Saturday, September 1, 2018

Solution to Bobbin Thread Tangles

Yesterday, I went to get my travel sewing machine kit with little tools to remove a throat plate and the odd bobbins I keep for testing machines were a tangled mess.  Years ago I saw a tip for making an inexpensive bobbin tray from 5/8" OD - 1/2" ID vinyl tubing.  The tubing was purchased and sitting in my workbench drawer waiting.  I finally made the tray and it works great!  It holds the bobbins tidily in the pencil case I use to hold the tools.
Use sharp and strong craft scissors to cut the tubing to the length preferred and then make a lengthwise cut to separate it.  The heavy tubing has enough strength and memory to hold bobbins of slightly different diameters securely.  Additionally, the tubing can be cut to make small collars for each bobbin but I find them more difficult to cut for the narrow Class L bobbins for my two Pfaffs and they are difficult to remove on larger Class M bobbins that have only a small amount of thread on them.

Elm Street Quilts OMG Link Up: Challenge met with Success

An earlier Elm Street Quilts OMG for the month of July was not on my list as a pleasing finish.  The quilt top was done and the monthly goal was met on time but the borders were rippling and I was seriously contemplating removing them to correct the problem. 
The top was set aside while I finished another older UFO for the month of August.  I also watched other longarm quilters in YouTube videos take on quilts with worse borders than mine.  With 10 years of longarm quilting experience of quilting mostly my own quilts with no issues, I decided I needed to accept the challenge and leave on the wavy borders.  The results were an amazing and I am very pleased.
All fullness was worked in with no pleats or puckers.  The quilt is flat and square with straight borders.  Additionally, the pale minty green thread blends perfectly across the different batiks with no tension issues.  I am a happy quilter!

My Elm Street Quilts OMG for September is to finish binding the quilt.  The binding is ready to attach and with Fall weather bringing lower temperatures and some rain, it should be a pleasant task to sit with the quilt on my lap while I listen to a book or two.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Elm Street Quilts August Finish: Binding Made and More

Binding done for August's Elm Street Quilts OMG
With some determination and a cancellation, more was accomplished this month than I had hoped.  When our niece's maid of honor decided to stay with a friend, I didn't have to focus on cleaning and meals for a house guest.  The quilt binding was made on schedule and then attached and hand stitch down while DH attended his 50th high school reunion and I sat at home indulging in audio books and movies.

We also squeezed in the trip to Silverton, OR.  The focal point of the outing was the Oregon Garden.  After a dry hot summer, the garden is still beautiful but not as lush and green as they would be in May or early June.  The free tram tour is well worth the time with bit of humor added to the informative overview of the park.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures in the gardens, only on the entry to the park. The only Frank Lloyd Wright structure in Oregon was moved and reconstructed near the garden gate.  We didn't pay for a tour as there are several videos on YouTube that show off his interior design that includes an extensive use of built-in storage to avoid the clutter of furnishings.

The exterior of the Gordon house may appear simple but the striking features are the unique use of natural light and the way the architect brings the surrounding landscape into the interior of the home with floor to ceiling windows on the ground floor and the light filtering, wood trimmed upper windows.  Also, the use of wood on the exterior of the house makes the cement block home appear more luxurious.   

Just above the Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon house, is an Angel of Hope Garden.  This is one of many angels scattered around the world dedicated to parents who have lost a child.  The first angel was commissioned at the request of the author, Richard Paul Evans, in a response to readers of The Christmas Box.  The Silverton Angel is one of two in the state of Oregon.  The other is in a cemetery in Portland.
Other Angel Locations:
I am not ready for Fall.  Temperatures have dropped significantly and rain has signaled the change of seasons.  The immediate and important benefits are clean air and forest fire control.  If it weren't for consequences of tinder dry land, Summer could last another month or so.  

Monday, August 6, 2018

August Elm Street Quilts OMG: One Step Forward

It seems like the piles on my cutting table are multiplying.  I should be making progress on cleaning it off so I can use it for cutting instead of sorting fabrics for quilts and other projects but I keep getting distracted and instead of organizing, I sew or quilt instead and pull more fabrics out of boxes, adding to the disarray.  Of course, buying more fabric doesn't help either. 

Two small projects for the month would subtract from some of the mess on the cutting table.  If I make binding for the quilt I just took off the quilting machine and the pillowcase that goes with the quilt I made my newest grandson, I can put some extra fabric away.

There is a diagonal print stripe that will make great binding for the Yellow Brick Road below.
Elm Street Quilts August OMG:  Make Binding
And there is surplus of the scattered bunny fabric in the last border of this quilt for the pillowcase.  I promised a pillowcase would appear sometime in the future.
I hope to accomplish more but my sister has doctor appointments, our niece's maid of honor is staying with us the week of the wedding, we have missionary friends dropping by the same weekend, and at the end of the month, it would be nice to take a day trip down to Silverton and Mt. Angel to see the sights.  

Thursday, July 26, 2018

July is a Productive Month

While I ignored the challenges of the quilt top in the previous post, the youngest of the 2 grands and I tie dyed.  Well really, the 6 year old was the only one that really had any interest.  Our efforts were rewarded and he was very pleased with the results.  So was mom.  We dyed some flour sack dishtowels for her.  The three basic colors in the Dharma kit were very bright and attractive.  I will order them the next time I plan a tie dye event.

The week before I completed a patchwork skirt.  While it is not exactly as I envisioned, DH likes it and that is a huge plus.
Rafiki Skirt Pattern from Craftsy

The skirt goes well with a recent bracelet I made. 
Now to complete a necklace. 

From all appearances, some think I have returned to my hippie days.

Elm Street Quilts July OMG Finish: Waves. . .

It has been said:  "Life is a series of waves to be embraced and overcome."  Some longarm quilters would say to embrace the challenge of this quilt top.  The wavy borders are not that bad; some quilters have taken on far worse.  Proof exists on YouTube as they demonstrate their prowess with their longarm using varying techniques to conquer the waves.
Elm Street Quilts July OMG Finish

Two weeks ago, I was planning to take the borders off and use a different sewing machine to stitch them on again.  I am convinced it was having the Pfaff's dual feed engaged that caused this problem because the previous quilt with all bias edges was completed with the Janome 9400 without the AccuFeed foot attached and the borders went on flawlessly with no issues or challenges for me to conquer.

My fear of the challenge has diminished and the thrill of conquest is building.  Stay tuned to see if I rise to the occasion or cave in and retreat to my favorite chair to remove the offensive borders.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Little Labels

All quilts deserve a label and all quilters should sign their work.  With those two directives in mind, I finally ordered some small labels for my charity quilts and small projects.  All special quilts will still show off a label made with my embroidery machine. 

The labels are from a company called Wunderlabel.  They have a US office in Springfield, Illinois.  I was pleased with the price, service, and quality.  They are easy to pierce with a needle so I had no trouble taking tiny stitches to secure them.