Friday, March 30, 2012

On Again Off Again

I got back on my island on Tuesday night and will get back off it tomorrow afternoon. Then I'll get back on it again next week. On again, off again.
Fun though, I've been spending time with quilters - loosening up some lines. No rulers, no worries, no perfect star points.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dear old Husqvarna

My first sewing machine - it was my mom's, and she bought the best machine she could find when she got married. It had fancy stitches - you had to change out the cams to produce some of them, and it was green with dark brown knobs and wheels. It would sew through anything! The electric motor finally went on it - my mom sewed a lot , then my sister and me too, and we all used that old Husky. It came in a green tweed hard case with lots of accessories. This is a photo of one just like our old beauty.  I was reminded of this old machine when Lysa posted a picture of a beautiful orange Husqvarna she coveted, and it made me remember all my lovely (and some not so lovely) sewing machines I've had. (I may have a bit of sewing machine acquisition problem- this problem comes and goes).
I think my favourite sewing machine is my current daily driver - a Bernina 1090. I bought it used, purchased a walking foot and a #37 foot (for 1/4 inch seams) and have never looked back.
I had a Bernina 1008 in the late 1990's. It was a basic machine, but a sturdy little work horse. I traded it in years later when I bought a big-dog computerized machine, and the next day regretted my decision to let it go - went back to the store to buy it back and it was already sold!
I enjoyed that big-dog computerized Bernina 200 for it's wide stitch and awesome machine quilting abilities, but was not using it's computer brain to its best advantage so it went on to bigger and better things at Cynthia's house. You should see what she does with it!
I have a semi industrial Bernina (good for curtains and slipcovers) and an industrial Consew with a built in walking foot (good for the really heavy sewing I sometimes do). I bought a Babylock serger a few years ago to finish the seams on some upholstery I was doing, I have mom's old Bernina 830 (she bought it when she passed the old green Husky on to me) and I have an older Bernina 801 that did its time in a school sewing room.

 I have bought and sold many pretty little Singers, old black ones in round wooden boxes or in leather trimmed boxes, I once had a little green one in a cabinet which I gave to a nice young co-worker who had a special talent for sewing. I used to have a Pfaff 130 with the choice of an electric motor or a hand crank. I had that one with me when we sailed down the coast - to repair sails, or just to sew when the urge hit. I sold it to another sailor friend.

I think my next sewing machine will be a treadle, so I can carry on stitching if the power goes out (which it does a few times each winter), otherwise my desire to acquire is dormant.

Do you have a favourite sewing machine?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


The first day of spring.
I love first days.
Another new year's celebration for those with a short attention span.

I have a pile of bright new solid fabrics all washed and dried and ready to press, ready to inspire, ready to be stripes, ready for whatever...  and ....I have two new classes to design.

1). Epic Skills For The Modern Patchworker - I'd like to teach the basics - so a person can have at their fingertips any technique needed to get their own fabulous designs out into the world. And some finicky stuff, like joining the ends of binding, and making nice mitered corners, easy ways to make good triangles in any size, nestling seam allowances, pressing geek-outs, etc. As time allows, I'll teach specific skills to those wanting to know how to do ... "that"!

2). Improv Quilt for Anybody - This one will be a class for anyone who wants to make a quilt, mixing big pieces of special fabrics (an old favorite shirt? Gran's embroidered linens?) and patchwork bits and other cloth... to plan, cut and piece a unique quilt top. I hope to have experienced quilters who wish to "loosen up" and new quilters who are simply excited by the whole idea of patchwork and its possibilities and people who just want to make a quilt.

Yay for the first day of spring.