Three from the Past

Tragedy struck in my sewing room a couple of weeks ago. My machine died. 😢….It was not heartbreaking. This was the machine my daughter passed on to me when my previous machine came to an untimely end. It has been a good machine for a few years, a computerized Brother with many good features. I was able to do pretty much anything I wanted to do with it, however it had a few drawbacks. The harp was only about 6.5 inches wide and I had not tried free motion quilting.

The lever to lower the feed dogs was on the backside of the machine, quite unreachable with my customized SewEZ table. When I finally decided to get at that lever, it was stuck. With a friend’s help I got it moved to lower the feed dogs but now the lever was stuck in that position.

What is a quilter to do without a sewing machine? Buy a new one, of course! 😁 I had been looking online with this in mind for quite a while and had narrowed it down to the features I wanted. On Memorial Day my daughter and I went shopping for one. Fortunately, I found exactly what I wanted in my price range. It had to be ordered and I expected it to come in this week, but it turned out that yesterday it had not left the factory, so now I have another week of waiting.

So last week, as a faithful blogger since 2012, with nothing new to share, I posted about my first and oldest quilt. Now I would like to share a series of wall hangings that I made in the 1980’s. I used a quilt block that I found in a Michael James book. I really liked the diagonal movement in the basic block, which I repeated twelve times.

The starting point was a piece of tie-dyed fabric which I had dyed years before. I made plastic templates and began adding any type of fabric that seemed to work, including satins and a plaid. It reminded me of sitting around a campfire at night, so I called it Firelight. I stitched in the ditch.

The second piece I made was to continue the theme of light, Moonlight.

Here I pulled out all the stops in order to produce the gleam of moonlight on the snow.

For the shadows I used dark purple and blue cottons as well as velvets and a few prints.

Now my final challenge was Sunlight. The rays of the sun slanted down between the branches of a tree.

On the dollar rack at a thrift shop I found a silk sheath dress. It had a leafy print which was perfect, so it got chopped up and added the touch I needed. Yellow ribbons slanting down provided the rays of sunshine.

There was much trial and error on the design wall. I learned a lot about color. For instance, I bought a fat quarter of dark green for the shade. When I added it, it stood out like a sore thumb, dull and boring, so it was discarded.

The most important insight I had about color was the difference between pure hues and grayed ones, which for the most part don’t mix, so I used purple rather than brown, black or gray for the shadows.

This series is one of my favorites. If my new sewing machine does not come by next weekend I will be sharing another series of wall hangings.

GREAT NEWS – my machine has arrived in the store and I’ll be picking it up on Monday. Wahoo!

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

17 thoughts on “Three from the Past

  1. You are making great use of your enforced down time — but, oh, how you will love the new machine! Your wall hangings shimmer with the silk and other non-cotton fabrics. I got Michael James’ Quiltmaker’s Handbook as a book club selection way back when. I had no context in which to put his design theories (what I could have used (circa 1987) was a book of quilt patterns) so the book sat on the shelf. I eventually discarded it though I’ve picked up another copy. I ought to go back and actually read it…..

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  2. What a wonderful series of quilts Paula, thirty years old? You were before your time. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, you have the most wonderful sense of colour, your colour combinations are wonderful. I especially love moonlight, it truly lives up to it’s name. I can feel your excitement about your machine, I hope you will post a review of your findings but in the meantime it’s been great to discover your past triumphs.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Kate. I am right at the beginning of learning the new machine, winding the bobbin, threading it. Lots of bells and whistle‘s, buttons to push, but not until I check the manual. I love the walking foot built in system, no more fiddling for hours trying to get the foot on.

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