Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cure for Bird's Nest

Do you remember that to get the best results from your sewing machine you must follow simple rules when threading the machine? Be sure to have the presser foot/bar lifted when you are threading the MACHINE. That allows the thread to fall completely into the tension discs because the discs are open when the bar is in the UP position. When you get to threading the NEEDLE you can put the presser foot/bar down, closing the discs onto the thread. You can feel the difference if you pull the thread through the system when the foot is up - it comes easily. It is tighter and harder to pull when the foot is down. This procedure will help ensure a prettier stitch and even prevent having bird's nests on the back of the fabric or having a tangled mess that clogs the machine and frays your nerves and disposition.

Equally important is getting the bobbin set precisely. You must pull the bobbin thread completely into the tension device at the bobbin. I find that I can do this more easily if I hold the bobbin still with my left index finger as I pull the thread around to the tension device. On the drop-in bobbin models if all is quiet around you, you can hear the thread pop into its proper position. Not getting the thread there can make the bobbin thread show on top or create a wad on the back side of the fabric. If you are unsure where the tension device is on your machine come by the shop with your set-in bobbin case or if your bobbin drops into your Husqvarna Viking machine we can show you on our floor models where the device is.

H&C Feature of the Week: Free Pattern with Purchase of Splendor II
More beautiful fabrics keep coming in to Heirlooms & Comforts every week! Just when you think that the designers have no place to go anymore with their designs, they come up with new combinations of beautiful colors and designs. This week we have a group from In the Beginning Fabrics and designer Jason Yenter called Splendor II. It has prints of beautiful with beautiful, soft colors and endearing design. The border stripe is superb. The uses for this group are unlimited. Our feature this week is the Free Pattern folder that we can hand to you when you purchase Splendor II fabrics. The quantity is limited, so come in early to get your fabric and the pattern.

Labor Day Holiday
Just a reminder that Heirlooms & Comforts will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday September 3, 2012. Be sure to stop in by September 1 to collect up the supplies you will need for sewing on Labor Day. We will open again on Tuesday, September 4 at regular time

Fall Schedule of Closings
During Football Season at Clemson University we at Heirlooms & Comforts indulge ourselves in this sport. Sometimes our customers have difficulty dealing with traffic as the number of cars and people in the area swells to near 80,000. So, in order to get to the game on time and to enjoy our friends and families who participate in this spectator sport, we will adjust our opening/closing times according to game time. We don't know all game times now because TV coverage dictates game times and they choose those late in the process.
  • September 8: will not open because of a 12:30 game.
  • September 15: will close at 1:30 for a 3PM game
Watch weekly emails for future announcements of game-day closing times.

Lost and Found
During Shop Hop someone lost a pair of prescription sunglasses at Heirlooms & Comforts. Please call with a description of these to claim them. We feel like someone is disappointed to not have these; so, we have carefully saved them for retrieval by the owner.
Several rulers and tools have been left by students in the last few months. We have scissors and cutters and rulers. Come by soon to see if your missing tool is here with us.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Save Money

You know how when you have known someone for many years you think that everyone else you know also knows this person and you forget to introduce your two friends to each other? (How's that for a long, grammatically acceptable sentence?) Well, that is kinda how it is with conditions and solutions for sewing and embroidery situations. This became highlighted for me in the last few weeks.

There was a problem with one machine in a class of six machines doing embroidery with the same kinds of thread, the same kind of stabilizer (extremely firm) and the same kind of fabric. This one machine was experiencing thread shredding. The hoop and fabric had considerable more bounce in the sewing process. We looked for mechanical reasons for the thread to break, but were unable to find burrs in any place that the thread passes in the process of becoming a stitch. We change the spool of thread assuming that somehow one spool of thread could be defective. We put in a new needle of the same size that we had in the machine before the problem started and that had embroidered ¾ of the huge design. Finally, I called the Education Department at Husqvarna Viking for advice. We went through all the possibilities for troubleshooting. The one suggestion that Marie made to me that we had not already tried was to use a much larger needle with a different "scarf" and longer eye to hide the thread from the fabric (very tough fabric) and the very stiff stabilizer. We put a Topstitch 90 needle into the machine and it finished the design with no shredding! We all knew that could be a solution, but just overlooked the possibility that we should do that one, simple trial.

Needle drag through the fabric on the "up-pull" can make all kinds of things happen - even noise that sounds like metal slapping metal when the needle frees itself from the fabric/stabilized layer and pulls the hoop up slightly from the normal position above the arm of the machine. When the needle clears the fabric, the hoop drops to the bed of the machine making a slapping noise as it bounces to position. If you see a lot of vertical movement of the fabric and hoop (bouncing) during embroidery you could change your needle to one that is larger with a deeper scarf which helps protect the thread in the stitching process. It will make a slightly larger hole as it penetrates the fabric to allow the needle easier exit from each stitch. The larger hole is usually not visually detected in the finished product. Pure logic - I should have remembered at the onset of the problem! Now after all this verbiage, maybe all of us will remember the simple solution.

H&C Feature of the Week: HV Embroidery Design Packs
At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will feature Husqvarna Viking Embroidery Design Packs. Get 30% off any in-stock H-V branded machine embroidery collection disc packages. We have cutwork and quilting and thread velvet and more. Check us out - some are just recently added to the line. These packages are multi-format collections so that if you don't have a Husqvarna Viking embroidery machine, but you have some other one that requires .pes or .jef, etc. you can still use these designs. Don't miss this great savings on Design Packs!

Look at our web site for the class page for the Fall Class Schedule. Call or come soon to get enrolled in the ones you want. Those persons who complete registration first are the ones who get a seat in the class and understandably teachers limit the number they teach in order to give the best attention to each participant. Completed registration means signing up and paying tuition. That is the commitment. The fall line-up is really good, so we are looking to hear from you this week

Save! Save! Save!
At Heirlooms & Comforts from now until September 30, 2012 you can save BIG when you purchase Designer Ruby at our very special price and then submit a request for $250 Rebate from Husqvarna Viking. That's right: H-V will send you a $250 check when you send in the rebate form which we will hand to you at the time of purchase. You save twice and get all the pleasure of sewing and embroidering with Husqvarna Viking and Designer Ruby. You know that at Heirlooms & Comforts you get unlimited classes one-on-one for how to operate your sewing and embroidery machine purchased from us. That is another huge money saver feature as well. We have two of these machines to offer at this deal and the first two people with the commitment to purchase get these machines. Waste no time getting here.

There is also a special offer for those who wish to purchase a Designer Diamond deLuxe between now and September 30, 2012. You can qualify for 36 Months no interest from GE Money on the purchase of a new top-of-the-line deLuxe. Ask us.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mind Does Matter

Having just celebrated a significant birthday I find that some things are gaining in importance to me. First of all, another birthday is important and each one is significant - meaning I have made it one more time. Keeping a keen wit and sharp intellect is important. What do you do to maintain a sharpness of mind? I find that I am a little disappointed and duller if I don't get in my daily language puzzles - crossword and jumble. Most days those exercises come just after breakfast and just before physical workout two days a week at the gym. For me, doing something that requires logical and cognitive thinking is very important. I still don't like math puzzles, but I feel sure they too would help me keep my mind sharp.

These puzzles and arriving at their solutions are important, but quilt making is also important. There are skills that one must employ in "divining" a quilt "puzzle" that make you use the brain as you would not otherwise. And when you construct a quilt you are exercising skills that sharpen your capabilities. So, when you come down to it, to stay mentally healthy and not succumb to dementia, etc. as you celebrate birthdays you should add more and more quilting and fabric buying as you calculate yardages needed to construct the quilt. This will keep you "ticking" like the proverbial bunny. Now, come to H&C to let us challenge you to more exercises to counterbalance those birthdays. How about this for logical thinking?
 H&C Feature of the Week: Kaffe, Amy and Friends
At Heirlooms and Comforts this week we will highlight the new fabrics from Westminster Fibers that are designs from Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler and friends who design for Westminster. Oh, my goodness! These are bright and cheerful and will light up your day when you work with them. We also have voiles from Westminster. Have you felt these fabrics to know how light and soft they are? Cissie made a baby quilt from voiles and used silk batting in quilting it, and that is the softest, most supple little quilt I have ever touched. Some of us have already bought our slices of these voiles and the new Westminster brights. Don't get left out! They are in stock and ready for your selection now.

Classes for Fall
Keep your eye out for the new Fall Class Schedule coming next week. Our classes are offered from outstanding teachers like Carolyn Harris and Cheryl Keith and Audra McPeak and Gail Sexton and Sue Wainscott and Kathy White. The first students to sign up and pay tuition are the ones who get into the class. You can do this in person or by phone. We always offer a 10% discount to students for supplies listed by the teacher as necessary for the class. Our staff is really good at helping you choose items that facilitate success in the classes that are offered for your learning and sewing pleasure.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our People

Never let it be said that the ladies of Heirlooms & Comforts can't go it alone. There is so much talent, dedication, and loyalty among them that the shop just keeps running along when I am not on the premises. Summer camp for kids was again a roaring success with Judy and Fran guiding the youngsters in sewing the projects. I'm told that the projects were superb and that the girls were model students. Future seamstresses-that's what we love to see. Great products; outstanding instructors; capable, friendly, talented associates; and fantastic finished products made on the best sewing machines available-that's what you get with Heirlooms and Comforts. Let's not forget the super sewing machine service guy-Blue and Gold, Gold Star certified by Husqvarna Viking. That is our edge: our people.

H&C Feature of the Week:
Packaged Batting

At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will feature packaged batting at a 20% off discount. We offer Quilters Dream Batting and Hobbs battings including Tuscany as well as some Legacy by Pellon. There is cotton, wool, polyester, white, natural, black, silk, and soy blend. You have many choices in fiber, color, and size. Measure your quilt tops and come on in for savings on batting in packages.

From now until September 30, 2012, you can buy a Designer Diamond deLuxe sewing/embroidery machine at Heirlooms & Comforts with 36 months financing. This is a great opportunity to have the best at interest-free savings. Come into the shop to find out what a great price tag we have on this top-of-the-line machine. All the Designer features will make your sewing and embroidery easy and beautiful. We can give you as many classes as you need to learn to use your machine. Our goal is to have you become successful at your projects.