Sunshine Quilts

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sneaky Sewing Machine Tricks!

This is a Stack & Whack quilt I've shown here before. I was teaching a S&W class once and I had five or six quilts there to show. I had stressed the importance of making a perfect 1/4" seam and making sure everything lined up so all the points would meet. I noticed my dear friend, Becky, who was just a little more than an acquaintance at the time . . standing at the back of the room talking to someone else and they were looking at this quilt and whispering. So, I asked what was wrong. Becky was very quiet back then and she said nothing. I thought she had a question and didn't want to ask so I continued . . finally, she started laughing and very reluctantly said "your points don't match". Well, thanks a lot Becky! But, as with everything I do that may appear to others to be a mistake, there's a reason why those points don't meet! No, I do make mistakes and I'll usually admit to my mistakes but this one was really not my fault. In order to get a perfect 1/4" seam allowance on my trusty Bernina 1230, I use the No. 0 foot and change the needle position one step over to the right. There are probably easier, better ways to get a 1/4" seam but that's what I've used for years and I'm pretty pleased with it .. til the electricity goes off! That's what happened when I was making Vince's S&W quilt . . sewing along, half the blocks done, the electricity goes off. Shortly thereafter, the electricity comes back on. I didn't realize that when the machine came back on, everything was re-set to default which put the needle in the center position. I sewed and sewed and then when I started to put the blocks together, nothing matched. What the heck? I couldn't figure it out. There's not much difference in the width of the seam allowance with the needle in the center position or the needle one step to the right but when you have eight seams across the width of a block, multiply that little difference times 8 and you get a big difference. OK . . do I rip all this out and start over? This is a quilt to be used by my husband so I just went on and did the best I could . . which wasn't all that good. Fast forward about five years to yesterday. Do you think I remembered that when the electricity goes off, the machine re-sets itself? No! I did not remember and had to rip out a few seams. I'm going to remember that from now til my sewing days are over though! I did get all the blocks done for Katlin's quilt and I have enough of the quarter square triangles to make 20 more blocks (that's 80 QST's) with the stars spinning the opposite direction. Marcie at Patchalot More told me that there are several quilts, including one almost just like the one I'm making, in the Nickel Quilts books so I looked at those last night. I won't have any trouble coming up with ideas of what to do with the other blocks. In fact, I'm thinking I might make another quilt just like Katlin's to give to the wrecker company owner's wife (per my dad's request). Dad was supposed to be finding out her favorite color and so far, he has not. I just don't see how anyone could not love this quilt, but I'm kinda partial to these brights so maybe I'll just wait til Dad gives me her favorite color. Judy L.


  • Power glitches will get you every time...I used to go through that because we have glitches pretty regularly...then I heard about the 37 foot for the new Bernina's and asked the gal at our Bernina shop if she could get one for my 1230 and she said sure. Got the 37 foot, perfect 1/4 seam and don't have to worry about the power any more.

    By Blogger Carol, at 8/11/2006 01:20:00 PM  

  • This would make a great gift - I don't usually make quilts for myself with brights but anyone would love this one.

    By Blogger Mary, at 8/11/2006 01:29:00 PM  

  • I made a quilt like the one in the top picture and my points didn't all match but my daughter got it anyway and I didn't hear any complaints. Nowadays I might rip out or be more careful. Live and learn.

    By Blogger joyce, at 8/11/2006 02:20:00 PM  

  • I don't have power troubles with my sewing machine, but if the power is interrupted to the little TV that's next to my machine -- yow! the next time I turn it on, it automatically sets to channel 2, which is lots of static, at absolutely top volume. Usually puts me through the roof, because there's no way to turn the volume down until after it's on!

    By Blogger floribunda, at 8/11/2006 07:07:00 PM  

  • what a time you have been having-leaky pipes and bad plummers..your poor parents and ripping out seams..good that you could bounce back and use some humor about it all! I would a bright quilt like that...I can not imagine anyone not liking it!

    By Blogger cher, at 8/11/2006 09:17:00 PM  

  • Okay, these things are supposed to come in 3's. You should be done with them and be able to just merrily go along.
    That quilt has such movement, and I like the brights. How are you going to quilt it?

    By Blogger EileenKNY, at 8/12/2006 05:18:00 AM  

  • Judy,
    If you have trouble finding an owner for the other quilt I'll be happy to take it off your hands!!
    As for your 1/4" seam problems, I started using a 1/4" foot just for that reason alone. Now I don't worry about the power going off.
    June (

    By Blogger June in MD, at 8/12/2006 05:29:00 AM  

  • I would love that quilt, I think anyone would, but better safe than sorry. The power lost a whole programed stitch once for me and I almost cried!!

    Now, will you be upset if I told you there was a way to make hafl and quarter square triangles so that ALL of them turn the same way?? Like you end up with 4 that all have the blue on the right!

    By Blogger Judy, at 8/12/2006 01:06:00 PM  

  • I LOVE the bright quilt. The colors are right up my alley and the design........well, it's awesome! Want my address? I'll gladly take the "extra" blocks off your hands! hehe

    By Blogger Ann, at 8/12/2006 07:25:00 PM  

  • Ohhh, I love all the colors in the quilt there - I don't see how someone could not like that one. ;)

    By Blogger ForestJane, at 8/12/2006 11:07:00 PM  

  • Ha! Well at least with your Bernina, the needle goes back to center position. I inherited my mom's New Home and when the power is turned on, the needle goes all the way to the left. I broke quite a few needles before that lesson sank in! LOL
    Now I have a Janome 6600 and when I turn the machine on, my settings are exactly where I left them. :-)

    Very nice Quilts Judy. Love those bright colors!

    Triller's Mum (I don't have a blog, but my cat does)

    By Blogger Triller, at 8/13/2006 07:40:00 AM  

  • Hi Judy, the quilt looks great!
    And I certainly can see how the power going off wouldn't automatically make you think "machine resetting itself"...I know I wouldn't. Fun to have enough leftovers to do another top...bonus!

    By Blogger Finn, at 8/13/2006 08:47:00 AM  

  • What a beautiful brights quilt! And thanks for the tip on the 1/4" seam...I'll have to try that with my Bernina!

    By Blogger Shannon, at 8/17/2006 07:16:00 AM  

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