Old stuff, nothing new

This week, all I've done is sew some baby quilt blocks together and machine finish the binding on the purple Linus quilt.  Some weeks are like that, when no matter how hard I try, I don't go very far.  Other weeks, it looks like the fairies came in and worked for me overnight.  It takes a slow one to appreciate a fast one, I guess.  Anyway, since there's nothing new, I thought how about something old?

This is my first quilt. 

Some of you have seen pictures of this one before and heard its story.  I had a friend who had inherited a sewing machine and stash and wanted to learn to quilt.  He asked if I'd show him how to use the machine and if I would, he'd share part of his stash.  We did, and I brought home some little bit of fabric and a pattern book.  I promptly lost the pattern book.  But, I didn't let that stop me. 

I did what I could remember.  And, apparently, I remembered everything except how to shade a log cabin block or how to set them together.  If you notice, I did alternate  light and dark...but on opposite sides of the block, not next to one another.  Anyway, it's still a great quilt and I'm very proud of it for my first attempt.  Like my fore-quilters, I machine pieced and hand quilted it.  It has a foldover binding.  And, a lot of squares and ovals quilted in it.  And, some very big stitches.

Thank you Alex Anderson for teaching me to quilt.

This is my oldest UFO.  The quilt is called Old Maid's Puzzle and it's a child's quilt...and a game.  Like the card game, every square has a match.  There are two squares made from each block pattern, so two Jacob's ladder and two checkerboard, two baskets and two log cabins.  But, they're colored differently to make them hard to find.  Once all those are matched, the leftover block is made in old maid's puzzle pattern.  And the instructions of the game were supposed to be embroidered in the black block, but I couldn't think of something cute to write there and the hand quilting was taking forever, and this one got moved to the side as a UFO.  Many, many years ago.  Which is a shame cuz it's really cute. 

And, this is the only quilt I ever made out of all solids.  All quilts made from solids are not Amish.  The block pattern is Old Maid's Puzzle.  Yes, I do like that block and don't know why I stopped using it. 

Rob and I made this quilt together.  It's the only one.  He did the pressing and I did the sewing.  And, the hand quilting.  Because in the beginning, I thought all quilts had to be hand quilted.  What a dork.

Now, I guess I'm versatile.  It hurts my hands to hand quilt too much.  I like to do a small project, but I don't know if I'll ever do another queen size because it would take so long to finish.

This was another very early quilt.  I made it right after my mentor sold me her mother's Bernina 930.  I made one for me from my stash and one for my mentor, using her stash, which she had loaned me a portion of to add variety to a project.  Rob loves this one and it hangs in the living room most of the time.  I remember how hard I worked to get the light center, darkening as you moved out to the edge.  And, those prairie points aren't really prairie points.  They're the leftover HST's folded in half and sewn into a border. 

This is my first and still my biggest sewing machine mistake. 

This is Lenore, a Singer 401a.  She belonged to a friend's mother who sold it to me after her Mom passed.  This was early in my machine collecting.  And, she was filthy.  So, the first thing I did was take her apart and clean her really good.  And, I took the top tension apart.  Dang it!  It never went back together right.  (Now, I know to clean a tension assembly by taking a piece of dental floss, tying a small knot in it and flossing between the tension disks...believe me, that knot knocks loose a lot of lint.)  I've used the machine a few times, but she skips stitches and pulls to the left, and we've just never gotten along for very long at a time. 

She's on my mind because this week, I bought a whole new tension assembly.  I took this one apart the other day, and it's missing pieces that I either didn't put back on or didn't think I needed or were never there...whatever.  The new assembly will be here in a few days, and I can try again. 

Everybody have a great Friday and a great weekend.  I'll be quilting.  And, probably gardening.  Sydney is gone for Spring Break to a Renaissance Fair.  She's glamping, whatever that means...and I don't care how glamorous it is, it's still camping...unless they hired a cabana boy or something, which I highly doubt. 

Rob and I will be bachelors...taking care of Sydney's dog.  And, her chores.  But, first, I have to get through Friday.  It's been a weird week at work.  Something's up that no one is talking about, and I'm not asking questions.  Just keeping my head down.  My boss got some good feedback about me.  You all remember a meeting I was nervous about a couple weeks ago.  I've become the de facto leader of that team, even though there's someone else whose name is in the "in charge" slot.  We're rewriting a book that got several years out of date.  Everyone on the team keeps complimenting me on what a good job I've done mocking up the necessary changes and keeping the team on track as we work through them, one by one.   It doesn't hurt that I make them laugh a lot.  This week, they started telling my boss.  That's always a good thing. 

On the other hand, I'm having to train some new people on what is and what isn't my job responsibility.  And, that's not such a good thing.

People.  Can't make them all happy at the same time, no matter what I do.

Guess I better focus on making me happy instead.



greytone said...

I have followed you since Sydney first joined your household, and followed you and each of your quilting projects in hopes of completing my first and gaining some tips. Your energy is inspirational, your work is amazing and I pray you retain your dedication to expanding and sharing your world. I take a minute today to comment because you blogged about your Singer 401a, the same model was willed to me from my paternal grandmother and is my favorite. I held my breath as I read your blog in hopes you would not say you had sold it or thrown it away. I just finished moving to my retirement location in Georgia, and at the very end of my journey, my machine slid off the roof of my car and the case bounced upside down. I broke the downward tension knob off the top left of the machine and for the first time since I've owned it, I had to pay more than maintenance fees for a bona fide repair. When I put my backup machine away and pushed the pedal of my repaired favorite, I almost cried. I appreciate the smooth movement and quiet whir that I remembered, and you will love it, too. The repairman said this was one of Singer's best because it is made with only gears...no belts...and is a workhorse. I agree. I think the machine is just like you...the BEST and a workhorse. I hope you are able to repair it and that you never sell it. I am anxious for your rating and to see how you use it to do quilting. Thanks for listening. P.S.: Wear a good shirt to work every day next week. Something positive is in the works for you.
Your dedicated fan...

Anonymous said...

That was your first quilt!!! That's amazing. You jumped into quilting with both feet. How inspiring! Have a great weekend....can't wait to see what you get up to. Mary

Vesuviusmama said...

You've made beautiful quilts right from the very start!