A famous quilter told us to check out this new machine. It is just 13 lbs and perfect to take to class, on vacation, or to retreat. Yes it is also perfect for the new quilter, sewist, or a young learner. We loved the machine enough that we asked if we could sell it in our Shop. It's less than $300 and has lots of features we will talk about in future blogs. There are three models. Our pick is the mid-range model and is only $279.99. You can get quilting feet and a carry bag as accessories to complete the package. (Currently we can only ship in the Continental USA, sorry).
Now that you have everything in its place, it's time to address another area that most of us don't really enjoy...keeping the studio clean and regular maintenance. You have spent so much time and effort creating a place that is both functional and inspirational; if you can spend 5-10 minutes at the end of each sewing day doing a quick clean up job, you will be amazed at the results. Not only do you avoid the tendency to 'just set things here for a bit' (which often means more like a few months), it means that each day when you enter the studio, you can get right to work. There is nothing worse for stifling a bit of creative energy than having to clean up beforehand.
To keep things clean while you are in the studio, here are some suggestions:
Clean your cutting mat
Wipe off your sewing tables
Place trash cans around your sewing studio (cutting table, sewing area, desk/office table)
Keep tools stored near their designated work area, such as rulers and rotary cutters by the cutting station
Use pegboards to hold items and to keep the floor space free
Try to avoid keeping multiple projects out at once. Unless your studio is large and can accommodate multiple projects, a smaller space can very quickly become buried. If you do need to switch projects, put the current project (pattern, fabrics used, and any other items that need to be included) away for the time being, in its own container. This way, when you do come back, all of the elements are there for you to get right back to work.
Dust and Vacuum
Every so often you should do a thorough cleaning of your space, especially if your fur friends hang out with you. Mark your calendar and take an hour or so to vacuum, sweep and dust to keeps things fresh and orderly. If you have carpeting, you might even find a few random pins that escaped without your knowledge.
Cables and Extension Cords
Worn and damaged cables are a potential fire hazard, so they need to be inspected on a regular basis. Katie Fowler (Show 1807) went to church one Sunday morning only to discover upon her return, that her home was on fire. A worn cable, buried under a pile of random items, caught fire in her basement studio.
Iron and Ironing Board Covers
Remove the cover from your ironing board and toss it in the washing machine. Over time, there is a lot of build up on the ironing surface, especially if you use starch or similar products. If you have made an ironing board using MDF or heavy plywood, remove the old cover and replace with a new one.
While you are at it, check your iron to make sure that it too is in tip-top shape. If your work includes a great deal of fusibles, or other 'glues,' these residues, over time, can build up on the sole plate of the iron. Keep your iron in good working order with these tips.
Here is a great recipe for making your own cleaner for a steam iron.
Cutting mats can become 'fuzzy' after extended periods of time. A simple cleaning trick from MadebyChrissieD will have your mat looking brand new in no time.
Needles and Pins
Old needles and bent pins have served their purpose and need to be disposed of in a proper manner. Old pill containers, spice jars, or small mint containers are perfect for holding old needles and bent pins until they can be thrown out. Label the container and keep it near your sewing area.
We wanted to share a cute pincushion thread catcher pattern (from MerrimentDesign) that will help to keep those stray threads off the floor. These little holders would also be perfect by your cutting station. Happy sewing!
QA will have a booth (#1460-1461) at this year's International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, November 3-6. In addition to sharing information about the Alliance and its work, Quilt Alliance staff will be interviewing quiltmakers throughout the show as part of its Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! project.
Anyone with a quilt on exhibit at the festival, or who'd like to bring a quilt with them, can participate in Go Tell It!, a project that seeks to document quilts and their makers in three-minute videos.
Anyone who has a quilt story--not just quiltmakers but quilt owners, designers, collectors or friends & family of a quiltmaker--is invited to record a 3-minute video with a special quilt. There are no pre-arranged questions or guidelines; just one person telling the story of one quilt in three minutes or less.
Each interview slot lasts for approximately 15 minutes to include time for setting up the interview and audio testing. Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! is a free service for the quiltmaking community, provided by the Quilt Alliance, but a requested donation of $10 helps cover the cost of travel, staff time, web hosting, and video equipment.
Watch how medieval embroidery works in this video from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. See Rosie Taylor-Davies recreate this Middle Ages craft which was practiced by both men and women of the time. See authentic examples of medieval embroidery in “Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery,” at the V&A through Feb. 5. Click on the photo to be taken to the video.