craft business

Singer Featherweight C240

I have an original black Singer Featherweight from 1951. Still have all of the original accessories (plus some Fashion Aids), but opted for a new case, foot controller and an LED bulb. Love to sew on this machine.

Several of the ladies who meet weekly to make quilts for QOV sew on Pfaff Passport 2.0/3.0 machines. This must be the the new trend in the group as everyone was sporting  Janome 3160QDCs some 5 years ago.

The modern Featherweight C240 is a Pfaff Passport 2.0 in disguise.

I am currently testing out a C240.

As a prior Pfaff owner, I do appreciate the built-in walking foot (IDT/IEF system), stitch quality/selection and overall feel of the Singer branded version. We use the modern curvy Fashionmate sewing machines in our weekly sewing club at school and they perform well.  It looks like the C240 might be built at the same factory.

What I do not like:
* Design is such that machine tilts at an odd angle when carrying it by the handle.
* Default stitch width and stitch length is not automatically displayed in LED window. You must press another button 1-2x to see all the info.
* Prefer a slider versus the touch pad to adjust sewing speed.
* 1/4″ foot and open toe feet do not come with the machine.

I also wonder how well the touch pad control is going hold up over the long term.  Our laminators at school have a similar control and it seems we replace sensors under the touch pad on an annual basis. Wonder how much this costs to repair?

I’m intrigued by the machine because it does have a built-in walking foot that comes in so handy with piecing and garment sewing. Pfaffs generally sew beautiful decorative stitches and this one is no exception. The work area is well lit – much better than my Janome M7200 WITH the Bendable Bright Lite.

Will it become a permanent member of my sewing machine collection?  Don’t know. I have until May 1st to figure that out.

 

 

 

 

craft business

Perseverance

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What looks like an ordinary piece of crochet work to you represents something entirely different for me:

PERSEVERANCE

You see, I have tried for YEARS to learn how to crochet.  I took a Craftsy class, got books from the library, had private lessons at not one – but two – different yarn shops, even had a coworker try to show me the basics of crochet (and we’re still friends) – but I just couldn’t seem to get it.

So this week I have been home – as in knocked flat on my back sick – with the flu. I even had a flu shot which makes matters worse!  Until my fever broke, sleeping at night didn’t happen.  So, I started mindlessly watching YouTube videos on crochet of all things.  The second night, the light bulb went off – I’d been making things harder than I needed to.

I unearthed a large crochet hook and a some yarn in my craft room and started following along. The first few attempts were as normal – not worth keeping, but the more I began to get it, the stitches became more uniform and I found my rhythm. The way I hold yarn in my left hand wouldn’t pass muster with the crochet police (related to the quilt police), but I’m good with that.  I felt confident enough to tackle a small mug rug and am finishing up that project now.

So, this uneven, wavy piece of crochet work will be pinned to the inspiration board in my studio as a visual reminder that perseverance does pay off in the end.

 

craft business

Go away flu bug!

Despite getting my flu shot and dutifully washing my hands every time I turn around, I still managed to come down with the flu. I’ve been to the doctor twice in 3 days!

After my less than stellar experience with a local primary care doctor, I am loathe to set foot in any medical establishment. You do realize I have to be practically on my deathbed to go to the doctor?

While grateful for my insurance coverage and the access to medical care, I sincerely hope the past week is not a indicator of what 2018 has in store for me!

May 2018 be your healthiest yet!

 

craft business

A Clean Slate

New look. Same content.  Do you like it?

Along with the fresh, new look come some changes in services offered for 2018:

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* Sewing classes.
* Technical editing services for quilt pattern designers.
* Sewing supplies via the Etsy shop.

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* Memory quilts
* T-Shirt quilts
* Custom sewing for hire

 
The opportunity to pursue my Reading Endorsement at a reasonable cost through my school district appeared shortly before Christmas. It means six months of intense focus on the program, but by the end of May, I’ll have an in-demand subject area to add to my teaching certificate, plus will have saved myself several thousand dollars in the process. It will add value to my current position with the school district, plus potentially open up new opportunities for me.

As much as I enjoy making quilts, they are quite labor intensive. So, no quilts for hire until mid-summer – at the earliest.

If you are a private school or home school parent interested in private sewing lessons for your children/small group, a limited number of openings are available in my Smyrna studio.  Ages 8 & up.  Parents/caregivers are welcome to stay. Please contact me directly for more details.  [All others should contact Stitch N Quilt at 770-944-3356 regarding class availability.]

Happy 2018!

Kid's Sewing, craft business, sewing classes

Let’s make some magic…

Travel pillowcase

Miss Teresa’s Magical Travel Pillowcase that is!

Join us on Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Stitch ‘N Quilt in Mableton to learn how to make a travel size pillowcase.

Cost:  $10.00 + supplies

The shop is offering kits (including a pillow) in either a pink or turquoise colorway. If you prefer to DIY, please bring your fabrics cut and ready to sew.

This is an EXCELLENT first class for those with no or minimal sewing experience.

Learn:
* Basic sewing vocabulary.
* How to maintain a consistent seam allowance.
* How to construct a French seam.
* Finishing details that make a difference.

We prefer that you bring your own sewing machine in good working order. If you need to borrow machine, please let the shop know when you register for the class. A limited number of machines are available for student use.

Not able to join us on 1/13/18? Here’s my magical pillowcase tutorial  with supply list and basic directions.

craft business

On the Subject of Gifting

Have you ever thought of not gifting something tangible to the people in your life?  Gasp!  Shock!  Horror!

Why not gift them an “experience” instead?
-Tickets to a concert or play.
-A meal at their favorite restaurant (or a gift card if you’re out of town).
-A gift card to *that* bookstore, coffee shop or stationery store.
-Classes to learn a new hobby.

For sewing folks:

  1. Sewing classes offered by local quilt shops, recreation centers and big box craft stores, if you aren’t inclined to teach the recipient yourself.
  2. Tickets to the big sewing expo if it comes to your town.
  3. Online sewing classes offered by Craftsy or similar platforms.
  4. Annual membership to Pattern Review, Modern Quilt Guild, American Sewing Guild, QNNtv (F+W Media video channel now part of The Quilting Company).
  5. Gift card to their favorite fabric store, complete with chauffeur (you) and lunch.
  6. Subscription to their favorite sewing or craft magazine.

If you give a tangible item(s) as a gift, be deliberate and thoughtful in your giving. Be sure to give them something they can actually use, rather than something that will take up space.

For a beginning/returning sewist:
1. Quality thread in white, natural, light gray or light beige.
2. FQ bundle in solids, a favorite color way or theme.
3. 5 pack of rotary cutter blades.
4. Needle packs (Schmetz Chrome Microtex Size 12/80 anyone?)
5. Nice scissors (Gingher or their favorite brand).
6. Superfine glass head pins and a magnetic pincushion.

If your favorite sewist has some experience, listen carefully. They are bound to tell you exactly which fabric line, book or sewing notion they’d love to have.

Some of my most favorite gifts have been my birthday “day trip” last year to Missouri Star Quilt Company, a weekend quilting class at the John C. Campbell Folk School and my subscription to QuiltFolk.

If you are able to gift the “machine of her dreams” without breaking the bank, then by all means go for it!  You’ll have a very grateful stitcher on your hands.

Merry Christmas!

Peace.

 

craft business, Quilting, Tech Editing

Psst – Pattern Designers – Hire a Tech Editor to Edit Your Patterns!

As a quilter whose “sew for me” time is a precious commodity, nothing is more AGGRAVATING than sitting down to start a project only to discover I have issues with a pattern I downloaded as a pdf file.  I mean, at least in the store, I can open the pattern up and look through it before purchasing.

Four friendly suggestions from this tech editor for quilt pattern designers:

  1. Format the pattern so that there are no pages with only a single line of text and the rest of the page is blank.  At the very least, insert a statement like [THIS SPACE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK].
  2. Patterns with lots of half-square triangles and other intricate bits of piecing require using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  Put a reminder in the general directions section near the beginning of the pattern. [Use of a scant 1/4″ seam allowance is recommended for best results.]
  3. If your pattern makes use of a special notion or technique – say HSTs using triangle papers – clearly state this on the pattern envelope IN LARGE PRINT.  If offering the pattern as a pdf download, make it clear in the description that triangle papers are needed for this project – especially if fabric requirements, cutting directions and piecing directions are written exclusively for the use of triangle papers. (You may also consider putting an errata sheet on your website listing modifications for sewists who use a different HST construction method.) Putting an asterisk and mice type at the bottom of the fabric requirements grid suggesting triangle papers for HSTs doesn’t really help.
  4. There should be at least 3 photos in an online ad:  front of pattern envelope, back of pattern envelope, and a snippet from the sewing instructions featuring any specialty tools or techniques used in the pattern.

Hiring a tech editor doesn’t guarantee a 100% foolproof pattern – but it does mean another set of experienced eyes has reviewed your pattern and lessens the likelihood of glaring errors that will significantly impact your customer’s sewing project.

A fun time and successful result using YOUR pattern increases the chance that the customer will buy ANOTHER pattern from you.

So, hire a tech editor to help make you look good in print!

In case you were wondering, I am now accepting tech editing projects for January 2018. Easy to intermediate patterns require 2-4 hours to edit and have a 1-2 week turnaround time.   Email:  teresa@comestitchwithme.com