Monday, January 28, 2019
Well, I have finally gotten tired of Blogger and having so much trouble with my posts so this weekend I made the move to Wordpress.
The new site is www.francesquilts.com
Please come on over and re-subscribe!!
Thanks for reading....
Sunday, January 13, 2019
I have had a bit of time to spend in my studio over the last couple of weeks and am desperately trying to get several quilts finished for our upcoming guild show. I have already registered them and hope to get them finished by the receiving days in February.
The first finish of the year is a baby quilt that I LOVED making. I found the pattern on the first night that we were at the Houston show and KNEW that it was exactly what I wanted. The pattern was “My Favorite Earrings” by Sandy Fitzpatrick.
Isn’t it the cutest thing!!!!
I had help from my friend, Katie, to make the butterflies. She and her husband came to our house on Christmas Day to share some Chinese Food and chatting time and she and I magically ended upstairs in my studio. I showed her the pattern and gave some basic instruction about how to use Wonder under and she was off!!
….so I pulled out my trusty sea sponge and light brown paint and added some “shading” on the heads……
It really made a LOT of difference!!
As I got ready to quilt, I kept seeing “flower power” designs so added those first with some variegated threads….
….and then echoed the flowers throughout the rest of the piece…..
Finally, I used one of my ruler’s to quilt the border, but I talked about that HERE.
All in all, I am thrilled with this first finish of the year….here’s to more to come!!
Sunday, January 6, 2019
I have been using a ruler to quilt the borders on a cute baby quilt and have learned a few things as I quilted along.
Then I started using a curved edge to quilt the pieced borders……
….and that is where I started having issues.
Firstly, I found that the foot was getting stuck as I crossed seams and, because I was having to force it along, I was making long (toe snag) stitches. I kept raising the presser foot height but it wasn’t getting any better.
Then a few hours later, I started having trouble with the thread breaking. I completely unthreaded my machine, cleaned out the lint, including a small piece that was stuck in the bobbin case and started over but it still wouldn’t work for long.
As a last resort, I decided to change the needle and it fixed the problem. I seldom think about the needle being the issue but obviously it had a burr on the eye that was causing the thread to shred.
Here is the finished border…..
I was able to quilt it without having to make any marks and it adds so much more than my normal 3 squiggly lines down the middle.
This was a simple pattern, using the easiest of the rulers, but I am pleased just to have made a start!!
I am one Happy Quilter!!!
Thursday, January 3, 2019
I bought my Juki Sewing Machine about 2-1/2 years ago and I have really enjoyed it….except for my machine quilting!!
I have never been fully happy with the tension when I was doing free-motion quilting and I NEVER was able to get “ruler” quilting to look good. I had the top tension dialed down almost to 0 and the bobbin stitches were still making their way to the top…..
So, after spending a little time with Google, I came across a video by Westalee Rulers that talked about changing the Bobbin Tension. Like most of you, I was taught that you NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER did that.
Well, I was just frustrated enough to give it a try and, with much fear and trembling, I pulled out the screwdriver and got busy, adjusting it by about 5 “minutes” each time…..
In this case, I had to INCREASE the bobbin tension which also meant that I could tweak the top tension to be a bit tighter as well.
I spent a couple of hours free-motion quilting on a current project and had NO tension problems and NO thread breaking.
I have also decided to use a ruler to quilt the border which should make finishing much faster!!
So one of my goals for 2019 has already been reached…..learning more about doing ruler-work!!!
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Some years we slowly coast into a new year with everything being same-old, same-old, but NOT this year.
The first four months of the year are going to be SUPER exciting!!! Besides it being my uber-busy tax season, there are two fun events to look forward to. The first is our Guild Quilt Show the first weekend in March and I am show chairman this year. This is the 3rd time that I have acted as chairman or co-chairman and it is a super job to have.
Then, just 4 weeks after the show, our daughter Jenny is getting married!!! We are really looking forward to the event and are excitedly planning and organizing for the big day. Even today I was working on prototype table decorations!!
Now the problem with having two fun events placed smack in the middle of a busy, busy work season is the possibility that I will get to the end of April and will not have been engaged in either event……they will have come and gone without my taking the time to notice.
Now lets backtrack a bit to see how I came to this revelation….. it has been years since I have used a paper planner, having gone to digital a long time ago.
But, while we were in China, I started listening to a podcast by Ruth Soukup of “Living Well, Spending Less”. She talked about setting goals and putting the first things first and it started to resonate with me that I wasn’t doing that!! She also has a planner that helps with goal setting and I decided to give it a try.
It arrived in September and I immediately started to use it and have found it to be a great addition to my life!! The biggest help for me is learning to do “block scheduling”……looking at the week as a whole and finding blocks of time that can be devoted to various tasks, both work and fun.
As I was thinking about my goals for 2019, I realized that I REALLY wanted to “up” my game with quilting. This realization came after seeing the quilts at Houston and how, seemingly, “perfect” they were. SO, I have decided to block out a short time each morning to work on creative things with a specific plan to work on my machine quilting. My goal is to add a lot of free-motion designs to my repertoire and then to work on my ruler work.
To help with this goal I have purchased a cheater cloth top from Spoonflower and have also asked our Guild Charity bee for a couple of tops that I can practice on.
Now, I know that I have said before that I wanted to make time for creative pursuits each morning but I have failed miserably!! So I used Ruth’s suggestion and started my New Year’s resolutions in December and have been fairly consistent in getting to my studio for at least 20 minutes each day.
The trick will be for this to continue during the super hectic months to come but I feel sure that those few minutes each day will help to keep my sanity in tact.
BRING IT ON…………