Other People’s Money and Other fun things!!

Today, I drove to Atlanta with my friend Linda to help her pick out a new sewing machine.   She had used my Juki and really liked it so off we went to buy one for her.  While she was trying out the new machine, I did some looking around (which is always a bad idea)!!

I was excited to find a set of nested circle machine quilting rulers…..IMG_4663

As soon as I got home I had to try them out!!!   Each ruler is 1/4 inch wide and they were fairly easy to use.  Here are my first attempts…..


Yes, there are a few wobbles and one where I simply quit and started over, but for the most part I am happy with them.  The individual  rulers are a bit slippery so I may need to find some VERY small pieces of grippy stuff (the technical name) to hold them in place better.

The guidelines were drawn in place using a tool that I bought at Houston…..IMG_4665

While I was there, I also invested in a sampler pack of rulers put out by Westalee…..


It came with 6 different rulers that can be used to made an infinite number of different designs…IMG_4666

Since I was already in “play mode” I pulled out the petal ruler and gave it a try as well…..IMG_4668

Before I could try any others, I ran out of bobbin thread (sigh) and, besides, it was time to fix dinner order pizza, so I reluctantly put my play things away!!

But, the good news is that tomorrow I am free until the all-important football game at 4:00  (University of Georgia vs Auburn University) ….GO DAWGS, so the plan is to spend most of that time in the studio!!!

Hope your weekend includes some creative time as well……

Whole lotta quiltin going on…..

This past week I have tried to find time to work on quilting the Queen size Pineapple.

I enjoyed quilting the long, straight lines leading from the edge into the red highlight area….

…and as much as I tried, they ended up being basically symmetrical around the quilt.   It just looked better that way!!!

I wanted to highlight the red area and Michael suggested circles, so circles it was…..

You cant see a LOT of the quilting, but may be able to see the blue lines where I marked the concentric circles…..

The final step was to decide on a design for the borders.   Once I decided WHAT to do, I decided that this was a good time to try using a ruler.

When I bought the machine, I purchased a Ruler Foot as well…..

A ruler foot is different because it has a deep circle around the needle which bumps up against the ruler.  The needle is a perfect 1/4 inch inside the circle.

When I first got the machine and had played with it, I had trouble with skipped stitches and was NOT happy with the results.   After a bit of Googling, I discovered that the problem was that the foot was not sitting close enough to the fabric.  AND, after examining the foot, I discovered that there is a screw (just above the spring) that pushes the foot down.   After making this minor adjustment, I was ready to go…..

Since I wanted the grid to be 1 inch, I am placing the 3/4 inch line on the previous line.   When the 1/4 inch on the foot is added, I have a wonderful1 inch grid.  Although I marked the grid on the first set of lines, future marking has only included extending the corner lines into the border and adding the perpendicular line that marks where the line makes a 90 degree turn.

I have finished 1/2 of the border and, unfortunately, ran out of thread, but a trip to the store on Tuesday will fix that!!!

More to come!!


Now that my quilt is finished and hung…..

…it was time to attack the huge job of cleaning my studio. I tend to not worry about what it looks like while I’m working, knowing that I will clean it up after each finish. 

As I sorted through the fabrics I counted 132 different fabrics that I had pulled in making this quilt….

The big trick now is to get them all back into the boxes. Some of these fabrics have been out of their storage containers for over a year and other things have taken their place so it was a bit of a struggle to get everything in. But after 20 minutes or so of pushing and pulling I was able to get all of the boxes closed (well, sort of) and on the shelf.
I set up my quilting area, starting with my the table leaf and then adding another small table to the side just to give this big quilt enough support……

I spent a few minutes cleaning my machine and oiling it…..

It has been a long time since I have had a machine that needs oil so I am having to get used to remembering to do it.  One of the reviews that I read said that it was a thirsty machine, and I think that’s a good description of it. While I was oiling  the bobbin case area I noticed a thread that had gotten tangled in there, so I spent about 30 minutes trying to remove that thread. It was finally accomplish with the use of a pair of needle nose pliers from the garage.

As I was cleaning, I also noticed this hook on my machine…..

For the last 5 months I have been carefully threading the thread THRU the hole without realizing that there was this guide that meant the thread can be slid into the hole rather than threading…..OY VEY!!!!  This makes threading SO much faster!!!

The next project is the queen size pineapple quilt that I pieced a couple years ago and I’ve been waiting to quilt. I had some time to work on it in December and played with various quilting ideas.   The one that I liked best was quilting long lines leading into the red highlighted area. I first marked a series of lines and quilted those so the quilt was well held together. Then I started adding additional lines leading from the outside borders in as well. I marked the entire quilt and started the quilting process but felt like things were being too even and maybe I wanted a little more non-symmetry with it.
So I sprayed it down with water and removed all of the blue lines that I had already put on. I then started re-drawing the lines but again they still seem to be very symmetrical.   So I have now decided to draw some of the lines, quilt a little, draw some more lines, and quilt some more, and just see how it turns out. 

My gut feeling is that I will end up with symmetry!!!

Since the quilt contains every color in the rainbow spectrum, I am quilting it using variegated Maxi-Llock thread in each of the colorways…..

Setting up for quilting

After I got the Flower Pot quilt basted (using fusible batting), it was time to first, clean up the studio……


….and then get set up to quilt a queen size quilt.   

Ever since I bought the inset table for my machine, I had been thinking about the best way to set up my “quilting station”.

First step was to fold down the cutting table and move the storage drawers out.  Then I moved in two small folding tables to form one large table…..


The only problem with this was that the machine table was about 1.25 inches shorter than the other two tables, so I trudged down to the garage and started looking for pieces of wood that I could use to bolster my table height, and voila……_C186998

I found a piece that worked perfectly except that it was WAY too big for the table.  Out came the ruler and pencil, cutting marks were drawn and then back down to the garage to use the Jigsaw to cut the piece to the proper size.  I think that I will eventually cover it with the rubber backings that you can buy for rugs.

I also thought about the fact that I didn’t want the quilt to fall off of the front edge of the tables, so I moved my cutting table to block it off……


As I picked up the quilt to lay it out and start quilting, I realized that it was really heavy and that my tables weren’t in the correct position.  To fix this, I moved the table to my left down so that there was a place to support the side of the quilt

Once I started quilting, I realized that it was still falling below the table so another trip to the garage brought two TV tables that fit perfectly beside my chair, thus giving full support on each side.


To finish the support, I grabbed a cushion from one of the other rooms and put it in my lap to allow the quilt to NEVER drop below the edge of the table.

The only downside to my arrangement is that it gets fairly warm sitting under the quilt and pillow….but fortunately there is a ceiling fan so that solved the final problem!!

By the way, the funky cover on the back of my chair is to keep me from bumping the wall and putting black marks on it.   I will eventually make a nice one, but this piece of flannel left over from the design wall is serving the immediate purpose

Who let the dogs down….who….who….who????


I have always been told that you MUST drop the feed dogs when you are doing Free Motion Quilting.

BUT, the other day I quilted an ENTIRE piece before I realized that I had forgotten to drop the dogs.  AND, I had already noticed that my tension and stitches looked better than normal.

Then, while reading my blog-roll I came across a post by Leah Day about just this subject…..read it here.

She mirrors my thinking …..maybe you dont HAVE to drop them to achieve good FMQ……

What do you think?????