Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blind Hem Stitch - 1 Nina-Marie - 0

Well, I've decided that I have a very complex love-hate relationship with my sewing machine. She's an Elna 6003 Quilter's Dream. Eleven years ago, I sold my first quilt and bought this machine which I had my eye on for quite a while. She really is a great friend normally. She's never broken down on me, does everything I need her to do and never complains when I have to sew back together 1000 little pieces of perfectly good cotton that I had just cut all up.

Still this week, we had a little tiff, her and I. I finally got the birdhouses quilt all designed and pinned properly. Now I wanted to top stitch it all down with a nice blind hem stitch like described in Vikki Pignatelli's book Quilting by Improvisation. It sounded easy enough when I read how to do it. I looked on my machine labels and found that among all those stitches was indeed a nice hem stitch. I never had used it before since all my pants get hemmed with Steam a Seam. So I sat down with matching thread and started sewing. With a little trial and error I got the right size stitch I wanted, but couldn't manage to make the stitch exactly right. You see you are suppose to run the straight part of the stitch off the applique with the little arrows its making bite into the applique. Either the straight stitch was too far away from the applique or ended up on the applique. Sighhhhhhhh that didn't look quite right.

So my machine and I had a little talk and she reminded me that I did have a nice user friendly owner's manual in my drawer. There I found out that I had a foot that did hemming with a guide - Who Knew? With that the stitching went better but still wasn't perfect. I stitched and stitched over three days and 8 hours. Its nice working in two colors though, because I only used two bobbins of thread - blue and orange. My machine and I had made up by the end although I felt like a pin cushion from getting stuck so many times. I think my machine and the pins are in cahoots.

I think next time I'm going to try just a neat straight stitch and see if that gives me what I need. I know its not all fancy like the blind hem stitch but I know it likes me better.

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