Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vermont Quilt Festival...

Yesterday was the annual Vermont Quilt Festival in Essex Junction, Vermont. Good friends and I were lucky to be able to attend and to see many lovely quilts.All around the large exhibition halls were vendors who had come from all over the USA and a few from Canada to exhibit and sell their wares. I always enjoy browsing the sewing machine booths, and all the major sewing machine vendors were there. Husqvarna Viking, several long arm quilter sales folks, Bernina, Janome and Pfaff were all there. The new Horizon by Janome seemed to be the crowd favorite, as there was an animated group around that machine for the entire time I was there! It was being happily demoed. Bernina had prices on the machines - the "Big" one at $9,999 and the "Little" one at $649. I get a kick out of $9,999! YEOW. That's my next car or more! Those long arm quilters are quite mesmerizing. Watching them as they follow the programmed patterns illustrates the meshing of old fashioned quality crafting and modern technical and digital tools. There were people there from YLI and other thread manufacturers or importers, and the colors blaze with brilliance, engulfing me in a rainbow of pleasant! It was a lovely day weather-wise with sunshine, light breezes and not too much heat, but the walking around for hours on the concrete flooring and the excitement quite wore me out. Several of us drove into lovely Winooski, Vermont for lunch at the very cool Peking Duck House. I especially noted the book related quilts in the show and on the vendors booths, as of course we library people tend to love book related stuff wherever we see it. I didn't buy fabric, but there was a plethora of it available, even from a shop from North Dakota! One of the long arm quilter booths are folks from Utah, and one fabric and notions store was here from California! So this isn't just a regional show. This is the fourth year we've gone to the Festival, and the last two years we have met with online friends from whom we would never have met without PR!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Janome Elna Tricot Foot

I am going bleary eyed here! On into the night with my sort of obsessive examination of the Tricot Foot. Here it is connected to the Janome drop-in bobbin machine, and then the Elna front-load connection. This foot is cleverly designed to hold the fabric down firmly as the needle comes down and pierces the fabric and then let up on the fabric as the feed dogs rise and carry the fabric along for the next stitch. There is a little rubbery plastic blue "stopper" piece that is controlled by the flange on the side of the foot. This flange fits nicely over the needle screw-bar thingy. It moves as the needle bar moves, and there is a little spring that makes it - well - springy! Here are some more photos of the foot at various angles and you can see how this works. The last two pictures are the foot actually sewing a piece of very light knit fabric as I was testing. I think this foot is going to be a lot nicer to use for my purposes than a walking foot because I rarely use the walking foot and it is cumbersome to attach though handy to have. For lightweight knits and very slippery lightweight fabrics of all sorts - this tricot foot will be my choice. The term "tricot" here referes to the process of knitting in the tricot style, and isn't specific to nylon tricot with which Americans are mainly associating the word tricot. You can see in the picture with the needle down in the fabric that the lever is then in the position where the spring pushes the plastic down on the fabric. Then, as the lever rises with the needle bar, it forces the plastic piece up off the fabric and another stitch is on the way!