By Guess or By Golly

I have done some sewing in the last week:


I finished up the placemats I started awhile back. I’m pretty happy with them and glad that I gave the denim a try. Parson Gray has some new fabric coming out in a few months so I’d like to purchase a bundle of that and make a more masculine version for the men at our table. I’m not a real matchie/matchie kind of person so having placemats that are all different will be a  “set” at my table.

In other news I have been continuing to travel the 120 miles round trip to help my friend with her quilting machine. Yesterday when I arrived at 10 am we had to finish her quilt back before we were able to take the practice piece off the frame and start loading her quilt. She also had to run down to the fabric store to get a new blade for her rotary cutter and some spray starch as she hadn’t done this in the week since I had last been there. This is the practice piece that we managed to do last week.


Since my last visit I had found a discussion board online where someone had so generously uploaded the manual that was supposed to be with my friends quilt frame. There were step-by-step instructions on how the backing, batting and top were to be loaded. This was different to how we loaded the practice piece because the manual couldn’t be found and we just did it by guess or by golly. Otherwise known as the slow and frustrating route. The frame does have a top mounted laser and so we are able to do pantographs but we don’t have them on a roll – they came in a package and the master sheet has to be photocopied and then taped together and then taped onto the horizontal shelf you see above the sewing machine.


I didn’t take a picture of the quilt we were able to get loaded yesterday but the picture above is how not to load it, LOL, but it worked for the practice piece ! Val said that there was a video that had come with the frame as well and it’s really too bad that it can’t be found as we have spent a tremendous amount of time pining and unpinning, rolling bars clockwise and counter clockwise, levelling the frame up and down… ect. I have now been helping her for 17 hours – not counting my traveling time and we have only just got the first quilt loaded and the top and sides basted for the first row. It’s not surprising anymore that the entire set-up has been in her basement for 7 years – untouched.

As we move further into spring I will have less and less time at my sewing machine and computer. I have agreed to try and go back to help her one day next week. I’m afraid that after that she will have to find some self motivation and get ‘er done as we say in the west !

Hoping that your projects aren’t nearly as frustrating and time consuming !!!!!!

linking up with the very funny ( yeah, she got me ) Lee at Freshly Pieced


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. allisonreidnem
    Apr 01, 2015 @ 16:43:05

    You’ve done a very kind thing sticking with your offer to help get the longarm machine up and running. I hope you get the opportunity to use it one of your own quilts in the not too distant future!



  2. Lisa in Port Hope
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 01:00:33

    I guess longarms are not magic after all. Perhaps the quilts could quilt themselves? Nah, April Fools is over. Happy Wednesday!



  3. springleafstudios
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 02:14:09

    What a good friend to go so far to help with the long arm. I hope you can get it all figured out and then make good use of it. I’ve never done it myself but have been tempted to rent some time on one. Maybe this summer.



    • Colleen
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 02:49:12

      I have taken a how-to class at a APQS rental studio. Each student quilted one of their own quilts after the teacher did a demo and then I rented a few hours to quilt a second quilt the same day. Two quilts in one day ! It was a very good experience and I really recommend it. That’s why my friend enlisted me to help her. But the age of the frame and machine and especially the lack of instruction manuals have really slowed us down.



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