Sunday, December 21, 2014

Squeaky Feet

As the holidays approach and we wait patiently for our new granddaughter to make her arrival any day now, I've been keeping myself busy by working on my ever-growing stack of quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

A few months ago, I purchased this special foot for my Juki that enables me to do ruler work on this sit-down machine.  It is a hopping foot just like the ones you see on a long-arm machine and it is a full 1/4" high so it rides safely along the edge of the 1/4" high quilting rulers (I use these rulers).

I am slowly gaining confidence as I get used to doing ruler work, and I just love the control that I have with these rulers.  But, as always, there was one thing that was bugging me...

The noise!

As this foot hops up and down, it rubs against the side of the ruler, producing a chirping/squeaking noise not unlike fingernails on a chalkboard.  Now, I admit, I am probably much tenser than I should be, and am holding the ruler way too tight against the foot...  but I'm afraid if I lighten up my grip too much the foot will lose contact with the ruler.  I've tried relaxing, but the squeak keeps coming back every few seconds.

But wait - there's a solution!!!

That's right!  Good old car wax!  I just rubbed a light coating on the outside surface of the foot, where it contacts the ruler, let it dry to a haze, then buffed it out with a soft cloth.  The squeak is gone!!!

Plus, there's an added bonus!  The foot glides along the ruler much more smoothly now.  I didn't realize how much drag and resistance was created when it squeaked.  The car wax reduced all that friction and my quilting is much smoother, and QUIET!

I'm sure I'll have to re-wax it from time to time, but it only takes a couple of minutes, and is really worth the extra effort.  So if you have a squeaky foot, try the wax!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Quilts for the Grand Daughters

Time is getting short!  My daughter is expecting her second baby this month and we had a wonderful visit with them after Thanksgiving.  I made a wall quilt for the nursery and now that it's been delivered, I can finally share it with you here.  They hadn't finished painting the walls yet when we were there, so we weren't able to hang the quilt, but at least it's in their hands, ready to go.

I started with a pattern called Chubby Chicks by Black Mountain Needleworks because I just fell in love with these adorable chicks.  I opted to do the borders differently though, and changed the number of blocks to make it the size I wanted. 

The nursery color scheme is coral and aqua, and the wall color is light aqua, so this should coordinate nicely.  I used white Bella Solid for the background, and assorted aqua and coral prints for the pinwheels and chicks.  The chicks are machine blanket-stitched after fusing them in place using a method of applique I learned from Krista at Poppyprint, (click here for a link).

I got a little more daring with my quilting on this one, and love how it finally turned out.  The chick's tail feathers didn't stand out quite enough, so I added a little colored shading with my water-color pencils.

For the back, I had the perfect fabric already in my stash, just waiting for the right project to come along.  Perfect little aqua birds.  Just had to use this one!

Can't wait to see it on the wall when the nursery is finished.  And it will be soon, because this baby could come any time now.

And her big sister got some new things for her room too!  I shared her quilt with you a while ago, and then proceeded to make a pair of Roman Shades to match, using Joel Dewberry's Aviary, Sparrow in Plum.

They look great in her newly painted purple bedroom, and you can see the corner of her new quilt on the bed as well.  She loves her new purple room.