Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Dre in Pa asked what Floating the quilt top meant. 

I will try to explain.

On a quilt frame, one can load the quilt so that the quilt top rolls out from a bar.  This requires loading the top onto the bar and it can be tedious, IMHO.

If you notice in the above phot0 (from the internet, by APQS) the quilt top is fastened to the take up bar in the belly of the machine.  This particular frame also has a dead bar that holds the quilt sandwich in position.  I don't have a dead bar.  Please don't ask any questions about it.  

Please also note that the quilt top is rolled up on a bar in front of the needle.  This is the way many quilters mount there quilt tops; fastened to two rollers providing the flat area to quilt.

Floating the top means that the quilt top floats over the backing bar with the batting also floating in between the backing and the top.  The back is positioned on two rolers, the batting lays on top of the backing and the quilt top floats on top of everything.  Like this

I fully intend to make a sling to hold my batting and top off of the floor.  I just don't know how to do it yet.

I think it is easier to float the top.  I have had no problems keeping the quilt edges straight.  I may try to mount the quilt with a top bar in the future.  That means getting a ladder so that I can retrieve the bar from the beamsit down from the sewing loft collar ties.  Maybe in the spring.

I am pleased to report that I have come up with the quilting design for the dark pieces of the log cabin block.
I like.  I think it is just the right combination.  I share it here in all of its imperfection.   You know what?  When I finished this part of the quilt, I was HAPPY.  I was HAPPY for the first time in WEEKS.  I mean, with the election results and a diagnosis of lymphoma happening ON THE SAME DAY I have been a TRAIN WRECK.  Add to that, the uncertainty; is it really lymphoma or could it be SOMETHING WORSE?   So, coming up with this design, HAPPINESS.

Soon the light will last longer.  I will recover from the brutality of diagnostic biopsies and start my treatment.  I will continue to fight the insanity of Trump as POTUS and, if nothing else, be on the right side of history.   Oh and when I get bummed out, there is always The Princess Bride on DVD.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


This is my mother's manta.  She says this right after she complains that "Things around here grow legs and walk away.."

Mom is 97.  Her memory isn't so good.  She misplaces things, as do I.  She always just shrugs her shoulders and says "It will surface."  And usually she is right.

More than two years ago I was working on a Singer 503    Go to the link to read all about it.  Go to the bottom of the post.  I was long winded back then.

Today I was sorting through the South River NJ  parts.  It was warm in the shop, thanks to the fire in the stove and the mild outside temperature.  I am divesting, as you know, and I wanted to go through the 450 little drawers of parts before I sent them on their way.  (Ok maybe not 450 but A LOT! ) 

For some reason, when I opened the drawer housing a particular hook (I had looked at this part many times in the past two years, always dismissing it as NOT THE ONE)  I read the part number: 172080

I cross checked it with a parts list.  Yep  The hook for a Singer 500.  WTF  I mean, really WTF.

I asked Steven to double check the number.  "Is this a test?"

I must have thought that it didn't look right, all those times I looked at it.  For some reason today, I figured, what the heck.  

Wilson is gone now.  Wrigley has mellowed.  Frannie is deaf and almost blind.   At one time I thought I would help preserve these wonderful old machines.  Times change.  Right now I would rather sew.  I am facing a pretty serious health crisis (lymphoma) and I want to de-clutter my life.  But I am not really sick.  Sure, I might feel crummy during treatment, but I still want to tinker and this 503 project has re-kindled that spark of joy I get when I am in my shop with my beloved old machines.  Hoorah! 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Design Decisions

The quilt sits on the frame for days, sometimes longer, as I decide how I am going to quilt it.  This log cabin scrappy quilt is my only finished qilt top that hasn't been quilted yet.  I finished it many months ago.

I love it.

I was inspired by this quilt Log Cabin quilt by Harriet Carpanini.. I found it on pinterest.
Of course mine is nowhere as spectacular, but what the heck 
I'll get there by the bottom of the quilt.  I am not so sure what to do with the dark side of the squares. 

That will come as I sleep.  Maybe

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tidy OOP

Do you remember in The Producers (the movie) when Ulla (payed by Uma Thurman) kept saying "Ulla tidy oop"?  It is one of our favorite expressions.  Not that we tidy up all that much.

Yesterday I was thinking "Ulla tidy OOP" as I was playing in the sewing loft.  I have an abundance of scrappy blocks. Some went into  Alice's Quilt.  I even had thought that I might sew them all together thusly.  Instead I came up with this:
The whole point of "tidying OOP" is to reduce the stash.  In auditioning fabric , though, I create quite the mess.  First I went through the larger pieces hanging on my rack.

I  pulled out a possible candidate.  Tangled in the loose thread of one of the fabrics was a trapped mouse.  Naturally I screamed, dropped the hanger and all, and ran to the other side of the room.  As if  a teeny, tiny, little mouse is going to hurt me. I'm weird like that. 

I knew that I had to deal with it myself.  The GWH (Great White Hunter)  was running errands (for me, I might add).  So, I warily approached and discovered that the mouse was still alive, caught in the trap only by his tail.  I screamed again, this time, feeling his fear and confusion.   The fabric hangs close enough to the floor so a mouse, dragging a trap, could get enmired in Moda.

I picked up the hanger and all, dragged the poor little thing across the floor, down the stairs and out the door into the snow.  He fought the whole way, trying to get loose.  I kept saying "I'm sorry"  over and over. 

Outside I placed the hanger on the chain link fence and went to retrieve tools to release the tail.  First I cut the threads loose and he tried to crawl off dragging that trap behind him.  "No you don't!" I stepped on the trap, lifted the hinge with a pair of pliers and freed him. He promptly headed toward the door to the loft.   "Don't do it!"  and he veered away, off to the weeds.  Somewhere there is a very frightened little mouse with a broken tail shrouded in Moda fabric threads.

 Since there was nothing on the rack suitable for this quilt, I turned to my smaller scraps.  I found just the color, my favorite; a piece just under two yards.

Luckily there was enough
Now to piece it.  This is a perfect project for today.  Mindless busy work.  I need that.