Tag Archives: tips

High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Ergonomics Part 2:  In the last article, we discussed why we need to pay attention to ergonomics.  Now I’d like to talk about some of the ways we can do this.

Most of the time, it’s little changes that we can make that are inexpensive, or even free.  Sometimes we can trade cost for a little sweat equity.

If you’re having trouble putting your finger on the cause(s) of your ergonomic pain, I suggest that you have a helper take a photo of you when you’re working at the machine(s) and then you can review your posture.  You’d be amazed at what you can pick out from a photo.

Continue reading High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Ergonomics Part 1: (This post ended up far longer than I’d intended (yeah, shocking, I know!), so I will split it into 2, and offer you part 2 tomorrow.)

Lately, I’ve noticed that I hunch a lot when I sew.  This is on the longarm or at the domestic machines.   The result of this is that I “hurt” and I can’t sew for long periods of time.  So I thought I’d talk today a little about ergonomics, both at the stand up and sit down types of machines and your cutting table. Continue reading Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Bad Seamstress Blues – Patchless darning is the same as free motion

The day I went to post bail for Lucey, it happened – riiiiiippppp.  Oh No!  My favorite jeans!  I’ve long since passed the age (and lost the figure) where I feel like I can get away with wearing ripped jeans, but patched jeans, especially form fitting ones are so uncomfortable.   I’ve used every sort of patch I can think of and they all leave a bump where they are and seem to chafe a little.  The best one to date though was a scrap of batik fabric.

The longer I quilt, the less I seem to be willing to “sew” – and that definitely includes darning – but not having an unlimited clothing budget means I don’t get to just throw out what has fallen apart at the seams or self destructed somewhere other than a seam.

Today, I want to talk about how to make darning a little less “horrible” for us quilters.

Ready?  Pretend you’re Continue reading Bad Seamstress Blues – Patchless darning is the same as free motion

Bobbin’ Along – bobbin tension

You may have noticed in the previous post about tension that we didn’t even test sew the machine.

Yet.  We will test sew it, but not just yet.  You see what I’m trying to do is get the machine to a point where it’s in the ballpark first, then the rest is just small tweaks.  The goal is to help you rule out the big problems, the ones that require repair, or in drastic situations, possibly a trip to the sewing machine spa.

Consider this statement:

Tension too tight on the top can also be tension too loose on the bottom.
Top Tension too tight does not automatically mean bottom tension is too loose.
Tension too loose on the top can also be tension too tight on the bottom.
Top Tension too loose does not automatically mean bottom tension is too tight. Continue reading Bobbin’ Along – bobbin tension 

You’re the Inspiration – Seeing it in everything

A few weeks ago, I attended the Festival of Quilts in Edmonton.  The quilts were breathtaking.  For a newbie like me, possibly a little intimidating too.  I know I should be inspired by them and I think I was to a large degree but there was definitely a note of intimidation there too.  I must keep reminding myself that I’m new to this.  I can count the time I’ve been quilting in months, not years.

While I was there, I took advantage of the fact that there were vendors there I wouldn’t normally see, and snooped like crazy.  I am really proud of myself, I managed to make it out of there for less than $60, with two books and a handful of business cards for companies I may have to be in touch with.  Continue reading You’re the Inspiration – Seeing it in everything

Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

Possibly the most common reason a machine ends up on my bench is for tension.  Usually bird’s nests.  The thing is easily 80% of the time, there’s nothing really wrong with the machine that a repair person needs to look at it.  Sometimes it’s basic maintenance, sometimes it’s because someone told you at some point “DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT! EVER!”

I’m sure that the people who’ve said that meant well, but today I’m going to show you how to manage that dial properly and what to do when it’s not proper. Continue reading Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

“Machine works and is in good condition”… really?

I had a lady contact me about a few machines she wanted to sell.
I wasn’t interested in all of them, but 2 piqued my interest, the Singer 185J, because I knew someone who wanted it, and the Pfaff 362, because I thought it would be interesting to play with. Continue reading “Machine works and is in good condition”… really?

Ouch! Watch those hinges!

Ronnie - 1950 Featherweight 221
Ronnie – 1950 Featherweight 221

On Monday I was packing up my things to go to our Sewing Circle.  I was in a hurry, and when I grabbed the case of the featherweight I found last month, I managed to rip a 1.5″ long gash in my left hand.

Now, I’m naturally clumsy, but this only happened because Continue reading Ouch! Watch those hinges!

Common Thread – Evaluating the real cost of thread

Expensive really is in the eye of the beholder.  Take thread for instance.  I often read things like:

I love x brand, but it’s so expensive!

or

Brand y is pricy, but I think my quilts are worth it.

So I thought I’d do a little price shoot out with thread.  Continue reading Common Thread – Evaluating the real cost of thread

I learned a lot today. Tension, needles, thread

I love learning!  One of the things I’ve realised about quilting and sewing in general is that you can never learn all of it.  I spent a day a couple of weeks ago just watching videos from the Superior thread company (all of the videos posted on youtube)

I learned so many things that will do nothing but improve the quality of my sewing and quilting.  I really want to get my hands on some of that Superior thread too!  I would love to feel and see the differences for myself, but my supplier doesn’t carry it (yet) so I’ll have to spend some time looking for some to sample.

Some of this stuff I knew and have even discussed on this blog, but even that stuff I think it always worth watching, even if only to see it explained from another point of view. Continue reading I learned a lot today. Tension, needles, thread