Friday, 13 February 2015

Successfully finished

I managed to finish the quilt on the frame with the “new” Singer.  And even loaded another. A lot to learn with this technique, luckily I have a lot of finished tops to learn with.

 

2015-02-13 003

I only wish the back looked half this good, some real tension issues and traveling too fast in places.

starstruck

Most of my time this week has been spent on this monster. This is only 80 units, it needs 360. So lots of cutting and sewing. It is Star Struck from Bonnie’s free patterns and I am doing it for a client who initially asked me to do a quilt over 2 years ago. Luckily she’s extended family and not too demanding but I have been feeling guilty about the delay, hence the flurry of activity. 

Plus I’ve finally got all the blocks pieced for Smith Mountain Morning and started webbing the top together. smithmtn

Better pictures coming once it is further along. I did have one of it up on the wall but it was on my phone.

 

snowday

 

 

The best thing about February is the sunlight, the worst is it’s still winter. If I still cross-country skied it would be a great winter. That’s a big IF

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Short Arm Quilting

Sunday we got the quilting frame set up and Monday I loaded my first quilt into the bars.  It is not a pretty set up area and I am sharing photos of an area of my house that few will ever see. The over-stuffed basement.
front of frame
This set up doesn’;t come with a bar for the batting, rather has it floating between the layers. Which means it is hanging down in the way all the time. I also didn’t have it trimmed to size for the quilt I am doing so there is some excess folded on the side so I can get the clips to hold all three layers. Here is the back where I stand and drive the machineback of frame
You might notice a lack of machine on the trolley.  ( it is really hard to get a good picture of the acrylic frame)
That would be because I burnt out a gear on the machine I was using.
After much deliberation and measuring, we went with the Stylist 514 I have had kicking around for a couple of years.
sylist514
 After the first two rows, I realized the foot controller was not working the best and was doing either full out, top speed or off. A call to a sewing machine repair guy confirmed that the pedal would need to be replace or a least a part in the pedal. But due to the weather, neither DH nor I wanted to drive to this guys shop and get the part. So I kept going and ended up shredding a gear in the bobbin area. 
Last night after doing an inventory of my machines and figuring out what machine would be second choice, we decided to try the thrift store and see if there was a good candidate available. Value Village had a machine, not a great choice but for $30 I figured it was worth a try. ts750
Singer Touch and Sew 750. On the Vintage Sewing Machine F/B group they are called Touch and Swear or Touch and Throw. Known for nylon gears that are prone to breaking and a timing belt that is difficult to replace but needs replacing. So I might end up breaking another gear on this one.  Or not.  First off, we are oiling and greasing anything that needs it and I am learning how to do the self-winding bobbin.

quilting
Then back to this. Some of the worst free motion quilting I have ever done. If I had a dog, this would be a dog blanket. I just keep telling myself it is a learning curve and I need the practice.
snowday
And it is better than shovelling this stuff.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Grand Illusion Link Up

We were so busy yesterday, I didn’t even get a chance to write a post to link up.
Blocks are still stacked up , waiting to be sewn together.2015-02-01 002
I thought I was ready to web the top,however, I was jumping ahead and didn’t have enough of the sashing done. Another counting revealed only 103 not the 120 I need. So back to the sewing machine.
But not today. Because today we are putting together what we drove hours yesterday to pick up, a quilting frame. One designed to use a regular sewing machine for free motion quilting.
longarm
 This is what it looked like in the ad I saw on Kijiiji

This is what it looks like right now2015-02-01 005.


Some assembly required. Also some space, we need to set up a table downstairs as I don’t want to take up the living room with this.

So no sewing today, but look out tomorrow, thread will be consumed.

So now to link up with Bonnie and all the rest over at Quiltville.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Final Mystery Link up

It is hard to believe the mystery is over, it seems to be so quick. This past month has just flown. 
I didn’t keep up with the cutting so when the final clue was revealed on New Years Eve, I had a lot of catching up to do. Still haven’t finished all the pieces needed. And I’m resisting putting more than one block together before I get all the  double diamonds done.
mondaylinkup 2015-01-05 001
But here is number one assembled, with one side of the sashing. I really like how it is looking and haven’t been tempted to tinker with any of the colours or arrangements.

Just have to get 57 more double diamond units sewn to put all of the blocks together. Plus 24 more sashing sets done, and 63 more blocks done for the border. That's all, but a major cutting blitz got all the pieces cut, just a matter of sewing them together.mondaylink 2015-01-05 003
mondaylink 2015-01-05 002
My poor geranium blossoms just barely made it to the end and only because I didn't  dead head them when I should have last week. 
This has been a great adventure and I love doing the mysteries. One of the best parts is the group of quilters that I get to visit with along the way. The sharing of ideas and tips is such a great resource, a veritable wealthy of information. The best tip I learned this time was concerning the bonus triangle guide. I learned how to cut one and use it several mysteries ago but this time some one showed how to attach it to a ruler and the light bulb went on.
I  had two plastic 4” squares DH had cut for me for another purpose and weren’t being used. I glued the triangle buddy to one side of them and voila ! So much easier for me to hold onto when drawing the lines and the straight edge won't get ragged with use. I wish I could give credit to the quilter who mentioned this but have no idea who it was. A heartfelt thank-you goes out to her as I was almost going to give up on bonus triangles.
mondaylinkup 2015-01-05 002 
And now to link up with Bonnie over at Quiltville

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Year End Summary–quilts this time

At this time last year, I did a count of quilts completed and had a personal best of 26 done.  Not even close to that this year.  I could only scape up 6 pictures of quilts I had finished. And one of those I had to use picture of it before being quilted since I rushed out of the house with it to a baby shower as soon as it came out of the dryer.
finished quilts
Clockwise from top left; I Spy, Strip twist, Star is born, Celtic Solstice, Zoo Parade, Strip Twist 2
On the other hand, I have finished a lot more that are still just tops, waiting for an occasion to quilt them.
collagetops
from the top left clockwise; disappearing nine-patch, framed 9 patch, Smokey mountains, pfefferneuse, ROTH, Jared takes a wife, streak of sunshine, construction stripe, cat sitting on film at 5
I’m really pleased to be able to count the Ring Around the Hexies (bottom right) as a finished top. That has been lingering, neglected, since coming back from North Carolina in 2013.
Instead of my head down, back to the world, mono-focused on quilts, attitude of 2013, I've been spending more time with family and working on other projects.
collageactivities
from the top left, clockwise; rebuilt stone pathway beside the driveway, raced on BIL’s boat, vacation with sister, Passover dinner, removed built-in bookcases from Den, visiting cousins, prepping our boat for the water
I think it has been a good mixture of quilts and family time, and will try and continue this. Although, we just got an invitation to our Boston cousin’s wedding in June so might have to put my head down and get to work on that quilt. I’ve picked Bonnie’s Smith Mountain Morning for it only in blue and yellow instead of blue and browns. Just need to finish the mystery first before I start cutting.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Year End Tally, but not of quilts

I don’t talk about my job, other than to refer to the fact of having to go to work. Some of the reason is due to the privacy, other reasons are it isn’t a very interesting job. Basically I do personal care on seniors in a nursing home. Nothing intellectual, fascinating or even of interest to most. My frequent description is that we “wash, dress, fed, repeat 26 times” .

But it is necessary and very important to the people I care for. And care is a very apt description. Because we do come to care for the patients and even though we know they are frail and near the end of their lives, it is sometimes a shock when the end is so soon.

The best part of my job is the people I meet.  They are all so different and so interesting, artists, fighter pilots, all sorts of fascinating lives they’ve led. The worst part isn’t the messy physical stuff or the heavy lifting that leaves me flat out exhausted some days. No, the worst part is losing them. Especially when I go in after a few days off and someone is gone, as I did today.

And this has been a hard year. I sat and counted them out today. 12 gone in 12 months.  Good bye Jean, Otto, Joe, Nicola, Mary, Donna, Ilsa, Ilene, Ruth, Kurt, Cy, Margaret, I’m glad I knew you.

Now I’m going to go sew something to lift my spirits. 100_2021

Monday, 29 December 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Link Up #5


Here it is Monday again, time for another Grand Illusion Mystery quilt link up
A wonderful treat of a clue this Friday, 4 patches to make.  With only 4 of one colour way and 25 of the other it seemed a cinch.  And wow it was.  I had to go look up those numbers in my print out to be sure. Somehow I had the number 40 written on my tally board. Always good to recheck the numbers from time to time.
With 40 written there, I thought I was only half done. Turns out I have 20 of that block which means 5 more and I will be finished. The 4 of unit B are already done and sitting the basket of completed components.
units


The other blocks were a little harder to find and required a fair bit of cleaning of the sewing area before they were unearthed.
The cluttered cutting area is a result of diving into the bin of 2 inch strips looking for neutrals. While doing that I decided I had too many and needed to sew up some 9 patches to thin out the bin.
ninepatches


An afternoon of QuiltCam was the perfect time to put pedal to the floor and I now have 30 nine patches done. More still in the partial assembly state.  I’m not sure yet if they will be made into Dancing Nines (free pattern on Bonnie’s blog)  or Rick-Rack Nines (from “Adventures with Leaders and Enders) Just having fun making them, with no thought to matching anything or even light/dark.

And speaking of light/dark, I think the lack of light is starting to take it’s toll on my geraniums. They are looking pretty bad, with just a few scraggly flowers left.
geraniums
Now for the link-up and the fun of technology. Isn’t it amazing to be able to see what hundreds of other quilters are doing, across the globe. To all be sewing the same blocks, at the same time and be sharing our progress, totally fabulous. Thanks again, Bonnie, for this wonderful adventure.