SSQS Journal
Issue 51 November, 2021
November 2021
Hello Everyone,

Well, I have to say I think October was here and gone faster than any month before it this year. The move, the grand opening, the startup of new classes with new teachers in the new classroom, the Niles Quilt Show, Sweet Retreat days and AccuQuilt Go Play Days. October was full! The amount of people who have come through those new doors in October have kept us hopping, cutting fabric and planning quilts. It's just been wonderful and we thank you! Lots of machine sales and beginner quilting have brought new friends to our door and more quilters to our community. It has been a month now since we reopened here in the new shop and I think we are finally settling into our new space. It's a pretty comfortable space to work in and we have quickly felt at home but two things still have me struggling a little bit. I can never remember where the trash can is it's not where it's always been and the light switches are right in front of me now and not over by the door yet I always walk over to the door to turn off the lights! You would think those would be two easy things to remember but my auto pilot is strong. We have changed up the classroom many times since we moved in in an attempt to find the best layout to make it a workable and comfortable space for students. We even recently moved my sewing area in the classroom so now I am positioned at the window of the classroom so I can see who comes in the front door of the shop. I have even managed to get some sewing done, well not a whole lot but some is better than none. To me, once you get your sewing space just how you want it then it finally feels like home and you settle in and get more done.

Iā€™m sure you have noticed that winter is approaching and Quilting Season has begun! Sweet Stitches is here ready to help you get those quilting projects started. We can help you find the perfect pattern or choose the perfect fabrics for that winter project. We also have classes to inspire a new project, AccuQuilt Go Play Days to get you using your cutting system or Sweet Retreat Days to get you out of the house to meet other quilters and work on your quilting projects all day!

We want to wish all our friends and customers a Happy Thanksgiving and let you know that we are so thankful for your support and friendship! Have a grateful November everyone!
May all your stitches be Sweet
The Last New Building Update...

Over the past months, we have provided updates on the progress of our new building. It is nice to say that for the most part we are complete. In October, the backordered interior lights, our front awnings and the remaining exterior lights were installed. The only major item that we are still waiting on is our bathroom vanity. Actually the vanity did arrive, but the counter top, sink and hardware are still out there somewhere. We have a bit of behind the scenes work that will be completed this coming week as we update some old plumbing connections and make a tweak to our HVAC systems to be certain we are ready for winter. For now we continue to learn how we will operate in our new space. We have already modified a few of our processes to fit the layout and will likely implement a few more changes as time goes on. We keep learning.
As we did during our grand opening days, we would like to share with you the list of contractors that we worked with to create the new space:
Is this the year for a Sewing Machine?
November is Machine Month at Sweet Stitches
If you are interested in a new sewing machine now is the time to stop in and see our line of Janome and Elna machines. For the first time in nearly a year, we have almost our entire line of machines in stock. We are very fortunate to have these machines available. Customers that purchased machines early in the year had to wait months to enjoy their new machine.

What we have been told by the factory is that our current stock will most likely be the last of the machines for this year. Freight issues and backorders will impact supply for the foreseeable future. We have also been told to expect a price increase for 2022 and we are already experiencing significantly higher shipping and ocean freight charges on each machine delivery. For now, for our current stock and for our annual November Machine Month, Sweet Stitches is holding firm all of our sale prices and will not pass on these increased fees.

You can make the most of the upcoming winter while being creative and busy with a new Janome or elna sewing, embroidery, or sit down quilting machine from Sweet Stitches!

And don't forget, every machine sale is supported with training, complimentary certified service and many opportunities to grow your skills with classes and available tutoring.
Our classroom has been busy this last month! It was nice to see everyone learning something new and enjoying the company of other quilters. In addition to formal classes, we are offering Sweet Retreat Days. For a nominal fee, you can reserve a spot in the classroom for the day to work on your project and have the chance to meet other quilters.

If you are interested to explore our classes and schedule, click the link below that will take you to our calendar or you can find the calendar and a list of classes on our website by clicking 'Classes' in the top banner.

Joan's next installment of her First Friday Demo Day videos will be released on Friday November 5th. Joan is working on a few projects now that she is settling in to the new shop and workspace configuration. Stay tuned to your inbox on Friday for a link to the video!
Accuquilt Go Play Day! will be November 18th. Darla has a quick, cute project all lined up that uses your Mitten Die that will be great for the upcoming holiday season. We will offer two GPD sessions, one in the morning 10:30am - 12:30pm and one in the afternoon, 2:00 - 4:00pm.

Darla will have more information about this months project later this week. Stop in or call the shop to learn more.
Machine Minute
General Maintenance and proper technique are critical for optimum performance of your sewing machine and project outcome.
How often should I ?

We hear this question a good bit when it comes to maintenance of sewing machines. The answers have many variables that must be factored in but with this Machine Minute we will tackle some of the more common.

For this discussion, we will assume a modern sewing machine, not a featherweight, not an old touch and sew or any of the older machines that ran metal against metal gears. (Those have an entirely different, and more frequent maintenance story)

The typical sewist sews 5 hours per week. That is Needled up and down down, not sitting in front of the machine time. If you sew less, you can stretch the following numbers and if you sew more you will need to increase the frequencies.

Clean under the needle plate. To keep your machine running well, you will need to remove the needle plate and the bobbin holder to clean the hook and general area under the needle plate. You should use a brush or a vacuum. Do not use canned or compressed air. Be sure to look at the feed dogs. If not cleaned, lint will build up between the rows of teeth to the point that the feed dogs will not move properly. Clean under your needle plate at least weekly

Oil the hook. Janome, elna's and many other brands of machines have a wick in the middle of the hook to hold oil. One or two drops of SEWING MACHINE oil placed directly onto the wick once per Month will keep your machine running well.

Inspect and clean the thread port. If you think about how much thread is pulled through the machine you will begin to appreciate just how much lint, debris and things like thread stickers can be pulled into the thread guides. Take a moment at least monthly to look at all of the thread guides as you begin to thread the machine. Material that collects in these areas can make dramatic impacts on thread tension and feeding consistency.

Have your machine professionally cleaned. Machine cleaning involves removal of the covers allowing access, oiling and greasing of all moving parts and shafts. Most modern machines are built to allow them to function with a moderate amount of lint and debris within the machine. Much of this will end up in areas that your routine cleaning will simply not reach. Once per year to every 18 months is a good frequency for the typical sewist. We have customers that sew well beyond a typical number of hours per week that bring their machine in for cleaning every 3 to 4 months. You would be amazed at how dirty these machines are. It is not about the calendar, the need to clean a machine is all about the number of times the needle goes up and down. It is use that drives the necessity to open the machine for a proper cleaning. Lastly the opposite is true, if a machine sits for a long period of time, say a year without use, it is advisable to have that machine serviced to be certain the critical moving parts are properly lubricated before running the machine and possibly scoring a shaft or needle bar.
Quilters of all skill levels can find encouragement, inspiration and creativity at Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop. Located in Chesterton, Indiana just a few miles from the natural beauty of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop is your destination for fabrics, notions and all things quilting. We carry a wide variety of brights and batik fabrics as well as notions, patterns, books and Elna/Janome sewing machines. Our large classroom offers students everything they need to learn and grow their quilting talents. From fabric selection to project advice to training on your new machine, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is ready to assist. Stop by the store or click the "Shop Online" link to view our wide variety of products ready to ship direct to your door.

Sweet Stitches Quilt Shop
1575 S Calumet Rd.
Chesterton, Indiana 46304