Rose's Quilting Blog

Koo-Wee-Rup Quilt Show

 

Good morning everyone,
This is just a really short posting today, as due to a problem with the NBN, I haven't had any internet since the last weekend. My technician has now managed to get me back up and running temporarily, but once it drops out again that could be it for days....

So I'm just wanting to invite you all to come along to the Koo-Wee-Rup Quilt show on Saturday 24th June 2017. There'll be many quilts for you all to see, many stall holders and I'll be one of the Guest Artists for the day. Because it's a one day show it'll be running for longer hours, being 9.30 am until 5.30 pm. so a full day it'll be.

I'll be there with my large quilts, as well as many smaller sample pieces, my paperback books, 3 different titles in total, I'll also have my fabric selector tools with me and will demonstrate how I use these to make fantastic fabric choices. I'll also have other bit's and pieces there as well. So please do come along, have a chat to me and ask me any questions you like and hopefully I'll be able to answer them, remember to pick yourself up a book mark from my table as well....these are always a handy thing to have.

 

So do come and say a cheery Hello and make sure that you introduce yourself. I always love to chat...it's one of the things that I do best !!!!

Also this coming Saturday 17th June is Waverley Patchworkers Quilt in.
This is always a brilliant day to be had, lots of laughter, chatter and always good food. I'm not sure if I'll make it this time round, hoping to but I have another commitment as well.

Remember you can also check these books out right HERE if you choose to.
This NEW revamped Sewing Machine Extension Table book won't show online today, hopefully tomorrow all going well with my internet.

Anyway this is it for today,
I will be back again real soon with something else for you all.

Make sure that your day is absolutely brilliant.

Rose



The Horror of a dye run, & How to easily remove Dye Runs from your quilt.

Good morning to you all,

and once again it's a brilliant morning here, the magpies are warbling in the big gum tree in the neighbors yard, and there are Kookaburras sitting on our back gate laughing away as only kookaburras do, the air is still and not even a touch of a breeze.

It's the first day of winter here and looking out my office window, the sky is grey, which has created an amazing backdrop to all the different shades of the trees, their leaves and the bark itself. There are golds and browns, then the very olive coloured leaves of the olive trees, the greenness of the Gum tree leaves. There's many pots filled with bulbs that are all poking their new tips out through the soil, and starting to stand tall and proud.

Anyway what I'm going to be talking about today is......

something that I often get asked about and have written about several times now, including in my 100 Inspirational tips to help you on your quilting journey book.

I'm wanting to ask you all today,
just what you would do if after you had spent time planning, buying fabric, cutting, sewing, making and quilting and falling in love with your new master piece, and on its first washing it had a couple of ……

Major Dye Runs?

Now what would you actually do?

You possibly wouldn't really know until it actually happened, as many things in life are like that.

This happened to me when I had finished my A Caterpillars Dream quilt......

after having spent 2 years and 8 months of working on the one quilt.I needed to wash the quilt to remove all the blue wash away markings that I had used throughout this quilt during it's making.



The evening before I was to wash this quilt,
I had wet a piece of white cloth, and I went over these most beautiful “Hand Dyed” fabrics just to make sure that the colour was holding and would not run. When I purchase new material, it always goes straight into the laundry, to be washed and treated, before it ever goes anywhere near the sewing room.

I would gently rub this wet piece of fabric over each of the hand dyed pieces....
and then check the white fabric after each rub. It would show clean with no colour on it all. Feeling comfortable with this, I quickly made my way around the whole quilt. When almost at the end of these fabrics, I happened to glance back over the area that I had first started checking, and yes you will have guessed it, to my absolute horror, a very deep pink /red fabric had definitely run.

I now had a rather large pink area on the lemon fabric!!!!!

It was a moment of total disbelief……………..
What was I to do?
Strangely, particularly for me, I was very calm about getting this “dye run” out of my quilt, and knew that there was now nothing that I could do about this until morning came around once again.


I reached into my cupboard and pulled out a very magic potion....
that works like a miracle, and is very is to obtain....
Tell me you say, as you want to know just what is this magic potion. Hmmm... you need to keep reading.
Now first of all, I had to wet this quilt with straight cold water to wash all the blue wash away marking pens out of the fabric, as if I used hot water on these, there was a huge chance that they would turn grey and set forever. So I draped the quilt over the rungs on the clothes line, and with the garden hose, yes the garden hose, I proceeded to wash the blue markings out of the quilt.

Did I just feel you all cringe at the above explanation,…
Hanging a quilt on the clothes line, then using the garden hose?
Well, this is what I do to release the amount of blue wash away markings,  as for this particular quilt I had used approx 20 marking pens. You must support your quilt well though.

While I was busy doing the hosing, Geoff was keeping an eye on the quilt to make sure it was supported well, as with the weight of the water, it was now very heavy.


Geoff then said to me,…….      
“Have you seen this side of the quilt yet”?

When I said no, he spun the line around for me to see.
Where ever I had used this one particular fabric, it decided to RUN, remembering that at this stage I was only using cold water. My very calm and strange answer to this,surprised me, in fact, I can’t believe that I even said what I did.

Calmly I said….. “Don’t worry, it'll be fine”……..
As this product, needs you to place the item into water that is approx 60 to 70 degrees, I had just wet my quilt with very icy cold water as it had been a heavy frost that morning.
So the bath was full of this very hot water, with the magic potion  in it, waiting for the quilt, when I realised that if we placed this now very heavy, wet and very cold quilt in the water, it may not work as the water temperature would drop in the bath.

So I thought, “How can I warm the quilt back up”?……………
Then I had the perfect thought, for me anyway!
I took the tap fittings off the end of the garden hose, and asked Geoff to hold this onto the overflow outlet of the hot water system, (never mind if he burnt his hand) then as the water come out the other end of the hose, I now hosed my quilt with straight hot water, the same temperature that was in our bath waiting for this quilt.

After all this was done, we carried this now very wet, warm and heavy quilt, 7 kgs approx, complete with its dye runs, inside and placed it into the bath.

INCREDIBLE.....within seconds all dye  runs in this quilt were instantly gone.
WOW!

Feeling very pleased with this whole process,
I then carried on to wash this quilt as I normally would.



This you'll have to wait for another time...... 
to find out just how I finish washing my quilts, and how I dry them, as this posting is about removing dye runs, not actually “How to Wash a Quilt”. Besides, you are possibly feeling a little shocked at what you have just read and feeling unable to get your head around how I just treated a quilt that took 2 years and 8 months to complete, that then went on to win 12 ribbons and awards including a “Best of Show”, that then placed the quilt up for judging with 6 other incredible quilts for “Best of Australia”.




This quilt did not take off “Best of Australia” but it did travel then for the year as part of the “Best of Australia” group of quilts.

So “How do you treat a Dye Run”?
Ohhh, you are still waiting to find out just what this magic potion is.
You can easily buy this at most supermarkets, but if not then I suggest to just do a Google search for your country and where you may personally live.

 
“If you use this or a similar product, it will be at your own risk, and I take no responsibility to anything that may happen while or after the use of this product”.
 
I certainly hope that this has enlightened your day, and you now know that there is hope of rescuing that damaged masterpiece that you have tucked away in your cupboard.

Please forward the link of this out to as many quilters and guilds that you know, so possibly someone else will be able to rescue their masterpiece as well.

https://www.roselewisquilting.com.au/blogs/roses-quilting-blog/56100996-how-to-get-rid-of-dye-runs

I will leave you all here today,
and I'll be back again before you know it.
Think I might go and have a cuppa.
Have an awesome few days
Rose
 
Rose Lewis Quilting
 
Once again,
“The information on how I've done the above things is my personal way, and if you use this or a similar product, and do the things that I've done, it will be at your own risk, and I take no responsibility to anything that may happen while or after the use of this product or the things that I've done..”

Lang Lang Quilt Show



 

Good morning,
What a wonderful comforting sort of day it is here today.

... It is raining, cold, and the heater is  going, so it's toasty and warm sitting here...
in my office writing this to you all, and there is the very aromatic smell of biscuits cooking in my oven...Now this is what I call a perfect day, although I do have to go out for the afternoon.

Today's posting is mainly images of the Lang Lang Quilt show
that was on this last weekend just gone.

I would like to say Hello and Thank you to all those beautiful people
whom I spoke with at the show, and a HUGE Welcome to all those who have come on board here with the rest of us, that are looking forward to receiving their regular Inspirational Tips just like the rest of you do.

I am very thrilled, delighted and grateful  at how many people
are now the new, proud and happy owners of my books, particularly my new one,
Using & Understanding Monofilament Thread, including how to set your machine.

"Thank you,
you are all such amazing people"

I do have one apology here though, to the owners of some of these quilts, that due to either the angle or positioning of the quilt, some, I could not take the image "square on", so they are somewhat a little distorted, my absolute apologies to you.

I also haven't named who they belong to, as I didn't have the names but I was advised from the committee that I was allowed to add these images onto my site here as each entrant had signed a disclaimer.

I always like to add the names of the creator of the quilt in,
as I think it's a very respectful and right thing to do, acknowledge the artist for their talents, so I do once again apologise to you, if you're the owner, friend, family, etc of these quilts.
These are just a few of the quilts there. They were all pretty amazing.

 

 ....Now let's look at these images....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              

 

 

 

Hope that you have enjoyed looking at these,
I just LOVE the little dresses, they were brilliant.

For those that are interested, Victorian Quilters are holding their Autumn Gathering this year at Lyrebird quilters in Belgrave on 20th May 2017.

I did a talk with at the Lyrebird Quilters group last year, and what a brilliant group of ladies they are.
It is a beautiful area over there in the  Dandenong's, particulary at this time of the year.
Unfortunately I myself won't be there as I have a previous commitment, but I am sure that those who go will have an amazing day.

Anyway I will leave you all here today,
Have the most brilliant day.

Think I'll go and make a cuppa and have one of those biscuits.

Rose
Rose Lewis Quilting
www.roselewisquilting.com.au

Lang Lang Quilt Show

 

 

Good morning everyone,

I am just wanting to let you know that I'll be at the Lang Lang Quilt show this coming weekend, Sat 6th & Sun 7th May 2017.

You'll find it at:

Lang Lang Memorial Hall 135 McDonald's Track, Lang Lang 3984
I'm sure that there'll be many amazing quilts there to help inspire us all.

..... So please do stop by and have a chat to me. 
You all know how much I Love chatting to people.

 I'll also have my Fabric Selector Tools with me,
so do make sure that you ask me to show you how to use these. They're such a brilliant "tool" to have in your sewing room, your purse, your car, or anywhere else that you like to be with fabric.

Of course I'll have my books with me as well,
and I'll have several different ways and offers to purchase them. To me, having choices is always good and if I happen to sell all that I have, then you'll  still be able to purchase them on the day, and they'll be posted out to you, with a discounted postage price, as I have a third big order on it's way to me. It'll be here in approx a weeks time.

My new, "Hot...yes ...Very Hot off the press",  

"How to Use & Understand Monofilament Thread, Including How to Set Your Machine" book has been incredibly popular. It obviously was a very much needed book, to have been written. In approx 10 days since launching this book, I've already just about sold out of my second shipment of this book.

If you are not going to the show, then remember that you can order your copy of this or my other books right HERE off my site. For those who are International to me, then please do read the extra notes at the bottom of the sales page.

                              

 

                  


 I'll  leave you all here today as this is just a really short posting.


...... Now that is a change for me.....writing a short posting! .....

Anyway,
I'll leave you all here once again today,

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the  Lang Lang Quilt Show.

Have a beautiful day
Rose

www.roselewisquilting.com.au

 



Using & Understanding Monofilament Thread, Including how to set your machine!





Today is Launching Day!


Good morning everyone
and an exciting one at that it is!


Today I am launching another brand new paperback & e-pub book.

Do make sure that you check out the cover on this book, as I think it is absolutely brilliant, not only the look of it, but Wow, wait until you feel it, it is almost velvety like to touch.

I have been using monofilament thread now for over 30 years,

and during that time I've discovered many things, about using this thread, some good and some not so good. Over the years I've learnt how to "dissolve" the issues that so many people fear. I absolutely LOVE using monofilament thread, as I can create so many brilliant results within my applique, ditch stitching, thread painting, and many other areas within my quilt making.


 I've found during teaching,

many classes over time that many people live in fear of this thread and/or say that "their machine doesn't like it". So much so, that I now devote the first hour of any class where we are going to be using monofilament thread, to teaching students how to set their machines, including their tension. I do not start the class until everyone has their machine perfectly set for sewing this thread.

You'll be able to sew your monofilament thread with  Perfect tension 

This 50 page book teachers the same exact steps to teach you, "yourself" to be able to set your tension, stitches and your machine, so that you'll also be able to sew with this amazing thread.

The knowledge that I'm sharing here with you,
within the covers of this book will allow you to have the full understanding, confidence and knowledge to now be able to sew with Monofilament Thread.

You'll also find out which brands I like to use,
that do not melt under the iron. I show and guide you with many images and very simple step by step instructions. 

 You'll no longer go weak at the knees,

with just the thought of using and sewing with monofilament thread or live in absolute fear of it.

 For more information, or to purchase,  just click here.               

                                     

I am also offering a
Two book offer.

You can also purchase this with
one 200 mt spool of
Madeira Monofilament Thread.


This book also comes in an e-pub format e-book

ISBN 9780995404533

 

 

So please do make sure that you check out this beautiful book.

I'll leave you here today
and as usual I'll be back again real soon with something else.

Wishing you the most amazing day

Rose

PS....
Although I have a large quantity of these books in stock, I have another order on their way to me as well. If this first lot sell before you get your order in, then it will show that you can order on back order and as soon as the next shipment arrives, your order will be posted out to you.

 

Would YOU like to quilt, as good as the Big name quilters do? Well you can...easily

 

 

Good morning everyone,
Hope your day is going well.

I feel like we are suddenly saying goodbye to our summer, even though it is now a month into autumn. Only a few days ago I was still wearing dresses and shorts, eating beautiful salads, etc, and now suddenly I am looking for long sleeves once again.

As the days cool, we start looking for different things and food. My kitchen will start having the aromas once again of apples and spices cooking, the heavier slow cooked meats and of course those luscious autumn and winter deserts.

I have been very busy in my garden, and a few days ago, I mass planted several hundred bulbs under some trees. They will look amazing come late winter and early spring.

These cooler days also draws us back into the house more and we all know what that means.....more sewing to be done, which of course may mean more material, threads, patterns, needles, etc to be purchased. What would we do without the need to go shopping?



This brings me today to a question that I am so often asked about.

 

How do you become a really good quilter?

It is a question that has great concern to so many people.


It is actually a really easy answer, but most people try to over think it.

Practise, Practise and then more practise.

The only way to become a much better quilter is by sitting in front of your machine on a regular base, practising. This can be on charity quilts that you have offered to do the quilting on for your guild, which is the same way that many big names quilters originally learnt to quilt on, or you can have some sample sandwiches approx 10 to 12 inches square and every time you start to sew, just spend 15 minutes on these pieces first with “doodling” at first.

You can quilt on these pieces several times by first quilting with a light coloured thread, then next quilt over it again using a mid coloured thread, then maybe a third time using a very dark thread, always ignoring the previous stitching.
This just gives you more sewing time on the one piece of fabric, as it will just be going in the bin later anyway.

Don’t get too caught up on designs originally, these will come after, but at first it is all about working out how to move your fabric and your feet together and speeding up and slowing down when necessary. Just like when you learnt to drive a car, although with quilting you would normally speed up to go around the corners, unlike driving a car. 


Most people say that “stipple” is very hard to learn, I have always taught my students to learn a stipple first. It is not as hard as you think. Often a mindset is the biggest block you will need to overcome when learning anything new. As most people tell you, a stipple, is so hard, so where does this leave your mindset?

Your mind “thinks and believes” it is hard.

Think of a stipple like this...it is just a doodle.
Now I am not talking about very tiny micro stippling that I regularly do, but just a normal size stipple.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you first start quilting, instead give yourself praise, and if you feel the sewing is not good, then praise yourself for taking the step to have a go. The first step is so often the hardest step of all.

If you keep putting yourself down, and criticizing your own work, then you will find it so much harder to progress, and you will more than likely “give up”. So always praise yourself and give yourself the "pat on the back" that you truly deserve.

As time progresses, so will your quilting.
They say to learn anything new, you need to practice approx for 10,000 hours.

This is a fantastic excuse and reason to be sitting in front of your sewing machine.
Think of all the fabric and threads that you will need to be purchasing?

With regular practice you will begin to gain confidence and will be able to see a huge improvement within your quilting. So I am very sorry to say, there is no magic wand to making your quilting improve, other than continual practicing.

Just relax and don’t get too caught up in the “fear” of it.

Remember you are just working with a piece of fabric and thread.

I will leave you here today with this little quote:

The best preparation for Tomorrow
Is doing your best Today

I will be back in approx another 10 days or so.

I have something “NEW” that I am about to launch,
so please do keep an eye out for this.

In the meantime

Do make sure that you spend some
quality time with someone that
you love.

Have an brilliant day
Rose

How To Remove Dye Runs in Your Quilt

How To Remove Dye Runs in Your Quilt

I am wishing to ask you all today, just what you would do if after you had spent time planning, buying fabric, cutting, sewing and falling in love with your new master piece, and on its first washing it had a couple of 

"Major Dye Runs"

This happened to me when I had finished my “A Caterpillars Dream” quilt, after having spent 2 years and 8 months of working on the one quilt.

I needed to wash the quilt to remove all the blue wash away markings that I had used throughout this quilt.

The evening before I was to wash this quilt, I had wet a piece of white cloth, and I went over these most beautiful “Hand Dyed” fabrics just to make sure that the colour was holding and would not run.

When I purchase new material, it always goes straight into the laundry, to be washed and treated, before it ever goes anywhere near the sewing room.

I would gently rub this wet piece of fabric over each of the hand dyed pieces and then check the white fabric after each rub. It would show clean with no colour on it all.

Feeling comfortable with this, I quickly made my way around the whole quilt. When almost at the end of these fabrics, I happened to glance back over the area that I had first started checking, and yes you will have guessed it, to my absolute horror, a very deep pink /red fabric had definitely run.

I now had a rather large pink area on the lemon fabric.

 It was a moment of total disbelief……………..

 

What was I to do?

After a few minutes of thinking, I had it.

I would ring Mariya Waters and ask her.

I rang Mariya, and I can still very clearly remember our conversation, she was in the middle of cooking their evening meal.

Mariya gave me the name of a product that I could buy at the supermarket.

She also advised me the same thing that I am going to tell you here as a disclaimer:

“If you use this or a similar product, it will be at your own risk, and I take no responsibility to anything that may happen while or after the use of this product”.

On saying the above, I always use this for every quilt that I wash, and I wash my quilts many times.

I find that a lot of people are quite horrified about the fact that I wash my quilts, but I always say, “At the end of the day, it is still a piece of material, and depending on the type of fabrics used and washing instructions, most can be washed”.

I will talk about how I wash my quilts at another time.

Anyway, back to story:

I was at the supermarket, very quickly that evening, and I had to go to three before I found it. The following morning was now here and armed with my product, I was ready to wash this quilt.

Strangely, “particularly for me”, I was very calm about getting this “Dye Run” out of my quilt.

Now first of all, I had to wet this quilt with straight cold water to wash all the “blue wash away marking pens” out of the fabric.

So I draped the quilt over the rungs on the clothes line, and with the garden hose I proceeded to wash the blue markings out of the quilt.

Did I just feel you all cringe at the above explanation,…

Hanging a quilt on the clothes line, then using the garden hose?

Well, this is what I do to release the amount of “blue wash away markings”, as for this particular quilt I had used approx 20 marking pens.

You must support your quilt well though.

While I was busy doing the hosing, Geoff was keeping an eye on the quilt to make sure it was supported well, as with the weight of the water, it was now very heavy.

Geoff then said to me,…….

“Have you seen this side of the quilt yet”?

When I said no, he spun the line around for me to see.

Where ever I had used this one particular fabric, it decided to RUN, remembering that at this stage I was only using cold water.

My very calm and strange answer to this, surprised me, in fact, I can’t believe that I even said what I did.

Calmly I said….. “Don’t worry, it will be fine”……..

As this product, needs you to place the item into water that is approx 60 to 70 degrees, I had just wet my quilt with very icy cold water as it had been a heavy frost that morning.

So the bath was full of this very hot water, with the magic product in it, waiting for the quilt, when I realised that if we placed this now very heavy, wet and very cold quilt in the water, it may not work as the water temperature would drop in the bath.

So I thought, “How can I warm the quilt back up”?……………

Then I had the perfect thought, .......for me anyway!

I took the tap fittings off the end of the garden hose, and asked Geoff to hold this onto the overflow outlet of the Hot Water system, (never mind if he burnt he’s hand) then as the water come out the other end of the hose, I now hosed my quilt with hot water, the same temperature that was in our bath waiting for this quilt.

After all this was done, we carried this now very wet, warm and heavy quilt, 7 kgs approx, complete with its dye runs, inside and placed it into the bath, not too sure just what would happen.

INCREDIBLE….within seconds any dye that was run in this quilt was instantly gone. WOW!

Feeling very pleased with this whole process, I then carried on to wash this quilt as I normally would.

This you will have to wait for another time, to find out just how I finish washing my quilts, and how I dry them, as this posting is about removing “Dye Runs”, not actually “How to Wash a Quilt”.

Besides, you are possibly feeling a little shocked at what you have just read and feeling unable to get your head around how I just treated a quilt that took 2 years and 8 months to complete, that then went on to win 12 ribbons and awards including  “Best of Show”, that then placed the quilt up for judging with 6 other incredible quilts for “Best of Australia”.

This quilt did not take off “Best of Australia” but it did travel then for the year as part of the “Best of Australia” group of quilts.

So “How do you treat a Dye Run”?

In very simple terms:

  • Buy this product. Dylon, S.O.S COLOUR RUN.
  • Place the contents of the box into your laundry tough or bath, or whatever size is needed, using very hot water, AS PER BOX INSTRUCTIONS.
  • Soak for however long it takes to remove dye.
  • Then rinse with clean water.
  • Dry in your personal way.

If all dye is not removed first time,

Then try process once more.

I use both the sachets in the box for each quilt.

As I always wash my fabric when I first bring it home in very hot, straight hot tap water, I am not concerned about my fabric shrinking.
This above quilt was also made using 100% cotton.

Once again,

“The information on how I have done the above things is my personal way, and if you use this or a similar product, and do the things that I have done, it will be at your own risk, and I take no responsibility to anything that may happen while or after the use of this product or the things that I have done..”

I certainly hope that this has enlightened your day, and you now know that there is hope of rescuing that damaged masterpiece that you have tucked away in your cupboard.

Don’t forget to hit the comment button below and leave a comment about your particular “Dye Run”. It’s a great way of sharing your particular story.

(I wrote this posting some time ago, and I have been asked many times if I would put it back up, so if you feel that you have read this once before then you possibly have).

Till we chat again

Have an awesome few days



Rose
Rose Lewis Quilting
www.roselewisquilting.com.au

Please send the link to this page out to your friends and guilds, so that they may also be able to save a quilt that has had a dye run on it.

 


How to Easily clear the "Clutter" in "YOUR" Sewing Room

 

Hi everyone,
Once again I surely hope that your day is going brilliantly well.

I would sincerely like to say a really BIG “Welcome” to all the new people that have signed up with myself and all of us here, since my last blog posting.

I am very grateful and appreciative to all of those who forwarded the e-mail or link to the page to all their friends, guilds and families...So “Thank you” to you all.

I spent Saturday once again preserving fruit, this time plums and hopefully next week I will be doing cling stone peaches. It is nice seeing my preserve cupboards filling back up again. I still also have sauces and jams to do yet as well. I feel a little like a squirrel in all those children's fairy books. Well not really, as I have been doing this type of thing for approx the last 35 years or so. Our figs are also just starting to ripen.

Speaking of cupboards, brings us to today’s topic.

Is your sewing room / area clean and tidy or is it cluttered?

Do you have draws and cupboards overflowing with fabric, rulers scattered around, needles just thrown on a shelf somewhere, and scissors from one end of your room to the other end of the house?

Yes, so many of us, actually have the whole house as the sewing room/area.

Is there fabric hanging from your light shades, tape measures hanging off the curtain tracks, bottles of glue in every imaginable corner, do you need to hire a front end loader to clear a walk way into your sewing room before you even enter it?



Now be honest here with yourself.... “I promise that I won’t tell anyone if you are a “clutter holic”. We can keep it our secret.

For some reason so many quilters love to tell you just how messy and cluttered their sewing room/area is, as if it makes them a better quilter. Now I do not mean to offend anyone here at all, but when your area is normally clutter free and items have a “home” then you will certainly feel better, and things will flow better, particularly your sewing and quilting.

I am not talking about having a mess while you are working, cutting out, drawing up your design, etc, etc. What I am talking about is those that cannot walk into their sewing room/area and put their hand on the object that they are wanting.


When I am busy on something, yes I can get in a mess just like anyone else, but at the end, it is easy for me to be able to put items back into their respective homes. There is a huge difference between a mess while you are working on a project in comparison to clutter.

Are you aware of just how confronting and energy sapping it is to work around clutter?

Most people are not. Clutter of any description can really slow down your production, creativeness, enthusiasm, etc and I don’t just mean physically but mentally as well.

Yes my room can get messy, but everything has a home, so it does not take me long to either pull things out or to pack things away as there is an area for marking pens, fabric that I am working with at the time, threads, scissors, tape measures, needles and pins, etc etc. This allows me to be able to flow through things, as I can always place my hand on the required item, well most times anyway.

 As many of you know, I do not have huge stocks of fabrics in all my cupboards etc, I have what I like to call a palette of fabric, and many of these are the size of a fat quarter. These are all kept in a chest of draws, and most times they are folded neatly and in colour order. I admit that right at the moment I need to pull these draws out and spend approx an hour refolding these and putting them back neatly, back into a colour order.

Over the last couple of months I have been in and out of these fabrics many times, and often like so many of us, in a hurry, so grab what I need and then not put the fabric back in folded again. I am finding that now when I am looking for something in particular, I cannot find it quickly as it has become messy, creating clutter. This is just two draws, but it can really slow me down.

There are many hours lost when you have to stop all the time to search for something....wish it was this easy to find my glasses as I have a habit of taking these on and off all the time, as I only need them for certain things, so then I have to go look for them.

How do you store “YOUR” fabric?

Is it just thrown into cupboards, shelves, boxes, under the spare bed, in the garage or in many different places, or do you have some sort of order to it.

Do you keep every little tiny piece of scrap fabric that you are too afraid of throwing out?

These things create lots of clutter.

Sometimes people just don’t know where or how to start to organise their sewing areas as they look at it, and think it is just too hard.

Well I can tell you, that if you were to get rid of all the unwanted clutter your sewing will improve more than you may realise. You will also become more productive.
People often say to me “They don’t know where to start”.

I always tell them to just start with a small draw first, then when that one is done, a few days later or the following week, do another draw, and so on. Quite often once you have done one or two draws, then you start becoming motivated and really enthused about this clutter clearing and you actually start ploughing through it.

Clearing clutter of any description seems to really energise people and it is like a fresh start.  Many people will find it to be quite liberating once they start and then once they are finished the whole room, etc they feel quite empowered.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not suggesting that you throw out all the items that you want, but by starting the process you may be surprised at even the amount of scribbled notes and papers with measurements you may have “dotted” down for the quilt that you finished two years earlier, etc that have collected within your area. Paper clutter seems to just grow in all sorts of nooks and crannies.

Maybe just getting a few containers and boxes of all sorts of sizes and shapes will help make a difference. These do not have to be expensive, old ice-cream containers will certainly do the job.

Of course there are many people out there who are already organised within their sewing room and areas.



For those of you who are more interested in “clearing your clutter”
Karen Kingston has some really good articles and books on the effects of “clutter”. Please note, I am not affiliated with Karen, just enjoy her books and articles.

Once you have finished reading this today, can I suggest that you walk into your sewing room/area with fresh eyes and “really” see just what IS in your sewing area.

Just think of it this way, you may even end up with some empty shelves that you may just have to fill back up with something new ????  Not clutter though.

Do enjoy as you may be surprised at just what “treasures” you find on your clutter clearing journey.

Please also share this with your friends, family and guilds.
Just send them this link here 
http://www.roselewisquilting.com.au/blogs/roses-quilting-blog/how-to-easily-clear-the-clutter-in-your-sewing-room

That would be greatly appreciated, Thank you.

For those that have come here from being sent a link you can receive your own e-mails and postings that are normally full of lots of awesome information to help you on your sewing journey, by clicking HERE and scrolling to the bottom of the page where you will find a “Subscribe” box, on the left... You will also receive a free e-book.

Hope you enjoyed this today.
I will be back in approx another 7 to 10 days
with something else for your enjoyment.

In the meantime,
Make sure that you find some time just for you,
Yes You, yourself ,as you are very important.

How to Choose a New Sewing Machine

Good morning everyone,
Hoping that your day is going perfectly well.
It is such a beautiful sunny morning here today, that you could not be anything else but happy and contented.

My question is to you today,

How would you choose a new sewing machine?

I am so often asked, particularly within the classroom teaching classes, “How does someone know if the machine that they choose is the right machine”?

This is actually a very complex question.
There are many questions that you first need to ask yourself.


Are you tired of your old machine?
Does it no longer do the things that you are now wishing to be able to do?
Does it even work or is it a little broken?

Is the machine the right size for your very tiny sewing corner?
Have you just upgraded your sewing area to a much larger space where you can now have a much bigger sewing machine?

Does your machine do the many varied stitches that you would love to be doing?
Do you want a machine that will allow you to do machine embroidery?
Do you want a machine that has a bigger range of what it can do, or do you just want to do a basic straight or zigzag stitch?

Would you like to have a BSR function for stitch regulating when quilting?

Would you like to have a pivot option on your machine, meaning, when you stop sewing with your needle still in the fabric, then your foot will actually raise by itself to whatever height you choose it to within the machines range of choice. (This is a brilliant function).

This list could go on forever, as sewing machines are so very diverse these days. Gone are the days of the basic treadle, and then the next generation of machines where you had a choice of straight or zigzag stitch..Wow wasn’t that something for that particular generation?

 

Remember how many amazing clothes were actually made on both the treadle sewing machine and the hand turned machines. The layers, the pleats, the frills, the collars, the preciseness of those beautiful gowns that were worn with such elegance, and then there was the basic mother who made and mended her children’s clothes just to make ends meet. The treadle was certainly a brilliant invention and I’m sure that we are all so very grateful for it, as it has led us onto the amazing machines that we have today. Never could that generation have even envisioned what luxury our sewing machines are today.

I see many different machines within a classroom, and I have noticed that over the last 25  years or so, machines have really changed, particularly over the last seven or eight years. My old Janome 8000, which was Janomes very first fully computerized sewing and embroidery machine, and the Janome that I had before that, had a very vast range of stitches on them, and most of them could be mirrored and the sizes changed, etc, etc. That Janome 8000 machine is still going strong with my daughter and her daughter now using it..It was purchased new in 1992, and has had many thousands of hours sewing done on it.

I now notice that strangely the machines that I see students with, that I would expect to have a fantastic choice of stitches don’t seem to have so many. They may have quite a few, but not to the variety and complexity that they used to.

What I like to suggest to those that ask me,
“How do they chose a sewing machine these days”? is this.....

When I purchased my last sewing machine several years ago, I went through this process and it worked for me. You will need to fine tune and tweak it to yourself, but you will certainly get the idea.

Firstly and most importantly,

DO NOT be in a hurry when choosing and purchasing your next new machine, allow yourself several months to do the research.

Do not let any sales man/ lady tell you that you “Need to be quick before they all go at this special price or offer or end of stock sale, etc, etc....
That is total sales pressure, and guess what, there will be another sale at another time, and you will have the machine of YOUR choice, not of THEIR sales pitch.

A sewing machine is an investment that you are making regardless whether it is the top of the range, mid range or the lower range....You have had to work for many hours to make the money to pay for this machine, so DO NOT be talked into something, as you will more than likely regret it later, and you are often a forgotten sale once you have walked out their door, regardless of how nice they smile and tell you that you are such a beautiful person....You are buying a sewing machine, not the salespersons sweetness...

Now please do not get me wrong here, as I would not buy anything from any one that treated me bad or rude in a shop, but remember it is your money not theirs.

I have had many conversations with students over time that bought their machine with such love, enthusiasm and excitement, only be feel rather disappointed a few months on. They found that the machine wasn’t quite what they expected and now feel that they are “stuck” with it.

 

So the next thing to do is to go into every sewing machine shop that you pass, and all the quilt shows that you go to, and pick up EVERY sewing machine brochure that they have, regardless on the price of the machines, even the brands that you think you do not like for any reason, pick up their brochure.

I did this and I’m sure I had a hundred or more.

You must have an idea also of just what type of sewing you do, and what you think you may like to do in the future. My Janome 8000 was an embroidery machine, so I could never have imagined myself not having this feature within my machine, even though most of my children were grown up by then and I was no longer making their clothes.


Do you only do patchwork, do you make clothes, do you quilt your own quilts using a domestic machine? I quilt all mine myself on my domestic machine even the couple that are just under 3 metres square..these are big quilts.

Do you use many of the extra stitches, and this is an important area, as so many of our quilts now with all the varied techniques that are being taught to students daily around the world, use so many different and varied stitches.

You will of course have an idea of just how much you are wanting to spend on your machine, and although this is a major consideration to your final choice, at first do not allow it to control your thoughts either by saying...”what’s the point in looking at this catalogue, as I can’t afford those machines” or “I don’t like that brand of machine as I have heard so many bad things about that company”.

Let go of any and ALL your preconceived ideas and you WILL find it so much easier to make your final decision.

So start going through all these catalogues and find out more about the sewing machines functions, and just what new functions that some machines have on them these days.

 

It was during this time that I discovered that my Brother sewing machine, that was the one that I purchased, had the function for the foot to raise/pivot when you stopped sewing. This did not actually come with the machine, it was an extra add on / upgrade cost. As I do so much trapunto work and appliqué work this then became a major function for me, and although I did lots of sewing before this machine without having this function, it has now allowed me to move to some different height extremes within my trapunto work, that I would not be able to do so easily without it..yes I could do trapunto without it, but not to the thickness extreme that I do. It also makes my appliqué technique that much easier.

I also discovered that this machine allows me to design and create my own personal stitches, which I do. This is brilliant and I save them into the machine for future use.

There are many other functions that I liked on this particular machine, and at the time of near purchasing, I had narrowed my choice done to just two machines. This machine also totally self threads itself with the push of a button.

You will learn so much about sewing machines, their functions, their capabilities, what you can and cannot do with them, the different feet, etc, etc.

 

You also need to take into consideration if you will be carting your machine to classes, retreats and places. I do not take my big machine anywhere as I don’t personally think they are made for carting everywhere. I also have a Bernina 440Q, which Bernina gave to me several years ago, for which I am very grateful to them for their continual generosity that they have as a company, and this is a very different type of machine. I think of this machine as a “work horse” for some of the things that I sew.

Another thing that you possibly will not realise unless you have at least two machines in your house, that some machine s will function different to the other.
My Bernina is a gem for sewing thick size 12 threads, but my Brother does not like thick threads at all.

Think about your sewing area in both the room and the size of your bench / table.

Will it also allow you to have a sewing machine extension table if you choose to. Some of the extension tables that you can purchase as a separate item are quite often very small, which is perfectly fine if your area is a little confined or if you are needing to pack away your machine at the end of your sewing each day, but if you have the space to have a much bigger sewing machine extension table, then the same one that I personally use is absolutely brilliant. The sizing of this table is an absolute gem when working with quilts.

You will need to get someone to build it for you, but within the pattern it explains very easily and clearly how to make this table fit your very own machine as they are all so very different in their sizing and shapes. You can check this Sewing Machine Extension Table   here.

 

 



Another thing that I really suggest you to do, is that once you start narrowing your list down a little, but still being open and receptive to your thoughts on this new purchase.....meaning still do not let the price factor come into your decision at this stage, and I am sure that you are reading this, thinking to yourself...”But price is my biggest factor”. Well just for the moment it isn’t.

By now you will have asked many questions at the sewing machine stands at quilt shows, within shops and people in general... Be aware not to get too caught up in people’s negativity as people will always tell you the worst stories and they grow, but are very slow to tell you about all the benefits. By all means certainly hear what they tell you, but don’t get caught up in THEIR drama of it...drama goes quicker than the magic pudding. Drama is not always realistic as to what the actual issue may have been.

Now it is time to start trialing out these machines. So sit down with them in shops and at shows and have a go at sewing with them, etc. Now over time when I have done this, I have tended to find that although it is nice to sit there and be shown all the nice things and to sew on a piece of their fabric running a few rows of stitching, it is still not very realistic to how you would personally be sewing at home...

So by now you are getting closer to feeling just what type of machine you may like. You will start to feel happy about some of these machines, as you start to resonate with them.

 

This is what I did and would still do in the future.

I gathered up several types of my sewing samples, like a layered quilt sandwich approx 8 ins square, another sample of where I would be attaching my appliqué and my favoured brand of monofilament thread, etc, etc and a few other small samples of the types of things that I would normally sew, with the same threads that I would normally sew and took these into the places that by now I was looking to possibly make my purchase.

This is a more realistic way of trialing out if a particular machine will fit your personal needs and desires. You will also be more aware of just what functions, stitches etc that the machine has, as your brain has now moved totally into your personal type of sewing.

Of course you would ask the shop owner first if they minded you doing this. Most times they would be fine, if they were not, then I would choose another stockist.

Once again unless you are totally 110% happy with the outcome, still do not allow them to talk you into something that you do not want.

You may have to do this at several shops to go through the brands that you are now trialing out.

Of course once you have totally made YOUR decision YOURSELF, then you can either wait for it to come back on special somewhere or because you have taken your time to purchase this machine and have possibly been in  the store several times and the shop assistant is very aware that you really are looking to buy a machine, and that you have genuinely been looking at others, there is a chance that if you ask the sales person what is the best price they can sell you this particular machine for, then they may even give you a really nice discount..as by now you will really know just how much these machines sell for both on sale and at full price.

There is never any harm in asking...politely of course.

Now the one thing that I have left till the very end here, is about the cost of the machine to how much you are able to afford.

You have now gained a lot of insight and information about sewing machines. You may be in the position of “Well I know which machine I would really love, but this is the only machine that I can afford”.

You have also researched a lot over the last few months, so you are possibly wanting your machine right here and now once you have made the decision.

What I suggest to many students, is that at the end of the day everything needs to be your decision and you need to feel comfortable with how much money you are spending, and of course many people are within a family situation and have a partner, etc where the decision is influenced by all of these factors. In no way am I advocating that you put yourself into debt for your sewing machine, how you handle your money is your personal business and has nothing to do with me. What I am suggesting that if you are replacing your machine and have the time, meaning your machine hasn’t suddenly died on you this week and you need to replace it ASAP, then look at your choice of machine.

Let’s say that the machine is $500.00 more than you were planning on spending but it is the machine that you see to be the most functional for your type of sewing, and you see that you will still be using this machine in another 10 years, then if you could manage to put away an extra $50.00 per week, then in just 10 weeks time you would have the machine that you really would prefer.

I realise that you may also have chosen a machine that may be over $1,000.00 more than you were planning on, but if you really, really see the benefits long term for this machine, then what if it took you another 6 to 10 months or so to save this extra money.

Are you aware that if you could put aside just $50.00 per week for 52 weeks of the year, then that would be $2,600. If this is what you want to do, then you will need to have your focus and be strong, not to dip into this money at all, and before you know it, you will have the machine of your dreams.....This is totally your choice of course.

Keep an image of your desired machine that you are now saving for right in front of you at all times, in your sewing room, on your phone, etc, etc and you may be amazed at just how much quicker you get that new machine. You will start shopping with a new awareness and focus, where you will think do I really need to buy the “extra magazine or whatever the item may be” as you will see that the money you saved on the superficial purchase then becomes money for your machine.

 Sometimes I have had people write to me, advising that they went through the whole above research, and actually found that the machine that they thought they needed, didn’t suit them and they come across a better suited machine and it was much cheaper than the one that they “thought” they wanted and needed.

 So after all this reading and information, you may be feeling a little over loaded, but to me a sewing machine is a major purchase and needs to be treated that way, whether you are spending $200.00, $2,000.00 or $8,000.00. Just make sure you take the time to research and learn as that is the key to choosing the machine that may best suit your personal needs.

So happy sewing machine shopping.

I hope this makes your decision so much easier.

Have the most magical week.

Spread your happiness with
Sharing your smile to a stranger.
It just may make their day a little brighter,
and costs you nothing give.

Rose

 

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR PATTERN FOR THIS BRILLIANT
SEWING MACHINE EXTENSION TABLE.

 

Our Trip Away

Good morning or afternoon to you all.
Christmas has been and gone once again and most places are all back to normal and settling back into life.
I haven’t long since come in from my morning walk, which was very pleasant after yesterdays 36 degrees. This morning it was windy and raining, but oh so very nice. It was just on day break, the very best time of the day I think, the birds were just starting to make themselves known to the day, the sky was a beautiful grey, with rain and mist all around me, the sound of the rain on my umbrella was absolutely magic. It is just such a fantastic way to start a day.
I would like to thank you all for your patience over the last couple of weeks with the change over to NBN. Feeling very confident that all is well once again.

So today’s posting is a little of a catch up one, as I actually wrote most of this approx 10 days ago to send to you all, but of course I was unable to send it. This is just a little insight to what I did with my short break that I had just after Christmas...hope you enjoy it.
Anyway, Geoff and I went away for several days to a place called Omeo, which is approx four and a half hours from where we live, nicely in the bush. Life is very simple in these sorts of places, no phone reception much, some places none at all, meals were very simple, but due to the surroundings incredibly decadent.
 
Do you know how fantastic a loaf of fresh bread is, when you are sitting in the bush, beside a river, listening to an odd Kookaburra or two, the sound of the river, and an icebox full of many “goodies” to choose from...It is absolutely amazing and something that we really enjoy doing. With our 4 WD we can always get into all sorts of places.....
We would get back late most days and then just put some steak, sliced onions, sliced potatoes, mushrooms, etc, etc onto the barbie to cook, then when cooked this would be enjoyed with a tantalising plate of salad that would include things like blue cheeses, which I absolutely love, mango, avocado, sliced nectarine, and of course the normal spinach, tomato, home cooked beetroot, etc, etc, etc....all shared with a glass of wine or a beer.
Then later finishing with a cup of tea, and some Christmas cake.
Just because we are in the bush, does not mean we go hungry, it just depends what you decide to pack before you leave home.
 
We started off one day, actually it was New Years eve day, for a bit of a drive and approx 3 ½ hours later found ourselves in Corryong, had our lunch there in a park, then headed back another way, that also took approx 3 ½ hours.....Guess you could say it was just a drive around the block.
It was a very hot day and all the campers that were camping along the many rivers were all in swimming. Drove into the town Mita Mita, and there is a huge river that runs through the town, I think it was the Snowy river, and there seemed to be a hundred or more people on the grass bank and in this beautiful river swimming, some starting to settle in for their New Years eve partying.
It was such a beautiful place and atmosphere. I would have loved to have hopped in the river for a swim, but it was getting late in the afternoon and we still had several hours of driving in front of us.
 
We stopped at a pub on the way back to Omeo, called “The Blue Duck” which has been there for many years and it really is in the back of nowhere but has a really good name. Had a meal there, sitting on the veranda that had grape vines growing around the roof line and hanging down and a river that you could see easily from where we were sitting... once again, just a magic bush setting, which was perfect to us both in that precise moment.
The next day we wanted to go to Mc Killops Bridge, so once again this was an all day venture. If I remember rightly it took us approx 2 ½ hours to get there, lovely scenery, mostly dirt roads.
We drove past a sign that advised us it was now only 25 kms to Mc Killops bridge, so we thought that it would take us approx 30 mins but no it took us a good hour to do this distance. This was heading in from the Bairnsdale end.
The road was narrow and quite windy but also had bush on both sides of the road at this stage, which was perfectly fine, but as we got a bit further on, and the bush on my side of the car sort of dropped away,  I looked out my window and I could see the road for many miles twisting and turning below us, way, way, way down.......Now for some reason I do not like heights, particularly in places like this.
Firstly I must say that my husband is a very good driver, has driven trucks for most of his life, many, many large over dimensional trips and for those that live in Victoria, he was one of the drivers that carted the power stations into Gippsland many, many years ago. He has also done lots of four wheel driving over the years and really understands what vehicles capabilities are and his own. So with knowing all this, I should not concern myself, but put me near heights and I am not very comfortable, in fact I go to jelly.
It does not matter where we are, in the bush or something like a cable car ride, etc, etc.

So once I had seen this winding road down below me, I could barley look out the window, (wished I had taken a photo of that road, but that would have meant that I had to look out the window...hmm..) even though the view was absolutely amazing.
 
Remember we are in the bush, not a highway.....so by now this road was just one car width, dirt with a certain amount of shale in places, and it was very very windy with quite tight bends that you couldn’t see around. Travelling speed was approx 20 to 30 kms an hour, and out to my immediate left, the road dropped off sheer with thousands of feet drop right beside me.....

One wrong move from any one, and it could be quite trechouous. Now if we knew for certain that we were the only car on the road, it would not be quite so nerve racking for me, but of course there would be other cars as well.
It wasn’t long before we met another car right on one of these tight corners, so of course even though we were both travelling slow, you still had to be careful when placing your foot on the brake as shale can slide under your wheels, and my mind was telling me that if we slide even a little then a wheel could go over the edge.....
I was not comfortable with this, but as always, Geoff is in total control of this type of driving and nothing is a concern when it is done with caution and sensibility. He is a very capable driver.
So of course one of us had to back up the road to where there was a small area that we could let the other car pass us. As Geoff had seen a place just a little back from us, he was the one to back up this road. We found a small place and both cars could just fit through....We were on the outer edge, like next to that almighty drop.
Looking out my window, all I could see was this huge drop.
This happened a couple of times again, but it was not so bad once we were off the shale surface, and of course I was fighting my fears, I had to, as it would have been totally impossible to turn around. Had there not been the huge sheer drop beside me, I would have been perfectly relaxed..amazing what a sheer drop will do to you !!!
We got to the bottom and it was absolutely amazing, the rivers, the scenery, the setting where we had our lunch, then later we sat on a couple of rocks that were in the middle of the river with our feet dangling in the water, watching families going past us in their canoes, or an inner truck tube blown up and someone sitting in it just floating down the river.
 This image was taken when we were only a couple of minutes from the bottom.
Time stood totally still, we did not want to leave this beautiful place and setting. There were quite a few campers with their tents set up... the smell of their bush barbecue cooking, the birds, the beautiful sunlight streaming through the trees......how absolutely perfect.
There have been times over the years where the water was right to the top of this bridge. Now that would be a lot of water.
Then there was the trip back up that hill. I knew that I had to face my fears once again, and I thought as it was now approx 4.00 pm there wouldn’t be anyone coming down this hill, but I was wrong.  There were so many cars (4 WD’s) coming down, but the trip back up was quite good, as this time, I had a bank and not a drop on my side, and all the cars coming down had the drop on their side. I was quite comfortable with the trip up, except for just one place.

Would I do that trip again, I think so, as it was just so magic at the bottom.

For any one interested in visiting, there is another way into McKillops bridge where you are actually driving in from a main sealed road, just not from the direction that we were coming from.
We stopped at some waterfalls, and of course I could see all the different colours and textures on the rocks and trees, great for creating quilts.
These were only small, but absolutely beautiful in the settings and surroundings.
 
 
Further up the road we stopped once again and lit our bush kettle, made a cuppa, had some biscuits and cheese, but the best discovery here was a tree.
 
This tree was magnificent; it is old and knarled, full of character. I took many photos of it. It felt like this tree wanted to talk to me, like it had so much to say, it was a tree that needed to be touched, it was so amazing.
 
The photos don’t show all the character that this tree had. I think this is the best tree that I have ever come across in my life, and I have come across many truly amazing ones.
The things that you come across when you are open and receptive to whatever your day may bring your way can be truly amazing, as I had truly found this out on that particular day. Then we headed back to our camp, and once again cooked our tea on the Barbie.
 
 
Another day we ended up at Mt Hotham, where there are some amazing walking tracks.

I won’t keep going here as you will need a week to read it otherwise, and of course there weren’t any patchwork shops out in these areas, not much in shops at all.
For those of you who live overseas from me, I hope that you have enjoyed a little more of our Australian bush, and for those in Australia our country is very diverse in its surroundings depending  just where abouts’ you actually live.
I will leave this here for today, and next week I will be back with things that do actually relate to sewing once again.
Think I might go and put the kettle on for a cuppa.
See you all in approx another week.
Have a beautiful day
Rose