Showing posts with label Axel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Axel. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sneak-a-Peek-a Thursday with Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett 

Perhaps no other fabric designer has ever struck me so gloriously than Kaffe Fassett. The depth, color pathways, and texture the fabrics evoke make me feel extraordinarily happy. Now imagine your sister-in-law saying, "Take this, and quilt it however you want."

Seriously? Uh, I ran with it! 

It was an amazing experience to play on this with my long arm. I parsed it out for 3 days like good chocolate. It was over too soon, and Axel already has another loaded. I'll bind it this afternoon, and show you my Fassett Friday Finish tomorrow. 

 That has to be my shortest post ever, right?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Moda Modern Blocks #6--Red

Back to Moda Modern Building Blocks

The studio was in shambles a few weeks ago. (Really. The other side of the shelved stash was worse.) I could live with it, and work in bare feet or socks so I don't step on anything vital, but toward the end I was patting at piles trying to find things. (Don't lie. I know you've done this.)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wrens and Friends-First Offical Quilt in Axel

The test piece I had quilted on my HQ Avante, Axel, had loopies on the back, and tension problems where I made curves. I took it to a group of ladies over the weekend, and asked their opinion. A mid-armer in the group told me when in doubt, just rethread your machine. Can we give her a standing ovation? Confetti?

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best, and, "Yes, it worked!" It worked because I used the diagram in my book, and found I had it threaded incorrectly the first time.

Time to do a real quilt now. The above fabric is the backing of a quilt I made for my oldest daughter last fall. Gina Martin for Moda designed this Wrens and Friends line along with this very sweet border print. I wanted to be sure I balanced the edges of the quilt so I didn't ruin the border, so I reversed the border, using it as center. 

I seamed mirror images together, and loaded it so the seam ran horizontally. If your seam orientation is this way, you can eye it with the bar as you roll it up. If you see it as a straight line down that bar, you know you've got it pretty even. If I had loaded it with a vertical seam, I would be forever measuring and adjusting the seam to lie in the center as I rolled. 

Now the widely space floral that comes off as dots will lie along the border. A little inconsistancy will not be seen, and I might expect that with my first quilting.

I only have a handful of thread colors right now so we chose pale yellow for the top thread, and off-white for the bobbin. Loopies for the center are very quick, and remind me of the path of a bee. With hexagon blocks, it seemed fitting. The border will be a different pattern.

No time to dilly-dally online today with daylight burning at 6 a.m. I hope you all enjoyed a Happy Father's Day, or a Trevlig Midsommer, whichever you celebrated this past weekend. The Pet Project Show is still in progress through today at midnight, and you may link up as many projects as you've done over the past week.

Cheers to all WIP's, and remember we're coming to the end of the second quarter for Finishes on the Windy Side. Finish them up, and follow along as bloggers post their beautiful work with Adrianne. I hope to have this in my stack by then.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Meet Axel, My Avante!

My Big Secret has arrived, and it seems fit to make it this week's Friday Finish. May I say I never dreamed this day would actually happen? I'm bruised from pinching myself.

Axel , my new Avante by Handiquilter, was delivered Wednesday. I had to name it after all my friends with machines had given theirs names. Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon has an Avril, so I stuck with the "A" names. Axel suits it.

I sweet-talked my daughter into taking a few pictures. It's all real here. Five huge boxes and two small were on that truck for me, and they were heavy!

We lugged most of them up the stairs ourselves, but 2 of the heaviest were more than we could handle. I was going to have to wait all afternoon for someone stronger to come home and help. I figured out that key parts were in those 2 boxes, and begged another daughter to help me. I think the adrenaline helped, because we got those up, too!

Most of the basic table was together by the time my more mechanical half got home. We worked together until I said I could finish on my own the next day. This was where I started in the morning.

Bungees, velcro, leaders. Finish adding parts to the machine itself, and all threaded. I was ready to load a practice piece. This is when I realized I hadn't raised it to fit my height.

Carefully remove 2 poles. Take off the machine and the carriage.

I will tell you I had a smaller person there with Herculean strength, and we raised that table up with the aid of packing tape to hold the catches open. I don't recommend this method.

This is where I hit the wall. I had no idea how to load a quilt, and I was so tired by this point that I didn't remember to watch the dvd's that contain everything you need to know. My quilt store was so understanding when I called half a dozen times with little questions including this one, and was wonderful at sending me PDF's to help. Even so, I pinned and repinned leaders 5 times before I could make it all work in my mind, and on the machine.

My first go at it. I had lots of tension issues at first, but the shop had already given me good instructions on how to remedy this with both bobbin and machine adjustment. Several phone calls to a good friend with an HQ Sweet Sixteen led to much better results. Beth at Cooking Up Quilts heard it running on the phone, and you would have thought we were cooing over a new baby between us! Seriously, we are adult women, but it just purrs!

I didn't buy this on a whim. I started looking at longarms last fall when I used one in a local shop. I was just new on the quilting blogger's scene, and it really wasn't something I needed. I investigated all the brands. I talked with and ran an APQS, Gammill, and Tin Lizzie. I looked for a used machine for months, and made many, many phone calls. Longarm University is a good source to look for all kinds of used longarms, if you're looking. When so many friends talked up the Handiquilter products, I decided there had to be something to it. The warranty is the best I've found, and we had many shops within 2 hours.

Sue and David at Quilt Trends in Columbus, Ohio were the best I found on price--they were running a sale along with an HQ promotion, and have been excellent in training. The day I travelled to actually look at the Avante, I spent nearly 3 hours with them in the store, and going over the machine. In home training takes place in a few weeks for me, and I hope to have some good experience before then.

After all the waiting and heavy lifting, and in spite of the fact it might not be the most flattering, can you see the Joy on my face? No buyer's remorse here. While something such as a longarm is a tangible thing, I see it as a way to express Joy in thread and cloth.

Did you ever have anything that was just so exciting, and you weren't sure why? You couldn't quit smiling, and when you woke up at night and remembered, it made you smile again? I'm a little speechless, and that's rare.

C.S. Lewis wrote some powerful words on his pursuit of joy,
and may help me express my feelings. 

"All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still 'about to be'."
--C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

Linking up with~
Crazy Mom Quilts
A Quilting Reader's Garden
Quilt Shop Gal
Confessions of a Fabric Addict


This might be the best time for me, and YOU, too, to browse Craftsy tools and supplies. There is a BIG Weekend Sale with very tempting deep discounts on supplies through Sunday, June 21st. Up to 70% off! 
(I'm there already!)