Saturday, June 21, 2014

Of Long Arms and Treadles

I know, I know, I've been gone too long again and how can one get a following when they're so inconsistent, right?  Well, it is what it is and for now it has to be that way.  As much as I'd love a bigger following, I'm afraid right now I'd be disappointing way too many so I'll just enjoy reading the blogs of others for now and update when I can take the time to get to it and hope that those who do follow, or read even without following, enjoy when I DO post.

This morning I got up in time to watch Fons & Porter on a near-local PBS station.  I didn't catch who the guest was that was demonstrating long-arm quilting.  It was very interesting though.  Her teaching technique, at least on the show to the hostess (Mary - the daughter of Marianne Fons), was with using a strip quilt and using the strips in much the same manner an elementary student would use the wide-lined paper to practice their cursive skills, using loops, or one letter repeatedly and then using a letter with a variation to it.  It was pretty impressive and I have to say that having the quilt, batting, and backing attached on rollers for quilting, sure looks easier than pinning, marking and wrestling a big quilt around on a small machine...most of my quilts are larger than lap size.

Many of you have long-arms and some of you quilt for others (to me that's terrifying - I'd be afraid of ruining someone's hard work) and I barely quilt at all and when I do it's only been straight-line quilting, though I took one class on free-motion quilting - learning both with template and without.  Free-motion is all about practice, as I'm sure the same holds true whether using a long-arm or a standard machine.  Maybe that's why I prefer piecing.  I just haven't taken the time to practice my FMQ enough to get that visual and muscle memory going.  If I were ever to get a long-arm, it'd have to go in my living room, there just isn't room anywhere else. Hmmmm, dream list: new home with large, finished basement for long-arm. But then, I'd probably never buy a machine that costs as much as my last vehicle for something that I do just as a hobby.

Shifting gears, it's hard to believe I've been home now for a week, and I'll be leaving again on the 30th.  But what I wanted to share, is that I DID bring the treadle machine home with me.  I posted about it here and here.

Arlington Treadle Sewing Machine mfrd after 1900.
Cabinet housing Arlington Treadle Sewing Machine
When I get back to the northern town I'll go into the LQS and pick up the leather belt for it.  That's all it needs along with a little TLC on both the machine and the cabinet.  I let my brother Eugene (who claims it as his aided by mom's divisive ways when she was living) know that I brought it home and he's made no comment.  He'd previously only requested that if I did bring it home, I should make sure I put in my will that it gets bequeathed to his son.  The machine belonged to my (step)dad's family and my brother and I only share the same mother, so hence his request.  I like my Dad's idea better as he says it's HIS and he can give it to whomever HE wants, hehe.  Eugene does contract jobs all over the country so lives in a travel home and uses public storage for those things he has no room for so having this with me is better than having it in storage, or with my Dad who would like to see bare walls and minimal everything else.  Some day I'll have time to just be at home and I'll clean it up and play with it.  When I was in high school, a treadle was all we had at home to use, so I'm hoping that's a bit like riding a never forgets.

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