Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lazy, or smartpants?

Even before I got the new sewing machine I was falling in love with tutorials I kept seeing for ironing board covers.  People are using fabulous vintage fabrics for their boards - sheets, tablecloths - and then getting to look at the prints every time they push the creases out of things.  What's not to be crazy about?  Even leaving out the fact that the edge of my ironing board cover somehow managed to get mildewed.

I was so all over the idea of making one myself.  And then the other day I was out shopping for a magazine organizer and...


$10, favourite colours, print I love, padding included...


Saturday, January 14, 2012

A bouncing baby Bernina

For the last five or so years, I've been pining for a new sewing machine.  New-To-Me would have been fine.  Just new enough to have incorporated any of the technological advances in the industry over the past 70 years, you know?

Good heavens, my old sewing machine is old enough to be my mother.

And really, it's awesome.  You can sew anything on it if the wires are hooked up right to the foot pedal - even organza, if you put some tissue over the feed dogs to keep them from catching.  And it still winds bobbins (though it's no longer possible for me to find new ones that fit it, and if your speed is off with the foot pedal, say because the wiring shifts, you get disastrous tension issues) and stitches frontwards and backwards with a flick of a lever.  You can even adjust the stitch length a little.

Still... I've been wanting something that would do More.  And it didn't take long to fall in love with Bernina and want one of their machines.  I actually saved up and everything.  And now a beautiful one with quilting features - the 550 QE - is resident in my house:

(that's a sample of one of the buttonhole stitches lying in front of it, by the way.  It's such a thing of beauty I had to keep it in the picture.)

A training session comes with the cost of purchase, but I have to say I don't think it's necessary.  The shipping box comes with a very interesting and exhaustive manual, the company website comes with instructional videos, and the machine itself has arrows everywhere telling you where to draw the thread next when you're aiming for the needle.

I was a bit freaked out by the bobbin-filling experience though.  I got about halfway through the steps involved in filling one on the Singer, and when I snapped a lever in preparation for the other half I was amazed to find the machine doing all the rest of the work for me.  I didn't even have to cut the thread when it was done, as such.  Just drew the thread past a cutter.

There are some crazy number of stitches you can make on this machine, and having used the most basic one of them for more than twenty years already I've been branching out to take advantage of them.  But this is my favourite so far:

I anticipate rather a lot of sewing to show up here in the next few months.  Can you stand it?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ice-covered trees

Just after Christmas we had snow, followed by a melt and some rain and then some more cold, which gave us this:

Even my car's reindeer antlers looked prettier.

Happy New Year!