Monday 9 September 2013

Monday Morning Moan

Oh how I ache, the morning crawling round basting and the evening pushing and shoving a monster quilt through Toya yesterday has done for me.

I have one more large quilt to go and then every future quilt will be QAYG. I said this before and stupidly got distracted by colours and patterns and forgot it. Now I may be stupid but I am no fool. I will learn from this and put a cap on my enthusiasm, I will look before I leap into another project and find a way to QAYG any quilt that I want to make.

I am going to lay out my ready to layer Falling Charms top and see if it is feasible to take it back to 4 sections even though I am pretty certain that it is not possible. I will do this as it will serve to reinforce my determination.

I am not touching any sewing today instead I am going to empty the cupboards on the right hand side of the fireplace. I intend to sort through the CDs and DVDs some of which have not seen the light of day for 4 years. Once Michael has had a look we will dispose of the No Keepers. I am living in hope that my basting pins will come to light, if not from these cupboards then from one of the others. I aim to do the left hand side later in the week. Some of the books that side are Francesca,s and she will be taking them to London in November.

The wrestling with my quilt has convinced me that Toya is getting too old for really heavy work. I have had her for a few years now and she has already done much more than the average machine would do in its lifetime. She will stay though as we are comfortable together, I know from all the little noises that she makes when she needs a new needle or a quick dusting out, when her bobbin is getting low and when she just needs to be turned off and allowed to cool down. The last one usually coincides with my need to take a tea break, we are as one he he.

Barbra, my first Singer, is going to finally get to star in her own production. She will be rehearsing later in the week and should be performing by the weekend. I hope that she sings as sweetly as her namesake, the one and only Ms Streisand.
 If I every manage to get my hands on a Featherweight, note to Father Christmas, she will be called Dame Shirley.

I have thought about a long arm machine, and talked about it with you, together with a frame. The problem is the amount of space they require and the fact that I could not bear to see it idle so would have to quilt for other people, enter Catch 22. I could not piece enough tops to keep it in full production and if I quilt for others I will not have time to piece my own quilt tops. 
Suggestions on a postcard to...........

WAIT A MINUTE. What am I thinking ?

You could just leave a comment, what do you other quilters do? 
Do you use a long arm quilting service?
Is there a standard machine that will sail through a King Size Quilt easily?
Perhaps one of you has a long arm and frame set up in the garage/loft/spare bedroom. When we move we will have the ideal opportunity to look for a property with the best space to set one up.
If you have any advice or ideas or experience let me know.

There was one big benefit from my exertions of yesterday, I slept for ......................... wait for it.................................... 10 hours. Apart from the aches and pains I am so refreshed you would not believe it. I vaguely remember hearing Michael come to bed and I did drink some of the tea that he brought up for me, but do not remember it.
Change of subject, the lamb we had for lunch was amazing, so tender and juicy. I cooked it on a bed of Rosemary and Thyme sprigs with a chopped brown onion and a good shake of dried garlic chips. I poured about 3 cups of lamb stock (from the freezer) around and let it cook for 2 hours. I strained the pan juices and turned some of them into gravy, both it and the meat were infused with the flavours of herbs and garlic. There is enough meat for a hotpot and a rogan josh and Francesca will have at least 2 packed lunches. The bones will be boiled for stock and them Ben will have them.
Today we are having Pasties made with the end of last weeks casserole. I have taken some Pork Spare Rib Chops out of the freezer for tomorrow, 755 grams for £3.95 RTC £2.00. There is enough for 2 meals so it will be a paprika, tomato and red pepper sauce and pasta for 1 and Hickory Barbecue sauce with white beans and maybe some garlic bread for the second. I also took a pack of braising steak out to make chili, I cut this from a top rump joint, half price from Mr S, cost for this portion of 400 g was £3.20 and there will be enough for 2 meals keeping the cost reasonable enough. All the other ingredients will come from stock so several more "use it up" days there.
 I cut my block of cheese into 2 portions and grated them, that will help them to go further and save time when I need to use some. It saved time already as it was Francesca who did the grating!

I fooled myself when I did my last stock take and counted a bag of SR flour as Plain, so to eke out the plain flour I will weigh what i have and add equal amounts of Bread and SR flour to it. We may have slightly fluffy pastry but think how it will soak up the gravy.

I will also be using my AF dumpling mix for pastry saving both time and money. 
BTW when I placed my order the case of chocolate bars that I ordered for Michael gave me a big enough saving to cover the delivery cost. I have only had 3 orders from them and I have done this each time, waited until there was a "loss leader" for want of a better expression that we use to cover the non edible cost.
 I also use this principle when I buy fabric from the US, I look around the various on line shops until I find one that has a really rock bottom price on a fabric that I like and then buy what I want from the sale section, as long as I stay within the content limit of a $23 shipping fee that cost is met by the savings on 1 item. Win Win, Happy Pam.

Reasons to be grateful.
1. Another really sunny day, love it love it.

2. Michael making me a cup of tea when he comes home from work, just in case i wake up.

3. A weeks worth of dinners will be made today with no spending.

4. The thought of 2 cupboards tidied and decluttered.

5. Francesca sitting the New York Bar in July, she will be doing 2 weeks Pro Bono work there as part of her course and has asked me to go with her.

A very wordy gossipy post today about nothing much really, just an "over the garden wall" moment in time.

                                             TTFN    Pam


  1. I enjoyed this post-a good gossip over the garden wall indeed! I'm going to try the QAUG. I'm just starting to quilt and it's so hard to wrestle with a quilt of any real size. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. There are a lot of tutorials out there and all very simple, I put my blocks together and zig zag along the join then put a strip on the back and attach, raw edges pressed under and then a wider strip on the front.

  2. When I made my first few quilts they were small cot quilts. Then I made a couple of larger ones and found my machine throat quite small but felt I had to persevere for a while before I made any machine decisions. I decided that if I was gong to carry on with large quilts I needed a bigger 'throat'. I bought a Janome Horizon 8900 last January and can't praise it enough. As you say, if you got a long arm you would have to justify the expenditure by taking in other people's quilts and you would feel pressured. The 8900 is great, cos it has an 11" space and you can get in a king size quilt easily. I love my new machine and wouldn't want a long arm.

    1. I tried one of these out at a quilt show but felt that there were so many features that I would never use. Perhaps I should have another look.

  3. I have a mid-arm - with a 16 inch throat and put it on a Grace frame - which works really well, but they do require lots of space. You can't just go by the actual measurements either - you need to be able to walk all the way around, I do all kinds of quilting - fine hand, big stitch, push through on a standard machine, and we have a 12" throat on a machine to sit at and quilt larger quilts.... I don't work on the floor as I'd never get up, but I have a pingpong table that is great for laying out on!!

    1. I have had a look at this type of set up and it looks about the best option for me, I will have to do some more research and look for a property with either a large garage or room to build a cabin. We did plan to do that here before deciding to move. I only put the bigger quilts on the floor, I have a latge table that will unfold and take the smaller ones.

  4. Hi Pam I love that you name your machines , cute idea. I wont comment on sewing advice lol. Since Im a sewer now, would you believe I ran out of cotton on the machine and went to the shop to buy some and had to ask the ladies advice what sort to get and what size and why lol. bet she was glad I left the store. {how embaressing} I should of sent India in.

    1. I can believe that all too well, been there and went back for a visit. As to asking advice about thread, it is something i do when i go into a new shop, they all seem to carry different stock and if they do not know what to recommend then shop somewhere else.


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