SewIt

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sewing machine woes

WEll my sewing friends i have been very hard pressed to find the time to sew these past few months. Working full time in addition to taking classes towards my bachelor’s degree leaves me very little time to enjoy what i most like to do (sewing & quilting). Yesterday i began work on a quillow for a friend and my sewing machine started to make this very strange noise. As if the motor or gears were falling apart. This machine is less than a year old! And of course i couldn’t find the manual to try and troubleshoot it or anything.  It has been a very frustrating weekend. Hopefully i can get my machine working again real soon so i can finish this project and the other quilts i have going….spring is coming and i’ve signed up for two more classes….(i’d rather be sewing!)

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Live chat tonight on Quilting Weekly

Do you have a new machine and need help on how to use or maybe want to chat with others about sewing tips and tricks? log on tonight and through July 10 to Quilting Weekly for a live chat on sewing machines for central time zone. Haven’t blogged in a while as life sometimes gets in the way of the fun stuff. I have started a new quilt from this pattern pictured below. I love my material and can’t wait to complete it. Since it will be  a large quilt (big enough for my queen size bed!) i may have to save up to have this one quilted by a pro.

Trip Around the 9 Patch
Trip Around the 9 Patch

materialI’m hoping to get a camera soon so i can take photos more often to post, having to scan things or wait till i can borrow my daughter’s camera delays the postings sometimes.

hope you can join the chat tonight!

July 7, 2009 Posted by | Quilting, sewing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helpful Quilting sites

Still working on My First Quilt and its coming along nicely. It can be hard to get in sewing time after working all day and then coming home to make dinner, do household chores, etc., etc.  – you know! But I think I’ve made some good progress and am almost done. I’ve also been browsing around on the internet and have found a few interesting quilting blogs and sites. The Online Quilting Blog even offers online lessons/tutorials, free quilting patterns (including a list of other web sites that offer free patterns, photo gallery, tips and a chat room.

The Moda Bakeshop features their fabric line (Moda) and free patterns and photos of the projects. Both definitely worth checking out.

It’s so wonderful to see that sewing and quilting are still alive and well in this day and age when so many of the “old fashioned” type of home projects seem to be waning. I’m not sure if sewing is even taught anymore in high school (I don’t think it is). It was back in my day when i took home ec. i made a sundress. I think a quilt would have been easier, especially since the dress included a ZIPPER! Anyway i am learning so much from the blogs and sites i come across. Hope to feature more in future along with my own projects.

 Oh the things you can do with Embroidery

I finally learned how to use the embroidery function on my sewing machine! Although kind of a pain because the sewing machine needs to be connected to the computer before it can be done, I think in the long run I will be able to have much more options this way without having to buy additional software. We’ll see, the deed is done and this is the machine I have so I must work with it. It’s amazing how you can make a little 89 cent towel look so much nicer with a little embroidery.

The possibilities are endless and needless to say everybody will be getting embroidered items for Christmas. I’ll be incorporating some of that on my future quilt projects, especially for the labels! The photo is the project we did in the embroidery class which i gave to my mom for Mother’s Day. 003 can’t wait to use on quilting blocks as well.

May 14, 2009 Posted by | Quilting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Inch by Inch

004It’s so exciting to see all the bits and pieces coming together. All my classmates have chosen such different fabrics and we are all using the same pattern but each has its own personality. It’s amazing to see how the different colors (some that you wouldn’t even think would look good together) and patterns work to make each and everyone beautiful. I’ve put together all the strips and triangles into one square. Next step will be to put each of these squares together with the sashes and borders to make the large quilt top. What is that saying – yard by yard it’s hard, inch by inch it’s a cinch – and it truly is.

May 7, 2009 Posted by | Quilting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On my way..

Second day of quilting class and we got to use the Thangles! A neat little invention that helps you make perfect little triangles into perfect little squares in such an easy way. Being a first timer I thought they were fun and was disappointed when I was done ripping them off my material – it’s a stress reliever! For homework we have to sew all our strips together (3 strips of two different material) and then cut those into squares. It was a relief that I didn’t have to buy a special foot (1/4 inch quilting foot) for this. Hopefully I won’t need it down the line, that’s just one more expense and my regular sewing foot seems to work just fine. I can’t imagine all the time and effort it took back in the olden days to put these together and sew every stitch by hand. How fortunate those who have quilts from long ago that have been passed down through generations. They are true treasures. I found a fascinating web site that features and sells antique quilts from as far back as the 18th century.  If I ever get to York Village, Maine , Rocky Mountain Quilts will definitely be a stop on my itinerary. It’s so neat to see my first quilt start to come together and I love being able to have this time to sew again. 008

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Quilt Shops, Quilting | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BeepBeep

Yesterday I attended a class to learn how to work my new sewing machine. Although I had experimented at home with it, it kept beeping and stopping. Upon checking the owner’s manual, it went into a long drawn out explanation that gave the impression the beeping had to do with the settings. I was so glad when yesterday I started sewing in class and it began giving me the same problem. The teacher at first was just as perplexed. So she adjusted the thread somewhat. Still beeped. She took the thread out altogether and rethreaded the whole thing. Beeping stopped. As the class progressed I noticed a little tab peeking out from underneath my machine. Unsure if i might break something i none the less pulled on it. Low and behold it was a little trouble-shooting cheat sheet! And there under number 19 (a little light flashed on stitch number 19 when it beeped) it mentioned “may need to readjust threading”.

I also learned that i didn’t have to follow the instructions per letter in the owner’s manual for my bobbin. The book gave a complicated process that i was having trouble with. The teacher said i could do it like i’ve always done, just wind the loose end about 5-7 times around the bobbin and go. worked just fine.  I’m such a rule follower that it makes me nervous to try something new, different. What am i afraid of? i don’t know, it’s something i’m working to overcome – sometimes the rules can be broken with no harm done. This is what i’m hoping to work on by quilting. Yes there are certain rules but doesn’t appear so when it comes to fabric – Colors do not need to match – it can be as wild and as funky as i want it to be. looking forward to these experiments.

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Quilting, sewing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s a Thangle?

suppliesfabricThangles [www.thangles.com], dayglo  tape, blocks, triangles on a roll. These are just some of the new terms I learned last night at my quilting class and yes dayglo tape is exactly what it sounds like. A roll of brightly colored tape used to mark our rulers (at least that’s what we did last night) in the various positions needed to keep track of where we will be measuring and cutting for different widths of cloth. I’m sure it has other uses but we haven’t learned them yet. And triangles on a roll are just that – a big roll of paper triangles to use as patterns to cut the fabric. How cool is that! We will be using Thangles instead of triangles on a roll which are basically the same thing except they come in strips instead of on a roll, but the lesson on how to actually use them will be next week.

 

 

 Quilting, I (and my classmates) are learning is turning into an expensive little adventure, especially for those of us who also just purchased sewing machines. In addition to the above we needed thread, cutting mats, rotary cutters, pins, seam ripper and a quilt ruler. Having sewed off and on through the years I did have some of these supplies but not all. We also learned to never, ever leave our cutting mat in the car. A class mate left hers and by the time she got in the car to come to class it had bent out of shape from the heat (and it wasn’t even a very hot day). Now she has to purchase a new one and at $25 her cost in this venture has just gone up.

But all in all, we will take away a valuable skill and an item that will last for years to come –as will most of the supplies with proper care – and that is what we are anticipating. By the end of the class we should all be very familiar with quilt-speak.

 

 

April 8, 2009 Posted by | Quilting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The thread goes where?

002 Well, I’ve taken out the new machine to familiarize myself with all it’s fancy gadgets and workings. After several tries I was finally able to get my bobbin threaded after spending a few minutes figuring out the example drawn in the instruction book, yet I still don’t think I’m doing it quite right. It kept getting tangled up on the bobbin and ending up in a big mess that definitely would not work. So I managed to figure out a way to get the thread on there tight and managed to thread the machine. I then went through some old scrap material I still had (I keep everything!) to test some of the stitches. It sews beautifully! However as I went through the various stitches, the machine kept making a beeping noise and stopping. Apparently it is factory set and although I moved the knobs to adjust the stitch length, it still keeps beeping. This will be very annoying if it does this while I’m in my quilting class so I found a class for next Monday morning – lesson 1 to learn how to work my machine. I had already been through this series of classes with my previous machine and now I’m back at square one. Well it will be worth it, this has some really neat stitch options – ivy and starbursts among others and I can’t wait to use them on upcoming projects.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | sewing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Quilting I will go

I’ve always admired those women who could take a hodgepodge of scrap material, cut it up into into small squares and end up with work of art. A beautiful quilt that can not only be used in the home but passed on for generations to come. And if well cared for can go up in value! Well I’m going to take a stab at this wonderful art form. I purchased a new sewing/embroidery machine last month and have signed up for My First Quilt Workshop at The Old Craft Store. It’ll be one day a week for the next 4 weeks and at the end I’ll have completed a small quilt – big enough to wrap the first grandbaby in (whenever he/she may come) or to use as a sofa throw or wall hanging.

I should be getting my supply list any day now and am looking forward to sewing again. With the economy, improving my sewing skills will come in handy and I hope to make some lasting friendships as well. I was thinking I would take this up when I retired but doesn’t look like that may not happen for a very long time and why put off what I can do today. 

Once I’ve learned the proper quilting process, my next project I want to make a quilt out of all my children’s old t-shirts –  from camp, girl scouts, boy scouts, sports, school spirit, and vacation souvenir t-shirts. I welcome any sewing or  quilting tips and  ideas.

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Quilting | , , , , , , | Leave a comment