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Archive for December 2010

What is that old carpentry adage? Yup, one should always measure twice, and cut once. This blog post isn’t really about cutting fabric, although, I have to admit, I have made my blunders, not cutting fabric the right size! Instead it is about taking shortcuts, when one really probably shouldn’t.

Shortcuts? Reflecting on this, was it actually that I was trying to cut corners? Or was it that I just didn’t think it through? Or was it that I forgot something? What ever it was, I learned another lesson. Hmm, perhaps I’ve learned this one before. My memory is good, its just short.

Remember that good old blue and yellow string quilt. Well, I’ve been working on the batting. I am using a batting substitute. LOL. What a great way to say I’m recycling or even probably more to the point, repurposing.

I think I mentioned that over the last several months (egad, could it possibly be even, almost a year???), when I realized I wasn’t able to work on quilts as I would like to, because I didn’t have the backing or batting, a dear quilting friend suggested I use an old blanket. Wow… didn’t our ancestors, just might have done the same?

Well, yesterday (Monday), I decided it was time to cut this old wool blanket that another friend gave to me, to fit the quilt. It was an odd size… very long, and narrow. But perfect to be cut to fit the quilt. So, I had it folded in half on the bed, and followed the fold and took a pair of scissors to cut. And then off to the sewing machine I went with it.

And this is where the lesson is learned.

Using the serpentine stitch… its kind of a meandering stitch that uses several stitches to make. Not like the zig-zag, where its once to the left, once to the right, to the left, to the right… you know what I mean.

Well, I was so pleased with myself, that this thing didn’t take long to stitch up… why I didn’t do it sooner, I will never know… err… that’s not true, I worked over 35 hours last week, that is why I didn’t do it sooner. I laid it out on the bed over the quilt backing and top, and was very disappointed. The dang thing had “bubbles”. It’s not puckering, but bubbles. I wish know I had had the wisdom to take a photo, but I was so disgruntled with it, that I balled it up, and figured I’d deal with it another day.

Today was that day. Hmm… seems to me, I recall reading somewhere that using the walking foot, will help sewing batting together. And also having the batting cut with edges overlapping, so they kind of fit together, would also benefit. So, instead of taking the seam ripper, and trying to take out all the stitches, I cut out the join. I then carefully, do you know difficult it is trying to manoeuvre a wool blanket, to lay out on a space that is as big as a large cutting mat (24”x36”)? But I persevered, and in between getting supper prepared, I was able to trim it with the overlapping edges. So far so good. Then its back to the sewing machine, a change in feet to my walking foot. And then start stitching. So far so good. But not for long… it seems my thread snapped. I’m not sure how that happened, but ah well, back track a bit, and then rethread, and away we go again. I was able to finish the join without any further mishap. And you know what I did next? Yup, laid it out on the bed, to see if there were any “bubbles”. And there isn’t any! Woohoo!

Next step is to get this darn thing sandwiched. It is going to be one of the largest (if not the largest) quilt I’ve made, and also the heaviest. With all the extra fabric in the top for the foundations for the string blocks… and this wool blanket. Mmmm… will be nice to be snuggled under it.

That is the latest on me and my quilting adventures!

-Alice

Nothing like sharing a bit of good will with others.

One of my favourite quilters who inspires me on so many levels is having a giveaway for her birthday.  Not only is it a giveaway… but several days worth of giveaway.

I pondered, and I pondered, do I want to share this with my quilting friends, or do I want to keep it to myself and improve my odds of winning.  Well… as you may have already guessed, and to be totally honest, I didn’t ponder at all, after leaving a comment on her blog, I quickly returned to mine, to write, and share her blog address with you, so you can check out for yourself what she has.

I really like what Patsy does.  Her free motion quilting, is what I hope mine to be some day – I know, I know… lots and lots of practice I need.  I also am inspired by her own hand-dyed fabric, something else I aspire to try out.  If only I didn’t have to work, and was able to try out all these things, but first work and supporting hubby at university, and then it will be my time to play!

So please go on over and check out Patsy’s blog, and be sure to check out her website too!  She has a great savings running during the time of her birthday giveaway – did I mention the giveaway is every day for the next 9 or 10 days?

-Alice

PS – As I mentioned DH is away right now retraining to become a Registered Nurse.  We were unable to spend our Anniversary together, but he sent me these.  Are they not absolutely gorgeous?


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