My first official lesson took place in-shop because I needed to pick up my machine and some basic quilting supplies. After equipping me with a cutting mat; a rotary cutter; two Creative Grids USA rulers (a 6-1/2''-by-18-1/2'' ruler and a quarter-square/half-square triangle ruler); and the sewing tote Kathy made up for me six years ago (more on that later!), we sat down at the machine I'll be using for the immediate future—Kathy's Janome Jem Gold. Before getting down to business, she filled me in on why this machine is great for beginners:
"I took a trip to Chicago about twelve years ago and had tons of sewing to do, so I brought my Singer Featherweight. I worked all day, got to the hotel to get some samples for the newsletter made, and—AAARGH!—my machine wouldn't work! The next morning I went out, found a quilt shop that sold machines, and asked for the most lightweight machine they had. They sold me my Jem Gold and I loved it enough to go to Janome and ask if I could sell just that machine. They agreed and we sold TONS of Jem Golds! To me, it's the best, super-lightweight sewing machine on the market. Even though I've worked my machine hard, it's sewn great for a dozen years with no issues at all!"
|E and Kathy photobombed my "beauty shot" of the Jem Gold.|
Thanks to the handy diagrams on the machine, it didn't take long to get most of the pre-pedal-to-the-metal steps down. Trimming the emerging thread to make it flush with the bobbin is the only bit I get hung up on. Since I don't want my bobbin having a week-whacking effect on my top thread, I need to commit this step to memory yesterday. (: As for color, Kathy advised me to stick with neutral for piecing Busy Blocks, saying cream, beige, or tan thread would work just fine with my fabric.
|The fruits of my labor? A plastic case of eight, Aurifil-2314-filled bobbins.|
|Mr. E had other plans for my Creative Grids ruler.|