Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sewing Tables Adjustable and other wise

Sew AdjusTable 24" X 24" - Sewing Mates I found this awesome table that will adjust to the size of any sewing machine. This is now on my wish list. I have three machines I can use for piecing. I have a Pfaff Hobby 1122 that goes with me to classes and guild and a Viking 500 that I keep up on my table all the time and then I have an old Singer for straight stitch. Each machine has a different size bed. I've been looking at the Sew Steady Extension Tables but I'd have to buy one for each of my machines. Which would come out to a large sum of money. I saw this on Bonnie Hunter blog at http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2012/04/happy-easter-happy-passover.html  This would defiantely be the best choice.  One table for many machines.

Another thing I've been looking at is Sew-Ez table http://www.seweziusa.com/index.html  I've seen several people bring them to guild meetings and classes. At the moment my sewing machine is on my coffee table in the living room.  I have my Tin Lizzie Longarm set up in my sewing room but it really takes up the whole room.  In the back corner I have a table for sewing and another table for cutting and ironing but I feel pretty closed in there and tend to do most of my sewing in the living room while my husband plays games on his computer. I can't complain because before I was a quilter I was a gamer.  Its just now that I quilt I don't have as much time to game.

I had a nice sewing machine cabinet that fit my Singer machine. I got the machine and cabinet for $35 from an ad in the newspaper when I first began to quilt.  When we made room for the longarm my Mom was supposed to take it to her house to store it until I could find a way to fit it in my condo along with a few other items.  Well a loud bang later, I watched her throw it down the stairs at my condo.  She gave me a "Oh I thought you were throwing it away". My husband who was supposed to be helping carry everything downstairs gave me the "Oh I didn't know she was going to do that".  I say it was a conspiracy because they didn't want to carry the heavy thing back up when I was ready for it.  I wasn't so happy the day it happened but now I just have to laugh as I think how I must have looked while watching the cabinet roll end over end down a flight of stairs. The pieces are at my Moms, she swears she can put it back together lol.

Wish me luck on getting a new table and that it doesn't end down the stairs.

Friday, March 21, 2014


In "Greatful Threads" greatfulthreads.blogspot.com  the art quilt guild I belong in we are doing a special program this year to push our learning.  A list of many different quilting & art quilting techniqes was made and were written one at a time on small of paper and folded.  Each month we pull two out of the bowl and from them we have to pick one technique to work on,  we can do two if we wish.  This month my choice was Sashiko.  I have never done it before and was wary of trying a hand sewing technique.  Not because I dont like hand work but due to carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve trouble.  I have to say I've fallen in love with Sashiko.  The difference with this techinque is that instead of moving the needle you move the fabric onto the needle in a pleating fashion.  I found this to be easier on my hands and wrists and it is something I can do.  Even better it is beautiful and their are many ways to incorporate it into your quilting.  

Sashiko means little stab in Japanese.  It is a technique invented by the Japanese during a time in history when fabric and thread were difficult to obtain. In the 18th century clothes were made from fibers of mulberry, wisteria, & hemp.  Cotton was expenive as it was imported so only the nobility could wear it.  This meant that clothing had to be patched over and over.  The stitch was used not only to mend but to increase warmth.  The stitch is a running stitch but you have a small stitch on the back and a longer one on the front.  One of the rules of the stitch is to not cross your lines.  There are many different patterns with many being geometric in origin.  Typically the fabric was dyed indigo and the thread was white.  An interesting tidbit is that eventually large designs were against the law for the commonors and only nobles could wear them.  This had the lower classes dying their thread indigo to hide the stitches.

Here is a photo of my supplies and what i have finished on my project so far.  With Sashiko you work horozontal first, then vertical, then diagonal, as u can see by my finished stitches.  Then I will work the diagonal in the opposite direction.  Lastly I will do the zig zag portions.  This is a more complicated design so there are more rules as to the direction I stitch in.  

I was given the preprinted fabric by Denise who is in charge of the guild.  It actually was a fat quarter siae but I cut it down to a 6.5 inch block to fit into the middle of my wall hanging I'm planning on making.  I bought the Sashiko needles from "Spool" www.spoolquilt.com ,  a local quilt shop run by Maddie Kertay the creater of the Facebook Group " Bad Ass Quilter's Society" www.badassquilterssociety.com .  

While shopping I saw the needles on the counter.  They are Hiroshima Sashiko Needles by Tulip TulipBeadingNeedles.com or www.facebook.com/TulipBeadingNeedles.  They are made in Japan and forged differently from US needles.  They are made to slide easier through fabric.  I can attest they work wonderfully.  I also wear a Japanese thimble.  Ive had it for awhile so i cant say where i got it other than i think its made by clover. It goes over your middle finger and rests on your knuckle.  This works wonderful as you have much more strenght to push the needle through.  Also on my tray is an adorable flower pin cushion ring that my friend Karen brought back from her visit to the quilt museum in Paducah, Kentucky.

I will post again when the piece is finished. I really just had to share what I'm working on.

Happy Quilting,


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Modern Quilt Guild

Today was my monthly meeting for our modern quilt guild.  It was a special day because it was to be a sew in day.  We were making a Gignomous quilted tote. This bag is a free pattern on the internet and the bag is large enough to hold several quilts and quokting supplies.  It is the perfect bag to carry show and tell, supplies for a sew-in, going on retreat and for those not quilters i say the perfect picnic, beach, or pool bag.  If you didnt wish to make the bag you could choose to bring any project youd like to work on.  

I had a really fun time but only was able to get my bag half finished.  More due to my slowness in sewing and lots of chatting.   When I got home I continued to work on the bag.  It was pretty fun and not too difficult. The Ginormous Tote is by Casey York.  You can visit her blog at http://studioloblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/tutorial-ginormous-quilters-tote/

We are shown instuctions on making a new block each month.  We then go home and have the choice of making some to bring in for a block lottery the next month.  For each block you make up to the third one your name will be put into the lottery that many times.  You may donate as many blocks as you like.  The block we made this past month was a cross block in solid colors.  I made three blocks and was lucky enough to win the lottery.  There was enough blocks for 4 people to win.  I recieved 11 blocks. Once you win you may not enter again until you have made a top out of your blocks and show it to the guild.  I was able to pick blocks in shades of aqua, yellow, & olive green. Im looking forward to designing the quilt.  The intersting part is the blocks are all different sizes so it dhould be a great challange.  

While making my cross block i made a mistake but just went with the flow and kept what i did.  I thought it would be a neat block to use. This worked out great because my name was drawn out of a box and I was chosen to teach my block next month for May's block lottery. I'm planning on writing up a tutorial on the block and will post it closer to the time I have to demonstrate it.    

Here are the cross blocks I won.  

I put the hardware on and here is the finished bag

Monday, February 24, 2014

Craftsy Twisted Irish Chain

I'm taking the class "Twisted Irish Chain with Amy Gibson" on www.Craftsy.com.  In the class you learn how to do a regular Irish chain as well as some modified ones. I really like Amy Gibsons way of explaining things. I watched all the lessons in one sitting and then choose which of the patterns i wanted to try.  I reccommend her class to anyone no matter skill level.  She explains well.  She was also the one who teaches a free beginning quilting class on Craftsy the 2012 BOM class.

  My husband got me electric quilt 7 for Valentine's Day and I've been playing around with that as well.  I decided to use Electric quilt and put my class Quilt in there.  I truly enjoyed building the quilt and then modifying it. One of the great things about electric quilt is that you can try out different colors and fabrics to see what the quilt might look like before you actually commit to cutting your fabric.

I was also lucky in that I have been cutting up some my scrap fabric and putting it into blocks based on the size so I had a group of 3 inch blocks already to go.   It wasn't enough to complete the quilt, so i had to cut about half of the 3inch blocks myself.  I had fun going through all of my scrap bins and using the smallest scraps. If it was a piece bigger than 5inch square I didnt use it.  Great way to use up the small ones.  I was pretty random in using the scraps.  This made for a fairly quick quilt and was completely made out of fabric that I had scraps for.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Linear Landscape Quilts Finished Project

I've been working for on an Art Quilt as my project for this months technique for GreatFul Threads Art Quilt Guild.  This year started a new monthly project.  We will be pulling two techniques out of a hat so that the choices will be random.  From the two that we pick, we may choose one or both if we wish to incorporate into a Art Quilt.  The first drawing was in December to be prepared for the January meeting. Since I wasn't at the meeting my friend Sharon from http://sharon-dancingthruthreads.blogspot.com/ was nice enough to draw mine for me.  What she drew was painting or ricing.

I'd enrolled in the Craftsy Course Linear Landscape Quilts by Gloria Loughman last year and have been a little nervous about making an art quilt so have procrastinated on working on the class project.   I've decided now was the time to get over that fear and just do it.  For the painting portion I cut up a white sheet into several sections and painted them following Gloria 's instructions.  These pieces became the bottom layer of my project while fabric from my stash are the contours. Despite my worry the project wasn't as  difficult as I thought it would be.

Once I had all the sewing and quilting done the final touches included using the ricing technique on the water and tree's on the quilt.  Ricing is a Japanese technique of Sashiko where the stitches are the size of rice and are random.  I used two different blogs to research this technique. The first was http://fiberartexp.blogspot.com/ and the other was http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/discussions/fe-book-study-week-17-~-sashiko-and-ricing

Here is my finished Project!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

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New Year New Beginnings, But first Lets end last year!

Well it is a new year and I'm ready for the surprises and quilting excitement to come my way. First I wish to finish out last year. I still haven't gotten my Tin Lizzie machine working the way it should. I'm being told that the parts are on order. I feel I'm being given the run around but I have no recourse. My biggest problem is with it sewing in stitch regulated mode so I'm learning to quilt without it for now. I did manage to get three quilts completed on it to finish out last year.

My Christmas Quilt
Sis's Pearl Jam Quilt

This one was commissioned by my mother-in-law