Monday, July 25, 2011

Texas Pride Quilt and Thread Review

You know, you can actually get a quilt made when you stay at home.  Duh.  I finally finished the Texas Pride quilt for the shop.  I took the quilt to the shop today and it's now hanging in the front room. 

I had to piece the back because, well, you know, I messed up I planned it that way!  Looking at the picture of the back here on the blog, I realize I got the design lined up pretty good, purely by accident a well planned quilt!

I used the Aurifil invisible thread in clear to quilt this quilt. 

Let me just's great!  First of all, I compared it to the usual invisible thread I get (at Jo-Ann's, no disrespect to Jo-Ann's...I get a lot of stuff there).   I put both threads between my thumb and finger and slid them along.  The Aurifil was smoother.  Second, it is not unruly, uncoiling madly from the spool, tangling everywhere.  Third, I bought the cone, 16,400 yards for $20.00.  The invisible thread at Jo-Ann's is $5.49 for 1500 yards.  Let's do the math...Jo-Ann's cost three times as much as Aurifil! 

To use the thread, I got out my cone holder, after all, that's a big cone of thread!

I used the Aurifil thread in the bobbin too.  Now, I know, the quilt police say never do that, but I did and it worked great!  I'm such a rule breaker.  When I filled my bobbin the first time, I stopped it before it automatically stopped, just because I didn't want to take a chance on it overfilling.  The second time I filled the bobbin, I let it go and my machine stopped it with no overfill.  And,...that was it!  I used just under 2 bobbins for this entire quilt!  I put my tension at 3, which on my machine is the low end of the normal setting.  My only negative is, even though it's Italian thread, it's not fast!  I have a lead foot, especially when I'm sewing straightline grids and the Aurifil thread couldn't keep up with me.  When I went pedal to the metal,...uh, carpet, I had skipped stitches. But that also happens with other threads.  When I put my machine speed to medium, I had no skipped stitches.  Oh, and when they say zero breakage?  They mean it.   I quilted a straightline qrid over the entire quilt, every 1 3/8 inch.  Here's a picture of the quilting close up:

It really is non-reflective, like it's advertised.  Practically invisible.

So, once again, I'm impressed with Aurifil thread.  I am definitely a fan!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

In Progress: My Last Shop Sample

I've been working more at the shop lately and I got suckered in was asked to make one more shop sample.  Friday night I cut the 2 1/2 inch strips, Saturday evening I cut them into their proper lengths, and today I made the quilt top.  The pattern is "Texas Pride" by Gone Quiltin'.  I still have to applique the star and of course, quilt it.  I'm thinking just an overall wavy grid design.  I'm going to try out Aurifil's invisible thread for the first time.  I've read that it can be used in the bobbin as well so I'll let ya'll know how it turns out.  Here's the top on my design wall.

I have to cut the kits tomorrow at the shop, but I hope to have my quilt finished by the end of the week.  That's the plan anyway.  We'll see how it goes!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Paper piecing

When LaDonna asked if I wanted to do the Farmer's Wife blocks, I shuddered.  Paper piecing!! Gasp!  I had never done any of that before. I panicked but once again after her pep talk, she talked me into it (something she has been able to do since she was born, by the way).   I worked on the first block on Saturday between "MiMi, come here!" and mysterious crashes,bangs and thuds with sudden quiet and the rest of the "stuff" I got to do on the weekend.  It took a bit to get my mind around it but I got the first one finished.  Then I read LaDonna's post....What do you mean it was supposed to be the other way???    I am not doing it over.  I was lucky to get it done the first time!!!  Soooo, she showed you hers so I guess I'll show you mine.

 As far as the other "stuff" for the weekend,  she gets  a featherweight while I "get" to shop for a new stove!!!!!


Monday, July 11, 2011

January 17, 1955

Yep, that's the date my "new" Singer Featherweight was born!  One of 50,000!  I was working at the shop (the owner says I'm the shop's "call girl", since I'm the one who gets called in when someone can't work!) when a lady brought it in.  All I saw as they were discussing it was the case.  So many of the cases of these machines are in bad shape with the handles broken and the case itself damaged and smelly.  This case looked brand new!  After a while, when I had a chance, I asked if that was a featherweight that had been brought in and was told yes.  She traded it in on a new machine.  I asked how much she was going to sell it for, she told me the price, and I said I wanted to look at it.  She got it out of the case, hooked it up, and started sewing.  That was all it took.  Love!  It is in perfect condition, no rust, hardly used!  I brought it home that afternoon!  It came with two boxes of feet, a buttonhole attachment, the original book, a new book, and the original cord and pedal.

So for my first project on it, I made the first block from the Farmer's Wife book.  It's been a long time since I've done any paper-piecing so it took a while and then when it was all done, I realized it was the reverse of the picture in the book!  Oh, well, I'm not doing it over.

The featherweight did an excellent job of sewing!  I'm pleased with the block even though it's wrong!


Friday, July 8, 2011

My Ruler Organizer

I like rulers.  I don't have every ruler on the market, but I do have several.  Do I use them all?  No. I have my favorites that I use over and over and then I have some that I haven't ever used.  But I like having them!  It's just like any other tool; using the right one makes the job easier.  Since my collection has grown, storing them has become an issue.  There are several ruler organizers out there, but nearly all of them take up valuable counter space or wall space.  I don't know about you, but my sewing room has no room to spare!   So when I saw this ruler hanger, I thought it might be the answer.  Perfect to hang on my sewing room closet door

Once I got it home, of course, I soon realized the pitfalls.  Once you put your rulers on it, to get to the one you need, you have to take the little end covers off, and slide the rulers around which of course  means that some slide off.  All in all just a major hassle.  I told my husband I needed hooks on the hoop to hang my rulers so I could get to the one I needed easily.  He came up with this idea.  He bought some chain at the hardware store.  Using two links, he created these hangers for me.  One link slides around on the hoop; the other he separated to form a hook.  He filed the rough edges smooth so they wouldn't scratch the rulers.  I added the wooden balls (craft section at Jo-Ann's) to separate the hooks.  Now I can get to my rulers easily and they sort of look like giant chandelier earrings on the closet door!

Now my problem is I need to make another one!  Too many rulers!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's done!

Several posts ago, LaDonna posted about her orange Scottie dog contribution to Theresa's project at Confessions of a Craftaholic.  I wanted to contribute but me being me "stewed and stewed" about it. I toyed with several ideas before I finally decided one.  It was mailed today so hopefully she will get it "before it melts"!!

Maybe it will bring a smile to a child's face and  coax them to eat some ice-cream!!!


A Wonderful Book

How is it that for days on end, I have nothing to blog about or that I felt like blogging about and then all of a sudden I have a lot!  I'll have to spread it out over a few days!

First of all, I won!  I won a book on a giveaway at Em Celebrates!  I absolutely love Em and her blog!  She is such a genuinely happy, positive, encouraging person!  And her quilting is stunning! 

I can't believe I didn't already have this book in my collection!  I remember seeing Freddy Moran on Simply Quilts years ago.  She has a no-nonsense approach to color and quilting that I love!  Someday, when we get our forever house, I want to fill it with color...maybe not quite as full as Freddy's house, but I want to have wonderful colors all around!

Thanks, Em!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Project added

Once again, y'all are great!  I can not imagine another group of quilters being so supportive and encouraging!!!  Thank you!

The last weekend in June, we traveled to see part of my husband's family.  They had recently moved to a new state and chose to downsize. Their daughter had graduated college and had moved back home until her graduate school started.  We had a wonderful visit and really didn't want to come back home.  (Sister-in-law took me to two wonderful quilt shops while there! Big mistake!!!)  Anyway, here are two projects that I had done for them.

Mug rug for graduate....
We lovingly call her the Diva....princess with attitude!  She and my granddaughter got along almost too famously!!!

wall hanging for brother-in-law and wife

However, while we were there, we found out that their son is getting married on Labor Day...this Labor Day!  Guess what got added to my "to do" list!!

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