Sunday, November 27, 2016

Is Your Longarm Quilter A Drinker? Maybe This Is Why...

If you are a longarm quilter yourself, you'll look at these photos and (probably) laugh.  Or at least snort a little.  If you have ever heard me refer to someone as "a sweet little old lady", this is the kind of customer I'm referring to.  And there is no need to "tsk tsk" me - this particular woman is in her 80's and does not have a computer, so she'll never see this.  Considering her failing vision I'm happy that she is still quilting at all.  But getting her tops quilted is still a bit of a challenge for me.

#1 is a very common problem.  Ruffly borders.  Easy to accomplish by taking a big hunk of fabric and just keep sewing until the pieced top runs out, then whack off the remaining length.  Sigh.  NO.  Measure the top through the middle and cut that border to that length (and remember that you have TWO of them that ARE supposed to be the same, one on each side).  Then quarter mark the top and border, match them up, and pin.  Then do the same for the other border.

#2 - the frequency of this is not as common.  Leave as many threads as possible sticking out the top side of the seams.  Aaargh.  Honest - you can clip these off yourself!  You won't wear out your scissors!  If I left these the way the quiltmaker did, this quilt would look pretty awful.  So I remove them while practicing DH's Garage Language.  Yeah - use your imagination.

#3 can be dangerous for your quilt.  Longarm machines have a presser foot that hops.  Your quilter is often NOT watching the foot.  She's probably watching the pattern that she is quilting from because she's following the design using a laser light. When the foot 'hops' into that hole in your seams, the machine is going to stitch itself right into your quilt.  The poor quilter may have to cut your quilt to extricate the machine - that is not a comforting thought.

This happened to be in a "good" spot.  I was able to flip the border up and stitch the seam closed with the longarm, but that is a rare bit of serendipity.  Yes, it was stitched right through the batting and backing, but the thread was a perfect match for the backing and that little seam does not show.

#4 on this particular quilt, as if there wasn't already enough going on, the backing was not long enough.  I had to cut some length off the end, then piece it, and attach it to the perpendicular end.  I changed it from a measurement of 40 x 70 to 45 x 60.  Or something like that.  My usual system is that customers bring their quilt here.  I measure everything, check the batting & backing sizes, price out the work with an estimate, and we're good to go.  For this "sweet little old lady" I pick up and deliver when I have a dinner date with my friends in her neck of the woods.  She's either throwing a bag of work at me and trying to get rid of me because she's going to be late for her 4:30 dining room booking, OR she's trying to pawn off a bunch more quilting stuff that she found in her spare room/storage locker/under the kitchen sink.  In any event, I don't check sizes of anything, and that occasionally bites me in the arse.

After finishing THREE of her quilts on Wednesday, I drank myself out of house and home that night.  It was a happy accident that I went to a quilting event the next evening, AT A WINERY.  HAH!  SCORE!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Batik Cross, Quilts of Valour, End-of-season gardening, and the Current Book

This is a beautiful quilt.  The arrangement of fabrics make it glow.

Inside the cross was simply quilted, with 1/2" straight lines.

Today I woke up, came down to the 'sweat shop' and loaded up a Quilt of Valour.  These are done as my charitable donation work, and I have THREE of them that have been sitting here since early summer.  Hopefully, I can knock off two of them today, and maybe the third one next Sunday.  Alison from Sew What Else is probably wondering if I lost them.

As for the end-of-season gardening, I coulda kissed DH when I came home on Friday and found that he was rototilling the garden! Yay!  Now I won't have to keep bitching repeatedly politely ask him to do that once spring comes.

This fall has been incredibly beautiful, as far as the weather goes.  But alas, the fairy tale has come to a tragic end, with snow last night.  When I heard that it was on it's way I went and dug up the rosemary plant and some of the oregano.  They are now potted up in the house to keep my food nicely seasoned all winter. Unless, of course, I kill them. :P

I'm currently reading Someone Else's Garden by Dipika Rai.  This is what DH refers to as "a Charla-book".  Charla is my Singapore niece who, when she was still living in Canada, had a diverse personal library filled with books that had very dark and disturbing themes.  This book? I almost put it down about a third of the way through because of the extent of abuse towards women.  I gave it one last chance by flipping to the back and checking if the character I was worried about was still around.  It's the kind of story where you REALLY want to know what happens but getting there is almost torturous. If I had the brains God gave me I would not read this at bedtime.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Conestoga Star and blah, blah, blah

This quilt was a beautiful monster.  If there is such a thing.  Conestoga Star by Fons & Porter.

For my own amusement I counted.

  • Small circles:  674
  • Large circles:  142
  • s.i.d. and straight lines - I ran out of fingers and toes.

Even the back is gorgeous, what with the Jane Sassaman fabric and all. I seriously wanted to keep this one.

And now for the blah, blah, blah.  I guess I will start with the MOST shocking.

  • Donald Trump won the presidential election.  WTF?  How could they (the American Public) elect someone who continually demonstrates his disdain for everyone other than himself.  He considers women nothing but sex objects, which also clearly demonstrates a lack of respect for his wife & children. He suggested he would date his daughter if she wasn't his daughter.  Geez Louise!  He has mocked disabled people (and then denied it, even though it was recorded).  He wants Muslims banned from the country, and of course - there is THE WALL he wants to build at the Mexican border.  Abortion should be illegal and women obtaining abortions should be jailed.  He suggested the "second amendment people might do something about Hillary Clinton".  I suppose the idea is that those in favour of guns should, what... shoot her?  The man is such a creep on so many levels.  You wouldn't want him as your friend, but you might invite him to a party because you know he'd keep things lively with his bullshit.
  • I went on the Junior League Holiday House Tour.  I must say I loved the 6000+ square foot house we went to. :-) Their neighbours were clearly annoyed though.  As we were walking back to the car a lady was pulling into her driveway - shaking her head in disgust at us.
  • DH and I are going to come to blows over zip-lock bags.  I swear (and I actually DID swear at him the other day.  oops.) he uses 15 bags a week to save air.  So wasteful.  Grrr.  Use the Tupperware!
  • A friend was telling me about her new Bullet Journal system of planning & tracking.  It's a fascinating notion.  But as I was going through all the (admittedly beautiful) ideas and suggestions it looked like too much work.  And my own system of to-do lists works so well!  Hmm - I still need to make the Teresa CD.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pansy Park by Thimbleberries

This quilt has been around for a long time.

I'm sorry... did you say EIGHT borders???  OK!  Well then, we're just going to pretend the skinny ones aren't there, alright?

You know I love sampler quilts, though.

The old ruler got a good workout.

This past Sunday was the semi-annual SOLO meeting (Southern Ontario Longarm Operators).  There was an EXTRA prize for costume-wearers.  Sadly, I did not win - that went to Louise from Tillsonburg, the lucky duck.  I still had fun with my like-minded friends.  And I DID win a door prize - a $25.00 gift certificate from the Quilting Bee in Fonthill.  Now, to find an afternoon for a field trip.

Our guest speaker was Kathy Wylie, taking us through the judging process for juried quilt shows.  She did a great presentation and I think we all learned a lot.

Speaking of juried quilt shows, the IQA show in Houston opens today.  If you're there, please have some fun for me while I stay here, slaving over a hot needle. Thankyou.  If you are stuck at home too, HERE is a link to the winning quilts.