Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Favorite New Tool

I had a good block of time over the weekend, so knuckled down and machine quilted my spiraly quilt (see last post), which I'm now calling "Frenzy."  The quilting was pretty much a breeze on my new Janome 8200 with all its great features (stitch-in-the-ditch walking foot, variable speed control, auto thread cutter and more ... plus that 11 inches of throat space for incredible maneuverability.

However I was still left with about a thousand threads to bury - as many as eight at the end of each row.

Can you imagine having to thread each and every one of those threads onto a regular needle? Believe it or not, that's what I used to do - until I discovered the "self threading needle."

These things have changed my life!
You just slip the thread in from the top, pop it into the groove, and you're good to go.
You can actually get several threads at a time into it, speeding up the process even more.
(I tried to get some photos of that, but it all came out in a blur, in spite of the "micro" setting on my camera... sigh ~ )
This graphic explains it much better than I can.
It only shows one thread but believe me, you can pop several in there.

So the quilt is now done, all that's left to do is the binding, which will be the same as the border fabric so this is pretty much what it will look like.

I auditioned several fabrics for a second border, but nothing really worked.  As it is, its a nice throw.

Here's a detail pix that shows the quilting a little bit better.  Very simple, not too dense so it has a really nice drape.

This will either be for sale in the general exhibit, or will be on the auction block, at our (PVQA) Quilt Show in February.


Saturday, October 4, 2014


I'm always trying to figure out interesting setting ideas. I made these blocks several months ago, along with the setting blocks, and I initially laid them out in diagonal rows. It was... ok... but I couldn't bring myself to sew it together, so I put it away to marinate for a few months. Anyway, I pulled it out yesterday and messed around with it for a while, and came up with this sort of spiral idea. Much more interesting, don't you think? I'll install a border or two before I'm finished.

The above photo was taken with my ipad. I can't say I'm too impressed, are you?

Here are some detail pix, taken with my husband's camera, so you can get an idea of the fabrics. The colors are much truer, not to mention clearer. Still... its a good thing I don't do this (photography) for a living! I don't how you all get such nice photos. I just don't have the patience.

Here's a doll quilt I started several months ago. I say started, actually all I had done was arrange some scraps leftover from my another small quilt (which still isn't done, btw.) Anyway, I finally sewed it together and finished it last weekend. Cute, huh? Its 7 1/2" x 8 1/2" and will be a gift for my MIL.

This is my other material creation - if you consider tomatoes "material". 
I experimented and made simple tomato sauce in the crockpot. It was a success, but still a lot of work because I had to run it through a food mill to remove the skins and seeds. I probably won't do this again. I mean, how much does a can of tomato sauce cost?