Sunday, April 18, 2010

A new toy!

A rather interesting week. I did get quite a lot of sewing done, putting an indian cotton quilt top together for Rosie's bed.

Its going to be a multi-coloured affair, using up pieces from my stash alongside the collection of indian cottons. Not sure what it will look like when it is finished. We shall see.

I'm just in the process of sewing together as many of these blocks as I either have fabric for, or until I have sufficient to make a top to cover the top of my daughter's bed. Then I shall sort out the remainder of the fabric needed.

In the process I made the uncomfortable decision that my old sewing machine really could not cope with the sort of sewing I really want to do. Basic sewing, fine, but it cannot cope with the free machine embroidery I love to do. It always did find quilting rather hard work............ Hence the plan to visit Jaycotts yesterday to check out the sewing machines.

I went into Chester with my younger daughter Rosemary who was home for the weekend. I stocked up with magazines.

After a quick visit to the city, we travelled on to Jaycotts. This is a brilliant place. Here they sell sewing machines, haberdashery, sewing tables, overlockers (sergers), embroidery machines, and all kinds of paraphernalia for sewers. They are so knowledgeable too, willing to answer queries over the phone. Such a helpful place.

After a delightful playtime, I chose this machine. I just could not go home without it.

It is my new toy and I am having a lovely time getting to know it well.

After Jaycotts we went on to take in an exhibition by Chester Ps and Qs. This was a lovely small exhibition where the group had joined forces with a local photographer, ~David Cummings. Sadly, I took no photographs myself.

Rosie and I picked up some Liberty fabric.

These are mine and will be added to my collection as soon as they are washed.

One thing I was very taken by at the exhibition was the beadwork. It was exquisite, not very readily photographed by my own camera. Small hexagons linked by a row of fine beads to the next hexagon instead of using stitch. This looked lovely with the sunshine lighting it through the windows. All stitched by hand.

The photographer (David Cummings) had taken some photographs in Switzerland. It was so nice to see some small quilts using the same theme. What a lovely idea to have quilts and photography sharing the same exhibition space. It strikes me that perhaps this is something small quilt groups could imitate, sharing space with other crafts. It might bring a wider audience to each of the crafts sharing the exhibition space.

On the way home, Rosie and I indulged ourselves with a visit to a bookshop.

I bought these two books for my bookshelf. The Art Nouveau book is for my own Art education. I am trying hard to get around to reading more about Art History. My own knowledge is lamentably rusty.

The book about Trapunto and Boutis came home with me because I only have brief information about these in one of the magazines I have. I rather fancy trying to add more texture into some of my projects. The detailed instructions in this book certainly give me more chance of achieving some raised texture.

After we got home, I spent the evening getting to know my new friend. It was so strange not to be using a Husqvarna. In Jaycotts, I had been far more impressed with this Brother machine than any of the others. Having been shown how to use it for free machine embroidery in the shop, I really could not bear the thought of coming back to buy it at a later date. I chose to get some additional quilting feet rather than take advantage of the free trolley bag the machine should have come with. It already had a lovely large sewing table for use when quilting. (This hasn't been taken out of it's box yet.)
Just for your information, Brother seems to have a much more interesting American site here.

Ah well, back to some sewing. I am already becoming more confident in finding how to achieve the quarter-inch seams I need at the moment. Oh, I must add that Rosie was relieved to realise that the machine she has borrowed now belongs to her.


Toni said...

Oh fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

knitsamadworld said...

Ooo, new toys, love them. That's the knitting on the backburner for a bit then?

Mandy said...

Well, when I get tired of sewing I knit. Or while I'm thinking what to do next.
The nice thing about the knitting is that I can take it almost everywhere with me. I can't do that with this sewing machine, though it will come with me to Quilting Group. I can't take my knitting there............
All in all, the progress on the knitting will probably slow down a little and the sewing will speed up.

Rhonda said...

Hi there. Rhonda here. I've just found your blog and have become a "follower". Congrats on your new machine........I have a Janome11000 that I'm loving and a Pfaff that I couldn't give up...LOL....I hope to visit your blog often and hope you can pop over to mine.
Take care.

Mandy said...

Thanks so much for becoming a follower of my quilt, Rhonda. Reading your Blog, I see we have quite a lot in common.
Teaching and Quilting being two of these!
Have fun!