Saturday, February 12, 2011

And He's Back...

I did not really expect to be absent from the blogosphere for such an extended period of time, but no trabajo, no dinero.  The month of January saw no quilting activity to speak of for me (shock!  gasp!), although I did some serious fabric collecting during that time.  The coolest development, however, was that between Mom & Dad's christmas present and Grant's valentine's day present, I got a new Bernina 820 (henceforth known as Ernie):

I am in love with Ernie, as one might expect. I don't know if I'm more in love with the 40% larger bobbins, the bobbin quantity warning, the automatic needle threader, or the button to cut the thread! I'm not quite used to this dual-drive quarter-inch presser foot because the right feed doggie is only half-covered, so I feel like the seam is hard to control as it moves to the very end of the seam. On my 21 year old Bernina, I shift the needle to the right 1/8" and then use the 3/8" guide. The only downfall to that method is remembering to shift the needle accordingly when switching tasks.  For the time being, I'm going to stick with the 37D foot because the foot was designed for quilters.

My only serious complaint has already been addressed:  When we put the order in, the distributor told us that Bernina decided not to develop the plexiglass extended table for the 8 series (and I fell in love with that innovation with my old Bernina).  Yesterday, Joyce informed me that they found another company that makes the table I want (24" by 24"), so I will get my extension table afterall!!  Yay!

So my current quilting project is an excellent one for my new machine:  Curved Log Cabin from Blue Underground.  It's perfect between each square is comprised of 15 rectangles, and if my seams are not spot-on at a scant 1/4", then the new piece will be either too long or too short.  I've made my first two squares, and my seams seem to be right on target with only tiny variation.   When Grantward picked up the first square, he noticed immediately that the stitches were extremely even and more consistent that the old one.  I'm using a dozen asian print fabrics and a beautiful brown "line sketch" floral for the background of this quilt, which is destined for my dear, dear friend, Pam, who is going through chemo for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  Yikes!  For the record, I'm getting a little fed up with all these fluffing cancer quilts.  On my last trip to Sew Sassy, I bought a dozen happy, bright batiks to make a HAPPY COLOR version of the Arcadia Quilt for myself.  I need a happy, non-cancer related quilt in my life!  I have two blocks done, and I can hardly wait to piece the blocks together -- this one is going to be gorgeous, and no one deserves a special quilt more than Pam.  Good thing, too, because otherwise this one would be hard to part with.

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