Friday, May 7, 2010

Tools of my craft....

Most people that know me, knows I like quilts. I like to look at quilts, I like to watch shows about quilting, and I even manage to make a few quilts as I go along. I have liked quilts as long as I can remember...I remember playing in my moms quilt pieces before I even started school. If she watched TV, a lot of the time she pieced quilts while she watched.
Now we have so many more tools....we have the the rulers such as those pictures above on my cutting mats. They are acrylic and probably at least an eighth inch thick. Using those with the rotary cutter pictured with the scissors below makes quick work of what used to would have been a time consuming job. I have various sizes of mats, rulers, and rotary cutters. Pictured below is the 60mm rotary cutter. With it I will sometimes cut six layers of fabrics at the same time.
I just had to throw in a few of the empty spools...I wish I had all the ones I have ever emptied...and really, really wish I had a lot of the old wooden spools.
The above is the drawer to the right of my sewing machine...yes, we do use gloves in quilting. My fingers just tend to slip on the fabric when free-motion quilting, but if I put on gloves with rubberized tips, the fabric does not slip at all. That little plastic box is safety pins that I remove as I quilt....and there is the painter's tape...sometimes I use it to help me get an accurate quarter-inch seam.
And on the left side this is one of the drawers...just some of my thread. I don't have a lot more than this, but there are quilters that really have thread stashes also. Most of this pictured here is Essential thread from Connecting Threads....a place that sells quilting supplies. It is their own brand and is cheaper than a lot of other threads. I have heard a few people complain that it is the same as another brand of thread, but I totally disagree with them. I have been sewing with the brand they swear it is, and had to switch to this because the other brand keeps shredding and breaking.
And this is my much loved Juki 98Q! I had a Pfaff which I let Sarah take home, and I have a Husqvarna Viking machine and I love them both, but for quilting give me this straight stitch only machine. I seen one at a quilt show a few years ago, but didn't think much about it. I did not sew on it at all. There came a time when I wanted to machine quilt a baby quilt.

I actually did machine quilt two or three baby quilts, one full-sized quilt and also did a couple of the rag quilts...each time swearing I would never attempt it again. yet I always went back and tried. Some people can do fine on a regular sewing machine...but the area to the right side of the needle is not very wide and it is really a job to manage all the bulk of a quilt under it.

I am not sure what got me started looking at the Juki sewing has almost double the room to the right of the needle. I kept looking but there was no place near to test-drive one. Then I joined a Juki group on yahoo and read and read and read all the posts about them. Though there were troubles of course, but 99% of the time it was operator error. I decided to take the plunge, and bought one without ever sewing on it. I got a real good deal from a dealer on eBay....and it has made all the difference.

I sound like I one of their dealers, but I am not. I am just one happy customer. A few people have troubles and say theirs won't sew this or that thread, but so far mine is happy with any thread, except the old standby of JP Coats. And I can do regular sewing with it...just not free-motion quilting. I have enough fabric to keep me busy the rest of my life, if things ever settle down till I can concentrate on quilting.

Tomorrow is the big day...we move my older daughter's stuff home. I spent the day with her yesterday and brought home a load of stuff. She will have a couple days here before she heads to Georgia for her training. So my blogging will for sure be just a bit here and there for the next few days. I may get pictures loaded for my other blog...but this one will probably fall by the wayside for a bit.