11 July 2014

More practice needle tatting

Getting a bit better.  Need to practice... A lot.  Still picked this up when knitting and crochet were not working out.

24 March 2014

24 February 2014

Image transfer using Chartpak blender

In the past I've tried this with Mod Podge which gives very dark results but feels plastic'y and is tough to do.  

Then I tried with Citra Solv Natural Cleaner which gives a soft/ no plastic feel / slightly faded result - loved it but you really have to put serious effort into rubbing it with a spoon to get the transfer to stick (all of these methods are basically the same -- print your image as a mirror image of what you want since it will be transferred -- place the printout ink-side to the fabric you want to print on -- cover the image with the transfer method you've chosen -- rub over the image carefully -- in the case of Mod Podge there is drying time and rubbing away the paper as well).  

I saw a post about using Chartpak Blender Markers - same results as Citrasolv but took way less effort to get it to stick.  I didn't tape down the Supermarionation one so got some blurred spots - the text on the Tardis was small and didn't transfer well but overall, this is now my fave method of transfer even though it is way stinkier than citrasolv.

 If curious, you can my CitraSolv / Mod Podge reults here

26 January 2014

Time to try tatting

I feel like I must learn a thread / yarn type of craft.  Well, one besides cross stitch which I lost interest in years ago.  I tried crochet and failed.  I can get a basic chain going and then I just lose track of what the heck to do.  I tried knitting and didn't even get a basic chain going.   Using the Martha Stewart Crafts Lion Brand Yarn Knit and Weave Loom Kit, I did at least manage to knit a square but ended up preferring to weave and bored of that quickly.

 Yeah, I'm just not cut out for these things. My hands and brain do not connect with what I should be doing at all. I have not given up though. I bought these Clover Tatting Shuttles. Tatting, making lacy designs, that one I will do! And I did. Sort of. I learned to do the double stitch, the picot, the chain, and the ring. That is all you need to know to make something, right? Wrong. Some of those use one shuttle, some two. I found lots of clear details on doing each separately, but not so much so for putting it all together -- going from rings to chain to picot to ring... Fail. While looking I ran into a needle tatting video. That showed clearly how to connect things. I had a needle that was way too fat and short but I figured I'd try using that anyway and bingo! With a longer needle meant for the thread I was using? I think I can get that. Needless to say I have now ordered this tatting needle set.. Hopefully soon I will be tatting up a storm. Hopefully. It's about time I get a win over threads and yarns!

23 January 2014

Teesha Moore style patches, the first

These are my first attempt at Teesha Moore style patches.  Not yet quilted, but so far I'm in love with making these!

Singer 9985 Quantum Touch

I just got this SINGER 9985 Quantum Stylist TOUCH Computerized Sewing Machine in the mail!  When it comes to sewing, I am a permanent newbie! This is my third machine and until now I couldn't figure out the buttonhole attachment (this machine had much clearer directions than any I'd seen before).

My prior machines were both Brother brand.  The first was on the low end of machines -- the kind that cost under $100.  The second was a step or two up - including features like an lcd display.

Now with this machine it's the first time I am trying a Singer brand.  Feature wise it is close to my last Brother machine (Brother HC1850).

The first thing you'll notice about this machine is that it is fairly heavy.  Amazon lists the last Brother machine I owned at about 10 lbs.  while this machine is listed at 20.

It comes with the now mandatory "accessory pack" which is primarily made up of different feet and things that are not exactly optional accessories like the power cord.

I've never bothered to learn why the different feet are necessary (beyond the obvious ones like the buttonhole maker).  Nor have I learned to identify them.  Luckily, they are either marked or explained in the instruction booklet.  The on screen display tells you which one you need for each stitch.   Also included are some starter needles, a screwdriver, a couple of bobbins, a dust cover, etc.

While the feet are the typical snap on types, I did find them a little trickier to snap into place than with my prior machines.  It's still pretty easy to attach them, they just feel like they need a little more pressure than my Brother machines required.

The touch screen display is colored (only in that it matches the color of the machine).  Probably wasn't necessary to do that but it looks nice anyway.

There is an automatic threader however I find it easier to just thread the machine myself.  The one button thread cutter is quite handy though.  Press a button and both the top and bottom threads are cut for you.

I've seen some say that the tension is off.  So far I have not had this issue.  I just use the auto tension and it's been perfect even as I switched stitches and fabrics.  You can adjust it manually and it seems easy to do, I just haven't had to.

As is becoming the norm, this machine offers you the ability to sew using either a foot pedal or a button on the machine.  I prefer the button on the machine but either are easy to use.

There is a nice set of stitches, including decorative and multiple alphabets.

The on screen display is good at showing you what is going on.  Winding the bobbin?  A bobbin appears on the screen.  Forget to lower the presser feet?  There's an icon for that too.   Need to rethread the upper thread?  A spool icon  pops up showing the steps to rethread (the steps are also numbered on the machine for threading the machine or winding a bobbin).

Of the three machines I've owned, I like this one the best.  The work space feels just right, the tension has been perfect, the directions are simple, the number of stitches and the ease of adjusting them should be fine for most people.

If you want a machine that you can move around a lot, this probably isn't the machine for you -- as I said it's fairly heavy.  If you want a nice sturdy home machine with plenty of features, you probably cannot go wrong with this one.

*Disclaimer* I received this machine in exchange for an review.