A Sew Deadly Cruise
(An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery) by Lois Winston
About A Sew Deadly Cruise
Life is looking up for magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack. Newly engaged, she and photojournalist fiancé Zack Barnes are on a winter cruise with her family, compliments of a Christmas gift from her half-brother-in-law. Son Alex’s girlfriend and her father have also joined them. Shortly after boarding the ship, Anastasia is approached by a man with an unusual interest in her engagement ring. When she tells Zack of her encounter, he suggests the man might be a jewel thief scouting for his next mark. But before Anastasia can point the man out to Zack, the would-be thief approaches him, revealing his true motivation. Long-buried secrets now threaten the well-being of everyone Anastasia holds dear. And that’s before the first dead body turns up.
Craft projects included.
About Lois Winston
Writing a Crafty Cozy
By Lois Winston
When I was asked to write a crafting mystery series, I decided I wanted to write something different from the ones that featured craft shop owners, quilting bees, or a group of scrapbooking friends. What if instead of writing a series that featured one particular craft, I created a character who was involved with many crafts? I turned to my own career as a crafts designer for inspiration, creating Anastasia Pollack, the crafts editor at a women’s magazine.
Each of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries (there are now nine and three novellas) features a different craft, including scrap crafts, dollmaking, yo-yo crafts, scrapbooking, decoupage, knitting and crocheting, fabric crafts, Christmas ornaments, paper crafts, and sewing. Since most crafting mysteries include at least one craft or crafting tips for readers, I knew I had to come up with projects that were not only easy to make but didn’t involve patterns, due to the limitations of ebooks and trade paperbacks.
Because A Sew Deadly Cruise, the latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, features two easy sewing projects, I thought I’d share fifteen of my favorite sewing tips with you today:
1. If you use a portable sewing machine, place a carpet sample under the machine to eliminate vibrations as you sew. You can find these at any carpet store, often for free.
2. Prevent your foot pedal from sliding around by attaching a piece of anti-slip rug backing to the bottom of the pedal.
3. Keep a spray bottle filled with water near your sewing machine to remove fabric marks made by water-soluble marking pens.
4. Attach a self-adhesive magnetic strip across the front of your sewing machine to hold needles and pins as you sew.
5. Buy a can of “air” at your local camera or computer store. Use it to clean your bobbin case and feed dog.
6. Mascara brushes are wonderful for cleaning your sewing machine. Just make sure the brush is a clean, unused one!
7. Attach a small plastic bag to the side of your sewing machine to hold clipped threads as you work.
8. Apply fusible batting to the wrong side of fabric for pillows, stuffed animals, and dolls before sewing the pieces together. This will give a smoother finish to your project when you stuff it.
9. When sewing Velcro to fabric, place waxed paper on top of the Velcro and under the fabric to prevent skipped stitches. When you’re finished stitching, simply tear away the waxed paper.
10. To get a smoother, cleaner edge when using pinking shears, place a piece of paper underneath the fabric and cut through the paper and fabric at the same time.
11. To keep thread from tangling as you sew, run a fabric softener sheet over the length of the thread.
12. Have you ever wished you had a cutting table like the ones in the fabric stores—the kind with a “V” down the center for inserting your scissors to make a straight cut? If you have a kitchen or dining room table that has leaves, you have such a table. Simply open the table slightly, place your fabric even with the edge of the table, and cut along the gap.
13. Keep spools of thread and bobbins of matching colors together by threading them through a chenille stem and twisting the ends together.
14. Save those slivers of soap from the shower. They’re great for marking dark fabrics. Remove the marking by rubbing with a used dryer sheet.
15. If you have a favorite tissue paper pattern you know you’ll be using many times, use fusible web to fuse the pieces to unbleached muslin for a long-lasting pattern.
Happy sewing, and happy reading!