Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The serger

I have NOTHING to do and NOWHERE to go today! OK - so there's technically nothing on the calendar although I have slated this as a CLEANUP day. There's a TO-DO list, but nothing is due today and no official places to go. I LOVE IT and the weather is supposed to be glorious. I'm pumped - I'm super excited. I've got loads that I want to do.

Another fun day at the Monday Sewing group. I've been spending the last couple of Mondays doing hand applique all day. I just couldn't take another day of that. So I spent the morning doing hand applique and making nice progress on my piece.

 In the afternoon, I set up the serger. Not just any serger. This is the NEW Husqvarna Viking 

AMBER™ Air S | 400.  Can you guess what the Air means???  Yep, those loopers are now threaded with AIR. I LOVE this feature. Not only does it have air threading loopers, but there's a needle threader for the TWO needles. I had it threaded within mere minutes which is pretty good considering that this is really the second time that I've threaded this serger. It's super easy. 

I didn't have to touch the tension and I was off! You got to love sergers once you understand them. While I've had a serger for a long time, I've never really understood it and to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by them. I'm determined to learn everything there is to know about a serger.

This is one of the books that I bought at the Guelph book sale.

Serger book

OK - so there are two serger books. I bought the one on the left only to realize when I got home that I have the one on the right. They are IDENTICAL inside - just a different cover. DRAT!!!!  Fortunately, the book cost $1 so no big deal. However, seeing these books brought back great memories. When I learned to quilt, I used a Singer book. I still have that book and I must tell you that story one day. The book has been sitting beside the computer for a while. You'll love the story.

These Singer books are FILLED TO THE BRIM with great information. NONE of the techniques have changed. A four-thread overlock stitch is still a four-thread overlock stitch. Perhaps the fabrics used have changed, but the techniques are the same!! That's why I go for those older books. I've got more to share with you another day. If anyone wants that book on the left, you're welcome to it. It's a GREAT book and I've already learned tons about the serger and only ¼ of the way through. As I said, I'm determined to become very proficient with the serger.

I try to spend the evening reading. Not just novels, but I usually have a "learning" book at the ready as well. I finally finished the book on my new phone last night. I learned tons of stuff from reading that book. Here's one thing that I learned. Yesterday, we were chatting about the battery life of cell phones. Someone mentioned the memory of the battery and that you should try to let the battery run low before recharging.

That is now a thing of the past. The old phone batteries were nickel-cadmium (NiCad). Those batteries held a memory and if you didn't charge them properly, they wore out very quickly. However most batteries in cell phones today are lithium-ion (Li-ion). These batteries do NOT have a memory. That means you can charge them whenever you wish and it's recommended that you do NOT completely discharge the battery.

So what drains the battery??  You'd be very surprised at how many apps are running behind the scenes on your phone. You should get in the habit of shutting them down, especially when you leave the house and are away from Wi-Fi. There are all kinds of routines that you can set on your phone. When you leave your home, the phone can automatically (once you set it) go into several different modes to help prolong battery life. Before I return the book, I have a few of those to set up and then I should be good!!! I've got high security on my phone (facial recognition and fingerprints), however, I want to set up an account that'll help me find the phone should it go missing. Dare I say that I'm up to date on this technology???

OK - back to the serger. What did I sew in the afternoon?? Well, in less than two hours, this quilt top was together. I had two small jelly rolls - one was dark and one was red. I have some red fabric to make the border and another top will be made and more fabric used up. This is a very fast quilt to make if you need one in a hurry. Essentially, it's the jelly roll race quilt. Here's a link to a post that I wrote that gets you started on the quilt including the match involved if you want to change the size.    Here's the second part of piecing the jelly roll quilt with a serger.  

My jelly roll quilt made with the serger

It wasn't without a few issues. I managed to sew the wrong side of one or two pieces and I had to do a wee bit of ripping. Thankfully, I found out before I had gone very far.

I'm even collecting samples to practice my serging. This is the trimming from a quilt that was backed with fleece. I cut a leftover scrap of fleece into small lengths and now I can play with the tensions and different kinds of threads. This is the only way to learn so I hope to find all kinds of other types of materials around the house and fill the bucket with samples for practice.

My serger sample bucket

So how is the pillowcase prep coming along? I had some time last night so I got busy measuring and cutting. I had to eliminate a couple of the fabrics that I had washed - only because they were directional and were too short to be cut properly.

The directional print is not long enough for a pillowcase

Directional prints that run parallel to the selvage need to be 40 ½" long to cut the pillowcases. So this one went back into the basket of licensed character fabrics. No worries - I'll be making quilts from those at some point.

I managed to get three pillowcase bodies and three bands cut last night. I have one matching set (upper right) and two bands and two bodies that will be married up with something as I go through the fabric.

Components cut for the pillowcases
So far, I found two prints that wouldn't work because they were directional. Including the leftovers from the cutting of the other fabrics, this is my "reject" pile and it went back into the basket. I'm OK with that. It'll all go into a children's quilt soon.

Fabrics that went back into the licensed character basket

 OK - I'm over coveting this fabric. As far as I'm concerned, it's all been committed to the community projects project. Now I just need the time to process it. This is way more satisfying than just donating it so someone else is saddled with the problem of using it up!! I think this has been my calling all along. Amass the fabric, find a way to use it responsibly, gather friends for fun sewing days. And when it's time for me to downsize because I'm moving, I hope that a good part of the fabrics will be used up!! We may need quite a few sewing days to make that happen.

Remember - if you participate in the sewing days, I'm quite happy to help you with downsizing your stash for these causes. If you don't, then no - we don't want your fabric bits! If you have yardage that suits the pillowcases, I might be persuaded to look at it - only because it's easy to use up. I hope that makes sense.

I threw this small quilt of mine on the long arm last night. The black bits had been quilted and the quilt had been trimmed, but the center part had not been quilted. Don't ask. Anyway - it's now done. The only problem is where the heck is the pre-made binding? This quilt has been moved around so much that the binding is in one of the tubs of "to be quilted" projects, but which one?? Maybe I'll try to find that today.

My quilt - done!!!

Lots more to share, but that'll have to wait for another day. I'm too excited and need to get the "nothing" day started.

Have a super day and if you live near me - get OUTSIDE and enjoy this weather. I see a walk in my future.


No comments:

Post a Comment