Sewing machines

I’m about to buy a new sewing machine. I’m so excited but I’m also feeling nostalgic and thinking of all the machines I owned or used and all the projects I have accomplished with them. Please join my trip down memory lane to meet all my “ladies”.

I bought my first sewing machine in 2010 while living in Australia. I was keen to learn how to sew but not willing to spend big bucks as I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it. I went to a flea market once and noticed two sewing machines, I didn’t know if they were in working condition and the guy who was selling them had no clue either. I managed to bargain one for $80.

P1140117

It was a Singer 319K from 1954. I loved the colour and the more I discovered about this machine, the more I loved it. The person that owned the machine before was a very tidy person and all the accessories (disc, bobbins, feet, instruction manual, etc) remained in excellent condition.

My – then boyfriend, now husband – spent an entire evening testing the machine and adjusting it. I had no clue how to wind a bobbin or adjust the tension and he showed me. Where did that come from? This is when I knew he was a keeper, ha!

levers

My machine wasn’t modern for sure but I loved her to bits. She worked perfectly fine and had so much charm with her levers and “fashion discs”. Unfortunately, when I left Australia, I couldn’t bring her with me as she was very heavy and it would have costed me a fortune to ship her across the globe. I wasn’t sure it was worth it as all I was doing with her was “trying” to sew garments (without much success to be honest). I regret now, she still holds a special place in my heart and I would not hesitate to travel with her again. Funny how you can be attached to some objects.

My second sewing machine was offered to me by my husband (still boyfriend at that time) while we were living in London, about a year after settling in the city.

P1220012

It was a simple sewing machine from the British department store “John Lewis”. I loved her as she was bright red. Such an important feature for a sewing machine, isn’t it? I had lots of fun with her experimenting with sewing projects and sewed my first few quilts with her. I even took her in a trip to Paris to spend a week at my husband’s grandma place for some family sewing lessons.

The next two machines don’t belong to me but I have so many good memories with them.

Cat2

This first one was borrowed from my sister-in-laws while we went back to France with my husband to prepare our wedding. I kept her for a couple of months and worked on many projects for the wedding as well as two quilts and baby gifts. Such a simple machine (Singer smart 2) but it helped me a great deal.

The second one is the one I still use to date. It is a  Bernette 56 and belongs to my flatmate here in New-Zeeland. My flatmate was kind enough to leave her machine in the living room and I have used it a lot (about 10 quilts). It was quite difficult to settle down in NZ and find a full-time job. From time to time, I wouldn’t be working for weeks. Which was hard on the finance and quite lonely to be honest. This sewing machine was my only kiwi friend. I would spent days working on it creating beautiful gift for my “far away” friends. Fortunately, my situation is better now, and I can afford to buy a machine of my own.

Sewing machines are a bit like boyfriends, aren’t they? Sometimes you have a big crush, sometimes it last for years, sometimes it doesn’t work out and sometimes, well..it’s just a one night stand. Ultimately though, you are looking for THE one.

With that in mind, I would categorise my third category as “one night stand” as I only used them for one project or even less.

sewing machine2

I borrowed the first one from a friend when I was visiting France to finish one project. I bought the second one from a colleague but it only lasted for two weeks (he refunded me) and the third one was borrowed from my boss (while working on an upholstery workshop). This machine was normally used to repair his camping gears or sailing gears and I didn’t managed to make it work for my delicate quilt fabric. It was a nice offer but I gave it back the next day.

So, now you know all about my relationship with my previous sewing machines. All these machines were quite basic and I’m now ready to jump towards the computerised side. I’m thinking about a Janome 6030! I still need some time to make up my mind but I can’t wait to work on my new machine.

Please tell me what sewing machine you currently use and if you would advise it to someone or not. You can also tell me about your dream machine.

Advertisements

Arizona

Ok, people, I’ve done it again: I bought new fabric, yay!

I promised myself not to buy too many fabric since I don’t know for how long we are in NZ for but… I actually can finish this sentence in so many different ways as we all have many excuses to buy fabric (and I’m sure you know what I mean). My excuse this time was that I recently started a full time job (as opposed to working casually or not working at all), so I could afford to treat myself. This bundle is my “celebration” fabric. The funny part is that I am now working full time in a craft shop that also sell quilt fabric. Temptation, temptation!

I probably like everything from Art Gallery fabrics, but I decided to go for the Arizona line from April Rhodes this time. I even bought the coordinating fat quarter bundle to go with it. I loved the designs and the colours.

IMG_8307

I surely wasn’t disappointed when I open my mail, the fabric line and the colours are fantastic!

IMG_8309

Now, I need to figure out what to do with them. I feel like some of the print shouldn’t be cut in small pieces, so I’m not sure what quilt design to chose. I will probably keep it as it is for a while, admiring it and “pet” it from time to time (please tell me I’m not the only one doing that).

IMG_8311If you bought this fabric line and have done a project with it, please let me know. I love watching other projects for inspiration.

Linking up with:

molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button

Hot watter bottle cover

I was pondering what to do with my FMQ practice sandwiches for a while. I don’t like throwing and wasting “stuff”, especially food and fabric. Then, it hit me: we were using a hot water bottle and feeling the boiling plastic isn’t a nice feeling. It was time for a hot water bottle quilted cover.

I know everyone is talking about summer trend, summer holidays, swimming and beach at the moment but here in New-Zeeland, we are in the middle of winter and let me tell you that it is freezing! So a hot water bottle cover was very appropriate.

I’m not a big fan of following patterns (I get bored), I have more fun doing my own things and learning with the trial and error method. So, I decided to just go with the flow as a hot water bottle cover seems a pretty simple thing to do.

IMG_7969

I didn’t even trace the design, just went straight with cutting my FMQ sandwiches.

IMG_7970

I cut one side bigger than the other one and cut it in the middle. This would be used as a flap for the opening.

IMG_7972

I added bindings on the openings (middle and top). I liked the idea that the top was actually open to be able to pour boiling water without needing to remove the hot water bottle out of its cover.

IMG_7975

And here you go. I agree, it’s a bit wonky on the sides but I like it anyway. The only thing I would change if I was making a second one, is to overlap more the top panel.

IMG_7982

My hot water bottle cover in action:IMG_7986

It’s so nice to feel warm quilted fabric now when falling asleep.

What would you use your practice FMQ sandwiches for? I’m keen to hear many project ideas as I am planing on doing more FMQ practice soon.

Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts:

Finished Fridaylinksaturdaylink

Finish along quarter 3

I know it’s technically too late to take part on the Finish along quarter 3 from Katy at the littlest thistle (I always find out of these things too late) but I decided to play along anyway. This means that I won’t be able to win any prizes but it will (hopefully) helps me finishing some of my WIP and I will also discover new quilting blogs.

Finish Along 2014

So, my list of WIP quilts to finish is:

  1. Triangles
  2. xoxo
  3. Tiles
  4. Pin-wheel star
  5. Brick wall
  6. Irish chain

PicMonkey Collage quilt finish alongThe goal is to finish them all by 30th September.

Snowflake quilt for baby Léonie

Hello there! Remember my snowflake WIP? It is now finished and enjoyed by a beautiful baby girl in France. Now that my friend received the quilt, I can share it with you.

I went to my local long arm quilter and chose a snowflake all-over pattern (there is no such thing as too many snowflakes, right?). The quilting result was fab, I couldn’t be happier! I love long arm machine! IMG_7766

Here are some details of the quilting:IMG_7768 IMG_7770

As usual a hand sew the binding on the reverse.

IMG_7771

As I knew the little girl’s name, I’ve added a label with her name. Don’t you love the quilting on the back?

IMG_7793

A new quilt finished:
IMG_7780I can’t wait to see that one in good use on a chalet in the French mountains…

Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts:

Finished Fridaylinksaturdaylink