Getting to know Jane

I started off quilting this little doll quilt. A simple meander in the center and a rather funky looking fern in the border. 

It was maybe a little less funky by the last border and I kind of like it. I’m not sure why I decided to stay with a contrasting thread – it blended well in the center. 

In general I’m not a fan of plain meandering but this Bow Tie top was the first thing I pieced at the Tampa house last July and I decided a simple meander would give me a chance to get the feel of the machine on a real quilt – starting, stopping, removing pins, controlling my speed… I couldn’t believe how much difference the amount of throat space made. It’s going to be even better when the machine is sitting flush with the cabinet. 

I think I’ll piece a Strippie next and get some more practice. 

So far so good

I set up the Babylock Jane and played around a bit. I think it’s going to work well for me. The stitch quality is excellent, much better than the Elna, when using the free motion foot. For now it’s on top of the sewing table but it has an extension table which will work until the new cabinet is delivered. 


The churn dash top is assembled. I know it’s small – approximately 40×54 but the top was finished in just a couple days including design time and time out to buy a sewing machine. 

 I’ll need to practice quilting on the new machine before I try quilting this one or maybe I’ll hand quilt it. There are others in line first so it will wait a while!

Sewing machines

I’ve been threatening to buy a new sewing machine for years and have twice gotten Keith’s agreement and not followed through. I love my Elna but it’s 14 years old and doesn’t have a knee lift or thread cutter and most important – the throat space is really small which makes it a challenge to quilt on it. 

I’d intended to buy a Janome 1600P-QC but they didn’t have one in the store. I tried out the equivalent Baby Lock machine and left the store with it. Of course, I can’t sew without a  cabinet which cost more than the machine. I bought the least expensive one but they only carry Koala so it wasn’t cheap but it is solid. 

They also service machines and so I’ll take my Elna in for servicing. It’s overdue!

I’m thinking those doll quilts will make good practice and help me get used to the new machine. 

Blocks are done

I’m done sewing for the day but the Churn Dash blocks have all be cut out and assembled and I’ll work on sashing them tomorrow. That darker purple has more contrast that it appears to have in the photo.


Although the black appears solid above, it isn’t, it’s a print. I use solid black occasionally but I think a print picks up less and shows less lint in the finished quilt so when I have a choice I usually go with the print. You can see it better in this photo.





Next up

I should be getting the Rainbow HeartStrings top layered and quilted but I want to try some Churn Dash blocks first so I’ll play today and maybe get the HS top layered tomorrow or Wednesday.

I played around with a bunch of different layouts and options in EQ7 and decided to go with this one. It will be a smaller child size quilt that is approximately 40×53. I really am trying to alternate a small one that can be quilted here with larger ones that go to GA for quilting on the longarm but it’s hard, almost everything I design starts out larger and has to be downsized. I could have downsized the Churn Dash blocks to 6 inches but I like these big ones so I’m making fewer blocks and don’t be shocked but I’m going to sash them too. Not my favorite thing to do but I wanted some separation between the blocks and while I played with several alternate blocks they’re more suited to a larger quilt.

Bright sashed churn dash-001


I’ve finished assembling my Patritic Rail Fence top. It will go to GA for quilting on the longarm this summer. 

It didn’t even make a small dent in the fabric in this bin. 

The weekend fun continues

My HeartStrings group is meeting in Roberts, WI to sew quilts for veterans entering hospice and I wanted to participate even though I couldn’t attend. On Monday, I started one of my Patriotic Rail Fence quilts. Late on Thursday, my GO baby and 8 inch Qube arrived and you know I wanted to play but I try to be very disciplined about finishing a top before starting another. I did a little math in my head and realized that I could use the 8 inch Qube to make a 12 inch Ohio Star block. (My instruction sheet calls for a 12 inch Sawtooth star).

 First I redrafted the top star border and using two dies, cut quarter square triangles and squares. The first block came together perfectly! Remember my post on the Qube – if you decide to buy one look carefully at the individual blocks – this 12 inch block is made from the 8 inch Qube!


I also made myself get the rail fence section assembled before starting the star blocks. There’s a border between the stars and rails that’s cut but I won’t sew it to the rails until the star row is completed. You’ll just have to imagine it in between.   

And since we’re having lovely weather, I took a break and we drank a couple beers by the pool.  (Pouring them into plastic glasses of course!)


Now, I’m going back to making the other star blocks. 

Race Day

For fun, Keith and I signed up for the Tampa Airport Runway 5k and walked/ran it today. It’s easier for me to train with a goal in mind than to just go out and exercise every day. The big race will be a half marathon in February but we’re signed up for a 15K (9.32 miles) in October also. 

Pre-race selfie

I even got some race bling! This is the 3rd ‘participant’ medal I’ve gotten, the other two were for a half marathon in Fort Lauderdale and an 8K here in Tampa.  

I won’t be breaking any records but the pounds are slowly coming off with the training so I’m winning. 

We went sailing

Keith chartered a boat for a sunset sail last night to celebrate our anniversary. 

💕It was wonderful💕