Sunday, June 30, 2019

Another Once A Month Update....

Summer is officially here and I'm still struggling to get in gear for Spring!  Both my sewing and cutting tables were pretty piled up and it took me a long time to cut through them.  They're still not totally clear but at least now there is some space for working on a few projects.

As usual all the new and exciting Squirrel sutff that comes in through the email and Bloglovin' had me filing away ideas fast and furious.  I also made another new aquistion.  I've long fretted about whether to replace my Euro-Pro and Janome electonic machines.

I wanted something with a wide harp space like the Horizon but given the issues I've had in the last few years with those machines, I longed for a simple and reliable mechanical machine like the vintage Singers I have.  So I was once again back to researching machines and honed my choices down to either a Juki TL 2000 series or a Janome 1600 or a Brother PQ-1500.  New, all were still a bit more than I had to spend right now even though they are all far cheaper than a comparable electronic machine with all the "bells and whistles".

I was hoping to luck up on a good condition used one of any of the brands.  I did eventualy find one --- an older model Brother Nouvelle 1500 which seems to be the precursor of the PQ series.

Purchased from a sewing machine repair shop over eBay, it cost about the same as what I paid for my Euro-Pro back in 2004 which had been a bargain priced "bells and whistles" machine back then.  Admittedly the Nouvelle is a bit doudy and when she first arrived she gave me fits by not responding to the foot pedal!  However she eventually came around and I've got to admit she stitches like a dream and can go really fast!  It came with all the necessities:  quarter inch foot, walking foot, free motion foot, zipper foot, knee lift, extension table, a few bobbins and the high speed needles it takes.  I have a ruler foot and additional bobbins on the way.  I also ordered a new brighter LED light for the machine which I've gotten used to having on all my machines including the Singers.   As a I did my research, I was glad to see that the Grace Company has quilt frames that wide throat domestic machines like this can be loaded on to and used like a long arm.  I expect to be an empty nester in a few years and might then have an extra room for such a set-up.

I have plans for a community sewing event I'd like to try to launch next year.  I will still need my electronics for that so for the time being I have put them in storage and will pull them out and invest in repairing them then.  For now, me and Nova the Nouvelle will spend some time getting to know each other!

We started off our relationship by piecing and quilting a quick mug rug gift for a friend's birthday.


This was made from the same June Tailor printed panel pattern kit I used to make the mug rugs I gifted for DH's family Kringle last Christmas.  Her next test will be finishing up the quilting on my Cobblestones and Scrappy Trips projects.  If she can successfully tackle those, I've got a whole line of TBQs (To Be Quilted) we can continue to work on togther through the end of the year.  I'd love to clear my shelf of tops and partially quilted projects to make room for some new projects!

In my last post I also talked about wanting to make another QOV top.  I finally had some time to sort through the seven potential projects I had picked out last month and make a final decision.

I've made good progress on this quilt and hope to finish sewing the top over the next few days.  I orignally saw this quilt on the Katy Quilts blog.  If you are looking for QOV ideas, you have to check her blog out -- she quilts for a local QOV group and there are always so many great looking designs that come through her feed for this purpose!  The only downside is she often doesn't have pattern information for the designs so be prepared to do a little research or quilt math or fire up your EQ software if you want to make any of the designs she showcases.  I did find the info for this one  (although admittedly that was after I had already figured out the piecing design) and found out that this is the "Patriotic Patchwork" quilt by Debra Finan.  It appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine (which I know I have a copy of around here somewhere) or can be purchased as a stand-alone digital pattern from The Quilting Company website. 

This one got the thumbs up because the same outer border fabric used in the quilt Katy showcased I actually had in my stash.  I also had enough of a scrappy mix of R/W/B prints to make the rest of it completely from stash.  So I finally made good on a "One Thing Challenge" these last two weeks and because this project is relatively easy, I might still make the deadline of having the top done by July 4 as originally planned.  To completely finish it, I'll only need to add backing and possibly binding if nothing in stash works for me when I get to that point.  Once I jumped in on this, I felt the way I do when I'm in Quiltville Mystery mode because I quickly cut out all the squares and borders needed for it and then went right onto the production line of making red, white and blue four patches.  Guess I'll be nimble and ready when Bonnie Hunter sounds the annual mystery siren call after Thanksgiving!

Still so much to do but I'm glad that now I am actually working on things rather than just THINKING ABOUT working on things!   I'm hoping I can keep up a steady momentum and get some more things completed.  Let's see what the next "Once A Month" post brings or if I can get back here before that!


Mary said...

Thanks Vivian for your inspiration! You've brought me back to quilting and I look forward to the community event.

Rebecca Grace said...

I must have missed the post where you explained about the Once A Month thing. Are you trying to limit yourself to posting only once a month so you can get more sewing done, or trying to commit to posting a minimum of once per month? I know what you mean about feeling a season behind the rest of the world. Summer is clicking away and I'm still playing catch-up from all of the end of school year chaos. Congrats on your new vintage machine! It sounds like you put a lot of thought and research into what you wanted and made a great choice.