Not inspired by it? Rip it.

One of the things that a lot of new Long Arm Quilters hear / learn is:  Don’t rip it!  Or “Leave it over night and look at it again in the morning.  If it still offends you, then rip it.”

I’m going to be a little controversial here.

I have to say there have been a few projects on my frame in the last little bit that have not inspired me.   I can’t really say why.  Maybe it’s just the stress in my every day life seeping in or maybe it’s just a lack of practice lately.    Sometimes I’ll quilt something that makes me think I forgot I was quilting for a few minutes.

You know what I do then? Continue reading Not inspired by it? Rip it.

Message to myself

It’s OK, read to the end. :)

I apologize for the huge absence.    I’m still working on posts slowly but I thought I’d update the blog on why I’ve been away.  (I have been posting a little on the facebook page if you’re a FB’er.)

I won’t be sad to see 2014 go.  It started out great.  A great trip to Willam’s Lake to teach.  Certification as a Brother technician for Sparrow Studioz.

The summer though….

The summer in particular was beyond “character building” for both Ryan and I. Continue reading Message to myself

Automatic Tension isn’t.

Just a quick note tonight folks! Really.

One the the biggest problems I find that people have with “newer” sewing machines is a terminology problem.

“Automatic”

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In the car world, an automatic transmission shifts for you.  It automatically does what you would have to do manually otherwise.

Automatic as far as your tensioner is concerned is Continue reading Automatic Tension isn’t.

Out of the nest – Ditching the Thread nests part 2

In the last post, we talked about ways that thread nests can be solved from a user point of view.  Today, I’m getting into the slightly more technical ways that the nests happen and how to deal with them, or when to take it in for service.

Category 2: Possibly user fixable or take it in – Depending on skill and comfort level

Continue reading Out of the nest – Ditching the Thread nests part 2

Fly little nestling – Ditching the Thread nests part 1

One of the most common issues that people bring machines to me for is tension.

The thing about it is that – in most cases – the tension issues are really not something that I need to address as a technician . Don’t get me wrong, there are some legitimate issues – mis-assembled tensioners or severely clogged up tensioners – to name a couple. Continue reading Fly little nestling – Ditching the Thread nests part 1

Stuck in the Middle – Frozen Slant-O-Matics

Note:  This post is some of what we’ll be going through in the class I’m giving in William’s Lake next month.

The 401A, 403A, 411G, and 431Gs along with the 500A and the 503A (or the J version) are possibly some of my favorite Singer machines.  There are a few more in this series as well, like the 401G and the 421G but I’ve honestly never laid hands on either of those models.   These machines are all fundamentally the same with some small differences.  They are all “Slant-O-Matics”, meaning that the whole stitching mechanism is tilted a little and angled toward the user to make the needle more visible.

Today, I’m going to talk a little about the differences and also about the one thing that makes some people shy away from these machines – the cam stack and stitch selectors are frozen.  It’s typically easy to fix, so I want you all to know how to take care of it.

Continue reading Stuck in the Middle – Frozen Slant-O-Matics

A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Note: Amended date!  I goofed ladies and gentlemen, April 16th is the date, not March!

Update: 2014-04-09 - It looks like the Evening class is tentatively full (may be able to open 1 more spot) and there is one left open for the morning class.  If you wanted to get in, now’s your chance!  We’ve been chatting about the possibility of me doing the class again in the future in William’s Lake, but there’s no firm timeline for it.

OK, so it’s not quite a million miles but I bet it feels like it by the time I get home.

I’m going to be teaching people just like you how to service and restore their vintage machines in BC next month! :)

Beauties like this:

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The Cariboo Piecemakers quilt guild has asked me to speak to the group about vintage sewing machines at their Tuesday meeting.   The following day I will be doing a marathon training session.

The class is in William’s Lake, B.C. Canada (approximately 3 hours out of Kamloops) the Wednesday before Easter (March  APRIL 16th) at the Pioneer Complex, and we have just added a second session and there’s currently a little room left.   The tentative times for the classes are 10am to 3pm with a break for lunch and 5pm to 9pm.  If you’re interested in attending, leave me a comment below or contact me here.

Here’s what I’m planning to cover: Continue reading A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Throwback Thursday – Project F-250 Revamp

Here’s my version of “Throwback Thursday” ;)  This is a post I made back in 2009 when I was still in charge of BanditAlley, as a blog post there.  Recording it here on AA for posterity.

Seeing that I can do this, you’d think I could polish up a sewing machine like nobody’s business, wouldn’t you?  Not so.  Though a lot of the process is the same, I just can’t seem to bring up the shine on a sewing machine the way this truck finally shone.  It’s probably because I can’t use a power polisher on the machine like I can with a car or a bike.

The victim:  A 2000 Ford F-250 Diesel. Previously dark green in color, but likely painted when it was recovered as a roll-over in the first year of its life.   Continue reading Throwback Thursday – Project F-250 Revamp

Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound

I received an email from Roger about a month or so ago that asked for clarification about one of the posts I made last year. The post in question is Common Thread – Evaluating the Real cost of thread

Did I mention that I love hearing from readers?  Even if it’s questioning what I’ve written, I enjoy the conversation. :)  Feel free to comment below or drop me a line. I always answer, even if it’s not right away because I’m perpetually behind on email.

The question Roger asked made me realize that I might have been guilty of a little thread “geek speak”. He emailed me to ask what I meant by “cross wound” or “stack wound” thread.  The two other questions I also inferred from that question were “what’s the difference and what does it mean to me?” :)

Continue reading Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound

It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

Happy 2014 everyone!  I’ve been fairly absent for a bit here.  First, trying to get Ryan’s Christmas present finished.   I almost made it on time!  Then catching up on the corporate books.  I don’t recommend a 5 month absence from those.   Ugh.

At the end of it all, he got his gift before New Year’s Eve, which considering all of the hurdles I cleared to do it, and the fact that I started it WAY too late, I’m accepting of.

I’m told that the significant other is often the last one to get a quilt.  Not in Ryan’s case.   He actually managed to get the second ever quilt I’ve made.

Continue reading It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

My thoughts and revelations on the vintage arts and skills of yester-year.

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