Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Basting the Quilt - Introduction

Once the quilt top is complete, you need to temporarily hold the quilt top, batting and back together while quilting. There are three main methods of basting the quilt:
  • use a spray adhesive such as 505 Spray and Fix 
  • use safety pins
  • use thread to baste by hand or machine
Here I’ve outlined the advantages and any disadvantages of each method:

Spray Basting
  • The temporary adhesive holds the layers together more securely because the adhesive is sprayed across the entire surface
  •  You don’t have to stop to remove pins when quilting!
  • It’s fast!
  • 505 is odorless, acid free, adheres at least 5 years (ask me how I know this) and, when the quilt is washed, the adhesive releases
  • 505 does not place any drag on your needles, nor does it gum up needles or scissors
  • Even though 505 is non-toxic, spray in an area with good ventilation
Pin Basting
  • Pin baste if you object to using a spray or prefer not to expose your quilt to the spray adhesive
  • Interrupting sewing to remove pins also disrupts the learning process for developing smooth free motion stitching
  • Quilt layers are held together only where there are pins so it is easier to get pleats on the back
  • Pin basting is slower, harder on your hands and, if you pin baste on the floor, is a killer for your knees and back
Baste by hand or machine
  • If stitches are not too far apart nor too long, holds layers together better than pin basting
  • Relatively slow, especially if basting by hand
  • Must remove basting stitches unless you use water soluble thread

NOTE:  the quilt back and batting should be approximately 3” larger than the quilt top on all sides.

I personally will never pin baste again and can recommend the 505 spray. I have basted many quilts, ranging from small wall hangings to a queen-size, with success. The only shifting between layers I have experienced was with a lap-sized flannel quilt with wool batting. Because both the fabric and batting were fluffy, the layers were shifting slightly so I machine basted with water soluble thread in the top and bobbin - problem solved!

Ideally, your work surface is in a room other than the one in which you have your sewing machine.  To avoid getting any of the spray adhesive in or around my sewing machine, I baste my quilts on folding tables in my garage and open the garage door for good ventilation.

Next: layering for spray or pin basting.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dinnertime and Mischief

Puppies, like children, are incredibly flexible. I am so envious ... I never realized nor did I sufficiently appreciate how fluid movement was until it became less so! Here is Nickel, sleeping in his soft crate ... head is north, front paws face south, hind legs face the moon!

Can this be comfortable?

Breakfast and dinner are major events in the lives of a golden so they give their undivided, utterly focused attention during meal prep.

 Harry filling their bowls ... any chance he could miss Nickel?

Unbearable waiting for the magic word ... OK!

Benny's tummy is sensitive due to his chemotherapy meds so we cook part of their food and let them lick the pan afterwards. Nickel will lick the pan long after Benny and Frankie give up, with high aspirations of cleaning every molecule out of the pan.

 Hold that pan still



 Nickel, is that my favorite fleece jacket?

 Jacket? What jacket?

I swear it wasn't me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nickel Meets Bodhi

Our dear friends, Jane and Gary, just brought home a new miniature Australian Shepherd puppy! His name is Bodhi. Here he is just 8 weeks old and weighs maybe 15 pounds. Boy is he cute! These photos are from his first weekend at  home.

 Don't you love the pink spot on my nose?

Cute little imp

 This chair is perfect for me

Love my green froggie

A couple weeks later, Nickel gets to meet Bodhi. What happened? Run run run run run run run run sniff run run run run run run run run run run run run sniff run run run run run run run pool splash run run run run run run run run run run run run sniff run run run run run pool splash run run run run run run run run run run run run ... wrestle! Once they figured out wrestling, it was non-stop for an entire afternoon.

My what big teeth you have Nickel

Ears a flyin' 

 Nickel weighs 48 pounds, Bodhi weighs maybe 20 pounds

 I've got you now!

 Where ya goin' ?

Lots of teeth ... no injuries ... exhausted puppies ... peaceful evening

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Manufacturers of Solid Fabrics

This list is undoubtedly incomplete; but, it is handy to know which manufacturers produce one or more lines of solid woven fabrics.

  • Robert Kaufman Fabrics:  Pure Organic (21 colors), Kona Cotton solids (over 200 colors), Ultra Sateen (17 colors), Radiance 55% cotton 45% silk (52 colors), Carolina Chambray (7 colors)
  • Northcott:  ColorWorks Premium Solids (over 100 colors)
  • Moda:  Bella Solids (over 125 colors), Cotton Sateen (12 colors)
  • Westminster/Free Spirit:  Designer Solids (100 colors), Shot Cottons (over 60 colors), Amy Butler Decorator Solids (29 colors)
  • P&B Textiles:  Color Spectrum Solids (84 colors)
  • RJR Fabrics:  Cotton Supreme Solids (126 colors), Robyn Pandolph solids (28 colors)
  • Art Gallery Fabrics:  Pure Elements (24 colors)
  • Galaxy:  Lumiere Cotton Sateens (color gradations in a sateen!)
I have been on a tear lately, collecting solid fabrics. I only get 1/2 yard at a time (unless it's green ... or gray ... or orange) and am building up a collection so I can make several "modern" quilts. I have several projects in mind:

  • a quilt with lots of white ... fresh!
  • a quilt of grays and yellows
  • a quilt of grays, greens and oranges ... maybe charcoal too
  • something with mulberry
  • lots of reds
Do you know of any other manufacturers of solid fabrics? Thanks!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wonderful, amazing news about Benny

Today, Benny had chest radiographs at the Oregon State Veterinary Teaching Hospital. He was so happy to see all his friends there. Frankie and Nickel went too. We wanted to check both Benny's and Frankie's progress; Nickel went along to meet everyone and be admired since he's such a cute not-so-little golden retriever puppy. His "feet off" manners are improving but he still needs a lot of practice.

We are thrilled to report that the nodule in Benny's lung that we saw previously is gone! The mass is either gone entirely or so small as to be undetectable. We are thrilled and so very, very grateful. Of course we will continue with the chemotherapy regimen in hopes that we beat the crap out of that cancer. And we promise to continue to enjoy every minute with our three musketeers!