Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Workout At The Gym

No, I wasn't on an elliptical machine or a treadmaster, I was quilting one of my dear student's quilts for her! And yes, quilting on a longarm machine is a workout!!!
First, I needed to measure carefully and cut a 130" piece of batting off of the roll. That meant I had to hike it out of the guestroom and out to my wonderful driveway.

Geez, it was heavy! Once I got it measured in two places, I drew a line across the roll with a black Sharpie marker and a yardstick to make sure that I had a nice straight cut off of the roll. That also meant that the line left on the roll is now nice and straight for the next cut, too.
On a small slip of paper, I marked the date, and the amount taken, and what quilt it was for, and then pinned that back onto the roll.
I've never owned a whole 25 yard roll of batting before. Can you tell, LOL? Well, for me it was a huge investment and I want to use my resources wisely!

The quilt that I did today is very special because it is a memory quilt. It was begun by a gal that passed away and left the unfinished blocks to her cousin, Sue. Sue is one of my Friday quilters of the "Sunshine Girls" over at the Alton Senior Center.
Sue is finishing this quilt as a tribute to her departed cousin's memory. It is a sashed Blue Lemoyne Star and it finished at 82" X 120" after quilting.

Here I am, wearing my new Stashbuster's tee shirt (that reads, "Done is better than perfect") over at Ellen Peters' Cat Whiskers Quilting Studio on Tremont Street in Laconia, New Hampshire. Ellen was helping me load the quilt.

We got the quilt loaded successfully and treated the fact that it had some wavy issues with all due respect.

Although I had originally planned an all-over meander, I talked it over with Ellen and Linda, both more experienced longarmers than I am, and we decided on a big loop de loop pattern of quilting.

Ellen found a beautifully matched blue thread and I was off to the quilting races! Actually, the machine was on manual so that I could stitch slowly to try to prevent as many pleats as possible.

I got it done in under three hours and I was very pleased with the work! Almost all of the waves and puckers in the stitching had been quilted out, with only two minor exceptions. The overall impression is lovely!

Here it is coming off of the machine. I want to say a big "THANK YOU" to Ellen Peters for all her help and expert coaching to make this very loved quilt top become a quilt for Sue.

I got it home to my house and realized that Sue would have a lot of trouble getting this large quilt properly trimmed of the excess backing and batting. But I came in the door like a cripple, whining about sore muscles and my poor trick ankle, and hungry enough to be grouchy to boot!

Fortunately, the world's most supportive quilting husband came to the rescue. Felix made me a corned beef sandwich on 12-grain bread with both mayonnaise and mustard, salt and pepper, and lots of fresh Romaine lettuce, and brought me a coffee-flavored water to help wash it down. I ate like a wolf cub!
Then he had me lie down and rubbed my back and shoulders and neck with Extra Strength Ben-Gay ointment. I love the smell of that stuff! By the way, he did that trick ankle, too. After a 30 minute rest, I felt great and ready to trim the quilt just before sundown.

Notice that except for some small rumpling in the borders, this quilt is lying FLAT!!! Yippee!!!

I do use a small kneeling pad to do all my trimming because that asphalt is really hard on the joints!

I needed help to get it folded after the trimming because it is so big and heavy, so Matthew gave me a hand.
It is a stressful venture to quilt for someone else. You hope so much that they will like your work! I don't see Sue until Friday the 13th, but here she is, clowning around and hiding behind her brownie.

Pauline, on the left, and Margie on the right, couldn't help but giggle at her antics!

Pauline is holding up her crocheted doily and Margie was doing some crocheting too. The Sunshine Girls eat a lot of chocolates and we giggle often!

Stay calm and quilt on!


Needled Mom said...

It sounds like a workout, but it turned out so nicely. I know she will love it.

Janet O. said...

So good of you to do that, Vic. It is a lot of work!
And I think it is so stressful to quilt for other people that I don't do it. : )

Helen in the UK said...

Congrats to you for taking on the challenge of quilting for someone else! Looks like you've done a wonderful job and I bet she'll be thrilled :)

cityquilter grace said...

looks like a good time was had by all...and congrats on that finish...beautiful job! a labor of love for sure...

Quiltsmiles said...

Your success at quilting that monster must surely be worth all those aches. Looks good and I'm sure she'll love it.
There's something special you give when you finish a quilt for a departed soul. Kudos and very nicely done. Jane

Nann said...

That's a big quilt! It looks as though it turned out really well, with the help of your "personal trainer." Great finish!

Patti said...

I can't figure out how you keep your driveway clean enough to do this. What is your secret?

The quilt looks great!

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