Last week I attended a sewing class at the shop where I brought my Janome 11000 sewing machine from. Unfortunately I couldn’t take mine so they let me borrow the use of the shops demonstration model for the day. We completed 2 projects.
Our first project was machine applique. I’ve done applique before so know the basic of adhering the two fabrics together with visofix and doing the standard blanket stitch. In the class we played around with adjust the width and length of the stitch. Recently I’ve done a piece where I narrowed with length of the stitch but I’ve never adjust the stitch width before. We played around with the different stitches and used a variety aside from the regular blanket stitch design. I really enjoyed experimenting around with the stitches. We got to choose our fabrics from those provided and our threads. Everyone else went for neutral colours with the pastel back ground but not me I went for bright. Someone said I was brave because it would show up any mistakes more but that didn’t bother me. It was a learning class and we were here to experiment. If I went a bit drunken sailor with my stitches it wasn’t going to matter. Out of the 3 stitches I did my favourite was the little cherry stitch design. Well at least that’s what I’m calling it because it reminds me of a cherry with it done in red. I guess it also looks like a little lolly pop.
On each of the hearts we did a motive. We learnt how to set our machines so it would only do one stitch and stop. On each heart it is the same satin stitch motive, we learnt how elongate the stitch so it would appear bigger each time. I’ve never seen this done before and love the idea. Our teacher also explained how to outline an applique shape by doing triple stitch around the outside of it. On the day I never tried it but saw that it looked really good on another person’s piece.
We used a test piece to practice our stitches on before we tried them on our project. Our teacher taught us the importance about using tear away stabilizer. I had no idea that there are some stabilizers that only tear in one direction whilst others are multi directional tear. I will look out for the multi directional as that doesn’t distort the stitches so much when removed
Our second project was setting stitch patterns and working with multiple colours of thread. We learnt how to program our machine with stitch patterns and set space stitches. I had no idea you could leave a space between your stitches. We first did a plain row of leaves then changed thread colours to do a single flower stitch over the top. I found it hard to slot the flowers in between the leaves however the teacher said maybe on my machine I need to leave an extra space for more of a gap as every machine is different. With practice and adjustment I will get it. I was nearly at the end of my row before I finally got one stitch perfect (Not having my glasses with me that day didn’t help I don’t think)
After that initial pattern was done in the centre of our fabric we switched threads again and this time learnt how to use the presser foot as a spacing guide to stitch parallel lines either side of it. We experimented with flipping the directions of stitches. I chose a heart pattern and flipped it on the second stitch so the pattern would repeat one left one right. I’m really pleased in how that turned out. That’s my favourite stitch for the entire day. Even the teacher commented on how nice it looked.
Before the class I’d had a little play with the stitches on my machine when I first got it. I made the tote bag but in that I didn’t play around adjusting all the stitches, I just did them in a straight line.