-easy-diy-fringed-fringe-blanket-handmade-gift-idea-christmas-holidays-how-to-make-2

    flannel-throw-easy-diy-fringed-fringe-blanket-handmade-gift-idea-christmas-holidays-how-to-make-2

    Photos & DIY via It's Always Autumn

    2. DIY Fringed Flannel Throw Blanket

    Just as we said earlier, there's nothing better than curling up with a cozy blanket and your latest craft project on a brisk autumn day. This no-sew DIY takes mere minutes and would make an amazing gift!

    Supplies & Notions You'll Need

    halloween-witch-apron-DIY

    halloween-witch-apron-DIY

    halloween-witch-apron-DIY

    Photos & DIY via Crazy Little Projects

    3. Witch-Inspired Autumn Apron

    Like all things creative, cooking can be a messy endeavor! Stay cute and clean in the kitchen with this playful pattern modeled off of a retro witch costume! We have a feeling it will put a spell on everyone around you.

    Supplies & Notions You'll Need

    yarn-pumpkin-pompom-banner-garland

    yarn-pumpkin-pompom-banner-garland

    yarn-pumpkin-pompom-banner-garland

    Photos & DIY via Design Improvised

    4. Yarn Pumpkin Banner

    Do you have extra yarn? Do you have fifteen minutes? Then you've basically got everything you need to whip together this rustic decoration! Hang it up anywhere and everywhere you want to inspire some fall-feelings.

    Supplies & Notions You'll Need

    fall-patchwork-pillows-DIY

    fall-patchwork-pillows-DIY

    fall-patchwork-pillows-DIY

    Photos & DIY via Cluck, Cluck, Sew

    5. Fall Patchwork Pillow

    This may just be the prettiest way to use up your leftover scraps! Mix and match patches of fabric to mimic the mesmerizing colours of crunchy fallen leaves and ripened pumpkins. These pillows are a simple addition that will breathe a bit of festivity into any space!

    Supplies & Notions You'll Need

     

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • Our Four Favorite Spring DIYs

    There's something about spring that just inspires creativity. Maybe it's the unmistakable scent of freshly cut grass and flowers blooming. Maybe it's the longer, sunnier days. Whatever the reason is, this time of year makes us feel craftier than usual - and this is a great thing! After all, crafting comes with a ton of health benefits. With the phenomenon of spring creativity in mind, we've compiled a list of four DIYs that encapsulate the magic of this beautiful time of year (without being cliché). Which DIY are you most excited to make?

    pretty-spring-tea-towel-DIY

    pretty-spring-tea-towel-DIY

    pretty-spring-tea-towel-DIY

    Photos & DIY via Of Faeries & Fauna Craft Co.

    1. The Prettiest Tea Towels

    Afternoon tea is simply not complete without a breathtaking tea towel to adorn the table! The best part of this eco-chic DIY is that it can be made entirely using old towels, cloths and flour sacks that you would otherwise throw away. Win-win!

    Things You'll Need

    • Fabric (you can also use a flour sack, cloth, or tea towel)
    • 3 Types Of Coordinating Fabric (at least 2″ wider than main fabric)
    • Sewing Machine
    • Machine Needle
    • Thread
    • Scissors
    • Ruler
    • Iron

    no-sew-felt-flowers-twigs

    no-sew-felt-flowers-twigs

    Photo & DIY via Mommy Moment

    2. No-Sew Felt Flowers With Twigs

    Fresh flowers are beautiful, but it's such a bummer when they shrivel up so quickly. Not only do these whimsical felt flowers last forever, but they are easy to make and so much fun. They would also be a great craft-time project for elementary students!

    Things You'll Need

    diy-pom-pom-basket

    DIY-pom-pom-basket

    DIY-pom-pom-basket-3

    Photos & DIY via A Beautiful Mess

    3. Super Easy Pom Pom Basket

    Clutter creeps up on the best of us, which is why we love this pretty yet playful pom-pom basket DIY! It looks like an expensive decor piece but is incredibly cheap and easy to make.

    Things You'll Need

    unicorn-dream-catcher-DIY

    unicorn-dream-catcher-DIY

    unicorn-dream-catcher-DIY

    Photos & DIY via hello, Wonderful

    4. Whimsical Unicorn Dreamcatcher

    Unicorns are everywhere right now and this cute and colourful dream-catcher looks like something straight out of a fairy-tale! This is a great needlework project for kids and adults (who are kids at heart). It would also make a great gift!

    Things You'll Need

     

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • Our Resident Quilter Rita Shares Her 9 All-Time Favorite Notions!

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    We have always taken pride in having an excellent selection of quilting notions and supplies and are always striving to stay on top of quilting trends. One of our staff members, Rita, also runs a successful business, Kootenay Custom Quilting, creating one-of-a-kind quilts for clients, often for some of the most important occasions of their lives. As a longtime quilter, Rita has a lot of knowledge in terms of what products work well and which result in the best looking quilts. She was kind enough to take us through her top nine favorite notions that we carry. From her favorite marking tool to her go-to adhesive spray, these are the products she can't live without!
    washaway-wonder-tape
    1. Wash-Away Wonder Tape
    "I sew all my binding on using my machine (because I don't like doing hand stitching of any kind) and I use this tape to hold my corners in place, along with my binding clips (C136). I use these 2 things to help me finish up every single quilt I make. This tape is also fantastic for holding zippers in place when I make anything with a zipper - which is usually small pouches made form candy bags."
    extra-long-tweezers
    2. Extra Long Tweezers
    "These extra long tweezers are also something else I cannot live without. In fact, I own 2 pairs! I have bent one pair so the back (corner bend) part touches together tightly - I use these for grasping any thread tails from the back of my quilts after machine quilting with my walking foot. The other pair I left alone so the tips of it are touching tightly together. I use those for maneuvering small pieces so they are lined up, picking up small things, etc."
    kwik-klip-fasteners
    3. Kwik Klip
    "This safety pin fastener has saved my had and fingernails countless hours of agony! Although I no longer use safety pins to baste my entire quilt, I do typically use them when folding over the batting and backing on edge of my quilts prior to machine quilting them."
    odif-505-spray
    4. 505 Temporary Adhesive Spray
    "I use this to baste ALL my quilts together before quilting them. This would not work for the long-armers out there, as their quilts get rolled up on special rollers. However, I have a sit-down long-arm - a Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen and it's perfect for that or even when I use my domestic machine. I love, love, love this product!"
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    5. Machingers or Grip It Gloves
    "I could not do the free-motion quilting I do without these gloves! Although these products are from different companies, I love them both equally so I use either-or. They are lightweight and allow my hands to breathe (no one likes hot, sticky hands!) and each fingertip has a rubberized end. The gloves are ambidextrous, so it doesn't matter which way you put them on - and they are washable (but must be air dried).

    They allow me to firmly grip the fabric without it sliding out of my grip, therefore allowing me to fully focus on my quilting instead of trying to keep the fabric steady."

     
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    6. Heat Press Batting Together 
     
    "Quilters ALWAYS have leftover batting from making quilts and, like most quilters, I keep all of those batting scraps. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to have enough batting to make another quilt if I can piece those leftover bits together. This is where the Heat Press Batting has become my best friend! Gone are the days when I would machine zigzag those pieces together - how tedious! Now, in about 1/3 of that time, I can press those pieces together and it holds wonderfully. I usually do both sides of the batting with this method even though the package directions say you only need to do one side. I'm not really sure if it matters, but I do it more for my own peace of mind and because I like things to look very symmetrical."
     
     
    clover-chaco-liner-pen-style
    7. Chaco-Liners 
     
    "I have one in yellow and white, although I use the yellow one way more! This is one of my all-time fave marking tools for working on the wrong side of the fabric."
     
    sewline-mechanical-fabric-pencils
    8. Sewline Mechanical Pencils 
     
    "I like these for marking on the right side of the fabric. They make very fine lines and easily come off with the eraser. If I were to use the pink one, however, I'd always test it on an inconspicuous spot first!"
     
     
    retayne
    9. Retayne 
     
    "I use Retayne when I have some heavily dyed fabric that I just know is going to bleed when I wash it. For instance - red and sometimes rich blues and blacks. I now soak those fabrics in hot tap water with the recommended dose of Retayne for about 10-20 mins, agitating it once in a while. I then rinse the fabric in cold water and put it in the washing machine immediately afterward. Once I have finished rinsing the fabric with cold water, I can add it to my regular laundry to wash and dry. It will not bleed anymore!
    I learned the lesson that came with not doing this step the hard way about 10 years ago. I bought a bunch of Christmas fabric - including reds and creams and greens. I thought that since I would be sewing all those fabrics together anyways, it would be okay to give them their first wash together, too. Well, the red ran all over the cream and green fabrics! I even tried re-washing them immediately afterward hoping that the dye (because it was still wet) would loosen from the fibers and the fabric would become clean again. I was wrong. All that yardage was ruined! I was so upset and from that day forward I have used this miracle product!"
    Buy It: Retayne
  • 6 Quilting Tips To Save You Time & Stitches

    Quilting is an art form that is loved by many. It's not just a hobby, it's a way of life for many people, and quilting communities are tight-knit and deeply passionate about their craft. Although it's a blast to transform scraps of fabric into a work of art, quilting can be time consuming! From coming up with the quilt's concept to cutting and sewing one's blocks, it's not uncommon for quilts to take weeks or even months to complete. Although the length of time it takes to finish a quilt depends on its complexity, there are a few ways that quilters can save time while preventing common mistakes. In honour of National Quilting Month, we have compiled a list of six tips that will make your quilting experience faster and more enjoyable!

    fabric-glue-quilting-tips

    Photo via Craftsy

    1. Don't Put A Pin In It

    Using pins to put together one's quilt before sewing is a tried and true method, but it's not the easiest way to quilt! Using a water-soluble glue to align seams, binding, piping etc. reduces the possibility of the fabric slipping or puckering while sewing. Glue is also excellent for creating perfectly accurate stripes, plaids and other similar patterns. For perfect points and spectacular seams, put down those pins and get gluing!

    6-quilting-tips-prewound-bobbins

    2. Wind It Up

    Sure, it only takes a minute or so to wind up a bobbin but because quilters use a lot of thread while quilting (especially with bigger quilts), those minutes here and there can seriously add up! Coming prepared with an arsenal of pre-wound bobbins means that you barely have to pause while you stitch up a sweat.

    6-quilting-tips-sewing-machine-care

    3. Show Your Machine A Little TLC

    This may seem like it goes without saying, but a worn-out sewing machine that hasn't been tuned up in years is simply not going to perform as well as one that is lovingly cared for. As the saying goes, 'prevention is better than intervention', and the last thing any quilter needs is for their beloved sewing machine to declare a mutiny on them in the middle of a huge project. Remove any lint, oil your machine and take it to get serviced at least once a year and you'll be amazed at how long it will run like new. If you love your sewing machine, it will love you right back!

    rotary-cutter-olfa-creates

    Photo via OLFA Creates

    4. For Straight Lines, Use A Rotary Cutter, Not Scissors

    Traditional fabric scissors are great for creating curved edges or cutting out applique, but when you are trying to create a pin-straight line, nothing compares to the speed and accuracy achieved by using a rotary cutter! Simply, mark your lines, use a ruler and cut your fabric with one easy swoop. Just make sure to use a protective mat while using one so that the super-sharp blade doesn't damage the surface of your work table - you'll be hard pressed to find a quilter that hasn't marked up their table at least once!

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    Photo via Patchwork Hobby Art

    5. Master That 1/4 Inch

    Seasoned quilters know the importance of creating a flawless 1/4 inch seam. It's one of the most important aspects of creating a quilt and yet it is also one of the most challenging. For those who aren't naturally blessed with this skill, it is worth it to purchase a 1/4 inch sewing machine foot (if your machine doesn't already have one). For those who don't want to invest in this handy item, it is also very effective to add a little bit of tape to your sewing machine where the 1/4 inch mark should be. Whichever way you do it, ensuring that your 1/4 inch seams are perfect is worth the extra time and money - trust us!

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    6. Frequent Your Local Quilt Shops

    The people who own and run independent quilting shops are almost always quilters themselves and therefore select items that they know their customers will love, because they know what quilters are looking for. Also, because their spaces are usually more intimate with only a couple of other staff members (if any), it's easier to get assistance and advice that is tailored to your needs. There's also the additional perk of knowing that you are supporting a local business and therefore your local economy! When searching for your supplies and fabrics, frequent the shops near you and you'll be amazed at the service and the uniqueness of the items you find.

    Were there any tips that we missed that you think we should have included? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

     

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • Shop Spotlight - Stitchables

    Nestled in Pouce Coupe (a town that is a mere 10km south of Dawson's Creek in Northern B.C) is Stitchables, a beautiful boutique that is filled with enough sewing and quilting treasures to make a quilter's heart skip a beat! We're talking everything from quilting cotton from top brands like Zen Chic and Kansas Troubles to patterns, pre-cuts, notions, books, and thread! It wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that if you can dream it, you are likely going to find it in Stitchables. As if that wasn't enough, they also offer classes on essential quilting skills such as piecing, applique and machine and hand sewing!

    Like most success stories, Stitchables began as a small at-home embroidery business started by Sharmen Peters. After her husband Mike encouraged her to manifest her passion for quilting into a business, they opened the doors to their stunning retail space. The business is truly a family project with Sharmen and her family organizing and executing every detail, from the building of the furniture to the painting of the signs. It's these little details that lend a certain warmth to this boutique that keeps customers coming back again and again!

    The selection of products is truly wonderful but the caring atmosphere and attention to customer service are what really makes this shop shine! For those who find themselves in or close to Pouce Coupe, Stitchables is a shop that every quilter should visit when they have the chance! Keep scrolling to get a peek at Stitchables. Wish you were there? Us too!


    Stitchables - Facebook

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    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

  • 10 Holiday DIYs & The Supplies You Need To Make Them

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    'Tis the season to get crafty! With Christmas mere weeks away, it's safe to say that the holiday season has officially begun. While we love December and all of the cozy joys and pleasures it brings, it can also be a time of stress and chaos. From decorating to gift-giving, an easy way to save money, stress and (believe it or not) time, is to get creative and make your own decorations and presents! These 10 festive sewing, crafting, and crochet projects are a blast to make and are suitable for everyone, from beginners to intermediate stitchers. So go ahead. Put down that stress-ball and get sewing instead!

    P.S. - if you're a home economics teacher, these DIY ideas would make great projects for your students. Let it sew, let it sew, let it sew!


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    Photos & DIY via Simply September

    1. Holiday Pillow Slip Covers

    Nothing says 'Christmas is here' more than plaid in a festive colour palette of green, white and red. These stylish pillows may look expensive but cost very little to make. Plus you can customize them with all of your favorite holiday motifs! The Grinch perhaps?

    Things You'll Need

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    Photos & DIY via Love Of Home

    2. Chunky Arm Knit Throw

    Not only is this cozy knitted blanket the definition of luxury, it's a blast to make. All you need is a few skeins of yarn and your arms. That's right. Your arms. Everyone on your gift list will be blown away that you made this yourself!

    • Approximately Six Skeins Of Bulky Yarn (weight approx: 7.97 oz.)
    • Your own arms!

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    Photos & DIY via Feathering My Nest

    3. Old Sweater, New Mittens 

    We all have them - those old sentimental sweaters that we can't bring ourselves to toss. An easy way to give your beloved worn-out pullover a new life is by transforming it into a pair of mittens! It's eco-friendly, easy and the end result is beautiful. Make a bunch in one go and give a pair to everyone on your list!

    Things You'll Need

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    Photos & DIY via The Real Thing With The Coake Family

    4. Reversible Christmas Place Mats

    One of the best aspects of the holiday season is being able to fill our bellies with all kinds of delicious morsels. So why not set the table in style with these uber-festive reversible placemats? They are super simple to make, so feel free to make one for every season and holiday. This pattern is also a great way to get rid of leftover scraps of fabric!

    Things You'll Need

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    Photos & DIY via Easy Peasy and Fun

    5. No-Sew Snowman Craft

    This is a DIY the kids are sure to adore! Not a stitch is required but when all is said and done you will be left with a sweet little snowman, ready to be played with, placed on the fireplace mantel or used as part of a centerpiece. If you have ten minutes, you have more than enough time to whip this cute little guy up!

    Things You'll Need

    • 1 White Sock
    • 1 Coloured Sock
    • Rice
    • Rubber Bands (Or Thread)
    • Buttons
    • Ribbons
    • Glue Gun
    • Markers or Paint
    • Orange Pom-Poms

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    Photos & DIY via National Sewing Circle

    6. Holiday Pie Pin-Cushions

    We all love pie but this tasty little treat is guaranteed to be much easier on your waistline! Keep your pins neat and tidy with these pie-shaped pin-cushions. Don't forget to be creative when making your pies. Is peach pie your favorite? What about key-lime? Make one for every mood!

    Things You'll Need

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    Photos & DIY via Happy Hooligans

    7. Easy Button Wreath

    Do you have extra buttons lying around that you don't know what to do with? String them unto a pipe-cleaner to create a charming holiday wreath in seconds! They look adorable strung up onto a tree or hung on the front of a door.

    Things You'll Need

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    Photos & DIY via Studio DIY

    8. Christmas Ornament Pillows

    Sure, Christmas balls look great on your tree, but they look just as good sprawled on your bed or couch! These playful Christmas ornament pillows are sure to add a bit of holiday cheer to any space and are guaranteed to be a hit with little ones.

    Things You'll Need

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    Photos & DIY via We Heart Parties

    9. Play-Time Felt Christmas Tree

    It's never too early to master the art of decorating a Christmas tree! This felt tree can be made in mere minutes and will occupy tiny tot(s) for ages and ages, giving one a bit of time to settle down with a cup of hot chocolate or get some Christmas wrapping done. There's no sewing required and it's incredibly easy to make!

    Things You'll Need

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    Photos & Pattern via Jean Herman

    10. Crochet Christmas Lights Ornaments

    Save a little bit of electricity this holiday season and hang these colourful crochet Christmas lights instead! They are a sure-fire conversation starter and are simple enough to make that beginners should have no trouble whipping them up. Trust us, your electricity bill will thank you!

    Things You'll Need

    Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Chat with us in the comment section or send us a message at sales@njeffersonltd.com.

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