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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    79

    Just got a sewing machine... now what?

    Hi All,

    I haven't posted in a long time, but when I received my first sewing machine for Christmas and wanted some advice, I knew exactly where to go!

    I'm not new to crafting, but I've never used a sewing machine before, so I'm looking for advice on a simple first project. I was thinking of making a quilt (using the already made quilting squares from Jo-Ann's or something) for my friend's baby, but I wasn't sure how complicated that would be.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance!
    *r

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
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    i would recommend something even simpler and smaller to start with-- like a pillow case, just to get the hang of your machine without spending a ton of money on quilt squares, batting, backing etc.

    the pillow case tutorial at
    super eggplant is great. I also recommend her totebag tutorial-- that is the first thing I made when i got my sewing machine!

    i found that taking a class was a great way to get comfortable with my machine, so if there is a sewing studio or workshop near you, i'd say check out their classes and see if anything appeals to you!

    Not to say quilts are hard or a bad idea, I just think it is more satisfying to start out with one or two smaller projects!

  4. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    61
    I do agree with Nancy that it's more satisfying to make something that you can start and finish quickly. Even the quickest quilts usually take some time.

    If you wanted to make a blanket for your friend's baby, make a quick one. Here's what I do:

    Get two 1 1/4 yard pieces of fabric (I usually use one piece flannel, one piece regular cotton). Sew right sides together, almost all the way around - leave a 6 - 8" opening. Trim the edges (most like the pieces of fabric won't be EXACTLY the same size), then turn right side out. Sew up the opening (I usually hand sew so you can't see where the opening was). Then, about a half inch to an inch in from the sides, sew around the whole blanket with the decorative stitch from your machine (I'm assuming you have a couple of decorative stitches). That's it.

    They usually come out really cute and are generally appreciated, because babies are always spitting up on them.

    (If my instructions aren't clear, let me know!)

  5. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    70
    I agree. Even the simple quilts can be pretty expensive.

    I think you should just take some time to get to know your machine. Read the manual. Use some scrap fabric to try all of the stiches on all of the settings. Try all the different feet. Make a few buttonholes. If it has any interesting embroidery features, try those out. Maybe make a few flat stuffed animals first. When you know exactly what you can get out of it, then I'm sure your quilt will turn out even cooler.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    66
    I think I learned the most about sewing by just getting a pattern and sewing something. I would pick out a pattern for something basic--it seems like a purse or a skirt would be pretty easy--and just dive in. As you said before, you're not entirely new to crafting, so between the instructions for your machine and the ones that came with the pattern, you'll probably learn a lot. The pattern catalogs usually rank them by skill level, or have a whole section for "easy" things.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    34
    Take a look at this amazing site! I've looked this one up for you:

    http://www.expertvillage.com/intervi...nner-guide.htm

    You learn how to make a quilted baby blanket on a sewing machine! These are all video instructions. She explains it very well. Have fun! I even think to make one myself. I Love it!


 

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