Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Complaint, Advice and a Querry

Hi - thanks for visiting, despite that dubious title.  I really try not to complain, after all I don't call this FUN with Barb for nothing.

It's official:  I'm an empty nester.  It's true.  Happened on Tuesday when Andrew moved into his dorm.  Rich flew out to LA Monday for the week, so it's really empty!

Who knew in June, when I made this little quilt how soon it would be true.

The only thing more disappointing than 2 cluttered, dirty kids' rooms are 2 clean, empty kids' rooms.

I took advantage of the newly cleaned out fridge (thanks, Irene) and the empty house to attack my diet with this.  It is not easy, but it does work.

My machine is STILL at the shop.  It's been about 7 weeks.

Ask more questions than I did.  How long will it take?  What if it needs a part?  Can I have while you wait for the part?  When did you order the part?  Are they making the part?  You get the idea.    All they tell me is "We're waiting for the part, there's nothing we can do.....".  I could tell them what to do.

Question #1 - Hand Quilting:
How do you handle flowers and other stems off the main stem when outline stitching?

Skip it like this:

Or stitch it like this:



I've tried studying old quilts, but it's just too hard to see.  It's probably an opinion question, but I'd love to know your opinion.  My Mother's Garden Quilt is half and half now.

Questions #2 - Machine Applique'
After fusing:
What do you use?  invisible thread?  matching thread?
Do you use a zig zag, hem stitch, or button hole?
Do you stabilize.  With what?

When I get my machine back I need to get going applique' my elephants down on my Passage to India quilt.

When I say empty nest, well not quite, coco is here for company.  She looks thrilled, doesn't she?

So, is this my fault because I left my open sewing box unattended?  Or coco's because she couldn't help herself?

Have a Fun Weekend Everyone!  Thanks for any suggestions!


Tamara Hampton said...

i dont know how it should be done but visually i like "skip it" better. lol on the chewing... the rule in my house is if your stuff gets chewed its your fault for leaving it where they can get it!! (i have very few pairs of shoes because of that problem!!)

Janet said...

It took me a few minutes of looking to even see what you were asking in the handquilting question :0) I'm definitely a skipper - I don't think I've even thought about it before. I'll be watching your post for everyone else's comments on that. 2 year olds like to suck on spools of thread accidentally left out too - they don't usually dent them up much though - lol. I can't fathom my nest being empty. Will your kids be home for a visit any time soon?

Jan said...

You'll be surprised at the quick adjustment to the empty nest, I'll bet. Besides, when the kids are in college their breaks are so long, it seems like they are home quite a bit.
I would have to say I'm a skipper myself. Sure don't think that there is a right or wrong when it comes to artistic pursuits!
Your red leaf looks like lips to me!

Karen said...

When I do fusible applique, I use matching thread and a tiny buttonhole stitch. No stabilizer but I think some people do.

Anonymous said...

50 / 50 cocco is 50 percent responsible and you are 50 percent responsible. BUT the machine out of service for 7 weeks has reached 100 percent the fix it people responsiblity.... this is your livelyhood. I would be plenty upset and calling the manufacture to see about said piece myself....

Robin said...

Do you need to borrow my extra machine? I don't know how you've been so patient. I usually stitch over the stem because I want it to look complete from the back. On question #2 I usually use a contrasting thread because I like my button hole stitch to show up. If I want it to be un-noticeable, I hand applique.

Sharon said...

#1:I'm a skipper on the hand quilting. #2: I use a blanket stitch and use a variety of threads, depending on the look. I'm doing one right now and I'm using rayon 'cus is has a nice sheen and it's a christmas piece. This is a great place to use hombre or multi variagated threads, but just make sure on the multi that the color change is no more than 1". If I'm just doing the applique, I use a stabilizer that I iron off (called trick film), it's a weird one, but it works. Right now, I'm doing my applique and quilting at the same time, so no stabilizer is needed. I'll try to do a post on my current piece this weekend!

Nyla said...

Skip, matching thread, buttonhole, no stabilizer. Can you borrow a machine so as not to waste this no interruptions opportunity? Guess there's always hand quilting. Make the most of it. Happy stitching!

Vicki said...

I love your hand quilting! But, please be careful with your thread... that is so dangerous to our little furry ones. I have a friend who lost her cat to thread. Very tragic....

Laurie in Iowa said...

I prefer skipping for the hand quilting question.
I use a machine blanket stitch for fusible applique. Depending on the look I want I either match the thread and fabric color or use black. I also use a wool blend thread for a folk art look and when using fusible wool for the applique.
Coco says it's your fault for leaving the thread available.

Unknown said...

I like the skip look better, but both work. I wouldn't sweat it. For fusible applique you can use many different stitches: buttonhole,zig-zag, satin, I recently used a programable stich that mimics crazy quilt feather stitching. I like an iron-on stabilizer that is also tear-away. If you do the applique stitch after sandwiching you don't need stabilizer.

Unknown said...

PS. I will be an empty nester again, we already did some college years, when our son and only child goes off to join the Army on September 11, 2011.

Barb said...

Thanks for your suggestions Gingerscott - And good luck to your son, I'm sure you'll miss him so much!

Karen said...

I've been hand quilting for almost 30 years, I always skip. I just like it better.

Jill said...

#1 I would skip the quilting at that point. In my mind, it would look like you cut through the stem with the stitching.
Good luck.

Maureen said...

The one and only time I hand quilted an applique piece I skipped. Had to check - it was a while ago. The two quilts I machine appliqued I think the fusible interfacing acted as the stabilizer. On both pieces I used a buttonhole stitch - one I matched the thread, the other I used black (on pink). It just depends on the look you want.
An empty nest sounds good to me right now. lol Have you heard of the boomerang generation? Good kid, but let's face it - more people (and dogs) means more work for me.
I'm wondering why you need to diet. You always look great.
Hope you get your machine back soon. How frustrating.

Mayleen said...

Poor Cocoa does look a bit guilty! At least it was the partial spool and not the full one.

No advice on empty nests because I still have one in the nest. When she leaves, we plan to downsize but it will never be the same.

Vivian said...

With fusible applique, I prefer a buttonhole stitch. My machine has 3 or 4 versions, and I always find one that I like. I don't add any more stabilizer, as the fusible product gives enough body (sometimes more than I want).

An empty nest is a shock to the system. One friend couldn't move and couldn't function for days. I was sad to see the kids go, but I enjoyed that "free" room and modified it accordingly. We all react differently.

QuiltSue said...

I would say skip on the quilting, but I can't offer anything about applique, since I never do it. As for the machine, I'd say it's time for some table thumping.

As for the empty nest, if my experience is anything to go by, don't worry, they keep coming back for visits and staying a few days, or they move their cat in to lodge while they renovate a house!

Crispy said...

Once you get the hang of being an empty nester you will still be excited about the kids coming home, but just for visits LOL.

I would skip, IMHO no need to quilt over an applique piece unless it's decorative.

I bet Coco would be wiggling all over if you said "Let's go for a walk" LOL.


Barb said...

I love applique of any kind but I am still hung up on the empty nester....I remember....I understand....and it is lonesome....but it gets easier....

Thimbleanna said...

You always brighten my day -- you're just so funny!

Question 1: Definitely skip it. My reasoning is that the stem -- ALL the stems, should look like they're floating above that quilted background.

Question 2: I rarely do machine applique, but if I did, I'd use the Kim Diehl method, which is to use the same color thread and hemstitch. I used to use invisible thread but someone said over time (like hundreds of years as if I'll care I'll be DAID) the invisible thread will grate against the fabric and wear it out? Is that even a legite complaint?(Question backatcha!)

Question 3: Totally YOUR fault LOL!

Annnd.... this should be a quote hung in homes all over the planet (but especially for young mothers who are complaining about their dirty little kids):

"The only thing more disappointing than 2 cluttered, dirty kids' rooms are 2 clean, empty kids' rooms."

You're Brilliant!

Nancy said...

Coco has that guilty-as-charged look. Missing your machine... no wonder we have such a hard time parting with our machines for servicing once a year. What if it doesn't come home quickly? Mine was gone for almost a month as in servicing, another problem was found and part ordered. I had a backup machine though, and was gone for a week, so it worked out fine. Questions: 1) skip.. it's too narrow, too many layers, and would not enhance the stem appearance in my view; 2) generally used a buttonhole stitch, narrow with matching if I don't want it to be so visible; but sometimes I like the look of a contrasting thread and wider stitch. I use tracing paper as a stablizer.. comes off pretty easily.

Miriam said...

I feel for you with the empty nest. Mine still has one, but he is away for work sometimes.
I really hope your machine is back soon...and works perfectly!
Your hand quilting is amazing!!!!

Ann Champion said...

It will take some time to adjust to the empty nest. At least you don't have to cook if you don't want to.

I quilt right along on the stems and don't skip. I don't think there's any right or wrong way?

When I had my machine serviced it was gone for 9 weeks. It took a few phone calls to get them moving. I hope yours returns soon!

Maybe CoCo is stressed at the empty nest too? The thread wasn't named vanilla cream or something else that sounded tasty was it?

I've never tried machine I'm clueless! LOL

Browndirtcottage said...

What an interesting and oh so timely for me post!! I JUST started hand quilting the outline of my recent appliqued quilt on the flowers/stems/leaves.

I skipped, but not because it was a conscious decision. I didn't even think about it.....BUT...since I am using just a plain muslin backing I am considering what Sharon said about wanting it to have a finished look from behind.....????

I was glad to see some of yours up close. Since the quilt I am working on is my FIRST needle turn applique I was wondering about having larger areas of the applique and whether to do some quilting in those areas as well...?????

Quilts And Pieces said...

Last year when our youngest went off to college I was so sad. But you know what? It only took a few weeks (if that) to start to REALLY enjoy being able to do what we wanted when we wanted!

Jan said...

Re: the quilting, I think I've done it both ways! (But that doesn't keep me from pondering it with every new project.) I've enjoyed reading all of the responses.
Re: the empty nest, you'll come around to enjoy the bright side of it soon. Although it's been a while since mine 'flew the coop', we're experiencing a new level of empty nest this week. Our son and DIL are moving to Shanghai, so both of our kids will be living abroad now. (Driving down to DC now to say goodbye...). See? It could be worse. ;-)

Tonya Ricucci said...

turn those kids rooms into extended quilting rooms and then you'll be happy to go in there! bad Coco! but at least she didn't swallow it. My vote is: Skip. too much work and it breaks up the flower.

Shasta Matova said...

So much content in this post! I can commiserate you on the empty nest experience. You've given them the roots, now you have to let them fly! I would hate to be without a machine that long! I think I would start asking more questions - everyday. Hand quilting, I think skipping looks better, but I would probably stitch, because it is extra insurance for the applique! Machine stitching, I just started using fusible applique, and this time, I am quilting over it instead of stitching it. I would try to match the thread unless there are too many colors, then I would use black or something that goes with all of them. I like button hole but my machine doesn't do it, so I would zig zag. I haven't stabilized, I don't think it is necessary since you have the fusible.

Mary said...

Re: stems I say skip it.
Love that bird quilt!

Rose Marie said...

For hand quilting, I stitch. I used to skip; but have gone back and added in those few extra stitches and am happier with the difference it made.

Taryn said...

I miss mine now that (most of them) they are gone but when they come back I am reminded about the parts I don't miss. Number one on that list is the mess. But, I still have the hubby and he's plenty messy all by himself. Having had a Golden Retriever, I learned not to leave things around so I must blame you, not Coco. As our dog trainer said, chewing things is such a "doggy" thing to do.

Sandra Henderson said...

I love your hand quilting!
SOrry for your QUIET home... :(
but, it will be filled with grandchildren in a few years and you will think it was a blink of an eye~!
Life must go on... You've done a great job raising them!!! They'll be home soon for Thanksgiving! IT's right around the corner! XO