Friday, 19 September 2014

Handi Quilter Warning

I'm writing to you to tell you of something stupid I did in the hope that other Handi Quilters see it and I can let them know what NOT to do.

I ran out of bobbin. I had cleaned the bobbin cavity and squirted in some oil. I wanted to work it through the bobbin housing a bit so I unthreaded the needle and ran the machine on precision with nothing under it for a few seconds. All fine. The mistake came when I FORGOT to turn the precision off and started to thread the needle.

I had my left hand right next to the needle assembly ready to receive the thread I was feeding through the top hole in the assembly. But I bumped the machine forward and it started the needle going up and down, trapping my first finger of my left hand between the needle assembly and the spring. The machine sensed a needle strike and froze in place, my finger still trapped. I screamed out for help and my daughter and son were in the house. But I wasn't thinking clearly. I told them to turn the machine off, which of course kept my finger trapped. So I screamed at them to turn it back on and I started to press buttons.

Thankfully when I hit the needle up button after a few times the needle let go and my finger was free.
The only damage I got was a chunk out of my finger, a tiny bit of bruising and a very diminished ego. The machine (thank GOD) has no damage.

I read the manual this morning and it clearly says
• Keep fingers away from all moving parts. Special care is required around the machine needle.
• Switch the machine to the symbol “O” position to turn it off when making any adjustments in the needle 
area, such as threading needle, changing needle, threading bobbin, or changing presser foot, and the like.

so it is no fault of the manufacturers. I just had a lapse of concentration.

Just remember, this is a commercial machine and industrial accidents can occur. PAY ATTENTION when using it.

I haven't been afraid of sewing machines since I was a little girl, and I'm not about to start now. But I will be very careful around it from now on!!!

If you know someone who uses a Handi Quilter, or even another type of long arm , please pass this on.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe while sewing.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Time To Quilt

I forgot to show you this quilt.
It was published a few months back in Patchwork and Stitching. Didn't they do an amzing job of staging it for the photo?
It was features on the cover of Patchwork and Stitching Magazine Vol 15 No. 8.
I had a few dramas while making this. The most dramatic was when I had finished the middle applique and then cut it wrong (the sides sloped into a parralelogram) and I had to re do it.

I love the way it turned out though and it was an excellent way to use up the pieces of floral I had hanging around.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


I've started writing a Newsletter for my quilting customers. I'll repeat it here (apart from the giraffe photo which I shared in the last blog update) with colour photos.
After Piece Newsletter
September 2014
Hello there, dear quilting friends.
I thought it might be a nice idea for me to send you a letter with news about what I have been doing and what is coming up. You are receiving this letter because you have expressed interest in my quilting service or you have already had a quilt sewn together by me.
Firstly, thank you to all my lovely customers who have placed their quilts in my hands to work with. I enjoy seeing all the different quilt tops that pass through my little studio.
Most of you know by now that I have upgraded my smaller Husqvanna Viking set up for a larger and computer driven set up. This change over took a few months to sort out, but has been well worth the wait. Those customers that have already had a top quilted using the QBOT system have all agreed that the new patterns are lovely. The QBOT works so well as an edge to edge, over all quilting system. However I have also been experimenting with my own quilts to do custom finishes.
I submitted one of these custom finishes, which had QBOT block patterns combined with my own free motion quilting into the Penrith show. The quilt received a second place ribbon in the commercially quilted class, which I was very pleased about as I had no idea of the standard of entries before I took the plunge. Now that I’ve seen the first place quilt, I’m sure I can top it for next year. J

Just after I upgraded to the larger, more advanced set up I had some professional Development sessions with Master Quilter Michele Turner of Pinetree Cottage Quilting. Michele has won many awards and been quilting for 10 years, though she is now winding down her quilting operations while she studies. I learned a lot from Michele. She built upon my knowledge with lots of small detail type hints which have helped to polish the way I work.
Below is a photo of the work I did for Caroline Wilkinson on her baby quilt. The filling stitching around the applique is highly influenced by Michele’s teachings. Carolyn was very pleased with the work I did for her and said I could quote her as saying the quilting had taken her patchwork to a new level. That feels like very high praise indeed, and exactly what I aim to do for you and your quilts.

Here is my newest pattern to be published. It's in this month’s edition of Patchwork and Stitching Magazine. These placemats are foundation pieced and the coasters were made with scraps.

September Quilty tip.
I can’t claim to have thought of this little gem. I saw it on the back of a quilt at the Springwood quilting show (sorry I can’t remember which one).
Use vintage doilies as labels for the back of your quilt. I picked up an assortment for a good price on Gumtree. Then I used an iron erasable pen to write my message and back stitched onto the doily. It’s easy then to slip stitch it to the back of the quilt.

And yes … it took me 14 years to complete this particular quilt (it’s the one I entered into the Penrith show). I made the quilt top in 2000 with help from a quilting show on Foxtel. It was one of my first quilts and I was so proud of what I had made I was hesitant to quilt it for fear of wrecking it. For the show I custom quilted it using QBOT block patterns in the middle blocks, in the ditch and scallops for the house and free motion feathers in the border. 
Thanks for reading