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.

What I’ve Been Up To

What I’ve been up to?  Well the sewing room/office is getting there.  Boxes are still stacked in the living room, dining room and my space. Some definitely go to the basement, some definitely come back into my space and some still need to be gone through. But the good news is I can get to both of my computers (work and home), I have a lap top hooked up to a television for watching DVDs, my ironing board is doing dual duty as my cutting table and most importantly I can get to my sewing machine.

Last weekend I got the binding on the black and white Strip Twist quilt. I still need to bury some threads and wash it, then it will be ready for it’s official portrait. Meanwhile the two pastel rail fence quilts are still waiting to be bound.  I’ve got to figure out which box the shirts ended up in. There are two dark blue houndstooth shirts I’m going to cut up for binding. But meanwhile, I’ve turned in paperwork for 5 quilts to hang in the guild quilt show at the end of the month and they need to be prepped.

Who am I kidding — I need to finish them.

  • Gift Wrapped.  It needs to be washed again and a new label made for it. It has a sleeve.
  • Jelly Roll Rug – I need to get a temporary label and possibly hanging sleeve on it.
  • En Provence. It’s been quilted, but needs binding, a label, sleeve and washing.
  • Christmas Crazy Eight. – Needs to be quilted, bound, label, sleeve and washing.
  • Vintage Hourglasses – I’m still piecing this one.

Here’s where I am on the hourglass quilt.


I still have to add 2 more rounds of hourglasses, then I have to figure out how I’m going to quilt it. I need to quilt it somewhat close as most of the hourglass blocks have a very narrow seam allowance where they join together.  The good news is they are all bias edges, so the blocks are not raveling.  I also want to evoke a vintage feel.

It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks.



The Sewing Studio / Office Saga

After my office was painted, which I think was about 10 years ago, I put up white temporary paper shades on the window. They were ugly, but effective.  Now that I have a new window and I’m shuffling my space around, it’s time to do something about those window coverings.  My first thought was mini blinds. But at 93″ wide, with a center section of 44″ and no way to do an inside mount, another option was needed.

We spotted these sheers and snagged 2 sets. But when I got them up I knew I needed at least one more set, maybe 2.  So, back to the store I went only they had sold them all.  When I got home I put all of them over on one side and decided I needed 2 more sets and ordered them on-line.

Eventually I may decide I need to special order some blinds, but in the meantime I simply won’t pass through the room unless I’m dressed.

As for the furniture,  it is still a work in progress.  I need to put my large file cabinet on wheels so I can put it in the corner and have the various internet cables run under it. Also I need to switch sides for my work and personal computer so I can reach the phone while I’m working. When I switch the file cabinets I’ll move the lamp as well.

Oh, if you go back and look at what I was planning before, this is not where the desk was going to be.  But that was before realized I wasn’t going to be able to make just one file cabinet work. So, now the plan is to put the cutting table up against the window and set the sewing table galley style opposite of the desk.  Maybe.  I’ve got the desk about 5″ from the wall to accommodate the curtains and that 5″ is turning out to be critical with 2 chairs.  My sewing chair is too low for my desk and the desk chair is too high for the sewing machine. Add in that now my back is to the window and now I am back to the drawing board.

All I know for certain is that I am missing not being able to sew.

The Windows Are In!

Now to get the curtains back up so I can put the furniture back!

Ready to Quilt Again

My husband and I had plans to attend the Rod Stewart concert last night. In fact we were halfway to the concert arena when a friend responded to a post I made saying the concert had been postponed.  Well, since we were all gussied up, we went to dinner instead and came home where I was able to pull the last of the quilting from the quilt.  Now to find a time when I can get over to my sister’s.

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!



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.