Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Practicing Circular Stitching

My hubby got me a circular stitcher accessory for my Janome 7700 for Christmas. I had been wanting one since this machine has all sorts of decorative stitches. I had a bit of a difficult time installing it on my machine but that could have very well been weakness in my hands form the arthritis. I had found on the Bernina website a project for learning to use their circular stitcher. I don't care where I find ideas, if my machine can do them, I will try them out. So I printed out the instructions and photo of the project and went to town. What fun! You can do some amazing things with a circular stitcher, but it pays to practice. You have to learn not only how to set up the design, you have to learn which designs work well in circles and how to hold the fabric. Here is part of the sample that I made.

I decided that the smaller circle would look good with a button and since I had just found a little bag of buttons at my thrift store and one was the perfect color, I used it. I have had machines that have had the capability to sew on a button with the included button foot for at least 20+ years and have never sewed a button on with the machine before. I think I was always sure I would break a needle or in some way damage something. Instead I have either avoided buttons altogether or sewed them on by hand, making a mess of knots in the back. I do quite nice embroidery but buttons baffle me. With some directions from The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible, which is a great book on presser feet by the way, I attached that button foot and did a little adjusting and in no time I had sewn on a button. No snarls , knots or tangles on the back either. The only problem that I had was getting the button exactly where I wanted it. It was supposed to be in the center of the circle yet it is off center.

The circle that the button is in is fringe I made with the circular attachment by sewing a close zigzag at 7mm and then sewing on the far left of the satin stitch with a straight stitch. I did get a little wobbly, so yet another thing to practice. After sewing the satin stitch and then the stitch to hold them down, go to the back of the fabric and snip the bobbin thread and if you did it right, you end up with fringe which would make a great flower.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Sewing ME Year

Most years lately I have been finding myself working on large sewing projects, that haven't left me much time for doing any sewing for me, practicing new techniques or improving my skills. Before 2013 even got here, I decided that this would be my ME year. I want to work on bettering my skills, learning new things, and making projects that strike my fancy and also clean up the clutter in my sewing room.

To begin this quest, I signed up for several Craftsy classes. I signed up for their 2012 and 2013 Block of the Month classes and also Stupdendous Stitching. I spent some time on a Bernina website and found some interesting projects using a circular stitcher that I had gotten for Christmas. Well I have already finished my BOM blocks for both classes for the month of January and am working on a circular stitcher project. The only thing left is to start in on the Stitching class. I have over 200 decorative stitches on my sewing machine and I want to learn how to use them effectively.

My last several quilts, although I worked hard to make everything come out right, my blocks ended up the wrong size. When I started the 2013 BOM block, I did my usual thing and found the blocks were quickly getting to be the wrong size besides I was working with fabrics I didn't really like. So, I took careful measurements and shifted my needles position and set my needle at a 4.6 width instead of the 3.5 and put the cloth guide that came with my machine in place. I also picked some fabric that I liked better and was very happy to make 4 -  6 1/2" blocks that were the right size. Too bad I hadn't done this years ago, all my quilts would have turned out better. But, this is the reason that I need this year to slow down and take my time getting things right.