Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Round Robin–Part 2

Every January one of my small groups gets together for a sew day.  There’s always show and tell with projects, sewing machines, and new hair styles, catching up on the latest news and events, food and, of course, the gift exchange where stealing is part of the fun and  I look forward to spending the day with this great group of ladies.

Most of the time a Pass The Bag project is part of the show and tell.  This year, in the glow of the moment, I volunteered to participate.  What was I thinking??

Don’t get me wrong, the level of craftsmanship, materials and group dynamics are great.  It’s my lack of ideas!   I’ve been stumped on both of the last 2 projects.   And, of course, I always plan to complete the project right when I receive it but end up doing it at the last minute.  And now mine is late.  Talk about stressful!

20130625_201022I’ve been agonizing over what to add for my round and last night I finally decided on flying geese to complement the previous round.  I picked out and ironed my fabrics, leaving a mound of discarded fabrics in my wake, and got out my handy-dandy Lazy Girl Designs No Math Flying Geese ruler.

Then I decided I needed to review the instructions and watched the YouTube video only to realize I cut my fabrics out “backwards”; the light color I wanted in the sky was actually going to be the goose.  Darn.  Big sigh.  What do do?  I continued watching the video and realize there’s a chance to salvage what I’ve already started and make half square triangles for use in the half-quarter square block (if that’s the official name for it…I’ll have to find a photo of the block and post it).  Awesome, I’ve got a plan!

I’ve been working on the Rocketeer with my last project, which is 20130625_203003about 3/4 completed, but I just cleaned up the Kenmore 158.950  that I’ve had for over 2 months and wanted to give it a go.

The video reminded me that I should draw lines on my light colored squares, and now that I’ve switched my project mid-stream, and I detest drawing those lines, I decided that I needed to use my handy Clearly Perfect Angles cling template to just get on with the sewing.

If you’re unfamiliar with this tool, it’s a static cling with printed lines that you can lay down on the bed of your machine and use to guide your seams without having to draw lines.  I’ve used this template 20130625_210517with my dear Pfaff Tiptronic 2030 in the past with no problems, so if you look at the seam allowances on these triangles, don’t hold the results against the template!

The foot controller on the Kenmore was rather touchy and it was hard to control at an even pace, giving me less than perfectly spaced seams; the stitches, however, are wonderful!  I decided to continue anyway, not only so I could get through it, but because there’s always a learning curve when you are on a new-to-you machine.

Fast forward to cutting and trimming the half square triangles, and something tells me that this is still not turning out the way I intended.  They’re way too small for the intended design and I have to fix several of them as well.  So, now I either have to figure out a way to use the triangles in yet another manner or I have to start over.  THIS is why I should schedule my sewing time better!

The project isn’t supposed  to be seen by the final participant until January so I can’t post a photo, but I’ll let you know how it turns out.

What’s your favorite method of creating half square triangles?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Marian Drain Presenting at Boise Basin Quilters Guild!

MarianDrainI’ve been so excited about the presenter at our guild this coming Thursday evening that I forgot to post a blog entry about it!

I met Marian Drain at Innovations in 2010 and we’ve been fast friends ever since.  She’s an amazing longarm quilter and teacher who’s developed a style that brings home awards!

I’ve been privileged to host Marian this week and we’ve been having a great time together.  Marian's had me busy with learning some new techniques, working on a new collaboration, and I've taken her to a few of the local quilt shops.

Without further adieu, here’s the link for the meeting information:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Ending–The Final Chapter

DSCF7104So, you might be wondering how the story, uh, quilt, ended after I found the binding fabric for the Lone Star graduation quilt.

The answer is…Wonderfully!

Here it is, all 98” x 98”, in all its glory, shown on a king sized bed.

I wanted to give DSCF7113it a lot of texture, but I didn’t want it to be “boring”, aka, too old fashioned, considering this is going to be used by an 18 year old high school graduate, who is off to college.

I used double layers of batting to take up the DSCF7117fullness and prevent the dark backing from showing through to the front.  Hobbs 80/20 was the bottom layer and I put the highest loft poly I could find on top of that.  I have to say, there was still a lot of fullness, and quite a challenge in some areas, even with the additional batting, but I probably would have been bald if I’d not taken those additional steps.

I used Aurfil thread to stabilize the quilt, then changed to Omni thread on the cream colored sections, Glide on the stars, and even used some King Tut variegated thread on the center star.

DSCF7114My goal was to highlight the star and minimize any attention to imperfect piecing, and I think I accomplished this goal.  I’m quite proud of how this turned out!

I’m sure the graduate will cherish her grandmother’s quilt and I think it will stand the test of time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Improved Hackett’s Beauty–Update

I’ve been working with a fellow Onion (that is, a Treadle On member) from Michigan to get a shuttle that will fit the Improved Hackett’s Beauty treadle I bought last summer.  We finally found a shuttle and bobbin, and I’m really excited!  It turned out that the Eldredge E shuttle was the perfect fit.

DSCF7160I borrowed a treadle belt tool and got the belt installed, but the machine was really noisy, like something wasn’t right.  I was pretty sure the clangy sound was coming from the foot pedal, and as I was playing with last weekend, the pedal "fell off" the machine!  That wasn’t too surprising, as the bolts that were holding it in were at an angle, instead of holding everything in straight.  So, I cleaned up the metal bar underneath the pedal, got some Triflow in there to loosen it up (I’ll add grease later) and put it back together and now only a little clangy noise left!

I tried to adjust a bolt on the pitman (I'm not sure if that's the term or not) to get rid of the rest of the noise, but it won’t tighten up any further so that’s probably just how it is. DSCF7162

It was so fun to see that it was actually treadling.  However, there was an intermittent rubbing sound and I realized that I’d installed the belt incorrectly; it was winding through one of the supports underneath.  I disconnected the belt, re-threaded it, tightened it up and re-connected it, and, no surprise here, the rubbing sound disappeared.

I also made a shuttle cover out of an old credit card, which is pretty nifty, so still need to keep my eye out for a real one.

DSCF7164I also found some help threading it!  You can see from this side view that it’s not exactly intuitive!  I realized that I’m missing the bobbin winder finger, but I was able to wind a little bit of thread on the bobbin.  I’ve had to work on getting the tension right, and it’s making stitches, but they’re not as good as I’d like so I’ll have to continue to work on that.

The next thing I need to address is that the machine doesn't lift up flush with the rest of the cabinet.  I discovered that when I push up on a bar underneath that is connected to the chain in the back it will sit flush, so now I have to figure out if the mechanism simply needs to be tightened, or if the chain needs to be adjusted.  I can't imagine how to adjust the chain!!

I also found a 15x1 needle and got that installed, however, it’s not the size of needle the machine calls for.  I was able to make it work by moving the needle down in the needle holder so that the shuttle could catch the thread.  That could also affect the stitches so I’ll have to see if I can find a longer needle. 

I am SO close to having it all put together!!  And I couldn't have done it without help from my new friend in Michigan.  I love the internet!

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