sewing + social media + so much more

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

How to Make Yellow Plastic Look NEW! From Drab to FAB!

We have all been there!

In a thrift shop, garage or estate sale and see the vintage machine at an incredible price. You lift up the lid and there it is...the yellow plastic 😒

The machine is not to blame! It is not made cheaply, it is the plastic.

I am going to share with you now how I took YEARS this lovely New Home Memory Craft 6000 and made it look brand new using only a few items I happened to have right here at home ( and I bet you do too)!

refurbish your sewing machine



Plastics are useful but over time can become discolored from a variety of factors but the most common is UV:

"Exposure to UV radiation can cause plastics to change color (turn yellow), crack, break, shatter or even melt!"

Polymersolutions.com has more to read on the topic of yellowing plastics.

I turned to the hive mind to find out what they knew about how to undo the ravages of UV on vinatge sewing machines. I asked in my Instagram stories and there were a few amazing people that gave me leads.

The best one ended me up at The 8 bit guy on YouTube.

It was everything I needed to know! I reccomend you watch the video! This guy is BRILLIANT!

To better demonstrate how this process works, I wanted bigger model to test out.  This vintage Kenmore 12 stitch cover was pretty awful ( bless her heart).

It was so yellowed, this was the best photo I could get! It came with a fantastic machine but was definetly showing her age. And at $7.99, I simply could not pass this great machine up!




** Before I start, I am not a professional scientist nor am I a sewing machine technician, I am doing this using my personal machines only. Please try this at your own risk**

The tools needed are easy to find and inexpensive to boot!

Saran Wrap
30 Volume Deveolper
Disposable gloves
paint brushes ( variety of sizes depending on what you are working on)
a plastic or glass dish
safety glasses ( I wear glasses so I was safe)
Q-tips
Drop cloth




Pour a good amount of the developer into a plastic bowl or bin and fill up your brush.


Apply a nice thick coat onto your surface.


This is where the magic starts!


Cover the area with saran wrap. This step is absolutely necesssary, if the developer drys out, it stops working.

If you have your hair lightened, you will recognize the use of the wrap!



Oddly enough, the very thing that caused the issue is the thing that will make the yellowing better! The next step it to put it in full sunlight! You can use a UV light if you have one but I don't and I cannot imagine buying one.


After 4 hours of hanging out at the spa, I brought the case back inside, gave it a quick clean up with clear water and paper towels ( please use the rubber gloves for this step also).

Can you believe the difference in the before and after?



It is amazing that it only lifted the discoloration and not even the scuff marks.




Here is more of what the big reveal for the New Home Memory Craft machine looks like after the treatment.

But first...

This is the before...




These are the brushes I used and how I placed the saran wrap.

I used very small watercolor brushes to work around the sides. I did not take apart the machine. If you are someone that is comfortale taking your machine apart and dunking the plastic pieces in the developer,  go for it!

The taking apart is not the issue for me, the putting back together is a whole different issue!





And a great progress shot of how fast this technique works!




Just like new!



When putting the machine in the sun, I had her on a small table and propped the top up so that it was flat and even to keep the developer from moving too much.  I checked frequently to quickly blot up with q tips any areas that were threatening to go into creavces.

The change is amazing! Now to set her up and start sewing!


It is a thrill to understand the whys of this issue and how to undo the damage to reveal something of beauty!



I hope you will give this technique for how to remove yellowing plastic from your vintage machines a try too!

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Mister Domestic's Loved to Pieces Blog PARTY!

Today I am finally sharing my Lone Star Quilt top make using Mister Domestic's Loved to Pieces fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics.

I chose to use the blues and greens from this incredible line.  This was not my first idea when I was asked to participate but once I got the fabrics in my hot little hands I did a 180 and decided on something else altogether. It is interesting how actually SEEING fabrics can change your mind.



I thought I had it all figured out but then I realized I did the math incorrectly. I had to rip the entire thing apart and pretty much start from scratch.

It was frustrating at first but the reconstruction was not that horrible as I had expected. I learned some great things from stitching it piece by piece.

The whole quilt was so much easier to process when I could see it all up on the design wall! 





Not fun but it went back together again pretty quickly!

With the help of the in house 11 year old, I was able to grab some photos by the Rappahannock River around the corner from the childhood home of George Washington.

We went rock jumping with our filp flops and had a great time! I had to climb high up on one rock and he took my camera ( I may have been scared) and climbed another rock far across from me to capture a few photos


Lone Star Quilt


The quilt was pieced using Aurifil 50 wt thread. Because I was pressing all the seams open, I decreased my stitch length to 2.1. Decreasing the stitch length makes the stitches tighter and less likely to show thread when pressing. 





I think this is my favorite shot!  We had to hike along to find a variety of opportunities for photos.  It was such a beautiful day and uncrowded along the river making it just a fun hike.

Not all the photo ops were dangerous but it is always better when there is a story attached 😉

Ask me about my Aurifil train case photo sometime, it was literally life or death and lectures from strangers!

Rappahannock RIver

He is SO hired as my new photographer!

For the first time ever in this house everyone loves a quilt. The in house teen says it looks like impressionist art. I was all giddy when she gave such a wonderful compliment!










Thank you so much Mathew for inviting me to play with your beautiful fabrics 💗💗💗




**I don’t promote anything unless I have big heart eyes for it and believe it is useful for you. This post contains affiliate links. These links are not an extra cost for you but I will receive a small commission if you click through and purchase **


Find more fabulous projects by visiting these incredible makers!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Best Way to Use Up Fabric Scraps!

The month of May and now June have left me in the dust! 

Too many activities to mention and gone away from home more than actually being home had an impact on both my sewing productivity and my studio cleaning was non existent! 

I took on the challenge of my studio head right after my daughter's high school graduation was over.  The purge was long overdue. LONE OVERDUE!  I dove in to the fabrics, thread and unfinished projects.

Instead of just passing over some of the unfinished projects ( that is what usually happens), I decided to take the time to complete some of the smaller or faster finishes first.

These cushion covers for my sofa were my first finish!
 


 These are 100% made from fabric scraps.  The string blocks are so simple to make!

When I started these I wrote a blog post and added a short video for how to make string blocks. This project will at least start you on your way to busting some scraps. These rainbow blacks really made my and my kids smile!

For the curved edges, I tried out Sharon McConnell's Classic Curves Ruler. It makes the perfect curves in a variety of sizes to suit just about and project you are working on.




During my Summer Purge, I am also saying goodbye to some of my stash! I have donated over thee bags of fabrics!

I am also having weekly giveaways on my Instagram feed! This week is this sweet bundle.

You will not want to miss out on this opportunity to win so hop over to my Instagram feed by visiting gogokim


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Friday, May 18, 2018

Missing Market not in Portland 2018 Giveaway SWAG!

Missing Market Giveaway Swag!





International Quilt Market is such an exciting time for everyone!  All of the quilting industry under one roof with new fabrics, threads, sewing machines and collections of every kind!

Heather Valentine from The Sewing Loft and I ( gogokim) are hosting a #missingmarket event on Instagram and invite you to join!

If you are not on Instagram, we did not want you to miss out on the opportunity to grab some Quilt Market goodness!  We teamed up with the most incredible sponsored giveaway by leaders of the sewing and quilting industry that want to enjoy their FABULOUS Quilt Market swag!


One very fortunate WINNER will receive this fabulous prize package including:


The Quilter's Planner $25 gift card to Fabric Store of Winner's Choice:





Fat Quarter Shop $25 gift card for fatquartershop.com 








Moda Fabrics  15 Moda Charm Packs + A Sample Spree Tote Bag:




Ofla Creates 45mm Aqua Splash Rotary Cutter 45mm Endurance Blade 28mm Quick Blade Change Rotary Cutter:




Inspiring Stitches Two Heartland Heritage Calendars:




Patty Young from Mod Kid Boutique $25 Gift Card to Mod Kid Boutique:






Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios  $25 Gift Certificate to Blue Nickel Studios Shop:



Gudrun from GEQuiltdesigns $25 gift certificate to gequiltdesigns.com:




Sandy Fitzpatrick Winners choice of 4 patterns from www.HissyfitzDesigns.com:




Becky from Patchwork Posse 2018 Patchwork Calendar + pocket edition:




A Large Spool Collection from Aurifil




Curated Quilts Copy of  Log Cabin and Minimalistic Issues:



Michael Miller Fabrics Fat 1/4 bundle of Glam Girls by American Dream House:



Quilt-Pro  (1) Copy of Quilt-Pro for Mac or Windows:





Sunflower Quilts $25 GC to Sunflower-Quilts.com:







Martingale Publishing 1 free book: http://www.shopmartingale.com/more-free-motion-machine-quilting-1-2-3.html:





International Association of Quilters 1 year membership to International Association of Quilters:





Patchwork Threads $25 gift certificate to patchworkthreads.com



SOAK Celebration Soakbox Trio https://us.soakwash.com/collections/sets/products/celebration-soakbox-trio





Quiltpro Studio Chicks $25 GC to Fabric Store of Winner's Choice






This giveaway will be run through Rafflecopter.  You are not required to do all of the options offered. Your chances of winning will increase with the more options you choose.  The giveaway is open to all of our international friends!  There will be only one winner.  The giveaway closes at 20 May 2018 at 4pm PT ( the same time as the close of Quilt Market) and a random winner will be chosen from Rafflecopter and contacted by on or by 23 May 2018.

Many thanks to our sponsors for this incredible opportunity!


Have fun and GOOD LUCK !

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, May 7, 2018

How Blogging Can Increase Your Profit!

Blogs are SO 2009!

How would a blog help your creative business?

A blog is a wonderful way to expand on your business story. Posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and many others outlets are just a tease of what your shop or creative business has to offer. Why limit your self and what you have to offer to your customers?

Many shops have a website for their business that does absolutely nothing to help sales. If you were sold the idea of a website to build your business ( especially if you are not selling online), someone was misguiding you. That website is probably sitting collecting all kinds of internet dust and looks like it does belong in 2009!

Time to reconsider a working blog with an updated look to bring your business looking its best! 



A blog is a place where you can create the ongoing story of your shop, what is happening, tutorials and other great content for your customers to get to know you better! There is no other way for customers online to really get to know you, your staff and the products and services you offer.  No other social media or newsletter can offer the same storytelling capabilities of a blog.


There are many free ways to start a blog and very low cost ways to customize the site to suit your needs.

I can recommend two that are easy to learn and easy to use:

Blogger


Go-Go Kim is a Blogger Blog that looks and acts a regular website. I have a custom .com a personalized logo icon and my social media is connected to take you to everywhere I am on the internet. I also have a kim@gogokim.com email address. These are all easy to do, are inexpensive and make your business look professional.

WordPress

Wordpress ia another free alternative for a blog. Wordpress would be a great alternative for a shop that will be selling product. 




You can also create your own look or purchase templates ( they are inexpensive) to give a professional look to your blog. I recently used pipdig to update my blog look and found the product and experience flawless. The templates they offer vary in price from $49- $59 and are available for either Blogger or WordPress. They also provide an installation service included in the cost ( HELLO something I can cross off my to do list).



Blogs are a great place to easily run giveaways and contests. Not everyone is on all of the social media outlets but if they are online, they will have access to your blog.

Having a big sale or a great event with a well known designer? Your blog is the way to share all of the details prior to the event, the photos from the event and get people looking forward to your next event. The same goes for classes. The customers love to see photos of what is happening. To your prospective customer, it is the perfect way to show them exactly what you offer, what to expect when they are in your shop and can ease fears of the unknown.

After you set up your blog, start a schedule of posting 2-3 times a week. You can have " New Product Tuesday" or " What's In my Stash Friday" to give a constant that your viewers will look forward to each week. I have Motivation Monday to help keep me on track for blogging! I play with WIP Wednesday to share all of my ongoing projects to help me keep up with what I can doing and to inspire myself to keep going!

With a blog you can set up your own Block of the Month program with how-to posts including step by step photos or short videos. With Blogger you can add a linky party for people to share their blocks throughout the month!

Your content is your own so the sky is the limit!

With all of your socials connected to your blog, it is a home base for everything you do on the world wide web. People will learn to look forward to hearing more about what your shop or business is doing and how they can become involved.

There is no reason that your business cannot take a leap into the blogging world with a little time and very little investment!

I will be talking more about how to create a low cost alternative to expensive websites during International Quilt Market in Portland, May 2018, please sign up for my business seminar ' How to Build Your Shop Social Media on a Shoestring Budget'. 


** I am not an affiliate for any of the brands mentioned**


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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Lone Star Quilt { free quilt pattern link}

The Lone Star Quilt has been a long time dream of mine to make. I tried once about two years ago and, for whatever reason, it just didn't click.  Wrapping my head around the seam placement was not working out for me.

Fast forward to last week...

Shari Butler asked me a few weeks ago if I would make something with her new fabric line In the Meadow. I adore Shari, so, of course, I said YES!

One of my son's teachers is having a new baby and these fabrics are PERFECT for a baby quilt! I decided it was time to have a go at a Lone Star quilt again.


The pattern is FREE on Moda Bake Shop. It is Jellied Lone Star by Terri Ann Swallow.  It took a few tries and some time unsewing but I finally figured out a way that made complete sense to me for how to make the seams line up properly!

I am a complete visual learner and had to figure out for myself how to conquer my visual block. And I DID IT!


Once I could get the seams right, it was super fast to get the pieces together! I will be making a video today for how to do this technique!




For the piecing I used Aurifil 2405 which is a white but with a hint of pink.  The quilting was Aurifil 2887. It is more of an olive green but melted perfectly in the Robert Kaufman green background!



The in house 11 year old helped me out with photos! We took these at Rose Mount Farm. It is a lovely equestrian center just around the corner from us and their drive is a place of beauty!



The quilting was simple. The quilt is for a baby so I wanted to keep it huggable not dense.





Check out what these other FABULOUS designers are making:

Tuesday      Jedi Craft Girl | www.jedicraftgirl.com
Thursday    Jina Barney Designs | http://jinabarneydesignz.blogspot.com 
Tuesday     Gigi's Thimble | www.gigisthimble.com
Thursday    Debby Brown Quilts | higheredhands.blogspot.com
Tuesday      Piper's Girls | www.pipersgirls.com
Thursday    Go Go Kim | http://www.gogokim.com
Tuesday      Kea Bee | http://keabee.com
Thursday    Doohikey Designs | www.doohikeydesigns.com/blogs/gethescoop/
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