Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My White Whale

As you probably already know, I have a casual love of sewing.  To date I've done several dozen receiving blankets for new moms, two sets of two decorative throw pillows, two sets of curtains, and a baby rag quilt.  Recently I started my most ambitious sewing project; a queen size traditional quilt.

Sadly, while sewing together the pieces of my 5th block, my adorable little beginner's Shark machine started making a decidedly unhappy clunking sound.  I did all the usual things - rethreaded the machine, took the bobbin out and reloaded that, even opened the cover and oiled the right spots for the arm mechanism... turned the Little Sewing Machine That Could back on and still that icky clunk clunk clunk whenever the mechanism would turn around.

So (sew?) taking into consideration that it will cost me more to have it looked at, have it tuned up, have the timing tuned and to have it repaired than what the machine is worth, I've decided to let the Little Sewing Machine That Could rest in peace.  It taught me well, and I absolutely got every cent it was worth out of it and then some!

Now on to happier news!  I stopped in at this fantastic place near my apartment called K-W Sewing Machines (http://www.kwsewingmachines.com/) and talked to a very informative woman named Wendy about my options for a new machine considering my level of experience and my intended uses.

This is the machine Wendy had me pull out a stool and sit in front of.  And oooh my how impressed I was!  I had no idea new sewing machines could have sweet little LCD displays and so many cool features!!

This is the Janome 2030 QDC.

Here are its very cool features:

  • Top loading full rotary hook bobbin
  • 30 built-in stitches
  • 3 one-step buttonholes
  • Manual thread tension control
  • One-hand needle threader
  • Snap on presser feet
  • 7 piece feed dog
  • Free arm
  • Drop feed
  • Start/stop button
  • Speed control slider
  • Locking stitch button
  • Memorized needle up/down
  • Easy reverse button
  • Auto declutch bobbin winder
  • Extra high presser foot lift
  • Back lit LCD screen with easy navigation keys
  • Maximum stitch width: 7mm
  • Maximum stitch length: 5mm
  • Soft cover included 
I also really love the optional foot pedal.  I didn't even realize that was an option!  As an entry-level machine, it's pretty impressive the amount of handy things it comes with - including a full set of quilting feet including a walking foot for doing binding (which I've already heard horror stories about haha!). 

I have to scrounge together enough allowance (yes, I give myself an allowance shh!) to be able to get the rest of the fabric I need for my quilt and in the meantime this is my next crafty goal.  What's nice about sewing in general is it's not like many other crafts; you can pick it up and put it down for months and it's none the worse for it (assuming you store your fabrics well).

What machine do you have?  What's your White Whale?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Quilt Project - installment 1

I decided this week to start a new project - a full-size quilt!  I'm doing a Sarah's Choice pattern, and I'll be using a series of installments to track my progress through this quilting journey.

I have to do 16 12" blocks for the size quilt that I'm making.  Then I'll be doing the sashing and border once the blocks are finished.

My goal is to get at least one block done every week.  If I get time, and I have the daylight on my side I'm hoping I can do more (I have terrible lighting in my apartment and the only time I can really get good light is when I'm home during the day on the weekends - since it's been getting dark around 4-5pm lately).

So enough of the boring details, here's the first sewn pieces: sandwich style squares

And some flying geese style rectangles

And tadaa!! My first block!

It's a lot trickier than I realized to get all the corners to line up perfectly, but hey it's only my first block so far :)

Stay tuned for further installments!