Saturday, January 30, 2016

Not that Dirty

Last week a woman dropped off her Brother XR53 at the Quilt Zoo.  She said it worked fine it just needed a cleaning.

I picked it up, brought it home and finally was able to attend to it today.  It wasn't that dirty.

I took off the needle plate and the face plate (if you can call it that).  I brushed out the lint, took out the hook and cleaned under it and put it all back together.  Total time, including stitch testing, just under an hour.

It is a full rotary hook, maybe an L bobbin or a 15.  I couldn't tell since the one provided is plastic and seems a bit smaller than my metal class 15 bobbins.

The machine has many settings,  I tried SS and ZZ and called it a day.  Now to deliver it back to the Zoo so that the owner can pick it up.

Friday, January 22, 2016

One Hundred and Twenty

Squares. Nine 1 3/4 inch strips each equals One Thousand and Eighty pieces.  Paper Pieced.
If I have enough scraps to cut another 266 1 3/4 inch X 4 1/4 inch pieces I will follow the pattern.  If not I will put appropriate borders on and call it good.  I love using up my scraps. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Feathers and Rulers

When I load a quilt on the frame, it takes me some time to get going.  I struggle with design and the inner demon that I am not good enough and will f*ck things up.  Then, I get into it and and enjoy myself until I am ready to be finished.  Now that I have finished, I miss it.

 Feathers and rulers. The ruler work was hard on my left thumb.  I use it to stabilize the ruler and the residual arthritis or ligament damage from the fracture in 2012 flared.  I could only work about 90 minutes at a stretch when I first started.  Today, I just had to finish it.  Company comes next week and as I said before, we need this room for one guest.  A small guest who won't take up much room at all.  Just the same I wanted to be able to remove the backing bar and gain a bit more space.  Thus, the marathon quilting session today.  It took longer than I anticipated. 

As usual there is a boat load of finishing work.  Threads need to be tied and nestled and then the binding.  I  have not added the quilting hours up.  I did enough to warrant oiling and changing the needle.  It could be as many as 12. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


This quilt is a gift and, as such, I want it to look nice.  Just the same, I don't want to take out stitching to that end.     I drew a chalk line as a guide. (By the way, this is the same triangle in which I had stitched that creature.  Spritzing is magical)

I stitched the spine right to left and then made the feather left to right.   I doubled back on the spine and stitched the top part of the feather.  It will have to do.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Oh dear.  I tried, I really did.  I thought that I could carry a theme across the quilt.  In one corner I had used the ruler to stitch an elliptic pattern.  I rather liked it.
Using the ruler, I recreated the pattern in the neighboring triangle, upside down.  Then I thought I would add some echoing and more curly Qs.  As I tried to make it look better, all I did was make it more hideous.  In the end it reminded me of one of the creatures in the bar in one of the Star Wars films.  The ones from forty years ago, not this past Christmas.

I vowed not to rip it all out but couldn't stop laughing every time I looked at it.  I might have to try to re-create it on a sample and hang it up in the studio.  Hideous, yes, but I would cast this creature as a benevolent intergalactic ally.  I might name him Bernie.
I spritzed the quilt and it is as good as new now.  OK, almost as good as new.  I certainly will be able to quilt over this with a different pattern.  Back to feathers, I think.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Design Decisions

I finished piecing this quilt quite some time ago but did not feel confident enough to quilt it at that time.  It is a gift and I do want it to look nice.  It has been on the frame since well before Christmas.   My first excuse: no matching thread.  The thread arrived three days after I ordered it.  Lousy excuse.

I knew that I wanted to quilt feathers in the border.  When I finally got to it this morning, I decided that I could not quilt both borders the same.  I rode my VITA MASTER, walked the dogs and had more coffee.  On the walk I decided to just go with a meander and decided on the curly Q.  I like it,  but wish I were more skilled.  The good news?  I am getting better at SID (Stitch in the Ditch). 

The color matches perfectly (Signature Cotton Azure) so that mistakes aren't so noticeable.  Once again I must turn off the lights in the room and on the machine in order to see as I quilt.  No night time quilting for me.

I plan to avoid ruler work as much as possible.  I will not SID all of the HST and squares.  Instead I hope I can stitch straight lines using the seams as quides in each block.  It might be tedious but not as tedious as SID and will likely look better.  All that negative space between blocks lends itself to large loopy feathers.  We shall see.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Steven went out of town yesterday which left me home alone with two dogs and lots of fabric.  I worked half the day and was sewing by three PM.  I managed to get eight blocks done by bedtime.  I watched one whole disc of Season Five Law and Order as I happily created the Happy Mess.  I went to bed and left all the scraps and cuttings on the floor. 

This morning I set to it again and made ten more bringing the total to 58; two shy of half way.  I thought I might start sewing the blocks together at that point but have changed my mind.  I want to sew the blocks together in vertical rows because they will hang on the wall better than horizontal rows.  I need to leave the design on the wall as it is because of my spatial relationship handicap.  I started the design in the middle and worked out.  Up close it is hard to see the pattern.  Even standing back I have to squint to see the darks and lights.  In grayscale, courtesy of photoshop, I can see it the best.
I suppose I could stitch the rows as I complete the blocks now that the pattern is clear.   The dang quilt frame takes up so much room.  We just don't have any large wall space.  Oh wait.  Yes we do.
The Museum

We are expecting company in a few weeks.  This room will house at least one guest, so I have to finish the quilt on the frame.  As usual I am stalling, succumbing to my inner worst enemy.  You know that one, Perfect.