Today, I thought that I would talk some more about speed sewing. One of my new friends out there in blog land mentioned something that I have so I take it for granted – good lighting.
We purchased our home in 1998 and it was a real fixer-upper. We immediately started remodeling. When we got ready to create the sewing room, it was a small bedroom on the main floor. We were nearly done with that room when I got a new job which included a new sewing machine and a serger. I instantly outgrew that sewing room. It only had one standard light fixture with one bulb. That was not enough.
We started again with a big sewing studio in the basement. I told my husband I needed lots of light. He put in track lighting around the perimeter. I still didn’t feel like I had enough light. But then he bought a pool table and my sewing room got moved again.
For the third try, the sewing room/laundry room combo was created. It is in the basement. We learned from the previous try in the pool room and we have two light fixtures plus track lighting around three sides of my present sewing room. And it is enough.
Some of the newer sewing machines have wonderful lighting. If you are shopping for a machine, be sure to check out that feature.
Another wonderful feature in my sewing room is my cutting table. It is taller than the typical table or desk that most of us use for a sewing surface. If I remember right, it is 35” tall. I don’t know if I sew faster with that tall cutting table but I am certain that I can work longer with the tall cutting table.
One more thing in my sewing room that I want to tell you about and it has nothing to do with sewing fast but everything to do with being safe. I don’t like the irons that shut off by themselves. It seems that every time I’m ready to press, the iron has shut itself off and is too cool to press well. So I don’t buy irons that have that feature. I do not wish to leave the iron on when I leave the room and in order not to forget, I had the plug in that I use for the iron wired with the light switch. When I shut off the lights, I shut off the outlet that the iron is plugged into.
There are several things you can do when you need a project in a hurry. Big blocks are great time savers. First because it takes fewer blocks to make something of significant size and second because they are forgiving. If your stitching is just a bit off, you can coax a large block and make it work.
Another thing is to take full advantage of your tools. For example, I have a 6½” wide ruler so my borders are seldom any wider than 6” finished when I want to be done in a hurry.
And here’s a third idea. When cutting identical pieces that will be sewn together, put the fabric right sides together and cut both pieces at once. Because you cut them together, they are perfectly lined up. Because they are right sides together, they are ready to sew. I frequently cut up to 4 layers at once. It’s really important to have a GOOD blade in your rotary cutter. You might want to experiment on a block or two and see if that works for you.
Don’t forget about our 12 Days of Christmas Best Quilts Blog tour. Mary Kate will be posting every day to tell you who the blogger for that day is.