I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my Thanksgiving long weekend. My husband had to do a rush paint job for one of the Purdue sororities that he usually paints for in the summer. He was so concerned that he wouldn't be able to complete it in the alloted 4 1/2 days, that on Thursday morning, he went over and worked four hours in the morning, while I was cooking. His progress was somewhat impeded on Saturday, when he arrived to find water running down a previously painted wall. Investigation revealed it wasn't bath plumbing. It turned out that in one of the rooms, the occupants had forced a bunch of things into the corner near the radiator, and snapped the valve off. So, if he had not been in the house, the resulting leak would have continued without any attention until late Sunday afternoon. The house mother was really glad he was there! He called the house maintenance man, who came immediately, and called the plumbers to take care of that problem while Norm repainted the wall that was damaged. He worked until 6:30PM on Sunday evening determined to finish.
The net result was that I had all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to do anything I wished. I prepared applique templates for blocks in progress, pieced the last two Block of the Month kits from my LQS, washed some fabrics, knitted a bit, watched movies, and did some other piecing, too. When the "sameness" of some of my piecing began to be monotonous, I decided I would drag out the first of four shop hop block collections, and begin to piece those. It was so satisfying to pick up a kit, make a few cuts, and have a completed block in short order. I made five of the nine kits from my first Florida shop hop last year on Sunday afternoon, and two more last night. The two kits remaining are a mindbender for me, since their construction is based in some of the popular "short cuts". Since I don't suffer math anxiety, and don't use those techniques, I'm finding them difficult to assemble. In one of the kits, there are lots of seams that I would have eliminated, but the fabric provided is configured such that it isn't possible to make a straight-forward cutting of the pieces for assembly. In the other, a bias edge is placed on the outside edge of the block intentionally. I suppose it doesn't make much difference for only one block, but it goes against my "grain"! EQ5 to the rescue . . . I'll redraft it to eliminate that bias edge, if I can do it within the pieces provided! Fortunately, I collected fat quarters of some of the fabrics used in the blocks; so, perhaps I can re-cut from those to make assembly easier.
Seeing the end of that project in view, I grabbed my other kits to review. Only one of the other shop hop projects has any applique, and those suggest fusing. I love doing applique so much, I have no interest in using that technique. I think of John Flynn's comment on fusing in a class that I took from him at Quilt America. He said, "If you are going to hot glue your quilts, you might just as well use duct tape!" All in all, one must consider the use (and abuse) the finished project will receive, but I find handwork so relaxing, I can't picture fusing becoming a technique of choice for me.
Friday was a really good day. I went to my LQS to pick up a Block of the Month kit. I always check the sale fabrics, and in this case, the grab bag bin. I scored some greens in one grab bag, some brights in another, and some extra blocks for the previous BOM called Monday Madness. In that project, an 8-inch classic block was made in greens and neutral framed with a red sawtooth border. The applique blocks are Old World Santas. Those extra BOM kits will make a few more blocks if I need them, and permit me to create an original set for my quilt.
Then, the really special purchase of the day . . . for the holiday weekend, of course, they had many items in the shop on sale. That included some floor samples of their Pfaff and Bernina machines. I kept looking at the selection, and one of my friends who works there, suggested that I test drive them. She set up a couple, and I fiddled around with them, and they were all lovely. I couldn't make up my mind, so I asked her which she would buy from those offered. I knew I did not want a machine with computer add-ons . . . been there, done that . . . and spent more in repairs than I paid for that machine in the first place. She put her choice machine on the table for me, and I played with it for a few minutes. Then, I turned around and said, "I'm taking this one home with me." It's a Pfaff 1529; has plenty of bells and whistles, and does everything I want it to do. It is capable of machine quilting, if I ever decide I really want to pursue that. Sewing with that was an added attraction for the balance of the weekend.
Finally, we have a Featherweight acquired at auction that we took for service. There was short in the foot control, and the tension needed correction. Fortunately, there is a wonderful sewing machine service shop in nearby Lebanon, Indiana, owned by Gary Sink. The man is a magician with a sewing machine. He worked his magic on this latest acquisition, and we are keeping it for our grand-daughter. Sews like a dream, of course!
Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend as much as I did!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Posted by Linda C. at 11:40 AM