Sunday, March 13, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching Scissors


It's Sunday! You know what that means!!
It's time to power down, breathe deeply, relax, take a break from your everyday routine, pick up a threaded needle and slowly stitch something.


Last night we turned our clocks ahead for daylight savings time. And for some reason, the research indicates that the time change results in an increase in heart attacks and car accidents
All the more reason to do things s-l-o-w-l-y today!

And speaking of being careful, I have a question for you.
I am starting to assemble my Life Is Beautiful blocks. 
When the embroidery is done, I applique the circular design onto a 4 patch block. It is a challenge to get these curves appliqued smoothly, but I am really enjoying the process. When the applique is completed, I am supposed to cut away the extra fabric behind the embroidery, and then use that scrap circle for the centre of next block. 
Here's my question - is it worth the money to buy these special duckbill applique scissors for this job? These are expensive scissors to buy and since I have at least 20+ pair of (cheap) scissors already, I am wondering if they are worth the money. In the Life Is Beautiful pattern I have to cut away the backs of circles over 250 times. I would get a lot of use out of them now, but would I ever use them again? 
I do feel worried when I am cutting out the circles with my regular scissors due to the risk of accidentally cutting into the embroidery block *horrors*
What is your advice? Would you buy a tool that you will get a lot of use out of once, but might not use again? Do you have these specialty applique scissors, and do you use them?
Okay all you daylight savings sleep deprived stitchers... be careful out there this week! And we'd love it if you would like up your blogpost below and show us your hand stitching progress.



40 comments:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I'm not a tools or template person. I have standard items and I use them. I don't normally cut the extra away on the back, but you need those for the next step. As long as you have scissors you are comfortable with and be careful/slow - you should be just fine.

Sarah said...

How bizarre that there are more heart attacks and car accidents when the clocks change! I'd better watch out next week when the UK change theirs. I guess it depends how expensive, expensive is? You have put so much time into this project it would be a shame if you snipped one of the embroideries by mistake. I have a pair of scissors that I used at work for cutting plaster of paris away from broken limbs they might be a cheaper option than the specialised appliqué scissors, if you can buy them? Otherwise I would probably just go slowly and carefully! Good luck.

Elin T. Grov said...

First of all, thank you for hosting this Sunday-thing.... I'm a Sunday blogger, but not always a slow one, hope that doesn't matter! As for your ongoing project, I'm convinced that you will make this with one of your scissors! I'm working on this project myself, well I must admit it is a very slowforward project. I don't think I will stitch all of the texts, I choose those I like the best. And I will defenitely not use the small scraps from behind. I want a calmer expression on this one. And perhaps I will do the applique like you, and also not quilt as you go. Well, time will show! Have a nice week!

SandraC said...

Lately at my applique group I tried those same scissors (someone had a pair). I found them awkward, but that could be that I wasn't familiar with them. I treated myself for my birthday and bought Karen Kay Buckleys applique scissors. I like them. I may not use them often, but I will use them! They were expensive. It's even worse now because of the exchange rate...shopowners are really having to increase prices because of this :(

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Hmm..I didn't realize there were scissors like that :)

Kaja said...

Fancy tools are always tempting, but I reckon careful use of ordinary little scissors would be fine. Good luck whichever way you decide to do it!

The Cozy Quilter said...

I wonder if a small pair of blunt nosed scissors like I used to used in public school many moons ago would work??? They had rounded ends instead of points. I think you and I are about the same vintage and hope you know what I am talking about...

Kate said...

I like having the right tool for the job. But if you really don't think you'd ever use them again, it's probably not worth while. Enjoy your slow stitching today.

Denise :) said...

Kathy, I'd go ahead and get them, if you feel they'll be beneficial to you for this project. Who knows, having them may be the impetus to doing another, similar project! Plus if they could keep you from a wayward snip in *this* project, that would make it totally worth it in my book!! Of course, I'm the gal that buys gadgets for projects I *might* do sometime in the future...maybe. LOL! :)

Deb A said...

If you are careful and pull the fabric up you should be ok with a nice pair of scissors you already own. Maybe try and just do a few at a time rather than all of them? happy sunday.

Kaelyn Angelfoot said...

Do you have a pair of curved scissors? I use them for trimming around applique. They are curved so that if the scissors are laying flat on a table, the point is curved towards the ceiling.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Get the scissors. I have of those, and use them for lots of things, not just applique. They are nicely sharp, and are great for cutting points or into corners, snipping curves, cutting away excess fabric when joining binding strips, and of course cutting away fabric from the backside of a piece. They are actually the ones next to my sewing machine that I grab most often. Once you use them a few times, you'll be happy that you have them.

Maggie said...

I bought a pair of those scissors because they were suggested for making lingerie. I have used them a ton since then for trimming appliques, and really trimming things in general. But then I have a lifelong history of snipping holes into very visible parts of a project. These scissors have really helped me avoid making trimming mistakes.

Cathy said...

So, that's what those scissors are for! My daughter has brought me boxes of sewing odds and ends she has picked up at garage sales and auctions - some with items I don't recognize or know how to use- those scissors being one of them.

I don't normally cut out behind circles unless the background would show through to the front. Good luck!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I bought a pair of those scissors years ago and I rarely ever use them - I'm not even sure where they are. I had been told you "needed" them to make your applique perfect, that they cut so good you couldn't do without them - well I tried them, they did cut good but I found them awkward to use and never saw the sense in what they were for - I can cut just as well without them

Design Originals by KC said...

Kathy, I am loving how this quilt "Life is Beautiful" is coming together... I think regarding the scissors and 250 circles to cut from the backs... that i may consider investing in them.... especially to save possible nips in such wonderful embroidery blocks... even if I didn't htink I may use them again... bet you do! lol Kathi

Deanna W said...

If only you lived closer, you could borrow mine. I would suggest borrowing a friends. I have had mine for years and have only used them a few times. If you are very careful VERY CAREFUL!!! You should be able to do the cutting with regular scissors. Good luck

CathieJ said...

I would use whatever your means allow. I often wonder how the quilters of over a hundred years ago would approach a dilemma as they didn't have all these specialized tools and then go ahead and do my own thing which is probably what was done at that time. The quilt will be beautiful if you are careful.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I bought a pair many many years ago and I do use them but I think as long as you are careful regular scissors work just fine. As long as you have the area you are trimming nice and flat and you take small snips regular scissors work perfectly fine.

Vicky said...

It'll be interesting to see how those cut-away circles are used. I don't cut away behind my applique. If the background is going to show through, I use a piece of muslin under the applique to block the shadowing. I think I have a pair of those but have never used them. Let us know how they work if you get them

Linda M @ Pieceful Kingdom said...

I just love your Life is Beautiful blocks. 250 of them! Wow! I bought a pair of the applique scissors recently, but haven't used them much yet. But, I do a lot of applique so I figured I would get my money's worth eventually. If it is within your means, and you plan on doing more applique, then you would definitely get your money's worth.

Karen in Breezy Point said...

Years ago, I bought a very expensive pair of duck bill scissors, thinking that I really needed them for cutting away the back of my applique. I found them very awkward to use, and not so useful. For me, I felt I didn't have the control I wanted when doing the scary step of cutting away fabric. I ended up selling them on a quilter's flea market group. Personally, I feel you can get better control using a small, sharp scissors and wouldn't waste the money on a duckbill--just my two cents!

Jeanne said...

I wouldn't buy the scissors if that is the only project for which you would be using them. Just continue to cut very carefully. Your blocks are beautiful. Can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Dogwood Lane Rambles said...

Those are the sharpest scissors I own and I do use them fairly often but be warned you can still snip the background fabric if your not careful operator error still applies.

Juliann in WA said...

I have not used those scissors but I do think it is good to have a really good pair of scissors for hand stitching.

Jennifer said...

I don't think I would buy them for just one project, but I've never used them so don't know if they would be worth the expense if what you have will work just as well. Know that doesn't help much. :(

Monica said...

I bought an inexpensive set of 3 scissors from Fabricland, and they are the best! The short pair has a slightly rounded end, and they work great for trimming the back off applique. I would think they are easier to control than that lopsided duck bill pair.

I see you still have plenty to do on that project! But, it will be totally worth it. :D

Anne said...

Yup, I've got a pair of those duckbill scissors. I think the last time is used them was at least a dozen years ago! If you'd like to try them, I'll gladly send you mine (seriously).

Zulmira Romariz said...

Quilts belíssimos, bjs

Sue J said...

I'd cut very carefully or try to find a cheaper pair.

Karen said...

I donated a pair of those to a church thrift store a while back as I had not used them in years and years. Only ever used them a couple times.

Ivani said...

I have never seen this type of scissors before.Interisting.

Stephie said...

I've never tried those type of scissors before Kathy, but last November I treated myself to a really good pair of handmade embroidery scissors and haven't regretted the decision to buy them once! I use them all the time for appliqué as well as any other small fabric cutting I need to do. I wrote about them here if you'd like to know more: http://www.dawnchorusstudio.com/new-embroidery-scissors/ :) Life is Beautiful is looking beautiful!

Lyndsey said...

I always use my normal embroidery scissors, but I always do jobs like this in a good light and when I'm not tired. Only doing a few at a time also helps.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

I would buy them, if it were me. All it would take is one little snip in the wrong place ... better to be safe than sorry, I would say. Just my two cents worth. ;-)

Dorothy said...

I would rather spend the money on an extra piece of fabric and NOT cut the back out.

Nancy said...

Kathy, those scissors look awkward to use and I wonder if you'd actually be able to cut 1/4" from the edge with them. I just finished stitching circles on stars and cut the backs out. After two accidents, I learned to be very careful. I learned that if I put my hand under where I was cutting, I could lift the back fabric up and keep my fingers between the front and back to avoid cutting into the front. I hope you have success cutting the backs from your beautiful embroidered circles. My circles were just fabric but it would break my heart to have to re-embroider a block.

Thanks for hosting Slow Sunday Stitching. I appreciate it.
--Nancy. (ndmessier @ aol.com, joyforgrace.blogspot.com)

Nancy said...

Another thought is to cut a piece of template plastic in about a half circle and protect the embroidered circle with that as you cut....

Ellen said...

I have seen those types of scissors in the stores but have never purchased them. I think it would be a shame if your beautiful work was accidentally snipped into but I think if you take your time and are careful you should be fine. Maybe you can borrow a pair from a fellow quilter?

Anita said...

Those scissors are excellent and very useful. I have a pair I bought for lingerie sewing (which I don't see anymore). I use them for quilting too - not all the time, but when I need them, they are totally worth it. You can find them for not too much money - Fabricland sometimes has them and they are a decent price when on sale; Len's Mills sometimes has them; Triangle Sewing in Guelph also has them. I support using good tools. Good luck!