Thursday, April 23, 2015

A quilt, pillowcases and a fence.

Last month I took a class at Modern Domestic so I could use their NEW long arm quilting machine. It's a Bernina Q 24, and it's beautiful!!! I had used used their last long arm a couple years ago to complete some quilts. Once I used a long arm I was hooked. These machines make the quilting process so simple and I really like the feeling of a quilt after it has been quilted, washed and dried. Depending on the batting the quilt will shrink just enough to make the quilt look loved. I made this quilt a couple months ago and had wanted to get it quilted so I can give it to a friend. I'm not sure where I got the backing, it was several pieces of fabric that was sewn together, I believe they were once used as curtains. Some of the fabric is a little faded but I love the pattern so much I really wanted to use it for the backing on this quilt.  When you take the class to learn about the Bernina Q24 you get 2 hours of quilting time, so you can get use to using the machine. Last monday I went in to quilt my scrap quilt. While I was pinning the backing I found a couple of small holes in the fabric, that should have been a warning that I should fix the holes and make another appointment to use the machine. I really wanted to finish this quilt so I looked past the imperfections in the backing. I started to use the machine and I had a couple of problems, I could not remember how to make the machine stop when you stopped moving the head of the machine...oh well I pushed on. Then while I was rolling the quilt to quilt the second row I ripped the backing. The rip was a the end and did not affect the quilt but it was another warning. I was almost finished...I had about a 36" x 10" area to complete and the bobbin ran out. I wound another bobbin and put it in the machine. I put the bobbin in the machine and closed the bobbin case, started to stitch and the machine froze with the needle in the down position, in the batting and the backing. I turned the machine on and off, attempted to turn the hand wheel to get the needle and pressure foot luck. I then knew I had to get a staff member to help me. They were very nice and came to my rescue only to find that I had not pushed the bobbin in all the way into the machine, this caused the machine to stop. We got the bobbin out of the machine and cut the birds nest of thread. The pressure foot was still in the down position and would not rise up. They started to pull the machine apart, all I could think was "OH SHIT...I broke a $18,000 sewing machine".  They pulled the machine apart and they were trying to get some screws out the needle plate so they could pull the bobbin case, the bobbin case had a piece of thread stuck causing the machine to stop and not allowing the pressure foot to rise back to it's proper position. Problem was the screws were very tight, in an awkward position and very problematic to get out. After about an hour and a half of trying to get the screws out and the pressure foot up, they finally asked if I wanted to come back the next day to finish my quilt. I left feeling defeated and terrible, even though everyone was WONDERFUL about the situation. I decided the next day to go pick up the quilt and finish it on my home machine. There was very little to complete I knew I could do it on my home machine. When I went to get my quilt they told me they had to drill out the screws and that it was a learning process for them, they were great, no blame and I can come back to use the machine again. Can I just say the Modern Domestic is my favorite place. Next time I there are warnings...I will take heed and adjust my plans accordingly. 

After the quilting disaster I needed something that was simple and pretty. I made some more pillow cases. I had bought some nice soft fabric at Mill End when I went to get batting for the ill fated quilt. The material for the main part of the green pillow cases is from a line called "Prints Charming" and it's super soft. I spent more time looking for coordinating fabric for the green material then I spent making the pillow cases. 

We put up a fence at one of the rental units we own. Looking out the back of the apartment you saw a RV and a bunch of junk that the tenants behind us had stacked up. It also looked out at the automotive business and Lombard street, needless to say it was not a pretty sight. Though we need to paint the little storage unit in the back yard, the fence makes the back area of this apartment a much nicer space. It was a simple fix but a huge upgrade. 

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