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Everything posted by sammi357

  1. I love machines. One might say they are a bit of an addiction! Almost all of my machines are pre-loved and from either yard sales or 2nd hand shops. (I bring them home, clean, oil and stitch them in... and dh says, "That will keep you occupied for the weekend!") (People have actually left machines on my patio....) They are all wonderful! They all have their little quirks and personalities! I want to save them all!... unfortunately, I'm running out of floor space! I have a Bernina 1530 for my stay at home, best machine. It doesn't go anywhere, b/c I'm afraid of jostling the machine and messing up the computer bits. (It's probably made of stronger stuff, but I am just unwilling to take a chance with it, after a qgf had her machine in her car, slammed on the brakes and it went tumbling! yeek!) Seat belts! The runner up is the Bernina's a mechanical machine, and a real work horse...that machine sews through anything I've thrown at it without hesitation. LOVE! Just have a JA's roller bag for it. It's a mid-weight model, has a built-in handle to make it easier to lift in and out of the tote. It goes to retreats and sewing night on a regular basis. It's only drawback, the silly thing does not have a button-hole stitch which I could really use for machine applique. 'ninas can be pricey. (just looked: The new model of this one is the 1008, their website lists it at ...whew...1699!) I got the 1001 at an estate sale. (I just weighed it...21 lbs) While dh (dear hubby) got me the 1530 which is set up in the sewing room and I use it all the time; the 1001 is really my go-to travelling machine. I don't ever worry that there's something I will need to do but won't be able to sew, because there's always some cute thing, like a new bag or wallet pattern or something someone will bring to retreat...! Also have an old green Bernina Record...that thing EATS denim and canvas like it's butter. I've replaced Carhardtt jacket zippers, but, it's chunky, not exactly easy to move about. Found a portable, folding sewing machine table at a parking lot sale, and... It FITS! Green beastie is going to be set up in this table soon to re-do camper seat covers, and I have no doubt it will chug through them with no hesitation. My DM (dear mom) just blessed me with her best friend's Featherweight. I have given it a spa treatment (thanks to the Singer Featherweight Shop tune-up kit..what a kit! Comes with all kinds of great stuff to give your FW some tlc! (Not affiliated, but really impressed with kit and service! Be sure to read their article on FW grease comparisons.) I'm in the process of fixing the case; it was badly damaged. As in, the bottom fell off! There are a ton of patterns now, for totes that wrap the cases! fun! There are a lot of places that have FW's that are more reasonable now, the prices used to be wild. Singer has a ton of little electric machines...they're really indestructible. Oh, and not to forget, there's the little Singer MOD! I also love a little Kenmore's a green, light weight portable and has a case that has roses embossed on the outside. If you can find one, they are light weight, more wallet-friendly than a Featherweight, and has a zig-zag. 15 lbs, self-contained accessory tray, etc. Older Kenmore straight-stitch/ziz-zag machines...those are not light, but worth their weight in gold. I have a blue one that isn't easy to lug around, but it sure sews great. Pfaff...they have a couple of lighter weight portables... the Grasshopper, of course, but not to overlook the Supermatic, which does a lot of different stitches with cams. Elna 1010 that is a great little portable machine. I have sewn quilting fabric on it, but haven't done anything like jeans mending or a big bag on it yet. It has lots of stitches. I was going to re-home it, but discovered that it has all these little snap-on feet, and friend gave me a 1/4 circle piecing foot and it fits this baby, so I have to keep her! lol! Oh, that foot is great, btw, if anyone is doing a drunkard's path or anything that has a circle shape...NO pinning! (Curve Master) Too many machines, so little sewing time! (, I haven't actually counted lately...?!) Maybe we should start a pool? lol! sammi
  2. Those are great bags! Wow. I think you should make a tutorial and a pattern and market them. I *LOVE* anything 'technique-y' and if you've come up with something new or a new spin on an old idea, there are lots of sites where you can sell patterns and make yourself a little 'egg money'. s
  3. Sometimes I help out at an alterations shop. (I don't mind mending--I know--weird!) They frequently get requests like that. What happens is they get the "ripped jeans look" jeans, then when they try to step into them, they'll catch a toe or something and RIIIPPP... what once was fashionable is now possibly indecent exposure! lol! When they get to that point, most of the time the gals will say, "nope. it's time to buy new jeans." The problem is that the reinforced part is now stronger than the fabric around it, so it will most likely tear again, right next to it. Then, they get mad because now they've spent $$ on getting it fixed. So, it becomes a point of diminishing returns. went above and beyond the call of duty here. I fix dh's coveralls, so when they've been mended, I stitch a tiny heart on the top edge. Recently, I did a whole batch and set them out for him to put away, this time I hadn't done any hearts. He started examining them and said, "Where's my heart?!"...had to take them back in the sewing room and put hearts on them all! sammi
  4. Good Grief! I've been in a bit of a sewing slump for a while, haven't felt like sewing, and haven't done much but a little bit of mending/hemming for hubby. So, I finally felt like getting in the sewing room. Found out a friend is expecting, so got out a "Newton" baby panel that's been aging for a while and did some simple square in a square style stuff with the complimentary fabric. Had enough fabric for two little tops. They're baby sized, so it went really fast. Nice! Instant gratification! (and, omg...Newton is SO cute...od on sweetness!) Chucked them right onto the la, try to quilt it while the sewing bug is still around, and DANG if the machine didn't blob oil on the edge of the quilt...the SECOND quilt...! I try to test stitch a little on the edge before starting, just to make sure the machine doesn't do something goofy, and it didn't, til almost the end of the second top. Dang thing! I remembered chatter here about what to do, so I grabbed powder and liberally dosed it, but I had to get the binding on before I could do anything about washing it. I hand washed just the edge with a little bit of Dawn, and then put it on the line to dry. There's a little bit of dark area in the batting...but I figure that they're meant to be baby quilts and used well, so it'll probably get washed soon enough. It's mostly not visible unless one knows where it's at. Fortunately, it wasn't someone's prize possession! But, I knew what to do because I read it here, first! (Edited because I got his name wrong.)
  5. "spanx"~ thanks for the laughs this am! Incidentally, there's nothing like karaoke to cure public speaking jitters. Talking in front of a group is really easy after getting up and singing in front of a group!
  6. I'm allergic to cats, too. So, HOW does the cat KNOW that and come right to ME? lol! My hubby likes cats, so I always tell them, "Go to HIM, he'll pet you." ...but they rarely listen. And, invariably, eventually, they'll mark something that you care about. or, the reverse could be true, a customer's critter could find your animal's scent and re-mark their territory. I couldn't sleep anywhere where a cat's had their fur or dander, and I wouldn't want to put someone that has really bad allergies at risk. We're animal free-here, now, but we did have a dog for a long time. He's been gone 9 years. Even this last week, I pulled out some UFO's and found his fur on them...that wasn't an issue for me, but wouldn't be ok if it were a customer's item. ( HOW long have I been working on that afghan?! lol!) Sammi
  7. They have WAREHOUSES to store the stuff that gets lost! It took me forever, but I finally climbed the food chain on the phone one day, and spoke to their main office, because they lost my husband's PICKUP seat. They have people to track it down, and someone finally called me back and said, we found your truck seat! ...except it wasn't ours, it was a different color, make and shape. Exactly HOW does one lose a truck seat? Let alone, TWO?.......really?
  8. dittos for appliqueing over the damaged portions. Unsewing isn't so bad! Sit down and watch a good movie together! After doing alterations for a while, I realized that unsewing is more than half the job, and if it's being altered, it's not going to BE perfect and "brand new" again...right? So having a good repair is definitely OK. I certainly would NOT use the same fabric and possibly having that stress other areas of the quilt, but find something 'blendy' for the repair. Perhaps, once the replacement bits are applique'd on, one could 'fake in' a bit of quilting over that portion by hand or on a regular mach?
  9. David, A tip from someone that really HATES sanding sheetrock. T-111 siding. We did three walls in hubby's hobby room with sheetrock, mud & tape, sand, mud, sand, patch...omg. It took me three months to get those three little walls done. (don't ask how much of that was procrastination!) Then, we were at the "big orange store" one day and I spotted this stuff in the lumber dept, and asked dh (dear Hubby), "what is that?" was paneling, primered, looks like wood? He said, "Tee one-eleven siding. Like the stuff on the side of your mom's house." I told him, "You know what I'm thinkin'?...." It's now the walls in his hobby room. It's tongue and groove. The walls were framed already. It was easy to cut with a circular saw, maybe you'll be lucky and they'll fit, but we had to cut 6" off each one because the basement walls aren't full height. He cut around the outlet boxes with a little stab saw. Put it up with a little pneumatic pinner, but little panel nails would work, too. The previous three walls took three months, these three, bigger walls took a weekend, and most of that was moving his tool bench and work tables, and re-arranging his 'stuff'. He's a sparky, so we put in outlets everywhere, some counter height and some at regular wall height. I even offered to paint it for him! It's primer grey, but he said the grey matched the cabinets we salvaged, so he likes it just fine the way it is. The panels are easy to pin into, ie, thumbtacks and things like design walls. I'm not sure how it would compare price-wise to the plain wall paneling, but that stuff is really homely, (imho...looks like the old mobile home I grew up in! ug!) And, it's got to have some insulating qualities, because it's thicker than the paneling. Hope this helps. Sammi
  10. they have 39 varieties. Nancy's Notions has some different kinds. Wawak has four. Don't know these guys: Their site shows one that looks like a basic tweezer that came with my serger. Perhaps try a search for serger supplies or commercial embroidery supplies. I saw several on the commercial embr. sites. Hope this helps. Sam ps, just search those names, they'll pop right up. (avoiding Hotlinks)
  11. Has anyone tried this with one of those little electric razor-style trimmers?
  12. Hey! The Washington Post covered the two climbers yesterday. I had to show the article to hubby and told him that "one of my quilters" had posted a photo of the two climbers that looked like tiny gnats climbing up the wall. He thought I meant you'd posted the link, but I explained that you'd been there and it was your very own photo of the climbers. To put it in perspective, they're climbing nearly half a mile...880 yards, almost nine football fields. Cool! Thank you for sharing the pic. S
  13. DSM for small quilts at first, then rented a stitch-regulated LA at a store to finish a couple more quilts. I LOVED the quilting more than the piecing. Hubby found my Ultimate 1 in the little 'thrifty' newspaper! I'm still a newbie when one counts the actual number of quilts I've done myself...I don't piece fast enough to keep myself in tops. Sammi in frozen MT!
  14. Thanks for the input. I guess I'll give one of them a try and see what happens. It should be a real learning experience, between me using poly for backing and the wildness of the quilts... (I really have got to learn how to upload photos! lol!) Since the backing seems heavy, I was debating whether or not to use a batting. I was thinking something light, lofty, to help 'fluff' the wowies, and polyester, for laundering ease. s
  15. Ever quilted a polyester top, or used polyester as a backing? Zeke~ any of those 'beauties' you've ever done been poly? I'm wondering about how to use up several cases of polyester fabric, and thought I could try some of it on those....unusual... quilt tops I got a little while back. I haven't tried it and am wondering about the amount of stretch, and if I should even try it? tia, Sammi
  16. Any possibility that you could reinforce the stitching line so that it's not just vinyl? Perhaps stitch in a bias binding, or even a selvedge/selvage edges to give it reinforcement at the seams. (not like we don't have yards of those! lol!) I'd do both sides of the seam allowance. Use the binder clips to hold the layers? And, lengthen your stitch length. The needle's making little perforations, so make them farther apart & less likely to tear. s
  17. Thank you all for the input. It seems the consensus is that even ..uh...ugly quilts need love, too! Quilting does make a HUGE difference in a top. And, Zeke, thank you for the offer to quilt them. (Too funny, stealing ugly quilts from your competition! roflol!) We got a different computer, and I'm not sure how to upload pics on to this system yet. MY reason for not doing them my own little self is that I haven't worked on any of my own things for ages. At the rate I'm going, I'm never going to get this fabric sewn up. So. Here's what I'm thinking.... there are a few options: Nag dgf to do one of them anyway, for the aforementioned 'ppp' purposes. Take them to guild and see what the ladies there want to do with them. One of the ladies there does cracker jack charity quilt selection and delivery. Another is our contact for the animal shelters. She does dog beds with all the scraps, trimmings, threads and etc, that we save for her. Take them to the lqs that just asked for quilts for a show. Take them to sewing group at church and see if they want to help finish them, as Lin mentioned. Finish them for the lady that gave them away. (complete stranger) She told me she wasn't completing them because she has had serious health issues. These are BIG quilts, so there is the backing and batting, & binding to consider. Sammi
  18. Oye. Some days I should NOT be allowed near a computer! I was recently looking at Freecycle, and there was a listing for quilt tops and blocks. FREE is a powerful word! A friend recently got a longarm, and she's afraid to use it, so I thought, "Hey, ready-made tops, ready to quilt." She could practice on them, then donate them or something. Well, she took one look at them and ran! These tops are don't have the right words. Utilitarian? They're not 'lovely' old tops that someone didn't get around to quilting. They ARE interesting. The donor said, "I think Grandma pieced them"...and they are made of everything...poly, cottons, blends, wool, home dec, it's in there. One squares, one bricks, and two are an apple core shape, with a seam in the center. They are mostly flat. Mostly. The apple core ones have some issues in areas where two different fabrics didn't want to go together very well, but that didn't slow THIS sewer down, she just poked the excess in and stitched away! So, what does one do with them? I guess I could take them to guild and see if anyone wanted to finish them and donate them, but... we usually donate NICE quilts... (and, I feel strange saying that, because who am I to judge another person's efforts? They may be homely, but they still have a lot of work in them.) Thoughts? Input? All suggestions will be carefully considered. Thanks! Sammi
  19. Thank you! I'll look at that site. As a follow up, I did make several hankies from different stuff out of my stash, with mixed results. Softness is the key, and absorbency. The 100% cottons are softer. Anything with a blend is not as absorbent. Quilting cotton: some got softer than others, and they seem to be washing well. Some pieces are 'crunchier' than others. The softer ones of these are my favorites so far, because they are fun colors. Some people have commented, especially on the pink 'pigs'! I'm wanting to find more fun fabrics. Chickens would be fun. Sister-in-law really wanted the 'dancing skeletons' bandana, so I'll have to try to find something to make her one. Flannel: was mentioned by some bloggers that had made wipers for kidlets. They are soft, but kind of fluffy and fuzzy, and not my favorite, though, after washing some, maybe some of the fuzzy will go away, then they might be really soft. I do find myself grabbing these when I am cleaning my glasses. Sheeting: a sewing friend bought new sheets which came with four king sized pillow cases. She cut two down to regular size and brought me the pieces. They're some 300 thread count or something, and they are really nice feeling. Still a little stiff yet, but these might soften up nicely. They feel really nice...I really like them, but they're kind of slick. I've stashed a sheet that is well-aged, soft, and ripped in the middle, so I'll try that when I have time to cut some hankies out. Handkerchief linen: there were some scraps in my stash of unknown origin, some were marked and some weren't, but they were already cut into squares, presumably, someone was making handkerchiefs. Those are a little stiff, so hopefully, will soften with washing. One that I tried a mitered corner and a little white-on-white machine embroidery turned out nice, but it's pretty stiff. Feels like wiping your nose on the dresser scarf! lol! They do seem to be softening a little more. It was an excellent lesson on mitering. And, I learned that machine embr. does not look the same on both sides. Already softened bandanas are still our first choice, hubby's and mine, but they tend to be really bulky in my pocket. I don't really want to walk around with a bulging wad in my hip pocket! lol! Though, I do always have a 'dana with me in my coat or bag, always have. I always had them for hair, tying around jeans for a belt, covering ears, riding motorcycles, covering face or neck from dust/sun. They're just all-around handy. I'm going to watch for the parking lot sale at our local farm and ranch, and when they go on sale, I'm going to buy a few in pretty colors for myself. We usually stock up hubby there, and he likes the darker colors. And, yes, they are just about the best when they are worn to shreds! lol! And, last but not least, a lady at quilt guild brought ladies hankies for the 'free' table. I nabbed them! All of the hankies I made were serged with the rolled hem feature, and I just squared the corners off: The ladies at the serger store showed us this: Serge onto the fabric, down the side, at the end, take two stitches past the end, roll the needles out of the fabric, lift the foot, tug the fabric gently to the rear to pull the thread of the two stitches off the loopers, then turn to the next side, place back under the foot, adjust & roll the needles back onto the corner, drop the presser foot, and continue. At the last side, instead of turning, serge to the end, roll needles out again, lift the presser foot, gently loosen the needle thread by pulling it slightly, then flip the hankie over, replace under the foot, and stitch a few stitches back the way you came. It locks the stitches. Then, you can serge off the fabric edge and cut the threads, seal them, or leave a thread tail to hide the ends. Since these are for everyday use, I didn't 1/4 turn many of them. I did do a few that way, for bandanas. It does take longer, but does make a nice finish. There's a tiny hem finish for fine fabrics in one of the sewing magazines, but I haven't tried it yet. The sizes came mostly as dictated by the scraps that I used, so they do vary a lot, but I'm finding that the really small ones aren't quite as useful as the medium ones, medium being somewhat smaller than a bandana, but bigger than a tissue. It also might be fun to try a variegated thread in the serger or machine embroidery. Trying to remember to bring a hanky has been my biggest learning curve! I'm so used to tissues that sometimes I forget, and I don't always have my handbag with me. Thanks again for the input. Sammi
  20. Is the 'yukky' factor because you don't LIKE the design? If you don't like the design, don't find it pleasing to YOU personally, doesn't mean that the quilting is bad. We see quilting and piecing so up close while things are in progress that sometimes it's hard to step back and see the big picture. Unsewing bits because the machine stitch isn't good is one thing, but frogging perfectly fine hand-guided work because you're not a computer is another! I think the sample photo looks fine. Free hand is not computer has a human, hands-on element that is what it is supposed to be. wowies happen. dittos everyone, it's fine, smile, give it to her, take the check and breathe a sigh of relief.
  21. Three arcs, from point to point inside each triangle. Very simple all over and can be done free hand. figure your starting point to leave you an 'exit' strategy to the next block.
  22. I have this machine. I just finished cleaning, checking for burrs, and re-timing the machine, because there was no fixing the burr it had without removing the hook assembly. (You may note that it's after midnight! lol!) Which I do not recommend...get a rest, THEN time the machine!) The videos are great: under product care on the home page, there's a dropdown menu that has instructional videos. (also on YouTube) Be sure to look at the page on how to check for burrs on the parts, the finger, the plate, hook, etc. The instructions on where to look for burrs are very clear, and I do notice with my machine, the thread breakage is usually a burr. Watch the video, learn the parts, then do it step by step. I know it's intimidating, but you can stop the video and refer back to it, there's a ton of information there. My dgf came to town to quilt her top, and had nothing but trouble, it kept breaking the bobbin thread. Brand new thread. Tensions look fine, and there weren't any noticeable skipped stitches, but that dang thread just keeps breaking. She was getting frustrated, so she went to dinner, and I attacked the machine. New needle, wound new bobbins, cleaned and oiled everything again, and will have to sew in the morning. Dear Hubby would NOT be a happy camper if I fired that puppy up at this time of the night! One thing that I do have that they don't mention is a nice set of tools. A set of hollow-ground screwdrivers in the sizes that will fit the machine are a necessity if you're going to take care of the machine yourself. Hollow-ground just means that the tool is made a little differently, they're a lot more 'precision' than a regular screwdriver and give a better 'bite' on the screw heads. Also, get a stubby Phillips, so it makes getting that plate on and off easier. I'll try to stitch the machine in when I get up in the am, hopefully, my friend will be able to get her top finished with less frustration. ON the other hand, she's learned to stop and start really well! (I know, Not funny...!)
  23. Love those organizers. Trouble is, I have very little wall space. At present, am using one of the mail sorter-type things...though, it's a 'pretty' one made of wire with a daisy design rather than the office industrial look. Fortunately, I don't have that many rulers and things to store. It also holds the French curve and etc, too. Scissors and rotary cutters, etc, are in a little Singer themed holder, it resembles a cardboard 6-pack holder. The front has three slots, the back is just one. If they have a home, usually I can keep things pretty well organized. Love the repurposed dish rack idea!
  24. Since the under LA storage topic came up, I'm also wondering how you all store your rulers and other odd-shaped tools? thanks!
  25. Here is a link to a small, really tricky folded piece of paper that one could use for just this purpose. It can be printed with different 'pages' to fit the purpose that you fine most useful, ie, lists, calendar, emergency contacts, etc. Small enough to fit in a wallet, jogging pouch, cell phone case, etc. I tried this, and it's really cool and tricky! I typically don't carry a purse, just a small wallet that fits in my hip pocket. Sammi