Thursday, January 31, 2013

And now, back to the long arm!

I've had a few questions about quilting with a long arm.  So I thought I'd load some photos.  I think visuals might help the confusion among the non-quilters reading my blog.   

Long arm quilting is simply stitching the backing, batting and quilt top together, forming a quilt sandwich.  The first task is loading the backing fabric onto 12 foot long rollers.  The fabric in the photo above is a beautifully dyed batik from the island of Bali.  After the backing fabric is loaded and rolled taut, the batting is placed on top, you can see cotton batting lying on the fabric in the photo.

I have 2 choices as I proceed loading the batting and quilt top.  There are more 12 foot rollers, one set for each layer of a quilt.  I can load the batting and top on those if I want to.  The other choice is the one I always use, it's called floating.  I simply float the batting and quilt top on top of the backing fabric.  To start the long arming, I stitch along the top and sides to anchor the 3 layers together, and then the fun begins!

Monday, January 21, 2013


Over 20 years ago Hurricane Andrew devastated Florida.  A friend of mine was living in a suburb south of Miami at that time and she lost everything they owned.  Her parrot actually saved their lives.  The parrot, named Jaco, could sense the vibrations in the building before the roof lifted off, and was agitated in such a way that she knew they needed to go to a lower floor and get away from the roof.

She lives in North Carolina now, along with Jaco.   We spent all day last Saturday sewing quilts for Hurricane Sandy victims.  A Hurricane Andrew victim now doing something to help lift the spirits of Hurricane Sandy victims.  Isn't it great how life comes around?

This is Jaco sitting on the quilt we made together.

By the way, the newspaper printed a story about the quilting for Hurricane Sandy victims.  There were 53 of us sewing that Saturday.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Dog

We have a new family member!  My husband was making a run to the grocery store on Christmas Day to buy the whip cream he forgot to get for the pumpkin pie, and on the way home this cute little girl walked in front of his headlights.  He stopped, picked her up and we put out the information about a lost dog to no avail.  So we're keeping her!  She's an adorable little thing, but she was a matted, flea ball when she arrived. I clipped her and after 2 flea baths here's the little darlin'...

My husband never found a store open but bringing home this little gal was his salvation.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to lube your thread

I've been long-arming happily all day.  I finished one quilt, and will place another one on the frame tomorrow. I wish the holiday could be extended, I'm not ready for school to start!  For those who are new to the blog, I home school my son.  I'm also taxi-driver for my oldest in college (she has a disability and can't drive for now).

I thought I'd share a tip to help those who are tempted to oil your thread when you sew velcro or use metallic threads.  My method works for long arming, sewing, serging, upholstery  just about any type of sewing.  I've used this method for years and it works!

If you have continual thread breaks while sewing velcro or use metallic threads, try this!  Cut a tiny piece of stick-on velcro, use the fluffy side.  Place it under the thread path AFTER the tension disc.  Then place 1 or 2 drops of silicone (Sewer's Aid, etc.) on the velcro.   As the thread glides across the velcro it lubes your thread without ruining the entire cone, and without gumming up your tension dial.

Use velcro to sew velcro, brilliant! Let me know if you try my method?  I'd love to hear how it worked for you!