Showing posts with label sewing and notions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing and notions. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2016

What about those Scissors?

I'd like to believe, that scissors can be found, in every home around the world! They are a tool that's believed to have been created in ancient Mesopatamia 3-4 thousand years ago. Can you imagine the wonder and sensation, this handy tool created for people? Shall we explore the world of scissors?

Cutting tools have been a constant for every culture around the world throughout the ages. They've been needed for cutting up meat (vs traditional tearing with your hands and teeth), found in use, for agriculture, textiles, shearing coats of livestock, food, and hair.

Practically, every industry can be found having a use for scissors, again, around the world. They were once, only available to those in Guilds and merchant circles.

Superstitions were created around scissors. Usually recommending and/or advising placing scissors under your pillow, or gifting scissors with money in return, to be wary and avoid scissors that could 'cut in half' friendships, pain, joy, luck and prosperity. These beliefs in the omens about scissors, were probably more to spread messages of, respect this tool. Do you notice how we, or others, take scissors for granted?

Where Scissors began?

The construction of scissors began, by connecting two blades with a flexible metal loop, that required hand strength, to perform a cut, called 'spring scissors'. This would be the basic design, for many years. It's believed that scissors had traveled through trade, exploration and with the Romans. 
The Roman iron workers would eventually build upon, and re-design this tool, two crossed blades with a fulcrum but did not close. Even the doomed city of Pompeii, has been found to have had iron blades that were riveted to a bronze spring. In Finland, Fiskars would open an iron forging smithy, in 1649, manufacturing scissors, another company in Hangzhou, China made scissors since 1663 plus William Whitely and Sons (Sheffield) Ltd., would make scissors in 1760. 
Today's modern pivoted design, is believed to have started in 1761, by Robert Hinchliffe, in London, and manufactured in larger numbers. They are still in business and considered one of the oldest scissor manufacturing company, in the West though there may be some disagreement. Scissors are still that one seriously awesome tool, that is greatly appreciated and worth owning.

Let's fuss about our Scissors

Ownership of scissors shows us two blades, made of steel. We also know, that steel can rust, and! through long time use, the blades will dull. As we have learned in life, all good things must come to an end, including our beloved scissors but! we can extend the life of our scissors with learning how to care for them. For this case, I will stick to fabric scissors aka fabric shears since I'm one of many, sewing enthusiasts. It's important to take care of our fabric scissors and/or shears, and recommended as follows:
  • Avoid water and moisture to help prevent rust. Rust spots can accumulate around the 'pivot' point (that little center screw), so use a steel wool brush, to clean it up.
  • Sticky with some sort of residue (glue from self-adhesive something or other?) then use a little water to wipe it off and dry thoroughly.
  • Wipe the blades regularly especially if cutting through brittle types of man-made fabrics. Pieces of fabric lint can build up around the pivot.
  • Keep blades sharp. A few various recommendations such as, cut through folded sandpaper, foil, or my favorite, use a diamond file, your friendly neighborhood professional sharpener or purchase scissor sharpener tool. Check to see what works best for you.
  • Store in a dry container.
  • Do not use fabric scissors for anything else other than fabric.
  • Keep extra scissors nearby for specific cutting of threads, paper, cardboard.
  • Pay attention to that pivot screw. It may need tightening or loosening but be careful since blade alignment may be set off.
  • Oil the pivot screw with 1-2-3 or sewing machine oil.
A few simple steps can help us preserve the life of our beloved scissors. My own sons, one day, heard a banshee, for the first time when I seen them cutting thick plastic packaging with my fabric shears, just because they looked big enough to handle the job. Has somebody in your family heard a Banshee too? 

Learning with Video


Extra Reading

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your thoughts, and Share with others who may be interested. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today or to say, Hello! Visit the Galleries! I hope you visit again.
Article (C) 2014, all rights reserved. Gin G. creates and posts articles online about Crazy Quilts, business development, second income idea's. Gin G. Is a graduate in business development, Nursing, and passionate about arts and crafts.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fabric Water Proofing in the Sewing World

The season of winter has passed and a few months of spring, summer and fall will be coming soon! We get to come out of hibernation and spend time outdoors. This is also the season for the few sewing enthusiasts, to consider updating their outdoor furniture. Do you update your patio furniture covers?

One of the problems faced with being outdoors are the elements of weather. It can get humid, wet from rainfall and/or morning dew along with exposure to the sun and can quickly damage the fabrics on our outdoor decor. It's time to pull out some available products specific to handling the elements of weather especially water-proofing.

Water proofing products are in the realm of science and chemistry with the production of designing a product to withstand water (A great career to consider, if I may add!) Many artists understand the importance of including steps, to safeguard the longevity of their work and slow deterioration. Products that can help provide that shield of water-proofing can be found in marine, crafts, RV, furniture upholstery, and auto store sections. There may be other outlets, please leave a comment to let others know! Thank you :)

A point to keep in mind with adding any chemicals to our projects is the surface will change and these products will or can be, costly. Remember to take a scrap piece of fabric and test the product FIRST. Allow your scrap to thoroughly dry and again, check the results. It's best to find out early if we are going to like the final results or try another product. Maybe a good time to ask if there are 'sample' products in smaller ounce bottle?

The following are products that can be found and are available in a store near you or online. Checking reviews and researching product sites, new reapplications of spraying, appears to be necessary after some time has passed. So, we must pay attention to eventual 'wearing off' of first applications of water-repellants, to our outdoor projects but they are re-newed after new applications. Now, that's great news. How many of us are guilty of 'falling in love' with our fabric choices?

One product brand that's recognizable amongst us 'artists' is Mod Podge. They have a product called 'Plaid Fabric Mod Podge'. It is a glue and sealer in one. Apply a thin coat to fabric with a brush and it's washable in cold water, air dry or gentle cycle dryer after 72 hours of air drying. I rather like air drying since there's a distinct 'aroma' that's quite lovely but that could just be me, since I live in the forest?

A second product is 'Thompson's Water Seal Fabric Seal'. It's specifically designed for outdoor decor such as cushions, umbrella's and pillows. It will prevent color fading and mildew since it has 'UV inhibitors and sealant' to block moisture. It's not designed for 'high foot traffic' items nor certain 'synthetic' fabrics. It allows fabrics to 'breathe' so it doesn't cause discoloration, stiffness nor stickiness. I think they've sold me!

A third product is 'Aqua Armor' and is availabe at Amazon, for online shopping. It provides water-proofing protection for many types of fabrics. It has been used on clothing, awnings, fabric gazeboes and patio furniture. It won't cause discoloration, no stiffness, provides water-proofing, allows fabrics to breathe. Research into reviews shows that it may require several coats and the spray pump nozzle may clog. There are MANY other water-proofing products available.

Fabric sealants for water-proofing has found it's way for many home uses. In depth research finds those products made with silicone provide the best water repellant qualities. We know it's used in bathroom construction therefore must be a great product. There is also one more method!

A few may not want to be using chemicals for water-proofing their projects. Another method is the use of bee's wax. Use a double-broiler method to melt and mix approximately 1/4 c bee's wax and 3/4 c olive oil. Once melted, remove from heat, let cool and harden. Spread this mixture on your fabric or item to provide water-proofing protection. This is only one alternative and am sure there are many other 'recipes' to choose. A last note, there may be discoloration due to the oil, so again, do a TEST on scrap piece of fabric first! most of all, have FUN! :) 

Extra Reading

Knowledge in Video

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your own observations, share with others who may be interested. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today or to say, Hello! Visit the Galleries! I hope you visit again.

Article (C) 2014, all rights reserved. Gin G. creates and posts articles online about Crazy Quilts, business development, second income idea's. Gin G. Is a graduate in business development, Nursing, and passionate about arts and crafts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to make a Crazy Quilt

feather stitching
Learning to Crazy Quilt

The time and skill to make a quilt whether it's geometric or a Crazy quilt requires time and patience. Add a cup or two, of love and we have a passion, that may even be considered an addiction. At least, it's a constructive activity that can bring great joy to the artist. 

Constructive activities are preferable in today's society and what better way to pass time than through creating one's own crazy quilt? The choice of size and type of project can range anywhere. A few idea's to apply crazy quilting can go as follows;

      - Clothing, vest, jacket, skirt, ruffles
      - Home Decor, bedding, table runners, place mats, sofa throw, wall hanging
      - Accessories, purse, travel bag, storage tote
      - Pets, pet couture, pet carrying case, pet bed
      - Holidays, tree skirt, stocking, wall hanging
      - Gifts, birthday, anniversary, congratulations, baby shower, bridal
      - Sports, yoga mat bag, sport tote bag, golf sock

Creating a crazy quilt doesn't necessarily have to stay in the realms of a quilt. It can be applied as a decorative edging to any project. Let your imagination explore the possibilities. I hope you share your idea's and projects here also. I'd love to hear from you.

I hope you found this article informative, inspiring and enjoyed the slide show. Please feel free to leave your comments, link to me, subscribe by email or RSS feed. Also, you can email me to say hello, make a order or to share your own idea's and projects.

Article(C)2011 GG9909, all rights reserved.