I love the hardware store. I might even love it as much as I love the fabric store.
This is one of my favorite sewing tools:
Yup. It’s a little razor blade from my workshop toolbox. I suppose it’s more of an un-sewing tool. It is wonderful for slicing out seams. In this case, it’s the seam on the waistband on my husband’s favorite sweatpants. The elastic made that crinkly sound when stretched, where you know it’s no longer going to bounce back.
I really dislike mending and normally I would not take apart three waist seams to replace a drawstring elastic, but when your spouse is starting to workout you want to encourage him, so his favorite sweats must be saved!
What’s your favorite non-sewing sewing tool?
On Saturday, I went to machine quilting class. Class was from 10am until 4pm, with a half hour break in the middle. For the first part of class, we used the walking foot, or in my case, just engaged the IDT on my Pfaff.
all of our mistakes glaringly obvious it easier to see what we were doing, we used thread that contrasted well with the muslin fabric we were practicing on, and used a different colored thread in the bobbin. First we worked on stitching in the ditch. This means we just stitched over the seam lines of our 9-patch block. Sounds pretty easy, right? Mine was pretty dreadful.
I could just show you this little bit and you might think it was okay –
But then when I showed you this other part, which is more representative of the rest of the piece…
…you’d see there is room for improvement! See those green lines? That’s where the stitching should have gone. My stitching in the ditch was more like strolling all over the road. We practiced for a bit and then moved on to other techniques. (Whew!)
The next thing we did was the diagonal lines on our 9-patch block. I think this was called “line of sight” quilting, but that could be completely wrong. I should have written it down!
Anyway, I started at one corner of the block and kept an eye on the corner I wanted to go to, focusing on the corner rather than the machine’s presser foot. That turned out like this:
After we did the center diagonal lines, they were used as a guide to make the stitching lines on either side of them. This worked out pretty well. I ended up with this nice set of squares on point in the middle block:
The next bit seemed to go better.
For this one, we put down strips of masking tape to make our guidelines. Aligning the edge of the foot with the tape, I was able to make nice straight lines. Then we marked dots between a set of the lines and practiced making a zigzag between the lines. The nice thing about this is that it’s okay to just consider the dots to be a suggestion. It didn’t matter if the stitching didn’t make it right to the dot since they were just washable marker spots no one would know the original intent!
Straight zigzags like this were pretty easy – just stitch a straight line and then stop and pivot by leaving the needle down and lifting the presser foot up. The next thing we tried were curves.
These worked well when stitching wide, gentle curves. But when the space was narrower, my nice curves seemed to trip a bit.
The last thing we tried before moving on to free motion quilting was using one of the machine’s decorative stitches.
This time the stitches were aligned with one of the straight lines from earlier. They are nice, but it takes a looonnnng time for those decorative stitches to stitch. This would make a neat border, or maybe something fun for just a few places on the quilt, but I don’t think I have the patience to do much more than that!
The second half of the class was about free motion quilting, but I’ll save that for another post. :) Have you tried quilting with a walking foot? I think the biggest thing was practice, practice, practice! Did your stitching in the ditch turn out better than mine?
A Burda Style just for North America?
The latest press release from Burda seems to indicate a new focus for the Burda Style brand.
From the April 11, 2013 press release:
Immediate initiatives for Burda Style USA include:
· Creation of a Burda Style USA publishing program; encompassing the Burda Style magazine, various e-mags, books and e-books, as well as themed PDF pattern collections, using interactive content and the extensive library of patterns and instruction programs
· Developing and launching direct-to-consumer online products and services – including extensive online education programs, a pattern release program with upwards of 20 new projects per month, as well as transactions in sewing related products
· Growing the US online audience through comprehensive SEO/SEM campaigns, email list optimization, social media activities, editorial promotion
· Creating exclusive Burda Style USA sewing kits and VIP programs
You can find the full release here.
What do you think? What would you like to see?
Craftsy is having their Spring Sale! Up to 75% off classes! What do you have on your to-take list? Here are a few of mine:
Magical Jelly Rolls – I’m hoping this will magically turn the jelly rolls on my shelf into something wonderful! (It could happen, right??)
Stupendous Stitching – quilting class
Pattern Drafting from Ready-to-Wear – I’ve tried this on my own with little success, maybe this class would help?
Sew the Perfect Fit – sounds lovely!
The sale starts today (Friday) and goes through Monday, April 8th, with different classes each day, so check to see if the ones you want are on sale today and check back tomorrow for more! I’ll be keeping an eye out, too. :)
What do you want to learn?
This post contains affiliate links.
Enter your original fabric designs (up to 10 per person) to join their Fabric Design Contest between April 1 – 22, 2013. You could win a custom run of your fabric by Benartex and a new Bernina 710 sewing machine!
Check out the info over at WeAllSew.com