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Let’s talk about…Needles

I’ve been doing a “Let’s talk about… Quilting” series about all the different parts and pieces of quilting. You can find my two previous posts here about Batting and Starch.

 I hope you are enjoying them… they are a little on the educational side. Sometimes its good to dig deep and really get to know about our quilting tools and supplies!

Let’s talk about Sewing Machine Needles…

First things first, what are the parts of a needle?

Image result for sewing needle

Parts of a Needle

Did you know a needle had a scarf???

The scarf of the needle is a small trough that helps the hook(in the bobbin case) pick up the thread.  The eye of the needle is actually bigger on one side, so if you are having a hard time threading your needle… try the other side. The side where the groove is also helps to guide the thread through the eye.


Needle Sizes

Needles come in all sizes and there are several types of needles you can use.

The most common universal sizes are:

  • 70/10- used for lighter wt. fabrics like polyester or silk
  • 80/12-most used for medium wt. fabrics like cotton and linen
  • 90/14- used for heavier fabrics
  • Microtex(Sharp)-slimmer needle with fine point. Excellent for piecing and using with batiks

Other types of specialty needles are:

  • Ballpoint-used for knits
  • Denim and Leather-for heavy fabrics like denim or leather
  • Curved-for hemming
closeup photography of presser foot of sewing machine

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

How often do you change your needle?

Sewing machine needles are good for about 4-8hrs of sewing. That being said… Needles are inexpensive and I recommend changing with each project and especially when machine quilting.

You can tell when a needle is getting dull by a “punching” sound it makes when trying to pierce the fabric. Another clue is thread breaking, skipping stitches or tension issues.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Leave a comment if there is anything you would like to know more about:)


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Ask Sassy! Quilting Questions…

Ask Sassy!

Today’s quilty question:

What do I try if my thread keeps breaking???

Well, first things first… Completely re-thread your machine and bobbin.

white singer sewing machine

Photo by Jonas Kakaroto on Pexels.com

If that doesn’t do the trick… Let’s look at your thread and needle!

When quilting we are generally using a 40 or 50wt cotton thread. If using a special type of thread, you may need a special needle. Otherwise, a universal needle should be fine.

Secondly…. When did you last change your needle??? This is one of the biggest things we as quilters forget to do! Every 4 to 8 hrs of sewing needs a new needle. They cost cents… so just change it for every new project. When machine quilting a quilt I always start with a fresh needle.



What else do we always forget to do???

Clean our machines. So if you’re still having trouble… give your machine a quick de-fuzzing!

These are just a few quick things to try! Hope these tips helps you guys.



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Sassy Tip 108


Spray Starch

I learned this tip several years ago at a QuiltCon lecture…

When using spray starch… Spray starch on backside of what you are pressing.

When starching your fabric it should feel slightly damp after you spray it. If you spray on the front side and then press, most of the spray gets on your iron. Spraying on the back just keeps most of the starch in the fabric.

Image result for spray starch best press

Now…. whether to starch or not to starch…. that’s a discussion for another day!




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Ask Sassy! Asking Sassy Quilting Questions…

Hey guys! Do you have lots of quilting questions you are dying to know the answers to? But…. are afraid to ask? or don’t know who to ask!

Well Ask Sassy!

You can feel free to ask in the comments or email me if you prefer to be anonymous:)

Todays Question:

Dear Sassy,

“I had fabric of whites, reds and some other colors. Well the starch spilled and now some of the red color is now on my white fabric, it bled together. Is there anything I can do to  get rid of the red stain on my white fabric?”

Why yes there is something you can do!

Fill your tub with hot hot water, add about a half a cup of Dawn dish detergent.

Image result for dawn detergent ultra pureImage result for dawn detergent ultra pure

Using the original Dawn is best, no additives or fragrances.

Image result for tub

Submerge your entire quilt in the water, keep quilt entirely under water. Let soak for about 12 hours, rinse and repeat as often as necessary!

Image result for bam

Bam! There you go. This is a proven technique and works 99.9% of the time.

HERE is a link to the process if you would like to read more.

So there you go! I hope these quilting questions will help beginners and the pros alike. So ask away!


Keep it Sassy♥

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Ask Sassy! Asking Sassy quilting questions…

Ask Sassy!

Hey guys! Do you have lots of quilty questions you are dying to know the answers to? But…. are afraid to ask? or don’t know who to ask! Feel free to ask Sassy(me,lol) anything you want to know and if I don’t know, then I will do the research to find out!

Leave your question in the comments or email me if you prefer to be anonymous:)

This weeks Quilting Question….

Question Mark Clipart google 11 - 5910 X 3272

Why when I’m piecing my blocks why does it never line up right? Everything seems off a little.

This is a great question! There are lots of reasons why things get a little off when doing our piecing. Here are 3 of the big ones:

Image result for scissor clip artImage result for sewing clip art  Image result for iron clip art

Cutting– you really do have to take your time and make sure you are cutting accurately

Seams– The infamous 1/4″ seam, Really practice getting this right, do some test pieces on your machine because each one is a little different. You can also buy a 1/4″ foot for your machine that helps a bunch. Check those out HERE. WHY??? If each seam is 1/8″ off… by the time you finish a row you can be a couple inches off! They add up quick.

Pressing– pressing correctly and not stretching your blocks out helps a lot too.


We all want to be perfect quilters, but their actually is no such thing! The truth is it takes some time and efforts to be a great quilter. I’ve been quilting for 12 years and to this day I still get things “off a little”. It is said that the Amish leave at least one mistake in their quilts to prove that only God is perfect. That makes me chuckle because if I only had one mistake left it would be pretty awesome! Some mistakes I see and choose to fix if I can and some I don’t even see till I’m done, lol…..

But did you have fun????


I base my quilting on a precision to fun ratio! If my attempts at precision are bringing my fun level down too low …. its no bueno! For me, I need to be enjoying what I’m doing and if I’m stressing myself out, then I have lost my enjoyment. Now don’t get me wrong… there are lots of quilters out there that are obsessed with precision and it IS their kind of fun, so let them go get it:) There is no need to compare ourselves, in life or in quilting. So just have fun and what you don’t get right in this quilt, you can try harder in the next one!

So just pick one thing at a time to focus on upping your precision.

And remember, Keep your fun ratio in check!!!

Happy Quilting Sassites!


Keep it Sassy♥

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Planning for quilty success! 2017

Quilt Planning

We have all heard this quote…. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” by Winston Churchill or maybe this one by Benjamin Franklin…”By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”.

This month I’ve been doing a lot of planning for my new year! Focusing on what I need to get done and new challenges I want to embrace.

You may have seen some awesome quilty planners floating around on the the interwebs…..

like this one>>>

The Quilter's PlannerThe Quilter’s Planner by Stephanie Palmer

Can I just say this planner is AWESOME looking! ….. but alas, I am trying to not buy every little thing my quilty heart desires in 2017.  But if you can… get you one HERE

So here is what I came up with for myself…. a little journal I received as a gift! Added my own little quilty quote…. because “Quilty dreams do come true💜.”

Quilt Planning

I’m gonna walk you through my planning process and maybe it will help you too! 

Quilt Planning

•First task…. Assess what is happening! 

Quilt Planning

Woah Paula!!!!

FOURTEEN unquilted tops… gotta look those tops in the face, take some control! 

P.s…. don’t be ashamed of unfinished projects.

We are makers! And makers gonna make quilty peeps:)

Next stop on the unfinished train….

•Quilts or projects that are started but haven’t made it to the finished top phase. 

I call this the To Be Pieced section….

Ok…. so I have a few of these also, no biggie! 

Quilt Planning

A second part of this I call… my In Progress section.

These are quilts that are basted and in the mid-quilting phase.

Hey….. pat on the back! These are almost there.

Quilt Planning

• New Projects.

What do I want to do that is new and exciting in 2017…


You might be thinking….PAULA!

Are any new projects really necessary? 

I  say YES! 

Quilt Planning

We have to keep growing as quilters and letting our creative side have fun!

So I made a list of some projects I want to push myself to squeeze in.

Quilt Planning

Last….but not least….

•Add a page of Goals and Progress for each month! 

This lets me see what I’ve accomplished. It’s easy to get overwhelmed!!!

But we must remember…. Quilting is fun! It’s your world. Do what makes you happy 😊 

My goal is to finish something unfinished each month and enjoy something new! 

January is looking good so far…

•One finished Quilt!

•One finished top!

•And a start on a quilt I’ve dreamed of making as long as I can remember. 

My quilty heart is happy💜

I hope you guys give yourselves a break, BE SASSY and continue you to do what you love!



Keep it Sassy

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Creative Ways to Store Your Sewing Materials

Hello quilt peoples!

Its been a while since I’ve checked in…. but I promise I am still out here quilting! I recently got back from Glamp Stitchalot…so fun!!! Also working on a few new projects I hope to share with you guys soon. In the meantime to see some recent pics and updates follow me here>>>>

on Facebook or Instagram

Today I have a fun article by guest writer Erin Vaughn from Modernize for you.

We all are desperate for new ways to store things and create more space to work in, right? She has some great tips… so check it out!

Creative Ways to Store Your Sewing Materials
by Erin Vaughan

As a sewer, you want your craft room to be a place that inspires you. But how can you concentrate on your latest project when ribbons are unraveling and you can’t find a bobbin anywhere? Obviously there are lots of storage solutions—but like your sewing, you want it to be something that expresses your passion for all things handmade.

We at Modernize believe that function and quirkiness can be in perfect harmony. That’s why we scoured the Internet for these novel solutions to your sewing needs.


via Modernize

Keep Loose Buttons and Notions in Muffin Tins

Any seasoned sewer knows that it’s a rule that buttons will never be where you need them. Keep these and other unruly notions in check by placing them in an unused muffin tin, whose little cups are basically made to hold them. As a bonus, you can use a vintage tin to give them a truly adorable home.

Image 1

Via Modern Hepburn

Customize a Pegboard

Pegboards have great utilitarian potential, but they’re so drab. With a little paint, however, you can set up a seamstress’s paradise—one that’s also easy on the eyes. We love this standout specimen, which feature handy shelves and bright, fabulous colors.

Image 2

Via Pinterest

Display Colored Threads in a Shadow Box

Every sewer gets a tiny, secret charge from looking at the thread displays in the fabric store. All the bright, beautiful colors! All the potential projects! You can experience that thrill every day by displaying your threads in a recycled shadowbox—and it’ll make it a cinch to grab the perfect color for your next pattern.

Image 3

Via Pinterest

Fold Fabric Around Hanging Files in Filing Cabinet

Neat stacks of fabric look great—until you actually try to use them. Then they are disheveled in five seconds flat. And I know I don’t want to spend my life folding and stacking, folding and stacking. That’s time that could be spending sewing! We love the idea of folding fabric around hanging folders, then fitting them into upcycled filing cabinets.

Image 4

Via Pinterest

Place Supplies in a Toolbox for On-the-Go Sewing

Toolboxes come with enough little nooks and crannies to satisfy even the most fastidious sewer, plus they’re great for travel, so you can bring your hobby with you on work trips or vacations without misplacing anything.

Image 5
Via Decorating Files

Place Patterns and Rulers in a Three-Ring Binders

Remember those three ring binders from grade school? They can do more than just hide your math homework. Use plastic sheeting to store sewing patterns and rules, which makes browsing through them quick and easy.

Image 6

Via Shanae Ishida

Spool Ribbon on Hangers or Drying Racks

Ribbon can be such a pain to keep neat, and goodness help you if you have eager kitties who love to attack it! Hangers or drying racks with removable dowels are here to the rescue, however. Just line your lace and ribbon spools up on the dowels, put them back on, and watch how easy it is to cut your lengths and get going.

Image 7
Via Pinterest

Make Your Own Custom Pincushion

No more tired tomatoes for you. The Internet is bursting with tutorials for adorable DIY pincushions—you can stick your pins in everything from mountains to elephants and everything in between. We love these cute pincushion caddies that include a handy place to store your scissors.

Image 8

Via Texas Freckles

As you can see, there are plenty of nifty ways to stow your sewing stash. Soon, you’ll be on your way and ready to take on even the most intimidating quilt pattern.

Thanks guys for taking a look….hope you find this helpful!


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X-Plus and a bonus tip!

X-Plus quilt block

I have been working on my X-Plus blocks for my next border in my Aviatrix Medallion quilt…..don’t you just love these blocks! This is one reason I really wanted to make this quilt. I just love these blocks and wanted to get a feel for making them. Quite a few pieces, but not so hard. I can’t wait to show you all of these finished up…all these solids really look great together.

I am pretty much following Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern for all the different solids(bought a kit), she coordinated these so well! I am switching up my white background for this sketchy print and the gray for a gray polka dot…to spice it up a bit and make it my own. Here is Elizabeth’s original quilt:

Flat Shot

It’s a biggie, too 80 x 80. Check out the #aviatrixmedallion to see all the cool different ways people have put this one together.

You can purchase the pattern HERE or join in the quilt along if you are interested.

Bonus tip…

You may have heard of this one before, but here goes:)

For the corner units of this block you have you sew squares on the diagonal, then trim the corner off and press it open.

If while you are doing this you go ahead and stitch another line about 1/2″ away…(toward the outer corner!!!) and then cut between the two lines of stitches….

bonus hst

You will get these lovely little bonus half square triangles! and Yes….they are tiny:) About 1″ or so.  I love saving these and plan to make some little fun projects like fridge magnets or christmas ornments with them.

I always stitch these up and then toss them in a jar until I am ready to use them. To cut triangles this small and try to feed them through your machine is a little tough, but this is a simple quick way to  just pop ’em out.

bonus hst

This will work for any type of block where you are stitching the square on the diagonal and then trimming it off….other examples would be in Flying Geese and Snowball techniques.

I just love all these solid and can’t stand to just toss these little cuties!

Keep it Sassy

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Organizing your Fabric Scraps!

Organizing Your Scraps

Don’t you hate how every time you finish a project or cut even just cut into a fat quarter you are then left with all these odd shaped pieces of fabric that you just can’t bear to throw away! You are piling them up somewhere….I know you are! Haha, mostly because I had that same stack:) Now you know good and well you are most likely not making a project with them, but they are so beautiful(…and costly) and there is bound to be some project somewhere that we can somehow use these scraps in…..maybe:)

What you need is some focused organization and then you might just find that project!

I have got a fabulous Sassy Tip for you today that will get you on the road to organizing your fabric scraps and actually using some of these little left over yummies and feel like you have a plan!

Organizing Your Scraps

What you are going to do at the end of each project is go ahead and cut up your scraps into some pre-determined sizes. This will really organize what you are doing with your scraps and make them feel ready to go when you come up with that fabulous scrappy project!

Decide what pre cut sizes you want to store your scraps in for Squares and for Strips. For my strips, I have picked 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″ and 3″. You can go as crazy as you like, but I suggest just a few and stick to what you pick. I don’t recommend going any smaller that 1.5″…these are going to finish at 1″, that’s pretty tiny!

Organizing Scraps

For my squares I do 5″, 4″, 3″ 2.5″ and 2″. You can just do 5″ and 2.5″ if you want…just decide what you think you can keep up with!

I try to vary the different sizes for each scrap I am cutting up. For instance, if I have a 10″ square left over I would cut two 5″ squares, one 2.5″ strip and four 2.5″ squares. This keeps my scraps a good mix so I have a little of each fabric in all of my bins.

Organizing Scraps

I used these simple little bins from the dollar store. They are not too bulky and I can stack them up to save space. I keep them near my cutting table so they are easy to drop my scraps in there. When they get full I will just empty the bin and store them away until I have enough to make a quilt. I like that these bins keep the pieces pretty flat….that means I won’t have to iron again when I’m ready to piece these together.

Organizing Scraps

Now in order for this to work you have to actually do it:) and you need to be willing to toss what doesn’t fit into your specific size bins!!!! We are just saving useable pieces here and trying to make room for some more fabric! So take a deep breath and give it a try and you will see it feels good. Kind of freeing actually, and exciting because it is going to make you an awesome scrap quilt one day.

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Quilting tips- Setting Seams


What does “setting my seams” mean?

This term refers to pressing the seams of your patchwork after you sew two pieces together.  You “set the seams” before you press open your patchwork .


Take a look at this HST….I have sewn my two pieces together and I now need to press open my patchwork.

(The angled corners are where I trim off my dog ears before hand.)


Take your iron and gently press over the 1/4″ seam area only, no steam needed! This is going to press the seam flat and also imbed the thread into the fibers of your fabric.


Why do we bother setting seams?

Well, now when you press open your patchwork there will be less distortion and your work will be just a little more precise:)

I don’t know about you, but if I don’t do this my seam line gets just a little wonky and when my block has a lot of piecing all that wonkiness really adds up!


What a cute little HST!

What if you don’t wanna set your seams??? Good news is this is just one of those quilty things you just have to try and see if you like it or not….and if you don’t….dump that technique and keep moving:)  At least now you will know what it means when you hear the term though.

Keep it Sassy

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