Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whittling For St. Patricks Day

I am usually in Florida for St. Patricks Day, so I try to have some whittled Leprechaun pins and such ready before I travel.  The pins make great little gifts to waitresses when we eat out.  They even work with bartenders; and I've been known to trade for beer....

Here's an array of projects that have made the trip in the past.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Summer Quilt Finally Getting Finished.

This "summer quilt" measures 90 inches by 90 inches.  It is made of 30's look fabric, with lots of white.  The binding is from the same 30's fabric as the quilt, and is almost half way done.  360 inches is a lot on hand work - for me.  But I do like the look of this quilt.  Reminds me of the old quilts that I grew up with.
Since I'm still helping teach a quilting class at the senior center, I have to make a quilt every now and then just to show the new ladies that I can.  Little story about this.  This just happened last week.  The class just enrolled a new member, and she was very suspicious of a male being able to sew and make a quilt.  In fact, I don't think she thought I could.  After I showed her how to assemble her squares so that the corners matched, and how to make up her binding and attach it she must have rethought her position.  I overheard her talking to herself as she sewed.  This is what I heard:  "I can't believe it! a man just showed me how to sew.  Wait till I tell Mary, she won't believe it either".

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beginners No More!

A few years ago we started a beginners quilting class at the local senior center.  We started with about 10 ladies.  They all had at one time or another used a sewing machine, but few had ever completed a quilt.  The group bonded immediately.  The two class instructors (myself and a very experienced quilter) lead the class the first year, and were supplemented with another experienced quilter after the first year.  Here are some random photos of some of the projects that the class is working on.  The "beginners" are still basically together, but as you can see, are no longer beginners.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Carving To Quilting

Am making the transition from pretty much full time wood carving to a bit of quilting.  Remodeled kitchen now needs some color coordinated place mats.  Been so long since I've used the Featherweight, that some gremlins got into it and messed up the thread tension.  Easy to fix on this machine.

The finished place mats will have 1 1/2 inch squares, and have a border of 2 inches; including the binding.  I plan to use a very thin batting plus a back, and machine quilt them with the Featherweight.  The colors and design were my wife's idea, but I go along with it.  I like the simple look.  I did not like it when I found out that I have to make eight of them.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Plan Ahead - St. Patricks Day

There are certain things that one can put off - but not whittling Leprechaun Pins for St. Patricks Day.  You see I spend March in a beach house in the Panhandle of Florida.  Way out in the middle of nowhere.  Just a couple of establishments within 8 miles, where one may purchase an adult beverage.  I've been known to trade one of these little Leprechaun Pins for a pitcher of beer.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pins, Pins, Pins!

Several years ago I watched as a young Amish woman was putting some final touches to a large quilt that was made up of 100's of small squares and triangles.  I looked real close and could find no corners of the pieces that did not meet another corner perfectly.  I asked how she did this quilt.  She said that she pieced it with a treadle machine (Singer).  I made some comment about her secret to getting every pieced corner to match up.  Her answer,  "just pin the snot out of it".

Recently,  at a quilting class at the senior center, I noticed that every woman that was sewing strips together on a machine, had matched the strips and the pieces and kept them in place with a pin.  The pins were placed in the seams of the two strips.
Next, as I observed, they placed the strips on the machines and began sewing a 1/4 inch seam.  When they came to the pins, instead of pulling them out, they sewed right over the top of them.  After the two strip were sewed together, they removed the pins and had each corner of the stripped squares matching perfectly.
I was always told to removed the pins before you ran them through the needle.  I was under the impression that if you sewed over the pins and the needle struck one of the pins that you could damage the machine or at least break a needle.
Any comments?????