Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Author Archives: Pam

I made my first quilted item as a visual aid for a math project in 7th grade. Over the next 25 years quilting was hit or miss, but quilting took over all the other crafts I've done in 2003.

And the 3rd Quilt is Quilted

It turns out the needle needed replacing, which upon reflection made since.  My sister had quilted a sampler and another smallish quilt prior to my two pastel plaid quilts, so the needle easily had 8 hours on it.  I have no idea if the 8 hr “rule” applies to long arm machines or not, but I have heard that about domestic machines.  If we had not been so tired, we might have figured that our ourselves.

I’ve trimmed the two smaller quilts so they are read to be bound — once I settle on binding.  Gracie has taken up  residence on the black and white quilt, so I have not trimmed it yet. In theory I have the binding made, but I want to add the pop of color in the binding, so I’ll be remaking it.  But all of this if for some time next week (8/20).

My husband and I are going to the Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper concert and the windows are being replaced across the front of the house. So that means this week is full with making room for the installers and removing the window treatments.  Then of course, we’ll need to put everything back.  Given that my sewing room is in the front of the house there simply can’t be any sewing.  Which is just as well.  I still am ripping out the quilting on En Provence.  I didn’t work on it this weekend.

 

A Day of Quilting

Saturday was the day I got to use my sister’s new Innvova long arm machine with Mach 3 (the computer). I packed a lunch, then grabbed 3 quilts — the two pastel quilts and my black and white Strip Twist as it had the batting folded up with it.  But first there was a stop to pick up a roll of white batting.

For these quilts I picked Urban Elementz Stetson and Boots. I started with the smaller of the two quilts.

Then it was on to the larger quilt. Before it was time for dinner, the second quilt was done.

I think I did a halfway decent job with lining up the backing given it was only about 1, maybe 1-1/2 inches wider than the quilt. Before loading the quilt I sewed muslin to the backing so there was enough to work with. In this picture I had already removed the muslin from the sides.

After dinner, it was time to load the 3rd quilt. I pull out the backing and it’s been cut! Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and it was determined that I just needed to cut the backing in half and sew it back together. In retrospect, I think instead of cutting part of it off, it was only 45″ wide.  What was throwing me it that it had a “fuzzy” selvage edge and a “cut” edge.  With the crises adverted, the quilt was loaded on the machine.

When I was gathering my quilts Friday night I was debating what color thread to use – Black, white, gray, or something else.  I spotted some lime green fabric on the shelf and thought I could add a flange to the binding to give it a pop of color – so I also picked up “Kiwi” thread.  For the quilting, I picked “Summer Buzz” by Quilters Niche – flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and leaves.

I did not get it finished.  I ran out of bobbin thread and when we reloaded the bobbin the tension was off and the thread was breaking. After about 4 tries we shut it down for the night. We figured after a good night’s sleep things will look better.  So, I’ll go back out to my sister’s after breakfast and hopefully finish up this quilt.

Unexpected Bonnie Reference

Last night I attended The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild meeting. The guest speaker was Angela Walters. She and Jenifer Dick recently released a new book “Nine-Patch Revolution: 20 Modern Quilt Projects”.  I purchased the book prior to the meeting and was flipping through it and I spotted a reference to Bonnie Hunter!

 

Unquilting

I’m finally making progress ripping out the quilting on my En Provence. But first I’ll answer the question Why??!!!

  • When I quilted this back in December it was the first time in a year I had done any long arm work so I was rusty.
  • My thread frequently broke so there are not so great starts and stops in the quilting.
  • I wasn’t able to finish the quilt in one session and had to remove both the quilt and the pantograph from the machine.
  • I considered ripping it all out and sending it out to be quilted when I got home after my day of quilting.
  • I was dreading lining up the panto and the quilt when I finally got around to finishing the quilting.
  • My sister recently bought a computerized long arm machine and I found a digital copy of the pantograph!
  • Although the computer would make lining up the pantograph easier, the differences between what I quilted and what the computer quilted would be clear.
  • It would annoy me every time I spotted the difference in the quilting – not that I would be looking for it.

At first I was working from the top of the quilt, clipping every 4th or 5th stitch and then pulling the bobbin thread.  This was tedious.  Turns out I had started on a side instead of the top or bottom, so it’s no wonder I didn’t get very far after a couple of hour work.  Once I figured that out, I started at the top, clipping along my thread path.  Much faster, but after a couple of evenings I still only had one pass done.

This quilt is BIG – 108″ x 108″ and I had about 72″ of the top quilted. There had to be a faster way.  So I asked in the Quiltville group on Facebook.  Several people suggested clipping the threads between the batting and backing.  I attempted to do that, but even with good lighting (I’m working on my dining room table and we have 5 LED bulbs rated at 800 lumens each) I couldn’t see my stitches to clip. I was also worried about pulling on my batting since it doesn’t have a scrim. I’m using Hobbs Tuscany 100% cotton. But given it took me a week and I had another 7 passes of quilting I had to try something.

I turned the quilt around so I was working from the last quilting I put in.  Turns out you just have to see one stitch and if you have a sharp blade, just touch it while holding tension on the top and batting. That breaks the stitch and the tension on the top and batting pulls the next 3 or 4 stitches on either side out. Needless to say, it’s ripping out much faster now.

The pic at the top of the post is from yesterday before I started up again. I’m down to about 40″ of quilting left.  A couple of times I’ve flipped the quilt over and have cleaned up the threads from the quilt top.  I have lots of help from Butterscotch when I do that. I had my husband video a bit.

I won’t be able to quilt this Saturday, but see no issues getting it quilted and bound in time for the quilt show in September.

A Day Trip

Saturday was Road Trip Day.  Earlier in the week I found a sewing table for a fantastic price on Facebook Marketplace up in Ashland, Nebraska. Ashland is between Lincoln and Omaha, so since we were headed north, Ted checked Craigslist and FBM for things he was looking for as well. He found a couple of things he wanted, so it was going to be a full day. We were out of the house by 7:30 AM.

First stop the Target parking lot in St  Joseph, Missouri where we picked up a mandolin.

On the way to Lincoln, I looked up the exhibits at the International Quilt Study Center. There were some interesting ones, but it would mean circling back to Lincoln after we picked up the sewing table and we wanted to go on to Omaha.  We didn’t make it that far on our March 2017 road trip to Nebraska. We decided to wait to make our decision.

Then it was to Lincoln where we picked up this music stand.  A fun coincidence — the woman we bought this from is a Delta State University graduate, our alma mater.

At this point I checked my watch and the GPS and knew we had to head to Ashland to get the table.  As we drove through downtown Ashland, we knew we wanted to get out an walk a bit after we picked up the table. Naturally I took pictures of quilting ideas.

We stopped in a couple of shops and I found a couple of quilting coasters – nothing music related though.

It’s past lunch time now so we ate at the local pizza place and asked about things to see in the area. They mentioned the Air & Space museum.  It was about 1:30 now and we had a choice to make. Go back to Lincoln to see the quilt center which closed at 4  and stop in at Cosmic Cow which was open until 5 or go on to Omaha.  The woman I bought the table from suggested Lincoln given that Omaha was really out of the way to Kansas City.  So we headed back to Lincoln. But we took a different route to the interstate and passed this:

That’s a B-1A. Naturally we had to stop and take pictures.  Turns out we were at the Strategic Air Command Air & Space museum.

We did not take the tour, but did go into the gift shop where I purchased a book:

Astronaut Clayton Anderson is from Ashland, Nebraska. It’s really a cute book.

We  finally got on the interstate and made our way back to Lincoln around 4. I stopped in at Cosmic Cow as they were open until 5. How can you  NOT stop in at a quilt shop with a name like that. A couple of FQs came home with me.

We took the scenic route home, zigzaging across southeast Nebraska.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen roads so straight in my life. Once we got close to the Missouri River the roads started following the river.  We pulled over at White Cloud, Kansas.  The river was maybe 10 feet from the road.

We missed our turn to cross the Missouri River at St Joseph, so we ended up in Atchison, Kansas a little before 8. They have a beautiful river front park. Our phones were telling us it was 86 degrees, but it seemed much cooler. The temperature was perfect.

We finally got home and unloaded the truck. The sewing table is now sitting in MY garage. I’ve got to take down my current table to make room for it, but at 10 PM I was exhausted.  It was a fun day. I think if we are ever going to get to Omaha it is going to have to be THE destination instead of part of a longer trip.

 

Ripping and Sewing

This afternoon I walked through the dining room and found both cats on the quilt. They do not look pleased with my progress from the previous night. I can’t say that I was either.  But ripping quilting out is not as fast as putting it in.  Tonight after 2 1/2 hours I managed to get about 1/3 of 1 pass of quilting ripped out.

There are either 8 or 9 passes.  Clearly this is not going to get quilted next weekend.

After being hunched over the quilt that long, I decided I needed to see some forward progress. So, I finished the smaller pastel plaid top.

the smaller top is 40″ x 48″. I’ll back it with the peach fabric i found in my stash. The larger one is 48 x 64 and will get the flannel cowboy fabric.

I’ll probably quilt these two next weekend.

And Plans Change

 

 

Yes, this is my new current project.  Ripping out the quilting from my Christmas version of En Provence.  I started quilting it back in December and only got halfway though it. The plan was to eventually go back and finish the quilting, but I simply haven’t made the effort (there’s been a lot going on around here this spring and summer). But my sister is taking delivery on a computerized long-arm machine next week. Guess who is showing up the following Saturday to quilt?

I’ve discovered the panto that I purchased is also available as a digital download.  In theory we could line it up and pick up where I stopped. But it wasn’t my best work –  it was the first quilt I had quilted in about a year, and  I was having issues with thread breakage.  So, I’m ripping with the assistance of Butterscotch and Gracie.  The project is so big they are taking turns.

Meanwhile, instead of going to the Guild sew day this Saturday, my husband and I are driving up to Nebraska to pick up a new sewing table for me. I know I said I had no money for the sewing room remodel, but I couldn’t pass up the deal I got on this table.

 

The woman I’m buying it from just got a new sewing machine and it won’t fit in the 12″ x 23 1/2″ opening.  My machine will easily fit as the opening on my table is only 10 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ and there is room to spare.

All of this means that the pastel shirt quilt is temporarily on hold while I rip and rearrange.  Although I may try to sneak a few minutes in since it’s so close.

 

A Top, A New Project, Storing Fabric

The top is done, unless it is not.  Let me try to explain.  Originally the plan was to make this quilt at least 56 ” x 68″ and then see how much more fabric I could squeeze out of the remaining pieces of the 5 shirts.  But then when digging through my stash to find a backing, I found this wonderful cowboy print.

I only have a yard and a half of this flannel, so I’m limited to 54″ in width.  So, I removed the last to columns of the quilt making it only 48 inches wide.  Then I didn’t make it quite as long. At the moment it measures 64″ long. I’m contemplating removing one row and putting it in a second quilt.  Since I didn’t make the quilt as big as I planned I’m going to make a 2nd quilt. If I remove the last row of this quilt it will give me an additional 12 units for the 2nd quilt.  Fortunately I do not have to make the final decision today. First I have to stitch up all those units on the left of my sewing machine.

But what’s that over on the right?  It’s my new leader/ender project. Yes, I  have yet another new project cut out. I think we can safely say my Quilt Pox remission is over.

First, I pulled from my 2-1/2″  precut box the neutral squares and bright rectangles.  Then I pulled the same from my 2-1/2″ strip box. Finally I pulled from my fabric stash and cut a strip off of my FQs. This is going to be “Now and Later”. Originally published in the October 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, I received the pattern when they sent me a subscription renewal. While I was at it I refolded the FQs so they fit in my box better.  One of these days I’m going to have to just stop cutting and sewing and just fold. Eventually I want to get all of my “FQ” boxes folded and then sorted so I can open a lid and see what I have. Right now I have boxes sorted by color, but I still have to dig. Perhaps I need to set aside a few hours each week to work on this.

 

Too Many Ideas

After not quilting for so long, I’ve got ideas and things I want to do/make and not enough time.

 

First up, Project Warm Embrace Dream Bags. Let me back up a moment.  Back in June I joined Starlight Quilter Guild. They make quilts for both Project Linus and Project Warm Embrace.  Additionally, the Group Project this year is the Dream Bags.  They are pillowcases with drawstrings given to foster kids so when they are moved they have something to put their possessions in other than a trash bag. Yesterday, I cut kits so I have something quick to finish.

Also pictured are upholstery samples cut to size and kitted up with zippers to make zipper bags.  These will go into the Guild Boutique at the Quilt show in September. I have fabric for more bags, but I need to get more zippers.

 

While I haven’t finished the quilt top from pastel shirts yet, since I’m going to use the cowboy fabric, I need to make it smaller. So, I’m going to make a smaller quilt with the leftover blocks and the rest of the fabric from the shirts. But I really wanted to make a larger quilt.

This fabric has been kicking (it’s more vivid in real life) around in my sewing room. I also unearthed a free pattern from American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine called “now and later”.  Super simple quilt.  I have just enough of this stripe fabric for the border. So, I’m using it for my inspiration and have pulled bright strips from my precut box.

 

I plan on using some of the neutrals I bought on the trip to Jackson and of course pull from my stash.  I want this bright and colorful.

Oh — I want to make another rug. I have a stack of Kansas Troubles strips from a couple of partially used jelly rolls. If I can come up with 40 or so strips I may use those.

Of course, I’m planing on quilts for the aforementioned Quilt Show.  I want to finish my En Provence which is partially quilted and the hourglass quilt I’m making from vintage hand pieced hourglasses.

Cascade is now sitting on my cutting table taunting me to finish it up.  The only reason Carolina Chain and On Ringo Lake are not taunting me is I have them contained in project boxes.  One is up on the project shelf, the other is under my sewing table. Winter Wonderland is in the living room by my chair — although I haven’t watched television in a while to need something to work on it.

And didn’t I say I wanted to finish my JT2 by November 2019 and I had a plan? I haven’t done my June or July blocks!

 

Picking a Backing

I’m not finished with the pastel shirt quilt, but started thinking about backings since I’m about 1/2 to completion.

I have enough blocks cut to make a top 56″ x 68″ and there is more fabric, so I could enlarge it depending on the fabric combinations I need. I’ve even found a 5 yard length of peach fabric to use for the backing. I think Momma had plans to make a quilt for my brother and his wife years ago as I have a couple of coordinating prints in my stash.

But I kept digging in my stash to see if I could find something a bit more masculine and found some vintage flannel that just screams “use me”.

So, now I’m thinking I’ll make a smaller quilt so I can use this fabric. Something in the range of 48″ x 60″. I’ll put the extra blocks into another quilt.

On another note, since before I started this quilt, I’ve been looking for my copy of Open a Can of Worms by Debbie Caffrey. I bought it off the Guild table at the quilt show in Wichita.  I didn’t think it could be too deep since it’s only been a month, but I simply wasn’t finding it.  Would you believe I had more or less put it up? I found it in the magazine bins.  I suspect there wasn’t room on the bookshelf at the time, but I gave my sister-in-law a couple of my quilting books when she was here earlier this month.