Jul 29

Another quilt made from following Craftsy

I love Craftsy.  I really do.  You can learn all kind of great things.  This is the 3rd quilt I have made from the Craftsy class Improvisation Piecing, Modern Design by Jacquie Gering.

I think there are 6 different quilts in the class and I’m going to make every one of them.  I learn something new every time I complete one and my techniques keep improving.

Quilt3 1

I love this quilt.  I love the color combination but what I love most of all is that I didn’t have not one little pucker on the back.  Hip hip hooray.

This quilt took me a little longer to make.  Not because it was harder but because I was tired.  Tired from working, not sewing.  Sewing is my peace time.

Because the lines were so straight, I decided to keep with a straight line quilting although I did use my homemade midarm to stitch it. (If you haven’t read how I made my own midarm machine, you can read about it here and here.)  I have more room to quilt my midarm than my home sewing machine.  To keep my lines straight, I drew them on.  Quilt3 2

Stop by tomorrow as I’ve written up instructions on how I made the chevron quilting pattern.

See you next time.


May 29

Wow Me Wednesday – Drab to Fab Sewing Machine Redo’s

Is your sewing machine white and boring?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the fanciest sewing machine on the block. With a couple of standard craft supplies and a little creativity,  you will have the grandest machine on the block, neighborhood, state, country, maybe the world!!!  :)

Here is some inspiration and how-to-fancy-up-your-boring-white-machine instructions.

The button machine makes me smile. :)  Hop over to the Quilted Cupcake for her tutorial for decorating the machine. This is an old second-hand machine that she isn’t going to use, it is more for show but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it.  You would have to stay clear of openings and  levers but still doable.

Fabric on a machine!!!!  Like two peas in a pod. Fabric decorating a sewing machine is the ultimate decorating idea.  Stop by Dee Construction for her low down on how to make your own machine this lovely.

If you make a machine like that, do NOT drink any water if you take this with you to a guild meeting or quilt outing.  If you drink anything you will most likely get up to go to the bathroom and when you come back, someone would have stolen this baby for sure, for sure. :) Go to 33 Stitches to see her instructions for making your machine as cute too.

Crafty Confessions used vinyl stickers to add snap crackle pop to her dull white machine.  Lovin the dots for sure.

A Little Off Color did a great job restyling her machine with Mod Podge.


Another creative crafter with Mod Podge in their hands.  I love the old prints and little bit of paint highlights. Beautiful! Stop over Cynthia Shaffer and see how she did it.


What a different a little bit of scrapbooking vinyl makes.  Very elegant indeed. You can read more about it here.

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A member on QuiltingBoards.com posted a picture of her charming machine.  (You have to scroll a good bit down the page to find it)

Hmmm?  Not sure which one I like better.  Just kidding, love….love…love the red.  Stitch Nerd does a fabulous job detailing how she painted her old vintage machine.

Another snazzy makeover from drab to fab.  She used vinyl that she cut from her own vinyl cutter but you could just as easily buy some precut letters. Visit Sumo’s Sweet Stuff to read more about it.


Apr 22

Mid Arm Machine – Finished

This is what an old industrial darning machine looks like.  It has about a 2-1/2 inch cylinder base.  Great I suppose for darning socks but not for quilting. My original design was to cut a hole in a table and drop the machine down making it level with the table.  When I did that, I was unable to use the industrial motor and bobbin winder because it was too much to cut out of the table and the table would no longer have been a table, it would have just been a big hole with legs.  I had attached a home sewing machine motor with a regular foot pedal.  If you read here, it didn’t work.

So back went the darn darner on its original table and as it sat it was useless as a quilting machine.  Woe was me.  I thought ok, I can build a table around it but all I had around was plywood.  I didn’t know if I painted it in a gloss paint and maybe waxed it, if it would have enough slip and slide to work but I was going to try my best.  I drew a template around the machine – I used news paper and cut and taped it around the machine and I was almost done when I ran out of tape.  While I was up looking for more tape, I banged against a filing cabinet and a piece of Plexiglas fell out.  When things like that happen, it reaffirms to me that there is definitely a higher power.  Plexiglas was perfect.   I got the Plexiglas cut, screwed pieces of wood on the bottom to raise it to machine level and slip slid it went right in.  I probably could have gone a tad closer to the cylinder but that is hard to figure, I was using the sides as my guide.  Darning machine turned into FMQ machine

As you can see in this picture, it looks as if there is a gap and there is but it is close enough to work, especially when I put my Supreme glider on. Now I have my own mid arm machine. Yeah!

Darning machine turned into FMQ machine.


Happy Quilting




Apr 08

Mid Arm Machine

This is what my homemade mid arm machine looks like. It is not fancy, there are no buttons and the only control is to adjust the tension. What makes this work as a free motion quilting machine is that is has no feed dogs and the fabric floats.

I got this machine for free. The $20.00 I spent was for a bobbin winder since my original idea rotated the machine and wouldn’t allow space for the winder than came with the machine.

My original idea was to rotate the machine replicating the Handi-Quilter Sweet 16 design. I had to cut a hole in an old table because the darning machine has a cylinder base and this needed to sit flat to quilt. That was easy enough to do and it worked great except doing that required replacing the industrial motor with a home sewing machine motor, which did not work great. I burned the motor out within 4 hours. An industrial machine needs an industrial motor. Therefore I had to put the industrial motor back on the machine which required it being on the industrial table and back in normal position. I couldn’t lower this machine because of the motor and belt and as it sat, it was useless as a quilting machine.

Woe was me as I fretted that my repurposing wasn’t working.  I had done some pretty samples in my four hours of working machine time and I finished a new sewing machine cover. It is just so pretty and I was so sure I could do this and do this well if only I had the right equipment. If it didn’t work, I didn’t have an extra $6000.00 sitting around to buy the Sweet 16 machine, my home machine just wasn’t doing it well and was frustrating to use for free-motion quilting, and I was afraid my free motion quilting adventure was already over.

Next time, I’ll show you how something literally fell in front of me as my inspiration and how I am now the happiest little free-motion quilter around.


Apr 07

Making your own mid arm quilting machine

It has happened before, I miss whole movements, eras, and there is probably a decade or two I can’t clearly recall.  I suppose I’m so centered in my own world that stuff passes me by, but not this time.  I didn’t know until recently that there was a free motion quilting movement.  I have stippled things for years and I like free motion sewing but on my home machine with usually an open toe foot. It is quite doable and with lovely results too but it didn’t take my breath away like seeing a long-arm machine for the first time. I knew there were long-arm machines but I thought the designs were all computer generated which is pretty but not awe inspiring.

I saw a long arm machine and I wanted one. I really wanted one but I had two problems…

  1. Not enough space
  2. Not enough money

I bought some lottery tickets and figured I would win a couple million and buy a bigger house and I would have both the money and space. Not really sure what happened but it didn’t work because I didn’t win any money and now I was an extra $20 short on my long-arm quilter down payment.  I would have resorted to Plan B but I didn’t really have a backup plan.

Luckily, as I was trolling around the Internet looking at long-arm machines, I spied a mid arm quilting machine.  Again, I hadn’t even known there was such a machine.  I liked the mid arm better than the long-arm since it reduced the problems down to only one….not enough money.  This is the mid-arm I saw and loved.

Tomorrow I will show you my $20.00 homemade version of the mid-arm machine.