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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Let's Have a "Whopperjawed" Contest

In Ohio when something is very crooked we have been known to say that it is "whopperjawed". (Don't ask me to explain where that word came from ... I don't know. LOL) I would like to offer these photos of a piece of fabric for your inspection and I will claim that it is the most badly woven name brand piece of fabric purchased at a local quilt shop in 2007. This is Benartex fabric purchased at a quilt shop within an hour's drive of Marion, Ohio. I am so annoyed. When I pressed out the wrinkles and was ready to cut some strips from my half-yard purchase I noticed that the selvages didn't want to align properly .... because the fabric wasn't woven properly.

And when I snipped the selvage and tore the fabric to get the straight of grain, look what I got. People warn all the time about buying poor fabric from Wal-mart and JoAnn's ... I've never found anything this bad at those stores.

Any BBer got a more whopperjawed piece of fabric from a reputable manufacturer out there?? I'm certainly not going to trust the name of Benartex any more.


more batting

I am in Dallas for the weekend taking my ds to drum corps shows. But today I met up with a lady I met on line. She took me to the United Notions warehouse--the place where quilt shop owners get all their Moda fabrics, books, patterns and notions. We were there for over 3 hours and did not see everything. We also visited a quilt shop that is closing with last day being tomorrow. They had just closed and really did not want to let us in. But when I finally got them to at least come to the door and talk to us, I explained how I had emailed them about my visit from AR and that it had taken us over an hour to find their store, they gave us 15 minutes.

But I digress. At United Notions I discovered my disappearing 9 patch is 3" too wide for a crib batting. I wasn't sure what I wanted to fill it with. But I found a king size cotton batting that I can cut into 4ths and it will work perfectly!!

I also use flannel in the middle of many of my quilts, especially baby quilts and always my flannel quilts. It is much easier to handle and drapes well. It makes the flannel quilts so cuddly.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Elite Quilters

Sharon Schamber said she'd rather MQ than piece. She doesn't particularly enjoy piecing so she spends "only" 6 hrs a day doing piecing. ahem. (Remember she's the one whose DH takes care of all the household chores.)

When people ask her how she accomplishes so much she says she has 36 hours in a day (whutever that means.) She gets up and starts quilting at 3:30 a.m. cuz nobuddy interrupts her then.

She also has 7 quilts going at any given time, in different phases, so when she gets bored with one projectile, she works on another.

Also she has some sort of tremors (not Parkinson's) that have limited her ability to do fahncy quilting on her home machine, but obviviously still works wonders on her long-arm machine. She's also dyslexic, didn't learn to read til she was in high school. She said dyslexic people have I.Q.'s as high (or higher) than "normal" people; their brains are just wired differently.


Flannel for batting

I had lots of 100% cotton flannel in my stash so I started using it for batting. I wash and dry it first. I like it better then regular batting.

Quilting for Comfort or Quilting for Judges

It was interesting to read what "Sally" posted about the 1,000 hours of QTD work that went into the latest winner at the biggie quilt shows. One thousand hours. Sixty thousand minutes. Almost forty-two days. Standing at her long arm quilting machine for forty-two days straight, a veritable stitching marathon. Hmmmmmmm. Ms. Schamber is awarded big cash prizes and fame for what I considered obsessive-compulsive work when it was done by my DSIL. (Okay, the baby quilts done by my DSIL were not works of art but she quilted 'way beyond what was reasonable for the space available. And I thought she was a bit crazy for overdoing something ....)

The national show judges obviously like the results of this type of overkill and that is their prerogative. I suppose a person like myself who makes quilts to give to people as gifts to snuggle will never grasp the appeal of a quilt that could give a person varicose veins while she stood by her machine that long to quilt it. :-)

Just as there are hand quilters and there are machine quilters now there are QTD quilters as well. LOL


Thursday, July 19, 2007


I had a Warm & Natural quilt shrivel up on me too, so now I preshrink the batt. You really don't need to wash or soak it -- just spritz it and throw it in the dryer.

Sharon Schamber, winner of the 2007 Best of Show at Paducah (and last year's winner at Paducah and Houston) uses Hobbs Wool batting. She spent 1000 hours QTD her latest winner, but she sure does nice work.


I just took a class with Sharon on making a looped border, basically putting lotsa spaghetti strap loops in the border. Sharon's really laid-back and fun to learn from. Not that I'll ever QTD anythang -- I'm more of a piece-maker and prefer to "quilt by check" (Sharon's term for sending out a quilt to be MQ'ed.)

SeamSTRESS Sally

help with batting

I am just beginning to learn MQing. I recently took a class on how to MQ feathers. I used a very, very small stipple around them, thinking it would help the feathers stand out. Well, they did until the first time I washed it. I had preshrunk the fabric but not the batting. The whole thing seem to shrivel up. I like a little crinkling but this was horrible. Hey, sometimes you learn the hard way, and I learned very quickly about QTD too! My question is - how do I preshrink the batting? I use mostly Warm and Natural. Can I use the washer and dryer? If so, are there any special precautions? And, how should I wash the quilt after I've HQ or MQ'ed it? My quilts are to be used but I don't want them to look like a mess the first time they're washed.

Trina in San Antonio

QTD - wonderful term

Coming out of lurkdom - I mostly hang out on the Chat Board).

ITA with Judy. Machine quilting can get reeeally stiff when there is a lot of it. I've seen some quilts that are down right board-y. They are then wall art and would never drape on a bed properly. I think Diane Gaudynski uses a really fine 100wt. silk and I wonder if that gets boardy stiff. Even the batting makes a difference when there is a lot of dense FMQ. I love that term "Quilted To Death." :-)

Oh Lonna !!!

That surely has to take the prize !!

Thank you to whoever posted the latest Disappearing Nine Patch.. (sorry I didn't take note of the name) I love the end result. The colours are great.

I am working on a petty floral quilt top at the moment. It has a few embroidered blocks scattered through it and I have enjoyed working them. I'm asking for some suggestions of short sayings which could be included.. Things like "treasure the little things" "enjoy each day""make time for friends" etc . I've run out of ideas and need a few more ! Thanks in advance ! I would be very grateful.


Sisters Oregon

What a lovely town. It would be nice to go to without the quilt show, pretty country.
As for the quilt show, it offered several lovely quilts. Wasn't able to see all the quilts with the time limited but what we saw, it was worth going. Had to stop at Jean's quilt shop and did my share of material investment. :0)
According to Mary King, they closed the main street this year for the first time and that helped in better viewing of the quilts and it also helped in the crowding when looking at the quilts.
Now my input in you know you are a quilter if... when you are getting your teeth worked on and you see the light and dark shadowing of the overhead lights' cover and think it would make a nice design in a quilt top. :0)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Love the 'you know you're a quilter when....." comments...all of them apply to me but I will add one myself......"you know you're a quilter when the first room painted and cleaned in your new home is the sewing room"...we are in the process of moving and DH painted the sewing room first.....didn't even have to ask!!

Also love the disappearing nine-patch and as soon as my fabric stash arrives and gets unpacked I will be trying that pattern, also with the variation that someone posted....I have kept the bookmarks for the pattern and emailed myself the variation.....

Your Happy Quilt looks fantastic!

You mentioned several mistakes in sewing. I will unashamedly admit that sewing has taught me that I am slightly dyslexic. LOL. I used to sew all my clothing and there was never a garment that didn't require me to rip out an entire seam.

I'm no dimwit (I don't think I am anyway. LOL) but sooner or later in the construction I would have something backwards. Same with my quilting. When I piece blocks, sooner or later there's a time to rip seams. I keep several rippers in my sewing room so I can find one when I need it.

Anyway...your quilt is lovely and thanks for sharing.


Frame for quilting

Hi Denise, I do a lot of hand quilting and all I use is a 14" round hoop. It works well for me and I can reposition it frequently. When quilting I usually rest the quilt on a card table and sit in a straight back chair. That way my shoulders do not give me a problem cause there is no pressure on them or my arms from holding the quilt. hope this helps. Marge

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

disappearing 9 patch

I finally have the borders on my disappearing 9 patch and will attempt to post a picture after writing this. For being such an easy quilt I made every mistake possible--sewed wrong strips together, forgot to add in the sewn border measurement to the second border strips etc etc. But Nancy aptly named it the happy quilt and that's what I'm calling it. It measures approx 48 X 58, a little bigger than I like for a child's quilt, but I'm not sure I'd have wanted to start with smaller squares. The focus fabrics might have gotten lost if they were smaller. Now to decide on a backing and how to quilt it. That's for next week.

Kevlar Fabric

Looking for Kevlar Fabric with which to make body suits for speed skaters. My nephew is training with the US Olympic team for a spot on the 2010 Winter games and these suits (worn under the team suit) cost $300.00 new and he needs 2, one for competition and one for practice. He is also 16 and still growing so this is a huge additional cost on top of everything else. Does anyone know of a source?

Daniel is currently ranked 15th in the nation and the next games are in Vancouver so we will probably go watch if we can get tickets(we participate in a lottery for tickets, no preferential treatment for anyone, not even his parents!). Of course I am putting the cart before the horse here....


Time to Hand Quilt - Frame Recommendations?

What a great term - QTD. I've been seeing a lot of that lately on our Southern Calif Quilters' Run. One shop was displaying a quilt with very tight stippling around a medallion applique; my aunt asked about it and the shop owner said that the quilting was called "McTavishing" and was a new type. I have heard of McTavishing before, but thought it referred to using textured threads. Maybe this is a new trend.

On another note, I am putting together the final rows of a Grandmother's Flower Garden crib quilt, all made of 30s reproductions. So much handwork is inspiring me to hand quilt this little quilt. So, now I "need" a quilting frame. I have been looking at floor frames and hoops on the web and like the no-baste idea. Does anyone have any recommendations? I sure like the Jasamine, but it is very expensive for a newbie. I will probably leave it set up, so I would like something that looks nice. It seems that there is quite a difference in the way that you attach the quilt top, back and batting to the frames. Is the Grace frame system really easier? I hope someone has some experience to share

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Notes on QTD quilts

I laughed myself silly over the QTD post by Judy in Ohio. Quilters may not realize (surely they would if they had once thought about it) that two strands of thread are thicker (heavier) than a single strand. Hand quilting uses a single strand of thread. Machine quilting uses two. Even if the HQing thread is a bit heavier, a single line of HQing still leaves a softer feel than a single line of MQing. For one thing, in MQ the two strands cross over each other every stitch, creating a "mini-knot" so to speak. This mini-knot adds to the heavier feel. Think of it this way....if you were using heavy rope to quilt with, a single strand of rope would be less heavy than two ropes. And then, if you cross the two ropes over each other, think of how bulky the crossover is. That's a clumsy illustration but it works to illustrate my point.

Hand quilting, even if dense, leaves a quilt softer than machine quilting, even if the machine quilting is done with fine threads.


Offering a New Quilter's Abbreviation ...

While I was visiting family in another city yesterday my DSIL began to chat about quilts (as usual) and she showed me her newest gift quilts she had made for the about-to-be-born grandchildren of friends. These were charming colorful quilts in soft flannel prints, just as cute as could be .... until I picked them up. I realized that these quilts seemed far too stiff and rigid for baby quilts and I looked carefully at the quilting which she had done in a pretty variegated thread.

DSIL had done free motion work on her HQ 16 and used a darling little butterfly motif with loop-de-loop lines between each butterfly but each butterfly was about the size of a quarter (that is a large US coin for the non-US BB members) and each butterfly was about four finger widths away from its neighboring butterfly with loop-de-loop lines connecting the butterflies. She had quilted this quilt to death. I held that quilt in my hands and I thought "QTD ..... Quilted To Death. I've gotta tell the folks on the BB that I've just invented a new term. QTD "

I took a deep breath and turned to DSIL and asked "Why did you put so much quilting on this quilt?" (I have known this woman for 45 years so I can be honest with her.) She said "Don't you like it?" I repeated my question. She said "I thought it was a nice pattern and I was having fun." Her husband said "I told you it was too busy." Evidently he sometimes wanders around her HQ 16 and kibtizes while she is quilting which is what happens when you have a retired husband. LOL Anyhow, I told her that I thought it was a bit too much for a baby quilt, that it had made the quilt a bit stiff. Actually, it was way too much .... she could have left half the quilting out and it would still have been too much IMHO. There was no space left for "poofiness".

Later in the afternoon we went down to her HQ 16 room and the machine frame was empty so I just idly touched my finger to one handle and glided it along and around and looped-de-looped with it. DSIL beamed at me and said "Doesn't it just glide along so easily?" she said. I agreed and I said that I could see how she got carried away with making so many little butterflies. I joked that it was easy to speed with the machine, like driving a Ferrari to the grocery store ... but I don't think she got my point. I think she will continue to quilt her quilts to death.

But now when I see photos of prize-winning quilts at quilt shows I know I will scrutinize them to see if they have been QTD. That seems to be the trend in the early days of the 21st century. It's easy to do now with long arm and mid-arm machines and stitch regulators taking the drudgery and pain out of so much stitching ...

Judy (who has babbled too long on this topic)


It's a lovely little machine! I love that decal set. I've had a Singer model 12 with it in the past, and have a Singer 48K hand crank and a Singer 48K treadle (with hand crank on it, too) with those decals. The only set I like even better is the Persian decals. I assume you're familiar with the http://www.needlebar.org/ site and their great pictures of decals for identification. Here's a pic of my latest acquisition, a nice old Singer VS2/27 from 1900 with the old-style hand crank made for machines without a motor boss to attach to. It fits on the shaft that the hand wheel is on.
Pat in Rockport, TX

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pat in Rockport, you asked about the hand crank Singer that my DGGS sewed on the other day. Yes, it is a model 28. You said this particular decal deco was the "Ottoman Carnation" and I'm guessing this is a name that collectors have tacked onto the machine. Am I correct?

You can click on the photo to get a larger view. The decals on the handle match and it is original to the machine. If you look closely you will see that the machine has a layer of dust even though I dusted it before DGGS and I sat down to sew. (Laizeee Woman! LOL)

While it's been fun to play with I don't think I would care to have this be my ONLY machine. However, there are folk who live in remote parts of the world where electricity is not available and a handcrank would be much treasured. Wouldn't it be fun to know who first owned this as a "new" machine. It must have been beautiful in its newness and it must have been a treasure to some woman whose household depended upon her being able to sew garments for summer and winter for every person in the home. And quilts from the scraps.


Sisters outdoor quilt show

We had a great time in Sisters!

Meet very briefly with Mary(from Or) & Lonna to say Hi.

Here's a link to my pictures, Jill


The design was conceived by the lady who led the mystery process. She is a wonderful teacher with and insatiable liking for chocolate. Sadly, it shows. Anyway, I had her website URL and then lost it. For anyone who wants it and a way to order her pattern I'll track it down and post it. I wonder if you were to offer her chocolate in lieu of payment she might go for it! When you take a class from her she requires you to bring a chocolate goody for the break.



I tried to post this last night, but it didn't want to go. Hopefully this one will be better.

I loved the pattern, Jane. What is it and where can I get a copy? It would be perfect for the fabrics I've been collecting for our very own bed quilt.