WWQP Bulletin Board

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Quilter's Home" Now Available by Subscription

The newest entry in the quilt magazine market "Quilter's Home by Mark Lipinski" is now available by subscription. This rather offbeat magazine is a favorite of mine because it is so different .... Mark seems to have a cheerfully skewed view of the world of quilting and I find his ideas interesting. Perhaps it is the fact that the magazine only comes out six times a year that keeps it lively and non-boring. I know I was constantly keeping an eye open for the newest issue at the grocery store magazine rack but now I can sit back and relax as I wait for it to show up in my mailbox ....

You can check out the subscription details at http://www.quiltershomemag.com/


Friday, September 14, 2007

More on Threads

My previous post is written from the perspective of a maker of (for the most part) scrappy quilts that will be regularly used. However, I would be remiss to acknowledge the desire by many quilters to be creative in their machine (or hand) quilting and who enjoy using the newest threads. Some of these threads are simply gorgeous and creating gorgeous quilts is highly rewarding to the quiltmaker.

So ... having said that ... let's see some close-up photos of machine quilting done with these threads! I love seeing other people's work, even if I do not do that type of quilting myself.



Regarding threads: I like a particular brand of 100% cotton and have used it extensively, buying neutral colors that pretty much go with any fabric in my scrappy quilts. However, I'm not above grabbing a spool of old thread in a color that I need at the moment and as much as I enjoy the more expensive threads, I often use up old thread that I have on hand.

Any linting of the bobbin area of my machine is easily cleaned when I change bobbins or when I clean and oil my machines. In particular, machine quiting produces a lot of lint which I believe is due to the batting, etc., rather than the thread used in the quilting.

If I were making an "heirloom" quilt, then I might be more particular. However, most of my quilts are meant to be used and washed and used again. I believe the fabrics themselves will wear out long before I need to be concerned about what is going to happen to the threads or to the seams.

One concern about using old spools of thread is that they might be weak, due to age, etc. In that case I test the thread by pulling on a strand. If it breaks very, very easily, I toss it in the wastecan. If it is sturdy, it will do just fine. I've used threads from old wooden spools with no problems whatsoever.

One thread that I do not like to use is the polyester thread that is sold in the bargain bins. Even that is probably a decent thread to use and my dislike is personal, not based on experience.

I do like to buy colorful variegated threads for machine quilting. In that case, I'm more than happy to buy a gorgeous thread that will suit that particular quilt.

As for "heirloom quilts" ... most of us like to think that our quilts will be handed down from generation to generation. And some of them will. For the most part, if your quilt is made to be used, it WILL be used, and no amount of care will cause that quilt to last forever. It is the nature of things that all things disintegrate in time. Enjoy them now and do not be concerned that they will not last forever. I use every one of my quilts. If my kids and grandkids want them after I'm gone, fine. But I hope they use them and do not place them on a closet shelf, untouched, until the quilts disintegrate from the natural process of time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, My Goodness! The Thread Police!!!!

It seems to me that every quilter should be afraid of someone who wants to offer a "law" of some kind about fabrics or threads. Sara wrote "Now I'm told by a local long arm quilter that they do not use 100% cotton, as it has too much lint. They use cross wound thread that is about 70% poly and 30% cotton."

Some cotton thread is very linty. Some cotton thread has almost no lint shedding at all. (I should know because my black vintage Singer is a good witness to lintiness.)

A longarm machine works at a much higher rate of speed than a standard domestic machine and so you are comparing a race car to a street car .... of course a longarm machine needs a "tougher" thread that is crosswound on a cone spool to handle the stress of going at 1800 stitches per minute.

Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) when a quilter is frustrated by thread breakage it's a problem of poor fit with the needle and the thread. Take the needle out of the machine. Take the needle and thread it with the thread you want to use and see if the needle slides nicely up and down the thread as you tip the thread up and down like a see-saw. They need to "play nice" in order to sew nice.



Anyone going to the Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson seminar in Knoxville tomorrow through Saturday? I'll be there and will be staying at the Marriott next to the Conference Center. I'll only be staying two nights and will drive back at the conclusion of festivities at 5:30 Saturday. Will be traveling with fellow guild members. There will be about 20 of us there. My surname is
Brown in case anyone of you don't know it and need it to track me down.

There will be no sewing; just lectures, demos and lots of hand outs are promised. I'm not taking real classes until after I finish tons of UFOs. I will take the tiny wall hanging I made in Ricky Tims' Convergence class at Road to CA about eight years ago. I'd forgotten it until I stumbled across it the other day in one of my UFO drawers.

Jane in NC


A question of threads. I'm sure this has been answered many times before, but would like a refresher class in thread.
I had been using 100% cotton to sew my pieces together, on the machine. Also insisited on 100% cotton to do any MQ that I did.
Now I'm told by a local long arm quilter that they do not use 100% cotton, as it has too much lint. They use cross wound thread that is about 70% poly and 30% cotton.
Would the Coats and Clark thread that is not cross wound be the problem with my thread breaking? Is it the winding on the spool that is more important, or is the fiber content more important?
Or is it the cheaper thread ( Coats and Clark ) have more lint, and be the problem and I should use a different brand?
Most of my quilts are MQ and machine pieced.
I'd appreciate anyone's answers. My poor over 50 brain knows that this was discussed many times, but don't remember the answer.
Sara, still sweating in Fla.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Daylight True Light Bulbs

The "daylight" light bulbs that you are looking for Jane I have found at Menards. My living room now has the best lighting in the house and since this is the room with the most floor space it is the one where I mark quilts. We also installed a Daylight Indoor flood light in our recessed light fixture over the computer and WOW I can now read the screen so I am going back for more for over my MegaQuilter so I can see my stitches better. Well got to get back to quilting some store samples for the shop hop at the end of the month for the shop where I work....


Sunday, September 9, 2007

dear jane

Anyone know if the dear jane software will work with
vista home premium? I have a few c.d. that do not work. I want to do the 6" blocks; any advice will help.
Thanks Vi

Hello again!

Just returned to quilting after a 4 month hiatus. Much pressure (self imposed) this past year to complete quilts, patterns, and all required by the shop for classes which led to the vacation. Had five projects done for each of three quarters; taking the summer off made good sense. Have decided to do only one original quilt each time from now on and rely on published patterns for the rest. I love to create and to teach but get bogged down in making the pattern after the quilt is finished. Took photos of every step of the last original, which helped but was cumbersome. Think they will be beneficial when teaching. (I start with a sketch then make many changes as the quilt progresses. DD says that I do it backwards. Maybe so, works for me. Except for the paperwork after. Am working on a quilt which will be called 'Follow Me' of lime spinning stars on teal, purple and blue backgrounds. Tested making the stars with a template and then paper piecing. The template star is spinning the opposite direction of the paper pieced, thus the name. It will be the first block. After those months without quilting, I made every mistake known with paper piecing. It is such a backward process. Has anyone tried working on the right side of the paper? Paula N. (kalidascope) class featured that last year; wish I'd taken it. New resolution: take a class every quarter!

Our summer was hot! 2 1/2 months of 95 - 105 and no rain. Only 4 inches this year. Discovered that the plants do not like dwelling in pots here. Their roots get too warm. Things grow much bigger, too. Must be the warm soil. See that it is already freezing at nights in our former home town of Bend, OR. We have removed and cut back in the flower beds twice already as they are overgrown. Peach double hollyhocks grew roof high and took over. Veronica is as big as the lavender. Lupine and snapdragons are very big. We are finding herbs, carnations and vinca hiding beneath the overgrown plants. DH did his usual slaughter of one plant, spiderwort. Need to remove all the cutting implements - too many arguements come from his work with them. He believes plants look best with military haircuts. (This is the man who pruned the squash vines.) Love that the acorn squash and tomatoes are just hitting their peaks producing with another 5-6 weeks of the growing season. Sunflowers are gorgeous. The landscapers told us not to plant raspberies, yuccas and pampas grass as those are the most prolific. They remove them frequently.

DGD Brooke returned to school here a month ago. Lovely having her here Sundays. She does her laundry, enjoys the lack of dorm noise and packs a 'doggie bag' full of dinner's leftovers. Having the college here is a great perk. Nice to be closer to family, too. Each has visited for several days. We've visited the water park, pools, rec center, climbing walls and amusement parks now. DS is 2 hours away making day trips feasible. 2 DGS's came for a week of soccer camp. 2 more came to participate in the golf tournament. Love having them visit.

Had to purchase another cutting mat as mine were in AZ. Will have them in both places now. How does one get rid of the smell? Terrible, as bad as being skunked. It remains in the garage for now. One drop deodorizer didn't touch it.

Have two trips planned for October. One for 9 days on the Oregon coast. My sis will spend a couple of days. Always find quilt inspiration at the local shops. Then another to McCall, ID with a dear friend who lost her husband to cancer this summer. Will also take DGD home for a long weekend giving me time with two of the kids.

MJ in ID


Funny you should bring up the subject of the light on the rotary cutter. I found the ideal lighting for mine. I have the indoor "spot light" conical shaped receptacles in the ceiling of my quilt room as well as two Sola tubes which contain lights for night. I found the usual incandescent lights dismally yellow and was discouraged until walking through Wal-Mart one day I saw "daylight" long lasting fluorescent bulbs for such fixtures. I was in hog heaven and later bought the few that were remaining on the shelf. They cost $8.50 each but when one considers the cost savings over 5,000 hours of use that's pretty good. Next time I looked for them they were no where to be seen. I searched the inter net numerous times and finally found a dealer for the maker, Lights of America. While I couldn't find what I wanted on the mfr. site. I found them at a dealership out west and ordered a dozen of them. They now light my kitchen like high noon with no glare and the same for a dark hallway where I hang quilts. Their only drawback is that they don't work with a rheostat so I've left the dreary yellow ones in the living room and bedrooms. This same company also has the more common type spiral fluorsecents for lamps and I have one in the sewing room which I installed when I couldn't get the ones shaped for the receptacle in which I needed it. That works just fine. What a world of difference for these old eyes. I also have such bulbs in my reading lights.

Well, I'm ready to start, once again, to put the twins' rag quilts together. I had miscalculated the number of blocks needed for pillow tucks so had to make a bunch more. This allowed me to balance out the color more to my liking. I stopped to do a charity quilt for head start and will try to get that done today to hand it in at the meeting tomorrow. We have delivered 100 quilts to head start just this year and many to the hospital in Franklin and to a place called Kid's Place which set up to provide appropriately sensitive treatment and examination for children alleged to have been abused. Sadly this often involves a gyn exam of very young kids up through adolescents. We make a variety of sizes of quilts for the kids to use during their exams instead of those nasty disposable paper one we ladies are all familiar with. The kid then keeps the quilt. Unfortunately there is no equivalent that I know of in my county. Shame on Jackson County.

Hmmm, the county manager is a neighbor and good friend of mine. He's done magic for this county with no tax increases. I think I'll put a bee in his bonnet. Cher, I haven't seen your name on the board in several years. Still doing chickens?

Jane in the dry western part of NC

Rotary Cutter

Judy, that is so funny. When I saw Gizmo Girl show it on The Quilt Show, my first thought was, why would anyone need a light on their rotary cutter????
Not a muxt have for me.

Cher in BC