Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

tip #9 sewing from a bobbin

Keeping with my bobbin theme and wisdom from my mother, when it is critical that you do not run out of bobbin thread, fill two bobbins. Sew from one, have the other in the bobbin race.  Both will have the same length of thread on them.This way you can keep an eye on what is on the spindle and when it is running short, you can get to a good stopping place before you run out.
My mother did a lot of garment sewing and this was good for topstitching. I find it helpful when machine quilting when I don't want to run out mid-section of quilting.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

tip #8 keep busy while filling bobbins

Keeping on the Bobbin theme this week.
So, what do you do while you are filling those 3 or 4 bobbins? And why do you not fill 5 or 6 bobbins? Because you need to clean and oil your machine every 3 or 4 bobbins. While the machine is winding, open it up, take out the bobbin race, brush everything out really well, oil as indicated, and wipe down the machine. Should take you about 3 or 4 bobbins worth to get that done.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

red witch

Seth aboard the Red Witch on Lake Michigan this evening.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

around the block

Laree Bobo took my repurposing fabric class this past January and made a great Around the Block quilt like mine (below), which was inspired by Tazzie's original.
I LOVE the blue glow of Laree's quilt--measures about 85 inches square.

tip #7 zen and the art of bobbin winding

My mother told me she used to get so frustrated when she would run out of bobbin thread.
She decided to time how long it took to replace a bobbin--it was under 30 seconds.
She figured 30 seconds was nothing to get upset about, and from then on, when a bobbin would run out, she would tell herself, "It is just 30 seconds" and carry on.
She would always wind 3 or 4 bobbins at a time so there was one ready to go. When she saw there was just one bobbin in the queue, she would watch for a good stopping time and wind up 3 or 4 more--never caught with an empty bobbin.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Bonnie Hunter posted a bowtie pattern that many are making with cheddar background.
This project fit in well with my stash organizing and with my fall teaching schedule limiting my sewing time. I am enjoying using fabrics I purchased 30 years ago all the way through to fabric added this week. As you can tell, I've been cutting up the purples.
Over 90 blocks are made as of this evening and it will be a pleasant time adding to them over the next few months.
Cheddar fabric: two 2 inch cut squares
Bowtie fabric: two 2 inch cut squares and two 1 1/4 inch cut squares to sew on a diagonal.
Finished bowtie block 3 inches (unfinished 3 1/2 inches)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

tip #6 count your pins

A corollary to last week's tip--count your pins.
If I am binding a quilt and taking it along with me, I use three pins. That is enough to securely pin a corner and enough to keep track of.
(I also use this counting in my work--whenever I enter a patient's room I know exactly how many needles/sharps are coming in with me so that they are all accounted for when I leave the bedside.)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

tip #5 count your needles

I don't do a lot of hand quilting any more, but when my children were younger, I always worked with three needles. That way, when I would inevitably be bounced upon by a child, I knew exactly how many needles to look for when picking things up.