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Digest for Monday October 11, 1999

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From: OneWhoQuilts 
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 02:05:57 EDT
Subject: Quilt Software

Hello from Southern   where it is too warm for too long.  Am looking 
forward to a change in the weather, which I hope comes by Christmas.  And 
speaking of Christmas, I am asking my husband to get me a computer program so 
I can throw out my graph paper and colored pencils.  I've looked at the 
website and it seems that Electric Quilt and Quilt Pro are the two most 
popular and most highly advertised.  I would appreciate input from the people 
who have actually used them.  I don't want anything too complicated, as I am 
not overly computer literate.    Two quick hints that everyone probably 
already knows.....1.)  Two pieces of 1 inch wide masking tape, one of top of 
the other, taped to the sewing matching at exactly 1/4 inch,  guides the 
material into the machine and really helps to prevent straying or wandering 
of the material when you get hypnotized watching the material go by.  2.)  
I've forgotten what the other one was, but it was a good one. LOL.  I'll send 
it sometime when I remember.  CRS Disease.  I love this site.  The letters 
are so informative.  Quilters are the most unselfish, giving people in the 
world.  They give their secrets away lovingly.  We don't want our craft to 
die.  I would appreciate input re: the quilt programs.  OneWhoQuilts 
From: Hwoodquilt 
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 15:31:57 EDT
Subject: perfection

Dear Quilt Friends-
    I want to encourage all beginner quilters and especially JoAnna.  
Perfection is fine if you are the teacher or entering your quilt in a 
contest.  There has been much good advice posted on this subject already.  
The biggest thing is doing something you love to do.  And you know, when a 
quilt is all stitched and on the bed, the little mistakes don't show much.  I 
find that the smaller the item, such as a wall hanging, the more any errors 
show.  Usually you give a gift with so much work in it to someone you love.  
I usually put at least one heart in my stitching, usually one in each corner 
of the boarder, which is my statement of love of quilting and love to the 
person I give the quilt to.  Practice and experience help a lot.  Talking any 
part of quilting over with someone else who quilts is a big help too.   -  I 
think of my mother-in-law often when I am quilting.  She was the world's 
greatest mother-in-law and a smart self taught quilter.  She would be truly 
amazed at the rotary cutter. If only she had had it to cut her thousands of 
2" squares for the many Trip Around the World that she sewed for her children 
and grandchildren.  If there is a sewing room in heaven, she is there.   Love 
of quilting to all of you.   Carol in  where we have sunny harvest weather 
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 00:25:45 -0800
From: mle@lowell.edu (Mary Lou Kantz Evans)
Subject: Improving quilting technique

Hi JoAnna - this is an interesting question...and one that I thought of
with an earlier post from someone asking if length of time quilting
improved them.. and most of the people answered Yes.... but I was thinking
at the time, YES, but only if you isolate your problem areas and work on
improving... I've seen some quilters who were bad to start with and
continued to be bad..... because they just didn't care about improving, or
take steps to do so...... and I've seen quilters who did perfect work to
start with because that was their goal and personalities.....

  These are my questions to you.

Are there any quiltstores in your area? If so you need to take some work in
and say, "Hey, what am I doing wrong here"?  Anyone should be happy to help

  and if there aren't any quilt stores in your area

 Is anyone giving quilting lessons... it sounds like you really need to
hang around with some experienced good quilters so that you can learn the
tricks of the trade.....

Are you doing rotary cutting?

Do you have little slip guards ( little pads of sandpaper) on the back of
your ruler so it doesn't move around when you cut?

Do you have your machine marked so you get a consistent seam allowance?

 Are you pressing gently so you don't distort your pieces?

What method are you using to do Half Square Triangles?  Try using the
triangle papers....

  That pretty much covers the three problem areas, cutting, seam
allowances, and pressing.......

  I think you need to take a class or chum up to a good quilter, who work
you like and see this they will share tips with you......  I think you can
become a better quilter because you want to become a better quilter.....  I
love classes because the learning curve is so steep... and you're not
'reinventing the wheel' over and over.......

  Hope some of these ideas help.. feel free to contact me if you have more
questions that I might be able to help with...

                                TTYL, Mary Lou  
From: Sally  
Subject: Old machines
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 11:49:15 +0100

I LOVE featherweights, own two, have been responsible for maybe 6 or 7 other
quilters buying them after seeing/using mine.  BUT Ijust had a startling
experience which could apply to any old machine. I shared with another list
and copy here...please read on....

You live and learn.....

I've seen quite a few FWs now, and after buying the ones I have owned I have
immediately had the electrics checked by a sewing machine mechanic.  After
all, these obsolete machines are at least 30 years old and possibly much
more, and no wiring lasts forever.

Today I did the classic 'foot in the cord' routine and smashed one of my
machines onto the floor, shattering the bakelite plug and socket where the
foot pedal and power cord attach.  I immediately took it to my (now)
favourite mechanic - not the one who did the original safety checks.

Because the bakelite socket where it attaches to the side of the machine was
slightly damaged he unscrewed it to check inside.  To my horror we were
faced with a picture which could have been straight out of a Salvador Dali
painting.  The insulating covering on ALL the wires had deteriorated with
age and was a melted, guey mass.  All the wires inside the machine had areas
which were exposed.  This was nothing to do with my 'accident'  but the
natural result of time on a machine which was manufactured in 1951.  When I
checked my second machine I found a similar picture.

Needless to say the machines are now left to go to his qualified electrician
for complete re-wiring.

SO....if you have one of these machines, or are looking to buy one, please
check this out.  According to 'my man' the odds are good that you will find
this kind of a mess.  And once the wiring has been disturbed to look at it,
if there is any weakness or exposure of wires you CAN'T just shove it back
and hope for the best.  If you aren't going to have the check done
immediately I suggest you run the machine with a circuit breaker in place
and NEVER leave it plugged in unattended - even switched off - in case
arcing starts a fire.

I don't know yet what the re-wiring bill will be. Whatever it is it will be
worth it to me because I use my machine a lot and carry it to classes - and
once done I am sure my machine s will serve another 50 years.

Sally W

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