Monday, July 16, 2018

Cue "Dragnet"

Dun-duh-dun-dun. Dun-duh-dun-dun: DONE!

The unremarkable and non-memorable block exchange quilt is finished, washed & dried, and bagged up ready for delivery to my friend for further donation.
48" x 72"
The quilting on this is a butterfly stipple pattern. When I have multiple colors and shades as in this quilt, I prefer to use a stick-on method of marking the quilt pattern, rather than try to find a single color of chalk or erasable pen. Those will usually become invisible at least half the time, based on the fabric hue I'm trying to mark.

Friday, July 6, 2018

O-N-O-F-F modulators

(Equipment troubleshooting humor. More than once they've been the culprit in a 'non-functioning' piece of machinery I was called upon to 'fix'.)

I have 4 machines set up in my sewing studio (10'x13' bedroom), with a 5th one--a Brother serger--squatting at the end of my sewing table waiting to be called off the bench and put into play. Some time ago I grew tired of wasting time trying to find the on/off switch hidden out of sight on at least one of my machines.

Marking pens to the rescue!

My Brother Nouvelle 1500 has its switch on the side, which you'd think would be simple to find, but no! It's different enough from my Janome Jem (which I've had so long and use so often I could probably thread and operate it with my eyes closed) that I'd grope...grope...grope...then finally crane my neck around the side to find the switch. Fixed:
Simple, but oh so handy!

My Viking Platinum 16 (deep-throat free-motion quilting) sits in its own table with her switch as far from me as possible. I couldn't even seem to remember which side to randomly grope. Fixed:
What's that I see?
I spy with my little eye...
Flip! Gotcha!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Seriously: Knock it off

I didn't know why I was letting this machine get to me!

To look at me, you'd think nothing would faze me. I stand nearly 6' tall, and my RPF** is intimidating according to my last boss. (He never used the term RBF, but I can.) I ooze confidence!

But that deep-throat Viking of mine, once again, had me quaking in my proverbial boots for the last several (8!!) months. As I was finishing the quilting on my bowtie coffee/work/wine/repeat quilt (back in November), the motor started in with a discouraging, high-pitched squeal.
Dated 1 Nov 2017. Got the Press 'N' Seal template on the inner borders, ready to finally finish this and get it on the bed.
She's too young to be having these types of problems! Nothing I did--clean, oil, change bobbins, change speeds, put away extra bobbins that might be producing sympathetic vibrations/harmonics (I hold them on one of the spool posts)--changed the fact that my machine was being a bitch. So as soon as I finished the last stitch, I turned her off and set about ignoring her problem as hard as I could. As one does.

Friday, June 15, 2018

1,000 Pyramids, TNG

There's another variation of Mary's quilt that can be partially seen in my Clowdy post. This is the entry I wrote about it on my GeoCities account. Back then, I Sucked At PhotoShop.


I made this for my neighbor's 18th birthday (the same girl for whom I made the turtle pillow). It was affectionately known as the "Wallhanging That Doesn't", for I was unsure that she would be able to hang anything on the walls of her trailer. I am pleased to report that she did indeed hang it up, almost immediately!

This is entirely machine pieced and quilted. Most of the patterns came from Carol Doak's book "Easy Machine Paper Piecing". The fabrics used in the Foundation Paper Pieced blocks are scraps remaining from outfits her mother had made for her over the years (except for one scrap of my signature "chicken fabric").

Maddy's Guardian Angel

Hand appliqu├ęd, hand and machine quilted. I hand quilted the wings with clear Sulky © Sliver thread. Never again!

This angel watches over my niece and helps brighten her hospital room.

1,000 Pyramids

1,000 Pyramids Machine pieced and quilted. Measures 4 feet by 7 feet.

While I was making Mary's Wedding Quilt my quilting "studio" was the utility room off the former garage (that the previous owners converted to a den), a room I shared with lots of shelves, the washer & dryer, and the water heater. Not much room at all. The only place I had to hang up the quilt-in-progress to get some idea of its size & pattern was the wall over the couch.

Once I had it up there, Mary & her husband-to-be very nearly never got it--it looked SO wonderful in that spot! After quite a struggle with myself, I finally decided to go ahead and give them the quilt (after all, I had been thinking of them the entire time I was making it, so there was no way it could belong to anyone else), but that I'd make another one for that wall as soon as I could.

I had lots of left-over triangles and had bought my very first piece of batik (taupe background with navy triangles printed on it in various sizes & configurations) specifically for the wall project. There are lots of duplicate fabrics from Mary & Jim's quilt in mine, so I think of them whenever I see the one on my wall.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

20 years later

At a family get-together last year, hosted by my sister Mary and her husband Jim, she pulled their wedding quilt out of its storage box (it was the middle of summer--the quilt was put away until needed) and explained it was their favorite cuddle-up quilt. I was delighted to hear that! But the years of love had taken their toll on the binding.
This is the main reason I prefer doubled bias bindings. There are plenty of layers.
When I knew I'd be returning the next month for an extended period, to help my folks take care of themselves after some health issues, I grabbed all I had remaining of the original binding fabric, plus likely candidates if there wasn't enough of the first fabric.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Geocities 7-1998: Mary's Quilt

This is an experiment in republishing html pages I created for my now-extinct GeoCities account, back in the day.

Mary's Wedding Gift quilt

"1,000 Pyramids"

This shows most of my sister's wedding gift quilt "1,000 Pyramids" from Diana McClun/Laura Nownes' book "Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!". Except for the batting, this quilt was made only from material I had on hand. I managed to complete it in just 5 weeks, mailing it to Mary and Jim in plenty of time for their wedding. All machine pieced and quilted. Measures approximately 85" x 101".

The general color theme of this quilt was blue & white. "Blue" ranged from green to blue-violet, "white" was anything from white to dark tan. Various other colors snuck in too -- I'm sure there's some pink in there -- but that just adds to the charm.

Saturday, June 9, 2018


And I ain't talkin' 'bout the heat!

I'm going to let these 2 layouts simmer on this virtual design wall for a while, until I decide which I prefer. I already know I'll be turning the upper right neutral square by 180 degrees, so there's less of a bridge between the star points.

Huh. I can already see that the X layout draws my eye toward the center, squinty-like, instead of the effect I was going for of sunlight radiating outward. It's counter-intuitive, but that's the effect best accomplished by the diamond placement!