I Dream In Digital

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And Some People Think It's Sew Easy!

I took a quilting class today. It was a 2.5 hour beginner class that quickly turned into 3.5 with just 4 students and an instructor. I am now in awe of women who can quilt. I made 1- 12" block and I'm so exhausted that I think I might just take a nap! I made my block with 3 shades of purple fabric. It turned out cute but no where near perfect. Our instructor quickly pointed out that we need to practice, practice, practice in order to get the skills down.

Quilting is all about precision. The pieces need to be cut accurately, sewn precisely, and pressed properly in order for the smaller squares to make the larger block. Lots of measuring & cutting are necessary. I don't know if impatient me can really put forth the effort to make a whole quilt.

The good news is that I learned a lot of great tricks that will save me some time and effort with my sewing. Rotary cutting will take some practice to get used to but the class was well worth the money just to learn how to rotary cut. I also found a great use for painter's tape...use it to mark your seam allowance on your machine so you can use the edge of the tape as a guide when sewing.

Overall, I'm glad I took the class. I may not ever make a quilt but the skills I learned will hopefully make me a better sewer in the long run!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Machine Envy

I've been doing a lot more sewing lately than I have in the past. I made the mistake of stopping at the sewing machine shop inside JoAnns the other day when I was buying some fabric. I was looking for a special presser foot for my ancient Singer. The machine is about 15 years old and still in pretty good condition but it doesn't do anything other than straight stitch and zig zag plus it's very noisy. It's a work horse and it's been good to me but I'm a little more advanced than it is and I am thinking it's about time to trade up.

So now, I have machine envy. There are all these beautiful, shiny, computerized machines that just call out to me as I pass by...

"You don't have a serger but I have an overlock function...it's so useful when making kids clothes."

"I have 40 decorative stitches."

"You can design your own embroidery patterns with my special software".

So far, I haven't given in. But I feel I'm starting to break! I found what I thought was a fantastic deal for a steal of a price last week. Turns out it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It wasn't even made by the manufacturer name that was stamped on the case. No online support either, a HUGE deal breaker for me.

I found a machine I think I will like at a price I can afford. The hard part now is finding a local dealer who sells it so I can actually try it out before I buy it. It's a pretty advanced machine but low end for a computerized one. I'd rather buy it from a sewing shop and spend a few extra $$ for a sewing lesson or 2 they usually throw in with a purchase. I'd rather not buy from a big box chain who could care less that I'm buying it in the first place.

I'm taking a beginning quilting class tomorrow. I'll have a better idea of my need for a new machine if I decide to get serious about quilting. Me, get serious about anything? (You can't hear me but I'm laughing like crazy now!)