Dark Sparkle Torsade

I had the notion that I needed a torsade necklace. After thinking about it for awhile I allowed myself to go over to Chevere to see what I could find. I say 'allowed' because I could get lost for days playing with the strings of beads and gemstones and crystals...so many shiny objects to draw me in. I may be part crow.

To make the necklace I used three different sized strands of faceted black glass crystal and a strand of faceted amethyst beads. I went for the real gemstone on the amethyst beads as they had a different quality of sparkle than the glass. I interspersed silver bali beads in two of the black strands. I strung them on flex-rite stainless wire and used some pretty end caps and a toggle closure. Very pleased with this sparkly little trinket! The cat however would like me to keep it out of his sunny patch.

My Little 301

I had mentioned to my friend Coral that I was considering a Singer Featherweight because I was tired of lugging my heavy Bernina to getaways. She asked if I'd ever tried one and I replied, no. She made me sit down right there and try hers out. I quickly realized why it has such a cult following. A beautiful stitch, steady feed, and despite being such a tiny thing it just feels solid and doesn't vibrate or move as you sew.

At our guild's quilt show one of our vendors was Bob Harrison, who sells and services vintage Singers. Coral and I flocked to him. He has a great selection and is very knowledgeable. On day one of the show I chose one of his Featherweights to take home. Coral decided to try a Singer 301, which is like the big-sister of a Featherweight, and she ended up going home with it.

On day two of the show Bob brought in another Singer 301 and table. I tried it out. It's only a few pounds heavier than a Featherweight. However different from a Featherweight, it has retractable feed-dogs so you can do free motion quilting on it. It also has a slightly longer arm, slant needle, and is gear driven. After playing with it for a few minutes I was hooked. So I bought that and the table too. I really like the table because the machine sits down flush in it, but it has the insert piece to cover the hole so that you can use it as a card table too. Even though the legs fold up, it's still a very sturdy table.

Once home I checked them out fully and started playing with them. I quickly realized that though the Featherweight is the darling of the vintage sewing machine market, my heart went to the 301. This thing sews so fast - it whips down a seam in no time with no puckering or shifting. I find myself going up to my sewing room every day just to look at it, yeah it's love.

A Fine Line Quilt Studio
Bob Harrison - Bob's Featherweights
Learn more about the Singer 301
Sew-Classic Blog - Vintage Singer Parts & Info

Saturday Afternoon Wall Hanging

I started off Saturday afternoon with the intent of using my new sewing machine (more on that later) to sew together some of the many jelly roll strips I've acquired. I had a pattern from a book in mind but wasn't haven't much luck getting the pieces grouped the way I wanted. Then I started playing with my batik jelly roll strips and remembered the pattern that my friend Kathleen had given me, "Hot and Cold Flow". I took that out and got out my Leaves Galore Templates from my friend Sue Pelland and within a few hours I had this lovely piece that I'm going to hang in my office at work.

Because I was using the jelly roll strips mine is a bit bigger than the pattern and I actually have enough pieces left to finish another wall hanging. I made two colorwaves, each with 10 jelly roll strips (I used 1/2 a length of jelly roll strip). Then went at them with the Grande Leaves Galore template. The finished wall hanging is 32"x20". This was also my first attempt at the invisible binding and I must say I really like the result. Kathleen had given me the tip about making the backing a 1/4" smaller than the front, and that was just the trick. Her pattern is easy to follow and the whole project goes together super quick!

What's funny is that using the batiks and Kathleen's pattern I thought I was going to end up with a piece that looked something like her style. But when I stepped back and looked at mine I laughed out loud - my warm color choices - the reds, creams, green, and navy are me all over.

Kathleen Murphy Designs Hot and Cold Flow Pattern
Sue Pelland Designs Leaves Galore Templates