Monday, April 5, 2010

Sewing Machines Suck

I am working on my painted lace cuff bracelets. I need to finish the edges with a satin stitch. My sewing machine is not cooperating and I am ready to resort to violence. Which leads me to this: Why are sewing machines still made like they were 100 years ago? Yeah, I know, you can spend $9,000 on a Bernina embroidery machine and it will do all sorts of fancy stuff. But the basic machinery is the same on all sewing machines. Clunky threading process, dangerous banging up and down needle, hard-to-get-to-and-impossible-to-adjust bobbin, all arranged to make us go blind and/or suffer permanent nerve damage in hands and neck.

For now, the bracelets are on hold until I can get someone to help me figure out how to adjust the bobbin tension, which the manufacturer has deliberately made almost impossible to adjust. It's completely trial and error. Like we have nothing to do but sit around and fiddle with this stuff for hours.

I bet if men sewed these machines would be made much differently.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Blessings of Spring

Today I am grateful for the flowers blooming in my yard.

(Enter the contest at communal global! Entries end midnight April 4.)

Lace Collage

This is lace that I have fused to crinoline with MistyFuse, then painted with Jacquard Lumiere and DynaFlow paints. I followed (loosely) instructions from Three Creative Studios free projects, which are available on their website. If you are as clueless as I was, you'll need the one for Painted Lace Surfaces and the one for Painted Lace Cuff. These are pdf files that you can download to your computer. Thanks, Three Creative Studios!

First I fused down a layer of very flat lace, the wide kind that is probably made of nylon. Or you could use torn silk strips as the instructions show. Then I put down another layer of Misty Fuse and fused Venice Lace over it. MistyFuse is great because it can be layered several times and it does now show or add bulk to the piece. I added paint after all the lace was down. I used water to thin down the paints but fabric medium would have worked as well and left the piece with a softer hand.

My plan was to back it with ultrasuede, cut it into strips, and make cuff bracelets from it. I had a senior moment and cut it into strips before I backed it. Oh, well, it's just a little more work to back the pieces individually.

I used free motion with clear thread to stitch over the bracelets and secure the lace. Now it's on to decorative stitching, beads, backing, and edge finishing, in that order, if I can remember it long enough to do it.