Anticipation

I am sitting here waiting for the delivery of my new washing machine.If you could have heard the noise made during the final spin cycle, you would have no trouble imagining my anticipation for this wonderful event. It sounded like jets were leaving the runway. The floor shook as the machine rumbled. The sound grew louder with each load of wash. I called to see about having this fixed, assuming that they could just replace the bad bearing or whatever was failing. But the service technician asked how old the washing machine was (ten years old) and told me that it wasn’t worth fixing it. The average lifespan of a washer is about ten years these days. Planned obsolescence – don’t even get me started. Remembering back, I am fairly certain my mom had one washer for the duration of my childhood.

While shopping for a new machine, I asked the salesperson if there was a washer that would hold up for longer than the estimated ten years. He said, sure – this one over here will last 15 or so. Of course it was expensive enough that I could just buy another one in ten years and still spend the same amount. Irritating. So, I am just waiting for the delivery guys to show up and heave that beast up the two flights of stairs on my deck and install it. I have a pile of laundry waiting right here with me. Exciting times, right?

Over the weekend (since I wasn’t doing laundry) I practiced my FMQ. I wanted a larger fabric sandwich to practice on as I was doing a leafy border motif and wanted to figure out how to turn the corner. For me, it is really a challenge to plan the motif and be at the right point in the design to make that turn. I cannot visualize things like that in my head, yet I prefer to quilt without tracing a design. When I stitch over a tracing of a design, my stitches wobble. Don’t ask me why. If I had to make a supposition, it would be that my mind becomes focused on that dang traced line. Without the line, my stitches flow much better. This corner isn’t great. I don’t like that harsh right angle on the vine. But the leaves worked out ok.

IMG_20150822_3694I do like the motif. I found this Modern Leaf tutorial via Lori Kennedy’s incredible website, The Inbox Jaunt. I have mentioned her before, but really, if you are working on your FMQ skills, I cannot recommend her enough. Her site offers tons of tutorials and many, many different motifs. It is definitely worth taking a peek at all she has to offer.

Lori is a huge proponent of doodling and drawing the motif before actually stitching it. I did several pages of practice drawings. (Drawing is not my forte, not in the slightest.) However, the practice of making those hand motions using pencil and paper definitely transfers to an increased muscle memory of that pattern. It helps!

IMG_2477

When I was putting the fabric sandwich together, I didn’t want to waste a large scrap of batting. I have a whole drawer full of many straggly lengths (often from trimming the edges off of a project after quilting it).  I have taken to stitching these pieces together (frankenbatting style). Have you tried this? I have never had any issue with it. Mainly I do it for smaller projects, but I have read posts from many quilters who have done it to gain larger sizes as well.

IMG_20150822_3693I use a fairly wide zig zag stitch with only a hint of overlap of the two lengths of batting. To avoid a lump along that line of stitching, it is best to just hold the two lengths as close together as possible without much of an overlap.  This is a great way to use up those piles of batting scraps.

Today I plan to finish up the quilting on the vintage double nine patch. I have one border left and I will use this leaf motif. My binding strips are ready to go. Looks like I will have a finish this week!!

How about you? Working on anything fun this week??  Ever pieced your batting scraps? Do tell. 🙂

Linking to Freemotion by the River, Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion Mavericks, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict (who by the way is having a giveaway to celebrate her 1,000,000 VIEW!!  That is worthy of celebrating!! The giveaway is open until Thursday of this week.)

 

19 thoughts on “Anticipation

  1. Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

    I hope the delivery of your new machine is uneventful and that it works well for you for many years. I get all kinds of crazy over planned obsolescence… I also am a huge fan of drawing before quilting. The muscle memory it helps instill is fabulous. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Yvonne,

      Yes – drawing is so helpful. Lately I have used newspaper – I like having the big surface to be able to work on moving in and out of different corners and angles. Also, I feel like I am not just “wasting” paper. It would be going into the recycle bin anyway, right?

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply
  2. Linda

    Sorry about the washing machine. Yes I think Mom’s old washer lasted as long as I was at home – times have changed.
    Your FMQ is so pretty! I am so impressed. It is starting to inspire me to try it again. I used to be a doodler when I was in school and don’t know why I can’t seem to get back into it. I have read that it helps with FMQ.
    Yes I often piece batting and have even stood over it piecing it with a needle and thread. I don’t know if I have problems with it, because sadly I haven’t washed anything I’ve quilted. :-O

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi there,

      Never washed a quilt? Interesting, why not? I love the softness and the crinkly look after they are washed.

      My washer is installed and I used it already. Seems so incredibly quiet after the noicy beast I have been using for the last couple of weeks.

      Hope you have a great week, Linda.

      B.

      Reply
  3. Carrie

    I use fraken-batting in projects all the time (usually baby quilts). I find the best way to reduce the bulk from adjoining pieces is to overlap the two pieces by a few inches and cut a gentle wave through them both. I wrote a blog post with a how-to on it here: http://bit.ly/1JQLdS0 The excess overlapped batting is saved and then used as stuffing in small items such as softie toys.

    As for the FMQ, I am a beginner but also like to FMQ without a sketched design. Problem is I am a horrible doodler, so getting something as lovely as your vines is a big challenge. I think they look amazing and can’t wait to see you use it on a project soon!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Carrie,

      Thanks for the link to your tutorial. I will check that out. I think I am also a “horrible doodler”. I just do it anyway – no one really sees that part. It is mostly to get used to the pattern of the motif – kind of memorize it a bit. Also, to figure out how to move out of tight spaces with it. Sometimes I just do it really big and freehand on newspaper. That way I have a larger surface to practice on.

      So glad you stopped by. 🙂

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply
  4. Marie

    I know the frustration of planned obsolescence too well! I’ve been married 34 years and my first washer lasted much longer than my second and it washed many more loads of baby diapers etc, than the second one had to. I feel so thrifty when I can use left over pieces of batting in quilt projects. I keep a laundry basket full of leftovers ready to be used. I usually hand baste them because I know I’m going to quilt them together when I quilt the quilt. I do wash my quilts and haven’t noticed a problem yet. Can’t wait to see your finished quilt.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I totally agree – why can’t they just make things simpler so there aren’t wearing out so quickly. Actually, we already know the answer to that tho. Sales wouldn’t cycle through as fast. Very irritating.

      Glad to hear of your successes with pieced batting. It makes sense that this would work as the quilting is what holds it all together anyway. Glad to hear that you have not had any issues with it.

      Thanks for stopping by Marie!
      Regards,
      Bernie

      Reply
  5. Mari

    I love your quilting! It looks so good! Are you sure those are practice pieces? I know what you mean about concentrating on getting the stitching on the line. The perfection thing in me always feels like I’ve failed if it isn’t perfect.

    I use “frankenbatting” all the time, big pieces and little pieces. If it works, why not?

    Hope your new washer has been delivered and you are up to your elbows in laundry! probably the only time that would be a good thing!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh, it’s a practice piece for sure. I used this cheap scrap of ick to work with. It is destined for the trash. I hate wasting good fabric just to practice. More and more, I think I need to just freehand the quilting. I tried buying a stencil so I could draw a cabled border and it didn’t work out for me. Ah well….

      Have you found a house yet? I can’t remember where all that is at this point? Hope you are settling in and figuring things out in PA.

      Cheers,
      B.

      Reply
  6. Diana @ Red Delicious Life

    I’ve pieced batting scraps all the time but I never overlap them. I use a zigzag stitch like you did and just make sure both pieces are straight cuts so they butt together perfectly. Once you have it in a sandwich and it’s quilted, there’s never an issue.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Diana,
      Maybe I was being overly “careful” by trying to overlap the edge a tiny bit. You are right in that the quilting is holding it all together. I will widen my zig zag stitch next time and just butt the edges together.

      Is school back in session? Hoping you have a bit more time to yourself these days for some stitching. 🙂

      B.

      Reply
  7. Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow

    I did piece batting for my last tied quilt and oh was it hard to get the needle through on those areas.

    The last stove that went, was only 7 yrs old or so. Shopping around I bought what I needed but NO bells and whistles because I knew no matter what I got would drop dead in a decade or less.

    I have a refrigerator that just fits in my little galley kitchen. It’s starting to rust out …the outside of it gets little rust spots. But it is about 21 years old and that is why it is still running and I’ll keep it until it dies 🙂

    Your stitching looks very nice 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Deb!
      I bet it is a struggle with tying a quilt since you would be putting a thicker needle and thread through it.

      Good thinking on the stove purchase. When I shop for things like this I always go fairly basic. Middle of the line – don’t need the high end stuff and don’t want the cheap-o product either. Good luck with the fridge.

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply
  8. Muv aka Lizzie Lenard

    Hello Bernie,

    You have described exactly what happened with our washing machine in April. The first time it did the aeroplane noise we just ignored it because we assumed it must be someone next door using power tools. Then when the maintenance man came to look at it we ran it through the spin cycle on empty two or three times and it behaved perfectly. He was a gem and believed me, so now we have a lovely new machine.

    The leaves and berries are beautiful, such nice straight stems. I like the right angled corner – it just needs berries on the inside and an extra leaf on the outside and it will look great.

    Bravo for showing your drawings. Mine are generally done on the back of an envelope and go in the bin at the earliest opportunity.

    Yes, I’ve pieced wadding together, by hand with a loose herring bone stitch, but only for small items.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Muv for your input. Glad you have a nice (quiet) washing machine again! It’s the small things in life, right?
      I used this leaf and berries motif on a border recently and it went well. Just takes some practicing first.
      I love your site – great inspiration there!

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply

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