Bells and Whistles

As I watch the snow flurries this morning I am glad that I live close to the shoppe,  and also glad that I have some great things to be working on right now.    If you have ever talked about sewing machines with me you know that I tell beginners on a regular basis that they don’t need the extra bells and whistles to get a machine that will help them learn quilting.   That most quilts simply require a machine that makes a good stitch with the proper tension,  and everything else is an add on that can cost cash.    In this philosophy,   there are several of my regular customers who use featherweight machines as their primary machine.   I even have one lady who regularly uses her treadle.    Not too many people these days think of electricity as an extra.

If you got a new machine for the holidays, or if you have one that has features on it that you haven’t ever used, I urge you to spend some time in the spirit of curiosity and play to get out some extra fabric  ( I know that you all have lots of fabric )  and try out those funky decorative stitches.   If you use a light colored fabric and a dark colored thread you can even write on the sampler what the settings are so you can use it for real more easily.    I do this kind of thing whenever I get a new or new to me machine.    It’s how I discovered that the buttonhole attachment that is as big as the featherweight machine it goes with makes the best buttonhole hands down of any machine I have sewn on.   Go figure.    Those bells and whistles on our machines drive the price up and so many of us don’t use them once we have the machine home.     In our Make friends with your Machine class we make a stitched out sampler as the first part of the workshop.    It is a workshop designed for beginners,  but there is benefit to a stitched out sampler any time you get a new machine.    You can see that I have left lots of room on the one pictures because my new to me machine is a Viking Designer One,  and it has lots of bells and whistles.   Please ignore the date stamp,  don’t know where that came from,  I took the pictures this morning.      Thank you Thank You to the person who gave this machine to me.   I am having a great time with it.    img_7151

Once you have gotten the basics down,   don’t hesitate to jump in with a bigger project.    There is really no better way to learn than to jump in and do it.   So I am quilting a hundred year old quilt top that is queen sized.    Drunkards path,   hand guided in the ditch.   Yes there is a learning curve with any new features, but it is a joy to see something come together so nicely.

So my point today is that when you are ready and you know you will enjoy them,  indulge in those bells and whistles for your machine,  and be sure to put them through their paces.      If you need a project to play with check our offerings for the semester on the showcase page,  or even just come in on a Work in progress Wednesday and I will give you all the encouragement you need.

Just quickly I want to remind you that if you are planning on attending the Crazy Quilt Club meeting tomorrow be sure that Diane Johnson knows.   If snow becomes an issue she will be contacting you in the morning.     Also, regardless of the weather we will be closed on Tuesday to drive my daughter back to school.   Lets hope the weather is good that day,  it’s a lot of driving to do in the snow.


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