Don’t wait to sign up! I have added a class for this summer and you are invited. I am partnering up with Knit & Bolt (formerly Crafty Planet) in NE Minneapolis to do a pop-up class. In three sessions, you will learn all you need to know about beginning hand embroidery. We will cover the basics of tools, threads, needles, and to hoop or not hoop. Each session we will focus on a group of related stitches, like variations on a theme. We will talk about how to stitch a pre-traced pattern as well as free-form embroidery, which is my favorite. I broke the class up so you will have time to practice between sessions and come back with questions. We will work in the awesome new classroom space at Knit & Bolt and you can get all of your materials there at the shop. (I will post the supply list here very soon and email it to you after you register.)
Intro to Embroidery
Tuesdays June 20, 27 and July 11 • 10:00 – 11:30 am
at Knit & Bolt
Open to ages 10 and up. No embroidery or hand sewing experience necessary.
THIS CLASS IS FULL. If you are interested in learning about future classes, please sign up for my email newsletter.
Another post about the art supplies I love and why I love them. I think I have 5 pairs of these Fiskars Microtips. They are my favorite scissors. More than my fancy Gingher sewing scissors. I have 5 pairs because eventually I do something dumb and they get a little too dull for working with fabric things and they get retired to being paper scissors and then I have to replace the fabric ones. I think there’s one pair so beat up that it has been retired to the garage.
Why do I love them? They fit my hands so that my hands aren’t getting tired when I am cutting endless little things like this.
They are sturdy and never get loose or wobbly feeling. I don’t use them for cutting out garments or pattern pieces; that’s not what they are for. Those tips are tiny. I can cut little threads and trim seam allowances or clip curves. I can cut out intricate paper shapes and not worry about the scissors mangling the curves and corners. They are sharp. And they only get too dull for fabric things because I tend to use them for everything, whether I “should” be using them or not. I think one of the things that was the most frustrating when I was teaching beginning sewing classes was scissors that belonged in the garbage. Cutting out is always the first step. And if your scissors chew up your fabric, then you can’t match it up, and then the seams don’t line up and the seam allowances are all over the place and it just spirals from there.
Good scissors are way more important than a fancy sewing machine. My friend Jane, my next door neighbor for my entire childhood and the one responsible for me knowing about cross stitch and hardanger and making button holes, gave me a pair of nice scissors as a highschool graduation present. I still have them. They are still sharp. I use them all the time. She was a smart lady.
And I don’t mean the sticky paper kind. Apple has a new thing for iOS that lets you put super-sized emoticons on your iMessages and they call them “stickers”. And when you are an artist (and a geek) and you are married to a guy who writes software for a living, it means that you get to have sticker packs released the day the feature goes live! I am so excited.
I have been working on these for ages very quietly behind the scenes and I have 3 “Sticker Packs” that are up in the App Store today. We were all tapping our fingers and waiting for the approval emails yesterday.
One set is the much sought-after yarn emoji! “I Love Yarn” is a whole pack of knitting and crochet. Smiling yarn balls, an angry tangled skein, stitch markers and more.
“Sew It Up” is all sewing machines, scissors, pins and my friend the seam ripper.
“Black Kitty” is a gift for a friend who just lost his sweet black kitty, but also for my mom and sister, who both have goofy black kitties.
You can get them in the App Store for $.99 each. I added a tab to my menu bar up there at the top of this page that says “Shop” so there is always a link to them and any future sets I do. (It also has links to my Etsy shop and other places to get my designs.)
One of my most popular posts according to the analytics I see when I log in is the post I wrote about my Saga of Sewing Machines and the reviews of the Bicor, Viking, Bernina and more that I have loved and hated through the years. When I wrote that post I had had my Pfaff Expression 3.2 for about a week. It’s now been 8 months and about a million stitches, so it is definitely time to follow up. (I have been busy!) I can say with all honesty that this is the best machine I have ever owned. I have stitched through layers of leather, not to mention denim, silk organza, felt, polar fleece. I made a quilt with it. The stitches are beautiful, the tension is beautiful. I still love the zipper foot. It’s quiet and heavy enough that I don’t push it around the sewing table.
If I have to pick out a pet peeve it’s that the reverse button is little and a little awkwardly located. Reverse has two “modes”: one where you can hold it in and it reverses and when you let go it goes back to forward stitching; and the other mode clicks it into reverse and it stays there. Inevitably I do the wrong thing and get it locked into reverse when I want it out or vice versa. It’s mostly user malfunction, but it annoys me. (Now I wonder if I can change that to always do one or the other. I will have to check the book.)
I was skeptical about it being computerized, but so far that hasn’t been a problem. I bought a rolled hem foot that I cannot get to work reliably, but I think that is probably me needing more practice. All in all, I think I finally found the machine that I love.
The only thing I haven’t done is settle on a name, which I know is silly. Nothing so far has stuck, but I am sure she will let me know what her name is at some point.