Friday, July 22, 2011

Crazy 8's -- Shiisa Quilts, Bloomington IN

Once a month, owners of the Bernina 820/830 machines get to take a special class, just for them, at Shiisa Quilts. There are a lot of really great features on these machines and these classes are designed to give owners an opportunity to explore them.

Today we made small pieces that could be used as a center of a pillow, sewn to fabric to use as a journal book cover, framed as an art piece, or ? The features we were using were: flip and sew piecing using a 34D (dual feed) foot, bobbin work using the machine's built-in decorative stitches, as well as applique and some embellishment.

I had brought butterfly stencils for people to trace for the applique, but we had both turquoise and red kits available and the red people weren't going for butterflies! There was a poinsettia panel that had come into the store recently and so a couple of people cut sections of the panel to use for their applique....

This is Alice's project; she stitched down the applique and then, working from the back, used stitch #14 with Superior's Threads Glitter in the bobbin.

The stitch on the right was everybody's favorite; it is stitch #687 on the Bernina 830.

Bev L. (there are two Bev's who spend a lot of time here) did the work above -- different stitches in the bobbin work and another big difference, she inserted batting into the applique before she stitched it down. After she adds additional stitching to define the holly leaves, she will have a trapunto look to the applique. Bev is also planning to add some crystals where the berries are printed on the fabric.

Susan had one of the turquoise kits; she sewed some of her strips on the diagonal before flipping and sewing the strips to the stabilizer base....

....a closeup of one of Susan's stitches.

Susie fitted a gathered chiffon trim with a black edge to her butterfly and used a blanket stitch to sew the butterfly and trim down at the same time.

Here's a closeup so you can see how the trim curved around the butterfly; after I took the pictures, she did some additional stitching inside the butterfly with metallic thread in the top of the machine.

Billie chose a multicolor batik for her butterfly; below is a closeup of one of her stitches. Billie was using Superior Threads Razzle Dazzle in the bobbin of her machine.

Using a thick thread like Razzle Dazzle in the bobbin necessitated loosening the bobbin tension. On the 820/830 machines, it is very easy to change the bobbin tension and then put it right back when you've finished using heavy thread.

One of the most fun things about today was playing around with the various decorative stitches and finding the best way to get a perfect stitch. Threading bobbins with metallic or other slippery threads is sometimes problematic, so Bev L. and I experimented with various threading paths to get superior results.

Next post: How we got the bobbins to wind perfectly!

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