Saturday, March 09, 2013

As The Sewing Machine Turns...

 ... the supervisor supervises!

Back to working on my paper piecing project from the Judy Niemeyer workshop at Asilomar.

It doesn't look very colorful from the back, because about all you can see is the paper and a little bit of the red overhanging the edges.

This set of wedges has five different red fabrics. They are quite bright but not really as orangey as they look in the pictue.

 My work area--the Brother has been moved aside so I can use the table for cutting and pressing.

The card table holds all the extra stuff.

Pay no attention to the stack of UFOs on the other card table. They'll get their turn.

Honest.
 While I've been machine sewing on the paper piecing, I've also been stitching down binding.

Finally got this one done last night, so today while I was sewing, it went into the washer and dryer for its fluff-and-fold cycle.

It sorta needed it, after being carted around all over the place! It went to Asilomar last spring, for a class on machine quilting with Sue Rasmussen, who does gorgeous machine quilting and is a very very good teacher.


I had wanted to get my Brother out of its box--I got it shortly before the back injury that culminated in surgery in 2011--and since this quilt, and one other that came from the Liebermans, were pinned and ready to go, well--perfect for the situation.

Sewing this much binding is a lot of work. So is quilting a quilt this size.

However, as Brenda Papadakis has been quoted often, "Done is better than perfect."  And it will soon be sent along to a new home, where I hope it will be loved and cherished!
 Thought I'd post a few process pictures of the paper piecing in progress (say that three times fast!). I am blown away by the precision and the depth of thought that went into this whole pattern and the process of putting it together!

These are parts of the center feathered star medalllion. There are eight of them.

Eight.

These have been laid out ready to sew--the next piece has been added and the seam allowances on these long skinny bias strips has been tacked down with fabric glue.

Not a lot, just enough to keep them from slipping around when they're sewn.

See?

Look at that long skinny point.

Eight of them.


 By the way, I am amazed and delighted at how fast and comfortable sewing these on my beloved 1230 goes. Not that the Activa, which I took to Asilomar with me (it weighs a metric ton or two less than the 1230) isn't a good machine, because it is.

It just lacks a couple of the features that are making this so easy on the 1230. Like being able to control the needle up/down with the foot pedal.

I love this machine, have since I bought it back in the late 80's. One of those purchases that I've just never regretted. I kind of put it in the same category of "great tools" as my Kitchen Aid mixer (1984 and still going strong) and my Cuisinart food processor (1982 and as tough as it was the first day). All of these machines have seen plenty of heavy use over the years, and they have held up and just keep right on doing what they are asked to do.

Okay, back to the quilt.

I'm using the same press-and-cut board setup I had in place at Asilomar. The little iron is an under-$10 travel iron from Target, and it works really really well for this. Just the right size--small enough to handle easily but big enough so it doesn't feel like a toy.


Trimming the seam allowance using a plastic template and an
Add-a-Quarter ruler.  (Sorry if this sounds like a commercial, I just really like good tools that aren't gadgets, if you know what I mean!)

I've still got lots more pieces to add to these, but it was time to quit for the night.

 I'll finish up with a couple of "springy" pictures in case you're in the mood.

The liquidambar tree is budding out already. The last of the burrs are still hanging on and it's already getting ready to make new ones!




 Really, tree?

Actually, it's two trees, which came home in milk cartons back when Jeff and Jennie were in the fourth grade (not the same year, of course). Stuck them in the ground and they are now very very tall.

Citrus season. These are the trees "Uncle Eddie" planted in the little strip between our driveways so that "the kids can have some fruit."

Last but not least, here's little Shyla, curled up on "her" bed. She was watching me fold towels on the foot of the bed and didn't seem at all bothered.

Quite a change for the shy little girl who was hiding in closets and under things only a year or so ago! She really does want to be a pet.

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