Every story is long ….right ?
Enter machine embroidery….. Wow how this one little ( well not so little ) machine was to change things. Back then machine embroidery for home use was quite new, we would buy very expensive “cards” that contained about 10 – 12 designs and cost a bomb! But the things we could do with those designs….we had designs on everything. Towels were really popular, I had rabbits on all my boys clothing ( or boats, trucks etc. ) they had the prettiest bunny rugs, and bibs you can imagine along with personalized hats, bags you name it. Gosh we were clever!
As soon and a new gadget became available I was checking it out, I purchased a very expensive “box” and a blank card that would allow me to get free deigns from the internet and sew them out on my machine. That changed the word of home machine embroidery very quickly soon people were digitizing there own designs and posting them on forums, web pages etc, it also opened up the opportunity for digitizers to sell individual designs not a whole card of designs that you would really only use one.
So after that first Janome 8000 machine new machines came out, I upgraded a few times to bigger and better machines, as our skills developed we no longer just embellished towels and babies clothing we now make amazing things in the hoop, can do applique, lacework the list is absolutely endless. Just when you seen it all someone else blows your mind with what they can do on their embroidery machine. The software to write things straight to our machines, digitize our own designs has also improved over the years I have used Embird for along time and seen it develop into an amazing program and have been a Beta tester for Embird software for about the last 5 or so years. Anyway that was a big digression into machine embroidery but all relevant to my quilting Story.
I still have a reasonably current machine that has a large hoop size, when I look at the progression from that design on a shirt to digitizing something and then stitching it out or designing a whole quilt that might have 70 -80 hours of machine embroidery I am constantly stunned . I don’t often use machine embroidery in my quilts these day ( I am much more into the freehand machine quilting ) but it still has a big place in my quilting life.
Along with the embroidery machine the internet was another giant in changing the way I quilted, it started with just being able to see whats out there, living in a smallish country town and working so not being able to get to a guild etc, meant that I was exposed to only what I saw in Quilting magazines and at an occasional quilt show, The internet opened up large ( really large ) groups of like minded people that could “nurture” my quilting needs, I have been lucky to make some really close friends and become involved in annual retreats that never would have been possible without the internet. We keep in touch with online groups being able to share not only our knowledge but our successes and disasters in our quilting. Isn’t it the greatest when we can post a problem and often within minutes we have an answer, or spend way too much time drooling of pictures of quilts.
Till next time…Take Care
My next post will actually get onto the real quilting part, well what I call the quilting part, my change from stitch in the ditch quilter to a freehand quilter