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  • Super Game Day Tic Tac Toe Toss!

    January 30, 2018

    Super Bowl day is just around the corner! Admittedly, sometimes we get our best ideas at or near the last minute - but this is an easy make you can still have ready for game day, you can easily make it in a day! (Instructions and templates are downloadable below),

    Floor games for indoors or out are growing in popularity. We combined some quilting and crafting to make this Tic Tac Toe "board", and instead of X's and O's we made some football bean bags (rice works too - whatever's most convenient!) to toss to mark your spot!

    Yes we know the 49ers aren't playing this year but since we had fabric on hand for our 49ers fan we just went with it. You could use fabrics from your favorite teams - but there are so many ways to customize this idea - use college fabrics for the kids away at school, a holiday theme, or whatever you have on hand to use up some leftover fabrics- we know you have a stash ;) ! Great for parties, the beach, sleepovers, camping ... and more!

    We're going to give you the measurements we used but you're welcome to change it up of course. The idea is what's most important!

    We started by measuring the width of the backing fabric so we wouldn't have to add more to piece the back together. Ours measured approximately 44" (without the selvage) so we backtracked from there so we'd have a good size square board with a little extra on the back for quilting.

    Based on the 44" here's what you need -

    -- 9 fabric squares, 12" x 12"

    -- 6 contrasting fabric strips 3-1/2" x 12" (we had extra back fabric so we used it)

    -- 2 contrasting fabric strips 3-1/2" x 44" (or full width of fabric, again we used the back fabric as we had ... lots!)

    -- Back fabric 1-1/4 yard with width 44" WITHOUT selvage

    -- Batting - Same as back fabric or a little larger (Warm & Natural is perfect as you don't want it too thick)

    -- 1/4 yard brown fabric for footballs

    -- 1/4 yard white fabric for footballs

    -- Fabric for binding - we used a 2-1/4" binding, made from the backing fabric. Estimate 1/3 yard for the size we made

    -- Thread - desired color for quilting/binding plus white and brown for stitches on footballs

    -- Sewing machine

    -- 1/4" presser foot if desired

    -- Walking foot and/or quilt guide to keep quilted rows even

     

    Let's get started! (And we won't keep repeating - but press seams as sewn, press to one side, press top after each step!)

    • Cut fabric blocks and strips
    • Using 1/4" seam allowance, stitch sections of 3 blocks and 2 short strips together  (configure your print any way you like!).  We used a 1/4" straight stitch presser foot with right guide.  We have and love these feet for all your machines, so if you don't have one - you need to come see us!
    • Keep going until you have 3 blocks with a strip between them - you'll end up with 3 of these!
    • Add long strips to 2 of the strip sets, then join all 3 sections to form your Tic Tac Toe grid!

     

    • Layer top, batting, back.  We like spray adhesive to hold layers together before pinning
    • Quilt it!  We decided to keep it simple and follow the grid theme, so we first stitched in the ditch along each seam line, edge to edge - there are so many feet you can use to make this easy and precise - stitch in the ditch feet, any foot with center guide, accufeed/accuflex feet, digital dual feed, walking foot... we've got just what you need! Shown here is a foot with an adjustable guide, we used the red center mark to guide along the seamline, and will show how we used the guide next. We quilted in the ditch of every seam joining the blocks and strips... continuing through intersections - yes, you'll see the stitching there, but we'll show you how cool that looks in a bit!
    • After stitching in the ditch we adjusted the guide to be 1" from needle. (The solid color sashing strips end up 3" after sewing - you'll see why we used the 1" spacing!) Stitch through all layers at these 1" intervals on all your sashing strips.

    Most machines come with a "quilt guide" - a bar you can attach and adjust to create parallel rows of stitching. Don't know if you have one? They look like or similar to this -

     

    When you're done stitching in the ditch and in 1" intervals - you'll have created these grid patterns to enhance your game board - we love the look of this tone on tone pattern!

    • Bind edges as you would any quilt - we've shown how to bind in previous posts you can refer to for a refresher (we'll do a separate binding tutorial soon!)  We used a single hole stitch in ditch foot to secure binding -

     

    Now for the football markers! These are simple raw edged rice/bean bags (you can stitch right sides together if you want a more finished look). You're going to create the stitching on the ball with a satin/zigzag stitch. We used a stitch width of 3.6, length .6 - test different settings on some scraps with stabilizer you're going to use on back to decide what you like best.

    • Cut 10 footballs from white and 10 footballs from brown fabric. We've provided a downloadable template. We cut roughly and hope they'll be well used and soften up the edges. But if you have a ScanNCut or other cutting machine - this is a perfect tool to cut these out!
    • Mark ends of the long stitching line, place stabilizer behind fabric - stitch it! Then we marked where we wanted the short stitch lines that cross it - we didn't worry about being too perfect (remember this is fast and fun!), these are general guides (they're very faint yellow and may be hard to see... also we started stitching just above the yellow dot and stopped just below to cover our markings). After creating all stitch lines, remove excess stabilizer.
    • Place football back against football front, stitch approximately 3/16" from edge leaving a 2" opening.
    • Put rice or beans inside bag. A funnel is great for this, or use a narrow spoon. Don't fill too full!
    • Stitch open edge closed

    How fun are these?! Ok they're sort of corny, but cute, yes?!

    Game time!

    Looks like brown wins! You'll be a winner no matter what when you bring this fun and funny game out to play!

    Download Football Templates and Instructions below: 

    Football Template

    Super Game Day Tic Tac Toe Toss Instructions

     

  • Christmas Tree Napkins

    December 22, 2017

     

    This is a super quick holiday project that's perfect for last minute Christmas sewing - especially if you need a hostess gift, want to make your table more festive, or just use up some of those holiday fabrics!

    These double sided Christmas tree napkins will take less time to make than it will to read the instructions! We're keeping it simple and just doing them quickly on the sewing machine!

    What you'll need:

    --  Fabrics of your choice - you can go for traditional colors, kids holiday prints, elegant tone on tone - you're the designer! We used easy care cotton quilting fabric, but you could even amp it up with a lovely washable jacquard or other specialty fabrics (be sure to think about whether you want them just for decoration - or to really use as napkins!)  You can size them as you like, but we used 18" as a guide - perfect for fat quarters or half yards. Two 18" squares of complementary fabric will give you two napkins

    --  Sewing machine

    --  Thread

    --  Measuring device - ruler, grid, measuring tape, any will work

    --  Good scissors or rotary cutter

    Let's get started!

    -- Cut fabric into 18" squares (yep, these really are squares, photo was taken from an angle) --

     

    -- Fold in half, right sides together, then fold again as shown.  You'll have a 9" square - 9" is the radius (distance from center point to edge) of your circle.  We used our grid to mark 9" from the center fold outward in several places --

     

    -- Keeping fabric folded, connect marked points to form the curve, or use a plate, pot, pan to draw a curve or freehand it!  Cut with scissors or rotary cutter. Unfold and you'll have your circle!  Repeat with second fabric.

    -- Cut each circle in half --

     

    -- Place one half circle of each of your two fabrics right sides together.  Stitch the curve and the straight side - but leave an opening in the straight side to turn. We placed pins a few inches apart to help us remember the opening, as shown.  We used a scant 1/4" seam allowance.

     

     

    -- Press where sewn and turn right sides out. Press seam allowances for opening toward inside.  To close opening, you can slip stitch by hand or edge stitch by machine.

    Now watch your tree evolve!

    -- With the fabric you want featured for your tree (the green print in our sample) face up - fold the right edge to the left - but don't fold in half! - as shown --

     

    -- Fold that top portion back upon itself matching edge to fold --

     

    -- Finally, fold that big green section under, even with the "tree edge" you see forming - and here's what you get --

     

    How simple was that! Your guests, gift recipients will be so impressed! You can make 'em fast and give the kids the folding job - and still in plenty of time for the holiday! Show us what you make!

     

     

     

  • Tip: Keeping Your Quilt Rows In Order

    December 13, 2017

    We started this quilt with some square packs and a few fat quarters... it seemed...  But there turned out to be far more squares (almost 600!) than we anticipated and our quilt grew from lap to queen size!

     

    After we stitched rows of squares we laid the rows out on the floor to avoid like fabrics touching and keep the truly random look. We also wanted to arrange the rows so the direction of the seams alternated for less bulk where four corners would meet.

    But then they had to be carried to the sewing room! How to keep them in the correct order? We used one our favorite sewing aids - pink tape - otherwise known as Floriani Embroidery Perfection Tape - to label the row numbers and make sure we stitched them together as placed.

     

     

     

    This tape is so handy for so many things - check out our other posts! It sticks easily but doesn't leave any residue - it's definitely better than painter's tape or masking tape! And it's so pretty! Using it to mark our rows let us take a few at a time to the sewing area and keep everything in order. That's especially helpful if you have only short time spans to sew.

    Now to add borders and backing and get this quilted! If you have a long arm quilter it would be super easy, but we're looking to create a wave effect (get it - Hawaii...waves...?!) and just use a serpentine stitch to quilt it as done here -

    Hope the recipient likes it!

    Aloha!

  • Fall Potholders / Trivets With Loop Hangers

    November 19, 2017

    Any holiday or occasion is a good excuse to make new kitchen and dining accessories! This is a quick project you can still do before Thanksgiving if your kitchen or table needs a boost, or if you find yourself in need of a hostess gift!

    These are great for using up smaller pieces of leftover fabric (we know about your fabric stash... :D ), and for practicing quilting techniques - free motion, channel, following a pattern on your print, using your walking foot - any! The stitched on loop is incorporated in the binding and gets you out of having to match up binding ends neatly, and provides an easy way to hang them in a cupboard or above the stove for easy access!

    We're welcoming Fall holidays with some themed fabrics we've used a few different techniques with.  Here's what you'll need - materials specified have been selected to protect from the heat when coming in contact with hot items!  How much you need in total will depend on what size and how many potholders/trivets you wish to make.

    • Cotton fabric;
    • Insul-Bright (Needle punched insulated lining);
    • Cotton batting (Warm & Natural will work fine);
    • Cotton thread;
    • Spray adhesive such as 505 or KK2000;
    •   505 Adhesive SpraySulky KK2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive
    • And of course your sewing machine!

     

    These are just suggested sizes - we think it works well for use as either a large potholder or a trivet - but you're the designer and you can make yours any size you like!

    Cut the following for each:

    • 1 - 12" square of front fabric
    • 1 - 12" square of back fabric
    • 1 - 12" square of Insul-Bright
    • 1 - 12" square of batting

    You'll also need a 2-1/2" strip approximately 48- 50" long for binding/loop (this will vary based on your selected finished size, but - more is better!). If you need to piece the strips to get that length - add more! (Instructions on how to do this follow).

    Let's get started!

    Layer your fabrics to create your sandwich:

    • Front fabric (the one that will come in contact with heat) right side down;
    • Insulbrite on top of that with shiny side against wrong side of front fabric;
    • Warm & Natural
    • Back fabric right side up

    Time to quilt! Again, this is a great way to practice - we stippled one, did some free motion with loop designs on another, and used the serpentine stitch in the machine on the third -

    Quilting can cause some distortion as seen above and below -

    So after quilting we squared off each one. You may choose to cut smaller squares to start, but you can also decide at this point what size you'd like to make your potholder/trivets.

    Looking good! Now time to make your binding. We joined multiple lengths of 2-1/2" strips to make one strip long enough plus extra for mitering corners and creating the loop hanger.  To join your strips and reduce bulk, lay two strips right sides together, at right angles as shown -

    Mark a line at a 45 degree angle to stitch. Refer to picture to draw your line correctly - it's a good idea to pin along the line and fold the strip shown wrong side up to the right to be sure it's going the right way!  Then stitch along line. Trim off excess so you have a 1/4" seam, press open. This is how the wrong side of your strip should look -

    And here's the right side -

    Fold binding in half lengthwise, do not press. Leaving a little hanging off edge, begin stitching to potholder/trivet. We used a scant 3/8" seam.  Stitch to a scant 3/8" from end (we mark that point with a pin) and stop.  We secure our stitches, up to you!

    Now fold your binding strip 90 degrees to the right -

    Fold it back over itself as shown, stitch from end repeat on next corners -

    Now you're coming up to the corner where you started.  We folded out that first strip of binding then placed a pin at the seamline where we first started. Just stitch to the pin and secure -

    Fold binding over edge, mitering corners as shown - pin in place or we also love Wonder Clips!

    Trim end when you get back to first corner -

    We used our stitch in the ditch/edge stitching foot to finish the binding -

     

    Continue to stitch your binding several inches beyond the corner -

    Check out your mitered corners on the back - lookin' good!

    Now use the extra length of binding to curve around to form a loop -

    On reverse side, trim the binding strip to a managable length fold under, stitch to secure one edge of loop as shown -

    Trim off excess -

    We folded the loop back on itself to cover the raw edge and did another row of stitching. Finished!

    Coordinating colors make a lovely addition to your home or a gift for someone else (as you can see - we've got to bind those last two fast!)

    Click below for printable instructions!

    Fall Potholders / Trivets With Loop Hangers

  • It's Here! Our New Arrival - The PFAFF creative icon!

    October 9, 2017

    You've been waiting... we've been waiting... and we're so proud to announce our new arrival - the PFAFF® creative icon™! It's here!

     

    We're SO EXCITED!  There are so many features and functions you're going to love on the PFAFF® creative icon™ it's hard to know where to start!

    Everything you've always loved about PFAFF - it's better!

    Features and conveniences and technology you've lusted for - they're there!

    Size and space to make your quilting, sewing, embroidery easier - you got it!

    And so much more! So we're just going to jump right in!

    Go BIG... It's bigger! In so many ways!

    Your PFAFF® creative icon™ work space is 69% larger when compared to other high end PFAFF machines...

     

    -- Over 12" of work surface to right of needle - what you NEED for those quilts!

    -- Over 5-1/2" of work space height!

    -- Over 3" of space in the needle area making changing needles and feet easier!

    Think BIG! Those big quilts are no longer a challenge!

     

    Not only is your new workspace big - it's BRIGHT! The PFAFF® creative icon™ features strategically placed LED lighting positioned at the most beneficial points for viewing angles - nothing to block your view or cast shadow! (Now we'll never get that classic Johnny Nash song out of our minds... "I Can See Clearly Now"!!!)

    LED lighting placed so you can easily see whatever you're stitching clear, clean and bright without shadows!

     

    And the screen? That's bigger too!  It's like getting a tablet - right on your machine!

    Swipe! Zoom! Pinch! Scroll! Personalize!  Use the new smart tablet-like 10.1" screen on your PFAFF® creative icon™ to easily  customize the screen to the way you want to work. Easy to see and use, the work area is nearly 70% larger than past models! Unique graphics are built-in and appear in the highest resolution ever and in full color.

    So intuitive, built for creativity and ease, the large computerized tablet and Graphical User Interface (GUI) gives you the freedom to take your creativity to the next level!

    Your new screen - 10.1" - is nearly 70% larger than past models!

     

    And your big screen features the largest dynamic, on-screen embroidery edit area!

    No matter the sewing or embroidery project - you can personalize the display screen for YOUR preferences.  Easily adjust the screen to change layout to get the best size and position of images and information. You can even change placement and size of on screen tools! These new options are at your finger tips to help your ideas and projects flow freely! And it's all big enough to see easily!

    Bigger Bobbins! 

    Your PFAFF® creative icon™ features 30% larger bobbins!  Whether you're embroidering, quilting, piecing, or sewing - anything - you can stitch longer, further - without stopping to change the bobbin! And when you do - you can rewind from through the needle! That means less time spent on bobbin changeouts or having to conceal a start/stop - and - more time to sew!  (And who doesn't need that?!)

    Stop using your valuable time changing bobbins!

     

    Embroider BIG (or small!)

    Of course you can GO BIG with embroidery on your PFAFF® creative icon™! It includes hoop sizes to impress with big embroidery designs (the large single position embroidery unit - got larger!) ... or smaller ones for more petite needs -

    • Supreme Hoop 14.17in x 10.24in (360mm x 260mm)
    • Elite Hoop 10.24in x 7.87in (260mm x 200mm)
    • Square Hoop 4.27in x 4.27in (120mm x 120mm)

     

    And the optional turntable Grand Dream Hoop  - 360x350 - offers the largest embroidery area on the market!

     

    New technology - WiFi on board! Or - "My new PFAFF® creative icon™ can do that?!"

    Wait 'til you see all you can do! Your PFAFF® creative icon™ features WiFi, intuitive cloud-based storage powered by MySewnet™ on board! Included apps give you even more capabilities!

    Get alerts on your smartphone from your PFAFF® creative icon™ sewing and embroidery machine via WiFi! Connectivity means automatic software updates, plus real-time alerts and status updates on your projects when you're on the go!

    Get the apps --

    mySewnet™ cloud storage sends embroideries to/from your machine automatically over WiFi;

    PFAFF® SewNotice™ app to monitor the process of your embroidering;

    PFAFF® ImageStitch™ app to digitize photos from your mobile device into monochromatic designs!

    Store your designs safely in the cloud!

     

    The best - has just gotten BETTER!

    We weren't kidding when we said the things you love about PFAFF machines have gotten even better...

    The IDT - that top feed system more commonly known as "dual feed" - that makes you covet your PFAFF - has been made even better on the PFAFF® creative icon™ Yep. You read that right!

    Enhanced IDT™ -- IDT has been improved to be even better, improving feed on all types of fabrics for precise stitching and perfect seams every time! More power and more contact for improved feeding on virtually any fabric. It now also comes with a built-in sensor that lets you know when you need to activate it.

    If you haven't tried sewing with PFAFF's legendary IDT - you really have to give it a try. Really! Now! Come on in to any of our stores and check it out in person, hands on to see what a difference it makes in your sewing. And now - it's even better! Try it on any tricky, challenging fabric, piecing, quilting - and see the difference!

    Enhanced ActivStitch™ Technology -- No more avoiding those special threads you'd love to use! Create precise, gorgeous embroidery even when using challenging novelty or luxury threads like metallic!  Sensors measure the fabric thickness to regulate the amount of thread needed to achieve a perfect balance between the needle and bobbin threads. Results are exquisite on both sides of the fabric. You've got to see it to believe it! (And we want to show you!)

    Enhanced Shape Creator™! 

    Shape Creator™ lets you use virtually any stitch and many embroidery designs and configure them into shapes! Think - frames, borders... perfect for highlighting a monogram or creating a frame for your custom quilt label. Or create just about any shape from any motif! It just got.... even better!

    Combine a stitch or embroidery with Shape Creator™ for your custom design - right on screen!

     

    Fully automatic needle threader -- Threading that needle has never been easier! The new, fully automatic needle threader on the PFAFF® creative icon™ is convenient, easy and precise!

    New fully automatic needle threader and Enhanced IDT!

    And of course your PFAFF® creative icon™ features PFAFF's unique Precise Positioning for embroidery perfection! Perfect matching for borders, continuous designs, and more!

     

    You've got the POWER! 

    Unmatched power and stability! -- Your PFAFF® creative icon™ is going to be your favorite power tool! A 90% increase in needle power gives you the most forceful needle pressure ever - giving you stellar results even when handling difficult fabrics! And the machine's revamped design also reduces vibrations - superior stability so you get the most precise results!

     

    Stitches!  Stitches! Stitches! (Over 800 Embroidery Designs and Techniques!)

    "I don't need all those stitches..." We hear that all the time. But you know you want them!  But once you have them you'll use them!  Your new PFAFF® creative icon™ has some amazing unique new stitches created from unique PFAFF techniques - whether you sew home dec, quilt, create garments - You. Need. These. Really!

    You'll drool over these exclusive new triple ribbon stitches!

     

    -- Triple Ribbon Stitches - So many ways to use these beautiful stitches!

    -- Floating Stitches - Stitch shapes virtually float on fabric,  no connecting stitch showing!

    -- Radiant Stitches - Gorgeous stitches sewn out in a perfect curve - and it's so easy! All kinds of things you're going to want to embellish with Radiant Stitches! Stitch on curves and lines on any of your projects! Great for necklines, sleeves, and any other circular designs! These are a must see in person (come in - we'll show you!)

    -- Lace Edge Stitches - Create lace edges along your fabric right on the sewing machine!

    -- Stacking Stitches - Layers of lovely stitches combine at your hands, on your machine, for even more added detail on any creation!

    Plus - Your new PFAFF® creative icon™ includes a Signature Collection of exclusive designs, and some exclusive fonts!

     

    Ergonomically friendly! Sew... quilt... embroider... longer, easier, and more comfortably!

    PFAFF engineers had your comfort, ease, efficiency and requests in mind when they designed your new PFAFF® creative icon™!

    Designed for ease and comfort while creating beautiful works!

     

    You're going to love ...

    -- A redesigned knee lift for ease of use;

    -- Curved workspace that matches the curve of your hands!;

    -- Larger stitch plate with markings on both sides up to 2-1/2"! And - its own storage space!

    -- Easy pop off stitch plate!

    -- 9 points of lighting for more efficient view of everything you're working on;

    -- Significantly increased storage space in accessory tray - and your storage tray is rubberized so no more parts sliding around!:

    -- Ability to use thread spools of any size to take on the largest and most complex work with new telescopic thread guides and reworked thread paths;

    -- Rubberized handwheel for better control;

    -- Rubberized handle for more comfortable grip when carrying machine;

    -- New full length handle design and location for easy transport and balance;

    -- All in a lighter weight top of the line machine!

     

    There's just SO MUCH to love about the new PFAFF® creative icon™! 

    And we can't wait to show you!  Come see us today and meet your new sewing love!

    The easiest math ever!

     

  • Teacher Feature: Cande Gordon

    August 24, 2017

    Cande Gordon - Corona

    Cande joined our teaching staff in Corona not so long ago with a long history of creative stitching experience, and - lucky for us! - a long list of ideas for new and interesting class offerings. If you haven't taken a class yet - you're going to want to!

    Cande's favorite sewing is things for her family and pets. Toys, like fabric balls, taggie blankets (she has a Maltese that loves to "kill" the taggie blanket! Who else has a pet that most enjoys what we make for them - by destroying it??!). Any gift is her favorite thing to sew... "I think homemade gifts mean the most. And you feel good about yourself after you sew because YOU made something". If the saying that the most precious gift you can give is the gift of time, this is certainly true for sewing enthusiasts - we love to invest our time making gifts we hope others will love (or in the case of furry recipients - possibly ...eat). Wouldn't some of these lovelies make wonderful gifts?

     

    Gifts are not only her favorite thing to make, but when asked what she's made that she's most proud of, not surprisingly the answer was gifts - quilts made for her grandchildren, who still love them today. We've heard it said that the most loved quilts are those that are either in the same pristine condition as when they were given, or well worn - because both conditions reflect the recipient's love of that special gift!

    No matter how much we love to sew, we each have our "thing" we do NOT want to do! For Cande it's making repairs on things... like fixing a collar, pocket or hem. "It's not as fun as creating something new LOL!" (We completely agree!)

    When/how did you find out you could do machine embroidery at home? Cande says "I walked into the Moore's store in Riverside looking for a sewing machine and left with my first combination sewing & embroidery machine. I didn't know that home embroidery machines existed!" How has that discovery affected your lives? We know many get addicted to machine embroidery - notice Cande says her "first"? (She didn't tell us how many have come to live with her since. Who can relate to this?!!) We can see she's put them to good use!

     

    And who wouldn't want to be a bag lady with a gorgeous embroidered handbag like this -

     

    Though no one likes to show off their mistakes, it's so encouraging knowing that our instructors and sewing artisans have a collection of errors to share - it's a relief to know you're not alone (and that there may be mistakes you haven't even gotten around to trying yet!). Asked about biggest mistakes Cande says -

    " Well, I have made many as we all have. My biggest mistake is in an effort to save money I haven’t always purchased the proper tools for the job. For example, if you have to rip a seam out, you can use scissors instead of a seam ripper. Scissors will get the job done, but a seam ripper will not only do it quicker and better, it’ll also prevent the ripping of your fabric while ripping the seam. Scissors won’t do that. In fact, you might accidentally cut a hole in your fabric. Not good! Yes, I’ve done that too. So, instead of saving money, I wasted money."

    This is such an important lesson - buy (and use) the right tools for the job. Sometimes there's a high cost to "saving" money. And check out our blog post about how to use a seam ripper properly! You may be surprised...

     

    We haven't met a teacher yet who hasn't shared this or a similar sentiment when asked what they like best about teaching - "I believe experience is the best teacher, but it doesn’t have to be your experience. You can learn from the experience of others. I still learn from my students. Perhaps they have attended a class and learned a new skill that I haven’t seen yet. I love to see the light and delight in their face when the “light bulb goes on and they “get it”. Everyone's a teacher in a sewing class, we all stitch different things and have a wide array of experiences!

     

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if you like to have a little assistance this is a fun bag for holding your cosmetics!

     

    Our teachers and staff are the best people to ask for advice on getting started (yes, we are a little biased...but we want you to be successful and love sewing and making as much as we do!). Here's our "Wise Words From Cande" guide to making that happen -

    1) On taking your first steps into sewing: "As a sewing beginner, you might be very excited to get started. You may want to sew, sew and sew some more. But I encourage you to make and finish your first project before starting the next. Why? Because there will be some things you learn to do and learn not to do on your first project that will benefit you on future projects. This will probably happen on a few of your projects. The funny thing is, in sewing, you sometimes learn more from your mistakes than anything else!"

     

    2) On improving your skills, abilities and taking on more challenging projects: "I promise you, if you commit to learning the skill of sewing you will find people who are more than willing to share their knowledge."

     

    3) On children interested in sewing: "I was interested in sewing from a very young age. My mom sewed mostly clothes for myself and my sister but I caught the “sewing bug”. When my sister was born I was 8 years old and loved to make dresses and diaper pants for her. (mom bought me my supplies because the baby could always use clothes). Next my daughter came along and I encouraged her to learn. She is now the proud owner of a Brother Innovis 4500 and is in the process of making her first king size Hawaiian quilt. My daughter and I are teaching my granddaughter to sew. She has her own sewing machine and made all of her Christmas gifts last year. She wants to grow up and be a fashion designer. So, she is busy designing and making Barbie fashions. Future FAMOUS designer? Who knows but we are creating wonderful family memories!" So if you know a young person who's interested - encourage them, help them, and let them create!

     

    Do you know someone "hoo" may want to learn to sew? We hope you'll help them get started!

     

    Who remembers when we sewed purely to save money? Now we sew... embroider...craft... for so many reasons. Like many, Cande simply finds it relaxing and "I love to 'create'. I was bought up around crafters and learned to sew on a machine at a young age so it's just always been a part of who I am. I've had the occasional long break from sewing, especially during my late teens and early 20's but I always find myself coming back to it." What makes it enjoyable? "I think it’s the satisfaction I get seeing a finished project. And the fact that there is an abundance of gorgeous fabrics out there just makes it even more enjoyable. It's also my 'me' time. So I like it for the freedom, creativity and uniqueness!" Not just an abundance of gorgeous fabrics out there - but threads too! Look what Cande's created with those gorgeous embroidery threads - this would brighten up the gloomiest day!

     

    Like so many of our sewing friends, a Brother ScanNCut is part of Cande's crafting life now - check out this great quilt she created for the ScanNCut! Ok, yes, it's really a ScanNCut cover... but it looks like a quilt doesn't it? Wouldn't you like to wrap up in this?

     

    Now how about some creativity for the upcoming holiday season - something to "Boo!-tify" the house and decorate for Halloween -

     

    When Cande's not sewing or doing something creative she and her husband enjoy county fairs, harvest festivals and such. And of course enjoying their two grandchildren! She used to breed and raise Pomeranians - wonder if they were the lucky recipients of some of those toys she makes? Favorite travel mode - cruising! Clearly no couch potatoes, a cruise sounds like a fantastic way to combine seeing and doing with - relaxing!

    Some final words of wisdom - "If you can cut fabric and sew a straight line then you can make throw pillows and curtains for every room in your house. The best reason for learning to sew is the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something handmade." And we love love love Cande's reason to sew and embroider - you can "Bee Yourself"!

     

    We hope you'll be in our Corona store to enjoy a class (or more!) from this wonderfully creative educator!

     

    Thanks for sharing Cande!

     

  • Tip: Embroidering Multiples - Easy Corner Designs - Four At A Time!

    June 14, 2017

    It's sew easy to make and customize napkins for holidays, kids, gifts, seasonal, fun - there's just no excuse not to have a "napkin wardrobe"! We love having them on hand for all these occasions (and you just never know - they just may get those kids to wipe their hands and faces!)  We made these for an upcoming July 4th event -

    These were so easy to make - we cut 17" - 18" squares and used the rolled hem on the serger to finish them off - not just easy but really FAST!

    Everything's faster with a serger!

     

    Use Fray Block to prevent raveling - squeeze some on the corners (it dries soft and clear) , let it dry, then snip the thread tails. You can also just turn edges and finish on a sewing machine!

    Get Fray Block! 

    Hoop a piece of Tearaway Stabilizer (get it here in white or black!), find the center point using hoop markings, and mark -

    Hoop Tearaway Stabilizer and mark center point.

     

    Use a spray adhesive  (we used Sulky KK2000, quilt basting spray like 505 works too!) to stick napkins to stabilizer. Have you made Felt Frames to keep your hoops clean when using spray adhesives? See our blog post for details - click here !

    Felt frames keep your embroidery hoops free of sticky residue when using spray adhesives!

     

    Affix your napkins or other square items to the stabilizer in hoop. Position so all four points meet at center mark, align with hoop markings to keep pieces straight and squared -

     

    Choose your design or monogram.  Move it up into desired position for the first napkin. Select again, rotate 90 degrees and move same number of "clicks" for the one to the right (or left), repeat for other side, then select again, rotate 180 degrees and move into position for bottom piece. You'll have your monogram/design positioned in the hoop to stitch out 4 times, no rehooping!

    If you have a Brother Dream Machine or Quattro or Baby Lock Destiny or Ellisimo with a camera - it's even easier to see just where your designs are placed!  And you can sort colors to stitch out with fewer thread changes! (If you don't have one of these amazing machines - you need to come see us now! )

     

     

    Even if your machine does a single design at a time you can still use this process and save on hooping time and stabilizer! Follow the same process,  you'll simply stitch out one monogram or design, then resposition as described - repeat!

    Simple, quick, and everyone will be impressed when your tabletop - fine dining or picnic table - is properly attired for the occasion!

     

     

  • Surprises Inside Your Sewing Machine - BIG Stitches!

    April 7, 2017

    We surprise a lot of our machine owners when we show them some of the amazing - BIG - stitches built right into some of those Brother and Baby Lock models!  When you look at your stitch menu they look like ... just another pretty decorative stitch.  But when sewn out - they're BIG!

    These supersize stitches may be built into your machine - and you don't even know it!

     

    We stitched these out with embroidery thread. With a heavier thread, i.e. Mettler Quilting thread - they're even more outstanding!

    These are perfect for stitching quilt borders and sashings with ease - no marking and following the lines!  Sew them onto plain ribbon to ramp it up (beautiful in metallic!), or many other embellishment uses!

    We used one of these to quilt the sashings on our tipsy tree quilt!

     

    They are on larger Brother and Baby Lock models dating back to the Innovis 4000D, 2800D, 1500D in the Brother line and Baby Lock Ellegante models.... Now check out your Dream or Destiny machines, Quattro or Ellisimo, other large models - and see what's hiding in there! You'll find these in a menu of decorative stitches, looking just like any other - but - they're not!

    Don't have one of these, or not sure where to find them? Come on in and see us!  We'll show you how to supersize your stitching!

     

  • Tip! How To Know When Your Bobbin Is Low... When You Don't Have A Low Bobbin Indicator!

    February 10, 2017

    What's your favorite sewing machine feature? Which one - ones - can't you live without?

    For many it's the low bobbin indicator - a light, a sound - something to let you know your bobbin thread is low so you can end stitching strategically and restart undetected.

    More and more machines have a low bobbin indicator as standard. But if yours doesn't (come on in and let us show you some that do! You don't need a top of the line model to get this invaluable feature!) here's a tip to anticipate running out and stop before it's too late -

    When you're using the same thread top and bottom - wind two bobbins. Put one in the bobbin compartment as usual... but use the other as your top thread! You can monitor how much thread is in the bobbin on the bottom just by looking at your top thread!

    Wind a bobbin for top and bottom threads and you can always see how much thread is left on your bobbin!

     

    It's easy, inexpensive, and keeps you from stitching a few inches... or more... before realizing you ran out of thread!

     

  • Sewing in the New Year - Simple Tips for Sewing Success!

    January 11, 2017

    Sew - it's a new year!  Did you make any sewing resolutions?

    Whether or not we'd like to help make your new sewing year the best ever!  Whether you're a new stitcher or well experienced, venturing into new territory or trying to perfect skills, these tips will help you sew better, be proud, and sew more!

    1)  BE FEARLESS. 

    This is the most important tip. Everyone's fearful of trying something, you're in good company! Fear can paralyze us - it keeps us not only from succeeding but from even attempting something new.  Whatever it is you want to try - just try it! If it turns out fabulous and you're proud - great! (And bring whatever it is in to show us, we love to see what you're working on!).  What if it doesn't turn out as it looked in your imagination? That's ok too - you'll know what you need to practice more and what you've tried and succeeded at for the first time.

    Bottom line - if you do nothing, you'll get nothing - so BE FEARLESS - just do something you've always thought about trying - and keep honing your skills from there!  If you or your machine get hung up, we're here to help - there's nothing to fear!

    fearless

     

    2)  Give yourself permission to fail. 

    Sometimes our projects turn out just right the first time we attempt new techniques - but not usually!  Those beautiful samples you see in all our stores?  You're seeing the end result of much practice and many wadders (we all have them!).  We tend to hold ourselves to high standards that don't allow for failure. Hope for the best, don't be surprised if you don't achieve perfection the first time trying a new technique or project or machine, and know you're in good company! If you learn from what went wrong - you've made progress!

    If you get too frustrated, just take a break, walk away for awhile. And of course, there's always chocolate!

    mm-sewing-machine

     

    3) Take classes and attend events!

    We have sew many classes , events and Sew Fun Club covering sew many different types of sewing, quilting, embroidery, and machine use!  Give us a call, come on in, tell us what you want to learn, try or be better at and we'll help you find the right class or event or guide you in the right direction.

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    Think of classes and events not just in terms of projects - but as opportunities to learn and practice techniques.  Within any project there are specific techniques that may be just what you need to get you on your way to making what YOU want to make! Maybe you don't want to make a placemat but that placemat class teaches the applique techniques you've been wanting to learn - let us be your education consultants and we'll get you in the right classes and events to get you sewing what you want the way you want it!

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    4) Know your machine.

    Seems straightforward, right? We have wonderful machines but not all have taken advantage of free machine guide classes. No matter how long you've been sewing, new equipment offers new ways to do things.  You may be missing out on using some of the great features that excited you enough to buy that machine! You can browse and sign up for our classes online, but we'd love to talk to you directly to get you in the right machine class. Even if you didn't buy your machine from us - chances are we have a class that will help get you ramped up - and we'll let you take it - complimentary!

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    Read your manual - this is an important part of knowing your machine. You never know when you're going to get hung up while pulling an all nighter, we're not there to answer the phone and you can't find any sewing buddies up to help you.... So often the answer you need, the error message codes, troubleshooting tips to get you restarted are right there in that book!

    5) Ask questions.

    Lots of them! Ask us! Ask our teachers! Ask fellow shoppers! Ask vendors! Sewing enthusiasts and those in the business love to talk about sewing and love to share what they know! You can learn something and teach something from every conversation you have, whether it's something new, a better method, or a different way to do things.

    question-mark

     

    That old saying "there's no such thing as a dumb question" is so true - be curious about any/everything and your repertoire of skills and ideas will grow!

    6) Slow down.

    51-wpkyqj0l

     

    You really can get things done faster by slowing down! Take time to think and ease into what you're working on slowly and carefully and you'll make fewer mistakes.

    7) Practice.

    Sometimes, no matter how well you know what you need to do, it just takes practice to get better. Whether it's a sport, playing a musical instrument, training your dog - the knowledge is there, but it takes actual hands on practice to get the results you want (keep #2 in mind!). You might want to keep samples of what you try/make now and compare them to the same things at year's end after you've been sewing throughout the year - what a great way to see your progress!

    Finally - go back and read #1 - BE FEARLESS!

    And come in and see us at any of our six locations - we want to be your partners in sewing, quilting, and embroidery success!

    Now go forth and - sew something!

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