Sunday, 2 September 2012

Epiphany's and Evolutions

Another Busy week....

 Part I

All I can say is I am as tickled as a tom cat with the end result of the Butterfly Garden, using the dark green binding really made the whole quilt come together, so it is totally complete!
 I meant to make this posting about 3 days ago when it was completed and as we all know, this came up and that came up... etc :D 
Between getting all of my girls ready for back to school this week, I've had to pull apart my kitchen cupboards, reorganize all of them, find some shelving that would substitute as a pantry. Clean out the porch area (we call it the landing since everything lands there lol), take out and recycle the half dozen extra large recycling bags, grocery shop, shoe shop, clean the basement, clean my quilting area, reorganize hubby's shop/tool corner and do fall cleaning on the rest of the house (Which of course is still not completely done yet...) and then to cap it all off I had to explain to my dearest hubby why I was so tired and cranky.  Oh yeah, and Banana's are bad.. very bad and that's all I have to say on that subject ;D
A close up of Cucumber Vines

Back to quilting.. so while I was having a mental meltdown as to how I was going to draw out my lines so I could finish the quilt on the dark side (a little Star Wars humor lol) I quilted the light side on the left and realized that I had not drawn the lines there either, then everything fell into place for me. It was a total epiphany in FMQ'ing: the movements, the size and scale all fell into place in my head and I didn't even have to think about what I was doing any longer. I think I fell into the FMQ'ing Zen space. Even my travel stitching snapped into shape, it's hard to explain the exact feeling that occurred when it happened, a sense of relief followed by relaxation and a sense of complete rightness. To steal a line "I love it when a plan comes together."

One more thing, the suggestion of using washable markers to mark lines actually worked, I will eventually be getting a set of really good marking pencils (Thank you Leah for the Sewline/Fons suggestion) but at $20 a pop plus shipping they are definitely on to the buy later budget list. I only used them in the corner area's where the flowers are on the dark side (Nope you can't see them unless you are up close), and I ended up using a dark green that actually showed up on the fabric much to my surprise.  The scariest part was the first time I got it wet, the marker dye bled all through the batting and on to the white flannel back, and yes I had a minor heart attack, but.. but! I used a small amount of liquid soap and a soft toothbrush on the wet area and that got rid of the excess dye immediately once I rinsed it off in the sink. I am assuming I could have thrown it directly into the wash with no fear but at that moment I did not want to mess it up by making a mistake. 
The test pieces I used were not batted or backed (silly me) so I had no prior tests or experience to measure against. Next time... I will batt and back :D

Part II

During all of my usual hullabaloo I always.. ALWAYS make it to my Tuesday quilting night at the guild, it is my escape from insanity. This Tuesday I ended up with some bad news, my good friend, my piecing Brother machine died an inglorious death, I did spend a day attempting to revive him but alas and alack, nothing worked.
My poor Brother was falling apart at the seams 
The best tension I could get at maximum tension.

The top tension just totally kicked it, I checked the bobbin tension and it was fine, tried different threads and nothing changed. Mind you I have had this machine for just about 8 years and it was a Wal-Mart buy so I think I got excellent life out of my $100 machine.  I am going to jimmy around with it some more and see if I can get a little more life out of it so one of my daughters can play with it a bit and become more familiar with sewing machines. 

There is of course a silver lining to my dark cloud.... I get to buy a new machine! I am eyeballing up another Janome whilst mopping up the drool from the floor but I am foiled ere I begin, budget does not allow for large purchases that are not absolute necessities like a new roof on the house... dang roof.
I could indeed buy this little beauty which for me is a great upgrade to my old Brother XL-2600. This is the XL 3750, Wal-Mart reduced the price by $100 so it became affordable for me! YAY!  It has 10 extra stitches, an extension table (Which is a first for me) and sews even better than my original brother did AND.. AND! It came with it's own walking foot! 

I know there are bigger and better machines, I love my Janome SUV 1122  like a sister but since I am on a budget I have to make do with what I can afford and what is available.  I believe patience has to be a virtue, since evolution's sometimes have to happen on small scales rather than large ones, all I need is 5 years out of this one and then I can upgrade to what I really want!

Part III

Now for my small progress on my Sunday project, seeing as I did not have a typical UFO I decided to use of my charm squares and scraps that I have had kicking around my stash for awhile. 
I had taken out all of the strips, started sorting them into piles and then got so boggled by the different styles and colours, promptly put them back in the bag for now. Really I just didn't have a whole of of time to sort them out in to some semblance of order, 3 days and counting until the kids are in school... I should have time then lol.

Instead I decided to focus on piecing the 1930 charm squares together. I have done a simple 4 patch and only got about 1/3rd of the squares finished.  I basically just whipped them out of the package and started randomly stacking them into similar color or pattern sets to be pieced.
I think the result is very fun and eye catching, although I was enjoying the patterns so much that my brain went into over drive and has concluded that I should be able to get about 5 different projects out of the patches if I mix in some of my stray stash bits and a bit of denim. Definitely a project without a clear goal in mind!

Yep that is my ironing board ;)

This is what I have left to piece, I had way more than I originally thought, so I just might be able to stretch them out into a couple of quilts ;)

More to come, keep tuned in!

Passion in Creation!


  1. Wow, you were busy...I liked Part I of your post re the FMQ...yes, know that feeling when it all just flows and one goes into the zone. Your FMQ looks very nice.

  2. Great finish! Glad to hear you were in the zone! I know all to well about quilting on a budget! It's an expensive hobby, but when you have that passion, it's worth it. I think that's where the term "starving artist" comes in ;) Those little charms are so colorful! Can't wait to see them put together!

  3. I sew with vintage machines and absolutely love them. They've ranged in price from free (1952 Singer 15-91: "Please take this machine; it's a great machine and it would be a sacrilege to take it to the dump." to something like $60+ for a 1940's Necchi Nova BU [including shipping]-- I prefer treadling but not all machines can be treadled. In any case, a vintage machine was most likely made to last 100 years and many produce beautiful stitches--and of course they can be used with their motors, if that's what you prefer.)


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