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Judy's Magazine Articles

  • Click here to see the index of Judy's earlier articles in Australian Stitches Magazine Archive .(Volumes 7 to 10)
  • Click here to see the index of Judy's products in Machine Embroidery Magazine.
  • Click here to see the index of Judy's products in Australian Country Threads Magazine
  • Click here to see Judy's Hints, Tips and Ideas Archive


By Judy Hall, Punch with Judy
Note: Back issues of Australian Stitches are available from Express Publications

Stitches Magazine Vol. 13 No. 1
Sewing Basket Page 87 reminds us that we all have had an accident cutting a buttonhole just when the garment has been completed. Never again! Clover's little Buttonhole Cutter has saved any future mishaps! A must for every dressmaker.

Stitches reviewed Joan Shay's "Appli-Bond Needles" on Page 87 in Vol. 13 No. 1 and commented how useful they were for doing buttonhole stitch on fusible applique. This is because of their three sides bayonette cutting edges which enables the Appli-Bond Needle to pierce the bonded fabric with ease. Do try them and you may love them too.



Stitches Magazine Vol. 12 No. 9
Sewing Basket Page 84 shows how to use Clover's Stuffing Tool for Trapunto. I might add though that Dollmakers like this little tool because of its fine shaped bent tip. Why not add it to your range of handy little items for those pesky jobs?




Stitches Magazine Vol. 12 No. 8
Sewing Basket Page 83 explains the Design Plus™ tape range in quite detail. The Super Fine Bias Fusible Tape, Super Fine Straight Fusible Tape and Ultra Soft Double-sided Fusible Tape. How did we ever dressmake without them?




Stitches Magazine Vol. 12 No. 7
Sewing Basket Page 85 introduces our Double Eye Machine Embroidery Needle. Now, this is not a Twin Needle, this one has one eye above the other. The editorial didn't expand quite as much as the needle's worth. Yes, it CAN be used for computerized embroidery designs, but simply sew a little slower than you normally may. By using two shades of tone on tone, two threads of the same colour or completely contrasting threads, the effects are great. Different to variegated thread insomuch as it appears a more natural coverage making it superb for flowers, leaves and all Mother Nature grants us. Do try it.

Judy's Note: Please check the needle's clearance by manually turning the handwheel cautiously to make sure the needle does pick up the bobbin thread with both top threads. If not, you MAY have to lower the needle's insertion just a "whisker" then check again by manually turning the handwheel. I don't want you breaking a needle by sewing before checking this.

By far the biggest pattern range seller we've EVER had has been the Applique Patterns from Joan Statz of Joan's Own Creations. Never before has there been so much interest shown in any one pattern series than this at every show I've displayed her magnificent wall hangings. Stitches Magazine reviewed some of the range in Vol. 12 No. 7 but there are lots more to view and new ones are added each 6 months. Select one for yourself and have making it!


Stitches Magazine Vol. 12 No 5
Butterfly Shadows Page 16
Just feast your eyes on this delectable shirt using our Stencil Burner and Cutwork Butterflies from the Fancy Edges Set 1 (N Devaa Designs). Isn't it superb?
It's reversible too!
Yvonne Keen, the editorial assistant, incorporated the butterfly cutwork embroideries into an overshirt "to die for". To emphasize the lightness of the designs once the areas were burnt away, the embroidered fabric was placed over a contrasting colour. The result was beautiful with the under-shirt giving the butterflies their colourful wings.

Page 84 of Stitches reviews the Sew Shabby Chic Bowl Tool & the book Fast, Fun & Easy Fabric Bowls by Linda Johansen and confirms the current craze that's taken the world by storm! Using Timtex® Stabilizer, you can create beautiful fabric bowls to grace your home. Imagine the possibilities - make decorative bowls from left-over curtain fabrics and with a bit of snipping and cutting an d basic zigzag stitch - voila! You can finish off with embellishments of any kind.
Judy's Note: Since the editorial was printed, the price of the Timtex® has been reduced to $12.00 per metre and each 34cm square piece is now $5.00.


Stitches Magazine Vol. 12 No. 3
Sewing Basket on Page 80 introduces the Wide Bodkin, a new product from Clover.
Threading elastic can be frustrating, particularly when the elastic and bodkin separate halfway through the process. (Can you relate to this?) Not any more because the Clover Wide Bodkin has a small locking device to hold the elastic firmly and securely while threading it through the casing. After threading, release the slider bar and the bodkin springs open. The Clover Wide Bodkin can also be used to thread cording and ribbon and is great for threading fabric strip in pinweaving. How can you be without one?


Stitches Magazine Vol. 12 No. 1
The most popular article I've ever written for Stitches Magazine was The Big Shirt pattern using my Pleat Maker for the Prairie Points trim. It was featured in Vol. 8 No. 3 a few years ago and has been out of print for some time. So, Express Publications has decided to feature it again so as all those who missed out before can now make their own country style overshirt. Don't miss this opportunity, contact Express Publications before they run out yet again! Of course, you may also purchase The Big Shirt pattern from us or choose from the range of Pleat Makers.

Stitches Magazine Vol. 12 No. 1
Are you a Happy Rug Hooker? If you have a stash of leftover fabrics, you should be!
Page 114 Sewing Basket features the current craze of rug hooking, but with a difference. This method uses fabric strips. What a great way to make a small floor rug, cushion or bag. I've been teaching Locker Hooking at the pre-show classes for all the Craft & Quilt Fairs this year. Canvas, Locker Hooking Needle, Twine, Books and complete Kits are available.


Stitches Magazine Vol. 11 No. 9
Sewing Basket Page 80 features our Corner Mark-It Tool, noting that although designed for quilting, it is just as handy for dressmaking.
"Such a small piece of plastic, but oh so many clever uses! A little tool that will help you create perfect mitres every single time. Primarily designed to assist with constructing mitred corners when binding quilting projects, the accurate measuring scale makes for quick, easy mitring of corners in almost any item requiring this type of finish. The tool comes complete with three pages of instructions that include clear, easy-to-understand diagrams and is such a clever idea that you will quickly wonder how you eve lived without one in your sewing basket."

Stencil Cutters are also featured - refer to Machine Embroidery Magazine section under Vol. 9 No. 5


Stitches Magazine Vol. 11 No. 8
We introduced the Superior Threads range of exciting threads to our website a short while ago with everyone singing their praises. Read what the Stitches team had to say about Extra Vanish Water Soluble Thread.

"This magical reel of thread from Superior Threads will completely dissolve in water. It vanishes like water-soluble stabilizer and needs only a light misting to completely dissolve it. Right now you are probably asking yourself why anyone would bother sewing two pieces of fabric together to then dissolve the thread holding that fabric! Well, think basting! As garment makers we are always basting so that we can try and fit as we go. But removing basting stitches after seam construction is a chore, particularly if the basing threads get caught in the construction stitching. How much simpler to mist the seam and watch the basting stitches just disappear, leaving no residue whatsoever. The thread is suitable for machine or hand-basting and has a multitude of other uses. So not as daft as it first sounded - right? This is an example of another new product that in time we will not be able to live without?"
Judy's Note: Excellent for Machine Trapunto too.

Also featured in this issue are the range of patterns from Evelyn Vesper, a talented Australian designer of Stained Glass patterns and 3-D Appliqué patterns.

"This wonderful series of patterns, designed by Evelyn Vesper, will have you fired up with enthusiasm to produce a stunning quilt using the technique called stained glass. In fact, the finished quilt is hauntingly reminiscent of traditionally handcrafted stained-glass windows.

The pattern series is based on some of Australia's colourful wildlife and includes a rainbow lorikeet, a pelican, koala and gorgeous dolphins to name just a few. Each pattern comes with a full-size design sheet plus clear, easy to read step-by-step instructions."

Stitches Magazine Vol. 11 No. 5
Page 83 of Sewing Basket featured the Peanut Stitch Eraser that was also reviewed in Machine Embroidery Vol. 9 No. 4 .


Stitches Magazine Vol. 11 No. 4
Sewing Basket features our Self Clinging Tape on Page 82.

"There is absolutely nothing more annoying than opening up your box of embroidery threads and finding a tangled mess. Here is a wonderful, reusable vinyl tape that literally wraps around a reel of thread and stops it from unravelling. The tape comeson a convenient roll that is cut to size. Its unique property is that it clings to itself, keeping your thread tangle-free, but is easily removed when the thread is needed for use."

Stitches Magazine Vol. 11 No. 3
Two wonderful products that have been praised from coast to coast since this article in Stitches on Stay Tape and Seams Great.

Stay Tape is a lightweight 100% nylon tape that can be used in any area requiring stabilizing such as jacket and lapel curves, around the back neck curve, V-necks, knit garment shoulder seams, bias-cut pockets and a myriad of other areas. This sheer tape will stabilize without adding bulk, will not fray, does not need to be pre-shrunk and is machine washable and dry cleanable.

Seams Great is also a lightweight 100% nylon tape, designed to be used as a seam covering without adding bulk. Wonderful for covering the seam edges of fabrics that fray significantly or for a soft, clean finish on armhole seams or in bridal attire. This clever tape has a natural curl to it that will wrap around the edge to be covered, making it so easy to use. It is machine washable, dry cleanable and is colourfast.

Australian Stitches Magazine Vol. 11 No. 2
Sewing Basket (Page 78) reviewed four very popular Clover Products for threading needles and cutting threads that make ideal little gifts. Great for armchair sewing as they pointed out, but they missed the indispensable need for anyone travelling these days by air, yet still want to stitch to pass away the time. I am definitely one of those who simply can't sit with idle fingers! Air User Friendly - we call them!

Yes, I know, you can't take needles on planes these days, but there's more than one way of skinning a cat, as they say. Women are devious!

Threader with Cutter "Petit Cut" - small, solid needle threader that has a tiny cutting blade on one corner - very convenient. $5.50

Thread Cutter Pendant - Our most popular beautiful little cutter that looks like an antique pendant and many wear it around their neck on velvet ribbon or cord. It has a sharp circular cutting blade inside and small open grooves all around its edges through which the thread can be drawn to cut. Useful set atop a thread reel too. $15.95

Quilt Needle Threader - Stitches say "old, tired eyes", I prefer to say "mature eyes" that have done a lot of sewing over the years need all the help they can get when it comes to threading needles. Is especially good for threading very fine needles. Matches the Thread Cutter Pendant too. $13.95

Thread Cutter Ring - This clever little ring is also antique in style and is designed to expand to fit any finger. The tiny blade is make of sharp, rust-resistant stainless steel. Pop it on your finger when hand sewing and you will always have a convenient cutting implement close and handy. $12.95