Eleanor Burns – The Most Famous Quilter of Our Time

(Originally published December 2019 in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #72. Article written by Rita Farro.)


Eleanor Burns, SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #71

Eleanor Burns is, arguably, the most famous quilter of our time. Eleanor has taught thousands of students, written over 100 books and her unique quilting methods revolutionized the quilting industry. She has received every accolade or honors any professional quilter could hope for, including being inducted in the Quilter’s Hall of Fame.

Her business, Quilt In a Day (QIAD), is an American success story . . . but it didn’t just happen.

After college, Eleanor became a Special Education teacher, a job she loved. She taught for six years in the Pittsburgh, PA area. She married her college sweetheart, and they moved to California so her husband could attend law school. They had two sons, Grant and Orion. Those were some lean years, and Eleanor needed a job. She didn’t have a California teaching certificate, so she went to the Parks and Recreation department and offered to teach a Stretch & Sew class.

That wasn’t possible because Stretch & Sew was a trademarked business, and their techniques were proprietary. But it was 1976, and it seemed everybody wanted to make a commemorative quilt. Parks and Rec asked if she could teach a quilting class.

Eleanor eagerly said, “YES, I’D LOVE TO.” She had never actually quilted, so she immediately went home and made two pillows. That’s when Eleanor’s experience in writing Special Ed curriculum came into play. She broke the daunting, complicated quilting process down into small steps. Her directions were concise and easy to follow.

Although she didn’t know it then, Eleanor Burns was about to revolutionize the modern-day quilt industry.


(Click HERE to read the rest of Eleanor’s story.)

Rob Appell – The Next Chapter

(Originally published November 2019 in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #71. Article written by Rita Farro.)


Some people think of their life as a book, and each year is a new chapter. Rob Appell thinks of his life as a surfboard ride, and each year is a new, exciting wave, accompanied by a Rock and Roll soundtrack.

And, just as he was riding high as the star of the popular YouTube channel, Man Sewing, Missouri Star Quilt Company canceled Man Sewing, so Rob was suddenly unemployed.

I was pretty low and heartbroken, but, after I settled into my new reality, I realized I had a whole new set of skills to take out into the world.

For starters, Rob knew he could make his own video magic happen. Content was never an issue. My head is always racing with a dozen ideas for new sewing projects. At Man Sewing, I came up with all the creative concepts and did the sewing. But it was filmed by a team of people running up to five cameras and microphones, plus a photographer and writer for patterns and magazines. I never touched a camera, mic or editing software.

Rob believes the beating heart of the quilting industry is the independent retailer. After all, he got his start in his mother’s quilt shop, The Cotton Ball, in Morro Bay, California. His new challenge would be to bring together his creativity and his new video skills to benefit those brick and mortar stores. Rob knew he could come up with the content, but he also wanted to film, edit, and write the music. To develop this ambitious platform, he knew he would need a partner. He didn’t have to look far. He realized the answer to your future lies in seeds from your past.

Click HERE to read about Rob’s next chapter.

Rhonda’s New Year Re-SEW-Lutions!

Happy Holidays!

SCHMETZ 2019 Holiday Greetings


Needle Safety Information

SCHMETZ Stretch Needle

1. Description
Sewing machine needles are made from carbon steel containing approx. 0.7 to 1 % carbon and minor parts of other chemical elements which are usually contained in such a steel. As corrosion protection, the steel surface of the needles is plated with one of the following:  nickel, chrome, titanium, Nickel-Phosphor-PTFE, etc.

SCHMETZ Universal Needle Pack 75/11

2. Storage
The smallest packaging unit is the SCHMETZ plastic pack containing one, five or ten individual needles. The needles should be stored under dry and clean conditions. Each needle pack includes easy identification of needle type and size.

3. Handling
Individual needles should not be carried in trouser pockets or similar pockets close to the human body.

4. Identification
Needle system, type and size are printed on the needle pack. The size is also stamped on the needle shank. Household needles include a color code denoting needle type and size. Most household sewing machines use needle system 130/705 H. The sewing machine manual will confirm the needle system required. The needle size and thread should accommodate the material being sewn. Avoid placing fingers in the way of the needle.

5. Precautions while fixing and removing the needles
The needles themselves, as an individual item, do not represent a severe danger for the human body, but should be handled carefully with regard to the needle point. When fixing or removing a needle from the sewing machine, power must be shut off. The screwdriver or allen key used to lock or unlock the needle fixing screw must be in good working condition. The point of the needle fixing screw must be in good condition in order to securely hold the needle. Just the right amount of force should be applied to lock the needle fixing screw; too much force will cause the point of the screw to get damaged.

6. Safety measures
The finger and eye protectors of the sewing machine are optional. If used, they should be in place while operating the sewing machine. At no time during machine operation should the fingers of the operator touch the needle. When threading the machine, do not place foot on power control.

7. Shelf life of needles
Needles have a shelf life of at least five years when stored under dry and clean conditions in the original package.

8. Disposal
Needles can be disposed like any scrap metal and can be recycled in the same way. The needle packaging can also be recycled. Both the plastic box and the plastic module contain 100% pure polystyrole.