Trying to fit it all in

I think as women we all try and juggle several hats at once. Men will probably say they do too but hey, it’s my blog. I’ve been wearing my Daughter, Farmer, Wife, Mom, Cook, Friend, Teacher hats this past week as well as trying to fit in my Sewist/Quilter hat here and there. A friend of mine bought a used longarm quilting machine 6 or 7 years ago. It has sat in her basement all this time because she couldn’t figure out how to use it. When we were together last November I happened to mention that I had rented some time on a long arm machine and quilted a quilt myself. This one here, I wish I had taken better pictures of the quilting because it did turn out pretty good, all things considered. So Val decreed that I would come over and teach her how to use her machine… then she promptly left for Nevada for the winter. Well, with the weather warming up and spring supposedly arriving she is back and we got together one day last week to try and figure the machine out. It was kind of a gong show. We removed the practice piece off the frame because we needed more batting between the front and back. Then she told me she didn’t know how to put it back on – if I had known I could have taken pictures before we took it all apart. The manual and the video that came with it couldn’t be found – those would have helped ! We tried to download a manual from the internet and her computer got a virus… I’m not kidding ! She called a local computer store and they tried to help her over the phone  and then told her to bring it in because it had a virus. Oh yeah, and she had to run over to the school and get her granddaughter because she was running a fever – so there was a sick kid in the house too !


Anyways, we did get the practice quilt sandwiched back onto the frame and perhaps it is loaded on correctly – we don’t know.


The frame and sewing machine are very different than what I had rented long ago and I found it difficult to remember the steps. 100_2801

We muddled through and were able to make a couple of practice runs across the fabric before I had to go. We did have some trouble setting the stitch length. There is no stitch length regulator on the sewing machine but even when we changed the settings on the machine it would make long stitches when I was using it. When Val used it would make tiny little stitches. Val has since found her manual so that should help. You can see up on top that there is a laser included with her set up so we should have some fun with some pantograms once we get it all figured out. Val lives about 60 miles from me so I hope I can get back before we forget everything again. In other news I have finished my Bijoux stacked coins quilt top. It was a very easy pattern and used the fabric very efficiently with almost no wasted material.


sorry about the lousy picture – overcast day and too many things in a  small room ! The top measures approximately 65″ x 69″. 100_2822 - Version 2


I was going to try and incorporate the above leftover strips into the backing but in the end did not. The backing consists of one of the prints sewn with a horizontal seam ( Zzzzzzz) I usually prefer a pieced back to add interest. Since I am planning on quilting this on Val’s longarm I decided not to add in too many more seams to complicate things. Instead, I’m thinking these leftover strips and some solids, will make a great table runner… you know, one day when I have nothing else to do 😉

Thanks for reading this far I know it’s a long post.

Best wishes for a good week.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. allisonreidnem
    Mar 22, 2015 @ 21:37:22

    Thank you for sharing your adventures with Val and her longarm machine. I really like your stacked coin quilt – did you use a jelly roll? We do have to wear many hats – sometimes several all at once. I’ve got the ideas and even the photos for several blog posts but haven’t found the right amount of time to give to putting them all together. I am amazed at how long it takes me to get a post ready to share – at least two and a half hours with the photos to load and resize etc. But that does make me appreciate more the posts I get to read. So thanks again for sharing in the midst of all your busyness! Have a good week too!



    • Colleen
      Mar 23, 2015 @ 13:22:04

      Yes, hope fully we can get the long arm working for us. I was there for 5.5 hours that day and my driving time is an hour each way, 7.5 hours on my own machine would have been several stitches sewn – or 3 blog posts, LOL !
      The stacked coins top is made with 10 fat quarters and a solid. I have added a link to the tutorial I used in case you would like to give it a try 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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