Monday, March 3, 2014

Welcome my Guest Blogger - Terri Sontra

I am delighted to introduce my first Guest Blogger for March - Terri Sontra.

Terri is the Head Moose at Purple Moose Designs - an online shop specializing in hard-to-find notions and patterns. Special orders are also welcome. If there's something you've been hankerin to have - she can find it. And the best part, you are welcome to visit 24 hours a day.  Don't worry if you're wearing your jammies, because she won't tell.

Terri has some very helpful hints to share so - 

    Welcome Terri!                                            
Have you heard about the new Schmetz needles?

We've all done sit down to your machine and have no idea what kind of needle is in there. Could it be a topstitch that I used with that funky thread? Or did I do quilting last? Maybe it's a sharp - did I piece last time? Who knows. And what size could it possibly be? All needles are stamped but even with a magnifying glass it's still so hard to see.

Lord knows I have lain awake countless nights agonizing over this (also why does peanut butter stick to the roof of a dog's mouth and why do llamas hate me...but that's another therapy session).

Well, Schmetz has finally done something about this terrible problem. All of their needles will now come with two color stripes - one to denote the type of needle and one to denote the size. YEAH! There will be peace and serenity in studios around the globe.

The new needles were supposed to be available at the start of 2014. I recently ordered some new supply but they still came with the old "stripe-less" needles. As the suppliers dwindle and replenish their stock we should start seeing them around real soon.

What's that? You don't use all those different kinds of needles? Well, you should! Each type of needle is designed to do a specific task and do it well. Except for universal needles. They aren't designed to do anything really well, just ok. Once you start using your needles smartly you will need a place to keep them all. You could pay for a needle storage pad - I even sell one on my website. Being the Frugal Yankee that I am, I had to come up with something cheaper...err...customized. The Frugal Yankee Needle Storage - a DIY project.

You can use a new or old tomato, makes no difference. At the top on the green leaves write the different types of needles you use most often. Under each type write the size numbers of the needles. Use a flower head or decorative pin to denote which needle is in the machine.

I know lots more about needles. Probably more than you care to listen to. On the off chance you would like to learn more, ask your guild to have me pop over for a visit. I have a presentation entitled "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Needles But Were Too Afraid To Ask". We cover both hand and machine needles. It's filled with fun and entertainment, no boring stuff. That would be pointless.

Thanks so much for having me Nan, it's been a blast. Since I know many of your readers are animal lovers - here's a little quickie video of my puppy Zelda and my hubby Moose Geek getting around the yard. Sorry for the graininess - it was shot through the window 'cause I wasn't going out there...


Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips with us. I am sure we will all be getting our tomatoes ready for our needles. What a clever idea! Thank you also for sharing your picture of Zelda with us as you know I am an animal lover and I expect many of our readers are too.

 I will be having more Guest Bloggers this month, so stay tuned. You are going to meet more wonderful quilters.. I will be introducing them in my newsletters, so be sure and sign up. There will also be specials offered with every newsletter, so add your name to the list.
Until next time...



  1. Found you through the LinkedIn back door ;) Thank you for these tips to your guest blogger, Terri! I never know what needle is in my machine either. I have to admit I haven't lost sleep over this, but to not even have it on my mind will be great. The pincushion is genius. Thanks again.

  2. Barbara, Glad you found us no matter what door you entered. These are great tips from Terri aren't they and I love the tomato! Welcome and thanks for your comments.

  3. Thank you for your kind comments Barbara. Super happy to oblige.

  4. I have a tomato I use for storage but thanks for the tip on how to know which needle is in the machine. I never thought of using a flower head pin for that purpose.

  5. Great news and wonderful tips! Thanks, Nan. I too have used the tomato trick to save and identify those slightly "loved" needles.