First Stitches

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

So...did you wear some green today?  I wore my green socks...from actual Ireland, no less.  Truly!  I bought these when I went to the International Quilt Festival last year.  It's the first time I've worn them.

See the sheep?

Today I attended the first of four classes to learn to use my new sewing machine.  A lot of what I learned today was review since my old sewing machine was a Bernina.  There is almost no difference in how one winds the bobbin or threads the machine.  I did gain a better understanding of how the computer touch screen works today, and so I feel as if I can find my way around a little better.

For actual sewing, she showed us the triple stitch (on the right).  I have this stitch on my old machine as well, and I use it all the time.  It stitches two stitches forward and one stitch back, and it's a great stitch for doing something like machine embroidery when you're just sewing a straight line.  I often use it for faces and lettering, especially when I'm doing applique.  If you'll notice, there's sort of a tan-colored smudge at the bottom of that line of stitching.  The bottom is actually where I started stitching, and there was so much oil on the needle that it left an oily stain on the fabric.  I'm glad I was just using scraps.

The zigzag stitch across the top of the above image is a triple zigzag. It is twice as wide as the zigzag on my old machine, and it will actually stitch each stitch three times.  I can see this being a wonderful decorative stitch, especially in machine applique.  The stitch going down on the left is just a straight stitch, but she was showing us how the machine will stitch five stitches forward, five back, and then go forward again for a row of straight stitches.  For garment sewers, this is how you start and end your stitching so that it won't pull out.  When you get to the end of the row, it again automatically finishes it off backward and forward.  

Also, I learned how to sew a buttonhole.  The machine has about half a dozen different buttonholes, and it has a nifty gauge on the computer screen.  You just lay your button in a computer-generated box, then make the box the same size as the button (much like cropping a photograph), and then the machine automatically makes your buttonhole the right size.  Also, I sewed on a button by machine.  This requires the purchase of a special foot, but it was 20% off.  I won't use this often, but I decided to spring for the foot.  It will be nice to have.

Then in the image below, I learned to sew a blind stitch hem by machine.  My old machine would do this too, but I was never shown how.  You simply fold your hem over and over as you would, then fold the fabric back.  Then, using a special foot (it came with the machine) with a guide, you line the guide up next to the fold and stitch.  It makes the stitch you see.

Then when you're finished, you fold it back flat again, and voila!  Blind stitch hem (shown below).

Nifty, huh?  Tomorrow I'll go to the second of the four classes.  We're going to cover more of the machine's functions, and so I think I will learn more.  That was about all I could take in today, and so I was glad to be dismissed.

When I got home, there was a giveaway prize waiting for me from Annette at In Stitches & Seams.  I won her giveaway during the It's All About Me blog hop.  I received a deck of Carol Doak playing cards and a charm pack of Garden Quilter's Candy.  Cool!  Thank you, Annette!

Then I came home and did some actual sewing!  It's the first chance I've had to sew in four days, which might be some kind of record for me.  I finished the three center panels for the True Hope quilt.

Tomorrow I'll start sewing these together.  There is a sashing between each one, and that will make up the center panel for the quilt.  After that, it will just need borders to finish up the top.

And here's something else I learned about my new machine.  With all the bells and whistles, I was surprised to learn there is no "You're Being Stupid" whistle.  If you mess something up, the machine will not automatically rip it out for you.  You still have to do that yourself.  Sheesh.  Thankfully, Bernina includes a seam ripper as a standard accessory with every machine.

So the kids will be here for a dinner of Corned Beef and Vegetables, Irish Soda Bread, and other fixings in about twenty minutes.  Guess I'd better get cooking.  Actually, I'm already cooking, but you know what I mean.

How was your day of green?

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Anonymous said...

Did the "corned beef thing" last weekend...delish!!! Today was a French Canadian meat pie with friends. Lovely day! Hugs, Doreen

Brown Family said...

Sounds like you had a fun class. The lady that teaches the children's classes at our Bernina shop calls a seam ripper a girls best friend. Many Bernina dealers have a different foot every month at 20 to 25 percent off. You might ask about that!

Have fun in class tomorrow!

Junebug613 said...

Wow, that machine has a lot of neat stitches. Ha! No "frogging" function, huh? That would be worth a few bucks! St. Patrick's is one of my favorite holidays. Green is my favorite color, after all. We went out for our corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. We didn't partake of any green beer, because we had to work at 10pm. We got home around 1:30am and I'm now wide awake, reading blogs! 6:30am is going to be ugly... lol

Ray and Jeanne said...

Your class sounds like fun. Glad the classes are close together and not a week apart. I've never seen the triple stitch - have to look into that and see if my machine will do it. My classes were 1 on 1 and turned into one 3 hour class. You are probably going to learn more than I did! Thanks for sharing ~Jeanne

Ray and Jeanne said...
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Diane Wild said...

The celebration in this neck of the woods took place on Sat. Parade and packed bars. I spent yesterday sewing and hanging out with Minnie, but we were both dressed in green. Love the socks and am impressed with the Bernie.

LethargicLass said...

I love that you chose to lay back and raise your feet to take the photo rather than just looking down LOL!

LynCC said...

Awesome Irish sheep socks! I wish there had been classes for my particular machine back when I bought it.

Dar said...

Love your little sheep socks. Guess I'll have to go to Ireland to get some, huh? I stayed home all day on St.Pat's Day and forgot to wear green. Does that mean that the leprecans are going to pinch me??

I am envious of your new Bernina. I know you will have so much fun with her. I told my DH when I got my 730E that it would be the last machine he would ever need to buy me --- well now I don't know! Your's does look like it would make quilting so much easier and I love new toys!! Wish we were closer and I'd hop over and test it with you. Now when we wonder where you are -- we'll know exactly where - in your sewing room playing with Nina750QE!!! Congratulations.

Lynne said...

You will be a fount of knowledge when you have finished those four classes -- there'll be no stopping you (like there ever was before!).

quiltzyx said...

Love the green sheepie socks! Erin go braugh! (sp?)

I think it's just me, but when I look at the panels for your True Hope quilt, I see a red sweater with a white shirt & print tie! Oh me.

I think that the Bernina should automatically remove any mistakes too. Gosh.