Wednesday, June 14, 2017

32 Piece Foot Set for Low Shank Machines Part 2

Tried all on the Brother SE400.  They fit excellently. Better than on the Audrey and I don't know why. The Brother is a solid and really well made machine and it's almost like these feet were made for it.  A few, as in the case of the Audrey, are too narrow, but the placement is centered and the needle clears the needle area fine. As in all stitching situations, you MUST be aware of the settings for each task or foot and set the needle position accordingly.
Yes, I rehomed the feet into a smaller plastic box.  This is the Janome-Elna accessories box, out of which my Elna 720 has grown.  The Elna required the larger ArtBin box even than the one I had these feet in originally.  I photocopied the feet sheet and taped a small printout version to the top of this small box. Needless to say, the Audrey feet I brought home fit my Brother so well that my feet did a nice tappity happy dance!!

All in all I am happy with these feet....the next agenda item is trying them on a Janome.

Monday, June 12, 2017

32 Piece Foot Set for Low Shank Machines Part 1

After reading all sorts of posts about these generic foot sets on, I decided to see for myself. For on outlay of about $20, I got this set from AMAZON.  Since most name brand feet will be an average of at least 10-20 dollars each, and many are very much more, I wanted to see if I could use a few of these on my Brother SE400.  I was on vacation at the time in another state, so decided to have AMAZON deliver them to me so I could check 'em out on my Babylock Audrey first.  The reason for this clever move was because if they fit the Audrey I was going to take home the four feet the Audrey has that I wanted for my Brother machine.  Babylock feet were rumored to fit brother machines.
To make a long story short, all the feet fit the Audrey.  Some caveats - some feet are very narrow, such as a couple of the hemmer feet. These do not cover the feed dogs but still might be fine as the needle clears the hole well.  The criteria I used to test out each and every foot on the machines I am testing them on are as follows:  1. Does the needle clear the needle hole?  2. Does the foot center properly on the feed dogs and hopefully sit correctly thereon?  3. Can I sew a lone of stitching without problems?   4. There are only three screw on feet in the set:  adjustable zipper foot, gathering foot and hopping springed FM/darning foot.  Do they fit well without needing force?    As you would any foot regularly, you must set your machine to stitch with that foot properly - as in center the needle for straight stitching with the straight stitch foot, zigzag with the fringing foot etc.  I tested them out and all sewed though on the Audrey some were a little teenie bit odd on the dogs. But nothing you couldn't use them with.   SO - indeed I took the four Audrey feet home and left generics in their place, plus I have the rest of the feet in case I need them.  If I had bought those four feet alone it would have cost me about 45-55 dollars easily for Brother or Babylock feet.  So I have the real Babylock feet for my Brother SE400 and the next post will be about how the set and Babylock feet fit that machine.  NOTE: I bought the ArtBin storage box for the feet - it didn't come with a plastic storage box.  Interesting point - there is no Zigzag foot in this set and no buttonhole foot at all. So if you need a regular ZZ sewing foot which is the default foot on most machines, you will not get it in this set. Likewise you will not get a buttonhole foot. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Some Downsizing and decisions about retention...

This is a selection of machines and accoutrements I donated last Winter to a church sponsored sewing class that will rev up this late Spring.  The idea is to give each lady a machine upon finishing a series of classes. The classes will be composed of ladies from a refugee community here, and they have expressed the wish to learn to sew.  This finally catapulted me into parting with four machines, books, accessories and so on.

I waited to post about this because I wanted to see if I had regrets or felt sad to part with any of these machine. I loved them of course, but in the end I have not regretted giving them away because they may be used!  Mostly they sat here.  It also freed me to think about selling a few more! My list is now down to 7 including my serger, one of my DD's Janomes, and one that was my DMIL's machine which we just cannot part with, and which is a lovely old Pfaff 1199 and still works fine.  Donated were the Pfaff 307, Kenmore Blue Mini, Elna 2100, Elna TOP 300. All with accessory boxes, feet, bobbins and assorted other accessories and all with manuals.   All in working order.

I would urge any of you who have multiples sitting around and not being used to donate machines where they can be used. It isn't always easy to find a suitable donation site, but if the occasion arises, give it a thought!  You don't really retrieve much real estate - few square feet, but it is oddly freeing!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blue Quilt Done...

Blue Quilt is quilted and bound. It's recipient will, I hope, be pleased. :)  I had an inspiration pic which I posted earlier on in the process, and the blocks in mine were 16" blocks. Simple really but took me almost a year. I work slowly. Most of these fabrics are Robert Kaufman Asian fabrics, but some are a line of Batiks I forget the name of. I used OMNI thread from Superior Threads to quilt the quilt and a Superior Threads pre-loaded bobbin for the underside. The back of this is a nice gray small floral pattern flannel from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I used several of the fabrics from the quilt for binding. :)   I see that the backing is no longer in stock at Missouri Star. Too bad - it is a lovely small floral leaf sort of pattern. It is hard to find nice backing. Now to plan the next quilt! It will be from old cotton plaid men's shirts my son gave me for a quilt. I will add some vibrant red KONA cotton to the quilt for OOOMPH!! Those shirt plaids do not have much in the way of color going for them.  Very subtle!  I do like them though and look forward to making the quilt. Planning on a 9 patch, might be Disappearing 9 Patch - do not know yet. The muse will tell me in about a month or so.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More Brother SE400 Embroidery Fun...

Some more fun stuff with my machine.  I know nothing I have done is exceptional or new to many of the embroiderers out there but the FUN!  And maybe someone also new to this game will benefit! :)  These above were kitchen towels I just did - two for my daughter's kitchen and one for us.  I love the red work!  And you don't have to change threads. Yes, I am working up to changing thread colors. Soon people, soon.  Meanwhile I have fallen in love with Embroidery Library. SO many designs and such nice freebies every month as well as good sales.  I have purchased a few, but really have to watch myself. My need now is for something to embroider on. I have never really been much for the bling or embellishing, so useful items will be what I look for. :) And with a 4x4 field there are still a lot of things to embroider! Here is a photo of the package of towels I bought at Joann Fabrics.They also have a few more styles and one of these days I am getting more.  I also experimented with the alphabets on the machine. It has four alphabet fonts, upper and lower case and numbers etc., but they are not sewing stitches, they are in the embroidery location.  In addition there is a built in very nice monogramming font which has larger and smaller settings, as do the rest of the embroidery patterns, including the builtin four font sets.  I experimented with my name, and it seemed to come out well. I could position it better.  I expect that to come with practice.  When I have something amazing, I will post the picture! HAHaaa...

Meanwhile I am slowly getting my Blue Quilt quilted.  Pictures will follow when that project is done. After that I am starting on an old fashioned  pieced squares quilt made out of a collection of shirt fabrics my son gave me - it will be a quilt for him.  I will add solids out of my stash and maybe buy some red to set the squares off a bit.