Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Visit with Martha Pullen

I can’t wait to tell you more about the new top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking sewing and embroidery machine coming in June! I’ve been traveling and “sew” many people have questions. Some even think they have answers! I’m on my way to Sweden tomorrow to work out of the Husqvarna Viking factory and offices for over a month and will be sending more information as often and as much as possible! Be sure to watch the Husqvarna Viking website too!

Herb and I flew to Philadelphia for the Martha Pullen Extravaganza Mar 26-29. The Husqvarna Viking host dealership was Stony Brook and in this picture we are at a special open house at one of the Stony Brooke stores. We had such a fun evening visiting with many Stony Brook customers and many of the people from the Martha Pullen Extravaganza and their husbands and one even brought her tiny doggie, Daisy in a carrier. We enjoyed great goodies and wonderful fellowship.
I had the opportunity to sign Cactus Punch Happy Sewing Embroidery Collections and America Sews books and to demonstrate the Husqvarna Viking Designer SE Limited Edition to many of the husbands. They were really impressed with the technology and ease of operation, the Designer SE Limited Edition upgrade exchange offer and $1000 shopping spree. Many of these ladies purchased a new Designer SE Limited Edition during the school and quite a few used their $1000 shopping spree to purchase their Huskylock 936. I know some of them are already planning to exchange/upgrade to the new top-of-the-line and put their names on the list!

Below you see Howard and Elizabeth Anderson, owners of Stony Brook Sewing Centers with Martha, Herb and me. It was especially fun to ask Howard and Elizabeth to share the story of how they met and got married. Howard was hosting a hands-on special sewing event and suddenly the Sewing Star Teacher was unable to come just two days before the event. He called me and I hooked him up with Jim Suzio to fill in. Jim and Elizabeth had worked together and when Howard was trying to put together kits and Jim suggested he call Elizabeth who had recently moved to the Philadelphia area. Wow, the rest is history. Howard and Elizabeth were married on a Husqvarna Viking Dealer trip in Hawaii.

The fantastic classes at the Martha Pullen Extravaganza events are taught by Husqvarna Viking Educators who have been licensed by Martha to teach her techniques and the special classes and projects for this event.

Jody Hooker and Deborah Yedziniak are demonstrating a beautiful silk embroidered pillow with Madiera Applique. Jody is known for all types of heirloom sewing on Husqvarna Viking and especially for serger heirloom sewing on the Huskylock 936. She recently made a guest appearance on America Sews series 2600 and taught a fabulous Huskylock pillow which demonstrates many techniques including putting in the zipper by Huskylock! Go to, series 2700, click on the tab for projects to get complete instructions! Jody also has made an excellent DVD on Serger Heirloom and several great patterns. Look for them at your Husqvarna Viking store.

Deb is a very talented hand stitchery artist as well as machine. I love to share that quite a few years ago, Deb developed the special smocking stitches found on Husqvarna Viking sewing machines. You see, she had a dream to teach the whole world to hand smock. She found out the whole world did not want to learn to hand smock! While many really enjoyed the beauty of smocking, they weren’t willing to put the time into a garment for a grandchild that might spill ice cream on it! Enter Deb with her technical knowledge of the technique and the sewing machine. In the beginning, Deb gave programs to program the stitches, but then she worked with our R & D Engineers in Sweden to get the stitches built-in to Husqvarna Viking sewing machines. And yes, you will have the wonderful smocking stitches, the waves, cable and all on the new Husqvarna Viking! Deb has books to teach you how to smock the Husqvarna Viking way! Ask your store.

Connie Palmer is one of these special Educators teaching the beautiful projects. Connie is also the one who perfected appliqué and embroidery on sweaters. She has a DVD demonstrating how to stabilize and embroider sweaters. Below she is wearing beautiful designs from the Husqvarna Viking Thread Art Tapestry Embroidery Collection number 183. Artist Sue Patten has been a guest on America Sews demonstrating this technique free motion on the Mega Quilter and Next Generation Frame. Sue Patten did the art for this design collection and worked with Robison Anton to create the Thread Tapestry thread collection so that the designs stitch out with the perfect colors and color variations.

Connie also has created special children’s wear patterns and design collections, but my absolute favorite is the Husqvarna Viking Heirloom Insertion Embroidery Collection number 189 because it is so easy to create this technique in the hoop with no lace shaping! Beautiful!

Peggy Dilbone is pictured below with a crowd of students around her. They are watching a serger technique before going back to “their” Designer SE machines to stitch it on their projects. Connie has created DVDs on heirloom serging and sewing including one that teaches you to create a “pet screen” tote bag and includes embroidery designs for embellishment with “flip flop” shoes (or do you call them thongs?—but that is another story!). Peggy’s DVDs and patterns are available at your local Husqvarna Viking store too.

Go to, special events to find out where these talented Educators will be in the future. They teach special Martha Pullen licensed schools at Husqvarna Viking dealerships all over the country. Be sure to attend one near you!

Key to the teaching is master teacher Kathy McMakin. Kathy is Vice President of Martha Pullen Co. and the best teacher I have ever had the privilege to take a class from! Here she demonstrates a technique to a student!

One of the traditions at the Martha Pullen events is that Martha and I autograph the Husqvarna Viking sewing machines and Huskylock sergers that are purchased (if the new owner wants it signed!). We sold many Huskylock top-of-the-line 936 models and below we are signing them. So many ladies told me they had an older serger at home, but it was a challenge to thread and to get the tensions right. They loved the Sewing Advisor that takes the guesswork out of setting up for any serger technique and the ease of threading and smooth feeding and speed control!

It was wonderful to talk with two ladies who were in their seventies and told me they had never sewn until after they turned seventy. One is making quilts for all her grandchildren! Both had owned entry level machines and purchased the Designer SE Limited Edition and used their $1000 shopping spree to purchase their Huskylock 936. They were “sew” excited and looking forward to coming to Stony Brook for lessons and classes. One other young woman told me she bought her first machine a few years ago. It was an entry level White and I was on the video teaching her how to use it. She has enjoyed sewing and was really excited to be going home with a new Designer SE and Huskylock. Of course Martha and I signed them.

I hope you can see the signatures on the back of these Designer SE sewing and embroidery machines! They also have “I’m adopted” signs hanging from them. Don’t you love it! I know they are going to a great home!

One of the fun things that always comes up at Martha Pullen events is that Martha absolutely loves D7, the entredeux wing needle hemstitch. She thinks it is the best entredeux stitch she has ever seen. Now Martha calls D7 “her stitch” and she wanted to be sure it will be on the new Husqvarna Viking. I assured her that this would most certainly be there and she could continue to call D7 “her stitch”!

It was really exciting to demonstrate the Husqvarna Viking Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator to Martha. She had never seen it in action and was very interested in how it stitches so effortlessly! After a quick demo, I asked Martha to try it and she was amazed how easily she stitched free motion with even stitch length and none of the stress in her neck and shoulders! Several ladies used their $1000 shopping spree for the Fab-U-Motion! If you have not had the opportunity to use the Fab-U-Motion for free motion quilting or free motion art, visit your Husqvarna Viking store and sit down and stitch. You will be amazed how it changes the way you feel about free motion.

Tip: Use your left foot on the foot switch! Your right foot knows how to sew and instead of holding the switch down, your right foot wants to control the sewing speed! No need to control sewing speed, the Stitch Regulator “brain” does it all for you!

Martha had invited me to be the “key note speaker” at the special banquet Friday night. I titled my talk “Are You Fun To Live With?” and tried to combine some humor with life experiences and life lessons. We sang God Bless America in tribute to service men and women serving our country.

Many people shared personal stories and life experiences with me. It is always so wonderful to make new friends and to spend time with people we already know. I “sew” enjoyed spending time with a friend Pat Brown. She was a quilt shop owner and Husqvarna Viking store owner many years ago and I hadn’t seen her for such a long time. It was good to catch up. Pat took home a new Husqvarna Viking Designer SE and Huskylock 936 so I look forward to seeing more of her in the future.

WOW - another blog as sped by. More to come in Part 2

Happy Sewing!


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