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Knits, Sergers, Cover Stitch machines, and more at Janome Education Summit 2018 Post #7

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Thursday was a whirlwind as we finished up at lunch time.

Me with my Summit t-shirt (we also did some iron-press decals…this was a basic shirt with an altered neckline also done at breakneck pace) with my skirt tucked underneath. Even my lime suede sneakers go with it!

In that morning we had a presentation on My Fabric Designer Software by Eileen Roche and made a knit skirt using sergers and cover-stitch machines thanks to Girl Charlee.  The amount of machines and work Janome America put into having them onsite for us all to test-drive and learn was amazing–huge kudos to Janome America for such a great Summit!  And of course major thanks to the sponsors and presenters for all the goodies and best of all the learning!

Today I am actually wearing the skirt I made (photo above)…the project was to make a pencil skirt.  I’m afraid that pencil skirts and my body and lifestyle are not a match made in heaven, so once again I was the disobedient child and made a gathered skirt.

The fabric I chose…other choices were a solid denim look and a blue floral print. Heather Peterson’s Girl Charlee site is here, with a wide range of VERY reasonably priced knits. This particular fabric is still available as of early July 2018, here, and is only $8.50 a yard! It’s a lighter t-shirt weight skirt (so not too heavy for a full skirt) and is soft and comfy.

Owner Heather Peterson showed some of the fun projects she has made and gave us tips for sewing on knits.  For those who don’t have a serger, even the most basic sewing machines have an overlock stitch that you can use to whip up these fun things on your domestic machine.  What I learned:  don’t be afraid of knits!  You can do it!

Heather holding up a comfy knit dress

And on the screen behind her, tips:

Different types of knits….I had never heard of Vegan Leather….but it looks leather-ish and it actually stretches! I don’t think leather leggings are in my future, but maybe this might work on a quilt….hmmm…….

Some of the delectable fabrics at Girl Charlee

A couple knit projects up on the front table

The ladies who DID make the pencil skirt wore them and fell in love–the entire time I was thinking “I wish I had Ashley’s (DIL) measurements” because this project was ideal for her.  When I showed very petite Ashley the pattern provided (here) she was delighted and said “OMG, a pencil skirt that would actually FIT!”  The pattern has you start with your measurements, then subtract a bit, calculate the length, and presto, nearly instant skirt.   I used the full yard of fabric to make a nearly ankle-length skirt.  I didn’t have time to be afraid…we had to work FAST, so I serged up the side seams, serged the elastic (my first time ever doing that!) to the top, then switched over to the cover-stitch machine to stitch down the elastic and hem the skirt.

The hem of my skirt. I’ve never used a cover stitch machine before–I love the look of this three-needle hem. On a domestic machine, you can simulate the look of a cover stitch machine (or setting on a serger) by using a twin needle. The bobbin thread zig-zagging on the bottom side gives stretch to the hem, which means the threads don’t break.

After the summit I did some noodling around on the internet: the one issue I had was the fabric curling at the top edge of the hem.  Terial Magic would take care of that by stiffening the edge, but there is also stuff called wash-away tape that is 1/4″ wide.  That, placed on the cut edge, would hold the hem in place AND keep it from curling (which it does between the pins).  Thanks to Heather’s workshop I’m determined to take the fabric I bought to make leggings 2-4 years ago will be MADE UP into leggings this summer!  I’m not afraid any more!

Back to Eileen Roche– her company prints your designs (similar to Spoonflower) on a wide range of base goods (cottons, knits, poly, etc).  But she also offers software that works on PCs (sorry, not on Macs which is what I have) that helps you design repeats.  I could see having a lot of fun with this!

Here’s the print fabric website: https://www.myfabricdesigns.com and here’s where you find the software: https://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-software/my-fabric-designer/

Although I’ve returned to earth after the rush of the Summit, just revisiting these photos has brought back what a great week this was.  A TON of good stuff packed into 3 full days!

Me on video with Terry Mingee–Janome Education Summit 2018 Post #6

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Hold on to your seats…it’s me on video! At the Education Summit in late May, the Janome Marketing department paired up the participants, then had us ask each other some questions.   They’ve just today posted those videos.  Apart from the fact that it was late in the day so Terry Mingee, whom I have met a few times before at International Quilt Festival in Houston, and I were fairy tired and relaxed and therefore didn’t sit up straight…the videos are a total hoot.  Here’s mine with Terry…I am now Sarah the Time-Turner (after a brief detour as Sarah the Ripper).  I knew we were doing OK when the Marketing staff were all laughing quietly as this went on…it was so much fun!

Here’s the link to all the videos on Janome’s YouTube web page; the interview between Kimberley Einmo, the US Janome-America spokesperson, and Tamara Kate Serrao, the Janome Canada spokesperson, is great.

Miriam Coffey, Janome Educator, at the Janome Education Summit 2018 Post #5

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Several years back I had the great good fortune to have Miriam as the educator in one of the classes I taught in Houston.  It was fun to see her again at the Summit, and a jaw-dropping experience when we got to see some of the goodies she has made.  As she put it, she’s not a bows and teddy bears sort, but she DOES to machine embroidery on her Janome embroidery machine. I don’t do hearts and bows either, so I love how her entire approach–totally in keeping with her personality–is fresh and fun and inspiring.

Miriam brought show and tell, and it’s a miracle none of us tried to sneak home some of her goodies, except we wouldn’t do that to her! This sewing items case (could easily be an iPad cover etc), she used the embroidery module to create fabric, then cut the stitched fabric designs apart to use in patchwork. All those green bits were solid / plain fabric until she decorated them with embroidery.

Miriam must have been sitting under a vent because she was wrapped in this snuggle throw. It was made from flannel on one side, the Cuddle fleece (see earlier post) on the other, then free-motion quilted using fuzzy yarn and the couching foot. Let me just say I loved it so much I have already ordered fleece which is waiting for me in my workroom!

And another one of those throws. WANT!

Here’s a close up of a sample: Miriam hooped the fabric, embroidered it with a sashiko pattern (I think using a twin needle)

Lookit how modern the tumbling blocks pattern become hen using cloth that Miriam “made” by embroidering a simple solid.  With a little imagination, it would be possible to achieve some of this effect just using the decorative stitches on most machines.

A case Miriam made…same idea!

This is part of a wall hanging Miriam made using programmed designs. But I want to try to re-create that cross-cut of tree bark and tree rings just using the variable zigzag feature on my 9440 and free-motion stitching.

And a sample of a honeycomb programmed stitch (done on the embroidery module) on top of pieced squares.   It would be a fuss, but you could do this (probably not as perfectly!) using careful marking and a satin stitch, but obviously lots easier when it is a programmed design on the 15000 that you hoop and hit “start.”   It’s almost enough to convince me to try embroidery LOL!

Anyway, Miriam was so much fun to have in class…helpful, professional, capable, and obviously has a lot of creativity and skill to teach and share.  Thanks for schlepping ALL those things to share with us, Miriam!

Tamara Kate of Kayajoy Designs, Janome Education Summit 2018, Post #4

Friday, July 6th, 2018

An enticing bit of Tamara Kate’s beautiful quilts and style.  These are made with her fabrics, and the “h” and “L” are her embroidery and printed fabric designs.   I absolutely love her color palette!

Hi everyone…thought I’d rap up my posts on the Janome Education Summit in late May before they are ancient history.   One the first day, I noticed what this woman was doing across the aisle from me with Kimberly Einmo’s flying geese units and fabric, and was smitten instantly.  Turns out it is Tamara Kate Serrao of Kayajoy Designs.  Her quilts, embroidery and fabrics are so inspiring…if she had had yardage there I would have gone home with a whole bunch!  You can find her on FB as well as her website.

Here is Tamara Kate showing one of her embroidery designs (that was on a tote we got in our swag!)

Tamara Kate has a fascinating background, being from both Nova Scotia and Trinidad.  She is the Janome Canada spokesperson, and designed a phenomenal Maple Leaf Quilt as well as a special (gosh I wish I’d known about it) Janome machine for Canada’s 150th anniversary a couple years ago.

Tamara Kate showing an advert with the machine she designed, complete with maple leaf.

And here is that QUILT….her work is very much in the Modern Quilt aesthetic, but it also is infused with this like watercolor-y feel, palette and fresh vibe that still pays homage to our quilting history.

Tamara Kate Serrao’s phenomenal and inspiring Maple leaf quilt.  Pattern available here.

You can see this quilt on her website and find the first of several blogposts at JanomeLife.com with instructions on making this quilt here: https://janomelife.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/tamara-kate-quilt-along-part-1/  Have I mentioned recently how much I love her colors?

More wonderfulness from Tamara Kate; check her Quilt Tutorials page for info on the quilt above and the one below:  https://www.kayajoydesigns.com/tutorials/quilts/

I WISH I had seen the fabric and whatnot when it was available… i love the joyfulness of this quilt.

One more chance to enjoy her quilts…..Makes me want to not do the things I am supposed to be doing and just cut fabric and sew something joyful!

A fresh approach to half square triangles

Be still my beating heart…THIS is flying geese quilt!

And Tamara Kate showing a few more of her quilts

And the last pic…Janome had brought in their top of the line 15000 machines and iPads and stylus for us all to try sketching our own designs.  Due to slow wifi, we did a test-quilt (in a hoop using the embroidery module) using a pre-loaded design.  But of course I had to do a quick (and wobbly) sketch of the Flying Pug!

It was really quite easy to create a design…this was done in a rush. I’m thinking with even a little practice one could get quite fun results easily. I had a loaner 15000 machine. I’m not an embroidery person, but the machine was easy to use without special instruction and the table runner I made using it is one of my favorites.

Yep, I think I have to confess to being a total fan-girl!   More fun stuff from the Education Summit in the coming days.

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Janome Education Summit, Post #2–overview and quilting with rulers

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Quilting with Rulers with Amy Dreisbach Johnson of Sew Simple of Lynchburg (Va.) and Amy’s Quilting Adventures

So before I begin with our Tuesday afternoon session, let me set the stage:

Imagine: 2 1/2 plus days in a room with like minded sewing geeks on the best machines around doing what we love best, with a wide range of talents from garments to funky fabrics to quilting to Janome Educators

Upon reflection, the range of techniques and machines we covered in 2 1/2 days was remarkable! Kudos to Janome’s Education Coordinator Regena Carlevaro for a fantastic Summit with amazing sponsors and projects.  Our schedule was:

  • Monday evening:  arrival and welcome reception with munchies
  • Tuesday morning:  Kimberly Einmo, Welcome and Flying Geese on the 9400
  • Tuesday afternoon:  Amy Dreisbach Johnson and Ruler Work on the 9400, Janome David on Marketing Trends
  • Tuesday evening:  Pizza Pajama Party and more fun sewing and playing and seeing everyone’s quilt blocks, presentation on using the Binding Attachment with Liz Thompson
  • Wednesday morning:  Working with Double Gauze and Luxe Cuddle from Shannon Fabrics–OMG …WAIT until you see the furs…not cheesy fake stuff but feels like heaven fake stuff…bring on the winter snuggles AND  Build your Brand and Design your own custom Fabrics with Eileen Roche
  • Wednesday afternoon:  Exploring AcuSketch for Quilting with Tamara Kate
  • Wednesday evening:  a dream excursion:  dinner cruise on the Hudson at sunset!
  • Thursday morning:  More on Build your Brand with Custom Fabric, then Serge Forward with Heather Peterson of Girl Charlee and making a  knit pencil skirt (custom sized) on a Janome Serger and Cover stitch machine
  • Then, sigh, the buzz and comradeship drew to a close and we all spread to the corners of the continent going home.

Many of us are blogging so I’m going to set up a separate post with links to posts from the Summit, here.  I’ll add to this as more posts go up.

Back to Amy and Ruler work:

The day started out with a real boost–Amy came up to me and said my book, Threadwork Unraveled, was one of the ones she used to learn how to free-motion quilt and that I was part of how she got to where she is today…isn’t that kind and sweet and amazing?   Squee!  She certainly has learned…look at some of her her amazing quilting (more at the end of the post):

Some of Amy Johnson’s ruler-work quilting.  She does what I love:  combining linear with curvy designs to heighten the contrast and make a quilt top sing.

Many of the participants had never done ruler work.  The 9400 machines were equipped with the latest upgrade and the ruler-work foot.  WE were equipped with (Oh my!) a set of Janome rulers made by Westalee!  Amy gave each of us a quilt sandwich with a small square in a square design printed on fabric (done at sponsor MyFabricDesigns.com), which we could quilt using the design she provided to teach using the various rulers in our kit.  Of course (this will be a recurring theme) I decided to do the quilting my way instead–sorry, I am SO not a hearts person!

I decided to start out combining ruler work (the pumpkin seed designs and the first shape in the orange) with free-motion work.  Compare this to how it looked when I was done:

Doing some fill work around the curvy-pointy-shape in the border to increase contrast. It’s hard to see in this photo but I’ve done bubbles in white in the background of the center square.  Straight line outlining done with ruler foot.  And notice that pull-out extra light on the 9400…LOVE IT! Use it all the time at home.

And some more delectables from Amy’s work:

Love the combination of swoopy grid and feathers and in each block the straight next to the curved.

Just WOWza!

And more swoon-worthy quilting by Amy Johnson

Even in-progress is gorgeous. Of course, I’m a sucker for curved cross-hatching. I wish I could get my round swirls to be so round and even!

Tune back in a couple days for more of the Janome Education Summit 2018.

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