26 June 2009

Shop Hop Week!

This is the week of the Western WA Quilt Shop Hop. I started on Wednesday and brought my kids. They were wonderfully well behaved considering we spent about 12 hours in the car that day! They're both at the age now where getting a little square of fabric and having their passports stamped is fun. Although on the second (much shorter) day my son decided he no longer wanted fabric. I guess that was the sign that my time of happy, well-behaved kids was coming to an end...

All in all we went to 17 shops. You have to go to at least 16 to be eligible for prizes. I really wanted to do twice that (2 entries for the prizes) but it's a funky week for us. *sigh* I might go to 3 or 5 more just to make an even number of blocks for the quilt though...

The most amazing part of the week... I didn't go over my budget! Can you believe it? I know I can't! I'm like old faithful--you can always count on me to go over budget. But somehow, even with getting the kids tape measures, buttons, etc. to keep the peace, we didn't go over. Of course that also means I don't have a bunch of goodies to look at. :(

Want to see what I got?

Here are some fat quarters and a yard that was on clearance. I'm thinking pillowcase for my daughter with that...

Here's a gorgeous stripe! I've been looking for something like this. I only got 1.5 yards. I think I want more...
And this is a super tiny quilt hanger! Isn't it neat? My living room is Americana themed and I think I'll make a little something to hang on this... Yes, I realize all that stuff in the background is distracting, but I thought I'd leave it and give you a peak of my dining room... See my chickens?
So do you like the sharing of products? Should I do it more often?

Last weekend I went to a local craft store for their Late Night Sew which runs from 4pm to midnight. In the past I've signed up then dropped out a week before because I start feeling guilty about not spending that time with my family and all. But this week I was determined to go. (I needed a little break.) Well I planned to cut my fabric on Friday because a)I wanted to have everything ready to sew, and b) I didn't want to have a super sore back! Well, I didn't end up doing it on Friday, but I figured it was no big deal..I'd just wake up early Saturday and do it, then maybe take a nap before hand.

So guess what happened Saturday morning? My glasses broke! My beautiful green glasses for which I've received numerous compliments! :( So I couldn't cut my fabric, and I had to make an appointment for contacts, which I did get. I got to the sewing thing an hour late, and had itchy eyes all night. (It's been over a year since I've worn contacts.)

But that wasn't the end of the crap for the day. I brought lots of projects because I had no idea how much I'd get done and I also didn't know what I'd feel like doing. So I decided to start with a project that's many years old and not really my style just to get it out of the way. I spent all but one hour on that stupid thing and as I was piecing the last part I found I didn't have enough fabric (it was a kit)! I was pissed! So I decide to do the math (at 11pm) and make it work. So I figured out a solution, and made my cuts...1/4" too small! I was livid. Needless to say that sucker will never get finished, and if I ever see it again it'll be too soon! >:(

The moral of this story? Don't bother with a project if you don't really like it! ;)

17 June 2009

Sewing machine fun...

I was just reading Jona's blog (from Fabritopia) and she did this survey regarding her machine that she found on the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog. So I thought I'd participate too! (I love surveys!)

Here are the questions, and my answers:

What brand and model do you have?

I have a Pfaff 2056

How long have you had it?

Hmm...good question. It's coming up on 3 years now, I think???

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

I believe I paid just over or just under $3,000. Darn! It won't let me un-italicize this!

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Mostly quilts, and some little odd-ball projects. Like patching up jeans and such...

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

Not all that much I suppose. Sometime I get oin a roll, and I'm always on there. Other times I, like now, I'm doing more handwork. Or nothing at all ;)

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I LOVE my machine! Before this, I had a 'cheap' machine. It made sewing a nightmare! I'm knocking on wood here, but the very (very) few problems I had turned out to be my error (like threading it wrong, etc.).

I named it Phyllis. Simply because I like the name, and it reminds me of a very sensible person. But I don't actually call it by name...

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I like that I can drop my feed dogs, needle up/down, my beloved quarter inch foot (that's actually accurate! I have a story about that! see * below!) And I like that it has 'tie off' stitches (so you don't have to reverse sew at the end of your stitching to secure it). I use that when I'm appliqueing with the buttonhole stitch especially.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

Nope! :)

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

I don't think so...

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

Totally, and I have!

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Quality! I don't know that you have to break the bank to get a nice machine. Just make sure it comes from a reputable brand, talk to people who own them (and ask how long they've had them. Some machines may be great at first then crap out after a while.) and do your research. Make sure you know what all the bells/whistles are, and which ones you'll want/need.

Do you have a dream machine?

Sort of...the Husqvarna/Viking Designer SE has a few things mine doesn't that seem kind of neat (plus it's an embroidery machine. Don't know how badly I want/need that though...) It's got a thing that'll bring both threads to the bottom and then cut them off for you...neat! But for $15,000, I can do without!

*So here's my 1/4" foot story. I got my first machine from a little mom & pop shop. The gal was really nice, and I was all happy. Well it didn't take long for the thing to make sewing a living nightmare. For one thing, the 1/4" foot actually sewed at 3/8". So I went in to complain, and the guy said that's "just how they come. You can't get a true 1/4" foot..." Well, now I know that's bull-honkey! Then another time I asked what the difference between the 'red' needles and the 'blue' were. He said that the one (I don't remember which color was which) was for all fabrics, and the other was "for 100% cotton fabrics, which are rarely sold today. I don't even know why they still make them." WHAT??!! That's when I knew he was full of crap! It wasn't too long after that I got my new happy machine!