Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Husqvarna 530 Lily

In July 2011, I gave Heidi my Husqvarna 500 Computer to my daughter.  There was a brief period where I thought or hoped that my Bernina 930 Helga would be my new "go to" machine.  I guess old habits die hard,  I missed my Husqvarna.  So I bought this one.
Manufactured in Sweden in 1997 the 530 Lily is a scaled down model of the 500.  Lily does not have as many features or stitches, there is no alphabet, but the body of the machine is identical to the 500.  I bought the 530 Lily in Kanata, Ontario.  She arrived on bus this morning.  Look what a fantastic job the previous owners did packing her up.
The bobbins were in a zip lock bag, the accessories and feet were individually wrapped in bubble wrap.  A surprise bonus in the box was a free motion quilting/darning foot and walking foot.
Lily just happens to have the same name as my dog.
She has an extension which I won't be using because she fits so well in this 1914 Singer treadle cabinet.
This is a shot of the bobbin winder and control panel.  It has a sewing advisor, that includes a selection for leather and vinyl sewing.
The stitches in purple thread were made with the Husqvarna/Viking Lily 530.  She sews lovely, precise stitches.
The Lily 530 wears low shank snap on feet, uses standard needles and the same bobbins as my Pfaff Creative 2.  Welcome home my new "go to" machine.

December has been a great month for me, I sold two sewing machines (Elnas) and bought two sewing machines the Pfaff Creative 2 and this one.   Currently, I own 12 machines, three are listed for sale and one will be given to my son in 2012.  See, I'm getting so close to my goal of owning only 8 or less machines.

Three more sleeps till we fly east to spend Christmas with our daughter and son-in-law.  Happy holidays all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pfaff Creative 2

I must have been extra good this year, because I traded off Big Bertha my Pfaff QE 4 and brought this beauty home!
I could have swapped straight across for a Pfaff Smarter C1100, but what is the fun in that?  Instead I traded up to the combo embroidery/sewing machine.  Needless to say, the Christmas sewing is on the back burner while I play with the new toy.
She has the extra large harp area like the QE 4, the same toggle switch and buttons.  She uses the same feet, the identical straight stitch plate and bobbins.  Any suggestions on what I should name this beauty?
This is really fun.  The software converts true type computer fonts to files that the sewing machine will embroider.  I'm just learning so I made a few mistakes but this is only practice scrap.
 Sew Fun! was made with a computer font I converted.
I ran into a little glitch with the Christmas tree.  Operator error.  I hit the wrong button and the machine centered itself in the middle of my hoop not at the bottom right hand side where the pot and bottom of the tree were.  I eye balled it to get back to the same position.  As you can see, it is a wee bit off.  This machine will cut the jump stitches as it sews and baste around the design before it starts embroidering,  so it is easy to see exactly where the design will be. 
Tammy's Craft Emporium was the first thing I tried to embroider.  The font was too small causing too much thread build up.  I think this machine will be fun to use.  I plan to decorate quilts, personalize gifts with names or initials and add borders to table cloths or napkins.  Having never owned an embroidery machine before, I'm really excited about it.

I have lots to learn about backing,  how to embroider on terry cloth, denim and quilts.  Any comments, suggestions and advice are always welcome.  Does anyone else buy themselves Christmas gifts? 

Awwwwww.. my cup runneth over!  Have a super duper day all!  ~dancing around the room with glee!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lily's new fur cut!

Sometimes she just doesn't want her photo taken.
Lily was more interested in relaxing than her photo shoot.
Doug thought the little bows in her ears were silly.  I think she looks sleepy and bored.
She smells much better now.  Dogs are difficult to photograph. 
Now that she's had her spa day she is ready to go the the boarding kennel for Christmas while we go visit Shannon, AJ and Penny (their puppy) in Kingston, Ontario.

Friday, December 9, 2011

White Superlock 2000 serger and dog bed.

Michelle is looking to buy a serger.  Below is part of her email to me:
Can you recommend any GOOD serger project books, or serging books that you think are invaluable? 
Maybe you could do a blog post on your serger, what you make with it, and how much you love it. *hint hint*  I just didn’t find many blog posts from ‘Sergers’ (people) when I looked.
Even though I own several sewing and quilting books, I only have one serger book.
Singer's Sewing with an Overlock meets all my serging needs.  The pictures are excellent.  The book provides detailed instructions on setting the tension, three-thread rolled hem, gathering and decorative threads.
My serger is a White Superlock 2000, that I purchased new in March 1997 for $700 CAD.
It uses up to four spools of thread, has a differential feed, a scrap catcher tray and a built in thread cutter.
Sergers are even more finicky to thread then sewing machines.  Not only must they be threaded correctly, they have to be threaded in this exact order:
  1. upper looper (blue)
  2. lower looper (purple)
  3. right needle (yellow)
  4. left needle (green)
On my serger the thread paths are colour coded and I marked the threading order with a black permanent marker.
One of the things I love about this serger is that the entire bottom opens up, for easy threading and cleaning.

I usually tie on the new thread colour for threading the upper and lower loopers. Then I manually thread the duel needles.
For this post, I manually threaded the loopers as well as the needles using the same four colours of thread that the guide shows.  This serger is easy to thread.
Here I removed the presser foot.  Needle nose pliers or long thin tweezers are excellent tools for threading sergers.
Before serging anything, always start a thread chain to ensure the machine is threaded correctly and in the correct order.
 Then serge a scrap of fabric to check the tensions.
Whenever, I'm setting the tension on my serger I use contrasting thread colours to quickly identify which loopers or needles require adjusting.  The purple side (lower looper) is the bottom and blue (upper looper) is the top.  The first strips I serged are on the right and the last one is purple on the left.  On the back side the left needle tension was too loose and not even.  I tightened it in six very tiny increments.
The tension disks on this serger are very similar to the upper tension dial on mechanical sewing machines.  It is important to thread the machine with the presser foot up and make sure the thread is set in between the tension disks.
 I'm sewing a denim dog bed for my grand-dog Penny.
 Serging is fun and I love the professional finish.
See the little white button on the harp, just right of the presser foot...that is the built-in thread cutter, pressing it down raises the little blade behind the presser foot.
This is such a cool feature.  I didn't realize what a wonderful thing it was until I used a serger without one.
Serging is quite messy, there is lots of dust and lint from the fabric being cut just before it is serged.  Usually my serger is all dusty, obviously it was vacuumed before the photo shoot.
The dark blue striped denim wasn't wide enough.  The light blue piece is old jeans.
Dog bed completed.  I sure hope Penny likes it.
I use my serger when sewing garments, dinner napkins, tablecloths, tea towels, flannel pj bottoms, nylon bags, cotton bags, Christmas stockings, Halloween costumes, curtains, place mats, hair towels, oven mitts and baby quilts.  It serges wonderful rolled hems on fine fabrics like sheer curtains.  I finish the seams on garments with it.  When I make baby quilts, first  I sew the pieces together, then overlock them and finally top stitch the seams in place using a zig zag stitch on a sewing machine. I do this because baby quilts get washed frequently. For tea towels I serge the edges, then fold over once and hem.
My White Superlock was made in China and is available as a Husqvarna or a Singer serger. The Singer does not have a scrap catcher, but comes with three extra feet.
My only regret with my serger is that I didn't buy it sooner.   Happy serging and sewing.