Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Basting and prepping

(Today's post is a bit late because we're having "Internet connectivity issues." You'd think they would have figured most of this stuff out by now.)

Have you ever taken any hand sewing out with you and worked on it in public? This weekend we went to the ballpark and I took a hexie project with me to stitch on during the game. I really like baseball, but four hours sitting at the park? That's a LOT. I got pretty far along on this project:

I had the rosettes made and joined them up with the white hexies during the game.  As you can see, I worked on it in two pieces because the bigger one just got too big to handle in that tiny seat. People kept making comments (mostly nice comments), and the only real problem I had was that it got all wrinkly and a little dirty because I was crazy enough to take white to a baseball game. I should know better.

In case you ever want to take your sewing somewhere, here is the best tip I ever got: thread a bunch of needles on to a full bobbin, like this:

This way you don't have to try to see to thread a needle and can just pull off a length and the needle is already threaded. This and a pair of tiny scissors and you're all set! You can tape the thread end to the bobbin, but I just wound my thread back on and it stayed just fine. A zip lock bag is a good idea, though.

Today is basting and prepping day because later today and tomorrow I plan to quilt up all the little projects that I have laying around waiting to be quilted. This weekend I cleaned up in the sewing room (I even vacuumed!) and there were more than I thought, so it's time to get those finished up. I don't have a fancy quilting machine, but I do have this:

This was my mother-in-law's machine that I inherited when she passed away last year. She bought it new in 1968. We miss her terribly, but this machine is a fantastic gift that she left for me. This is the best machine I have ever sewn on. Really. It has a perfect stitch and is a joy to use. And 8 inches of throat space! This is a lot of space in comparison with my more modern machines. The only thing that I don't like about it is that it weighs about a thousand pounds. Okay, only 33 pounds. It's all cast iron and not really what I would call "portable." But the great sewing on it more than makes up for that one problem.

This is one of the quilts I'll be finishing up:

(Ironing board shadow in the corner!)
 It's about 45 inches square. To get it ready, I am basting it to the backing and batting. I only pin-baste when I have very small (less than 12 inches square) things to stitch, and I never use basting spray. I don't want glue in my quilt. The pins are. . .well, I just find them a mess to work with. They're hard for me to put in and harder to take out while sewing. I just don't like them, so I hand-baste using a big needle and hand-quilting thread to make big stitches, like this:

I think you can see those. It's a big running stitch made about every 5 or 6 inches across the quilt. The hand-quilting thread is easy to take out and you can sew right over it. Hand basting is easy, but it does take some time. I think it's completely worth it, though.

So, that's what I'm doing today. I have at least 7 projects to prep, so I better get started! Hope you're having fun, either in the sewing room or out in the sunshine!

Linking with Connie at Freemotion by the River and Judy at Patchwork Times again. Come on over and take a look!


Quilt Musings said...

Love those hexies!

On your basting, would you say hand basting takes longer than pin basting or in the end the same? Also, do you layer the quilt and tape it to the floor (like I do with pin basting)? This is intriguing to me, I do not like using pins, spray basting makes me nervous and I just thought this way would take FOREVER so have never tried...

Dora, the Quilter said...

Love your machine! Yes, they are heavy, but those vintage machines just run forever in return for some oil!