Sunday, March 7, 2010

Long Time


Here it is at last, my sewing machine set up in a little corner of my Chicago apartment. In reality I never moved. I was having such a hard time finding something that I liked and that worked for me, and in the meantime got so settled in here with my friends that I eventually stopped trying to move and made my current situation "official." Space is the trade off of this arrangement, as in, I don't have a lot.

I was at my parents a few weeks ago gathering up some sewing stuff and came face to face, once again, (and sorry to be a broken record), with the over-the-top amount of fabric that I own. I mean I do not have room here for even half of it. Probably not even a quarter. So to start out with I grabbed my several tubs of salvage fabric to bring to Chicago, along with the scrap bin and whatever random yardage was sitting out not in a container. That includes most of the fabric I have been trying to convince myself to get rid of. Pretty much all of my "nice" fabric is still at my parents. I'm hoping that this will allow me to work through some of this fabric - use it or move on from it. I grabbed a few finished tops that need quilting, too, and a few in-progress projects.

All very much a step in the right direction. I still don't know how much time I will realistically spend sewing in the coming weeks, but hopefully it will at least be more than zero. My job continues to go well, but it is busy and sometimes mentally draining so that I don't do much when I get home besides veg. I need to make the transition to vegging with fabric.

I actually got the sewing machine to the apartment, but forgot a lot of notions including my presser feet. So when I was ready to start sewing last weekend I only had the walking foot. This might be good since it inspired me to get back into sewing by finishing something rather than starting something new, hence the quilting project in the above picture.

About that...I am having the worst time with tucks on the back. I mean, let's face it...I always have that problem. I don't know why. I want to know why, but I don't. I had high hopes for this one as I thought the combination of flannel backing and cotton batting would mean minimal know, because they would stick to each other. I pin basted using my fist to space, but had to completely unpick the first three lines of quilting b/c the tucks were so bad. Maybe I'm wrong about flannel - maybe the softness of it makes it really tuck prone. I have spent hours basting and re-basting this, eventually pinning like every one to two inches to try to keep it in place (and still getting little tucks, although little enough to leave in). Where have I gone wrong??

Oh will be done soon. THEN I will start something new.

Sorry to have been a neglectful blog friend. I don't dare promise that will change, but hopefully it will little by little. I want to share this post from a while back from Debra. The horse top was one that I made as a way to challenge myself to use those horse panels in a creative way. The panels were 99 cents in the remnant bin at Hobby Lobby. It is a perfect example of a project that I make because my mind is captivated by the challenge, but I don't actually like it that much. I mean I don't dislike it, but it isn't really "me". So I finally realized I wasn't ever going to finish it and sent it to Debra for her amazing charity projects. I am SO grateful to see that she finished it for a good cause.


Debra said...

It's great to see you back here even if it is for just a moment! So does that mean you have moved in with friends?

I haven't heard another word about the wallhangings and how much they earned at the silent auction. I'll just imagine someone is happy to own them.

jovaliquilts said...

Good to see you posting! And quilting! Wish I had good advice about tuck prevention, as I've had that problem, too. The things that have worked best for me are when I have used spray basting (which some people hate), or when I have pinned only a small area of the quilt, quilted it, resmoothed, pinned a small adjoining area, quilted it, etc. Sounds really unorthodox, but it worked really well for me.

Barbara C said...

It's good to see you posting again and to hear that you're settled in your new place.

Usually when I have tucks in my quilting it means I need to pin more closely.

Enjoy creating in your new home.

Michael5000 said...

What seems to make the difference for me on the tuck issue is making sure the backing is really, really taut when pinning. I don't pin very densely, but don't have much "tuckage" anymore either.

Andrea said...

Hi Libby - long time, no see. Lovely to hear from you. Last time I pin basted a great big quilt and turned it over and it was a mess. So I pinned the backing fabric really tightly to my carpet and went from there. I had to move all the furniture around to do it but it worked - no tucks. A few people have recommended Sharon Schambers method to me ( it's on Youtube ) but I haven't tried it yet. See you soon I hope xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi There
The tuck problem can be solved by pinning in a different manner.

Lay out backing fabric, tape at one edge and then pull tight and tape at the opposite end, make sure it is very taut as you go.

Alternate ends and move around the backing until it is fully taped and again very taut. Now lay out the batting and the top.
Now for the tricky bit - Start pinning one side with pins all around the edge, end to end. Do about 12 inches then move to the other side of the quilt. Make sure it is stretched and pinned firmly.

Move around the quilt in this way and then pin the inner part of the quilt.

I know it seems back to front but this gets the quilt pinned flat and all but eliminates the back puckers.

Hope you can "See" what I mean :)
Sydney, Australia

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