Come Stitch With ME, LLC

Sewing Instruction, Tech Editing & Supplies

If you want to continue to have the privilege of fondling fabric in person, then you need to spend some money at your local sewing and quilt shops. That’s the only way these independent shops can continue to stay in business.  Just think – your favorite shop might not be there the next time you plan a shopping trip.

Case in point:  There are no quilt shops along my route from Smyrna to Blue Ridge, GA. Wait what? Yep, it’s true. There used to be quilt shops in Jasper, Ellijay and Blue Ridge that I would stop at on my way to visit friends in Blue Ridge.  No more!

Five years ago, I had at least six different quilt shops within a 20 minute drive of my home. Yes, I was spoiled! Now, there are TWO.  One closed due to the owner’s retirement, while the remaining shops simply closed their doors.  I imagine we’ll eventually be down to one full-service quilt shop on my side of town. This stinks, by the way!

Yes, new quilt shops have opened; however, they are far north and south of the city.  With traffic, you really have to plan for a half a day just to go visit a couple of shops. Today, I went to The Cotton Farm in Roswell where I picked out the background fabric needed for the upcoming virtual Lori Holt Quilter’s Cottage SAL.  I purchased all she had, but still needed two yards, so I drove 30 minutes out of my way to a shop that also carries Riley Blake fabrics. My thinking was they might have the extra yardage I needed.

Not today.! There was a line of  quilters outside the store waiting to get in. This shop strictly adheres to a set customer limit inside the shop at any given time. I went to Subway, got lunch and walked back over to the shop. Fifteen minutes later and the line still hadn’t moved. At this point, I went home and promptly ordered the 2 yards of fabric from Fat Quarter Shop. I may very well have to wait a 2-3  weeks to get my fabric, but at least it’s been ordered.

Upon checking my email, I also discovered that a shop in my area was starting up a Lori Holt Club and would be doing an in-person Quilter’s Cottage SAL. Today’s excursion made me realize I’m still not comfortable with the idea of attending a sew-in with a bunch of people I don’t know, so I’ll be doing the virtual Quilter’s Cottage SAL with the Fat Quarter Shop.

 

 

 

 

Depending on model, your machine came with a few or a lot of accessories.  Sure, all of those doodads are fun to have, but what do you really need? I’ve done a lot of sewing during my shelter-in-place. I rotated through all of my machines: Elna Carina, Singer 99, Singer 221/222, Janome 8900, Janome MOD 50, and the ElnaSTAR.  As it turns out, most of my sewing was done on the ElnaSTAR (pictured in the website header).  While I adore  my Singer Featherweights, this little Elna became my go-to machine simply because it’s equally as portable, but has the extra stitches and features that I prefer.  The bulk of my sewing involves piecing quilt blocks, machine applique and some home dec (pillows, curtains, kitchen accessories and small bags).

Here are my *essential* sewing machine accessories:

  • all purpose foot
  • zipper foot
  • 1/4″ foot
  • open toe foot
  • open toe walking foot with left and right guides
  • adjustable darning/free motion foot
  • extra spool pin/base
  • standard (zigzag) needle plate
  • straight stitch needle plate
  • screwdriver
  • lint brush
  • extra bobbins
  • extension table
  • carry case

If you will be sewing clothing or a lot of home dec, consider adding a cording/piping foot, invisible zipper foot, sliding guide foot and a teflon foot.

Notes:
Janome 8900 is set up exclusively for machine quilting.
Janome MOD 50 is an excellent machine, but no straight stitch plate is currently available.

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Ten blocks down and 2 left to go – Vintage Pinwheel and Wool Star shown above.

Ever since I discovered Lori Holt at the FW Retreat in Idaho last summer, I’ve been hooked. To me, her projects are happy and fun to make. The Bee Patriotic Sew Along allowed me to make a considerable dent in the Farm Girl swag leftover from the retreat. It also motivated me to get back on the Granny’s Flower Garden project that has been languishing for several weeks.

While I didn’t meet my deadline to have the wall hanging ready for July 4th, I’m okay with that. The top can be displayed for the July 4th festivities and I’ll quilt it next week later.  The day job, my part-time summer gig and home projects took priority the past two weeks.  My sewing space was still is a hot mess. Don’t know about you, but I can’t work in a highly disorganized, chaotic mess. I need *some* semblance of order to work effectively. I get distracted by all the visual clutter.

Honestly, the protests, rioting and looting that took place in my own city also took a toll. As did all of the viciousness related to the current political landscape that spilled over into quilting circles. It’s crazy how a handful of quilters with a large social media following can turn on one another so quickly.  I know a few of them personally, which is why I spent WAY too much time online getting sucked in by all that drama. I was amazed by the name-calling, finger-pointing and bullying. It made me sick. I literally lost all desire to quilt.

I turned it OFF.  I culled my social media feed. I unfollowed and left several online quilting groups. I will not be renewing my memberships to certain craft industry organizations when they expire. 90% of the drama originated from two specific groups.  I don’t have time for that nonsense!

Today, I ventured into my sewing room, tidied up a bit and cranked out Block 10. Creative mojo restored!  Bonus – I discovered there’s a new Lori Holt club forming at an area quilt shop.  Not sure I’ll join right away, but it gives me something to look forward to. [#7 in my post from 6/28/20]. As does the Flea Market Flowers sew along that is definitely on my calendar for January 2021. 🙂

Stay safe and stay quilting!

 

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