As soon as I got home on Friday, I pulled out the Jem and set it up. I figured that if I didn’t do it right then, I would put it off and all of my sewing projects would languish.
I pulled out the vinyl tablecloth tote bag parts, put on the roller foot and tried it out. I used Valdani quilting thread that I bought at the Chicago Quilt Festival Show a number of years ago. I am now the proud owner of a tablecloth vinyl tote bag.
The roller foot worked really well. REALLY WELL. AMAZINGLY WELL. It really got the job done and I have high hopes that I can make the bathroom “quilt” as well. Perhaps I can even get it done before the 9000 comes back. Perhaps I’ll make one for each bath!
The roller foot worked really well, but wasn’t perfect. I have always had some trouble with the curved corners of the Eco Market tote bag pattern from Favorite Things. Going around the curves with two layers of vinyl was difficult.
I didn’t line the bag. I didn’t really think it was necessary so the seams all show and it looks a bit unfinished. There are a number of thread blobs that I would have unsewed with normal fabric, but were pretty difficult to deal with the vinyl, so I left them. On the plus side, the bag was very quick to finish.
I get the feeling that I won’t be able to stuff this bag full of heavy stuff either, but I will try it out and we will see. It sounds dumb, but I felt like a renegade working with the material. In general, I highly recommend the roller foot if you are going to make something with tablecloth vinyl.
One of my CQFA colleagues, as I may have mentioned, borrowed my Jem machine for about 5 months while her Viking was in the shop. She saw some oilcloth type fabric (vinyl or something on one side and flannel-like fabric on the other) pillows and totes and decided to make them. She made them using the Jem and didn’t have any problems. I was amazed that she could do that. I know now that the flannel probably allowed the oilcloth to feed through the machine. I am interested in trying some of that fabric to make a tote bag.