Espadrille Shoe Kits

Each year I set a goal for myself to try something fabric related that is new to me. Sometimes the things I try I end up hating. Sometimes they are a total flop. Other times, I do something that turns out to be so fun and liberating and enjoyable that I want to keep making it over and over again. This is the case with these fun espadrille shoes. I bought a kit from Melissa at A Happy Stitch. I cannot believe the attention to detail she puts in to each kit. It was really like opening up a present to myself. The instructions are easy to follow and everything is included to make these adorable shoes. I started off with a wedge kit and have since purchased a kit to make myself some flats for the summer. I get compliments every time I wear my wedges to church and it never gets old to be able to say, “Thank you. I made them!” If you’re looking for something to ignite the creative spark, I cannot recommend these shoes enough.

When to Take Your Juki in For Service

 

When I purchased my Juki TL-2000 Qi, I was told by soooo many people that I would never, ever have the need to service it. This was a huge selling point for me. Here’s the back story behind that. I took my Husqvarna Viking in to be serviced at a “vacuum & sewing machine” repair shop. WHYYYYY did nobody stop me?? In fact, when I asked on Instagram where people in my area take their machines to be serviced, the exact place I went was recommended. My machine came back dripping in oil and functioning very differently, and not in a good way. When I started looking into a new machine a few months later, I knew I wanted something that would require less maintenance and the magical “no service required ever” promise sounded so enticing.

Fast forward to now, about a year and a half after having purchased my Juki. I started having occasional hiccups and wondered if I needed to find someone to look at it. I kept pushing that thought aside because I should “never” have to service my machine. I have literally sewn hundreds of hours on this bad boy and of course it will need to be serviced when it’s being used that heavily. I quilt my own quilts, I piece lots of tops, I sew zippers, I do EVERYTHING I can on this machine. Naturally it needs some love and care. In case you fall in the same boat that I was in (the I was told I’d never have to service my Juki boat), I thought I’d give a few tips for not only what signs your machine might give you that it’s time for some love as well as how to find a good place to take it.

SIGNS YOUR JUKI NEEDS CARE:

  • repeating tension issues- I started getting random rats nests that were not reproducible nor easily fixed. It seemed like I just had to sew and sew and sew and eventually it would work itself out. For awhile……
  • it just doesn’t sound as happy as it once did – this is hard to explain, but you know exactly what I’m saying if you’re having similar concerns
  • your needle is hitting your bobbin case
  • you can’t switch back and forth between free motion quilting and straight line sewing without tension issues
  • you are diligent at oiling and cleaning, yet things still don’t feel right
  • skipped stitches – I’m not just talking about needing to change a needle, because this also happens when a needle needs to be changed.

When I got the report back from getting my Juki serviced, the technician had to not only fix the timing, but also rebuild the tension. These are not tiny issues and make sense why I was having so many issues.

WHERE TO TAKE YOUR JUKI:

  • DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, take your beloved machine to just any vacuum and sewing repair shop.
  • Ideally, find a Juki dealer near you and have them service it. If they sell it, they should be able to fix it.
  • If you do not have a Juki dealer close to you, find another shop that sells LEGIT brands of sewing machines (I’m not talking about ones you can buy at Walmart). Be sure to call and talk to them first to see if they can service a Juki. Most shops will, but it’s always best to double check.

A sewing machine is a huge investment, as we all know, and every once in awhile needs some attention. If you are feeling like your machine just isn’t up to snuff any more, invest in its future and have it serviced!!

Low Volumes: I Don’t Have an Inside Voice

This is Part 3 of 3 in a series on Low Volume fabric usage, not meant to be a comprehensive study, but a starting point. For Part 1 or Part 2, follow the links!

Now we’re to the good stuff, or at least my favorite type of Low Volume (LV). “I don’t have an inside voice” is just SOOOO much fun and funky to use. As with the “whisper quiet” and “normal speaking voice” LV, they have a very light background of white/off-white/cream/light gray, but these have big and bold colors, big and bold patterns, and just a little more chaos than our other two LV types. Here are some “I don’t have an inside voice” LV’s in action:

Aren’t they just FUN?!? You still can see the effect the bow tie blocks have, but the background adds some major interest. Yes, the “I don’t have an inside voice” LV’s compete more with the prints, but it still works!! Once again, the key is pairing a print with majorly contrasting colors with the LV. It will not work otherwise. For instance, the flamingo block (top row, 2nd from the left) would be lost if it were a pink bow tie.

Now the question some of you might be wondering: How do all 3 LV types work together? Well I’m happy to share my quilt thus far. It is one of my very favorites because of how unique it is.

Isn’t it just funky and fun? My eyes are constantly moving looking at different prints and backgrounds. I won a bundle from the very lovely and generous Holly Lesue of Maker Valley that served as the inspiration for this quilt as well as all of the Long Time Gone sewalong photos I saw around the same time. There are SO many great uses of LV happening in the sewalong (check out the #longtimegonesal if you want some more inspiration!) I chose this block for a bee I’m in and I cannot wait to get my blocks back this month and add them into the scrappy, happy goodness that already exists.

What are your thoughts now? Are you a “whisper quiet”, a “normal voice”, or an “I don’t have an inside voice” type of LV quilter? Or maybe you like all 3?