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  • Getting to Know Meissner Sewing: Tanna Schreiner

    Tanna Schreiner is one of the newest member of the Meisssner Sewing instructor team. Schreiner is offering classes this summer and fall in the Roseville store.

    The newest addition to the Meissner Maker instructor team ensures that everything she creates, from her finished quilts to her classes, carries joy, passion and personality for both herself and her students.

    Born in rural Ohio, Schreiner relocated to California about a year ago.

    Her great grandmother was a sewist, and Schreiner began sewing in her middle school 4H class. After a long break, she picked up quilting. That was around 2011, when her daughter requested a quilt for her bed, Schreiner said.

    She had previously received a BERNINA machine as a Mother’s Day gift from her husband, and she had been doing some sewing. So her daughter drew out the design, they visited the local quilt shop, and Schreiner constructed her first quilt, she said.

    Tanna Schreiner, the newest addition the Meissner Sewing instructor team, created her first quilt for her daughter in 2011.

    Now, she’s hooked on quilting and the creativity, personality and memories that come along with the process.

    “I like taking things from people, t-shirts or clothes that people had, and turning them into something,” Schreiner said. “It’s more of a memory that people had that you turn into something tangible that you can keep forever.”

    Schreiner’s personal creative process begins with her inspiration, which she finds browsing social media, traveling and observing nature, she said. After that, the process goes with “whatever moves (her).”

    Each of her finished projects holds a piece of her personality, including many bright colors, and are all intended to be both decorative and a memory.

    “You can sew a quilt or you can sew a pillow, and it’s something that can add beauty to a room,” she said. “It can be something that is a memento, something that’s very personal.”

    Since completing her first quilt in 2011, Schreiner has finished about 28 quilts, many of which have been gifts, she said, and have each been tracked, numbered and stored in her phone with who and when she gifted it.

    “I try to make everything very personal, and I think that just comes from the closeness that I have with my family and people,” Schreiner said. “So when I make something I want it to be something that they can look at and treasure forever.”

    Schreiner looks to share this message in the Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers classroom, where she will be teaching T-Shirt Quilt How To, a two-part class that will take place at the Meissner Roseville store in September. Over the course of the class, Schreiner will guide students through the process of creating a unique t-shirt quilt in order to preserve memories in a tangible project.

    Register for T-Shirt Quilt How To >

    In each of her classes, which vary in project and topic, Schreiner’s students will leave with a finished project that is useful, practical and enjoyable to make, she said.

    Of each of Tanna Schriener's quilts, her Science Fair quilt, which will be the project in her August class, is her all-time favorite, she said.

    “I really want people to feel the energy and the passion for sewing that I have,” she said. “It’s just something that can bring people together, and I want everybody else to find that joy.”

    There are several upcoming opportunities to find the joy of sewing with Schreiner, including her Beyond the Block classes in Roseville, where students will take a traditional quilt block and transform it into other things, including a zipper bag and potholder.

    Schreiner's classes are intended be a collaborative experience, where students participate by sharing their own tips and tricks, she said.

    As for Schriener’s personal creativity, she aspires to design her own unique quilt patterns and learn new techniques, all while keeping it personal.

    “And I would love to personally grow by learning new techniques and taking those techniques and making it my own,” she said. “I really like keeping things very personal.”

    Click here to see all of Tanna Schreiner's upcoming classes >


  • Sew this Summer

    So, what’s coming this month? With Father’s Day, the first official day of Summer and so many Meissner Sewing events, June is a busy month.

    Check out what’s happening this week and during the remainder of the month!

    In addition to the Roseville Store Open House, The Ultimate Long-arm Try Before You Buy and the quilting workshops with Jodi Robinson, June also marks the beginning of the 2017 Row by Row Experience, which officially kicks off on June 21st.

    All four Meissner Sewing stores are participating in the Row by Row Experience, and each location will have a unique quilt row pattern available, allowing you to combine all four rows.

    Learn more about the Row by Row Experience and preview the rows for each Meissner Sewing store > 

    Our Kid's Summer Sewing Camps are also beginning this week with sessions in Roseville and will continue with additional sessions in Sacramento and Folsom.

    Later in the month, we will welcome Kathi Quinn, Floriani educator, back to our Sacramento store for the sold out Floriani Embroidery Extravaganza.

    Make sure to check our Facebook page for more and to visit for the most updated class schedule!


  • Q & A with Alex Anderson

    Alex Anderson, celebrity quilter, designer and author, is a featured guest at the Be Inspired: Quilter''s Retreat at at Meissner Sewing, Sacramento in June. (Photo courtesy of

    Alex Anderson is a familiar name to many quilters and crafters, but she is especially well known among Northern California natives.

    Anderson grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduating from San Francisco State University with an art degree. She began sewing when she was in middle school and received her first sewing machine for her eighth-grade graduation, Anderson said.

    It wasn’t until college, during what she refers to as the explosion and “renaissance of quilting” that Anderson began to discover a passion for quilting, she said.

    “When I discovered quilting, I knew that was the art form for me,” Anderson said. “Whenever I could go to cloth, it felt exactly right.”

    She marks her breakthrough moment as her television show “Simply Quilts,” which aired on HGTV for 10 years. While the show was running, aspiring quilters would ask her where to begin, launching her career as an author and publishing her second book, “Start Quilting,” she said.

    “(The show) gave me a voice and a platform that was bigger than I could have even imagined,” Anderson said.

    Today, Anderson is a well-known author, designer, celebrity quilter, and co-founder of the Quilters Select line of products by R&K. Meissner Sewing will welcome Alex in the Sacramento store this June, during the Inspired By: Quilter’s Retreat.

    In preparation for the two-day workshop, Alex talks about her creative process and love for quilting, while sharing a preview of the upcoming Quilter’s Retreat:

    Q: How would you describe your personal creative process?
    Alex Anderson: I don’t start with a master plan. I will look at some fabric, or I’ll think of a specific pattern or a general idea, and then I will just start creating and use my design wall as a guide. And I know that quilts, as an art, they have a mind of their own, and you have to be willing to let them grow as they want to grow. So it’s very organic, my creative process, and I don’t feel that there’s any sort of box a person can put me in, especially lately. I’ve been taking a lot of classes and growing a lot as a quilt maker.

    Q: Do you identify yourself as a particular category of quilter (modern, traditional, or other...)?
    Alex: I would say until about the last 10 years, I would call myself contemporary -traditional, meaning you take traditional patterns and then make them look like they were made in the year they were made. But recently, I have been exploring many, many different venues because, living in the United States, especially in California, we have access to so many wonderful teachers and experiences.

    Alex Anderson, celebrity quilter, designer and author, is a featured guest at the Be Inspired: Quilter''s Retreat at at Meissner Sewing, Sacramento in June. Participants of the workshop will experience a full day of stitching with Anderson, creating an 18" wall hanging and/or pillow.

    Q: What can participants of the Quilter’s Retreat expect to experience?
    Alex: I’ve recently been taken with straight-line quilting. We’re going to go through the basics of straight-line quilting and then how to do a beautiful blanket stitch with raw-edge appliqué. And it’s going to be an 18-inch wall hanging and/or pillow, whatever the participants wants to do with it. In the end, it’s their choice.

    Q: Do you have a favorite technique or style? 
    Alex: Not really. I love it all. I love to try different things.

    Q: What draws you to quilting? 
    Alex: I was going to be a weaver for life, and I found that the loom took control of the situation. And I couldn’t get everything the way I wanted it. The thing about quilting is that, as the maker, you are completely in control of it, and you can make changes; you can make a mistake. Most things are fixable, unlike when I did wood working. When you cut it wrong, you can’t just stretch and pull it a little bit. Quilt making is very forgiving. And the fabric, and the colors and the textures and the patterns are just glorious to play with.

  • How to Choose the Best Sewing Machine for You

    Jenny Lyon is a guest contributor to the Meissner Sewing Blog, and she is an instructor at the Sacramento and Folsom stores. She has been free motion quilting on her domestic machine since 1999. Jenny's work has been juried at Houston International Quilt Festival, American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, Pacific International Quilt Festival, and in art galleries. Find out more about Jenny at 


    Thinking about buying a new or used sewing machine and you’re not sure how to make that decision? I have a few suggestions to help make the process less confusing.

    Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers offers an extensive selection of sewing, quilting and embroidery machines from the top manufacturers. At over 20,000 square feet, the Sacramento store is the largest show room in Northern California.

    1. Set a budget amount first. You don’t want to get excited about a machine outside of your budget. You might want to consider the cost of a cabinet in your budget- it’s much easier to quilt or sew with your machine in a cabinet. Also, there may be feet or accessories that you will want/need: Walking foot, tote to haul your machine to class, zipper foot, etc.

    If the machine you want is outside of your budget, consider financing options or buying a used machine. Meissner’s has an excellent selection of quality used machines.

    2. Consider your needs. General sewing, quilting, embroidery, garment sewing? Specialty feet or accessories may be needed and may be in addition to the cost of the machine. Buy the machine made for your kind of sewing.

    3. Take your time! This is a major purchase, and you want to love your machine. You may need to “date around” for a while before you set your heart down on a machine.

    4. Bring along a sample of the type of sewing you do. If you are a quilter, bring a quilt sandwich. Embroiderers bring along something to embroider upon. Garment makers will want to make sure that the machine can handle 6 layers of denim or 2 layers of silk organza.

    5. You want to LOVE your machine! Persevere until you find the one that sews like a dream. If you work with heavy layers, make sure it plows right through a sample. Make sure the foot control makes it easy to control the speed. An intuitively-designed front panel makes sewing more pleasant.

    A note about lightweight machines: Their size and scaled down features are what makes this category of machines light weight. I have seen some amazing quilting and sewing come from them!
    If your budget only allows for a machine and no cabinet, go for it! 

    The bottom line is this: Take the time to make a confident selection so that you go home with a machine you absolutely love!

    Click here to join Jenny in class at Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers > 


  • Meissner Sewing Offers Viking Machine Instruction Courses

    In January 2017, Meissner Sewing announced the addition of the Husqvarna Viking line of machines to the Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville stores.

    In early 2017, Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers made an “Epic Announcement.”

    Meissner’s in Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville would be carrying a selection of sewing, quilting and embroidery machines from the Husqvarna Viking line, including the Viking DESIGNER Epic, DESIGNER Diamond Royale and others.

    As an authorized dealer of the Viking line, Meissner Sewing also began offering a large selection of parts, services and accessories for Viking, Pfaff and Singer machines. Additionally, our expert technicians became available to service and repair Viking machines.

    We have also been able to provide Viking machines for use during several of our events and workshops, such as the recent Anita Goodesign Spring Embroidery Party in Sacramento.

    Now, our Epic Announcement continues…

    In line with the Meissner Sewing mission to provide our valued customers with a wide variety of classes and opportunities to grow your creative toolbox, our Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville stores are now offering machine instruction classes to assist you in getting acquainted with your Viking machine.

    Meissner’s has and will continue to provide machine instruction classes for Baby Lock, Brother, BERNINA and Janome machines, and with the release of the Summer Edition of Meissner Magazine, we have added Viking classes to the catalog.

    Our machine instruction classes are specifically designed to help new owners become familiar with their machine and are developed to increase their confidence using the machine's basic features and functions. These classes are also a great opportunity for seasoned machine owners to brush up on specific tools and expand their skills.

    The Meissner Sewing New Machine Owners Class Series includes Unboxed!, Beyond the Box! And Hoopla! courses.

    In the Unboxed! classes students are provided with the initial tools needed to use the machine to its fullest potential, set up and navigation,  basic maintenance and stitch menus.

    Click here to learn more about Unboxed! for Viking. >

    Beyond the Box! is the second course in this series, and it is designed to expand on the topics covered in the Unboxed! classes.

    Click here to learn more about Beyond the Box! for Viking. >

    Also part of the New Machine Owners Class Series are the Hoopla! courses. These classes are designed to be a hands-on, quick-start embroidery session, and topics covered include navigating the embroidery machine, threading for embroidery, stitching built-in designs, lettering and more.

    Click here to learn more about Hoopla! for Viking >

    There are several dates and times for each of these courses available throughout the Summer at our Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville locations.

    Please check for all availability and to register.

    Machine instruction classes for all brands are provided complimentary (plus a non-refundable $5 registration fee) with every new machine purchase at Meissner Sewing.

    For more updates like these, follow us on Facebook


  • Tips, Tricks & How-Tos

    Are you looking for inspiration? A tip? A trick? Maybe you're just searching for a new project.

    No need to search anywhere else because we're sharing a few of our favorite tutorials and ideas all here on our blog!

    All of these projects and tips (plus more!) can be found on our Facebook and YouTube pages! Follow along as we share more projects, techniques and tricks. We also invite you to show us what your working on. Post and send photos of your creations to our page, and bring your projects to our stores to show them off!

    Project: Minky Quilt

    Technique: Rotary Cutting 

    Tip: Winding a Bobbin

    Project: Serged Receiving Blanket

    Tip: Rotary Cutter Blade

    Technique: Quilting in the Hoop


  • Make May Great

    The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and May promises to be the beginning of an exciting Spring and Summer at Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers.

    Here are just a few of this month’s featured attractions:

    Events & Workshops:

    Anita Goodesign Spring Embroidery Party

    What better way is there to kick off the month than with a party! An Embroidery Party, that is. May 4-7, the Sacramento store will host two, two-day Anita Goodesign embroidery workshops. We will take a trip back in time to explore and embroider styles and techniques from the past 100 years. The party, with a “Remember When” theme, will cover seven different time periods, beginning in the 1800s and reaching modern day.

    Floriani Embroidery Extravaganza in San Jose

    The following week we are taking the show on the road, as we travel to San Jose to host the Floriani Embroidery Extravaganza. Our Meissner Sewing team, along with Kathi Quinn and a special mystery guest, will be sharing tips and tricks for embroidery, crafting and quilting. This hands-on event, located at the Terrace at Willow Glen on May 11 and 12, promises plenty of fun, prizes and learning.

    Can’t make it to San Jose? Join us in Sacramento in June! Learn more.

    Sonoma County Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival

    The Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival is coming to Santa Rosa May 18-20! Visit the Meissner Sewing booths to try new products and machines, enter our daily drawing for the chance to win prizes and more! Join us at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

    Download your FREE admission coupon. Click here.


    Roseville: Embroidery Garden Workshop

    If you are inspired by the Embroidery Garden in-the-hoop designs, then these workshops are made for you. In these classes, you will work with the designs to create your own unique variations while exploring new in-the-hoop embroidery techniques. This month's feature projects is an in-the-hoop clutch purse.

    Class Details: Roseville •  May 13  • 10am-1pm

    Register for the Embroidery Garden Workshop >

    Folsom: Pillowcase Bonanza 

    In this class, you will make a standard pillowcase with the standard accent strip. Then, you can make your pillowcase  unique by changing that accent strip and/or border. This class allows you to discover techniques for making scallops or prairie points 1 or 2 colors for the accent strip and to experiment with embroidery designs on the border. Take what you learned in class and apply the ideas to other projects, like tea towels, placemats, or even quilts.

    Class Details: Folsom •  May 27  • 1:30-4pm

    Register for Pillowcase Bonanza >

    Santa Rosa: Saturday Night Quilter's Drop In

    The Saturday Night Quilter's Drop In in Santa Rosa is your time and place to join fellow quilters in working on your projects. Just bring your sewing machine and a project, and share and learn quilting techniques, tips, tricks and more!

    Class Details: Santa Rosa  • May 20  • 5-9pm

    Register for Saturday Night Quilter's Drop In >

    Sales & Specials: 

    Baby Lock is showing its appreciation by offerong a six-month Love of Knowledge Online Sewing Membership when you trade up to a new Baby Lock machine over $499. With training videos available 24/7, Baby Lock Love of Knowledge membership is a great resource for learning all about your machine- from set up to techniques and tutorials and beyond.

    Also this month, you can purchase a Janome MC9400 and receive a Janome 500E!*

    Visit our Sales & Specials page to learn more and see all of this month's offers. Click here.

    For all of our upcoming classes, events, workshops and sales, download a copy of the newly-released Meissner Magazine! Click here. 

    Stay up to date with all things Meissner Sewing on Facebook and Instagram!


  • Getting to Know Meissner Sewing: Dara Dubois

    Dara Dubois, instructor at Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers, has been teaching in the Sacramento and Roseville stores since retiring from working for the State of California in December 2015.

    If you push the gas pedal on a car, the wheels will be thrust into motion, and the car will move. If you step on the foot pedal of a sewing machine, the needle will jump up and down and stitches will begin to form.

    If you concentrate on the sound of a car engine, you might hear a hum, rumble or even a rev. If you listen to the motor of a sewing machine, you just might hear the same sweet sounds.

    “The sound of the motor on the sewing machine versus the sound of an engine revving, they’re kind of similar.”

    These are the words of Dara Dubois, instructor at Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers.

    “They’re both mechanical,” she said, attributing this similarity as the reason why she is drawn to the car industry and the sewing industry.

    Her history in both trades began when she was growing up. Born in Cruthersville, Missouri, Dubois and her family moved to California when she was about five years old.

    In spite of her father’s hope that Dara would “look like a girl and act like a girl,” she wanted to work on cars, she said. Her favorite uncle was a mechanic, she had a 1967 Mustang that needed work, and she was a self-proclaimed tomboy.

    “The rest was history,” Dubois said.

    After graduating from Foothill High School, Dubois’ goal was to get married, have children and work on cars, she said. And with a background in automotive technology, she went on to work in the automotive industry, including jobs performing investigative work in auto shops, running an alternative fuel fleet, working for the State of California, and becoming an automotive teacher at American River College, where she has been an instructor for almost 25 years.

    Similarly to her interest in cars, Dubois’ sewing background also began at a young age. She participated in the Home Economics course in school, and she can still remember every detail of her first assignment, especially the zipper.

    “It was a mint green dress. I know it had a collar,” Dubois said. “It was just a very short shift (with) a tie in the back. But I ripped the zipper out 22 times until it was threadbare in the back.”

    Her mother, who was a professional seamstress, was “mortified,” Dubois recalls, because she believed that the class should begin with a simpler project, such as an apron.

    The fact that her mother had worked as a seamstress  contributed to her interest in sewing, but it wasn't the sole reason, Dubois said.  While she doesn’t believe that she was nearly as talented as her mother, she enjoyed being able to make things for herself that no one else had, she said. Plus, with five siblings, sewing clothes for herself was the only way to ensure that she got exactly what she wanted.

    “In order to have something that I wanted, I had to learn to sew,” Dubois said. “But I think that part of it was that I could have different things that nobody else had.”

    After being a long-time customer of Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers, Dubois would join the team and become an instructor at the store.

    "My main thing is we’re here to have fun and be helpful," Dubois says of her approach to teaching at Meissner Sewing.

    One week after retiring from the State of California, Dubois began teaching for the company. In fact, she was hired on the exact same day as she began her retirement. This was a little over a year ago.

    “An hour after I left the Department of Education, I walked in here to pick up my Anita Goodesign designs, and I walked out with a job,” she said. “I interviewed in my Minnie Mouse hoodie.”

    Dubois currently teaches in the Sacramento and Roseville stores, and her lineup features hands-on classes, like Sew Fun and Easy! for beginners, as well as classes for new machine owners (My New Machine Basics 1 and Beyond 2).

    In each of her courses, Dubois ultimate goal is that her students leave with a tangible, finished project.

    Dubois teaches in order to help and give to others, and she works to pass the message on to her students that she is available to provide help whenever it's needed.

    “I’m here to help,” she said. “I think they all know that they can come to me at any time, whether it’s a car problem that we’ve had in the parking lot or a sewing problem, that I’m here for them.”

    Dubois uses her personal sewing experiences to help deliver this message and to help her students prepare for the inevitable problems that will arise throughout the creative process.

    “I have a lot of examples of what I did or didn’t do,” Dubois said. “So I like to share my tips and tricks so that when (problems) happen, (my students) go ‘oh yeah, we know how to do that’.”

    Her giving approach to teaching translates into her personal creative process, which begins simply when she sees something she likes.

    “My creative process is if I see it and I like it, I want to do it,” she said.

    With a “plug and play” attitude, Dubois cites her specialty as making quick gifts for other people, she said.

    “I love to embroider, but it has to have a purpose,” she said. “In-the-hoop gifts are awesome because then I can make something and give it away.”

    While working on retirement and continuing to make gifts, Dubois hopes to learn more about the mechanical side of sewing machines and to offer additional machine-specific classes to the current catalog.

    For the time being, however, Dubois wants her students to keep sewing and have fun doing it.

    “We have fun in my classes and we laugh a lot,” Dubois said. “And if they’re not having fun then they’re in the wrong class.”


  • Sergers Unstitched

    Open up a serger and it may appear to be a complex piece of machinery, but this creative tool is made to bring ease to specific sewing techniques and projects.

    Upon first thought, the stitches created by a serger may seem intricate, but achieving them isn’t actually all that difficult.

    Features of the Baby Lock Enlighten Serger include Jet Air Threading, 4/3/2 thread serging and the exclusive wave stitch.

    In fact, sergers are just one way to expand the resources for achieving inspiration.

    Matt Beausoleil, who has been a factory-trained technician at Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers for almost 10 years, unravels a few intricacies of the machine.

    “A serger is made for finishing off a seam,” Beausoleil said. “They cut and at the same time join the materials together.”

    Generally, sergers are used on projects where a more secure stitch is required, such as creating hems in garment sewing. It is the mechanical differences in a serger, compared to a sewing machine, that allow the machine to function in a way that provides the added strength to each set of stitches.

    “Mechanically, a sewing machine will have a hook and a bobbin case, whereas a serger has a looper instead of a hook,” Beausoleil said. “(The looper) performs the same function, but there is no bobbin case or bobbin. Sergers are made to run with a three-thread or four-thread stitch.”

    The stitches from a sewing machine are created from two threads, a single top and bottom thread. Whereas a serger uses multiple, three or four, threads, which is what makes serger stitches more secure.

    In addition to various types of multiple-thread stitches, sergers can also perform a chain stitch, which is a two-thread stitch and most closely resembles a straight stitch on a sewing machine.

    A chain stitch is created when the thread comes down and the lower looper is coming around, picking up the thread in the front and taking it back around as it comes up, Beausoleil explained. A cover stitch is created in a similar way, but this stitch uses three threads.

    “There are quite a few different types of styles of sewing that can be done with a serger,” Beausoleil explained. “There’s a cover hem, a chain stitch and an overlock.”

    Each serger is equipped to create various stitches, and as you upgrade in levels of machine the type and number of stitches available from its toolbox grows. Most modern sergers are capable of creating four-thread stitches, and some machines, like the Baby Lock Ovation, can produce up to eight-thread stitches.

    One of the most commonly used serger stitches, however, is the four-thread overlock stitch.

    “There are a lot of differences in sergers,” Beausoleil said. “Some machines are purpose made; they’re only cover hem or only chain stitch machines. And some of them can do all of them. And some of them only do four-thread.”

    Similarly to sewing, quilting and embroidery machines, crafters can have one of each type of machine or can have one machine that will perform each type of stitch.

    Understanding Serger Stitch Types >>

    Simply put, a serger functions to create stronger stitches. It is a great tool to have specifically for garment sewing and can be great alone or as a companion to your sewing machine.

    “They may look complicated, but they’re actually simpler than sewing machines,” Beausoleil said. “The machine itself has a simpler design. They’re just made that way.”


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