Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Tuesday Share and How I Work

Tuesday last Terri, from the Ladies of the Cloth, shared her latest project. Isn't it adorable. This is a Jenny Doan design and Terri chose the perfect colors to showcase her pinwheels.
Jenny's Block Magazine is a bargain. It is full of design and heartwarming stories with no advertisement At less than $6.00 USA, I think, you are sure to be inspired. I have a small mountain of them and study them endlessly. She makes short work of complicated designs. No affiliation or compensation received or implied.   

A friend recently asked me how I work? I was a little confused by the question but I was using the Destiny for embroidery and another machine for piecing at the same time. Not being a Sewist I can see that it must have looked pretty discomboobalated to her. Right now my studio is a bit messy with several projects going at the same time. Fabric is piled here and there as is a large collection of batting left overs that I am using for other smaller projects.

Sustenance: When I am in the zone I get very engrossed. For example, if I am quilting on the sit down mid-arm quilting machine and the music is cranking I can go for hours without a break. Instead, I plug in my electric kettle and work on a steaming cup of tea. If I plan ahead I make a little sandwich and store in it in a little fridge I keep there. That way I don't even have to climb steps for nourishment! I know many people fortify with chocolate while they work. Not for me, I am not so much for the chocolate....well unless they are chocolate diamonds but that's another subject.
A little tea station off my studio makes life simpler when I am working.

Re-purpose the left overs: As I work and trim at the machine I keep a drop-box nearby to keep all the scraps in one place. I hate bits and pieces all over the place. I will make something with these. Sadly, I cut about 15 strips of fabric about an inch too short for the current in-the-hoop embroidery project. Thus, to the scrap bin for them. I try to remember this fabric was already left over from another project so not really wasted. PS, the drop box is another one of those left over plastic drawers from one of the famous rolling plastic storage carts. 
Be prepared: At each work area I keep a work box. In addition, by the embroidery machines I keep a tin full of already wound bobbins, a magnetic dish (from Harbor Freight, this is the small one) that securely contains my trimming scissors, a large and small screw driver for tightening hoops, a seam ripper, you know what that is used for and my favorite titanium needles. The magnet is convenient because I can place each item in its place without even looking up from my work. That magnet is strong and ti grabs each item and keeps it there.

The screwdrivers that come with the machines are no match for this set. A large grip makes leveraging those screws tight a minor task. The blade is recessed down into the body of the driver and keeps the screw driver from slipping when you use it. It comes in this large size and a small size for removing needles and presser feet etc.  

I lost the packaging ages ago but these are available at many quilt shops and machine dealers. They are worth every penny but quite frankly I don't remember how many pennies!
  • I am getting more comfortable with the in-the-hoop method of layering and embroidery. My first embroidery machine is down right primitive by today's standards. How technology has changed the way we sew in a short time.   
  • Working on two projects at one time is great if you can do it. Of course, at least one of those projects needs to be downright simple or things get a bit muddled and that seam ripper gets plenty of use. Ask me how I know this.
  • If you follow Bonnie Hunter she is a strong proponent of her Leaders and Enders method. I can't say I have mastered that but plan to try when she introduces the new project in a couple months. She is a very busy quilter, I wish I had her drive. However, she announced this week that a simple biopsy of a "thing" on her face turned out to be Basal Cell Carcinoma. She will have additional surgery to remove the remaining lesion and treatment will be determined after that. My thoughts and prayers go out to her, she is a trooper! 
  • Interested in a project to use all those orphan blocks? Check out this post on A Quilting Life!

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