I am loving my new sewing machine!

I was not 100% sure I would love my new sewing machine, but I have to confess that I really do like it. I am grateful that my husband and boys listened to my complaints and went out and bought me something that I would use and enjoy.

It is not a fancy machine, but it is one that we will get a lot of mileage together. So far in the past couple of weeks it has brought me a lot of joy and brought nothing but smiles to my face when I use it. Happiness!

Okay I will admit that today I discovered something that I do not like about it, but it is a small something. It does not have a “bobbin warning light” to alert me when the bobbin thread is low. This is not a big deal for most things because the bobbin is a drop in bobbin and the cover plate is clear so you can see the bobbin from the top. However, if you are sewing over the top of it and you are sewing something with a really long seam, the bobbin is covered and you can forget that you were low on bobbin thread. There lies the problem. I was sewing a long seam on a quilt today and I “thought” I would have enough thread left on the bobbin to finish the long run of the seam. However, that was not the case. It ran out about 1/3 of the way across. It did not alert me and I was not paying attention so I sewed all the way across in spite of the fact that it was no longer using any bobbin thread. Imagine my surprise when I did not have a bobbin thread to cut at the other end. Not impressed!!! Needless to say that I had to try again on that seam.

I do have to say in its defense, winding bobbins and loading them in the machine is far easier and faster than on my old Pfaff ever dreamed of being. The only thing that I do not like is that I appear to have to rethread the machine to reload a bobbin. Every single time. They use the same initial thread tracking route so I do not see any way around that.

It is that time of year again…Quilting Bee crunch time!

I am still the quilting specialist in the Memorial Springs Ward so that means that is super duper crunch time for me because we have not gotten anything done since the last Quilting Bee. At least I have a date for this years event – February 14th. Unfortunately, I found out that there are not a lot of sewers in the ward after the last ward split. That puts a lot of work on me the lowly quilting specialist. I have spent the past week making quilt kits for people to put together and praying that we have at least a handful of people that are willing to take them and put them together on short notice.

My sewing area looks like this…piles of stuff! This is a stake of quilt squares for a baby quilt on top of the first project I made on my new sewing machine. It is not quite finished as of yet. I will finish it up soon, but I need some measurements for my niece, Amelia. I made her some bloomers and I had a friend’s little girl try them on and they were a tad snug for her so I figured I better be safe and get some measurements to be safe. If the bloomers fit as they are, then I will just replace the elastic in them for some that is a bit more stretchy and be done.

Here is another quilt in the making. It is another baby quilt. I am afraid that is mostly what our ward will be submitting this year because that is what “time” and our scrap/fabric stash allows for. Fortunately, we have a fabric/scrap stash to pull from that was remaining from last year so no budget money has to go for the actual construction of the quilt tops. That is a bonus. We still have quilt batting left from last year as well. Next year will be another story on the batting as we will likely use most of (if not all of) the batting we have left this year. I will have to purchase all the backing for the quilts that are made and that will blow through most of (if not all of) the quilting budget allotted by the ward.

I have piles and piles of scraps of various sizes, shapes, quantities, colors, and patterns to draw from. We had a large box and huge tub of fabric to use up. All of the fabric was donated so I have used as much of it as possible. Most of our quilts will be scrappy quilts but I am using what I can and what we have to work with.

Here is the pile of the quilt tops that I have personally put together for the Quilting Bee. These are the ones that are pressed and ready to be completed. That is 1 TWIN and 2 BABY sized quilts so far. All that needs to be done with this is to purchase the backing then layer the backing and batting. These can then be quilted or tied. Once they are “tied” they can be bound and they will be 100% complete.

Here are 2 more quilts that I have personally made for the Quilting Bee. These 2 still need to be pressed and have their edges squared up. Once that is done I can buy the backing, layer with the backing, and batting. They can then be quilted or tied and then bound. They will then be 100% completed.

Here are the 2 remaining quilt kits that I cut to hand out. I have since gotten rid of one of these as of today. I am so happy that I was able to get rid of most of them and did not have to put them all together myself. I made 15 quilt kits in all. I only have 1 left. I have one person that said she would take that one if no one else would.

As you can imagine, cutting 15 quilt kits yields a lot of fabric scraps and ultimately a lot of garbage. I have filled an entire garbage bag with the left over, mostly unusable scraps. So far in the past 2 weeks I have cut 22 quilts and that is the garbage that is left over from it.

After all of this, I am grateful for my mother, Kathy Hellewell, and the skills that she has taught me over the years. Without her I would not be able to turn out all of this in a short amount of time. I am grateful that she passed that to us growing up even if we did not always willingly pay attention or even act like we wanted to learn. We really were paying attention in our own little way. Thanks mom!

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