Friday, August 23, 2013

A new Machine?

I've been missing my blog, writing, and just over all being creative.  I just completed week 4 of my workouts, trying to get ready for "little" brother's wedding next month.  But with that said, after my intense workouts I lack energy and though I have had the urge to be creative, I just haven't had the energy.  So, I switched my workout a little bit.  I'm really not trying to prove anything and I realize how totally obsessed I can become over something.  I feel if i don't follow this program exactly, then I wont see any changes.  Finally decided I need to get over that feeling and just realize that doing SOMETHING is good...doing nothing, well that wouldn't be so good.  Needless to say, I scaled back but I do something every day. Thankfully this has provided me with a little more energy to do something creative while the kiddos are at school.

I've been heavily contemplating a new machine.  I even stopped by a sew n' vac store last week and sat down with a few machines, then again on Monday.  I have read 100's of reviews on the 3 machines I was heavily thinking about and finally, decided on the 4th option.  Much more affordable and though it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the pricey machines, it does what my intention for a new machine is supposed to do.  I've read countless reviews on it's reliability, it's performance and I think I have yet to read anything negative. The other machines had quite a list of con's which seemed crazy to me with the price tag they came with.

First on my list was the Viking Eden Rose, though affordable, when I sat down with that machine, for 4 times the expense of my current machine (Singer Quantum Stylist 9600) it didn't feel much different. In fact, it felt more flimsy to me and the only thing I like about it was the bigger throat and the way the presser foot lifts when using just the pedal.  Slashed off my list when I finally go the chance to try it out.

Next was the Viking Designer 1 USB.  But I think my judgement was clouded by a little bit of bait and switch from the sales person. Luckily, I don't just jump on things with hefty price tags. I always discuss with my husband, read reviews, watch videos and look online for better prices.  Thankfully, I found out that this machine was more for embroidery, older (crazy price tag for an older machine!) and it didn't have the throat size that I am looking for to ease up some of my FMQ.

I did more research online, looked into Babylocks.  The Crescendo is still on my dream list but for quilting, I realize that it too has too many bells and whistles that i just don't need right now.  Of course, the store didn't have any babylock Crescendo's for me to test drive, but instead, she brought me over to the Bernina's.  Now mind you, every quilting book and magazine that I drool over, most of the quilting artists have Bernina's so there has to be something there.  I sat at the 750 QE and OH my! I was in love. I still am.  But I am so hesistant to purchase something so expensive reading some of the reviews (a lot actually) of issues people have. Of course, while we are stationed near a Bernina dealer I have someone who can help me BUT what happens when we get stationed elsewhere? Particularly if we go overseas again?  The thought just unnerved me.

SO back to looking.  I came across a few blogs that talked about the Bernina 750 QE and they also mentioned how much they love their Juki 2010Q for FMQ and piecing.  What? What is a Juki 2010Q. Thank goodness for google.  And boy, the reviews I found are amazing!  So with my husbands support on this machine (of course, the price tag is much less shocking) I took the plunge this morning and ordered it.  Couldn't get the free shipping to Hawaii but I did get $100 off my order.  I'm beyond excited for my new "baby" to arrive! It already shipped.  Stay tuned for the unveiling of the machine that will hopefully change the way I do quilting forever!

In preparation for Juki's arrival, I made a few squares to practice some FMQ on my Singer.  What fun, but even my small 12 x 11 piece of fabric got a little crazy to maneuver around the small throat.  Still fun, and so excited to try doing this on a machine made for quilting.

Until then, be on the look out for my new machine and my thoughts on its performance!

My little bird of whimsy, practiced free motion on this as well as some free hand stitching on the tail, eyes and feet.  Available on Etsy :)

And this here is a star pattern I put together to practice FMQ on, just haven't tried yet because it is kind of big. I'm thinking of waiting until Juki-baby comes.  We'll see.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let's Embroider by hand

Wow, when did August happen?? Crazy how quickly the summer has gone by. Technically it's still summer but my girls went back to school yesterday and so summer feels like it's over here.  I have mixed emotions about it.  House is a little less chaotic with them at school for a few hours but I miss them and their chaos.  House stays a little cleaner, though this morning I told the little guy he was on the verge of making a bigger mess alone, than 3 of them together.  He stopped mid way into spilling the millions of littlest pet shop pets and accessories on the floor when I said that, stepped back and apologized.  So back to school means a little more time for some crafty business.

A few blogs that I adore, do a lot of embroidered work on fabric and yesterday that itching desire I get every once and a while to try something new (ok, every other day or so)  I pulled out my cotton floss that I had stashed away from my friendship bracelet days, pulled out a doodle I whipped up the other day and copied the image on to an Eiffel tower fabric.  I'd say, if I did this again I would certainly NOT use such a busy fabric because it pretty much takes away from the embroidered design but for my first try, I'm pretty pleased.  It'll be fun to put some of my doodles to stitches the good old fashion way with a needle and thread and a hoop for good measure.

I have lots of designs stirring in my little brain! I hope to make them soon. Until then, have a wonderful and creatively filled day!