Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tablerunner & Napkins & Kvetching

Done! I'm sorely out of practice with the binding but some washable glue and Wonder Tape let me pretend I'm an expert. I had attached the binding to the front of the runner before the D1 died and after the meltdown I seriously contemplated tacking it on the back by hand. That lasted for about 8 stitches. I'm so NOT a good stitcher-by-hand (because I never practice, of course) and it would've taken for-freakin'-EVER.

Here's the back. Or, it could be the front too since theoretically it is reversible.

I'm still debating whether to toss it in the washer/dryer to create the wrinkly quilty goodness or to send it on to mom in its current state.

I made four napkins. If I had been more forward-thinking when I bought the fabric, I would've bought more so I could have made more napkins. But I didn't, so I couldn't. The napkins are double-sided. Each has the same backing so they can be folded as four matching napkins or four coordinating napkins. On the napkin from the "backing" print, I used the wrong side for one side, which is a solid blue.

Sewing with the Kenmore was an … adventure. (I think it's actually a Janome-made machine, since its model number starts with "385.") It's not a total bottom-of-the-line, but it's only one or two up from that. And I felt it. Even my dilapidated D1 sews circles around this machine. But hey, at least I have a backup, right? Trying to think positive. ;-)

Here's the "new" line-up. Look how small that thing is. LOL!

The things I miss most from my D1 are needle up/down, all the needle positions, automatic tension, thread cutting, and just the overall ease of the sewing experience. I had to test and adjust a lot more with the Kenmore. Some of it is because I'm just not used to sewing with it but most of it is because my D1 just does everything so beautifully without adjustment.

Oh, and I miss all my D1 feet! I don't have a stitch-in-the-ditch foot for the Kenmore and I REALLY needed it for the binding. I made do with a generic adjustable edge-stitching foot, but it's not as sturdy as my Viking feet. That plastic guide thing on the right is wobbly.

Another thing I miss — winding a bobbin without unthreading. And ALL MY BOBBINS. I think I have 3 bobbins for the Kenmore. What a pain. I wish I had thought to buy more when I was at Joann's yesterday.

The Kenmore is good as a buttonhole station and it's a decent sewer, but it's not a *great* sewing machine. The stitch quality is acceptable but not outstanding. The Featherweight's straight stitch is much, much nicer. Even my fumbling on the treadle produces a prettier straight stitch. The D1 stitching is easily as nice as either of the vintage machines. I'm beginning to dread the edgestitching I'll need to do for my sister's scrubs. I'm not used to having to work at getting a straight, even stitch. Spoiled, I know.

I did drop off the D1 yesterday at my Viking dealer, which is inside Joann's. It won't even be looked at until Monday at the earliest. Sob. But at least it's there. I'll just have to wait for the bad news.


  1. Debbie - is the Kenmore a low-shank machine? If so, you can screw the "ankle" onto the kenmore and use all your D1s feet. without the needle positions - they won't do you a bunch of good, but, you would be able to use some of them.

    Hope that helps and that your machine is home and healthy soon! g

  2. Oh - and the table runner and napkins are fabulous!! g

  3. The table runner and napkins look wonderful. She will be so pleased.

    I have a Designer1 too and I "love" it. Periodically I'll use my Husqvarna Optima 630, which is a pretty good machine, but no comparison to a D1 :)
    I hope it won't be long til you get her back :)

    I see a Husqvarna serger in your line up. How do you like it?

  4. Nice work on the table runner. We do get used to our main sewing machines and miss then when they are laid up. Hopefully it won't be long until your D1 is back at home and sewing up a storm!

  5. Stitch in the ditch work around: Use your blind hem foot. It's sturdier than the foot you're using. :) I use mine all the for edge, ditch, and top stitching! The other day, I even used it to make a blind hem. (*gasp!*)

  6. Nice gift for your mom. You must be feeling better if you are sewing and whining about being spoilt. Heehee! I hope your D1's medical bills don't cost too much.

  7. So funny how much you can miss your main machine when it's gone, isn't it?

    I love your table runners. You make it look sooooooo easy!

  8. Beautiful! Sorry about your machine. :( I hate being without mine and I have 2 backups. If you lived closer I'd loan you my Lily, I think the feet are interchangeable?

  9. I think this is one of the reasons that beeginners have such a hard time accomplishing things because they are working with "inferior" machinery.

    I just switched machines - got a new one - not the back-up brother and I'm having to relearn everything too.

    You did a great job on the tablerunner and I'm sure your mom will appreciate it!

  10. First, what a lovely, lovely table runner and napkins you made for your mom's housewarming. Glorious! It is a trueism that sewing machines break down only when they're in use, which is... always... in the midst of a project. If only they'd wave a 'repair me' flag when the sewing mojo is low and one wouldn't mind not having it for a week. It happened to me... with my Babylock serger. Over the national holiday weekend so it was gone for ten days. *Shudder!* Soldier on with that edgestitching. Courage, that's all I can wish you!

  11. I love your table runner and napkins! The colors are wonderful together!! The binding looks great!

  12. The tablerunner looks great as do the napkins. I hope you get your baby back soon. :(

  13. Oh dear, what a nightmare to be without your beloved machine! I shudder to think what would happen if I had to try to finish a project on my late, entirely unlamented New Home "backup" machine. Ugh. Hope the D1 comes home safe and sound!


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