Failure and injury number one:
I had a day of failures and minor injuries today. First of all I tried to make a zippered pouch. It was a very cute one that came with a free pattern and tutorial. Another friend had made one and as I have to make a zippered pouch for the Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild’s Zippered Pouch Challenge/Swap, I thought I would try it.
I have to say that while I acknowledge fully my shortcomings as a machinist I still think the instructions for this particular pouch left a lot to be desired. Several times I couldn’t understand what I was supposed to do and, of course, did the wrong thing… 5 seams unpicked later and re-sewn still wrong and I gave up but not before I dropped a pin on the floor, bent to pick it up and bashed my head on the sharp corner of my long plastic cutting ruler. I now have an unattractive red mark right above my nose.
Failure and injury number two:
I decided I would wash and blow-dry my hair. The metal part of my large round brush got super hot and when I accidentally touched my neck with it, I burnt myself! Ouch! Another nice red weal to add to the collection I’m starting. Then before I could make it out of the bathroom to safety I knocked all the bottles and spray cans off the shelf and had to hunt for which top matched which perfume bottle etc. Fortunately nothing was broken.
Once out of the bathroom I decided to resort to a peaceful hour or two knitting the scarf I started for my husband. Half-way through I noticed an unfixable mistake and had to undo the entire thing.
I hope your day has been better.
Yesterday and today have been very misty. I laughed at a newsreader who called it a “real pea-souper”. As someone who experienced the impenetrable fogs in England caused by coal smoke pollution in the mid 20th century I can tell you this bears no resemblance whatsoever to a “pea-souper”. We used to walk to school with scarves over our noses and mouths and when we arrived the places where we had breathed in would be black with the pollution particles! Here’s a look at an autumn misty morning in my Sydney garden.
I don’t know about you but when I travel I hate having dirty laundry floating around my suitcase. I usually put it in a plastic bag till I can find a washing machine. Anyway I decided to make a travelling laundry bag for my husband.
I used self-binding seams as per this Craftsy tutorial, both for strength and for looks. I divided it so the laundry could be sorted into lights and darks and I added coloured tabs to denote which side was which. Then I cut some of my First of Infinity black and white print to make a cute label.
Recently I’ve tried my hand at some rudimentary bags. I showed them to you in a previous post here and here. Then I saw this great pattern on the Sew Serendipity website. I bought the pattern and thought about it for a while. Then I was sidelined from hand quilting because I hurt my hands/wrists so I decided this was the perfect time to try to make the bag using my machine.
There are learning curves and then there are LEARNING CURVES! This one was an Everest for me. To begin with all went smoothly but then as I started sewing through 10 thicknesses of fabric, 9 thicknesses of interfacing plus one thickness of Peltex, I realised two things – 1. Manhandling all that fabric and a sewing machine is not good for sore hands and 2. I need an industrial strength sewing machine just to get that much fabric under the presser foot!
I persevered and finished the bag. Some bits I had to do by hand because they physically would not go under the presser foot of my machine. Other bits I did but not to my satisfaction as it was too difficult to manhandle a whole, stiff, inside out bag and sew several very thick pieces at the same time.
I’m happy with the end result but IF I ever made another I wouldn’t make it so stiff. It’s just too hard with an ordinary domestic sewing machine. Anyway here it is. What do you think?
Do you remember this quilt?
That purple fabric is quilter’s lamé. I sewed it with a 1/4″ seam as we quilters usually do and after a few washes this is the result…
Looks to me like 5/8″ seams would have been in order here. Sigh…
The ideal sewing machine
I was really interested to get all of your comments and Annette I agree that your bobbin arrangement sounds exactly what I’m after, consider it included as an explanatory note to the list. Kate has added a knee presser foot lifter when she commented on Facebook too. I wonder if Singer or Janome or Juki or Bernina is listening. It’d be nice wouldn’t it?
If you could have anything you liked in a sewing machine, would it be fancy with lots of bells and whistles or pared down but sturdy? Would it be single purpose e.g. digital embroidery or would it be multi-purpose?
I’ve been thinking about this a great deal recently and here’s what I’d like in my ideal sewing machine:
- Three types of stitches – straight, zig-zag and buttonhole.
- Clip on feet
- Easy needle clamping, no hard to hold, fiddly little screwdrivers
- Reverse stitching
- Needle up/needle down
- Auto threat cutting
- Slide in/out plate – no screws!
- Easy to load bobbin
- Easy bobbin winding
- Sews multiple thicknesses of fabrics easily, without jumping – almost industrial strength.
- Easy top and bottom thread and presser foot tension adjustments
- Automatic buttonhole
- Drop down feed dogs for free-motion quilting
- LARGE THROAT for quilting – at least 15″
- Free-arm and extension table
- Hard cover or comes with it’s own “wheelable” storage bag
- Good storage for bobbins, feet and all the tools etc.
- Under $800
- A decent light that actually illuminates what you’re sewing
- A 10 year warranty
That’s not too much to ask is it? It probably is but I guess I can dream.
Last weekend I went to a local quilt exhibition. Unfortunately I can’t show you photos of the quilts as I think there are permission issues. However, I bought some goodies. Here’s what I bought…
a cute pincushion
a lovely hand made card and some lavender pouches
I also had a go at making a New York Beauty block from scraps and while there is certainly room for improvement I’m quite pleased with it.
I hope all you mothers out there enjoy your day on Sunday and are remembered by your offspring no matter where in the world they are. Happy Mother’s Day!