Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Now That Was Unexpected!

Another busy day here.  I'm starting to realize that ALL days are busy here. 

Put a roast, potatoes and carrots in slow cooker for dinner.  Didn't get my mail ready in time to catch the mail lady before she went's so frustrating when this happens. :)

In between the routine chores of the day, I did finish the place mats for Amanda.  They will be used daily, thrown in the wash routinely, etc., so I wasn't too concerned with doing any elaborate quilting on them.  Just something to hold the layers in place was all that was needed.

I experimented with a few decorative stitches using my Pfaff.  After "stretching" the stitch length to the max on one of the stitches choices, I thought it made a fairly cute ocean wave look.  Kirsten approved and said "do it Mom".  So I did.

Basic, simple, but cute.... (the picture shows the back of the place mat so you can see the stitching better)

I'm always on the look out for bargains.  The last time I was in Wal-Mart, I found a few packages of linen napkins on a clearance shelf.  Can you believe I was able to get a couple of sets of two, solid blue napkins for .75 cents/set.  That makes EACH napkin only 37 1/2 cents each!!!  I can't even MAKE napkins that inexpensively. 

I think Amanda will be very pleased with this ensemble of 4 beach themed place mats and 4 coordinating blue linen napkins. :)

After completing this project.  I needed to run an errand in town.  I stopped by the local quilt shop (the only one around without driving at least 30 minutes).  This little shop has only been open for one year.  The selection of fabrics are limited, but it is growing slowly but surely.  While I was inside, two retired ladies came inside with quilt projects that they needed help understanding the next step.  They both were brand new to quilting...just starting out.  I was able to explain what they needed to do next. 

Then the unexpected happened!  The owner of the shop asked if I would consider teaching a few beginner quilt classes.  She is beginning to work on a Fall schedule of classes offered and she needs another instructor.  In particular, she would love for me to teach classes for small, simple projects in additional to an occasional large quilt.  She asked me to think it over and if interested, I can decide on my own project to teach. 

I certainly don't know everything and I've never considered myself an instructor....but maybe I know enough to help beginner's get started?.?.?.?  Huummmmm....wheels are turning. :) 

After dinner, while a storm brewed outside...I decided I better finish up the binding strips that have already been cut and sewn together for Amanda's quilt. 

Oh what joy it is to fold double and iron 420 inches of a 2 inch wide continuous strip of fabric! :) :)

I decided to do one last thing before calling it a night...

I took a couple pieces of scrap fabric, added some batting in the middle to mimic an actual quilt and decided this was the night I was going to experiment and see how difficult it is to use my machine to do free motion quilting.  I actually own an attachment for my Pfaff called a Stitch Regulator that is supposed to make this easier...but it is big and bulky, taking up alot of space on the table.  It works great on small projects, but even though I've never tried it on large projects...I can't imagine using it if needing to quilt a bed sized quilt.

Other people are able to quilt giant quilts using their home machines every day....without special, burdensome attachments....why can't I? 

I lowered the feed dogs on the machine, placed my "quilt" underneath the needle, lowered my pressure foot mid-ways (to the darning setting) and off I went.  It is SO easy!!!  What have I been afraid of all these years!  Why didn't I try this sooner!!!!  Now granted, there is much to learn and perfection will come with practice, but I'm ready to tackle a big project!

I wanted to prove to everyone just how simply it is....just in case YOU too have been intimidated and scared to attempt to free motion quilt using your home machine.

I made a short little video for you....don't laugh....I'm holding the camera with my right hand and attempting to free motion quilt with my left hand only guiding the fabric.  Just imagine how much better I should be able to do when I use two hands!!! :) :)

Here's the video only lasts a few seconds....

Watch Me Experiment with Free Motion Quilting

Time to call it a night....until next time! :)

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