Saturday, February 27

First day of sewing on new machine

I wanted to get all my ducks in a row before I decided to sew on my new machine, "Izzy".  Not sure where Izzy came from other than I always have like the name Isabella.  I had to get some some plastic storage drawers to move my sewing utensils to since my new table doesn't have drawers.  Plus I wanted to wait until I knew I would have a large amount of time to sew.   So today, I started working on the quilt I had started for my sister Barbara.  I had done most of the top half on my old machine and begin to finish that today.  Good grief!  Seems like nothing was matching up!   I finish the top part and seriously considered to give up on it and start a different project, but I thought maybe "Izzy" would make things go together better.  IT DID!   I just need to get some black to finish up.

I really like using the quarter-inch foot, didn't have one before.  The feel of the machine if really nice. So far I think I really made a good choice.  ( I really need to buy a camera for pictures instead of having to use my cell phone camera)

Friday, February 26

My Sister's Hooked!

I am so excited about my sister Becky getting into quilting again!  This morning she tells me she opens the paper to find out there is a QUILT SHOW in town this weekend!  How perfect it that?  I have always been a believer in fate and things happening when they are supposed to.  I told her to be sure and take her camera to photo quilts that she really loves so she can refer back to them later. I sent her a picture of the quilt I fell in love with at a show several months ago. I finally found the name of it and purchase the book, French Braid Quilts.  She also loved it and wants the pattern.
  Here is my picture
Well Becky gets to the quilt show and sends me a picture...
Funny how things happen! 
Can't wait to get home and get the pattern to send to her.

Thursday, February 25

Article in our local newspaper

This was posted in our local newspaper about our quilting group at the local quilt shop, Needle & Thread

By Bethany Fuller

Statesville R&L
Published: February 25, 2010
Vicki Puckett yanked on the floral fabric until it finally went all the way through the cuff of the pillowcase she was making Tuesday night.
Strips of brightly colored prints and solid-colored fabrics laid on top of Puckett's table and other work areas in the back area of Needle and Thread, 236 W. Broad St., on Tuesday.
The women in the group usually spend Tuesday evenings working on their own quilting projects. They are putting them aside for the next couple of months to participate in American Patchwork and Quilting's 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge, a national program that produces pillowcases for community charities.
"I love it," Puckett said. "The group togetherness and doing something for charity. We got together anyways and worked on projects."

Needle and Thread owner Teresa Kyle said the group will make about 1,000 pillowcases during the next year for the W. G. Hefner Veterans Association Medical Center in Salisbury, My Sister's House in Statesville and other charitable organizations.

The pillowcases will be made every Tuesday at the West Broad Street store from 6-8 p.m.
Kyle said her customers came up with the idea to be part of the national program, and they were able to sew 50 pillowcases during the first two weeks they met.
"We were so busy last week, we forgot to eat," she said.
Each of the women sews together the cuff, the accent strips and the body, and then tugs the fabric back through the cuff to hide the seam.

Statesville resident Bonnie Black said it makes her feel good to know the group's hard work will help somebody. Making the pillowcases isn't that hard, she said.
"If you can sew a seam, you can make these," Black said. "All you have to do is put them together."

She said they could use a little more help with donated time or fabric to reach their goal. She even offered to make extra peanut butter fudge.
"This is a fun group of women," said Kim Draughon. "We really get to know each other. I figured (the pillowcases) will cheer people up!   end

(on the right side of my blog is the link to the main site about the pillowcase challenge)
Try to find a local group in your area to pull together and make some pillowcases to make a difference!

Inspiration can be Contagious!

A few years ago Lauren and I went back to Florida for Christmas to visit my sisters, Barbara, Becky and Wanda.  We all  had lunch one day at Becky's house and while there she told me that she had something for me.  To my surprize, she had a small suitcase full of fabric she had purchased many, many years ago.  She gave me all her fabric, frame and an old quilt top. I never knew she once had the "quilting bug"!  Here is a picture of the small quilt that I made from the some of the fabric she gave me.  I also gave this quilt back to her!               
                     front (own blue ribbon at county fair)                          back side (needed to be ironed)

Well today, I found an email from Becky. All my recent blogging about quilting and the excitment of the new machine has "inspired" my sister to get that quilting bug back!  Yea!  
Here is here email and a picture of her Beautiful quilt top!  Way to go sister!  I love it!
Okay, kid. You've got me inspired. I've so enjoyed reading all your stories about searching for and buying your new machine. I dusted off my 27 year old baby Bernina and I've been working on a quilt all day. It's another one I started a long time ago. Well, only three years ago. It's a pattern I found at Hancock's before they closed. No creative juice working here. It told me how much of each pattern of fabric to buy and how to cut and assemble them. Anyway I got the whole top finished today. Now I have to learn what to do next. I guess it's something like picking out a back fabric and putting some batting in between. I have no idea about the edge finishing. Baby steps...I can do this...I can do this. (This is probably too big a project to start with - right!?) Oh well. Keep the blog coming - I need the inspiration. Love and hugs, Beck

I love the yellow and blues in her quilt! 

Last Saturday I bought some new fabric I fell in love with....(before seeing Becky's quilt)
Guess what colors I bought???  Yellows and Blues... see below

Great Minds Think alike!
I love you Sis!

Wednesday, February 24

I love it!

OK so it took awhile to read and look though the instruction book but I found what I needed. HOW TO THREAD this machine.  I got that done and got the bobbin wound without any problems. So then I got a piece of fabric, batting and backing about seven inches wide and eighteen inches long and started with stitch number 1.  I went through most all of the stitches and stitched a couple of inches of each. I love this machine, it fits my name, I can make crazy quilts and stitch to my hearts content with different stitches.  I tried out the fonts it has, block and script. They are cute but now anything like embroiders. I put on the darning foot and tried my hand at free motion quilting. The machine did pretty good.  The seamtress needs to work on her technique.  Kinda jerky.  I think slowing the speed down would help some. 

Now I need to learn how to create my own stitch patterns. (combining two or more stitches).  I also need to  really learn what all those feet are for.  I have about 10 of them.  I think I'll skip the button hole thing as I don't plan to be sewing anything that requires buttonholes.

I really thrilled with this Janome 6500 so far.  I feels good and solid when you sew. It is smooth and really quite.  After all my confusion in trying to find the right machine, I think it found me!

Can't to start my first real project!


My new Baby arrive this morning at a Whopping 47 pounds,(box and all the accessories! Her name is Izzy.
She powered up just fine and just needs to be fed some thread! and material of course.
Can't wait to get her home and see what she can do!  Oh yea, She got a new table to sit on. Not bad for $10 at Goodwill!  (more $$ for fabric)
Here is her first Picture!
And here she is on her new bed!

Tuesday, February 23

Can't Wait!

Tomorrow, Feb 24th is the DAY!  My new machine should arrive about 10am.  It is shipping UPS to my work and UPS gets there normally by 10am.  Unfortunatly, I have to work until 5pm and can't play with the new Janome.  I bought a used sewing table for me today at the Goodwill store. Hey $10 bucks ain't to bad.
I also got a wall mounted ironing board.   Now I have to move my old machine and rearrange a few things to get ready for the newest member of this household!  I can't wait! 

Saturday, February 20

I finally decided! YEA!

Once I decided I was going to purchase a new sewing machine using my tax refund money, all I could think about was choosing the right machine for me.  That meant keeping it in my budget without giving up all the bells & whistles I knew I wanted.  Of course Bernina was at the top of my list because I have been sewing on one since the 70's.  It has been a gem and works great to this day.  Thus my trust in their reputation.  But, because of that reputation, they are rather pricey.  I did find a couple of models in my price range and that were new not used. I tried sewing on some and loved the feel of the machine.  The only thing that concerned me was the sewing bed was only 6".  My old machine has 7 inches.  So something just kept telling me to keep looking.  So I did.

I searched the internet, craigslist, ebay, I sent emails asking for suggestions, and the more I searched, the more confused I became.  I contacted people selling used machines asking questions and why they were selling the machines. (like they would tell me if it was a bad machine)  One guy tried really hard to make me fall for his scam.  You know that phrase, if it sounds to go to be true, it probably is!  Well that is what happen. Wanting me to pay by Western Union, that was the red flag #1, plus he was in Canada.  So beware!  Oh yea, he still has his listing in several states!

One of the emails I sent and received, someone suggested I look at Vikings.  Well I had heard of them but didn't know anything about them so I just never researched them until this time.  Well let me tell you, I thought I fell in love!  Husqvarna Viking machines now come with a 10" bed for sewing.  That is alot of room to quilt on.  I looked at different models and decided on the Sapphire 835 or 855.   I called several dealers in the area asking them to tell me why I should buy their machine vs the internet. They said I would not received the warrenty or training.  So Lauren and I went to Morganton Saturday morning to the nearest dealer. I sat and sewed on the Sapphire 830 and asked questions. Of course I really liked the sewing/embroidery machines and all those stitches.  Do I need that? no Would I like it? YES!  I didn't want to do the wrong thing, so we left and went to the Carhartt store so Lauren could look and I could think.  I called Husqvarna customer service line and they would honor the warranty if I purchased a new machine online.  So we left, me without my machine and Lauren with a new Carhartt jacket! 

I came home started looking for alot of machine and a little price tag. I came across a store in NJ that sold just about every brand of machine.  He had an older embroidery model of Viking but it said call for pricing.  So I called. I told him what I was looking for and he told me I didn't want a Viking because they are now made in China and not the same quality as the older models. I told him I wanted the larger sewing bed and he said that I needed the Janome MC6500!  It has 9" across the bed and well built for quilting.  He also had them on sale for $899! ( listed $1199 on the website)  He offered 30 days full money back refund if I didn't like it and he would even pay to ship it back. Also comes with 2 year full warrenty!  I told him I would call back!  My first thought was that this was a win-win situation for me!
Try it for 30days and if I didn't like it, he would give me a full refund and pay to ship it back!

I quickly did a search for Janome 6500 and found out many good things. (I didn't want to read anything negative) They were rated high on consumer reports and listed all over the place for $1199 and up! So I called him back and BOUGHT IT!  He is shipping it out on Monday and I should have it on Wednesday!  I can't wait!  I am so excited!

I feel so relieved!

Sunday, February 14

My weekend trip to the Sewing Machine Store

After all week of being so excited and I couldn't hardly wait for Saturday to arrive.  Knowing I was going to the Lee's Sewing in Hickory and actually touch and sew on new machines, I began counting down the hours about Wednesday.  Then on Friday, those crazy weathermen start saying something about more SNOW Friday night to Saturday morning.  OH NO! No way was snow going to stop me from going.  Well we got about three and half inches of white powder snow.  But by Saturday morning it had stopped and the sun was shining brightly.

About 10am I left and picked up Jacque and to Hickory we went.  Roads were snowy and slushy in spots but the sun was melting things fast.  We stopped by Hancocks first and I purchased some new yellow and blue fabric (50% off ) to make another Stepping Stones wall hanging.  We left and headed to Lee's Sewing Center. I was getting so excited and giddy until I pulled into the parking lot.  THEY WERE CLOSED!  I couldn't believe it.  I went to the door and pulled on it but it was locked and no lights were on inside.  WHY ME!  Didn't they know I had been planning this trip for at least a week.  The roads weren't that bad not to open that day.  I pouted like a baby. I jumped up and down wanting to pitch a fit!  Gggrrrr!  It was about  11:30 and they normally open at 10am.

We left and went to WalMart and bought some groceries and stuff and wasted some time just in case they were going to open at noon.  About forty-five minutes later we went back by just in case. HURRAY!  They were opened!    I was going to get to play with new machines after all.   Tammy, the lady I had spoke with on the phone last week, asked me what I wanted and how much I had to spend. I told her my wish list and that I only had between 5 to 7 hundred.  When I told her I had a Bernina she said I wouldn't be happy with anything else.  Well I had planned to actually try sewing on a Singer, a Brother and of course a Bernina, so I did.  Let me tell you it didn't take long to feel the difference between machines.  It was like the difference between a Volkswagon and a Cadillac.  The singer felt "clunky". The mechanical Brother felt sluggish and like it was struggling. The Brother NX-650 was nice and one I had researched.  It actullay felt nice.  But the Bernina 230PE, was wonderful! It was quieter, smoother and felt like a solid machine, not plastic.    It had all the bells and whistles I was wanting and even more. There was no choice to make. I knew in my head my heart wanted a Bernina from the beginning. So that is what I have decided.  They have two promotional machines that were left and she can offer me a really great deal on it. Within my budget!   I asked Tammy if she could just hold it until Monday because I promised myself I wouldn't make a rash decision.  She said she could.

I came home Saturday and did more research just to confirm my decision is the right one for me.  I know it is, but I am going to call a few other dealers on Monday to see if they can make a better deal, but I doubt it.  So now I have to wait until my tax refund gets here Friday. Maybe by Saturday, I will have a new machine!  I'll let ya know!

My First Student!

Jacque is a co-worker of mine and a great friend.  One day she asked if I could make her some curtains.  She told me she had tried but they came out so crooked and uneven, she gave up and vowed never to try again.  Jacque said she knew nothing about sewing and even had to have her neighbor come over to help her thread her machine.   Well Jacque has come along way from that.

After I kept bringing quilts to work to show everyone, Jacque soon got the "Quilt Fever".  She decided she wanted wanted to tackle learning to sew and to make a small quilt for her mom's birthday.  Jacque brought her machine to work one day and we practiced threading the machine over and over again.  Then we went to sewing straight seams and quarter inch seams.  Then Jacque, being an avid ebay fan, started searching for charm packs on ebay. Oh my gosh, did she ever go crazy buying fabric!   I taught her well on how to love of fabric!  hehe

I happened to be watching "Quilt in a Day" one weekend and she was working on a small baby quilt pattern.  It was perfect for Jacque's first project.  It used five inch squares, sashing and four blocks set on point.  Those point squares scared her to death.  I kept telling her she could do it! 

Well she did! and she was SO excited when it all came together.  So was her mom.   Here are a couple of pictures of her very first quilt!  Way to go Jacque!

Friday, February 12

Her Third Quilt

Here is a picture of Jacque's third quilt! She brought it to work so excited and proud to show it off today!

Thursday, February 11

Squared Squares

This is my lastest project, Squared Squares. I was buying fat quarters at quilts shows and shops and this is what I did with them. Now I have to find some fabric to put a couple of borders around it.

I took it to my work and layed it out on the conference table and invited everyone to come by and "shuffle" the squares around. It is amazing how everyone sees different colors and patterns. I think they all had a really good time playing it with!

Here is a picture of my daughter's quilt from the same pattern.

She choose the colors and found the pattern online on someone's blog! Whoever it was... Thanks!
It is really a easy quilt to sew, the hardest part is laying out the colors so that nothing is touching the same colors!

Wednesday, February 10

Which Machine to buy?

I have been sewing since I was about 7 yrs old. First doll clothes, then my own clothes, and then my kids clothes and her doll's clothes! Funny how things come full circle. I remember my mom sewing and her mom sewing. Out of four daughters I am the only one who really has carried on the tradition of the love for sewing.

My mother purchased herself a New Bernina model 817 back in the 70's and before she passed away, she made sure I inherited the Bernina. I have been sewing on that machine since for the past 17yrs. Never once has it given me any problems.

Now that I mostly quilt, I have a terrible desire for a new machine that can do more than my Bernina. I would truly love a new Bernina but only having a small amount of money to spend that is probably out of the question. I have spent the past several weeks searching the internet on different brands and models. Comparing what each machine has to offer and for what price. I now feel more confused than before.

As my mom used to say I have champange taste and a beer pocket book! Just when I think I have found a machine that offers what I want at a good price, I find reviews online from others who have had issues with that certain machine. I have called local dealers who say that having a Bernina even and old one, I wouldn't want a lower model such as the Bernette. But they won't give me any prices over the phone, I have to come in to get their pricing.

I have decided to give up the internet search and this Saturday I am going to the nearest Bernina dealer who also sells Singer and Brother. Hopefully actually "test driving" different machines I can make a wise decision. I post the outcome Saturday evening, unless I just get more confused!!!!

Tuesday, February 9

Monday, February 8, 2010
A Snowstorm, A Quilt and Long Lasting Love...

"February 1, 2010!
On Dec 23 my husband had major back surgery and so my time has been spent at work or taking care of him since he is unable to get around on his own yet. If you know men, they are such babies when they are "ill". They think they can't survive without you! He "misses" me during the week so he thinks I should spend my entire weekend with him. Don't get me wrong, I love him, been married since 1984, but he just doesn't get that "need for fabric" that I have! hehe

My step-daughter gave me a Gift Certificate to Mary Jo's for Christmas and it has been burning a hole in my wallet since she gave it to me December 19th! Unfortunately I live in Statesville so I can't just up and run down to Mary Jo's and be back in an hour. Heck if I ever get there I will spend the entire day just getting my "Fabric Fix" so it will last awhile.

So I spent hours on end at their website trying to choose Civil War fabrics my my Underground Railroad sampler I want to do. Since computers are not picture perfect in giving true colors it took me forever to choose each piece of fabric, about 15 different ones. When I finally made the decision and hit the submit order button, I was so excited! I couldn't wait to get my fabric and get started. But the following Monday I received a phone call from Mary Jo's saying several of the pieces of fabric I choose had been sold out! I was devastated!!!!!!!! I asked them to just cancel the order for now and maybe one day soon I would be able to make a trip down there. So far, no trip yet.

So as I was pouting, I began to look through some quilting magazines and came across a wall hanging pattern I fell in love with. Stepping Stones from American Patchwork and Quilting, Oct 2009. It was done in Batiks which I have never really cared for that much. But maybe if I tried this project using batiks it would change my mind. I also had just read a blog on the website about a lady and her husband buying wonderful Batiks at Mary Jo's.

So I thought about the upcoming Quilting Extravaganza this past weekend in Statesville. I could get new fabric there. YEA, I was going to get my "Fix" after all. But then the "SNOW" decided to show up and ruin everything. (So I thought)
I needed that "Fabric Fix" something terrible and the thought of not begin able to go because of the road conditions was not making me happy. So I begged and pleaded with my boss to leave work a hour and half early on Friday so I could get my much needed Fabric Fix!

Well I got there at 4pm and they closed at 5pm plus the snow was on it's way fast and furious. I paid my way in and had to make a mad dash around to every booth trying to see who had batiks in fat quarters that I liked. Then I had to hurry and choose my colors. OH MY GOSH! I don't ever recommend trying to choose fabric colors in that much of a hurry.

Well I did get my fabric fix and used batiks!

Well now I am hooked! I have decided when I do get to Mary Jo's I will choose more batiks and make this project for Christmas Presents for 2010! Not to mention by having to wait so long in being able to get to visit Mary Jo's, my tax return will be soon. What does that mean...
A BIGGER $$$ FABRIC FIX from Mary Jo's!
See you soon!!!!!!! one way or the other!"
Lisa Bryson