JUKI Spotlight: The Moda Lissa

Photo: Moda Lissa

Like many others, Mellissa, better known as Lissa, looked up to her older sister growing up and watched her sew. When Lissa was in fifth grade, she took her first sewing class at her local Ben Franklin. Creating an adorable lime green with bright pink apples trimmed with pink ric-rac pinafore and shorts, Lissa tried following her sister’s footsteps by creating projects with no patterns. She quickly realized it was not as easy as she thought and left the clothing construction to her sister. However, this didn’t shy her away from sewing but encouraged her to look into different projects Lissa could create. One day, she stumbled upon quilting and found herself transfixed with it!

“Quilts don’t have to fit anyone.”

Photo: Moda Lissa

The idea of quilts changed her life. No longer was she trying to hem and follow a body type, but now she was tackling a different puzzle! With a father in engineering, she took to quilting like a math problem, creating patterns in her artwork. After marriage and having kids, Lissa kept up with her hobby by working at a local quilt shop a few evenings a month and on Saturdays. Eventually, she started teaching classes and was hired to open a quilt store. Nine years later, she began a position as the Director of Marketing for Moda Fabrics.

Working at Moda Fabrics, Lissa started collaborating with all different types of designers. Sewing various projects from fabrics those designers crated and creating combinations no one could’ve predicted! Lissa created pieces of art that were as beautiful as they were different. Her favorite challenge with each project was seeing how many different designers she could place on one project.

“It just makes me happy. As I touch each piece I think of the designer, the name of the fabric line, and how fortunate I am to have them as friends.”

Photo: Moda Lissa

As time went on, Lissa began creating patterns she wanted to share with others. Inspired by a high school story where she introduced herself to the class, she came up with a clever tactic to make her peers remember her name. Cutting a picture of the Mona Lisa and gluing yellow yarn to represent her blonde hair, she created a plan! Everyone knew about the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci and all they had to do to remember her name was to think of the Mona Lisa but with blonde hair. Years later, after starting her position in Moda Fabrics, she called it a no-brainer when she created the nickname Moda Lissa for her media.

Lissa’s first solo pattern book, “OH SCRAP” was published after experiencing a series of seizures diagnosed as a subdural hematoma resulting in brain surgery. While recuperating, she was offered the opportunity by Martingale Publishing to create her first pattern book. Continuing forward, Lissa would begin working on the Sisterhood of Scraps and Scrap School. Working with some of the best quilters in the industry sewing scrap quilts, she learned new skills and techniques for her projects. While her books focus on the usage of a scrap quilt, her main goal has always been to encourage freedom for quilters to play and create with fabric.

“You may have always heard that quilting is therapy and it certainly was for me. I love learning and exploring how the publishing world works was very exciting.”

Photo: Moda Lissa

As Lissa continues to sew on her baby Junie, our TL-2000Qi named after her aunt, she hopes to start sewing apparel in the future. With her two granddaughters and three grandsons, she’s excited to start creating their Halloween costumes and more in the future. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Lissa’s next pattern book! Lissa’s goal is to continue her pattern creations and helping sewers like you have fun.

To learn more about Lissa and her story follow her on the links below and check out her site to see her pattern books!

Instagram: Click here

Pattern Book’s and Scrap School: Click here

Celebrate Festival Season with JUKI!

With the summer sun finally here, it’s time to start celebrating! This year’s festival season is kicking back up, and we wanted to share fashion ideas for your looks. With festival trends coming and going, here are some great options for you to recreate.

Face masks

While festival season comes back with a bang amidst Covid, it’s always fun to be fashionably safe! If you’re planning to wear a face mask, we recommend looking into nylon and spandex fabric. These materials are waterproof and come in a variety of exciting colors, perfect for hot outdoor days. Cotton is also a great choice and allows you more creativity in the designs. On top of a protective mask, you can wear an additional mask to accent any outfit. The additional mask can be made with beautiful fabrics featuring intricate designs like lace or flashy designs with sequins or beads! Adding accessories to your mask is easy when you use our beading presser footer. Personalize your mask to represent you!

Upcycled Looks

With quarantine bringing new life into the sewing world, expect to see people with new pieces they’ve handcrafted! It’s a great experience when you find something old and upcycle it into a new fashion statement. Grab old pieces you enjoy and a sewing machine like the HZL-80HP-A that helps you create fashion that goes together beautifully. We recommend ideas like patchwork, upcycling dresses into a two-piece set, or turning plain t-shirts into funky outfits!

Small Mini Bags and Fanny Packs

Attend your next one with a comfortable mini purse or fanny pack that holds your essentials. Create them using intricate fabrics, faux fabrics, or add on embellishments to really wow! Creating beautiful bags is easy using a heavy-duty machine like our TL-2010Q. This sewing machine comes with accessories like our zipper attaching foot. We recommend fanny packs, tactical pouches, or cross-over slings when deciding to make a bag!

Bucket Hat

Bucket hats have made a comeback! Perfect for keeping shade while making a cute fashion statement, look into accessorizing with a bucket hat. Personalize by adding fun designs and embroidery using our Tajima Sai! Look into canvas or denim fabrics for the pieces on the inside for a sturdier feeling and clean look. A fun idea is to get your friends together and make matching ones!

Whether you’re going into festival season with the most outlandish outfits or a more toned back look, choose creativity and show up with your very own unique look!

Get Ready For Summer Birthdays!

When it comes to birthdays, we love to give the people in our life things they will enjoy! One of the best gifts people can receive is something made with love, so today, we wanted to talk about some great ideas for what you can make for upcoming summer birthdays!

For the Kids

When deciding on gifts for kids, we can never have too much fun in being creative for them! A fun gift if you have a child who enjoys having friends over is a floor seat cushion. Fabric choices that make this a comfort to have, such as cotton or faux are great options when designing your cushion. Get creative with loud colors or prints! Check out heavier fabrics for the bottom to create something long-lasting like canvas or denim. Look into JUKI accessories like our piping presser foot to add a clean finish around your cushion. The HZL-NX7 offers plenty of throat space and comes with features like zig-zag, and free-motion sewing that will make this project a breeze. Make summer enjoyable with this fun project!

For Travelers

If you have a family member or friend who’s always going to travel or moving around, look into creating a duffle bag for them! Perfect for bringing their books, sports equipment, and other personal items with them everywhere, they’ll have a safe place for all their things. Add features to their duffle bag like pockets for their chargers, essentials, and more. Look into nylon or polyester fabric that’s durable and keeps items safe from water. Finish off their bag with Velcro or a zipper. Add this final touch with JUKI accessories like our zipper presser foot. A machine like our TL-2010Q is perfect for creating duffle bags and gives you that clean finish every time.

For the Golfers

If you have a family member that loves golfing, look into creating a beautiful vinyl cover for their golf club! Vinyl is a great fabric to use when creating projects as it’s a strong material and can handle being moved around or taking a hit out on the golf course. Look into accessories like our cording and embroidery presser foot, and piping presser foot for some pieces you’ll want to when it comes to decorating your project. A machine like the DX-2000QVP is perfect to work on when it comes to embellishing and designing your club cover for personalization!

For the Techies

Every day more people go out in the world and purchase a tablet! No matter what tablet you own, you know how important it is to keep it protected on the go. A great gift you can create is a padded tablet case! Always start by making sure you have the right measurements for your tablets, and try to go up to about an inch to leave a little wiggle room so it’s not too snug. Add features like pockets on the front or inside the bag to hold chargers and accessories. Look into adding bag handles for easy movement when you’re on the go. Accessories like our tape binder are perfect to have on hand for that clean professional look you want. Using a machine like our TL-2010Q is perfect for creating carrier cases! Add their name or place beautifully embroidered designs with the JUKI Tajima Sai.

Whether you’re giving a gift to your family or a coworker, handmade is always the most fun way to go! If you try one of these products post it on your social media and tag us! We can’t wait to see what you design for your upcoming summer birthdays this year.

Rocking with ‘String and Story’!

Photo credit: Klara Cu

Like many, HollyAnne Knight, Founder & CEO of “String & Story,” began quilting as a hobby. From an early age, HollyAnne found herself often being creative. She had hobbies that ranged from oil and watercolor painting to ballet and ballroom dancing and even picked up knitting along the way. Around her art, she focused her passions on education, earning her degree in English Literature, Secondary Education, and Linguistics. If there was one word to describe HollyAnne, it would be a Rockstar, just like she calls her students and sewing friends.

Photo credit: Klara Cu

Surrounded by her family, HollyAnne has been married to her husband John for eight years, has two sons Jem and Ian, and a home filled with their loving pets a dog, two cats, and two fish tanks.  With a mutual passion for traveling, HollyAnne and her family are currently one state away from hitting all 50 states and capitals of the United States!

When HollyAnne was expecting her second child, she decided it was time to find a new hobby to focus on since her current hobby of oil painting wasn’t easy with a toddler and pets around. In comes her friend, who lent her their small sewing machine, and HollyAnne found herself picking up a hobby she hadn’t done since elementary. One of her first projects was a t-shirt quilt her mother had been mentioning wanting, and HollyAnne had taken on the challenge. After a few mistakes with a rotary blade, she had finally completed her rag-style quilt and learned some lessons along the way. As she continued to enjoy quilting, she stumbled across the world of modern quilting and fell in love with the idea of “free motion quilting.”

What started as a small Etsy shop that sold stationery and knitted goods, continued to grow with her as she caught a bit of an entrepreneurial bug. After creating her Mom’s T-shirt quilt, HollyAnne started getting requests from others for their own. Upgrading from her old sewing machine into the JUKI J-150 QVP, she became obsessed with its durability, dependability, throat space, and stitch quality. As she started working on her pieces and growing her business, she began learning to free motion quilt. With her passion for teaching, HollyAnne created online courses to teach and rebranded the name to “String & Story.”

Photo credit: Klara Cu

While the inspiration for the name was created by a trend happening at the time, the idea behind it flourished. With the goal being to show that we were all connected, and can continue to empower one another as we’ve done in the past.

“Spaces like quilting have historically been female-dominated, a rare area where women were considered experts, where information passed through social networks and collective power was used for everything from keeping families warm to expressing social commentary to organizing political activism. String & Story is about continuing that legacy into the modern era– for socializing, learning, empowering, and organizing.”

Currently, one of HollyAnne’s business ventures is her Free Motion Quilting Academy. A String & Story’s signature online course is a 12-week free motion quilting education program to guide students from being nervous beginner FMQ-ers to confident, intermediate FMQ Rockstars, as HollyAnne would say. To date, she’s been able to instruct and help 2000 students on every size, shape, and brand of machine imaginable. Only opening enrollment periodically, HollyAnne encourages people to attend sewing and quilting classes to grow more confident in their projects.

“I LOVE teaching FMQ and other quilting techniques, but my FAVORITE thing is watching my students try new things, master their mindset, and so often learn something they didn’t think was possible.”

Photo credit: Klara Cu

The future of Strings & Story is bright as HollyAnne states, it’s only getting started. With ideas of expanding her digital course and online shop, she hopes to start adding in-person event classes as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes. If you’re interested in staying up to date with HollyAnne, her classes, and more, find her on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) @stringandstory today and via her newsletter at www.stringandstory.com/newsletter!

JUKI July Sewing Challenge!

If there’s one thing our community loves, it’s a sewing challenge! If this is the first time hearing about a sewing challenge, it’s essentially a task set up on social media with rules as to how to complete your new project. These challenges can be for a day, a week, or even a month but all come with one main goal: you getting up and sewing!

Sewing challenges are a great way to be a part of the community. With so many people working on a similar project simultaneously, it can help you feel like you’re not sewing alone. The opportunity to join and share your work is always exciting! Using these hashtags to challenge yourself and show off what you create is part of the fun. Sometimes we all need that little push, like a challenge, to get us sewing again.

THE CHALLENGE >>

This month we’re making our own #JUKIJulyChallenge, and we want every one of you JUKI Lovers to join! Your goal is simple, create something that screams the beach! It could be anything from quilting to fashion that represents what visiting the beach (or lake) means to you.

Think of this as a fun new challenge to get your creative side flowing. Take the time to sit down and create something new with low pressure and think about what summer means to you!

Sew Under the Sun with JUKI!

The summer is finally approaching us, and we hope you’re getting excited, JUKI Lovers! We wanted to make sure you were ready with some fun summer sewing projects with children coming home for the holidays and family getting together.

Get ready for the summer with your own Beach Bag!

When it’s time to go to the beach, we can’t think of anything better than packing up a bag you made all on your own.

Create at home!

We recommend using fabrics like canvas and duck cloth for that sturdy feeling that can hold its weight when it comes to this project. There are so many different designs that can go into creating this look. From creating contrasts with fabrics to embroidering bright colors and designs, each piece can be personalized to your aesthetic.

Using our JUKI TL-18QVP or J-150QVP, creating a beach bag is a breeze! Add in our Tajima Sai and Ricoh Ri 100 into the mix, and you’ll be able to create personalized embroidered or printed designs that make your bag stand out!

Take a dip in the water! 

Whether you’re creating a look from scratch or redesigning, personalization has no restriction!

Create at home!

There are two fabrics we recommend for your swimsuits; Nylon blends and Polyester blends. Not only is this material soft and comfortable, but it allows for a good stretch and will hug your body well. Perfect for the beach, we recommend nylon for those going more for the sand than the water. Polyester blends are a great second choice if you’re looking for something that will be diving into the water! It’s a soft material like nylon but very strong in addition to being chlorine and UV resistant. 

JUKI has plenty of machines up for this project! We recommend looking into one of the following if you’re interested in creating your summer looks. The MO-2000QVP and MCS-1700QVP are all-powerful machines that can handle stretchy material very well. Add cute beach theme embroidered phrases or designs with our Tajima Sai to personalize each suit at any time!

MO-2000QVP
Sit under the sun!

When you’re lying out in the sun, you want to do it in comfort! What better way to enjoy the summer days than on your very own beach blanket that you’ve created?

Create at home!

When you think of the beach, the combination of sand and wind often comes to mind. Creating a blanket that can handle the weather may be tricky, but not impossible! A top recommendation is picking a suitable fabric that will be on the sand itself. We recommend sticking with fabric like duct cloth for the bottom! This material is a great way to keep sand from seeping through repelling water well and adds a bit of lightweight to keep the wind from blowing it away. For the top of the blanket, we recommend looking into sheet fabric. You can look into repurposing old bedsheets or obtain new ones with fun patterns found in cotton. Don’t forget your canvas tape for that clean look we know you and your family will love!

Looking for a suitable machine to complete this project? We recommend looking into the TL-18QVP, J-150QVP, or DX-4000QVP! Superb for quilting and holding a large workspace, these can help you achieve the look you’re going for with little hassle. Don’t forget to personalize your creation and check out the Ricoh Ri 100 and Tajima Sai! It’s easy to personalize your creations with beautiful embroidery or fun images in an instant using these two!

J-150QVP

We love the idea of sending out your JUKI Lovers with your summer creations! Which project do you think you’re going to do? We can’t wait to see your final projects on our socials, don’t forget to tag us on Facebook and Instagram at @JUKIHomeSewing

The Little Green Bean

Credit: The Little Green Official Site

Located in Minnesota, you can find Missy Luukkonen, owner of the Little Green Bean! Born and raised in Duluth, Missy fell in love with sewing in high school and has been sewing crafts, quilts, and many other projects for over 20 years. This is all thanks to an extraordinary teacher.

Starting as a hobby, Missy was working full time in a profession she loved and coming home to sewing projects as a way to relax. What began as something to do in her free time slowly grew with each new project. Missy was making burlap tote bags when she started an Etsy shop for the fun of it, not realizing how well it would grow! After saving up her Etsy shop money and taking her husband and two sons on vacation, she thought the shop would be a great side business, but it continued to evolve.

Credit: The Little Green Bean – Instagram

As time went on, she found that her side gig was becoming a full-time job. Once she realized her small business continued growing, Missy decided to take a chance on her dream. Thus The Little Green Bean was here to stay! The products on her online store are constantly changing by customers’ suggestions. Missy makes these suggestions come to life with the help of her husband, who now happily works and runs the shop as well.  After her husband, Chris, joined, they settled on a great dynamic, Missy handles most of the designing, and Chris does the production. With both partners jumping back and forth with ideas, they make an accomplished team.

One project they’re very proud of is the “Monthly Gnome“! Each month, Missy and her husband create a sweet gnome, that is new, and original in design. These little gnomes can be a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription if you’re a collector.

Credit: The Little Green Bean – Missy

Missy’s shop has continued to evolve as she’s always working on different ideas. Ever since Missy was a child, she was always making something. Not being afraid to try new things, Missy goes for it when a new idea pops up. While getting the perfect pattern may take several attempts to perfect, she’s always ready to learn along the way. One type of project she tends to stay away from is clothing, “I have never liked sewing clothes though, I’ll make PJ pants for my kids, but that’s about as far as I go with clothing!”

We recommend checking out Missy’s breath-taking workshop on her socials! Wanting her work area to be different from the rest of her home, Missy imagined her space to be bright and happy. Using fun and bright colors, Missy was able to create a space that was inviting and fed her the good energy she likes to work with. Cleanly organized and with perfect space for her JUKI’s the TL-2000Qi and MO-6700, every day Missy spends her time in her cottage and garage making the next big thing.

To learn more about Missy and her family business, check out her website here! Make sure to check into Missy’s socials as well for an inside look into her shop and home life at on Pinterest and Instagram.