So, I've mentioned lately that I'm getting a Long Arm quilting machine. How can I afford it? Well, I was really lucky to have some angels watching Wheel of Fortune, and saw "Maryellen" come up for a winner on the Secret Santa give-away last December. The angels contacted me on Facebook to remind me to check, and when I saw "You are a winner" I almost fell over. The player who had my number won the second prize, so I won the same amount, and a trip. I do hope to take the trip at a later date, but it depends on support from others, because I'm caregiver for my mom, who has Alzheimer's. She won't accept help from other family members at this time, and we don't have additional help for me in place yet. I'm hoping by the time the "last chance to book" date comes, I'll have that figured out, but in the meantime, I put the prize money towards a Handiquilter Amara with Prostitcher. The Amara is a 20" throat space machine, with excellent lighting, and very easy to use. I haven't tried the Prostitcher yet, because my box seems to be missing the screws to attach the tablet holder to the machine. I want a decal or something with the name Vanna on it, but I've put a Wheel of Fortune logo on it already. I wanted to commemorate the reason I was able to get this!
There's a lot of back-story for the machine even getting here, because I had to wait for the check from Wheel of Fortune before I could order it (One person said February, the other said 120 days after the show). Then the Prostitcher price went up. But since I had requested the package, and Fred from Pocono Sew and Vac had given me the price, he honored it when the check finally arrived. Fred ordered the complete system from Handiquilter and was going to deliver it to me the day before he went on vacation. But FedEx LOST 2 of the 3 pallets, including most of the boxes I needed. Fred contacted Handiquilter who agreed to send a complete package, all 6 boxes (some weighing 88 lbs) again, directly to me, so I could get it while Fred was away. FedEx did eventually deliver the missing stuff to Pocono the next week. So, the boxes came here, and I was excited. Then the handyman I had hired to help assemble didn't show up, so my wonderful son, Matthew, volunteered to help me assemble during Mother's Day weekend (imagine waiting with the boxes here for 4 days, and not being able to do much with them). That's the perfect present for me. Time with him, and him helping me to finally get this assembled, and move some (long planned) furniture to make the apartment more livable. He was a huge help, and we had a lot of laughs, too.
Yes, this is one of the "Before" photos, after I had already started cleaning. When I moved back here, there was a round table and chairs just to the right of this photo, and a desk under the TV stand (hanging on the wall) plus a lot more junk. I had moved with a full house of stuff into this occupied space, and have no extra storage for stuff I don't want to get rid of. I know this house is temporary, and wanted to keep my dining room table, a few dressers, not to mention photo albums, holiday decorations, and a few of the vintage machines I've been given. And when the original carpet and bathroom were demolished, and new flooring put in, anything in this space was put into large trash bags (you can see some towards the left). I was so overwhelmed I just didn't do anything. It's not necessarily hoarding, because I didn't have time to get rid of junk before they took out the carpet. I was in the process of moving back, and packing that house. The wall next to the door has my desk and laptop, and printer, so that space was fairly organized. Until I started going through the bags and bins. Anyone need boxes of folders and colored computer paper?? I do plan to "destash" some of the fabric, too. There's more to do. But the machine is set up, and I moved some of the bins under the frame. The bookcase was moved into the bedroom, and the microwave cart was moved to the wall just to the left of this photo. There will be storage for some stuff in the cart.
This was before the bookcase and cart were moved, and that made room for the 2 recliners to be closer to the left wall, giving just enough room to work the machine, and get to the door to let Hazel out.
I tested out the machine by loading a yard of 2 fabrics and some Warm and Natural scrap batting to just play, practice some freehand designs and feathers, and practice starting and stopping, bringing the threads up, and locking the stitches. I cut this test fabric up and bound them for placemats for Mom.
I made 6 of them. We've been using placemats over her traditional table cloths to keep the cloth a little cleaner. It's so much easier to gather crumbs and shake out the placemat, or replace it if she spills something, than change the whole table (removing the salt/pepper, napkins and occasional vase). Mom's been enjoying the variety of placemats I've made. Both of these fabrics were purchased at JoAnn's and the binding was in my stash.
I've been watching lots of videos and realized I had not loaded the fabric correctly, so the second quilt to be done was loaded correctly. I'm using Red Snappers instead of pins. I'm mostly done with the quilting of the April Island Batik Ambassador challenge, the Accuquilt GO! Baby quilt. I did an all-over design on the top, and have done some of one of the borders. I need to move the quilt on the frame again to finish. I hope to be able to bind it this weekend.
I'm so excited about this new dimension to my business and the skills and chance to grow my ability. I will be quilting for others soon, and can't wait to be able to do large quilts easily.
I also worked on the design for the May Island Batik Ambassador challenge, Make it Modern with Hobb's Batting. I decided to use the "Pressed Petals" 10" stack and navy and orange fabrics I got as an Ambassador. I'm not sure which Hobb's batting I'll use yet, as I don't have the full plan for the size. Although I plan to use traditional units, the whole design is still undecided, which is so unusual for me. Modern quilts use more improv and 'blank' space, or alternate grid work. So I'm still in the playing stage.
I will be sewing it on my vintage Featherweight, though, because I'm bringing my Viking Sapphire 850 in to Pocono for a spa day. I'll be getting my car fixed at the dealership where I bought it, and then will return for the Amara class, so it seemed like a good time to get it done. Sapphire's served me very well for the last 2 years, with all piecing and quilting, and she deserves a deeper cleaning, and maybe just adjusting the hook to thread the needle. I hope that's all it is, and I can use my Pfaff Creative 1.5 to sew any bindings. I have another vintage I can use for piecing, too. Should be fun!
Back to cleaning here, and then work on my other sewing room, up on the 2nd floor. That's the cutting, piecing, embroidery and binding area now. Look for more finishes soon!
Linking up with For the Love of Geese
Thanks for visiting.