Pfaff

Half Year Review – 2015

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Well, howdy, Internet friends!  Seems that I sort of disappeared from blogging the last half of 2015.  So, it may take awhile to catch you all up; I’ll resist my initial inclination to do it all at once!

Connie_CDA_June_2015I started a new job last year, in May, which coincides with when my blogging dropped off the map.  I’d been at my previous employer for almost 10 years, so it’s been a bit of a transition.  I’m still in the same tech field, though it’s a much smaller department, and even get to travel and go to conferences.  I think I’m finally getting comfortable and I really like the people I work with.

I also started a small quiltscrap_explosion group.  It wasn’t an intentional decision, just a group of my friends who I wanted to spend time with and, well, it just sort of blossomed.  This photo is from one of those sessions where they helped me with a collection of scraps; what happens at sew day, stays at sew day!

Interestingly enough, the majority of the group are teachers, whether by formal training or natural ability.  We call ourselves the Grateful Threads and we meet once a month, working on both personal and group projects.  There’s so much laughter, fun, and learning that goes on, I can’t believe how lucky I am to know each and every one of them.

Pfaff_7570I bought a Pfaff 7570 sewing machine this summer because not only do I love my Pfaff machines, this one is capable of embroidering and came with the original cable that will allow connection to an (older) computer and a TON of embroidery cards.  I’ve had some challenges getting it connected so I can make up the embroidered quilt labels as I intended, but that’s an ongoing process.  I’ll keep you posted!

Fast forward to the recent holiday season, and I had several customer quilts I had promised for Christmas.  I finished by the 12th of December, so I helped a friend with her first quilt, which was made up of a variety of 5” blocks sewn together and a dark blue minky back.  She wanted to give it as a gift for Christmas and it was so much fun watching her gain confidence in the process.  I didn’t get any photos of the quilt, but I’m sure she did so I’ll post them later.

20151220_094040I also made 4 hats on my bulky knitting machine, 3 of them using this EASY pattern:

http://knittsings.com/how-to-machine-knit-a-basic-easy-stocking-hat

 

20151220_093647For the 4th one I adapted a hand knitting pattern that allows for a ponytail at the top so that my long-haired niece could wear it:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holey-hat-2

It was fussy to do because I don’t have a garter bar for the bulky, much less know what I’m doing with adapting patterns or moving stitches around!  LOL!

I’m planning on getting my ribber set up in the next couple of weeks because I really want to start making a sweater that uses ribbing and I REALLY don’t want to hand knit it.

I’m also looking forward to trying a  new pattern for a Quarter Crown hat pattern that not only is it a new technique to learn but I’d like to contribute some chemo hats to a gal who only takes hand knitted hats made in the round because a seam is too rough on the chemo head.

http://slisen.blogspot.com/2016/01/quarter-crown-for-hats.html

I’m definitely looking forward to this coming year.  There will be many challenges but I’m going to embrace them all the best I can.

Happy New Year!

New Beginning Quilting Class Sample

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20150221_145426I had so much fun yesterday!

I pulled fabric from my stash to create another version of my Odd Girl Out rail fence quilt in order to refresh myself on my beginning quilting class instructions because I’m going to teach the class again, which is actually a piecing class, in a 2 day series of 4 hours each, March 14th and 28th at Jones Sew n Vac, the new sewing machine store in Boise on Fairview avenue.

Once I pulled the fabrics, I headed to Jones Sew n Vac to test the new Pfaff Performance 5.0 machine.  They prominently display all of the Pfaff sewing machines (my favorite!) and carry the new Brother Dream Machine for sewing and embroidery which looks like SO much fun!

This is the same class I taught for Community Education a couple of years ago and I’m really excited to teach it again.  To get started, I’m going to cover tools, choosing fabric, how to cut and sew and we’re going to get the majority of the work done to start work at the next session.

During the second class we’ll put the blocks together l20150221_202851earning how to add sashing and borders, then create the back.   My mentor, Marian Drain, taught me a super easy, super fast method of creating a square back that any longarmer will love!

Once I got back home I started playing with the layout of the blocks I’d made. 

I’m partial to the stair step design, but the initial purpose of creating this quilt was to show students how the design would look 20150221_213542using 4 – 2.5” strips instead of 5 – 2” strips.

The other factor is that if I don’t use sashing then my quilt is smaller.  Well, that is, using only the first fabrics I pulled.  I may need to create another set of corresponding blocks, similar colors and values, to add to the design, and explain to my students the nature of changing your mind mid-project!

I’d appreciate any feedback, if you care to share your opinion on which way to go.