Reality

today i found out that a man i know, and didnt like, died in a car crash last week. I have no idea how to feel about it as he wasnt a good person yet i feel for his family and friends and those who tried so hard to revive him. 

It made me think that life is short and we need to live how we want. For me this is owning a nice little house in the country, its having my family safe and warm and making sure they know i love them. For some reason i felt the need to finish a quilt i have been working on so that me and rue can snuggle under it on cold mornings. This is the first quilt i have made for myself and its a much more complicated design than any i have made before but i already love it. I cant wait to finish it and see it keep my family warm for years to come.

  
 

The quilt

Now that christmas is over i can share the bastard quilt. So named because it was way too big for me to manage. It turned out better than i thought but not as good as i wanted. My sister loved it though.

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You cant see it very well in this pic but the point of this quilt was the free motion image in the center. It turned out great but is kind of hard to see so next time i will make it darker and more bold.

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This was the image i was aiming for. As you can see its quite a bit different and i think it would have worked better as a single size quilt so i could focus more on the design and less on finding enough fabric to fit it.

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Quilt

I am never making a queen size quilt again! Ugh. I have been quilting this thing for weeks and still have a full half to go. My wrists are hurting from moving it around and i think i might use up another spool of thread before im done. Plus i woke up this morning to find the dog had peed on it!!! Thankfully it was on the edge that had some overhang so i cut it off and ill have to wash it before i gift it. Needess to say the dogs spent the rest of the morning outside.

Watching little man and he just nearly flipped back the other way (front to back) go little man!

Im also doing well on a quilt for myself. I found it in a quilting mag and had to give it a go. This is my quilting area, not a bad view on a stormy afternoon.

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Quilt in a week

I actually could have finished this in a day but, well, i have a 4month old baby lol This is for my step brother who became a father on the weekend. I meant to make it a few weeks ago but never got around to it. I went for simple. Squares, polyester batting which i already had and some backing leftover from Rues quilt. Im sorry to say that when i was quilting it the fabric bunched on the back. Not sure if i will give it to them now…I also ran into a few hurdles. When i was sewing the rows together i realised that some rows were one square short. I couldnt work out why until i realised that when i was laying them out on the floor the dogs were jumping on them so i was piling them up to one side, but the later rows i was piling up next to the other piles and forgot that that meant i was one square down because the piles were piled on their last square…does that make sense? Then when i was quilting it the needle bent and snapped! I went slower after that and avoided the edges which were thicker from excess batting. Not my best work but still a cute play mat.

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Productivity

I have been super productive since getting my new sewing machine. I will give each project its own post otherwise it will get confusing. First up, i finished Rueben’s quilt!

The original idea was a modern design, panels of fabric with a plain border. I miss cut the some of the border and had to patch with some green squares but i think it looks like i did it on purpose?

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Then i had to wait until i got my new machine before i could quilt it as you cant lower the feed dogs on my old machine and i wanted to try free motion quilting. It didnt go too badly. There are a few places where the thread bunched on the back and a few places where i moved the fabric faster than the needle so the stiches are loose but if i dont point it out no one will ever know. The other place i need to work on are my corners. I did mitred corners with the machine for the binding on the front then hand bound it on the back but couldnt work out how to get nice corners on the back. So they are a bit puckered. I dont think he will mind though 🙂

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Next projects:

Washi Dress

Quick Change pants

I did it!

I found a sewing machine that i love and that was on sale! It retails for $1,399 and i got it for $899 with free postage. Im pritty stoked with that price. Its a Brother NV-610.

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It comes with the quilting extension and walking and free motion quilting feet. Its got a one step bobbin so no more fiddling with a bobbin case and trying to pick up the thread, and an auto threader. It also has a thread cut feature which cuts the front and back threads once you are done. Those are really the features that i was after. The button hole function is pritty clever in that you put your button in the button foot and it makes the button hole the perfect size for you. This video is for the 600 but give an idea what i will have to play with. I have decided to wait to finish my quilt until I get my new machine.

Up grading

For my 18th birthday my mother got me a Brother LS-2120. Its your basic machine and has served me well for the past 11years (showing my age there). But i think its time to upgrade. Its a bit too small to work quilts on and it keep un threading itself. I could go and get it serviced but really i think it would be best to just get a new one. So, i have been looking and wow, these things done come cheap. The first one i liked retails for $2,999…thats the price of a small car! So im looking closer to my budget. I would like either a Brother or a Janome which is what mum uses (hers is one of the old beige metal ones. Has lasted her well over 20yrs and she made us clothes on it as babies).

Retro Mummy recommends the Brother QC-1000. Its out of my price range but seems to encompass what im looking for.

Computerised

I think my price range covers more of the Brother NS25. It features a built in needle threader and top loading bobbin. It retails for $499. However, i cant find any reviews on it as it seems it was surpassed by the Brother NS30. The reviews are mixed and several people have said it has jammed or burnt out in just a year or two. I would rather spend a bit more and get something that will last me another 10years. Then i came upon the Brother NV600. It is an older one so is retailing for about $999. It has the auto threader and also has an auto thread cutter which means i dont have to have my scissors on hand all the time.

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I would rather get one on sale or second hand so i guess that will dictate which one i get. I am still quilting my little quilt and have attached the free motion attachment to it but unfortunatley i cant lower the feed dogs and i have lost the cover plate the machine came with…i can still do it but it may not look as good as it would if the feed dogs were down.

Rookie mistake

I had a big shop at Spotlight on friday, i was rather annoyed because none of the sale items were adding up right on the docket. So i went to the front register and apparently it was a members only sale…i pointed out that it didnt say members only anywhere in the store or on the sale signs. In the end i signed up to get 40% off a $100 quilting set. I didnt want another card in my wallet but i saved $50 so i wasnt going to say no.

Anyway. One of the things i got was a basting spray. which is basically a spray adhesive for joining all the quilt layers while you work it. I started spraying it and thought it smelt rather strong. BD agreed and opened a window then re read the can, do not inhale, use only in well ventilated area. Rue was right next to me! BD moved him to the dining room and we opened all the windows. I sprayed it twice more and BD decided it was too risky and moved Rue to the bedroom. I dont think it was too bad as i felt fine and i was breathing it in, but i will have to work out another way to use it as the lounge room is the only space big enough to spread the quilt out….I feel guilty for doing it next to rue but im sure it cant be too bad for only a minute or two. I think the warning was more dont spray it in your face or constantly. I only sprayed it a few times and its an open plan area so not too enclosed. I still feel bad though for not thinking to move Rue away 😦 Lesson learnt.

Quilting

Im not sure if i shared the quilt i attempted to make for Rue. Its sort of less a quilt and more of a floor mat without the edges bound (havent got around to it.) But its great for all surfaces because the filling is quite thick.

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I am attempting a proper quilt this time though. A simple abstract design. I didnt measure it, just playing it by ear. I made a few boo boos where i have had to replace one panel and i made the three vertical stripes too short so will need to put squares in the corners but i really think it will turn out good. Have to wait until next pay to get some filling and a rotary cutter and board so that the next one will be more even. Im hoping to pick up a quilting book at the life line bookfair this weekend too. I got some books for Rue, about 10 for $28 including where’s wally, goose bumps, board books and a baby cook book. Sunday though they often say fill your bag for $2 to get rid of as many books as they can. Will have to see if i can time it well to get the deal.

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I have almost finished the top so will post a pic when im done.