• hr-mueller

January - Housekeeping (Aurifil Artisan Challenge)

Hello world :) I want to start off by saying that I am not a new year's resolution type of person. But I admit that my quilting journey for January sounds a lot like the aftermath of a new year's resolution. So... I did some housekeeping.

This lovely pandemic that we are all experiencing has led me to actually quit my job as a nurse altogether and gave me a new perspective on family, work-life-balance and life in general.

In the beginning of January I started tidying my sewing room (It was never really untidy to begin with but still) and I did some much needed checkup on my inventory.

I started off by organizing my fabric and notions (I do that every year) and then I started cutting all my shorter pieces of striped fabric into bias binding strips because I have bought half bolts of all of Tulas Tent stripes and Pom Poms (treat yourself).

So now I have some colours of binding ready to go for future projects.

Then I finally finished a round robin that I have been holding off for way too long and made someone in the UK very happy. I also finished my own quilt from that round robin for myself because a certain person decided not to do their share of work in the round robin group (but that is a whole different story that I might never make public).

With that done I could add my round robin quilt to my WIP pile.

Oh the WIP pile... I have ignored that for longer than I am comfortable with. I know that there is many a quilter out there that would not consider my pile large by any means but I do not want to have that many quilt tops unfinished in my possession.

So I did what every sane quilter would do: I made two more quilt tops.

No seriously, I made two more quilt tops.

One was from Tula Pink Curiouser and Curiouser diamonds that I had cut the day I got the fabric but never bothered sewing up since then. The other one was from leftovers from a few projects that I threw together in a somewhat organised looking improv quilt (well there is nothing improv in the strict sense about it but to me it was improv so... get off my back).

With that done I decided that I need help.

Having 5 finished quilt tops and adding 2 more is intervention worthy in my book.

So I did what every sane quilter would do (I am sensing a pattern here) and I bought myself a quilt frame for my domestic machine... you know... because treat yourself.

I found the frame used on the german equivalent to craigslist for a price that I was comfortable paying. Only problem was that I had to take a whole day off from being an (awesome) dad to take a road trip to the very southwest of Germany.

Now I understand that a 5 hour road trip might not sound like much if you live in the United States but in Europe you could very well be in a different country by then.

Anyway. I returned late but happy with a wooden quilt frame that pretty much transforms my domestic machine into a very short longarm machine.

After setting the frame up I decided to play with it a bit. This is where the two new tops came in handy. They were pretty but I had no special attachment to them so I could just try my new setup on some proper quilts.

Having amazing quilty friends I could borrow channel locks and I did some straight line quilting on both tops.

Being able to finish two quilt tops in one day without wrestling them through my machine was a breeze. I never want to go back.

But to be honest: Now I want a proper longarm.

You win some and lose some I guess.

Trying out the new setup really boosted my confidence though, so I decided to load a proper quilt from the WIP pile.

I made the Tula Pink serpentine quilt a looooong time ago.

This was the day to try to finish it. First I quilted the background in a wavey pattern to then come back with different thread colours to quilt the snake itself.

However after having the background done I realised that the throat space of my machine is just too small to do the ruler work in the body of the snake that I wanted to do. Remember the awesome friend I mentioned earlier? When I am giving back the channel locks I am going to load the quilt on her frame and do the body of the snake with a proper longarm. So I unloaded the quilt from the frame and rolled it up for later.

To be honest I was tempted to just square it up and bind it at this point because technically it is quilted enough to be considered a finished quilt but I could resist the urge. Barely.

Having realised that my setup is nice for smaller quilts, free motion quilting on a smaller scale and straight line quilting but not suitable for bigger quilts I decided to go shopping for longarm services. And that is when networking "payed off". A friend I made along my quilting journey really loves quilting.

Like: Really really loves it. She loves it so much so that she asked me if she could quilt them for me.

Free of charge. She just does it for the fun of it. She gets to play with gorgeous fabrics and perfect piecing (allow me to toot my own horn, thank you very much) and I get a finished quilt.

Or in this case: 3 finished quilts.

So all I had to do was to cut 7ish yards of batting, pick out and cut the appropriate backings, select some Aurifil thread and send the pile off to Emanuela to play with.

The quilts arrived at her house on her birthday and I just love that coincidence.

Now if that is not a successful start to a new year than please tell me what is :D

Thank you for reading this. I know it was a long one and I apologise. Or of you liked it: You're welcome

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