Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Sewing Machine, the Sewing Machine...a Girls Best Friend.

Are you and your sewing machine besties? This has been on my mind a bit this last few weeks as my familiar machine was put out to pasture and a new machine took it's place. I think we are new BF's, but it's hard to really get to LOVE your machine unless you spend quality time with it.

Lately several people have expressed trepidation to me about taking on a 100% machine sewn quilt after cutting their patchwork teeth on hand pieced tops. There is definitely such a thing as sewing-machine-a-phobia, I see it a lot. It's not that surprising, most instruction manuals are enough to bring you out in an anxiety rash. Pick up the manual of almost any machine and it's definitely not written in an accessible fashion, lets just say that the average instruction manual is technical and not instinctive in nature- it feels to me that it could all just be so much more intuitive and easy to get to grips with?! Write the manual from the point of view of the user rather than the engineer.

I'm definitely a visual learner, tell me how to do something and I'll try it, but SHOW me and I'll definitely get it right. I think really getting to grips with your sewing machine is an underrated skill which can set you free creatively.

Given all of this I am delighted to announce that I will be running a two date class in January for anyone whose new year resolution is Get To Grips With My Sewing Machine! This class will be co-hosted by a lovely friend of mine Jeanne Morrit from JMSewing who is the Queen of Sewing Machines as far as I am concerned. Jeanne is a lifelong sewer and teaches garment and soft furnishing sewing locally and is just a lovely talented lady. I was one of her pupils once.

I'm really excited about this class as I know we can help overcome a lot of the anxieties beginners can feel when faced with a new (or old)  machine. The first of the two sessions will look at how your machine works, what all the buttons actually do(!) and how to get the best from it ( and how to stop being a teeny bit frightened of it!) including looking at what makes perfect tension and how to get it. We will look at common problems, how to troubleshoot them and how to maintain your machine. There will be small class sizes and two teachers, so lots of one to one help and opportunity to put the tips to use practically. The second session will be moving on to specific patchwork techniques, looking at what specialist presser feet can be used and how to get accurate piecing every time, and how to use a walking foot for stress-free quilting.

We are thinking of  Tuesday 21st Jan and 11th Feb at St Annes Hall. Numbers will be very limited so do let me know early if you'd like to come along. More details on my classes page shortly.