Sunday, February 5, 2012

How well do you know your sewing machine?

Today is Superbowl  Sunday (the game is still on). I decided to dedicate the day to sewing since I didn't have to cook, we had leftovers from Yesterday. I had big plans to start to quilt the baby quilt. I took out my gigantic table top which is basically a sheet of 8x4 plywood cut in half and attached again with hinges so I can close it up and put it behind the door in my sewing room. I basted it it, and even took a picture of it and posted it on the blog Yesterday. So it's all basted and ready to go. Then I realized during my procrastination that I have to quilt it on my Singer 201 and for that  I'll have to move the machine with  the cabinet into my sewing room to double the table space for quilting. Before I did that I thought that I'll organize my scraps the way  I heard it on several podcasts lately, the Bonnie K. Hunter way. I took out the 2 little boxes I have and started to cut up the scraps into squares, strips, etc.While I was doing that I kept thinking how to quilt that baby quilt. I realized that I don't even have a plan and on top of everything I will have to practice my free motion quilting before I start to work on the quilt. Now that set me back. I started looking for things to do since I was itching to do some sewing Today as I planned. I found  a pile of scraps from the flannel quilt I made a few years ago and there were blocks that were not the right size for the quilt because I messed up the cutting along the way. I made a list of everything I have and I'm going to make a second pillow case from the blocks that I found. 
I cleaned off my sewing table, dusted my plastic storage boxes and found my friend's jeans that She dropped off last week for me to fix up a little. At least I finished that one. In the mean time as I was cleaning my sewing machine I found a part that I don't recall seeing before. I took out the manual to check what it could be. It turned out that it's for buttonhole making which I never did with this machine. I even realized that it has a buttonhole maker attachment. Since I had the manual in my hands I thought I'd flip through it. But before I talk about that just a side note that I got a 1/4 inch foot with a guard for my sewing machine and was so disappointed when I tried it out that it has a slightly larger that 1/4 inch seam allowance guide. I put it on the side and decided to put it up on eBay to sell it (which I haven't done since). So back to the manual. As I kept reading it I realized that the machine came with a  zipper foot, which I also purchased along with the 1/4 in foot and a darning foot for my new/old Singer. 201. I thought great, I have 2 zipper feet now :) If I only new... My machine is about 3 years old and I never took the time to go over the manual when I got it. I kind of used it the way I needed it and never took advantage of the features. So moving on, when I was reading about the zipper foot there was an explanation that depending on what side you want to sew the zipper in you have to move the needle. There came the BANG! I never knew that I can move the needle position! That's the solution to my 1/4 inch foot not being a 1/4 inch. I have to move the needle and I could still get an accurate seam allowance. Great! I was kicking myself for not going through the whole manual the first time I got the machine. I also found an attachment which helps with quilting when you want to do grid quilting. It's a guide that you can attach and set it to any distance and you can sew parallel seams without having to mark or tape the lines. Genius! Now I'm encouraging everybody to get out your manual if you haven't done so in the past and read through it and maybe you can find some new cool features on your sewing machine that you never knew were there.

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