Hopefully some of you already know who I am from popping in and out of the forums and blogs. For those of you that don't, this will introduce us to each other. Many of you have asked me how I first got started, not only with ME, but sewing in general. So, here it is! You can blame my Grandmother! Of course you all realize that this will squash all of those cool rumors out there.
I first got started as a very young girl with my Grandmother. My Mom had an old treadle machine, exactly like the one pictured above, that to my knowledge, she never used. I don't think I ever even saw her as much as sew on a button. So I had to depend on Granny to learn from. Every day after school, (yes we did walk to and fro then) I stopped in for cookies (still warm from the oven, no less). Since I was making a nuisance of myself, she decided it was time for me to learn to do something constructive. I finished my first little quilt (with Granny's help) at the ripe old age of 9. She also taught me how to use Mom's sewing machine that had sat idle for so long. That was it, I was hooked! I didn't realize at the time that I would someday make my living from sewing. Since then I have worked on everything from Auto Parts to Zippers.
I went to work in the early 70's for a major auto company sewing parts for car seats, vinyl roofing, and leather interiors. This is where I learned that while they are still sewing machines, they were not only faster but unforgiving. A commercial machine is probably 2 to 3 times faster than your home sewing machine. On the up side, Wow! On the down side, you are expected to sew 2 to 3 times more product to go with it. We will touch more on that in the next few writings, when they apply to subject matter. From there I went to making baby clothing in a local factory - gee I loved that job! I worked 4 days per week, 10 hours per day. When the company left, I went to work for a company that did design and embroidery - it is a real Hoot working on a 15 needle machine! Then when that company moved to another state, I worked for an office furniture company in the veneer room, later moving into the sewing area. They made seat and back covers for office chairs, bulletin boards, and various other components of the industry. I stayed there until 2001, when I retired.(Not!)
What I hope to accomplish is to present to you a few hints, tips, tricks, and lots of shortcuts, to make the most of your time in the sewing room. Hence the name of the blog, "Stitchin Shortcuts!". When you have upward of 1500 or more items per day to complete, you learn things to make the process go faster, smoother, and more efficiently. The most I have completed in one day is 3000. Without these shortcuts and tricks, it would have been an impossible task.
I like to work with K.I.S.S. (No not the rock band!) It stands for "Keep It Simple Suzy!" The simpler we keep something, the faster,easier,and more efficient it becomes. I am the person who is always looking for a simpler, faster way to do things, with the least amount of stress to the body. Without compromising quality, of course. It also means I will be including different tools that I use to make my life easier. You will be hearing more about K.I.S.S. in the future, so stay tuned! I would also like to have some fun along the way - those of you that know me know that, for me, life is about having fun!
I would like to include within these postings, some of the things that our Group is working on. As I am sure many of you know, we got together for a lunch/meeting to inaugurate a first on AnnTheGran, the Central Florida Machine Embroiderers Group ! Wow! Is that a mouthful or what?! Now I see why we abbreviate it to CFMEG! This was a very informal, relaxed meeting, plus we helped Ann celebrate her birthday.
Photos courtesy of T.Alcumbrack & E&B Sherrard
Each person was asked to bring something that they had made, either sewing, embroidery, or both. Or something they were just darn proud of! (they should be!). The items I saw from this simple request, I must say brought tears to my eyes. You could just see and feel the love in that room. It was such a wonderful heart-warming experience. This group, made up from a great group of folks from all over Central Florida, started from somene asking a simple question in a forum and it exploded into what we have today. Now the AnnTheGran site has a new section atop their Home Page called "Groups", thanks to all the great people in this forum! They even have their own logo, digitized by a couple of the group's members! I hope to, in the coming weeks and months, bring you, as a feature some, if not all of the items that were presented that day. This has got to be one of the most incredible things I have had the pleasure of witnessing in a very long time. I strongly urge everyone to do this in your own areas. Just pop a new post in one of the forums, and ask one question,"how many in my area?" and wait for someone to answer. Have patience, as it may take some time for folks to see it, but it can turn into something wonderful for you, not to mention all the new friends you will end up with, sharing a common interest. If you get the chance, go check out the photos in the Media area.
I want to mention the Charity idea we are working on within the CFMEG. We are in the process of picking one, if not more, charities to make items for, and donate to. I encourage other groups that form to adopt this idea. It not only makes your heart feel good, it does so much and really makes a difference in someone's life. I believe that Charity begins with each of us, one person can do a little, together we can do a lot!
I welcome any questions,comments, or ideas you may have, either that you wish to share or would like me to cover in this blog. I am usually lurking about in many of the forums, and now in the newly formed "Groups" section. Join one of those discussions, or start a new discussion if you would like to. I also hope many others will join in and share with us their experiences, ideas, comments, and questions, as well as their project photos. I will do my best to share with you all, my knowledge (However limited).
Suzy's Tip Of The Week! It is a good idea to take a tiny bit of either hair clipper oil, or sewing machine oil, and place it on your scissors, trying to get some into the mechanism area. Work the handles of the scissor, so it can work itself into that area really well. Take a soft cloth, being careful not to cut yourself, and wipe away the oil from them, making sure to get most if not all of the oil off them. Using a piece of scrap fabric, cut through it several times to remove any leftover oil. This aids in keeping them well lubricated, as well as keeping anything from building up on them, such as rust or gunk from daily use. Sometimes there are tiny gouges in the blades that cannot be seen, so rust can and will form in these areas even though they are stainless. Once the factory coating is compromised it can happen. Sewing machine and clipper oil is a very light weight oil that can easily be removed, but keeps your scissors working great!
Signing off until next time.............................................."Happy Stitchin'!" Remember to K.I.S.S. someone close to you every day!
Judy ( Yes I get to be Suzy too!)