Step Away From the Sewing Machine!

Do you ever approach sewing with a sense of foreboding? Thankfully not too often or maybe never? This afternoon I did enter my sewing room with nagging doubts about the wisdom of continuing to quilt one of the little quilts from the big UFO. I told myself such doubts were due to feeling a trifle tired after a busy morning plus my usual apprehension re. free motion quilting.

I fought the nagging niggles, took a deep breath and sat down at my sewing machine. I slowly and carefully made the adjustments required: stitch length switched to zero, feed dogs down, presser foot pressure dialed down, speed regulator at medium, fmq foot fitted securely.

Thankfully I did opt to begin with a warm up using a practice sandwich… Within a few stitches BAM! the needle had broken! That did nothing to quell the creeping feeling of dread! Hey! Ho! Replace the needle, stitch s-l-o-w-l-y watching for a fault. I couldn’t create smooth curves and closer inspection showed that some of the stitches weren’t catching the bobbin thread. Time to get the manual off the shelf and double-check I’d set up the machine correctly. Yes! I had but still the stitches were skipping.

Back to basics, re-thread and start again. It was then I discovered an ‘operator error’ (that would be me!). For some reason I’d inserted the bobbin in the bobbin case with the thread running anti-clockwise instead of clockwise! Doh! Silly me!

Surely now me and Julie the Juki could get on with improving our fmq skills? Well! No! Still skipping stitches! *SIGH*

Time to step away from the machine. Maybe I should have listened to that sense of foreboding in the first place and opted for a different occupation this afternoon?

When I do go back I have a couple more options to try: first change to a bigger needle (I’m set up with 50wt thread and a 75/11 quilting needle), if that doesn’t work then I’ll have twiddle the tension dial.

Sorry this is a rather down-beat post, but it wouldn’t do to give the impression that every sewing session goes according to plan would it?

Anyway a frustrating session with my sewing machine is put in perspective by news of the terrible dangers and damage created by Hurricane Laura. I’m sure quilters across the region will already be rallying to give aid and bring comfort through their craft.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (221)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (even though it’s Sunday!). Bring along your project(s) and share in the inspiration generated by our Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do use the comments box at the end of this post to leave your thoughts and links. Thank you!

Well! For me this week has been all about creating a quilt from scraps. I’m so happy to have another Scrap Vortex quilt finished – see how it all came together in my Friday blog post. Continuing the scrap quilt theme I’ve also been stitching my blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. August is the month for purple. Not my favourite colour so it’s been a surprise to find myself enjoying sorting through my (small) collection of purple scraps and putting these simple blocks together.

Area ringed in red has hardly any cotton fibres.

Having finished the diverting Scrap Vortex Quilt I am now determined to turn my attention back to the little quilt tops I made from one big UFO. This morning before Church…. (by ‘Church’ I mean: sitting in an elderly friend’s living room, listening to the service via the loudspeaker on my phone – weird how many new ways there are to join in Christian worship these days!) …. As I was saying, before Church I decided to get one of the little quilt tops ready for quilting. I’d already pieced quilt backings and cut out some wadding. When I came to lay the wadding onto the quilt back I was disappointed to see how unevenly the cotton fibres were spread through the wadding.

When I looked more closely I found one area had virtually no cotton at all, it was just held together by the near transparent scrim layer. That wouldn’t make for much of a quilt! I had to discard that piece and thankfully found the second square I had cut from the same roll of wadding didn’t have any bald patches. So, basting is my sewing room project for what’s left of the the weekend.

Here are just a few of the quilty blog posts that caught my attention this week. I hope you find plenty of interest as you click through the links:

Do you save selvage strips? Cynthia has used all her saved strips to make a rainbow quilt. She explains her process, is pleased with her quilt but won’t be saving any more selvage strips!

How about finding a bit of motivation by joining in with ‘We Sew Together 2020’? The sew along starts on 26th August and runs for just one month. The objective is to produce a quilt top using any pattern you choose. Then, once the quilt is completed, donate it to one or other of the charities listed in Suzy’s blog post or add your own favourite charity to the list. Suzy has also written a blog post with some helpful suggestions re. donating quilts to charities.

Another QAL: This is the Modern Logs Quilt Along being organised by Christa Watson. If you’ve wanted to tackle this sort of project but been a hesitant to go it alone then I’m sure following Christa’s pattern and all the tips and tutorials she’ll be posting on her blog will provide all that’s needed to produce a quilt to be proud of 🙂

Over the course of a month or two Sharon has been sharing her progress with her ‘Village Quilt’ top. In this post she shares the finished top – all those little house blocks made from scrap fabrics make for a very attractive quilt 🙂

Dione’s latest post is full of interest – from her latest applique quilt block to photos and descriptions of a recent trip into the Australian outback as well as the quilts and projects that are inspiring her.

Linking with Cynthia for Oh! Scrap. Cynthia is enjoying using her scraps to make curved log cabin blocks – the rainbow collection on her design wall promise a beautiful and interesting quilt.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Scrap Vortex Quilt Finished

I have a finished quilt to share after a deal of concentrated effort and a lot of fun in my sewing room over the past five days.

I’ve called this quilt ‘All The Pieces’. (If you’d like to know how I make and attach quilt labels then do take a look at my blog post ‘Homemade Quilt Labels – A Tutorial‘).

It’s been great to use up some scraps a la the Scrap Vortex tutorials by Amanda Jean Nyberg. It’s not just the quilt top that’s made from left-over fabrics. The pieced backing is all from my stash and the super scrappy binding is made from short lengths of binding saved from previous projects.

Even the wadding is part of the use it up/recycle vibe, as I made use of a pack of Quilters Dream Green batting I’d opened for another project. Did you know Dream Green is made from recycled plastic bottles? I really do enjoy using this particular poly batting: It feels soft and smooth (not rough and prickly like other poly battings), is easy to to stitch through and produces light-weight, cuddly quilts.

I quilted a spiral from the centre of the quilt using my walking foot and some handy tips from Yvonne Fuchs, Quilting Jetgirl.

 

Adding the text print borders (all strips left over from extra wide backing fabrics bought at Purple Stitches) helped to stabilize all those scraps and their short seams. The quilt finished at 45½” x 49½”.

Linking with Wendy for the Peacock Party and Michelle for the Beauties Pageant. Wendy shares the progress she is making with the Pandemic Sampler while Michelle been ‘diamond-painting’ a Van Gogh masterpiece!

Allison

Patchwork Project Hopping!

I know! I know! I should be concentrating on the UFO ‘one quilt into four’ project BUT somehow my mind has wandered and I’m wanting to throw the blocks of one of my scrappy ‘back-burner’ quilts onto the design wall…

A few of the blocks on the design wall, plenty more in the storage boxes!

This is my, never-ending, use-up-the-scraps ‘leader-ender’ project a la Amanda Jean Nyberg’s ‘Scrap Vortex Quilt‘. I’ve made several quilts by slightly adapting Amanda Jean’s method and see no reason to stop making them! It’s a way of keeping my little scraps of fabric under control whilst producing a fun quilt. What’s not to like? 😀

Well! When I say the scraps are ‘under control’…..

I keep this bin next to my sewing machine, pairing up scraps as leaders & enders whilst piecing blocks for other projects.

…. A few hours later….

The blocks are bigger but the scrap containers aren’t empty yet!

I’ve had a productive afternoon sewing little scraps into bigger and bigger blocks. Still a way to go. By the end of the week I should have a finished quilt top to share in a blog post. In the meantime I’ll be posting progress on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning and Facebook, NewEveryMorningPQ.

Linking with Beth for Monday Making. Beth has used home furnishing fabric samples to make a pair of patchwork cushion covers.

Allison