The Afternoon Longarm

I emailed a fellow stitcher of mine, inquiring about prices, thread color, pantograph patterns, and costs.  I wish I had known to do this long ago.  She offers half price quilting for those in her sewing group!!!  So instead of the 2 cents per square inch she charges 1 cent (hey, there is no longer a cent sign on the keyboard, when did this happen?)

So the next afternoon after work, I swung by her studio.  She has an older Gammill, but with a huge frame and stitch regulator with computer program goodness.  Her set up is excellent!  And the learning curve of the software she uses is very friendly for someone like me.

While she oiled her machine, we talked and had great conversation.  And the we loaded the backing and batting, finally floating the top.  We opened the software program, and I picked out the pattern.  With a few stylus taps and  the machine stitched while strumming some kind of tune.  Neat listening to the tune, but mesmerizing to watch the machine travel the long length of the quilt effortlessly.  Amazed is what I am!  Quilting is a very old hobby and has merged with new technology.  A wonderous thing!

Due to time constraints after one row was stitched and the fuducials lined up on the next row, I had to head for home.  The Garlic Knots Marinara is now being quilted.  This quilt, from start to finish is less than 30 days!  I think this is a personal record.  I wish they would all be so kind on time!

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I took measurements, it ended up being 68 X 98.  Nice twin size.  I can’t wait to see the final results and am very excited to share the horrendously pieced backing!  I refused to buy more fabric and used up the leftovers of the quilt top.

The excitement continues in nature.  We had a couple days of nice steady rain.  The grass is so green and lush.  The Redbuds are blooming, the trees are leafing, the wisteria smells so good and the purple flowers hanging on their vines looks gorgeous up agains the green grass.  I noticed some white tulips here and there during my back roads commute.  Spring is definitely springing here.

Spring also brings babies.  Our momma kitty is probably going to have another large litter of kittens.  She is already huge with another 30 days to go.  I look forward to the heredity lesson about dominate and recessive genes for the children.  Last time they were too young.  The other female we have I suspect is pregnant too because the toms have quit coming around.  You cannot tell of a swell with her.  We will probably get to see who the daddies were lol.

I mowed the front yard today.  The weeds were thick.  Ah…..the smell of cut grass.  Ah….mowing the lawn in Texas and not breaking a sweat.  Perfectly spring!

I am currently quilting more on the On Ringo Lake quilt.  I do a block and if I like it I repeat it a couple of times, and then think up a new design for the adjoining blocks.  I find using my chalk pencil, it helps me steer my stitches without painting myself into a corner sew to speak!

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Due to no looming deadlines, I am relaxing more and not knotting myself up trying to get as much done as possible in the few hours I have each evening.  When a person feels good, everything is better.  Relaxing is better, watching tv is better, standing long hours at work is better, and standing more hours at the machine when I get home is better too!  I did not realize how much stress not feeling well was causing me.  So I suppose the stress is even better.  I would much rather have good quality stress over bad stress, and now I am wise enough to know the difference.  My hobby really allowed me to get through the last 7 years of exhaustion.  Exhaustion caused from stress, stress magnified by pain.

I think I figured out the source.  Time will tell and I will share another day.  Good Friday wishes!

 

First days of spring!

The last two weeks I cut our daffodils and brought those wonderful smelling flowers into the house along with some hyacinths that grow in the fence row.  As you would walk through the unheated, un-air conditioned house, the smell would all of a sudden find you when you least expected it.  A wonderful thing this spring.  Before you know it, it will be gone.

It has been so fair here, like I mentioned no heating and cooling.  Just fresh air!  It gives me great energy.  A fantastic feeling, you feel good, the weather is good, life is good.  I will need to probably mow the lawn tomorrow.  Ah….the first mowing!  I can hardly wait to smell that fresh cut grass (or in my case weeds).  And when the back yard gets mowed you will smell onions as they grow wild in the back yard.  That particular smell of spring only happens a couple of times a year.  A good thing to have all those smells, and sights!

For those of you suffering through yet another snow storm, enjoy that too because before you know it, it will be gone.  The cold, the wet, the cabin fever….gone until winter rolls around again.

With the high energy I have had, I have pushed through and finished my Garlic Knot Marinara Quilt.  Click here to read that post in case you missed it.

Here are the final few pictures of the top.  I have not heard back yet on getting this long armed by one of my sewing mates in the club.  If she cannot than I think I will do just a walking foot straight line quilting on it and call it done.

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Without borders above and with below.

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Here is the corner that I will affix some sort of quilt label to once I get it to that point.  It is rather barren.  This will be the upper left of the quilt.

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I purchased this red floral for the border in a 2 yard increment.  As you can see by my piecing it was about 1/2 inch too short to make the width of the quilt.  Ah well, once it gets quilted it will disappear in with the surrounding reds.

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This morning I pieced together the backing.  I still need to iron the whole backing but will wait to do that when it is closer for machine quilting.

In other news, I have been invited to attend the TOGA retreat in Lone Oak, TX in the month of April.  TOGA stands for Treadle On Gathering Academy.  It is for treadle machine users as well as vintage machine users.  With the acquisition of my featherweight I now qualify for this event.  On site of this retreat will be those who will help repair your machine as well as trouble shoot any issues.  A sewing machine doctor will be onsite.  I am very excited about this.  If any of you are interested, this is totally free, they feed you supper on Saturday and there will be vendors, as well as raffle items for sale.  I am intrigued and am very excited.  Here is a blog post from last year about the events and goings on.  Click here to read that.  I was asked to participate in the block swap they are having.  Since Garlic Knots Marinara pictured above turned out so well, I am going to participate in this one too.  I will only know a couple of people in attendance, and will get to meet oodles more!

So today I got out my 2 1/2 inch scrappy squares and sewed up the blocks for this swap.  These went together quickly.  I will probably make more of these as swapping around 25 blocks that are 6 1/2 inches will not make a very big quilt.

As the temperatures have raised in the house to an almost uncomfortable level, I have stopped sewing.  Relaxing with a cool glass of water, admiring my progress.TOGAblocks

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I totally love scrappy!  I think I have accomplished definition of scrappy with these.  All of them are different.  So another project has started.  These fabrics I pulled for this effort I suspect are older fabrics.  The quality of these are wonderful!   The prints are very calico, and the cloth is very fine.  I wonder what era these are from?  I suspect some are from the 50s, and 60s.  I bet some are from the 80s too.  I have enjoyed the fabric discovery of this process too.  Touching fabrics that were forgotten about.  Glad to get them used up, and ready to marry into someone else’s quilts!

I have a sit and stitch to attend, an open workshop to work on whatever I want.  I have so many projects to choose from.  PHDs or projects half done!  I am still not sure what I will work on for that workshop.  I do know I will be teaching the continuous bias binding technique using a square and sewing two seams then making the cuts on the bias.  This will assist the sewing group for a couple of projects we will be doing before the end of the year.  I would rather give an arsenal of tools up front, so everyone’s skill set will be well equipped.

No deadines, just spring in the air and sewing time at my leisure.  Life could not get any better!  My quilty world is always at my fingertips ready for adventure!

Garlic Knots Marinara

The chronological events of Garlic Knots Marinara

  • The idea was born in our sewing group.  A very talented quilt shop owner came up with the pattern for strip piecing out of 2 1/2 inch strips to make the garlic knot block.
  • Two bolts of red Moda Grunge fabric was purchased to keep all the red for everyone the same color.
  • It was deemed each participant in this block exchange would purchase 3/4 of a yard of white with black fabric, or black with white fabric (no gray allowed)
  • It was deemed each participant in this block exchange would purchase a different piece of white with black fabric, or black with white fabric measuring 1 1/2 yards
  • At the meeting before our block making, if you brought your black and white fabrics, the stitching club dispensed the red already cut 2 1/2 inch strips (I believe it was three yards total).  And we also had our black and white fabrics cut using the June Taylor ruler, which made them all the same for everyone….no slipage!
  • We were then given some homework to sew our strip sets per the instructions.
  • Here are my blocks minus the 4 1/2 inch bar of red.

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  • By showing up the day of the garlic knot block swap, we received the red 4 1/2 inch bars that would finish out this block.
  • The day of the group sew,  one person pressed (I called her a pressing goddess as this is not a favorite task of mine.)  For those that showed up without doing their homework they were assisted by the leader/pattern producer of this workshop.  She cut all the strip sets at 2 1/2 inches wide.
  • Some sewed two sets of 40 that day.  I chose not to do that many as it was so much red.  Red matches NOTHING in my house, and thought it would make a good quilt for the children’s bed.
  • I left the sewing group early that day, left others still sewing away.  I left behind my 40 perfect blocks awaiting their swaps.
  • When our sewing group met for our Thursday follow up meeting, I had a bag of 40 different blocks in a brown paper sack.  Not all the blocks were created equal either!

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  • At first I laid them out on the floor like this and my oh my, that was a bunch of red.  In the upper right corner you can see another layout option.

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  • Above, is a sewing club member that had decided to lay hers out in this format.  The black border was a nice touch and framed it nicely.  But gosh there are large patches of red.  How does one break up all that red?
  • I decided with the layout above, but separated it with sashing which created a secondary block

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  • I decided to purchase some well matched red fat quarters for the sashing as well as a few fat quarters for the black, white, and grays.  Here is my ironing board with a few rows stitched together.  Making mine as scrappy as possible!
  • Here are a few more rows stitched together.  At this point I am working the edges  and only have a few more to go.

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  • Notice the lower left corner.  There is no secondary block there.  I actually did forget to put one there.  No worries though.  Because this quilt was a group effort I will affix a label to the front of the quilt in that location.

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  • And below is almost done with the small pieces.  I do have that done now but have not had a photo op yet.  I still am going to add a 6 inch border all the way around of red to add size to this.  Laying it on a twin as it is now is a tad small.  This will help cover and drape whomever sleeps under it.

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  • A tad un-ironed around the edges.  I still have that to do as well.  A lady in our sewing club owns a long arm and I am going to contact her and ask if she would quilt it for me, of course me paying whatever fee she charges.
  • I have named this Garlic Knots Marinara.  I am happy with the break up of the red.  There is actually more red in this quilt than the other layouts but because of the placement of contrasting fabrics, it breaks it up, showing off the black and whites.
  • This has come a long ways in a short period of time.  I might have 3 days of time broken up working on this.  Working with strips is easy and fast, most importantly fun.  It would have went faster but I found inaccuracies in the 1/4 inch of all the different machines that sewed these.  I did scrap one as the pieces cut where way off and not salvageable.  I spent a whole day tearing down and building back up.  I spent another of cutting and sewing sashings to the individuals blocks and then making rows.  Two more evenings were spent sewing to this point.
  • I am so close and my goal is to have a finished top over the weekend.

Red in Knots

In the month of March I was involved in a Garlic Knot Block swap.  At home we sewed our 2 1/2 inch strips.  Each person supplied the black and white fabrics, the red was supplied by the workshop.  (We all know that red is a difficult color to match).  Now, here I am trying to get these together.

After playing with the layout, I determined there was A LOT of red.  To break up the red, I am zig-zagging the blocks and sashing them with other 2 1/2 inch scrappy strips as well as black and white.  The way I am sashing is creating a secondary block which breaks up the red nicely.

The pro’s I have listed above, the con’s I will list below.

For those of you who have participated with swapping blocks, let me tell you, all 1/4 inch seams are NOT created equal.  *SIGH*  There were people there who did not know how to sew, and I knew this would create a problem.  I was unsure of the magnitude.

So far I have reworked more blocks than blocks that are good.  Two blocks I tore down all the way and realized when they cut, the cutting skills had not developed properly and so I kept the red, and the rest went into the scrap bin.  I then proceeded to sew two more blocks from the black and white fabrics I had on hand.

It is frustrating, and I am experienced.  I feel sorry for those who have no sewing skill set at all as these will not go together without being trimmed down as much as 1/2 and inch (YIKES!).  I have decided that trimming down blocks is not frugal.  Someone just paid $10 per yard for this fabric and trimming them down would just be such a waste.  This would equal 40 inches in the quilt.  That is throwing away one yard of fabric.  I refuse! Sometimes, things do not go as planned or the easy way.  Sometimes the best lessons in life as well as quilting are learned the hard way.

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Will I participate in one of these again?  I have been invited to attend the TOGA association of treadlers in Lone Oak, TX.  I have no idea the skill set of the individuals attending as I have never met, messaged, emailed, or spoken to anyone from this guild.  They are having a block swap.  The blocks look simple and so perhaps I may delve into this again.  I would be required to make 20-25 blocks by April 21st.  Not sure if I can make that deadline.

I am excited about this meeting as I will get to meet a doctor of old machines who will give valuable information for caring for your old featherweights, treadles, and old machines in general.

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Incidentally I have decided on a name for my new/old machine.  I am naming this machine Abacus.  I am really going to count on this machine for a long time, hence this unusual name.  Abacus will stay in the family, hopefully for at least one more generation to count on.  I had never heard of anyone naming their sewing machine a masculine name, but have come across an individual who calls her old featherweight Dean Martin (because he was a singer—too funny).

So, what have you named your machine?

Star Capella Finish!

Last night I put the final stitches in the binding.  I will be able to completely remove this one off my sewing work surface and make progress towards finish on something else, yay!

I started by making my own label from twill tape.

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I then used my folded corners ruler for my scrappy binding.  I decided NOT to use bias as the majority of the edges on this quilt  were bias.  All those funny angles, this was quite a challenge for winging it.  But it all came together and worked out.

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Sorry for the glare!

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I had fun quilting this one.  It was so full of angles, the stitching came easy from the sewing machine.  And to make it look like it had movement I did lots of loop-de-loops as well as C swirls and random asters and stars in the star.  A star comet moving through the atmosphere, with gases burning off in a swirly trail.

And I chose a more traditional backing for night time, but less traditional for a baby quilt.  It all came together, and here you see the label affixed as well.  Spring has sprung at my house, just look at those weeds!

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I hope the parents to be will like it.  I will make the delivery tomorrow.  What are your thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Paralyzed by the accumulation

My little sewing corner, is just that.  A small space to tune out current events, and therapeutically stitch and cut (I cannot say ironing as I am forced to do this in the kitchen).   Last weekend was crazy.  My sewing hobby corner temporarily uprooted to a workshop for half a day.  The remainder of the day was a whoosh of time flying by.  Time was flowing so fast there is not enough time to put up and back how you had the corner before.

My sewing space is a constant shuffle, and acquiring a new machine this week, I had to make room for it while it is not in use.  I have 2 totes, and 3 boxes of fabric.  Anything I have sewn in the last 3 weeks, whether it was from on rings lake,

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butter and eggs,

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garlic knots,

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star capella,

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or fanciful flight,

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or the tumblers quilt top

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Remnants were strewn about.  I was armpit deep in a mess of my own making!  All of it here and there amongst my stack of stuff, that had become a pile.  I dislike throwing fabric away, and much of this pile was a direct result of the pile of scraps.  I had too many projects going on at once with no focus.  All of the above projects have been worked on since Feb 11th.  That is my problem.  Of this grouping, I have one needing to be quilted, one ready for hand quilting, one completely finished, and one almost finished, and lastly one waiting for fabric to come in the mail to finish piecing.

I should have slowed down my pace.  It caught up with me today.  I knew if I did not reorganize the mess I made, the creativity would die, and then cleaning would be more of a chore.  It was yet another joyful process to touch and remember why I had this piece of cloth out.   I have strategically put everything back where it belongs.  I should have done this as I went along.  Do any of you get paralyzed by your stash?  I have too many WIPs going right now.  Is it easier to just focus on one thing at a time?  I am a woman, a mother, and we learn to have eyes in the back of our head.  We can be on the phone while telling the children to stop whatever behavior they are doing, while cooking supper, and paying attention to what is blaring on the TV.  I suppose this mother lode dose of mom training is parlez-ing into all corners of my life, including the sewing corner.

So today was the day where I dared to cleaned up, and take a breath, slow down.  I am left with only one deadline.  The Star Capella baby quilt is being bound now almost ready for an April due date.  Sigh…… Slow and steady hand stitching the binding.

Now I am flummoxed with which project to proceed and enjoy.  The oldest?  The easiest to finish?  Aaaaaaarggghhhh!  Perhaps I am overthinking this.  This hobby is my enjoyment in life.  And the featherweight I just acquired needs to have a bag sewn for it.  After researching this, supposedly the wooden case weakens since its construction in 47.  Another fork in the road.  Eenie, meanie, miny, mo………

Well at least everything is tidied up.  What to work on next?  What should I select?  History shows when I pick just one to work on, all of a sudden out of no where a new quilt with a new deadline arises posthaste.  It is not a question if that is going to happen again, the real question is when?

One hour

Egads!  It is already daylight savings time.  Your schedule is the same, but you subtract that one glorious hour of sleep, and all of a sudden, your biological clock is hosed!  I love to gain the hour back in the fall, but springing forward, bankrupts my energy for about two weeks.  I will be in sleep craving mode much longer than that.  My productivity in the hobby corner of life will suffer!

Last weekend I was part of a garlic knot swap quilt block exchange workshop.  I finished my blocks, and left before everyone was done.  I got my blocks at the meeting Thursday evening.  Here is the design wall, er…floor.  This will not be my permanent layout.  I will sash with red and add corner stones in the sashings as well as in the corners.  I will layout my blocks in a square.  By adding the sashings I hope to achieve a continuous looking garlic knot.  I am going to admit, I am not a big fan of red.  My eyes do not decipher all those different hues anymore so I stay away from it.  This goes with nothing in my house.  It will be deemed utilitarian, used and abused, but I have to finish it first!

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I see that I turned one of these blocks wrong! Glad they are not sewn together!
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ThIs is the layout I am going for, but with sashings and corner stones for a continuous flow of garlic knot, much like an Irish chain.  Perhaps I will name it Irish garlic knots.

I am also going to get to know my new/old featherweight and service it.  I see all the places that you are to drop oil into.  I will be in research mode on this as well.  Maintenance is key to keeping a good machine sewing.  And I look forward to my new relationship/romance with this machine.

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My Wednesday consisted of working a normal day, coming home and cooking a normal meal.  I had signed a roster at work and volunteered to make lemon meringue pie for a coworkers retirement party.  I had never made one.  My first pie was a fail, had to make a trip to the grocery store for sugar, washed the pots I had used to use again.  I did not get to sink into the cushions of the couch till after 9 p.m.  My second pie was better, and was put on the table at work, and within 15 minutes was gone.  Both pies I made had great flavor, but because I was doing too many tasks at once on the first pie, I did not stir the sugar gravy enough and the cornstarch clumped and would not unclump.  It is still in the refrigerator as a watery mess.  I will make another one and post that on my other blog.  But I refuse to volunteer that kind of pie again.

Afterwards, I will continue forth with the quilting of the stars quilt.  I have not touched my sewing machines and cloth since Tuesday.  I am looking forward to some stitch time.

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I have been straining at my quilting leash to get back to sewing more of these.

Whatever may be on this quilters plate will be enjoyed.  Even with daylight savings there is a positive note.  I will not be hungry as I get to eat all my meals an hour earlier!    Happy trails to you!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Valentine Story

Well, first order of business, I am quilting the star quilt.  I got the top finished and have moved to quilting it.  Glad that I am getting this to almost complete as there is a long bill of things I want to sew/do with sewing/quilting.

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The real reason for todays post is the following story.  This may not sound like much to any of you, but one thing leads to another and thought this is the perfect moment to share this quilters story.

On Valentine’s day, I played hookie from work.  Work was slow, so no worries.  I decided to hang out with my Mom and perhaps take her out to lunch.

I tracked her down at the Senior Center in town doing hand quilting.  The big story was it was Valentine’s day and the work they take in for hand quilting quilts, is donated back to meals on wheels and the snap center/senior center which feeds the elderly in our small town.

I learned much this day.  My mother was excited and wanted to stay through lunch because they had purchased ice cream cups for anyone eating at the Senior Center for Valentines day as a treat.  I did not look forward to eating bland, mushy food, but would not change the day for anything as it was a grand adventure.

As people arrived to pick up the meals on wheels and delivered, I saw many familiar faces, who really do for our community.  I must say I have a grandeur respect for those selfless people who help those that need it.

I also received a good dose of how to hand stitch a quilt, how to bury the knot, and how to end the thread.  I decided then, that I would take my tumbler quilt (which was in progress) to these ladies to have it hand quilted as they keep no money for themselves, and all the proceeds benefit the elderly in the community.

So we had lunch, I refused my tray but the lunch lady insisted!  So we had brussel sprouts (I am a big fan of brussel sprouts, but then tasted these.  They were cooked into oblivion and turned to mush.  Good thing the elderly have fewer taste buds as I nary heard any complaints), and sweet potatoes, ham, cake, with powdered sugar topping, a roll, and the special ice cream cup.

As I watched the elderly line up in front of a set of lunch ladies, it kind of  made me a little sad.  Here these people are before us.  All way past their prime, but doing fine.  One lady had a wet spot on the back of her pants, and all of them in a line, reminded me of young children in school.  I was taken aback.  When you get old, you go back into your second childhood.  I am forever changed by this day.

After this was over, Mom and I decided to hit the antique mall in the big town 30 minutes west of us.  She had also made a facebook marketplace contact to purchase thread holders.

Mom purchased nothing at the antique stores, but we both enjoyed looking.  I found an old book with jump rope rhymes and thought it was kind of neat.  Most of these in the book I had never heard.

We made it to the ladies house who was selling the thread holders, and mom snatched them up for the inexpensive price the lady offered.  She also said she had other things for sale and invited us in.  She had several sewing machines.  I spied a featherweight.  She said it worked and that she had not serviced it yet and would be willing to part with it.  Mom was interested in the baby lock embroidery machine, we both mulled it over while this quilter invited us into her house to see an old featherweight cabinet.  Neat, and a real beauty.  Next to this woman’s couch she had her rendition of On Ringo Lake, all complete and quilted and bound up.  Her colors were lovely with melon, dark blue, and a red with a touch of turquoise.  Absolutely beautiful.  We got to talking about that quilt and I confessed that I had made one as well, but mine is not yet finished.  She asked if I had done last years Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt and I said yes!  She went back to her bedroom and brought out her version of En Provence.  We talked some more, and said if we changed our minds about the machines, we would let her know.  It was the most amazing connection with a perfect stranger.  She was as sweet as sweet could be.

She had a studio to die for!  The price she wanted for the featherweight was way more than fair.  I had kept my eye on these machines when they pop up for sale and I could not find one for the price she offered.  Last night my mother called to say she was going back tomorrow to purchase the baby lock embroidery machine.  And I said let me run to the bank and withdraw some money as I want the featherweight un-serviced, as is!

I got at call while at work today stating she got both machines and because she bought both, she knocked a few more dollars off each machine.  Here is my new toy that I cannot play with yet, as I need to go through it and clean and lube it.  I am straining at the leash.  It came with a gob of singer attachments for the feet.  The ruffler foot is my fav, but will probably never get used.

The moral of the story….my day off cost me a day’s worth of vacation and a day’s pay three weeks later.  I have been wanting one of these for awhile, but could not muster to purchase one online with no guarantee.  Atleast I got to see, touch, smell, and run the one I have now sitting on my buffet, silently, quietly saying “come and sew with me!”  I need to think of a name for this gal.  I have never named any of my sewing machines.  One I think I should call Bobby as I only use it to wind bobbins for my janome.  The bobbin winder keeps fouling up on that machine.  I have another old machine from the 40s and rarely use her anymore.

This was my first machine my grandma bought for me when I was in the 4th grade.  I am so thankful she done this, as I have sewed a million or more miles in all these years.  I have learned much, some I learned the hard way.  I know the inside and out of all of my machines, and it all started with her.  Her wisdom carries me, and flourishes in my hobby.  Everything I make is because of my grandma.  Life is eternal.  She is with me.  She has instilled much in me.  I would not be the same person without my Grandma.  Grandma is long gone, but she lives on in every stitch!

Another Product dissection in other Quilty news

Today was our group sew day.  A bunch of us at all skill levels came together to sew the Garlic Knot quilt block.  I must say, the novice sewist were quite nervous and very intimidated.  I had no problems because I knew what was expected.  When I started quilting years ago I did not know of rules and was self taught.  I have learned much from trials and tribulations as well as great information on the internet.

I feel sorry for those intimidated/novice gals, I was their customer sew to speak.  I did a bit of pressing and cutting and the seams would not nest, their 1/4 inch was done so fast it was not accurate.  And this was a quilt block swap.  I narry had a problem, but sympathize for those that did.

I had part of the instructions of the workshop quilt block ahead of time and knew the next step but refrained because if I did this as “homework” before the workshop I would have nothing to do once there.  So I opted to sew my blocks at the workshop.

The women who thought they would be clever and ahead, had already sewn their blocks, were tyrants to those less skilled.  They hovered, constantly taking their work, or inspecting their work.  I wondered to myself long before today how this was going to play out, either you are a quilter and understand the rules or you are not.

I chuckle at the ladies who always seem to be bossy and in charge.  That main lady, could not take the pressure and probably knew her work was inferrior and dropped out halfway.  She left early.  Then you had another dominate figure that did not show up until very late, and after speaking with her found out that even though she quilts, she said she doesn’t do intricate work such as the garlic knot block.  I call hogwash.  I think again her self esteem is over inflated, and her skill set is over inflated as well.  Then you had the quiet one, that just goes with the flow, and I have suspected that she has not been enjoying the group much because we are not doing things she likes.  I will give her credit, she showed up and did very nice work.  But she was so slow.  Towards the end, one of the other matriarchs took her work and gave it to someone else to finish so we could all leave.  Nothing like a few holding up the whole class.  But also, slow and steady wins the race eh?

I hope there was much learned on this horrible dynamic.  I knew it would not be good, but was unsure how it would unfold.  My insight was right, and I learned today to trust what I know.

garlicknot

Today I sewed the red and black grouped strips to the black and white strips group strips.  After sewing those I then sewed the red strip at the bottom and top of each of these pieces shown to complete the block.  Not hard, but to someone who has never done this before, who has a cheapo machine with no 1/4 inch foot, this would be hard.  (This is actually my block strip sewn and sub cut at home before our workshop)

I am glad it is behind me, I left before everyone finished.    I had 40 blocks, others done twice as many at a retreat a weekened ago.  All of these will get swapped with one another and I will get 40 back, probably duplicates of those who sewed 80 blocks.  I do not look forward to the discrepancies in size when I go to piece this all together and will probably change it up to hide those inconsistencies.

Again, glad it is behind me.  Enjoyed the sewing part immensely, the people part not sew much.

My pressing mat I had ordered a month ago (at wholesale) arrived and I have not got to use it yet.  I will let you know how I like it in the future.  What I do know, the Magic Pressing Mat can be purchased off Amazon Prime for around $42.

This is wool fibers made into a mat.  So it is made of hair.  It is flame retardant.  If you look closely, this is just like wool insulation you can purchase at the home depot.  The stuff there will cost about $42 for a package of 6 that are 3 inches thick.  I am thinking of getting this to go on top of my ironing board.   (I still don’t understand you are ironing cotton, and the wool setting is lower than cotton….)

Can you see what is peeking from beneath the product flyer above?  Yup, my stack of curved foundation paper pieced flying geese has grown to well over a gaggle.

becgeese

Here is what I had a the beginning of the week.  And now I have a whole stack!  Parts A1-4, B1-4, and C1-3 have been stitched.  I really need to get in gear on the star baby quilt, but am not.  I am enjoying moments with my gaggle.  Stars are not included in the fun right now.

magicpresingmat2

I did learn something valuable today.  My 1/4 inch has been off and I have had to adjust every time I power on the machine.  With all the equipment running at the workshop today, we tripped a breaker.  That hard shut down, made my needle go back to the right spot.  So instead of my setting being at 4.5, it is now back at 2.5.  Not sure if the computer was confused, but now it seems to be back to normal.  Slowly I have debunked all my sewing machine issues, from oiling, (which was causing tension problems on the underside) to the computer malfunctioning, which needed adjustments.  And adjustments are just that, adjustments.

That is the thing with quilters, what ever is thrown at us, we cope, reconfigure, and conquer.  It takes the right kind of person to have these skills.  Only certain people can be quilters, it is not meant for everyone.

Which leads me to my next thought.  I would like to thank all the bloggers with their tutelage, and magnificent tips.  I have grown and learned so much from this circle of the quilting community.  It is a great place to be!  Much obliged!