crafty things · quilting

New Sewing Machine

My Singer Confidence Quilter sewing machine stopped working back at the beginning of the Pandemic. Early April-ish maybe? My husband is computer/copier/misc office equipment repair guy and was will to give a try at fixing it, so we bought the repair manual (that took a couple weeks to come) and he spent a week or so trying to get it working. When we failed in our attempts, I took it to a local sew and vac repair shop. They worked on it for a couple weeks as well. While in the end they didn’t get it running either – decided the motherboard was shot and the cost to repair would have been more than the machine was worth – they were great and I know where I’m going for any future problems.

So, I was on the hunt for a new sewing machine at a time when the whole world was unusually into sewing. Most stores were closed, and the ones that were open were out of stock for anything in my price range. And if they had something in stock, I wouldn’t be able to go in and try it out. All I had to go by was online reviews and advice from friends. While a couple hundred bucks might not be much in the grand scheme of sewing machines, this was a big purchase for me. I sew a lot, and I need a reliable well running machine.

I had my choices narrowed down to 3 machines in my price range that came in a package with the accessories I used a lot so didn’t want to have to hunt down and buy separately: a free motion quilting foot, and an extended table to fit bigger projects on (for me that’s quilts). They were a Jenome, the newer version of my Singer Quilter, and a Brother machine. I had alerts on the various websites that had the packages I wanted to alert me when they were in stock. In the meanwhile my mother-in-law loaned me her machine, but it just wasn’t one that brought me joy. I don’t remember the brand – it was something I’d never heard of. But sewing on it made me nervous again about buying something without trying it.

Then after maybe a month, a machine became available. The Brother, and let me tell you, I could not be happier with it so far. I’ve made a quilted fleece pad for our guinea pig cage, repaired a couple of masks, and started on a baby quilt for a coworker. It DOES bring me joy to sew on. That guinea pig fleece was thick with multiple layers of fleece and batting and it went through all that like butter. A dream I tell you! I’m so excited to be sewing again.

crafty things · crochet · quilting

2020 – The Year of Finishing

I was tackling my closet with the Marie Kondo energy and was surprised at how many unfinished craft projects I had in there. I was cleaning it out in preparation of cleaning my sewing table because there is a lot of overlap in what I keep in both places and it makes it hard to find things. Plus the sewing table has become one of those catch all horizontal surfaces in the house where all kinds of bizarre things go to be forgotten.

Some of the projects were started to learn a new skill or technique and maybe don’t need to be completed, but others I was excited to see again. They had been out of sight out of mind, but I would actually like to complete them. I made a list of all the projects I found, and am making it a goal of 2020 to finish at least a few of them. Not every project need to be completed, and I’m sure I’ll have new ones I want to work on as well, so I think a goal of 2 or 3 off my list is a good start. Not to mention some of the quilts are likely to be a good amount of work and asking myself to compete all of them is just setting myself up for failure.

I’m going to go ahead and post my incomplete project list just to make anyone else who tends to start then fizzle out on their projects feel a little better. We are not alone.

  • The cat quilt (this is a quilt with pictures of cats, not necessarily FOR cats) it has a very time intense sawtooth boarder.
  • Sunflower quilt (a medallion quilt I was trying to make as a gift for my mother in law)
  • Doctor Who scarf
  • Christmas square mini quilt. (Found this not really started, but all cut out and ready to go)
  • Baby clothes quilt
  • Green/yellow Jack in the Box bed Quilt
  • Quilt of Valor (plus I think I know who I’d like this to go to so I need to look the rules up)
  • Fantastic Beasts Newt blue coat
  • Soccer Jersey quilt
  • Tessellating triangles mini quilt
  • Pile of clothing that needs repairs
  • T-shirt quilt
  • Small amineko
  • C2C scarf – DONE! Gave to my mother before getting a picture (boo)
  • Crochet sheep – DONE! Pictures coming soon

You might notice I have finished the last two times on my list already. I went ahead and added the projects I was currently working on when I made my list because they were still technically unfinished at that time, and I knew I’d be done soon and would like the boost of being able to check them off.

In the spirit of finishing, I am going to take my Doctor Who scarf with me to my sort-of-monthly crochet and knitting get together this week. At first I was trying to think of what new thing I should start to bring along, then realized, I didn’t need to come up with something new to start. I can finish! (Although I’m a very new knitter and my mom finished off the end of the scarf for me at Halloween so I could wear what I had so far, so I also have to learn how to undo her cast off so I can continue it – well, luckily learning is fun too.)