Archive for the ‘Machine Quilting’ Category

Vermont Quilt Festival–come play with me!

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Wanna come play with me?  It is time to look forward after a very busy winter and spring! I’ll be teaching at Vermont Quilt Festival at the end of June.  I’m so looking forward to it…pretty much my three most popular classes and a new one.   Balinese Garden teaches you decorative machine applique in your choice of pillow top, small quilt or table runner.   Fussy-Fiddly is about how to use those  (not really) challenging threads successfully; we’ve got so many wonderful thread choices available to us now, so let’s USE them!   Birch Pond Seasons teaches you skills and techniques to make not only this “north country” pattern, but go on to work on your  own designs.  Finally, Sunday’s half-day class, Easy Peasy Inside Out Bags, is about making quick and easy, lovely bags:  any size you want, easy zipper installation and addicting like potato chips–bet you can’t make just one!  I sure couldn’t–I keep making (and giving) them!

Here are my classes:
115    Balinese Garden                                                                    Thursday, June 25
218    Tame Fiddly Fussy Threads for Machine Quilting        Friday, June 26
314    Birch Pond Season                                                               Saturday, June 27
410    Easy-Peasy Inside Out Bag                                                Sunday, June 28

To sign up, click on this link:  http://www.vqf.org/all_classes_view.php .  Once there, look just below the purple “Basic Sewing Supply List” for “view by instructor.”  Use the dropdown list to select Sarah Ann Smith, and it will pop up information on all these classes.   Also, I’m happy to answer emails with questions!

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Balinese Garden Table Runner–Class is Thursday June 25.  As always, I encourage students to cut loose, be creative, and make the project their own.

115    Balinese Garden  Thurs June 25

Here are four versions of my tossed leaves.  You learn to make a freezer paper stencil and paint on cloth.  While the paint dries, learn key tips to success with metallic, holographic, heavy and shiny threads, then free-motion quilt your piece.

Here are four versions of my tossed leaves. You learn to make a freezer paper stencil and paint on cloth. While the paint dries, learn key tips to success with metallic, holographic, heavy and shiny threads, then free-motion quilt your piece.

Here’s a closer view:

The original quiltlet which happens to be on the cover of my book!

The original quiltlet which happens to be on the cover of my book!

218    Tame Fiddly Fussy Threads for Machine Quilting        Fri June 26

Learn all sorts of fun tricks for making free-form fabric collage quick and easy

Learn all sorts of fun tricks for making free-form fabric collage quick and easy

And the autumn view.  I encourage students to personalize their quilts.  Bring a photo of your favorite mountain and make it the featured hill.  Make it any season you want!  Be creative!

And the autumn view. I encourage students to personalize their quilts. Bring a photo of your favorite mountain and make it the featured hill. Make it any season you want! Be creative!

314    Birch Pond Season        Sat June 27

These bags are so easy and fun to make.  They are wonderful to use (in all sorts of sizes), to give as gifts, and can even be turned into iPad or notebook covers.

These bags are so easy and fun to make. They are wonderful to use (in all sorts of sizes), to give as gifts, and can even be turned into iPad or notebook covers.

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

410    Easy-Peasy Inside Out Bag  Sun June 28

For all my classes, you can check here on my “Classes” page for more information and PDFs of the supply lists, or look on my “Resources” page for the downloads.  I’d love to have you in class!

The perfect 1/4″ seam, part two

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Thanks to my contact at Janome America, I learned of a couple new things that will help owners of the Janome machines that are capable of the 9mm wide stitches.   The top-of-the-line 15000 has a new throat plate that has THREE holes in it, including one on the right.  And there is a quarter inch “Clear View” foot that will work with that throat plate.  First, the presser foot:Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 12.50.27 PM

janomeknowhow clear view quarter inch

My contact wrote:

” I wanted to pass along this information sheet on a foot that we released for 9mm stitch width models last fall. Maybe this will help her. I’m also going to include this small excerpt from my contact in Tokyo too, as it applies directly to your machine –

*This foot can also be used with the MC15000, but by using the right needle position of the MC15000’s straight stitch needle plate with the 1/4″ Seam Foot O (a standard accessory), or the Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set (Optional Accessory No.: 202-089-005),  the same results can be achieved.

The above note is because the MC15000 has that three hole straight stitch plate, based on needle position. Previous models only have one or two holes in the straight stitch plate.

Just passing this along since I saw it!

Here’s a link to information on the Janome website, and another link for the PDF which has more information than on the Janome website  janomeknowhow clear view quarter inch .

The throat Plate is called the Straight Stitch Plate for the 15000, but can be used on Janome machines with a 9mm stitch-width capability (but check with your dealer FIRST to be positive it is compatible with your machine).  This is a not-so-great photo of the one from my machine.  Notice there are THREE holes.  The left and right holes are slightly not-round, which permits one to fine-tune the needle position to get your perfect seam allowance (see previous post).

Straight Stitch Plate for Janome 15000

Straight Stitch Plate for Janome 15000; if I can get my hands on the part number, I’ll update this caption.

My contact added that

“Yes, this foot will work with the 8900 as it is a 9mm model also. If you
wanted, you could ask your dealer to order the Mc15000 straight stitch
needle plate (with the third hole) and that would fit all the 9mm models
also. You just have to watch your drop position. Like you mention in your
post, because of the feed dogs and purpose of different sewing machines,
the needle drop is not always the same from machine to machine. This
happens when you are switching from quilting models, like an 8900 to
embroidery/quilting models like the MC15000. The “standard” positions are
changing based on the model.

This will definitely solve her problem then, allowing her to use a straight
stitch and set needle position with the straight stitch plate included
with her machine, and achieve a 1/4″ seam.”

I have to say, Janome is incredibly responsive to its customers.  I was THRILLED my contact read my previous post and wrote to suggest these new offerings.   Another great thing developed for the 15000 (which I sew on now) is the AMAZING extension table.  I don’t know what they did to the surface, but it is absolutely the “slippy-est” extension table I’ve ever felt.  Even though it doesn’t look as slippery as the clear plexi (perspex in the UK I think) tables, it is vastly superior.  When I saw the US VP for Janome at a show after I got this machine, I told him they needed to make ALL their extension tables out of this stuff.  It totally rocks!

 

SAQA Food for Thought Exhibit online!

Monday, April 6th, 2015

To coincide with the debut of the Food for Thought Exhibit ( blogpost coming soon), Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) has published an online slideshow of the exhibit!   The exhibit opens a multi-year run at the National Quilt Museum in  Paducah, Kentucky, and runs from April 10 to July 8.

Insalata, (c) 2014  Sarah Ann Smith.  Premieres next week at the Food for Thought exhibit at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, USA.

Insalata, (c) 2014 Sarah Ann Smith. Premieres next week at the Food for Thought exhibit at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, USA.

If you love the slideshow, you can also buy the catalog, which is beautifully done.  I’ll blog about that later this month!

An Embroidered Tote for Janome

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

As many of my loyal readers know, I sew on a Janome.  I have been incredibly fortunate to be a part of their artists and teachers loan program for an embarrassingly, blissfully long time.  THANK YOU, JANOME AMERICA (and yes, I’m shouting!)  As part of this program, I gladly and happily make things which they can use, whether it is a banner for their booth (and also used in their adverts!), a project used online, asking to teach in Janome classrooms at big shows, you  name it.  This season, I have been using a (gasp, gulp!) top of the line 15000 embroidery and quilting machine.  Links for a free tutorial on this caddy are at the end of this post.

Embroidered Caddy for Janome America.  The sewing machine is a built-in design on the top of the line Janome 15000.

Embroidered Caddy for Janome America. The sewing machine is a built-in design on the top of the line Janome 15000.  Right Click to see larger.  Thanks to Jean S.  I know now this design was created by Jill Buckley, who has fun stuff on her blog here.  Nice to meet you Jill!

Embroidery you say?   Well, I never would have thought that *I* would fall in love with machine embroidery–the pre-programmed kind, but I have.   I’ve got a project for fall that will be awesome using one of Lonni Rossi’s designs built into the machine.  But for spring, I have made that lovely little tote!  It is 4×8 inches (footprint), 5 inches tall.   I used two embroidery designs that are included on the machine along with the initials that are one of several included alphabets (see photo below for the other side).

One of the things that most surprised me is how easy the interface is with the software.  I’m not very patient with that sort of computer-ish stuff (and after all, these machines are really computers that sew).  This was SO EASY to size, position, all of it.  Even *I* could do it using the manual–no classes needed!  And utterly cool:  there is an iPad app that allows you to do stuff elsewhere in the house. With the iPad and your 15000 sharing your wifi network, you can view the progress of the stitch-out so you know if you need to go to your sewing machine and change thread colors or insert a full bobbin.  Totally cool!

FREE TUTORIAL!

Best of all, this project has just been featured on Janome’s blog where you can find a link to free instructions!   Today you can see my project here as a featured project.  Scroll down their blog to April 1 for a blogpost  on it.  Or go straight to the project, here.  At the bottom of that post is a link to download a PDF of my full instructions.

Here’s a view of the other side and the end:

Side two:  the Heart is also an included design, the font is called "Galant" and is also included on the machine.  It was surprisingly easy to create the design on the machine.  And if you happen to be my BFF living on SJI with the initials MZJ, yep--this is a sneak peek at part of your birthday present!  Red is the theme this year.....

Side two: the Heart is also an included design, the font is called “Galant” and is also included on the machine. It was surprisingly easy to create the design on the machine. And if you happen to be my BFF living on SJI with the initials MZJ, yep–this is a sneak peek at part of your birthday present! Red is the theme this year…..Right click to see larger.

End view of the caddy.  I used one of the built-in decorative stitches on the handle.

End view of the caddy. I used one of the built-in decorative stitches on the handle.

Thank you again, Janome, for years of support.  Your fabulous machines make it possible for me to do what I do!

Quilting the Garden: Thread Coloring the Flower

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

In my last post, I told you about my new series of workshops.  Click here  (or scroll down) to read the previous post.  The first workshop, From Photo to Flower Collage, can be a one or two-day workshop.  This time, it will be two-days (click here for more information, there are just a couple spots left).  The second workshop, ThreadColoring the Flower (click here) is booked this time as a one-day class.

The Pink Water Lily from my ThreadColoring the Flower workshop.

The Pink Water Lily from my ThreadColoring the Flower workshop.  www.SarahAnnSmith.com (c) 2015

The water lily photo for the workshop. Photo (c) SarahAnnSmith

The water lily photo for the workshop. Photo (c) SarahAnnSmith

The Close up of the wild Day Lily, also used in the workshop. (c) Sarah Ann Smith.  PS:  Sorry about all the watermarking and copyright notices--after the incident where someone created derivative copies of my work, I'm being even more  diligent about marking stuff.  So sad to have to do this!

The Close up of the wild Day Lily, also used in the workshop. (c) Sarah Ann Smith. PS: Sorry about all the watermarking and copyright notices–after the incident where someone created derivative copies of my work, I’m being even more diligent about marking stuff. So sad to have to do this!

Again, students begin with a choice of two images:  the pink water lily or the orange day lily.  This time, however, students choose in advance which flower, because I provide them with a photo printed onto cotton sateen (done at Spoonflower).  Why?  You know how you go to a workshop, and are lucky if you get the top done in time to begin quilting at the end of the day?  I wanted students to have the entire day to learn how to use and blend the thread so that they learn the process.  If they begin with the image already on the cloth, they can get straight to the thread-coloring without worrying about “messing up” the top on which they worked so hard.

Along with the approx.  11 x 14 inch photo-on-fabric, the kit includes five spools of Superior Threads 40-wt. trilobal polyester thread for quilting the flower (students need to provide their own greens or purchase additional–I wanted to keep the cost of the kit down by requiring only the threads needed for the flower), and stabilizer to help prevent distortion from the dense stitching.  We’ll talk about tension, needles, stabilizing for dense thread-work and more.  However, if students wish, after working a bit on the photo-on-fabric, they are welcome to switch over and start quilting their collaged flower (if they were in the Photo to Flower Collage workshop, of course).

Detail of the Pink Water Lily shows the dense stitching.

Detail of the Pink Water Lily shows the dense stitching.

For my Water Lily quilt, I took a second photo, cut it up, and used it as a frame for the small quilt.  The Day Lily is simply quilted and aced, as are most of my art quilts, with no border.

Quilted DayLily.

Quilted DayLily.

I’m so psyched about the trip to North Carolina–I’ll get to meet internet friends who are taking the class, and spend THREE DAYS with some of them, plus visit Program Chair Debby Harwell, whom I met in a dyeing workshop with Carol Soderlund (at ProChem in Massachusetts) lo these many years ago.  This is gonna be a blast!  I can’t wait to share what the students do.  Now, I just need to figure out how to take photos and blog from my ipad!