Our Spring 2013 Issue features a lovely St. Patrick’s Day Table Set, including a Table Runner, Placemats and matching napkins by Karen Bialik of The Fabric Addict in Lethbridge, AB.
Karen also included photographic instructions on how to fold the napkins to make your table on St. Patrick’s Day extra special!
STEP 1: Fold Napkin in half diagonally, with the points facing you.
STEP 2: Fold the napkin points up, and slightly over the folded edge of the napkin.
STEP 3: Turn the napkin so the points are on your right. Fold the napkin, accordion style, from top to bottom with 1″ folds.
STEP 4: Place napkin in glass, points facing up. Pull the two ‘wings’ on the left and right out and over the rim of the glass.
There you have it! A beautifully decorated table.
Are you a seasoned quilter, looking for a new machine? Read this before you go shopping!
A friend of mine has recently begun quilting. She has sewn for years, and has an old sewing machine that has been perfect to learn to quilt on. But she is ready to move on, and asked me for some tips on purchasing a new sewing machine. There are so many options available in all price ranges, and it can be so difficult to choose! Especially for a new quilter. But what about those of us who have been quilting for years, and are ready to upgrade to something fancy? We already know what to look for in a new machine… or do we?? I spoke with my good friend (and great designer) Susan Jensen of Quilted Escapes, who just so happens to sell sewing machines at A Great Notion in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Susan and I came up with the following questions to ask yourself before maxing out your credit card on a sewing machine you end up not being happy with.
What features do you REALLY need vs. what features WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE?
Make a list of everything you want in a machine, and any extra features you would like to have but are not absolutely necessary. You will have a budget set, and any extra features that are included and still allow you to stay within your budget are an added bonus!
Are ALL those extra features really all that great?
When I purchased my latest sewing machine, I was so impressed by the demonstration of all the stitches – I think there are close to 300 – that I became so awestruck and totally missed that the presser feet are a real pain to change. I’ve come to hate changing the presser feet on my machine because it’s such an awkward job. So make sure you play with all the attachments in the store to understand not just how they work, whether they ‘work for you’.
Have you TESTED, TESTED, and TESTED some more?
Of course you’re going to test out the machine before you take it home. But are you testing it on your fabric, and with your batting? Bring scraps of batting and fabric from home – don’t rely on what the shop is providing. You may be using different fabrics – like velvet and silk for your crazy quilts and t-shirt fabric for your son’s sport t-shirt quilt – and you won’t know how the machine likes that unless you try.
Is STITCH QUALITY important to you?
Believe it or not not all machines, and not all straight stitches, are created equal. If your straight stitch is is very important to you, make sure to check out the quality of the stitch on the machine. Some really are better than others…
Do you need a PHD to use this thing? (and no, that does not mean Project Half Done)
Is the sewing machine easy to use? Can you sit down at it and sew right away, or is there going to be a steep learning curve? There may be lots of buttons and widgets that make it look pretty, but do you know what do they do without looking at the manual? It really is important that you are able to sew with ease, and not have to have your instructional DVD playing while you quilt.
Is it really a QUILTING MACHINE, or are they just trying to upsell you?
Sometimes they call it a quilting machine, but really it’s just a sewing machine with a pretty name and you have to buy extra attachments just to get what you want – the 1/4″ foot, the extension table, a walking foot… Make sure the machine comes with everything you need.
Do you want Mr. RIGHT, or Mr. RIGHT NOW?
Don’t buy a machine that’s right for ‘right now’, buy a machine that you can grow into. It may come with features you think you may never use, but if you buy a sewing machine that is perfect for your ‘right now’ needs, you’ll quickly get bored with it, and then you’ll be at the store in a year buying the machine you really should have purchased in the first place.
Ready to go back to SCHOOL?
Today’s sewing machines are really sewing computers. And stores are catering to the need to learn these fancy new computers, so make sure to take the offered training sessions, and take as many as possible. Do they bring someone in to teach the classes, or does someone from the store itself teach? Can you go back any time and get more instruction? It’s always nice to know you can pop into the store and get them to help you with one of the features you want to learn to use, because they know the machine too.
There you have it, some advice beyond asking for the length of warranty and, “Does it come with an automatic thread cutter?” Now you’re armed and ready to buy the best machine for you!
Ahh, Spring. Time to refresh, to air out, to… Spring clean your quilt room! Here are some ideas for making your quilting space fresh and new and inspiring again.
anything old that you don’t think you’ll use or finish or like:
- Pass on old fabric to friends or donate to a guild that makes quilts for charities
- Same goes for any UFO’s that you know you won’t ever finish
- Go through your threads and discard anything that is too old to use for sewing (test thread by holding a long piece in your hands, pull taught – if it snaps, toss it
- dust shelves and wipe your sewing table
- vacuum or sweep the floor
- wash your cutting mat with soap and water
- clean your iron and ironing board cover
The Two R’s (Repair and Replace)…
- have a professional do the annual maintenance on your sewing machine
- put a new blade in your rotary cutter
- put a new needle in your sewing machine
- get your scissors sharpened
Get It Organized…
- purchase baskets, pretty boxes or a drawer unit to store all your supplies and works in progress
- arrange fabrics and threads by colour
- file patterns and ideas in a three-ring binder
- display your quilting books on a shelf in a specific order – by category, author, subject
You’ve done such a great job at Spring cleaning, it’s time to go out and buy some new fabric or book. Go ahead, you deserve it!
The British Home Child in Canada Memorial Quilt is on display in the Royal British Columbia Museum.
A subject close to my heart, as several of my grandmother’s siblings were Home Children.
Last weekend’s 2nd Annual Quilter’s Connection Magazine Retreat was a wonderful experience! Thirty-one quilters enjoyed two nights and three days of sunshine, swimming, eating, laughing, hiking, sharing, and even a little bit of quilting at Loon Lake in Maple Ridge, BC. Oh, what a fabulous location for a retreat! Our guests had so much to say, but here is one quote that sums it up perfectly:
“Surrounded by quiet nature…the rest of the world retreated…and we ‘advanced’ rather than retreated”
What a perfect way to describe our weekend experience!
We’re already planning for next year’s retreat at the same location. Would love to see you there!