Last week I made a quick trip to my LQS to pick up my Pfaff 1475 with its brand new motherboard. Ouch on that. The machine is probably nearing 20 years old and it’s been packed up in the original box for about five years. When I took it out a few weeks back hoping to use it when my Bernina needed repairs, the Pfaff was DoA on the sewing table. It was NOT a great week to try to sew anything!
Despite being essentially a backup machine these days, I decided I should go ahead and repair it now since it’s a really wonderful machine (one of the older Pfaff machines that was made in Germany before Husqvarna Viking bought Pfaff out and moved production to cheaper areas), and if I didn’t have it repaired now it wasn’t likely to get done at all as the parts for it are no longer manufactured. And who knows? One of my girls might eventually decide to sew and need a machine… maybe… okay I’m reaching here I know!
I’ve been working on a wild little “black and white and red all over” type quilt, and before I could get to one of my favorite parts–that would be the machine quilting!–I had to mark it. Well, I didn’t have to mark it I suppose, but I didn’t think trying to freehand quilt a bunch of oversized clam shells was going to end well. My perfectionist side would have come out of the corner screaming the minute things started to go wonky, as they undoubtedly would without some premarking!
For many years–okay, for all the years that I’ve been quilting–I’ve wished for a table that was specially made for sewing machines, where my machine would sit down in the table so that the machine bed was level with the table top. I think this can be so much better for machine quilting, though obviously, I’ve been getting along just fine without this table for 20 years! Still, most of the reason that I didn’t ever invest in such a table was because we were living in Germany, and that kind of furniture wasn’t all that readily available there, and what there was seemed a lot more expensive than what you could get here in the US at the time.
As soon as I was partially settled in the new house though, I started thinking about that table, and looking around to see what was available these days. Of course, the first thing I found that I was really excited about was a bit bittersweet.
Awesome table, but when I called the local Horn of America dealer to check on pricing, the conversation went something like this:
Me: Can you tell me the price on the Horn MultiLift 6000 please? Dealer: Sure, just a sec. Hmm, yes, the MSRP on that is five thousand—something something something (she said exactly what the MSRP was, but I quit listening at the five thousand part). Me: Oh, okay. (rather weakly…) Dealer: However, we always sell for 25% off the MSRP so that would actually be three thousand, eight hundred—something something. (yeah, I quit listening again…). Me: Ah, hmmm. Continue reading →
I simply have to share this with you! Last Friday I received fan mail, real, honest-to-goodness paper fan mail! An odd letter sized envelope from someone we didn’t know showed up in the mail, and it was just such fun! Odette wrote me a lovely letter and told me about seeing an ad for my book. She just knew that Inchies would make the perfect wedding quilt for a long time friend and roommate at an annual quilters’ getaway at a YMCA camp. Continue reading →
Mmmmm….YLI #100 Silk Thread, the finest silk thread on the market. Have you used silk thread in your quilting or fabric art? It’s just incredible stuff, with an unsurpassed sheen all its own. I started using YLI silk thread years ago, at about the same time Diane Gaudynski and YLI teamed up to offer this gorgeous thread in larger put ups for machine quilting. It’s just fabulous for machine quilting since it’s perfect for intricate design motifs as well as tiny stipples or other background designs, adding texture and subtle color without making your quilt look “thready.”
I’d collected a few of the larger spools over the years and I used the silk thread in a few of my quilts for machine quilting, and I also used it for a bit of hand appliqué. When you use silk thread for hand appliqué, the stitches just dissappear into the fabric because the thread is soooo fine. At some point I started working on a show quilt where the design called for some pretty intricate hand appliqué and I realized that I just couldn’t do that much needleturn appliqué anymore, so I started searching for an appliqué-by-machine solution that I could live with. Continue reading →
I’ve been keeping a bit quiet about the progress on the InchieSee & InchieDo Viewer Tool & Ruler Set because I wanted to wait and see how everything worked out with the new manufacturer. I was also waiting to post until I had something fairly positive in the way of an expected availability date to share as well. I’m thrilled to tell you that the new manufacturer that I’ve been working with is none other than Rulersmith, the same company that manufactures the Omnigrid rulers!
I received the prototypes of my tools from Rulersmith two weeks ago, and let me tell you, they are awesome! They are every bit as wonderful as I hoped they would be in the beginning, and the quality is, of course, perfect. The ruler is absolutely perfect just as it is, and the tool only requires a very minor modification to be perfect as well. If only I’d been able to find this company before I’d gone so far with the first one! (I looked, I really did, but somehow didn’t find Rulersmith until the second go round, and I don’t even remember how I found it then!) My experience with Rulersmith has been completely opposite in every way to the one I had with the other company.
I sent Dave at Rulersmith pdf files of my designs (instead of the original Corel Draw files, Photoshop files, graphics and fonts, etc.), and from just those pdf files, his team drafted the designs and made the prototypes that were perfect and nearly perfect. Continue reading →