Author Topic: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)  (Read 2035 times)  

Offline Annalog

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Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
« on: January 11, 2020, 12:21:53 pm »
I recently retired and have been saying for years that I will start quilting after I retire. My birthday is in a couple months and I want to give my husband some good suggestions (or just buy for myself ;D).

I have sewn for decades (mostly Halloween and running costumes). I have a serger and the Singer Classic 44S sewing machine. I am NOT looking for a new sewing machine as we will be moving in with our daughter sometime in a year or so. She also sews and started quilting a couple years ago. I figure that when it is time to splurge on a new machine for quilting, it will be one that we can both use.

I already have a 24" x 36" rotary cutting mat, a rotary cutter, and a couple cutting rulers (6" x 24" and a smaller one). I have a fabric stash that is decades old and I kept most of my scraps. (I haven't looked yet but I am sure that I have enough scraps for several crazy, crumb, and scrap quilts!) A year ago or so, my husband converted an old conference room table that we had been using as a dining room table into a rolling craft table with a shelf underneath for our daughter. He also converted an old office table (2.5' x 5') into a rolling craft table for me since my table was now gone. So, I already have a really good start due to years of crafting of various types.

I know that I could use additional special presser feet for my sewing machine. I have the standard/zigzag foot, the zipper foot, and a buttonhole foot. Any recommendations?

I am currently working on holiday aprons for family members. (Yes, I know the recent holidays are over but I over committed and have a large family. I will get them done and delivered extra early for the next season!) In the meantime, I am getting a lot of experience in quarter inch seams and top stitching while watching/listening to quilting videos.

Any other recommendations or tips?

I looking forward to adding another hobby to my collection.

Edited: i changed the title as I have bought sewing machine accessories.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 07:37:43 am by Annalog »

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    Offline Annalog

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    Currently reading older Kboard quilting threads:
    « Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 08:31:58 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Jane917

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    Annalog, congratulations for venturing into the quilting arena. I find it is my relaxing (though sometimes exasperating) pastime. My biggest challenge is finding the space to manage my machines, ironing board, cutting table, etc. It is all relegated to one spare bedroom that gets cleaned up once in a while. :(

    What you are talking about doing more of is actually piecing, not quilting. The quilting part of the project is done when all the piecing, batting, and backing are put together, and before the binding is put on. I usually send my projects out to be quilted, as it takes equipment and space that I do not have. Sometimes I quilt my own if the project is not big. There is a professional quilter on this forum that might have some ideas for you.

    However, for the piecing of the project, it is essential to have a 1/4" foot. If your seams are not exactly 1/4", the whole thing will not fit together. It might be a good idea to take a beginning quilting class at your local quilt store. You will learn many tips. There are so many gadgets that make the projects easier and more precise. Be sure to have a ready stash of rotary blades for your cutter. Nothing worse than trying to cut dull blades.

    You might want to rethink the idea of waiting to buy a machine that will be shared with your daughter. I can't imagine sharing a machine when I am in the middle of a project.

    Since you have so many scraps, some good beginning projects are tote bags, rug mugs and placemats. They are useful and can be finished in little time. They are also easy to quilt with straight lines. Seek out precut fabrics, like jelly rolls, etc. So great for beginning projects. If you can, go to quilt shows.

    Make friends with a local quilt store. I know a lot of purchasing is done on-line, but having a pro in your pocket is so helpful. Use quality cottons and quality thread. It will make your life much easier.

    Good luck. I sewed a lot when my kids were little, then got into quilting when I retired. It doesn't take long to become an obsession.

    Oh, almost forgot! My local quilt store keeps a running list of my "wants." When it is gift time, DH knows to just go into the LQS and ask for something on my list. This way, there is somewhat of a surprise, and DH thinks he is so creative. I don't think he knows that the LQS actually keeps a list. He goes in and says something like "I wonder what Jane would like for her birthday." The cute young associate takes him around the store saying things like "she loves to do xxxx and would really find this useful."
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    Offline Annalog

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    Thanks, Jane. Yes, my biggest challenge with many of my crafting hobbies is finding the space! That is why I am glad that both my daughter and I each have a large crafting table separate from our sewing spaces. That will continue when we move in with her.

    I know that I was naming piecing and patchwork styles but I am planning on quilting at least some of what I will be making. My daughter's sewing machine has a throat that is probably a couple inches deeper than mine and she was able to free motion quilt a T-shirt quilt for her dad that is 68 inches by 89 inches. Of course, since we are in Arizona, a thinner batting is preferable due to the warmer winters and downright hot summers. My daughter just signed us up for Bluprint for this year. I have been watching some of the Midnight Quilter's videos and I think that I might be OK with my machine and smaller projects after I get the appropriate feet for free motion, especially as my machine lets me drop the feed dogs. ;D

    I definitely want a 1/4" foot as using the line on my regular presser foot is tricky. I am glad that the foot I have has marks that I can use for 1/8" and 1/4".

    I currently live in rural Arizona with no nearby quilt or fabric stores unless you count Walmart. ;) Tucson has the shops and places with lessons but it is 50 miles away.

    I still think that sharing a fancy machine will work as we will each have our own  regular machines. Also, she is currently not fond of the quilting part. While she might change her mind after she uses a walking foot, I still think it would be ok. She would have priority when she is not at work and I will be happy to work around her needs. (There is a reason why my husband says that my hobby is collecting hobbies. I enjoy switching activities and can get bored working on the same craft for too long. I also get obsessed with all of them but alternate which is the current obsession.)

    I think that there is a quilt show coming up soon in Tucson. I will try to get to it.

    I am so looking forward to a new hobby to obsess over.

    Offline Jane917

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    I envy your daughter's skills. I have one of the longest machine throats in the industry on a home machine, but still find free motion quilting a challenge. I am OK if I stick with straight line quilting or wavy quilting. I have a zillion stitches on my machine, and also have a stitch regulator. I am probably too  critical of my work, but I like the results from the longarm, which costs a very lot of money. I have just finished a block of the month club for 2019. My top is all finished, but I need to put on the borders and get it to a person who has a longarm. It is a queen sized quilt, way to big for me to mess with.

    I am also rural. though not as far from quilt stores as you are. I have the advantage of 2 nice quilt stores in the town next to mine, and am only 30 minutes from Portland. There are lots of resources on line. I like Fat Quarter Shop, Missour Star Quilts, Fabric Worm. If you have any inclination to make bags, I love the patterns from byAnnie. She has videos on Craftsy (now Bluprint), and excellent directions.

    I suppose you have found by now that this is a very expensive hobby. Quilt shows are fun, not only for the projects displayed, but for the vendors you will meet that you never knew existed. You also might have a local quilt guild in your county.

    I will have to look up Midnight Quilter videos.

    Jane
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    Offline Annalog

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    I envy your daughter's skills.
    No need to envy my daughter's quilting skills. The T-shirt quilt was the first quilt where she tried anything other than "stitch in the ditch." She tried a different style or pattern in each section until she got tired of it.  The remaining large sections have an X. She is a follower of the school that Finished is better than Perfect. (I, on the other hand, have to fight my perfectionist tendencies.) The quilt is loved and used daily.

    I haven't yet spent any money specifically on this hobby as I haven't yet even started piecing. I have spent money on clearance material, but I would have done that anyway for my other sewing hobbies. (I was working in the craft/fabric section of Walmart in Tucson and fabric at a dollar a yard is difficult to pass up, especially when 100% cotton.) This new hobby is another attempt to use my fabric stash. ;)

    So far, my must buy list is a 1/4" foot and a darning/free motion foot. My would be nice list is rotary cutter gloves, quilting gloves, more specialty feet, some more templates, template material. A extended base looks like it would be handy. However, I have a DIY idea that I want to try first. ;) Yes, DIY tools might be another hobby of mine.


    « Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 09:09:50 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Jane917

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    Are you sure you can get extra feet for your Singer? If not, you can always put a piece of masking tape exactly 1/4 from the needle and use it as an edge guide. There are sticky things you can buy to go on your throat plate that mark off the inches.

    I have a long handle that sticks to my big ruler so I dont slice off any fingers when cutting. I like my quilting gloves, but dont have cutting gloves. Good scissors are a must. I have Kai and Ginghers. A good hot iron is also a must. I like the wool felt boards that come in all sizes for ironing mats. They help iron those seams really open.
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    Offline Annalog

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    I have made my first purchases directly related to quilting! DH and I went to Tucson today on an errand run. We stopped at a couple used bookstores. At Bookman's I found a couple quilting books that I decided to buy. Each one was about completely different ways to make quilts and quilt blocks that are quilted before the item is finished. These are:
    • Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage : 51 blocks, 9 projects, 3 joining methods by Jera Brandvig 2017. With this technique, the blocks are pieced as normal. They are then either quilted to just the batting or as a block-sized quilt sandwich with a block sized piece of the backing material. If quilted to just the batting, then the blocks are either connected directly to each other or with very thin sashing and then the backing is added to the quilted quilt top and minimal straight line quilting along block lines (or sashing lines) is added. Otherwise the fully quilted blocks with fabric on both sides are connected with thin sashing on both sides. The thin sashing, in either case, ends up 1/2 inch wide so that it is the same size as the two seam allowances containing batting.
    • Cotton Theory Quilting : Quilt First - Then Assemble by Betty Cotton 2006. It is identified as Book One in the Cotton Theory Series. I haven't read as much of this one but this technique results in a reversible quilt with piecing on both sides. Instead of a 1/4 inch seam allowance, a full inch seam allowance is used and the batting is cut to match the finished size of the pattern piece. The front and back pattern pieces are made into a quilt sandwich with the batting and quilted so that no batting gets into the seam allowance. The quilted pattern pieces are sewed together and then the seam allowances are folded in a few different ways to capture the raw edges and then sewn down in a way that reminded me of French seams. There are variations on this to account for seam thicknesses and intersections. Names like Highway, One-Way Street, Aligned intersections, and Boardwalk are used to describe specific variations or situations.

    We then went to JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts. I took pictures of what I found interesting and will research. I showed the items to DH so he will know what I am talking about. Decades ago, when he worked for TG&Y, he often cut fabric for customers and helped them find stuff.

    My Singer is about 6 years old. It is not the machine my mom used; my sister inherited that one. I found a set online that I think will work. I checked the price of individual feet at JoAnns -- Yikes!

    I was looking at videos on DIY extension tables last night. DH says that he will make me one. Now I need to figure out the size. I am thinking 4 inches in front of my sewing machine, about a foot behind and a foot or so out to the left of the machine should be about right. Fortunately the shape of my machine is boxy so it should be easy to fit.

    Now I need to finish all those Christmas aprons!
    « Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 06:57:35 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Jane917

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    Congratulations on your purchases! You are really jumping in! I have to giggle at the books you bought. As lovely as they might be, in MHO "quilt as you go" is one of hardest and most frustrating projects I have ever tried. My first quilt as you go project was combined with my first attempts at ruler quilting. In the end, I decided ruler quilting just was not for me.

    I am still looking for the perfect sewing table for my machine (Bernina 770). I do not want to spend thousands of dollars, but want a table that is the right height with a recessed section the machine fits in. There are several ready made tables out there that would work (SewEzi comes to mind). I am very limited in space. Home Depot and Lowe's have a height adjustable table that would work, though my machine would not be recessed. However, I could get the throat of my machine at the right height. Look around and you can find the recommended dimensions and parameters of sewing tables. Remember that you have to maintain easy access to your bobbin.

    For easy quilts for beginners I like the books by Pam Lintott and Nicky Lintott, a mother/daughter team. Jelly Roll Quilts in a Weekend comes to mind, but don't be fooled that you can actually complete one in a weekend. The directions are straight forward and pretty easy.

    Some great online sources I use for videos and fabric include Missouri Star Quilts. There is also a forum section on their website that can be helpful for beginners. They publish a quarterly magazine called BLOCK. Included are patterns for about 12 projects. Considering the cost of patterns, I have found this a reasonable subscription to vary the patterns I have on hand. All the directions are easy to follow. Most patterns involve both pre-cuts and yardage. I think each edition is $6 or $7 dollars. I don't know because my subscription deducts my account automatically.

    My newest projects lined up include a crazy quilt (lap size) cut from a pack of layer cakes (10" precuts). I am also finishing up a block of the month (2019) that has a lot of appliqu. I need to get the borders on and send it out to the longarm machine. It is queen size. I also have a few kits that I have all the items for, but just have not started. My goal in 2020 is to complete the projects I have piled up and not start any new ones. If successful, I predict I will save upwards of a thousand dollars this year!

    Yes, feet are very expensive. Bernina has a foot of the month special each month. I buy all my feet discounted at the sales. I have another Bernina that I bought in 1992 that still works like a dream. I have every foot imaginable for that one, so if I need a real specialty foot, like a ruffler, or gatherer, I pull out the old machine. Of course, the older Bernina feet do not fit the newer Berninas.

    Happy sewing! You will soon become addicted. My recommendation is to not get overwhelmed. Take it a project at a time.....I wish I took my own advice.   Jane
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    Offline Annalog

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    Jane, thanks for the great info and ideas!

    Congratulations on your purchases! You are really jumping in! ...
    Yep! Why should this hobby be any different from all the others? Why start with an easy project when that fun intermediate one looks as if I could maybe do it? Why start now when I have over commited myself and under estimated time required all my life? I am not sure if life would be challenging without obsession. ;D

    I am so crazy that while I was looking at the first book on the way home and my husband was driving, I was thinking of how I could make the sashing wider to make it less obvious that it was mostly "quilt as you go". I was thinking of wide sashing that would be quilted during row and column  assembly. Yes, I am crazy and Dopey!

    My space is also limited and will be even more limited after we move. My sewing table is a folding multi-purpose craft table that I got years ago at JoAnn's with a 40% off coupon. The main part of the table is like a small white folding banquet table (2 feet deep and 32 inches wide) with a 10 inch wide plastic organizer section on the side with a built-in 3 outlet extension cord on the front. (Total footprint 2 feet by 3.5 feet) I connect it to a wall outlet with a heavy duty extension cord. I am not sure that I will ever have a single purpose sewing table. (Not counting the old used Kenmore sewing machine in a built-in cabinet that Santa gave my sister and me when I was around 12. I believe that the motor is burned out and needs to be replaced. It is currently at my daughter's house functioning as an end table. After we move my husband and I will either repair/replace the motor or maybe convert it to a treadle machine since the motor is completely external to the sewing machine body. My memory may be playing me tricks but I believe that machine had the longest basting stitch I had ever seen. I would like that now for the gathered ruffles I am putting on these aprons!)

    I am seriously considering the 32 piece Ultimate Presser Foot Set from Madam Sew for $60 with Prime One-Day shipping. The reviews are good. It comes with an organizer case and instructional video. I looked at the videos they have online and liked them. Also, the feet would probably work with at least one, if not both, of my daughter's machines. 32 feet for the price of 6 or 7 - - What's not to like? :D I would still want a walking foot but I will check first with my daughter to see if she has gotten hers yet.

    Thanks for the tips, suggestions, and warnings. I know that I am easily addicted to crafts and other hobbies.
    « Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 02:05:40 pm by Annalog »

    Offline jakecrew

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    Thanks for sharing

    Offline Annalog

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    I bought the 32 piece Ultimate Presser Foot Set from Madam Sew for $60 with Prime One-Day shipping. It arrived yesterday. The feet fit my machine without needing the included adapter! :D I will be trying them out today.

    Offline Annalog

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    I have been trying some of the feet out while sewing the Christmas aprons. I really like the 1/4 inch foot and the straight stitch foot. I think that I will be using most of these feet over time.

    Yesterday I went to our local public library and checked out 5 different books on quilting. One was a book on Hawaiian quilting and had 15 different designs for applique and quilting guidelines. My favorite was the turtle one. I traced the patterns on tissue paper so that when I am ready to attempt hand applique and quilting I will be prepared. The others are:
    • Easy Quilt Projects by Better Homes and Gardens. Many of the projects in this book are smaller and include bags, wall hangings, etc.
    • The Careless Quilter - Decide-as-you-sew, Design-as-you-go Quilting by Kristin Miller.
    • 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks by Carol Doak. This one comes with a CD-ROM so I will need to get out my laptop.
    • Quiltagami - The Art of Fabric Folding by Mary Jo Hiney. I had to check out this one as my first and favorite hobby is Origami. After I returned home I also found a book that I purchased years ago on combining origami with quilting.  :)
    I have pretty much decided that my first project will be making a turtle pincushion. I will need to make my own pattern but my plan is to make a piecework top shell that will have batting and be quilted, a bottom shell that is also quilted, and a stuffed body (head, legs, and tail) that will then be sewn inside the top and bottom shells. I haven't yet decided if I will use scraps from the Christmas aprons or use material more appropriate for a turtle. In any case, I don't know what I did with my traditional tomato pincushion and I will love to have a unique turtle one.
    « Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 07:59:31 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Jane917

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    I have been trying some of the feet out while sewing the Christmas aprons. I really like the 1/4 inch foot and the straight stitch foot. I think that I will be using most of these feet over time.

    Yesterday I went to our local public library and checked out 5 different books on quilting. One was a book on Hawaiian quilting and had 15 different designs for applique and quilting guidelines. My favorite was the turtle one. I traced the patterns on tissue paper so that when I am ready to attempt hand applique and quilting I will be prepared. The others are:
    • Easy Quilt Projects by Better Homes and Gardens. Many of the projects in this book are smaller and include bags, wall hangings, etc.
    • The Careless Quilter - Decide-as-you-sew, Design-as-you-go Quilting by Kristin Miller.
    • 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks by Carol Doak. This one comes with a CD-ROM so I will need to get out my laptop.
    • Quiltagami - The Art of Fabric Folding by Mary Jo Hiney. I had to check out this one as my first and favorite hobby is Origami. After I returned home I also found a book that I purchased years ago on combining origami with quilting.  :)
    I have pretty much decided that my first project will be making a turtle pincushion. I will need to make my own pattern but my plan is to make a piecework top shell that will have batting and be quilted, a bottom shell that is also quilted, and a stuffed body (head, legs, and tail) that will then be sewn inside the top and bottom shells. I haven't yet decided if I will use scraps from the Christmas aprons or use material more appropriate for a turtle. In any case, I don't know what I did with my traditional tomato pincushion and I will love to have a unique turtle one.

    You are really jumping in with two feet! I highly recommend anything by Carol Doak that has to do with paper piecing. Paper piecing is is tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it is a breeze and very fun. I don't paper piece often, but when I do it, I always have to go back and review the technique. I did a block of the month wall hanging last year that had a lot of paper piecing. Using the right paper is one of the keys.

    Have fun!
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    Offline Annalog

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    The book that I already had at home: Origami Quilts - 20 folded fabric projects by Louise Mabbs and Wendy Lowes.

    DH and I were working in the garden today. Someday I will make a quilt based on my current layout but I am not sure if I will include the chicken coop.


    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Beginning quilting
    « Reply #15 on: January 29, 2020, 07:02:51 am »
    I finished reading and taking notes on two of the library books so I returned them and checked out another. (Actually two books but the other is on interlocking crochet. ;D) Since the library was the first stop on DH's errand run, I read almost half of the book before we got home. By the time I was three quarters through the book I thought that I might buy a copy if I cannot find it in a local library after we move in a year or so. The book is Piecing - Expanding the Basics by Ruth B. McDowell. The book say the following: "This book is intended for those who have mastered the basics of sewing quilt blocks and are interested in developing original designs." At least half of that applies to me. ;)

    I have been thinking about the turtle pincushion while working on the Christmas aprons. I had figured out an easy way to piece the shell. However, after reading the book and organizing recent scrap materials, I decided to attempt a more difficult assembly structure. I had found the scraps from the Thanksgiving apron that I made to wear at a Turkey Trot 5K. Therefore, I have started on the pincushion before finishing the aprons. I redesigned my initial ideas and pincushion size to accommodate fitting complete turkeys inside the 7 shell segments. I also decided to attempt an inset seam assembly on a non-flat shell. I am definitely crazy. I drew a pattern on graph paper of the central shell segment and one side shell segment. I guessed at an appropriate angle change to make the shell 3D. I traced the pattern onto parchment paper and checked those with the turkeys on the two different fabrics. I then made the side pattern pieces larger. I then made enough paper templates to pin on the scraps. From the scraps of one fabric I was able to fussy cut the central turkey and three side turkeys. From the other fabric I was able to cut a large turkey, a smaller turkey, and a pumpkin. Then, because I am not completely crazy, I searched my fabric stash for an appropriate backing fabric to practice the complicated piecing on. I found some steel grey 100% cotton that I had bought on clearance for $1.25 per yard. (Yes, I had bought the entire bolt!) I cut out the pieces and assembled the sides before attaching the center section. It worked OK for a backing that will never be seen but, due to the small size and bias edges, there are a couple puckers. I have decided that I will hand sew the center section on the turkey side. The third fabric from that apron has text related to Thanksgiving. I will use that for the rim of the top shell and the base of the bottom shell. I am currently planning on using a fabric for the turtle body that we used to decorate the totes that held origami flowers we folded for tossing into our mother's grave. This is appropriate as she is the one who got me doing races and the one who taught me how to sew. The Turkey Trot Turtle pincushion will have lots of meaning for me.

    Tomorrow I will be driving to my daughter's house in Gilbert. On her way to work Friday she is going to drop me off at the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival that will be at the Arizona Exposition & State Fair area nearby. We will both go together on Saturday. Neither of us has been to one of these but my impression is that it is like the Great Train Show but for quilters instead of model railroaders. Hopefully it will be as much fun. :) l suspect that it might be almost as difficult to not spend too much money.
    « Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 07:33:08 am by Annalog »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #16 on: February 01, 2020, 07:32:02 am »
    Due to a weekend visit home from college by my youngest granddaughter, my daughter took yesterday as a vacation day and we attended the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival yesterday.

    We attended a couple of seminars. The first was "Templates (Rulers) & Machine Quilting - A Primer Course" by Patricia Simmons of Quilters Rule. It was very interesting but neither my daughter nor I currently have an appropriate foot for our machines. Another item to go on the wish list before considering quilting templates. The Quilters Rule booth had some great templates!

    The second was "Scrappy, Happy Projects!" by Linda Winner of Winner Designs for Sewing and Quilting. She is also an educator for Martelli Enterprises. This was a fun presentation. I got lots of project ideas. We also caught the end of her other presentation "Presto Chango!". After that presentation I bought a set of four of her circle cutting templates. During the beginning of that presentation, we were attending a demonstration at the Martelli booth where more items went on my wish list. :D

    Somehow, my daughter and I got through the show only spending money once each! My daughter's purchase was at the booth for Pauline's Quilters World. My daughter bought a Honeybun Sasher, a Jelly Roll Sasher, and the Large Set of 10 Sashers. The sashers made making bias tape and other folded strips look so easy. (My daughter said, "No more burning my fingers!") The two separate sashers are for folding fabric and batting together. My daughter has already been contemplating making a jelly roll rug and I have been contemplating the fabric baskets made with cording. The Honeybun Sasher will let me make those baskets using batting scraps instead. ;D My daughter and I will be sharing both sets of tools. I will be leaving the circle templates at her house and hope she will let me take the Honeybun Sasher to my house. ;)

    We looked at various quilts, patterns, fabrics, irons, machines, and tables. We collected business cards and info. We entered drawings and didn't win anything. However, we did see a cute little girl in a stroller win a years supply of fabric. I suspect her mom will be busy using that. ;) My daughter is now thinking about machines - which features are really the most useful to her and what types of projects does she really want to do long term. She estimates that it will take three years of bonuses to get what she might want. (That row of machine quilted dogs on one of the long arm machines was truly impressive! So was the machine price!  :o) My daughter and I also took turns trying free motion quilting on a mid arm machine. It was fun and I wasn't horrible on my very first attempt. That machine and table setup was only a couple thousand dollars. I will see what I can do with my Singer Classic first. ;)

    After we got back to my daughter's house I hand basted the center back of the turtle shell to the side pieces that I had stitched before leaving home. I had also previously stay stitched that center hexagon at a scant quarter inch around all the sides. That made a world of difference! When I get home I will machine stitch it.
    « Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 07:39:27 am by Annalog »

    Offline Jane917

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #17 on: February 01, 2020, 08:50:00 am »
    it is so nice to hear you are enjoying your new craft so much. I am impressed you got out of the quilt show without mortgaging your house! I have taken a ruler class with Westalee rulers. They have a fantastic selection of templates. I bought the ruler foot for my Bernina and at first thought ruler quilting was something I might like, but then discovered I really did not enjoy it. However, some of the final products are wonderful. It just isn't me.

    I have all the products gathered in a box to start a jelly roll rug. One of these days it will get going. I also have a jelly roll sasher, but have not used it yet.

    A good sewing machine is a valuable asset. I bought my Bernina during their 0% promotions. I have had Berninas for over 30 years. Essential features for me are the needle up/needle down, the leg lifter, lots of LED lighting, dual feed, wide feed dog, huge bobbin, and so much else. However, I would not dream of a Bernina if I did not have a reputable dealer fairly close to where I live (within and hour) for troubleshooting. I have not have a bit of trouble, but have had lots of questions. There are many Facebook groups dealing with machine selection. I follow the Bernina 7 Series group an learn a lot from others.

    Good luck and I hope to see some of your finished products soon.

    There are all sorts of products for binding, but I have found the old fashioned way of 2.5" strips, attached to the front side, handstitched on the backside to work the best for me. No gadget I have ever used works as well. There are many many Youtube videos on various ways to attach binding.
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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #18 on: February 01, 2020, 08:55:32 pm »
    The tools that both my daughter and I bought, we bought with the intent of using on more projects than just quilting. Both my daughter and I sew a lot of costumes and clothing for running, visiting Disney, and Halloween (or even visiting Disney during Halloween season). We can go through a lot of bias tape, piping, etc.  ;D

    My daughter's primary sewing machine has needle up/needle down. That is a wonderful feature! So is the speed control feature. My machine, on the other hand, is mechanical and not computerized. I was using my daughter's machine this morning to finish one of the Christmas aprons. I was trying to use the drop down needle threader but was unsuccessful. My daughter said, "Mom, why are you threading the machine before turning it on? You can't do that!" My machine doesn't care about power during threading; it only cares that the presser foot is raised. I will need to learn a new set of habits when I switch to an electronic machine. ;)

    Edited to add: I attended the quilt show yesterday with a debit card with less than $70 available on it. If I had attended the show today, it might have been a different story!
    « Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 09:14:34 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #19 on: February 06, 2020, 05:41:18 am »
    Yesterday, while organizing and sorting through stuff to keep and stuff that will need to find another home before we move, I cleared the top of a table that DH had gotten from his sister when she moved. It was probably originally an office table as it has a round cable cutout on each end and a steel frame with a modesty panel. It is 30 inches deep and 5 feet long. We both looked at it and thought it would be perfect as a sewing table. DH will eventually put in a recessed section for my sewing machine. I will check with my daughter to see the size of her machine so that either one would fit. However, no modifications will be made to that table until I am completely done sorting through all the stuff in the house for the move. I have decades of stuff to go through!
    « Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 06:55:28 am by Annalog »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #20 on: February 12, 2020, 04:37:57 pm »
    I finished the piecing of the top shell and made the quilt sandwich of the outer top shell, the batting, and the inner grey of the top shell. I cut lines in the batting to match the corners of the inner hexagon. I did the  pinning of the 3D shape by putting the grey backing shell resting on a plastic bag of scraps, I overlapped the cut batting sections, and then put the top shell in place. I pinned this and then kept readjusting the layers and pins until I was happy. I hand basted this by starting in the center and going in a spiral around the shell every half inch or so until I went all around the bottom edge. I left the batting extending about 3 inches all the way around.

    I knew that I wanted to quilt the flat bottom shell first so I bought the Singer Even Feed Foot at JoAnn's. I was lucky that the sewing machine accessories were on a 30% off sale. I used a 54% off coupon on a rotary blade sharpener, used a 40% off coupon on a pack of various steel yarn needles, and picked up a 50% off remnant.

    I cut the inner and outer fabrics for the bottom shell, pinned them right sides along with the batting, sewed them together, and turned right side out through an opening that I left in the inner fabric. After deciding on a quilt pattern similar to that on the bottom shells of actual desert tortoises, I quilted the bottom shell using the walking foot. That was fun! I then started the quilting on the top shell. Due to the curved shape, I turned the hand wheel on all of the quilting on the inner hexagon. I did use the foot pedal on much of the quilting on the side trapezoids. I essentially did a quarter inch echo of the seam lines as I did not want to interfere with the fussy cut images or with the eventual use as a pin cushion. I took the rest of the fabric scraps left from the shell and sewed them together, alternating materials, to make the the equivalent of a binding strip border. However this strip is deliberately wider on the shell sides than on the front and back (head and tail) ends to match the edging of desert tortoise shells. I sewed the edging to the top side of the shell (front of the quilt), cut the batting to the shape that I wanted, and then hand sewed the back side of the edging to the inside of the shell. No corners but slight gathering all the way around. I then added two rows of top stitching/quilting around the inner and outer edge of the binding.





    I am still working out the pattern pieces for the front and back legs. Then I will stuff it with scraps and ground walnut shell. I bought a 10 pound bag at PetsMart sold for reptile bedding for the price of three 10 ounce bags sold for pin cushions. My turtle would have used more than 10 ounces anyway. ;D Finally, the visible parts of the head, legs, and tail will be covered with a green print material to remind me of my mom. She taught me to sew and started me doing races. :D

    Watching a video on Budget Sewing - Tools & Hacks from the Dollar Store by Karen Brown of Just Get it Done Quilts resulted in me visiting my local Dollar Tree and Walmart. I now have nonslip shelf liner, flexible chopping mats (template plastic - two 11x14 mats for a dollar), painter's tape, nail care sticks (to hold fabric near sewing machine needle), and 2 hair donuts (modification of idea from another video instead of quilter gloves). I didn't get the large ziploc bags and lint rollers as I already have those. I didn't get the flannel backed tablecloth as I currently don't need a design wall. I didn't get the work gloves as my hands overheat anyway. I forgot makeup brushes for cleaning the machine and my existing brush is ok. First aid tape to stop rulers from slipping wasn't in our Dollar store and we didn't feel like going to the Dollar General across the parking lot.

    « Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 05:46:20 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #21 on: March 27, 2020, 07:03:54 am »
    During this time of social distancing, I have been making good use of my recent purchases for quilting but I have not been quilting. My turtle pincushion project is nearly done but I haven't worked on it in weeks. All that remains is attaching the rear legs and then hand sewing the green skin covering to the visible body sections.

    First it was tasks suddenly made urgent that kept me out of my craft room such as thoroughly cleaning and sorting through the pantry and fridge to determine what we had as food supplies and what was past the "best before" date. Some of the old food has gone to the compost pile but much is really still good and moved to a section of the counter that I have designated as the "use first staging area."

    However, a current task is keeping me busy cutting material and sewing, but not quilting. During a long distance chat with my daughter, she mentioned that she thought that the hospital in my area of rural Arizona probably has only a dozen beds as it is a transfer hospital. After the call, I checked the hospital website, saw that they have 22 beds, and then went to their COVID-19 page. In the donation section one of the items mentioned was home sewn masks. They listed their material requirements and their two preferred patterns. One pattern was for a simple procedure mask while the other was for a more fitted mask that could fit over an N95 mask or could have a filter inserted into a pocket in the mask. Of course I chose the more difficult one.

    I have used the template plastic for making pattern pieces that I could trace on the fabric easily. I learned that the beading presser foot that came in that set of presser feet is perfect for doing a zigzag stitch over three soft craft pipe cleaners to make a nose bridge adjustment piece. (I first tried a pipe cleaner folded in half but it was not quite stiff enough.) Today I will be making double fold binding as there is no suitable elastic or bias tape left in the local store. I was told, via email, by the hospital donation coordinator that I can sew for some days before needing to bring completed masks in as our local hospital has not seen any cases yet. One of the advantages of living in a rural area instead of in a heavily populated such as where my daughter and granddaughters live. On the other hand, when it does hit here, our resources are more limited.

    In either case, we are staying home except for essential activities. We are staying busy and keeping connected with friends and family remotely. Stay safe and flatten the curve.

    Offline spotsmom

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #22 on: March 27, 2020, 12:14:59 pm »
    Goodness gracious! Your quilting stores and libraries are still open? Our local quilt/yarn store is open but only for curbside orders. And our libraries are shut (except for e book downloads, hurray!).

    Lots of people are sewing and quilting these days. I just knit...

    Offline spotsmom

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #23 on: March 27, 2020, 05:46:18 pm »
    I just found out that Bluprint (the former Craftsy) is offering ALL of its online classes for free through April 9. They have terrific classes, so take advantage!

    www.mybluprint.com

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Beginning quilting (was Suggestions needed ...)
    « Reply #24 on: March 27, 2020, 07:06:05 pm »
    Spotsmom, by "recent purchases" I meant more than a month ago. Sorry for the confusion. I don't live near any quilt stores. Our local library is closed to the public, but they are doing "carry-out." The sign on the door a few days ago said to phone between 10am and 1 pm to request items to check out for pick up between 1 pm and 4:30 pm. Phone on arrival for delivery to your vehicle. I returned a book to the book drop but will only check out digital materials from them through their website until this is over. Mid February I checked out a copy of The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll to my Fire.

    Thanks for suggesting Bluprint but my daughter signed us up for a year in December or January.

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