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Val's Quilting Blog

Thanks for visiting my personal blog; where I write about the projects I'm working on, and UFO's I'm avoiding :) as well as my thoughts on all things quilty.

If you have something to report or talk about, let me know by leaving a comment. I LOVE to hear from all of you...leave me your blog link also so I can visit you...

Have a block of the month in mind that you'd like us to do as a club, please let me know. 

Until next time, stay happy and creative

Entries in Review (7)

Monday
Nov072011

Janome Sewing Machine Update (277)

As many of you know I went through quite a trying experience with Janome in May of 2010 and with sheer determination I worked really hard with my Horizon to make it the machine I would LOVE. Well I'm not sure I LOVE it yet but I'm really starting to like it:)

It's a solid machine, my Husqvarna would shake when I was free motioning quilting and that would drive me crazy, this machine is super solid but it's super heavy too! I have had more comments on this Janome Horizon post from May of 2010 then likely any other post on my site. I believe that's because our sewing machines mean alot to us. We value them like our cars and computers - they are our machines, we rely on them everyday (like I do). We want them to work like they are advertised to work.

Recently I took a class (with baby London and she was fab btw) on machine quilting - this was part 2 to the one I took in January and one of the ladies - we'll call her "Frustrated Sewer" in the class recently bought a new Phaff. Frustrated Sewer came from a Bernina that she'd had and sewed faithfully on for many years (like 20+). She was getting to know her Phaff and wasn't happy with it AT ALL - oh how I can relate to her. It's so hard to spend the money on this new shiny sewing machine, pull it out of the box, full of excitement and anticipation for amazing things to come but then be dissapointed with the initial results. Frustrated sewer has spent let's be generous and say several weeks playing with this new machine compared to the several years with her Bernina - there has got to be a significant difference, right?

Well like any tool we buy and spend significant money on, it's a learning curve getting use to it - whether it's a new stove, computer, remote control - they are supposed to be better cause they are newer. They come sporting the best technology - or better then what you currently have - a new shinyer cover or shell and more importantly they are going to assist us with expertise and a handy dandy user guide. This is a learning curve ladies. Trust me when I say learning curve.

I wish I could have returned my machine as the above posts asks over and over. I still haven't taken it in for a service because I'm not sure where to take it - to the local store who's a bit annoyed that I didn't spend my money there and who will charge me full price for the service OR to the store where I purchased it from that's about 8 hours from me - who's likely annoyed with me for blogging about my experience and asking Janome Canada for help (which they never did).  Stuck between a rock and a hard place I am. Good thing I can take apart and clean my machine with no problems....

What are your experiences with your brand of sewing machines - I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday
Jun092011

Cotton Floss Book Review (241)

This is our newest only book that we're carrying...that's because Natalie emailed me asking me if I'd be one of the few Canadian shoppes carrying it - I, with pleasure accepted the challenge...so far it hasn't been to hard to accept this challenge as I sold out of the book from this post.

I love it!! It's a true gem and would make a great addition to your sewing/quilting and embroidery books in your present stash.

Cinderberry Stitches, Natalie's company has an amazing way of putting whimsy into everything...she makes you believe in fairies and the cuties in life and takes you back to being a little girl with dreams. All of these come through in the stitcheries she and her team design.

All 12 projects are in full colours and full sizes so no photocopying - thank YOU Natalie:)

Her photos throughout the book are sew inspiring and absolutely delightful...

 

 

Sew if you feel so inclined to purchase it for your stash...I have more copies on order so not to worry:) they are on their way...

Wednesday
Apr062011

Kindle Review (221)


For an early Christmas present my hubby surprised me with this amazing reading device, a Kindle by Amazon. I'm a "veracious reader" as he calls me I'm not a super fast reader (like my Aunt who reads a book in a night) but I LOVE to read. I read so many different styles of books from lite reading about nothing to heavy reading about slavery, to biographies and travel and everything in between. I'm not much of a magazine reader (unless it's quilting related) but every night before bed I read, Period!

This device is so great - it's sleek and fits into my messenger bag style of purse for when I'm on the go, the battery lasts a month or longer and you can adjust the text font, spacing and size, you can read it portrait or landscape as well as it's perfect for both right hand and left handed people. It's super lightweight so your hand doesn't get tired when reading for long hours. I also really love the screen savers which are generally of some famous author or an interesting picture of birds or something you'd love.

It's the perfect gift coming it at just around $150 it makes a great gift for anyone and yourself, of course. This little beauty also keeps track of how far along in your book you are, has highlighted quotes in the book that other people LOVE too as well as a dictionary setting if you're not sure what a word means (how perfect is that!). You can search for books directly from this device to the Amazon.com (important cause Amazon.ca doesn't sell Kindle books or the device) and they get emailed right to you wirelessly. You can subscribe to newspapers, blogs (USA only) and all of the books you could ask for, plus they are generally cheaper then paper backs - bonus!! Also, there are many free Kindle books available. I can't compare between the different e-readers out there because I only know this one but I would definitely recommend it for the "reader" in your life or YOU:)

Do you have a Kindle or another e-reader brand, if so tell me about it as I'd love to hear about the other brands out there.

Until next time, stay happy and creative, Valerie

Monday
Dec132010

Me Mondays: HST Charges - with Regrets! (187)

Since July 1st those of you who live in Canada have heard the big debate about whether to charge the HST, GST and the combined tax with some of the Canadian provinces...

I've heard everything from "buy from HST free provinces" to "no Albertans don't pay or charge HST" 

After many hours of research, and every time Pastimes Online ships to a HST province we get billed to ship to this province, I'm not doing business with the province I'm doing business with my local Post Office in Alberta a HST free province, am I not? The person living in Ontario who purchased from me doesn't pay HST because I live in Alberta, and we aren't a HST province, right?

Confused? I am!

So after much review of the tables, taxes and provinces, unfortunately Pastimes Online will now be charging HST (appropriate amount) to their customers from the applicable provinces - with much regret!

Valerie

Any advice or insight you can provide to me that'd be much appreciated!

Here's the Tax Tips document I used to find out the appropriate rates...

Friday
Jul232010

Review: Press Open or to One Side? (133)

Welcome back to Vals Quilting, today I want to talk about pressing seams open or to one side. 

I was taught to press seams to one side generally to the dark and to nest the seams when connecting blocks together, this seems to be the proper way or the way most quilters sew.

A year or so ago I was reading about quilters starting to press seams open, then I was struggling with a complicated block and my friend Beth said to press my seams open and boy did that ever make a difference. Less bulk, it lays so much flatter especially when you have multiple pieces.

I also had the privilege recently to take a lecture or two and a workshop by Fun Quilts, Bill Kerr and they press their seams open and always have. They do this to relieve bulk. If they have no concerns about pressing their seams open and commissioning their quilts in upwards of $5000K they must be onto something....

There was some debate recently at a quilt guild meeting regarding this. One lady mentioned that pressing the seams open may make the seam vulnerable, another person agreed but if you think about it, Seamstresses and Sewers press their seams open all of the time to relieve bulk. Some sewers will finish their seams in  "french" style or zigzag over the seam allowances to ensure they are secure or even use a serger so the seam allowance doesn't become frayed. You likely wouldn't use a serger when quilting because this will definitely add bulk to the seam and plus you will be quilting through all 3 layers to finish the quilt and secure the blocks in place at the end.

I was taught to sew pressing the seams open, thanks Susan.

I was taught to press my seams to one side when quilting, thanks to all of you quilting experts and teachers out there :)

I've decided to press seams open and or to press in the direction that will make my block sit flat and to reduce bulk, if that means to press to one side, I will do that, if that means to press the seam open, I will do that.

Since I've started teaching with Chinook Learning Services, I've decided to teach my students to press their seams open, so far :)

What do you do? Press Open or to one side and Why?

Until next time, have a happy and creative day!