I’m still here! This past month has been crazy and very little quilting has been happening. I did finish one of my gifts for my swap buddy on SpriteStitch, but until I finish her other gifts and she receives them, I can’t post pictures.
Yesterday, I took a class at Quality Sewing to make a canvas tote bag. I have very little experience in making 3D items (bags, clothes, etc). There was a Groupon for this class so I decided to take it. It was really fun and fast to make this bag. I was in the classroom for about 2 hours. They provided all of the material and we used their machines. The machine was a Brother embroidery and sewing machine and the first thing that we did was embroider our bag. Then we switched to the sewing mode and assembled the bag. Even though I would rarely use it, I desperately want an embroidery machine now.
The inside of the bag:
I have a Bernina and before that a Husqvarna. I also had a Tin Lizzie longarm in my old life in Arizona. All of them have the presser foot lever behind the machine. I don’t know if it’s all Brothers or these machines in particular, but the press foot lever was on the side. The teacher said “lower your presser foot” and I was rubbing my hand all over the back of the machine and couldn’t find it! After about 30 seconds of me being confused and her saying “just put the foot down”, she had to show me where the lever was. I felt special.
The weirdest thing was that the machines didn’t have a foot pedal. You press a button and it starts sewing at a constant speed. To speed up or slow down the machine, you move a slider. It was an interesting experience. When I sew, I’m usually holding my material really carefully and firmly to make sure it stays where I want it to be, so having to think that I needed to let go and move my hand to a certain button and press a certain thing to get it to stop was difficult. I much prefer the almost subconscious way I do that with a pedal. They also had regular pins rather than the silk pins which I use religiously. Since they were regular pins (thicker), we couldn’t sew over them. I had a “how do I sew if I can’t sew over pins?” moment and ended up sewing without pinning for most of the bag. You can also set the machine to automatically backstitch and cut the thread, which was pretty spiffy. And it told you when the bobbin was low.
It was a great experience and a fun class, once I figured out how to use the machine. I’m thinking that everyone is getting a bag for Christmas.