Thoughts from the other side of the counter

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oh Brother, Part I

Some of those amazing DREAM
machine features!
            Hello, y’all!  (That's an appropriate Nashville salutation.)  Some of our staff experienced that firsthand walking through the airport in Nashville on our trip to the Brother B2B conference a couple of weeks ago.   What were our thoughts about going?  Exciting!   Just like all of you, we were excited to find out what the deal is on THE Dream machine.  Believe it or not, dealers don’t know either.  It’s all very hush, hush.  I even tried to get something, ANYTHING, out of one of the presenters when she visited our store and nada.  Nothing.  It wasn’t happening.  So you can imagine how we felt about this trip with Brother unveiling their new Dream machine, as well an assortment of midlines in which a few TOL features have been incorporated into the machine and user interface.   
"Stay Awake" juice!
The Brother B2B conference was held over a period of 4 days with a multitude of  breakout sessions designed to provide the dealers with pertinent and exciting info on new machines and software.  First things first…a couple of people on our staff found it necessary to get started with a cup of Joe in the late morning hours.  Waking up at 2:30 a.m. to catch an early flight and gaining an hour in the day lends itself to an afternoon slump.  Some of us had to take preventative measures so we could keep our energy level up prior to an afternoon/early evening registration session.
Kathy is holding the large 9.5"X14" frame to illustrate
the size, and Heather is displaying our finished project
from the DREAM machine session.
To illustrate the "super-sized"
hoop--a hand comparison.


Moving on to Day 2.  It was exciting to find that our first breakout session was a demo project which highlighted the awesome features of the new Dream machine!  The first visual as we sat down was the hoop size.  One word for it—WOW!  The massive 9.5” X 14” was really impressive.  To illustrate the size, Kathy’s hand gives a size comparison in the hoop, and Kathy and Heather show they can easily fit both of their heads within the perimeter of the hoop.  Speaking of the hoop, this particular attendee was really impressed with the “gripper” sections around the hoop which are rubber areas designed for easier fabric hooping.
The DREAM machine's style is
familiar for Brother owners so it
definitely makes for an easy-to-use and
easy-to-learn machine upgrade.
Brother's Stability Plus
      Next, we turned on THE Dream machine!  If you’re a current Brother machine owner, it’s a comfortable, familiar design.   Look at this beauty J .  It’s glowing.  The front label lists some of its highlighted features.  The 10.1” hi-def screen size is impressive along with its faster processing speed.  We’ve already talked about that gigantic hoop, so we’re moving on to the scanner—almost 2X as fast!   It’s a beautifully designed machine and notice that last software option on the screen…My Design Center.  The features in My Design Center were pretty impressive. 
Our class project
on the DREAM
Our class project
as it was stitching out.
        We moved right along in the breakout session creating a custom design with stippling.  Here’s a pic of our design on the screen along with another one as our design is being stitched out.  It was super easy, super quick, and our sample will be on display next to THE Dream machine when it arrives in our store. 
       We experimented with the scanner and found the user interface in My Design Center very intuitive and very easy to use.  The Scanimation features were particularly impressive with designs, line drawings, and stippling.   The Brother website has a nice You Tube video highlighting the stippling and scanimation feature shown below: 
Hmmm…that sample in the vid looks pretty familiar, huh?!?!  ;)  .  To describe all the features for this awesome machine would be an incredibly long blog post, so I just narrowed down a few that we utilized and discussed while we were there:  That super large 9.5"X14" hoop, 10.1" screen, Stability Plus frame, JPEG to Stitch data, the ability to draw on the screen and convert to stitch data, and the Scanimation feature. Definitely impressive! Be sure to stop in when THE Dream machine arrives in our store, ask for a demo, and play around with “dreamy” machine.  If Brother can dream it, so can you!
     We’ll finish up this post today with plenty of inspiration pics that were displayed from this Breakout Session on THE Dream machine.  Click on any pic for a larger image.
This frame was used for
scanning images.
During class, we learned how to use the stipple
fill feature and "erase" it from the centered,
embroidery design.

Sample closeup.  What beautiful embroidery and stippling!

These three pics show variations of the same design with the default and changes as noted.

Playing around with some shapes and the
fill feature.
Border or no border--the decision is yours!
Stippling sample with wider and narrower
Scanned and embroidered designs.

Various display samples using the same design.

Same overall look,
different effects.
 It was great to see the same embroidery design stitched several times with various effects applied to the same, overall design as seen in the remaining pics.
That's all for now!  Stay tuned for Oh Brother, Part II.  In the meantime, Happy Sewing from your friends at Pocono Sew and Vac!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fearless Fridays...They're coming!

Interested in getting started sewing?  Having trouble reading a garment pattern?  Want to know or reinforce sewing basics so you can feel comfortable and confident with your machine and/or garment, accessory, or home dec abilities?  Need help sewing different types of fabrics?  Or perhaps you just can’t seem to get your machine going on your own.  
Our Fearless Fridays begin: 
Friday, August 22, from 4:30 p.m. – 6:40 p.m.
at our new location directly across the street
564 Main Street in Stroudsburg
(the former Main St. TV & Appliance building)
and will continue every other Friday from the end of August until Thanksgiving. 
Learn or brush up on your sewing skills so you can sew garments, accessories, and home dec projects with confidence.  One of our staff members will be available at this time to provide a stress-free, fearless sewing environment designed to give you confidence in your sewing skills.  Our instructor will have optional projects for you to work on to learn or improve your skills or feel free to bring your own projects to each session.  The environment will be relaxed and casual, and everyone will have the opportunity to interact with, learn from, and be inspired by the projects of each attendee.  Space is limited so you must call ahead to register.  Bringing your own machine is preferred, however, we will have a limited number of machines available as loaners for use during the sessions.  No worries about getting your machine in the door--give us a call on your cell when you're at the back door, and we will pick up your machine for you and help you load it in your car after class.
Now here’s the best part!  Our first two Fearless Fridays are absolutely free with a nominal participation fee for subsequent Fearless Fridays.  Again, you MUST pre-register in order to participate.  Please stop in or call the store so we can get you registered for the class.  Classes will be held whether there is one participant or the maximum count.  Spread the word J .  We’re hoping to see the new generation of sewists along with some familiar faces!  As always, share the love of sewing. 
--Your friends at Pocono Sew and Vac

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Wonderful.

Wow!  What a week.  We experienced the bad.  Now for the good. We’re headed into the second week and quickly in the process of getting back to business better than ever.  Thank you to all our friends and customers who have given us words of encouragement and offers of support.  We can’t thank you enough.  Pocono Sew and Vac is taking it day by day, week by week, and we’re planning on coming back better than ever to help serve our customers.  Our Service/Repair dept. was up and running the Monday after the fire, and new inventory is arriving every day at our temporary location, 564 Main Street, which is directly across the street from our storefront.  Our staff is busy arranging displays, preparing fabric shelves, and setting up inventory.  Our telephones and Internet are working so feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.
Brother dealers congregate in Nashville and await (just like
you :) ) the unveiling of THE Dream machine.  Mood
lighting, music pumping, and the crowd's getting excited to
hear about the latest and greatest Brother has to offer!
            Now for some Wonderful.  Not only is new inventory coming in every day along with giving you the best deals ever, but a new line of machines by Brother has been introduced and we’re taking pre-orders.  Some of our staff attended the Brother event in Nashville which highlighted the launch of THE Dream Machine and exciting mid-line machines with TOL features.  We’re really excited to give you details of the trip and will be featuring some of the projects and machines in a blog series over the next week or two.  Stay tuned, and you’re sure to be as excited as we were to see the fabulous new Brother lineup.  Yes, it IS that exciting!
Happy Sewing from your friends at Pocono Sew and Vac!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pocono Sew and Vac Embraces Social Media!

It’s time.  Pocono Sew and Vac is embracing social media to bring you more info, more inspiration, more ideas, and simply more of everything sewing, embroidery, and quilt-related.  We love keeping our customers up to date via our emails and Facebook, and now we are on: 
Instagram (@pocono_sew_and_vac)
Twitter (@Poc_Sew_And_Vac)
And soon Pinterest!
We're planning on giving you more of what we do best.  Check out Instagram every week for Fran’s fabric pics and Twitter for weekly updates on our repair shelf status along with other tweets and posts that are sure to inspire and peak your interest.  We’ll also be here on Blogger posting about what’s going on in the store, new events and classes, new machines, new accessories and any items or ideas which we feel may be of benefit to you, our valued customers.  Can YouTube be far behind?  Not for us :) .  Don’t forget our hashtag  #poconosewandvac  so you can follow us. 
Keep busy with those machines and have a great day quilting, sewing, and embroidering!