Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Seriously frustrated.

As my last post mentioned, my piecing machine crapped out last Sunday. I had it ready to take into the shop yestterday, but decided at the last minute I'd bring it in today. That gave me this week to do longarm quilting I had been accumulating, as well as a couple of my own quilts that have been lying around.

It all seemed to be going according to plan. I finished 1 customer quilt Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, I put on one of my own quilts, as I knew it'd be a 1-day job, and then I could get back to business. I finished that in the afternoon yesterday and proceeded to put on another customer quilt. Not a large one, but one I could finish in a few hours. Basic E2E quilting. Threads on, quilt top basted on, and I started checking tension when the entire tensioning assembly fell off! I nearly sh^&!! I spent the next couple hours ignoring my kids, on the phone with the company and my local rep's technician only to get nowhere. I needed to take it into the shop. Sigh... At least I had postponed taking the Singer in so I only had to make one one hour trip (each way!). It was a simple fix, only took a few minutes, but now my baby is in the back of my car and I cannot sew this afternoon because I cannot safely carry it to my studio. There'sno point in risking it, so I wait unpatiently until my husband gets home. More realistically, I sit very impatiently.
So what's a gal to do when she goes to Sanford, ME ?? (Besides laugh at being in one of Maine's "holes")...Go to one of my favorite and cheapest fabric haunts: Mardens. You are looking at 18 yards of fabric, purchased for $52. It is all good, namebrand fabric. I am uncertain who made the solids, but they are nice materials. They had about 12 different shades of orange - I had to slap my hands after grabbing 5 since I didn't have a plan for any of them (and it was apparent I had exceeded my self-imposed 10 yard limit). I have already started designing a quilt for the pinks above. I just LOVE the polka dots. The stuff above is Maywood Studios (Back Porck Bouquet).
These are not enough alone to make a quilt, but they were very appealing to me. A small print modern!
Before the Sewing Machine Crisis week started, I finished quilting this commission quilt for a customer. I'd done a similar quilt last year using swap blocks, and she wanted a similar one. I had to be crazy to take this project on - It has about 350 different cut fabrics. It is a fun I-spy type quilt though, and is almost like a memory quilt for me to see all of the different materials I have used in things over recent years.
I did a mini-round robin over the course of the last year or so. My quilt came home yesterday. I started with the pieced star in the middle-left. I'd honestly hoped for a summer-y quilt, with flowers, watermellon, ants and other motifs of summer, but you don't really get to pick these things with swaps, and not everyone reads your preferences. I'm not completely sure that they were sent along with the quilt at all. I mean, I sent them, but whether they went with it the entire 16 months is unknown.
Admittedly, it's not bad to have a July 4th quilt, but I'm really on the fence about "Old Glory" and the eagle. Like I have already said, I am a bit of a bitchy mood, looking for things to fuss about. Hey, let's start with the fact that school got out today and now I have 3 kids at home all day. I have already had whiney, hitting and bad attitudes from my 8 year old - the one who CAN really behave, but chooses not to sometimes. But really, this swap left a really rotten taste in my mouth. The person I sent to each month bitched publically on the forum about me if I sent my piece out more than 1-2 days early. She bitched at me when I sent a label separately (it was sent to me separately and late!). And then at the end, she went around me and had the person who would have sent her quilt to me for binding, just send her quilt to her directly. What the hey, did she think I couldn't put on a binding?? So annoying. Yes, I know some people in the swap will read this and I don't give a frig! I don't intend to do this swap again. The quality of the quilt is good; it's the one person that made it a bad experience.
Sigh...on to happier typing.
Late last week I finished a quilt for Lisa's son. She's such a marvelous piecer. I know when she sends things that they will be neat and square. And these fabrics are to die for. Gorgeous! I couldn't tell if they were batiks or a hand-dye she did. They are Hoffman "Mckenna Ryan's Silent Inspirations" - and the purple is all one fabric which has gradations from deep burgundy all the way to the soft pink. The blue and green are one also. Her son has wicked grand taste in fabric and in colors. I'm so glad I wasn't quilting some sports fabrics :-) Golly, quilting for boys and men can be SO challenging sometimes!
Not this time. She gave me free reign to quilt however. Her son likes the detailed quilting and feathering. It was hard fabric to quilt on because the feathering backtracking stitches show on so much of the purple (if not done carefully) because the fabric changes color. Normally I select a thread that nearly perfectly matches the material when I am to feather an area, but that was impossible here.
I chose the rippling water quilting for the blue/green areas to counter the swirling that I did in the purple. To me, this is like "sea and sky" where the purple is the sky or wind. The centers of the plum areas have circular feathered wreaths. On the sides they are only semi-circles.
The back has amazing texture. I can only imagine what it'll look like when its washed.

It has already arrived to it's new home and is appreciated. Lisa and I have been blogging and swapping together for a couple years. She's done some of the swaps I have hosted, and we have been in others together too. Besides being a really good piecer, she's got a fantastic heart - often sending pieces of fabrics along to me just because. I really wanted to quilt this quilt nicely for her. A couple months ago, before Sophie had her surgery, she emailed to say she was having a dress made for her. We got it about a month ago, right when Sophie got her casts removed. It is SO her color - that coral-ish pink. Or maybe I should say, it's the color I think Sophie looks really good in. Personally, she'd rather be in 16 shades of garrish hot pink herself, but that's my girly-girl for you! Anyhow, the dress she sent was crocheted for us, and it is darling. We will definitely take it to Florida next month, and are waiting for another roasty-toasty hot day to wear it again.
Tell me this little angel couldn't sell patterns for this dress?!
Now stop wasting time reading my daily ranting and GO SEW~~


Not Lucy said...

Funny story about my patriotic quiltlet. I made it shortly after 9/11 because I needed to for therapy. I am not big on American or red/white/blue decorating so the quilt just kind of sat around on a shelf. At Relay for Life this past weekend we decorated with a patriotic theme so I brought my little quilt along to hang. I had other small quilts there for sale and I had several people ask me if that one was for sale an I figured "why not!" and sold it to someone who is going to give it to her mother-in-law for Christmas.

Vicki W said...

I sure hope you get through this no-sewing period soon. I think I'd have to have Xanax if I were without a sewing machine for a week! And then to have the longarm break at the same time - suicidal!

Your story is one reason I never do swaps or round robins. Someone always ruins it.

Millie said...

Your quilting is absolutely spectacular!

Michelle said...

Gorgeous fabrics, gorgeous dress, and I love the feathers on that quilt!

Amy said...

Shopping is the best therapy! Bravo your machine quilting. Absolutely stunning.

kwiltmakr said...

Your new fabric is super. Sometimes it makes you feel better after having an awful day, or week to just go get some fabric. Love the little dress your daughter has on..

katelnorth said...

Margaret, I worked on your round robin so long ago that I can't be certain, but I don't think that there were any instructions included with it when it got to me. From what I remember, it was just the pieced flag, the white square and the strip of waving flags across the bottom - to that, I added the flying geese. Given that I don't live in the US, am not really into patriotic quilts for myself and don't have a big stash of patriotic fabrics, I think that if any preferences had arrived saying that you were looking for a summery theme, I would certainly have added something different to it! Sorry that you had a bad experience with the round robin - luckily, mine was pretty good - the only thing was receiving the pieces I had to work on a bit late at times.

Dawn-Marie said...

Did you know the Mardens opened in Scarborough last week at the old Walmart site. It does have a fabric department a BIG one.

Valla Croft's Know How said...

I stubbled upon your blog while googling and so happy I did! What a beautiful quilt, you are so gifted...just wanted to say.