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  • Teacher Feature: Michele Rank

    March 29, 2016

     

    Michele Rank

    Michele Rank - Huntington Beach

    This seemed like the most appropriate photo of Michele - in her craft room with a quilt - places and things she loves! Have you checked out Michele's classes at our Huntington Beach store?  We were loving what we saw in her class quilts - but we're really loving seeing sew much more of her creativity! Read more about her - but you'll have lots of pictures to ogle (and inspiration) along the way!

    Michele Rank 18

    We each have things we love to sew most - for Michele it was an easy answer - "I am a quilt obsessed girl!" (lucky for us, our customers have much to learn from her obsession!).  In fact, she's been known to make a quilt a week for months on end - no wonder there are so many beautiful pics to share -

    Michele Rank 8

    The one she's most proud of, for so many reasons, is her "Alaska Memorial" quilt, made as a gift for her husband Tim. One of their trips to Alaska is the highlight of all vacations after Tim surprised her with with a semi-private float plane bear excursion.  On return she asked what his favorite animals on the trip were - then she hand drafted each -

    Michele Rank 1

    ... rendered them in fabric, and turned them into this fabulous quilt, using the quilt-as-you-go style so she could do some free motion thread work -

    Michele Rank 2

    Here it is being happily snuggled up in!

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    (We're not sure who's had more fun with it, Michele creating and making it, or Tim enjoying it!)

    We've all had projects we remember because they didn't turn out quite as expected... right?  But those are all learning opportunities!  Michele doesn't have a "least favorite' for that reason but there is one that comes to mind that was particularly frustrating --

    "I will say that the one quilt that drove me nuts was most likely the 3rd or 4th quilt I ever made. I picked fabrics and got some graph paper out to design my own blocks. I am a self taught quilter as an adult. As a young child my grandmother taught me quilting and the love to sew that I used as a base for my quilting adventure. So, I made some block designs and then picked out fabrics that I fell in love with. Made each block and then started to assemble them only to lose my points because of my lack of knowledge. I was so frustrated and ripped out the seams and started over several times.  I asked a friend what was wrong and she very nicely pointed out that I did not allow for seams in my design so it would never line up right."  You're not alone Michele! Show of hands - who's made the same or similar kinds of mistakes?!

    Hands

    Luckily she has a "lemons to lemonade" outlook -  "I was so frustrated and then realized I still loved the fabrics and colors and would finish the quilt. This quilt is not put away and forgotten it is displayed on a chair in house, and I still remember the process and emotion that went with it. I am not a perfect quilter, I think of myself as a free spirit with design and style. I like what I like, this quilt holds a special spot in my heart."

    No wonder she has so much to teach us - Michele admits to spending most of her time sewing and quilting. It's evident from all the great photos she's shared --

    Michele Rank 6Michele Rank 12Michele Rank 11Michele Rank 13

    She has an enviable craft room!  She lists " 7 sewing machines, tubs and tubs full of fabric, bins of threads, more tools that really are required, I think I have 6 rotary cutters, and endless supply of notions..." among her supplies!  Ok who can relate to that?? (And if you're not sure why 7 sewing machine seems perfectly normal - come see us! Click for store locations and hours.)

    Look at more of the beautiful work that comes out of that craft room - and her imagination and heart --

    Michele Rank 4Michele Rank 19Michele Rank 9Michele Rank 21

    What challenges you?  For Michele it's been zippers, buttonholes and curved/round piecing.  She now claims to love zippers - she's obviously mastered them, look at these bags -- Michele Rank 10Michele Rank 23

    As for curved/round piecing - " It only took time to jump in and start learning and playing around with these shapes."  Jump in - those are important words.  We hear about all kinds of "sewing fears" in the stores, the best way to get over any of them is - as Michele said - just jump in!  Now that we know our own teachers have their own challenges, let's make a plan to jump in and try something we've avoided, put off or feared - we'd love to hear your experience! You can reply here or share with us on Moore's Facebook page - nothing inspires like seeing/learning what others are doing! (Michele - your assignment is - buttonholes!!!)

    Every one of Moore's teachers teaches because they love it.  Each loves it for different reasons.  Michele's been sharing her love of creating for a long time - "In my background I was a consultant for a rubber stamping and scrapbooking company where I taught customers how to use product and design papercrafts. I did this for over 20 years & enjoyed sharing my passions. This just spilled over into quilting. Sharing and seeing what others have finished is a treat for me. I think quilting is such a social craft that started out in quilt bees. It is a natural transition for me to delight in seeing what others have made. And in turn If I can help share my talent with anyone else I am more than happy to do so. I love meeting new people and the teaching element is a pleasure to me."

    Michele Rank 20Michele Rank 5

    Of course whenever we ask our teachers what they love to do "sew!" is always the first answer. Michele also loves wildlife photography, gardening and laughing....  We love the diversity of interests and passions and random trivia she shared when we asked her to share more about herself --" I love color and patterns and love to mix up fabrics... Favorite color is purple... I drink water like a fish... I have had many jobs in my life but my greatest is my 3 children...

    (Check out these quilts she made for each of her boy's birthdays! Lucky guys!)

    Michele Rank 17Michele Rank 16Michele Rank 15

    Born and raised California girl... I have a 2 pets, a kitty that adopted us name "Chicken" and a rabbit named "Waffles"... If I hear music I most likely will start to sing... Laughter and friendship fill my sails... Asparagus is my favorite veggie & a pineapple is my favorite fruit.... Do not nap or watch TV during the day as a rule, unless I am sick... All time favorite vacation: Australian 2 month camping trip. But, put me in the mountains, dessert or beach & I will smile with glee...."

    We love your upbeat attitude Michele!  We're sure you'd like taking a class from her!  Please check Michele's classes online!  We hope to see more offerings in the future!

    Want more inspiration and help with finishing your beautiful quilts? Look at the upcoming Juki events at our Huntington Beach store --  just click the links below!

    Juki Walk Before You Run Quilting Event!

    Juki TL2200 Longarm Quilting Event!

    Everyone at Michele's house gets to wrap up in a quilt made with love and passion -

    Michele Rank 7

    We think it should be the same at your home!   Oh - and did we mention Michele's sense of humor? Well as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words...

    Michele Rank 24

    Thanks Michele!

  • Tip! Keep Those Hoops Clean and Happy with Felt Frames!

    March 29, 2016

    So many of the things we like to embroider are best "hooped" without actually hooping... towels, sweatshirts, velvets or other fabrics with nap, quilts where hoop marks may show. There are several options for doing this -

    One method to get these set to embroider is to use either a self adhesive sticky stabilizer such as Floriani Perfect Stick or Wet n Gone - find either of these in any Moore's  location in a variety of sizes -

    Floriani Perfect StickFloriani Wet n Gone

    But many prefer to hoop the stabilizer and use a spray adhesive to stick things down.  For this we recommend using a good tearaway or cutaway -

    Floriani Tearaway Medium Floriani Cutaway Medium

    Floriani Tearaway or Cutaway are also available in a variety of sizes and colors to fit all your needs!  (Please come in to any of our locations for a free stabilizer consult!) Then use a spray adhesive such as 505 or KK2000

    505 Spray Large Get 505!

    Sulky KK2000Get KK2000!

    to affix the item to the stabilizer.  (For best stitching results, use a basting stitch a little larger than your design to tack your project to the stabilizer. Some machines have a built in basting functions, some have built in frame designs that can work as a basting function.  Our free guide classes or special projects classes can teach you how!  Click here to browse classes! Or just come on in to find out more!)

    Spray adhesive is a great tool, something always good to keep on hand as it has more uses than just hooping (it's an excellent quilt baster!). But it can leave a sticky residue on your hoops, allowing dust or dirt to stick to them, eventually looking and feeling pretty grimey. Cleaning can be time consuming and troublesome.  Here's our really quick, simple solution -- fast to make, it doesn't have to be perfect, but it will keep your hoops in perfect shape!  Felt frames -

    Felt Frame 1

    We used regular craft felt to create these "hoop guards".  Start with a piece of felt larger than your hoop. Lay it on top of your hoop, Use a marking pen that works on felt and draw a line on the felt a bit inside the hoop - about 1/2" inside the inner hoop.  Cut out that inner portion to create a felt "frame".  Once you've hooped your stabilizer, lay your hoop on a flat surface, lay the felt frame on top, and spray the adhesive aiming straight down onto the stabilizer.  Lift your felt frame and - your hoop's nice and clean!

    Felt Frame 2

    Now go stitch something... then bring it in to show off! We love to see what you make!

     

  • Tip! Prevent Needles From Falling Into Your Machine!

    March 21, 2016

    Have you ever had that moment while changing your serger needle when in an instant - it drops inside the machine? (It's ok... it's happened to most of us!)  But you don't want your machine's performance compromised with a stray needle.

    When changing serger needles, place a piece of paper under the presser foot large enough to cover the needle opening and machine bed -  and avoid dropping needles into machine where they can be impossible to find.

    And have you ever accidentally turned that little needle screw just one twist too far and - it's gone?! This will keep them in sight too! (But we recommend using a needle holder and turning the screw VERY slightly just until it's loose enough to change the needle - it doesn't have to be too loose).

    Baby Lock has solved this with the Ovation serger - a needle drop tray with magnet is built into the machine (as well as a LOT of other innovation and convenience to make serging even more fun - come on in and let us show you!)

    Ovation 1

    Check out all the features - including a BIG work space, knee lift, speed control, LED lighting - and Moore! - on the Baby Lock Ovation! Click here!

     

  • Tip! Storing Those Patterns....

    January 26, 2016

    If you're like some of us, you may have collected a few patterns ... maybe more than a few ... a few hundred ... thousand?!  (It's ok. Your secret's safe with us! We completely understand how the collection grows and grows...)

    It's the perfect time of year to build your free storage system for those patterns - Girl Scout Cookie time is here!

    We found the cardboard cartons that the cookie boxes come in are perfectly sized for pattern storage.  You can cover them with fabric (we know you have a stash...), decorative adhesive paper to match your sewing area, or just leave them in their natural state!

    When you buy Girl Scout cookies you're helping girls (and your sweet tooth!) in so many ways. And it's a big help to offer to take those containers off their hands and recycle them for good use in your sewing space!

    Girl Scout Cookie Boxes
  • Tip! Saving Money On Machine Embroidery 1

    January 16, 2016

    Don't you just love your embroidery machine?  You can customize anything to match your decor or clothing perfectly, make fantastic gifts designed just for your recipient, even create entire quilts or quilt in your hoop! We're always asked when someone gets their first machine how much thread or what color threads they should get.

    Floriani 100 Thread Set 3

    We recommend doing a test stitch out before embroidering on your actual item or starting a project. And we understand that does use your thread and supplies.  But doing so saves money and time by avoiding mistakes. You can save by buying more...

    Floriani 100 Thread Set 1

    Our Floriani thread sets are a great investment for a new or experienced embroider. Ask your Moore's associate about special pricing on these (we can't even advertise it here!). Going to Road to California? We'll be there January 21-24, 2016 -- ask us there (tell us you read about it here ;)  You can download the whole Road to California Buyer's Guide from our website!)

    You'll find that your cost per spool is a fantastic deal. "But I won't use some of these colors..." - those are the colors you can use in your sample stitchouts to check for size, density, fill, etc.!  You won't use up the colors you do want in your thread collection, but you'll have gotten them - and your test threads better priced!

    Floriani 100 Thread Set 2

    They come in 100 spool sets (three different sets!), and newest colors in a 60 spool set -

    Floriani 60 Thread Set

    The surest way to know you always have the color you need on hand is, of course, to get all 360 colors! Even if you can't get the all at once, start with one of the 100 spool sets - you'll have a great selection for your first projects and maybe even a color or few that aren't your favorites that you'll use to tryout your design!

    Happy stitching!

     

  • Tip! How to Use Your Seam Ripper

    December 15, 2015

    Clover Seam Ripper

    Get this seam ripper!

    We all know how to use a seam ripper - right?!  Some of us get a LOT of practice!

    Have you ever ripped/torn something you didn't mean to? Poked yourself with that sharp tip?

    What if you found out you were using your seam ripper incorrectly? (Don't be embarrassed... some of us have been doing this our entire sewing life!)  We often use this important tool with the longer, pointed side down.  Unfortunately sometimes that means that sharp point rips through something we didn't want to, or gets caught up in threads and interferes with our "ripping momentum".

    Turn it the other way - long sharp point on top - short side with "ball" protector on  the bottom.  You won't tear through something from below with this protection, and you really can rip through a much longer seam faster and more efficiently.  Such an easy thing to do for faster, better results!  Photos below show you what we're talking about!  (The project shown is a quilt in progress made from Bali Pops - these beautiful Bali fabrics come packaged in coordinating strips in a variety of colorways and themes featuring batiks and even some metallic glitz! They're versatile in so many ways for quilts and other projects.  Visit a Moore's location to get a real look at their beauty and get inspired!)

    Seam Ripper 2 Seam Ripper 1

     

    We really like the Clover Seam Ripper shown above - click the link or photo to get yours!  It fits so many hand sizes and the grip makes it easy to hold onto for greater precision!

     

  • Sew Steady = Sew Better!

    December 11, 2015

    Except for the very smallest projects, when we sew we usually have fabric falling all over beyond the sewing machine... Think about those quilts, clothing items, large home dec pieces, and more.

    The bigger or heavier or stretchier or more fluid the item, the more it can fight you in the sewing process resulting in less than optimum stitching, and frustration fighting with your project instead of loving your sewing time!

    Our BIG Sew Steady Wish Table will be your new sewing BFF!  (And - it's Made in the USA!)

    Sew Steady Wish 2 - Copy

    Get one now - Save almost $100!

    The Wish table is so named because it includes the wishes of sew many quilters and sewers alike!  First - it's BIG. Size does matter! A huge 22-1/2" x 25-1/2", it adds support for large projects (and small!) and keeps your fabric moving easily!  Working with knits? Bias? It's especially important to keep these supported to avoid stretching out of shape!

    But it's more than a table --

    The beveled edges are smooth and fabric friendly, no snags or catches and fabric moves easily over the edge.  A 9"x14" compartmentalized notions/accessory drawer is built in so your most needed tools are right there for you without moving away from the machine -

    Sew Steady Wish 5

    Yes - I want it!

    The Circle Sewing Tool is included - you can easily stitch circles from about 2" to over 20", 3/8" apart.  Quilt your blocks with a single or concentric circles for an echo effect.  Use those gazillion decorative stitches for embellishment! You're only limited by your imagination! And you'll have full support from your table as you rotate your fabric!

    Sew Steady Wish 6

    Okay! Put it in my cart!

    Forget looking around for your measuring tape or hem gauge - the Universal Table Grid provides a ruler and grid for easy measuring while you sit at your machine! 30, 45 and 60 degree angles are also marked!

    Sew Steady Wish 4

    This is a time saver - put it in my bag!

    Your table's not going to wiggle while you work - the added Table Lock keeps everything firmly in place -

    Sew Steady Wish 3 - Copy

    Yes! Let's lock in this special price! 

    And if you'd like to take it to class, a retreat, sewing with friends, or just can't leave it up all the time (we understand sometimes you actually have to use the dining table - for dining!) - we're including the large 26"x26" Travel Bag - FREE!  It has a convenient double zipper, outside pocket and large inside pocket to store your tools!  The table and all it comes with is a $200 value... with the Travel Bag total value is $248!

    Our Holiday Special - get the whole package - for just $149!

    Your table is custom made to fit YOUR machine.  Sewing machine - or serger! Sew - if you're using your serger (and if you're not come see us so we can figure out how to make that happen!), you need one of these for your serger too!  Knits and costume fabrics will be especially easier!

    Just click the photo or link below and we'll make your holiday wish come true!

    Sew Steady Wish 1

    Save nearly $100 - Order NOW!

     

     

     

  • Tip! An Inch is an Inch ... or is it?!

    December 3, 2015

    6beveled-wood-ruler-extralarge-57862[1]

    An inch is an inch is... not an inch?!

    We hope you won't be far into a project before getting an ugly surprise like this!

    Truth is, not all measuring tools measure equally.  Some can be the slightest little bit off, others can be marked with lines or markings so thick that there's variation in what "an inch" really is.  This may not matter sometimes if being a little off isn't going to show or affect your project. For example, 1/16" in a 5/8" seam allowance on a garment may not be the difference between "fits" and "doesn't fit" (though it does add up if you have a lot of seams!).  But if you need a precise 1/4" for a perfectly pieced quilt - 1/16" is BIG!

    Sticking with one measuring tool throughout a project will ensure consistent measurements.  We know sometimes that's just  not realistic, but at least choose the tool that will be your benchmark and check any other rulers, tapes, or measuring devices against it before marking or cutting to see if you need to accommodate any variance.

    Do you still have mom's or grandma's cloth measuring tape?  We often get requests for a cloth (vs. plastic) tape. The problem with these is that they can stretch over time and not really measure just what they say.  So keep it around with any of her other sewing goodies for sentimental reasons, but invest a small amount in a new tape like the one below which has large easy to read numbers, won't stretch, fray or fade. Check your hem gauges, grids, rulers and other measuring tools and record any notes about how each of these critical tools may differ vs. your "benchmark' measuring tool.

    60 Inch Tape Measure

    Buy it now!

  • Projects: We love the new Janome Flower Stitch Attachment!

    November 3, 2015

    We are loving this Janome Flower Stitch Attachment and we think you will too!  No waiting for "April showers" for beautiful flowers! Even if you don't have a machine with a gazillion stitches, you can create a gazillion different flowers with this attachment. It makes custom eyelets too!  It looks like a serious piece of equipment -

    JANOME Flower Stitch Attachment 1

    Click here to get one!

    But it's really easy to use and makes lovely, delicate or bold creations!

    Here's how easy it is to create different flowers -

    Change the circle size OR

    Change the stitch OR

    Change the stitch width OR

    ...change any combination of these!  Changing thread colors will make your bouquet even more colorful

    JANOME Flower Stitch Attachment 2

    Not sure what you'd use it for? Janome has provided some projects to get you started - first, a Flower Stitch Apron! Great for the kitchen or even the garden!

    Flower Stitch Project 1

    Click the link below to get instructions!

    Janome Flower Stitch Apron

    Or how about this Flower Stitch Knit Yoke? (Even if you think it's something you wouldn't use - try out the technique. You could use this on a knit fabric to create your own "fabric" and make infinity scarves!)

    Flower Stitch Project 2

    Here are the instructions -- Janome Flower Stitch Knit Yoke

    Janome's also given us some "experiments" you can try out with your Flower Stitch Attachment (these are easy - and FUN experiments - it's not like chemistry lab!!).  These show you how the flowers on the stem above were created  --  Janome Flower Stitcher

    You can order your Flower Stitch Attachment from the Moore's Blog Store - Click HERE - or come on in to any of  Moore's locations and let us show you how much fun you're going to have!

    Nancy Fiedler, Janome of America Educator, has also prepared some easy Tips & Hints to get the best results with your Flower Stitch Attachment - thanks, Nancy!  You can download it here -Janome Flower Stitcher Tips

    Now.... what are YOU going to make with your Flower Stitch Attachment?  We welcome you to share your projects on our Moore's Facebook page!

  • Tip! Storing Your Cutting Mat

    October 28, 2015
    Olfa Mat 24 x 36

    Cutting mats have become a regular part of our sewing tools haven't they?  Whether or not you're a quilter, you may well have one... or two... or more!  Different sizes, configurations, and markings make more than one necessary!

    But they are an investment and can be a large item to store. To protect your investment and keep your cutting mat in good condition we have some ideas for safe storage, especially if space is at a premium!

    1) Slide it under a bed. It's dark, it's cool, it's flat. It's a cutting mat's best friend (next to you!);

    2) Slide it behind a piece of furniture large enough that it will stay flat against the wall - a bookcase, dresser, drawers in your sewing room;

    3) Place it between the mattress and box springs of your bed;

    4) Hang it in the closet - it can be clipped to a hanger using clothespins or hangers with clips for hanging pants or skirts;

    5) Slide it between the washer and dryer;

    6) If you have a formal dining table with cover, hide it between the cover and table - place a piece of soft fabric beneath it to ensure your table is protected.

    Try not to roll it if not absolutely necessary. They can be reflattened, but not always fast enough for when you need to use it! And sometimes if they've been warped too badly the best plan to get the best results for your project is to replace your mat and use these storage tips from the start.

    And, no matter how beat you are after that great sewing class, quilting retreat, shopping spree - never leave it in your car!  Even if it seems flat, high temps - even higher in the car - can cause warping and damage. (But just in case something like this happened to you - we can fix you up with a new one!)

    Olfa Mat 24 x 36

    Buy me!

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