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Digest for Thursday October 7, 1999

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Hi Everyone

Sorry for the delay in Kaffee-Klatsch.  We had our internet line go on Thursday & didn't get a new line put in till this morning.  I'll have everything cought up by Monday.  Hope you are all having a good weekend


Sue T - List Mom
From: "Susabelle"  
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 06:02:10 +0000
Subject: Orphaned UFO's

I wasn't paying attention last week to the messages about where to 
send orphaned UFO's to be finished.  I have a project that I started 
that I cannot finish, and would just as soon donate the remains to an 
organization that would want to use them.  If anyone can help, please 
email me   Thanks.

Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 07:54:51 -0400
From: Betty Ann  
Subject: Reply to Joanna

Joanna:  We all get bogged down sometimes when projects just don't seem
to go together!  It sounds like you may be having some problems with
bias edges or work that is not on grain.  You did not say whether you
cut with rotary cutter or scissors but same rules apply.  There is some
good information on subject in ROTARY MAGIC by Nancy Johnson-Srebro (no
endorsement, etc.) or look at some basic quilting books in your library.
Do you have a local quilt shop or guild where you can discuss problem
with some other quilters?  Most quilters are very willing to help solve
problems without being overbearing--that is the fun of getting
together!  Don't give up--just try another approach.    Regarding double
wedding ring pattern--I took a class with Betty Boyink two years ago and
she has plastic templates in a kit for sale.  I liked her technique as
she uses strip piecing method for arcs so blocks go together very easy.
She also has a neat book on double wedding ring patterns. I have not
seen her book in catalogs but I will keep looking. Her adress is Betty
Boyink Publishing, 818 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven, Mich 49417 (as taken
from template packet).  I also liked the idea of keeping the journal,
complete with pictures, of finished projects because I don't think I am
getting enough done and my closets are filled with project boxes.  (My
friends say I am an overachiever and are amazed at what I do but I see
those project boxes!)  Thanks, Sue, for making KK available to us again.
I live in rural  (after DH transferred from 23 years with company
located 25 miles north of NY City) and love reading postings at midnight
to 3:00 a.m. I've picked up some great tips from KK, and feel like I am
talking with "friends".   Betty Ann in colorful, brisk, fall weather
From: "Evelyn  
Subject: Thanks for suggestions!
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 07:18:19 -0400

Good Morning from a COLD  & CHILLY  !  I am back here to give my
thanks for all the suggestions on KK, and the eMail letters, about my
request for ideas to make a straight border on the Wedding Ring quilt--that
I am now STRUGGLING with!!
    My printer was out of ink until last nite, now that it is replenished, I
am going back over my eMail, and copy all the ideas sent to me.  If any of
you wonderful quilters have more ideas, I will add them to my collection.
    Just wanted to add that it makes me feel so good, to know, that I am not
the only person owing more than one sewing machine!  My old stand-by is a
1952 White that is like me--starting to show its age!  Several years ago I
purchased a White serger, and I have a Sears Sensor-Sew that drives me up
the wall!!  It does scads of fancy stitches, but forget straight sewing on
it.  Just this summer I went to a local yard sale and found, for
$5.00(believe it or not),a 1958  New Home portable. I doubt if this machine
was used very much.  It sews like a dream, straight & zig-zag!.  Only
objection to it, it weighs a ton!!  GRIN
    I have a Log Cabin quilt in the frame, if I would stay off the PC, I
would get more quilting done!  And, am making full size  Teddy Bear & Bear
Paw quilt top. Bear Paw patches are the border.  Also have a Flower Garden,
and Court House Steps tops to be quilted!  Maybe by Spring some of these
will be finished.
    Thanks again!  Evelyn
From:  Cathy 
Subject: Quilt Shows
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 05:58:48 -0600


I have made plans to go to Houston for the International Quilt Festival in
a couple of weeks.  I am very excited.  I have never been to anything like
this before.  I was wondering if any of you have been to the Paducah show
and the Houston show.  Can you tell me what the difference is?  Is one
larger than the other or more prestigious? I would appreciate any

Thanks!  Cathy  
From: Deequilts 
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 08:12:36 EDT
Subject: T-Shirt Quilts

I have made a few t-shirt quilts.  My first was a tie-died, shark in 
sunglasses  t-shirt my son wore when he was 3, says "Tall, Shark, and 
Handsome." He still has it on his wall. I first fused it to interfacing to 
stabilize the fabric.  Learned the hard way, that you have to block the print 
before fusing.  The shark is crooked, but he has more character that way.  
Now, when I fuse a t-shirt top, I use a gridded ironing board and fuse with 
the t-shirt on top so I can make sure it is straight.
From: "gropp " 
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 08:30:22 -0400

Went to my Free class on Tues.  It was great fun!  When I arrived the
"ladies" were all laughing about how much our FREE class cost...$22.50 for
material, all washed, pressed and cut!  The  ladies were all of the next
generation +(which I love to be around)and it gave me pause to realise the
under 40 is missing out, except for me cause I am a misfit in this
era...Anyways our Mystery Wallhanging is a Lazy Girl Design  #214  STAR
PATCH PAWS !!  We all had Red, Blue and Yellow-Tan with a Cream background,
there are prints in all the colors..If I were to name the paws part I would
have been inclined to call it a Saw Blade!!  It was great fun and my
instructor Hollie from Sally's Fabrics in Hornell NY starts out telling us
she did not follow the directions(cause she never does), and tells us we
are to put 5 blocks by 5 blocks together for each quarter of it, I have two
done and figure I can finish it in another hour, then the Quilting begins,
and then you think shall I keep it?  It would make a great wedding gift!!! 
Oh and to describe the design:  You have four paws areas and a star(of a
sort) in the center with a center in it!!!  Very neat!!!The ladies at the
end invited me to there guild!!!  My instuctor says to never use ANY sort
of thread but NATURAL, cause it is the strongest and not weakened by the
dyes....Anyone have a comment to that?  VAL
From: Quilt97 
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:14:28 EDT
Subject: Re: raw cotton

To the lady who requested raw cotton:  I would be happy to send you some 
cotton bolls . . . next summer.  The cotton crops here in   have 
all been harvested.  Hurricane Bret delayed nearly half of that, but the 
fields are empty now.
From: AEM 
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:36:28 EDT
Subject: long arm quilting machines

To Sheila, who was asking about  buying a quilting machine:
A friend of mine bought a brand-new quilting machine a couple of years back 
that was only a fraction of the cost of the Grammil... machines. The man who 
sold it to her "made" it himself with a commercial sewing machine and he 
built the "stand" it worked on.  It was just like the big-dollar machines we 
saw at Paducah and in the magazines, just not mass-manufactured, thus cutting 
the overhead out of the price.  If you'd like me to see what I can find out 
for you, e-mail me directly.  Meanwhile, I'll e-mail her to see what she can 
tell me.  I know she has quilted oodles of quilts on it, and been extremely 
happy with it.  
Amy  , where the mornings are cool, and afternoons are still pretty warm!
From: AEM 
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 10:03:44 EDT
Subject: Encouragement

To JoAnna:
Boy your posting really brought back memories!  I have always prided myself 
on the fact that I am a pretty fast learner, and that I can do most needle 
crafts fairly well.  I had been quilting a couple of years, already finished 
a couple of quilts, so I really didn't think of myself as a beginner anymore. 
 I took a quilt that I had been working on to our local quilt shop to find a 
template for the border (I had already hand quilted the center part) and the 
shop owner, who's opinion I then valued, proceded to point out every corner 
that wasn't perfect, and when she looked at the border I had around the quilt 
that had been pieced because of the long strips, she started saying something 
to me that started off with, "When you make this quilt for real...."  I was 
I was proud of the work that I had done, and, imperfections and all, its a 
very pretty quilt.  I got so discouraged, that I never finished that quilt.  
But, the moral of the story is, my family loves it.  Even unfinished, its got 
cat hair, blood from kids boo-boos, tears, snot from runny noses, and who 
knows what else.  Ther important stuff is STILL in that imperfect quilt.
And thanks.  I hadn't thought about that thing for a while.  I think I'll 
have to drag it out and finish it.  Who knows, maybe the border will be 
Don't give up quilting for a few crooked blocks!!!
Love from  , Amy
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 17:57:13 -0400
From: "Gary  
Subject: Hang in there JoAnna!

I am really enjoying reading all of the interesting info and chatter
here!  I can tell there are a lot of enthusiastic folks out there who
love the art of quilting.  

To JoAnna:  stick with it!  Are you rotary cutting your pieces?  Are you
using a 1/4" foot on a machine?  Are you drafting your own templates and
marking seam allowances?  Are you pinning so all intersections and
corners meet?  Are you watching your grain lines when you cut?

I teach a beginners "heirloom quilting" class.  Which means down to the
basics.  I strongly reccomend taking a beginners class where you do
everything manually, then progress to rotary cutting, fancy rulers and
using that 1/4" foot for the machine.

In my class, as the beginners class I took 10+ years ago, we draft our
blocks on graph paper, cut templates, draw them out on the back side of
the fabric, mark seam allowances, Pin, pin, pin..........sew right on
that seam line, not a stitch over the intersection point.  Press, press,
press.........as you go.  match up those points with pins, thin silk
pins work best, observe grain lines when tracing your templates (use a
sheet of sand paper underneath fabric to keep it from shifting when
drawing with a sharp pencil), add the 1/4" seam allowance with a quarter
inch ruler, and cut them out with sharp fabric sissors.  If you want to
sew the seams on the machine, 15 stitches to the inch, be sure to sew
along the seam line marked and stop at the intersection points.  You
will make beautiful blocks, perfectly straight, and gorgeous!!  It's

Once you gain a familiarity with this "old timey" way, you can progress
to more modern techniques with a lot more confidence.  

Hang in there, and remember great-grandmother had no rules to go by, her
quilts are not perfect, but they brought her joy to make them, and joy
to those who used them and great joy to those who inherited them.  

Happy Quilting - JAY
From:  Clara 
Subject: encouragement
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 10:15:28 -0700

Look forward to the postings everyday.  Have  been quilting for about 10 years and love it, do more now that I am retired.  But still have to do the everyday things like cook, clean, groceryshop etc.

To JoAnna:  Have you taken a class, to me there is nothing like getting personal instruction.  Also how about strip piecing, I love it.  Have you tried foundation piecing I have even tried some of the bigger blocks and they come out great.  Don't get discouraged, some of it just comes with practice, practice, practice.  Also are you machine piecing or hand piecing, makes a difference!

You also have to make sure you are getting your 1/4 inch seam allowance and pressing can also distort you blocks if you are not pressing right.

Good Luck!  If you cannot take a class, there are many helpful books out there, if you are interested in some hints or tips e-mail me.

From:  Sally 
Subject: Technique troubles
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 10:53:45 +0100

Hi JoAnna

Trouble is, you won't get better in 20 years if you don't know what it is you are doing wrong.  For a start are you using templates and scissors or rotary cutting?  Have you looked around for any classes or bought any good books?  Give us a clue what's going on and with all the expertise on this list I am sure we will be able to help!!

Stick with it.  Once you get it right you'll wonder how you ever did it wrong!


From: Susan 
Subject: Cutting
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 16:55:06 -0700

    Are you using a rotary cutter?  If so, I do not use the rotary ruler to measure the strips.  What I do is: fold the fabric in half matching the selvedge edges (not the cut edges), and then in half again matching the selvedges to the folded side.  I then line up the folded edge along a yellow line going across the board.  I always cut from left to right.  (I am right handed.)  I lay the rotary ruler across the fabric for the first cut lining the ruler up with the mat board lines.  I never use a ruler to measure with, but the mat board.  The ruler can (and does) shift a lot, the mat board never moves!  Then cut!  Turn the strips sideways and follow the same procedure for the squares and rectangles.  Usually, lopsided squares are cut from fabric that is not folded accurately before being cut!
    For triangles I use the omnigrid triangle rulers.  There is a 1/2 square and a 1/4 square ruler that gives really accurate cuts.  Just be careful not to let the triangle rulers slip as you cut.  Lots of downward pressure on the hand holding the ruler.
    It is not how long you have been quilting that counts but how many quilts you have cut out.  If you are having trouble, buy a couple of yards of muslin and just cut it up into 1" squares.  By the end, you should get the hang of it.  It only matters if you are unhappy with the outcome!  Good luck!
From: "Barbara  
Subject: Singers
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 10:07:20 -0700

I have been lurking in the background enjoying all the post.
Had to tell you of my experience with Singers.I have a little White machine
that has a few different stitches and that I use for buttonholes and such
 BUT ) I collect old Singers and a few others. they are the best. I use my
FW 221K for sewing and then have my 301A set on another table for all my
machine quilting. Have a darning foot on it and you cannot beat it. The only
time I had trouble was when I forgot to clean out the bottom. No skipping,
breaking of thread , just nice even stitches. I have not used any of my
others for machine quilting yet, but plan on trying them all out.
NOW BEFORE ANYONE GETS MAD AT ME,  I KNOW the  new computer machines are
excellent and have heard all about how great and how wonderful they will
sew. I have seen how they work and I have thought about one, but I  don't do
much fancy type sewing so could never  justify spending the money and I know
you will say that I am missing out big time and I probably am. ( I spend my
extra on FABRIC )
But just wanted to let you know- Please don't forget the older machines
!!!! They don't have all the extra do dads on them, but for quilting they
are hard to beat for straight stitching and machine quilting and besides the
prices are great !!!!!!! The other thing that I love about them is that I
can repair most any thing that goes wrong.  I have had to go through all of
them when I have purchased them as they have usually been stored for awhile.
You just have to clean them up and oil like crazy. It is a great feeling to
get a machine up and running and of course looking nice. I am like a kid
with a new toy. My goal is to make a quilt with each of my machines. We all
have different preferences and I do enjoy hearing about what all the new
ones can do.
I have a small web site that I am trying to set up. You are welcome to see
part of my collection and quilts that Prairie Piecers Quilt Guild has done.
I have met so many wonderful ladies out there that are willing to share
their knowledge with others. I feel that I have gained friends and have been
able to travel all over the world. What a blessing !
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 14:08:34 -0400
Subject: Old Singers
From:  Judith 

I haven't seen anyone else mention an old Singer like mine, a model 201-2
manufactured in 1948.  It is a wonderful machine for all of my quilting
projects.  I look at the newer machines with their little "throat" areas and
wonder how I could wrestle my quilts through such a tiny space ... my
machine's throat measures almost 8.5 inches.  I do mostly straight-line or
free motion quilting on this old faithful that I have named Cecile Faye in
honor of my grandmothers.

Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 14:03:57 -0400
Subject: Aching Hands and Perfection in Quilting
From: "Judith 

Good afternoon from   where it is delightfully cool and perfect "working
in the yard" weather.  But, I have to read KK first ..   My hands are "worn
out" and I do machine quilting only.  I have found that quilter's gloves
(100% cotton knit gloves with rubbery "bumps" on bottom surface) spare my
hands when I am machine quilting.  When you wear these gloves you don't hold
the fabric with your fingers clenched, you merely rest your hands on top of
the quilt's layers and gently push with flattened out hands.  I also use
ergonomic scissors made by Fiskars for clipping threads.  No affilitation
with either company, just someone who is grateful that these things have
been invented ...
As far as "perfection" is concerned re cutting squares, etc., I have found
that cutting unlaundered fabric goes more easily than cutting prewashed
fabrics.  So, if you prewash, perhaps you should starch the fabric to give
it more body before cutting.  I have also found that those little "bumpers"
you put on the bottom of acrylic rulers help grip the fabric.  And I have
had to learn to cut more slowly.  At first I used to zip through fabric
layers as though I was slicing a pizza and my "speed" sometimes caused the
acrylic ruler to wiggle just enough to give me whopperjawed sides to my
strips of fabric.  One of those "Haste Makes Waste" moments, I guess.   My
husband is a woodworker and he says that working with fabric would drive him
nuts ... the stretchiness and "give" of fabric makes quilting seem like
torture to a man who is comfortable with tiny pieces of wood.   Well, it is
still a lovely day to play in the yard tidying things up before the nasty
weather arrives, so I'd better get to it ..

From: scooterc 
Subject: quilting trouble
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 14:44:35 -0400

JoAnna, I know exactly what you mean!  I've been quilting for awhile and I'm still shocked at how sloppy my blocks look.  I measure carefully, sew carefully and still end up tugging things to make them fit.  It is very frustrating.  Once the whole quilt is together, though, the little discrepencies sort of fade.  Especially if it's a busy quilt.  It's funny that you wrote that today-just last night I was despairing over my son's Jack-O-Lantern quilt.  I kept adding things to it and sure enough, now there's so much to look at only the dedicated will spot the horrendous piecing.
    By the way, I used the Sept./Oct. issue of Fons and Porter's magazine for the Halloween quilt, which I am pleased with for all my sloppiness in putting it together and also for a spider web string-pieced quilt.  After years on only making UFOs that one magazine issue got me really going.  The next issue had a quilt I'm already collecting fabrics for.  I'd have to say that for general quilt reading Quilter's Newsletter Magazine has to be the best, but for getting me sewing (and finishing!) For the Love of Quilting (formerly Sew Many Quilts) is fantastic.
    One more thing-Zippy Designs (publisher of Foundation Piecer) has a website and sells the add-a-quarter ruler.

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