Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mama's Quilts...

My mother was a long time quilter. She loved piecing patterns and loved color. She did not like quilting itself though, and usually tied her quilts but in the 1990s she started sending them to a lady in Greenbush, MN who did hand quilting for people. What lovely quilting it is too. I received the Myomi Kimono Girl quilt from Mama in 1995. She was making us a Pinwheel quilt for our queen bed when she passed away in 1997. The Pinwheel quilt is complete as far as the hand quilting and has only the binding left. I had stored these quilts for the last 16 years and just last week I got them out. I am using the Kimono quilt on the bed now and planning on binding the Pinwheel quilt.
The color of the background on the Kimono quilt is light green and it doesn't want to photograph well in a long shot of the quilt, but shows in the detail photo. the faces are a light cream color. Most of the fabrics in the Kimonos are Asian influenced, and look quite lovely in person.  I love the colors in both quilts, and my challenge now is to find a fabric from which to make the binding for the Pinwheel quilt.
Like me, Mama liked a lot of color, and a nice mix of fabrics. Scrappy quilters are like that. I probably will never make the quality of quilts my mother made, but I got started a lot later, what with a lifetime of garment sewing behind me. I never really wanted to make quilts, and I never knew you could quilt them yourself until the last few years. Not liking hand work at all, I was put off trying quilting, as I knew I would never hand quilt and was not about to pay the price for someone else to do that for me.  But finding that you could quilt on your home machine convinced me to try my hand at it myself so now I quilt. I love the quilting part more than the piecing - that's for sure. Now to riffle through my stash of cottons I have hoarded since the 1990s and find something to use for binding this quilt - maybe it should be a red material. I love the reds in the Pinwheel. I will update later on after I do the binding with a picture of the completed quilt.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Spa Fun For Pfaff and Elna...

After Smitty's kindest care, the 307 Hobby is back in business. That smell from the motor was nothing to worry about. When the machine was opened up and the parts observed, they were all clean as a whistle, and not only clean but dry as a board which means no one used this machine - probably for a very ling time - like since it was brought to its first owner. Someone tried on it and either put it away and never took it out again or used it so briefly that the lubricants never got moved around. So all the spots in the interior where you could put oil were oiled and the motor checked out. It is fine, but old and the smell is not so discernible now. However, he says the smell may be there a long time or forever, as the motor sat so long. The machine is quieter now and seems very happy with the servicing! I too am happy, and have put it in the table for its turn at being used. I am doing a little free motion on printed fabric, as was demoes in the class I took with Cindy Needham this past June, I am just now getting to trying the outlining of the printed fabric It is a lot of fun. These practices will make nice little table mats.

The Elna went in as well. She had the dial readjusted so it reads correctly now, and the servicing made her very very quiet and a pleasure to sew on. I attached the free motion foot and am working on the other printed fabric square from the Cindy Needham class. I have Aurifil in the machine and it loves it, but I doubt this machine is picky about thread anyway!  The feed dogs do not drop on this machine so I just leave them up and carry on. It doesn't seem to make any difference in the stitching. Of course some folks do FMQ with feed dogs up anyway - Leah Day for one.  The bobbin winder works now as well!

Strip Quilt Revisited...

Now I call it the ZigZag Quilt 2013, and it is ready to quilt! I pinned it in the past week and then had to keep the quilting plan on the back burner of the brain while I figure out what exactly I am going to do on this, and now I think I have the plan. I am going to do some straight line quilting first, and then see how that plan evolves and do some free motion as well. This quilt goes to my youngest son, who is quite happy about it and didn't expect it to come along quite as fast as it did. I am not the fastest quilter on the planet for sure! I did notice that after I was done, and had the quilt top out on the table the emphasis I had planned was reversed. You really see yellow pyramids...the yellow reaches out and whaps you one, and the darks take a back seat. Interesting. Good to know for the future. Not that theoretically I didn't know this fact about color, but in person it really does demonstrate the theory empirically. The yellow really dominates the lights too - you cannot see the pinks too well in the photo, but in the room when you look at the quilt you do see a lot of the pink looking at you. That is why I love scrap quilts - the color and pattern play is never something you can predict, and you always get new sensory input from looking at the fabric patterns and colors in combination melding (one hopes) with the pattern of the piecing itself. The plan now is to quilt this and then bind it and then get on to binging my mother's quilt that is all finished except for the binding. But that's another post!