Fall to Memories

My summer holidays are over and thinking of the upcoming fall season.  Here in Toronto the annual Canadian National Exhibition, heralds the ending of summer, beginning of school and fall clothes! My son is heading off to college and I must finish his T-shirt quilt.  For those of you who have not heard of this great project idea, take a few minutes and search the internet.  I had saved a lot of his shirts, just because. There was no theme, just memories and to me thats what quilts are. I also have a huge box of scraps from outfits I have made over the last 30 years or so that some day will become a quilt. That is if I live that long! 

The CNE as it is known has been a family tradition for 50 years and I haven’t missed once! For the last 7 years I’m there because of Janome! We have a booth in the Direct Energy  Centre by the Prince’s Gates. I can’t wait to go and see the sites and smell the smells. And…. have my corn dog, curly fries and finish off with a warm ice cream waffle sandwich!

One of the very time consuming steps in the Tshirt quilt process is to fuse a lightweight woven stabilizer to the back of each quilt block. I used the Elna Alize Press as it has a large surface so gets the job done faster.

Sitting at my kitchen table

You don’t get any ‘steam hole’ spots that don’t fuse and I can sit comfortably at my kitchen table with my blocks all lined up beside me ready to fuse.  I have the fusing and the piecing all done now. The batting and backing have been pin basted together. Now I have to figure out how I’m going to quilt it.

Quilt ready to be quilted

 Some say do an overall stipple and stitch over the images on the Tshirts and others say NO, go around the images so they stand out.  If anyone wants to comment, please let me know. And I will use the Quilt Binder Set to bind the edges as its also my least favourite part of quilting.

Fall clothes are the things I wait for all summer. The rich colours and textures make me want to sew, sew, sew! First I check out the newest fall fashions on the web and in the stores and the newest patterns in the pattern books at my local fabric store. Did you know the first few pages of each section are the newest for the season and remainder of the section are the patterns that are still contemporary. I definitely buy a few.  Then I go through my fabric stash and old patterns to see what will work this season.  To keep track of my stash, I had to catalogue it. I cut 2″ x 2″ of each fabric and glued them to a page in a binder. Beside or underneath each swatch, I wrote an approx. yardage.  The best part…..the top of the page is labeled with the BIN # that contains that page of fabric!!!!  Yes I have a lot! 

The second thing everybody should do, is clean your machine and/or take it in for servicing if necessary so its ready when you are. Most Janome machines don’t include instructions to oil it. Its recommended to have a certified Janome dealer look after your most prized possession and give it the TLC it deserves. You can do your part, by cleaning it regularly in the bobbin area though. Turn the machine off. Remove the throat plate and bobbincase. Vacuum or brush out all the lint, especially between the feed dogs. I’m always amazed at the amount of lint that collects, even after just one project.  The lint between the feed dogs can prevent them from coming up to their full height, resulting in poorly formed stitches!  And speaking about bobbins, please always use Janome bobbins. All bobbins are not created equal. Recently I met customer who told me her machine was making a lot of noise and the stitches ‘weren’t good’. My first reaction is to check the upper threading, which was prefect and then check the lower regions. I took out the bobbin and it clearly wasn’t a Janome. She had no idea where it came from and thought all bobbins were the same anyway. She had many more in the storage compartment which she promptly trashed! I cleaned out a LOT of lint, including the tip of a broken needle. After putting everything back together including a Janome bobbin, the machine purred and she was very happy.

And lastly fall means the CreativFestival. It seems a long time away, Oct 22-24, 2010, but it takes a long time to prep for, and the class schedule just came out. For the first time in history, I have signed up for classes! I have a spare day between set up and the start of the actual show. I’ve already signed up for 2 beading classes on the Thurs. I have always loved beads. On top of my fabric stash, I have a bead stash that belonged to my Baba and Auntie Anne, who used to do handbeading for a living, as well as my own purchases. I would really like to create some memory pieces of beads. If you attend the show, please stop by the Janome booth and say hi.

About LindaP

Educational Consultant for Janome Canada Ltd.
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