Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Wonderland!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy to report that I am pretty much on track with the quilting!!!   I am HALF a quilt behind for last week!!!!    I should finish that one up pretty quick this morning and then ONE MORE big one before the machine gets shut down for the holidays!!!!!!!!!  
Got one more quilt done!!!!!!!!!!    

This reminds me when I was a kid. My FIRST book I ever "read" was The Cat in the Hat. I bugged everyone in my family to help me and I think I memorized that book rather than read it!!!   Who cares - that was the start of my passion with reading!!!!!   I was FOUR!!!!!!

Look at the back of the quilt - soft soft soft!!!!!!   It is plush!!!!!
 I am trying to be really really organized and keep on schedule (as much as I can). So I went through the remaining quilts to see what was there. There are FORTY-TWO that I want to have done by the end of February. This includes my stuff, customer stuff, community project stuff. So when I said I am taking orders for March - I wasn't kidding!!!!!

I get asked all the time - how much extra backing and batting does one need in order to load the quilt on the long arm. Well - my answer is AT LEAST THREE INCHES on all four sides. That means if the quilt is 50 inches square - then I NEED the backing and the batting to be 56 inches squares. Now the big question is WHY????

Have a look.....................

I don't have pictures handy of the top and bottom - I will get those later, but the top and bottom of the quilt are pinned (in some cases ZIPPERED) onto a piece of canvas that allows the various parts of the quilt to be loaded around the rollers. But the sides are still hanging loose.

So.............   THE SIDES have to be clamped in order to keep some tension on the quilt (the backing). And this helps to keep that edge stable when you quilt. Since both hands are on the machine - you cannot HOLD that edge with your hand and quilt at the same time.

The edge of the quilt CLAMPED. You can see that there is at least THREE inches of backing beyond the edge of the quilt. This gives the machine plenty of room to get right to the edge of the quilt WITHOUT banging into those clamps. 

And that machine is just like an ice berg. What you see on top - the needle is JUST the tip. See the base of the machine peeking out the bottom (just under the clamp???). That will bang into the clamps and cause the machine to stop - not a good thing when you have a rhythm going on. And I use a curtain rod (the white bar on the right) to help keep the clamps UP and away from the base of the machine. 

I have done quilts with LESS backing - barely ENOUGH backing and there is NO GUARANTEE that the edge is going to end up pretty.  If your backing is that small - then add some waste strips to the edge. Then there is loads of clearance.

Now the batting - you can see that there is NOT three inches in the above picture. The problem is that I get batting in all shapes and forms and it is NEVER cut square. Even the stuff that I cut. So if that first corner (where you start is NOT 90 degrees - that batting can go on at a slight angle and while it looks like there is lots at the top) there may not be enough further down. If you start with three inches - then you should be fine to account for that not perfect squareness. In the case above - I knew it was pretty square so I didn't leave the full three inches on the side.

Hope that helps clear it up. I think at one point, I did the entire process of loading a quilt - I will do that today and try to get it up tomorrow. Or at least in the next couple of days.

While I was quilting, I got to thinking (I tell you - I get loads of thinking done!!!) about the family quilts. Well I have another quilt that I made when I was in my twenties and a NEW BRIDE - OK my early twenties (very early) - I was a mere baby!!!!   The squares were painted with ARTEX. Anyone remember that????

The quilt was put together with polyester. Who knew there was cotton???   Probably wasn't a lot around anyway!!!!   I probably bought it at FabricVille (I lived in Montreal at the time)

My "second" quilt. Some of those square have NOT held up well. You see - I used that quilt and my dog used to sleep on the bed. 

Here is a picture of a picture (in my dog quilt) of the dog (Badger) sitting on the quilt watching out the window. That was her favourite place to sit!!!!   Oh my - I still have the same furniture, lamps and clock radio!!!!   That was taken in the 80s!!!!
 Anyway I am thinking I will take that quilt APART. This will be the second time it comes apart. The dog did a number on it one day and ate a bit part of it!!!!   I managed to repair it, but I think I will take it apart - remove the ripped squares and then put in new fabric for sashing and well - I'll just make a new quilt from it. I will take pictures BEFORE it comes apart. It is now in the basket with the bindings and labels - since this is a hand work job.  I think I need a second basket - that first one is getting PRETTY FULL.

But soon I will be able to focus on some other hand work - I am ALMOST finished my secret project. A tiny bit on one square and then ONE MORE TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!   I have been VERY FOCUSED with that - that is NOT my style.

Our first major snow fall yesterday. BIG SNOWFALL. I'm going to shovel this morning instead of going to the gym!!!  

I love that my BIG sunflower is adding a teeny touch of colour in the background!!!!    The bird feeders are filled up and ready for the birds!!!!   I did that AFTER I took this picture. 

Little fuzzy Sammy spends a lot of time trying to dig the snow out from her paws. Poor thing - she wants to be outside, but hates the snow. I know I should buy her boots but I can't imagine putting them on her. OK - boots for Sammy this year!!!!!   

Sparky looking very wolf like in the snow!!!!   
 And little elves were bustling around our house and the tree went up so when M came home from work and turned the corner to our street - there was our tree shining in all its glory from the living room window.

Oh Christmas Tree - looks so pretty!!!!!!!!!!!

In reality - it only has the lights on!!!!!

Well - that sums up the day!!!   Got to get myself organized and then out the door to shovel that snow!!!!   Yippeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm making lists to help get through the Christmas shopping. The worst part about shopping is NOT knowing what to buy. At our house - that is NOT an issue. I am ALMOST DONE!!!!!   I need a couple more hours and then DONE!!!!   The biggest problem is that everything is at different stores - can't go to the mall for my shopping. And then there are the errands - the bank, the library - seems like almost every day I am at the library!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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