Tuesday, May 14, 2013
My doll Constance Evelda was given to me on the Christmas of my third year. She still lives with me, and had herself spa treated by my Mama in her doll hospital back it the late 1980's. I have never made her anything in all those years, as she had lots of clothes at first, being size real baby, and as I was practicing with this little quilt, I decided it should be hers. She is pretty happy about it I can tell you, as that means a time out on the deck with a nice wrap to keep the breeze at bay. This was a fun little quilt, and I learned that I need a lot more contrast in an Attic Window pattern. So many ideas are twirling around in my head - the next three quilts are taking shape in my mind, one being another try at a real Attic Quilt with contrast that gives the correct depth. I ran across a nice used quilting book in Third Place Books in Seattle. The book is Perfect Patchwork : the Sew Easy Way, by Margaret H. Nichols. More important than her sewing method is her planning method and the way every design is made from rectangle and triangle basic block forms. Combining these forms to make some designs that usually are not done that way is really a treat. The book approaches quilting a little differently - no pattern templates - you use measurement and I even think I will change whatever measurements to whatever I want to do. She provides empty planning sheets of various types that can be copied and used to plan your own quilts. Attic Window is one of the planned block setups in the book. There is a lot to read in this book, and I think for the price I paid, I will more than get my monies worth! I have also been buying quilting magazines in a relentless attempt to see if one or more would be worth subscribing to. Presently I do get Modern Quilting Unlimited, which is really a nice magazine, but I find a year of one is all I need. So now I am trying various other publications, and reporting on them will be upcoming here. So far, QUILT and McCall's Quilting are coming out on top. In the Craftsy Class on Scrappy Quilting with Pepper Cory, I really was taken with the paper pieced strip quilt, and so the next one I want to make is going to be that very thing. I have loads of seasonal curtains I used to use on my front door and they are all cotton and are all going into the scrappy strip quilt. More planning on that later.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I am finally figuring out that I am addicted to quilting. I am not so good at quilting so much as I just love to do it, as long as it is something I want to do at the time, and something I figure out myself. So I had these blocks from Keepsake Quilting that I got as a bonus a long time ago, and I thought: "Why not make them up in a sort of Attic-Windowy way, so I did - it was good practice. Attic Windows would need wider strips is one thing I learned. Mostly I want this piece as a trial for the Janome 6300's FMQ abilities again, and with the low tension bobbin case back in, I threaded her up and put Masterpiece in top and bottom. In a very pale pink. That color blends so well with just about everything. And the Masterpiece is fine enough so that that adds to the blendability. SO that project is doing well and the machine seems to like it. Perhaps a cleaning and servicing in June, and then another try at King Tut in that machine. Before starting the Attic piece I finished the FMQ on the table runner, using my Pfaff, and I am happy to have done some different stitching on that. Spirals in each corner, and wavy ocean effect along each side. The cats and I are both happy with it. I did the binding on the table runner on the Janome and I really love how it handles the fabric with or without the walking foot. I did use the walking foot of course. The Attic Window pattern is one that I have loved for a long time. I am thinking of an Asian themed fabric quilt using the Attic Window as an element, but not the whole quilt. Still have that percolating in the back burner of my brain. I have a lovely panel that will be the focus of the piece. SO we shall see if that comes together later - during the Summer months. Meanwhile, maybe a garment or two, but that seems like a light getting dimmer and dimmer and farther and farther....
Friday, March 29, 2013
and had no more problems. I am using giant cones of Maxi-Lock for the top quilting and I think I have Masterpiece in the bobbin. I have ordered bobbin washers for the Janome, they came, and when I have tried them out but good on a pieced sample sandwich I will report findings. Anyway, to do that I need to piece another small top of something. Thinking about that right now. I have noticed a real difference between quilting FM on a nice smooth sample sandwich and then on a pieced top. The seaming of piecing makes a difference to the Janome for sure. Meanwhile, I have some garment repair to do, so of course must set up yet another sewing machine to do that with! Good thing we have more than one sewing machine in our arsenal, or more than two, eh? Another point to ponder - time has passed and it is now almost time to register online for the Vermont Quilt Festival! That means Spring has finally begun to sprung. Very soon now...
Saturday, March 2, 2013
A new to me Kenmore Mini Ultra, found at the pawn shop in Seattle and snapped up and sent to me by my son and daughter-in-law! Apparently another machine not used much at all, accessories still in place, and the only thing missing is the manual. Luckily Sears still has the Manual online, along with the Service Manual. Does the few stitches well, and the buttonhole is fine. Kind of noisy, but I did oil her and put in a new needle of course - who knows where that needle had been? For anyone who wants to search for the manual the model number is 385.11206300. It has duplicate pages - English, then Spanish and French. Since the machine takes screw on feet, it seems odd that it doesn't come with a screw driver! There is a tiny package of Organ needles in there and the buttonhole foot, a rather junky seam ripper, and the red thread spool felt, the buttonhole foot and two bobbins, and then a cover plate (plastic) for the feed dogs? Makes you wonder if darning was one of the main uses they thought we would put the machine to, as I doubt free motion quilting would be very good on this machine, although perhaps you could do small projects fine. Everything stitches out pretty well. NOW to the best part. This machine makes a very nice well wound bobbin! I aim to make this my bobbin winder, as the price is less than the expensive bobbin winders out there, and it makes a fine bobbin. After buying one of those regrettable little bobbin winding machines, a very sad tale in itself, I will use this instead and wind all the bobbins for my Janomes that I want - as in prior to quilting when i want several on hand and don't want to stop each time to wind them. Welcome to your new happy home, little Blue sewing machine!