Monday, June 29, 2009

Hello Sew Mama Sew readers!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog! I am so excited to have been able to contribute to Sew Mama Sew! Please feel free to browse the blog, flickr, and my etsy shop!

Here are some articles about sergers that I found helpful when looking for my serger and in helping me learn how to use it.

Understanding a Serger
A Short Course on Serger Buying
Shopping for a Serger
Serger Basics
Serger Rolled Hem Tips
Serger Place
Hello Serger Part 1 and Part 2
Also check out the serger reviews on Pattern Review for more specifics on different brands.

Hope this is helpful!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Some Market Bags

I have been sewing! I promise. Just not as often. It has been so hot. This means upstairs is really hot. This is where the sewing machine is. This is where I go up to to sew, but then immediately come back down because I feel that I will burn up. You don't want me to burn up, do you? So we went to Lake Michigan yesterday to cool down. The girls found some comfy chairs. I think they look so much a like in this picture.

I decided to move the sewing machine downstairs to get some sewing done. I made a couple of Jane Market Bags from Alicia Paulson's new pattern. These came together pretty fast.

I really like the one on the left. I used a fat quarter for the middle part and the pocket. So it only has a pocket on one side.

I love this pear fabric. I have used it on so many projects. I think brown, blue, and green are my colors. I have a lot of fabric in those colors.

Now this is a mail sack I made for the judge's secretary (Kurt's boss). Juliana always asks Kurt when he leaves in the morning if he is going to see the judge. It always so ominous. Anyhoo, she chose the fabric. Some Amy Butler Nigella for the strap and some Amy Butler Charm on the inside. The Nigella is so lovely. I think I am going to have get some of that for myself. I have a more complete review of this pattern here. I also have this pattern in the shop. I have been thinking that I would like to do more pattern reviews of patterns that I carry in the shop. I want to try to do at least a couple every month. Would any of you be interested in writing a review of a pattern that I carry? Or would you want to send some pictures of something that you have made from one of the patterns as a sample? I think it would be fun. Let me know in the comments or shoot me an e-mail!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm back!

After a whirl wind of activity over the past couple of weeks, things are settling down down a bit. A trip to California entailed lots of interviews for Kurt and ended in my lovely sister-in-law's wedding. I came home to some lovely mail. I fell in love with the new Amy Butler patterns! The mini dress is so cute, and I love the little pleats on the straps. The Turning Twenty pattern I bought because of this fabulous quilt. I just love it.

I did get a bit of sewing at some points though. I made a couple of bags including the new pattern by Artsy Crafty Babe. The pattern was relatively easy. The trickiest part was the yoke. I added some trim to the yoke and some buttons down the middle to jazz it up a bit. I made this one for the shop, and it should be up soon.

I also made some blocks for the Crazy Mom Quilt's quilt-a-long. I love all the soft pinks. Aren't they pretty? I need to do some catching up on these though.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First Quilt- Done!

My first quilt is done, and I am in love! It was so much fun. This is Amy Butler's free Brick Path Pattern. I chose it because of its simplicity and glad I did. The whole thing went together smoothly- making it an enjoyable project instead of a "I want to tear my hair out!" project. I used all Tula Pink Neptune fabrics. ( Love!)

Back. I used two different fabrics and broke it up with a scrappy border.

Flying quilt. (Ignore leg. ;0p)

On a twin bed. I wanted this to be a quilt you could use on a bed, so I widened the blocks to about 6" x 10". I think the pattern is busy and making the blocks bigger seemed to tone it down a little. I was going to bind it, but the pattern just calls for sewing it together. I was running out of time since this is a gift, so decided just to go that route. It was my first attempt at quilting ever, and I really enjoyed it. I just stitched in the ditch, and it was fun!

Up close.
I just like to stroke and feel it. I love you quilt!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Sewing Machine and Giveaway Winners!

Thanks for all the lovely comments and compliments on my little store!

I decided to giveaway the patterns separately to spread the giveaway love!

Dotia was the winner of the Black Sheep, White Sheep pattern!
Melissa was the winner of the Candy Girl quilt pattern!

Congratulations! I will be emailing you ladies today for your mailing addresses.

Sew Mama Sew! is having Sewing Machine month for June, which I am totally excited for. I am looking forward to learning new techniques and about different machines!

Here is a review of my machine (which I love):

What brand and model do you have?

I have a Kenmore 16231

How long have you had it?

A year and a half.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

$250 regularly, but you can get it on sale for $200 which it currently is!

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

I have made everything on it. I mostly have made clothes and handbags on it, but I am currently finishing up my first quilt, and it is going really well with the help of my handy dandy walking foot.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew almost every day from an hour to 6 hours a day! It hasn't let me down yet.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I really do love my machine. She doesn't have a name, but I do give her affectionate pats every now and again.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

It isn't super fancy, but it has a lot stitch options, automatic buttonhole foot, drop in bobbin (I like to be able to tell how much I have left on my bobbin), super sturdy, sews through anything (as long as I am using the appropriate needle :0) ), adjustable needle position, and you can adjust the pressure for the foot. It also has a nice little button for speeding up or slowing down your speed. I like to be able to press my foot all the way down and know that things won't get out of control. I usually put it on a slow speed if I am doing something especially curvy or with slippery fabric. It really helps with accuracy. Ialso like the fact that the accessory feet as reasonably priced for this machine.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

I would say that the only thing I have found fiddly about this machine is the buttonhole foot. I always make sure I do a practice one before doing the real one, but it has only caused me real problems once.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine. We want to hear it!

I have totally sewn my finger. In the beginning of my sewing frenzy I was making the Emmeline Apron by Sew Liberated (love this apron!). I was trying to get something just right and ka-pow! My machine made gutteral noises, I screamed for help, and the needle was in my fingernail. It went through my finger, and my husband had to take the needle out. It really was quite gruesome. My finger still doesn't has much feeling in that spot, but at least I have a cute apron!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

I definitely would. This is my first machine. It is easy to figure out how to use for a beginner but has enough options for you to grow into as your sewing improves.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

I think this is going to be different for what kind of sewing you want to do, but if you are a beginner sewer than you want something sturdy and easy to figure out. You won't enjoy sewing if you are constantly battling your machine.

Do you have a dream machine?

Nope, not right now. Maybe a fancy Bernina. Maybe. One day.

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