What I did at the weekend, or, the joy of having the right tools

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It’s a bit of a stitcher’s post today, although it rings true for anyone practising their craft, I suspect.

Over the weekend I had to make some prototype cushions for a project we are doing at the University, called Tangible Memories.  The idea is that people with dementia benefit from music and singing and so the team led by the estimable Helen Manchester are making small cushions to put mp3 players in.  This involves making buttoned pockets.

I volunteered to make a couple, and so, had to make buttonholes.  I have done this plenty of times before but a. not recently, and b. not on very thick furnishing fabric, as we wanted to have texture as well.  So, I vaguely remembered how to do it, but being me, couldn’t be bothered to find the instructions for the machine.  In the event I remembered there was a special foot.

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And after much trial and error, I got the hang of it:

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And, as you can see from the second photo, I decided to make the inner buttoned pockets from a much lighter fabric, and to do loops and buttons on the heavy stuff.  I could probably have made it work on the heavy furnishing fabric, but I fear life is too short and walls don’t deserve to have things flung at them when it is clearly not their fault.

Once I had the hang of it, it was clear that it is pretty straightforward if you have the right foot on the machine.  When it came to stitching all those layers of heavy furnishing fabric together I actually managed to find my walking foot, which was a birthday present years ago and, once you can fit it on, which is a real fiddle, is a brilliant tool:

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It lives in this pristine little box in a drawer.  I also used my quilter’s foot with its quarter inch guide to make a block for a Bristol Quilters‘ project and even that came out with the points more or less meeting.  I like having these gadgets, and I find it fun, of all things, to use them.

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3 thoughts on “What I did at the weekend, or, the joy of having the right tools

  1. I’m jealous, I havent got a buttonhole foot for my new bernina yet cos they’re fifty quid. Am debating whether or not it’s actaully worthwhile since I seem to have managed ok using the insitructions from the manual (and no special sliding foot) and the couple of shirts I;ve made gareth so far

  2. My younger sister got the sewing gene in our family, but I do understand the pleasure of having the right tool for the job plus the fun of playing with gadgets. The project for which you’re making these items is commendable.

  3. I hate doing button holes even with the buttonhole maker but if you look on Laura Kemshalls blog she is using them as a decorative motif. I shall have to reconsider their worth.
    Ann

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