Sunday, October 30, 2011

Aha moment and a 'new to me' aquisition today

So, I figured out the source of my frustration yesterday with thread breaking and stitches skipping all over the place on a baby quilt I was free motion quilting on.

It was this:

Every time my thread broke, there was a gummy residue on the needle that I had to pull off.  It reminded me of the glue that's on the back of the Avery labels.  Maddening I say!  Steer clear of this stuff.  I don't remember anything similar happening with 505 spray.  Anyway, it's now in the garbage.  I should really take it back to Fabricland because it wasn't cheap and I only used it this once on a baby quilt. But I have no idea where the receipt my loss.  Good riddance!

Here is a picture of some skipped stitches.  Feel my pain?  This was happening every 4 inches or so.  It gave me an Excedrin headache so I finally quit for the day.

On a good note though...

I won't EVER have to use basting spray again because there is a new piece of furniture in my sewing to me that is.  I am the happy owner of the B-Line Original Quilt Frame (from  I love what the Internet has done for bargain hunters who can connect with those with bargains for sale. I connected with a quilter who lives very close to me who was selling her second quilt frame.  She bought one with a friend and then when that friend died, she willed her quilting stash and equipment to this lady.  She decided to sell one and I was the lucky recipient.

It's not put together yet but in the next few days I expect I'll be loading it up with a quilt top and moving one or two of my UFOs to the IFFI (I finally finished it) pile.  So excited to get started.  I will need some help from DH to get it set up.  In fact, he'll be doing the majority of the work and I'll be helping him.  I can hardly believe I have a quilt frame now.  I've been wanting a long arm for a very long time.  This will be a good way to ease into it.

Until then, I will have to struggle through the problem quilt because I can't wash the  spray out of the quilt until it's quilted.  I always wash them before giving them away because there are so many people with sensitivity to chemicals that I want to make sure they are as pure as can be before landing on a darling little baby.

On my horizon is the promise of more machine quilting.  I can hardly wait.

Until next time,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Frustration!! Where is my happy place anyway??

I started machine quilting on a baby quilt for a special baby today.  I started stitching in the ditch on the blocks vertically and then the plan was to start free-motion quilting on the resulting columns (Janome 6500).  I used a thicker Aurifil thread (don't know the number) on the stitch in the ditch portion and no problemo.  Tried to free motion with the same thread, not happening.  Switched to some Connecting Threads thread in the same colour in the hope that the problem would be solved.  Skipped stitches everywhere and temptation for swear words on the rise.

Off to Fabricland to buy some Gutterman thread in the same colour to see if that solves the problem.  Some advil and red wine to deal with the anxiety.  Haven't stitched anymore yet.  But the headache is gone and I've actually laughed at least once in the last half hour.  Good sign.

My happy place was not so happy today.  Hoping for some victory later.  And I'm going to look at a B-Line frame tomorrow, second hand.  That would be nice as one of my pet peeves is the pin basting that still results in puckers on the back of the quilt.  I'm SO done with that!  I'm hoping that the frame will be suitable.  We'll see tomorrow!!  Pretty excited!

Until next time,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My first experience as a pattern tester and Penelope Garcia...

I had a chance to test a pattern created by Deborah Cohen to be published by Arbee Designs.  Watch for this pattern folks!  It's adorable and was very fun to make.

Giraffe at Kilimanjaro

Pardon my toes in the picture.  I had trouble cropping this photo!

I haven't followed the pattern exactly.  I evened out the borders which were odd sizes and added the green piano key border because I wanted to make the quilt bigger...big enough to give away as a baby quilt without feeling cheap!

I have yet to sandwich and quilt it.  In fact, I'm VERY behind on sandwiching and quilting a lot of quilts so I think I should sign off and hit my studio for some sewing time before my birthday party tonight.

I also have to sew a zipper into my costume.  I love theme parties and decided that for this birthday we would do a theme "Penelope Garcia and Friends" - in costume of course.  I am going as Penelope.  For those who don't know, Penelope Garcia is one of the characters on Criminal Minds, the show about the FBI profilers.  Penelope is totally opposite to my personality (I'm more an Emily Prentice character in real life) but it's fun to have an alter ego for a night. This is her:

I'm excited to see what other costumes show up!  Pictures may show up here tomorrow.

Until next time! mean Mavis

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A new experience...

I've heard about people who see colours when they hear music.  I don't pretend to understand how that works.  I would think that it would be an amazing experience though.

But here's what happened to me last night.  I'd love to know if something similar has happened to you.  We were watching the end of a movie.  I was laying down with eyes closed (because I am fighting a cold).  The credits were rolling and the song playing was by Sting, called "Not the shape of my heart".  It's a hauntingly beautiful melody.  As I said, my eyes were closed and I was just listening to the song.  Suddenly as I heard the music and Sting moved from chorus to bridge and toward the end, I could see patterns!  It was like an art quilt with swirls and definitely some colours but the shapes were the important thing and it was fluid and moving and had 'grout' like stained glass windows dividing the different sections.  Oh how I wish I could put it into fabric! 

I told my husband about he and he got me a piece of paper and a pencil to see if I could draw what I could still see in my mind's eye.  As I tried to put the pencil to paper the image faded.  I would try drawing but it just wasn't what I saw in my mind's eye.

Oh well...I guess it was a gift to be enjoyed in that moment.  But I'm curious...has this ever happened to any of my fellow quilters?