Friday, August 2, 2013

what I think now

From time to time readers ask if I still like my Juki sewing machine, how my succulents are doing and whatever happened to that Alabama Chanin dress?  Well, here's that post.

The Juki TL2010 is an awesome sewing machine.  Since that original hiccup there's been not a single other problem. I've done a bunch of straight line and free motion quilting too, so it's been put through the wringer.  I know that having so much throat space directly relates to my growth in free motion quilting.  I'm still glad I went with a non-computerized machine because I really feel this Juki is built to last.  I get out my old Kenmore to zigzag stitch my binding, and that's it!  It seems to need less cleaning than my Kenmore and Pfaff's did, but maybe it just feels that way because it's easier to clean (the openings are bigger).  My favorite feature might be the foot pedal activated thread cutter.  Mmm.... love that!  If you're looking for a quality quilting machine I absolutely recommend the Juki TL2010 from Sew Vac Direct.  Read more at my original review post.

penguin sewing minions
penguin sewing minions by Badskirt Amy

I still use 505 Adhesive basting spray.   Actually, I stock up on it and make sure to never, ever, ever run out.  Someone was shocked I was able to quilt that minky backing so successfully, but I couldn't even tell the difference when quilting that vs. quilting cotton as far as shifting, etc.  As long as I give a good, even coating, this basting spray holds tight.  The best price I've found is at Sew for Less.  They have the HUGE 17 oz can for just $13.50!  I always get at least 2 to save on shipping.  If you're interested, see how basting spray works.  Once I tried it, I've never wanted to go back.

what I think now

What about those succulent plants?  Well... not such good news.  I never did hang the frame because I wanted to give the plants time to root.  It's been two months now, but precious few have rooted (if any).  Since the plants are supposed to be misted with a spray bottle to be watered, most of the water lands on the leaves.  I believe the plants are absorbing water through the leaves, which discourages them from rooting.  Even worse, I started loosing a few here and there about a month ago.  Maybe 8 have died now?  The rest are curling up unattractively, so my mom is going to plant them in a normal pot in hopes that watering them differently will save them.  Sorry I don't have a picture!  Here's the original post.
On the Reliable iron I also have bad news.  I can't use the steam at all.  If I turn on the steam it squirts so much water that everything gets wet and I have to dodge scalding water.  So, I've been only using it dry.  This is worse than it was at the time of my Iron Report.  Maybe this happened because I don't unplug my iron regularly when it's powered off (it's plugged in behind a dresser), which could have shorted the computer programming?  I've tried unplugging it to reset it with no luck.  I really need to order another iron soon...

whatever happened to?

The Alabama Chanin dress is still in progress.  Yes, it has been over a year...  This is one project that I have allowed myself to pick up and put down at will, so slow was inevitable.  But that's not the real problem.  I actually finished the reverse applique stitching this spring and haven't been able to bring myself to assemble the dress.  To be perfectly honest, I'm not all that thrilled with certain changes that have occurred to my now 31-year-old body.  It seems pretty unfair that a healthy diet and (increased) exercise can't seem to deliver my normal self anymore.  While I acclimate to the "new normal?" you'd be hard pressed to get me to try on a jersey knit dress.... which is precisely what I need to do to proceed. 

Ok, so that's the big review update.  Possibly you got bored after a few sentences and ran off to do some sewing.  I'm OK with that. Enjoy the weekend!

37 comments:

  1. Thank you for the updates. I'm still looking for the perfect iron. I hate when they drip water all over your project.

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    1. (I hate that too) and we have really hard water Which shortens the life of an iron, so I started putting water in a spray bottle and leaving my iron empty. I just spray when needed with the spray bottle and use the iron dry on the hottest setting. Works for me!!

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    2. I have three Rowentas that I love, but I also do the spray bottle. They all have auto shut off, won't buy an iron without it. My original Professional will leak water if it shuts off and gets activated again while in steam mode. Shop around for the Rowenta's you can usually get a great deal if you do.

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  2. Glad to hear the Juki is working well for you. And finish that dress and put it on and be proud of your 31-year-old self. When you're 52 like me you'll wonder why you didn't show off you body back then, because now its definitely not fabulous, but I don't care.

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    1. Haha I was thinking exactly the same thing, like I can't believe I thought I was fat back then!

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  3. My mom says these are the skinny years. I was looking at old 90s pictures of our family and she sighed at herself in baggy jumpers, saying, "I thought I was so fat, I wore all those baggy clothes. I wasted all my skinny years!" That's really stuck with me. Finish the dress! The sneak peek here looks amazing. It's too much handwork to ditch.

    (I love it when bloggers report back on awesome ideas that fizzed or ended up not-awesome, like your poor succulents. Thanks for your honesty and I hope your momma can bring them back from the edge!) (And I still want a Juki. One day!)

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  4. Oh! Finish the dress!! I think you'll find it more flattering than you think it'll be. Plus, your hubby will love it ;-)
    Bummer about your iron.
    You know, another benefit of spray basting (oddly enough, I've never heard any one mention this) is when you decide you hate your quilting, and remove every bit of it - over the course of several days - your quilt is still basted!! I feel like using basting spray has really taken my quilting up a notch (both machine and hand-quilting). I talked 2 friends into trying it, so we all went in together on an order to save a few bucks :-)
    Thread cutter ~ I bought a juki f-600 several months before you bought your juki. I'm not in love with it yet but my Janome, when it worked well, was such a dream that it's an unfair competition. But my goodness, the thread cutter! I love that thing!! Which is funny, because I was like, "what's the big deal with a thread cutter...?" before I bought it and didn't expect it to be anything special. I won't buy another machine without one.
    Have a great weekend ~ Tracy

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  5. i bought the same juki as you, based a lot on your posts. :) i have been loving it. though, i have not gotten used to the knee lift lever, so haven't really used it...i know i just need to practice. but i love the thread cutter. so convenient! and i am about 50/50 on the threader...sometimes i get it first try, sometimes i don't and the last two times, i just threaded the needle myself. hahaha. oh well. i still love it. :) and i agree with the chorus, finish the dress!

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    1. on my Juki, I have to make sure that I've pulled the thread all the way to the little thread tweezer-thing, no cheating and just letting it hang. Also I do a needle down then up, to make sure it is fully up. Happy sewing :-)

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  6. I haven't had good luck doing straight line quilting on mt juki 2010, altho the fmq is fabulous. do you use the upper feed presser foot for straight lines? Thanks, Anne

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    1. Yes, I do use the walking foot/upper feed presser foot when quilting straight lines. Works like a charm for me!

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  7. Yay for Juki and 505 love... I'm right there with you (in fact posted a pic of that same can on my blog today!). And I'm in agreement with the others on your dress - finish it NOW and wear it proudly. You are still young!

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  8. I love my Juki, I've had it 3 years or so! I only wish it had a zigzag stitch. I'll have to get my Singer out and cleaned if we'll be using the zigzag stitch on the Penny Sampler.

    I love basting spray and also buy it from Sew for Less. I now have piles and piles of basting pins that I'll never use again!

    Thanks for all the inspiration and knowledge you share.

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  9. I have been wondering what happened to your Alabama Chanin dress. And I can relate to the bodily changes too. Sad!

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  10. Every photo I've seen of the Chanin dresses are flattering. Go for it! Add me to the 50-somethings who says to love the body you have and finish it now!

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  11. It took me over a year just to decide what to make with my Alabama Chanin jersey, now have several projects in process, including a skirt that I am afraid to try on. As someone facing a *much* bigger number than you at my next birthday, I can affirm you are still in the skinny years: enjoy them!

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  12. My Reliable iron was a dripping, streaming mess almost from the beginning. Took it to Goodwill.

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  13. that's so weird - i was seriously just thinking about your chainin dress the other day bc i was thinking about how much i enjoyed your handstitching class (while I'm in the midst taking this new one!) if you're ever up for garment sewing i've heard good reviews about the lady skater dress.

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  14. Thanks for keeping us updated, especially on the iron. I m waiting on you to find the perfect one so that I can buy one too :)

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    1. I buy the cheapest decent iron and use a spray bottle with water, I never put water into my iron!

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  15. rachel, i loved so much about this post! everything! thanks for the update. i say finish the dress, too! if you're not comfortable with it now maybe you'll love wearing that jersey after your pregnant and it can hug all of your baby curves. :) i'm with the others and say love the body you've got, especially before #3. my #3 changed my body more than my first two. looking back, i always wish i had demonstrated more self acceptance then... and now. :) my aunt always says - they changed my life, so how could i expect that they wouldn't change my body?! :)

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  16. I read your blog every day, and never comment, but today I HAVE to. I could find so many references that you need to read, this is just one:
    http://offbeatfamilies.com/2012/11/telling-daughters-im-beautiful

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  17. What are you talking about? 31 years old and NOT wearing jersey dresses because of??? You must finish the dress, I think it will be very flattering. I love her designs, (and the cotton jersey) I made one dress some years ago (and I'm 56 years old) and got lost of compliments. Groetjes, Gerda

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  18. I just splurged on the Oliso TG-1600 iron, I'm pretty sure from using it at QuiltCon and at Stash Bash that it's going to be a love affair.

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  19. I have a reliable and I love it. Actually the first was a mess I could not get it to steam so I called the company and they replaced it. Second one is a dream!

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  20. Rachel, you're beautiful! I've found it so hard to love my body especially since having kids. Partly, maybe to do with the fact that my mum was on a diet my whole life. And I've always been to scared to make something for myself. I am inspired by curvy women around me whom I consider very beautiful because of the way they carry themselves and live with a kind of self-forgetfullness. I so hope I can inspire an idea of beauty in Evie that let's her be comfortable in her own skin, the way I long so for myself! X

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  21. I still remember the exact day when I finished a jersey dress, put it on, looked at my butt in the mirror and said, "Well so much for that idea." For me though I think it was more an issue of modesty than of feeling fat (and as opposed to you, I actually AM overweight) because jersey can be really clingy. I think there's a difference between saying, "This doesn't look good on my body" and "My body sucks." Everyone needs to figure out what makes them feel pretty, and it's an ongoing process as we age, have babies, go through hormonal changes, etc.

    That being said--finish the dress! We all want to see what it looks like finished and you should wait to love it or hate it until it's complete. :)

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  22. Not bored at all; always like to hear what you have to say. I'm new to quilting and was glad to get the sewing machine and basting spray info. Very informative. Thanks!

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  23. My Reliable iron spits water too. I turned off the steam feature about three months ago. I understand it's from not emptying the water out each time -- like I have the time and a sink nearby to do that!

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  24. I have the Brother sewing machine comparable to your Juki and I love it!! It's my favorite machine that I've owned (and the least expensive...go figure!), but it sews a beautiful straight stitch and has a perfect 1/4" on the plate (I actually measured it because I couldn't get an accurate 1/4" from my other machines...no matter what foot I used or how I set the stitch guide). I love the large throat opening and it's heavy...no plastic! I use my Janome 6600 when I want fancier stitches (which isn't often).

    I, too, have been very frustrated lately with irons. I have a Rowenta that I absolutely hate. It spits hot, steaming water all over my board and my projects!! I sent it to the back of the closet, never to be used by me again!! I bought a cheap Black & Decker and it's a better iron than the expensive Rowenta. You don't always get what you pay for :( Good luck finding an iron that works without scalding you!

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  25. You are never boring and you are going to totally rock that dress and we want pictures to prove it!

    Thanks for the update. I have been meaning to start a reverse appliqué bandanna but there just aren't enough hours in the day.......

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  26. Rachel, thank you for mentioning your feelings about your shifting body! I have been struggling to talk to anyone about the same thing (I'm 32, healthy eating and exercise, no children). While these other folks tell you how you should feel (I'm sure they're trying to be supportive), I really appreciate your willingness to share how you actually feel right now. For what it's worth, you're not alone and your post was so validating to me. I hope you can feel my e-support through the interwebs! It's going to be a beautiful dress.

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  27. Interesting to read the updates! Someone mentioned an iron, in a comment to one of your previous posts, that is cordless. I'd sure love to give one of those a try. As a left handed sewist I find the cord is always in my way no matter how I try to manipulate it.

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  28. I understand what you're saying about your dress (as one who is a good few years older). It may look amazing when worn with an open jacket on top.

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  29. Have you tried straight-stitching your bindings on your Juki? I use the even-feed foot and it works like a charm! The only thing I pull my "fancy-stitch" machine out for is joining batting pieces and blanket stitching on appliques. And as far as irons go, every iron I've bought that cost more than $15 has spit hot water like crazy - so I'm back to cheap irons that heat up fast! I use the tail ends of bottled water that get left around in my iron - it cuts down on the hard water buildup. (We're bad about starting but not finishing bottled water.) And someone mentioned cordless irons - I have the Panasonic that everyone was reviewing last Christmas, and it doesn't get really hot, or stay hot long enough to iron a big job like a back or a pile of binding. Disappointing!

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  30. I quite enjoyed reading your catch up post! As to the mummy tummy and other assorted assets, I can't help you much...I measured myself last week and was astounded to find my waist 4" bigger than I remembered it being 10 years ago.

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