Monday, 21 March 2011

Sherbet Pips Progress

I established certain things firmly in my mind today. One - I hate pinning quilt layers together. It is a necessary evil and I understand that it must be done, but as I crawl around the floor shoving the pointy things through and into the carpet repeatedly it is not happy thoughts that flip through my mind.

But I did it and - for once - I did a good enough job that when I flipped it over and looked to see how smooth the backing was I was actually satisfied. I would not be blogging if I had had to take all the pins out and start over again. It has happened before and I was not in a pleasant mood for a while. As I do smaller quilts I do not know how I would cope if I ever try to turn my hand to full size ones. My little Sherbet Pips is pinned though.

Next I had to psych myself up to use my machine. Well not the overall sewing machine but the part that strikes terror in my heart. The Bernina Stitch Regulator -

My little laser guided piece of machinery that I have only used once (successfully) before. I distracted myself with chores that needed immediate attention like putting away the laundry. I came and played a couple of games of sudoku online. I went back and looked at the sewing machine balefully, then I sucked up the courage, sat down and started quilting!

That was when I established fact number two in my mind. Namely the one about my machine being more intelligent than me and me being very intimidated by that. That little laser recognises the movement of the fabric and (supposedly) regulates the length of the stitches so that they are fairly uniform. And I suppose they are because I took a free motion quilting class once - without this Stitch Regulator Foot thing - and I was (I am trying to think of an appropriate word that is also polite) not very good, shall we say. My magic foot seen above definitely makes me better than I could possibly be without it.

You see, I move the fabric too quickly. You would think that would be an easy error to correct, but for me it isn't. I barely know which way to pull/shove/push it half the time, let alone have any control over the actual speed that I am moving the quilt. I am NOT THAT COORDINATED.

I do know that I was moving the fabric too fast today because the Bernina kept telling me, again, and again, and again. Beep, said it. (I shall not tell you what I said in response.) It also helpfully put this little picture on the screen -

- of the running man. I knew it was there only because Emily asked me what the running man was all about. Huh?! Who knew? I got her to take the picture because I think we have now firmly established that I can barely manage the free motion quilting let alone look at the screen. Taking a photo too is way, way beyond my capabilities.

Happily, the end to this story is a good one because the quilt is quilted. I only had to pick out about 12-15" of stitching due to a wee bit of puckering on the backing. Not bad for the first time I have ever done stippling - that's the pattern I used to stitch the quilt for all my non-quilty friends. Nice thing about stippling was I was not sure about it at all but when it was all finished I was suddenly very pleased indeed. The bonus was that Helen and Emily were well impressed with me.

Tomorrow I go in search of the binding fabric. As I bought a fat quarter pack of the Sherbet Pips and the yardage is not available here yet, I shall have to find something that compliments it.

I wasn't the only person accomplishing things of a crafty nature the past few days. Helen acquired an old pair of my socks and started making this -

- and with incredible industry she has finished and I am proud to announce that I did not help one little bit. This was her doing from beginning to very end. My only input was the pair of socks required.

I am one proud mother.


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