Tuesday Tip! Get a Mouse

Have you ever had that nasty rat’s nest at the beginning of your sewing on the backside?  Maybe it looked something like this?

or this?

This is jumble of threads happens because of too-short threads at the beginning of sewing being pulled into the machine.

One way to avoid this is by using a “mouse”.  (This is what my friend Laurie calls it.  Honestly I have no idea my it’s called a mouse anymore, it’s just a term I use now.)

A mouse is a small piece of fabric folded in half (think a 2″ square size small) that is used at the beginning of your sewing to hold those threads & keep them from being sucked into the machine.  Here is one of my well loved mice:

How it works:
I start with a small piece of fabric that I center under the presser foot so that the needle will enter the fabric about in the center:

Then I start sewing off the mouse & continue until I’ve reached the end:

Now I pick up my presser foot & give a little tug to the mouse to pull it aside:

Now I set my quilting pieces in place to start sewing (Notice I did NOT cut my thread!):

Now it’s business as usual until I’m done sewing when I will end will another mouse.  Next I cut my pieces apart & will trim off the first mouse:

I usually have at least two mice going at any given time- one for the beginning of the sewing & then one for the ending (which is great because then when you’re ready to start again, you’ve already got your beginning mouse!)

I hope you enjoy this & that you find using a mouse as helpful as I have!

One thought on “Tuesday Tip! Get a Mouse

  1. Even better is to use leaders and Enders. Check out Bonnie Hunter’s website. Leaders and enders are block pieces that are used to construct another block. I do 2.5″ inch squares as leaders & enders. One pair of 2.5″ squares sewn together at the beginning of sewing the block pieces for my current project and one pair at the end of chain piecing my current project. When I get enough scrap 2.5″ squares sewn together I put them together in a pleasing pattern, still using the leader & ender manner to make my donation quilts. Bonnie Hunter is the scrap quilt queen and she explains this much better! Mary Ann

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