Welcome to the A-Team !!!!

HI A-Team:

This email will be short. I need to see if I inputted all the email addresses correctly.

Don’t forget to register for Joanne’s news flyer. Go to their site and/or go into any Joanne’s store. By the checkout terminals, there will be a pad of forms. Fill one out, every time you go into Joanne’s. It takes about 2 or 3 months….and then….it will happen. You will receive in the mail, your first newsletter. It will tell you all the things that are on sale. And on the back page, will have coupons. The coupons will have your name printed on them. Sometimes when I am using a coupon, they want to make sure that it is you. They will ask for a driver’s license or anything else with your name on it. You can also go online to Joanne’s and print coupons until your newsletters start coming.

This past Saturday, there was a fandango to the Yardage Town and Central Sewing in El Cajon. What a fun fandango this was!!!! I always like to be around, when you first start buying your supplies and fabrics. It gives me great pleasure to see the first day’s lessons come alive. Of course, the El Cajon Bistro was a highlight of the fandango. This little Hole in the Wall, does an excellent job with the food and atmosphere. They deserve to be on the Food Network TV show: Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Make sure you pre-shrink your fabric. Also, it is a good idea to put your name on your equipment. Wal-Mart is the best place to buy a tackle box or a tool box for your supplies. Sewing machine trolleys can be purchased at Joanne’s with a coupon. You won’t need to bring your sewing machine this week. Check out Wal-Mart’s fabric section. They do sell scissors. So does Joanne’s.

Portfolio Course: The first day is always hectic. I did manage to get you to know, that in order to buy fabric, you need to feel it. After your purchase and before class on Monday, September 9, make sure you pre-shrink your fabrics. Detailed instructions start on page 6 of the syllabus. Be sure to print your patterns from the blog, with no scaling. www.sewalongwithjoanie.wordpress.com. Come to class with pre-shrunk fabric, pre-shrunk interfacing and cut patterns that you are storing flat in a gallon size plastic baggie. We will be laying out and cutting our fabric on Monday night. On Wednesday night, we will be fusing and marking our fabric from our patterns. This is when you will need your tracing wheel and tracing paper.

Computer Patternmaking: We registered for the course on the first day, September 3. On September 5th, we measured for our slopers and I took Cell phone pictures for our Croqui pictures. We also saw a Power Point called Designing on Croqui. You were all so quiet. I hope I answered all your questions. This coming week, we will be making our personal croqui outline pictures and perfecting our slopers.

Here is a fun e-magazine. September 2013 – Designs Plus! Newsletter. This magazine is for machine embroiderers. It also has great tips for everyone !!!!!!

Click the link to view the newsletter with images:


Changed Your Sewing Machine Needle Lately?From the Sewing Daily blog…..

When it comes to sewing stitches, why is something so important so easy to forget? We’re probably all guilty of it: pushing through too many projects before swapping our sewing machines needles for new ones, or simply forgetting.

New needles for my machine.

I got a gentle reminder recently when I took my sewing machine for service. As the technician took a peek at my machine, she stopped to scrutinize my needle.

"How long has it been since you changed your needle?" she asked.

I scanned back through the project Rolodex in my mind, but couldn’t light upon exactly when. Was it after making my niece’s baby quilt? Before patching the holes in a pair of shorts?

Having a new needle can be the difference in creating a really clean, beautiful sewing stitch. It also keeps your machine happy, and in working order. The general rule is to replace your needle after eight hours of use.

My none-too-quick response meant it was time to buy a pack of universal needles and throw out my old needle. It also got me thinking: I probably need some sort of log or reminder system to help me know when to change my needle.

I hope my writing this serves as a welcome reminder that it may be time for you to treat your machine to a new needle.

As you embark on your next project, if you’re looking for some inspiration or new ideas, check out these PieceWork collections.

Also, I’m curious: what system, if any, do you use to remind yourself to change your needle? A written log? An electronic calendar alert? A string tied around your finger? I can’t wait to hear.

Happy stitching!

Picture Your Pet in Fabric CollageFrom Quilting Daily blog…

Our family dog, Elvis, is a real ham. He’s always ready for his close-up, even when he’s sleeping. The only trouble is, it’s hard to capture his face without it looking like one big black wrinkle. You have to get him in just the right light to reveal his expression.

I was able to get this shot of Elvis showing
off his facial features because the light
was hitting him just right.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never made any fabric art projects featuring my little guy. To make a realistic pet quilt, you need to be able to capture the details of the animal’s face in a photo so you can translate the values into fabric scraps and threadwork.

Art quilter Faith Cleary, who makes pet portrait quilts for a living, says taking a good photo of the quilt subject is crucial.

Here are her tips for photographing your pets. Faith’s advice applies even if you just want a good quality picture of your pet.

Pet Photo Tips by Faith Cleary

Use a digital camera. A digital camera will allow you to see instantly whether you have the shot or not, and delete what you don’t need (which is probably most of the shots). It also makes it easier to tweak the photo with imaging software. If you don’t have a digital camera, you can probably borrow one.

Take photos on the pet’s eye level. This way you can look straight into their eyes. Faith admits that this is how she gets her exercise: chasing dogs around and then crouching in front of them with the camera. Shooting them from above is easier on your back and knees, but the angle can distort their features.

Get their attention. It may take some trial and error, but find some thing or some word that will make the pet sit still and look at you. Many of Faith’s clients respond to a treat, a favorite toy, or even a dirty sock.

Faith Cleary turns a photo into a pet quilt using
fabric scraps, stitch, and fused appliqué.

Shoot in good light, preferably outside. Unless you’re experienced with professional lighting, shooting outside is your best chance of catching your pet in the best light. A mildly sunny or even slightly overcast day is best to avoid harsh shadows or very bright light that makes you or the pet squint. Avoiding very bright light or shadows also helps you capture the pet’s coloring and the color values that will give you good contrast for translating your photo into art.

Capturing cats.
Most cats are not crazy about posing, but if you work with their natural instincts, you can get a great picture. Take advantage of their preference for sitting up high near a window. Be ready with the camera, and you’ll catch them just where you want them: at eye level in good light.

Once you have your great picture, you can transform it into fiber art with fabric fusing and stitch, fabric paint, or mixed media.

Faith demonstrates her technique for using an “appliqué road map” to create a pet portrait in her video workshop tutorial, Pet Picture Quilts Made Easy, now available for streaming on Craft Daily.

See you all in class this week !!!!!

Make Money with your Skills !©

Be Safe,

Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244