After a longer break than we should have taken, Alice and I have jumped back into making her first Quilt! You can read more about the project we’re working on HERE.
We had her fabric all ready to go, the pattern pieces all organized and now it was time to get down to making the quilt. Well, maybe not.
Alice has sewn before. She’s made a few items with me, but she really hasn’t done anything which required her to sew accurately. We needed to cover some basics before getting to the actual quilt.
First up, we tackled using a rotary cutter and ruler to cut some strips. Many adults have had run-ins with rotary cutters, so we covered some safety tips. The hand holding the ruler needs to be well away from the edge and you always put the safety guard back up after cutting. Always!
Alice had a healthy respect of the cutter, so it took a few tries to get some fabric actually cut. She’ll get the hang of it!
Then we moved over to her Janome SUV1122. To be honest, most of the sewing Alice has done has been on my machines because they are always out. Sitting down to the Janome SUV1122 was a whole other experience. There are many things that are similar to Janome’s other models like the threading path; needle threader; reverse lever; stitch selection knobs, etc. but the Janome SUV1122 features a front-loading bobbin with a separate metal bobbin case.
The Janome SUV1122 is a great sized machine! One of the selling points for me was that it would make a perfect machine for me to travel with (Alice likes to share). We were able to set her up in her room on her desk with plenty of room for a cutting mat which she could easily move to do homework. I wish I had a sewing machine in my bedroom! lol!
To start off, we had a lesson on winding the bobbin, threading the machine and how to insert a front- loading bobbin. So many steps to learn and perform before you even get to start sewing, but they’re essential to perfect to ensure good results.
The Janome SUV1122 is built to get the job done with no muss, no fuss. It’s pretty amazing at how many layers it can sew through! Since it is an “entry level” model at a lower price point, some features that we see in other models, like a speed control slider, aren’t included. Many adults have experience from driving when controlling the speed of their machine with pressure exerted on the foot control.This isn’t something an 11-year-old is well versed in, so finding a speed that was manageable for Alice was a task all on its own. Maybe learning to drive will be easier? I’m not ready for that!
Once Alice started to get the hang of moving the fabric with the speed of the machine, we introduced accuracy. Quilting requires some level of accuracy and if Alice was doing a traditionally pieced quilt, we could have used a seam or cloth guide, which is available for almost every Janome machine! This is a great option for anyone trying to up their accuracy game. The quilt Alice is making is Foundation Paper Pieced, so we need her to sew on a line. Picking out her favourite scraps, Alice drew lines on her fabric and started practicing following the line.
At this point I left her to have fun. She put on some headphones, found a good tune and got to work. I was called back a few times to assist in rethreading and winding a new bobbin, but she is well on her way!
The next day I was sitting in the living room and heard a familiar noise. Why was my sewing machine running when I’m not in my studio? I then realized that Alice was back to practicing sewing lines! And I’ve heard her a few times since then too! I don’t want to get ahead of myself but, I think she may actually like it. She even made herself a new accessory! Watch out sewing world! This small human is tackling learning to sew and self-drafting patterns in one step. I hope you’re ready!
Next up we are going to start working on the actual quilt! She is super excited!
What a great life skill to learn to sew! Is there an equivalent beginner/travel size machine which has a drop in bobbin?
There are so many fabulous choices. There’s a machine for every sewist and budget. The Janome Sewist 721 is a mechanical machine with a drop in bobbin https://www.janome.ca/en-ca/ca-machines/sewing/sewist-721s/
where-as the Janome C30 has a drop in bobbin and many convenient computerized features https://www.janome.ca/en-ca/ca-machines/sewing/c30/ Check out all of the machines at Janome.CA and visit a near-by Janome dealer for a test drive. Happy Sewing!