Layering Kit

I have my Simply Sixteen Mid-arm, which I love, which also means that I need to baste my quilting layers together.  I love my Kwik Clip for pinning, but I never could find it when I needed it so I spent as long looking for it as I did pinning my layers together.  I also have a couple of different spots where I layer my quilts, one requiring taping my layers, and the other is thin enough to hold my layers using binder clips.  Somehow, though, my clips would vanish, so i would go in search of them.  No more!

I now have made a layering kit!  It is terrific, because now that I have a dedicated container and spot in my sewing room, I no longer lose my supplies.  Yay!

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As you can see, I bought some variable sized clamps (which hubby is not allowed to touch), and have my roll of painters tape, my box of safety pins, and my Kwik Clip.  I always keep my pins open so that when I’m basting, I don’t need to waste time opening them.   Now when I need to baste a quilt,  everything is at my fingertips.

A New Beginning-Again

Yup, another decision to actually work on my blog.  And to keep up with it, hopefully!

My passion is quilting.  I’ve been quilting for almost 4 decades, and this summer I finally purchased a “long arm” quilting machine.  Long arm is in quotes because technically I bought a mid-arm, but who am I to quibble?  I bought the Handi-Quilter Simply Sixteen with the 16 inch throat and the Little Foot frame.

Simply Sixteen

My new baby!

 

As you can see, I’m not a photgrapher.  People have asked me why I chose this machine, and here’s why:

  1.  Price Tag.  This machine is the most affordable one out there that comes in a frame…that I found.  Originally I was looking for a sit down machine, but decided that I would still have to manipulate lots of fabric even though it would have been easier than with my domestic machine.
  2.  Foot Print.  The frame is five feet wide, and fits in my sewing space.  I don’t have space available yet for a 12 foot frame!  I will in a couple of years when my grandson starts school (I babysit6 him full time).
  3. Versatile.  I can quilt everything from a wall quilt to a king sized quilt on this baby.  Do you remember the pvc hand quilting frames from years ago?  Well, this is that frame on steroids.  Yes, you have to layer and baste your quilt first (I pin baste), and I don’t love that job, but if I had bought a sit-down machine, I still would have had to baste my quilts.
  4.  Versatile.  Yup, again.  I can start on a quilt, get bored with it, load another one on, and then go back to my original quilt.  Can’t do that with a traditional frame!
  5. Versatile.  See that quilt in the photo?  I will talk about that later, but with this set up, I can do all of my quilting with thread color A, then change to color B, and do all of that.  Again, impossible on a traditional long arm frame.
  6. Stitch Regulator.  I probably should have put this nearer to the top.  You can buy an add-on stitch regulator for the sit-down machine, but then you’ve paid more for the whole set up than you would with this set up.  The regulator is built in, and to use it, you just touch a button on the touch screen.
  7. Upgradable.  Is that a word?  If someday I win the lottery (which I’ll need to start playing), I can upgrade this machine so it is completely computerized.  Hey, a girl can dream.
  8. In Wisconsin, we have a shop that sells long-arms, called The Quilting Connection.  They have two shops, on in Elkhorn, and the other in New London.  Let me tell you, service and knowledge is everything!  I had looked at a Juki mid-arm at a shop, and asked the sales girl some questions.  She didn’t know the answers and had to get back to me.  Not very confidence inspiring!  Sue and Angie from The Quilting Connection know these machines inside to out, backwards and forward and tricks to boot!  They don’t sell fabric or tons of notions.  They sell machines.  They teach on the machines, and will deliver and set the machine up for you.  They are available via phone, text and email for those ‘help’ moments. There was an issue that I had with the ruler quilting inset, and they contacted Handi-Quilter, and a replacement was sent to me asap.
  9. Hercules.  Really, I didn’t know this until after I bought the machine, but the whole set up is strong, secure and reassuring!  There is nothing flimsy about the machine or the frame.  I can lean on the frame and it doesn’t wiggle one little bit.  I needed to have hubby raise it for me, and the tools provided worked like they should, he raised the frame, and it all stayed level.  I know!  They did it right!
  10. Information.  There are tons of videos on how to use and troubleshoot everything on You Tube, and the Handi-Quilter website offers scads of information and help.

Well, in a nutshell, that is why I bought my Simply Sixteen.  I mentioned that I looked at a Juki sit-down.  I had also looked at the Janome sit-down machine at a quilt show.  The lady was determined to impress me with the upgraded version, which I had said I wasn’t interested in, and spent 5 minutes trying to get it to make one stitch. Really?  ugh!

In my next post, I will talk about how I am learning how to actually quilt.  Oh boy, is there a learning curve!

 

 

Footprint

Well, I’m going to just have to accept that I am a sporadic blogger.  Try though I may, I never seem to get here to post all of the cool things I’m making.

However, here is a print that I made for my Son-in-law’s birthday.  The footprint is Graces, and is the actual size.  We printed her foot on a canvas, then I scanned it and entered it in Photoshop to manipulate it.  Love the texture the canvas brought to the print!  The background is a photo of one of his fields.  I applied a filter and reduced the opacity so that it wouldn’t overpower the tractor.  At the top of the layout, I placed a photo of Grace with her painted foot, and 3 photos of her enjoying farm life.

The layout, which is 8×8 inches, is going in a Scrapbook Page Holder that I got from Michael’s.  I just love this easel type holder that sits on a counter or bookshelf.  It is not only great for layouts, but for recipes!  I’m also thinking of having one as a calendar.Image

Market Bag

 

I have to admit, I do love containers of all kinds…plastic, woven, fabric~if I can put stuff in it, I love it!  I have made a lot of tote bags, mostly quilted, but I wanted to make one from yarn.  I tried a couple of crochet patterns that I found on Pinterest, but ended up frogging 4 different ones before finding one that I loved-mostly.

This is the pattern that inspired me.  I made my first bag almost exactly like the pattern, except I wanted crocheted short handles, so I altered the pattern.  Long straps try my patience when I’m trying to grab the bag and the handle is twisted under this, that or the other-I usually end up dumping the bag trying to grab the handles!  So, using Cynthia’s pattern as a start, I created this bag:

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I used 2 skeins of cotton “dishcloth” yarn-this was Peaches and Cream Brand, and started at the bottom.  This is a wonderful market bag with lots of stretch!

I used Size 8 (16″) circular needles, Size 13 (16″) circular needles, and a G Crochet hook.  I have to admit that I’m not the world’s best crocheter, and that I tend to “wing it” to make it work.  My joins at the top are not stellar, so I added a flower to cover up that part. (That’s our little secret.)

To make this bag:

Using smaller knitting needles, cast on 88 stitches.

Place Marker at beginning of all rounds, and move up as you go.  Join, being careful to not twist stitches.

Knit 2 rounds.

Change to larger needles, knitting that round.

Mesh Pattern:  round 1:  Knit

round 2: * Knit 2 together, yarn over*  repeat until end of round

Knit these two rounds until bag measures about 11″.

Next round:  Knit this round, while switching back to the smaller needle.  (Be careful that your stitches don’t fall off of the smaller needles as you continue to knit onto the other end…this happened more than once, then I wrapped a rubber band around the end of the smaller needle to keep those stitches in place.)

On smaller needles, knit another round.

Next round:  We’re going to switch to crochet now…slip the first stitch from the needle onto your hook.Image

Now slide the next stitch onto your hook and off of your needle.  Using your working yarn, Imagepull a loop through both loops on your hook.

Continue moving one stitch at a time from your needle to your hook, and slip stitching until you’ve gone all the way around the bag and have one loop left on your hook.

Using whichever method you like best, working in spiral or rounds, single crochet 2 rows.

Now, lay your bag flat on a table, and find the center stitches  on the top layer and the bottom layer. 

Now, place markers 7 stitches on either side of the two center stitches, leaving 14 stitches between the makers for your handles.

For the next round, SC in each stitch until you get to the first marker.  Chain 20.  Single crochet in stitch after the second maker, and in each stitch until you get to the third marker.  Chain 20, and Single crochet in the stitch after the 4th marker, and continue until the end of the round.

For the next two rounds, SC in each stitch, following up the (chain) handles .  Fasten off.

For the bottom, attach your working yarn in the corner, and work a slip stitch into the front and back cast-on stitches of the initial round, and continue until the bottom is sealed.  Finish off.

For the flower, I used the same yarn and Lucy’s flower pattern, and attached it to where my rounds met.

I hope this pattern makes sense to you.  I love this bag and hope that you will too!

 

 

Hello!

And welcome to The Quilted Pixel.  My goal is to share ideas for crafting, cooking and the home that are fun, beautiful, and economical.  I promise to stay away from any and all political discussions on this blog, and to keep all my posts upbeat and happy!  I am an avid quilter, paper scrapbooker, digital scrapbooker, knitter, crocheter, cook, baker, reader and Nana.  Throughout my posts, you will be introduced to my hubby of 35 years, Doug, Grace, our granddaughter, and Isabella, our toy poodle.  I will  officially begin this blog tomorrow, with a hybrid project that I just finished, so be sure to come back!