Zazu’s Pro Sewing Hacks

Here are all the pro sewing hack videos I have on YouTube. Please check them out if you haven’t had a chance. They are also available on YouTube on my Pro Sewing Hacks Playlist. Click a thumbnail and that video will open in another window.

Go from Homemade to Handmade

#1-12 Pro Sewing Hacks

Uploaded just 15 days after I created my YouTube channel, this is the video that started it all. Here I present a baker’s dozen of the most useful tools I have incorporated into my work over the years. Whether it is a large stock of extra bobbins, specialty threads (that fuse with heat or wash-away), or a sharp seam ripper, these hacks will help take your work from looking homemade, to looking handmade.

#13 Chain Everything

#14 No Pins–Mitered Hems

#15 Improved Topstitching

#16 Free-Motion Hopping

#17 4-Pin Fusible Thread Quilt Binding

#18 Simple, Handy Rice Funnel

#19 Hide Your Serger Tails

#20 Clothespins in the Sewing Room

#21 Prop Your Foot

#22 Painter’s Tape for REA

#23 Hand Sewing Beyond Basics

#24 Easy Cut Stencils

#25 Why a Bead Spinner?

#26 Easy Lath Hanger

#27 Wall Art Sleeve

#28 Fiber Art Thumbnails


Make Novelty Pot Holders to Brighten Any Kitchen: A Partial Throwback


Novelty Pot Holders Say “I Love You” in the Kitchen

ttlogoCute, cute, cute: this is the comment you will get if you make novelty pot holders for your gift list this season. Part throwback, part new, here are the best tutorial videos I have on YouTube for novelty pot holders of several styles. And check out my Strawberry Tea Cozy below…. 


leaf-potholderNEW VIDEO!!! Free-Motion Quilt a Leaf Potholder: this brand new video video features a cute pincher-style potholder with a pocket mouth opening to put you hand inside.

Make this pattern up to be as simple or as elaborate as you please. I’ve free-motion quilted the veining, as well as added a tight meander allover, but you could just straight stitch the veins with a walking foot instead.

chili-pepper-copyLet’s Sew Chili Pepper Handle Covers: this diminutive novelty “pot holder” is great for cast iron skillets and long-handled cookware that gets a little too hot to the touch. This pattern is super easy to adjust in length.

If you haven’t learned to free-motion quilt yet, just substitute straight lines of stitching to modify this design as indicated in the detailed video instructions.

lets-sew-apple-mitts-gift3Let’s Free-Motion Quilt Apple Oven Mitts: this sweet pincher-style apple mitt brightens any kitchen, especially if you love the color red! Designed to resemble the fruit with a slice cut out of it, this perky favorite has a turned, edged-stitched leaf for a hanger, sewn on with a colorful button.

Practice your free-motion meander quilting while making these for gifts.

Strawberry Tea Cozy: new pattern & video tutorial

This quick pattern features two layers of Insul-bright, heat-reflective batting, to keep that pot of tea hot as long as possible…and it looks like a strawberry! Click to watch!

Find the pattern on the Free PDFs page.


Glue in the bobbin screw…What??!!??…sewing tension hack


I Have Long Felt That Good Tension Pleases the Eye the Way a Beautifully Rendered Song Pleases the Ear

The one we glue

The one we glue

With the two raw-edge landscape quilts I have been making here and on YouTube, I’ve been talking a lot about tension lately. And while I’ve been talking, I’ve been frustrated with my own tension problems. Temporarily, I had forgotten that I already knew the sewing tension hack to solve my problem. In my case, I can actually glue in the bobbin screw nearest the opening where the thread leaves my bobbin case.

Obligatory Disclaimer: Even in the event that you have the same machine that I am using, please seek advice from your own sewing machine tech. Everyone’s situation is different.

My sewing machine has two screws in the bobbin case. One of them has worked itself loose and then lost itself in the carpet repeatedly. It has cost $6 to replace this tiny screw a few times. Finally a local sewing machine tech advised my husband to glue in one of the screws (as with Loctite). If done properly, this works, because I can still adjust my tension using the second screw. I don’t know that this would be a good fix for a bobbin case with only one screw. It takes miles and months of sewing for the glued screw to break loose. The only bummer is that by then, I have usually forgotten about the whole glue-in-the-screw solution.

ttlogoRepeatedly, I have sewn with rapidly loosening tension for a frustratingly long period of time (only a day or two when you sew to sell). One of these episodes was recent. Then I went to bed last night, and I lay awake until I remembered this easy fix. I almost got up and glued the screw in the middle of the night, but I had a dentist appointment this am, so I fell asleep instead.

Anyway, today my screw is freshly glued, my tension stays adjusted for many bobbins in a row, and life is good again. The moral of this story: please find a good sewing machine tech, and trust him or her.


If you haven’t already seen this video from September 2015, here is more on other topics and trying to check our own complacency as quilters: Sewing & Quilting WOES & Finding Solutions | Zazu’s Stitch Art Tutorial Vlog 

Beth – Zazu