Monday, April 2, 2018

WAITING FOR THE RIGHT PROJECT

Good Wonderful Easter Monday everyone and happy last day of my Spring Break.  Baltimore County Schools has taken away all of the traditional week of Spring Break and allowed us only Good Friday and Easter Monday now.  So, I made the best of it and have posted several things on my blog and have been working on several projects.

Last year when Vanessa Vargas Wilson aka The Crafty Gemini, released her second line of fabric I scooped up the entire line. It is a collection of black and white prints which can coordinate together or with other colors or just a lovely black and white project.  Well, as I said I purchased it last year... and waited... and .... waited... for the right project.  Have any of you done this?  I wish I were one of those quilters (and I don't think there are many of them) that have a project in mind and purchase the fabric, then make the project.  But I'm not so instaed, I purchase fabric that I love and pet it for a while as I wait for the inspiration, while also saying to myself, "I know I will use this."

I love black and white!  I knew I would use it.  But, I also didn't want to just use it willy nilly and then not have enough for something that really inspired me.  Well, lightening struck... in the form of "The All Rolled Up Bag" Tutorial from ........... Vanessa Vargas Wilson!  The pattern is written by one of The Crafty Gemini's Friends in the Industry, Color Me Quilted, and Vanessa chose it for part of her Organizer Club.  It's really a win, win.  We learn from Vanessa while making a wonderful product developed by another great sewist!  Plus we get all of the amazing Crafty Gemini Tricks and Tips.

Here is a picture of the fabric choices.


The two black and white selections are from her line and now that I have finally decided on the combination I will make ever project in the Organizer Club out of her fabric with a pop of color (proably pink, another favorite color).  I am super excited because it is the first time I will be making a series of things that coordinate together. 

Image result for The All Rolled Up Tote

It measures 15 " across, has four pockets and two removeable zipper pouches, plus a pocket in the bottom to hold a sizeable ruler!  The one in the above picture was made by the pattern writer.  The Crafty Gemini also has pictures of her own on her website, The Crafty Gemini Clubs.  

I hope you are inspired to get to work on something special and use that beautiful fabric that's been waiting for you to turn it into something amazing.  If you can't think of anything, hop over to The Crafty Gemini Clubs and one of her four clubs.  You'll be so busy you may have to go fabric shopping again!

Please post any pictures of your work in the comments below or on my facebook page, Vintagekindagirl.  

Happy Sewing!



Sunday, April 1, 2018

MY FAVORITE MACHINE EMBROIDERY SITES

Hello Amazing quilters, sewists, Machine Embroiders and Fabric artists!  And Happy Easter.   As I begin to write this post a thought crossed my mind.  And I actually remember what it was!  The whole reason I started writing this blog was because I felt like I was on an incredible journey and I wanted to share my experiences with likeminded people.  People who may or may not have the time they need to do the research, read reviews, shop around, or needed a little nudge in a direction to help them on their own journey.

When I first began sewing and quilting, it was all I could talk about.  Diane, my partner, was patient, but at a certain point she said to me "do you think you might be obsessing on quilting."  Wait... What?  Of course not.  Well... maybe a little.  But truly, I think I had exhausted the only ear I had at the time. Remember, I found sewing and quilting while temporarily living in Ohio during a very difficult time in our lives.  We both were living through our own personal nightmares and managed to grow closer through it all. Sewing and quilting saved my sanity and it wasn't until we moved back to Baltimore that Diane's began to feel like she was returning to normal.

With all of this said, I realize that we are all on a journey.  Sometimes it moves fast, somestimes slow, sometimes it feels like a merry-go-round and othertimes like a rollercoaster.  The important thing to remember is that the journey never ends.

This brings me to the gratitude I have for being able to share my adventures.  The latest adventure was the gifting of my Bernina to my Sister-in-law to make room for my new Sewing and Embroidery Machine, the Baby Lock Journey!  The Journey.  I never really thought about the name until this moment when I began writing this blog about Embroidery sites.  There really are no accidents in life.

Now, since I am now the proud owner of a sewing AND embroidery machine it makes sense that I would now peruse machine embroidery sites just as much as I do fabric and pattern sites.  If only our days were 36 hours long and not just 24 hours.  So many sites, so little time.

While searching and typing phrases into Google I happened upon a blog called Laurie's Place.  In her blog I found The List!  She had done all of the research.  The list is called Laurie's Giant List of Sites for Machine Embroidery.  It has probably 100 sites and I looked at every single one.  Whew!

Now, before I list my personal favorites, I encourage you to look at her list for yourself because your taste may differ from mine as we are all unique.  But to give you an idea of what I look for in Machine Embroidery Designs I will list my aesthetic style:
  • Shabby Chic
  • Rustic
  • Artistic
  • Fluid
  • Watercolor
  • Whimsical
  • Unique
  • Actual Drawings
 Designs by JuJu   With all of this said, I do have one Embroidery site that surprised me.  It has all of the usual sayings, quotes, appliqué, children's designs, etc., however, when I saw the sale they were having, which runs through April 2, I visited several times and ultimately purchased 60 sets!!!  Yes, 60 sets!  Why, because if you purchased 15 or more sets the prices was reduced to $1.00 per set in order to celeberate their 14 years in business.  Well I celebrated right along with them.  The company is Designs by JuJu and I hope you will check it out before you finish reading because the sale is over April 2.  Now, if you miss the sale, the sets are so reasonably priced you will still find that you are saving money.  And, if you wonder why I purchased over 60 sets, I believe in planning ahead.  Upcoming baby showers, birthdays, weddings, parties, etc.

Valley of Embroidery  At first site it looks a little bare by comparison to other sites, but don't be fooled.  They have some of the most interesting files I've found.  For instance, a lace bowl made from your own thread scraps!  It's Beautiful!  It's listed under Lace/Recycling Scraps.  They have bracelets, earrings, necklaces, cuffs and also bowls.  They also have Star Wars Key Fobs!  It's one of the more unique sites and definitely worth a look.  Even if you do not believe in the Force.

Embroidery Library  Releases new designs every week based on a theme.  This week the theme is Enchanted Storybook.  Suffice it to say that it fulfills my Whimsical aesthetic criteria.  The sale prices for individual designs is always $1.39.  No, that isn't a mistake.  One Dollar and Thirty-Nine Cents per design!  It's a huge bargain and I usually purchase something every week.  Sometimes I purchase the same design in every size so I can use it on multiple projects.  In addition to their amazing weekly release of new designs at amazing pricing, they have multiple categories and styles and post tutorials on their web site AND Youtube!  Just search for Embroidery Library.  

Urban Threads is a partner to Embroidery Library and sometimes they do tutorials together.  For instance they have a great tutorial on double sided Organza Embroidery that makes a mobile hanging.  Really elegant and beautiful.   Also, they release new designs weekly as well and have then priced at 50% off regular price.  As the name of the site would infer, they have really cutting edge designs.  Recently they released ultra-violet designs and last month an entire release based on Alice in Wonderland meets Steampunk.  Under design categories they list Styles and Sub-Cultures!  Not your Gramma's Machine Embroidery Site... that is for sure.  I love it!  Circus & Carnival, Gothic & Dark, Literary & Fairytales, Medieval & Rennaissance, Retro & Rockabilly, Steampunk & Victorian, and World Mythology.  I mean, really, who list sub-cultures?  I love this site!

Sew Swell Designs is a group of artists from around the world who are employed by Sew Swell Designs.  All of their artwork is digitized in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  They have a projects page and also projects by customer page.  In addition they offer free designs!  Many specialty categories, such as wine country and Photo Booth Props!  I'm definitely downloading those for an upcoming family reunion!


MACHINE EMBROIDRY WEB-MALLS

The next group of Machine Embroidery sites are all located within on-line Machine Embroidery Web-Malls.  I would imagine that the Web-malls manage the site and take a small percentage of the sales in order for the embroidery digitizers to focus on what they do best.  So, that's kind of a win win for everyone. 

The first site is called Oregon Patchworks and when you type what you're looking for into their search engine a bunch of different designs pop up meeting your criteria but sold by different digitizers.  From this list I have a few favorites:

The second site is Enchanting Designs and they have really unique and beautiful designs for large scale items such as pillows and totes.  In fact they have several of their own tote/embroidery designs and patterns for sale on their site.  Things like an Italian Balcony scene on a pillow or a parisian widow and bicycle Tote bag.  They also have some beautiful 3-D designs for pillows and totes.  You wont be disappointed.

A Vintage Touch has really pretty vintage and Victorian era designs.  My favorites are definitely in the Victorian Dreams collections.  Not steampunk but sweet with a little edge.

The second Web-Mall is Secrets of Embroidery and here are two of my favorites from this site.

Stitch Soup has a nice selection of cute and whimsical designs, such as animal bags, ITH baskets, snap tags, greeting cards, luminaries, Forest Gnomes, etc.  Very Unique and great gift making ideas.

A Stitch and a Half has a wonderful and unique collection.  Useful items made beautiful.  Also 3-D flowers, totes, babushka boxes.  I haven't purchased anything yet, but I am filling up my basket and saving it for a big haul.

TRULY UNIQUE, ARTIST OWNED SITES

You know I have a passion for purchasing from artisans as much as possible.  Here are a few of my favorite artist owned Machine Embroidery sites:

BFC Creations  In addition to truly beautiful and unique designs, BFC has a line of their own embroidery threads and if you like them you should definitely check out their thread club.  The link I provided takes you to their inspirational story and also ends with pictures of two of the most important employees; Duma and Bronko Billy.   Look over the entire site because they have a lot of information, sales and a new blog.  Their designs are original and artist inspired.  They have designs that when pieced together create a huge wall hanging.  I love their stained glass collection.  The colors are saturated and vibrant.  One of a kind.

Picture Stitch Unique Embroidery Designs.  The owner/artist, has digitized her own drawings and organized them into categories on her website.  They remind me of willow statues which are delicate and sweet.  I love how she celebrates all aspects of life through her drawing and it's very special to stitch out a truly original piece of art on your embroidery machine.  The pieces are frameable and look like real drawings.  Of couse you can make them uniquely yours by changing thread colors and maybe even adding shimmery or decorative thread.   She also has a blog and a purchasing club.  If you end up really liking her designs you might want to check out the club pricing.

I encourage you to check these sites and please post any pictures of your work.  We all love to ooo and aww over each other's creations as it also inspires and motivates us.  In addition, if you come across other truly unique sites please share with us.

I hope you found this read informative, interesting and entertaining.  Please share my blog with your friends.  The more the merrier.

Happy Stitching.









Friday, March 30, 2018

WHERE DO YOU PURCHASE FABRIC?

Its a question all quilters and fabric artists ask each other.  Why?  Well, I for one, might admire another artist's work and fabric selection, so naturally I want to know where they find their fabric.  Also, I find that when we cannot find what we want at our Local Quilt Shop (LQS) we'll go online and shop around.  Personally, I like to make sure that when I DO shop on line, that I am supporting either a brick and mortar LQS somewhere or that I am supporting a business run by a minority business owner and not a corporation.  Yes, it is wonderful to get discounts.  Let's face it, we all have to make our money stretch and being fabric lovers and quilting nuts, we all know it isn't cheap.  However, whenever I purchase from a big box or corporation, I am supporting stockholders and not a  visionary and entrepreneur with a creative spirit.  To this end I also feel that supporting any LQS also supports freedom of expression.

That's quite a statement I know, but here is the thing.  I will admit that I have supported a "daily deal" and still check out the 50% to 60% off coupons for expensive notions and embroidery stabilizers.  But when it comes to quality fabric, interesting and difficult to find patterns, cool, gotta have it notions, specialty trims and my favorite threads, I have list of favs that I always make sure to support first.  So, yes, I do use a coupon, and shop a daily deal, but not until I have exhausted my LQS, in my area and on line.  I also keep a list of shops I have visited out of State just in the off chance they might have something or know where to find it.  And just like Pinterest, Facebook and Youtube, every LQS has a unique eye for construction and design.  It's so fun to visit LQS when I travel because I am always filled with ideas!

For instance, when I was visiting my father and step mom in California last year I found an adoreable shop called QuiltnThings in Montrose, California.  That is a sweet little community in the foothills above Glendale, California.  They had a lot of vintage/modern fabrics, trims, and bag making supplies.  Nearly every kit they sold had a beautifully crafted sample on display and while I was there I saw the most beautiful fabric collage pieces and met the amazing artist, Mary Ellen Sakai.  She also teaches classes there.  If you're ever in Southern California, you won't regret a visit.  Plus, there are some really nice cafes and restaurants in the area.

So here is my list:

My Local Quilt Shop:  For fabrics and my Baby Lock Dealer is Glory Bees Sewing Center in Falston, Maryland.  They're also a Bernina and Janome dealer, which made it very easy for me to compare the three machines before deciding on my BabyLock Journey.  They carry traditional to modern fabrics and everything in between.  Glory Bees also offers quilting services and many classes and clubs as well.  Sewing, Serging and Embroidery clubs are free to those who purchased their machines there and $25.00 for everyone else, which is a bargain.  They also carry a wide selection of embroidery and sewing threads including, Robison-Anton, Signature, Maxi-lock, Wonderfil, and Aurifil.  They have patterns, trims, batting, interfacing, you name it.  Plus, the owner and staff are really nice, fun and encouraging.

When shopping on Etsy:

Etsy Shops - Dragonflyquiltworks.  Wonderful selection of modern fabric lines incuding Lotta Jansdotter, Vanessa Vargas Wilson, Carolyn Friedlander, and amazing modern blenders!  The owner Lora Douglas is also an amazing quilter and fabric artist.  Her attention to detail is unbelieveable.  She also has bag making supplies, notions and patterns.  Great prices and wonderful Customer Service.

I've also had good luck with BobbielouFabric, Needleinafabricstash and stitchstashdiva for fabrics that were not available in LQS any longer.

Also give CherylLynchQuilts a look.  She creates a line of Mosaic Fabric Patterns, has her own Curvalicious template and is a quilting instructor at Quilt Shows and for retreats.

Unique Fabric Online from the Creator:

Loralie Fabrics:  
If you are looking for something really unique and quirky, colorful and simply fun, then you have to take a look at Loralie Fabrics.  Her Fabrics make me smile from the inside out.  There are so many ways to use them.  Quilts, bags, small personal items, apron, even clothing!  Why not.

Out of State LQS:

The Confident Stitch:  In addition to Quiltnthings, I am affiliated with The Confident Stitch a LQS in Missoula, Montana.  I plan on shopping there today or tomorrow because they are having a 25% off all quilting cotton sale AND there is no sale tax in Montana!  Win Win!  Why am I affiliated with a LQS in Montana you ask?  Well, for one, they have fabric I haven't found anywhere else, on line or in person.  For instance, take a look at The Confident Stitch quilting fabric choices.  In addition to all of the top brand names The Confident Stitch  has a beautiful selection of Aboriginal prints and brands I don't see often like:

FROND Medusa Quilting Cotton in Beet Zylem & Phloem  



AMY BUTLER Forest Friends Quilting Cotton in Midnight      

and one of my new favorites

 BRANDON MABLY Baubles  

Brandon Mably is Kaffe Fasset's partner and Studio Manager, and obviously a gifted designer himself!

Another reason I shop there is the shop is an actual brick and motar LQS and is owned by a woman, (underrepresented in the business world).  The "no sales tax in Montana" is the icing on top.

Jordan Fabrics:  Matt and Donna Jordan have been handcutting fabric in the United States for over 30 years.  Their story is listed on their web site and it is fascinating... at least for quilters.  They sell hand cut log cabin quilt kits and others, have a huge selection of fabric, and have wonderful tutorials on YouTube, mentioned in another blog.  They began at the age of 18 and 19 and have stayed loyal to the business ever since.  It is truly a family business, all four of their kids are involved.  They are based in Grants Pass, Oregon and if I am not mistaken, there is no sales tax!

So, my fabric darlings, head on out to your LQS, in town, across town or find a great one on line and support our passion and artistic adventures by supporting them as well.

Happy Creating!





Monday, March 26, 2018

UPDATED - Online Learning for Busy Sewists, Bag Makers and Quilters

Updated May, 2017 Post:

I am a full-time Vocal General Music Teacher. When I am able to get to a live sewing or quilting class it is usually in the evening or over the weekend and I am either 1. exhausted or 2. trying to carve out family time. It is very nearly impossible unless it is over the summer and even then it can be hectic with vacation and visiting family. The Internet has literally changed my creative life and enriched my learning opportunities. It began with one of The Crafty Gemini's early tutorials on making a pillowcase with french seams and I never turned back. Two summers ago, I took a 3 day class on making a wall hanging. It was spread out over 3 weeks and that meant I had to drag my sewing machine once a week for three weeks to the LQS. I don't know about you, but a three week committment? I actually only made two of the classes for 2 reasons: 1. I had a long standing engagement on one of the days we were to meet and 2. The teacher, albeit very talented, did not know how to convey the instructions. It was a big disappointment and that unfinished project still sits in a box marked "to do" in my sewing hollow. As I write this I am itching to dig it out and get to work on it. To be honest, one of the techniques that the instructor made us all feel like we were most likely incapable of performing was one I learned watching a YouTube tutorial... In a foreign language. I think I make my point.

After watching amazing tutorials by Vanessa Vargas Wilson I found out she was starting the Crafty Gemini Quilt Club. It was an Online Quilting Club which provided weekly tips, monthly swaps, interviews with industry leaders, monthly giveaways and a monthly project designed by the Crafty Gemini herself! In a way it became the Quilt Guild I have always wanted to join. The club is now closed, however, I still have access to all of the patterns, tips and interviews. Even more important are all of the amazing friends I made. We have a Facebook group where we still post our creations, share our stories and keep the fire of Sewing Sisterhood alive, (and a few brothers too!) Now the Crafty Gemini has became a household brand. Vanessa has designed two lines of fabric for Timeless Treasures, has two amazing Ruler/Templates for 5 and 10 inch pre-cuts for which she has posted project tutorials on her blog, http://craftygemini.com and some free tutorials on YouTube.  In addition to this she has two Bag-of-the-Month clubs, a Wallet of-the-month club and now an Organizer of the Month Club.  Vanessa designs all of the patterns or collaborates with the pattern designer, creates video lessons, provides kits for sale that include everything but your chosen fabric, with a discount! She has her own line of thread through Sulky who also put together a great kit to accompany her Pinnacle Table Runner which you can find at Sulky under Crafty Gemini Collection.

And....... if you're ever in Gainesville, Florida, check out her new sewing studio, The Sewing Coop, where she teaches sewing, quilting and crafting, in person! Sewing machines are provided if you don't have one or cannot bring yours. Also available will be her fabric line, notions and supplies are available to purchase so no need to worry if you forgot something. It's a great way to get your sewing fix if you happen to be passing through or worth a trip if you want to learn from a wonderful teacher.  She is truly the measure I use when watching an online tutorial. There is no reason anyone cannot learn something about sewing through the internet. All you need is a great instructor.

After discovering The Crafty Gemini, I did a search for online classes.  Craftsy.com was the first thing that popped up in my search engine.  After purchasing over 50 classes, Craftsy now offers unlimited classes for an annual flat rate.  This also  includes special offers and freebies for people who enroll.  This means I have access to EVERYTHING on Craftsy.

Here are more of my favorites:

YOUTUBE:

The Crafty Gemini
Crafty Gemini Creates
Missouri Star Quilt Company
AGF (Art Gallery Fabric - Great, fast and easy)
StitchesbyJulia (a multi media artist who works a lot with fabric)
The Midnight Quilter - Angela Walters  (Funny and inspiring)
Debbie Shore
Dinkeydoo
Jordan Fabrics
Marilyn Lee (Mostly I get a lot of Inspiration from her.  She uses a Vintage Treadle Machine!)
Sew Sweetness (Sara Lawson is The Sweetest! and has now launched Video Tutorials, plus she is very generous with her online followers on Facebook and Newsletter)
SewVeryEasy
Shabby Fabrics
Teresa DownUnder  (Great, quick Tutorials for blocks)

ONLINE LEARNING:

Craftsy.com - As I stated above, I had over 50 classes before I purchased the unlimited plan.  If you break it down it's only $10/month for unlimited classes in all areas of crafting:  sewing, quilting, paper crafting, jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, cooking, etc., etc.  The list goes on.  You might find that you like something you never thought you would do in a million years.  The first seven days are free if you're intereseted in trying out the unlimited plan to see if you like it before investing.

Creative Bug - Over 1000 Online Art & Craft Classes Just $4.95 a month.  They are similar to Craftsy.com in that they offer a plethora of classes in all crafting, sewing and quilting generes. In addition, they have really wonderful instructors who have been sewing, quilting and/or crafting for many years. I purchased the monthly membership for $4.95 a month and I think that is a real bargain. The classes are shorter, however, and sometimes you need to fill in the blanks but for the most part I have learned quite a few things and the instructors think outside the box a lot.  My favorite class right now is taught by Fabric Designer, Anna Maria Horner; Mod Corsage Quilt.  It's a great way to use up abandoned blocks.

Iquilt  is associated with American Quilt Society.  They have a huge assortment of classes in all areas of quilting given by nationally recognized instructors.  Similar to the Craftsy.com format it is easy to navigate, and if you are an AQS member you receive a discount!  If any of you are interested in taking an online class in thread painting, try out Renegade Thread Play taught by Melinda Bula.  The price for AQS members is $27.96 and $34.95 for non members.  If you've ever taken one of her classes or any other teacher at an AQS sponsored quilt show you know that the classes fill up fast and cost twice as much!  Take this opportunity to learn something new from an amazing teacher at a fraction of the cost right in your own living room!

Annie's - Check out their online classes. Their prices can't be beat. I am planning on taking the "Pieced Boarder:  Sized for any Quilt" Annie's is a clearance Crafting, sewing and Quilting supplier. They don't have everything but what they do have is significantly discounted. For instance, my favorite Clover seam ripper is only $3.99. They usually list how many they have in stock. It's worth a minute of browsing at Annie's.

I have really enjoyed compiling this list of favorites and I hope I found something new for you.  Please leave comments and let me know what online courses and sites you find the most valuable.

Happy sewing!







Sunday, March 25, 2018

GIFTING THE BERNINA... WELCOMING A NEW FRIEND

If you have been following my blog you know that I started it not only to share my creative process, feedback, reviews and anything that I thought would be interesting, helpful or inspirational but also my journey with my Bernina, 750QE.  Five years ago when I started to learn how to sew a 1/4 inch, make quilty things and anything that involved fabric, I was led to believe that "real quilters use Berninas."  Yes!  That was actually said to me by a woman in a class I was taking in a LQS in Ohio.  (I don't live in Ohio any longer... that was a short time in our lives when we were transferred there.  It snows A LOT).  I digress.

So, somehow I was talked into the Bernina.  Actually, it wasn't difficult.  I was new to sewing and I really wanted to be the best I could be.  The better the equipment, the better the outcome?  True, but what I have learned in the last 4 years of owning the Bernina is that Sewing Machines are a lot like cars.  Some like German engineering; some like Japanese; some like American.  I have owned all three at some point in my life.  I enjoyed driving all three.  German cars are heavy, swift, direct and mostly reliable.  Japanese cars are smooth, quiet, easy and light.  American cars are louder, heavier, fast.  These are my opinions of course, and everyone will have a different experience.  That is precisely the point with sewing machines.

My preference in driving has always been Japanese.  Reliable, easy to handle, smooth.  But I purchased the Bernina which in many ways was like driving a German car.  Heavy, not as user friendly and I couldn't handle the curves as well as in my Japanese car.

I went to several classes, and recently found a wonderful dealer in Hanover, PA that helped me through a lot of learning curves.  I was mending my relationship with my Bernina and I was hoping that I would be on the road to a new beginning... a new beginning that took 4 years of no interest payments!



In February, I flew to Florida to attend a Thread Painting class with my Sister-in-law, Dana.  It was a class taught by one of my favorite fabric artists, Joyce Hughes of Joyce Hughes Originals.  I wanted to take my Bernina but it is so large it would have had to be checked and there is no way I would trust the luggage handlers to not treat it well.  So, I rented a machine from the shop, The Inspired Sewist, in Jupiter, Florida.

Here we are in our hats for Ground Hog Day.

I rented a Bernina 770, pretty much the same machine.   But, try as I may, I had a frustrating time with the machine, bobbin issues, skipped stitches... it was so disappointing.  My sister-in-law, Dana, brought her 10 year old Bernina Aurora which hadn't been used or serviced in 10 years.  She did the most amazing work!  She had never done thread painting but her work was exquisite!  A Natural!



When she purchased it she did a lot of research, sewed on several machines and settled on the Aurora for a number of reasons.  When I bought my Bernina I bought it based on opinion and... well, a little bullying.  Still, my SIL admired my machine and thought I was really fortunate to have it.  I didn't feel the same way and it made me feel guilty instead.  I don't deserve a machine that everyone else loves and I, for a lack of better words, HATE USING.

We still had a lovely weekend together.  She's so much fun and I love spending time with my in-laws.  They're a hoot and we laugh a lot!

When I returned home I talked about the class for days.  Diane, my partner, dutifully nodded her head and ooed and awed over my work and especially Dana's which was amazing!

I had recently purchased a Baby Lock Serger and was creating a lot of crazy things on it, really enjoying the ease of use and learning a lot of new techniques I never thought I'd use.

One day while driving along Route 40 Diane asked "Is the Bernina paid off?"  I immediately felt a little guilty because after 4 years of making payments, it was one month from being paid off and I rarely sewed on it.  "Yes, one more month."  Her reply made my jaw drop.  "Good.  Why don't you find a Machine you really like now."  Wait, what?  "But, what about the Bernina?"  "What about it?  You obviously hate sewing on it, yet you love to sew.  The only thing I ask is that you really do the research this time."  After I recovered from this statement I promised, cross my heart, stick a needle in my eye, hope to... you get the meaning.  "I promise!  I don't want to make the same mistake."  The only thing she told me after that was that when I decided on my machine that I would not have "Bernina Envy" and feel like I wasn't a "real quilter" if I had a different brand.  I can tell you that after 4 years of not enjoying my machine, I didn't care what any quilter said to me.  They can drive their German Car and I will drive my Japanese car!

Introducing my new machine:  The Baby Lock Journey, Sewing and Quilting Machine!



Already I have sewn more on this machine than I did in the past four years on the Bernina!  It's unbelieveable.  For me, this machine fits my movement, my pace, my understanding of software.  It's almost instinctive to me just as many Bernina users find Berninas to be for them.  

Where is the Bernina?  Where it belongs... a Gift to my Wonderful Sister-in-law, Dana.  She said it sews like Butter and started sewing on it immediately.  I am so happy it has a good home with a sewing artist who will appreciate it as much as it should be!  I think the Bernina is happier too!

Bernina in her new home:  

Monday, March 12, 2018

A SERGER FOR A QUILTER, FABRIC ARTIST, BAG MAKER? YES !

Hello friends.  The fall and winter have moved swiftly and as Spring approaches I have had that itch that appears whenever the birds start chirping.  Clean out the nest!!!  In this vintagekindagirls' world that means cleaning the sewing area of all things I don't need, use, or have too many of.  In addition, my amazing partner, Diane, surprised me by moving my entire Sewing room upstairs!  I am no longer in the basement and since the room is now in the main part of the house, the heart of our home where there is life happening, I have been much more creative.



Fast forward to ......

One afternoon I went to my local BabyLock dealer (I own a Sofia II, a small sewing/embroidery machine, in addition to a Juki and ... Well, that's another story) to pick up some fat quarters.  I had no intention of purchasing anything more than about a half dozen fabric choices when I found myself sitting at a serger.  Now, I do not construct clothing and while I did make a pair of leggings at my latest Crafty Gemini Retreat, I didn't think it would be a necessary purchase as I was able to construct said leggings on my sewing machine.  In addition, I was in no way wanting to learn how to thread one!  The thought makes my head hurt.  So, what in the world was I doing sitting at this machine?  Well.... the saleswoman asked if I had ever used one and I said no and didn't think I needed one since I do not construct clothing.  Then she showed me the tons of projects done on a serger hanging around the shop.  Oh my Gosh!  I had no idea.  A new world of decorative stitching possibilities opened up to me!  Plus the opportunity to finish projects faster and even do decorative finishes in place of bindings on smaller projects.  My mind was aflutter with ideas and The next thing I know I am walking out the door with a pre-owned BabyLock Imagine!  The perfect machine for a beginner and a perfect price for a first time serger user.  In addition, BabyLock is one of the leaders in sergers and most people will tell you they are top notch.  The drawback is the price.  My imagine would be closer to $1,800 new but I paid less than half of that purchasing it pre-owned.  In addition, the dealer offered five years free maintenance and IT IS AN AIR THREAD!!!  That's right, nothing scary for this delicate flower!

Well, with this purchase came 60 days of free “sew at home” classes which usually range between $.00-40.00 depending on the class. I dove right in. Started watching every video they had on operation, extra feet, decorative stitching, found a craftsy class and eventually a project I loved on YouTube. My first serger art piece came out of this.




It’s just scraps, simple serving and running seams back and forth causing it to wave. Afterword I did decorative stitching.

When I found out about all of the exciting threads and yarns I could use in the loopers I went loonies!

Recently I went to Tuesday Morning to scope out the craft section... always some cool finds there.  In addition to finding charm packs of Cotton and Steel I also found these jewels for couching and also to fit inside the loopers of my new-to-me Imagine Serger:


Happy creating friends and look for my next posting.  I have an update about my Bernina situation.  You won't believe it!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

IT'S MARCH 2018 ALREADY!!







Hello Sewisters.  Good news, I am typing this blog myself!!!  I am seven months post-op and I am typing, sewing, opening doors, using flatware and....... hand sewing!  And you know what?  I still hate to hand sew.  LOL.  But, I can do it!

Here isthe before and after picture .  The pin has been removed but I still have a bionic hand with two titanium buttons holding things together.  The left hand is still waiting for the same surgery but I am putting it off until the very last minute.

If any of you are in need of this surgery I hope you will do a lot of research into the procedure your surgeon performs.  My surgeon, Dr. Emery Kim, does not remove a large bone and fill it with tendon material like many other surgeons do.  It is his own procedure and one that he will be publishing his findings on very soon.  I am so happy that I happened upon him.  I really didn't have a choice as I am a member of Kaiser and he was the doctor assigned to me.  It all worked out for the best!


























WAITING FOR THE RIGHT PROJECT

Good Wonderful Easter Monday everyone and happy last day of my Spring Break.  Baltimore County Schools has taken away all of the traditional...