Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baby Quilt Finished

Having lost steam, after completing this quilt top a couple of week ago, I have finally finished the project....and much to my surprise, the recipient is still a baby--so it still fits! (Patting myself on back). At any rate, the weekend before last I was kind of tied up on other projects, but I did manage to get in a little quality sewing time on 'National Quilt Day', this past Saturday. And, fortunately for me, I had stopped at the quilt shop before I started sewing this and realized that this quilt would be much more practical if I removed the batting (which meant taking out a hundred safety pins to do so and putting them back afterwards).

Put an art quilt DVD in the player, slipped on the old machine quilting gloves and was off to a lively start with a little free-motion here, some spirals there, and then it all came crashing down. I wanted to do flowers on another block throughout, so I found an appropriate marking pen, drew them out, but when I went to sew them, I would keep skipping stitches...not just one, but a bunch, so I'd have an inch of nice even little stitches and then there'd be a stitch that was an inch long. I ripped out, I rethreaded, I rebobbined, I poured a glass of wine, took a few cleansing breaths, turned the machine off and then on, shook the tension out of my shoulders and continued to do this, rip it out, do it, rip it out.

About to give up (after all, I did stitch in the ditch down the rows), I realized that without batting inside this, there was no reason that I couldn't just cheat and use 'conventional' sewing (feed dogs up, presser foot down, sew in one direction) to 'quilt' the flowers. They didn't turn out too bad. So I made some simple x's on some of the other blocks, and I was done with it.

Now I just have to figure out what went wrong before I start on the next one.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Buzzin' Along with the Baby Quilt

Well, I've been a busy bee this weekend. My neice had her baby this past week, so I thought what better way to spend Saturday than at Needles and Pins' fat quarter sale...if I make a quilt for the baby, I've got a perfectly good excuse to indulge.

6 flannel fat quarters, a Yellow Brick Road pattern, and an 'almost put my eye out--that'll teach me to wear my glasses' broken needle incident...by the end of Saturday night I had the top pieced.

Sunday I cut the border, sewed that on, cut and sewed the back and got the sandwich all pinned.

Unfortunately, there was a 38-car pile up on The Road Paved With Good Intentions, so it didn't get finished last night. Maybe tonight.

My daughter came home from Ikea yesterday with some black and white framed prints for her guestroom...."Remember Mom, the guestroom you are making the black and white quilt for", so I take it I need to jump back on that one as soon as this one is out of here.

We drove by her house yesterday and it's really coming along, so it's possible she actually has a guestroom for this quilt in the next month or so....I'd better get crackin'

Of course, the other 9 fat quarters I bought were Hoffman's new batiks, and of course, I did buy the Kiwiberry Bali Pop to go with them. I'm going to have to hide those in one of my new Ikea storage boxes--'out of sight, out of mind'--if I plan on getting anything else finished before starting something new.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tales of Woe in Serger Land

Okay, I am officially a serger loser. Let me just say that trying to figure out how this thing works is akin to taking 10th grade algebra for the third time in senior year. (My dirty little secret is out!)

Feeling good about getting the whole house cleaned, a batch of yummy sugar cookies mixed up and settled in for the overnight in the fridge, a pot of vegetable soup and fresh bread from the day before for lunch, I finally pulled out my serger Sunday afternoon and vowed that I was finally going to take that baby for a spin, come Hell or highwater.

Well...needless to say, with Satan himself looking over my shoulder, savoring a virtual symphony of 4-letter words spewing from my mouth, I was cursed from the proverbial 'get go'.

We're not talking dimestore serger, thread your loopers yourself here, we're talking Babylock Imagine...Jet Air looper threading at the push of a button....WHOOSH!.

Okay, while I had the looper threading down, I am far from threading the needles correctly. Sewing results in a nice straight line stitch on one side and a mess of unsecured loops that pull right out of the bottom. All I know is that I do not know how to thread this machine, and I'm not exactly thrilled at the prospect of watching the VHS video that came with it. (I tried that once, and the woman in the video is the Mr. Rogers of serging---can you say 'suicidal' boys and girls? Just the sound of her voice and the slowness of the words made me want to hop in the car and head on down to the Shady Grove Metro station to throw myself on the third rail.)

Anyway, I even looked at signing up for a class (my husband's suggestion), but the nearest Babylock dealer is at least an hour's drive, and I just don't want to learn this machine badly enough to spend a couple hours every Saturday driving to and from a class.

Everyone said, 'oh, don't sell it on eBay, try it out first, you'll love it, you'll kick yourself for not using it all these years'. (I've had it for 5 years, unused, in a case under one of my work tables). Sorry, I tried.

I've got my eye on a current eBay auction for this machine, and I think I may just find myself with $800 to burn and a little more leg room under the work table come the end of next week.

I can do a lot of things, but apparently serging is not meant to be one of them. (I suppose as long as I'm on eBay, I may as well list the stripper pole too.)