Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Life for Quilting Machine...aahhhhh

Here is the horrid foot I've been using for at least 3 years on my machine-quilting sewing machine. Why is it horrid? When I purchased the antique machine, the seller ground down the foot because I said something about not having much visibility. He did not consult me before changing its shape. Sewing with it like this is so frustrating. Every time the foot bumped into a seam (which was frequently), it wouldn't smoothly go over the seam. It would tend to just push the seam over and keep sewing a million stitches a minute. Each little faux pau was 20-30 minutes of unsewing while hunched over the quilt frame. It got so frustrating that I just haven't used it for a really long time. Which was a shame seeing it was taking up a lot of room in my bedroom. Here I am replacing the faulty foot with one identical to the original. I tried (in vain) to find a replacement myself, but the machine is just soooooo old. Nobody I contacted had ever seen a machine "that old". I finally decided to see if the man I bought it from could locate one. Of course he could--matter of fact, he had one somewhere there at his shop (although after he said that and we disconnected, I did wonder if he was burning up the phone lines locating one).
Here it is ready for the maiden voyage...vroom vroom...ladies start your engines.

Here I have quilted one width of the quilt. It was so much easier! Hooray!!
I had to park on the French fries while I advanced the quilt in the frame. I do love I Spy quilts.
I just did a simple meandering so I didn't challenge the system right from the get-go.
Usually when I have finished a quilt even this small, from the muscle strength it takes to move my heavy (80 lbs.) machine and the frustration of ripping out 6 zillion stitches nanometers apart (I always get sarcastic and exaggerate when I'm stressed), my shoulders are north of my ears (to quote my b-friend, Lisa) because of the strain.

I am ecstatic to report that my ears are in their usual south of my ears location, and I finished this in record time. This is an I Spy for some lucky baby girl at our church. The backing fabric is white with tiny yellow rosebuds. I have had the backing so long that I can't remember if I bought it or if someone donated it to me. I usually put a simple baby-friendly fabric on the back in case the mother thinks the front is too much for use in public.


Seeds of Kindness BooBoo Revealed

I thought I had a computer-for-idiots breakthrough, but the laugh was on me. I finally figured out how to add text over a picture, but evidently blogger does not support the type of file my dinky photo program uses. Alas, just when you would have been astounded by my computer savvy. I had placed an icon over what was formerly the 2 matching fabrics (I replaced the easiest one to get to).

You can either look back at my earlier picture or just imagine. In the picture above, the 4th column from the left, 3rd one down and the last column on the right 5th one down used to be the same fabric. The gold is the new one. Now I can sleep nights again.

I don't have a progress picture for this week. The only progress I made was attaching the unattached row in this picture. Violin and piano lessons were only an hour total yesterday because of some other appointments for the violin teacher, seriously diminishing my available hand-sewing time.


Where in the World is Joanie Appleseed?

I've had very little sewing time this week, and I'm developing a twitch in my right eye because of it. I miss sewing! What little time I had I devoted to finishing this so I can get it up on the wall.

In addition to little time, I squeezed in one Pay It Forward gift. Turned out really cute, too. I'll post about that after the recipient receives it! I need one more participant for the PIF challenge. Write today!

This apple quilt is a pattern from an old Fons & Porter book. I think the book is called Quick Quilts. It was one of the first quilt books I owned. I made 4 of the quilts in it! I made one of these years ago and gave it to our pastor's wife. She decorates with apples in her kitchen. Anyway, my daughter made a set of blocks, intending to sell the top on eBay. I decided I needed to replace my other apple quilt, so I confiscated them. But the original (with 18 blocks) was too large. I made the other 5 blocks into a smaller top to sell.

This one was machine quilted in the cream and in the outer border. For the ultra curious like myself, I used invisible thread in the outer border and a variegated cream in the cream.

At that point I set it aside because I wanted to hand quilt apples in the setting triangles like I did in my original quilt. So I am in the process of doing that. This is about 39" square.

In this quilt, the top left apple and the 2 in the second row have not been quilted with seeds. Only a few setting triangles are quilted.

Here is my template for the was the pattern from the quilt book. I traced it on the setting triangles (only a few are stitched in the picture above) and am hand quilting with dark brown thread. The pencil I use is a "General's Pastel Chalk" in a light grey. It brushes off easily with no trace, but stays put enough to do the quilting.
Below is my "seed template". The apples were too puffy, but I didn't want to heavily quilt them because of all the seams. So I used a piece of a plastic folder and drew the seeds below. The dot is where the intersection of the 9-patch seams are, and the straight line is where the template lines up with the edge of the apple. After I do the right side (designated by the R), I flip it over and mark the left side. The scratched out line is the line I drew by mistake. Very professional, huh? It works for me. I laid the template on a (clean) facial tissue so you could see it in the picture.
I'll post about the Seeds of Kindness booboo and further updates later


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Today Is the Big Day, Part I

Above are the before and after pictures of my haircut today. The first one is the before, where the model looks sad and doesn't have hope. The second one is the after, where the model looks young and vivacious. Since they are both me, there wasn't much chance of looking hopeless, young, or vivacious. I'm posting these for those of you who actually know me in person but have missed seeing me in person, LOL!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Antique String Quilt Finished (Even Labeled)

Here is my antique string quilt, finally finished! This picture's colors are not as vivid and vibrant as they are in person. This was taken outside. Inside whole-quilt shots were even worse. I'll try again later. But I was eager to get this posted.

Below are two of my favorite blocks. It was such fun to quilt this. I made a neat label, but I can't get the picture to upload.

If you don't know the history of this quilt, I would encourage you to click on the "string block quilt" under this post to bring up all the posts on it.


Camels and Quilts

My oldest daughter helped with children's activities during a 3-day meeting recently in Tennessee. This AM a friend (hi, Sara!) who was also on the trip sent me a photo album to show my daughter. She had told me a lot about the trip, but I sure don't remember any camel comments.

Look at the sign to the right...sure hope this guy (or girl?) can read. Do they come with power steering??

Today is my beloved laundry day. I am about halfway through with it already (yikes). I am so close to having my antique string quilt finished. All the border is quilted, all the sashing, the binding is on and hand-sewn down. All I lack is quilting small sections of a few squares of some of the center blocks. Today might be the day it is finished. I'll probably post something this evening if I finish, wash, and dry it!


Monday, March 31, 2008

Ironing Station Complete

A definite improvement! I wish I had taken "before" pictures. My WH cut out a board from the composite multiple density stuff (I can't remember the official name) and slightly rounded the corners. I ironed (how IRONic) my fabric and laid it down on a long table. Then I placed two layers of 100% cotton batting down, then my board. I was disappointed not to be able to use my "T" is for terrific "batting", but we are going to have that installed around the dishwasher.

I just pulled it taut and stapled it down every 4 inches or so. Below I am doing a corner.

Here is the finished product. It is so much larger than my regular ironing board. I had my shipping boxes in a plastic box on top of the file cabinet. Storing them below lets lots more light (from the sliding glass doors to the right) into the room for some reason.
Here's an action shot. Notice the happy hands.
Pressing my way to happiness,


Spot the Boo Boo and Win 4 Thimbleberries FQs

I was sure my eagle-eyed readers would have spotted the mistake in my Seeds of Kindness charm quilt. I saw it when I looked at the picture. The mistake is NOT that the bottom row isn't sewn on yet, LOL!

I fixed it Saturday AM and will post a new picture after someone finds the mistake.

The first one to respond with the specific mistake made here will receive 4 cream Thimbleberries fat quarters. Start lookin'...