Sunday, June 30, 2013

I thought I would take a little breaking from quilting Sunny in Philadelphia to let you know that the hand-basting technique from Purple Daisies, LLC is great! Mind you quilting a quilt is still my second least favorite part of the process (least favorite being cutting) but since I cannot afford to send them out to be quilted this method has made vast improvements. Here are some things I found:

1. Do not be afraid to cut the basting threads to quilt an area. When you pull out the thread from one area, everything that was not meant to come undone stays intact.
2. It is so much easier to pull out the thread than it is to undo safety pins. Although it is difficult to grab the threads with my quilting gloves, I use my Purple Thang to pull out the threads (love that tool!).
3. I am getting a smooth result. I am less frustrated and am moving along.

It took me a week to sit down and start the quilting on this one. I am often paralyzed by fear in my creative life and my past quilting experiences had me frozen. The prettier the top the less I want to mess it up with inferior quilting. Although my quilting is far less than perfect because I still have not gotten the gist of handling the weight of the quilt which causes uneven stitch length, I have improved. The video at Shiny Happy World was a big help on how to maneuver the quilt in a standard domestic sewing machine. I was basically doing the same thing, but it was good to see I was on the right path and gave me the confidence to move forward. Even Mr. R. came over while I was quilting and noted that it would be much easier with a long-arm (he learns fast).

How did Mr. R know about a long-arm you ask? No, I am not sending him subliminal messages in his sleep; he has started to sew. He is making his own bow-ties! I took him with me to pick up my feather weight so he could buy some tie fabric and showed him the long-arm and the Sweet Sixteen and how much easier my life would be if we turned the dining room into a second studio and spent $4000.00 on a long-arm! No I did not convince him--honestly I do not quilt enough for all of that, but at least he acknowledges my plight.

Next, knitting. Have I ever told you how wonderful my knitting world would be if I could learn Continental Knitting? I hate to rib American style, but cannot get the tension right with the yarn in my left hand. I found this great set of videos on Pintrest from KnitFreedom. The download is only $12.95 (Liat will email you a code for your first purchase if you sign up for her newsletter) and they are really well-done. She speaks well and clearly without the nonsensical commentary that I find in other videos. The audio is perfect and the background is blank as a professional how-to video should be. She also offers other videos for purchase as well as for free. I am hoping to use my IPad in Italy to practice and learn this once and for all.

Back to the quilting!

Baci e abbracci.