One of the lines in my personal mission statement is to:
“Leave this world a better place than I found it.”
It means sharing my talents, time and resources with the community in which I live.
This is probably the main reason I’ve stuck it out in public education for nearly 15 years. Last year about this time, I was actually planning to hang up my school librarian hat and return to the private sector. Funny how things worked out for the best. I am at a school that challenges me and allows me to run a sewing club. Truth is, I simply enjoy working with kids (including the hardheads at my current school). Even if my career takes a different path in the future, I will continue to work with kids on a volunteer basis.
Making quilts and teaching sewing are also ways to give back. While my business does support CAREing Paws, I sewed charity quilts and made pillowcases for CHOA, plus taught Girl Scouts how to sew long before I ever dreamed of starting my own sewing business.
If you are one who is teaching the next generation how to sew, be sure to include a service learning component where your little stitcher(s) make lap quilts, pillowcases, placemats or something to donate to a deserving organization. This also dovetails nicely with homeschool math activities.
Snow day on Friday = free time to learn how to FMQ on my new machine.
Five different darning feet, 3 broken needles and a few choice words later, I finally figured it out.
Learn from my experience.
READ THE MANUAL FIRST BEFORE YOU FMQ on this machine!
- Stitch DS4 is when you use the foot with the interchangeable heads.
- Stitch DS1 is when you use a traditional style darning foot.
- Use your straight stitch plate.
My favorite foot is the open toe attachment on the adjustable darning foot (the one with the 3 heads).
To make a long story short, I got the best results with a 90/14 topstitch needle, using my blue bobbin case and leaving the feed dogs up. I also stitched at a medium speed. For 50 wt thread, I left it on auto tension and foot pressure = 5.
Yes, you read correctly, I did not drop my feed dogs. I merely covered them with my Supreme Slider. If you do this, the machine will switch back to a DS1 stitch (which is fine), but make sure to set your stitch length to zero.
Leah Day quilts with the feed dogs up. For me, it had the effect of being like a built in stitch regulator. Can’t explain why, but the stitches were more even with the feed dogs up rather than dropped.
Can’t hurt to give it a try!
P.S. Have a traditional hopping darning foot that you want to make work for you? Check out Leah Day’s post on how to modify your darning foot.
I am now working on a very special quilt with a tight deadline. The queue is currently about 3 weeks from t-shirt drop off to delivery back to you. That lead time will lengthen as we move into spring graduation season.
If you are thinking about a t-shirt quilt for your loved one, NOW is the time to get on the schedule.