Before I did anything however my sewing machine needed attention. Not the newish machine that I bought for quilting but my ordinary machine that I do all my piecing on. When I used it last it kept making a funny noise every so often. I can only describe it as the noise Donald Duck makes - I kid you not - lol ! At the time I was intent on quilting anyway so I just put it to one side and left it. Yesterday however I was in the mood for some serious piecing. I had phoned the sewing place and they said if I brought it in they would have a look at it. But there was a 2 week wait and a basic service would cost £50 ( I think about $80 ). Now I love spending at anytime but when I thought of what else I could spend that cash on - well it got me thinking.
I had already removed the footplate and gave it a good old clean in there - I do it all the time. Being brave I decided to go a bit further and started removing the side cover being careful not to lose the screws. Surprising how much fluff had built up. Then I started manually turning the wheel and watched which bits inside moved up and down. I'm not sure of the technical name for any of these parts but being very cautious I applied a couple of drops of machine oil to the bits that seemed to be doing the most work. I had a hairy moment when I did indeed drop a screw inside the machine and said a very rude word - lol ! But with the removal of the bottom of the machine I managed to get it and screw it back in the right place. Once it was altogether I grabbed a bit of scrap fabric and tried it out. To my absolute delight it was great. No strange noises and definitely sewing smoother. Nowhere in my manual had it mentioned oiling the machine - it is 3 years old and I have used it a LOT so I suppose it stands to reason a drop of oil would not go amiss. I am chuffed to bits and am now deciding what to spend my pennies on.
To give it a bit of a workout I spent a couple of hours sewing strips together cut from these fabrics.
They are quite subtle for me and I have had them for a couple of years. Also unlike me they are all from the same range - I never normally buy stuff like this. It is called Zen from Makower and is vaguely Japanesey.
I had bought a new ruler a few months back and armed with a wonderful tutorial from Lurline (she has it listed on the left hand side of her blog ) I had a lovely time sewing and chopping and pressing. Today after a bit of applique I have this
The question I am asking myself is do I like the block enough to make more and turn them into a quilt ? These are big blocks - almost 20 inches square. I would need to make another 11 and then borders to make a new quilt for Jason and I. Shall I or shan't I ? If I do go ahead I am thinking to hand quilt each block separately and put them together Quilt As You Go. I need to think about this one - lol !
As usual I am behind on answering emails - still having back probs - so if I owe you a reply you never know I might get round to it soon. I have been having some lovely comments from no-reply bloggers whose profiles are private so have no way of thanking them for taking time to chat to me. All comments are very much appreciated even if I don't always manage to answer.
One last thing. I am trying to get hold of a copy of Australian Patchwork and Quilting. It's Vol 17 no 7 - 2009 Yearbook. I will gladly swap, buy or whatever. I would be eternally grateful for any help..
Take care xx