Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

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Quilting On My Own

I’m making progress on the quilts for the quilt show.  About a month ago, my sister took possession of an Innova Long Arm with Mach 3.  Mach 3 is the computer. Anyway, since she got it, I’ve quilted the two pastel rail fence quilts, the black and white Strip Twist and my Christmas En Provence. Only the Strip Twist is bound, the rest still need binding.  Since my sister is off at a quilt retreat this weekend, she said I could use the long arm.  So, off I went with this  Christmas Crazy 8 which has been a top for a bit over 12 years (I finished it 9/1/06 according to my notes).

I managed to upload the digital pantograph I bought – Echo Holly by Dave Hudson for Urban Elementz. I was able to tell the computer what Size I wanted it to stitch out at get it to stitch.  I ran into one snag where the thread broke – it got caught on the back handles – I have no idea how that happened.  Then the last 2 1/2 row gave me grief.  I’ve about decided I linked them in the wrong order as it stitched out the bottom row, then the next to bottom row and finally the 2nd full row from the end.  But, even with that oddness, I’m very happy with how it stitched out.  So, now I have 4 quilts ready to bind for the quilt show.

The hourglass quilt is one round of hour glasses and the border away from being ready to quilt. The plan is to finish it up tomorrow and go back over to my sister’s to quilt it.

An Auction

Last night I attended an auction. The ad that my husband saw on one of his social media accounts had a guitar featured. When he saw a quilt, he sent it to me, then we found fabric and more fabric.  The top picture was just part of what was on that side of the warehouse — there were bins of notions on that side as well.  On the other side of the warehouse were more of the “pre-cuts”. I really wanted the boxes of 6″ squares and 2″ squares, but I was on a limited budget and was conservative spending my sister’s money as well.  The photo boxes went anywhere from $17 to $30 dollars.  Very accurate cutting, well worth the value – but not having space or a plan I skipped those.  Besides, there was a sewing table and the fabric and books on the other side of the warehouse that I was interested in.

The fabric covered foot locker had quilt blocks and tops it quickly went out of my price range as did the round bin.  What you don’t see is that it had several rulers in it, including a 6 x 24 Olfa ruler.  But I was waiting for those color sorted bins.  The first 9 went for either $45  or $65 EACH! The last 5 were either $25 or $45 each — way more that I was willing to spend.

I did get the sewing table for my sister.  This is a screen shot from the auction house preview pics.


The big blue bins went for $45 – $60. More than I was willing to spend – but in some instances well worth the money.

Those crates have quilting books in them.  The first box went for $20.  It was most of the books from the Better Homes and Gardens Quilt-Lovers’ Favorites collection. After that, the crates of books went for $10 – I discovered two more books in a second crate. I have no idea what else is in that crate as I didn’t look closer and it’s still in the car.

The best buy of the night for me was the two boxes of fabric.  These smaller boxes were $10 each.  The top box is all fabric:

The bottom box was a weird mix. I was after the turquoise fabric.

My sister has someone she’s planning on giving the denim to.

There was also a Pop-Tart t-shirt, micro fiber glass cloths, a polyester gray curtain and this quilt themed needlepoint.

I want to figure out how to finish this to hang in my sewing space.

All in all a fun evening. I think I did well on my quilting purchases and probably over spent on my non-quilting purchases, but in the end I still didn’t spend too much.



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.