Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yes, machine embroidery is fun!


After a little trial and error last night, I got the machine embroidery function figured out on the Brother Dreamweaver XE that has taken over my dining room! The "trial and error" was totally a blond moment on my part (I blame the highlights). I just had to press "go" (the red arrow shown in the pic) and, voila! It started. My first project was a custom pillow case; a little hostess giftie for my niece. My daughter will be going on a band trip next week and will be billeted with some of her friends at my sister's house, which is really neat! Now to make one for my nephew... just need to get some non-pink thread for him.

An awesome feature of this machine that I'm very excited about is you can plug your laptop into it and drag & drop any machine embroidery pattern! I searched Pinterest and found many adorable (and FREE!) patterns, including this cute Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It only took a second to drag & drop it from the laptop to the sewing machine. Excellent. 
Here's the embroidered Kitchen Aid up close! I'm going to make this into a patchwork tea towel to hang on my stove.  I've never found one in the store that is big enough or cute enough for that, so this will be nice!

Custom pillow case for Clare.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Giveaway coming soon! {Brother NX-450Q A Quilter's Staple}

Good morning!

I'm in such a habit of scrolling through the emails on my phone as soon as I wake up in the morning. My phone alarm wakes me up so it seems natural to instantly check my emails; not that there is usually anything exciting. Normally there are 3 Gussy Sews newsletter (not sure how I signed up 3 times), an ad from Old Navy and a couple of Fave Quilts newsletters. This morning, however, there was a lovely email from Emily at Brother Canada offering a super amazingly wonderful sewing machine to give away to one of my readers!! I am so excited for whoever wins this. You'll be out-sewing and out-quilting my 20+ year old Pfaff in no time!
Here's a peek at one of my latest quilts.
This one is actually for sale on Etsy.
I know you're all dying to know how to enter and what machine will be the prize! Details on how to enter will be posted soon. I just need to confirm logistics with Brother. One lucky winner will receive this:


A Quilter's Staple

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sampler Class

I'm really glad I signed up for this sampler quilt class with my Aunt. It's been a lot of fun! Here's the 12" block I made last night. Each block in the queen size quilt will be different. I'm making it for my daughter, so I let her pick out the fabrics. Most of the fabrics are reproduction 1930's that we picked up in Portland, OR at the Fabric Depot. I could've easily spent all week there! What an amazing store. Too bad it's a day's drive to get there.

Each week at the class we learn a few very useful tips and techniques. I've made this block before, but have always done it with half square triangles. This one is done with flying geese. I've done flying geese before, but  this new way that she taught us is so much more accurate and way faster. It involves putting painter's tape on your sewing machine.

Another handy tip she shared was to use a pizza box to keep your blocks in. Very handy!

I decided to put my Hexi Trivet pattern on sale for only $3 until Mother's Day! Why not whip up a few for your Mom, mother-in-law, Grandma, daughter? It's a fun way to learn simple paper piecing. All of the instructions are there and easy to follow even if you've never done paper piecing before. It's written more like a tutorial with lots of photos and step-by-steps.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Subway Tiles Baby Quilt

The first day with "my" fabulous new sewing machine (the V-Series Dreamweaver XE on loan from Brother Canada) has been a lot of fun! I thought I'd test it out on something normal (to me) first, so I pieced this lovely Subway Tiles baby quilt top this morning. Next I'll try some straight line quilting to finish off this quilt. (The pattern for it will be available soon! It's a super quick and super fun project; one you could finish in a day).

One thing I don't particularly enjoy is reading product manuals. Thankfully, the manuals that come with this machine are very well written and easy to read! What a relief. Anyway, you don't even need to read the manuals if you don't fee like it, because on the gorgeous touch screen you can find out pretty much anything you need to know about threading the bobbin, threading the needle (it's self-threading - HELLO!) and basic machine operation. 

I did, however, bust a needle right off the bat because I didn't realize the needle was in the wrong position for the foot. Ooops.

See you tomorrow with more updates on this beautiful machine and progress pics of my latest quilt!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The new Brother Dreamweaver XE is here!


I thought this day would never come! A couple months ago I got an email from Brother asking if I'd like to review their latest super fancy sewing machine, the V-Series DreamWeaver™ XE Innov-is VM6200D
 and today UPS delivered it! I am so excited to experiment with this.

Since it arrived right before kid pick up, I've only had a chance to unpack it and drool all over it. This machine is heavy, but oh so pretty. It's got a huge arm, which means I'll be able to quilt fairly large quilts on it. It's also an embroidery machine. It's branded by Disney, so there are all sorts of cute Disney characters that you can embroider.

Isn't he pretty?

11" arm!! I am impressed.

I'll be back to show you some of the projects I'll make with this baby. I can't wait.