The quilt that ‘killed’ the sewing machine

 

Well, not really, I was improperly inserting my needles. Tightening the clamp too hard until the screw wore down to a point and wouldn’t hold the needle in place.  But this quilt is what finally caused me to just go get another machine.

ModOlives baby quilt
ModOlives baby quilt

Here it is quilted finished and labeled. Ready to go to a baby boy. It’s nice that friends are having children and grandchildren.

I love tools of the trade, anything to make the project easier or more interesting. I discovered this wonderful Quick curve ruler  and had to start playing.

As a quilter, I have a stash, a lot of fabric on hand. I was lucky to be given this wonderful  car fabric, what better for a little boy, add some solids and we have a palate.

Fabrics for ModOlive
Fabrics for ModOlive

Jenny started a QAL (quilt along) with wonderful instructions and a

Flicker ModOlive Quiltalong group

Of course I joined, and off I went.

first block
first block

As I went along, I played with the color layout.

Color layout of the olives
Color layout of the olives

All well and good, until I got to the quilting part. The missing clamp for my Babylock is supposed to arrive at the end of March. Who can wait that long?? No idle hands here! I must be creative all the time. So I broke about 15 needles, struggled with a very difficult FMQ (free motion quilting) job, but I did it!

back of quilt
back of quilt

My backs are always pieced, another way to highlight the fabrics. In this case you can really see the quilting stitches as well. Despite the effort the result is beautiful.

Final step

The label
The label

Now I get to play with my embroidery threads. I found this cute image of a flower, easy to turn into embroidery. Of course name and date and even enough room for the parents to write the name and date of birth of the baby.

I love the quilt, but that was it, I couldn’t quilt with this machine as is and I have quite a few projects on the docket.  Joel agreed, I am always working, I should have the right equipment. When I tested the Juki, it was amazing how easy and smooth the quilting was. Of course I was working on a small sample, but I have no doubt, even with larger quilts – I am going to love working on it.

First project with Juki

skirt and cowl neck t-shirt
skirt and cowl neck t-shirt

I recently discovered a new fabric store in LA. The Fabric Store Of course I went in and got these two fabrics.  The shirt is a wonderful jersey and the skirt, bottom weight cotton.

back view
back view

You can see the construction details, simple skirt with inserts.

 

Great stitchesI just love the closeup.  The stitches are even, perfect and right along the edge. I know it’s a geeky sewing thing. To me perfection matters. Its’ what makes people stop me on the street and comment on how they like what I’m wearing.

New Sewing Machine

Everything is cyclical. I learned to sew as a child, but there were long periods where I was involved in other crafts. A few years ago, the sewing and quilting bug bit me again. My old Bernina wasn’t up to the task so off I went to buy a new machine.

At the time I didn’t know many other sewers or quilters and I didn’t do much research online. This is what I bought

Babylock Quest, my 'old' machine
Babylock Quest, my ‘old’ machine

At first I was thrilled, smooth sewing, many options. But gradually things changed, things got just a little wonky – not quite perfect stitches, tension, not great. Of course I took it in to be serviced regularly, but still no improvement. And then at one point it turns out I had damaged the needle clamp with improper use.

In the meantime I had of course met all kinds of sewists IRL and online and had a wealth of information at my hands. One thing I discovered is that having one machine that does everything – means it does everything in a so-so manner.

So I started researching a basic straight stitch only machine. As well as a good place to buy said machine, somewhere to get real training, so I wouldn’t inadvertently cause damage on my own.

So last week it was off to a sewing/quilt show and I met up with these lovely people http://www.moores-sew.com/

Here is what I came home with

Juki TL 2010Q, the Q stand for Quilting!
Juki TL 2010Q, the Q stand for Quilting!

I am in love!  What an amazing machine. Juki is a well known company that has made industrial machines for ever! They wisely have moved into the home sewing machine market and have adapted a basic industrial machine for home use. So it is quieter and a little easier to use than simply buying an industrial machine.

Needles for old machine on left, oy I think I was hoarding. Needles for new machine on right,
Needles for old machine on left, oy I think I was hoarding. Needles for new machine on right,

Of course I am not ditching my old machine, there many things she still does well. And with this large supply of needles, I need to use them. At one point I bought ‘the wrong needles’ but as I know see, they will work well on my new machine, yay!

First project! a skirt.
First project! a skirt.

I have wasted no time in getting to work.  The finished project will be in another post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahead of the fashion world

Here is what I found today

Stella McCartney Floral coat, $2000
Stella McCartney Floral coat, $2000

What I did, two years ago I took McCall’s 5525, went to Mood Fabrics and bought a lovely floral print. Here is the result

Front of coat
Front of coat
Back of coat
Back of coat
close up of hand work
close up of hand work

I took the time and effort to make unique round button holes and hand stitched the top stitching with red embroidery thread.  You won’t find that on Stella’s coat.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Leah and I have been following blogs for years. Lately I’ve been sharing images all over the place and figured, it’s time to bite the bullet and just start a blog of my own. The name was easy, the phrase ‘Idle hands are the devils workshop’ applies to me, my hands are never idle and I hope I have kept the devil at bay.

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I live in Los Angeles with my wonderful husband and am thrilled that all three grown sons live here as well. One with a wife and two kids – Yay! Grandkids, The other recently married and the third will be marrying his wonderful boyfriend soon. So yeah, I’m blessed.

What you can expect are a lot of fiber arts, these days I’m quilting, sewing and knitting, a lot! I also garden, do mosaics and embroider.
Currently I am a docent at USC PAM, a wonderful little museum  in Pasadena CA, that focuses on Asian art. I also am a walking tour docent in downtown Los Angeles. I also love exploring this vast city on foot with camera in hand.
So this blog will chronicle my creativity, my explorations and even a little bit of family.

blog

Enjoy.

Leah