Updates: New Machine and Spring Quilt Block #4

Yesterday I went to my Janome dealer and spent a good part of my day learning more about my machine.  I’m still in love.   This machine can do so many things that make sewing easier.  Now if I can just remember to use these little tips when I need them I will be all set.  Just one example; I was packing everything up to go home and I was winding up the cord on my presser foot when one of the other ladies says “you know that the foot is retractable don’t you?” .  I did know, just forgot. 

I’ve been working on my Spring Quilt Blocks.   This is the 1st of the purple blocks.  I had this material in my stash.  To have a little closer look at my pictures, just click on the pictures to enlarge.   I like the simple yet interesting pattern in this material.  I’ve only got 3 of these done.  I should have all 10 completed over the week-end.  Happy sewing!

Spring Quilt Block #3

This is the 3rd block in my Spring Basket Quilt.  I love this pink pattern.  I bought the same material in purple.  The blocks are coming along.  I’ve got 10 of these blocks completed.  I am learning a lot with each block.  I still don’t have matching the seams perfected yet, but I’m working on it. 

Sewing the blocks with my new machine is a dream.  I’m so glad I bought it.  It is so much easier to sew the 1/4″ seams with the 1/4″ foot that comes with the machine.  Happy sewing!

My New Sewing Machine

I am the proud new owner of a Janome Memory Craft Horizon 7700 QCP!  This is my dream machine.  I spent all day yesterday “playing”.  With all the bells and whistles this machine has, I think one of my favorite features on it is the automatic thread cutter.  I also love the knee lifter.  Although I’m finding myself forgetting that it only lifts the foot.  It doesn’t run the machine.  I grew up with a Singer where the knee lifter was used instead of a foot pedal.  Another cool thing, is that there is 11″ between the needle and the machine.  All that wonderful space to fit a quilt. I could go on and on with all of the features this machine has to offer, but I think I’ll save some for another day. 

I’m going back with my machine tomorrow for a free lesson in using all the features.  I’m not sure how much I will remember, but every little bit of information is very welcome.  The machine is extremely heavy and large, which will make it difficult for me to tote around.  I’ve ordered the tote that Janome made especially for this machine and it should be in shortly.  For now I will use a small rolling luggage dolly we have.

I really want to take advantage of their free monthly classes for Memory Craft owners.  I wouldn’t mind taking a few other classes they offer either.  Who knows I may even look into joining a  quilting group!  I guess you can figure out where I will be today!   Yep, in my sewing room – playing.   Happy Sewing!

Shopping for a New Sewing Machine

Today I am going to check out sewing machines.  I’ve needed to upgrade for a while now.  I used a Singer for 30+ years that my husband and I bought when we first got married.  It was a great machine, stitched like a charm.  My mom sewed on a Singer and she could make anything!  When it was my turn to buy a machine I never even considered any other brand.  After many trips to have  my machine looked at, because I couldn’t get the tension to work properly, I gave up and bought an inexpensive Brother from Costco. 

The Brother I have is a nice machine for someone who sews occasionally, but I’m having tension problems.  I’ve tried to clean it the best I can, changed needles, re-threaded it, everything I can think of, and it still isn’t working right.  Very frustrating.  I would love to have this machine work properly so my granddaughters can have something to sew on when they come to visit.  I just don’t know what to do.  Taking it in would cost more than I paid for it.

This is why I am looking for a new machine.  I had to stop sewing altogether.  Not fun!  After researching machines on-line and reading a gazillion reviews, I’ve decided to check out the Janome.  I am torn between purchasing a sewing/quilting machine or a combo machine.  I do not sew clothing.  My mom was the seamstress.  I do not enjoy making sure clothing fits our imperfect bodies.  I enjoy creating crafty things, like bags and quilts.  It would be nice to be able to embellish my creations with embroidery.  But is it worth the extra money?  And, what would I be giving up that I would get with a nice sewing/quilting machine?  I love the long arm on the Horizon machine for quilting and a few of its other features.  I also am admiring the MC9700 –  drooling over the MC11K-SE but I can’t afford or justify $8,000.  I do not sew to earn money.  I am simply not that good.  I sew for enjoyment. 

I have no idea which machine I will bring home, if any.  I will go and look and try them out.  It should be a fun day!

The Refuge

I just finished another book in Sue Henry’s Maxie McNabb series.  This third book, The Refuge, takes place in Hawaii where 64 year old Maxie goes to help out someone she has known a very long time. Even though Maxie would rather be at home in Homer, Alaska relaxing with her dog Stretch, Maxie can’t say no to the pleading phone call she gets from Karen.  Karen is a widow who was injured in an accident and is using a cane to get around.  She has asked Maxie to come and help her pack up her belongings so that she can move back to Alaska where she grew up. 

When Maxie arrives strange things start to happen.  Maxie overhears part of a phone conversation Karen is having, which Karen abruptly ends when she is aware Maxie has returned.  This phone conversation stays in the back of Maxie’s mind, as she is sure it has something to do with everything else that seems to be happening around them. 

Maxie also meets a very nice young man who is in need of a place to stay and work.  Maxie offers this lad a job helping her pack up Karen for the move and a mattress to sleep on.  This is against Karen’s wishes and that of Karen’s landlord. 

I really enjoy these cozy mysteries by Sue Henry.  I am off now to start the last book of this series, The End of the Road.  Happy Reading!

♥Happy Earth Day♥

Today is Earth Day.  On this day I just want to take a minute to encourage everyone to do their part in helping save our planet.  These are just a few of the ways our family is trying to do our small part.  Maybe one of the things we do will give you an idea to implement in your own home. 

In our home we recycle as much as possible; paper, plastic, glass, etc.  We bring our own bags when we go shopping or we ask for paper bags if needed.  Many places are now giving you a nickel back for each bag you bring in.  And, as I love to make my own fabric bags, it is a great way to get to use more of my own creations.  We are using only energy-saving lightbulbs as we replace the old bulbs and we turn off the lights when we leave a room. (Most of the time – still working on this one).  We keep our heat turned down and we try not to use the air-conditioning anymore than absolutely necessary.  With the high cost of fuel, we are trying to make fewer trips to town, thus saving money and our planets precious resources. 

P.S. – I thought of a couple more things we do.  We reuse our bath towels.  We each have our own color of towel so that we do not need to wash them after each use.  We also no longer buy bottled water.  We filter our water through the refrigerator and we have excellent well water to drink.  When we go somewhere, we use our own reusable bottles and mugs.  What other ideas do you have?

So, again this year,  I wish everyone a ♥Happy Earth Day♥!  Remember ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle ~ Restore ~ and Replenish!!

Pink Batik Spring Basket Quilt Block #2

Today I thought I’d share the 2nd of the Spring Basket Quilt Blocks I’ve been working on.  This is the other pink batik fabric I had in my stash that I thought would look nice in this quilt.  I’ve completed three of these blocks.  Again, I have photographed the block on the brown print that I will be using for the sashing so that you can get an idea of what it will look like.

It is taking a while to cut out all of the little triangles and blocks.  I’ve started to do the next block in an asembly line fashion; cut out the pieces, sew the triangles together, and then iron all the pieces.  I think it should make stitching the block together go much quicker and easier being I won’t have to stop after stitching each triangle to press it.  Happy Sewing!