Thursday, February 10, 2005


I saw this quilt in the latest issue of Inspired House and really like the bold colors. Posted by Hello

I'm not really a quilter but quilting is what got me back into sewing and is responsible for the expensive Pfaff sewing machine in my sewing room...and more. I have never even completed a real quilt! But there's always hope. About 6 years ago I signed up for a quilting class at a local quilt fabric store, thinking that if I took the class I might actually finish something (ha!). I didn't know that you were supposed to bring a sewing machine to the class, so I ended up using the instructor's New Home machine. I was amazed. It sewed so nicely compared to the cheap Singer model I had at home.

One day my husband and I were out shopping and decided to check out a sewing machine store that had a big neon Pfaff sign in the window. My mother has a Pfaff sewing machine and I thought maybe I'd look at sergers since she'd been suggesting I get one. At the time I wasn't sewing clothes, so I don't know why I was even looking at sergers, but I guess it was a case of having money to buy one and it seemed like a good idea. The saleswoman asked me what kind of sewing I did and having just taken the quilting class, I gleefully replied "quilting." Huh? I'd taken one class and hadn't even finished the quilt! The saleswoman showed me the Pfaff machines, touting how the built-in walking foot feature is perfect for quilting. She worked her way up from the basic model to the top of the line. Oooh. The top of the line. It had oodles of fancy stitches and even embroidered complicated designs that could be downloaded from the computer. The walls of the shop and the saleswoman's apron were covered with samples of colorful cartoon characters, flowers, and motifs. The possibilities seemed endless. "Think of the gifts I could make!" I thought. My husband looked at the four-digit price and said nonchalantly, "we can afford it." My head was spinning to own such a fancy machine. The Singer at home cost less than $200 (and sure sewed like it). I suggested that if I bought a lesser machine I could also buy the serger I originally thought about getting. The saleswoman offered that if we bought the top of the line, she'd throw in a basic serger instead of the free computer software offered with the sewing machine. "Oh, what a deal!" I thought. (Later I ended up buying the software, so I guess it wasn't that great of a deal). After more hemming and hawing and urging from my husband (can you believe it?), we bought the machine. And then some. Realizing that the machines would end up occupying the dining room table, we purchased a fancy and expensive cabinet to house both sewing machine and serger. Wrap 'em up.

Fortunately the dealer offered free lessons on how to use my new machine and for the next few Saturdays I learned how to use the stretch stitch, the zipper foot, and make buttonholes. I learned a bit about digitizing and embroidering and realized there's quite a learning curve to doing it well.

Now that we'd spent a pile of cash on these machines I of course felt required to do something with them so I began to make clothing. I started with baby clothes for my friend's new baby and eventually I braved a garment - a corduroy jumper, which I never hemmed and never wore. I learned to sew as a child but only sewed sporadically over the years, making a few simple garments and home dec items. Having the expensive machine has compelled me to use it and I do enjoy the craft. Since buying the Pfaff I've made a few decent items that I've actually worn and even took some classes in tailoring and trouser moulage from Kenneth King. I've used the embroidery feature to embellish garments, baby blankets, and pillowcases, but unfortunately embroidering takes a lot of time from initial design to stitching it out. Recently I've turned my attention back to quilts, but always the perfectionist and looking for a challenge, I decided to tackle miniature quilts.

My sewing machine collection has also grown - a top of the line serger was added a few years ago and last year I bought a second sewing machine. My fabric stash is enormous. Boxes of fabric are stacked in closets and in a cargo trailer in our driveway. My sewing supplies have taken over half of one spare bedroom and are now invading the guest room. It all started with one quilt class. I eventually finished the quilt top...but never quilted it (sigh). Someday.

1 comment:

  1. She who has the most fabrics wins...sounds like you are in the running! :D