Friday, 30 August 2013

A tale of two machines..( or three, or four)

Back in 2009 when I embarked upon this quest to improve my quilting, I had a 20 yr. old Jamome.  That was it, it did everything, piecing, quilting, binding whatever.  I had taught myself to machine quilt on this little machine from Robbie Fanning ‘s book on machine quilting using the continuous quilting ala Ernest Haight. 
As I worked at improvement, I became convinced that I needed to improve my machine as well. So the search begain for the “better” machine.
This lead to:  1) the feather weight; 2) the 99; 3) the other 99; 4) the Necchi.  The Necchi has settled into the primary piecing machine with the featherweight as the secondary.


All along I was wanted one that would do free motion quilting in addition to the straight line/ walking foot style I was now doing.  So last spring my dear hubby (the enabler) found a Kenmore that would drop its feed dogs at a price we couldn’t pass up.  So 5) Kenmore.
Then the treadle bug bit and I wanted a treadle. We found a really fancy cabinet for dirt cheap and made plans to fix it up and get a treadle head for it. Easier said than done. It wasn’t a Singer and finding a head proved difficult. Plus DH didn’t get the refinishing done. I think, just like me, he would rather build new than repair.

So all the way home from NC I looked at every treadle in every antique mall we visited and took pictures of them, working out what we wanted and how much we would pay. Once home he got looking and for our anniversary bought me 6) Singer 66.newtreadle
In addition to the treadle quest, DH has been urging me to upgrade to a long arm. I’ve been dragging my feet due to the cost and size. I can’t justify spending that kind of money on what is after all just a hobby for me. Hence 7)the new Janome 8200 that is now occupying my dining room table. A compromise machine that has a larger harp and lots of bells and whistles I didn’t know I wanted until I used them.

Honestly I was just trying to improve my quilting, I wasn’t trying to get on Hoarders.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

Sir Winston Churchill

I have been paralyzed by the curse of plenty more than stripped bare but this was the only quote I could find in the time I allowed myself to search.

I really wanted to do a good post about the wonderful trip we had coming home from North Carolina.  All the beautiful mountains, interesting things we saw, however I have almost 300 pictures and there is no way I can go through them all or post even half.

So here is a very, very brief synopsis :


We spent half a day walking around Biltmore Village in Asheville. Very quaint, they even made their playground equipment Tudor style.





We had great fun doing all the antique malls we could find. I took pictures of quilts I found and sewing machines. Didn’t buy any, but had lots of fun and saw some really interesting patterns and machines. Only saw two featherweights.



  I took lots of pictures of mountains. Mostly badly, as it was from a moving van. This was one of the few out of van, standing still photos. This is the view from Fancy Gap, Virginia. We went fabric and pottery shopping. I bought lots of fabric and should have bought two more pots than I did. The store smelled musty and the fabric too. After a day driving with the smell, DH triple bagged it all.



Driving under a mountain, how cool is that? Very cool. And going from Virginia to West Virginia you get to do it twice.

This is all the trip stuff for now, maybe I’ll do more on the quilt or machines but now the other plenty I am suffering.


Three days after we returned, DD2 moved out of her apartment and into a bedroom here. And the living room, and everywhere else we could find to put down a box. It took two days to clear enough boxes for me to get into my sewing room.  We are working at this but it’s going to take some time to sort it all out and find places for stuff. But we will because “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.”
Robert Frost

Monday, 12 August 2013

Things I didn’t know

about quilt retreats.

t Not everyone is worried about packing a light weight machinebabylock

t What cool accessories people bring



t How excited I would get. I squealed like a teen at a Bieber sighting when I won a prize.

t How wonderful it would feel to meet ladies who spoke the same language ( hst, flippy corners, hexies) .

t How quickly these ladies became friends and how much I would miss them now that we have parted.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Where I’ve been


Haven’t been on my computer lately.  Instead I’ve been busy doing stuff. First it was getting everything ready to go to Collaboration Celebration in North Carolina with Bonnie Hunter and Mickey Depre. I wanted to bring a quilt for show and tell so I had to have one ready. Chose to finish off a crayon box and take it, so that ate a few days. Then there was getting gear together. Since I’ve never gone to a retreat, I was cautious and stayed pretty much to the list.

We left Wednesday and drove down through Pennsylvania to West Virginia staying overnight in Fairmount. I would love to post some pictures of our drive and the gorgeous scenery, however we had rain most of the way and visibility was poor.

So here are a few shots of the fun at retreat.


Had to have a picture of me with Bonnie and Mickey before leaving.

What great teachers they both are.





This is a pic of the project we were working on. Mine wasn’t this far along. This is a trial layout as as she ponders her hexie layout. There were multiple ways to set them




Here’s another in green.

More later as I get the pictures all sorted and uploaded. Right now we’re on our way through North Carolina seeing the sights.