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Showing posts from February, 2011

Wrestling

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I have now confirmed that no amount of practicing freemotion skills on a small practice sandwich can prepare me for quilting anything larger than a table runner.  I’ve started quilting my Christmas quilt and I am learning to wrestle the quilt into submission.

Surprisingly it was the straight line quilting with the walking foot, which I thought would give me an easy start, that gave me the most grief. Despite my best efforts at folding and rolling and supporting the bulk of the quilt it kept catching on the edge of my  extension table.  That resulted in tiny stitches when the feed dogs just couldn’t compete and the fabric didn’t advance much, or jogs and wiggles in my straight lines where I stopped to adjust the quilt.
At first I got discouraged and gritted my teeth and wondered why I was machine quilting in the first place when I could have so much more control hand quilting.  Then I remembered exactly how long it takes me to hand quilt a quilt.  I told myself it wouldn’t be perfect …

Almost pillow cases

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My nine  4th grade Girl Scouts made a start on these at camp this weekend.  They wanted to learn to sew and they wanted to do a service project.  Making pillow cases for pediatrics wards seemed like a good way to do both.  Each girl is making one, though there are only 4 in this picture. They got as far as sewing on the cuff and pressing it.  We used the “sausage pillowcase” method to hide that seam, and pinning three layers of fabric with edges more or less even turned out to be more challenging for them that I anticipated. They were troopers though, and kept at it.  Two of the girls admitted to being “scared” when they sat down at the sewing machine, but in the end I think they ended up with the straightest seams!  Using an iron was also a first for all of them, with lots of whispered comments like “Mom won’t let me do this at home!”.  We’ll sew the side and bottom seams at our next meeting and they can show their work off to their parents before we donate the pillow cases.We would …

How many pieces???

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In looking through my bins of fabric for inspiration I was overwhelmed by the number of small bits of fabric I have.  At least half of each bin was filled with pieces of fabric less than an eighth of a yard (fat or otherwise), with many smaller than 6” square.  These have been adding up because I keep telling myself that I might use them someday but I never actually do.
Bonnie at Quiltville describes her “scrap user system” in great detail, and she makes amazing scrap quilts out of her scraps.  In fact I don’t know if she uses anything BUT scraps anymore.  Inspired, I pulled all the “scraps” out of my stash bins and started cutting everything into squares and rectangles of useful sizes (though I really have my doubts about whether I’ll ever use all those tiny 1.5 inch bits). 

Is it just me or does the pile of untrimmed scraps seem to not shrink very much? To keep myself motivated I went and browsed Bonnie’s free scrap quilt patterns.  I picked out Oklahoma Backroads.  Yes indeed, the…