Archive for January, 2010

A Bit of Snow
January 31, 2010

We do not get snow at our elevation, but I could see it on the mountain tops. I took a photo from the grocery store, and it did not turn out as pretty as I thought it would. I think I need a telephoto lens. In the summer we do not even know those mountains exist because of the haze. It is so nice here after a winter rain storm, fresh and clean.


I didn’t get much in the way of crafting done this week. I am still practicing various things on Belle while reading books on digitizing and quilting. At Beverly’s I found fabric to attempt my first small quilt . It is going to be a table top cloth for our breakfast area. I wanted something sunny and bright. I think these Happy Camper Fabrics from Moda will be fun. I have not done very much rotary cutting except for biases. So that and actually quilting will be a new experience.


I took my BSR foot in to my dealer and had a heavier spring installed. I read on a Yahoo forum that it was recommended to eliminate skipped stitches on the 830. I think my BSR does work much better with the heavier spring. Before my stitches did not look even to me, now they do. Even though the heavier spring is not being recommended for other Bernina machines, several ladies have said they like how it works on their other machines too. Lots of ladies are lucky enough to have more than one Bernina. I did not have to pay for the upgrade, but I read it was only a few dollars for those that did pay.

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and that next week will be even better.


FM Practice
January 23, 2010

What have I been up to this week besides freezing? Not much. I must be cold blooded, because just like my tortoise, Thumper, I slow down when it gets cold.

I did manage to try free-motion quilting using the fabulous BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator). That attachment does make it much easier to go from never sewing without feed-dogs to free-motion sewing. I tried to stitch without it, but that did not go well for me. I like that even though I am not perfect at moving the fabric at a constant speed, I still get reasonably even stitches. I am getting better but still need a lot more practice before stitching on a project.

I read a tip that suggested using felt to practice. I had lots of old acrylic felt left over from Alex’s elementary school days. I like that I didn’t have to use any fabric to practice on. Actually felt may be easier to stitch too.

Please do not judge these samples harshly. I am a total novice with this type of sewing. It is going to take me a long time to get the hang of it. I had to break some old sewing habits. One was keeping the fabric oriented in the same direction. I am use to turning the fabric to go in the direction I want to sew.  The BSR has two settings. I am only able to use setting #2 that allows for short stops.  Setting #1 will sew in place if the fabric stops moving.  I need to stop and think to get a corner, otherwise I get a rounded shape.  Someday I hope to work up to setting #1.  Using setting #2 a button needs to be pressed to tie off the stitching.  Something that doesn’t bother me now, but I can see it being time consuming if I were to quilt a large quilt.

Here are some photos. The first one is of the pile of samples. The others are closeup of some motifs I tried.







A Whole Month
January 15, 2010

It has been a whole month since my last post. Sorry, I just got out of the habit, and have been busy with boring stuff.

I did manage to prune the roses, but didn’t take care of the old tomato plants. Look what I saw on Christmas Day. Being lazy gave a squirrel a rare December treat. The next day these tomatoes were gone so, they were eaten by a squirrel or a crow. I hope it was a squirrel.


I quit teaching the sewing classes at Viking this week. I just wasn’t having fun since the dealer kept taking stuff away from the class. First a cutting table, then the serger, and finally the open-toe foot I liked to have on hand for students to use to attach trim. When I complained and asked her to reconsider, especially for the serger, she said, “NO, deal with it.”   I dealt with it by telling her to get someone else to teach the classes.

I made this cute measurement form for my students using a trial version of office that came with my new laptop. I saved it in a file format I can open on the mac (.doc). I will use them for Alex’s friends cos-play costumes so they won’t go to waste. All the horizontal measurements are on the left and the vertical ones are on the right. They are listed from head to the floor on both sides, so I can go down the list do not have to go up and down on my old knees. It is similar to the form I used in my costume shop work. Back then, some days all I did was measure people. If I am making something for an individual I like having all these measurements handy. Just makes checking things before a fitting easier. Email if you would like me to send you a copy of the sheet. If you want the font I used, I can send you that file too.


Now the fun stuff:

Machine cut-work. This is cut out by putting a blade in instead of a needle. This is an included design. I still need to learn how to digitize a design of my own.


Here is something I did digitize. I scanned an image of the way Rick signs his paintings. I want to embroider this on a shirt for him, either on the pocket, or in the center back of the yoke. I think on the yoke would be a bit more artsy placement, though it might be weird. I still need to make some adjustments to the digitizing, but am happy how I managed to remove all the really long satin stitches in a way that went with the look of the letters.


Last is an embroidery design that DesignerPlus V6 came with. I am thinking of making a little bag out of it. The kind of bag that is round and hangs from the wrist. The first photo is of it being embroidered. I am still amazed watching the embroidery, though I am getting comfortable leaving the room when the longer colors are being embroidered.



I hope to post more frequently now that I no longer have to go to work.