I got an early Christmas gift in November. I told the boy all I wanted was a new sewing machine. I'd been using a Husqvarna Viking 350 since 1994 and while it did everything I needed it to, it didn't have enough armpit room. You know, that space between the sewing arm and the base! I like to quilt my pieces myself and I was tired of having to shove so much bulky fabric in such a small area. So I researched different machines and decided to stick with the Viking because I really liked my old machine and the sewing feet I already owned would also fit onto a new machine. And the winner was a Sapphire 850. And the timing was perfect! Husqvarna was releasing a new model, a Sapphire 855 so the 850 was on sale for practically half of the original selling price.
The first thing I sewed was the boy's Christmas gift. He'd helped me pick out the fabric at the sewing expo we'd attended (without knowing it was for him, of course) and when he left for his Key West MegaJam, I made him a wall hanging. It is based on a photo of our hiking boots at the top of this mountain in Muir Woods in California. It was my first attempt at thread sketching and I was winging it.
There was one major issue I hadn't anticipated. The top was layered with the batting and backing before I thread sketched and this made the piece get all puckered and warped. No matter how firmly I tried to hold the layers taut, the fabric puckered. I couldn't iron it to any semblance of flatness. While I was pretty happy with the image I got, the puckering just made it look terrible.
The boy knew immediately what the image was from. 2009 was the year of homemade gifts for my family and while I knew he would appreciate the thought, I was worried about whether he would like it well enough to hang. The good thing about the boy is he does not bullshit me about things. If I ask him what he thinks about something, he tells me the truth. This is good when you want honesty but bad when you just want to be told those pants do not make your butt look big. *laugh* It's always good to get his input when I am feeling too critical of my own work.
I know now I should use an embroidery hoop if I want to thread sketch and I can't wait to try again. I have a rack of thread just waiting for me to sketch with and I love having one more way to embellish cloth. Now if I could only finish up layering and binding all my finished quilt tops so I can start on something more artistic!