Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Harmony Between Bud & Arlene

I woke up this morning with renewed resolve to load a quilt but first, I needed to practice. I threw on some scraps of muslin and scrap batting. That went pretty well so I threw on the construction panels.

I pieced the batting. Piecing batting is something I'd like to do for all the upcoming baby quilts that I'll be quilting. I have a ridiculous amount of batting scraps but I see piecing them together for baby quilts as a more do-able project versus doing it for larger quilts.

I measured my backing fabric and came to the realization that I had cut it a little too close and only had about 3-4 inches extra for a total of both panels. I decided that since the selvages were still on the panels that I would sew the two panels together and then cut them apart after the fact. This saved me from having to cut a piece off the width of the backing fabric just to sew it onto the length. This was a really good technique to use and if you ever have a bunch of small things to quilt but would rather quilt them on the frame you might want to consider making whatever it is a little larger so you can piece items together and then cut them down later.

Since the bobbins for my Janome are different than the Babylock I opted to use my Sidewinder and take the thread off of the Janome bobbins and onto the Babylock ones as I need specific colors that there are already bobbins wound for. The bobbin winder on the Babylock doesn't get the bobbins as full as the Sidewinder so I believe I will be using the Sidewinder more and more often.

I had navy Bottom Line in the bobbin and a sand verigated Lava thread in the top. I think I should have started out with a top thread that I was more famililar with as my tension was a little off. I kept telling myself that it wasn't that big of a deal since the first time the baby quilts are washed and dried you'll never notice the pokies…we'll see.

I knew from the start that I wanted my quilting to mimic the roads that the panel was trying to build. I'm calling the technique a modified dwirl. I threw in a little stippling here and there. It's definitely overquilted for a baby quilt but I was having so much fun that it didn't matter. I normally don't wash baby quilts before I give them because I know the mom's are going to want to wash them in whatever detergent that they're using for their babies but this time around I threw them in the wash because I'm dying to see how they turn out. I think these two will be a lot of fun once the kids get a little older and start playing with cars. Overall, I'm VERY happy with the way they turned out.

It's taking some time to get used to my Babylock. I'm used the way my Janome 6600 responds when I use the needle up/needle down feature. If you hit it, it will go up or down depending on what you have it set to. The baby lock keeps it up or down depending if you have the button on or not; but only at the end of sewing. I'm used to bringing my bobbin thread to the top so either I need to break that habit or I need longer arms for turning the handwheel!

I was also able to get the two quilts bound before going to bed. Tomorrow night I'll put the labels on. I'm contemplating wraping the quilts in baby boy gift wrap so that we'll always be ready with wrapped quilts if we're headed somewhere that one of these new babies will be.

Humor me on the number of pictures; it really is TWO different quilts and I took close ups so you could see the quilting.





The next quilt to hit the frame will be my Smore's quilt. I'd like to quilt it with some swirlies. I'm not sure what color thread to use for the top and bobbin. I think White would be very unintrusive for the top; but I'd like purple in the bobbin to match the backing. Since I'm not all that used to the tension of the Babylock yet, I think I might be better off using white for the top and the bobbin. I'll get the backing pieced tomorrow night and get the quilt loaded.

Let's discuss fabric stash for a moment. Everyone seems to be under the impression that I have one heck of a stash. It's not true, I assure you!! Most of what I have is for specific projects. I'm in the process right now of putting my stash in a cabinet and moving my scraps into drawers that I've lined up below my quilt frame. Those drawers previously held my stash so in the mean time my stash is hanging out in laundry baskets. In stash and purchased projects I have about 2 laundry baskets full of fabric. The actual stash consists of maybe 1/2 of a laundry basket; the rest is projects ready and waiting to be made.

I do have a question for you all; how should I fold my stash so that it fits nicely in my cabinet? My shelves are 24 inches wide and 11 inches deep. I was hoping to be able to use a ruler to do the folding like some of my friends have been talking about but I might have to decide on a size and go get a piece of plexiglass cut to do the job.

OMG, I just had a horrible flashback from my highschool years when I worked in a clothing store and had folding boards…only that's not the worst part of the flashback…it's that my dad made his own folding boards to fold our clothing with when he folded laundry; please tell me this is NOT the same thing!!

Since I'll need to account for thicker fabric (from having more yards of certain things) I can't just go all out and do three rows that are eight inches wide each but at the same time, doing only two rows per shelf just seems like a huge waste of space. My first thought is folding so that they're either 6 X 10 or 7 X 10. Thoughts? Plexi isn't that expensive so I will probably just hit the hardware store and have one of each of those cut so that I can try them out.

My plan for every day this week is to do an hour a day in the organization of my quilt studios. Hopefully by next weekend they'll be in good shape.

Oh, the title of the blog post; I bet you want to know what that is all about!! Bud and Arlene is the names of my grandparents. I named my frame after Arlene because she's the one who let me use her Singer to learn to quilt. I decided to name my Babylock, Bud. My Grandpa used to do re-upholster furniture. He called his business Nu-Look. He had a big heavy duty machine that he would work on. God...if only I knew where that machine was right now, I'd put it on display in my sewing room as a tribute!

Anyway, the names are pretty funny and I didn't realize how funny they are until Mike brought it up. Bud and Arlene loved each other but man...they bickered CONSTANTLY. So, when I couldn't get my stitch regulator to work, Mike asked why I thought they would work well together? I didn't have an answer for that; but after he said it their names just seem so ironic!


Moneik said...

The quilting looks wonderful! I can't believe you got all that quilting to look so nice the first time with your machine. I'm ready to make another quilt and get to quilting. I have to agree about machines and frames getting along. There is definately a challenge there some days!

Kristie said...

I love how you did the roads! I think that makes it look extra special!

I imagine you are one happy lady now!!!! So when do we see photos of this new setup???

Karen said...

Check for folding information. She sells acid free forms for yard and FQ folding. If you want to go the plexiglass way you will have the dimensions already for you.
Karen from St. Jude Retreat

Beth said...

How about using just one of your rulers?? :::grin::: try this tutorial for ideas. I dont' do mine JUST like this, but modified it to fit my likes/shelves.

I LOVE the contruction panels! I can tell the difference..and the quilting looks like..DWIRLING! great job!

Lynn E said...

It appears we have a winner. Glad your quilting has taken off great. By the way I am jealous.

Michelle said...

Your quilting looks awesome! That is SO NEAT, and some little boy will love it!

I'm so happy things are moving forward for you.

Happy quilting!

Diane said...

Your quilting looks great. I hope I can get there soon.

KyQuiltlady said...

I like the quilting on the play mat. Odd thing, I just got the Quilt magazine yesterday that showed it. Your machine must have a big throat for you to quilt those roads. I'm glad you got your machine and enjoying it. You do very good work.

kt said...

your quilting is great on this. very cre8tive. :) I wish I had my quilting stuff so I could work on mine. (tear) *sniff sniff* I'll have to quilt vicariously through you... not that that's hard to do since you pump out quilts like the pitt-jolie's collect babies! ;) happy tuesday!