Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I, uh, broke my sewing machine this weekend. I mean, I must have been the one who broke it because no one else uses it and I doubt it broke itself.

Here I was quilting along, and my machine began to sew more and more slowly until it eventually stopped. I could barely turn the wheel and had to wrestle it around for about four inches of wheel-turn quilting.

It doesn't look like the needle is hitting the casing and I definitely oiled it but it still isn't functioning. The machine has power, and the needle will rise and fall for a few stitches. After that, the machine just buzzes at me.

Gotta get to that repair shop. In the mean time, if you want to buy me a replacement (in case I killed it), I'd love to have a Baby Lock Quilter's Choice Pro.

Maybe some other year...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jennifer Can Piece!

But she made something ugly.


So I pieced two baby-sized (what does that mean?) tops this weekend. One is awesome, the other one sucks and is ugly. I'll let you guess which is which.

First Sight - Black

First Sight - Yellow

Obviously, I hate the one with the yellow sashing. I had a Timeless Treasures batik (yellow-orange) that would have been perfect, but I only had miniscule scraps and couldn't find it anywhere, until after I bought that wretched Fairy Frost.

Don't get me wrong, Fairy Frost is cute. Until I put it in my project.

Suffice it to say I had to start over, and my do-over is much more pleasing to my eye.

I'm pretty sure the momma-to-be will prefer version 2, and so I was planning to donate the first to Project Linus or some such similar organization. However, I don't feel right donating the ugly quilt because it's ugly, so I've got to try to fix it up.

That's where you come in. Help me rescue this quilt top and take it from rags to riches

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hope for Jasenn

Crafters across the web are undoubtedly familiar with Lindamade and her recent effort to help support her sister's small family through tough times. So many wonderful people donated and purchased handmade goods to raise funds for Jasenn's unexpected medical costs. It warmed my heart to know that people were coming together for, basically, a stranger.

Sadly, Jasenn passed away this week. Shortly thereafter, his father left this earth, as well.

My heart was broken by the news. I will be thinking about Jasenn's wife, his son, and his family.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mad Scientist

Last weekend I did a few experiments. Exciting, right?

Firstly, I finally (and I mean finally) used the free motion quilting foot that I bought at the end of the summer. I'll admit, I was afraid of it. I had no idea how easy (or hard) it would be to use that thing. I could only imagine what it would be like, fighting the quilt sandwich around, dragging it through the machine, using all the muscles I could muster.

Turns out it was really easy. Must have been because I didn't have to work against the feed dogs.

Secondly (this is the real news), I designed my very own mini quilt top. As far as I'm concerned, it's gorgeous.

My inspiration came from The BooDilly on flickr (who, I discovered, has a blog). These two quilts inspired in me by their quilting motif and boldness of color. And, I agree, simpler is better.

Wonderful, right?

So I made some plans.

Then I cut some fabric and sewed it together and ended up with this.

It's not quilted yet. I've got it hanging up in the sewing room so that I can keep looking at it and make up my mind about what quilting motif to go with. Lines or arcs, that's how I'm leaning.

Improvisational Quilting

Movements spread easily across the web, especially among a ring of connected bloggers. I'm noticing this more now than ever, as a result of Jacquie's (Tallgrass Praire Studio) new endeavor, Project Improv.

Of course, many quilters have already been inspired by the improvisational style of Denyse Schmidt (yours truly included), but the idea seems to currently be spreading like wildfire.

A bad thing?

Many quilters who read Jacquie's blog are stepping outside the block, so to speak, and trying something new.

Up to this point, what I usually see in the way of improvisational piecing is what's called a "wonky" log cabin block-- a cattywampus log cabin block. I first saw this in Denyse Schmidt's design Drunk Love in a Log Cabin quilt. (See what I mean about the internet being a petri dish of collective consciousness?)

I've been thinking about this a little bit. Jacquie asked specifically for quilters to create that style of block for the Project Improv charity quilts, and so that's what's getting made. I'm not participating, but I am challenging myself to do my own thing, if you get my drift.

I'm not a hater, but my own thing does not include wonky log cabin blocks. I do not like the messy look of free piecing. What appeals to me about quilting is the sense of geometry and symmetry, the sense of color and movement, and balance. I don't get a feeling of satisfaction from free pieced blocks.

Improvisation does not have to be the random sewing of fabrics together. There can be neatness and balance and symmetry.

So that's where I'm at. Producing a contemporary piece that follows my own pattern and appeals to my visual senses of space and geometry.