The joys of a new sewing machine

June 30, 2010 § 7 Comments

Looking for the Hawthorne Threads Give Away? It’s here.

The trials of a novice machinist

Monday I was doing some sewing on my new machine. Something I haven’t done for about 2 weeks. I began to sew some 2.5″ squares for a rotary cutting and sewing accuracy test. The test went well but the stitches were less than perfect. Let’s be frank, they were awful! I couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong. I mean, I knew the problem lay with me and not the machine because it was fine two weeks ago.

So I got out the manual and diagnosed the problem as being too much tension on the needle thread so I loosened it.  No joy! So I loosened it some more. Still no joy! Time to call the dealer to find out what I was doing wrong.

Too much needle tension

Too much needle tension

Sewrite to the rescue

So I called Sewrite and once again they were very helpful, telling me to try changing the needle, and to unscrew the plate and clean out the feed dogs, bobbin and trace and try again. Still no joy! Oh well nothing for it but the 76km round trip to Seven Hills to see what I was doing wrong. So on Tuesday off I went to Seven Hills with my Janome 3160 QDC all packed up nicely. I walked in, set it up and Rose came to have a look. She opened the bobbin case and said “There’s no tension on the bobbin thread because your bobbin’s in upside down!”.  She turned it round and all was once again sweetness and light. Aaaah! Fixed in 30 seconds! Sigh. And really the manual was right as there was NO tension on the bobbin thread of course the needle thread tension was too tight! The joys of a new machine and a novice machinist!  At least now my machine is all ready for my next machine quilting lesson – free motion. Very scary from my point of view but I’ll let you know how it goes.

The right thread

While I have been basting my latest project I’ve been wondering where I could get some YLI silk thread to use for the appliqué. Anyway not only did I learn something from my trip to Sewrite but while I was there I spied just the right shade of YLI silk thread that I needed. So that was a plus! Now, back to some more hand sewing…

YLI silk thread

YLI silk thread

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Welcome new readers!

June 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

Looking for the Hawthorne Threads Give Away? It’s here.

I just want to take this opportunity to welcome all the new readers that have found their way here in the last 24 hours. I’m enjoying reading your comments and I agree that it is hard to pick a favourite collection from Hawthorne Threads. I guess it really depends on what sort of project you’re looking for fabric for doesn’t it? My choices are below:

Quirky fabric

Riley Blake’s Retro Umbrellas in White

Formal Fabric

Michael Miller’s Delilah in Purple

Wistful collection

Bari Ackerman’s Art Journal

Fabric collection coming soon

Pat Bravo’s Paradise in the Sunset Colourway

Progress on the new project

I have been pushing on with my latest project which I started the other day. I’m at the point of basting the greaseproof paper pattern onto the fabrics. It’s a painstaking process but I enjoy it and it almost guarantees the correct placement of the pattern on the fabric. This is especially important when you have a certain section of the fabric that you want to appear in a particular section of the pattern. The hole you can see in the paper was cut to allow me to centre a heart motif in the fabric in the centre of the central medallion of the pattern.

Greaseproof paper basting

Greaseproof paper basting

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Sewjournal – Hawthorne Threads Give Away!

June 28, 2010 § 142 Comments

Sewjournal – Hawthorne Threads Give Away!

Co-ordinating fabrics

Co-ordinating fabrics

Colour picking

Colour picking

Today’s the day! Hawthorne Threads have generously  offered my readers the chance to win a US$50 gift voucher! You have two chances to go in the draw , I’ll explain in a minute.

Quilter- friendly website

The Hawthorne Threads website is so quilter-friendly. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but if you click on a particular fabric all the main colours in that fabric appear at the bottom of the screen. Then you can click on any one of them to find co-ordinating prints.

Another feature I really like is their colour grid where you click on a colour and it brings up a page where you can see all the fabrics with that colour in it.

Then you can also refine your choice by how dominant that colour is and how close in colour the fabrics are to the colour you picked. Have a play, it’s really useful.

So, how can you win?

Chance No: 1 – Visit the Hawthorne Threads website and browse their extensive fabric collections. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me what your favourite collection is.

Chance No: 2 – Over on the left column is a box that says “Get posts by email!“. Just add your email address and subscribe and you’ll get the blog posts in your inbox each day. You don’t need to leave me another comment  because I will add everybody on the subscription list to the draw. (So if you’re already subscribed you’re automatically in the draw.) Please note that a confirmation email will be sent and you need to click on this to confirm your subscription. If you don’t, then you won’t be subscribed and your name won’t appear in the list or be in the draw. So please, if you don’t get a confirmation email, check your SPAM filter.

The draw will be open until Friday Sydney time. Good Luck!

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Quilted camera bag and a new project

June 27, 2010 § 6 Comments

Camera bag

I had quite productive day yesterday and went to a sit and sew where I managed to complete a hand sewn and quilted camera bag for my new camera. They say the best camera is the one you have with you and I wanted to keep mine in my handbag but I didn’t want the screen to get scratched. I also didn’t want one of those heavy black, waterproof type camera bags so I made my own. It’s light, slightly padded and cute. (well I think so :))

Quilted camera bag

Quilted camera bag

A new project

I also started drawing out the pattern for my next Pathways to the Divine Centre quilt. More revers appliqué I think, though I’m finding appliqué  is one of my favourite activities. This one will be quite challenging and I’m not even sure it’s do-able yet  but time will time. Here’s a part of the design so you can see what I mean about not being sure it’s possible.

New project

New project

New give away

I plan to start the Hawthorne Threads give away tomorrow. So I hope you’ll come back and check it out then.

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Banana and sultana muffins – free recipe

June 26, 2010 § 1 Comment

I felt like cooking today and I played around and came up with this muffin recipe. I wasn’t sure whether or not it would work out but they didn’t turn out too badly. Pretty they are NOT  (in fact if you wanted muffins that look like platypuses then this’d be the recipe to use) but they taste yummy. What’s more they’re very light.

Banana and sultana muffins - 1

Banana and sultana muffins - 1

Banana and sultana muffins - 2

Banana and sultana muffins - 2

Ingredients

2 eggs

2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup of soda water

pinch of salt

1/2 cup of sultanas

1/4 cup of rice bran oil

Method

Chop bananas in a bowl and add the sugar. Mix well and then add the two eggs and mix quickly with a spoon. In another bowl place the two cups of flour and salt. Add the banana mix to a well in the centre of the flour, then add the milk, soda water and oil and whisk gently on low with an electric mixer. Mix only long enough to get a homogenous mixture then with a plastic spatula fold in the sultanas.

Spoon the mixture into oiled silicone muffin pans and cook on 180 deg C for 15 – 18 minutes in the middle of the oven. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the silicone pan. Enjoy!

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We have a winner….

June 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Art Gallery Fabrics Give Away Winner Draw

Today I painstakingly wrote out all your names and added them to a bowl to draw the winner of this great Art Gallery Fabrics prize.

Art Gallery Fabrics Fat Quarter Bundle

Art Gallery Fabrics Fat Quarter Bundle

Step 1

The draw begins...

The draw begins...

Step 2

Selecting a name

Selecting a name

Step 3 – the winner is…

The winner is...

The winner is...

Ros Gale! Congratulations Ros! I’ll have emailed you to organise your prize delivery. Stay tuned as next week is the Hawthorne Threads US$50 Gift Voucher Give Away. Remember they sell Pat Bravo’s Art Gallery Fabrics so you have second chance to get some of those beautiful fabrics.

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Pojagi or Bojagi. Do you know what is?

June 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

I had no idea what Pojagi or Bojagi was – in fact I’d never even heard the word before – until I read some posts on the Silly Boo Dilly Blog. This is a traditional Korean patchwork art and produces some really beautiful items. It was used by Royalty and commoners alike in Korea. One of it’s features is the way the seams are made, enabling both sides of the item to be used. Wikipedia has some more info on it here including a really amazing image of one from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

I’d love to show you some pics but I couldn’t find any that were freely available to use.

If you’re looking for the Art Gallery Fabrics Give Away it’s here. You’ve got till Friday before it’s drawn.

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