Friday, October 28, 2016

Quilting from the Center Out

As mentioned in yesterday's post I did make all the usual rookie mistakes and I'll show some fixes.  I began with the walking foot and baste-stitched in the ditch with a long stitch, knowing I would be removing the stitching as necessary. I did pin baste too, but removed those before machine basting. 
My friends told me about spray starch and I did use this to make a very smooth start to quilting but I managed to wrinkle everything as I quilted anyway.

The way I hold the quilt makes all the difference. I don't use gloves or any other 'helpers' since I learned to quilt in a bedspread factory in the late 80's. There I quilted using T-pins (ouch) and awful sit down machines that had cables for the foot feed, huge 120 sized needles and two threads at once through the needle. Homemade quilts are nothing after machining designer weight cottons, with super thick poly batting. Ugh.

My right hand goes under the quilt and grabs a bunch, turning my wrist so it rests on the sewing table. This is the mover hand. The left hand is just a guiding hand. Of course there is stopping and starting, pivoting etc. I don't hold my breath but do use a fast needle for a smooth stitch.
 I don't mark my designs, with the exception of a soap sliver and a wavy line to quilt next to, for large open areas. The soap line disappears with a spritz and the iron.

When I find myself with an uncontrollable bubble, I unquilt the offending mess, and go to the ironing table and press it all smooth to start over. Consistent patterns would prevent most of those goofs. Alas, I am playing around with different designs and causing myself problems.

The really helpful thing is to accordion the quilt around the machine, so it moves without catching on anything. The only part you need to quilt is there, right under the needle. My thread is 30 wt. cotton and is quite visible because it is heavier. It helps to see what I've quilted, so a fine thread is just too difficult to see. My needle is a 75 or 90, whatever...

 Here's one of my rookie mistakes. I quilted the sections all around this Friendship star block and it resulted in a big poofy mess for the block part. Knowing that spirals and close together lines take up a lot of fullness made me do these designs to rectify my goof. Now I will have to follow thru and quilt all the stars the same way. No biggie.
No more poof!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

One House Owners

We closed on the other house yesterday and are so relieved to only have one house again. The only thing I miss is the bigger garden and fig trees, but I am determined to plant another one here, in the Spring.
 And I am quilting a larger quilt these days. This is about 54x60" and it has been a long time for me to quilt something pieced/not fused.
I moved all my tables to make this larger surface and my feeling at the moment is that I will be quilting up the 13 tops I have waiting in a big bin in my storage room.
I made every rookie mistake when I started this one. and had to unquilt large areas. O well. I am back on the horse and trying out new stitch designs, combining old ones and seeing what I like. It will be a stitch sampler. And as my friend Margo says, a finished quilt beats a perfect quilt. (she of the seriously really perfect quilts).  I am also knitting daily, so I am seeing my fare share of Netflix offerings and watched a really good one that just came online. Dr. Foster. I watched the complete five episodes in one binge watch, while Dave was at the pub watching the Chicago Cubs win the pennant. Dressed in his authentic Cubs uniform, beers and pizza were bought for him while the game was on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Diamond Panel Jacket #9

The new short sleeve jacket for Judith, made from  Casablanca, 60% wool, 20% silk and 20% mohair, and Creative Focus Superwash, 50% merino, 50% wool. 
Although she requested a sleeveless version, I extended the shoulders just five rows in order to prevent peaky shoulders. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Diamond Panel Jacket #8

The yarn is Noro Taiyo, 40% Cotton, 30% Silk, 15% Nylon, 15% Wool and Zara 50% merino, 50% silk. Mother of Pearl buttons. Finished in 16 days because the yarn was so yummy I couldn't stop!

Made for Nancy in Boston, another pug mom.Photo:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Juice Fast: Day Seven

I have enjoyed every veggie/fruit juice drink I mixed, and have gotten my husband to drink some all-fruit concoctions. There was no hunger but I could tell when I was in need of my second juice meal if I waited too long, sort of a tired feeling. My weight has dropped from 32 pounds lost to 35 pounds lost and I've not had any coffee all week. Surprisingly no headaches either, which usually happen when I try and break the caffeine habit.
Another surprise if I can speak delicately, I expected to be in the bathroom often, like when one prepares for a colonoscopy, but no. Just regular regularity.
So my overall feeling is that this juice thing works. I feel great, but then I felt great before, so no real difference. It's not like I was hoping for a great weight loss, having already achieved my goal, so the extra three pounds lost only makes me feel like I need a belt to keep my pants up.
I was bothered by all the food going down the drain, so put some in the front garden bed and covered it with dirt, hoping it will decompose.
And I bought blemished fruit since it was way cheaper and much riper, especially the pears which taste so good in juice.

And now I think I will go back to solid food even tho this was to be a week long fast, I believe I have made a go of it, and would easily return to it should I need to correct my diet.
So I am celebrating...35 POUNDS LOST!!!