Thursday, November 3, 2016

You're Invited Sewlebrity Event November 18th-20th

Pack your bags & head to Woodridge, Illinois to the award winning Quilters Quest! Spend the weekend surrounded by passionate quilters, seamstress, and crafters while learning new techniques and sewing on top of the line innovative BERNINA machines. Your weekend package includes 4 classes from nationally recognized instructors and bonafide BERNINA Ambassadors- including Joanne Sharpe, Cheryl Sleboda, Tracy Mooney, and myself.

We will be by your side to encourage you to push your creative boundaries while learning and/or trying something new! Have you ever wanted to learn the basics of a serger? I'll be there to help guide you and unlock the powers of a L450 (or L460!) In addition you'll get a chance to create mixed media sewing art with Joanne Sharpe, experience all the goodness of in-the-hoop embroidery with Tracy Mooney, and complete a stellar table runner with Cheryl Sleboda using heirloom sewing techniques.
Register today to ensure you have a spot in this VIP event November 19 and 20th:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October Meanderings & WIP

Somehow... even after all these years I can't get a grasp on October. The sleepy lull of summer bores me terribly but then, and always, October hits. It always hits hard. Suddenly I feel like I'm going 330 mph. We're only a few days into October and I've been more productive in the past 72 hours than I was all summer. Wanna see what I've been up to? (spoiler alert if you're following me on Instagram you might already know!)

Speaking of 330 miles per hour. We had a great day at the drag strip watching NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove. These guys and gals go. so. fast. It's really hard to put the experience into words but if you're into fast & loud engines or racing- I recommend seeing top fuel drag cars if you get the chance.

This week turned t-shirt waste into paper! Which was really cool- this had been a project I intended on trying out for quite some time. I picked up a thrift store blender so that I could create the pulp mixture needed- however the really cool antique blender I bought. Uh, well let's just say it was broken. Picture me plugging it in and immediately a slurry mess started projectile shooting out the bottom. No, if you're wondering I hadn't checked to make sure it was OFF before plugging it in. Lesson learned. Also: sometimes things are sent to the thrift store for a reason. No tutorial posted for this yet but maybe one to come. After I replace my blender!

Yesterday was spent- aging and weathering a perfectly good costume to make it look more authentic. To make my 7 year son... look more like a real. assassin. (sigh!) Which I suppose is a whole other blog post brewing. He's going to be cosplaying (and trick or treating) as Connor from Assassins Creed. It's a gamer thing- there's a whole deep story to it but essentially he's taking out people and robbing them. The mom in me, does not approve. Back to this costume: I used a variety of techniques all outlined in my IG Stories. Including but not limited to tea baths, cleaning the kitchen counter with it, baking the costume in an oven.

This month will be full of projects that I hope to start & finish before the holiday rush. What are you currently working on?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How Many Yards of Fabric Can You Get From a Bed Sheet?

Walk into any thrift store, chances are you'll find bed sheets. I love love love picking up vintage sheets to use for sewing garments, pillows, and even to back a quilt. Learning to sew using thrifted bed sheets (or upcycled t-shirts) allowed me to experiment with new techniques and ideas without the guilt of ruining expensive fabric. The reward was also knowing that what I was making, no matter the pattern, would likely be unique its own. How many people do you see walking around in a He Man Masters of the Universe dress?

 While of course I prefer the hunt & always encourage buying second hand- sometimes other favorable options are available. Yesterday while at Target I noticed they were clearancing out the Dorm Essentials. XL Twin size bed sheet sets were $8. I grabbed two sets- one was a organic woven and the other a 100% cotton jersey with subtle print. I'll be using these to work on my dye experiments.

The next time you're looking for muslin or fabric, remember this: (Pin it for later!)

Monday, September 26, 2016

All About BERNINA Sewing Feet

Presser Feet! They're not just tedious accessories that get tucked in a drawer! Today I want to tell you all about the BERNINA Presser Feet & help you understand how they're made, why they're made that way, and clue you in on what the heck all those markings and numbers/letters actually mean (if you don't already know!) There are nearly 100 different feet options available and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Read about the 10 BERNINA sewing feet you should own to help get your shopping list started.

What Are Presser Feet?
Presser feet hold your fabric against the feed dogs and guide it in a straight line as you sew. That's why you have to raise the presser foot when you want to move your fabric out from under the needle. Lots of great sewing with just the standard foot that came with your machine, however, some techniques can be a bit of a challenge with a standard or basic universal foot.

How Are BERNINA Presser Feet Made?
Watch this and find out!

In 1954 the first model 530 featured a patented clip-on presser feet. More than 60 years later this unique clip on style foot is still being used!

Why Are There Indentations, Markings, and Holes in Some Feet? 
Most often you'll find indentations on the sole behind the needle opening. This allows the stitched area to easily pass below and out the back of the foot. Any indentations in a foot on the front of the foot before the needle opening are a good indicator that the foot can be used for forward/reverse/multi motion stitch patterns. Larger 'tunnels' and grooves are cut from feet to allow cording and trims to pass through.

Have you ever seen a foot with a hole it? These feet are generally used for embellishment- and indicate something is fed through there. It could be used for cords, elastic, or other trim.

Markings or engraved notches on the foot serve as visual guides and markers.

Understanding the Letters on A BERNINA Presser Foot 
Each foot is numbered but it may have one or two additional versions with a letter following the number.

No Letter: These feet are made for BERNINA models with a maximum stitch width of 5.5mm but are compatible with models that have a 9mm (but the maximum width of the stitches you can use is 5.5mm)

The Letter "C":  These feet are made for BERNINA models with a maximum stitch width of 9mm. The "C" stands for Coded and refers to the sensor on the foot. The sensor works with the electronics of the machine to engage the wider stitch widths available. The soles on these "C" feet are designed to fit wider feed dogs.

The Letter "D": These feet are made to be used with the Dual Feed feature on selected models. They help you to feed all layers at the same speed and are extremely helpful for precision piecing.

Do you have a favorite foot you own & love? Leave a comment below and tell me which one it is and what you use it for.

I'm a BERNINA Ambassador: What does that mean? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rust Experiments: Using a Stapler

Continuing my lax journaling of rust dying today. I hope you're enjoying the posts so far. For this I used a stapler and (new) staples. I wasn't sure what effect it would create on the white cotton fabric but I did lay out the staples in a half-hazzardly-yet-plotted state. Because I was using metal that had not yet been rusted, I needed to let this set a few days longer.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Best In Show

Photography holds a special place in my heart, in the grand scheme of things it's what lead me to find my passion for sewing. After Sam was born- I felt a little lost & a lot stale. I loved becoming a mom- it's the best job in the whole wide world, but while growing into that role I had felt as if I needed to sacrifice those passions and goals that defined who I was before becoming a mom. I'm wiser now, I know that not to be true- but there has been a winding road of discovery along the way of which I am incredibly grateful for.

Lake Gold // Photo by Jenelle Montilone 
I recently shared some adventures I've been having shooting abandoned locations. As I find myself reaching again for the camera to create art, not just capture it. I thought it would be a fun idea to enter into our county fairs Amature Photography Show. Participants were allowed to submit 3 photographs with strict parameters and they needed to fit into certain categories.

I displayed a photograph I took on our family trip to the lake, a creative angle of Columbine growing in Ida's garden next door, and finally a broken gauge from the insides of Ingersol-Rand.

Soon Forgotten // Photograph Jenelle Montilone 
Well, count me as surprised when I learned that the Soon Forgotten photograph took Best In Show, First place in it's class, and was recognized with a local honor. My Lake Gold photo also took a ribbon for it's class.

Ida's Garden // Photograph Jenelle Montilon

Fair week here in New Jersey, I hope, is the same in your small towns across the country. I've enjoyed many long hot summer days on those grounds as a fair goer and as a volunteer with the FFA. It's such a joy to experience the same event and discover more ways for our family to connect with the local community. Next year the boys hope to enter into some of the fair competitions too! What do you remember most about your county fair? Do you still look forward to them?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Interview with C&T Publishing

In 2015, C&T Publishing or rather, Stash Books excitedly published my book The Upcycled T-shirt. I had a chance to sit down with Katie who asked some fantastic questions about my creative process and the journey of a t-shirt.

KVA: In the introduction to your book, you write that TrashN2Tees has saved the equivalent of 404,407 T-shirts from landfills! Did you ever think you would have such an impact on clothing recycling? 
JM: In 2012, I undertook a project that nearly put me under... 

To read the entire interview head over to the C&T blog now. 


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