Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, new quilt, new machine

 It is 2012 and I am hoping this year will bring more happiness to my daughter.  I hope it is good for all of us: you and me but most of all Emily.

I always like to sew whether it's New Years or not.  I have been sewing since I was 13, that is 45 years and I sew when I am happy and I sew when I am not.  I wonder what it does to my brain but it seems to just light it up and keeps me coming back for more.

Over the weekend, I got all the green fabrics ironed and cut into 2 1/2 inch strips.  The pattern makes a quilt that is 65" by 65" and 36 strips.  I want my quilt to be 51" by 41" (approximately) so I cut 32 strips.  I have 16 different greens so it actually was easy math, two strips of each color.  As you can see, I way overbought on the green but one day I will put them with all the leftover blue solids and see what I can come up with!

Then I cut 78 brown one inch strips, or did I?  I am right now looking at those piles and wondering if I cut enough.  I still have tons of brown left, I will just cut more.  
  I am sewing a brown strip to each green strip, well, I will.  I have actually only finished two.

When you sew quilts, it is different from making clothes.  Sew different!  (I never get tired of using sew for so.)  In clothing, you have a 5/8" seam but in quilting a 1/4" is standard which can be tricky to get accurately.  When I first started piecing by machine (after my first two, which I hand pieced)  I put a strip of  masking tape on the machine throat plate to create a 1/4 inch seam guide.  Sewing machines then did not have this line marked.

If you look carefully, you can see that my new Bernina does have a 1/4" seam guide on the extended table.  But the best thing for making this seam is a 1/4" seam guide presser foot.
I am using it in both pictures.  The pressure foot comes down and keeps the fabric in place plus there is a little edge which goes along the fabric and if you make sure the fabric feeds in straight, you will have perfect 1/4 inch seams.  Pretty cool, eh?

My stepdaughter, Olivia, is taking sewing/quilting lessons for the very first time and I have sortof stuck my nose into the process.  (Fine, tried to take it over.)  Bernina makes a beginner machine, a Bernette, and you can get a 1/4 inch foot for that machine.  It is just as cute as can be and pretty inexpensive; I think it's about the best beginner machine out there.  I am hoping that Olivia can return her Singer and we will help her get the Bernette.  No matter what your skill level is, having the right equipment makes it more fun and more successful.  I have a link to the Bernette below.  The one at Thimbles is actually cuter, it's black and sleek and maybe some pink on it?

Happy New Year - maybe all we need is the right equipment and it will be a happy one!

Link to Bernette web site


  1. I love the way you describe what you are working on along with the pictures of the item and fabric.

  2. Thanks! You are my most faithful reader and commenter!


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