Friday, July 8, 2016

Amy Sews!

I hope you had an excellent Independence Day if you are an American or live in the States last week. We're heading into the weekend again and I did actually stitch a bit this week. If you ever thought it would be fabulous to own a quilt shop or similar shop and sew or fondle fabric all the time, let me tell you, that's not the case. There's bookkeeping, prepping product for sale, answering the phone, and plenty of things in between to keep you from sewing. Plus all of my wonderful customers!
 But there is a fabulous selection of machines to choose from when I do get a minute to stitch and I've got a ton of ideas for samples I want to stitch up. I've got to tell you I've got a new favorite machine for piecing. The new Janome 9400 has got a new foot and needleplate just for piecing a great 1/4 inch seam.

Janome 9400 at Sew Simple of Lynchburg
So much room to work! Plus plenty of light.

It's taking a while to get used to it as it's got an automatic electronic presser foot lifter and a bobbin thread sensor which means I don't even have to put the foot down to sew and it will warn me if I'm running out of bobbin thread long before I do my usual stitch for 24 inches of nothing. 

Can you see the foot is slightly raised here while I use the auto pivot feature? Perfect for easing in this curve.

It pieces a great quarter inch seam (supposedly a scant 1/4 inch, but I'm not precise enough in my piecing to accurately tell at this point) in the left needle position. The service guys tell me that this is an optimum position for the best stitch formation. The foot is narrow too without a fence/flange/guide along the edge and I figured it would be perfect for curved piecing, especially with its auto-pivot feature. Nice curved seams and no pins! Yay!

I finally got out my Quick Curve Ruler by the gals at Sew Kind of Wonderful and am so glad to finally be working on one of their great designs. If you've ever seen their Instagram feeds, you've seen the gorgeous quilting that they do with rulers on their quilts. They do it with a long arm, but of course we can do the same kind of quilting on our regular machines. If you're not sure how, have you checked out my classes on quilting with rulers at Craftsy? See my classes and get them at 50% off all the time by clicking on my instructor's affiliate link.

Let's hope I actually finish this table runner up instead of putting it in the pile of UFO's that's getting to a shamefully large size. I'm still trying to get settled into the shop as a studio as well as dealing with the relocation of my quilting area at home.

Sew Simple of Lynchburg

I used the shop's Artistic Edge cutter to make new signage for the shop's windows too. This thing is really addictive! I had an inkling that it was probably ill-advised to do your own window signs, but they turned out really well. I still have a few more things to add to the windows including a "Home of Amy's Quilting Adventures" line but things are really shaping up.

I mentioned my Craftsy classes above, but I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that Craftsy's got another hot sale this weekend on all classes. Click here to see the great deals. That's an affiliate link which helps keep me doing all that I do.

I bet y'all are wondering if the 9400 is my new go-to machine for free motion quilting. The jury is still out on that. With the automatic presser foot lifter and my addiction to the Janome ruler foot, I would probably say I prefer the 8900 for FMQ. (See my video of the ruler foot and the auto presser foot lift on the Skyline 7 for more) Of course my view is skewed since I have the option of a bunch of Janome machines to choose from now.

Come visit me at Sew Simple of Lynchburg if you find yourself in central Virginia. 


  1. Your shop is looking really inviting!

    I watched your first Craftsy ruler class a week or so back. It was great! It helped me understand the markings on the couple of rulers I already had, and really helped me hold them better to get smoother results. I ordered a few Westalee rulers too, and now they have arrived I will watch the class again and do the exercises. Thank you for the great class! Once I've mastered the first one I'm sure I will want to enrol in the next.

  2. The shop does look great! I treated myself to a quick curve ruler maybe 4 months ago, alas, it is still hanging unopened on my wall. I've been itching to start a quilt again recently. Maybe watching yours will inspire me!

    1. Put that ruler to use! Then you'll have something wonderful to quilt with your new ruler foot.

  3. Amy - I am working on metro rings - using the quick curve ruler. Mine will be done in red and grey. I just finished all the cutting and now I am piecing. Will probably take me the summer to finish piecing it. I love the designs by Sew Kind of Wonderful - - and - - generally I do not buy patterns. This is probably the only exception.

  4. The shop looks great! Love the windows, the banner and the OPEN sign! I cannot tell you how much I hope you prosper in this endeavor...and if and when I get to Lynchburg....Sew Simple will be the first place I stop!

    1. Thank you! It's a tiny little shop and disappointing if someone is looking for a quilt shop, but we know our machines and the shop is getting better every day.

  5. Amy I have had my 9400 for 2 weeks and just finished quilting the first quilt on it on Friday. It is great for FM and for ruler work if you add the QB-S foot to hold the ruler toe. I tried the little plastic FM foot that comes with the machine but wasn't thrilled with it. I have used and loved Janomes for over 30 years and own 3 of them presently but was never thrilled with the 8900 so I traded it in on the 9400. I am anxious to do some piecing on it. I wish you so much luck and happiness with your shop. I would so love to meet you and see your shop. Thank you so much for all your help and inspiration.

    1. That's great to know. I'm a little intimidated by the auto presser foot lift, but it's a wonderful machine. Thanks!