Monday, September 26, 2016

All About BERNINA Sewing Feet

Presser Feet! They're not just tedious accessories that get tucked in a drawer! Today I want to tell you all about the BERNINA Presser Feet & help you understand how they're made, why they're made that way, and clue you in on what the heck all those markings and numbers/letters actually mean (if you don't already know!) There are nearly 100 different feet options available and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Read about the 10 BERNINA sewing feet you should own to help get your shopping list started.

What Are Presser Feet?
Presser feet hold your fabric against the feed dogs and guide it in a straight line as you sew. That's why you have to raise the presser foot when you want to move your fabric out from under the needle. Lots of great sewing with just the standard foot that came with your machine, however, some techniques can be a bit of a challenge with a standard or basic universal foot.

How Are BERNINA Presser Feet Made?
Watch this and find out!

In 1954 the first model 530 featured a patented clip-on presser feet. More than 60 years later this unique clip on style foot is still being used!

Why Are There Indentations, Markings, and Holes in Some Feet? 
Most often you'll find indentations on the sole behind the needle opening. This allows the stitched area to easily pass below and out the back of the foot. Any indentations in a foot on the front of the foot before the needle opening are a good indicator that the foot can be used for forward/reverse/multi motion stitch patterns. Larger 'tunnels' and grooves are cut from feet to allow cording and trims to pass through.

Have you ever seen a foot with a hole it? These feet are generally used for embellishment- and indicate something is fed through there. It could be used for cords, elastic, or other trim.

Markings or engraved notches on the foot serve as visual guides and markers.

Understanding the Letters on A BERNINA Presser Foot 
Each foot is numbered but it may have one or two additional versions with a letter following the number.

No Letter: These feet are made for BERNINA models with a maximum stitch width of 5.5mm but are compatible with models that have a 9mm (but the maximum width of the stitches you can use is 5.5mm)

The Letter "C":  These feet are made for BERNINA models with a maximum stitch width of 9mm. The "C" stands for Coded and refers to the sensor on the foot. The sensor works with the electronics of the machine to engage the wider stitch widths available. The soles on these "C" feet are designed to fit wider feed dogs.

The Letter "D": These feet are made to be used with the Dual Feed feature on selected models. They help you to feed all layers at the same speed and are extremely helpful for precision piecing.

Do you have a favorite foot you own & love? Leave a comment below and tell me which one it is and what you use it for.

I'm a BERNINA Ambassador: What does that mean? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rust Experiments: Using a Stapler

Continuing my lax journaling of rust dying today. I hope you're enjoying the posts so far. For this I used a stapler and (new) staples. I wasn't sure what effect it would create on the white cotton fabric but I did lay out the staples in a half-hazzardly-yet-plotted state. Because I was using metal that had not yet been rusted, I needed to let this set a few days longer.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Best In Show

Photography holds a special place in my heart, in the grand scheme of things it's what lead me to find my passion for sewing. After Sam was born- I felt a little lost & a lot stale. I loved becoming a mom- it's the best job in the whole wide world, but while growing into that role I had felt as if I needed to sacrifice those passions and goals that defined who I was before becoming a mom. I'm wiser now, I know that not to be true- but there has been a winding road of discovery along the way of which I am incredibly grateful for.

Lake Gold // Photo by Jenelle Montilone 
I recently shared some adventures I've been having shooting abandoned locations. As I find myself reaching again for the camera to create art, not just capture it. I thought it would be a fun idea to enter into our county fairs Amature Photography Show. Participants were allowed to submit 3 photographs with strict parameters and they needed to fit into certain categories.

I displayed a photograph I took on our family trip to the lake, a creative angle of Columbine growing in Ida's garden next door, and finally a broken gauge from the insides of Ingersol-Rand.

Soon Forgotten // Photograph Jenelle Montilone 
Well, count me as surprised when I learned that the Soon Forgotten photograph took Best In Show, First place in it's class, and was recognized with a local honor. My Lake Gold photo also took a ribbon for it's class.

Ida's Garden // Photograph Jenelle Montilon

Fair week here in New Jersey, I hope, is the same in your small towns across the country. I've enjoyed many long hot summer days on those grounds as a fair goer and as a volunteer with the FFA. It's such a joy to experience the same event and discover more ways for our family to connect with the local community. Next year the boys hope to enter into some of the fair competitions too! What do you remember most about your county fair? Do you still look forward to them?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Interview with C&T Publishing

In 2015, C&T Publishing or rather, Stash Books excitedly published my book The Upcycled T-shirt. I had a chance to sit down with Katie who asked some fantastic questions about my creative process and the journey of a t-shirt.

KVA: In the introduction to your book, you write that TrashN2Tees has saved the equivalent of 404,407 T-shirts from landfills! Did you ever think you would have such an impact on clothing recycling? 
JM: In 2012, I undertook a project that nearly put me under... 

To read the entire interview head over to the C&T blog now. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dying with Rust Experiments: Day Two Imprints

Day two of my rust dying exploration: Late last night I mixed up a bath of warm water and salt. I soaked the wrench prints overnight and now I'm soaking a wrapped design (seen above.)

I found that the best imprints were made with the fabric draped over top of the metals. My lay out was set up with a four sided pan. I prewashed/dryed white Kona cotton fabric. Before laying out a cut piece along the bottom of the pan I soaked it in 3:1 vinegar/water mix- ringing it out so that the fabric was not dripping wet but still quite damp. Placed fabric in bottom of the pan. Arranged rusted materials on top to my pleasing. Then I placed another cut of fabric on top of the arrangement. (The second fabric was prepared the same way) I filled a spray bottle with the same mixture and used it liberally to keep fabrics moist throughout the day.

The top fabric as I mentioned took the best imprint I can imagine for several reasons: 1. the moisture allowed the fabric to drape around/onto the shape of the wrench more clearly defining the shape 2. the exposure of oxygen 3. additional moisture

This piece above has been washed and soaked now, I have it setting in the full sun. Hoping to set the rust and maybe whiten the fabric. I'll share my findings later this week. I also have some samples of other techniques I'll show you including one of my favorites that was made using a stapler. Thanks so much for checking in. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dying Fabrics With Rust

The past few weeks I've been content in not sewing an ounce. I was investing so much energy into preparing for events and lectures that my thoughts were beginning to stale. The boys and I have taken on art prompts each morning - much of it mixed media, paper crafting, drawing, painting. Leaving my comfort zone to play and explore in other mediums always helps to recenter my motivation.

Today I started experimenting with rust dying. Luckily- Nicks profession, he's a metal fabricator and all around industrial tool/machinery hoarder... I have access to a lot of different shapes and rusted materials. Now it's just a matter of figuring out what works best, how to fold and manipulate the materials to create patterns.

Here's the coloration after just few hours... I reset the wrenches before taking the picture so you can see the before/after

I'm using vinegar, rusty objects, and will use salt water solution & heat to set the coloring. Check back tomorrow for some progress.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fringed T-shirt Bucket Bag Tutorial // Szoke Bag

Back to school sewing has started here, and while you'll find me sewing all things boys! I can't help but notice clever and creative patterns out there in the blogsphere. Today I wanted to share with you the Szoke Bag from Petite a Patite & Family  I love the scale of this little bag- which would be perfect for kids or adults to carry. I also love that the entire bag can be made from salvaged materials (upcycle a faux leather tote & tees!) You can find more tshirt repurposing tutorials on The Ultimate Upcycled T-shirt Tutorial list with this and 500+ others.

Get the Szoke Bag Tutorial and Pattern 


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