Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Easiest Way To Thread A Needle!

I found this tip and thought I would share!   What a great idea!! Be sure and try this, you will be amazed!  Thank You Sebastian Sandersius!

The Easiest Way to Thread a Needle


Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Sebastian Sandersius, a co-founder of Bison Made.
Like so many honest moments captured by Norman Rockwell, his depictions of this exasperating task are true to our experience. Whether trying to re-attach a button that has popped off, helping grandma thread her sewing machine, or stitching your own wallet, we have all had our frustrations with threading needles. Sometimes we get lucky but then sometimes we get caught up in the iterations of cutting, licking, and coaxing the thread into the eye of the needle.
Luckily, there is an easier way to thread a needle!
At Bison Made, we do a lot of hand-stitching to ensure our products are finished with the finest attention to detail. When I train a new employee to sew our products, lesson 1 is the best way to thread a needle.
Every time I show someone this method of threading a needle, they are astonished at how simple it is — and they take to it very quickly. I personally happened upon this easier method after countless bouts with needle and thread during the early days of developing our products. I scoured the internet and couldn’t find any documentation on this method, so I decided to write it out myself to help make this simple task common knowledge.
When most people thread a needle, they hold an inch or so of thread between their fingers and try to guide it through the eye of the needle. Leading it directly through is difficult, because the thread is flimsy and floppy. When you inevitably miss, the thread deflects and frays, forcing you to put it in your mouth to reform the fibers before making another attempt.
The 4-step “pinch the tip” method offers a simple, but significant improvement to this method. Here’s how it’s done:
  1. Hold the thread between your thumb and index fingers.
  2. Pinch down on the thread between your fingers until you can barely see the tip of the thread between your fingertips. With your other hand holding the needle, bring the thread and needle eye together.
  3. Instead of trying to push the tip of the thread through the eye of the needle as in the typical method, here you push the eye of the needle onto the tip of the thread. Your fingertips give the thread support so it will not deflect or fray. Even if the thread is too thick, pinching the tip compresses it into a shape that fits the oblong shape of the needle eye.
  4. With a little practice you should be able to feel with your fingers when the needle is being threaded properly. Keeping your fingers pinched together to support the thread, follow through and push the needle between your fingertips. As you part your fingertips you should reveal a threaded needle.
When it comes to threading the needle on a sewing machine, this same method should work just as well. The only difference is now instead of holding the needle in your other hand, the needle is fixed in place. Approach the needle eye with the pinched thread tip as shown below.
This “pinch the tip’” method will work for all types of threads: bonded, unbonded, cotton, polyester, nylon, kevlar, teflon, etc.
I hope you find this method useful and straightforward so that next time you need to replace a button or patch up a hole, you won’t be frustrated trying to thread your needle. Don’t worry about cutting a clean taper or wetting the thread in your mouth to twist the fibers tight, just pinch the tip.
Bison Made uses the principles of high-quality craftsmanship when producing quality leather carry goods. Instead of paper patterns and hand cutting, we use high precision cutting dies to create consistent leather components that are hand finished and stitched. We have taken a position that by starting with high-quality raw materials and detailed precision, beautiful and functional works that are designed for life will follow.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

December Projects!

Where did December go?? Wow, it just flew bye. I was sewing a few projects, but I didn't want to post them for fear my grandchildren might get on my site. My three granddaughters all have American Girl dolls now and I thought I would make them an outfit. I have never sewn doll clothes. When my girls were young, they just were not into dolls. Sooo, I thought I would give this a try.

What an experience! I must of been sewing them way better than necessary. I swear, it took me as long to make them as it would an outfit for me. I think it was because they are so small and have places that are hard to get at. I also made them chairs. I really only sewed for two girls and I still have to finish up on my one granddaughter's things. She just got her doll for Christmas this year and I didn't want to give her anything until after Santa came. I need to get those finished!

The tops I made a tiny bit different so they know which one is theirs. They really loved them.
Down below are their chairs. When they opened them up, they really just thought they were pillows. I made them to match their bedroom. Tara (my daughter), told me yesterday that the girls were using them more as pillows than chairs! I bet they would be soft and comfortable. Now the top and the skirt I found a free pattern for from this website:
This is the skirt.
This is the top. Here is that website:

I had to purchase the chair pattern and it is called the Square Chair and cost $3.99. Here is that website:


Anyone else into making doll clothes? Maybe you can give me some tips to speed up this process!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paperback Book Christmas Tree!

Thank you to:  kaylaaimee.com for allowing me to use this post!

I remember making a tree like this when I was very young.  I think this will be a great project for my granddaughter and me to make this weekend!
How To: Make A Paperback Christmas Tree

how to make a paperback book christmas tree, book page christmas crafts, christmas crafts with kids
How To: Make A Paperback Christmas Tree
How To: Make A Paperback Christmas Tree
This decorative paperback christmas tree is super cute, easy to make, and affordable. It’s even a great craft to do with your kids, although I recommend letting an adult do the cutting with the exacto knife. That’s how we do it in my house. I mean, we don’t have kids but my husband is a little leery of leaving me alone with sharp objects. I can’t ever imagine why. (UPDATE: We totally have a kid now but J has still not changed his position on the whole “sharp object” thing)
There are several variations you can make on these trees (like the rolled tree & the full glitter cameo tree in the background) that you can learn to make HERE.
supplies needed for paperback christmas tree tutorial
A paperback book
– you can use one you already own or pick up an old holiday themed book at a thrift store!
An exacto knife
Dry adhesive

Optional supplies: glitter and glue (I used Martha Stewart tinsel glitter in brownstone and gold, as well as Martha Stewart glittering glue w/brush applicator. It’s hands down the best glue for applying glitter.)

Step By Step Instructions For Making A Paperback Christmas Tree
Step One:
Find a paperback book. Oh look, I found a few. That is because I inherited 352580551 paperback books of my grandmothers and they are currently multiplying themselves around my house.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 1
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 1
Step Two: Gently remove the cover so that it is naked. I hope your book is not modest. Mine did some nude modeling back in art school.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 2
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 2
Step Three: Count out 30 pages of your book. This is where page numbers come in handy.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 3
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 3
Step Four: Use an exacto knife to slice down the spine where you’ve partitioned off your thirty pages. Don’t worry, the book won’t feel a thing.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 4
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 4
Step Five: Repeat steps three and four. You should have two sets of thirty pages that look like this:
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 5
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 5
Step Six: Now take one section of the book and lie it on the table so that the spine is facing left, as shown. Grasp the top right corner and fold it down so that the edge of the corner is touching the spine.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 6
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 6
Step Seven: Now grasp the part of the page where the folded edge meets the straight edge. Fold it over so that the part of the page that it already folded from the last step will be flush with the spine. It’s just like folding a paper airplane.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 7
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 7
Step Eight: either fold the overhanging part of the page up, or cut it off. I prefer to cut mine. It will sit well either way.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 8
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 8
Step Nine: Continue to do this until all of the pages are folded.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9a
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9a
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9b
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9b
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9c
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9c
Step Ten: Take the other set of thirty pages and flip it so that the spine is on the right. Repeat steps six through eight.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 10
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 10
Step Eleven(OPTIONAL): Now hold the book page with the folded part towards you and brush glue along the edges. Then dip the edges into glitter and shake off the excess.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11a
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11a
Note: when you use the glitter, you’ll have to gently seperate the page edges afterwards so that the glue doesn’t adhere the pages together.
Step Twelve: Lay the folded pages down and apply dry adhesive liberally to the front and last page
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 12
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 12
Step Thirteen: Press the two edges of each set together, lining up the edges. Open the pages and curl around until you can do the same both sides.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 13
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 13
Step Fourteen: Sit it up and let dry! Occasionally you’ll need to add some glue to the very top of the tree, along the inside edge to keep it from gapping but if you use enough dry adhesive that shouldn’t be a problem! Sit back and enjoy all the compliments you get on your awesome tree.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Easy French Toast Casserole!

My daughter, Tara, entered a contest with a recipe that she created.  If she wins they will feature her recipe on their website.  I was wondering if you would all go vote for her for me.  If you vote, they are giving away (3) $500.00 gift certificates and you could win one of those!  Her recipe is called: 
Easy French Toast Casserole
by: Tara of Unsophisticook
Here is the link:
You can vote once a day and increase your changes of winning the gift certificates.  Not many people on the site, so chances should be good, even though I am claiming one of those gift certificates!  LOL  She is a very good cook, so you might want to try out her recipe!  Thank you so much for helping me!  Cindy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costumes!

I told my daughter a couple of years ago that I wasn't going to make Halloween costumes any more.  It costs a lot of money to make those things.  The last time I did it, it cost me $50.00 and I made my granddaughter an Aladdin costume. She looked so cute and she walked out the front door, some boy came up in my front yard and knocked her down and it was muddy out.  She was mud from head to toe and had grass stain on her knees.  She hadn't even got her first piece of candy.  She was crying because she was all dirty and I was not happy either.   I decided right then and there, I was done. 

Well this year my youngest granddaughter saw a pattern at Walmart that she fell in love with.  She batted her eyes and asked me if I would make it for her.  I broke done and said of course.  It wasn't much work, but I broke my promise to myself. 

She wants to be a cat, so she picked out pattern Simplicity 0890.  It is more like a hat and here are the pictures.  My husband put it on acting silly, so I snapped his picture.  I better not tell him I put in on my blog.  I would hate what the retaliation would be.

Then my oldest granddaughter said she was going to be in the parade this year for band and will be carrying one side of the banner.  She wanted to dress up like Minnie Mouse.  She didn't want regular ears, of course, she wants sparkly ears and a sparkly bow and she wants them bigger than you can purchase.  So once again, I got the eye batting and had to come up with some kind of Minnie ears, bigger and with sparkles!  The sparkles are not showing up, but they are there.  My other 5 grandchildren live an hour and one half away.  It is probably a good thing!  I don't know if I could take the eye batting from seven of them at once!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Halloween Quilt

Hi everyone!  Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Things have been hectic around here.  My youngest daughter is staying with us while her house has some repairs done on it.  So that is three extra people around here.  I am tired!  Lots of extra wash and extra meals.  That is a big change from cooking for just my husband and myself.  This should be the last week and things will get back to normal.

I did finish a quilt that I started last year.  I purchase this at Hobby Lobby and it is just a whole cloth design.  I love to buy those and see what I can do with them to bring them to life.  This is a little scarecrow that I worked on.
There were three extra pieces, two crows and the sunflower.  I sort of gave those a 3-D effect.  I added a little batting behind the extra piece and did some free hand stitching on them and attached them on top of the copied design at just a tiny bit different position to show it off.  It turned out really cute.  I also did some hand stitching on the face to bring it to life.  Here is a closer picture.

There is some stippling on the black background and hopefully you can click on the picture to enlarge it so see some of the detail.  This is so much fun!  You should try it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Daughter and Granddaughter made a video for Pillsbury!


Here is a video of my daughter Tara and my grandaughter Addie making a video for Pillsbury.  They traveled to New York as a mother, daughter team.  It turned out really cute if you would like to watch it!