Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good News, Bad News, Good News...

The good news is, I got a call that my sewing machine was ready to pick-up. Whoo Hoo! I rushed right out to get it, even though this disrupted my time in the studio. But how could I resist getting it back so I could finish up my totebag. Here it is, looking really cute, I think. I set my Viking Sapphire at leather settings to punch my way through the multiple layers attaching straps to body; it barely complained, although it did skip a few stitches in the toughest places - I chalk that up to the adhesive on the fusible fleece, which by the way, gives the bag very nice body.

Here's the inside of the bag, showing the french seam that totally encases the raw edges of the sides. To make a french seam, you sew wrong sides together first, turn inside out, then sew a second seam slightly wider than the first. If you click on the picture, you may be able to see the line of stitching that creates the box bottom.

So what's the bad news, you may be wondering? The repairman couldn't find anything wrong with my machine, couldn't make it do what it was doing to me. Oh, I am not surprised, seems to be my luck to always have intermittent problems that no one else is experiencing. He even called Viking to inquire and they were clueless as well. I guess I will have to do more careful troubleshooting to see if I can pin down exactly how it is set up when I have the problem. The good news? He didn't charge me anything, since there was nothing to fix and nothing to clean. In fact, he said it shouldn't need a servicing for several more years based on what he saw inside. I thought I'd sewn a lot with it, but I'm pretty diligent about cleaning out the lint on a regular basis. Not the first time a repairman has told me there was little lint lurking in the works.

Once I finished up the totebag, I returned to my original plan for the day. Here is the top border for my exchange block quilt. I spent some time on the computer trying out different fonts for the lettering and printing out samples. It immediately became clear that this lettering is too small to easily hand applique, and I don't want to fuse the letters down because all the rest of the applique in the quilt is hand done. So now I'm thinking I'll stencil them on with either acrylic paint or Paintstiks.
That's one reason the center isn't traced over with the Sharpie pen yet . The other is that I'm still playing with ways to resolve the ends of the vines. If you click on the picture for the larger view, you can see that I've penciled different ideas over the top of one another which makes it very hard to envision how each would actually work. I eventually remembered I had some sheets of clear plastic, and traced three different versions on it. That way I can erase those pencil lines and overlay the various options on the sheets to audition the effects.

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