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  • 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.”


     

  • Discover the Serger in April

    If you haven’t already discovered what you can do with a Serger, then now is definitely the perfect time to explore the ease and functionality of this sewing machine companion because April is National Serger Month!

    According to www.nationalsergermonth.org, National Serger Month was established in 2013, “in an effort to educate sewing enthusiasts and celebrate all things sergers.”

    Throughout the month Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers will be offering several opportunities to get educated on sergers and to celebrate.

    So, let’s get started.

    Why Use a Serger?

    A serger can be a great companion to any sewing machine.

    Sewing machines and sergers can both achieve beautiful, decorative stitches, but sergers can be used to simplify some techniques while also creating neater results, according to www.nationalsergermonth.org. Specifically, the site explains, sergers will finish edges without stretching the fabric while sewing twice as fast as many sewing machines. Sewing machines, however, can easily insert buttonholes, buttons and zippers.

     

    Celebrate with Meissner Sewing

    You’re officially invited to attend our Baby Lock Serge-A-Thon event taking place in Sacramento and Santa Rosa on April 29, 2017.

    The Serge-A-Thon is a one-day event, where participants will have the opportunity to partake in American Patchwork and Quilting’s Million Pillowcase Challenge, where you will be tasked with serging together a pillowcase for donation to a local charity.

    Participants of the Serge-A-Thon will also have the opportunity to use and try a Baby Lock Serger and can enter a national drawing for the chance to win one of three Baby Lock Ovation sergers.

    Click Here to Learn More

    In addition to the Baby Lock Serge-A-Thon in our Sacramento and Santa Rosa locations, Meissner Sewing offers a variety of classes throughout the year that allow you to get acquainted with your serger and to teach you how to use your machine with confidence. Check the class calendar to see the full list of dates and times for upcoming, Serger-specific courses.

    Click Here to Check the Calendar

    Bonus: Keep celebrating in May at the Sew, Serge and Sensational Embroidery event in Santa Rosa!

    Get Serging!

    Start stitching with a few  ideas for serger projects, and remember to share you finished creations with us all this month on our Facebook page! We want to see what you’re working on!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Happy Serging!


     

  • Three Lessons I Learned as a Beginning Quilter

    As a young girl I always enjoyed arts and crafts. My home was fully stocked with beads, markers, colored pencils, feathers, glitter, paint and anything else I might need to express my creativity.

    There was thread and fabric available to me, as my mother is a sewist, but I tended to gravitate toward other creative outlets.

    This was the case until I joined the Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers team. I became inspired by the creativity and passion that was surrounding me and was being expressed through the textile arts.

    As a result, I consciously embarked on my own creative journey, starting with the basics in Dara Dubois’ Sew Fun and Easy! class in Sacramento, where I completed my very first sewing project - a monogrammed tote bag.

    After wrapping up this class and spending a bit of time practicing my newly acquired skills on my own, I took a huge leap in my journey and decided to take on quilting.

    And I recently completed Jeanne Powell’s Basic Quilting for Beginners class at the Sacramento store.

    This beginner course is a six-class series, where students piece together nine different styles of quilt blocks and with sashing and borders. Time permitting (because everyone works at their own pace), this series also provides students with the opportunity to learn techniques to attach the backing and batting to a completed quilt top.

    I left this class with a finished quilt top that is ready to take home and stitch in the ditch.

    While I added several new tools to my creative toolbox, there are three lessons that I learned over the course of the six days in the classroom that stand out to me.

    Lesson #1: When in Doubt Pin It Out

    I learned my first lesson the hard way, but eventually, I came to appreciate pins in the same way that I appreciate a good cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

    Initially, I thought I could speed up the construction process by making minimal use of pins. Boy, was I wrong.

    Having never quilted before, I needed extra pins to keep my block stable as I stitched the pieces together on the machine. With a few more pins, I was actually able to keep sharp points in the blocks, and I didn’t have to take the time to rip and re-stitch seams that didn't match.

    Secure pinning became even more important as I progressed from piecing the blocks to attaching the sashing and borders.

    In order to match up the edges, I needed to have a pin in place at about every inch of the fabric. On my first try,  I attempted to skate by with a few less pins, and I ended up having to rip the seams of the whole side because the pieces were far from matching up.

    I came to realize that, in reality, it would take me less time to add in a few extra pins at the start than it would to rush through with less pins and eventually have to rip out the seams of an entire side of my quilt.

    As I quilt more frequently, becoming more familiar with the process and more confident in my skills, this may change, but for now, when in doubt, I will definitely be pinning it out.

    Lesson #2: Patience Really is a Virtue

    Quilting requires precision. Quilting requires attention to detail. Quilting requires a bit of perfectionism. Quilting requires patience.

    It’s not the set of skills behind the creator that defines a completed quilt. Each person’s skills themselves can be practiced and perfected. I learned that there are certain, inherent characteristics that help in becoming a successful quilter. One of those traits is patience, especially as a beginner.

    I set out to create a quilt top that I would be proud of. This class was my very first experience with quilting, and I was determined to leave with a finished product that I could show off to my fellow quilters.

    But it takes time. It takes time to achieve perfect points. It takes time to stitch perfectly straight seams. It takes times to make accurate fabric cuts. And when a process takes time, it also requires patience.

    By no means is my finished quilt top perfect, but I am still a beginner. With time and patience, I will practice and each finished project will become better and better.

    If I am patient and take the time that each step requires, then, and only then, will I have a product that I can be proud of.

     

    Lesson #3:  Enjoy the Process

    Walking into Jeanne Powell’s Beginning Quilting Class on the first day of the series, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was in awe of the process.

    I had seen so many amazing finished quilts that have been created by so many amazingly talented quilters, and I aspired to construct my own amazing project.

    Despite my nerves and anxieties, I knew that the only way I would achieve this goal would be to truly enjoy the time I would spend in class and the new process I would learn.

    I had to love the fabrics that I had chosen. Which I did.

    I had to be equipped with the right tools. Which I was. (Hello, Janome Anna Maria Horner M100 sewing and quilting machine).

    I had to listen to the teacher and follow the instructions. Which I did.

    I had to slow down and focus on the task at hand, not mentally jumping ahead to the next steps in the process. Which I did.

    I had to appreciate the new skills, while perfecting the ones I had already established. Which I did.

    And ultimately, I had to enjoy the process. Which I did.


    Note: This post is part of an ongoing series. 

    Click here to read the first post in the “Diary of a Beginning Sewist” series

    Click here to read Part 1 of my Quilting Adventure

    Click here to read Part 2 of my Adventure


     

  • Meissner Sewing Takes On Quilt, Craft & Sewing 2017

    Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers has a big week ahead. This Thursday through Saturday, along with our crew of Meissner Makers, several of the Meissner staff will be temporarily relocating to the Cal Expo Event Center for the 2017 Sacramento Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival on March 16-18, 2017.

    Featuring free workshops, new products, and more, the Sacramento Quilt, Craft, & Sewing Festival is one of the largest crafting events of the year.

    All Meissner Sewing locations will be maintaining regular business hours, but many of the Meissner crew will be found in Booths #100-603 of Buildings C & D at Cal Expo.

    Equipped with all your favorite brands and a variety of products, the Meissner booths will be filled with plenty of inspiration and creative tools to get the next project under way.

    “The huge selection of products that we bring to the Sacramento Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival, plus the five free classes we are sponsoring daily in classroom 1, makes the Meissner Sewing booth feel more like a pop-up version of one of our stores,” Sara Curtis, marketing coordinator said.

    Each of the booths will include something unique, as they will feature the latest machines and products from Baby Lock, BERNINA, Brother, Janome and Viking. After being introduced in January, Husqvarna Viking will be included in the Meissner Sewing lineup at the festival for the first time.

    Select products from Floriani, AccuQuilt, Gammill, Quilter’s Rule, Koala Studios, Fashion Sewing Cabinets of America, and others will also be available.

    Attendees of the event will find exclusive show pricing on machines and special festival bundle offers.

    Simply put, there will be “over 24 booths of Meissner Sew-spiration,” Drew Schleter, assistant store manager in Sacramento, said.

    In addition to offering a wide variety of products, the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival presents several learning opportunities. Over the course of the three-day festival, Meissner Sewing will be sponsoring free classes each day.

    Hope Yoder of Designs by Hope Yoder will be in Classroom 1 each morning, teaching classes called “Digital Cutting for Quilters and Embroiderers” and “Design Hacks with the CraftNCut Software.” She will also be available in the booth throughout the day, performing live demonstrations.

    Sharon Minor of AccuQuilt will be providing instruction on techniques for achieving fast, accurate fabric cuts using the AccuQuilt cutting system. Patricia Simmons of Quilter’s Rule will be in Classroom 1 at 1:00 p.m. each day for “Templates, Rulers and Machine Quilting primer” where she will share why templates are made of different thickness and strategies for achieving perfect, small points. RNK Distributing will also be in the classroom each afternoon with the classes “Quilters Select” and “Total Quilter.”

    Click here to view the full schedule and class details.

    The Sacramento Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival is the largest show of its kind in the area. The festival provides three full days of quilting, crafting and sewing inspiration. This show is a can’t-miss event for all creators, offering something for everyone to enjoy.

    Show attendees line up  for the Sacramento Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival in 2016.

    “The best part of the festival is opening morning when the long line of attendees finally get to come in, and see all the exhibits,” Curtis said. “All the attendees are so enthusiastic. It’s really a positive, energizing way to kick off the event.”

    Show Hours: Thursday & Friday: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m; Saturday: 10 a.m - 4 p.m.

    Admission Cost: $10 for all 3 days OR 50% off with Printed Coupon.

    Tune in to Sacramento & Co. on ABC10 Tuesday, March 14th, at 11:30 a.m. to hear more about the show! 


     

  • The Quilting Adventure Continues

    My Creative Adventure Continues. Next stop: Quilting. Part 2

    I’m halfway there!

    Three beginning quilting classes down and three to go.

    So I’m checking back in to provide a quick update on my progress in Jeanne Powell’s Basic Beginning Quilting Class at Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Center in Sacramento.

    Click here to read Part 1!

    After completing Sew Fun & Easy! in January, I began the six-class beginning quilting series on Valentine’s Day. In the first class, we created three blocks for the nine-block quilt we are working toward completing. In the subsequent two classes we continued building on our new skills, and we created two more blocks in each class for a total of seven completed blocks.

    Click here to read more about my Sew Fun & Easy Experience! 

    Up to this halfway point in the series, we have created blocks of various styles, including a Flying Geese block, a Rail Fence block, a Basic Pinwheel block and others. In true quilting fashion, we are creating several half-square triangles, using this as the foundation for many of the block patterns.

    The Janome Anna Maria Horner M100 sewing and quilting machine has been my trusty sidekick throughout the whole process, and this machine is equipped with all the features (plus many more) that I have needed to create the quilt blocks.

    In addition to developing my stitching skills, I have also become more comfortable following the patterns and written instructions, using a rotary cutter to cut the pieces needed to assemble each block, and finally stitching the pieces all together.

    Flying Geese Quilt Block

    With each finished block, I become increasingly more confident in my overall ability to quilt. I am starting to imagine what my finished project will look like, and my excitement is growing.

    In the remainder of the classes, I will construct the final two blocks of the quilt. Then, after piecing the top with sashing and borders, we will learn to baste it to the batting and backing. Following this step, we will stitch in the ditch and finish the edges.

    By the time, that this class is finished I will have my very first hand-made quilt! I look forward to growing my quilting toolbox, adding more skills and techniques to complement the tools I have acquired so far.

    Stay tuned to see my finished project!

    Note: This post is part of an ongoing series. 

    Click here to read the first post in the “Diary of a Beginning Sewist” series.

    Click here to read Part 1 of my quilting Adventure.


     

  • Welcome National Quilting Month

    As we close the door on National Embroidery Month, we open up to National Quilting Month this March! From quilt shows to classes and donation opportunities, there are several ways to celebrate National Quilting Month with Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers. Check out just of a few of the chances for quilting celebration available this month:

    Quilt Shows:

    Sacramento Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival • March 16-18, 2017
    We want to see you at the Sacramento Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival! Stop by our booths to test new machines and products, to hear from some of the leading experts in the industry, and to enter to win from our daily drawings. Located in Buildings C and D of Cal Expo, this quilt show will also feature a variety of exhibits, workshops and seminars.

    Click here to download a coupon for discounted admission to the Sacramento Festival!

    San Mateo Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival • March 23-25, 2017
    Just a week after the Sacramento Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival, we will be packing up and heading to the San Mateo County Event Center for the San Mateo Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival. This festival is also your chance to try out new machines and to attend hands-on workshops with the experts.

    Click here to download a coupon for FREE admission to the San Mateo Festival!

    Classes:

    Beginning Modern Quilting
    Have you been thinking about beginning to modern quilt, but are not sure where to start? Beginning Modern Quilting with Meissner Instructor Ellen Schmidt is a class to consider. Ellen will share the process of setting up your machine, as well as tips for accurate rotary cutting. In this class, you will also have the opportunity to test the Accuquilt cutting system, which will simplify and shorten the cutting process. With dates available in both Sacramento and Roseville, Ellen’s Beginning Modern Quilting will also allow you to explore easy piecing techniques, sewing straight seams and cutting units all in order to create a unique quilt top of your own. The Roseville sessions begin March 7th!

    Click here to register for Beginning Modern Quilting!

    Folsom Block of the Month
    Join instructors Elaine Buchanan and Jeanne Shahon in Folsom for the 2017 Folsom Block of the Month Program. This eight-month program, begins March 3rd and will run through October 2017. Each month you will receive the pattern to create your monthly block and a tutorial for constructing the featured block.

    Click here to register for the Folsom Block of the Month program!

    Donation Opportunities:

    RARE Bear Workshop
    Meissner Sewing has partnered with Rare Science Inc. to sponsor a series of workshops to create stuffed bears, which are donated to children with rare diseases. RARE Bears Workshops are available in both Santa Rosa and Sacramento and will occur monthly. Join us to create the RARE Bear shell to be stuffed and sent to these unique children. The first workshop in Sacramento will take place on March 10th!

    Click here to learn more about the RARE Bear Workshops!

    Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction
    All Meissner Sewing locations will serve as a drop-off location for quilts donated to the 2017 Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction. Quilts will be accepted until September 1, 2017, and the auction will take place on November 4th. Quilt donations can be of any size and color, and they must include a hanging sleeve. The funds received from the auction will be donated to the Sutter Cancer Center’s research and treatment programs, including continuing counseling, education and support.

    Click here to learn more about the Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction!


     

  • The Adventure Continues

    My Creative Adventure Continues. Next stop: Quilting Part 1

    I joined the Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers team in August, and after spending some time with a group of incredibly talented quilters, embroiderers, sewists and crafters, I was inspired.

    As a result, I decided to renew my creativity, beginning by establishing a strong foundation of sewing basics. I started in January with Dara Dubois’ Sew Fun and Easy! class at Meissner Sewing in Sacramento.

    Click here to read more about my experience in Dara’s class!

    It’s now mid-February, and I can safely say that I haven’t taken my foot off the pedal since then.

    I have consistently practiced the sewing techniques I learned in the class, stitching up several more tote bags, all in different sizes and shapes.

    But my creative adventure continues.

    Now, I am enrolled in Jeanne Powell’s Basic Quilting for Beginners at Meissner’s Sacramento.

    It seemed as though I was taking a huge leap, jumping from beginning sewing all the way to a quilt class, so I was a bit nervous.

    To ease my own anxieties and to increase the potential for success, I made sure to download the supply list from the class registration page and gathered all the tools I would need.

    I faced my first challenge, however, when I was tasked with selecting my fabrics. As an indecisive person, I struggled to choose just eight complementary fabrics from the several beautiful patterns and prints available in the Sacramento store.

    In order to find eight fabrics that I would enjoy working with for six weeks, I sought guidance from Jeanne, and together we laid out several different combinations of prints and solids until I landed on a collection that I knew I couldn’t live without. My finished quilt will have a mixture colors, including various shades of blues, reds and oranges, as well as a blend of solid and printed (with birds and flowers) fabric.

    With that fabric challenge behind me, my excitement for class grew. I felt as if I was in the third grade again, eager to begin school so I could put my new supplies to use.

    Bubbling over with both excitement and nerves, I walked into the classroom at Meissner’s Sacramento on Valentine’s Day.

    Jeanne checked in with each student who entered the room, confirming that everyone was equipped with the required supplies and providing the opportunity for all of us to get settled at our stations.

    She began class by introducing herself, explaining her background as a teacher and a quilter—both positive qualities that were apparent throughout the class as she was detailed in her explanations, incredibly knowledgeable in each topic, and patient with complete quilting beginners like me.

    I was seated in front of the (adorable) Janome Anna Maria Horner M100 Sewing & Quilting Machine, and after her Jeanne’s introduction, we quickly got stitching.

    We began by creating a sample 4-patch quilt block, a process which would serve as the foundation for the next three blocks we would complete in the first day.

    As the class went on, I became progressively more confident using a rotary cutter. I also became comfortable stitching with the AMH100, a machine equipped with all the features I needed and more. I even started picking up on some quilting lingo.

    Four hours later, I had three finished quilt blocks, including a rail fence block and two blocks made from half-square triangles, in hand.

    It was a good idea to begin my creative adventure by establishing my basic sewing skills first because the techniques I had been practicing in the weeks leading up to this quilting class were certainly put to use in Jeanne’s class.

    I look forward to watching my quilt come together in the next five class sessions as we go through the steps to construct six more blocks, baste the quilt top and apply the backing, stitch in the ditch, and then finish the quilt edges.

    Stay tuned for updates from the classroom as I continue on with this exciting creative journey!

    Note: This post is part of an ongoing series. Click here to read the first post in the series, and keep following along with the Diary of a Beginning Sewist! 

  • Calling All Quilters

    In 2017, it is estimated that there will be 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer among women in the United States, according to the Susan G. Komen organization. There will also be an estimated 40,610 breast cancer deaths among U.S women in 2017.

    These statistics show only a slice of just how many people in the United States are affected by breast cancer, alone. We all know someone or are someone who has been touched by this disease.

    Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers is calling all quilters to take action, inviting you to share your passion, talent and generosity in support of breast cancer treatment.

    Throughout 2017, Meissner Sewing will serve as a drop-off location for quilts submitted into this year's Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction.

    According to the auction website, “The Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction is a community service event to raise funds for Sutter Cancer Center’s breast cancer programs, services and equipment.”

    Jeanne Powell, Meissner Instructor, is a two-time breast cancer survivor and the Auction Committee Chair. Powell began her involvement with the auction as a volunteer and took on the role as chair, where she coordinates the event, three years ago, she said.

    In order to contribute to the Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction, quilters can submit newly-made quilts in good condition of any size, shape or design at a drop-off location. Quilts must be submitted before September 1, 2017. All donations must include a hanging sleeve.

    The Auction will take place on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at the Buhler Specialty Pavilion, located at 2800 L Street in Sacramento. A Silent Auction will also run from Oct. 2 through Nov. 4, 2017.

    The quilts, spread among floors 2-7 of the Pavilion, will be hung for viewing on Oct. 1, 2017, Powell said, and they will remain on display and open to bids until the Live Auction in November.

    A minimum bid, which is determined by quilt size, will be set for each submission, Powell said.

    In total, there are 19 drop-off locations, including the entire Meissner Sewing community in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville and Santa Rosa.

    “To me, quilts and quilting is community and involving the community in the project,” Powell said. “Quilters are very generous people.”

    The Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction is held every three years and has raised more than $650,000 in support of the Sutter Medical Foundation’s breast cancer treatment programs, including breast cancer navigator, patient and caregiver support, pre-treatment conferences, counseling services and various therapy programs, according to the Quilt Auction.

    In 2014, 475 quilts were donated to the Auction, Powell said.

    “It’s not only what it does for the patients,” Powell said. “But…when they see those quilts go up, what it does for the nurses and the doctors (too). It just brightens up the whole place.”

    The Susan G. Komen organization reports that all women are at risk for breast cancer.

    And all people, whether or not they are quilters and sewists, can show support for the treatment of this disease.

     

    To make a donation, please click here to download a donation form.

    Click here for Quilt Sleeve Instructions.


     

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