Laurie Baker from Modern Quilts Unlimited joins us on todays episode to share more about being an editor for the magazine. Modern Quilts Unlimited recently changes some things up including bringing on Laurie as the new editor, updating the look of the magazine, and redesigning the website. Laurie wants to reach more modern quilters and has attended various functions to meet more makers. We chat about the redesign of the magazine to give it a fresher look and also Laurie’s quest to find contributors with amazing projects. I know so many listeners would love to submit a project to a magazine so we chat about how you would go about doing that and I have included a link in the show notes. I hope you enjoy the episode.
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I thought I would do something different with my weekly newsletter this week. I love sharing my newsletter picks each week – it is my sunshine to my subscribers. So welcome if you are new here and welcome if you are coming over from your weekly email.
This week has been full of wishy washy for me. I have this gut feeling that I am going in the right direction but where I am going is fuzzy. These are the things I know lately and get ready because they are random so hang with me:
- I know the book is something that I have to do and I have imposed a deadline on myself to have the proposal ready to send out by Sept. 1. I have asked several close colleagues to look it over before I officially send it out. I have worked on one project for that this week but I think it could have been more.
- I know the podcast is something I feel compelled to do. I think it is a gift I really enjoy sending out into the world. I actually wish it was easier to make money with it. That will happen – I feel it. I am not letting go of what I feel in my heart on this.
- I know this community is filled with some of the coolest people on the planet. They make the world a better place with their creativity and kindness. It is humbling.
- I have the best listeners a girl could ever ask for. I have gotten some of the sweetest comments, messages, and emails this week that made me smile. My heart filled up with happiness. I am truly blessed.
We all have seasons in life and I am in a listening season. I am okay with that and I think being quiet and listening is an important part of the creative process. I wonder how much easier this quiet time was before so many distractions like technology. If only my grandma was around to have a chat with on the screened porch.
One distraction that is welcome around my house is talking about the Total Solar Eclipse. My husband took the day off and the kids were home so we could all watch it. We were in 88% totality and it was really cool. I think my husband and I were the most excited about it, lol. On a completely different note, we visited with friends from England that were in town and now my kids and I are all chatty in our British accents. So, as you can imagine, we are just a crazy crowd this week.
NOTE:: There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you
On to the links:: (I had to include some eclipse stuff but I promise only this one time!)
Hi Modern Sewciety readers and podcast listeners! Today I have a very Spooky Quilt Tutorial for you and a fun review of the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400. I know it is a real beauty isn’t it? Just feast your eyes on all of that awesomeness.
This is a sponsored post and I was sent a Janome Memory Craft 9400 to review. This is my honest opinion on my experience using this sewing machine.
Okay dab that drool really quick and let’s get started.
There are so many features I loved on the Horizon, let’s just say I named this one, Nomie. I know super super original but, hey, it fits because it is like my homie. Did ya see that coming?
Okay the features I loved.
The High Light- The adjustable High Light and nine Ultra Bright LED lamps are everything you need for a shadow-free workspace. The adjustable High Light pulls out to give direct light in the needle area and the nine LEDs illuminate the bed area.
Super Spacious Sewing Bed – The ample work area and ergonomic design allows for more quilt room. The MC9400 provides 11” to the right of the needle and 15 ½” of total work area. The needle area is sleek and trim so you can easily see as you work.
Auto Presser Foot Lift – The presser foot lift on the MC9400 automatically lifts the presser foot after a thread cut. This feature can be set to raise at the end of any seam, with the needle in the down position for easy pivoting.
Advanced Touchscreen – The advanced LCD touchscreen shows all of the information you need to sew with ease. Select new stitches and memorize your favorites for quick access.
Let’s get to the tutorial and I will chat about the other features.
First you need to cut strips to the above measurements X WOF. I am using a fabric line called SPOOKY from Windham Fabrics. I am not a huge fan of Halloween, yes I admit it, but this fabric is almost the perfect Halloween/Fall fabric. The colors are so spot on with Fall. I do love Fall. Anyways, I am making this for my best friend who happens to love Halloween and anything I make for her. She is excited about the shiny new sewing machine in my sewing room and she doesn’t even sew. The fact that she doesn’t sew hasn’t stopped me from showing her the BRIGHT lights of the machine to make sewing in low light so much easier. The high light makes for a shadowless sewing area.
Now you have a Strip Set Unit. Doesn’t it look so pretty? One thing I have used so much on the Janome Horizon Memory Craft are the different sewing feet you get with it. I have tried to use all of the feet at least once and I will say having specialized feet for specific stitching is helpful. I have gotten fond of the
AcuFeed Flex foot which is like the best walking foot ever
regular straight stitch foot
My piecing accuracy improved so so much with this machine and I know that had a lot to do with the feet and how well the machine communicated what to use when. I love the stitch directory on the flip up when you thread the machine. I love having that easy reference for stitches and feet and used it often.
Get your Creative Grids Kaleidoscope Ruler, which can be purchased here. You will use this handy dandy ruler to cut 8 triangle units from your strip set you just made. I found it easiest to cut the bigger end down first then rotate it (as shown above). I can’t stop thinking about candy corn when I see the triangles. I think we should all take a break to get a candy corn snack. It is Fall ya’ll.
I did have some trouble with the thread cutter not always cutting the thread. Sometimes it would cut the bobbin but not the top thread. This wasn’t something terribly annoying but I want to make sure I mention it as I want you to know it isn’t a perfect machine. I don’t think there is a perfect machine.
I forgot to take a picture of the sewing the units together but sew 2 triangle units together on the long side of the unit making a pair.
Making SURE to press the seams to one side. Make sure to press your seams really well.
Then place two pairs right sides together sewing down the long seam which will give you a unit with 4 triangles. You will sew two 4 triangle units together making one big octagon. Above you will see the finished unit and all seams are pressed in the same direction. This is so so important so that your middle doesn’t get too poofy.
Press well – making sure to press down with your iron but not move the iron around. I love my Black & Decker IR05X Xpress Steam Iron just in case you are in need of a good iron. I love to press when sewing. I love the crispness it gives the fabric.
So now you have a big beautiful block but it needs some corners. So cut (2) 5.75″ squares then cut on the diagonal which will give you 4 triangle corners.
I always have a problem wrangling all of the sewing machine feet, the little screw driver thingie, the seam ripper, and the extra bobbins. I know I am forgetting something but there is a lot of stuff that comes with a sewing machine. I loved the extra storage on this machine. There is a flip out place for storage on the front and back of the machine. You could take off those storage units easily to access the easy release for changing the needle plate. It is a one step lever that pops up the needle plate which I took off often to make sure I was keeping the bobbin area clean of lint.
I found an easy way to sew on the corner triangles and make sure they are lined up correctly. I folded to find the middle on the long side of the triangle and the bottom of the triangle you are sewing it onto. You line up those two creases before starting to sew your seam. When you are finished sewing, again, make sure to press your seams really well.
You will have one block now. I used three blocks to make a quilted table runner or a nice size wall hanging. I just sewed 3 units together then basted my top, batting, and backing to make a quilt sandwich. I quilted it using the zig zag stitch. I wanted to branch out and do a really cool stitch but the zig zag in it’s simplicity just won. I loved it too much and I think it was the perfect choice.
The ease of fitting a quilting project, big or small, on this machine makes my sewing heart smile. I love how big the throat of the machine is because you really save your back and shoulders on those bigger projects. I also think this particular sewing machine, Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400, makes quilting a breeze with the Detachable AcuFeed Flex Layered Fabric Feeding System.
I think this block really could be a great mini quilt, pillow, or you could make several to quickly make a lap quilt. I really think playing around with the fabrics gives so many options on this block. I would love to reimagine this block in some solids in Fall colors. I just see so many different ways you can use this block to make some really cool projects. I think you could even make a cute and fast pennant banner with those triangles.
I think I shouldn’t forget the most important thing we all loved on the Horizon and that is the thread cutter and extra large foot pedal. They are on a super sturdy mount together making a very stable control while sewing. I had to get in the habit of using the foot pedal to cut the thread but once I got used to it I am having a hard time sitting at my other machines without it. It is a feature I would make a MUST if I purchased a Janome. It is that important.
I really hope you enjoyed hearing more about the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400. It sews like a dream and it really has some great features. I feel like I didn’t tap into it’s full potential but I sure tried. I used it almost every day and it still sews like a boss. My young daughters even found it an easy machine to use. My 6 year old even sat down and asked me to show her how it worked. I went over a couple of things, and she started sewing right away. She loved this machine just like her mama.
I hope you will share your Spooky Quilts as well and if you do make sure to use #spookyquilt so I can see it.