Saturday, 1 September 2012

Do as I say, not as I do!

On Tuesday during my class in Gloucester one of the learners bought along a length of stretch, leopard print material. She had been asked to make a skirt with it.....

During the first lesson a fortnight earlier she had been introduced to an electric machine for the first time, previously she had sewn using a hand crank. At home she had taken her new electric machine out of it's box and made her son some cushions for his flat. This had prompted her friend to ask for a skirt.

So we sat discussing the design, how to cut the fabric and how she wanted to construct the skirt. She planned everything on paper, including drawings of the finished skirt.  I had taken along this fabulous book:

It has everything a new sewer and experienced sewer needs to know about using a sewing machine!

She sat for 20 minutes reading the book, making notes and before I approached again to talk about getting started. I showed the page that explains needles and how you need different needles for different jobs - we are going to need stretch needles for this skirt. the next question was, what happens if you use the wrong needle?

I explained that the machine skips stitches, puckers and generally gets upset. I talked about leather needles, using size 90 for sewing PUL...

Then it dawned on me - I hadn't been using my own advice. When I had attempted machine applique, free motion quilting and machine embroidery I had always left the same old needle in. Just any old needle... but my tension never seems right, the machine missed stitches...

When I was researching Aurifil threads, it said that 50/2 needed a Top Stitch Needle for quilting. I bought some and they have solved all of my problems when doing any kind of quilting or applique!

If I had used my own advice I could have saved myself a whole lot of frustration and started machine quilting a very long time ago!

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