Life as a Greenmonstr

Quilting and Other Facts of Life

February 2012 - Posts

A quilt finished, another begun

I finished the T-shirt quilt I was making that had my son's picture in the center with his soccer T-shirts surrounding it.  The back was fleece with soccer balls all over it.  I was going to post a picture of it, but I realized all the shirts have our town name in pretty big letters and I prefer to keep that kind of information private.  It was certainly an educational experience.  It was the first time I had used the printable fabric, and the first time I had used T-shirts in a quilt.   Here are the label contents:

Chris played soccer every spring and fall from the time he was 4 until he was 11.  These are some of the shirts he wore during those years.  In the picture, he is wearing one of the shirts in the quilt.  This is one of my favorite pictures of Chris.  I always enjoyed going to the games, sitting in my lawn chair, drinking a soda and cheering him on.  He was quite good, and for the first several years he was noticeably taller and bigger than the other kids on the team, so he was easy to spot on the field!  Chris is 19 now, almost 20.  I have great memories of watching him play.  I hope he will have the same experience with his own kids someday. 

I'm pretty happy with it.  The photo fabric is interesting.  It gives a vintage-y quality to the photo that is pretty cool.

My sewing machine came back from the shop and they said they didn't find anything wrong with it.  Maybe it just needed to be fully unplugged for a while...like a computer, maybe the trickle of power coming from the plug caused it not to forget whatever was bugging it.  I did notice that the presser foot looks crooked in relation to the feed dogs, though.  There is another repair shop near us and I may try taking it there to have that looked at.  What a pain.

In the meantime, I have started another NICU quilt.  I had a charm pack which had lots of bright colors and flowers on it, so I made a top that is 5 x 6 squares with a 2-1/2 inch border.  I have another one in mind as well but one thing at a time!  I will post pics of them when I am finished, and by then it will be time for the next installment of the McCall's Quilting mystery quilt, the final part!

Okay, Mystery Step 2 Complete - Now We Wait...

Well, I have completed step 2 of the McCall's Quilting Mystery Quilt.  Using the unfamiliar sewing machine has made it a little bit rocky though.  For one thing, the guide on the 1/4-inch foot is right in the center of the right feed dogs so I was having some trouble sometimes at the beginning of the seam because it wouldn't feed the way I wanted it to...but the sewing machine and I came to terms with that.   This step is interesting because there were some relatively large pieces cut that were not used in the instructions in this installment.  I have my ideas about them, but we'll have to wait and see. 

Here is what I cut this step:

  These were the parts I cut out.

  Here is what I ended up with once everything was sewn and the instructions were complete.

I'm particularly curious about the large rectangles of purple because they are quite large.  Also, we haven't touched the other two fabrics.  Hmmm...now we have to wait another month and a half!!

 

Posted: Wed, Feb 8 2012 6:17 PM by greenmonstr | with 3 comment(s)
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Mystery Step 1 Complete - Take a Peek!

I was quilting a T-shirt quilt I made out of my son's old soccer T-shirts, and my Viking died again.  It froze with the needle touching the fabric and the bobbin thread pulling the fabric down towards the bobbin. I had to have my husband hold the presser foot lever up so I could cut the bobbin thread and release the quilt.  I had to loosen up the needle and step on the pedal so I could get the needle out just to get the quilt out of the machine.  It kept balling up the bobbin thread, so I re-threaded it.  I wound another bobbin.  I turned the machine off and back on in a few minutes.  I sewed on a scrap.  I rethreaded again.  Turned it off again.  No dice.  I gave up.  I will be taking it to get fixed again.  The last time I took it in to get repaired (it froze utterly and would not do anything), they told me it had just needed a tune-up.  However, I discovered later that the feed dogs would not come back up after free-motion quilting until I turned the machine fully off and back on.  Now this.  

In the meantime, I have my mother's Kenmore sewing machine as a backup, so I set that puppy up and got into the McCall's Quilting Mystery Quilt.  This was something of an adventure since the Kenmore is very different from my Viking.  I had to break out the manual to discover how to wind the bobbin and change the presser foot.  It was a little awkward sewing because the plexiglas insert that fits nicely around my Viking doesn't quite fit around the Kenmore, so I don't have a nice flat surface anymore.  I will not lie; some of my seams are not precisely 1/4 inch, but it's okay.  One thing I have learned from quilting:  things will never be perfect.   The same quality that makes bias a pain can work for you a little bit too.  Without further ado, here is my completed Step 1:

 

I already had the magazine with step 2 in it but I did not look at the next step before completing this one.  Once this was done, I ran for my magazine to check out step 2.  HIghly anticlimactic, I would say.  It's not very long.   I kept thinking there was more on the next page that I was missing, because you're directed to cut pieces that aren't used in this step.  It'll be interesting to see how this all goes together. Anyway, I will post the next step once it is complete.

It's appropriate that I was using my mother's sewing machine today, since this would have been her 75th birthday.  She died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) at Christmastime in 2000.  My kids were 9 and 4. My son remembers her somewhat but my daughter doesn't remember her at all.   I wish she could have been here so they could have gotten to know her better...she was a very active, busy, creative person with a fantastic sense of humor.  Happy birthday, Mom - I'll keep you in my heart as I make this quilt with your sewing machine.