Monthly Archives: November 2012

November Challenge

Here it is, the last day of November and I am just getting my project finished. I hate waiting till the last minute.

The Challenge for November over at SewCal Gal was from teacher Sarah Velder. We drew 1 inch and 2 inch grids and quilted swirls. Swirls are used a lot in FMQ so I really want to learn to do them.

Here is my first attempt. Not too bad. I found if I let the grid slant so did my swirls, just like hand writing. Keeping them round is another challenge, something I really need to work on.

Here is my second go. I had some thread issues so you can see where I stopped and started. Something else I need to work on.

I added some echoing to the swirls on the right and even managed to practice my pebbles. All in all, I think I did pretty good. Maybe after a couple hundred more they will look terrific.

Thank you Sarah for the push to practice swirls.

I also wanted to share my finished wall hanging from Paul Reed's September Challenge. I am very pleased with how this turned out.

Thanks again to SewCal Gal for the Challenges you have given us. Only one month left and we are all wondering if comes next?



Chevron Quilt Update

I completed the Bernstien Bears Chevron Quilt top so here is what it looks like now.

Bernstien Bears Quilt top

The binding is ready for use.



I am working on piecing a backing then it will be ready to “sandwich” and baste. I am still thinking about how I want to quilt it. Do I want to KISS (Keep it simple silly) or make it more of a challenge? Thanks Christa for doing this QA (quilt along). It has really challenged me to get those points right.

I needed to take a bit of a break today so I sewed down the binding on one of the quilts that has been waiting since July of 1211. I usually hand stitch the binding as the last step but my hands are protesting so I took it to my machine, got out my edging foot and stitched down all but the corners, those will have to be hand done.

Just 3 more to go.


Chevron Quilt Along

I am participating in a Chevron Quilt Along that Christa is putting on over at Christa's Quilts. I got all my 4 1/2 inch squares squared up and put 4 together last night to see how it was going to look

Cute Chevron Unit

This fabric is from Moda's Bernstien Bears. We read those stories to our children when they were little so I have been looking for a quilt to use them in.

Apparently my dyslexia kick in over night because when I started sewing more sections together this morning this is how they came out

What happened piecing

I'm going to be using one of those seam rippers because this is how they are supposed to look.What am I doing wrong?

Correct piecing

I sewed and ripped, and sewed and ripped before I finally figured out I was sewing the side seams together instead of sewing the top block to the bottom one. Half of the blocks slant to the right and half slant to the left.

Now that that mystery is solved need to decide how I want the colors to flow, by value or by colors.

Sewing machine tools

Every time I have to clean my machine I have to struggle with getting to those screws in awkward places.

Trying to get to that screw!

Does this happen to you too? In order to use two hands I have to reach through the harp space and around the back of the foot! There must be a better way.

My DS works in a local, small, hardware store (Avenue Hardware) plus he has just about every tool known to man out in our garage so I pulled him into my sewing room and presented him with my problem. His question to me was “Do you have to do that very often?” Silly boy. I calmly explained that yes; every time I needed to clean the machine, broke a needle, got a thread nest and a dozen other occurrences; I had to take that plate off.

Less than a minute later he brought me this odd looking thing. It's called an Offset Screwdriver.

Offset screwdriver

Here is what it looks like in use:

So much easier.

Now I can get back to my quilting, happier because I no longer have to twist my hands into knots when that plate needs to come off.

Table topper. 2012

Here is a little table topper I put together from some squares that were left over from another project.

Purple & blue table topper

I have been reading about sewing the binding down on the machine so I decided to give it a try.

I used my walking foot and found my visibility somewhat limited. Two of the corners look pretty good the other two, not too bad but could be better. I just did a plain top stitch. I think I will try this again on a baby quilt or one for a child where you want it to be really secure. I will probably use one of the decorative stitches that is available on my machine.


Using the walking foot

I did find out that if you hit an awl your machine needle will break and you will have to fish it out of the bobbin area. The solution is to keep closer watch of where your awl is. I used Bottom Line thread by Superior. It blends really well with the fabric.