Back and better than ever!

My sister is here visiting this week, so Thursday Zac and I went down to my parents’ house to spend the day with her. Conveniently on the way was the Atlanta Sewing Machine Co. (a Singer verified warranty center).

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It seriously broke my heart to leave my machine. I feel like she is a member of the family. The people there were awesome. Someone immediately glanced at my machine, and my scrap piece of fabric showing the bobbin hiccups, and how they improved with increased tension.

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Just from glancing at my machine, she could see that the needle plate needed buffed. She offered to have their tech look at it immediately if I had 30 minutes to wait. No amount of yogurt covered raisins could keep my child contained in a sewing machine repair shop for 30 minutes, so I told her thanks, but we didn’t need to wait- we were on our way to see Aunt Abbey, Nana, and Ugh (Zac speak for Grandpa). She said that they would call me in a bit and give me the diagnosis. I left the shop at 11:15, and at 1:30 they called to tell me it was ready to be picked up. I really thought that I’d be without my machine for at least a week. The repair shop was just 30 minutes away from my parents’ house, so I was able to go and get it then. I was stoked! They gave me a test piece of fabric showing all the stitches, and it was perfection. When I got home, I plugged it in, and tried it out for myself. I swear, it sews better than the day I bought it. Because my machine is less than a year old, and because I went to a warranty center, I didn’t have to pay a dime. They cleaned, oiled, and toned-up the machine. They buffed the needle pole, reset the hook for the automatic needle threader, and adjusted the tension (the cause of my issues). They also replaced the place where the electrical cord plugs in, because as often as Zac has yanked on it, the cord didn’t fit tight.

This weekend I am finishing up a t-shirt quilt for a graduating high school senior, and then it’s to work on Project Guest Room. My husband is cutting the plywood for the headboard tomorrow, then I hope to paint the room Sunday, and after that, it’s pillows. Ahhh, can’t wait, so stay tuned friends!

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Not my day

It seems that this always happens to me- a 5 minute project ends up consuming your entire day. This morning I ran to Hobby Lobby for fabric for the upholstered headboard. While I was there I found a funky floral fabric that I thought would make a fun accent pillow for the bed. During nap time, I decided to stitch it up quick to see how it looked. “Quick” it was not.

When I looked at the back side of the fabric, I could see that the bobbin thread was bunching. I did what anybody with a sewing machine would do, retreaded the top and bobbin thread and tried again. Bunching was still there. I trouble shouted some more and took out the whole bobbin case, blew out the dust. That wasn’t it either. I changed the needle, tried different thread, tried different fabric, consulted Dr. Google, messed with the tension- which helped somewhat, but not enough. I eventually ended up on hold with Singer for over an hour before speaking with a human.

I understand that the average person probably is clueless. She walked me through threading my machine, asked me if I was using Singer needles and bobbins, and troubleshooted changing tension settings before telling me that I needed to take my machine in for servicing. Not what I wanted to hear. My machine is only 9 months old, so thankfully everything is under warranty, but the closest warranty center is almost an hour away. I already planned to visit my family on Thursday, so I’ll drop it off then, and pray it’s a quick & easy fix. It makes me physically ill to think about being without my machine, but it needs to be fixed.

I write this post so that hopefully someone else who’s having this annoying issue can look here and see they’re not crazy. I’ll update with my diagnosis too. Here you can see the top of the fabric vs the back. The zigzag stitch is the worst. The different lines are different tensions. The higher the tension, the better the bobbin thread is.

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Here is a close up of the back of a straight stitch. The thread kinda loops.

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And here’s my pillow. I’m in love!

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Worst. Blogger. Ever.

I have said it before. I’m sure I will say it again. I am horrible with blogging, but I spent today revamping my blog and am now energized. Because nobody wants a recap of the last 3 months in one post, I’ll do like I have in the past and write several over the next few weeks recapping what I’ve been up to. Most recently, I’ve had fun using my embroidery machine to make burp clothes. My mom was here for a weekend and we made some for a friend of hers that has a new baby boy. New projects mean an excuse to purchase new fabric for me. I am part of an embroidery group on Facebook that’s served as a great inspiration for projects and a valuable resource for questions with my new craft. Somebody there posted about an the Stitch Stash Diva shop on etsy. OMG, I was in fabric heaven!! I have a small addition to shopping online, but fabric can be difficult because typically you can not order less than 1/2 a yard. In the world of embroidery, that is a lot. This shop let’s you buy fat quarters (1/4 of a yard of fabric), and that is the perfect amount. Fast forward to this week and my order arrived. With my new treasures I created some burp clothes for my cousin who just had a baby. I need to get these listed on etsy. Hopefully that can be a project for this week.

While I had fabric spread across my dining room, my son came in and found a piece of construction truck fabric that he attached himself to. He carried this square of fabric around all weekend, so I decided to sew that into a blankie for him. I love project that don’t cost me any money. The construction fabric was leftover from his birthday shirt, and the orange minky fabric that I backed it with was left over from another project.

Here are a few snap shots!

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The Embroidery Machine

What? 2 days in a row!! Get ready readers, because I plan to blog tomorrow too. I’m not sure what exactly pushed me over the edge to bite the bullet and purchase the embroidery machine, but I am kicking myself now I didn’t do it sooner. I remember that it was a Monday and I just decided that I wanted one and had to have it. My friend Jenna did embroidery for me when I had something a customer wanted personalized, so I knew a little about them- especially in regards to hoop size. I knew I wanted one with a 5×7 hoop, and I went from there. For those who don’t know, the hoop is what locks your fabric in place and what you attach to the embroidery machine, so it can work its magic. A 5×7 hoop means that you have a 5 by 7 inch rectangle in which to embroidery a design. Unlike sewing machines, there aren’t a ton of different embroidery machines on the market, making it pretty easy to make a decision once you set your price limit. When my husband got home from work that afternoon, I laid out my plan and explained how this machine would quickly pay for itself. To my amazement, he bought it, and let me place the order.

That’s the history, here’s what happened next. The machine was scheduled to arrive Wednesday. UPS usually is at my house around lunch time. Wouldn’t you know it, that day they didn’t come till 5:30. I seriously spent the entire day peeking out the window, and when the big brown truck finally drove up, I ran to meet the driver. I was able to get the machine unpacked and set up before dinner that night. As soon as my son went to bed, I was ready to attempt my first practice project.

My machine came preloaded with some fonts and designs, but I spent the day before purchasing and downloading some things, and experimenting with two different editing programs on the computer. I was ready, and knew just enough to be dangerous. My first attempt, I hooped my fabric incorrectly, used bobbin thread instead of embroidery thread, and broke 2 needles. The second attempt went much better!

I wish I could say it has been smooth sailing, but it hasn’t. I knew there would be a learning curve involved, but honestly thought that since I knew how to sew, I could pick this embroidery thing up quickly. Overall I have, but there have been some bumps along the way. Like the time I had the machine too close to the wall and the arm bumped and messed up the design. Or, when I thought I could use my husband’s great great grandmother’s Singer sewing desk as a spot to keep the embroidery machine and the shaking caused my thread to fray over and over and over again. Kinda embarrassed it took me an entire day and a half to figure that one out. Seriously, I was one mistake away from throwing the whole thing out the window, but we’ve reached an understanding and are on good terms again.

Once I made nice with the embroidery machine again, I went crazy embroidering things. I put a monogram on our bathroom towels, a throw pillow, and did a scarf for a friend to practice embroidering on jersey knit fabric (that could be it’s own post, but *think* I have that figured out). Perhaps the most fun thing about this machine is the new world of possibilities it opens up with things I can create. I have done a few hooded towels for my son and his friends and plan to add those to the etsy shop in the new year. I’ll blog about them soon. If you’ve made it through this post, thank you!

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