Friday, 12 June 2009

My Sewing Machine

Joining in with the sewing machine meme over at Sew,Mama,Sew which I've been following recently.

What brand and model do you have?
Elna 2600

How long have you had it?

About 6 months.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?


What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
So far I've made 3 cot quilts and I'm now in the middle of a slightly larger child's quilt which has some applique.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Every chance I get, but as I have a full time job it's not nearly as much as I'd like to

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I really like my machine but no, I haven't gone so far as to give it a name (or even a gender!).

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I've recently been using some of the decorative stiches, which is a revelation! My previous machine was a *really* old singer and could only do straight stiches.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

So far so good.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
My (then pregnant) daughter was with me when I went to buy it. I'd never ever mentioned quilting to her but she's always been a bit of a mind reader. As we were looking at the machines she suddenly said 'Ooh you could make a quilt for the baby!' (which of course was the very plan I had!).

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I think so if they were looking for a fairly inexpensive and not too fancy machine. But my recommendation would come with a health warning because I really don't have enough experience to judge my machine against any others in a similar price bracket.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Well I still feel like I have a lot to learn about what this one can and can't do, nevermind what other machines might be capable of. So basically I don't have enough experience to answer this.

Do you have a dream machine?
I've only recently discovered through this meme that some machines can be set to stop with the needle in the down position, and another feature I like the sound of is variable speed settings. Oh and I'd really like some nifty way to thread needles! But for now I think I might get a bit overwhelmed by a dream machine. Maybe I'll have hankerings in about 12 months!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

More Monkeys

Two more monkeys done. As you can see I’m straying from the buttons on shirt pattern and I think I’ve decided to give each monkey different attire. Why do I do this to myself?

I’ve included a Santa monkey because since last Christmas our little grandson has what can only be described as a minor obsession with him. Whenever he comes to visit we have to read Raymond Briggs’s ‘Father Christmas’. Several times! No great hardship as I love this book and I remember reading the very same copy to his father when he was the same age - 32 years ago!

Original monkey quilt designed by Patchwork Pottery

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

New Project

This monkey marks the beginning of my next quilt. I decided I wanted to give my three year old grandson Brandon a quilt at the same time as his new baby sister gets hers. Which means I have to get my skates on as the baby is due in about 3 weeks or so!

The original design of the monkey quilt is by the incredibly talented Laurraine Yuyama of Patchwork Pottery. Unfortunately I don't yet own a copy of the book "Quilts, BABY!" in which this quilt appears (it isn't published in the UK till July), so I'm bungling my way through it using guesswork and the pictures that Laurraine has posted. I know this isn't a patch (no pun intended!) on the original but all the same I've never done any applique before so I'm very pleased with how it's turned out. Only 11 more monkeys to go!!!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Version 2

I've completed the top for the quilt which is to replace the one I thought may be too boyish.

I used pretty much the same pattern as the quilt I made for Molly, along with most of the leftover fabric (with a few new fabrics thrown in). I believe Claire, my daughter-in-law, will prefer this version. Mainly because after three and a half years of dressing our grandson, Brandon, I think she'll be looking forward to having a bit of fun with more 'feminine' colours and fabrics. Hope that doesn't sound too sexist.

I'm thinking I'll get some more of the light green with pink parasols for the backing. And I'm even contemplating having a go at proper binding rather than self-binding with the backing fabric. Not too sure I'm up to it yet.

I made a big effort to improve the accuracy of the piecing; carefully cutting the pieces and using my new quarter inch foot for more uniform seams. In spite of this there are still some botched joins, although overall it's an improvement. I can only assume that with practice it will all fall into place.

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