Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

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Quilting Funk

I don’t know if it’s the heat or the clean sewing room, but I’ve not wanted to quilt.  That’s not to say I haven’t been working on the Double Wedding Ring in spite of the heat – but no machine piecing.

My husband gave this puzzle to me for Christmas.  I started working on it, but then put it up unfinished.  I wasn’t able to focus on it since the sewing machine was calling me.  So, this week, since I couldn’t sit still long enough to piece, I pulled out the puzzle and started on it again.

It took a week, but it’s done now.  I stayed up late and finished it.  So, now it goes back in the box.

And I think it broke my quilting funk.  I’m ready to finish Oklahoma Backroads.

My First Sewing Machine

This is my first sewing machine.  Not the first one I used — that was my mother’s Kenmore that she got shortly before I was born.  This is the first sewing machine I purchased.

It was the first big purchase my husband and I made after we got married.  I remember it costing nearly $300.  My mother was horrified at the cost.

The first thing I made on it was this dress:

Why do I still have this dress?  It hasn’t fit in more years than I can count.

Over the years I made clothes for my husband and myself.  Baby clothes for my sister’s kids. A few early quilts.  This is the machine I started piecing my Double Wedding Ring on.

This machine did anything I asked it to do – until 2002.  That’s when I discovered heirloom sewing.  I couldn’t get the machine to make a perfect straight stitch on the lightweight silks I was using.  So, I went out and bought my Husqvarna Quilt Designer.  My mom just thought $300 for the Kenmore was outrageous.

Since I didn’t need two machines, I gave mine to my sister.  It was still a good machine if you weren’t working on delicate fabrics and with 3 boys and a tomboy girl, it wasn’t likely.  The only thing I know she made on it was a jeans quilt for our mom.

When she moved this spring she was going to toss it out since it “didn’t work”.  My husband brought it home – sans accessories and it’s been sitting in our garage.  We decided to Freecyle it and I brought in to see how bad it was.  After a bit of dusting out the bobbin case area and re-threading the machine I have to say it works as well as it did when I gave it to my sister.  The dark thread is from the Kenmore — the light and red stitching is from my QD.

Who knew I’d get misty eyed over giving away my sewing machine to a stranger.  But I really don’t need another spare machine.  I have the Singer Genie 354 that my husband bought me at a garage sale a couple of years ago.

P.S. Would you believe that the gal who got my sewing machine knew me from Knitting Camp? I’m sorry I didn’t remember her, but she knew me and remembered that I went to camp pulling a U-haul trailer (there were 4 of us and we needed more room for our machines, projects and clothes). What a small world.

Sky Watch

This morning I woke up at 3:30 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. I oscillated back and forth between quilting and surfing the web. I found this story and thought — hey I’m up, let’s go watch it.

I wandered back into the bedroom and didn’t try to be quiet, but DH didn’t wake up. Grabbed my camera and the binocular camera and headed to my favorite sky watching location about 20 minutes away. Got there in plenty of time, but misremembered the news article (ok, probably didn’t comprehend it correctly at 4 AM) and started home, just as the eclipse started. Fortunately, I figured this out and turned around to take these pictures. Unfortunately I didn’t have good batteries in the binocular camera so I had to make do with my point and shoot digital camera.

The first of these pictures was taken at 5:26 AM according to my camera (allowing for Day Light Savings Time). The last one was taken at 5:45 AM. All I’ve done to them is roughly crop them to the same landmarks. I moved the car twice as the power pole got in the way as the earth rotated. They will enlarge if you click on them.

After my sky watching, I came home ate breakfast and then crawled back into bed for another 3 hours before resuming work on Dancing Flowers. I hope to have the quilting done tonight.

QA Wednesday

Here it is 6:30 PM and I completely forgot about the Quilting Accountability Report that Bari is encouraging us to do. Perhaps if I spent yesterday evening working on either the SBS block due Sunday or my Texas Braid quilt I wouldn’t have fallen off the ladder while cleaning the gutters out. Nothing broken, but I twisted my ankle — the same one I twisted in March.

Two tasks last week — work on my DWR and finish my Texas Braid. Let’s just say life got in the way.

As for next week’s goals just any piecing/quilting will be good, as I really need to keep my foot propped up for a few days.

Read the Manual

Somehow, this is fitting. I bought my Husqvarna Quilt Designer 8 years ago today. I still love it as much now as I did when I bought it.

Today, I pulled out the manual to look something up. Page 6 is titled Accessory Tray / Sewing Surface. Huh? Turns out that piece attached to the lid of my the accessory tray extends the bed of the sewing machine by 1 3/4″.  Who knew?

I wonder what else I’d find new about my machine if I were to sit and read the manual cover to cover?

My New Blogging Home

A year ago I ventured into blogging about my quilting to participate in Judy’s Stash Busting Reports over at Patchwork Times. Not knowing anything about blogging, I picked Blogger. It was easy to use right off the bat.

However, I’ve occasionally wanted to post a pattern in PDF format and I like the idea of pages – neither of which I’ve been able to figure out how to do on Blogger. Then earlier this month while working on my husband’s web page (www.tedavara.com) I discovered that WordPress supported both of these things. So here I am.

I’ve imported all of the Blogger entries, but the links still point back to the original post on Blogger. I’ve thought about editing the posts, but I’d rather simply move forward. This is still a work in progress, but let me know what you think. I had followers on Blogger and I hope they follow me over here to my new home.

Now back to quilting!

What’s On My Design Wall? – 11/23

Half of the inner borders are now on Autumn Splendor.

See what others are up to by checking out the links over at Judy’s blog.

Playing Hooky

Well, not really. I had a day of PTO (paid time off) today. The plans I made last week included sewing all day and perhaps going down to Heritage to get the backing for my DWR. Then over the weekend I got an e-mail from Quilter’s Quarters in Leavenworth, Kansas saying that Earlene Fowler, who writes the Bennie Harper Mysteries would be in the store for an informal book signing. So my plans changed to include the drive up to Leavenworth.

By the morning my plans had changed again. #1 I still don’t have the DWR finished and #2 it was rainy and overcast all morning. Since the DWR still isn’t finished, I don’t have the finished dimensions, so I don’t know how much backing I’ll need. And with the rain, I didn’t want to drive for an hour to the book signing. So, instead I spent the morning working on my 6″ Arizona block, ripping out various pieces because I kept sewing my HST facing the wrong direction.

By noon I think I had had it. Even listening to Voyager by Diana Gabaldon wasn’t soothing me (Jamie and Claire are preparing to sail to the West Indies). So, my DH decided I needed to get out of the house and do something besides go to the grocery store. (Not getting out of the house can become one of the pitfalls of working from home if you are not careful).

So, off we went in the drizzle to Leavenworth. I got to meet Earlene Fowler, she signed my copy of Bennie Harper’s Quilt Album (my husband gave it to me the Christmas after it came out), and while I was in the store I picked up a FQ purple to try with my SBS blocks (it’s too dark) and the Little Gripper.

On our way out of town we stopped at The Bargain Factory – a closeout/liquidation store – because I saw a sign that said “fabric”. Didn’t bring home any fabric (didn’t really think I would), but DH got a couple of pieces of music and a new lunch box.

Even with the rain (it poured on the way home) it turned out to be a great break and just what I needed.

FQ Bundle Giveaway at Pumpkin Patch Primitvies

Pumpkin Patch Primitves Quilt Shoppe is having a giveaway. A FQ Bundle of Red Rooster’s Pumpkins & Spice Fabrics. There is a picture in the linked blog listing, and this looks like a cool collection. Check it out.

Giveaway at The Quilting Cat

Piwacket is having an anniversary giveaway. Here’s a link to The Quilting Cat and the giveaway.