Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!
I know I have used this photo before, but it just makes me smile every time I see it and it is so appropriate today!

Here is the explanation of this national holiday:

Observed annually on June 13 is National Sewing Machine Day.  This day honors the invention of the sewing machine.  It is hard to imagine having to sew things together by hand, stitch by stitch. (Really?) Skilled cabinet-maker and English inventor, Thomas Saint, received the first patent for a design of a sewing machine in 1790.  It was meant for leather and canvas, was never advertised and no evidence of it, other than his drawings, could be found.  In 1874, William Newton Wilson found Saint’s drawings in the London Patent Office, made adjustments and built a working model. This model is currently owned by the London Science Museum.
  • Walter Hunt invented the first American lockstitch sewing machine in 1832.
  • John Greenough patented the first sewing machine in the United States in 1842.
Industrial use of the sewing machine reduced the burden that was placed upon housewives, moving clothing production from them and seamstresses to large-scale factories. This also resulted in a decrease in production time which caused the price of clothing to drop considerably.
Today, many people are again becoming interested in the art of sewing and making their own clothing. Crafts fairs and flea markets are filled with booths full of beautiful sewing machine-made clothes and craft items.
Quilters across America are known as sewing machine experts!

I think we all might agree with that last sentence!

I hope you get to spend some quality time with your best buddy...
I plan on spending some time with Bernie when I get home from work today. Ahhh...
Lucy will be joining me for some quality 'machine time'

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I'm Still Here... Making Friends

Some of you might be wondering what happened to me... Did she ever come back from that machine class?  Did she run away from that very intimidating machine? (Remember the picture of Lucy in last post?)  Well, no I have been here diligently working on a quilt and becoming acquainted with my new friend Bernie. The machine class was great and I decided to put some of what I learned into practice. 
This is a baby quilt for a friend at work.  She is expecting her second son on June 22.  If you remember I bought that airplane fabric at the NJ Quilt Show in March.

I saw a similar quilt on Pinterest with these airplanes and decided to draw the planes myself on fusible web and then add my own design around it. (FYI - I did search for the pattern and didn't find anything.)  Love the rickrack contrails.
The machine did a great job with the buttonhole stitch around all the planes.
I added 5 inch blocks and a couple of borders and it was ready to be basted.
In the meantime, we took a trip one Saturday out to Ephrata, PA to Hinkletown Sewing.  On a back country road with farms on either side, we found the shop nestled in a small white building located on their farm.  This is the dealer that I bought my machine from at the AQS Lancaster quilt show.
This dealer only sells Bernina sewing machines, except for a few trade-ins on the floor, and is owned and operated by a Mennonite family.
It is a small shop but with great customer service and good prices. The have used presser feet that you can pick up for $10.  A real deal!  I was lucky enough to find a clear free motion foot in that basket.
Back home, I was ready to start machine quilting this baby quilt.  The machine comes with a stitch regulator foot, but for right now I prefer to do my FMQ with out the help.  I loved this clear foot for seeing exactly where I was going. 
I did invest in a walking foot, not being sure that I would need it.  With the dual feed on this machine, quilt binding goes on with no problem.  But for straight machine quilting, which I would like to do more of, this walking foot was fantastic!  It was quiet and smooth and the guides worked great. I think it is a keeper.
I have added my label and I am working on getting the binding finished!
Hope the baby's mom loves this quilt as much as I have enjoyed making it.  Her baby 'sprinkle' is on Tuesday. :-)

I am no longer intimidated by my new machine and I am really enjoying working with her. :-)

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ever Feel Intimidated by a Machine?

Have you ever felt this way?  This is what I have felt like lately. 
Now I am not a novice to sewing.. been doing it about 47 years.  (Eek!  How did that happen?)

I actually owe my sewing start to my grandmother who insisted that 'girls should know how to sew'.  So she enrolled me in summer sewing classes and on the bus I went to the Singer sewing store downtown.  Thanks, Grandma!! (RIP)

Singer Stylist 237
I don't remember the exact model I learned on in class, but I found this photo on the internet of the model of my mom's first sewing machine... which became my first sewing machine about the same time.  My mother was not a sewist. :-) 
It did straight and zig-zag stitching.  Adjustments were limited to tension, stitch length, stitch width and needle position.  I used that machine until the mid-1980's.
About a month ago I traded in my Viking for a brand new Bernina 770 QE.  I wasn't planning on buying a new machine... but you know how that goes.  It was a great deal on a show demo... yatta, yatta, yatta. 

When I unpacked the machine and turned it on I was feeling a bit like Lucy in the picture above.  Totally intimidated by this new machine.  My Viking was only 7 years old, but we had become such familiar old friends.  You know that feeling, right?  When I try to explain this to my non-quilting friends they look at me a little strange and just shake their heads in agreement.. but I know they have no clue what I am talking about and probably think I am more than a little strange. To have such a 'close relationship' with a machine can't be normal.  LOL
So today Bernie and I are going on a road trip to my local dealer for some machine lessons.  She is a big girl and will be a challenge to get in and out of the car and into the store.  But hopefully by the end of the day we will be better friends and I won't have that same look on my face as Lucy does.

Wish me luck!

Happy Stitching,

Deb & Bernie

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Birthday Week!

Notice I didn't say my birthday.. as in a single day.  It should be a week long event, right? LOL
I went to my favorite quilt shop yesterday - Pennington Quilt Works.  They offer a birthday coupon, so I'd be crazy to pass that up!  Here is what made it into my bag - mostly 1/4 yard cuts and most on sale too, and some other gotta have items. Yay!
My birthday was on Tuesday.  This is what I came home to after work - isn't my husband the best?  Makes me feel really special on my birthday.
We went out to one of my favorite restaurants - Pandan Room, where I had the Lombok Tilapia - delicious!  John had the lamb shank which had a wonderful ginger sauce.  The restaurant in a byob - which I love. A nice glass (or two) of a Sauvignon Blanc and it was a fabulous meal!
My sweet husband did exactly as I asked him, no cake - just a cupcake. (Portion control!) Mine, of course came with a candle.  Chocolate with chocolate icing - it doesn't get any better. 
Enjoy your Sunday. I am heading to my sewing room with my bag of goodies.  I have fabric to fondle!

Happy Stitching!



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