Sunday, January 8, 2017

Almost Free Quilt

 I long for a chance to just quilt edge to edge. That was my plan for this quilt; a simple edge to edge with a large motif that I could finish quickly. Instead, I designed a pattern with one thread color change but lots of stops and starts. I used the same color bobbin thread throughout. I also buried the threads before advancing the quilt (most of them anyway) tying off each time I would stop and start.  Yes, it was tedious and I am happy that it is finished.  I have no other quilt tops waiting in the wings.  As soon as I can sit comfortably (don't ask) at the sewing machine I will finish this one
I might be able to keep myself from playing in all that blue space.  I might.....

Wrigley tried to sleep at my feet during much of the project.
 Finished, it is larger than a Queen.  I am keeping this quilt. Every time I would tie a knot, I would think of my brief time helping in the OR.  I never became proficient at suturing and tying. Luckily my stint as a First Assist in Surgery was short lived.  Though I still chastised myself when I would drop the needle on the quilt, horrified that it might get lost.  Better on the quilt than in some woman's belly.(Which never happened BTW)

 The quilting doesn't show on much of the back. Likely after it is washed, some of the texture will appear. 
Here is the center, finished.
 This corner was a mess and I see now the difference in how I quilted the feathers.  
I ripped it out and tried again.  Maybe better, maybe not
This worked best for me.  The purple sketch lines helped a little.
The corner on the border was a bit easier.  I made a minor correction. 
This quilt is one hundred percent scraps.  The batting and thread were new, of course.  I quilted most of it in the stitch regulated mode which is a challenge for me.  I have a hard time with one fluid motion especially meeting the spine of the feather and keeping the plumes plume-like. Since I am quilting for myself the amateurish quality worries me not.  I can produce a lovely meander that is consistent and very professional, if not boring, looking.  Next quilt.  Just because. (With apologies to Linda)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I like the texture in this photo.  You can see the "relief" in the fabric.  I know, not true relief, but that was the word that came to mind so I am using it. 

Besides, it fits with my visit to a very warm and kind oncologist today.  Not that my diagnosis is any better than it was.  Marginal zone lymphoma is an indolent, slow growing lymphoma that tends to creep along.  Hence, chemotherapy may only keep it from transforming to the more aggressive kind.  Interestingly enough, the more aggressive kind, if that is what one gets "de novo," responds well to chemo because it is faster growing and chemo attacks fast growing cells. Not so if the indolent transforms to the aggressive. So why am I relieved?  Because I feel confidant in my care team.  I have also decided that I will respond to this treatment and be back on my bicycle by July, 2017.  Treatment starts in two weeks.  Six cycles at 4 week intervals.  No alopecia (hair loss) but maybe some fatigue and nausea and other GI symptoms that we will not discuss.    Sigh.   The usual neutropenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia,  which will place me at risk for infection and bruising.  No contact sports so I guess my roller derby career is finished. Life is a balance.

Monday, January 2, 2017


When all those vintage sewing machine parts and manuals became available, I vowed that I would do what I could to preserve them.  I believe that I have accomplished that goal. 

While I am not the steward of these items any longer, I have passed them along to Sew Green Of Ithaca, NY.  Wendy and her husband, Don, came over on Friday and loaded up the UHAUL with the parts and many machines.

I don't think Steven was grieving when he said. "Oh we no longer have over 200 sewing machines."
Indeed, we could have close to 100.  I just haven't counted, yet. I know that there are at least 15 in the museum and four others around the corner in the dining room.  I'll bet there are 8 or 10 in the sewing loft and who knows how many left in the shop?  If I cared, I would count.



 Efficiency ruled.  In less than three hours the truck was loaded and they were on their way.

I was not, nor am I now, sad at all.  I would say I am rejoicing, which is appropriate, maybe for the season.

WRT the political water marks; this is my blog and  I am exercising my First Amendment Rights. No like?  Tough Shit.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Dre in Pa asked what Floating the quilt top meant. 

I will try to explain.

On a quilt frame, one can load the quilt so that the quilt top rolls out from a bar.  This requires loading the top onto the bar and it can be tedious, IMHO.

If you notice in the above phot0 (from the internet, by APQS) the quilt top is fastened to the take up bar in the belly of the machine.  This particular frame also has a dead bar that holds the quilt sandwich in position.  I don't have a dead bar.  Please don't ask any questions about it.  

Please also note that the quilt top is rolled up on a bar in front of the needle.  This is the way many quilters mount there quilt tops; fastened to two rollers providing the flat area to quilt.

Floating the top means that the quilt top floats over the backing bar with the batting also floating in between the backing and the top.  The back is positioned on two rolers, the batting lays on top of the backing and the quilt top floats on top of everything.  Like this

I fully intend to make a sling to hold my batting and top off of the floor.  I just don't know how to do it yet.

I think it is easier to float the top.  I have had no problems keeping the quilt edges straight.  I may try to mount the quilt with a top bar in the future.  That means getting a ladder so that I can retrieve the bar from the beamsit down from the sewing loft collar ties.  Maybe in the spring.

I am pleased to report that I have come up with the quilting design for the dark pieces of the log cabin block.
I like.  I think it is just the right combination.  I share it here in all of its imperfection.   You know what?  When I finished this part of the quilt, I was HAPPY.  I was HAPPY for the first time in WEEKS.  I mean, with the election results and a diagnosis of lymphoma happening ON THE SAME DAY I have been a TRAIN WRECK.  Add to that, the uncertainty; is it really lymphoma or could it be SOMETHING WORSE?   So, coming up with this design, HAPPINESS.

Soon the light will last longer.  I will recover from the brutality of diagnostic biopsies and start my treatment.  I will continue to fight the insanity of Trump as POTUS and, if nothing else, be on the right side of history.   Oh and when I get bummed out, there is always The Princess Bride on DVD.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


This is my mother's manta.  She says this right after she complains that "Things around here grow legs and walk away.."

Mom is 97.  Her memory isn't so good.  She misplaces things, as do I.  She always just shrugs her shoulders and says "It will surface."  And usually she is right.

More than two years ago I was working on a Singer 503    Go to the link to read all about it.  Go to the bottom of the post.  I was long winded back then.

Today I was sorting through the South River NJ  parts.  It was warm in the shop, thanks to the fire in the stove and the mild outside temperature.  I am divesting, as you know, and I wanted to go through the 450 little drawers of parts before I sent them on their way.  (Ok maybe not 450 but A LOT! ) 

For some reason, when I opened the drawer housing a particular hook (I had looked at this part many times in the past two years, always dismissing it as NOT THE ONE)  I read the part number: 172080

I cross checked it with a parts list.  Yep  The hook for a Singer 500.  WTF  I mean, really WTF.

I asked Steven to double check the number.  "Is this a test?"

I must have thought that it didn't look right, all those times I looked at it.  For some reason today, I figured, what the heck.  

Wilson is gone now.  Wrigley has mellowed.  Frannie is deaf and almost blind.   At one time I thought I would help preserve these wonderful old machines.  Times change.  Right now I would rather sew.  I am facing a pretty serious health crisis (lymphoma) and I want to de-clutter my life.  But I am not really sick.  Sure, I might feel crummy during treatment, but I still want to tinker and this 503 project has re-kindled that spark of joy I get when I am in my shop with my beloved old machines.  Hoorah! 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Design Decisions

The quilt sits on the frame for days, sometimes longer, as I decide how I am going to quilt it.  This log cabin scrappy quilt is my only finished qilt top that hasn't been quilted yet.  I finished it many months ago.

I love it.

I was inspired by this quilt Log Cabin quilt by Harriet Carpanini.. I found it on pinterest.
Of course mine is nowhere as spectacular, but what the heck 
I'll get there by the bottom of the quilt.  I am not so sure what to do with the dark side of the squares. 

That will come as I sleep.  Maybe