Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lessons from a UFO

Quiltsy WiP
UFO??? Like with aliens?? No, in quilting or sewing, that acronym stands for UnFinished Object.  I have a few of those, and have been working on getting them done.  That's one of my goals this year, as is using more of my fabric and buying less.  With the economy so difficult, and my income even worse, it's more a matter of being practical.  I have quite a bit of fabric. 

So, the lessons from this project:  1.  Check your seam allowance on each machine.  Make sure you know how to adjust for a 1/4" seam if quilting.  This project was started a few years ago.  The 3 blocks that were done, and the kit for the 4th sat in the Shop Hop bag it came in.  Since I started it, I probably bought the 1/4" foot with guide for both of my machines.  It makes a huge difference.  So does using Aurifil thread, the 50wt.  I can see my points are more accurate in my more recent projects.  The new block on this runner is the top one.  The points are cleaner.  I also paid a little more attention when sewing the striped design in the cornerstones, those little squares the cream border..  All the stripes head the same direction.   I didn't have enough fabric from the kits to make too many more blocks, so I decided to just make a runner.  It will be listed soon, after I get it quilted. 

Lesson 2. When choosing fabric to finish, since you don't have anything in your stash that is similar or matching, try to find the same "period" as well as similar colors.  I found a 1 yard piece last weekend at the quilt show.  I'm happy, but it has a small stripe.  I'm making a mitered corner in the border.  2 reasons for that! First, I need practice mitering borders.  2, I think it adds to the quilt, even if this is such a skinny stripe.  I'm also watching how I sew the pieces on, making sure I keep the little design going the same way. 

Lesson 3:  Have an extra machine while your favorite is in the shop.  It's still in.  They haven't ever had a problem with a belt snapping on a Viking, so they didn't have the part.  I'm hoping it will be in soon, and then I can sew a little faster. 

I did buy the 1/4" foot with the guide for this, and the stitches are really good.  It's different in many ways, but since I grew up sewing on a very old machine, I have no problems working with this.  This is a vintage Singer Featherweight.  I bought it a few years ago, and really only use it as an extra.  I miss the speed and built in needle threader on my Viking.  I also miss the presser foot down feature.  You step on the pedal to go, and the foot comes down.  I have to use my hand for this one!  Also, I have to take off my shoe to use the pedal on this.  Instead of having a full size pedal that you push down, this only has a 1" square button to push.  You have to feel it with your toe to make sure you have the right spot.  It's funny, because I notice my foot getting cold without my shoe or slipper on.  Do you sew with shoes or something on your foot, or barefoot?  I prefer a shoe, so I won't get hurt by dropped pins.  I need to make sure I wear something that I can easily slip on and off with this.   Isn't it funny what you learn when working on something from the past?? 

The borders will be on the runner tonight, and I'll pin the batting and backing in place tomorrow at Enright's.  Their cutting table is perfect for that!  Then, when my Sapphire comes home, I'll have lots of things to quilt, ready to go.  I'll have to find something else to piece and finish until then. 

Go click on the Quiltsy button at the top to see what everyone else is doing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your runner is really beautifl! And don't you just love how elegant the older Singers look? They've got a new one that references the looks of their old ones, but it's a beast. Huge!

I usually just sew in my stocking feet, but I recently bought a cheap "magenet on a stick" gadget to help me find pins I drop. I found it at a cheap hardware store called Harbor Freight. It works really well!