Category Archives: Product Reviews

Seams Unlikely

Seams_Unlikely_Blog_Tour_Badge

Hello everyone!  Thank you so much for stopping by!

jenny profile pic 2I’m Jenny Gabriel alter ego:  StitchinJenny and I’ve mostly been a sewing educator for the past several years.  I’m now a full-time member of the sales team at Humble Sewing Center/SewVac Outlet and I get to be their blogger when I’m not teaching or on the sales floor.

Today is such a special day because, I get to participate in Nancy Zieman’s Book Launch Blog Tour!  I’ll be sharing a little bit about her autobiography and how she is a true inspiration to me.  I think it’s wonderful that Nancy is a long distance mentor to so many of us!

Here’s the cover of her new book!

SeamsUnlikelyBookCover

At the end of this post you will find links & details to allow you participate in Nancy’s book giveaway (YES!  You could win a free copy of her book!)  and also see what other bloggers are posting along this tour.

A Moment to say, “Thanks!”

I’d like to have all of you pretend for a moment that you are reading over Nancy’s shoulder as she reads the following note….

Thank you Nancy for writing this transparent book about your life, struggles with low self esteem, and victories of reaping the rewards of your hard work and perseverance.

It delights my heart that your greatest joy is “helping others to gain the confidence to achieve in the face of challenge.”  I believe your book is fulfilling that goal in exponential ways!

I love the statement/motto that you shared early in your book:

“Each of us faces challenges in life.  Some are bigger than others.  But what happens to us, does not define who we are, unless we let it.”

This quote perfectly captures the true spirit of being an over comer.

It holds a special significance for me because of how it applies to myself and some very special people in my life.  You see, I started a non-profit organization to facilitate teaching sewing to underage survivors of human trafficking. I get to work with them face to face and sometimes I even catch a glimpse of their self-confidence growing right before my eyes.

I thank you because, many aspects of your story are an encouragement to me to persevere in my efforts with these girls.  In your book, you mentioned that sewing became an outlet for you to build your confidence and affirm your worth.  I’m hoping to repeat that success story with these young ladies.

Thank you for your openness as you shared your insights into the painful topic of overcoming low self-esteem and how certain people really helped you with this.

I especially loved reading about your mom and your former English teacher:

MOM-

“…my mother is a giver.  But she doesn’t give, and walk away.  No, she’s the kind of person who […….] walks alongside until you’re strong enough to make it on your own.”

English Teacher-

“Sometimes people fail to recognize how far a little encouragement can go.  Mrs. Fawcett believed in me, and because she believed in me, I could believe in myself as well.”

What great ladies!  They are such good examples of the kind of parent and role model that I want to be.  Thanks for sharing about the difference they made in your life.

In closing, I just want to tell you that I think you are amazing in so many wonderful ways! Thank you for being you and for your excellence at doing what you do!

Kind Regards,

Jenny Gabriel alter ego: StitchinJenny

Video Preview

If you haven’t see this short video about Nancy’s book, watch it here:

Book Give Away!

Want to win a free copy of Nancy’s book?

Readers must comment on Nancy’s February 4th Seams Unlikely Blog Tour Posting to qualify for book giveaways.

Blog Tour Road Map:

February 4          Nancy Zieman           http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/blog-tour/seams-unlikely-book/

February 5          Eileen Roche          http://dzgns.com/blog/

February 5          Pat Sloan          http://patsloan.typepad.com/

February 6          Melissa Stramel          http://melissaslilaclane.blogspot.com

February 6          The Long Ladies          http://www.mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/

February 6          Tori Thompson          http://totallystitchin.net

February 7          Amy Barickman          http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/

February 7          Melissa Mora          http://mellysews.com

February 8          Shari Butler          http://www.doohikeydesignstudio.com/blog/

February 8          Vicki Christensen          http://www.sewinspiredblog.com/

February 9          Carolina Moore          http://alwaysexpectmoore.com

February 9          Kate Mclvor          https://theconfidentstitch.squarespace.com

February 10          Amy Ellis          http://amyscreativeside.com/

February 10          Melissa Mortenson          http://www.polkadotchair.com

February 11          Ilene Miller          http://happyvalleyprimitives.blogspot.com/

February 11          Liz Hicks          http://blogerisms.blogspot.com/

February 11          Rachael Pannepacker          http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

February 12          Bill Gardner          http://www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/

February 12          Elizabeth Evans          http://www.simplesimonandco.com

February 13          Amy Webb          http://www.amylouwhosews.com/ 

February 13          Lindsay Wilkes          http://thecottagehome.blogspot.com

February 14          Gertie Hirsch          http://www.blogforbettersewing.com

February 14          Veronica Philips          http://cloverusa.wordpress.com/

February 15          Jenny Gabriel          http://www.sewvacoutletblog.com

February 15          Laura Wasilowski          http://artfabrik.blogspot.com/

February 16          Frieda Anderson          http://friestyle.blogspot.com/

February 16          Rita Farro          http://ritassewfun.blogspot.com

February 17          Cindy Cloward          http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog/

February 17          Joan Hawley          http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/blog/

February 17          Patty Young          http://modkidboutique.blogspot.com

February 18          Nancy Zieman          http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/

Babylock Ellisimo Upgrade IV Review *****

I stopped by Humble Sewing Center today to pick up Upgrade IV for my Babylock Ellismio Gold. I could not wait to get home to install the upgrade. The box contains the W2 embroidery foot, multi-function foot control, the W2 embroidery foot, a couple of BLSOGUpgradeIVscrews, a bottom plate used to attach the large and small foot pedals, installation instruction manual, and Ellisimo Upgrade IV CD.

New Features include:

  • LED Pointer shows you the exact needle drop position.
  • Multi Function Foot Control that allows you to customize how the foot control functions.
  • Two large 6″ Embroidery fonts.
  • 15 Buttonholes in three sizes with decorative frames.

Led Pointer for Needle Drop Position

When using the included Embroidery foot (W2), you can see the exact spot where the BLSOG2_needlebeamneedle with penetrate the fabric just by touching the icon on the screen.  When doing embroidery you can see exactly where the needle is going to drop so that you embroidery line up is perfect every time. This particularly helpful to me when I use embroidery quilting designs to quilt my quilts.

Customize your Multi-Function Foot Control

With the multi-function foot control, you can customize the functions of the foot control. You can program the pedals to start/stop sewing, thread cutting, setting needle position up or down, single stitching and reverse stitching. And, you can decide if  you want to BLSOG2_footcontrolposition the small pedal to the left or right of the large pedal.

I positioned the small pedal to the left of the larger one. The large pedal has both a toe function which is starting/stopping sewing and a heel function which I set to raise or lower my needle. I shift my foot to the left and press the small pedal to cut the thread.  I  got into the habit of sewing with my left years ago. I find it easier to manage my sewing speed with my left foot. Now all I just move my foot to the right or left instead of using my fingers to cut the thread and raise/lower needle, allowing me to keep my hands on my fabric.

Large 6″ Embroidery Fonts 

BLSOG2_alphabetsHow many times have you wished that you would you have a larger embroidery font for those extra large bath towels or a throw pillow. Now you have them. Two new large embroidery fonts are included with the Ellisimo Upgrade IV.  I am going to buy some ultra suede fabric and start making some Christmas gifts shortly.

Large Buttonholes

Buttons make nice accents on home dec items and clothing. Large buttons are particular neat looking, but making a buttonhole for those large buttons manually is not my thing. I can never get the sides of the buttonholes to match up perfectly. Now you can make perfect buttonholes with embellishments for them. Another idea is to add a row of buttonholes when making a shower curtain. Before finishing the side hem, feed ribbon or lace through the button holes securing the ends in the finished sides.

Installation

The first step in the installation is to read the instruction manual. If you follow the manual step by step the process goes very smoothly. You do need an internet connection to do the upgrade.  When do the upgrade, don’t skip the step that downloads the Upgrade IV user manual.  I printed the manual so that I could reference it as needed. I added the manual to my Ellisimo Inspiration Guide.

Embroidery W2 Foot

Finally, it is time to use the new features. I did an embroidery with the W2 Embroidery Foot. There is a new button on the embroidery screen that shows a laser light in the needle drop position. Mark your embroidery project or place a positioning sticker on your project and press the button. A laser light shows you exactly where you needle will drop so that you can easily position the design for proper placement.

Multi Function Foot Control

I assembled the multi-function foot control with the small pedal on the left. After attaching the new foot control to the machine with two connections, open the settings to page 2. Select the desired function for the large pedal heel and the small pedal.  After closing the settings, I was ready to sew with my new foot control. Wow, what a nice feature. Now I can sew, raise and lower the needle and cut the thread, all hands free.

New Fonts and Buttonholes

I did not have the time to stitch out a some large monograms on ultra suede to make some new throw pillows and to try out the new buttonhole designs.  That will have to wait for another day.

Conclusion

I am extremely pleased with the new Ellisimo Upgrade IV. The functionality of the multi-control foot pedal is great. I like the hands free operation. And, the laser light for needle drop down position makes it so easy to properly position embroidery designs where you are doing the first design or adding another design to an existing project.  The new fonts are ready and waiting for my next embroidery project.