Top Quilting Tips – No. 6 – Pimp Your Machine
In our countdown to the start of quilting here’s tip number 6
OK your sewing machine has been dusted and cleaned but what about some customisation? You personalise your other possessions. Do you have those family stickers on the back windscreen of the car? Do you have the personalised address labels for your snail mail? Have you put a little dangly charm on your phone? Then what about your sewing machine?
Don’t laugh – one of my customers who runs a retreat at Lake Tahoe – ooh there’s an excursion waiting to happen – tells me that all the girls buy Singer Featherweights for retreats and take them to an auto shop for a custom body spray.
Now down here in Oz I haven’t seen something quite so drastic but here’s my Top 5 suggestions…
1. Antenna Toppers – not the foxtail please. No sewing machines don’t actually have aerials but think outside the box and you come up with a thread holder. You will need one if you’re using special thread such as metallic or even some of our lovely Wonderfil Mirage (Intentional Product Endorsement there did you notice?).
Now I’m not talking about putting the spool of thread in a coffee cup beside your machine (just me?). What you need is a proper stand-alone spool holder.
I use one of these and find that it makes my sewing, especially thread painting, SEW much easier.
2. Bumper stickers – No I’m not suggesting you cover Betsy with ‘My Other Machine is a Bernina’ or ‘Ask Me About Sewing’ – actual stickers I kid you not.
Rather than shame your machine think practical. The most practical I know are the Qtools Sewing Edge.
These little beauties stick to the plate on your machine to help you guide fabric towards the perfect 1/4″ seam. And don’t think it’s only beginners who can benefit from these babies. When you’re driving on into the night your eyeballing may not be what it once was.
3. Under The Bonnet – you checked your bobbins in yesterday’s task so now you need to check your needles.
Working with worn or bent needles will only give you grief. We’re talking tension problems or stitches dropped or shredded. The size of the needle has to match the fabric you’re using as well as the thread. I can see we’ll have to talk more about this.
4. Covers – not seat covers or wheel covers but a cover for your machine. Let’s face it – the rigid white covers that come with the vehicle are very ho-hum. So here is your chance to really individualise your machine AND add a project to your UFO list. Create that Wow factor by making a sewing machine cover that says you. Here’s one I saw in France and I bought the kit so it’s on my list AND I’ve actually started the project.
Maybe you want to be practical
or maybe a little more whimsical
Here’s your chance to make a cover that says you. It can be retro, modern, bright, neutral – whatever tales your fancy. In true how-do-I-look style you can chang your ride from a fashion victim to a fashionista.
5. Lights – so your car might have headlights, tail lights, fog lights, bumper lights and brake lights. What makes you think you don’t need to see as clearly when you’re accelerating through a section of chain stitching or a particularly tricky foundation pieced project?
You don’t necessarily need a miner’s light but hey – if it works:
Maybe a laser light (say what?):
Try to use ambient and task lighting with some magnification if you need it. Daylight light is best (you can buy bulbs with this feature – we have them in the classroom – who knew?). We don’t want you to end up with eye strain so watch those peepers.
Missed some of the series – click on the links here to take you back