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Registration deadline is 1 week prior to the beginning of each class.   Classes may be cancelled if there are not enough registrations to have an effective class.


  • All classes will be held at Quilting Quarters.  
  • Participants should bring their own sewing machines unless prior arrangements are made for a loaner machine. 
  • As a courtesy to others, please limit snack foods and drinks to those that can be consumed quietly and with minimal disruption to the class.
  • Please arrive a few minutes early and be set-up and ready to begin at the posted time.

Frequently Asked Questions


DIRT!!!


When should I get my machine cleaned?
The most obvious answer is - the machine should be cleaned when it gets dirty. A better answer is - it depends on the thread you're using, the material you're sewing and the number of stitches. A good rule of thumb is about a million or so stitches per year - whichever comes first.

Sewing machines and sergers are complex precision devices built to exacting tolerances. Modern computerized sewing machines are even more so. Dirt is their biggest enemy. Dirt can make a sewing machine old before its time. Dirt can dramatically increase machine failures while dramatically reducing stitch quality. It just doesn't make any sense to spend serious money on an expensive sewing machine and then fail to take proper care of it with regular maintenance and cleaning.

Don't let your BERNINA machine get to looking like this...






Is it OK to use compressed air to blow dust out of the hook and bobbin?
No. No. No. No. No. And furthermore, no. Blowing dirt around inside the covers of a sewing machine only drives dirt deeper into the innards of the machinery and makes it just that much harder to clean. If you find your sewing activity generates an excessive amount of lint, then purchase a small inexpensive vacuum cleaner and suck as much dirt out of the machine as you can.

When a sewing machine comes into my shop looking like this, I charge by the pound...




THREAD


What kind of thread should I use?
You may be surprised to learn that thread has an expiration date. Unless there is a compelling reason otherwise, it does not make sense to buy that tempting box of antique thread at the neighborhood yard sale – especially if it happens to be on wooden spools. Thread manufacturers have not used wooden spools in several decades because of the chemical deterioration effects that the wood spool has upon the thread wound upon it.

The same is true of that stash you might have inherited from a previous generation. The cotton, nylon and polyester materials used in fabrics and thread do not last forever. They become brittle and fragile with age and cannot stand up to the demands that a modern sewing machine places upon them.

As expensive, precise and well-maintained as your sewing machine might be, you will not get great quality results from poor quality thread. I don’t know about you, but my least favorite part of sewing is fighting with machine jams, thread breaks and the dreaded ‘Bird’s Nest.’ Nothing spoils the mood (and the sewing project) quite like ripping out loose loopy stitches and / or rethreading the machine. The best, easiest and cheapest way to avoid the majority of these problems is to use fresh, high-quality thread.

On a regular basis, customers bring machines into my shop with complaints about stitch quality while using thread that was manufactured twenty years ago. Not even the best and most expensive Bernina sewing machines will deliver the great results you have come to expect using thread that was manufactured twenty years ago. It just ain’t gonna happen. And so my advice to you is this – if you’re going to take the time, trouble and expense to plan your next project, don’t skimp on the thread. Go ahead and spring for some new thread. You and your project are worth it.








NEEDLE


What kind of needle should I use?
The obvious answer is - use needles that are new, straight and sharp. What is not so obvious is that the number one complaint about the performance, quality, accuracy and reliability of a sewing machine is related to the needle.

I don’t care how new or old your machine might be. It matters not how much or how little you paid for your machine. It matters not who manufactured or maintained your machine. It matters not how experienced or novice at sewing you might be. There is no use arguing with physics. A sharp straight needle will yield great results. A dull bent needle will yield tiresome aggravation.

If you bring your machine to me for service, the very first thing I will do is install a new needle and dispose of the old one. Then, and only then, will I test how the machine functions. I do this because the needle is, quite literally, the heart of the sewing machine. If the needle is not sharp, straight and true, nothing else matters because nothing else will work. Even though seemingly simple, the sewing machine needle it is a finely engineered device and carefully manufactured to exacting standards. Despite this, the needle is the first thing to be damaged and/or wear out even in ordinary use.

Not to put too fine of a point on the argument (pun intended), a sewing machine is nothing more than an expensive doorstop if it does not have a sharp, straight and true needle installed.

If in the process of servicing the machine I accidentally snag or bump the needle (which happens a lot), I change the needle. If there is any question in my mind about the integrity of the needle, I’ll change it – again. When returning a machine to the customer, I’ll install a fresh needle – again.  Yeah, I have a sharps container on my workbench to dispose of all the old needles.

For that matter, so should you.

Needles are easy to change. In fact, you should be generous about needles. They are cheap when bought in bulk. It is not an unreasonable thing for you to purchase a 100-count pack of needles. If you ever break a needle, you’ll have a plentiful supply of replacements.  Whenever you start a new project – change the needle. After you finish off three or four bobbins – change the needle. Should the machine break the thread in the middle of a project – change the needle.

Here is a small sampling of needles - every one of which was causing a machine failure...


And so my advice to you is this – if you’re going to take the time, trouble and expense to plan your next project, don’t skimp on the needles. Go ahead and spring for a pack of new ones. You and your project are worth it.


TENSION


What is thread tension?
Blah Blah Blah


SOFTWARE / FIRMWARE


What is a software / firmware update?
Blah Blah Blah


Classes


In this 4-session class, participants will complete a small quilt project from start to finish. Skills covered (and practiced) include cutting, sewing accurate quarter-inch seams, adding borders, simple machine quilting with a walking foot, and binding the quilt with double fold binding.

Cost: $ 89.00
Students will learn basic sewing machine use and care, and will learn beginning sewing skills while creating a simple project.

Cost: $ 25.00
Block of the Month Program from Sept 2019 thru April 2020 Led by Margaret Persinger, participants will create a twin-sized quilt top by completing month-by month assignments. Class fee includes the pattern, fabric to complete the quilt top, and assisance from Margaret for cutting and piecing the blocks accurately.

Based on Amanda Murphy's "Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book", this class is intended to help quilters become more familiar and confident with free-motion techniques.

Cost: $ 95.00