28 August 2014

Got my sewing fix

After having it for three weeks I finally got to plug in my new sewing machine and give it a test drive.

I'm not quite sure what I expected, and although it sews perfectly fine, there was a sense of disappointment, so I had to think hard why I decided on that machine in the first place.  It is a Pfaff Passport, and some time before I had looked on-line at their various models, and thought this one would be OK.  I had been looking because I needed to replace my beloved dead general sewing machine.  Although I didn't use it much, sometimes one has to hem pants (I'm only 5' 1 and a bit", and you can only buy trousers here in South Africa in one length, for 6' tall women), and sometimes do things that need more than only straight stitching.  And I needed a light easily transportable machine for future workshops I might attend - and to perhaps enable me to do the Assignment 3 pieces better than the ones for Assignment 2.

I happened to be in the retailer's shop to collect the needle-threading part replacements for the Grand Quilters, and not being in a hurry asked them to show me what they had.  Didn't like the models on the floor, so the Passport was brought out and I was really taken with the way it looked.   And we test drove it with lots of discussion and it seemed to be a good machine.  

My mistake was not to take it out of the box immediately at home.  (my excuse is that I had to finish my Teachers Course Assignment pieces first!)  I think in the three weeks I waited I was so excited by the thought of "a new machine" that it may have grown out of proportion in my mind.  It sews beautifully, it sews all the 70 stitches it is pre-programmed to do, it even takes the presser feet from my other machines (that is why I stick with Pfaff), but it ended with a feeling of "is that all it can do?"   With hind-sight maybe I wanted it to do my Teachers Course Assignment - oh, wouldn't that have been Joy!   (Marked Assignment is back in Cape Town, but have to wait until Saturday to see my mark - no, TB, please don't open it!!)   I can't seem to make the pre-programmed stitches change if I alter the needle position - something I could do on the old mechanical machine.  It still looks a nice machine picture next time I get it out of the box.

This is the piece on which I tested almost all of the stitches.  Scribbled over with Derwent Inktense colours (just got them, and these are way out of my comfort zone) - sliced in two, will wash one half to see the fastness of the ink/dye/paint.

Last night, unable to get up the enthusiasm to complete the last few questions of the SAQG-TAC written assignments (we have a reprieved deadline - this Sunday!!!), I happily made these six blocks for the August Block Lotto - I hope I win this month!

These are the 27 blocks made in response to my attempts to encourage my quilt group, which has a fair number of beginners to "just try" new blocks.  I write and email the instructions.  A number is allocated for each block, and the maker of the number drawn won all blocks.  Hoping we will get to a point when there is enough blocks for more than one winner.
Every time I think to take a photo it is night or bad light.  The right-side of the back garden, through the picture window (it was hailing!).  Old shed gone (a month ago!).
 Left-side of back garden, from edge of stoep (patio) - can't see it, but same hail - it's freezing here today.  (Ok, not really freezing, but as about as cold as Cape Town gets, 12 deg - must be snow on the mountains.)

And, lastly, a gratuitous picture of some of the provisions that daughter C has been buying (yay, shopping!) for the catering job she has from Sunday  -  three meals a day for 45 people for a week  - in Clanwilliam (about 3 hrs drive away) with the Clanwilliam Arts Project.

21 August 2014


The warmest spot in the house, apparently! Five months old and solidly entrenched here.