Saturday, February 8, 2014

“Throwing Good money after bad”

My grandmother used that expression every time some one in our family wasted money buying something that didn’t work.   I’m one of those people, I guess,  because of all the money I’ve spent on needle threaders.

I’m sure it’s not as much as I imagine but I have bought and tried a LOT of them.   Age has made my arms shorter and my eyesight fuzzier and I’m positive that needle manufacturers are cutting corners and  making needles with smaller eyes than they used to.

In my search for a decent needle threader, I even bought one from a shady a street vendor who was hawking them on a city corner at Christmastime.  Of course his worked perfectly for every demo that he did—mine fell apart when I got it home, lol.

The  ones I’ve relied on the most were the little cheapo wire threaders that used to be included FREE when you bought a package of assorted sewing needles, and now are sold separately in packs of 2 for $3.18!   They work fine for a while but wear out quickly and usually break at the worst time like when your flight’s been delayed or the doctor is running late for your appt.   Sound familiar?



singer needle threader







I’ve also bought some of the prettier versions of the wire threaders because I thought they would last with all that prettiness but I also thought they were a little difficult to use because of that plastic “thing”  and they broke too.  pretty

Then there’s the type that reminds me of a Chinese puzzle.  This also wasn’t inexpensive costing around $5.95.  They are made a little better but it took me a couple of hours of reading the directions before I understood how to take it apart and thread the needle!  Eventually though, even this broke.

clover 1

Then I saw this Clover needle threader demonstrated on the Missouri Star Quilt Channel but  I balked at the price-- $14.00 for a needle threader!  Come on?   It even reminded me a little of the street vendor’s version.  Eventually though, I gave in because $14.00 is not a lot to pay when you are exasperated and because I’ve already spent $20.00, or more, on the other versions. Clover Needle Threader 002

I’m happy to say, that this Clover needle threader works on most of the needles I’ve tried.   Really long needles and heavy needles like tapestry and darning needles won’t fit in the needle slot but it works great on tiny quilting betweens and John James sharps which have the smallest eyes. I’ve used it with “Thread Heaven” thread conditioner on different weights and fibers of threads.  It seems pretty sturdy too.  I dropped mine and it still works.

To use it you have to insert the needle upside down and lay the thread loosely across the thread slot—loosely is the key word here.  If the thread is too short it won’t work.   You then push the lever on the right side of the device and that threads the needle with a nice little loop that you can pull through the needled.  Sort of reminds me of the auto threader on my sewing machine.   It also has  a thread cutter, which is handy.

By the way…I’m not affiliated with Clover, Dritz, Singer, DMC, Colonial or any other company that manufactures or sells sewing notions.  I’m just a consumer who has used these products and shares her experiences with them.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter Wonderland


The storm on Wednesday left us with about eight inches of fresh snow.  This has been a particularly harsh winter—lots of snow and frigid temps.  

It’s hard to appreciate this latest gift from  Mother Nature when you have to shovel the stuff off decks, stairs, patios and driveways but it does make the landscape look magical, covering up all the ugly spots sort of like parsley sprinkled on a recipe that didn’t turn out quite the way it was supposed to.

Feb 5th storm 2014 003Feb 5th storm 2014 004

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Storm Warning

Winter is back from a brief vacation elsewhere.  I didn’t pay attention to Puxatawny Phil’s prediction Sunday, but if today is any indication, I would say he predicted another six weeks of hard winter weather coming our way.


Today’s expected accumulation is 6 to 10 inches but this is the Merrimack Triangle so there’s no telling what we’ll end up with.  

My favorite snowy weather lunch combo is tomato soup and a grilled cheese, followed by a cup of hot tea and an afternoon  of reading on the sofa!  

I like to make my grilled cheese in my George Foreman grill.  I toast the bread in my toaster first and end up with a crunchy grilled sandwich that comes very close to a real Panini.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Time on my hands.

This past year has been very stressful for me. 

The company I started working for in 2011 experienced an exponential growth spurt in the last year which resulted in tripling the work force, and other changes, My role changed from  administrative to accounting with added responsibilities and increased work hours. 

Weekends were spent making the hour-long drive to my dad’s to look in on him and then playing catch up with my chores and prepping for the week to come.   There was no time left for the “fun things” in life that recharge our batteries.

My sleep patterns were way off.  I often woke up several times during the night thinking about the day to come and worrying about it.   I could feel adrenalin course through my veins as soon as I arrived at my office  and opened my email.  Everything was needed immediately and was critical.   I went from drinking decaf to turbo shots and skipped lunches.  I did not enjoy my work anymore and it showed.

Last Friday,  I was released from my job.   The new accounting manager has decided to assemble his own team  and my position will be filled by a former colleague from his last firm. 

The initial sting of being rejected is fading and I am starting to feel positive about this change.  I am making plans and optimistic that another, better opportunity will appear but for now I have time on my hands to recharge my body and spirit.  

Continuity is good.  It gives us roots but change, whether voluntary or involuntary, gives us branches to grow and reach new heights.