Monday, April 12, 2010

Big Stitch - Light bulb moment

Eureka - no more pliers!! I have been working away at hand quilting my Virginia Mountains quilt and wishing there was some way I wouldn't have to stop every 3 or 4 stitches and grab the little pliers to pull the needle through. I am using a size 5 betweens needle with size 8 pearl cotton and you just can't get that needle and thread through without the help of the little pliers..... or so I thought!

OK I know there are these little needle grabber things that you can use, but you still have to stop, pick up the grabber and place it on the needle.... I don't know if that's a big improvement over the pliers. Plus I have a lot less chance of losing the pliers than one of those little grabber things. (Not losing things is something I always have to keep in mind because I lose things - a lot!)

Anyway - I had a thought pop in my head today about this medical wrap. I've always thought of it as horse wrap, but I know it's used a lot at Veterinarians. They use it to secure bandages and it sticks to itself. It may also be used in regular hospitals – I just know I’ve typically seen it used for animals. This is what it looks like:
The Inside of the core say  It's really stretchy one way and not so stretchy the other, but the main thing is that it sticks to itself a lot like floral tape does - only in a bigger way.

I wrapped some around my index finger and thumb and sure enough it grabbed that needle, but it also stuck my fingers together so I took it back off the index finger.
Walla!  It grabbed hold of that needle even though there were several stitches on it and pulled it right through the fabric.  I was able to go right back into stitching the next several stitches without having to set down the pliers and pick the needle back up.  I felt like I was flying through those stitches!   I'll have you know I don't really fly when I'm hand quilting - I'm still so very clumsy with it, but it still felt that way! 

OK - that worked - how about going away from myself.  This quilt is big enough that turning it every 4 inches was really getting to be a pain too.  I added a couple more squares of the tape from the piece I took off my index finger to the pad of my thumb....sticks really good:

....and it worked!!  It would work even better with a little something under all the tape I think, but with a little more practise and experimenting - I think I'm going to get this quilt quilted !!!

When your tape starts to lose it's stickiness, just cut off a little strip of the tape and push it on top of everything that's already there.  Once your done - you just take the tape off and throw it away.  There's plenty enough tape for many, many sessions and they come in lots of colors.   I wonder if floral tape would work too.  I don't have any around to try, but maybe some of you do and could let me know.

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