Stitch Craft Create Blog

Beginning to Sew with Charlene Phillips + A Free Technique

Today, Charlene Phillips, author of The Sewing Machine Classroom and The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook, joins us to talk about her latest book and taking control of your sewing machine.

The Sewing Machine Classroom is being offered at a special price–50% off on March 30 and 31–at the Martha Pullen Store.

We’re also offering a free technique from Charlene’s book, featuring Battenberg lace. Click here to register for the download.

And now, here’s Charlene!

All of us start at the same place – the beginning. I have been sewing for over 40 years (my! that sounds so long!). I have certainly had my shares of tangled bobbin threads, puckered fabric, needles breaking one after the other, and creeping fabric. I took all my journal notes and tips, compiled into a readable format, and wrote The Sewing Machine Classroom. I hope that the reader can spend more time sewing rather than grabbing the seam ripper!

All I have to do is walk into a sewing shop and I am touching fabrics, ogling the gorgeous colors, and wondering how I can use those lovely fancy threads. I may not yet have a project in mind, but when a fabric calls out to me – I just have to get it. I do try to get at least 2 to 3 yards so I don’t run out of fabric, no matter what project I choose. Many times the finished project is totally unknown, but I know that one day I will find the perfect choice for that gorgeous fabric. Now, I do have an extensive fabric stash but nothing inspires more that a new piece that calls to me. Inspiration is found in strange places.

Writing The Sewing Machine Classroom gave me the perfect opportunity to work with a variety of fabric types from cottons to silks to batiks. How did they work up? What machine adjustments did I need to make? My goal for the book is to help the reader–YOU!–take control of your sewing machine. Not let it control you.

Have fun, reach into your fabric stash, and begin sewing!

Happy Stitchery,


Charlene Phillips is an author, magazine contributor, presenter and trainer. She lives in southwestern Ohio with her husband, Bryan. Together they own and operate The Sew Box, a store specializing in sewing machine feet, notions and self-designed sewing patterns. Since her mother taught her to sew at a very young age, Charlene has continued to learn and share sewing techniques with others, reaching “new sewing friends” around the world. More information can be found at Charlene enjoys hearing from others, and sharing tips through her blog at and Continual sewing conversation can be found by joining her on (The Sew Box).

Previously, Charlene owned an alterations business, was a school teacher, a college professor  and an educational trainer for local schools. She is the author of The Sewing Machine Classroom and The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook and contributes to many magazines and online sites such as Threads, Sew News, Creative Machine Embroidery and ISMACS News. She is also a guest blogger for BERNINA Blog (

Charlene has presented and taught locally, as well as at various Quilt Markets and conferences.  

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