Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Sheep Gets School During Her Summer Vacation.

Today was a "stay in and be all Cathy Crafty" kind of day. It was also a day filled with teaching moments. Here is what I have learned:

1. When they say, "don't use hand-quilting thread in your sewing machine" they are not kidding. This is not a suggestion. It is a hard and fast sort of rule.

2. There is really no such thing as "free motion quilting." I don't care what anyone says. There is no way on God's green earth that anyone can sustain that level of movement. Feed dogs should remain in the full and upright position at all times. Don't be tricked into thinking that you can rampantly move the sample quilt you are practicing on without them. Urban quilting myths can be seductive but should be ignored at all costs.

3. I am not a hand-quilter. The amount of bloodshed elicited by repeated pin pricks should be enough of an indicator. However, if more proof is required, take a gander at your's not pretty. For that matter, let's just not try that hand-piecing thing again either. No good will come of it.

4. Try to hearken back a day or two when taking out the sewing machine. If the last thing you did was a zig-zag stitch it is highly likely that you never reset the little dial thingies for a straight stitch.

5. Punching the sewing machine is not an effective means of coaxing it into doing a straight stitch. Try adjusting the little dial thingies.

Isn't it nice that The Sheep is capable of traversing the learning curve at her advanced age? And I am so very willing to share my knowledge with all and sundry. I'm a giver. This might be more of a gesture were these things not so patently obvious to anyone else or tips readily available to anyone who bothers to take the time to read up on a subject before flinging themselves headlong into a craft. But I like to cover the bases in the event that there are others out there with my general temperament and impatience.

I completed several nine patches today despite some technical difficulties with the sewing machine:

That's a whole lotta blue goin' on there!!!
This does not represent the final layout of the blocks. (real quilters are breathing a sigh of relief on that one) I just did these randomly to see what the fabrics looked like together. I'll come up with something that more closely resembles a pattern before final assembly, I swear!
In other news, I noted that the plum silk had been sitting on the wheel for quite some time now, untouched, unloved un...something or other. At any rate, while I do still love it, this struck me as an indicator that perhaps it was time to switch out for something different. I'm currently spinning up a bobbin full of the Finn that I purchased earlier this month from Sheila. Inspiration has returned! It is lovely and soft and the color is just so bright and happy! I may actually get one skein of yarn turned out before the summer vacation is just a pleasant memory.
Lastly, the front of the Boogie vest is off the needles and the back is slowly creeping towards the finish line. Yup...this one is what you'd call a "quick knit."
All in all, not a bad day's work. Nothing that I can call finished, but a good start and only minimal injuries incurred. And it was really hot today...the ice I needed to put on my hand after punching the sewing machine was just so cooling and delightful.
I believe we call that "multi-tasking."


trek said...

Blue is good.
More blue is even better.

Beth said...

Your quilt squares look nice. When I took a free motion quilting class, our instructor told us to 1) wear a silky blouse so the quilt can slide around more easily as you're holding it and 2) have a glass of wine to relax you before you start. I think she was partially joking, but it can't hurt to try!

Susie said...

I have to go to bed, but not before telling you that I have enjoyed reading several of your posts tonight. Immensely. I think we should begin campaigning for you to have a book offer.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Kate said...

My sister is a big quilter and she always ends up taking her finished stuff to some lady who puts the whole thing on a big giant quilting machine and does the actual quilting. I highly recommend this. I would also quilt if I could find someone else to chop up big pieces of fabric into little ones and sew them all together for me first. Yeah, I'm just not a quilter. But I've read a lot about it. There is no such thing as too much blue. Ever.

Veggies, Yarns & Tails said...

Well done and hoorah for multi-tasking, one of my absolute, all-time fav. hypenated words LOL....
You go Sheep!!!!!

Can't wait to see the completed quilt.

Bye for now, G

Sheila said...

Wow, you're really rockin! All of your projects look great.