Saturday, October 29, 2011

what's that refrain?

Oh yeah.

Same song, second verse,
A little bit louder and a little bit worse!

LOL! Well, maybe not a little bit worse, but I did feel like I was perhaps living out a scene from Goundhog's Day. Even the view out the window was the same . . .

Gray, cool and dreary. Oh wait -- there's rain! Loverly! That does make it an extra good day for stitchery, right? I was going to share window pictures throughout the day again, but since they all looked the same (again), I figured I'd save the bandwidth. If you really want to, you can just scroll back up to this window view every couple of paragraphs. Hah.

I was a little bit ahead of where I was at this time on Thursday. I'd gone ahead and sewn all my strips together so they were ready to be pressed and cut. I got that done in no time. I admit, I started the day feeling a little cocky about getting this second set done.

I didn't plan it, but I'm glad it worked out that I was playing with these two particular fabrics on the second day. I love that cheddar print. It's gorgeous and fascinating and captivating. I could have looked at it all day long. Ummmm . . . . . . yeah. The shirting I picked to go with it is really beautiful too. It was during my shop for these fabrics that I realized how rich and beautiful CW prints are.

Look at my "little Indians" all stacked up in neat little rows! When I'm working on something this size, I like to work in increments. Each one of these stacks represented one block. Since I was making twenty blocks, I worked with them in groups of five.

Before I got to stitching, I decided I'd better do a little PMS (preventative maintenance service) (what were you thinking?!?!?) on my machine. I'd taken a lot of stitches the day before and so a quick twist with the screwdriver and removing the plate and . . .

Whew! Yeah, glad I did that -- it was full of fuzz and lint. While I was at it, I replaced my needle, too. Now I'm jazzed and ready to sew!

I did a lot of chain piecing. A. Lot. Of. Chain. Piecing.

Round one. I got them snipped and pressed and grouped up ready for round two. I started running round two through the machine and hit a thread snag. Literally.

What in the world? This happened once yesterday, too. Thread was still feeding through the needle, but it was piling up on the other end of the needle too. Gah. As I started to pull the thread off the spool to re-thread the machine, I found this:

It rolled of my spool this way!!! What?!?!? I was very put out. It's the same thread I always use for piecing -- dual duty, cotton thread, cement gray ... I must have gotten a bad spool. Sheesh. Just out of curiosity, what do you consider the best thread for piecing?

Round three. The task ahead still looks ginormous and impossible. Ugh. What was I thinking?!?

Round four, chugging along. I sewed with my right (cast) foot up and my left foot pushing the pedal. I'm a sight, that's for sure.

Round five ... I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel!

It kinda cracks me up -- it looks like the same photo, over and over and over. But I promise it's not!

And finally, all the stitch work is DONE! All that's left is to unpin, press and trim. Whoohooo!!!!

It really is a nice looking block. It'll be fun to deliver my two stacks today and come home with 38 different blocks, along with two of my own!

Wanna take bets as to what's on my design wall come Monday?!?


8 left a comment . . .:

Pat said...

Whew...I'm glad that's done. I was getting stressed about it, too!!! LOL What size needle do you use most of the time? I am always going back and forth between a couple of sizes and then don't recall which one I like best the next time I change the needle!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I also like to use Dual Duty Thread for piecing, but I've never seen one tied like that before :-S

Cathy said...

I use Masterpiece thread. It's 100% cotton, 50 weight, which means it's a finer thread than the dual duty. It was originated by Alex Anderson, especially for piecing.I'm looking forward to seeing your design wall and all those swap blocks. They were a lot of work for you, but I hope you enjoyed it.

Lee said...

That's a lot of work, enjoyable I hope. I'm looking forward to your design wall Monday pix :) and can't wait to see the blocks from the other ladies.

I don't get 'snobbish' about my quilt fabric or my thread, so while I'd love to buy them all at quilt shops and buy the "best", it isn't always warranted (think recipients who'd treat it like any other blanket) nor in the budget, so most of my thread is Coats & Clark/Star and I've rarely had any trouble with it. I do make sure to clean my machine frequently.

Jean said...

I use pressencia 60wt cotton. I own two spools -- lt gray and black. I like the thinner thread because it provides a crisp seam -- less roll.
I also recommend aurifil's 50 wt mako cotton.

Connie said...

That is so neat that you have all your blocks done. Can't wait to see all the different ones you get! I used just about any thread. I like a poly/cotton in the bobbin because you can fill the bobbin fuller. Then there are some times that I sew with strictly cotton. I use an older machine so it isn't picky.

Diane said...

Oh wow that was a lot of sewing way to go-looking forward to seeing all the different blocks laid out.
(no pressure)
I usually piece with aurifil thread or Masterpiece-the thinner thread and high quality (yes a bit more $) makes a difference in less lint better seam MHO. I used to sew with less expensive thread and then read somewhere that we will spend hundreds even thousands of dollars on our machines then want to use cheapo thread and get frustrated at the machine when we have issues-made sense to me.
I try to wind 5-6 bobbins at a time and when they are gone, clean the lint from my machine and put in a new needle...I used to scoff at such diligence but it really does make a difference.
OH and one time I had a spool of thread that was tied together like that it ran through my machine and when it went through the needle broke the needle I couldn't believe it was wound like that.

Sarah said...

I also use MasterPiece grey thread for piecing. Yes, it does cost a little more but you also get a little more on the spool since it's thinner! I generally quilt with King Tut but I could tell yesterday that I was using a different brand - maroon fuzz everywhere and when I went to pull the thread ends to tie a knot it kept breaking - loved the color but I'm glad the spool is finished.

Can't believe they knotted the thread on your spool - who knows what that could have done to your machine...