This week has been a surprisingly productive one as far as my learning project goes. I was excited and nervous to officially begin sewing, but luckily all has been well so far! This week I was able to practice sewing squares of fabric together using the cheap fabric I picked up from Walmart. It is not for the official quilt that I want to make, but for a smaller one that I am practicing on first. I chose to do a pattern of two matching squares with two random squares.
I am happy so far with how my project is going, but I am running low on thread, so next week may throw some new challenges my way. I also have not learned what to do with my squares once I have the amount that I want. I will need to find some new video resources and online blogs to help me sort out some of my future quilting steps.
To make these squares I started by laying them out in the pattern that I wanted them. I then put the top and bottom square together and inside out. I lined up the edges and pinned them together and then repeated with the second set of squares. From there I sewed both of my sets of squares together.
I then had to match up the squares together and inside out again to sew each set of two squares together to make the set of four.
This took some time and patience as there were a few times where I accidentally sewed squares together in the wrong pattern or sewed them inside out. Once I got a little more confident in myself I was able to relax and thoroughly enjoy myself for a bit. Once I had sewn quite I few sets of squares I decided to iron them flat as I was shown in an example video. This made them nice and flat and they looked much more promising after this step was complete
This past week I was finally able to practice using my sewing machine! I decided to try sewing using an old rag so that I could just throw it away once I was finished.
I sat down, plugged in my pedal, and shoved my rag near the presser foot. After pressing on the pedal several times and following my cords, I realized that I had plugged in the machine and the pedal cord did not need to be plugged in because it was attached to the machine. Thus began the task of finding out where the power switch on my machine was. Once I found that, I again tried to press the pedal down. This time my needle began moving- I was about to get excited when suddenly the thread flew out of the needle hole from the up/down motion. *sigh* Now I had to find out how to rethread my machine. Lucky for me the thread had only come out of 3 spots, which I was able to figure out on my own and put back together before struggling to get it through the needles hole.
Back to trying to put thread into fabric. I pulled the thread’s tail really far so that I could avoid another escape. I put my fabric back against the presser foot and slowly stepped on my pedal… nothing happened. Then I remembered that there is a way to lift the presser foot up—oh golly, another journey! Searching for the lever that lifts the presser foot up was slightly easier than searching for the power switch, and I found it a little quicker. I lifted up my presser foot, shoved my fabric underneath the foot near the needle, and clamped it back down onto the fabric. Pressing the pedal yet again, I finally succeeded in sewing the thread into the fabric, and bonus, I did not even sew over my finger!
After successfully sewing a few lines I cut some squares of fabric out and began sewing them together. Only problem was that I knew there was a certain way to do this, and I did not have any idea how to do so. I googled a video and discovered that you put them on top of each other, sew the edge, and then when you open them back up they will be attached. I also learned that after this step you should press the fabric with an iron. I did not do this step though, simply because it was a rag and I would be throwing it away anyway.
Now I am officially excited to start sewing but I am also dreading how much I still do not know. I currently have white top thread and red bottom thread. I have no idea how to change either of these things and I have no idea how to measure and cut squares of fabric. I also do not know how to refill the underneath threads, but I do remember my grandma doing so one time. SO I have a ton more to learn before I actually start my quilt. I did go to Walmart and pick up some $2.00 fabric to keep practicing on though, so hopefully I can keep learning new things about my machine while also learning how to sew straighter lines!
Here is where I went to learn my square sewing skills 😎
So my learning project has had a fairly slow start – my dad could not find my sewing machine in the garage–fail! He finally found it for me yesterday though, Hurray! I did not get the chance to look at it yesterday due to my night class right after work so I had to wait until today to have a good look at it. I started by taking off the cover (big mistake). I was greeted with spider webs and major confusion and panic.
Like WOW are there ever a lot of buttons and switches on this thing. My first thought was to put the lid right back on and run to my computer to change my learning project. As you can see, however, I managed to get a grip. I began to really look at the sewing machine and appreciate where it came from. After spending a few minutes looking at the controls and finding a good spot to put the machine, I decided to snap a couple of pictures and snag the instruction manual. I have spent some time tonight learning what things are and where things go (vague, I know). More specifically I have learned where the thread goes and what the needle position means.
I will be retrieving my fabric this weekend and then the real tests will begin. I have also been reading my quilting book and will continue to do so until I get my fabric from the farm. I will hopefully get to spend some time this week practicing sewing random rags together so that I can get a feel for the sewing machine and how it works!