Know Your Machine and Your Stitches

I attended a webinar broadcast the other day on the ASG website.  It was about sewing machine basics.  What a great webinar it turned out to be.     If you have not read the machine operation manual that came with your sewing machine, do that now!   Everything you need to know about your machine is covered in the manual.   Keep it handy so you can grab it quickly if you run into a problem.  It will tell you the kind of bobbins to use, needles, thread, how to set the tensions for certain stitches and fabrics.  It will have a diagram for threading and winding the bobbin and how to correctly insert the bobbin into your machine.   It is your tutorial to your personal sewing machine, and it is extremely important.

I came close to bypassing this webinar.  I have been sewing for so long, I really didn't think it would be useful to me.  I am so glad that I did attend, I learned a few things, proof that you can teach an old dame new tricks!   One of the things Ramona covered was how important it is to know your stitches. She suggested making note cards with the stitch, stitch number, default settings and a custom setting. I think this is a great idea, whether you are new to sewing, have a new sewing machine, or just want to start using some of those unused stitches on your machine, this will give you some idea how the stitch will look and if it is suitable for the use you have in mind. a starting place if you will.

I made several.  I am one that never uses the basting stitch.  I have never seen a need for it, I usually just set my stitch at a long length and use a regular strait stitch.  Not any more.  I was amazed at the ease in pulling out the basting stitch! The tension is loose, not like a regular strait stitch and I will be using it very often from now on!

I don't know if you can tell by the photo, but the basting stitch is a very loose stitch.  Only the default setting is available on my machine, but your machine may be different.

Something else I realized while making these cards is that although some of the decorative stitch settings can be changed, that does not mean it will always turn out well!

I was amazed at how much this stitch lost it's shape when I altered the default setting.  I now know never to try that on a project!   A great lesson learned because of making stitch cards!

After you have all the cards made,  it would be a good idea to keep them handy.  Ramona suggested baseball card keepers as a great way to store them.  I would think some of the photo albums would also work.  I had a plastic envelope handy and I put mine in there for safe keeping.  I will have to take the stack out and go through them to find what I am looking for, I don't really mind, but one of the other storage ideas may be more convenient.

Your machine may have information on the machine itself about each stitch.  My machine shows the stitch number in one view and if it is selected it will then show which foot is best to use, and the default for needle placement and settings.

My machine has numerous stitches that I can choose from, but one thing I like most is the fact that it has the most popular stitches obtainable just by the touch of a button .  This is great when using a strait stitch, zig zag or any other commonly used stitch.

I love my machine, it is very user friendly! If you have a machine be sure to know what it can do and learn to love it!

If you are not a member of the American Sewing Guild, you should consider joining.  I am a member, but the chapter I am a member of is in another city and I am not able to attend many of the meetings.  My small city has no chapter, but ASG has all kinds of information online, there is always something there to inspire me and get my creative juices flowing!   Along with the frequent webinars, they also have videos,online classes and a blog, just to name a few.  You can check it out here.  It just might be what you are looking for!

See you again soon!

Happy Sewing!


May said…
My mom loves to sew, but unfortunately i didn't learn from her. Now that I'm married with kids, i now know the importance of sewing. Bought a new machine few days ago and i look forward now learning how to sew. Thanks for sharing. Already your blog followers, thanks for linking up and have a great week..

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