Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Decorative Stitches Basket

Last year I taught a few women I know how to make a large basket with handles using the decorative stitches on their sewing machines. I brought a couple of smaller fabric pieces with me to demonstrate how to sew the stitches. I recently came across these fabric pieces and finished sewing more stitches and quilted it. Then I turned this into a small, but taller basket.

When I started this in the class I was sewing on my Pfaff machine. When I added more stitches, I used my new Juki. It was fun to see the stitches on the Juki.

The other side.



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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I'd Rather Be Sewing Grocery Tote

Christine of ChrisW Designs has a new grocery tote bag and it's a FREE video tutorial.  I got to test the bag and made both the large and small versions in one day. Yep that quick and easy.

You download the pdf which has the fabric requirements and measurements, which you can find in the link on the video page. The testers versions are on the pdf itself or you can see them here on Christine's Blog.

Made with home dec fabric, here are my bags. The large is first.

You can purchase the "I'd Rather Be Sewing" embroidery file from Christine if you have an embroidery machine and embroider it on the front pocket. Or you can choose an embroidery design of your own. Or like I did here use an Orphan Quilt Block and turn it into a pocket. Be creative with your pocket.

I added rivets to my straps. 
The bag is unlined that is one reason it is fast to sew. You place a piece of template plastic in the bottom of the bag to fit it some stability when loading your groceries. I covered a heavier plastic with a fabric sleeve I made. As you can see the seams are all hidden in the French Seams.

The bag folds up nice and flat so you can store it in your car or in your home.
This is the small size, which is only slightly smaller. I added a green binding on top of the pocket to define it a bit. I also folded over the center of the handles on both bags and stitched so that I would have something to grab a hold of easier. I have small hands, so I like a narrow handle to hold.

I also added rivets.

Folded nice and flat. This lovely fabric was a gift from a friend last year. I have lots more of it too, so I will be making more bags.

Here they both are filled with one pound salad green containers which fit perfectly into either size bag. They look about the same size, because I place the larger bag on the left in the back and that made it appear smaller.
The pdf and video tutorial are free, so hurry up and make a bag or 2 or 3, since wouldn't YOU "Rather Be Sewing" too?
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Brother PQ1500s For Sale

I am selling my Brother PQ1500s sewing machine. Since I added the LED light bulb, it is just like the Brother PQ 1500sl (the "L" stands for LED). I have had this machine since I bought her new over 10 years ago from my local Brother dealer and she is one heck of a workhorse that can sew through thick layers like butter! I use her for piecing and quilting and bag making. She only straight stitches, but does it so well and fast.



I never thought I would ever ever sell her, but I bought a similar new machine and just do not need 2 nearly identical machines. If she doesn't sell I will keep her as a backup machine, but right now I do not have the space to set her up and sew with her. She has been recently serviced and runs so smoothly.



She comes with a lot of presser feet too. Plus an extension table, a knee lift and a soft cover. Instruction book, foot pedal and cord of course too.



The Brother PQ1500s and sl machine is very similar to other straight stitch semi industrial machines such as the Juki TL2010Q, Pfaff Grand Quilter, Janome 1600, Singer S16, Babylock Jane, Elna 7100. Some of those machines have a needle plate to cover the feed dogs when free motion quilting, but the on the Brother, you just turn the lever to drop the feed dogs.



The Brother PQ 1500s also has a pin feed system which is great and helps move the fabric along as you sew. I have used it instead of a walking foot at times. It does have a walking foot too.



It is a very easy machine to use and sews fast! 1500 rpm, so if you are piecing or quilting and want to go fast, just floor it.




Being a high shank machine and having a large throat space, you can quilt using this machine as is or mount it to a frame like the HandiQuilter frame and then it will quilt more like a long arm machine.

I am selling her for $400. I would like to sell this locally (Albuquerque area), because it would cost a lot to ship it as she is heavy. I am sure the shipping would be around $100.
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Monday, July 23, 2018

Nestling Baskets Updated

I tested all 3 sizes of  these Nestling Baskets from Around the Bobbin. This is an updated slightly different version of her original Nesting Baskets, which I had also tested a while ago. The main difference is the added binding at the top of the baskets. It gives it a nicer look to have the binding and you can add a pop of color by the binding fabric your choose to use. The pattern does suggest to sew the binding on as you would by machine and then hand sew the second step. I do usually sew my quilt binding on like this and I did sew the binding on this first medium size basket like that, but then I got in a hurry and sewed the other baskets by machine and I am not as happy with the binding, so I will be redoing those by hand later. There is another part of the construction of this basket version (as opposed to the first Nesting Baskets) that makes these sew up easier and faster, so it's not just the added binding that makes these different to the first version.

Here are all my test baskets:

I used a movie theme for this medium Nestling. Popcorn inside and movie film strips outside. Doesn't that popcorn look real?

A striped in the fabric will give you a mitered corner look.


You can see my binding on this and the rest was done all by machine and not as neatly as I would have liked it so they will be redone later.

This is the small size Nestling. Oranges outside this time. I must have been hungry when I was testing these, lol!


This one is the large Nestling size and done in a Southwest print. I like how the corner mitered on this one.



Here is another medium Nestling size.



one small, 2 medium and one large Nestling Baskets.


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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Brother Innovis 80 for Sale

I recently bought a new machine at a quilt and sewing show, so that means I need to sell a couple of my sewing machines to make room for Ethel, my new sewing machine.

I have 2 Brother sewing machines for sale and will post them in 2 different postings so as not to confuse you.


This machine is the Brother Innovis 80, (also known as NS80) a limited edition Project Runway sewing machine that has served me very well since I bought her brand new at my local Brother dealer in May 2009. This machine sold new for over $700. I am selling her for $300.

She comes with several presser feet, a hard cover (which I forgot to photograph), 5 bobbins, screw drivers and a couple of extra feet I purchased (a walking foot, an open toe applique foot are extra).



This machine has THE BEST needle threader I have ever used on any machine and wish I could put it on all my other machines, it is that great!


She stitches nicely and I even had started making a stitch book of her stitches. I have them all stitched out for you to see how each stitch looks. You can combine stitches to give you even more stitches and of course widen and lengthen or shorten the stitches as well for more looks.





The buttonhole maker is great. You place the button in the presser foot and it automatically stitches the right size button. If you have larger buttons that do not fit, no worries, you can stitch those too, just without the button in the holder.

There are some really really nice stitches on this machine and I have used them for my decorative stitching on flaps of bags and other things too.

There is a free arm that can be slid off, but it is still too wide to use the free arm on some things like a sleeve cuff. It works well on pant cuffs though.



There is a tool drawer to hold your presser feet and screw drivers and things too.

I stitched a quilted cover for the instruction manual using some of the decorative stitches on this machine. I also took a class from the dealer and stitched some of the various functions that are in the red folder, along with other useful info like choosing needles, etc.



The foot pedal can be plugged in and used to sew, or unplug it and push the button fro sewing without a foot pedal. It's your choice. There is a sliding slow to faster speed lever too that you can use whether you sew with or without the foot pedal.



In all the years I have owned this Brother, I have never had a problem at all sewing with her. She sews so nicely and makes wonderful stitches. This machine doesn't com up for sale very often if at all. Probably because it is a great machine and because it was a limited edition so only made for a couple for years or so.


Do not confuse Brother machines like this one that was purchased at an authorized Brother dealer to those cheaper Brother machines you can buy at Walmart and Amazon, etc. The dealer machines are quality machines and made to last. The cheap machines you can find for next to nothing on Craigslist and Facebook Market Place because they do not last or sew as well. This is true for other machine brands too. The dealers have to stand behind their products and that is why they sell the quality machines only.

I am posting this machine for sale locally on Craigslist and Facebook Market Place, with links to my blog here to get more information about this machine. I can sell it to anyone in the USA if you pay an additional $55 for shipping. So $300 + $55 shipping for a total of $355. If you live in Alaska or Hawaii the shipping will be more.

Thanks for looking. Email me if interested

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