Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Drivers.....

That's me! I was a Sunday Driver today as I came back from the Upcountry Quilter's Retreat at Table Rock Wesleyan Camp outside of Pickens,SC! I just love being in the beautiful blue ridge mountains. I'd choose the mountains over the ocean any day. That could be because I am such a fair skinned gal that I don't find the beach to be a lot of fun at all. But I love being outside in the mountains and smelling the trees, hearing the breeze rustle through and the birds, etc. I am in awe of mountains.

I had a wonderful guild meeting on Thursday Evening in Maggie Valley NC...we all met for dinner at a mexican place before hand, then off to the meeting we went!

The next morning was the Boxy Stars class. I tell you, I learn so much by seeing what other people put together. I think it broadens our own vision of "possibilities" when we see people doing things that are outside of our own "box."

After the workshop, I got in the car and drove 2 more hours down to the guild retreat....what fun! I felt like *I* was the one on retreat too! I didn't have to teach my class until the next day, so I got to enjoy dinner with everyone and set up my machine and sew into the night with everyone too.

And guess what....I FINISHED the 5 year UFO of my pink and brown storm at sea setting of Dear Jane! I DID IT!! It was almost anti climactic....but what was also fun...I finished her up on my vintage singer Spartan. I love this little machine. It was made by singer but sold through sears or something, and it dates into the 50s. It is heavier than my featherweights, but that is great...sometimes the featherweight just is too small when it comes to working on big quilts. And too light weight when working on big quilts....but with this Spartan placed into it's little oak extension table, I had no trouble with a lightweight machine skittering away from me when trying to sew on borders. My featherweights may get jealous...I think I love a bigger machine!

I also love my Spartan because of the drop in bobbin! It easily holds TWICE the amount of thread that my featherweights hold. And it has no bobbin case to lose. We all know how expensive THOSE are to replace. The more I sew on this baby, the more I think featherweights are highly over rated....unless you need to travel with it as a carry on or something.

And because I love a bigger machine...I was oohing and ahhing over Barbara's Singer 404....and she told me her dad works on machines and he had one I could buy from him. I held my breath and bought it after trying it out. The motor is encased, so there is no belt to deal with. It's cast aluminum instead of cast iron...it is LIGHT! It's a slant needle, it hums so quietly....I'm in love with this one too...IT might end up with a wood extension table of it's own as well....The stitch quality can not be beat!

I hate to say that while I was humming along on my vintage machines at retreat, there were a couple ladies who had spent way much more money for a "retreat" or class machine...all plastic.....nothing but problems with them. I'm in love with vintage machines and I'm sticking to it!

Poor bernina...she may be relegated to being brought out ONLY when I need to use a zig zag ;c)

Chloe is slowly getting acclimated. She is out from UNDER the chair in my studio, and now laying ON it. She is very vocal! I don't know if she is complaining or just chattering, but she makes lots of talking sounds about everything. Got her to purr a couple times, but I think it's still going to take her a while to feel like this is HOME.


  1. Bonnie, I'm with you on the vintage machines! I just got a new-to-me Singer 301. It's been working beautifully and I've started a small log cabin on it. It'll also travel nicer than my Bernina, as it's lighter.

    But I still love my Bernina for it's knee-lift. It also has all the toys I need to free-motion quilts. Can't have it all! ;) But the Singer makes a great piecing machine. The all metal parts make me really happy too.

  2. I meant to comment before when you talked about your vintage machines... I love and miss mine dearly! They are all still packed and waiting for us to finish our move. My favorite is a 1920's Singer 15 class with Tiffany decals in a treadle stand that I use as my main machine. There is just something relaxing about sewing on a treadle. Not only does she sew a beautiful straight stitch - she can machine quilt like nobody's business. When I was teaching machine quilting at the quilt shop I made my samples on her. That way I could tell the ladies that if I could do this on a treadle they could do it on their modern machines - and they didn't need anything fancy or fast. I found a vintage Singer 66 machine (with Red Eye decal) for my sister who uses it as her main machine - also in a treadle base. I am just a little addicted to vintage machines! LOL

  3. I believe yours is the first "Dear Jane" I have ever liked. I am not a fan of pink (tho' my DGDs certainly are), but this quilt is just too charming! As if I don't have 72 others on my "to do" list in front of a Dear Jane, I am adding it !

  4. Oh my gosh! Your new machine you bought looks just like the one my mom used to have. And can you believe she threw it on me years ago! Ughhh.

  5. Bonnie - I have to honestly say that this is one of the most beautiful Dear Jane quilts I have ever seen - it's really striking and it makes me almost (almost) consider doing one. Really lovely.

  6. Bonnie, your Dear Jane is truly stunning! I love the soft tone, it seems to glow! I know what you mean about vintage machines. Especially some of the Singers, they have such a nice stitch. I sold my Featherweights as they actually are quite heavy when they are in their little black storage boxes. So the only time they are lightweight is when they are out being used. I really like your new Singer 404. Could you please tell me more about your wood extension table? Glad you had a wonderful time on your trip. Good to have you home. Your Chloe has a sweet face, and I'm sure she is glad to have you home too!

  7. Wow Bonnie, your DJ is just stunning - this one was very much worth waiting for :-) I'm with you on the vintage machines, they just can't be beat. I still love Bernie (you and I have the same one) but I'm a vintage girl at heart.

  8. Holy cow! Now, THAT's a quilt! Absolutely fantastic, it's a real credit to your skill and sense of colour.

    Well done on this ambitious project -- especially with all the other projects you achieve at the same time!

  9. Love the finished Dear Jane! The border is perfect. How large did it end up? The vintage machines are the best. A friend bought here daughter a new beginner machine and it was terrible to try and teach her to sew on it. I ended up pulling out one of my vintage machines (which sewed through the decorator fabric with no problem what-sew-ever!) When her Dad showed up to driver her home she brought him in to see the old machine and told him "I want one of those for my next machine." Another convert!

  10. Love your DJ quilt. Now, would that be classified as a DJ scrap quilt?--are the bits and pieces are scrap. Is that such a labeling? The pink is so lovely.
    Well done!

  11. Congrats on finishing that top! Did you "use up" your pink & brown stash? Will you hand quilt it? Are you going to start another DJ?

  12. Wow! I'm not normally a pink and brown fan, but your quilt is wonderful. And how in the world do you get so many things done at one time???
    I'm with you on the mountains - they are wonderful for all the senses.
    Hope Chloe soon decides she's really part of the family - sounds like she's making progress.

  13. I'm with you on the vintage machines; my Mum's 201P is the loveliest machine to piece on. I just bought my second 99K, just need to get them set up on my new sewing table. I'm going to have a machine for every occasion!

    Your Dear Jane is superb, just breath-taking. It almost makes me want to start one;.....almost....

    I wish I could have a ragdoll kitty like Chloe; she will be a charmer once she settles in. You were in the right place at the right time, and she'll know how lucky she is one day soon.

  14. Congratulations on such a huge and wonderful quilt! Amazing work!

  15. Hi Bonnie, Your Dear Jane is truly amazing. Wonderfully beautiful!!
    This is my first visit to your blog and I just love it.
    All the best, Elly

  16. Bonnie all I can say is WOW your Dear Jane is absolutely gorgeous.

  17. Anonymous9:55 AM EDT

    Your DJ is gorgeous! Love the pink & brown. Congrats on the Singer 404. My mom had a machine just like that--it's the machine I learned to sew on. It brings back fond memories. Maybe I should think about getting myself one. . .

  18. Beautiful! Have you met a quilt you are afraid to make?

  19. Ragdolls LOVE to talk. My boys will wake up and call from the hall waiting to find me and then come running. She's probably lonely, or calling for whoever she remembers at the vets. She'll get better, but give her lots of belly rubs. Noodle loves to go into the bathroom, sit on the back of the tank and "talk" at the top of his lungs at the cat in the mirror. They also talk to each other as a way to get the other to come and play. Pixel is my whiney baby and cries constantly for attention and petts.

    Hopefully she will relax and get more acclimated. I'm so happy you rescued her!

  20. I am in love with your Dear Jane quilt!! I agree with a previous poster in that it is the first one I have actually liked! I am new to the Dear Jane world and think yours is amazing! Great job!

  21. Bonnie.... oooooooo... ahhhhhhh...I just love that storm at sea setting for the Dear Jane. I admire your work so much!!! The cat is adorable and your vintage machine is to die for!!!
    versana-creativedawn.blogspot.com or davis6620@gmail.com

  22. Congratulations on your Singer 404. It looks a lot like my Singer 401A. Those were sturdy machines. That said, I still love my Bernina which was also made with all metal parts. (Don't know about the current line of Berninas.)

    The problem with having several machines is that it's sometimes hard to give all of them a chance to be used. Don't want any of them to feel neglected!

  23. Omigosh! Your quilt is sooo gorgeous! What an undertaking. You should be so proud.

    I loved looking at your vintage machines, too. How neat! :o)

  24. That Dear Jane is so pretty. I just love it. Where did you find the setting? Is that an option in the book?


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