Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Elaina, Karin, Cindy, Gwen, Kristine, Uta, Faye, Alison, Shannon, Patsijean, Summerset, Webfrau, Elizabeth, Becky and Sarah for talking back to my confession last Friday!

I confessed that I don't use my "tube turner", because it never seems to work for me. Instead, when I have to turn a loop, spaghetti strap, whatever, I sew a length of yarn into the loop and pull on it, in order to turn the whole thing rightside out.

Across all the answers, six different methods of creating fabric loops were brought up. The two that were most popular, with 4 votes each, were (a) using some kind of yarn or cord or even the bobbin thread to pull the loop rightside out and (b) using a tool that I had never heard of, Fasturn.

The Fasturn tool, pictured above, is a series of different sized tubes and sticks that slide up inside of them. As you would imagine, you slide the Fasturn tube inside your fabric tube and then insert the stick into the tube and hook it onto the far end of your fabric tube, and then pull it back out through the Fasturn tube.

It seems to me (just by looking at pictures) that an important difference between the Fasturn tool and the tube turning tool that I had been trying to use is the "hook" at the end. Instead of the little clip at the end, like my tube turning tool has, the Fasturn sticks have corkscrew-like ends. When you are sliding it into the fabric, only a narrow piece of metal has to go through. But, when you pull it back out, the corkscrew shape of the wire produces the effect of a wider object forcing the fabric rightside out.

A couple of people did mention that the Fasturn system is expensive, but Summerset found hers for $2 at a quilt guild sale table and Kristine has what sounds like an off-brand version that she got cheaply from Joann's. This sounds like an item for my birthday wish list! :)

As for the tube turner that I "dissed" in my post, responses were more split. While it's true that 5 others also called out not liking it, 3 people reported that they are perfectly happy using it - including Summerset, who uses it instead of her Fasturn tool. Cindy, who also generally finds the tube turner easy to use, qualified that it does work better on some fabrics than on others.

Two other methods, each earning 2 votes, were (a) the safety pin method and (b) avoid the problem altogether by sewing tubes rightside out in the first place! (With the initial ironing of seam allowances, so that no raw edges show, of course.) Cindy said that this is pretty much the only reasonable approach with heavy duty fabric, like duck cloth, for tote bag handles...

Finally, we had one mention (I don't think it actually counts as a vote in favor, because it was mentioned in conjunction with cursing) of the pencil-pushing method. Oh, I can relate to both the pencil-pushing and the accompanying cursing! ;)

Cindy gave some really good advice - which I have realized on my own, but have had a hard time articulating (that's why she's the teacher!). The trick is to hold the outer column of fabric loosely in your hand and focus on only turning the fabric right at the edge. If you let the fabric bunch up on you, it's 100 times more difficult, if not impossible.

One last note - when researching Fasturn, I found this article, with photos, on several different methods of tube turning here.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time and effort to leave a comment! Once again, I learned a lot from all of you! :)