Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Reworking Old Faves

I will always credit John Flynn for being the reason I still use Janomes and got a new sewing machine to replace my terrible first one (That first machine and Shemar have been my real Janome lemons, though meticulous cleaning and aurafil thread has helped with Shemar). I decided to make a double wedding ring quilt using his method, which involved strip piecing and resewing of all seams at a prescribed angle, which was marked out on the machine in tape.

The machine was HORRIBLE and since I had a warranty, It spent more time in the Sears Bargain centre getting fixed than it did at home. Every time I took it in, I would tell them "there is a piece of black electrical tape on the machine. DO NOT REMOVE THE BLACK ELECTRICAL TAPE". This happened frequently enough that the lady finally looked at me and said "haven't you been in here A LOT with this machine with the black electrical tape??" Yes, yes I have. "We'll make sure you get it back in working order this time" she said.

Then a few days later they phoned me to tell me it had been "broken in transit" even though it was never shipped anywhere and as it was under warranty I got to pick a new one, which I think probably still has the black electrical tape on it. That machine was great and I learned then that when Janomes are good they're very very good, but when they're lemons they're HORRID. And I like to think the lady at Sears Bargain Centre sent that other machine to some part of Chaplin Sk.

 I'm slowly plugging away at the new york beauty (half plus one of the sashing strips are done! 15 left...and then the rest of the top) but kind of want to do something else. This is all the amazing progress I've made:
Yeah isn't it underwhelming. I'mhalf done half of the top. Sort of. Still no blocks as each one of those sashing strips includes 40 seams. And I'm doing this the EASY way. Holy crap new york beauty. Still not happy with the lighter blue options, I begin to think the actual shade of blue I wanted doesn't exist.

But as the NYB is one of those patterns I have always wanted to make, It reminded me of the double wedding ring. I learned to quilt to make one of them, and it took about 6 or 7 years before I found the afore mentioned Flynn Method and did it. As I had a very small bed I made the quilt equally small.

Somehow it ended up in Regina and hidden under mama's bed in the crapartment, where I found it and then put it in the cedar chest when we moved. Over the summer the oppressive heat of the upper floor of the apartment required a) the home made air conditioner and b) different blankets so I was using the DWR, as it has ultra thin batting. But it's really too small to fit a regular bed:

 This really looks better than most pictures of it. The main background fabric was a leftover fabric I had used on the midsummer night's dream quilt (actually all of the background fabrics were) and I never liked it as much as the off white, which I had less of. But the colours look pretty good here.

So I've been thinking about what to really do with it, because I've rarely ever used it. I considered putting it on the wall, but I think I can actually make it bigger without too much difficulty.

I didn't bind it because it hurt so much to hand quilt it (my joints were flaring at the time), and once I zigzagged the edges I couldn't bind it. It was the only quilt I ever did start to finish on my hoop actually. Man it hurt. I never got back to it because I hate binding and I would have had to sew the back by hand with the curved edges.  But this means it will be relatively easy to rip out the zigzagging and add rows to it.

Painful and agonizing that quilting was. I would work on it for a half an hour max and my joints would stop working. I remember having to pry my left hand open. Yay for getting inflammatory arthritis at 15. I was trying to get the digital camera's f stop to work here.

These are the remaining original fabrics I still have, plus a few I picked out that I think would work as well. I was sure I had some more of them and I probably have to go back through my scraps again. I had to buy solids that matched the peach of the four patch and then other neutrals for the background (that didn't matter as much since there are already several neutrals in it) so I decided to get a 30s print jelly roll as well to make up for the lack of leftovers. 

Jelly Rolls! I love them more than bluesmen do. 

...Okay not those kind. 

There are some good coordinates here so I'm sure it will look fine. It's scrappy anyway and as long as it keeps with the 30s cotton candy kind of colourway I think it's not going to be too bad. 

 If you're wondering, what I will do is make three new rows of seven rings and sew them together as a unit. Then I'll split open the longer side of the quilt and sew the tops together on the curve, but probably add the batting and backing in a straight row to the back and then flip them over so they sandwich. Then I'll quilt them and edge it and probably not bind it. Because I hate binding so much and it will be soo big and I hate doing binding. 

This is what the quilt will look like with three more rows added to the side. I think this will make it a good size.

I still have the original templates but they're not that great so I re-drafted them. I'll still strip piece the majority of them, but I think I'll foundation piece a few arc units just to be able to use the smaller pieces of the original fabrics. Shouldn't take too long to sew a 3x7 set of blocks, and Sam is no longer around to lay on the blocks, as he did when I made the original. After twisting around on them and fluffing them up.

Yeah Sam. Sometimes I miss him then I think about things like that and him biting me.

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