Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's New with Sue!

Dear Sewing Friends,

Happy 2009! I took a little break from the blog over the holidays and now many of you are asking “what happened to Sue’s blog?” Thank you for your good words and for sharing how much you enjoyed the blog and the info and projects and even all my “ramblings”!

It has been a busy holiday season and Herb and I have had the joy of visiting all our children and their families as we drove our van across the county! We also missed all the snow and bitter cold at our home in Cleveland as we left our Columbus, Ohio family on December 27 and took the southern route to California. We stopped in Oklahoma with vintage and antique quilts from my collection for a quilt show in January and then continued on. Our license Ohio license plates are SEW4FUN so if you see us along the way this year be sure to wave or better yet stop us and say hello. It has been fun to meet people all across the country in stores, gas stations and even the rest stop bathrooms who say, “Are you Sue?”

We stopped at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park right off route 40 as we went through northern Arizona and enjoyed the beautiful and interesting scenes and history.

One of the things that kept me busy in addition to getting ready for the holidays was cleaning out my office and getting ready for new life opportunites.

For most of my adult life, my mission has been to share the joy of sewing with others and to grow people and help bring joy to their lives. Many people have shared how the television show and projects and techniques and the "edutainment" we have presented have helped them through difficult times in their lives. They also share that they have been encouraged to sew and quilt more and to update their sewing equipment to make this fabulous hobby easier and more fun. Since age 10 (55 years ago!) the lifeskill of sewing has opened doors for me and helped me in "sew" many ways and I plan to continue to share this with people!

I will be taking a new role as of 1/30/09, Husqvarna Viking has asked me to continue in the mission of "Keeping the World Sewing" by sharing the joy of sewing with consumers and dealers across the country on a consulting basis. I will be presenting a number of programs and events that are already scheduled but we are also working on a new program. In 2009 I will be visiting a number of different states meeting my sewing friends in person and presenting the program "America Sews On The Road" hosted by Husqvarna Viking stores, We will be posting locations soon and I'm hoping that many, many of my sewing friends will be able to come to the events so I can meet you and share sewing and quilting projects, techniques and ideas in person.

I plan to put up a new blog every other week and will post the dates and locations of these exciting America Sews on the Road Events as soon as possible! In January and February I please look for me at:
January 25-28, 2009 STARS (Sewing Together Always Raises Spirits) with the Stitch Connection, Port Charlotte, Florida. Call 941-235-3555 for information and to register to come!
February 7, 2009 Special Sewing Event with Cathey’s in Tucson, Arizona. Call 520-721-4000 for information and to register to come!
February 21, 2009 Sew with Sue from America Sews with Bearly Stitchin, Goodyear, Arizona. Call 623=243-5552 for information and to register to come!
February 26-March 1 Sewing and Stitchery Expo, Puyallup, Washington

This week I thought it would be fun to share some of what happens at the taping of the America Sews television series. We taped America Sews with Sue Hausmann series 2800 in December and this series will be fed to all Public Broadcasting Stations in the United States beginning Sunday, March 29, 2009. This does not mean your station will air it then or ever. You are key to it airing on your Public Broadcasting Station! You are the P in Public Broadcasting. So send your station an e-mail or give them a call and request America Sews with Sue Hausmann for your local community. A complete set of four DVDs with all thirteen episodes of each series of America Sews is also available for purchase at your local Husqvarna Viking Dealer for $24.95. Ask your store to order them for you!

One of the best part about taping America Sews is that we have such fabulous guests and they always bring their newest and most exciting techniques and projects. Here Loralie Harris shares some of her new FashioNette with Joyce Drexler and Carol Ingram.

The work starts in the “green room”. Yes it is painted green however this is the name of the staging area for shows. Patti Lee from Sulky looks a little overwhelmed by all the “stuff”!

Out on the set there is always plenty to do to get ready for each show. Our camera men sit and wait for us to be ready to “shoot” while Vanessa and Herb begin to put together the Imperial Quilt Frame.

Down the hall in the control room, our Director Warren Brown has his work cut out for him with 5 cameras running at one time. When we tape Warren is responsible for many things including the “live edit” of the footage and the quality of the shots. He also stops us if there is any question about our content being non-commercial and suitable for Public Television.

Warren also watches the “walk through” of each show to look for camera angles and good shots that will help you, our viewer, understand the project and the techniques. It’s my job to be sure that everything is in the right place at the right time and we stay “on time”.

One of the fun Quick Projects on series 2800 was presented by a consumer, Joanie Breece (on the left) and her Husqvarna Viking Store Owner Sue Beach (on right) from Indiana. Joanie won a drawing held mid 2008 for the opportunity to come to America Sews and present a Quick Project.

I am very excited about all the new things we presented on this series of America Sews. This new Elegant Quilting Collection by Sue Hausmann includes some fabulous designs not just for quilting, a complete set of Robison Anton Thread to stitch them and two projects. The Elegant Quilt and Elegant Placemats, Napkins, and Table Runner. It is not available yet but I just had to tell you. I’ll let you know when it comes to the stores.

Warren watches the walk through with Shelley and David Hooke. David is behind Warren teaching the project on the QBOT, Husqvarna Viking Mega Quilter 18 x 8 and Imperial Quilting Frame. This set up is perfect for your sewing studio!

Here we are actually taping the show. Our floor director Billie is on the box in front and the two camera men are following Warren’s instructions from the control room in their head phones. Billie holds up the time cues on cardboard so the show ends up exactly the right length for public television. The jib camera man on the left is Tom. He has been our jib/overhead camera man since the taping of the first America Sews series in 1991. We really appreciate his ability to get those close up shots in focus that show all the stitching detail and step-by-steps!
After each show, my right hand Marie Duncan takes pictures! Be sure to go to http://www.americasews.com/ There are many projects there and the series 2800 projects will be posted April 1. Shelley, David and I hold up the embellished tote bag created on the show. The pattern and embellishment were drawn in the QBOT software and stitched out on the quilt frame. You are going to love this show. Who ever said the quilting frame was just for quilting quilts?

One of the “treats” of taping is to sit in the make-up chair and be “pampered”. Our make-up artist Kylee Nicole Cook makes us all look fabulous! Well as fabulous as possible!

Susan taught this great pillow as one of the Quick Projects. It teaches tucks, piping, adding bands and “sew” much more. I’m not sure why I look like that but maybe I’m catching something that is falling? Susan’s pillow will be one of the Quick Projects posted on http://www.americasews.com/ after April 1.

I hope you have enjoyed the “trip” to the taping of America Sews! One of the things about this blog is that I don’t seem to be able to keep it short. Everyone says—“you don’t have to make it so long each time” but once I get started it is hard to quit.

“Sew”—I’d like to share some of what else we have been doing!

We drove our van across the country

On New Year’s Day, we had a wonderful visit to Visalia, California. This is where our son Bruce’s wife Tamara’s folks live and they were celebrating with all their children and grandchildren (6 ages six and under!) and kindly invited us to join them! Tamara’s sister and her husband just moved in to a new home and I said, “do we need to make curtains”? The answer was can we do that? Really? We hate the sheet we have on our bedroom window! So we were off!

So one quick trip to the big Joann’s store in Visalia with Tamara’s mom Ruth and Tasha (with a pillow from her beautiful silk bed set) and we were set. While Tasha and I looked at pattern books for ideas on curtain style Ruth went right to the sale rack in the home dec area and pulled everything that was the right color. We all loved one of the fabrics--a deep green micro fiber suede type fabric with tasteful all-over embroidery design. The color was perfect with the colors in the pillow and the embroidery and color of embroidery complemented the colors in the pillow. One problem—there was only 4 yards on the roll. We had originally decided on long drapes with tabs so off to the regular fabrics to see if there was anything similar. After much looking and thinking, we all liked the sale fabric (did I tell you it was only $2.50 a yard on the sale rack?) so much better than anything else it was back to the planning board on drape style. The fabric was 60” wide so two lengths would do the window and we could do short drapes with black wrought iron rod and rings. Back at the house (we sewed at Tasha’s new house not Ruth’s where there were 6 little ones 6 and under), I pulled my Designer Diamond out of the van and in less than 2 hours Tasha had really great window covering! She and husband Brian took down the sheet and
raced Herb and I to get the rods up while we sewed.

A few tips for sewing that suede micro fiber! First, if you press, press very carefully with a warm iron from the wrong side. I used a press cloth anytime pressing was needed from the right side. Because this was the end of the roll it was pretty wrinkled! Put in an Inspira Stretch 90 needle. We purchased the non-woven header by the yard and it stiffened the top edge perfectly. The side edges were selvage so one hem turn worked out well. (We needed all the width possible!) We were able to put in a double 3” bottom hem which is always desirable to help drapes hang better.

Did I mention there were some metal sequins stitched over the embroidered design? Not many however I learned fast not to hit them when sewing! Remove metal sequins from the hem areas before stitching over them. I found this easy to do by removing them from the wrong side and then stitching from the right side and removing or stitching around them as I came to them. In the past I have found it easy to sew right through plastic sequins but certainly not metal sequins or beads! This breaks needles fast!

Probably the main tip Herb and I learned was in sewing on the wrought iron rings. We used the sew-on type because I have the clip-on at home and am not happy with them. Select Button on your Sewing Advisor and adjust the width wider. (The feed teeth drop automatically.) I programmed the button program to stitch the maximum number of times. However the sew-on rings were difficult to get under the ankle to stitch because of the curve in the ring. I stitched several, broke several needles then tried it by hand. Hand sewing this micro fiber is next to impossible!! So Herb thought of placing the stylus on the drape, stitching the Button program over it to create a “satin stitch loop” then inserting the rings. Yes, he is an engineer! This worked wonderfully and I know I will use this technique again for other things.

Here’s Tasha with the drapes and the original pillow we took to the fabric store for matching. This was a fun project!

I mentioned we stopped in Oklahoma to drop off quilts on the way to California. I was asked to do a program at the Oklahoma Quilt and Embroidery Show held at the Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City in January. Herb and I “sew” enjoyed this show! The people were so friendly and great to visit with. Many people were sewing and quilting on old sewing machines and sat down at the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire with Sensor System and the huge space for quilting and loved it. Once they tried the Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator for free motion quilting they decided they had to have it. If you are in the market for a machine for yourself or for a daughter or grandchild, or maybe a friend is thinking about a machine, be sure to visit your Husqvarna Viking store and sew on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire model 830. I am excited that Husqvarna Viking makes a machine available with many top-of-the-line features and Husqvarna Viking quality for around $1000. This is a fabulous sewing machine for starters and makes a wonderful wedding or graduation gift!

During my program at the Oklahoma Quilting and Embroidery Show I asked Educator Kim Boyles to take some pictures. Here the ladies watch intently as I present a project. Notice the lady standing up to see better. Herb was my camera man, packer, and CEO (Carry Everything Out) as always and he demonstrated his favorite, the Felting Machine and Fab-U-Motion in the booth.

I’m demonstrating how to miter corners with the Quick Easy Mitred Binding Tool that was developed by Donelle McAdams, a Husqvarna Viking Dealer in Marion, Indiana. This tool is available at all Husqvarna Viking stores.
I always pass the samples around the room and these ladies are studying the Baby Bag Fold-Out Blanket intently. Instructions for this project taught by Jeanne Perrine on America Sews series 2600 can be downloaded from http://www.americasews.com/ Go to the site, click on the Projects tab and click on Program 2611. While you are on the site, please register. Marie and I will be putting together a newsletter and tips to send you and we want to keep in touch!!

The Quilts in the Show were absolutely fabulous! Herb and I really enjoyed each one. Many were created for special people or special needs. The show also featured the Alzheimer’s Forgetting Piece by Piece Traveling Quilt Exhibit which was amazing. It was difficult to read the information on each quilt because it was so moving so I bought the book to read over and over. People said they enjoyed seeing my antique and vintage quilts and the stories about them. It is “sew” fun to share these with others. I wish I knew more about them. That is why we must be sure to make quilt labels for all our quilts so those coming after us will know the joy we had making them and giving them and the heritage we hope to leave with them.

The Oklahoma Quilt and Embroidery Show is held every year and if you have the opportunity to go next year I would recommend it. Visit or contact Randa Parrish at her store, Prairie Quilts in Hennessy, OK or go to prairiequilts.com for more information.

Well this blog became much longer than I had planned! Please let me know what you like and don’t like about the blog and what you like to hear about!!

Until next time…….
Happy Sewing and Quilting!!!
Sue H