Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The highs and the lows

Do you remember in some magazines way back when they would have set up two rooms? They were basically decorated the same, but one was filled with items that were high priced and the other was normal priced stuff? Could you always guess which was which? There were many times when I preferred the low-end room over the high-end room.

Well, yesterday was a bit like that. I was back at the training and I learned enough tips to make it worth my time to be there. It's one thing to be self-taught. Quite another to have an expert run through the same stuff and you get to see what you missed. That's why I LOVE hands-on classes. You can't beat them for learning everything and being able to ask those niggling little questions.

Yesterday, I showed you the front of the new sewing machine, but I didn't show you the back. Here it is.

The back of the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Remember this colorway is called Vivid Sunset. I wonder why they mixed colors? The other two special colored sewing machines are either blue or green. And the backs of those two are white. This one is BRIGHT PINK. I can't wait to sew in front of Shelly!! She goes to love looking at that pink sewing machine all day.

It's a bit weird, but I love it.

I was doing some embroidery in the hoop. Not just any hoop - this is the Majestic Hoop which is the largest hoop on the market. It's a turnable hoop - so you do one half of the design and then rotate the hoop and do the other half. I have so MANY more samples to make and things to play with. I've got my work cut out for myself.

Embroidering a design in the Majestic Hoop

Here's what the design looks like on the screen.

Design that is being stitched out

After the class was over, I had just enough time to stop at home and grab a bit to eat and rescue the dogs from a day at home by themselves. They were NOT impressed.

Then it was off to teach the pillowcase class at Oh Look Fabric in Milton. Yep - from Markham to Milton. Thank goodness for the toll highway. I just wish it weren't so expensive. But then if it were cheaper, more people would drive on it and it would be congested. So I bite my tongue and pay the price. It's worth it. Thankfully, I don't have to do that every day. And our house is situated just about perfect to take the highway east or west. We lucked out on that.

A lot of beginner sewists end up in the pillowcase class. Most have never sewed before or sewn very little. I never know what they will bring for a sewing machine either. It's always fun to see what gets unearthed. This person was using her Mom's old Bernina. What a difference between the two machines. And this one reeked of sewing machine oil as we fired it up. I think it needs a new needle and a good cleaning.

Old Bernina sewing machine

She had no idea how to thread it, what a bobbin was - basically nothing. Her Mom had tried to teach her at some point, but well - we all know that's never a good idea.

With my vast knowledge of sewing machines, I was able to get the bobbin wound and the machine threaded. Most ALL sewing machines work the same way. They thread the same way - it's just a matter of following the thread path. Bobbins may be wound slightly different from each other, but there are basically two different styles of bobbin - the top load where the bobbin drops in on the bed of the sewing machine or the front load where the bobbin gets inserted into a removable bobbin case. Sewing machines have one system or the other and once you understand both - it's easy to make them work.

All machines have controls for the stitch length, tension dials, reverse - it's just a question of finding where. This one had a few oddities to it, but I got it figured out.

She did a couple of test runs on fabric and then she was off sewing.

And by the end of the class, both participants had finished their pillowcase. Yep - both of them had directional fabric! Directional fabric is always a bit more of a challenge to work with, but once you get it cut, then no big deal. What I love is how happy people are when they leave with that finished pillowcase. We should have a pillowcase wall with pictures of very happy people!!


We missed our dressmaking class last week as the instructor was ill. I had better get my homework done today! I have to make my samples of the seam finishes and to prep my lining fabrics. Yes - I've had two weeks to do that! But I just seem to be a last-minute person on all this stuff. I've no idea why although I'm getting better.

I still haven't touched the postcard basket to see exactly what's in there. With M here for the weekend and then right into two days of training, that sort of ate into my time. I've got loads to get done and I hope that today might be the day that I get into that basket. Although I do have a bit of admin work to do, make a sample for the freelance classes, do the homework for the dressmaking class and well - I'd like to quilt a quilt as well.

It doesn't matter what gets done as long as progress is made and keeping all deadlines in mind.

So while I did lose some mileage over the last two days as I wasn't able to get out for my afternoon walk, I still managed to average 6 miles of walking on each of the two days. Not bad considering that I spent most of the day in a chair or in the car. I feel the urge to get out and move today! I've got dogs to walk and errands to do.

I have three audiobooks on hold at the library and I'm not requesting anything else until those come in which should be soon. You know how it is - you download a book and then BAM - the three audiobooks will come in at the same time. So I'm being patient. But here's something else to consider - make sure that you check out ALL the resources that your library has for you. Our library system used Libby by OverDrive which I love. But we can also access titles at FreeGal, Hoopla, RB Digital, and PressReader. I'm going to check those out and see what I can find in there for FREE entertainment. All that's required is a library card. I swear the library is the BEST thing in the entire world. If you don't have a library card - you should. There are movies, books, magazines and probably a whole lot of other stuff that you can get for free.

No need to buy the magazine and then wonder what to do with it - you can either get the hard copy or browse the digital version. It's not so much the money, it's the "what do you do with the material when you are done with it" that bugs me. Elle made a comment earlier this week that at one point, she was spending over $1,000 a YEAR on books. She now uses the resources at the library and has saved a ton of money and no worries about how to dispose of those books that are mostly read ONCE.

She started tracking how she spent her money. Oh boy - that would be an interesting exercise, but I think it's one that most of us should take on. How much do we spend on a certain thing? Once we know - then we can better evaluate whether we can afford to spend that much money. And I don't care if I don't read a book the minute it gets released. What's the fun in that? Anticipation and waiting is part of life. I still haven't read the last two Harry Potter books and I'm surviving just fine. I've got loads of releases to read in several series. I am never compelled to be first in the reading department. I read what I want when I want.

The other thing about books is that some people will reread the same book (sometimes more than once or twice). OK - I get it - you like the book, but I can't deal with that. As I read the book, the whole thing comes back to me. I'd rather be reading something new. There's so much new out there - why bother with the old.

Anyway - it's time to get moving on the day!!

Have a super day!!!!   Get working on your postcard or check out the resources at your library!



  1. Not related to today's post but perhaps helpful to you or my fellow readers.

    When one scrolls through this post, there are 2 habit tracking documents she has made available. For those out there who need to document, this could be an immensely helpful tool to implement new lifestyle habits. Declutter goals, eating goals, exercise goals, minutes spent sewing goals......any SMART goal could be tracked and all on one page!

    1. Love it -- I'm going to post it this morning. Thanks for the link!