Beadsmith Thread Zap

Barbara Blankenship © 2006

   
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I can always depend on my local group of crazy quilters to come up with some new item that I just “can't live without.” Linda, who is also an avid beader, has this wonderful little gadget called the Beadsmith Thread Zap. It operates on one AA battery and when the button is depressed the tip heats to 1200 degrees instantly. Its function is to melt and seal short thread tails on beadwork.

When my group saw it, the wheels immediately started turning and we began to see its applications for the crazy quilt world. I was given the assignment to find this thread zapper online and purchase eight of them. I chose Sova-Enterprises because they offered a discount with multiple orders and also free shipping with purchases over $100.

I've had so much fun “playing” with this wonderful tool and want to share with you some of its uses with crazy quilting.

Most of us have used candles, wood burning tools, matches, and yes, even butane fire starters to burn silk. The thread zap accomplishes all these tasks and is small enough to carry with you for immediate use. Once you discover the convenience of this wonderful little zapper, you won't be tempted to use any thing else. I would encourage you to use caution when operating it as it reaches a very high temperature immediately. I also recommend experimenting with some silk scraps to determine how quickly it burns.

Pictured here is a Hanah ribbon rose made by burning nine individual petals. The first petal is rolled to form the center bud. The other eight are loosely gathered and stitched around the bud. The attached leaf is burned in the same manner. 
In this picture I've attempted to capture the beauty of the dogwood. Four individual petals are burned and attached to fabric. The center is done with French knots and several small beads for sparkle.  

 

I enjoy using graphics in my work and prefer the Habotai silk printer sheets available through Dharma Trading Company. This picture shows the burned edges around the graphic to prevent any fraying. I usually use a gold feather stitch to attach it to the background.  

 

 

Another use for the Thread Zap is searing the edge of ombre ribbon. Cut a length measuring approximately two inches and burn one edge. On the opposite edge find the one thread that will pull and gather the ribbon into a small circle. Stitch ends together and attach to fabric either with thread or a small center bead. 

Resource: Sova-Enterprises
Dharma Trading
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