Phew, busy day yesterday, but definitely productive! I had my first lesson at David Drummond’s Sewing Machine Centre in Edinburgh. When you buy a machine from David, it comes with a certain number of hours of free tuition (not to mention a fab servicing deal going forward and many other benefits) so I had 3 hours to use. For my first 1 1/2 hour session I really wanted to learn the mysteries behind free motion quilting. Although there’s loads of advice online, a lot of it’s conflicting: feed dogs up/feed dogs down, tension reduced, stitch length etc, depending on the machine used, so I thought I’d ask the expert for my machine. I can tell you now, that if you have Brother NX 2000 then it’s the regular straight stitch setting, feed dogs down with foot ‘O’ (I think there’s a foot ‘C’ that works as well, but it’s a closed foot where the ‘O’ is an open foot and you can see what you’re doing better)
Anywho, I got to play on the machine with a variety of ways of holding the fabric in place. I started with a regular sprung embroidery hoop, which my instructor said was useful for practising small bits of work before hitting the main quilt. I didn’t get to take that bit of work home (it was just on a scrap fabric sandwich), but I found it remarkably easy, albeit you wouldn’t want to look too closely at the stitch lengths ;o) We then moved on to trying (on a new scrap bit of fabric) without the hoop. That wasn’t so much fun as I really struggled to move the fabric about using just my hands, so they got out one of the free motion frames for me to try. This is a kind of 3-sided square (the 4th side is open) with a grip on the bottom, and wee handle bits on either side. That worked like a dream, and I would have bought one there and then if they’d had one in stock! Alas, they didn’t (the one I was using was part of a much bigger kit that I didn’t need), although they can order one for me, but my instructor suggested I try the gloves I got at the fair a couple of weeks ago and see how I go with them before getting it (although it was only £20, it was nice that they didn’t try and push it on me). Here’s what I produced, pretty, right? ;o)
You’ll see we were also having a go with a bunch of the decorative stitches, as well as the multi-directional function – that was seriously cool – sew a square without having to turn the fabric? Hell yeah! How useful it would have been if I realised that existed when I did my ATS quilt with its square quilting. Oh well! There’s so much more in this machine for me to explore, I think it might be a ‘long weekend’ job to sit and really have a play with it all.
After all this, I met up with mum and gran for lunch, and we may or may not have visited a fabric shop and rescued some fabric… The solids are linen/cotton mixes in such yummy colours, I had to get some for some bags. I was also happily surprised to see some Reunion, so I got that, and the stripes are an end of bolt which will be perfect for binding!
After which, we headed home and after I made dinner, and we’d eaten, I got to work on cutting out and tacking my new bear project. This morning I got all the machine sewing done on him, so now he’s all set to go to Ireland in a week and a half for a handwork project to unpick the tacking, finish the hand sewing on his muzzle and feet, and then his construction.
That completed, I then moved onto the sashing and binding of my SHQ QAL, ready to go into the draw for completed tops. It’s also one of my Finish Along finishes – yay!:
And then onto a project for next weekend (which those in the UK/Ireland should understand!) You’ll just have to wait to see that one though ;o)
Your lesson sounds like fun and a great advert for buying a machine from a specialist shop. I like the fabric you rescued those solids will come in very handy! Congratulations on finishing your SH quilt top too, you have had a hectic weekend 🙂
That's great that you learned a lot about your machine. It sounds like a great shop and I like that they didn't push you to buy accessories.
Fabric rescue! You Samaritan. Your machine sounds amazing. We will all be eyeing each others machines at the retreat. We'll be lining up for a play on yours!
Your sampler top looks brilliant! And well done on the rescue… 😉
All looking great and fun!
It is such fun when you learn all about what your new machine can do.
I am looking forward to see the teddy you are about to make.
I think it was very decent of you to find it in your heart, to make that awesome sacrifice and give that fabric a home! The world will thank you Katy for such generosity of spirit! Tee hee!
Want to see that bear and that project! The quilt is a fab finish!
you were busy sound like you had a good time though !!
Yay, you got your licence to FMQ (which is the title of the next Bond quilting movie). Gloves, extension table n practice – that's all it is 🙂 was the multidirectional square free motion? The notion of it not being is doing my head in
Yup, looks like you are now having fun with your machine. My favorite is using the feather stitch to stitch in the ditch. And, of course the free motion technique is fantastic.
Hugs, & have fun…
The gloves will solve the problems you were having, I never quilt without them. Sounds like a great lesson and a lovely machine.
I am tired just reading this post. But I am tired from grandchildren visiting too. Now that you know all there is to know about FMQ please teach me because I am a total lame brain.
Great post and great advertisement for David and his machines. I am still pondering which to buy next month for my birthday – I have a Brother already but looking at Janome Horizon. xx
Very productive, good girl! I made some frame purses, but I'm to lazy to blog…..
I just WISH I had HALF of your energy!
So glad to hear that you were able to rescue some fabric from it's sad existance at the fabric store 🙂
It was very charitable of you to rescue that fabric and give it a good home!!! Sounds like a lovely weekend!
Ooh, that sounds like such a fun day! I hope you're able to get the quilt frame soon!
Really interesting to hear about your lesson..I didn't know they did little frames for sewing machines..would it be a pain to keep moving it about if you were quilting a large item? or do you think it would still be easier than manhandling a large quilt by itself?
Nice fabrics, I would have definitely gone for that stripe for bindings too 🙂 x