Thursday, March 19, 2015

The little extra features and Tip:Threading Needles

I am fortunate to have two sewing machines. One is a nice, not super fancy, but quality nonetheless, a Husqvarna Viking Lily. It's quite old now, but in great shape. I will never sell it, because I could never get anywhere near the value of it's usefulness to me. Used machines just don't seem to have much resale value.  It's got 6 menus for different stitches and can even do 3 small alphabets. Decorative stitches for applique and just having fun as well as the utility stitches, quilting, etc.  It's a workhorse. I have been using it while my Designer One was in getting a tune up. Now, I cannot complain about Lily in the least! She's reliable and a great sewer. I did some piecing and quilted a baby quilt for a client's grand baby who is coming soon. I will show that in the next post.

What I can say is, that I am spoiled by all the little extra features my Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 has that Lily doesn't.  Lily has a fix and stop stitch, as does my D1,they secure the threads at the beginning and end of sewing, similar to the way we stitch and back stitch a little to secure the seams.

What I first missed was the little needle threader my D1 has. Thankfully I can still see well to thread these things, but convenience! Wow.

Quick tip:  when threading a needle, it works best to prepare your thread. Thread is spun, twisted, to keep the strands together. Lay your thread across your left palm, (I am right handed) with the spool end towards your fingertips, cut end towards your wrists. Take sharp scissors and cut the thread from left to right at a diagonal angle to the thread, not a blunt cut across. Grasp the end near the tip so it remains pointed, not floppy. Do not lick the thread, just thread the needle. It helps to have good light and a white background behind the needle.  You can always use a thread assister, self threading needles which have a slotted top you pull the thread into, or a Clover needle threader. I actually use the thread cutter on the Clover threader to cut my chain pieces apart.

Another feature I am very happy to have back with my D1 is the automatic pressure foot lifter and lowerer.  I tried to stitch with it up on my Lily, just because I am so used to it lowering when I start to sew.

The third thing I missed, although this was much less significant, was the thread cutter. Yes, Lily has a thread cutter on the back like most machines do. My D1 has a button that you touch and it cuts the thread down in bobbin area. Even better, if you touch it while you are still sewing, but will stop, tie off the thread with the STOP feature and cut the thread. It leaves a nice inch long tail, saves thread and you don't have long strings in the way.

I love my Lily, she's a workhorse, but I am looking forward to doing some free motion quilting as soon as I finish a few quilt tops that are almost done on my D1.

The new fancy machines are Designer Diamond and Designer Ruby. I can't imagine all the cool stuff they have, but for now, I am thrilled with the old, fabulous machines I have now!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Another year? Seriously?!

Ok, this is nuts... Well, I AM anyway...nuts that is! I constantly think, "I need to blog about this."  But do I? Hmmm, last published post 3.3.14 and this is 3.8.15. I guess the old "When I get a round Tuit" expression applies, I just need that Round Tuit!

So, we'll see how much better I do in 2015. I will say that this year I am feeling better and having less bad days, although the past 2 days have been migraine headache nightmare! I can't sleep and I can't lay still, and I don't want any bright lights, so only the phone on the darkest setting, no quilting, no sewing, no knitting.

I can however share pictures of a few projects that  I have been playing with these past 12 months. Fun gifts and goodies that I meant to blog about and never did.  Now, how to upload the pics...?