Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Quick Weekend Project

A little while back, I wrote about some new gadgets I bought. I briefly mentioned that the Janome 350E was still on my wish list. Not no more! The Mister must have thought I was really good this year because he said, "Buy it." Don't need to tell me twice!

I had gotten interested in embroidery earlier in the year because I thought personalizing some of the baby quilts I made would make them that much nicer. Although I already have a Bernina 430, and it was capable of being upgraded with an embroidery attachment, I really didn't want to purchase the embroidery unit. The $1000 price tag and not being able to sew and embroider at the same time were 2 reasons. The other, bigger reason was that I've heard a lot of issues folks are having issues with Bernina and the software support. For a whopping $1000, it comes with a "lite" version of its embroidery software that doesn't really do much. It also requires connection to a laptop or computer in order to stitch the embroidery. That's not a problem for me but could be for some. For that kind of money, I would expect better software support from them (compatibility with OS version is a problem). So I had to look elsewhere to feed this new hobby. hehe. (The Mister always cringes when I take on new hobbies. They aren't cheap ones, that's for sure.)

So after much research, I had decided to test the Janome 350E. It is an embroidery only machine that comes standard with a large 5.5" x 7.8" hoop. That's much bigger than some of the cheaper embroidery machines out there. I also liked it because I really didn't want a sewing/embroidery machine. I already have 3 other sewing machines (yes, 3), so really didn't need another one. Also, most of the other sew/emb machines only have a 4" x 4" hoop. I'm already starting to think upgrade with that small size of a hoop. So....

The only drawback of the Janome 350E was the price. It was a bit more than the emb unit for my Bernina. But overall, I like the stand alone emb machine and it will embroider right out of the box. I contacted several Janome dealers in San Diego and was able to find one that sold it for $80 less than the next cheapest. Only drawback is that the free lessons were very basic. Probably not that big of a deal for me since I never took advantage of the 6 free lessons when I bought the Bernina (laziness had some part in it).

OK, so enough of the babbling and let's get on with my weekend project. In anticipation of getting the 35oE, I purchased some nice double sided fleece fabrics so I can make personalized throws for all the 4-legged family members.

Here is one using one of the default lettering that came with the machine. I downloaded the bone from a site that offers free embroidery files (there's quite a few of them out there). If you look towards the bottom corners of the picture, you can see how I finished the sides. I did a satin finish, although a blanket stitch would have been just fine since it's fleece (the ends don't fray). I think the satin finished edge looks much nicer. I did the edges with my coverstitch machine and took no time at all.

Here's a picture of another one I did using the same font witha different colored thread for the name. The picture came out a bit on the purple side. The color of the fleece is more of a wine color. Overall, I did 4 of these large throws, each approximately 60" x 72". I kept them pretty large since they make a nice cushion when folded.

The other project that I'm finishing up today is the baby quilt for the daughter of my friend, Dr. G (who was also an ex-boss of mine). I've finally finished up the embroidery of her name, quilted it, and now just finishing up the binding. It's taken me way too long to finish this but at least she'll have it by Christmas. I'll post a picture of it in another post.

Hope everyone stayed dried this weekend. Have a terrific week! Oh yeah, 16 more days until Christmas.
Postscript: I forgot to mention that our trip up to Anaheim and LA was good, dispite the embarrassing debacle of the games the Sabres put on. A bit disappointing since these were my first live Sabres games. Gaustad said he felt really bad for those fans that came a long ways to watch them. But at least they kicked the snot out of the San Jose Sharks last night. If I have time later, I'll post a quicky on the food portion of our trip. We stopped by Little Tokyo for lunch as well as some snacks. I was so delighted to see a Mikawaya store in Japanese Village Plaza. The Mister and stopped in for dessert and I finally was able to get some mochi ice cream. Mmmmmmmm. The Mister thoroughly enjoyed his pistachio Italian ice cream, too. Dang, if I can just find the mango and the strawberry in San Diego, I'd be a happy, barefooted gal!


KirkK said...

Hey CAB - Mitsuwa has mango mochi ice cream - it's in the back freezer area. You really love your "toys" don't you?

Barefoot Plumies said...

Hi Kirk! Thanks for the tip! I love the mango ones. I also found out that 99 Ranch on Clairemont is suppose to carry Mikawaya mochi ice cream. I'm going to head over during lunch and see what I can find. The Mister will be happy to know that he's not going to have to drive me up to LA all the time, hehe.

I do love my toys! Unfortunately, I don't have the budget to get all the toys I want. Unless I win the Lotto...