ASG May Photo A Day Challenge Week 5

I don’t normally do 2 posts in one day but these are the last few days of the Australian Sewing Guild photo challenge. Thank you to the Waverly group for hosting this.

Day 29 – Most referred to sewing book

Day 29

The book or books I keep going back to are the instruction manuals that come with my machines. Most of the time I know what I want to do it is just a matter of finding out how to make the sewing machine do what I want. This book has a reference table of all the stitches on my machine so I can look at quick glance how a stitch will look. On my travelling machine the instruction manual is an essential as I don’t use that machine as much and forget when things are located on it or how to adjust settings.

Day 30 – May projects

Day 30

In May I didn’t get as much completed as I would’ve like too. I’m proud to say I did get the 2 craft swaps projects finished and sent that I needed done by June 1. I got this little softie complete (post coming soon) I got one Christmas gift completed and have drawn up the pattern for another toy.

Day 31 – Future projects

Day 31

My future projects include finishing off the rest of my gifts for this year and starting on Christmas gifts. Also I need to whip up some things for a new born as well. I have plans to get them done so now I just have to do them all.

Over the 31 days I have really enjoyed doing this challenge. I’d never done anything like this before. It made me stop and look at things. There are so many small elements to sewing and in this challenge I got to explore all those small things elements that I have in my stash.

 

 

ASG May Photo A Day Challenge Week 4

Week 4 of the ASG photo challenge for May Sewing Month

Day 22 – May Sewing Progress

Day 22

A lot of what I have been sewing in May is for craft swaps or Christmas gifts so I couldn’t show a full picture of things. I made progress on my May sewing but many not as much as I would’ve like too.

Day 23 – First Item Even Sewn

Day 23

Day 23 was actually meant to be most worn but as I don’t really make clothes I instead decided to take a photo of my first ever sewing project. This is a plastic bag sausage / holder. It was a good first project as I had to do seams and insert elastic and a drawstring. The fabric was brought discounted at the shops so it didn’t cost a lot to make. I used a contrasting bright orange thread so I could see it. Some of the side seam is a bit stretched as it is heavily stuffed but 4 years on and I still use it every day.

Day 24 – Most Time Consuming

Day 24

Probably one of the most time consuming things I make is hopscotch mats. They look very simple but there is a lot of pinning and applique and more pinning and more applique to them. I now even echo quilt around them too. They are a great item to make they just take a bit to construct.

Day 25 – Favourite Machine Foot

Day 25

After the initial problems I had with the walking foot (remember I didn’t even know how to attach it to the machine) I’ve grown to love my walking foot and now if I had to pick a favourite it this would be it. I use it on both quilting and non quilting projects.

Day 26 – Trims

Day 26

I have a lot of trims in my stash but I don’t really use them. If I make things for really small kids I don’t want anything they can choke on so I avoid them on those things. On all other things I always forget to try and fancy them up with a bit of trim or bling. I really must start using as they are just sitting there. I have the usual ribbons, lace, ric rac

Day 27 – Vintage / Oldest Book or Magazine

Day 27

This book I found when going through mum’s sewing things (I’m assuming she got it from a second hand store) and to be honest for nearly 4 years it has sat on my bookshelf. It was only after I took this photo that I sat outside in the autumn sunshine with a cup of tea and actually read it. It’s really good.

Day 28 – Favourite Sewing Pattern

Day 28

There is no question as to what my favourite pattern is. I haven’t made one for a while so I think I’m still up to 4 sets in 2 years. I have one maybe two more sets to make then all the families with girls I know have them. I’m actually thinking after I do those I may do a 2nd round. It is a great little pattern. It looks complicated but it isn’t. You can’t help but smile when you make it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gem Scarf Complete

Gem Scarf Complete

I finished my scarf. I love the colours in this they really do remind me of gem stones. It is nice size, wide enough to sit over your shoulders if you need it to. I’m a fan of wide scarfs they are perfect keep you snug without too much bulk around your neck. I used nearly all of the 3 balls of yarn. I had a small amount of each colour leftover but I don’t think it would’ve been enough to work another 2 rows in it. I’m not sure how you calculate how much yarn you will need for a row. For knitting I follow the rule of measuring the yarn 3 or 4 times across your work to see if you have enough. I read it somewhere and that may be wrong but that’s what I go by.

To wrap it up this scarf was made using Stylecraft Extra Special acrylic yarn. It was done in Trebles (I work in UK terms) Really simple to do, no counting required. I just kept going until I ran out of yarn. A really quick project and a little something for me.

My First Buttonhole

Yesterday I stitched my first buttonhole!!

First Buttonhole

Ok I know buttonholes are very basic and the machine does all the work, all you have to do is load the button into the size gauge on the buttonhole foot and press start on the sewing machine.  In my 4 years of sewing I’ve never made anything that needed a buttonhole so I’ve never had to do one. I was working on a project that needed one so I had a practice first on a piece of scrap. I read my sewing machines manual and worked it out. Yep very basic. The only thing I had trouble with was sliding the gauge back to release the button from the foot. There must be some sort of trick to it or my foot is just tight as it had never been used before. It was good to learn a new skill and I was able to complete that step in the project I was working on.

Ironically last weekend I was looking at one part of my machine thinking what is that lever for? Turns out it is the buttonhole foot stop lever. Now I know 🙂

Free Motion Quilting Class

Last Saturday I did the Let’s Quilt Free Motion class with Deborah Louie. It was a follow on from the class I did with her in March.

This class is more hands on sewing and playing because in the first class you have been taught all the basics of prepping your quilting piece beforehand. Your machine is going from the moment the class starts. To be honest before the class I thought free motion quilting was your hands going busy trying to keep up with an out of control sewing machine as you have no feed dogs to keep it in place your fabric is going everywhere. Somehow you end up with a quilted piece. Deborah teaches you how to control it. It’s a very stop start process. It involves a lot of thought.

FMQ Class Flower

We started off just having a play to get used to working without feed dogs. I have played around and done free motion once before so it wasn’t a total foreign feeling. I did some movements with the machine and even managed to draw a flower.

FMQ Class Tension

In the class we learnt about adjusting the tension for your machine. It is a different tension to what you normally sew at. Looking at the back it took me a couple of attempts to get the tension correct. Also the type of thread you use is important. I was working with one thread but found it to be too fluffy on the top of my machine. When I changed threads I had to re-adjust my tension to fit the new thread. Again it took me a couple of fiddles with the tension disc and but I got it correct.
FMQ Class Back

We learnt how to do various patterns and designs. It is a very mentally stimulating form of stitching at your always thinking. You have to figure out where you want to stitch next. How you want to stitch it. There are so many patterns but what would be best for that area. How do I best fill the area with stitches. Your hand placement is very important to. Your hands are what is controlling the fabric so you need to have them placed so you can move the fabric to the area you want to get to and stitch next. There is a lot of stop, reposition the hands, start again.

FMQ Class Front

The back of quilt looks just as good as the front if your tension is correct. It was great working in the contrasting colours as you could really see your stitches. The class has really changed my thoughts on free motion. It has taken out the fear of the out of control fabric. Before I thought things just happened randomly but it is more planned and thought out than I realised. It is very creative form of stitching.

FMQ Class Expert

This was a spiral Deborah did. I have a sample piece she was working on. When you see how neat it can be it is very inspiring to give it ago. It all comes down to practice. The more you do the better you will get.

The class was fantastic. Deborah is a great teacher. The way she breaks things down and explains them is so easy to follow. In the classes she gives you well written notes so when you get home you can remember what you were taught. These days there are so many ways to learn new skills online with Craftsy and Youtube which is great if that is the only access you have to such things but nothing beats sitting in an actual class with a teacher if you can. The hands on things you learn is worth it.

 

ASG May Photo A Day Challenge Week 3

Week 3 of the ASG photo challenge for May Sewing Month

Day 15 – Biggest wadder

Day 15

I wasn’t overly too familiar with what they meant by biggest wadder so I took a photo of one of the biggest items I’ve made. This polar fleece blanket was one of the first projects I completed. It is doubled sided in a patchwork style.

Day 16 – Oldest Sewing Machine

Day 16

I’ve posted about my little sewing machines before. This little one has just turned 4. She is perfect to take to my ASG meetings or to classes as she is so light weight. I can do all I need to on her.

Day 17 – Bias Binding

Day 17

The blue binding is leftover from the blue blanket pictured in Day 15. Mum worked out how to make it and helped me with it. She did a great job. We had a lot leftover and I’ve used it on various projects over the years. This is the last I have of it. The pink binding is leftover from Snug as a Blanket. Normally bias binding and I are not friends but I did pretty well with this one.

Day 18 – Your View When Sewing

Day 18

I can watching tv when sewing. Some days I have a movie on whilst I sew or will just have random shows on. Its great for those times you have to reverse sew. Some days I play music instead. What I really like sometimes is nothing at all. I love just sitting there listening to the hum of the sewing machine. You get into the stitching zone and nothing else around you matters.

Day 19 – Favourite Piece Of Material

Day 19

This fabric I got about 10 years ago. I have a thing for blue and a thing for hearts. I’ve used it in making 2 slip covers for a foot rest that I use every day. The fabric is a bit faded as it gets used. I figured why not use my favourite fabric in something that I’m going to use every day.

Day 20 – Oldest Work In Progress

Day 20

After I took this I remembered I have another WIP that I stared about 10 years ago but that is in a garage somewhere. I started this stitchery quilt last year. So far I have completed 1 block of 7. The other item in the photo is the pony I need to finish from early this year, I will get back to her.

Day 21 – Favourite Sewing Haunt

Day 21

This shop is where my group meets for our Sewing Guild meetings once a month. I love sewing in this shop as your surrounded by bolts of fabric and sewing notions. It really gets the creative juices flowing. Something will catch the corner of your eye and suddenly a new idea pops into your head or you inspired to try an idea.

 

 

Different Walking Feet

Did you know walking feet come in different types?

Walking Feet

I had no idea until I did the Deborah Louie Beginners Quilting Class. In my stash of feet which I’d gotten over the years with various machines I had a couple of walking feet but never took much notice of them however on closer inspection I realise they are 2 different.

So what is the difference?

Walking Foot Standard
Standard or Regular walking foot has a closed area at the front like your regular sewing foot (Janome A) You can easily line your fabric up with the centre to sew straight lines.

Walking Foot Open Toe

Open Toe walking foot has a wide area in front like a F2 foot does. You can use it to stitch decorative stitches as the needle has a wide area to work in. There is still a centre mark in which you can use to line up the centre of your stitch design.

Walking Foot In Use

Do you need both?
I think it depends on the type of sewing you do and what you will be making. If you just do piecing or used your foot to do regular stitching the standard foot would be all you need. If you wanted to quilt using the decorative stitches on your machine or stitch the decorative stitches on thicker fabric which is easier with the walking foot (it helps move the fabric through the foot) I would suggest getting an open toe foot. Your view isn’t obstructed so you can easily see where the stitch will be placed.

A word of warning when buying a walking or daring foot know the model of your machine. Some have a high shank others have a low. You need to buy the foot that will fit your machine. It turns out the not all the walking feet in my stash would fit all my machines. My MC11000 only came with a standard foot so I brought an open toe foot for that as I do the majority of my sewing on it. For my smaller machine I have only have an open toe foot (it came with the machine) it will allow me to do all I need to do on it. I’m finding I’m using my different walking feet more and more. Thick items like bags are walking foot is a must. It made sewing the 2 Zip Hipster so easy as the foot help guide the fabric through the machine.