Monday, April 24, 2017

Free Motion Quilting Success

You've seen in my many posts about quilting that I'm a one trick pony when it comes to my sewing machine and quilting.

But after a trip to a Bernina dealer, this pony has learned a new trick!  I free motion quilted the most recent quilt I made for a friend's little boy.  The quilt was supposed to be an awesome tumbleweed pattern but there was something really bizarre in the layout, so the tumbleweeds lost some of their points.

The contrast to the red, orange and yellow is a print with whales on it, but I really didn't choose a good pattern because the whales are bigger than the blades of the tumbleweeds, so you can't really see them.  The blue was to mimic the ocean, but now that it's together, it's not at all how I envisioned.

I don't make baby quilts in soft colors since so many people now use them for tummy time instead of sleeping, so I love to use bright colors.

THis is one of the better blocks, where the points all pretty much came together in the center, but you'll notice that the sea creatures blades lost all of their points.  Since it happened in every block, I"m pretty sure it's the pattern, not me.

I never pre-wash quilts, but this one had a peculiar smell and there was this little disaster that I needed to fix:
Somehow, in my super neat sewing room- oh my gosh my stomach hurts from laughing so hard; we all know my sewing room is less than neat.  Anyway, in my sewing room, there must have been a piece of orange fabric on the floor that managed to stick to the back and it got caught in my free motion quilting.  I realized it when there was some weird dragging.  I cut as much as I could away and hoped that in the wash, the fibers might fall out.  They sort of did and I was able to use tweezers to remove the rest.

I used the backing to self bind and I sewed it by hand.   I was going to do it on the machine but I didn't want it to interfere with the quilting I had done.  Plus Daisy wanted to sit on it.

Another reason I had to wash it!

Since this baby's name is an easy one to write in cursive, I thought I'd try "writing" it at the bottom.


Here you can see the front and back on the bottom border.  I wrote it 5 or 6 times across.

I free motion quilted one other time but I didn't like how stiff it came out.  This one came out just as I wanted and after washing, it had a little puckering, which I liked.  It took less time than  my wavy technique and definitely way less fighting with the machine.

I didn't roll this at all.  I pin basted and then used the stuffing method where I would organize a spot and push it through, leave the needle down and organize some more, etc.

Overall this was a great experience and I have two others waiting in the wings.





Saturday, April 15, 2017

Purple Potato People

I'm a fan of purple potatoes.  Not because I think they taste different, because I think all potatoes taste the same because my palate isn't refined enough for potato detection perfection, but because I think they are neat.

For the past few years, I've grown potatoes and I've learned that they pretty much will grow anywhere, under any circumstances and they leave behind microscopic seeds that grow even years after you are sure you've removed them from the area.

My foray into growing potatoes came from some potatoes that had sprouted eyes and were in edible, so I threw them into the ground and grew potatoes.  They say you can't do that with commercial potatoes because they put a chemical that keeps the potatoes from growing eyes, but I usually get organic potatoes so I was pretty sure they'd grow.  And they did.  Because I'm a rule breaker in the gardening and the more I don't follow the rules, the better things grow.

This week, I got it in my head that I wanted to use this laundry basket as another potato growing area.


I've seen cages made of hardware cloth and and hay with soil stacked up.  This basket seemed like it would do the same thing and I wouldn't have to make anything.  It's deeper than it looks, so I can keep layering.

I didn't have any potatoes on hand, so I went to the ag store and found this!

Organic purple potatoes from the US!  Although the price tag says Netherlands, but the box definitely says US.  It was the last box of purple potatoes, so I grabbed it.  I hadn't planned on purple, anything would have been fine, but I was really pleased to find them.

It came with 6 and since they had started sprouting, I was able to cut those into about 15.  I threw them all in, added some soil and away we go!  I didn't fill it, so I will be able to mound up a few times as they start to grow.

I can't wait to see how these go!