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By Steve Butler

What is it?

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” That’s what Henry Beecher thought anyway. So how important are flowers? Claude Monet once wrote that he may very well have become a painter because of flowers. Art, literature, music, culture . . . all are replete with references to flowers. Can you imagine a Spring morning in the Colorado Rockies without fields of wild flowers? Or Japan without cherry blossoms? A prom without orchids. Perhaps Valentine’s Day without red roses? Mother Nature in her special way has given us a tangible means of non-verbal communication. We can inspire, encourage, soothe, light up a life or simply say “I love you” in a very meaningful way with just the image of a single flower. Using an unlimited catalog of colors, shapes and textures she has created the perfect flower for every occasion. And now you can do that too. You can create the perfect flower to accessorize any sewn or craft project. Fashion, heirloom, quilting, home decor, knitting, crafts. They are all made better with the perfect floral accent that you can now create with Clover’s Mini Flower Loom.

 

      Mini Flower Loom

          Art No. 3139

 

What does it do?

 Whatever you can envision you can make. Just like Mother Nature, choose the shapes, colors and textures that inspire you.

  • Shape – The Mini Flower Loom is actually two looms. One for round flowers and one for square flowers. The package also contains a darning needle used to finish off the flower once you have finished the weaving process. The tools are very simple and easy to use. Easy to understand instructions are included.

 

  • Materials – This is where your creativity really expresses itself. You are limited only by your imagination. For the flower petals chose any of the decorative threads, metallic threads, memory threads, yarns, ribbons, fine wire, or raffia. Mix and match. You can even add beads to your flowers. Colors, texture, shape, all are at your beck and call to help you achieve your creative design.

 

Still need inspiration? Visit our website under project sheets to get our free Mini Flower Loom greeting card project sheet!!!

>>>Ribbon Flower Greeting Card

 

 

What is it?

Whether we’re into knitting or crochet we’re always making something, something made of individual pieces. And that something usually means putting those component pieces together. We all know there are several techniques for joining our knitted or crocheted pieces and that those techniques vary depending on our creative inspiration. Do we want the seams to be invisible or not? Perhaps we want them to be very visible and part of our decorative design as in, really standout. Regardless there is one constant. At some point we’ll need to attach the sleeves to the dress, baste the pocket to the vest or join a sweater at the shoulders. But once we’ve positioned our knitted or crocheted pieces just where we want them, how can we hold them securely and precisely in place while the joining stitches are applied? The answer is simple, Clover’s knitting marking pins in either bamboo or steel.

 

Marking Pins for Knitting

    

Art No. 3143 Bamboo Marking Pins

 

 

Art No. 325 Marking Pins for knitting

 

What does it do?

Depending on the gauge of our yarn the requirements for our marking pins varies. To accommodate this Clover produces both bamboo and steel marking pins. For heavier yarns Clover’s Bamboo Marking Pins are the fastest, least invasive way to hold our knitted or crocheted pieces together while we apply joining stitches to the seams. The naturally smooth bamboo finish assures that they are easy to place but are not so slick that they fall out. They are also long enough to stick through heavy knitted fabrics and the rounded point protects yarns from splitting. They’re also great for fashion closers, you know, in place of buttons. For finer yarns and more detailed work, Clover provides steel marking pins. Smooth and with a blunt tip it slides easily between the finer yarns without damaging the fibers. The flat head makes manipulation easy and precise. Bamboo or steel? Just remember to always use the right tool for the right job. In either case, Clover has you covered.

By Steve Butler

 

 

What is it?

Quilting, fashion, home decor and all of the accessories relating to each – all of us do some of it and some of us do all of it. At the end of the day, though, we’re all doing the same thing. We’re creating. Our pallet is an inexhaustible array of designer fabrics and our canvas is an equally extensive selection of patterns. But how about the accents? You know, those things that add the personality to our project. They may provide either color or form or function or all three. In many cases they center around the application of fabric tubes most often cut on the bias so they can take any shape we want to impose. Flower stems, Stained Glass or Celtic designs appliquéd on quilts. Bindings for quilts (can’t do the binding on a Double Wedding Ring without bias binding tape), fashion and home decor. Straps for fashion and lingerie. Button loops for bags and dress making and fashion accessories. And the best part is we can make these bias fabric tubes with the complimenting fabric we chose and in the size and quantities we want. This ability takes us from creative anxiety to anxious creativity. We just can’t wait to test the bounds of our imagination. And there may be none. But how hard is it to make these bias strips? You know, to really make them well so we’re proud of them. Easy peasy. Trust me. To help us achieve this level of creative potential, Clover has produced a set of Loop Pressing Bars (Art. No 4052). With these little gems we can produce bias fabric tubes in any color and length we desire. And it’s easy, truly.

 

      

                            Art No. 4052 Loop Pressing Bars

 

What does it do?

Simply put Clover’s Loop Pressing Bars allow us to create more than professional looking bias fabric tubes using any fabric we desire and we can do it in different sizes to meet our differing needs. Here’s how.

Process

Clover’s Loop Pressing Bars are provided in a set of five sizes, 6mm (1/4″), 9mm (5/16″), 12mm (1/2″), 15mm (9/16″), 18mm (11/16). Select the size fabric loop desired and then cut your fabric on the bias in a size twice the width of the Pressing Bar plus two 7mm seam allowances. For example, if we wanted a 14mm fabric tube we’d cut our fabric 28mm plus 14mm for the two seam allowances. We can then proceed to our sewing machine and, with the wrong sides together (I know, it’s weird and counter intuitive) sew our 7mm seam allowance. Now we simply insert our Loop Pressing Bar into the tube, trim the seam allowance and manipulate the seam to the center of the bar and iron the tube smooth. This can be done on the bar or, if we have a particularly long tube, on a separate pressing surface as we pull it off the bar. In the process the pressing bars may become warm but will not be too hot to touch. Now we’ve produced the perfect fabric bias tube for our project. All that’s left to do is attach it to your project and prepare to accept compliments for your amazing artistry.

Tip #1

We want our 7mm seam is perfectly straight. To ensure this use Clover’s Stitch Guide (Art.No 7708) on the needle plate of your sewing machine. We can either set it 6mm over and sew the seam measured from the edges of our fabric or we can set the seam guide at the width of our bar/tube width and sew with the fold against the Stitch Guide. Either way, we’re getting a perfectly smooth and even seam that will ensure a perfect bias tape width along its entire length. No unintended and unwanted waves.

     

                                  Art No. 7708 Stitch Guide

 

Tip #2

All of these bias fabric tubes require close work to press. Clover’s Mini Iron II™ “The Adapter” (Art. No 8003EU, 8004GB, or 8005) is extremely easy to manipulate and has a very precise point that makes it perfect for detail work. In any case, always make sure you’ve secured the steam function of any iron you intend to use. Don’t want any steam burns on fingers held necessarily close to the action.

     

          

Mini Iron II™ “The Adapter”

Art No. 8003EU (EU Version) / Art No. 8004GB (UK Version) / Art No 8005 (AUS NZ Version)

 

Tip #3

The end of each Loop Pressing Bar (Art. No 4052) is designed with a feature that allows you to use it much like an enlarged bodkin. If you’re looking for a more “filled” or trapunto decorative appearance to your appliqué, simply attach your cording/stuffing material to that end and pull through.

By Steve Butler

 

What is it?

Stranded colowork is the technique. Fair Isle knitting with its beautiful symmetrical geometric motifs in muted colors or Scandinavian knitting with its striking large asymmetrical motifs in bright contrasting colors or even your own dramatic multi-color creative invention is the result.

Each a piece of art. Using two or more strands of yarn simultaneously allows us to create amazing designs in knitted fabric. With a full pallet of colors, wide range of fibers and a limitless assortment of patterns available to us, the creative potential is unlimited. Unfortunately, however, there is a catch to it. There always is, right? But this catch is serious and determines the difference between blissful creativity and something much more nightmarish. The catch? Yarn management. Sounds simple enough, almost utilitarian, but don’t be too dismissive. When we start to use more than one color of yarn, and therefore two or more strands of yarn, on the same project at the same time there’s always potential for trouble. Keeping track of two or more colors and keeping them in close proximity for quick access presents its own set of problems. Keeping our colors organized and finding a way to hold the yarn strands so that they don’t get twisted and tangled or adversely influence our stitch tension is the key to working with multiple colors. Actually the real key to working with multiple strands of yarn is Clover’s Yarn Guide. It does it all for us with ease eliminating twists an tangles. And the more simple and consistent our technique, the more satisfied we will be with our knitting experience and the more enjoyable will be our creative process. And there’s a bonus. If you’re into crochet, it’s a great tool for regulating yarn tension. You’re welcome.

Art No. 348 Yarn Guide

   

 

What does it do?

The challenges of organizing and controlling the multiple strands of yarn when doing creative colorwork are easily accomplished with Clover’s Yarn Guide. The Yarn Guide itself is made of a soft, lightweight but durable plastic. It fits comfortably on your index finger and is applicable to both English and Continental Knitting. Simply lift the hinged lid to reveal channels for four yarn strands. Place the active strands you intend to use in the channels that best suit your style and close the lid which snaps into place. The now slotted strands of yarn are held both apart and in close proximity making color selection convenient and preventing twisting, tangling and unwanted tension influence. The desired result is more knitting and less untangling. If we’re doing a crochet piece that requires extra yarn tension, simply open the lid, wrap the single strand of yarn around the Yarn Guide and close the lid. The more times the yarn is wrapped around the guide the more tension is applied. Adjust as necessary to suit the tightness of your desired stitches. You get the tension without the fatigue of holding the yarn and applying it by hand. No muss, no fuss.

 

By Steve Butler

 

 

What is it?

The venerable tracing wheel. The first one I ever saw was as a youngster looking through my grandmother’s sewing basket. I thought it was there by mistake. It was obviously a toy. What could a stick and a wheel possibly have to do with sewing? Fast forward a few decades and it is all clear to me now. Not that I use it, I just have an appreciation of its use as a sewing tool. Almost everything we construct when we sew uses a pattern at some point in the process. Fashion, heirloom, purses and bags, accessories, home decor, they all use them. Some of the patterns are very complex while others are rather simple. But most have marks on them for making small adjustments or positioning darts or notches or establishing grain lines. What is the best way to efficiently and precisely transfer these marks to our fabric? What if we want to use one of those dress patterns that don’t have seam allowances marked? Is there any way to make a duplicate copy of an old pattern that has been in the family for years but has seen better days? The Clover tracing wheels are the answer to all of these questions.

 

What does it do?

Clover produces three different tracing wheels, each designed to fit any number of applications from routine to uniquely you. Each tracing wheel is constructed of durable plastic molded to fit comfortably in your hand and a steel wheel mounted to ensure precision performance for years to come.

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Art No. 480/W Tracing Wheel (Serrated Edge) –The serrated edges on this tracing wheel are designed to penetrate. If you are using transfer paper to copy your pattern the result will be a precise dotted line. If you are transferring a pattern directly to a fine fabric the result will be a precise line of fine holes.

  

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Art No. 481/W Tracing Wheel (Blunt Edges) – The blunt edges on this tracing wheel are designed not to penetrate and will not damage your pattern or fabric. This tracing wheel is primarily used with some type of transfer paper such as Clover Chacopy to leave a more broad, easily defined line.

  

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Art No. 487/W Double Tracing Wheel – The double tracing wheel is a handy little marvel. With it you can trace off your cut lines and seam allowances in one easy motion.  It can also be used to increase or decrease the size of a pattern piece. The wheel position is adjustable so any seam allowance from 10 to 1 and 30 is selectable. Because the two wheels are held together on the same handle the resulting lines will be perfectly parallel every time.

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