Friday, January 22, 2016

Little news, big news

As this week comes to an end, I thought I would write a short post about some goings on around here.

First, I have pulled out my templates for the Technicolor Galaxy quilt and gotten organized to work on the first block!

Technicolor Galaxy, block one in progress

It looks like I had only pulled fabrics and cut half of the applique pieces before we moved.  I recall that I was trying to only use stash a year ago, and since I've added a few things to my stash since last January, I made a couple of minor changes.

Technicolor Galaxy, block one in progress

This is as far as I got on Wednesday.  I spent a HUGE chunk of time on Thursday making the bias tape that will be going on top of these applique pieces.  It really took a long time to follow Alyssa's instructions (or maybe I was doing it wrong).  Since I am doing this QAL a year past due, I found it hard to find some of the tips posted by others in the Facebook group regarding the making of the tape.  I vaguely remember several people posting alternative methods, etc.  But it was taking too much time to try to scroll through a years worth of posts on the group page.  I only have so much time to sew after all.  I have made bias tape using a different method, but it wasn't as thin as this pattern calls for, so I wanted to follow the directions.  I wish now that I had used the other method.  I also discovered that I made about twice as much tape as it calls for in the block one instructions.  Hopefully, we will be using this tape elsewhere.

So that is the little news - progress on one of my 100 Days Challenge items.  Now for the big news....

I, well really my husband, bought a longarm today!  Thanks Honey!

I cannot tell you how excited I am!  The Road to California quilt show is going on right now about an hour away, and they usually have pretty great deals on some of the machines used in the classes they offer for the week.  With this in mind, I test drove several today and decided to go with a HandiQuilter Avante.   While the machine itself will be ready after classes end on Sunday, it will actually take them over a week to ship me a new frame.  I cannot wait!!!  I am already making a mental list of all the "practice quilts" that I can pull out of my UFO bin and use to learn the ins and outs of the new machine.

Now some of you long time readers might be thinking, "Didn't you say that you weren't interested in a longarm? and were so vehement that you could do everything you wanted on your domestic??".  Yep!  That was me, and is me.  I do still think you can do so much on a domestic machine.  The machine itself is not the hindrance, it is the excuses of user.  My excuses have recently started piling up.

The biggest excuse is that I need more time.  I just want to quilt faster, and I am hoping that a longarm will help me do that.  The last time I quilted a bed size quilt, I did a simple all over design (barely more intricate than a stipple).  It took me about 6 days to do it.  I am the slowest quilter out there, but still!   I have at least 2 more bed size quilts waiting for quilting that I have continued to put aside because I don't have 6 days to string together to get them each done.  I even recently had two quilts sent out to a local longarmer because I just knew I would never get them done.

I am trying not to delude myself into thinking that the longarm will make every quilt faster.  I seriously doubt it would have saved me any days on Deb's NY Beauty Circle of Flying Geese quilt.  With all the small details on that mini and its small size, I was probably better off sitting at my Janome.  However, I want to make more bed-sized quilts in the future.  Mini's are great, but they don't really cover your body to keep you warm.  Which leads me to my second excuse....

I am starting to feel the effects of wrestling those big quilts under my domestic.  I can do it, I can!  But I don't always enjoy it, and usually need a massage and certainly some ibuprofen when I finish a quilt.  I am hoping that having the quilt on the frame will help in the sore shoulders department.  Perhaps it will only lead to other ailments (slouchy back, carpal tunnel, who knows).  I will find out soon enough.

So that is my news for the week.  Please don't expect every news break to be so exciting.

Thanks for reading,



  1. Love the look of your block Jen.
    How exciting is your big news? It's going to be a long week waiting. have fun learning how to use your machine-heaps of great You Tube videos on longarm quilting to watch in the meantime. you will love it I'm sure and yes you do quilt most quilts faster than on a domestic machine.

  2. your block looks so intricate a fantastic job you have done you must be thrilled. I am sure you will find a use for all that extra bias you have made. How marvellous to be getting a long arm machine, I am sure it will be much quicker than the janome. Still learning myself, now have at least 14 flimsies I dare not quilt! Enjoy your new toy!

  3. That is fabulous news Jen, you will be whipping through those quilt tops once your longarm is in place :)

  4. You will love your Avante! I got mine for two reasons, sandwiching anything bigger than mini-quilts was a struggle, and wrestling that boa under the Janome's arm was even worse. Happy quilting!

  5. All great news....I just loved the blue dashes on the quilt block...I studied how you did it and realized that it was painter's

  6. Hi Jen, I was at Road to California test driving longarm machines as well. I'm in the market to purchase also. I wish I'd seen you :) Same physical challenges cropping up here. Regarding your block of the month, call me-- I'm further along and can give you some tips on attaching that bias tape, and YES you will use the excess you've made at some point. I remember all the points I had problems with along the way. Email or call soon ok?? Congratulations on your new baby !!

  7. Wow, congratulations! Your machine quilting is always fabulous, so I'm excited to see how it goes with the new long arm!

  8. What a beautiful quilt you have cut out. I'll be back to see your progress. What fun that you will have a long arm machine from the show. I was there yesterday but it didn't occur to me to check out getting a machine they used at the show. What a terrific idea! Let's keep in touch!

  9. The colour wheel is gorgeous- well done for even thinking about making the tape, I just buy it!!!! Oh my gosh! I am so jealous! I can't even begin to think how your amazing quilting skills will transfer to s long arm! Go Jen! Enjoy!!!!!

  10. great news -- if you were closer I'd bring over some charity quilts for you to practice on. One of the ladies in our guild (a transplant from another state) did this some last year for us until she was able to build up her business here.


I LOVE comments, they make my day! I may not always respond, but I DO read them...always.

Have a Super Sparkly Day!