It started with this post from Lynne at Lily's quilts. Lynne set out all her tips for speedy EPPing. I'm not terribly bothered about the speed at which I sew, but all the tips she gives seem to make for easier and neater stitching, so I've given then a go
1. I now always use my bestest scissors if I'm cutting the pieces by hand. It's quicker and gives a neater cut which is easier to baste.
2. I bought some better needles whilst I was in the UK, but think I can still improve on the ones I have. I can't say what's wrong, just that I think there is something that will suit me better. I think it's a case of trying several until I find the one that just feels right.
3. Lynne recommends Aurifil, as I know many of you do. I really, truly did not believe that Aurfil could be that good. After all it's just thread isn't it? But in the interests of this experiment, I ordered a couple of reels, one white for my machine and one cream for hand stitching. And I have to agree with everyone else on the planet that it iis brilliant. It is fine and smooth for hand stitching, and my machine is purring away like a kitten! The only complaint I have is that it does curl up a lot, making control of the thread a little tricky, especially when it's curling up around the foot on my machine.
Does anyone else have this problem? Do you have a solution?
4. Threading the needle from the end that comes off the spool, knotting the end that you cut.
5. Stitching 8 stitches before pulling the long thread through. This is where you can tell the difference between the Aurifil and other threads. This is just not possible with the other threads I tried - they don't slip and either get stuck or break. But the Aurifil slips through like a dream. And I seem to get into a rythm that gives a much neater, more even stitch.
6. Stitching fewer stitches per inch. This certainly gives a very neat finish - I just hope the seam is strong enough in the long term.
And the proof of success of this little experiment
|A nice neat row of stitches|
A big thanks to Lynne for sharing her experience with the rest of the world. All these little things add up to make me a better sewer (sewist?)