About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label Bernina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bernina. Show all posts

Thursday, April 17, 2014

HINTS & TIPS Threading n' Needles ~ a repost

hello ~

i dearly love teaching my students in the bernina "mastery" classes... and because quite a few of my students have asked, i am posting again, just for y'all! 

i have found that the most overlooked feature of sewing machines, is the lack of knowing the basics! 

with that being said, here are some of the most common basics that are either overlooked, forgotten, underused, and unapplied!  although these tips and hints are focused particularly on bernina ownership... they are still great tips for any sewing enthusiast!

❤    Use the correct size end caps based on the size of your thread spool.  There are usually three sizes included with your Bernina machine; small, medium and large.
In the picture below, they are shown as they should be placed onto your thread, once the spool is loaded onto your machine...  these spools are shown with the flat side of the end cap fitting flush with the end of the thread spool.  The reason they should be placed like this is to prevent threads from wrapping around the end of the spool, and if that happens, your thread will CERTAINLY break very soon, or will pull so violently tight, it will break your needle; especially at higher speeds. 
An Iscacord spool of thread is pictured below, with the smallest end cap in place, and the spool has been loaded onto the machine.  Notice in this pic there is also a gray sponge-like foam pad on the back side of the spool; placed so that the thread spool is held tight.  This is commonly overlooked by many Bernina owners.  and if you place your spool on the vertical spool holder, your thread spool should sit on top of this 'spongee' and the spool of threads spins easily, thread flows much... much... smoother through your machine.
a "cross-wound" spool of thread, placed on the horizontal spindle of the sewing machine
❤    Choose either horizontal or vertical thread spindles based on the way your thread is wound.  Cross wound thread spools (like Isacord thread in the picture above) are wound like a figure 8, are (normally) placed on the horizontal position. (Laying down). A stacked spool has the threads wound one thread on top of the other vertically, and should be placed on the vertical position (standing straight up). If the thread spool is stacked, no end cap is needed as the spool sits upright on the vertical spindle.
    Note: (generally) you can place a cross wound thread on either vertical or horizontal spools... the key is that these types of spools are wound so that the thread comes off the spool from the top of the thread cone.  Stacked threads are wound so the thread releases from the side of the spool.  From the front side or the back side of the spool, it does not matter how a stacked thread releases.  If you have a thread stand, then you can use either type of cone in the vertical position (standing up).

❤    Always begin the threading of your machine with tension disks open! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! This means your presser foot is in the ‘up’ position, which enables the thread to be placed inside the tension disk area.  If it isn't... you will know very quickly (within 2-3 stitches) that something... isn't... right!!

❤    Ensuring the ‘take-up’ lever is in it’s highest position makes it easier  for most needle threaders to secure the thread through the eye of the needle.

❤    Have your needle at it’s highest point to help ensure success with the needle threader

❤    Once your machine is threaded, and before using the needle threader, put your presser foot in the ‘down’ position. This will allow the tension disks to close, and “clamp” your top thread in place, making it a bit easier to use the needle threader.

❤    Be sure to completely press down on the needle threader until the threader is able to completely surround the needle.  There are two little “snaggers” that must come through the eye of the needle in order to snag the thread and pull it through the eye of the needle.

❤    While letting go of the needle threader, remember not to hang onto the thread so tight that you end up pulling the thread back through the eye of the needle! I see many students who think they  should let it go quickly too, and that's not true either.  You can successfully thread the needle 'slow-motion' too!

❤    90% of all stitching issues are needle related!  THIS IS SO TRUE!
    ❀ Change your needle often!  This is the single most important and least expensive thing you can do!  Change it approximately every 2-3 bobbins, (really!) or every hour, depending on the type of sewing, fabric and thread play you're doing!  Fusings...free motion couching, & sewing through thick fabrics  will dull a needle much more quickly... I promise!
  • Learn to check your needle and its tip... it's easy to see the difference when you hold up a new needle to the older one against the lights... if that tip is even slightly flat, or has a burr on it, you can either FEEL  it... or SEE it!  AND... get rid of it!  The question I ask my students is simply this: "do you want to have fun... or do you want to struggle?" 
  • {knowledge=fun!}  it's as simple as that!
    ❀ Use the correct size of needle based on the thread you are using, and the type of fabric in your project. An 80/12 is good for piecing; a 90/14 is a must for free motion or decorative stitching {when you are using 40 wt threads}! otherwise, a smaller needle{s} like 80/10 and 70/12, will work fine if you have a smaller weight thread {like a 50 or 60 wt thread, respectively} 
❀ If you experience stitching issues, re-thread your machine from the top first.  If the problem persists, re-thread your bobbin case. If that doesn’t help... change your needle!  Try one thing at a time... that way you GAIN KNOWLEDGE in ... TROUBLESHOOTING!  That's a good thing!

    ❀ a size 90/14 needle in ***top stitch, metallic, denim/jeans, as well as the Bernina “Cordonnet” styled needle are nearly  identical in that they have a sharp tip, elongated eye, and deeper groove which work best with 40 weight cottons, 40 weight tri-lobal polyester threads and metallic threads; AND... especially in free motion!

***these days, I am completely sold on Superior's Titanium coated, Topstitch needles in sizes 70,80,90. and 100. they last twice as long as regular needles, and they are so worth it!

use your machine's potential to it's fullest... and then sew and enJOY!

and... i'm working at gettings pics for the "kitchen towel tutorial" ... so i hope you'll "stay tuned" and come on back, ya hear?!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Bernina Button Sew On Foot #18

This is a favorite foot for many applications. I use it quite often.  I teach this technique in our Bernina Mastery classes (every Monday evening at Bernina Silver Thimble!).  I love showing it as it's so slick!

Attach your foot.  Go to the buttonhole section on your Bernina machine.  You will see there is a special stitch, just for sewing on buttons automatically! (Stitch highlighted in blue to the right).  Most Bernina's (except maybe the very low end models) have this 'sewing on a button' as a stitch!  If you do have it, it will be found in the buttonhole section on your machine.  Mine is Stitch #60 on my 830 machine, as you can see in the photo right.  

Once that stitch is selected, your machine will automatically drop the feed dogs.  It's a stitch  programmed into the machine!
Notice the special black rubber grippers that help stabilize the button underneath the foot and keep it from moving.  The metal bar of the foot is positioned over the 'bridge' (that's what I call it) of the button, in between the two holes.  Did you know that most button holes on buttons (even this big one) are the same distance apart?  Even so, it's always a good precaution to make sure your needle will pierce the center holes of the button, and you can  pre-test it with your hand wheel.  

Once your alignment is 'spot-on' -- press on the foot pedal, and the machine does the rest!  It will automatically take three securing stitches to begin, placing them in the left hand side of the buttonhole.  It then switches to the zig zag, going back and forth several times, stitching over that little center bar, and when it's finished it takes three more securing stitches in the right side, and it stops, automatically!  You then just slide the foot off off your button, and you're done.  

Yes... it leaves enough 'give" from the thread to the button, so that it's not too tightly sewn on.  Just give the button a tug upward, to make all the stitches 'rally together' (as I call lit!) 

Note:  If you are sewing a button with four holes, you will want to always begin in the front, and then slide the foot back to stitch the back two holes last.   Easy Peasy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bernina Foot #43 Free Motion Couching

So... we visited yesterday with a quilt using more "traditional" type of couching, with the blog the day before on the #39 foot.  Tomorrow I will be posting a small project showing this technique, and I hope you will check back then!
And TODAY... more couching!  How I love a free motion foot of any kind... but this #43 free motion foot from Bernina is particularly FUN and one of my most favorites to use.  The foot comes with three pieces; the foot itself, a thread guide (that you load onto your Bernina thread cutters), and a small wire that is a threader that helps you insert cords/yarns through the holes of the foot. Ask your Bernina dealer to demonstrate it for you!  I will be demonstrating this at the placemat class at "The Quilt A Way" on February 15th 5:30 - 8pm.  Class fee: only $10 - come join us!
You can see the stitches 'pulled' a bit... so lower the tension!
  • Lower your top tension at least 1-2 levels
  • Lower your feed dogs
  • Use a 90/14 microtex  needle
  • with foot #43 from Bernina, the needle stitches through the center of the cord, so it's important to get it stitched down, but keep the foot moving evenly over the fabric.
  • just like any other foot, you can make circles, stitch over previous lines, and etc.
  • keep an even speed; not too fast, not too slow
  • tie off like you normally would 
  • cording or yarn you choose for this particular foot is approximately 2mm in width, or roundness.  Too big, a cord won't fit properly and will plug the holes in the foot.  Too loose, and it won't stitch down at all.  So find something that 'fills the hole' but feeds smoothly & evenly through the hole.
I am showing some basic placemats above, previously cut with free hand curves, and then those curved pieces have been edge-stitched down, and are now ready for stitching, couching and decorative stitch accents.  Here's the link to a previous blog that featured Christmas themed placemats. Hint:  Look at your needle as you gauge placement... it's in the center of the foot, so placing your foot, and watching the needle will take some practice, in order to get exact placement.

Remember, this is free motion, so feed dogs are down.  Lower your tension as needed, and match your top thread color to the cord.  I like 50 weight Masterpiece cotton from Superior threads in my top and the same in my bottom thread, but a polyester is good too, and I make my decisions based upon how much I'm going to couch, and the type of cord/yarn I am couching.  Polyester tends to be stronger, and for that reason alone, it can be a better choice especially if you are using 'tougher' cords/yarns with nylon or alot of density to them.

Threading the foot:  Begin with the side-entry, feeding your cord/yarn through the side, and then down through the top center hole.  Keep the excess cord/yarn to the left, ensuring it is tangle free and can feed easily as you are sewing/quilting.
Thread yarn through the side-entry hole first

The #43 Free Motion Couching Foot by Bernina is just a "must have" foot if you want to look like a STAR!  I teach and demonstrate this to most of my classes!  It's just too good not to share!  Note:  This foot has a shank that fits only the newer Bernina machines (10 years or more new), and it is not produced for the older models.  

Yarn completely threaded (left to right, through the center hole)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Bernina Foot #39; a couching technique

This is a (Bernina) must-have foot for lots of reasons! Most machines will have something similar... Tomorrow, I plan to showcase a project that shows this technique on an entire easy table runner project, utilizing some left-over scraps of silk I was given.  (There's a teaser photo at the end)... YOU too, can creatively apply this easy-to-use and very simple technique on your quilts and garments!  Why should you own this foot?  Here's a few of my reasons:
  • Visibility! 
  • Most folks don't realize/see that it has a small hole in the front of the foot that enables you to load a thick thread (like Razzle Dazzle/Superior or YLI Candlelight and more), and couch it on perfectly, and perfectly centered --- easy!
  • The red marks provide ease for exact placement, especially the middle mark, as the thread will stay aligned in the center position, and so the red middle mark is a wonderful guide in itself, couching or not!
Choose a narrow zig zag; mine in this photo is 1.2mm wide by 2.35 long.  You can adjust as you see fit depending on your type of machine.  Basically it's 1.5mm by 2.5 in length.
In the pic below, you may be able to  see the very tiny zig zag stitch on the thread where it's been stitched and then cut.  To load the thread into the foot, I usually have to wet (lick!) the end of the thread, inserting it into the front, and feeding it to the back of the foot. 
When I couch with a silver thread, I use a white top thread; but this is strictly a personal preference, depending on what look you're going for.  I like several different kinds; choose either a 40 weight white polyester or a 50 weight, such as masterpiece cotton for blending with the silver thread.  I also love this foot for it's clear visibility when it comes to top stitching!   And.. don't forget your needle position adjustment is a great tool to use... (Bernina's have 9-11 different needle positions)... all of which can be moved/adjusted  while you are sewing!
Perfect placement for both techniques is where it really shines! I top stitched the fabric first, using my far left or far right needle position, (and lengthened the stitch too!), aligning  the edge of the foot as it worked for easy placement as a guide.  With it 's clear visibility, it's easy to keep a perfectly straight line, too!  Once all pieces were top stitched, then I switched to the thick (Razzle Dazzle or YLI)  thread, threaded it through the center hole, from front to back, set my zig zag (as mentioned in the dimensions above), center needle position, and stitch!  Watch tomorrow for the full showcase on what the final project looks like!

Friday, January 21, 2011


This piece was a bit of an experiment... I wanted to play with  my newly dyed fabric, and with my new Zenspirations embroidery designs (love the USB stick to plug n play!)  The embroidery design is the the framed box, and the "Big L" only. (check out my post on the "BLOOM" towel a few weeks ago here)
After I finished the embroidery, I added the letters: "ove" on my own, free motion style. Using the same black thread I embroidered with, which was an Isacord 40 weight polyester, I switched to a zig zag stitch, keeping my needle at a 45 degree angle.  I set my zig zag stitch to a width that I felt looked good in relation to the size of the big "L" - about 2.5 inches wide, (feed dogs are still dropped), and using the #29 clear free motion foot, (you want visibility for this!), I began free motion stitching the letters "ove" to finish...  extending a little "flair" shall we say... so the zig zag line curves, and flows it's way all the way through the framed border, which I personally thought looked more attractive than if I was to just stop it at the inside border of the frame.

Why not add a sticker?! I found this clear sticker in my scrapbooking area (which is quite sadly neglected these days)... How I loved doing this!  Just "run right over it!" --- using of course, a pretty thread in a pinky-green-mango color scheme!!!  There's fibers under it... paint.... all added to lutradur; a kind of newer 'space-age' fabric (for lack of a better term!)  I'm not sure I know how to describe lutradur... a man-made polyester-type product that can be painted, stamped, cut, sewn, burned... you name it!

This is a shot of the three little squares of lutradur, and  further experimentation --I mean embellishment that I added!  ...further 'enhanced' with a my free motion #43 couching foot using a hand-dyed yarn... just for kicks and giggles! Don't forget to LAUGH!!!  (and for practice!)

I took design motif cues from the embroidery design, keeping it a very simple loopdee-loo free motion circles...in solid black, and then like a pitcher on a baseball field... CHANGE IT UP!  Bat 1000 when you grab a beautiful variegated thread - my personal favorite, which is Superior Threads "Rainbow threads --- they are lovely tri-lobal polyesters that have shine and brilliant colors (love them!).  The tip is to use a 90/14 topstitch needle... drop your top tension a notch (or two!), and use a bobbin weight or lighter, 50 weight cotton thread on the bottom.

I added some stamping to one of the little squares... in a bit of white paint, right onto the lutradur.  It didn't come out quite as bold as I was anticipating... but hey, that's how you learn!  (and have fun!)
Leftover pieces cut deliberately into triangle shapes... and "doodled" over randomly!! Raw edge borders... no need to spend time hand stitching on this piece.  Also, I left the center commercial green batik (with the black circles) deliberately "off kilter" --- one of my favorite ways to play!
And I ripped the fabrics, so I could get those fluffy edges... 
and don't forget it's
"love... binding it all together!"
and the finished piece looks like:
 "...love  binds everything together in perfect harmony" --- Colossians 3:14

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Part 2 Necessary Notions: Stitch Plates

Here's a TIP for you.  Did you know that many of the 'Pro' quilters and precision piecers  use a  straight stitch plate?  Whether it's for free motion quilting, piecing or sewing, it's a nice advantage.  These are the reasons why:
  • less movement of fabric, so there is more stability in stitching, as there is less fabric in contact with the feed dogs
  • fabric doesn't get pulled down into the needle hole, especially when you begin stitching
  • a straight stitch plate allows for  'straighter' stitches in free motion quilting AND is really a huge benefit if you are loving precision piecing!
  • especially  helpful with the 9mm rotary hook system providing matching fabric support under the foot, promoting perfect stitch quality even in delicate or difficult fabrics 
  • straight stitch plates (at least for Bernina machines) are available for ALL machines, from  a basic 5.5 mm machine, to the top-of-the-line 9mm machines
  • what is a 5.5 machine? 9mm machine? It's pretty STRAIGHT-forward!   5.5 mm machines stitch only up to a 5.5 stitch WIDTH.  9mm machines stitch up to a 9mm width, providing you with more variety of widths.Typically, they have different rotary/cb hook systems as well. (my information is based on Bernina machines) but check with your particular machine dealer if you don't own a Bernina.
    The picture above shows two different plates.  The one on the left is my straight stitch plate.  Notice the tiny round hole for the needle to enter.  On the right, is my  "standard" or most common, stitch plate that all machines come equipped with.  It has an oval, or elongated hole for the needle to pass through... and of course you would need this plate to do any zig zag or decorative type stitches.

    And here's a big VIP:  You always want to engage a safety function on your machine!   Once engaged, then the machine won't allow a selection of any type of wide stitch such as a zig zag and thus will prevent you from sewing a stitch that will break your needle!  This is something you may want to consider when upgrading, or buying any sewing machine.  I LOVE my security/safety functionality on my Berninas.  It looks like a "yield" sign, and once you've engaged it, that sign turns red, and will stay red until you disengage it! ... or as I sometimes refer when teaching "it's the  warning sign that you will on the backside of the Amish buggies!"

    It's easy to use!  Just pop out the standard stitch plate, and pop in the straight stitch one.  And yes... I think it makes a big difference when you want your stitches to LOOK REALLY GOOD, and so I have invested in a straight stitch plate, and use it quite often in my "free motion quilting (but not for free motion zig zag*).  I'm don't do  alot of precise piecing, but I still use it for my quarter inch seams, and it works beautifully.  It's a worthwhile accessory, and I can see the difference in my stitches when I'm using it.  It will cost upwards of $40-$60 depending on your machine and size of the plate.  For example, a 5.5 mm stitch plate will cost less than one for a wider 9mm machine.

    For more questions, leave me a comment and I'll gladly do my best to give you more direction.  OR contact your local machine dealer. AND... did you know that our local BERNINA SILVER THIMBLE here in Great Falls will order parts for ANY type of MACHINE?  It doesn't have to be a "Bernina" you know!  They are, after all, "sewing machine enthusiasts!" 

    Happy sewing!

      Tuesday, January 11, 2011


      One of the creative pattern designers I have been attracted to for many years, especially as a beginner quilter, is Cheryl Wittmayer's company  "Sew-Be-It!.  Her patterns are great for beginner quilters, and a wonderful 'jumping off' palette of designs to really help you get started with free motion quilting!  I hope you will visit her web site and see if there isn't something to suit your sense of design style!

      Ahh yes... love the title ... who wouldn't?  It's just simply... "curvalicious!"   And feel free to add any other superlatives that rhyme!  It was not only fun to make, but challenged me a bit with curved piecing... and so I got to learn something new... and use a favorite foot to get those gorgeous ribbons stitched on it just right.  It's so easy to sew them on too... I used my edge-stitch foot; that would be Bernina's #10 foot! One of the most versatile feet you can put your money into... allows you to sew perfectly placed stitches along any edge or seam and don't forget to use the needle position to give yourself  "the edge!" (sorry - pun is intended!).  Stitch with confidence as the guide (blade) in the front of the foot serves as the perfect reference point as you guide your needle along the edge of any ribbon, seam, or hem.  Great for stitching in the ditch applications, too.  It's a MUST HAVE in your sewing accessories box!  I love to teach that foot in mastery classes at Bernina, and show all the fun techniques it can do.  If you're unsure... and don't know if you'd really like a foot or accessory?  Try taking a look at the Bernina FEETURES books.  There are usually at least 6-10 pages of color pictures, techniques, diagrams.... for each foot! Don't forget you can try out the foot at your Bernina dealer!  Take a look at the book in the store, ask the staff to attach the foot on a machine, and try it out for yourself, first!

      Add your own special touch with favorite ribbons --- how about a bit of ...VELVET... anyone?!  (Smiles!)  They kind of end of look like their very own fabric!  (Which they are, of course!)

      I hope you will consider taking a feather class, and I hope to teach one at Bernina Silver Thimble this coming February... stay tuned for details!
      More fun threadplay... feathers anyone?!!!  What a wonderful way to practice!!!  The center line of the block seam is a great reference point... jump off into feathers!!!  Not sure where to begin, or how it flows together? It would behoove you to check out one of my favorite resources... and one of the best teachers: Patsy Thompson.  Her website is here. You will find that her videos are very well done, as are her books; her website is full of great, free information, as well as some introductory videos, just so you know what you're getting!! And that is how I began quilting this colorful Happy Excursion!  Now my feathers aren't anything to write home about.. and notice they don't show on the patterned fabric much... but that's a GOOD thing... as this was a learning project, and I had so much FUN!  And that experience... those happy hours applying my newborn skills were priceless in the confidence it gave me in my pursuit.. of excellence!

      Brocade...narrow... wide... patterned... all things bright and beautiful... that would have been a great name for this quilt!

      I kept the binding pretty 'plain' in comparison.  This quilt sure didn't need much more design, color or texture.  Just keeping it simply CURVY and DELICIOUS, soft and inviting! EnJOY.

      Wednesday, January 5, 2011

      FREELY Give in BLOOM

      Here's a fairly simple way to add a bit of free motion embellishment without alot of time investment.  I love to buy the  pre-made, decorated hand towel (and I have made them too). Great gifts for the girls at the office, and for any other gift giving need you may have. It's really cool to make them fun, as well as unique, combining free motion, fusing, and embroidery, as well as bit of "fluff" with a ruff...ruffle, that is! 

      The best part is adding the  'unexpected' embellishments!  Another example of how you can add a touch of free motion to any project, and make it very special!

      I had a great batik in my stash (oh imagine that!)... so started by cutting a 5" or 6" strip of it, doubled up, and then ruffled it. Doubling a ruffle makes it more professional looking in my opinion; it hangs nicely, is finished off nicely, and it also runs through the ruffler foot quite smoothly too!  (Makes you look like a star!)  Attach to your towel, by laying the ruffle underneath the towel, and stitching along the towel's already existing hemline makes it easy to line it up!
      Adding the lovely crocheted trim makes a statement of country style on top of the ruffle. But you don't need to stop there... I was pretty sure I had a lovely ribbon somewhere in my stash and found this beautiful blue rayon ribbon that was the perfect accent for the towel.  I top stitched it right above the trim using my 'triple straight stitch'--- in black thread of course!  Why choose a plain straight stitch when you've got so many others that are fun to choose from? I was tempted to use a flower-y decorative stitch instead of the triple straight stitch, but decided the three little batik flowers were enough, and didn't need any more... but it would have been cute, either way!

      I used a black thread: King Tut 40 weight cotton for that, and also black cotton on my bottom in a 50 weight  Masterpiece; both threads made by Superior threads). By the way, this particular towel was embroidered first.

      THEN comes the funnest part for me, and that is to add a little fused flower --- which was a very basic five-petaled flower I drew free hand onto fusible web, cut it out, fused it on, then added a bit of yellow wool, fused into the center.  Using black thread for the free motion motif made a bold statement, but in a very light-hearted,swirly, curly-q'd and leafy meanderings, tiny little circles, all following somewhat, the curves of the petals.  Such fun FUN thread play with black thread to match the embroidery design.

      Inspiration is everywhere... and for me it came from the embroidered design "ZENSPIRATIONS" from Bernina.   I'm not an advanced embroiderer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love the 'plug n play' of USB sticks in my machine.  So quick and easy! And I fell in love with the whimsical nature of the words and their STYLE!

      So I repeated some of those same design elements featured in  the embroidery as my inspiration for the free motion motif on the flowers.  You can too!  Practice on a bit of paper first, if you are hesitant to go straight to your machine. It's really great to go off the line, and give your quilting a sketchy look!!! Smiles everyone!  No need to be... dare I say it... "perfect?"!!! Absolutely NOT.  It's charming, fun, fast and easy-breezy girls!

      KNOW that the stitches will be a little 'off' tension-wise on the back side, because the towel is not real thick, and so it doesn't have alot of stabilization to the fabric.  And that's OKAY!  We're not being perfect - we don't need to be... this is fun, loose and FREE!.  Just be sure to loosen your top tension, match the color of your top and bottom threads, and try to hold the fabric firmly with your hands without gripping so tight you can't free motion!  If you prefer, use a spray adhesive, and attach some of the wash-a-way type stabilizers on the back. However, I DID NOT. and you can see the results.  After all... it's creative, and above all... it's FREEly done! 

      I hope you found some inspiration...and FREEdom here!  Add your own special touch, and enjoy adding to your skills, and making a quick project, not to mention a wonderful gift to have on hand.

      "Freely, Freely, you have received... Freely, Freely, Give."


      Monday, January 3, 2011

      Wool Flower Beaded JEAN Jacket

      Flower detail of the back of the jacket
      My most favorite Jean Jacket!

      I LOVE to embellish clothing!  And I've found some products I really enJOY using.  Art Glitter, namely.  What a great product.  Durable, pretty and easy to use.  This jacket has been washed LOTS as I've enjoyed wearing it LOTS!

      This is the front of the jacket, where I've added more flower motifs using wool roving and my Needle Punch Accessory Kit for my Bernina.

      It's so easy to use...
      1. Insert the felting needles (there are five of them all attached together in a circle on one needle shaft)
      2. Replace the stitch plate with the special one for needle felting (including in the accessory kit); it has a large round hole to accommodate the  five needles).
      3. Remove your bobbin case!  Please see complete package directions if you have this accessory item.
      4. Ensure you're all in 'alignment' by hand-wheeling your needles and making sure they go straight down with bending or snagging.
      5. Attach the special protective needle felting foot (included in kit)
      6. Place your roving and assorted yarns under your foot (I used a shiny one here too - you can see it in the picture above) Most excellent!
      7. Start needle punching by pressing the pressor foot.  Go slowly at first, making sure the needles are all 'in sync' with each other.  I needle felt first the front, and then the back, and then back to the front.  Three times is all you need!  Please contact your Bernina dealer for more detailed information, or visit the Bernina website here.

      More embellishment opportunities await!  Such as the jacket COLLAR and CUFFS! I hope you are remembering... YOU are the CEO of that sewing studio, quilt room, kitchen table.... you get my meaning, right?"Creative Embellishment OFFICER!" Yes you are! 

      Bobbin drawing is easy to accomplish when you can turn the cuff easily to the wrong side... and start stitching.  Notice in this detail that I used a pretty thread for my top... as it's likely it could show at some point... if I felt like rolling up my cuffs... and of course... just for fun!

      Pictured is the top front of the jacket, with one main flower, beading, couching and bobbin play... and then the little added extra detail of bobbin play stitching line on the collar!

      The picture below shows wool roving as the base of the flower.  Once once that is done, you have a "road map" on which you can work in your couching, bobbin play, beading, (some of it has been done by hand!) and other threadplay as you will!  I like how some of the bobbin play stitches "go off" the design - like on the leaves.  Not perfect... just quite... EXCELLENT!
      Top of jacket flower detail
      Here's another pic of the jacket BACK below.  First, I proceeded with the Bernina #43 free motion couching foot to make the beautiful hand-dyed yarn into the flowers shapes (very basic 'wavy' shape!)... then added the beading (by machine free motion style of course!)  to 'join' them.  The last thing I did was add the Art Glitter glue, loving that fine point metal tip, and then let it dry, heat set for permanency.    I did add one bead into the center flower on the back, by hand as it is too large to attach by machine free motion.
      Because I have really enjoyed wearing this jacket, when it comes to washing it, I took extra care to button it up and turn it inside out, to protect the beading from bashing against a metal washer tub and dryer.  I have washed it on "normal" and also dried it on "normal" settings.... numerous times over the past three years.
      Art Glitter is a great product, I think!  High quality, very reflective glitter.  The website is highlighted above.  Check it out, or ask your quilt store to get in stock for you.  Love the fine point tip that comes with the set, and it's a fast drying, heat set type of glitter.  and of course, it's washable!
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