Saturday, March 29, 2014


It seems almost nobody likes basting, I didn't either until I tried this method. I'd tried thread basting on the floor, spray basting, also on the floor and both on tables, always in pain either in my knees or back or even both. Then I found Sharon Schamber on youtube and my problems were solved. 

I lay out the back with the wrong side up, put a stick of wood, (Sharon wants you to paint it to prevent sap leaks, but I've never had a problem with that) near the edge of the fabric and fold it on the stick. 

I always pin the fabric down, I have no control over it otherwise. The edges are a bit wavy, that's due to me having ripped the seams off those formerly curtains. And they are not really so crumpled.

Roll it up and take care that it feeds evenly on the stick, I like my backs to have seams that I can use as guides.

Then lay the top on the table with the right side up, pin down less than 1/4" from the edge.

Roll it up using the pattern as guide so the top feeds evenly on the stick.

Then you lay the back on the table and roll it out a bit.

Lay the batting (wadding) on top like this. I always use cheap fleece throws that I zig zag together to get the size I want.

Then comes the top, make sure you lay it rightly lined up on the back and batting, it's not fun when getting to near the end and then having the top go more to one side out over the back and batting. Grrrrrrr I don't have the right words to describe what I mean.

I slide my cutting mat under the sandwich before I start basting to shield the table. I rarely thread baste any more. The fleece is like a magnet to the fabric so I only pin baste lightly nowadays. Just to keep it secure while quilting. 

You can see part of the old office chair on wheels that I use while basting, just rolling along the side as the pins go in. When you've basted all you can reach you pull the sandwich towards you.

Pull the batting over the top.

Roll out the back.

Lay the batting flat over the back and then roll out the top.

Continue like this until you reach the end, keeping the sandwich in your lap while you work.

Quick and easy.

I saw this wonderful video about Iceland today, thought I should share. It's taken on the South-Eastern part of Iceland, I live in the Westfjords.


Monday, March 24, 2014

A finish

Due to power losses and other incidents I only had one small quilt bound yesterday with a pink/brown/grey flowery fabric that was leftover from a back some time ago. The binding looks better in person.

The quilting, a fun pattern that I'm quite happy with.

And borders are on the Starburst I don't know the name of the colour, but it's a blend of brown and purple or something. A similar colour is in the background fabric so I thought it fine when I chose it after sunset on Saturday. I'm not as happy with it in daylight, but this is actually the best that I have in my stash so it is what it is.

More quilts waiting for binding, most will go to charity. And are actually due, but I talked with a lovely lady earlier and she said I am still in the clear.

Labels, I'm not using one of these though, my mother has given me a few pieces like these. She doesn't like how I left labelling out of my finishes so now I'm a good daughter and obey.

Today my father would have been 75 years old. I will try to put a out door candle on his grave later if the weather allows. This has been a very difficult month, or really MONTHS. Mostly North Easterner since mid November so we have much snow. Today it's raining and thawing and should be like that for at least few days, but you'll never know. 


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Retreat weekend

I'm having a retreat at home with some friends and we post photos and chat about our progress on the net. I started a quilt two years ago in a class held by Gudrun Erla at GE Design. It's from her book: BIG STYLE. 

Here's the pattern I'm making: Starburst.

I decided to challenge myself and use an unusual (to me) background. Found out last night when preparing for today that I'd cut the diamonds to small two years ago. As I was determined to use this background I have spent much of today mending my mistake and this quilt will be PIECED together BIG TIME.

I might even show you a photo of the back later when the top is done.

Have a nice weekend.


Here are three top rows finished and sewed together as are the bottom three rows. I needed them done so I could figure out how the half stars should be, I tried to figure them out last night but got totally cross eyed and gave up.


Here it is all happening.

Top done, I've picked out the fabric for the borders, but that will be for tomorrow. I'm going to prepare some bindings for five or so quilts that need to be bound and labelled.

And the backs, admittedly those photos show the worst fixings.

Yes, I open up the seams, it's so much easier to quilt the tops when I do and I find my sewing more accurate with open seams. And I think it's prettier. Log Cabins are about he only blocks where I don't open the seams


Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Dream Village

I'm quilting this quilt (Lopapeysa by Gudrun Erla at GE Design) for a friend and have had some problems and I got really irritated after ripping stitches out again and again before I figured out the problem. It is easily solvable, but I decided to let it rest for a while and since it was the International quilting day I allowed myself to have some much needed fun and happy time. 

Making my very own Dream Village in this wonderful little top which I've yet to decide if will become a wall hanging or a centre for a bigger quilt. It totally saved the day and put me in a very cheerful mood. How could it not?

Such a fun to make from a great tutorial on this blog. I'm having fun reading through this blog these days and looking at all the wonderful and happy quilts. And the fabrics, I have yet to see them in quilt shops here in Iceland, but I would buy them in a blink and thereby ruin my fabric fast. They would liven up my stash tremendously, I tend to buy from sales, especially unfortunate (some say ugly) fabrics no one else wants, I truly feel sorry for those fabrics. Lol. And they can be made into beautiful and interesting quilts if they are used with colourful pieces.

One more "mouthy" post, I can't help myself.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sewing machines.

I promised a post about my sewing machines a loooong time ago. Here it finally is. And I know I was going to stop making these long talk posts, but I have to tell you about the machines too, photos, though they say many words,  are not enough.

I don't name my machines, but many of them have a gender, female to be precise, that has more to do with the word sewing machine, being a female word (one word) in Icelandic.

I don't have a photo of my first machine, a Pfaff 1037 that served me so very well for years. It's very tired and was a bit of a trouble machine, but I got it fixed up and it now has a new home with DD1.

This is the machine I bought when I started quilting in 1999. It is what we call a Monday machine (made on a Monday by hung over workers). Two years ago I had it fixed one more time and totally trashed it two weeks later when I forgot to change from buttonhole sewing to straight sewing after I changed the foot to the 1/4" foot. The needle arm is so bent the wheel wont move. Sigh. I have come to the conclusion that I'm not meant to own an operational Pfaff. Oh, and it always had ugly sounds, no matter how I cleaned and oiled it, loud ugly sounds.

I don't remember the year I bought my big Janome 6600P, but I LOVE her and carried her with me to lots of guild sewing days until I got scared I would accidentally drop her. She has a permanent home in a big desk that I inserted her in and I have quilted bigger than queen sized quilts on her. Not quite a king size though. She has what we call a swan neck, it's 9" instead of the normal 6".

When I got the scare I went and bought a smaller Janome. Sewist 521 Deluxe. I have no idea what the Deluxe stands for, maybe the needle threading gadget. This is a dependable machine and I like her very much, she sits on top of a Pfaff sewing machine table and one day I plan to insert her in the hole that the old machine sat in.

Few days after I bought the Janome Sewist I was given this almost newer used Toyota 4500. I use it for mending clothes and I like her very much too, no matter what I ask of her, she performs brilliantly. Just change to the right needle and then I can fix winter overalls or silk tops. She runs smoothly through everything. And the sound, like an old treadle, love it.

Then I was given this old machine, it's a bit broken down and I don't know the name, but my uncle who gave it to me said it was made in Germany in 1919 

Serger, it was an old dream to own one of these. Janome of course.

Three years ago I was given this old Pfaff 262 in a table. She had this beautiful purring sound, but could not make a straight stitch and everything was stuck and a knob was broken. So I took her to a good repairman I know in the city. He took a look at her and told me that not only was the knob broken but sadly some parts inside her too. And it would cost more for him to repair her than for me to buy a new Pfaff 4.0 So she sits in one of the windows of my sewing room and rests. I know she got worked out by her former owner. When I got her I did some internet search and found out she was made in 1968.

This February I bought a Singer treadle made in Scotland in 1912, I was told that everything works as it should, but the leather belt (new) needs to be cut to the right length. In the future I plan to do free motion quilting (on smaller quilts) on this lovely machine.

Phew, am I glad this post is done, now I need to post it while I still have power, the lights blinked just now, we are back to having North Eastern storms regularly again (since mid November) after a few days of South West winds and rain and snow and sun all in few hours time. From stillness to heavy winds in few moments. Never a dull moment.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I have decided.
To make more posts, with less talk. It takes time for me to write in English and I think that's what's holding me back from blogging.

So here goes. This first quilt is from a pink/brown swap.

These blocks are an experiment I made from a McCall magazine. I can't find it, but it's from early last year or late year before. The borders are old kitchen curtains from a friend. Just perfect.

These shashings are like they were in the magazine. The borders are the last of the homespun I owned and I like how they frame the quilt and  I LOVE that I got rid of them. I am not a homespun fan. 

The quilting on the Blue Experiment shows well on the back.

Sorry how washed out the photos are, I was experimenting with my camera during dark and stormy days.