Editor’s note: Updated September 2017
I’ve been a Canadian ambassador for Baby Lock Sewing Machines for several years now, and over that time I’ve used a variety of their sewing machine models.
Late in December in 2012 I received the Unity Sewing Machine from Baby Lock. Over the next couple of years I published about it quite a bit. Here all of those posts are gathered together.
New Baby Lock Beginnings at Christmas
December 18, 2012
Betty, my Baby Lock representative here in Ontario, has arranged to have a new sewing machine delivered to me. The box arrived yesterday by courier. The new Unity machine has many unique features including the Baby Lock Designers Gallery embroidery software, creative accessory feet, a multi-function foot controller, the Baby Lock stabilizer, a continuous border hoop plus other hoops, Palette embroidery software and a gold standard comprehensive care program.
Betty is coming over this Friday and we’re going to set the new machine up for use.
Talk about a great Baby Lock Christmas! Watch this youtube video for more.
I’m Cookin’ on the Unity
December 29, 2012
Christmas was just a few days away when I received the new Unity sewing machine by Baby Lock. My Mom was urging me to make one of my patterns for my sister-in-law Beth. Beth lives in Michigan and is part of a Bunco group that gets together for a ladies night every few weeks. Food is a big part of the get-together and Mom thought Beth could use a Home Cooking Casserole Cover. The cover is made up of two separate quilted sections that fold together to cover a 9″ x 13″ dish. One of these sections, when open, becomes a table runner.
Making the casserole cover gave me a great opportunity to try out the new Unity machine using the walking foot. This walking foot is adjustable allowing you to slow down the speed of the upper feed dog, speed the upper feed up or leave the upper and lower feed dog speeds equal. Nifty Doodle! I really enjoyed the walking foot and Beth is thrilled with her new casserole tote. Happy Bunco Beth!
Amazingly Versatile Machine
January 10, 2013
I’ve been giving my new Unity sewing machine by Baby Lock a good workout this week making a fairly large and bulky bag. If you’ve ever changed from an old familiar machine to a new one you’ll know all about that uncomfortable adjustment period as you discover the limitations or the new horizons that your machine offers, I always wonder how the new machine is going to perform on the bulky things, like bags, that I sew. So when I put my foot to the pedal for the first time I’ve got lots of angst.
My new bag has multiple layers but sewing through 4 layers of fabric,2 layers of interfacing and foam batting proved no problem for the Unity. And that’s WITHOUT USING THE WALKING FOOT!!! Another test of a sewing machines mettle is sewing through that dreaded Velcro hook and loop tape. I’m happy to report Velcro was no match for the Unity which stitched through it without a hitch.
I’m really, really impressed with this machine and am looking forward to lots of happy hours breezing through my projects! P.S. Excuse the clutter around the machine – the creative process can by very messy!
Blown Away By Baby Lock
February 2, 2013
Not only am I blown away by the capabilities of my new Unity sewing machine I am literally going to be blown down Highway 403 this coming weekend to demonstrate at Ma Cherie Fabrics in Burlington, Ontario. I’ve had Unity machine since December and have lots to share with fashion sewists at Ma Cherie Fabrics and Friendships. Demonstrations will take place at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, February 9th.
I’ll be working with two of my patterns to show you what this amazing cross-over machine can do. Using the Making Waves place mat and runner pattern I’ll show basic functions, Laser Pinpoint technology and embroidery stitching. We’ll move on to my Bag-ette pattern. It’s a trendy little bag where we’ll look at free motion quilting, simple embroidery using the hoop and the Smart Sensor feature. Come on over for a visit, my demos and lunch with Linda Blake and I – you’ll be glad you did!
February 13, 2013
I’m a Baby Lock Ambassador in Canada and just before Christmas I took delivery of a brand new Unity Sewing Machine. Although it is impossible to become an expert in the time I have had the machine I must say that I have become an enthusiast.
The name of the machine says it all. The Unity is an all purpose workhorse for fashion sewing, embroidery, free motion quilting, quilt piecing and every other use you might have in the course of your sewing day. I am especially impressed with the machines ability to sew heavier seams with ease without the use of the included even feed foot.
Free motion quilting used to be a stressful experience but not with the Unity. Embroidery setup is quick and easy. There are so many extra features on the machine to enjoy like the laser Sensor Pen feature. This machine even sews sideways!
So if you are new to sewing and looking for a machine that will help you though all your creative projects I recommend the Unity. If you are a gal, who like me, had one machine for embroidery, one for piecing, and one for heavy work why not do a spring clean. Sell those old machines and free up your space by investing in the amazing Unity by Baby Lock.
The Baby Travels!
March 9, 2013
Yesterday I was pleased to show off the Unity to some members of my quilting guild at a paper piecing class in Kirkton, Ontario.
The girls wondered if the Unity was heavy when I wandered in with it. The Unity actually weighs about as much as my young nephew but it doesn’t squirm. I wouldn’t want to carry him or the Unity too far but it’s doable! Weight aside it was great to have the machine in class. With features like the stadium lighting, large needle bed, superb accuracy and self cutting thread I didn’t want to take along any other machine.
I was chatting away and sewing at the same time when my neighbor suggested I answer my phone. Of course it wasn’t my phone, it was the Unity talking to me. Did you know that the Unity can be programmed in 13 languages? Too cool, way too cool! Click on the picture to learn why my guild friends refer to my machine as the Mercedes of sewing machines!
Go to my Facebook page to see how the paper piecing turned out. P.S. be sure to ‘Like’ my page while you’re there!
Baby Quilting & the New Modern Convenience Pattern
March 14, 2013
I’ve been working on a new table runner and place mat pattern called Modern Convenience and decided to throw caution to the wind and machine quilt it myself. I’m not talking about straight line quilting – I mean the real thing, wavy, crazy, free flowing free motion quilting.
I never really took to free motion quilting on my old machine. The process was fraught with problems. None of us wants to do a crumby job when free motion quilting but birds nests of thread under my work, threads breaking, choppy looking stitching and other unsightly messes were all I had been able to achieve in the past.
Well, I can finally do it! Not only can I do it, but I can do a very respectable job of it! And I suspect that you’d be able to do it really well too on the Unity by Baby Lock. See the result of my work in the picture. Consider that I have not done free motion quilting in years. The only practice I had before starting this place mat was scribbling the design on paper with a pencil.
That’s how easy it can be girls. Try this machine out the next time you visit your Baby Lock dealer. You are going to blow your own socks off!
“We Still Make Things By Hand”
April 22, 2013
“We still make things by hand.” That’s the slogan I came across today in an ad for the John C. Campbell Folk School in the latest edition of the Mother Earth News Magazine. Funny thing is that just today I had been considering why so many of us still do make things by hand, especially things that are sewn. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about making things entirely by hand. Not many of us have the spare time in our lives to do that. Even craft schools use tools and modern mechanization. I have the Baby Lock Unity in my sewing studio and it can do practically everything but the dishes.
Think of all the sewers you know. There are the quilters and the bag makers and those interested in embroidery by machine. How about the fashion sewers and sewists who have taken their skills to the next level and make a living with a sewing machine. What keeps them going back to their spare bedrooms or that corner set aside in the basement to sew their hearts out? What’s the motivation behind the need you feel to make your own things? After all it’s so easy to drive to the store and buy what you need or just click on the ‘Add to Cart’ button.
I know why I get up each morning and head to my studio to sew. I just love it – period. I love the colors of the fabric, the quiet whir of the Baby Lock sewing machine, the fun of figuring things out. I love planning my next project. I love showing my friends what I’ve made. I really love it when you send me pictures of what you’ve made with my Among Brenda’s Quilts patterns. And I am absolutely over the moon when you take one of my patterns and tweak it so it is perfect for you. That’s what I call a pattern with purr-sonality – your personality.
Personality could be the catch word for those of us who love to sew and create. Nothing that’s been purchased can ooze personality like something you have sewn yourself. You’ve picked out the pattern that suits your style, the fabric that suits your look and the accessories that say – “Hey this is me and I love the way I look.”
Are you the kind of crafter or sewer who totally ‘zones out’ when you make something? I know I am. Apparently our brainwaves change when we are creating. Sewing is a simple activity that encourages your mind to meditate. Your mind empties and while all this mental housecleaning is taking place there is space to come up with some fantastic new ideas. You’ll see the result of all these ideas at your next fashion or quilt show. Maybe this creative glow is what keeps you hooked on sewing.
Not sewing isn’t an option for the likes of you and me. Not only does making things by hand promote mental health, a sharp mind, and a relaxed state of being it’s also a way to provide pleasure to yourself and to those around you. You can connect with others through sewing, you can look fabulous in your new dress with its matching trendy bag, you can provide some little one with a snuggly blankie, or offer comfort with a donated quilt. Or if you are like me you’ll keep on sewing because you just love it.
Quilt As Desired
July 5, 2013
“Quilt as desired”, those are scary words, words that send the most stout hearted of us looking for the car keys so we can safely deliver our quilt tops, runners and the like to the nearest long arm quilter. That was me until I got my Unity sewing machine from Baby Lock.
Nothing used to terrify me more than doing free motion quilting. Snarly birds nests under my work, poor tension and breaking thread were the norm rather than the exception. My Mantra with machine quilting was ‘As Ye Sew, Sew Shall Ye Rip.”
Being a designer my samples needed to look pretty good. Not having much luck with my quilting at home I took my projects to the machine quilters in the area. After all, nobody likes the quilt police giving them a citation for messy work!
Enter the Baby Lock. Now I’m having fun with my small projects. I’m breezing through my work making bed runners, table runners, large and small quilted pillow tops. My friends are amazed – even the picky ones. Here’s a photo of a pillow top that’s part of my new “Crazy Love” bed runner and pillow set. I look forward to showing you the whole pattern soon.
A Sneak Peek
January 8, 2014
I’m designing a new bag for you and creating it on my Baby Lock sewing machine.
Winter gets me thinking about travel so I’m designing a gorgeous bag to take along when you visit your next destination. Use it as a carry on or a weekender bag or take it along to the gym.
Have a look at the fabric I’m using. These colorful strips are part of packages of forty 2 1/2″ strips that are distributed in Canada by Trend Tex Fabrics. They’ve hand picked 40 different Hoffman California batiks in each package. The pink color way I’m using is called Electric Lemonade as well as a bit of brown batik for the accent, zippers and for the swirl that is raw edge appliqued to the front of the bag.
Editor’s Note: As you may have guessed if you are a regular here, the bag being designed above is Voyager, and it’s turned out to be one of our most popular bags.