Wednesday, July 4, 2012

When did Sewing by Machine become Old Fashion to Sewers?

A student recently asked, “Why are you doing that paper piece project the old fashion way? Is it better using a sewing machine?” I had to smile because she was questioning the use of a sewing machine versus In The Hoop embroidery.  The honest answer is whatever method you like best provided that you have the size hoop to make it work!
However, it can be more advantageous at times to sew the project  and to keep the embroidery motif separate with paper piecing.
Paper piecing is calming therapy.   You get absorbed into the process and the reward is instant.  Sewing one paper pieced square for a coaster, or pot holder goes together so quickly that I prefer to simply sew it “the old fashion way” - by machine. One could be tempted to "hand sew" it, but that is another topic.
My personal preference is to draw designs with the tools in Photoshop and save them in jpg format. I can easily resize them to exact measurements rather than running to a copier using percentages of size.  Other choices: You can do this drawing in Next, Palette 9 or Bernina V6 software with tools provided and print the template for exact sizing. Other embroidery softwares may have this capability as well.   Another quick solution is to use the FlipPal mobile scanner sold by Brother dealers to scan a drawn pattern, and now you have an instant jpg.  Having a jpg gives you the options to create the design as an ITH or to be used as a template for the “old fashion way.”
I love to use mini’s as a motif in small paper pieced items. Embroidery on socks has provided me with an extensive array of minis to fill the needs of projects.  
From now through July 7, 2012, the current free newsletter has a simple piecing block and directions.  If you are not a subscriber you can sign up on the home page of and not miss this issue.
If you love paper piecing, there are countless patterns in books on the market, just in case you don’t want to draw your own.

Best wishes as you celebrate & enjoy Independence Day!  Cookie

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