Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Baby

In my last post, I mentioned having gotten a new sewing machine...

My Brother CS-6000i has been my baby for about three years now. I love that machine to death. I think that might have been literal, though. It had begun to have high tension from the top thread, no matter how low I set it, even at 0... Taking it in to be serviced would cost me $75 because it's a computerized machine. Well... I only spent $150 on it, and was reluctant to put half the purchase price into it for a repair.

My mother-in-law came to the rescue, and purchased me an upgrade! I opted to go with another Brother. This model is the PC-210, the Project Runway edition. I was a little hesitant, mainly because I hate reality television with a passion. I am pleased to be able to say that this purchase was totally worth it. I LOVE THIS MACHINE.

Interestingly, the spool of thread feeds horizontally, as you can see in the picture to the left. This is a small godsend, for me, as I have three cats and a two-year old underfoot. I can close the lid, and have the whole threadworks completely contained and out of temptation's mind.

It's also very nice for me because the auto-stop for the bobbin winder broke off on my CS-6000i (hubby moved my machine, and it banged against a wall). It all being enclosed means that the chances of this happening again are pretty small.

What I truly adore about this machine is that the feet are all in a little organizer, nicely labeled (not that you can see the labels in this picture). Mind you, as a quilter, I'm not often switching feet in and out, but being fairly near-sighted, trying to tell which foot I do have can be a bear. I love the fact that I can keep four bobbins in the tray too, so no hunting out my bobbin cases. I can keep matching bobbins close at hand.

I quilted Phoenix Unbound on this machine, my first attempt at quilting on a small machine. Quite pleased, especially since I was able to use some of the decorative stitches. The best part? The PC-210 is a Brother machine too, so all of the feet I bought for my CS-6000i work. Yay! I don't have to have two sets of feet.

Of course, now that I've had two excellent experiences with Brother sewing machines, I'm seriously considering buying an embroidery machine... I've determined that I'll only do that I start making garments for myself though. I love the look of quilted lines, and am not brave enough to incorporate embroidery into my quilt tops.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


*GASP* I know... I've been gone a while. I got distracted by a writing project, quitting my job, finding and starting a new one, being sick twice in the last two months.

I finished my quilt for DQS7. Quite pleased with it, though I didn't get to do as much to it as I would have liked. The entire quilt was a learning process for me, from designing a circle quilt from scratch, in Adobe Illustrator, to the applique, to binding a quilt with irregular edging. I even used my new sewing machine to quilt it, with the walking foot, rather than the big beast.

This little quilt went through three sewing machines. My Brother CS-6000i decided to have tension issues. I love that particular machine so much, but when we took it into the local sewing machine shop, it would cost $75 to service it because it's computerized. The machine only cost me $150 :( Then, a friend of mine loaned me his Brother machine, not computerized, but with the capability to do a satin stitch (I've not figured out how to shorten the zig-zag stitch on my CS-6000i to do such thing). I appliqued the bird on using that machine.

Then, my mother-in-law generously offered to purchase a new sewing machine for me, as I was waffling about spending $75 to repair a machine that only cost twice that. I eagerly agreed, and took the opportunity to upgrade. I again went with a Brother, this time the PC-210, the Project Runway edition. I am in love. This machine is wonderful! I'll post pics later, in another post, and move on with the story. Phoenix Unbound was quilted on this new machine, using a couple of decorative stitches (a first), a metallic thread (another first for me!), and my walking foot (owned for two years and never used until this quilt).

I'm very glad I made this quilt, but very disappointed in myself that I forgot to take a quality photograph of it before I sent the quiltie out. My hubbie took a quick pic with his cellphone, which I am very glad for.

Pardon the grainy-ness and the weird tones... I tried to color-correct this in Photoshop as the original photo was very yellow.
You can kind of make out the wavy stitch I used to do the rays in the white circle. Unfortunately, you can't make out the variety of aquas and reds that I used in the inner circle or outer border. I really love how the yellow actually manages to tie the whole quilt together.
The 'phoenix' didn't come out quite as fiery as I'd hoped... It looks more like a loon, but I'll take it! I used fusible to get it to sit in the right place, and pretty much winged the machine satin stitching to get it to stay down.