Twins arrived early!!!

Foxy friend for AidanWell it seems Aidan and Noah couldn’t wait for Chanukah, let alone Christmas this year, so they arrived early on November 20th at 30 weeks. Both babies are doing well and progressing ahead of schedule although Noah, the oldest by seconds, was the first out and needed a little more tlc than his brother. Noah has already made his first trip to Washington, DC and is now at Children’s Hospital, while Aidan remains at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. The boys should be home early January.

My husband and I have been back and forth to Northern Virginia to help out as needed. While a 3 hour drive away does not seem that far to us, in today’s world for young adults it can seem like an eternity. We have our house on the market and will be looking for a new home closer to the Metro DC area in between our two sets of kids.  We are very blessed that our adult children still want to know us and spend more time with us, LOL!!! We also feel we can be more helpful to them and their families if we were a shorter distance away.

I am extremely grateful that for once I actually met some sewing deadlines and had the little toys and receiving blankets made in time for these early arrivals.

Flotology by Robert Kaufman

Babies love minky!!!

Aidan with Flotology and Noah with Woodland Minky

Aidan is the little guy on the left with his Flotology Balloon blanket and Noah is snuggled up in Woodland Minky.

They are the best holiday presents ever and we are so thankful they, and my daughter-in-law Kaytee and son Ethan, are healthy and well.

My very best wishes to all who visit here for a very peace-filled holiday season with much joy, health and prosperity in the New Year.

Mary

 

Twin Foxes!

Twins!

I found this cute tutorial on Pinterest from Stitched by Crystal and she offers a free pattern, too, on her website. Though I love Minky fabric, let me just say I am not a fan of sewing it. The next time I make these or similar items, I would increase the pattern by a half inch all around and sew with a 5/8 inch seam allowance. This would help keep all of the Minky under the presser foot and then I could trim some away after construction.

Since my husband and I are expecting little twin boy grand-babies this December, I have a feeling more Minky fabric will be in my future, lol!

All the best,

Mary

Review of Brother PQ 1500

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I thought I would review a few features of the Brother PQ 1500s sewing machine here from my perspective. I purchased this machine from Amazon earlier in the year and was surprised to learn that there were not many current reviews for it elsewhere considering how nice the quality is, as well as the price.

My reason for purchasing this was to have a heavy duty machine on hand for big sewing projects, and to do more free motion quilting.

The Brother PQ 1500s is a straight stitch only high shank mechanical sewing machine with a 1.5 amp, sewing 1500 stitches per minute. It is virtually identical to the Babylock Jane, including it’s Instruction and Service Manuals. This model comes with a Pin Feed Mechanism that you would use INSTEAD of a walking foot for slippery or fine fabrics. (If you use the walking foot with the pin feed engaged, you will break the pin feed mechanism.) There are four different levels to engage the feed dogs, an easy to use adjustable pressure knob, needle/up down function and a scissor cutting function. While there is no speed control dial, the foot pedal is very responsive (I can stop on one stitch) and pretty substantial. The light is adequate for me since I also have a table lamp.

The machine comes with many feet including a free motion quilting/darning foot that is quite interesting with a large clear plastic disc in the center of the foot. The machine sews extremely smoothly and quietly. I am not a free motion quilting expert but this machine makes me look like one, lol! The piecing foot is perfect, and since the machine is mechanical I can use the Dritz magnetic seam guide, which I like very much. These two items took my piece work to a new level of precision where I did not have to think much about getting the best quarter inch seam.

I have sewn knits on this machine and did not need the walking foot when I adjusted the presser foot pressure slightly. Perfect!

I find the machine easy to thread and change out the bobbin. That bobbin holds A LOT of thread! I am right handed but use my left hand to thread the needle and change the bobbin and I can do that without a problem. I never use the automatic needle threaders and just thread the machine myself, so I can’t really speak to how this feature works, but it has one. Oiling and cleaning out the machine is quite easy. I love the extension table and find it a good height on my table. I don’t really use the knee lifter much but it is quite user friendly. The machine is really solid with good workmanship.

The walking foot is narrow giving you 3/8 inches from the edge of the foot to the needle if you are using the foot as your guide for quilting or top stitching. My low shank walking foot gives me a half inch by comparison. I purchased the Janome Free Motion Convertible foot for High Shank Machines so I could have an open toe foot. I also purchased the Janome Free Motion Frame Ruler foot set to use with the convertible foot to try out some ruler quilting for a new Craftsy class I signed up for with Amy Johnson from Free Motion Quilting Adventures. The Janome set for high shank machines fit perfectly on the Brother PQ 1500.

I take an electronic Janome DC 2012 to classes and that machine operates like a tank. (I love this machine so much I purchased every conceivable spare part I could because I am sure this model will not be manufactured for much longer.) I adore (yes, I mean that!) my new computerized Juki HZL-F600 machine and do most of my sewing now on this. However, I am thrilled to have this Brother machine for projects that are just too big for the other machines to handle or when I need a bigger machine free to start something else right away.

There is something very comforting about having a simple straight stitch mechanical machine that will never let you down when you consider most of our sewing and quilting requires only a straight stitch, and this Brother produces a wonderful straight stitch.

There is just the right machine for each of us out there and many, like the Brother PQ 1500, are quite solid and affordable.

Thanks for reading today! I hope you are loving your machines, too!

All the best,

Mary